Book Review: Hyacinth

Hyacinth by Kirsten Osbourne

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Don’t get me wrong when you are reading this, because I truly do love this series. Each girl has their own story to tell, and Hyacinth was one that always faded to the background in the previous stories. Now, she’s the main character, and she is one I can sympathize with because she is a writer. But, after waiting for this book to come out because it took me less than two hours to read the previous book, I found myself let down.

She recycled a character from the Amaryllis story, Lawrence. I didn’t really like him in the Amaryllis story–found him to be a character that felt forced to be something he wasn’t. He was a suitor that Amaryllis practically used to make Alex think she hated him. So, when he popped back up in this book, I found myself disappointed because I wanted a new character. Lawrence remained on his course as a flat character that felt entirely out of place throughout the entire book.

Another thing about this book is that it felt like the author did not take the time to really edit it. There was so much more story she could, and probably should, have told. It felt rushed to me, as the reader. It was almost a bare-bones story, like she got down the main story she wanted to tell, checked it (poorly) for grammar and spelling, then sent it on through to be published. It’s incomplete.

And for poor Hyacinth, who was always overlooked to start with, it was entirely unfair.


Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Another book, another year in the magical world of Hogwarts. With this novel, we see a new Weasley joining the Hogwarts family, a new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher who is just a joke, and we learn so much more about Harry. J. K. Rowling is a natural-born storyteller. As this story unfolds, we find ourselves catching more glimpses of the Harry vs Voldemort story/history, another detailed glimpse of Diagon Alley, and meeting so many new teachers and students.

No element of this story was a wasted. Everything melded together to create a suspenseful, action-filled novel that is a wonderful read for people of any age. I’m not a young adult, but I still find this book, and the entire series for that matter, an amazing collection to snuggle up with and read on the weekends.

One of the many things that I loved about these books is that she included so many mythological creatures–creatures that most writers tend to overlook. In this one, there is a basilisk. Not many people know what a basilisk is because it’s not a common creature that is pulled from the mythology books. And because it’s a giant snake, the Harry vs Voldemort story/history came into play.

It’s just amazing. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a starter fantasy book, and I have many times.

Book Review: The Royal Dragoneers

The Royal Dragoneers by M.R. Mathias

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It took me a while to read this novel, and it wasn’t because it was bad. It was long. If it had been a regular, printed copy that I was reading, I would have been done a lot sooner, but because it was on my Kindle, it took me a while longer to read it.

It was a very good novel. The story was believable and gripping. The characters felt real, and I found myself wanting to know more about them and caring about what happened to them.

The only issue I honestly found was that I felt like there were too many characters to follow. Near the end of the book, I had to go back a few times and search for the names of the people in the scene so I could figure out who I seeing the story through. I think that if it had been limited to Zah, Jenka, and Rikky, the story would have been easier for me to follow. Even the Prince’s point-of-view would have been expected.

The moment the story jumped into the point-of-view of Linux, I found myself overwhelmed and not really sure where I was in the timeline because it was jumping characters so much and jumping back and forth through the timeline a lot. Something just happened in the previous character’s point-of-view, then the next point-of-view that is introduced may be telling about actions that occurred twenty minutes or as much as an hour before. It got a little confusing.

Otherwise, it was an epic story. Great read.

Book Review: Mercenary Instinct

Mercenary Instinct by Ruby Lionsdrake

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I thought at first that I was not going to enjoy this book. The first three or so chapters were really hard for me to sink my teeth into. I’m not sure if it was the book or me, but I am so glad that I finished it.

First off, I loved the characters. Each one was uniquely different. The Captain was standoffish and aloof from everyone in the crew, but he could not stay away from Ankari. Ankari was sneaky and street-tough, and she was determined to save herself and her friends. Even Lauren and Jamie stood out in their own ways. Jamie reminded me of the mechanic from the TV show Firefly–so young and so adept at machines. Striker also stood out with his love for comics and his infatuation with Jamie.

Two things put me off for the novel. All the scientific talk almost made my eyes glaze over, especially when it went on for pages at a time. The first spiel that Lauren went into about almost made me put the book down. The other thing that turned me off was the man who set the bounty on the girls. I was expecting something more sinister, and he had zero-need for Jamie and Ankari, so why were they even included in the bounty?

Other than that, it was a great read. Once I got past the first few chapters, I could not put it down. I added the rest of the series to my “to-read” list, and as soon as I get copies of them, they will be added to my Goodreads queue.


Book Review: Darkangel

Darkangel by Christine Pope

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This book was like running a long marathon because it promises a prize to only get to the end and realize the prize is a crummy t-shirt. It was well-written, and honestly, I could not put it down. I read and read until I got to the end, then I was angry.

Angela has to be the most dim-witted protagonist I have ever read about. She is having these dreams that are telling her that only one man in the whole world is meant for her. None other will ever attract her the way this “promised man” does, so why, oh why, does she not realize that just because she can’t sense power in Chris that he can still be her consort? It was obvious to me the moment he was introduced. She could not keep her eyes off of him, she could not stop thinking about him. If only one man in the world was supposed to effect her thus, then why did she not see it?

Secondly, we read this whole book about how she is supposed to find this mystery man and all the while, she has to worry about the evil Wilcoxes kidnapping her and stealing her power. I knew that Chris was really a Wilcox the moment they started coming into the story. And then we went read up until the moment she bonds with him, and that’s it, the story is over. Wait, what?

I was a bit peeved because a) this whole book was one big letdown, and b) I can’t afford to go buy every single sequel to every story I want to keep reading about. So I will have to settle with only knowing half the story with this novel.


Book Review: The Fairy Tale Bride

The Fairy Tale Bride by Kelly McClymer

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is actually the second time I have read this book. Apparently, the plot and story line were so forgettable that I actually managed to read it again, thinking I’d never read it before.

I love historical romance novels, especially those set in this era of London society. This one, however, was a bit of a put-off. The heroine has a lot of character clashes, as I call them. She acts one way, but her speech puts her at the complete opposite spectrum of her actions. She appears stubborn, hard-headed, and the type of person who will get what she wants, but when she talks, all I ever saw was a weak-willed child whose mind was so lost in daydreams of fairy tales that she completely missed the reality of the situation.

The hero is not much better, but most of his flaws are where the author did not do her research. He’s the oldest son. Bastard or not, he would have never been sent to the Army. The heir was always kept at home, protected and trained to take over the household and the title. The second son went into the Army to make his way, and the third son became a man of the cloth. That’s how things were done. The author just made up her own thing to try and give the character some background.

For the most part, if some of the historical flaws had been left out and if the author had spent a little more time editing out unnecessary conversation and subplots, this would have been a much better read.


Book Review: Mail Order Mayhem

Mail Order Mayhem by Kirsten Osbourne

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

For a more sensual romance novella, this book was pretty good. There were no bodice-ripping, explicit sex scenes, and the only real sex scene was the wedding night, which was sensual and loving. Other than the wedding night scene, this could be considered a Christian Romance novella.

However, I feel that the author could have put more time into this piece and made it into a novel. If she had spent more time building on the characters, they would have felt more rounded. Maude, as the teller of the story for the most part, is probably the roundest character. She has a full spectrum of feelings, emotions, and characteristics.

The former groom-to-be is just plain nasty. I’ve read this piece many times, and I still haven’t found one redeeming quality for him, and your protagonist really needs one thing to make the readers see his/her side. I can’t even begin to sympathize with him.

Her groom fell a little flat as well. He’s a homesteader, and he’s kind and he loves her, but that’s about the best I can really give him.

I really do feel that if Ms. Osbourne has spent more time developing the characters and adding more dialogue and such, this novella could have been so much more. Granted, the story is still a good one, and I’ll be honest in saying that I have most of the series, but they are simply quick reads for me when I need a break and just want to pick something up and read.


Book Review: Drowning Mermaids

Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I read the back blurb for this book, I was excited. The cover did not match the back blurb, but the story still sounded like it had potential. However, I feel that this novel, like so many others I have read lately on the free and $0.99 list on Amazon, could have used a lot more editing to cut the author out of it.

The characters were jumpy and awkward. One minute, the 600-year-old mermaid would sound like a poised royal, elegant and trained to take on the world even if she was not brave enough to do so, then other times, she and the other older ones would come across as obnoxious teenagers who were doing their best to be cool around their friends.

The time sequence of the novel felt off as well. Supposedly, this whole underwater battle is going on, and the ladies are on land to procure arms and to protect the princess-turned-Queen because it’s not safe for her in their homeland because of the war. But she is their leader, and she is going back and forth between the two worlds. And if she is supposed to be leading a war, she spends an awful lot of time healing from her wound on land in Trevain’s house instead of being in the infirmary in the water where she would heal faster and be kept in the loop of what is happening with her kingdom.

All in all, the story had so much potential, but it reads like it just came out of a first or second draft. If more time had been taken with it, and if more editing had been done, it could have been a truly awesome novel.


Book Review: Blonde and Blue

Blonde & Blue by Trina M. Lee

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I really hate to have to give any of these books of this series such a low rating, but this one just fell flat for me. The Alexa character I grew to love in the first three has become a whiny child, and Shaz has gone completely off the deep end and become territorial male. There are scenes where I was honestly expecting him to shift and start peeing in the corners. Arys is just, well, being more Arys than usual. Always keeping his secrets that he has now taken beyond the grave, and leaving Alexa in the dark when he could answer a lot of questions if he’d act like he really loved her and just told her stuff.

I was happy to see the Kale character finally come to fruition. I knew by the second book that he felt more than friends with Alexa, and I was glad to see them finally act on it, but really, did their sex scene have to be better than any other sex scene in the book? A love triangle has less interesting sex scenes than a back alley love scene–really? I really hope that the Kale relationship doesn’t disappear because it is obvious that Alexa is what he needs, whereas Shaz is doing everything he can to destroy what he and Alexa have, and Arys acts like he could care less most of the time.

If you can push through this book, please do, because I’ve already jumped on the fifth one and the series does get better, but you do need some of the background information from this one to know what’s going on in the fifth.


Book Review: Breakers

Breakers by Edward W. Robertson

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Even though this was a typically plotted Science Fiction book, it was still a really good read. When the Earth is attacked by a virus that acts like the flu but kills within a week, things look bleak. So, 99% of the world’s population is dead; the virus has burned itself out. It’s been a few months, so the survivors have, for the most part, settled into a new daily routine. Lo and behold, on the horizon, an alien ship arrives. The action keeps coming as the aliens invade and attempt to wipe out what few remain.

The few who remain are very well-rounded people. A few of them aren’t very likable, but their good qualities outweigh the bad. Only one character truly bugged me, and it was mostly because she went from being in the background and being a very amiable character to just suddenly being a major, power-hungry pyscho. And that was Anna. From the moment Walt, Raymond, and Mia teamed up with Otto, Anna, and David, Anna was in the background. She always did as she was asked, never really stood out. Then when Raymond, David, and Anna set out for the missile silo, she just suddenly wants to take over. It seemed very out of character for me.

And although, it was filled with action and suspense, it still moved a tad slow for me, but that was mostly because it was a long book. But it was a long book that I really didn’t want to put down when I was reading it.

This book is part of a larger series, and although I don’t have Book 2 in my possession yet, I’m eagerly awaiting the chance to read it.