Sworn to Transfer by Terah Edun
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I read through this entire series this week, so I will be reviewing this book for it’s own merits and then comparing it to the first novel in the series.
The story was much better this time for me. I was drawn into it, and I was able to overlook most of the writing errors as long as they were not so glaringly bad that I felt the need to pull my hair out. It still needed a lot of editing work, and I found a few scenes that felt unnecessary to me. I read through them several times to see if I missed something, but I could never find anything that those scenes added to the story other than word count.
I learned a bit more about the characters in this novel, and they began to take more shape as real people, but, at the same time, they kept contradicting themselves (both in this novel and from things they did in the first novel). There were several instances where Ciardis did something or put herself in a situation that a real person with her same attributes and characteristics would have never done. Acting out of character, so to speak.
The story is there, though, and it shows promise. It was a bit of a tough read if you notice every grammar issue or could not find the author’s writing rhythm, but the story can and will entertain you if you can look past those major issues.
Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent by Kristy Tate
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
It took me a bit longer to read this book than I had planned. There were a lot of incongruities that kept me flipping back and forth, trying to figure out which information was accurate.
The characters were well-rounded, but I was a bit disappointed in their age. This was aimed more towards a younger Young Adult audience than most readers expect when they pick up a Young Adult novel. If it had been made more clear, I probably would not have purchased a copy.
There were a lot of places where it felt that the author needed to go back and edit the section a bit more. They would read awkwardly, contradict earlier scenes, or they would reach their climax way too easily.
One part that really bugged me was the scene were Petra returns from the past to the present-day. One, she was being burned at the stake, and she suddenly wakes up from a “coma” and it was all a dream, according to the doctors. Petra would know better. And dream or not, she experienced it. She would have been more traumatized about it. And as teenagers, the whole Kyle-Petra break-up would have caused more drama. It just sort of “happened.”
All in all, the story was good, and it kept me entertained, but the contradictions and clunky scenes really took away from my enjoyment.
The Island by Jen Minkman
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I’m sitting on the fence with this novella. I did not love it (as in “I put it down last night and I can’t stop thinking about it”), nor did I hate it. I knew pretty quickly that “The Book” was one of the Star Wars trilogy, and it was most likely the first one. It did not turn me off from the story, but the knowledge of it did not mislead me.
For me, the story was there, and it was entertaining, but there could have been more. Events seemed to come to a head much too quickly, Saul’s character needed much more fleshing out, and the ending fell flat.
Saul killed a man (a Fool), tortured and manipulated children from the settlement, and threatened to kill on of their own people (Andy). What did he get for punishment? They laid out a bunch of excuses as to why he was that way and they let him live with the village elder. Saul was 21. He knew what he was doing. Just like the “parents” in the settlement should have removed Saul from power at the Manor a long, long time ago.
There are many issues like that within the novella that detracted from the story for me. It felt as though things were “conveniently” that way so that the story could be told. The “Parents” behaved more like children than the children did.
All in all, it was an okay story. It passed a couple of hours of my day for me, but I don’t think I will be purchasing the next novella in the series.
Grumpy Old Wizards by John O’Riley
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
This book only received two stars because I was able to see it’s potential. This read more like a first draft of a novel than a final draft. You have a group of senior citizen wizards who live in a retirement village. The most magical of them is required by law to help police with investigation on the scene by using her magic to find “trails” of the suspect.
So much more could have been done with this novel. But after reading the first four chapters, twice, forcing myself to get into the novel, I finally threw it aside. We have four senior citizens who act and talk like 16-year-old vapid girls. The author was most likely trying to make Josephine seem like a crotchety old woman, but she came across more as a whiny child. The pranks she pulls are stupid, at best, and most of the dialogue should have been cut in later drafts. (I don’t need to know about every “okay,” “um…,” and “all right.”)
Also, the police detective that Josephine works with needed a lot more work. He was just a flat “pissy” character who bossed Josephine around. I did not even want to read a chapter with him in it again after trudging through the first one.
Many reviewers talk about how great this novel was, and how there was such a wonderful story. I did not see it. There are supposed to be sequels, but if they are anything like this, I will not be paying for them.
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Ebola K: A Terrorism Thriller: Book 1 by Bobby Adair
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This book was a suggestion from one my writing friends that loves Dystopian novels. Books such as this are not usually my cup of tea, but I did enjoy this one. It took a virus that people have always feared, made it more dangerous, then added in outside elements to make it lethal.
I did not give this novel five stars for two reasons. One, it just ended. When I read a book that is part of a series, I expect the novel to have a small problem and one “big picture” problem. This one had both, but neither set of stories was “solved” at the end of the book. It just ended.
The other reason was that there was too much head-hopping. Each section did a good job staying in the head of the current character telling the story, but there were too many points of view to keep track of. We had Austin’s POV, Salim’s POV, Paul’s POV, Olivia’s POV, and Mitch’s POV, just to name a few. I think there were one or two other POVs in there as well. It was extremely confusing. I could have handled up to three, easily, but once the fourth and fifth were added in, it was hard to figure out what was going on in a chapter until I knew exactly who was telling the story.
Otherwise, it was a good story, and I think if I read all of the books in the series, I would be able to give it 5-stars, but a book should be able to stand on it’s own merit.