Book Review: Better Off Dead

Better Off Dead: A Book Review by Jessica Cauthon -- #reading #books #bookreview

Better Off Dead by H.P. Mallory

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

When I saw the cover, I thought it was going to be a really bad read because yes, I do judge a book by it’s cover sometimes. I was wrong this time. It was definitely a beginning of a series novel, or a Book 1 of whatever novel. There was a lot of world set-up in it, but H. P. Mallory did a good job of spacing it out between action and dialogue, so it wasn’t as noticeable as it is in so many other novels I have read.

The characters were very well-balanced. The only one I really had a problem with was Bill, and that was mostly because I always new that when he opened his mouth, something rude and crude was about to be said. He seemed a little flat to me in this book simply because I always knew what he would do next.

I did have a few problems with the Lily character. She died and was sent back as a Retriever. I get that. But she was supposed to be sent back with a completely new identity so that her original self would be dead. She got a new body, and a new name, but she introduces herself constantly as Lily Harper, instead of with her new name. Just leaves me wondering if that will cause problems down the road.

All in all, a good read. A quick one. I finished it the same day I started it.


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Book Review: Taken

Taken: The Alpha's Captive: A Book Review by Jessica Cauthon -- #reading #books #bookreview

Taken by V.M. Black

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For the first part of a five part serial story, this is pretty good. Mechanically, it does what every serial story should do. It sets up the story, gets some action going, provides a good amount of drama, then leaves you sitting on a cliffhanger until the next section comes out in print. If you are a reader of patience, then serials are a wonderful thing.

Both of the mains characters, Levi and Harper, are really well-rounded individuals. The part I love the most is that Harper’s description is not the typical romance story girl that is described. She has a nose ring, tattoos, etc. Definitely a bad girl who has a bit of a past. Just the one description of the new tattoo over an old tattoo to cover the name of a boy who dumped her pretty much puts her into her full character. And Levi, well, Levi is the basic hunkish werewolf that is usually described in supernatural romance stories, because, well, aren’t all creatures that lope through the wild supposed to be large, muscular, and totally drool-worthy?

The only thing about this story as it stands with this one part is that I don’t understand the chosen title. Nowhere is it said that Levi is the pack alpha, and honestly, if he is, his pack is screwed. And Harper seems to be volunteering to go along with everything, so she is hardly a captive.


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Book Review: Sworn to Raise

Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The best thing I can say about this book is that I did manage to finish it, but that is only because I do my very best to always read the entire book before I review it. I trudged through it–through all the run-on sentences, horrible grammar errors, and flat characters–so that I could get to this point–the review.

If I had to summarize this book in one word, it would be “awkward.” The writing was not smooth in any way, shape, or form. I had to put my reader down several times and rub my temples because the structuring of the sentence made my head hurt. The dialogue was clunky at best, and it read like a present-day teenager conversation. I was waiting for the bubblegum popping to start.

The thing that bothered me the most was the characters. They were flat, and I really could not make myself care about them. And if I don’t care about the characters, then I can’t make myself care about the book either.

This story has so much potential. I could almost see Ciardis (and I had to go look that name up because I could not remember it) as being similar to the companion from the Firefly television show, but the story was told in such as way that she just fell flat. She did not achieve the greatness that I expected of her, and it was a bit of a letdown.


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Poem: Unmasked by Jessica Cauthon

Unmasked: A Poem by Jessica Cauthon - #poem #freeverse #writing

UNMASKED by Jessica Cauthon

Jumbled like marbles in their pouch
Dancers tumble and twirl
Consumed in a sea, whirled,
Couched safe in masquerade.
Behind my mask, I protect
My weakened soul.

Clap. Bow. Return.
Promenade the gauntlet
Of instigating eyes.
I am tired of performing
This tragedy called Life.

Exit stage LEFT,
For a moment to change,
Rearrange into ACT TWO,
Hidden behind a new mask.

Trip onto stage, forced
Into a part I do not wish
To play. Stumbled
Words, practiced speech
Hold me from mind’s true words.

Disgusted. Enraged.
Mask thrown to ground, torn.
Face unashamed of who
She is, stands before accusing eyes.
completely Unmasked.


For more stories and poems by Jessica Cauthon, please visit her Library.

New Release: The Daily Prompt 2017: November

The Daily Prompt 2017: November - A Creative Writing Prompt for Every Day of November - J. C. Cauthon #writing #writingprompt #writingreferenceThe Daily Prompt 2017: November hit the Amazon shelves today.  This collection contains thirty brand new prompts, one for each day of November, in one convenient list.  Purchasing it today will give you enough time to prepare for the first day of November.

With NaNoWriMo on the horizon, along with several other write-athons, The Daily Prompt 2017: November is just what you need.  Each writing prompt is sure to spark a story.

Secure your copy from Amazon today.

For more writing prompt collections by J. C. Cauthon, visit her author page.  She releases writing prompt collections every month.