Tag Archives: book review

review of everything, somewhere by David Kummer

Overview.

I was delighted to receive a review copy of the latest book by this talented young author. David Kummar has written mainly in the Horror genre up until now, but this book is very different. It is a coming of age story, but that does not tell us very much about it.
There are three teens in the book. Best friends.


Hudson is a troubled character. He is the only child of a couple struggling to make ends meet. His father has a job in one of the local factories, at the same time farming their small-holding. Hudson wants to leave the small town of Little Rush. At least that’s what he says. He also has thoughts of suicide, although he is unsure if he wants to do it or not.

Mason is his friend and the son of one of the rich property owners in the town. His ambition is to remain in the town and to take over his father’s business. A typical rich teen, the relationship between him and Hudson is somewhat difficult at times.

Willow is Mason’s girlfriend. She is beautiful, but from a broken home. Her parents live separately in the poorer parts of the town. She also wants to leave Little Rush as soon as she can.

The three get up to the usual kind of things teens will do, drinking and smoking and generally being a nuisance.

Their life changes when a popular film star decides to retire to the town. Everyone is excited, but is he all he seems?

Blurb

Little Rush is a sleepy town on the Ohio River. Bruce Michaels is a renowned Hollywood actor. The two should never cross paths, yet one summer everything changes. The actor, haunted by demons, chasing a ghost. The town, unaware. Until the two collide.

Hudson, Willow, and Mason are high school seniors with very different upbringings, but all on the verge of adulthood. As the sun sets on their final summer, questions abound. Will they ever leave the town? Is there a future here? As their plans waver, time is running out.

The struggle of mental illness.

As he loses his friends and sinks deeper into depression, Hudson forms an unlikely bond with the actor, Bruce Michaels. But the old man is a ticking time bomb. As Hudson relies on him more, the danger to them both grows.

When dark secrets are revealed, Hudson must confront the truth about his idol and himself. Bruce Michaels isn’t who he seems. Hudson is nearly lost. And in the end, they may be more similar than different.

The search for meaning.

Different paths, converging in a web of alcohol, fights, and romance. Worlds collide one summer in Anywhere, USA. The question is who will make it through.

EVERYTHING, SOMEWHERE is an ambitious, sprawling look at the stories, people, and places forming the nuanced landscape of rural America.

Characters

David Kummer has researched his topic well and shown us the despair of people suffering from mental illness.

The characters are all believable and real, with very human frailties. For such a young writer, he has empathised with them extremely well.

Michaels is tormented, as is Hudson, for different reasons. What is the secret Michaels conceals? The budding relationship between the old man and the young one is very real. Michaels can see himself in Hudson, and their conversations seem to be a help to the young man, but what will happen when Michael’s secret finally comes out?

Mason is a typical rich kid on the surface, but he has hidden depth. How can he keep the woman he loves from leaving the town? Will he have to give up his own wishes and go with her?

Willow is a confused young woman who desperately wants to leave the town, but not the one she loves. How can she reconcile her dilemma?
The other characters, I hesitate to say ‘lesser’ as they all play an important role are also fully formed. There is an unlikely friendship between Mason’s father and Hudson’s father. Two very different characters.

Writing

On the whole, the writing is good. One thing that I did find slightly jarring with is Kummer’s use of the word ‘just’. He does use it a lot, but that’s not a major problem. Many people wont notice it as it’s the way so many speak.

I had a clear picture of the town in my head from the way Kummer has described the town and its surroundings.

Conclusion

An excellent read. I found myself anxious to get back to it whenever I had to stop reading for whatever reason. The story is one that lingers in your head long after you’ve finished reading it. Well worth the money spent on a purchase.
I give it 5*.

The book came out on April 25th.

If you liked this review, please consider leaving a comment in the comments box.

Review of The Last Edge of Darkness, echo 4, by Kent Wayne

Overview.

This is the last of the Echo books and it is a mind-bending experience reading it. It takes Atriya to the final showdown, but along the way he must face up to who he is and what life is all about.

Blurb

The final volume in the Echo series chronicles Crusader Atriya’s time in Mandala City. As Atriya crafts his mind into a psionic arsenal, he realises that no weapon—no matter how fantastic—will be enough to defeat the Regent. The only way he stands a chance is by vanquishing the ignorance within himself.

Story

Atriya has finally found his way to the city of Mandala. Here he meets with Lazarus and Dake who take over from Verus in educating Atriya.
Dake is brutal in his teaching. If you think there is no action in this book, you are mistaken. Yes, it explores many aspects of life and religion, but without action it is not.
There are some difficult concepts laid out for Atriya (and the reader) to deal with.

Characters

Atriya’s development continues, and he is a well-drawn character. The others are also believable. If Dake is a bit violent, then he does what he does for the good of everyone. There is also someone who has got the wrong end of the stick, so to speak.

Writing

The writing is good and keeps the reader gripped. Mr Wayne still has problems with lay and lie, though, but that was not enough to send me screaming up the wall because the rest of the book was so rivetting.

Conclusion

I would recommend this book, but you must read the others first or you won’t understand it.

I give it 5*

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments box.

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review of the dialectic of agony, echo 3 by Kent Wayne

Overview.

Another extremely enjoyable book in the Echo series by Kent Wayne. This book picks up where book 2 ends and has a surprise towards the end.

Blurb

While Crusader Kischan Atriya fights to keep his life and sanity, his mentor Chrysalis Verus undertakes a perilous journey across the wilds of Echo. Their separate paths intertwine in the unlikeliest of places and across all borders, both psychic and physical.

Story

Atriya is in a bad way after his fight in Book 2. He has ‘boosted’ three times in 24 hours. The recommended number is 1 or severe brain damage might occur.
This book follows Atriya and his friend and mentor, Verus, across realms both physical and mental.

Characters

The characters are, as in the o ther books, believable. They have their flaws, especially Atriya. During this book he develops in many ways through his interactions with other characters and begins to see that his life as a Crusader is not what he thought it was.

Writing

On the whole, Mr Wayne’s writing is good and clear. He sets scenes that one can easily picture and draws you into the story with ease, so you don’t want to put the book down.

Conclusion

Another 4* stars for this one, largely because of things that slightly irritated me, like the way he uses ‘earth’ when he means ‘ground’. We are not on Earth.

I hope you enjoyed this review. These books are definitely worth a read. They are not simply adventure stories, although they are that, but they have a definite philosophical slant as well.

Feel free to reblog this post. The more eyes on these books the better it will be for Kent Wayne.

If you enjoyed this review, please leave a comment in the comments box.

a review of a taste of ashes (echo 2) by kent wayne

Overview.
I would first warn people that this book details a battle. As a result there is a lot of violence and swearing in it. This is not a criticism, though. In a battle such as the one Atriya and his collegues are in there would be both violence and swearing.
The book takes place over one day, and has a profound effect on Atriya.

Blurb
Most of us change gradually—over the course of decades. For Crusader Atriya, it will happen in a single, agonizing day. On the edge of a decaying cityscape, Atriya struggles to hold onto his identity as he faces death from both enemies and allies alike. In the process, his old self is torn away, and he catches a glimpse of what he may one day become.

Twelve hundred years ago, humanity left Earth to settle on Echo. Despite hopes for a golden age, an era of darkness fell. Government and corporations merged into the Regime. The military and police merged into the Department of Enforcement. Over half the planet is covered by crumbling cityscapes and the elite live high above, removed and remote from the greater populace on the moon-city of Ascension. Hope lies in Atriya, but before he can break the cycle of darkness and ignorance on Echo, he has to do it within himself.

Story
During book 1, Approaching Shatter, Atriya has fallen foul of the Jury, a religious organisation.
Now he is sent on this mission to be killed. If he does not get killed during the mission, his superior officers have orders to shoot him.
He performs some amazing deeds during the battle, saving his comrades many times. Will his deeds persuade then to override their orders and allow him to live?

Characters
Wayne has built a cast of believable characters. Atriya is a man with many demons, good points and bad. He wrestles with these throughout the book during the battle. And he changes gradually during this encounter.
Clement is a thoroughly unpleasant character whom Wayne has built into a believable person. A bully and a coward. I hated him!
I did like the retrieval office, Liber, though. He had not lost all semblance of humanity as many others had. He does have some sympathy for others.

Writing
The writing is, on the whole, good. Mr Wayne builds the tension throughout the story.
There were one or two little places that grammar could have been improved, but, unless, like me, you are a member of the Grammar Police, I don’t think you’d notice. It’s not enough to warrant removing a star.
The descriptions of the battle are vivid (including the injuries and people being blown to bits). The story moves at a fast pace, as it should in such a time.

Conclusion
An excellent read for anyone who enjoys fast-action and adventure stories. Having said that, don’t read it before reading Book 1, Approaching Shatter.

I have awarded this book 5*

I hope you enjoy my reviews. I try to review all books I read. As an author myself, I realise how important reviews are to authors, and to readers, too, of course.

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Review of Down to the Needle by Mary Deal

Overview.

This book gripped me right from the beginning. Ms Deal ramps up the tension and doesn’t let go.

Blurb

From the day her five-year-old was abducted, Abigail Fisher vowed never to stop looking until her daughter was safely back home. But despite multiple searches, twenty-three years have passed without a trace of Becky Ann. When Abigail learns that death row inmate Megan Winnaker is the same age as her daughter, she begins to wonder if the kidnapper had Becky Ann’s face surgically altered to prevent identification. Megan Winnaker maintains her innocence, but faces capital punishment if she loses her final appeal. As Abigail launches her own investigation to find out if Megan is truly her daughter, someone wants to stop her in her tracks. Even when facing mortal danger, Abigail refuses to give up her investigation. But can Megan Winnaker really be her long-lost daughter?

Story

The story is complex. There is a sub plot involving Abigail’s partner which is equally intriguing, and impinges on Abigail’s desire to discover the truth about Megan. Is she really innocent as she insists?
If she is innocent, then how to prove it and get a reprieve in time.
Right up until the very end we are left on tenterhooks.

Characters

The characters were believable, with flaws as well as strengths. Abigail is a strong character, but has weaknesses, and several times falls apart.
Megan is confusing at times, as she is supposed to be. She is a girl who faces the death penalty for, as she says, a crime she did not commit. She has been in prison for some years, and has fought her own case through appeal courts. No wonder she’s confused and bitter.
Joe, Abigail’s partner, is well-drawn, with his own strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to his own sub-plot.
I loved the people in this book, and was rooting for Abigail all the way through, longing for Megan to be Becky, her lost daughter, but dreading it in case whe were put to death!

Writing

Apart from one or two typos, and incorrect use of ‘lay’, the writing was very good.

Conclusion

Because of the excellent plot, which kept me wanting to go back to the book quickly when I had to put it down, I have overlooked the typos and grammar, which was minor anyway, and given it 5*

Review of The Ghosts of Koa by Corby R Rice

Overview.


I read this as part of a collection of books, entitled Magic. It turns out it is the first two books in a trilogy.

Blurb.

Book 1, The Given

For over one hundred years the Civic Order and the Alchemic Order have held a shaky truce, peppered by violence and mistrust. But when Koa, a Civilian-born insurgency, bombs an Alchemist summit, the truce is shattered. Now, Koa is rising. War is coming. And all sixteen-year-old Zeika Anon can do is keep moving as she watches the lords of alchemy slowly overtake her home.

But when clashes between Koa and the Alchemic Order put a final, deadly squeeze on the remaining Civilian territories, Zeika finds herself in the crosshairs of fate. She must walk the line between survival and rebellion against the Alchemists. On one side of the line awaits death. On the other, the betrayal of her civilization, her loyalties, and herself.

Book 2 The Taken

If Zeika Anon didn’t know she was screwed before, she definitely knows now. Between Azures, Koa, Sal Morgan, and the delightful demonic “newcomers” to her Demesne, Zeika finds herself pinned, enemies on all sides. And yet a hidden route, one only she can take, may be the only way to escape the insanity and death that awaits her at every turn.

But as her government succumbs to the pressure of the Alchemical Order, a catch-22 kicks off a different journey that Zeika loathes to take. A journey that will force her to expose who she really is, unite with a hated enemy, face deadly adversaries, and abandon the people she loves the most.

The freedom she wants must be TAKEN… and she must do it before the Azures— and a man who fancies himself a god— take her first.

Story

It tells of a dystopian world after something called the Cataclysm has occurred. We are never told what this was and why it produced such a terrible world.
The world is divided into the Haves—the Azures—and the Have-nots—the Civilians. There is also a group called the Alchemists, who have magic, and who come exclusively from the Azure class.
The Ghosts of Koa, in the title, are a group of insurgents who are trying to wreck the current situation.


Characters

The main characters are sixteen-year-old Ezekiel, known as Zeika and her five-year-old sister, Manja. Zeika feels a great responsibility to her sister as their mother is addicted to drugs and their father is away. The child is also unwell.
It is Manja I have the biggest problem with. We learn (later) that her illness is haemophilia. Now that is a sex-linked illness and is VERY rare in females. In fact, it can only be passed to a female if the mother is a carrier and the father a haemophiliac. Since Manja’s father is portrayed as a large, healthy man, working in the mines, I do not think he has this disease.
The other problem I have with Manja is that she does not sound, nor act like a five-year-old. Yes, she’s a genius, but still—even geniuses of five don’t sound quite as grown up as Manja.
I also have a problem with Zeika’s name. As far as I am concerned, Ezekiel is a male name. (Remember the prophet in the Old Testament?)
The other main character is an Azure who takes an interest in Zeika and Manja. He has a mysterious background that we gradually disconer more about in the course of the story.

Writing

The writing is not of the best. There are quite a lot of errors, both gramatically and in word usage. One example that annoyed me entensely was that he does not know the difference between ‘to lay’ and ‘to lie’. He uses ‘to lay’ all the way through, even when it should have been ‘to lie’. Stylistically, it is not good in a number of places, although not all through.

Conclusion

Although I enjoyed the story in the main, there were a number of things that Colby R. Rice did not explain. For example, he talks about the Demesnes. Now that’s clear, but he also talks about the Protected. Are these the same as the civic demesnes or just some of them, or something different altogether?
He mentions people he called ‘wolf-moons’, but gives no explanation as to what these people are until nearly the end of the second book, when it just happens that he mentions it almost in passing.
There are one of two other things I found confusing, especially what The Collapse was and how it ended up in such a dystopian world.

I am giving the book 3 stars ***. Although I enjoyed the story, and would like to know how it ends, the confusions and factual errors lose it one star, and the grammar and word usage loses it another.

All three books are available on Amazon.

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review of jerry’s by terry ravenscroft

Image by M Ameen from Pixabay

Overview.

I enjoyed this book. It was a lighthearted and funny read. Having said that, I did not find it as funny as Terry Ravenscroft’s books on growing old—Stairlift to Heaven, Further up the Stairlift etc.

Terry Ravenscroft was the writer for many of Britains favourite comedies, such as Alas Smith and Jones. He also wrote for many of our best-known comedians, too.

Blurb

The West Yorkshire village of Throgley had absolutely nothing going for it, especially when compared to its illustrious neighbouring villages of Wormhole and Boggett. Then the village was bequeathed funds from a local multi-millionaire to build a public convenience in memory of his name. The lavatories, the Sir Jerrold Wainwright Memorial Public Convenience, immediately known affectionately, and appropriately given its function, as ‘Jerry’s’, was quite magnificent. It was to bring riches to the village beyond its wildest dreams. It also brought, along with the riches, Jerry’s commissionaire ex-Regimental Sergeant Major Horn. At which point things began to go pear-shaped.

Story

As a memorial to Sir Jerrold Wainwright, the public conveniences have been built to resemble the Taj Mahal, on his request.

The story is about how the new commissionaire, ex-Regimental Sergeant Major Horn manages to turn what was a highly successful enterprise into a disaster, The now-prosperous village, thanks to Jerry’s, starts to revert to its original nonentity. Something must be done, but what?

Characters

There are some excellent characters in this book, from the ex-Sergeant Major to the chiropracter, who has an interesting sideline. They were all well-drawn and larger than life.

Writing

On the whole, it was well-written, but there were a few typos and errors in the text.

Conclusion

A good book for when you want a lighthearted novel. It is easy to read and will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face.

review of It Lives in the Basement by Sahara Foley

It Lives In The Basement: A Creature Feature Horror Story by [Sahara Foley]

Overview.

I found this book to be unputdownable (Is that a word?) I finished it in two sessions.

Blurb

A missing couples report and a mutilated body.
Two years apart, same house.
Coincidence or something more sinister?

When Lt. Flynn lands a missing couples case, he finds no evidence of anything amiss. There are no signs of a struggle or foul play. The only clue lies in a dog-eared notebook, but is it true?

Two years later, a mutilated body is found in the same residence. Lt. Carter is assigned the case, and now, he’s faced with a life-altering decision. Can he afford to ignore the evidence that Sgt Alvarez reveals to him – the same evidence that led to his partner’s disappearance?

How many people will die before Carter brings the truth to light? Who will believe in the existence of a genetically manipulated monster?

Story

The story grips you from the beginning. How can a couple and their three cats disappear from a house locked from the inside? Where did the policeman investigating the case go to?

Ms Foley takes us on a roller-coaster ride. There is plenty of action, and we hardly have time to breath before the next action starts. An exciting story that I think would make an excellent film.

Characters

This is more of an action story than one of charavcter, although we get a clear picture of the character of John Carter and his brother-in-law, Mark, as well as Seargeant Pete Alvarez. But character development is not what this book is about.

Writing

Sadly, Ms Foley is not clear on the difference between ‘lie’ and ‘lay’. In most cases, she uses it wrongly.

Having said that, the rest of the writing is good, keeping us on the edge of our seats. Except for a few typos that have escaped the editing net, there is little to comlain about.

Her descriptions of the creature gives us a picture of this beast and its amazing strength. We feel the fear of Carter, Mark and Alvarez when confronted with it.

Conclusion

An excellent read. I give it 4 stars ****. I dropped one star, mainly because of the grammatical errors and typos.

Do you enjoy horror stories? Let me know in the comments box.

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Did you go to Book review school?

This post is most helpful for writers who are having trouble getting readers to review their books. (Like me!)

Cynthia Reyes has some excellent suggestions to encourage readers.

Did You Go to Book-Review School?

No?

I didn’t either.

Nor did being a journalist equip me to write book reviews.

So while I buy and read other authors’ books, until I published my own first book, I didn’t take the next step and review them.  I feared I wouldn’t sound wise enough, that my analysis would be inept. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been timid to ask readers to review my own books.

And therein lies the issue. Authors need reviews. But if we ourselves are too timid to review books and too timid to ask it of others, we have a problem.

Continue reading here.

review 0f airwoman by zara quentin

Some time ago I bought a boxed set called Magik. It contains books by several authors.
Although I’ve only recently begun to read the boxed set, I have read

Airwoman by Zara Quentin.


Here’s my review. (The picture is a combination of a couple of pictures from Pixabay and has no real relevance to the book. I just thought it would be nice to have a picture!)

Overview.

This is the story of Jade, a young woman who wants to become a Traveller and visit the many other worlds in the Dragonverse.

I found it gripping and wanted to keep on reading and turning the pages to find out what happens next and how Jade manages to escape the many dangers she faces , and the betrayals that beset her.

Story

Jade is the heir to her father’s company, one of the biggest on Teraqa. Her ambition, however, is far from living on the planet of her birth and running the company. She wants to travel the Dragonverse as a Traveller.

These men and women form an elite force whose job it is to keep all the worlds safe from the monsters that roam between the worlds. Jade’s parents have kept her from doing her duty and serving the mandatory time in the Force. Due to the influence of her father and his brother, they managed to avoid this.

Jade is not happy with this situation, but when her father dies under suspicious circumstances, and her friend, Axel, disappears, suspicion falls on him. This causes Jade some confusion, but also an opportunity to join the force and leave Teraqa on duty.

But it does not work out as happily as she imagined.

The story kept me guessing until the end.

Characters

The characters of this story belong to a race of winged and tailed humanoids. I found this idea novel and enjoyed flying around with them.

Jade is a well-rounded character. She has her flaws and doubts and makes mistakes that cause great problems for herself and others, which makes her seem real. I liked her a lot.

The other characters were all distinct, and with their own voices, including the characters from another world.

Writing

Zara Quentin’s writing is excellent. She kept the pace of the story moving, but there were just enough pauses in the action so as not to leave the reader breathless.

Her descriptions of the surroundings were clear, and I could visualise them as if I had been there myself.

I went through a gamut of emotions with Jade, Such was Ms Quentin’s powers of describing those emotions they seem real.

There were minimal typos and no grammatical errors.

Conclusion

An excellent read for anyone who enjoys both scifi and fantasy. People who enjoy a mystery would enjoy it, too if they can get past the fantasy elements. I am now looking forward to buying and reading the next in this series.

I have no hesitation in giving it FIVE STARS *

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