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Review of The Look of Love by Bella Andre

OVERVIEW:

I’m not a reader of romance as a general rule, and I don’t read erotic romance. Reading this book has made me realise why.

BLURB

After Chloe Peterson’s car skids off the road in the Napa Valley wine country, she’s ready to throw in the towel on a horrendous day. But when a gorgeous guy rescues her, though she’s immediately drawn to him, she knows better than to let her walls down with any man ever again.

Chase Sullivan is a successful photographer whose charm and charisma—along with his large and close-knit family—make him San Francisco’s most eligible bachelor. Intent on helping Chloe through this rough patch in her life, Chase soon realizes that she is not only lovely, inside and out, she’s also intelligent, talented, and extremely brave. He has never felt like this about anyone before, never knew love could be so powerful, or so true…until she came into his life.

Though Chloe tries to resist Chase, with every loving look he gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—the attraction between them sparks and sizzles. But after everything she’s been through, can Chase convince Chloe that he will always be there for her…and that their love will last forever?

STORY

The story is weak and just an excuse for erotic scenes. I had trouble finishing it.

A troubled young woman meets a handsome man and tries to deny the obvious attraction between them. She is not ready for a new romance after her disastrous marriage. I don’t think that Ms Andre made enough of this. Chloe gave in far too quickly. Only a few days after her last traumatic encounter with her ex-husband she is in bed with a new man. Not very believable.

The story is told from the point of view of each of the main characters in in turn.

CHARACTERS

Chloe has problems. This makes her vulnerable. I did think that she got over them in rather quick time, though. Only a few days after meeting Chase she is admitting her attraction to him, sleeping with him, and falling in love. It all seemed a little too quick for someone so deeply wounded as Chloe is from her previous love encounter. (Or rather, not love from her spouse.)

Chase, is rather a cardboard cut out. He’s perfect. Good looking, clever, rich, talented. He is infinitely patient with Chloe, always putting her first, especially in sex, because he knows she’s been deeply hurt. In spite of wanting to have sex with her desperately, he manages to hold back.

Like I said. Too perfect.

WRITING

Sadly, I found the writing annoying. Ms Andre overuses the word ‘just’, as one example. She peppers it throughout the book, even more than once in one sentence on occasion. She also uses many other words that are not needed, and slow the action. (What action?)

Also, vague words, like ‘seemed’. Well is it or isn’t it?

She kept on telling us that Chloe was lovely, and that Chase had a beautiful body. We aren’t stupid, Ms Andre. We can remember that. We don’t need to keep being reminded.

I give this book 2*

Have you read this, or any other Bella Andre books? She’s apparently a Best Seller.

If you have, let us know what you thought of her books in the comments box.

A Review of Dyrwolf by Kat Kinney

OVERVIEW:

I don’t usually read books that mention werewolves (nor vampires, and definitely not zombies) I feel that they have had their time and are overdone. Having said that, I decided to take a risk and read Dyrwolf. Am I glad I did?

I would not so much call the wolf/humans in this story werewolves, more shapeshifters. Many of them can shift to their wolf personas and shapes regardless of the moon, but they do respond to it.

BLURB

Lea Wylder has spent so long hunting werewolves that now one is stalking her in her sleep. In the unforgiving forests of the north, shape-shifting wolves have enslaved the sole human city for hundreds of miles, driving survivors up into the mountains. When Lea tracks a shifter and finds him caught in a trap, she’s convinced he’s the white wolf from her dreams. Not that it matters. He’s one of them. And they’re at war.

But as Lea pulls back the bowstring, Henrik shifts to human and begs her not to shoot. By name. But how could he possibly know her?

In twenty years, the wolves have never crossed the river over to their side. Injured and unable to walk, Henrik needs Lea’s help to get back home. If he could be turned against the pack, it could change the course of the war. But first there’s the small problem of returning him to the wolves—without getting caught.

STORY

This is an excellent story that kept me gripped and wanting to know what happens next. The heroine, a sixteen year old human girl called Lea, needs to find a way to return a seriously injured shape-shifting wolf back to his home.

Of course, Henrick, as the dyrwolf is called, is an enemy, and Lea should have killed him, but he resembles the wolf she has seen in her dreams, and she cannot bring herself to do so.

It is a dangerous trip, where they meet near death on several occasions, not to mention their fraught relationship as enemies.

There are twists in the story as Lea discovers more about herself and the history of the people and their enemies, the dyrwolves.

There are humerous moments, too, as well as danger and anxiety.

CHARACTERS

Ms Kinney has drawn some very likeable characters in this book—and also some very unlikeable ones.

Lea is a girl with many problems—a mother who committed suicide, debilitating migraines, and she is considered strange by the villagers and has only one real friend.

Her friend is a young man called Salem. He feels protective towards Lea and turns up to help her when she goes out to perform a rite in which she has to burn the fields of grain of the enemy.

Henrick is most likeable. He is in many ways very innocent. The relationship between him and Lea is believable and their confusion about it is very real.

WRITING

This is a well-written book. Ms Kinney’s descriptions are wonderful and I loved reading them. They set the scene beautifully.

Lea’s referring to Henrick as a dandelion puff (referencing his white fur when in wolf form) is wonderful.

The descriptions of Lea’s problems with her migraines (that she doesn’t know what they are) are most believable and I could almost feel her pain.

The surprises in the story are also introduced at just the right places.

If I have to make an adverse criticism, I would say that there are a few unnecessary words. Mainly prepositions, like someone looking up at the stars. We know the stars are up! But that would be nit-picking. I found no typos or other grammatical errors, which is a refreshing change.

This is well worth a read. I gave it 5*

I have pre-ordered the second book, and am looking forward to receiving it.

Review of Misericorde by Cynthia A Morgan

Overview

This is an excellent book for those who like a s dystopian world.

The story kept me turning the pages (or rather, swiping on my tablet).

The world building is excellent. The reader can feel that this is a world that could actually exist in the future. I hope not!

This is the first book in Cynthia Morgan’s Mercy Series. I am looking forward to the next one, Clandestine.

There are some scenes of violence, including torture, and of rape, but none of them are explicit. There is a warning on Amazon about this.

Blurb

In the year 2446, the world exists as a mere shell of what it used to be. The Great Cataclysm tore the human race apart as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse rode. War, Pestilence, Famine… Only Death has yet to ride.

Archangel Tzadkiel, Angel of Mercy, takes the task upon himself to find one human on the planet who still understands mercy. Humans are a treacherous species and as his journey nears its end, he fears he may never find that person. When he is captured by soldiers of the ruling tyrannical faction, The Eminent Protectorate, hope wanes even further.

A mere scullery maid, Lourdes, hears screams from her room every night. They break her heart and haunt her nightmares, and though she doesn’t know who they come from, she longs to find him and help him.

When she does, Lourdes discovers she’s opened a door she might regret and entered a world darker than she ever imagined.

Story

The world has seen the riding of three of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Pestilence, Famine and War have all ridden. Only Death remains to ride.

But one archangel, Tzadkiel, Angel of Mercy, has persuaded the Almighty to allow him one hundred years to find one person with the quality of Mercy. If he can find no one, then Death will ride.

The main protagonist is a young woman called Lourdes. She hears the cries of a man in great distress, but as an indentured servant, little more than a slave, she is incapable of helping him, but his cries are eating away at her.

It is set in France in the distant future. I assume in the south as Marcais is a nearby city. (Marcais being a corruption of Marseilles.)

Characters

The main character, Lourdes, is beautifully drawn. We feel with her as she listens to the cries of the unknown man. She longs to help him, and when her chance arrives, we feel with her as she sees his suffering.

Tzadkiel, although an Archangel, has many human frailties. We can immediately like and sympathise with him.

The Commander is a complex character. While seemingly in complete acquiescence to the torture of Tzadkiel, there are hints that there might be a kinder person lurking inside.

The torturer, Ghislain, is a thoroughly nasty piece of work. He seems to have no redeeming features. However, this fact is explained near the end of the book, as to why this is. I won’t say more as I don’t like spoilers.

Writing

On the whole the writing is good. There were not many places where I cringed. If I were to make a comment, I would say that there are too many examples of so-called filer words. Words like ‘just’, that appears too often, and a few other words that could easily be left out to make the writing tighter.

Apart from that, it is well written, without any major problems with understanding, or plot holes.

I gave the book 5* on Amazon and Goodreads.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it if you have. I love the cover. Do you like it?

Replies in the comments box please.

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Maria and her husband, Jack, have moved into an old cottage. They want to furnish it with period furniture and buy a medieval table.

That’s when the mystery begins. Strange sounds in the night. Have they bought a haunted house? But a medium tells them it is not a ‘lost spirit’, but something else she does not recognise.

What is it that is causing them to lose sleep? The answer is more unexpected than anyone thought.

By clicking on the link, you will join my quarterly newsletter. But don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at any time, including as soon as you have downloaded the story, if you wish.

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Review of The Greenland Diaries, Day 1-100 by Patrick W. Marsh

Overview

I think that the title of this book is misleading. I thought it would be set in the country of Greenland, but it is set in Minnesota. I think that the Greenland refers to the growth of plants turning everything green. Perhaps if Mr Marsh had called it The Green Land Diaries, it would have been better.

Blurb

“It began with a drum. Then the monsters came. I’ve been hiding ever since.”

The following collections of journals were recovered from a caravan outside of Duluth, Minnesota. The exact date of recovery is not known nor is the origin of the speaker. The Bureau for the Restoration of History (BFRH) would like help in identifying the man who kept these records. This unedited record of events is still considered the most accurate history of the apocalypse that occurred on April 15th, 2011.

Story

Something came. The writer of the diaries calls them the Unnamed. Every night a drum sounds all night long, and then come the Unnamed. They seem to be intent on wiping out humankind. They search for them and tear them to pieces but they themselves are wispy and no-one can see their faces.

Accompanying them is a growth of vines that cover and wreck everything.

This is the story of how one man escaped from them. Sadly, though, it is all rather samey. There is an increase in the pace towards the end, though, and a few questions were asked, but none were answered. I feel that even in a series, there should be some sort of closure at the end.

There are 4 books in the series, and I don’t think I can manage to go through 4 books in order to discover what the Unnamed are and where they came from. (Besides, the ebook is rather expensive at £4.33)

Characters

This mainly revolves around one man—the writer of the diaries. His character is rather flat, and he doesn’t change much throughout the book. There are a few other characters. An old man called Gerald, whom the protagonist becomes friends with, a young boy called Timothy who is not what he seems, and an older man called Francis, who is also an enigma.

The best character is the protagonist’s little dachshund, called Snowy. (Yes, it’s an odd name for a brown dog, but it is explained in the story.)

Writing

The writing is not good. There is an overuse of the word ‘just’, which to me screams Amateur. Far too many superfluous prepositions, and many spelling mistakes. (scrapping instead of scraping, for example.) Mr Marsh also uses wrong words in some places and does not know when to use ‘lay’, and when to use ‘lie’. Some people might be able to ignore these things, but I find it grates and spoils my reading experience.

Conclusion

This book could have been shorter. If the others are the same, then, with the elimination of the superfluous words and speeding up the action, it could probably have been fitted into three books and be a better read. The premise is good, and this book could be excellent and very scary, but the writing lets it down.

I give it only 2*

Have you read this book? If you have , I would be interested in your thoughts about it. There are quite a number of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. How much does the writing matter?

Leave your comments in the comments box, please.

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Maria and her husband, Jack, have moved into an old cottage. They want to furnish it with period furniture and buy a medieval table.

That’s when the mystery begins. Strange sounds in the night. Have they bought a haunted house? But a medium tells them it is not a ‘lost spirit’, but something else she does not recognise.

What is it that is causing them to lose sleep? The answer is more unexpected than anyone thought.

By clicking on the link, you will join my quarterly newsletter. But don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at any time, including as soon as you have downloaded the story, if you wish.

I won’t spam you, either. You will only get a newsletter every 3 months, but I might occasionally send you a present, or some exciting news, like a new release.

A REVIEW OF GLASTONBURY BY BRIAN L. PORTER.

Overview.

This is a book that is well worth a read. It is exciting and keeps the reader turning the page.

Blurb

After millionaire Malcolm Capshaw hires Joe Cutler and his team to search for a fabled artifact, they enter a maze of lies, murder and betrayal.

The real purpose of their search is soon exposed, as an old London crime family displays an unusual interest in an ancient town where Christianity laid its roots in England.

Aided by the enigmatic professor Lucius Doberman, Joe and his team must solve the ancient mystery that lies in the shadows of Glastonbury, or die trying.

Story

This begins as the story of a search for King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur. A business man, Malcolm Capshaw, has come into possession of a map perporting to show where some of the remaining knights had buried the sword to save it from coming into the possession of enemies.
Sadly, though, the names of places, and even the terrain, have changed since then.
So he employs a company of surveyors to help locate it using the latest technology.
Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that. There are twists and turns of the plot, and the final twist at the end came as a surprise to me.

Characters

Mr Porter has drawn his characters well. I particularly liked Winston Fortune, one of the team searching. He has a great sense of humour. And I disliked Walter Graves, which I suppose I was supposed to as he’s set up as a villain. In fact, I liked all of Joe Cutler’s team. They seemed like real people with all their faults as well as good points.

Writing

The writing is, on the whole, good. A few unnecessary uses of the word ‘just’, but apart from that, no major problems.

Conclusion

I enjoyed this story immensely and give it 5*

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? What other books have you read about Excalibur?

Please let us know in the comments box.

REVIEW OF HISTORY IN ENGLISH WORDS BY OWEN BARFIELD

Blurb

For more than three-quarters of a century, Owen Barfield produced original and thought-provoking works that made him a legendary cult figure. History in English Words is his classic excursion into history through the English language. This popular book provides a brief, brilliant history of the various peoples who have spoken the Indo-European tongues. It is illustrated throughout by current English words whose derivation from other languages, and whose history in use and changes of meaning, record and unlock the larger history. “In our language alone, not to speak of its many companions, the past history of humanity is spread out in an imperishable map, just as the history of the mineral earth lies embedded in the layers of its outer crust…. Language has preserved for us the inner, living history of our soul. It reveals the evolution of consciousness” —Owen Barfield.

My Review

Owen Barfield wrote this book in the 1950s, but as it deals with the way words have come down to us through the ages, it remains relevant to this day.

This fascinating book takes us through the history of words. Barfield begins with the Greek and Latin words that have been incorporated into our language, and the changes that have come about in them. He then goes on to discuss how we can trace the travels of many peoples across Europe by looking at the way words have changed, and the words that were in common use.

I find it impossible to distill what Barfield is saying in a few words. It took him a whole book! But it shows how people’s thoughts and perceptions developed through the ages.

This book is a valuable handbook for those of us who write historical fiction. It tells when various words came into use, thus helping us not to write about clocks striking before they were invented, or as is said in the forward, writing about Dr Johnson (of dictionary fame) speaking on the telephone.

Those are obvious things, but there are words that we use today that are fairly modern.

An example is found in the words, pity, gentle and mercy.
Pity comes from ‘pietas’, meaning piety, gentle, from ‘gentilis’, meaning of the same family, or later, of noble birth, while mercy comes from ‘merces’, a reward, probably later, a reward in heaven for good works on Earth.

None of these words were known before the 13th century, so in a Viking Saga, a writer should not use them. This applies to many other words, as well as the obvious ones coming from scientific research, and show how human thinking has developed throughout the ages.

This is not an easy read, but a fascinating one, nonetheless. I give it 5*

Have you come across words that are used in historical fiction that are out of place? It’s easily done, believe me. I’ve probably done it myself, although I hope not! Let me know in the comments.

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review of the tigress and the yogi by shelley schanfield

Overview.

This book is in the genre Historical Fantasy. In this genre, the author takes some history and juggles it around a bit. They might add magic, change a person’s gender, talking animals, something about the setting or anything else that will make it fantasy. This book is set in the India of The Buddha, around 500BC.

Blurb

A talking tigress.
A wandering yogi.
A young woman’s harrowing journey through an ancient land where chaos threatens gods and mortals alike.

A tigress speaks to the outcaste girl Mala, and as she flees in terror, she stumbles upon an irascible old yogi. Though she is an Untouchable and her very shadow may pollute the holy man, she offers him hospitality, and he accepts, repaying her kindness with stories that awaken her hunger for forbidden spiritual knowledge. Soon after he leaves, she is brutally orphaned and enslaved, but the Devi, the Mother Goddess, appears as the warrior goddess Durga and offers her hope. As time passes, Mala, with the Devi’s help, gains the courage and strength to fight for her freedom.

Thus begins her quest for liberation, on which she meets gods and goddesses, high-born Brahmins and lowly keepers of the cremation grounds, outlaws and kings, and young Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who is prophesied to become the Buddha.

The Tigress and the Yogi is a historical fantasy that brings to life the vivid mythical world of ancient India and transports the reader to the Buddha’s time in a story filled with love and fear, anger and desire. This visionary novel creates a memorable portrait of a powerful woman, her extraordinary daughter, women, and the men they challenge and inspire. It examines the yearning for spiritual transformation and inner peace, and the ways in which the pursuit of wisdom and compassion can go terribly wrong.

Story

Mala is a very young girl when we meet her for the first time in her encounter with the tiger and the yogi of the title. Little does she know how her life is going to be affected by this chance meeting.
We learn about how her life as an Untouchable affects her, and follow her through sorrow as her lover and child are taken from her.
She commits terrible deeds on her life’s journey, until she finally comes back to the old yogi from her childhood.
Can she become enlightened and forgive herself? And can she let go of her longing for her daughter?

Characters

The character of Mali is well drawn. She is a complex person, and we can understand her loves and hates. She develops through the book in both good and bad ways, but we are always rooting for her.
Her daughter, Kisra, is also well drawn. We see a young girl gradually coming into womanhood, with all the changes that implies.
Siddhartha Gautama, who eventually becomes The Buddha, is a young man in the story. Actually, he’s a boy when we first meet him. He has extraordinary powers, but we can’t help but like him.
I cannot go into all the characters here, but one I must mention. That’s not a person, but the setting. Ms Schanfield has successfully brought us to the India of 500BC. She describes the monsoons, the heat, the cooling waters of the river and the magnificent palaces. We could almost imagine ourselves there. I would have, perhaps, liked a little more description of the towns, though.

Writing

The writing is excellent. Grammatically correct and well spelled. The words are used correctly.

Conclusion

This story is hanging about in my brain. It’s a beautiful tale, and there is much we can learn from it. There are examples of the philosophy of the times, much of which can still be applied today.
I’m glad I read it in ebook format, though, because there are many Sanskrit and Hindu words throughout. Being on the Kindle App, I could highlight them and their meaning came up.
I am definitely going to look for Book 2 in the trilogy. I want to know what becomes of the characters.

Please leave your comments in the comments box.

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When Maria and Jack move into a 16th century house, they wish to furnish it with period furniture and so they buy a table from that century.
That night, Maria hears a strange crying sound. On investigation, she finds it is coming from the table.
Fearing it might be haunted, and that they’ve brought a ghost into their home, they turn to a medium, only to find it isn’t a ghost.
If not a ghost, then what? The truth is stranger than either of them could have imagined.

Jealousy of a Viking ~ #Historical Norse & Icelandic Fiction ~ @vm_sang ~#Review

Thanks to Anita Dawes for this great review.

Our Thoughts

This unusual medieval story of one woman’s quest for love, reminded me of so many other star-crossed lovers throughout history. The author has cut away most of the myths surrounding the Vikings, revealing their wisdom and their beliefs. A far cry from the blood thirsty tribes we see all the time on TV.

a review of a chilling revelation by paul cude

Overview.
This is the second book in Paul Cude’s White Dragon series. It follows on after the events in book 1.
If you’ve not read any of his books before, I will tell you that the concept is an original one.
Dragons live below the ground in a complex society. They have houses, monorails and many other things we have. The one thing they can do which we can’t is use magic.
Dragons use this magic in order to protect and help humankind. In order to do this, they take human form and live amongst us.

Blurb
Treachery from the sands of Egypt to the plains of Antarctica.
Following on from the harrowing events of ‘A Threat From The Past’ (Book 1), a new found friendship with the dragon king is forged.
Soon though, young and old alike are unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.
Blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over, stretch the bonds of the dragons’ friendship like never before.
New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen.
Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.
Explosive exploits, interspersed with a chilly backdrop and unexpected danger at every turn, make for an action-packed, electrifying adventure.

Story
The tale begins in the distant past, with an exciting chase. A dragon, in human form is trying to help prevent a meeting between Ptolomy and Alexander the Great, for the good of Humanity.
We then learn that this is a story being told to young dragons in the ‘nursery ring’.
Peter, Tank and Ritchie, from Book 1, are again featured.
Peter has struck up a friendship with the dragon king after he visits with Peter in the hospital at the end of Book 1. He and his friends are invited to visit the king. While they are there, some terrible news breaks and they become involved in solving a dastardly plot from Antarctica.
The story was exciting, especially at the end.

Characters
Peter, although the main character in the story, is the least well-drawn. He has very few outstanding characteristics. He’s a ‘nice’ young man. He works for Croptech, a company involved in the production of the metal, laminium, that is very important in the dragon world. Here, he is in charge of security.
Tank, on the other hand, is a kind-hearted dragon. He does seem to have more about him than Peter, especially when he stands up to his boss. He works in a shop selling and researching spells (called mantra).
The last of the trio is Ritchie. She is a feisty young woman, and often gets herself into trouble for ignoring rules.
Tank’s boss, Tee Gee is my favourite character and the most well-drawn. He is an ancient, irascible dragon who hides a kind heart beneath a grumpy exterior.
In this book, we are introduced to Flash, a member of the King’s Crimson Guard, an elite force. In many ways, Flash is an innocent of human and dragon society, having spend much of his life working alone.

Writing
Sadly, like the first book, the writing leaves much to be desired. Mr Cude hops from head to head. One minute we’re looking at the world from Peter’s point of view, then the next from, say, Ritchie. On at least one occasion, he changes viewpoint in the middle of a sentence.
Many of his paragraphs are overlong. I assume he got carried away with the story.
There are occasional wrong words used.
He seems to think the readers have poor memories, and he keeps reminding us that dragons have eidetic memories, that Ritchie, is small, etc.
And the sports. There were 31 pages devoted to a hockey match at one point. This match was not essential for the plot, nor did it add anything to our knowledge of the characters. I skipped it.
One final thing that I found irritating was Mr Cude’s seeming reluctance to tell us who a chapter was about until at least a page and a half in, using the pronouns, ‘he’ and ‘she’.
I got the impression that Mr Cude got to the end of the book, wrote The End, sighed with relief and pressed ‘Publish’ without reading it through again.

Conclusion
This was an excellent, and exciting story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the writing lets it down. This is a pity. My feelings about the series are mixed. I want to know what happens next (this book ended with a cliffhanger), but will I be able to cope with the amateurish writing?
I’m giving it 4*, in spite of the writing, because it’s a good story.

review of a threat from the past by paul cude

Overview.

This is an original story. Dragons are the protectors of humanity. They live below ground, in the main, but some live among us in human form.
This is the story of how one young dragon foils a plot which would have devastating effects on humans.

Blurb

Can you be heroic and naive?

For one young man, the answer is yes, despite his magical birthright.

Blissfully unaware of what’s going on around him, for the most part Peter remains fully focused on blending in and keeping a low profile.

But fate and plain bad luck have other designs on him.

Not so bad, you might think. Until you discover the TRUTH!
Just like his friends, he is a… DRAGON!

Thrust into a life away from the underground dragon domain, disguised in a new, awkward human form in an effort to guide and protect humanity just like the rest of his race, all he has to do is uncover the diabolical deeds playing out around him.

With the help of his two young friends, a master mantra maker and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, will Peter manage to thwart the dark, devious scheme long in the planning?

Ever wondered how dragons use their supernatural gift to travel below ground at almost the speed of sound?

Want to know how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?

Learn the true story of George and the Dragon, see if a prehistoric grudge turns into murderous revenge, and find out what to do if you meet a giant arachnid grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile.

Lose yourself in this unputdownable fantasy adventure NOW!

Characters

The main character is Peter, a very young dragon who works at the factory producing a very important element for dragons. He is naïve and somewhat gullible at the beginning, but he learns much and at the end he is a great hero, thwarting a devastating plot with the help of his two friends.

Tank is a large dragon, and in his human form, an equally large rugby-playing human. He is likeable and a gentle giant.

Ritchie, is a female dragon. She is feisty and not averse to breaking the rules. (Like showing off her superhuman strength by arm wrestling two rugby players at once.)

I liked both of them.

Writing

The writing is amateurish, to say the least. I got the impression the author had got to the end of his story, did a spell and Grammar check and left it at that.

There are innumerable (several on each page) uses of ‘just’ and ‘that’. He uses a number of clichés, and repeats descriptions many times. For example, he describes dragons as ‘prehistoric’ on numerous occasions. There are also a number of instances of using words wrongly, and horror of horrors, several strings of multiple exclamation marks (a well-known no-no).

He goes into great detail of a hockey match and of a match of a game played by dragons. There was no need to go into such detail. As, from reading his bio, Mr Cude is a hockey player, I understand why he would want to do this, but I skipped much of these descriptions.

There is also a section where he describes some of the fun ways of getting into the dragon realms below the ground. These added nothing to the story and could be left out with no problem. Some were fun to read, but we did not need so many in one chapter. They could have been spread out.

Finally, on the writing, the paragraphs were far too long, and he did not begin a new one where he should have. The same with sentences.
Long paragraphs of dialogue from one person (or dragon) could have been broken down with a few interjections or action beats.

Especially in the final battle he does quite a bit of head hopping. We are in Peter’s head, then suddenly, without warning, we are in his enemy’s head, then back to Peter.

Finally, when Peter is thinking, he says ‘he thought to himself.’ To himself is redundant. Who else would he think to?

It could certainly use a thorough edit.

Conclusion

If Mr Cude sent it to a reputable editor, or even had it beta-read or used a critique group, I think the book would be a much better read.

I did enjoy the story, but it was spoiled by the poor writing. Too much telling, too many filler words, too many repetitions (both of individual words in close proximity, and ideas).

Also he is unsure about comma usage.

I sometimes felt like saying ‘But you already told us that (several times). Or ‘Yes, I know. I can remember that dragons have eidectic memories’ on the third or fourth time he used it.

The story is worth reading, though, if you can get past the writing. I read a book called Story Trumps Structure, that said, basically, if you have a good story, that’s the most important part.

I will be reading the next part if only to see what happens next.

I love hearing your thoughts. Please leave a comment in the comments box and I’ll get back to you.

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