Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: The Secret Seekers Society: Solomon's Seal by J.L. Hickey

Secret Seekers Society and Solomon's SealSecret Seekers Society and Solomon's Seal by J.L. Hickey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Secret Seekers Society series (boy that's a lot of s's). Second books are notorious for bombing compared to the first book. That is not the case with this book. Joe (the author) did a fantastic job of keeping this book out of a sophomore slump. This is fast becoming one of my favorite series.

I like the way that Joe develops a plot. There are a realistic amount of twists to his story line, but he doesn't use the to excess. Another one of the things I love about his plots are that he incorporates people and places from history. I won't say more than that because it would be sort of a spoiler. I also like the complexity of the "world building" that takes place in this book. Joe does a great job pulling you into the story with his descriptions of things. Some authors overdo this, but not so in this book.

The characters in this book are so believable. A lot of them wear their emotions on their sleeves and are very relatable (as relatable as they can be for hunting for mythical beasts and relics). You can feel the pain, joy, angst, etc in the characters as your read. The other thing I like is that Joe doesn't overdevelop the characters. Some authors fall into that trap. The only challenging thing when it comes to characters in this series is keeping them all straight. But, it takes a lot of characters to pull off a long and successful series. So it's worth the work.

The readability of this book is fantastic. You don't have to slog through any sections at all. On the other side of the coin, you don't feel rushed in any part of the book either. It's got a nice even-keeled pace that makes for a very enjoyable read.

If you are a fan of mythology, paranormal, suspense, or YA in general then I recommend that you start this series as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed that you did.

My Rating: 5/5

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Review: Harry Potter: A Guide to Hogwarts by H.P. Meredith

First of all, thank you to Harry Meredith and the fine folks at Tablo Publishing for sending this e-book my way. The Harry Potter series was the series that got me back into reading. It had been a long time since I had sat down and read a book and then in the summer of 2003 I cracked open this series and haven't looked back. So, I was excited to get a book regarding Harry Potter.

Harry Potter: A Guide to Hogwarts is an excellent resource material for any Harry Potter fan. This is one of the most in depth books that I have seen on the series. It covers characters, spells, creatures/beasts, potions, history of Hogwarts, and the list goes on. You will be astonished at how much you don't know about Harry Potter. For instance, do you remember what Murtlamp Essence is for? If not, then this book is for you.

I had a great time going back through and reacquainting myself with all things Harry Potter. This book is well written and has wonderful full color pictures. This is a must have for any Harry Potter enthusiast.

This book is available via ibooks.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Review: The Secret Seekers Society and the Beast of Bladenboro by J.L. Hickey

Secret Seekers Society and the Beast of BladenboroSecret Seekers Society and the Beast of Bladenboro by J.L. Hickey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The first thing that I love about it is the title. Who doesn't like secret societies and beasts? The author does a great job of hooking you before you even open the book. It's also a vague enough title that you have no idea what you are really getting into. I like the mystery and intrigue that that causes.

The plot of this book was wonderful. It wasn't predictable and and there weren't a ton of slow moving parts. He did a great job of moving the story along. At the same time, he didn't rush the story either. It's got great balance and enough twists and turns to keep you wanting more. This is the first book in quite a while where I was disappointed when I had to put it down to go do something else.

The characters in this book are relatable and not outlandish in their situations in life. Plus there are enough different characters that just about anyone can find someone to relate to in this book. I loved that the characters were so well developed. They weren't over-developed, which I hate. I didn't have to suffer through pages and pages of what the person wears or what they eat or what their favorite color is. Mr. Hickey does a fantastic job with his character building.

The readability of this book was great. As I said earlier, the pacing was good and the suspense building was wonderful. I think he really nailed it with this book. It's a page turner for sure.

As far as genre goes, anyone who likes fantasy and mystery would love this book. Also, fans of great writing will love this book as well. I can't wait to read the sequel.

Overall Rating: 5/5

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Review: The Immortality Pursuit by Jesse Roman R.

The Immortality PursuitThe Immortality Pursuit by Jesse Roman R.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Immortality Pursuit is the book that got me out of my reading slump. This book is well crafted when it comes to plot, characters, and readability. I enjoyed this book a great deal and would like to thank the author for trusting me to review his work.

There were many things I enjoyed about the plot, but I will only mention a few of them so that I don't include any spoilers in my review. The best thing about it was that it was a well thought out story. What I mean by that is that everything flowed very well and there where no awkward tangents that weren't really relevant to the story. Sometimes authors add to many side plots and then don't wrap them up. Not so with this book. The other thing that I enjoyed was the subject of the book. Usually when an author writes about immortality it is about vampires or werewolves. I appreciated that this was more of a scientific/action adventure story. It's also not so outlandish that it's not believable. The action in this book is spread out evenly as well. There aren't huge fights and then pages and pages of no action.

The second thing I would like to touch on is the characters. For those of you that follow my reviews, you know that the character development in the book is one of my joys or angsts. The characters in this book are well done. You learn just enough about everyone to keep your interest peaked but I don't know their shoe size, favorite color, and their mom's dog's name. What I mean is that the author didn't over develop the characters. They are superb in many ways. Jayr, Arkius, Harrison, and the gang are all just mysterious enough to keep you wanting more tidbits.

My last big thing when it comes to reviews is readability and readership. This book is a very fast read and keeps you on the edge of your seat. There aren't any sections of the book where you feel like you are trudging through until you get to the next good part. As for readership; I would say that this book would be well suited for high school and up in terms of age. As for genre, I would say anyone that likes science, action/adventure, or thrillers would be a big fan of this book.

Overall Rating: 4/5

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spotlight On: Bled my Blood by Kellie Ojeda

"Spotlight On" will be the newest addition to my blog posts. These posts will be about books that are coming out or have come out recently. In most cases they will be books that I haven't read, due to the size of my review pile, but think are worthwhile for the book blogging community to know about. So, without further ado, here is the fist entry.

Bled My Blood 
Kellie Ojeda

Shay and Bryan never could’ve imagined being friends with Kayla Smidgal. Yet, when Kayla is pistol-whipped and almost shot in the head attempting to save Shay’s life, Shay suddenly sees her in a whole new light.    
Kayla Smidgal is a new student at Grove South High School—a school where the Almighty Latin Kings reign. Shay Alvarez A.K.A "Brass" is the President of the L.K.’s and is notorious for his cruelty. Bryan "Rico" Stevenson is Shay's second in command, yet he wavers in his loyalty to the L.K.’s as his affection for Kayla grows. 
Circumstances beyond their control (and many within) force the three to make difficult decisions.
Bryan has known Kayla since before he joined the Latin Kings. Now that she’s in his life again, he can't help but wonder what his life could’ve been like if he’d never been separated from her. So Bryan must determine if quitting the L.K.’s, and the violence he would surely suffer as a result, is worth a relationship with Kayla.
Kayla, on the other hand, knows that a relationship with Bryan would lead her down a path she doesn’t want to go. Yet her feelings for him make her wish she could ignore the obvious.
When Shay sees Bryan pursuing Kayla he refuses to acknowledge the feelings he is developing for her. Yet, cold jealousy still twists in his gut and he knows that somehow, someway he will have Kayla Smidgal.
Then, even as Bryan is pursuing her, Kayla cuts off their relationship. This causes Bryan to react with hostility and vengeance. In so doing, he shatters any chance he ever has of winning her back. As a result, Kayla and Shay’s friendship deepens.
Yet, even as Shay and Kayla grow closer, Shay still stubbornly refuses to acknowledge his feelings for her. He protects her, he fights for her, yet he will never admit to his weakness—that he is falling in love with the auburn-haired girl.
Shay believes himself to be indomitable, yet he is about to be attacked so viciously that he may never recover.
And Shay’s attacker will strike where he is weakest.

About the Author:
Ojeda has always been interested in criminology. Her fascination with the subject has led to her first novel "Bled My Blood". A criminal justice major at Judson University and internships at the local county jail have lent Ojeda vast knowledge on the subject of criminology. Thus adding to the richness and depth of her fictional novel "Bled My Blood".
Fun fact: Ojeda interviewed a former gang member before she graduated from college. That gang member happened to be from an enemy crew of the Latin Kings. The Latin Kings are some of the main characters in "Bled My Blood". 

***Bled my Blood can be ordered on amazon, createspace, or through Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Review: The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis

The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis (Book #1)The Journeys of John and Julia: Genesis by Aurelia
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was somewhat of an interesting read for me. I found myself somewhere in between really not liking it and being able to tolerate it. I think the part that made it tolerable for me was the fact that it was a really easy read.

The character development in this book is sub par at best. You get to know enough about John and Julia, but then there are a host of other characters that just don't get enough attention There is this group of 23 that you really only get to know the names of some of them. You get a gist of who's in charge of this big group, but there is next to no background on them for you to draw on. If the author did this on purpose then they accomplished their goal. It makes for a very frustrating read for me though. Some other reviewers may like that about the book, but I didn't like it at all.

The plot development was equally as sub par. I read through the entire first book and have no idea where this story is going. All I know is that there is some satellite going into space that this group of 23 is going to try and stop by using John and Julia in some way. Other than that there isn't much else going on. The entire first book was spent on getting Julia to believe that there may be such a thing as ghosts and spirits in the world. There was no action or build up that made you want to continue reading on to the next book.

It was mainly for these two reasons that I gave this book 1 star. It did nothing for me and I won't be reading on in this series. However, I would like to thank to author for sending me a copy for a review.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Review: The Reckoning by Jason Morrow

The Reckoning (The Marenon Chronicles, #3)The Reckoning by Jason D. Morrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the final book of the trilogy and I always have high hopes for the ending book and Jason did not disappoint. Not only was this book a fantastic read, but it was very very easy to ready. It flew by. I have been in a reading slump for the last few months and this book tore me right out of it.

Jason continued with his wonderful characters and rich worlds. I have loved the plot of this book from the beginning and it only got better with the third installment. Silas and his friends have finally tracked down all the medallions that are needed to bring peace to Marenon and now it is time for them to wage war against the Stuhocs to bring that peace about. Jason does a wonderful job of painting the picture of the epic war for Marenon. You feel like you are flying along with Alric or you are fighting off the soldiers of the dead. While all that is going on you are also immersed in the individual battles the Silas is having along the way. I love how the book goes back and forth from the overall war to the individual battles. Some authors struggle to make those transitions and it just turns out sloppy, but not so with Jason. He does this very well.

This book is full of twists and turns when it comes to Silas as the finisher of the reckoning and Silas the person. I guarantee you won't see the end coming. If you are a lover of the fantasy genre then this trilogy is a must read for you. I have to thank Jason for giving me the opportunity to read these books. It has been a joy for me.

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