Book Review: The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd by Robert Davies

Publishing Date: August 2019

Publisher: BHC

ISBN: 9781948540919

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.2/5

Publisher’s Description: When Evan Morgan’s brother Damon dies suddenly, Evan is shocked to learn he left him an inheritance, leaving him instantly wealthy and the owner of his country farm. Traveling to North Wales seems to be a formality: attend the reading of the will, pick up and dispose of any valuables, and head back home. But everything changes when he arrives in Denbighshire and meets his new neighbor, the alluring and mysterious Aline Lloyd. Suddenly, staying doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, especially since the ancient grounds surrounding his new home feel as if they are calling to him to stay.

Review: To quote a reviewer, “this is a fictional memoir” as seen through the eyes of someone really really boring. Oooh, she has POWERS! and stuff. Yap, yap, yap, yap………cutesy huggums wuvs hims. Yap, yap, yap…..MI5, no 6 is real interested in her.  Yap, yap, yap.  “Are you threatening her!!!!! Boy I oughtta talk you to smithereens!”.

This was as interesting as a dick in a bowl of hot dogs and as much fun as a bag of hammers.  If you like vague dialogue centered around a myopic egalitarian’s perspective, then this books for you.

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Book Review: The 13th Key by Sarah Fisher

 

Publishing Date:April 2019

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

ISBN: 9780648182450

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher’s Description: Noah Chord is just an ordinary teenager … or is she? One day, hearing-impaired, budding fashion designer, Noah, is at school; the next she’s saving the world. Not her world though – a place called Talisker, a world woven from music. And it all started when she met that cat!

Review: Some reviews iterated that the plot was wooden and cliched, while another thought that the romance was rushed and the story line a bit boring. The reviews that lend 4-5 stars are not really reviews at all. A publisher and a couple of descriptive reviews that hold no narrative content. .  Where do I sit in all this? Read on!

Noah is speshul. Since she is a reluctant hero, she gets get points for being super speshully. Chase plays her venturesome sidekick along with an Alsatian, which is a snobby way of saying “German Shepherd”, pre-1970.  Rounding out the main characters is the evil and oh so hot and sexy Orville and plodding yet hunky, Emir.

The total immersion into the love Tribangle scene never came to pass and that I am thankful for. The gurl on guy on guy stuff kind of comes out of nowhere and suddenly Noah is blushing and stealing kisses from boys. Huh? Noah runs pretty hot and cold on boys but it becomes a constant theme towards the end of the novel. This forced foray into romance ruins what was once a solid YA fantasy adventure novel.

The story line and world building are a mixed bag. There is an evolving and interesting story that moves in unexpected creative directions. While some of those directions are entertaining, others just don’t mesh well with the overall plot. These disruptions/diversions seek to lend some much needed creative change to a pedantic story line.

While the premise that supports Noah’s lure in the adventure is really weak (fashion show) I had a good time reading this. There was some page flipping in scenes that were being beaten to death and hence the boredom issues with some reviewers is revealed. I think this is geared for the 13 year old crowd that yearns to be 16, but then again, wtf do I know about YA’s.

This really has no right to continue on in a series when the story could have been told in one go. To drag this tired old horse down another rocky path is just cruel.

 

Book Review: Mind Games by A.B. Carolan

 

Publishing Date: May 2019

Publisher: Carrick

ISBN: 9781772421088

Genre: SciFI

Rating: 1.8/5

Publisher’s Description: Della Dos Toros is a young girl with psi powers living in the Dark Domes of the planet Sanctuary. Her adopted father doesn’t let her use those powers, but she must do so to find his killer.

Review: I guess teens could get into this, but it is a stretch to think so.

The foreshadowing is rampant as are the deus ex events that conspire to render a simplistic story line. Add in a huge dose of super speshully Della with “enormous budding PSI powers on top” and the recipe is set.

Not much to say here what with a novella length feature.

Book Review: The Osiris Contingency by Virginia Soenksen

Publishing Date: April 2019

Publisher: Sunbury Press

ISBN: 9781620061756

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.2/5

Publisher’s Description: Liane, an Agent gone rogue and on the run from her former masters. Having barely survived the last attack by the Agency and still grappling with the truths she learned about the Titan Strain, Liane vows to destroy those who turned her into an inhuman killer. But that means outsmarting and outrunning Damian, her former Handler, who wants his Agent back at any cost. Liane isn’t the only one fighting against the Agency, however, and soon she is drawn into a secret war brewing between assassins and mods.

Review: Well, this wasn’t terrible but……it did lack depth on a few fronts that rendered the novel passable.

The most limiting factor of this installment was the lack of character development. I know the author tried to build a little humanity into Liane with quirky smiles and a budding love interest but failed to pull off anything believable. There is something about maintaining a sterile persona when you’re an agency built killer as it gives the reader something to hope for and gains the character some personal separation for the acts that must ensue.  If the hints at humanity are brief and well placed you gain so much more depth than say, turning a killer into a love-sick strumpet.

Secondly, the story line is not new as the author would lead you to believe. There is nothing new under the sun here and added to what is fairly pedantic writing is the synthesis of every made-for-movie espionage novel. Just adding in “mods” or serums does not a creative novel make.

The ending is what you expect for a series to continue along in the same vein. I think this author needs to take an innate talent and risk herself on the creative side in order to realize the depth hoped for.

Book Review: The Korpes File by J.I. Rogers

Publishing Date: March 2017

Publisher: Books Go Social

ISBN:9780995156647

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.7/4

Publisher’s Description: As if being born Diasporan wasn’t enough, Technician Nash Korpes had the bad luck to resemble his Tyran ancestors almost identically in both form, and manner. These traits, though highly prized by the special projects division at the shadowy Korlune Military Research and Development, mark him as a specter from their warlike past. With only his intellect holding his sanity in place, he wages a private war against the entire socioeconomic status quo and begins to uncover the truth that threatens them all.”

Review: Although written awhile ago, there is very little existing written reviews out there. The author only gives her work 4 stars which is an odd thing to do as self-deprecation may not further interest in others willing to gamble.

The world building is only lacking in visual expression. There is not enough information to create  a  panoramic view. Domes/cities etc. have no relational aspect to other domes as well as the space in which they occupy. I assumed everything that occurred in the novel was taking place on one planet and had to go to the authors website to verify via map. The natural environment is hostile enough to force the populace into domes which does not explain pre-technological development on the planet. Again, I assume that the inhabitants colonized the planet as there is no adaptation to the elements.

The scenes were a bit jumpy at times. You go from a well paced story line into another arena without explanation (lead in) and are left catching up.

Nash is a bit dense for a tech genius and that enables the story line to exist in all it’s phases. The corporate hammer is pervasive and well written which makes up for some character fails.  I think the author sells herself short with this work as it is at once intriguing and captivating.  My only suggestion is that this in need of some intense editing to expand the visual context of this world and tighten up the story line so the scenes mesh better.  A lot of talent here.

Book Review: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

 

Publishing Date: July 2019

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9780399182105

Genre: SciFi/Dystopian

Rating: 1.5/5

Publisher’s Description: Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

Review: This was quite the grande attempt at combining “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and “Andromeda Strain”. Throw in a splash of zombie like symptoms and voila! Seems like there is a plethora of pandemic/apoc novels floating around these days….some good, mostly bad.  I think this novel fell into the ‘bad’ category although it shouldn’t have.

  1.  Writing for the masses. This novel tried to appeal to the movie goer that enjoys dramatic dialogue interspersed with over-the-top violence by the government or conveniently placed tropes in the form of militia or white extremists.
  2. Political soapbox. Throughout the novel it becomes very obvious where the author’s perspectives lie with regard to the current tapestry of political ennui. Every bad group or person is this amalgamation of WHITE people, and the author goes to great lengths to generalize about the inhabitants in certain towns and their racial perspectives based solely on their geographical placement.
  3. Been there done that. Like I mentioned before, this story line has oft been abused in a myriad of ways. There is nothing new, creative or inventive about this work. If you enjoy traipsing along for a long walk to nowhere, then be selectively bored.

The author did his research and that comes to the fore but does not in any way add to the story line. Clinical processes and facts are a real downer and lack the potential to capture the reader via symptomatic expressions. Cut the zombie walk down by at least half and curb the political finger pointing and you might have a winner here. Oh and write for the reader not the Hollywood studio executive.

Book Review: Three Remain by R. A. Andrade

 

Publishing Date: September 2019

Publisher: IBPA

ISBN: 9780990325444

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.7/5

Publisher’s Description: After witnessing a meteor explode in the sky above his home the night before, Glen awakes to a loss of all communications and power. On route to a work assignment before dawn, Sara’s car veers into a roadside tree. Crawling from the vehicle to the ground, her last memory is the fragrance of dirt and Queen Anne’s Lace. Thirteen-year-old Traci opens her eyes to complete blackness. A wave of fear brings a shudder as she recalls falling asleep in the movie theater. Immediately groping for her phone, she wonders why her parents hadn’t picked her up.

Review: This started out pretty good, in a “The Truman Show” kind of way.  All the characters seem to mesh fairly well in spite of their disparate and unfathomed backgrounds. Traci is a young teen that despises her parents (blah, blah, trope, trope) with Sunshine leading the charge as decisive and brilliant in an understated but feisty way. Early on in the novel, it gets a little uncomfortable when Glen begins to constantly kiss little Traci on the forehead/top of head/cheek. Repeatedly. Like this is somehow supposed to endear the reader to some perceived daddy/caring connection between them.  Only it comes off contrived and creepy as hell.

I wanted to burn this novel what with this hastily formed unit that becomes this moral guidepost on the road to salvation (escape). Despite the familial perfection, I enjoyed the story line, even as it creeps towards “Westworld” and certain shows in the original Star Trek series (‘The Man Trap’, ‘Catspaw’, ‘The Gamersters of Triskelion’, etc.). Additionally there are some firearm fails, namely where they get the semi-automatic shotguns from the sexbots, er, androids and proceed to pump and “rack” shells into their chambers. Not possible or needed with a loaded semi-auto unless you want to eject live rounds.

I wasn’t enthralled with certain aspects of the novel but I had a good time and that’s talented writing right there.