by J.B. Dutton
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
A tragic car accident in their hometown in Wisconsin took away Kari’s father when she was very small. Kari arrives in New York ready for a new life. She is excited to support her mom in a new job and maybe a little romance.
A scholarship at the exclusive Chelsea Prep for Kari turns out to be one of the job perks of Mom’s new job as an IT at the Temple of Truth. The secretive organization intrigues Kari and she can’t help but snoop into its secrets. Even their apartment contains strange connections to the organization. The mysterious connection two cute boys in her class, Noon and Cruz, have to the ToT doesn’t make nosiness any less irresistible.
The deeper she delves into the ToT’s secrets, the stranger and more mysterious things get. When she discovers her part in the organization and its goals, life and existence turn out to be way more complicated than she ever imagined.
This book was my most interesting pick out of my long, long, read-and-review list. The title and the synopsis grabbed my attention from the start and I chose Silent Symmetry to read first for the summer. This book didn’t disappoint!
I felt engaged by Kari and her sad past, but also by her eager desire to care for her Mom and her positive attitude. The story began with many questions. When some of those questions were answered, I somehow found myself with more. I loved the natural way J.B. wove the tale, interlaced with questions resolving and mysteries uncovered. Even the ending left questions begging for a sequel.
Silent Symmetry was an entertaining and fast read that well deserved the first read of the Summer. I approve this title for Awesome Indies.
I received this book from the author for the purposes of unbiased review.
Silent Symmetry is available as an ebook here:
Available in paperback here:
Posted in Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
- Tagged book, ebook, fantasy, J.B. Dutton, paranormal, reading, review, science fiction, summer read
Few Are Chosen
by M.T. McGuire
Genre: Fantasy, Humor
The Pan of Hamgee ekes out his existence in a world parallel to our own. Working as a third-tier criminal is the only ambition he can attain, because his continued existence is illegal. Capture by the despotic Grongolian rulers means execution for The Pan. Does the dictator, Lord Vernon, have it in for him personally? The dotty and fanatical Resistance is probably an equally bad (or maybe even worse) option for The Pan.
When The Pan discovers a magic thimble, he hasn’t a clue that it will be the key to his world’s liberation. He didn’t want to be a hero, dangit! He was happy with his accidental promotion to getaway driver. It fit perfectly with his natural yellow streak and talent for saving his own skin. He didn’t want to save the world. But to his chagrin he finds that somewhere in deep inside, he has a conscience, and the blasted thing won’t let him ignore the cause of Underground or the mysterious girl he sees through the magic thimble.
I found myself smiling like a goof through most of the book. MT’s delightful humor and silly names were like a sprinkling of chocolate chips on top of a delicious cupcake. The book’s ending had me laughing and annoying my husband by reading him snippets.
MT weaves an endearing tale of cowardice paired with surprising bravery. The true growth and maturing of a dopey young man tugged my heartstrings and tickled my funny bone. Little about this story is typical. I loved the delightful dialects and fantastic, complex political and racial balance. The swearing in the book is priceless, not displaying a lack of imagination, but adding a creative exclamation fitting for the setting. Arnold’s Y Fronts!
I couldn’t wait to read the next page of this book, and am delighted to recommend it for Awesome Indies! This book is a gem and an absolute must-read.
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon.co.uk Here
Buy at Barnes & Noble Here
Buy on Kobo Here
Buy on every format you care to name from Smashwords Here
Free Version here
Book 2 of the Diamond Peak Series
by Tahlia Newland
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
In her second book of the Diamond Peak series, Newland draws us further into the world of Ariel, a regular girl with a fantastic past and a challenging future. Ariel, Nick, and Twitchet depart the haven of the Observatory to continue up the mountain in their mission to defeat Rasama. Deadly perils and romantic tension await Ariel and Nick on the trail. In a push for the next haven at Sheldra, Nick and Ariel must fight monsters, demons, mages, and their feelings while Twitchet heckles them. Between the three and Sheldra stand many different supernatural terrains and the enemies who inhabit them, which are sometimes the same thing. Can they overcome the obstacles and enemies to arrive at Sheldra? Will Amic show up to oppose them? Will Ariel be able to defeat him if he does?
In Newland’s signature style, she turns internal struggles into fantastic battles of magic. Feelings have a color and a brightness, and evil has many faces and personalities. Even romance holds extra danger when a girl can zap the one she loves with the power of feelings. This can be particularly excruciating with a volatile teen! I admit I found Ariel’s fluctuating resolve almost as aggravating as Nick did, even though we both knew why she felt that way. Newland really nailed the love/hate relationship with Twitchet, who amused, comforted, aggravated, and mocked the couple mercilessly.
Newland wrestles with the problem of evil, transforming it into a supernatural battle against a tenacious beast. I could really feel her anguish at the infection in society, the hopelessness of so many in the face of the disease, and the deep need for a hero to step in and defeat it. Her enemies weren’t just beings, but sometimes sprits or animated objects, which gave an almost Shinto flavor to some of her terrain. They weren’t simple “bad guys” either but individuals with a perspective and tragic past.
Newland’s writing style just gets better and better. Her scenes take me out of my living room and into Diamond Peak. I know when I pick up one of Tahlia’s book I’m in for a great read!
Buy Stalking Shadows on Amazon
Buy for Kindle UK
Buy on Kobo
Buy on Smashwords
Visit the Goodreads Page
Spirit of Lost Angels
by Liza Perrat
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Born in the farmlands of pre-revolutionary France, Victoire lives the tough but simple life of a commoner under tyrannical rule by nobles, church, and nature. Once she grows up, she must choose between limited means of survival. These means carry her to Paris and then back to her hometown of Lucie-sur-Vionne again after she is victimized by a noble. Tragedy soon tears her away from her village again and transports her back to Paris and into the Salpatiere, a madhouse and jail, from which she shouldn’t escape alive. Fortune smiles on Victoire and she is provided with means of escape and a new life. Will Victoire live for revenge? Will she survive the extreme violence of the building French Revolution?
Liza has created a beautiful history lesson in a story; the best method, in my opinion. Through Victoire, the reader can see many walks of life lived by people of the period and many perspectives on the volatile political landscape.
Victoire is a dynamic character who brings us through her life with honesty and courage. Her difficult life, helplessness to her fate, and position in life engage the reader’s sympathy and understanding. She brings humanity and reality to the well-known and often overlooked aspects of a country in crisis.
A warning to sensitive readers: this book depicts extreme social situations. Victoire experiences sexual encounters, both consensual and non-consensual, straight, gay, and even adulterous. She is tortured, shot, and participates in riots in which authorities and rioters are harmed and even killed. Many children die of many tragedies. This is the French Revolution, not a bedtime story.
For those who are brave enough to face the grim realities of a people on the verge of revolution or death, Spirit of Lost Angels is a wonderful journey through the extremes of life within the country in crisis.
Spirit of Lost Angels is available as a print and e-book:
Book Two of The Grimoire Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, Epic
Kara the Vagabond is still trying to bring peace to the land of Ourea. The Yakona rulers, the Bloods are not making it easy, fighting at every turn and backstabbing for all they’re worth. Kara and Braeden both must face their identity, the parts they know and the parts they don’t. They must overcome their faults and the faults of others to grasp at peace. Even Kara’s mentor gets in on the bickering. Death threatens, beckons, and sometimes has a good point. Can they overcome the pettiness of the Bloods and understandable excuses to bail on the backstabbing jerks? Will they survive the murderous Carden and all the other nasties out to kill, torture, maim, and destroy? Will they be able to overcome their own fears and admit that they love each other?
The second book in the Grimoire Trilogy is just as fascinating as the first. (I felt a little disappointed that there are only three. I loved the explorations of the hidden parts of the self, the ones we hide from ourselves and the ones we discover to our dismay. The theme of “the monster within” was given so many great twists and turns! I loved the guilt and the fears of the characters. Their motives were true-to-life and full of errors just like all of us poor dummies. The hunger for love, revenge, justice, truth, and salvation almost had a flavor.
As in the first, there were a few of the same hidden errors, but I didn’t stop long enough to note them because I wanted to hear what happened next.
Once again, S.M. brought a personal narrative into an epic tale again and again, making me care about, hate, love, and want to smack all manner of imaginary creatures as if I knew them. Her world is so well thought-out and rich that I could completely immerse myself in it.
Amazon: USA | UK | Germany | France | Spain | Italy
Barnes & Noble | Smashwords
Buy the Paperback
Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic
by Kate Policani
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
Colleen is a normal girl. She loves shoes, chick flicks, and cute clothes. The only thing abnormal about her is that she’s just become a magician; not the disappearing bunny kind, but the power-shooting-out-of-your-hands kind of magician.
Her problem now is that she doesn’t believe in magic. Well, she believes in it. She’s seen it shoot out of her own hands, but she opposes it in a moral sense; no hexes, no spells, no incantations, no potions, no amulets, no tomes, no casting circles, no eye of newt, none of that. She has to be very clear because people pressure her about it. Whatever they say about “how it’s done,” this is a morality issue for her and she will not cave in to their pressure.
Join Colleen at Seattle Pacific Regional University, where she becomes a part of The Convergence. She’ll learn the freaky side of Work Study, Financial Aid, and Vyxhepiocht. Seriously, she’s never seen so many hot guys. It’s going to be wild!
Read The Bookworm’s review: http://www.thebookwormextraordinare.blogspot.com/2012/09/review-dont-judge-book-by-its-magic-by.html
Read Maine Muse’s review: http://mainemuse.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/dont-judge-a-book-by-its-magic/
Read AM Day’s review: http://www.abookloverslibrary.com/27/post/2012/10/dont-judge-a-book-by-its-magic-a-book-review.html
Read Quillwielder’s review: http://quillwielder.com/2012/10/27/book-review-dont-judge-a-book-by-its-magic/
Read Fox Cutter’s review: http://foxcutter.livejournal.com/172716.html
Read Tima Lacoba’s review: http://bloodgifted.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-fellow-writers-release-party-kate.html
Read Night Owl Reviews opinion: http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Arianne-reviews-Don-t-Judge-A-Book-By-Its-Magic-by-Kate-Policani
Buy on Audiobook:
The Footloose Killer
By Michelle Johnson
Genre: Mystery, Law Enforcement
Lexi Sawyer and Morgan Pryce are a team of detectives for the Virginia Beach Police Force. They’ve been searching for eight years now trying to solve the case of the Footloose Killer. The heat is on and the Mayor demands answers as yet another dismembered right foot washes up along the shore. It’s been the same story at this time of year each year. They can’t let their personal problems overshadow this case or they could be out of a job. With the Chief threatening to put the blame on them if the case isn’t solved, Pryce battles his demons of alcoholism while Sawyer pines for her missing Navy Seal fiancé. Can they crack this case with no leads? Will their deep friendship blossom into something more in all the stress?
This was a great, quick read; short but sweet. The characters were well developed and I could identify with them (especially Pryce’s coffee addiction). I enjoyed Pryce and Morgan’s relationship and their hint of attraction to each other. There was a lot of case discussion over a restaurant table, which made me worry about the detectives’ waistlines. I also enjoyed the way the plot unfolded and the great side characters that adorned it. The Hills were priceless! The action was all wrapped up in the quaint package of a resort town where the locals recognized their waitress.
This book was tight and well-thought. There was a ton packed into the small space, but I never felt like I missed out on anything. It was beautifully done. Bravo!
Buy on Amazon
Puzzlebook:104 Puzzle Quizzes
by Grabarchuk Puzzles
The Grabarchuks seem to be a never-ending source of great puzzles! This fifth Kindle puzzle book is every bit as challenging as the first one. It has new puzzles that challenged my brain no matter what difficulty level they posed. This book in particular mixed it up, providing an even mix of puzzles that stumped me and puzzles that I got right away, almost on instinct. I think I do best at the spacial reasoning type puzzles where you decide based on shape what the answer will be. There were fewer repetitions of the same puzzle in this book than in 101 puzzle quizzes. There were also quite a few that “got me”. I thought that I knew what the answer would be, but I was surprised because it was a trick!
I viewed this book on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch with the Android Kindle app. I did have some trouble with this machine’s “select picture” feature. When I tapped on the answer I wanted, it tried to highlight the image of the button rather than clicking it. This is probably a feature of my new tablet I haven’t learned how to turn off yet ;). Also, with the small size, there was an occasional answer choice that appeared on the next page, and one or two where all answers were separated from the puzzle by a page.
Other than the limitations of my device, 104 Puzzle Quizzes was an entirely entertaining experience. Grabarchuck has proven their ability to provide consistently challenging and fun puzzles again and again.
Buy on Amazon
Poppy the Proud
By Emlyn Chand
Illustrated by Sarah Shaw
Poppy is a peacock with an ego problem. He is the most beautiful in the park and it’s gotten to his head. When a beautiful white peacock chick named Snow arrives in the park one day, Poppy is eclipsed. Why does everyone love this new kid? How can Poppy get back the admiration he deserves?
This was a darling tale about getting over yourself. Poppy learned image isn’t everything through failed attempts to beautify himself and the humiliation that followed.
I wondered if the format that appeared on my Samsung Galaxy seven inch tablet would not provide enough picture stimulation for Corbin, but the pretty peacock-feather details helped keep his eyes entertained. I would have liked to have heard more about the festival where Poppy was covered in colored powder. Though a bird might not know the name of the festival, we humans were interested.
I really love tales of redemption! I read it to my four-year-old son, Corbin, who enjoyed the story and loved the bright pictures. He said “My best part was when the peacocks put their heads in the shirt.” The language and message were perfectly understandable to a child of only four, and were relevant to a wide range of ages. Image and appearance are such an important topic in life today with cameras in every hand, and I really appreciated reading my son the message that it’s about making others happy and caring for them, and not about being praised.
Thank you for the lovely story, Emlyn!
Book trailer – http://youtu.be/QSh1BFjO448
Buy on Amazon
GoodReads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13568454-poppy-the-proud
The End of the World Sucks
by Sharon Trembley
Vanna is a young, intelligent woman hard at work surviving the zombie apocalypse. By hard at work, I mean washing laundry. What? Stuck in the makeshift washroom at a local college/makeshift fortress, Vanna relies on the guys with guns to protect her from the walking dead. Unfortunately that means she has to wash their dirty clothes obey their lazy, critical mamma. The two families with the most votes in the group, the Cornfields and the Russos, are not in agreement about who should get what, when. Neither are concerned about fairness. Waiting for hunky Marines to helicopter in and save her isn’t getting Vanna very far. The peace is fraying and the greed is growing among the holdouts. When Thanos the vampire arrives, things just get more complicated.
I was fascinated by this book. I loved the main character and her critical but fair point of view and her deep desire for peace and understanding despite all the awful circumstances she encounters. I wanted to see her escape the bad guys and get to safety.
Thanos was both intriguing and repelling. I kind of wanted him to find what he wanted among the humans because he was such a great contrast. He looked like a teen and had the young guy perverted side, but he was an ancient vampire. He liked Vanna and respected the other humans and wanted to help them…or did he?
The Prologue with its foul old man language was a bit of a turnoff, but the rest of the book was filled with realistic, complicated problems and much less swearing. Sharon thought about every challenge that would face a group of random strangers united in battle against walking death, and she didn’t always choose the most obvious solution. Greed, sadism, nepotism, theft, rape, murder, and blood drinking all have a place in the truly sucky end of the world. Sharon paints them well through Vanna’s honest perspective.
It sounds like this was just the first book of more of Vanna’s adventures. If it is, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for the next one.
Buy on Amazon