The Maker #Bookreview

36642652First paragraph: It starts as a half-moon with a braided cord hanging from the bottom. Wavy strings grow from the cord. Tentacles. Kind of looks like a jellyfish. I add more curvy lines until they’re a thick maze slithering down the page. I close my eyes, focusing on the image in my mind. A lidless eye glares at me from the jellyfish’s back. With a sinking heart, I trace out every creepy detail.

About the story: Nate loves to draw. He gets the passion from his dad, who disappeared without a word six months ago. Before the story opens, Nate had come in possession of a drawing binder. He has no idea how it got to be on his windowsill. Regardless, it doesn’t take long for Nate to begin having strange visions, which he draws inside the binder. To make things even stranger in Nate’s life, strange creatures come in the night to steal the binder and throws Nate into the adventure of a lifetime. Not everything is all fun and games, though. The lives of planets and his parents rest on his shoulders—and he’s only a thirteen-year-old kid.

My thoughts: This was definitely a fun story. I’ve read a lot of books where I need to turn a few pages before I truly get into it, but this one sucked me in right away. The writing was taut, the adventure original and not a single slow paragraph to be found. I was amazed. Truly. This is definitely a story young teens would love; however, I believe any lover—whether teen or adult—of science fiction and fantasy would adore it. I know I did. Reading this book started my new year off on the right note.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here!

A little bit about the author: With the launch of my middle grade sci-fi novel The Maker, the release of my new illustrated chapter book Charlie Sparrow and the Book of Flight, and the re-release of Charlie Sparrow and the Secret of Flight, 2017 has been a busy year.

Besides writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, walking in nature, collecting records, reading, and travel (some pictures from my trips to Southeast Asia and Africa are featured on my author website http://www.dfandersonauthor.com).

I live in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, with my wife, daughter, and tabby cat, Neko.

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Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3) #bookreview

  • Title: Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3)Retaliation (The Praegressus Project Book 3) by [Hodges, Aaron]
  • Author: Aaron Hodges
  • Print Length: 222
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

You always know you’re reading a good book when you’ve finished it in one sitting without realizing it. Such was the case with me and Retaliation, the third installment of Aaron Hodges’ Praegressus Project series. Chris and his band of renegades are still on the run from the government. As to be expected, they are wary of who to trust, but they know they’re going to have to trust someone sometime if they are going to survive the nightmare they’ve been sucked inside.

It’d been a while since I’ve read Renegades, so I couldn’t remember how it ended, but thankfully, as always, we’re fed everything we need to know throughout this third novel. Piece by piece, I’d begun to recall the events of the previous two books. Book three feeds us a lot of action that keeps you flying across the pages, eager for more.

In my opinion, with every book Hodges’ puts out, he gets better in his writing. I do wonder, though how The Praegressus Project can be stretched into a total of five books before it starts to become too many in a series. However, I do love the premise, the action, and the characters, so I care enough to keep reading and find out. I also find that the Chead is an interesting concept. Scary, too. Even scarier that the government is so corrupt that they will stop at nothing to keep the truth behind the Chead a secret—including murder.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. Two years later, his travels have taken him through South East Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Today, his adventures continue…

December Contest Time! #Giveaway #Books @SterlingGate @MorcanJames

Hiiiii, All!

I’m excited this week!

Hopefully a good majority of you will remember my review of father/son writing team’s thriller, Silent Fear. If not, check it out HERE!

Now, Lance and James Morcan are offering you a WONDERFUL chance at yet another giveaway! This time, you can have YOUR choice of their books! Love thrillers? Then you have a chance to win Silent Fear. Love historical fiction? Well, tell them you want  World Odyssey. I quite loved Silent Fear, so I’m pretty sure that the rest of their works are amazing!

Hurry up! One lucky winner, one book (They all seem to have high reviews, which is awesome)!

The contest will run from December 18 until December 23. I have the link below each book for you awesome readers and followers to check out the blurbs, reviews and more!

To enter, click RIGHT HERE!

See the source imageSilent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]White Spirit (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan,James]Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy Book 1) by [Morcan, James, Lance Morcan]World Odyssey (The World Duology Book 1) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

Silent Fear – genres: crime-thriller, horror, romance, sci-fi

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/   

White Spirit – historical adventure, romance, action

https://www.amazon.com/White-Spirit-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B01LWIRH9J/

Into the Americas – historical adventure, romance, action

http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

The Ninth Orphan – international thriller, conspiracy, espionage, romance, action

http://amazon.com/dp/B0056I4FKC/

World Odyssey – historical adventure, romance, action

http://www.amazon.com/World-Odyssey-Duology-1-ebook/dp/B00HHVOMO0/

The Killing Ploy #Bookreview

  • Title: The Killing PloyThe Killing Ploy by [Haberman, Steve]
  • Author: Steve Haberman
  • Print Length: 265
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2012
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Espionage

Pablo de Silva is a former CIA tracker and shooter who is being haunted by the memory of his last mission, when he failed to save the lives of a fellow agent and lover. In this present day, he’s been trying to work through his failure, but it isn’t so easy when his colleagues are holding him in such low regard because of such failure. When his former boss calls him home on a new assignment, he quickly begins to realize that he’s fallen into a dangerous web.

The Killing Ploy was an interesting read. For the first half of the story, though, I found myself slugging through. The characters weren’t rounded out as I liked and a lot of the times the dialogue didn’t quite fit who they were as people. And while the scenery was developed wonderfully in the narrative (marvelous job at that. Coming from somewhere that doesn’t travel to exotic places, I felt I was there), there were a lot of times when I felt the sentence was incomplete. For example: She could remember their panicky flight out to the terrace, stumbling down the steep bluff, and struggling up some dunes to her Mercedes. After that, though, a fog as to why they had escaped to RCB.

I can see what the author is saying in the last sentence, but it, like many others, don’t really sit that well with me.

The second half was much better than the first. I can see a better grip on the writing and details. While the dialogue still wasn’t up to par, I found myself getting a little more into the story, wanting to find out how it would end.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

Who Doesn’t Like Free?

NYT bestselling author Aaron Hodges has an AMAZING deal for his long-time fans, new fans, and soon-to-be fans. If you’re a science fiction/fantasy lover, I encourage you to check out his latest series. After all, he’s giving the first three of his five-part series away for FREE! But hurry! The clock will run out!

In case you haven’t heard about The Pregressus Project series , let us tell you a little bit about it!


From the author:

The United States have fallen. A new power has risen in North America, but now a terrifying virus is spreading across the countryside. Once infected, people change, mutating into superhuman creatures known as the Chead. Wherever they walk, death follows. Desperate to defend its citizens, the government launches the Praegressus Project – an experimental program to enhance the human race.

Elizabeth Flores was just a normal girl – until the Chead slaughtered her parents and made her a fugitive. With winter approaching she seeks refuge in the city of Sacramento, but the hunters are waiting. Abducted off the streets, she’s spirited away to a facility deep in the Californian mountains. There, Liz wakes in an iron cage – and she’s not alone.

In the opposite cage, Christopher Sanders stands wrongfully accused of treason. Along with Liz, he has just become a volunteer in the Praegressus Project. Stripped of their rights, they will soon learn there is little separating humanity from the monsters they seek to destroy. The two must work together if they want to survive, but even then, their chances are slim. Of course, only the lucky get to die.

Blending the insane experiments of Stranger Things and the haunting dystopia of the Hunger Games, fans will love this thrilling new series. Discover a future where the powerful rule without mercy, and nothing is ever as it seems. With hints of YA Dystopia, Genetic Scifi, Urban Fantasy and just a touch of Romance, the Praegressus Project truly has something for everyone. Enter a new world with New York Times Bestselling Author Aaron Hodges.


 Here are my reviews for the first two in the series

——————————————————————————–
Rebirth review
Renegades review

I will be posting the next two installments on this website soon, but don’t wait to get your free copies!

Want more info? Check out these links below! It’ll take you directly to the Amazon website!
——————————————————————————————————————————————-
Free!
———–
Rebirth
Renegades
Retaliation

Not free, but still awesome!
———————————————
Rebellion

Available Dec. 24 (Just in time for Christmas for fantasy fans on your list!)
———————————————————————————————————————–

Retribution

Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter #bookreview @elleboca

  • Title:  Unelmoija: The DreamshifterUnelmoija: The Dreamshifter (Weeia Book 1) by [Boca, Elle]
  • Author: Elle Boca
  • Print Length: 208
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Amy is Weeia. She doesn’t know much about the Weeia race, only that they are superhuman with special abilities. In Unelmoija: Dreamshifter, Amy is beginning to learn more about her own Weeia ability. As she discovers more about her powers, she learns someone is trying to kill her. To save her life, Amy must rely on a mysterious stranger who both attracts her and repels her, as well as her father she’d never met.

After reading Elle Boca’s Weeia Marshalls series, then reading this book, I can honestly say that she’s grown as a writer. Unelmoija: Dreamshifter is her first novel and also the book that introduces us to the Weeia universe. I liked the idea behind the Unelmoija universe, and I also liked most of the characters. The only thing about Amy that I wasn’t too crazy about was that it seemed as though she was a little too happy-go-lucky. Even in danger, I couldn’t really feel her trepidation. I also felt she struck a friendship with Duncan a little too quickly after deciding that she didn’t trust him. I think it would have been better and more intriguing if Amy and Duncan showed their obvious attraction, but struggled with feelings that were developing.

When I first started Dreamshifter, Amy was acting like normal people do, then the narrative throws in something about a kidnapping of her and her mother, which, as the story progresses, never got fully explained. I had gone back to the very beginning of the book to the table of contents and began to flip through, thinking I may have missed the prologue or something. But, I didn’t, which made me feel as though I was thrown into something I should have already known. Sometimes the way the dialogue was written confused me.

*For example: “I can see your mind is set.” I’d won the first battle. I kept quiet, as the situation was uncertain.*

In that scenario, it’s Duncan who is speaking. Then, in the same paragraph, it jumps into Amy’s first-person narrative. There were a lot of instances about that.

I think this was a decent beginning to the series. It isn’t my favorite, but I did like the premise. And as I said earlier, Elle Boca does grow as a writer. All series needs something to get the ground running, and Dreamshifter does the trick. I would be interested to see where Amy goes now that she’s learned more about Weeia and her powers. Maybe the questions I had in the first book are embellished in the ones after.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

River Rising (Carson Chronicles Book 1) #bookreview @johnheldt

  • Title: River Rising (Carson Chronicles Book 1)River Rising (Carson Chronicles Book 1) by [Heldt, John A.]
  • Author: John A. Heldt
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2017
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel

Meet the Carson family. The eldest of five siblings, Adam, comes across a letter written by his mother. In that letter, he finds that his parents, who had disappeared months before, did not actually vanish. Rather, his mother provides him with evidence that she and her husband, found a time portal in which they walked through in search of adventure. But, something went wrong. Now, it’s up to the Carson children: Adam, Natalie, Greg, and twins Caitlin and Cody, to find their parents and bring them home.

This is definitely my favorite of John A. Heldt’s novels. It’s the same in many ways, yet it’s different. It’s the same in a way that we read the adventures the characters have: they travel through time, make friends, fall in love. It’s different because in the previous novels (I’ve only read The American Journey series), which everything ties together in the final book, we learn about different characters with ties of the same professor. Here, it seems as if the series will continue the Carson family in search of the same thing: reuniting their family.

Because of this, we’re left with a cliffhanger, living it open for a second book. This isn’t to say that we’re left hanging. River Rising, full of love, heartbreak, adventure and action, ties almost everything together. It just leaves us eagerly waiting to continue the journey.

As usual, the writing is engaging and keeps us on our toes. My only grievance is the dialogue. Having read another series by the same author, I’ve come to be familiar with the same style in the dialogue, when I wish it would be different. Here’s an example. Throughout this book, and the previous series, the dialogue is similar to this (this is not necessarily the exact dialogue):

“I have something to give you,” Adam said.

“What is it?”

“I’ll show you,” Adam walked inside the house, then returns with a box. “I want you to have this.”

Or…

“They didn’t,” Hank said. “They didn’t tell me much of anything.”

In the first example, my thought is that if you’re going to give someone something, you don’t need to tell them you’ll show them. A “allow me a second to retrieve it” would have sufficed, and to me seem more realistic. The second example is that there is quite a bit of repetition in the dialogue. Normally, this wouldn’t bug me, however, the same happened throughout the previous five novels I’ve read. And with both the future characters and past characters doing it, it leaves little room for character growth.

However, the dialogue issue aside, I did truly love the story. I love how the author gradually includes real-life tragedies into the narrative. My eyes refused to leave my Kindle as I read the ending. Although some things were predictable, I did find several shocking moments.

I look forward to learning more about the Carson family and following them onto their next adventure as they search to reunite.

Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

John A. Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at johnheldt.blogspot.com.

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