Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Dark Man's Son by Meg Whitlock

Title: The Dark Man’s Son
Author: Meg Whitlock
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Publisher: Self published (June 4, 2012)
Available: $2.99 at Amazon 
Rating: 4 stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the publisher:

She claimed the muggers were demons, but of course Jason didn’t believe her. At first.
When a mysterious woman appears in a dirty alley to rescue Jason Latimer from a pair of muggers, he tries to write her off as a garden variety lunatic. But he can’t shake the memory of her intense green eyes that seemed to flash gold, or the glowing sword she’d worn on her hip.
She calls herself Alex (no last name) like she’d made it up on the spot, and she offers Jason her protection. From what, she can’t or won’t say. He refuses, and that night he dreams of a dark man with the same offer. His black eyes flash blood and garnet, and he smells of burning things. Jason refuses him, too.
A chance meeting brings Alex and Jason together again, and she tells him of the Guardians: two immortal beings created near the beginning of time with the express purpose of fighting for mortal-kind’s soul. She is Light, and the man from Jason’s dream is Dark. Jason must choose, because Lucifer, for reasons purely his own, has unleashed the armies of Hell to hunt Jason down.
But there are things about Jason that not even he knows, and he’ll face hard truths and bitter choices as he struggles to find his place in a world redefined. Will he rise to the challenge, or, when the time comes, will he falter?
From Renaissance Florence to the French Revolution, from World War II to the modern streets of New Orleans, The Dark Man’s Son is a riveting journey filled with unforgettable characters, wry humor, dark twists, and a touch of romance.

Warning: Spoliers!

Jason was a just normal kid with a step dad who treated him very well and who grew up to be quite a good man.  On an auspicious night he was attacked by two demons, but before the worst could happen, a woman - "Alex" - appeared and stepped between him and the demons. On what seemed a strange whim, the woman told Jason to ask her to be her guardian because she could not help him unless he asked.  After several things happened he did ask.

As the story unfolded, I came to love her – this woman - because she had the kindest nature. She forgave everyone and tried to find the good in everything and everyone.  In her searches, she discovered that her brother was in fact Jason's father (Cassius-another Guardian) and his mother was a human.  Lucifer wanted to get Jason into Hell so that he could then be free to roam the earth.  To do that he poisoned the Lady of Light and kept her in purgatory.  Jason, after meeting Lucifer on several occasions, decided to make the trade for the Lady of Light but when the trade went down Cassius The Dark Guardian (his father) took Jason's place which left Jason to fight Satan on the earth to kill him.

I rated this story four stars for two reasons: I was surprised to see Werewolves and Vampires, and didn't think they belonged in this story (and they didn’t really add anything meaningful). Second, the plot was a bit too predictable. This was, however, a well written story that was extremely fun to read. I recommend it without hesitation to every fantasy fan.

Aristeia II by Wayne Basta

Title: Aristeia : A Little Rebellion (Book 2)
Author: Wayne Basta
Genre: Adventure/Battle Star Sci Fi
Publisher: Grey Gecko Press (May 30, 2012)
Available: $4.99 at Grey Gecko Press
Rating: 4 stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the publisher:

"I like a little rebellion now and then...The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all." -Thomas Jefferson
Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight. But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means: for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.
Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: A Little Rebellion is the second book in the Aristeia series by author Wayne Basta. The first book, Aristeia: Revolutionary Right, is available now.

It was amazing. As in the first book in this series, I felt I was a part of the fighting right along with Maarkean and his sister, Saracasi.

This story is rocking, rollicking adventure that pulls you in from the first page. The two siblings’ trials reminded me of why wars are won: determination and tapping into the hero that lies within us all.  Not only were these two heroic, but they knew when to lean on others for help (and I loved the character Zeric, without whom they most likely would not have survived many times).  I loved how they rose about fear and bitterness even when faced with betrayal and such harsh trials.

I would like to have a friend like either of these two, and I was sad when the story ended.

As in the first book, I rate this a four star because some of the descriptions are too involved and hard to follow. Otherwise, like the first book, this is a great, great read.

Aristeia by Wayne Basta

Title: Aristeia: Revolutionary Right
Author: Wayne Basta
Genre: Adventure/Battle Star Sci Fi
Publisher: Grey Gecko Press (December 14, 2011)
Available: $4.99 at Grey Gecko Press
Rating: 4 stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the publisher:

A former naval starfighter pilot, Maarkean Ocaitchi once fought to protect the Alliance and its principles of freedom and democracy, but his sister's rebellious past forced them both into a life of smuggling. He nevertheless refuses to believe her assertions that the whole system is corrupt... until she is arrested and condemned to death as a traitor.
Now, Maarkean must decide where his loyalty lies, and will either spark a rebellion or help crush the spirit of democracy once and for all. The experience will challenge everything he thinks he knows about resistance, loyalty, and friendship.
Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: Revolutionary
Right is the first book in a series by new author Wayne Basta.

Frankly, I don't usually read battle star sci fi, but I found myself pulled in to this story from the first page. For one, the characters are very interesting.  Maarkean and his sister, Saracasi, are trying to live a semi-calm life. Adventure ensues. A lot of it. As Maarkean struggles and tries to take care of his sister, he is forced into learning about  loyalty, perseverance, developing friendships with otherwise enemies, and ultimately about perseverance and democracy.  I think what struck me most was the simple, yet profound message that being a hero is simply doing what needs to be done and never giving up.

The detail is amazing.

I rate this a four star story because some of the descriptions are too involved and hard to follow. Otherwise a great, great read.

Final Solution by Michael Davis

Title: Final Solution
Author: Michael Davis
Genre: Sci Fi Adventure
Publisher: Champagne Books (May 7, 2012)
Available: $5.99 at OmniLit 
Rating: 5 stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the publisher:

Three stellar wars have stretched the ability of Earth’s ruling authority, the Council, to control the populace across twelve star systems. Unrest among the people threatens the oppressive reign of the government and they’re left with one option: to execute the Final Solution. Their grand scheme is so abominable; should the truth leak out, it could threaten stability of the Order and incite open rebellion. 
For their plan to succeed, they must depend on the unique talents of one telepathic man and his blue skinned wife. The couple becomes unwilling pawns to help the Council expand beyond Dominion space into new regions of the galaxy. They unravel lies within lies and discover the scheme risks, not just the New Earth Empire, but the very fabric of the universe. The destiny of humanity itself, and the quest to resolve the ultimate enigma of all sentient beings, falls upon the unlikely duo.

This is a story that pulls at your brain, and your heart.

Logan Riggs, our hero, fights hard for what he thinks is right, and he loves just as passionately.

What touched me most, in truth, was Logan's love for his wife, Cali (he calls her “Little One”).  Cali is from a different planet (Vega Star System), and loves her people very much. She also knows that they have been abused and even tried to be obviated from existence.  I also loved the relationship, the dynamic, between Paxton, a giant of a man, and Riggs, who are are constantly on opposite ends, but still working in the same army so to speak.  It’s funny how the story takes you to the place where the answers are usually found: in your own front yard.

In the end, Cali’s love saves Logan, and helps him finally see how to fulfill her life's ambition -- and when he does, he saves himself and Paxton.  And a race.

I have no minuses, or caveats. It’s a remarkably good story, well thought out, touching, and very worth every bit of 5 stars. Or 6.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog: Stereotyping—In Fact & Fiction

It's me, it's me! Come see, come see! 

The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog: Stereotyping—In Fact & Fiction: Pearlsong Press Week continues with a guest post from author Lauri J Owen .  Lauri is a civil rights author who grew up in Idaho’s ...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Tribute to Pearlsong Press

You gotta come see -- the whole week is fabulous ---

The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog: A Tribute to Pearlsong Press - “Healing the World ...: This week on The Full-Bodied (Book) Blog, I am featuring the publisher and authors at  Pearlsong Press . I recently discovered the works...

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Watchmaker's Lady by Heather Massey

Title: The Watchmaker's Lady
Author: Heather Massey
Genre: Clockpunk/Science Fiction/Erotic/Romance
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Available: $3.11 from
Rating: 4.25 stars
Rater: Pippa


Matthew Goddard is a lonely watchmaker in 1840, New England. One fateful day, he discovers the lover of his dreams in a dusty corner of the local general store--Isabel, a bisque porcelain mannequin head with mesmerizing, smoky blue eyes. When Matthew invites her to come live with him, she eagerly "accepts."

The couple embarks on a lust-filled affair, one fueled by Matthew's wild imagination. In order to provide Isabel with a brass body and pretty clothes, he begins a secret side business selling clockwork sex toys to his wealthy female customers.

Danger, however, threatens their idyllic romance when a disgruntled customer exposes Matthew's forbidden business to the townspeople. Despite the growing menace, Matthew will stop at nothing in order to save his soul mate--and protect their love.

Reader Alert!

Matthew Goddard's lover Isabel may be a clockwork automaton, but that doesn't prevent them from enjoying forbidden, uninhibited sex at every opportunity.

While on the surface this may seem another erotica story, underneath it lies a sweet and timeless romance where two soul mates manage to meet, and even death holds no barrier. The beautiful detailing in the writing perfectly reflects the time that it's set in. At first I though Matthew a sweet but deluded man, driven into a realm of illusion by his loneliness. But as the story unfolds you begin to wonder if it really is all in his head or whether there is life in his clockwork lady. The end has a surprising twist. I don't normally read erotica, but here it really underlines the repressed society in which Matthew lives and works, and the lengths that some people will go to in order to release their supressed sexual tensions in a time where the merest hint of impropriety is frowned upon. Despite the quirk in his nature, I felt very drawn and sympathetic to the character of Matthew.

The sex and language are very explicit, although that probably won't be a 'bad' for fans of erotica. Some might find the abrupt shift of setting in the final chapter a little jarring.

For fans of erotica, this will probably satisfy your craving, and with a new twist on the genre to keep it fresh. Providing you aren't easily offended, this is a touching love story with a real period feel and some interesting quirks. Very hot.

Please note - Critique de Book DOES NOT accept requests to review erotic romance or erotica. This is a book that I won, read and reviewed for my own satisfaction, and not representative of the genres generally accepted by the review site.