Sunday, July 29, 2012

Special Offers by ML Ryan

Title: Special Offers
Author: M.L. Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Running With Scissors Publishing (February 10, 2012)
Available: $0.99 at Amazon
Rating: 5+ stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the publisher:
Hailey Parrish is quick-witted, irreverent, and hasn’t had a date in three years. She only wanted an eBook reader because her collection of paperbacks threatened to take over her small living space. Little did she know that the "special offers" that prompted the purchase included much more than a reduced price in exchange for a few ads. The device came pre-loaded with the essence of Sebastian Kess, an erudite womanizer with magical abilities from a parallel dimension. When she inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined. And soon her predicament introduces her to yet another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland. Can Alex and Hailey find a way to return Sebastian to his own body, stay one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is, and not lose their sense of humor?

What I liked: I flat loved this book!  I loved the idea behind this story, the plot, the writing, and the characters, and Sebastian in particular. I loved his sense of humor, and how testy-naughty he can be. And Hailey was wonderful. She discovered herself and managed to hold fast to her magnificent sense of humor.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to reading the Coursodon Dimension Series!  I rate this book 5.5 out of 5 stars – easily!

What I didn’t like: Not one thing.

In sum: If you miss this one, you will regret it.

The Return by Carter Vance

Title: The Return
Author: Carter Vance
Genre: Religious Fiction
Publisher: Self-published (unknown date)
Available: $2.99 at Amazon
Rating: 4 stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the publisher:
The Return is an action thriller that challenges us with the possibility that Jesus Christ is returning now. “The world currently in a state of upheaval and getting more chaotic everyday,” states Carter Vance, author of The Return. “Many of the prophesized signs of the end times are here, now, and are an indication of the possible return of Christ.”
What if the Knights Templar never disbanded and have amassed, over the centuries, virtually unlimited resources in anticipation of His return?

What I liked: This books is most assuredly about Good versus Evil and the return of Christ. Here the author speculates about what the Templar’s status has historically been and what it is now.  I enjoyed this author’s characters as they were so kind, and the portrayal of the KT made me completely sympathize with them. I loved that in the end good does indeed conquer!  I found this a good, well written story.

What I didn’t like: I felt great sadness that several characters, including one I adored, died.

In sum: Very well worth the read.

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste anthology

Title: Blood Lite III: Aftertaste
Author: Anthology edited by Kevin J. Anderson
Genre: Horror/Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (May 29, 2012)
Available: $7.99 at Amazon
Rating: 3 stars
Rater: Lauri

From the publisher:
Sink your teeth into a smorgasbord of macabre morsels laced with horrific humor in this all-new Blood Lite collection! Whether you shriek with laughter or scream in fear . . . well, that’s simply a matter of taste.

What I liked: I adore horror, and bought this book to read as I traversed the skies during my recent travels. And some of the stories are better than great. Jim Butcher’s, for one. And I love the “smorgasbord,” as the pub calls it, approach to reading. It’s a blast, and you get to dip your tongue into so many different flavors – plots, characters, storylines, descriptions. And short stories are a better choice if you’re attention is wandering, or if, like me, you have a child to watch, too.

What I didn’t like: Some of the stories were horrifying, and not in a good way. That they didn’t contain spelling errors is perhaps the best thing I can say about them. The plots of those several were beyond trite, or so shallow I could see right through them. Melodramatic dialogue. All telling and no showing. Too much explained and not enough revealed. These stories seemed to be written by brand-new writers who had no editors to bleed the stories into some semblance of good.

In sum: Unless the price is lowered an awful lot, I absolutely will not buy another one of these books. Even the half of the stories I liked cannot make up for the half that I didn’t.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Hour of Predators by Lane Stark

Title: The Hour of Predators
Author: Lane Stark
Genre: Mystery/Horror
Publisher: Self published (March 22, 2012)
Available: $2.99 at Amazon
Rating: 4.5 stars
Rater: Dihanna

From the author:
"It was the hour of prowling bears, circling nightowls, vengeful spirits, and savage hearts. It was the hour of predators."
Two gruesome murders have shocked and divided the community of Bella Coola, a small, isolated village in a remote river valley on the coast of British Columbia. The evidence points to a teenaged Nuxalk boy, and the simmering tension between whites and tribe members heats up. RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao must sort through misleading clues, cultural conflicts, tangled relationships, sexual scandals, and even rumors of sorcery to find the truth.
Marcus is a man whose life has skidded into remorse and misery. His own infidelity has ended his marriage to the woman he still loves, and now he finds himself with only two things to keep his sinking spirits afloat: the need to serve justice and his eternal fascination with solving the puzzle of the crime. This latest puzzle, however, is proving to be a maze of intrigue, and his mettle as well as his principles will be tested.

Warning: Potential Spoilers!

What I liked: This writer writes extremely well, and she draws her characters with true skill. They’re clear, and believable. The plot is logical and well thought out. The mystery is not completely predictable. I read this in one day because I wanted to know what happened.

What I didn’t like: This story is just too grisly for my tastes. Central to the plot is the repeated rape of a teenage child. The descriptions of the murders are too graphic. I felt upset pretty much throughout the entire book. From the technical, the story jumps around far too much, and that makes it extremely difficult to understand and follow.

In sum: This book should be regenred as horror. For the folks that like those stories, this book is doubtless well worth the read.