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Posted by andrea_luhman@mac.com on August 9, 2016

Book Review: The Big Sheep

Book Review: The Big Sheep by: Robert Kroese

I give this five out of five stars for an excellent array of characters, laugh out loud humor, the twisting tale to a hidden outcome, and the exploration of the moral dilemma’s that come with advances in our knowledge of the human genome.

What I liked most:

  • The characters, I can’t help it I have a thing for anything with a nod to Sherlock Holmes. I adored the antics between the eccentric savant and his well-grounded assistant. I’m happy Kroese is considering a sequel to this story. The world established in the story is well constructed and the characters can easily support many future humorous intrigues.
  • Kroese’s talent for composing a narrative that incorporates a wonderful array of humor endures in The Big Sheep. My favorite laugh out loud moment includes a subject interview that was lacking Dr.Pepper and Circus Peanuts. I also enjoyed the shameless number of puns surrounding Mary, the missing 300 pound sheep. This is a great read if you prefer books that make you laugh.
  • There’s some sharp insight about intellectual property and how it applies to a fictional character. The concepts of human cloning, agelessness, advanced gene therapy, and mind alteration were tangible in the world building of the story. These added a fantastic layer of creepiness as I tried to guess at the final outcome. Several aspects of the plot sucked me in and made the read hard to put down and something I was eager to pick back up.

An advanced review copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review of this book. You can find out more about the author Robert Kroese and his other works on his website HERE.

Posted by andrea_luhman@mac.com on July 1, 2016

Chronicle Worlds: Feyland

Something happened to me this week. It’s a change I knew was going to happen, but when it did it still left me amazed by the event. A short story I submitted last summer, for a chance at being included in an anthology, is now published. I’ve known for a few months this was going to happen, but now with the moment here, I’m  spinning with awe. I received an email from goodreads Wednesday morning notifying me that my profile is now an author’s profile. An authors profile. The originating author of the Feyland series, Anthea Sharp, lovingly reminded me to get my butt to Amazon and set up my author profile already. Authors profile, that means it happened-I have something published. I’ve been writing full time for three years. I knew this day was going to come, but here I am totally stunned and humbled by the change.

I am so excited for this release. Its an honor to share a cover with the other authors in this anthology. Each of us created standalone stories that are set in the imaginative world created by USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp. Feyland is an immersive, virtual reality computer game, that is actually a gateway to the very real realm of faerie.

Chronicle Worlds: Feyland Cover
Chronicle Worlds: Feyland Cover

 

You don’t need to have read the original Feyland books to understand and enjoy the stories in this anthology. Our advanced review copy readers have confirmed the read can be enjoyed without any prior reading or knowledge of Anthea Sharp’s Feyland series. However I must say, there’s a reason Feyland is a best seller. I for sure have some bias, but anyone who follows my reviews knows I’m honest in sharing my opinion. I enjoyed each of the Feyland books. They have solid characters and each one expands the fascinating world that is part fantasy and part science fiction. The first book and Novella can be read for free, and are out on Amazon HERE.

This is the first Chronicle Worlds release by curator Samuel Peralta, owner and genius behind the best selling anthology series the Future Chronicles. A series, which has fourteen titles with several that have hit the overall Amazon Top 10 Bestsellers list. The Chronicle Worlds is a line of anthologies charting new territories of a shared universe, within already-existing worlds.

The special 99c ebook launch price is still going on, you can pick up a copy HERE. We are excited by all of the early reviews and looking forward to the upcoming launch of the paperback version of Chronicle Worlds: Feyland the weekend of July 15th. You can join our virtual Facebook book launch party HERE.

Posted by andrea_luhman@mac.com on March 2, 2016

Book Review: Horizon

Book Review: Horizon by: Carol Davis

I give this book three out of five stars for being entertaining, taking me to a new alien place, and presenting complex social ideas about race, government, and failure in a manner still appropriate for a YA audience.

What I liked about the book:
1. The world building was really well done. I liked how the foreign planet was strange but still tangible. There’s a nice climactic construction and it impacts adaptations in the native sentient beings. I liked the sociology behind the Uuvali and their culture and the way it contrasted with average humans, including language, clothing, and food choices.

2. The layering of secondary plots, I enjoyed how these ran in conjunction with the main plot. I think the best one was the double antagonist plot, and figuring out which of the two would prevail over the other.

3. The ending is not a neat little bundle of happily ever after, there’s some heartbreak that comes with it. I wanted things to be so much more different for one of the main protagonists, but it was a real world look at how things don’t always work out for people even when they try their hardest.

Posted by andrea_luhman@mac.com on February 29, 2016

Book Review: The Fire Mages Daughter

Book Review: The Fire Mages Daughter (A Part of the Brightmoon Annals) by: Pauline M. Ross

I give this book three out of five stars for being an entertaining read with competing magic systems and atypical representations of women in power and leadership positions.

What I like about the book:

1) Ross has a consistent style with ideas that construct vivid cultures, magic, and fantastical societies. I can count on this author for breathing new life into old ideas or showcasing things new and different ways.

2) This is a strong feminist piece, yet I don’t think the author intends it to be such. The heroine, the mentor, the primary antagonist, and two of the largest supporting characters are women. Basically the coolest characters in this book are women, and men comprise roles which women are more commonly cast.

What I think could have been done better:

1) EMOTION, where is it? The book is written from a first person point of view, but most of the time it feels like reading something third person. The ideas and magic in Ross’s books are so vivid yet something is consistently is missing: emotion. The characters withhold how the action in the story impacts them and most major feelings are not conveyed well to the reader. In general I only found out a character was distraught when the character said they were crying. If the reader could be in tune with the characters emotions more this book would be a five star home run.

Posted by andrea_luhman@mac.com on February 25, 2016

Book Review: Poe

Book Review Poe by: J. Lincoln Fenn

I give this book five out of five stars, and I need to remember to not read J. Lincoln Fenn’s work when I’m home alone. This book was awesomely scary, laugh out loud funny, and touching in unexpected ways. The characters are strong and relatable. The plot had interesting twists that made the read enjoyable and hard to put down.

What I loved about this book:

  1. The humor, I never expected this book to make me laugh as much as it did. For me any book of the horror genre that can make me laugh as much as this one, deserves five stars. The funny character banter and perspective made them even more endearing to me.
  1. The characters, all of them were very well done. Each one had something unique and unforgettable about them, which made remembering the many supporting characters easy. The descriptions of Dmitri’s co-workers, and the characters collected at the mansion on Halloween were unforgettable and so funny.
  1. Dimitri’s grief and the impact it had on him felt real to me. Whenever his grief was touched on it rang with a deep sincerity. It’s the kind of honest insight I love, where I’m left wondering if I stumbled onto a part where the author bled into their work.

Lincoln Fenn has a clean style with a clear voice. Everything conveyed is necessary, and her plot structure omits all trick ponies and plot devices. I really look forward to reading her future works.