I was immediately drawn into this story. It begins with a girl who has witnessed something traumatic, but as readers, we don't quite know yet what it was exactly. As the story builds, it's very easy to figure out what happened, but it's the why that is yet to unfold. What she saw, precisely, that left her unable to speak.
This story really did get me interested in the beginning. It's very easy to read and I read nearly half of it in one sitting. Around the halfway mark, I felt that it slowed down. There wasn't too much happening with Sadie Rose and her story other than descriptions of what she was doing on a day-to-day basis. I still wanted to know what happened, but not enough to keep reading for too long at a time. The pacing did pick up again, and that kept me going to the end. I wanted to really love this book, because the premise was there, but it only ended up being warm to me.
Overall, it is an interesting and somewhat of a unique read. The story takes place in the 20's, which is what first piqued my interest, and then of course, wondering what happens to make this little girl unable to speak. It is a fairly fast-read, and a good story/concept. The mystery of all of this, and her coming-of-age, not only in typical fashion, but in coming out of a childhood trauma, is a great aspect of this book. (less)
I'm amazed. Honestly, I never would have described myself as a "true fan" of Batman stories. I know The Dark Knight is a bit of different take on it. It's darker, it's grittier, it's, well, more interesting. I was not let down with this book here at all. This is actually the screenplays for the movies, with a little bit of the storyboards at the end of each. Totally unique read.
I was drawn into the story at once. It's a very quick read since it's a screenplay it doesn't take long to get through it. The screenplay aspect was a little distracting with scene direction and character labeling, but it didn't slow me down much.
Bruce Wayne is a fascinating character, and these movies are very well-written. There is action to make it interesting, but the dialogue is really great. That overtone of the darkness in these stories isn't depressing, but it makes it pressing instead. Pressing you to flip the page and absorb what he is going through. The forward-moving tone of the stories makes it something you don't want to put down. I really enjoyed these screenplays, and loved the concept of being able to read through them. If you've seen the movies, you can see them playing out in your head as you read through.
Well-written, and fast-paced to the end, I loved these stories.(less)
I was asked by the author to review this book for him and received a Kindle copy. This book starts off introducing the...moreReview posted at: The Owl Review
I was asked by the author to review this book for him and received a Kindle copy. This book starts off introducing the character Simon, Dr. Patterson, who is alone on a highway and is telling himself he must kill Carlo for Christine. Then it cuts to earlier in time and the story begins with the introduction of the character Simon.
Simon is a heart surgeon but is attempting to find a vaccine that creates eternal life. He spends all of his free time at home hiding from his wife in his basement, where he is transfixed on his test rabbit Dorothy, and this vaccine. The premise alone of this vaccine to prevent and stop aging is incredulous at best, but the story itself is told like a daytime soap opera. I had a very hard time taking the characters seriously or becoming interested in their plights because it felt like the story was told by a teenager who was attempting at speaking like an adult. It overall, felt a little bit cheesy.
I was beginning to feel like the author had an immense dislike for women as they were all bitter, nagging, obsessed with money, and ready to cheat on their husbands and partners. Then I realized that every character acted this way in the book. It seemed a bit silly as they were all obsessed with money, and all the women (except his wife) was attracted to Simon for no real reason. The women really did just want money, in fact, the character Christine is the book explained to Simon "Women are crazier about money than men are. That's one of our problems." Apparently in the world of Promise me Eternity, they truly are.
It had a basic plot of Simon wanting to create his vaccine, and then solving why Simon was trying to kill Carlo on the opening chapter. The medical aspect of the story and the science behind a vaccine to "cure" aging isn't sound, but the story is told with the desire for the reader to take this all seriously, but unfortunately in a manner that expects us to take everything at face value. The plot line wasn't very strong, and the characters were all very flat with no description that created images in your head, or writing that brought them to life. Most of the women were described like this, "She was beautiful, with long flowing hair." One character wanted to win her husband back so she went and got a complete plastic surgery overhaul, face, body, fake breasts, as well as eye surgery so she could get rid of her "hideous glasses". She then started dressing in really tight revealing clothing, grew her hair out, got a perm so it wasn't straight (because short or straight hair is universally accepted, as well as normal bodies and wearing glasses... as ugly right?) and then snagged that doctor of a husband back. He left his pregnant girlfriend just to be with his wife since she was finally pretty. It was just ridiculous, and I could only imagine an over-sexed juvenile thinking this way. Overall, the descriptives were not detailed and focused on the story, many were just superficial, as were the actions of the characters themselves.
I found myself having difficulty in wanting to finish reading the story, and could not take the story seriously. In a few instances, the research was not sound. The story took place in Medford Oregon, and I've lived in Oregon for about 15 years, and have never heard of the beach town "Golden Beach", the nearest beach of a similar name is "Gold Beach" on the southern coast so I can only assume the author did not research this item, or stating that Medford is about an hour away from the beach, when it is about 3.5 hours from the coast because you cannot travel through the National Forest. These details make a story even more difficult to believe in, and is necessary for a writer to be taken seriously -- especially when the story is already as shallow as a soap opera. I would guess that since the author is foreign, writing about America normally can be a little bit inaccurate if the readers are unfamiliar with the areas.
Another aspect that I didn't understand was how the character Anita, being visibly pregnant - it wasn't described in the book as to what term she was in, or when she was due, or any other details like that, but, she was out with her boyfriend, drinking publicly in a restaurant, and then fell asleep right away at home. This seemed weird since it's not common for American women to behave this way nor is it socially acceptable, regardless of what a womans preference is regarding drinking while pregnant, it's commonly accepted to be taboo. The author described it as though it was a normal thing for a pregnant lady to do. However, a little bit later in the chapter her boyfriend comes home and finds her drinking wine and demands to know why she's drinking while pregnant as though it suddenly is completely unacceptable. That made no sense in relation to her drinking at the restaurant.
I did not enjoy this book because of it's superficial characters and shallow attitudes. It lacked needed descriptions and rich dialogue and details. Characters would be described like, "he lamented on this fact for ten minutes then went upstairs." I found there to be lacking details such as characters features, and behaviors, beyond soap opera sterotypes. In some cases it had details that weren't necessary to the story at all, like Edna, his housekeeper, having a whole chapter to describe her outside with her dog thinking what a wonderful person Simon was and how he couldn't have killed his wife. We already can see that Edna is clearly, and without any given reason, obsessed with Simon and thinks he is amazing. In other regards, there were points where the story wrapped things up without much ado at all.
I am confounded that the author describes that "enthusiastic readers write to him saying they can't put his books down and read them in a few days", as well as "Individual libraries have ranked his works among the top ten, sometimes even the top five most-borrowed books." I am perplexed, given that the books are ranked with less than 3 star rating overall. I just didn't feel that there was a caliber of writing involved in this story that shows a top-five book, or a book that will be enjoyed by those seeking a believable and quality novel.(less)
Starting off this book, I was a little taken back by the opening of it with the character, Stanley. Total sleazy creep - slacker of...more**spoiler alert**
Starting off this book, I was a little taken back by the opening of it with the character, Stanley. Total sleazy creep - slacker of a B-horror movie producer who stumbled upon a Grimoire in the Goodwill, of all unlikely places. He immediately sets to using it, accidentally of course, as he begins to reanimate a stuffed duck in his home. Once he discovers his ability to reanimate dead bodies, his evil genius plan begins. Remember Stanley is an idiotic sleaze, so his master plan is really quite simply, world domination, one bad, and slightly disgusting, plan after another. He even has creepy sex, but luckily us readers are only spared by hearing one detail of it, and it's told after the fact so we don't have to really visual it along with sleazy Stanley.
Nick, the lych detective, and main character is introduced to the readers as a very ancient supernatural. His character describes the authors world of vampyres, lychs, zombyes (were they spelled this way? there was little mention of zombies, but...) Everything the author describes as being "real" in this story was spelled with a "y" to differentiate between what most of society commonly believes to be real about these supernaturals, and what is actually real. This cracked me up a little, because back in my teens, my friends and I used the same exact logic of spelling those things with a "y". Nick describes this all to Elphaba, his witch companion and assistant. I was a little disappointed that as a practicing witch in a coven, Elphaba wasn't empowered at all, in fact she had little knowledge of any of the supernatural world, which is hard to believe since she is firstly, a witch, and secondly, we are led to feel that she's been working with him for some time so why does she know so little of this world that Nick knows so much about?
Nick is written as a dramatically sweeping kind of character. He's kind, he's chosen good over evil, and he has been around for so long that he has even known some very famous humans in history (more on that later). To increase his presence, he constantly uses phrases and endearments in other languages, but it makes him come across, to me, as a bit of a show-off because they are almost always a different language than the last one, and they just don't feel like it fits. His FBI friend, John, along with Elphaba seem quite like the groupies to he who is Nick, and that part doesn't feel believable to me.
The writing isn't bad overall but it's execution of dialogue is too simplistic in how Nick just educates us all on how it really works in the world. I think part of the trouble is the writing does not lend me to feel invested in the characters, they still felt like characters until the end of the book. There is a moment where you have to make the readers really believe in what's happening, no matter how unrealistic it can be, and because I'm not drawn into the world and taking the characters seriously, it didn't happen.
Nick comes across as feeling that he's so calm and intelligent, but he makes poor choices throughout the story, in order for Stanley to be written as having a reason to gain more power, and this contrast of the ridiculous Stanley who is attempting world domination with an enchanted beer mug, and remote control doesn't mesh enough to make it cohesive. One concept, either serious Nick or comically sleazy Stanley would have worked better to make me get into the story. I was really following pretty good, enjoying it's silliness until about 30% in, when Nick decided to abruptly tell us his story about how he helped bring Rasputin to power in an effort to showcase the characters age and importance in always being around in history. After that portion, it took me until about 80% in, when Nick brought Elphaba to his fortress and suddenly it got interesting again. Sadly, we had to go back and visit Stanley's incompetent war at the high school and get goofy again.
There were a couple of parts where Nick and Elphaba suddenly broke character in the story from how they had been built up so far. Instead of it being a sudden victory in personal power (where Elphaba suddenly saves everyone by reading from the Grimoire to stop Stanley and unfreeze Nick, as well as deanimate everything else), or a quick, dark moment that developed Nicks character further (where he abruptly decided to euthanize Dwaynes family by taking their life force to save them from suffering from the fact that Dwayne had died) they just seemed like very uncharacteristic moments from how these characters had thus far been developed. Perhaps it was because there was not enough cause written into why and how they suddenly deviated from their usual paths in action? I'm not sure of how long the book was, but it read pretty quickly during the times I was reading so I would guess under 200 pages. This might be part of the issue I had; that there wasn't enough dialogue to bring some of the parts to a believable fruition.
I did appreciate the mention of Harry Potter, D & D, & WoW. Definitely I got the impression the author was wanting to prove his personal opinion that people that like Twilight and kids who imitate it know nothing of the "real" world of Vampyres. Luckily for us, Nick, Lych PI does right? :)
This would make a good B-movie premise, and probably TV supernatural show if the elements were combined cohesively (or maybe not!). I just wasn't sure if I was supposed to be reading a parody of vampire stories, or taking Nick's explanations of the supernatural world seriously.
I was asked by the author to review this book and received a print review-copy.
Actual rating, 2.5 stars
This book starts off with introducing a shipwrecked Seward who washes ashore and finds himself surrounded by strangers. The writing style is very fluid and heavy on descriptives. Often times though, I found myself wondering why there was so much discussion about certain aspects of a characters thoughts, because it was stalling the story instead of moving it forward.
I had a very difficult time finishing this book. I did not feel drawn into the lives of the characters, or as though I truly cared about Morgunds quest for his claim to the throne. I kept feeling as though I was lost as to what exactly was happening in the story and where it was going. Sometimes, historical stories are dry and difficult to read because of that, but this was not the case for this book. Each section and paragraph was lacking a cohesive writing that started, drew you into it, and followed a path to lead the reader along the way to the culmination of the tale. I just felt at a loss for where exactly this story was taking me, and what point the author was expressing from section to section. I feel that it really needs a good editing to take all these pieces and put them together in a flowing way that really makes a strong story.
At times, the words themselves are flowing, and the ability of the author to write is there, but tying those words and sentences together in a manner that tells the story is lacking. At other times, there are fragmented thoughts and sentences, or obvious punctuation errors that jolt the flow of the story. Some of the paragraphs I was automatically editing in my head as I read so that they were correct, which was a bit frustrating since that takes me out of the story.
During reading, I noticed there were big chunks of historical information given in one paragraph. Take for instance, the evolution of a Surname. This also made for a less flowing story line as they read like they just flew out suddenly and then it went back to the story.
Something else that I had trouble with in this story, was a conversation of religion some of the characters were having. They were discussing ones belief in the god "Wicca" and how they were followers of Wicca. I didn't understand this part since this story is set in the year 1210, and Wicca is a neo-Pagan religion, that was not begun until the 1960's.
Overall, with this story, it wasn't tight, and didn't have good pace. I was eager to read it based on it being about Scottish history, but found it a slow and difficult read because it didn't keep me interested. Perhaps some good editing would be able to take this authors descriptives and fit them together better. It's definitely great to see some new authors taking interest in history, and namely Scotland. (less)