It’s not often I run across a book that moves me. I don’t mean that as just emotionally, but spiritually. I have to say that I haven’t read a story th...moreIt’s not often I run across a book that moves me. I don’t mean that as just emotionally, but spiritually. I have to say that I haven’t read a story that hit me that deep since reading the biblical verse where Jesus saved a prostitute from an angry mob and made it a lesson to not judge people. I won’t get all spiritual in this review, but I just have to make it clear, I was deeply moved, and I can’t stop thinking about Emily Colt.
I’ll break it down without spoiling any of it. Emily Colt is the female lead in Paper Souls. A strong character, with a sometimes uncommon outlook on life. She is surrounded by both loving and not so loving people who push and pull on her for their own selfish reasons, much like everyone else in the world. What stands Emily apart from most everyone else in the world is that she’s schizophrenic. I loved how most of the book refers to her “illness” but never goes into too much detail until about halfway. When the reader finally gets a glimpse of not just her narrative mind but the voices that talk over her own narrative, its eye opening as to why she hides from the world. For those of you who know nothing about Schizophrenia, you should look up a video that CNN did with Anderson Cooper. It was called “Anderson Cooper tries a schizophrenia simulator” and is one of the best real life tests I’ve ever seen about what it’s like to be schizophrenic.
I do not pretend to completely understand the experience of one who is schizophrenic. I hear several voices in my head, but when I tell them to be silent, they do, and when I focus on something, they assist me with multiple points of view. That might not be a normal thing either, but my voices work with me as a team and I can easily tune them out when I need to. That is not the case for someone who is schizophrenic. One of my most favorite people in the world was my grandmother, who had been a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. I never understood what that meant, until I saw her with my own eyes, completely overwhelmed by her voices. It was terrifying to see someone you love suddenly be someone you don’t recognize.
Getting back to the book, Emily Colt has learned to live with the voices, and she has a successful life, but things happen, her life takes a few strange turns, and as you follow the story through her eyes, you will question what is real and what isn’t. In the end, it doesn’t matter. The true lesson in this book is about the human soul.
Allie’s writing is very smooth and the flow of the story expertly handles the chaotic life of Emily Colt in a way that makes it easy to read and enjoy, but it will tug on the heart strings and really dig deep into you. Superb. One of the best books I’ve read all year. That’s saying a lot because this isn’t my usual genre, but finding out the main character was schizophrenic drew me to it.
My hat is off to all those who have to live with schizophrenia and still find a way to make a life for themselves. This book is an absolute must read. Allie Burke just earned a new diehard fan, I will go out and find the rest of her books, no matter what they are about, and I’m going to read them. I will also be purchasing this book for my collection and to support this writer. This review is based off of an advanced copy for reviewing.(less)
This was not at all what I expected when it was recommended to me. I was expecting a fantastic nightmare, but the book took a turn, which I figured ou...moreThis was not at all what I expected when it was recommended to me. I was expecting a fantastic nightmare, but the book took a turn, which I figured out early where it was going, that took it on the worst nightmare any child could ever have. I absolutely recommend this book. It was absolutely amazing and will leave you looking at yourself and wondering if you could have handled it any different than Connor. I'm not sure I could have been any stronger than the boy.(less)
So far my favorite book in the series. Lindsay writes the perfect stories for me. Characters you grow to love and worry about, memorable villains, and...moreSo far my favorite book in the series. Lindsay writes the perfect stories for me. Characters you grow to love and worry about, memorable villains, and exciting drama and adventure.(less)
It's a different style of writing than the other books by SM Reine that I've read. I enjoyed the mythology very much and the story spun through memora...moreIt's a different style of writing than the other books by SM Reine that I've read. I enjoyed the mythology very much and the story spun through memorable characters without ever slowing down. I really had fun reading and would love to explore this strange world some more.(less)
An excellent research tool on emotions. Every writer should have this in their library. It maps out emotions like you would a book outline, making emo...moreAn excellent research tool on emotions. Every writer should have this in their library. It maps out emotions like you would a book outline, making emotion progressive like it should be and helping to make characters less psychotic and weird emotionally.(less)
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I started reading, and I was a little worried when the description of the protagonist came across a l...moreI wasn’t sure what to expect from this book when I started reading, and I was a little worried when the description of the protagonist came across a little cartoony to me. After reading a while, I became very interested in the little teenager. He had a lot of hope and dreams, but he was a bit on the unlucky side. He was too impulsive, as most teens are. This gave him plenty of room to grow, and he did. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Canada, where an unknown human called the Dream Eater turned the world upside down by bringing to life his own nightmares in some sort of cleansing. Weaver, the story’s hero, searches not only for a safe place to survive, but also to understand who and what he is. He has no real origin that he knows of and no family to turn to. His only allies are a motley crew of other survivors, some friendly, some not.
The characters are colorful and diverse, although a couple sisters are confusing to tell apart at times. That was the only confusion about characters I ran across. Their hair color was different but I confused their names several times. The world building was well done. The nightmares gave it a fantasy feel in a post-apocalyptic setting which seemed to blend perfectly natural. That is a testament to the author’s ability to create worlds. Nothing ever felt unnatural. The story flowed well through most of the book and the descriptions were well done without going over the top or too little.
The only real issue I had with many of the characters was the overflow of dialogue which constantly explained important issues. I always prefer watching characters learn about things as the action commences, but there were a couple scenes where characters just sat around and talked. The talking scenes were informative but slowed the drama down a little. There was also a lot of chatter during the action which reminded me of something like an anime film and about halfway through the book, that’s how I began to imagine the characters. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about the dialogue bothered me. Otherwise I would have given the book a five star rating. In the end, I would recommend this book to any fantasy lovers. It’s original, entertaining, and has a great ending that didn't disappoint.
The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I will be looking out for more novels in this series. (less)
This was a great read. If you read Head Hunters and loved the fast paced action, then temper your expectations for the same type of story. Damascus Ro...moreThis was a great read. If you read Head Hunters and loved the fast paced action, then temper your expectations for the same type of story. Damascus Road has plenty of action for the action lovers, but it goes far deeper than that. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book and was a little taken aback by the protagonist at first. He seemed to be just another drunken drifter, but after losing two people very close to him, a whole different side of him was revealed.
The character development in this book is phenomenal. The protagonist grows a lot as a man and as a human being. He even surprises me in the end. Never once does Charlie Cole forget in his story that family is family and sometimes family forgives family more than they do complete strangers, no matter what they’ve done. That said, the story slows in the middle, but I stayed interested and was sucked in completely once I discovered who the antagonist was. When the hero finally realizes what he needs to do, the story is a thrill ride all the way to the very satisfying end.
This book solidifies my belief that Charlie Cole is an awesome story teller, and I can’t wait to pick up his next book once it’s released.(less)
I truly loved the storytelling in this book. I knew something was crazy because of the opening of the book and the cover, but I really didn't know how...moreI truly loved the storytelling in this book. I knew something was crazy because of the opening of the book and the cover, but I really didn't know how far it was going to go. Lani Wendt Young did an amazing job at holding back the best for last and I was overjoyed at the powerful ending that not only stunned my, jerked at my emotions, but it made me all warm and fuzzy inside with the final showdown. I really wasn't expecting a knockdown battle at the end and I have to say it was really good. Something that my imagination conjured up images of that really got my adrenaline pumping. The very last scene confused me a little though. I think that was the point, but I don't want to give anything away. It left it open for a sequel. I will have to continue reading this series.(less)
I was stunned by the ending. Once again, Kendall delivered a riveting urban fantasy story with a big finish that left the future of Gavin and Zoe unce...moreI was stunned by the ending. Once again, Kendall delivered a riveting urban fantasy story with a big finish that left the future of Gavin and Zoe uncertain.
I'm loving the Earth Elementals and I sure hope there are more of them in the last book. I felt that Exhale was a bit slower than the previous book, but I figure that's because I'm not much of a romantic and that is what the major focus of this book was. The growing passion between Zoe and Gavin. I also learned a lot about whales in this book, which is a good thing since whale awareness is what all the sales proceeds are going towards for this trilogy.
The ending of this book had my mind reeling with all kinds of emotions. Seeing everything go wrong from Gavin's point of view was perfect. The villain in this series is a real piece of work. I finally understand what has driven her to her madness, but I still want her to die a slow painful death. When a reader feels that way, that's when you know you wrote an awesome villain. One that will not be forgotten for a long time.
Every scene in this book is written so richly that not only could I see everything in my head, I tasted it, smelt it and felt it. Even the steamy sex scenes. Very nice and nothing unrealistic either about those sexy moments.(less)
This was a pretty funny book. Very slapstick and silly. One thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't dive into this book thinking there will be any...moreThis was a pretty funny book. Very slapstick and silly. One thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't dive into this book thinking there will be any serious point in it at all. There isn't. It flows like a stage comedy with the same kind of humor and it works. There are a couple of moments that actually made me laugh out loud.
This was a little more over the top than Austin Powers and by the end of it I was thinking it was more like the Hot Shots level of humor. If that's your thing, then this might be something that entertains you.(less)
I might have enjoyed book 2 almost as much as Emperor's Edge, but I loved EE so much this one still hit me good with the strength of character develop...moreI might have enjoyed book 2 almost as much as Emperor's Edge, but I loved EE so much this one still hit me good with the strength of character development. Everyone grew as the story developed, even the unflappable assassin who seemed almost unfeeling in EE. We see more of his real self and the tension continues to mount between the members of the team even though their fondness for each other grows. It's amazing how well Lindsay Buroker weaves the tales around the characters and how they grow together and apart at the same time.
The plot of the story is interesting and gives more background into the world setting. The hate towards the expansionist Empire that most of the EE team are native to faces hatred from a formerly peaceful nation once conquered and run out of their homes and a powerful force within the Empire that wants to regain control of the throne. Without giving up too much, the story doesn't revolve around the politics at all, which is what I love. You see the political pulls and influences, but Buroker keeps the story focused on what is in front of the characters and keeps the story moving quickly without lulls of politics and debates. You just know where each character stands in the group as the story goes. Although a lot of mystery begins to swirl around one, but not the one that was mysterious from the start.
I loved this book. Not only was it a fun fast paced adventure, it had plenty of laughs, some tears and great ending; it was well editing and the writing flowed smoothly. A must read for anyone into steampunk/magic fantasy fans.(less)