What a wonderful breath of fresh air from the author of the Super Spies! I’ve read other books of Lisa Orchard’s, so I feel confident in saying this iWhat a wonderful breath of fresh air from the author of the Super Spies! I’ve read other books of Lisa Orchard’s, so I feel confident in saying this is by far the best piece of writing I’ve read from her. The quality and strength of this new voice is such a great leap forward, I forgot all about the author and concentrated solely on the story. This is talent. This is an author who has fallen into the right groove.
Gideon Lee is a mystery, just like other stories by this author, and in this this first book of the series we don’t figure out the puzzle, not entirely. Lark, the protagonist, is a character with whom I could identify easily, someone who felt every knock of her hard life, someone whose existence could be real. She has been beautifully portrayed. Lark’s struggle to understand the world around her, her anger at the realities of life, and general treatment of teenage angst are done with a light hand, intuitive appreciation, and high mastery of the writing craft. To me, Lisa Orchard has arrived.
Just like other commenters, I did find the ending of this installment a little abrupt, but I don’t mind it, somehow. I do feel the hope that’s filling Lark’s heart fill mine too. I can wait – just about – for the next one in the series.
So difficult to find, these days, a no-nonsense book for teens, about teens, written in their language, and one that doesn’t sugar-coat the more offensive aspects of life. There’s no profanity in these pages, and yet the message is clear-cut and positive. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for teens and those who love them. Unquestionably, a five-star performance....more
Kali is a relentless, fast-paced, post-apocalyptic thriller. Dark and full of the stuff of your worst nightmares, it grabs you from page one and keepsKali is a relentless, fast-paced, post-apocalyptic thriller. Dark and full of the stuff of your worst nightmares, it grabs you from page one and keeps pulling you in. You have a suicidal girl who grows up through the most horrendous experiences, while the world burns and mutant monsters mingle with humans. But out of the deepest despair heroes are born. The lost become the saviors and the low-lives become leaders. There is enough food for thought in this book to keep you going for a long time.
Well deserving of five stars, this is a novel I wholeheartedly recommend, even if you haven't considered this genre before. Yes, it is dark, but it's human and full of raw emotion. I've loved my journey through its pages....more
Enchanting. That’s the word I would use to quickly describe this book. But I want to tell you more. I don’t read fantasy, usually, and I don’t watch mEnchanting. That’s the word I would use to quickly describe this book. But I want to tell you more. I don’t read fantasy, usually, and I don’t watch movies. This story, however, felt so real, and so…possible, that I couldn’t put it down.
The characters draw you in on page one, and they don’t put you down until you’ve been through the wringer alongside them. You laugh, you cry, you fight monsters and your own terrors as you progress through the book.
A simple plot develops into a multitude of facets, and I found that, reading between the lines, this fantastic turn of events mirrors our current reality, in many ways.
The dialogues are beautiful and full of humor, the descriptions just right for giving you the feel of the place or creature, and the action is non-stop. There is so much life, so much authenticity in this novel, it is a pleasure to read.
If you’re a fan of fantasy worlds full of fantastic creatures – such as trolls, goblins, elves and dragons, this is the book for you. Beautiful smooth writing, delivered with confidence, and a cracking good story suitable for all ages. There’s nothing I could find to fault this book. Five shiny, well-deserved stars....more
Half-mystery, half-romance, The Last Dig was an enjoyable read delivered in a somewhat dry and unemotional way. A good plot which took the action steaHalf-mystery, half-romance, The Last Dig was an enjoyable read delivered in a somewhat dry and unemotional way. A good plot which took the action steadily forward, a couple of decent protagonists, and well-timed tension are the redeemable points. Also, police procedures and related scenes seemed knowledgeable and well-documented. All in all, this was a book I enjoyed. If you love mystery with a touch of revenge, you’ll appreciate The Last Dig too....more
This is not the first Charlotte Howard book I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. Her writing has seasoned and matured to the point of very nThis is not the first Charlotte Howard book I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. Her writing has seasoned and matured to the point of very near perfection. The Black Door kept me engrossed from the beginning till the very end. I snacked on unhealthy foods while I was reading, because I simply could not bring myself to leave the story for as long as it took to make a sandwich. Oh, Ms. Howard, you are a wicked writer, and I love your books.
One thing that sets the author’s voice apart is the depth of her observations, the way she bares all, the lack of censorship. There is no way you could be ignoring her characters, because not only do you get to know them, you become them as they struggle to make it through life’s sneaky and often overwhelming challenges.
Everything about this novel is original. Don’t even think you can guess what’s through that keyhole. I will not give the plot away, not one bit, because I could never do it justice. There are so many aspects of this story that rang true with me, so many instances of ‘phew, I had a lucky escape when I was in her shoes’, and still, there was enough humour to lighten the mood and make it all a beautiful experience. “Adventurers Only,” says the cover. I took the leap of faith, and loved my journey. What are you waiting for?...more
Oh, wow! Okay, let me explain that. I am in awe at this author’s writing style. So free, so uninhibited, so original, yet getting the point across so pOh, wow! Okay, let me explain that. I am in awe at this author’s writing style. So free, so uninhibited, so original, yet getting the point across so perfectly. Take this description of a person, for example: this guy had “the body of a man who’d beat back age with hard work and lost.” This one sentence tells you a whole back story. The whole novel is written like this. It’s not a quick book to read, and at times not an easy read either, but it is worth it. There is enough darkness for a whole country’s worth of brooding adolescents and enough questions to keep you up at night. I, for one, loved this book. Five shiny gold stars from me. Looking forward to the next in the series....more
I love reading books based on actual fact, and Tiara is probably the best I’ve read so far. Based loosely on the “Troubles” and the political storm beI love reading books based on actual fact, and Tiara is probably the best I’ve read so far. Based loosely on the “Troubles” and the political storm between Northern Ireland and Britain, though still fiction, this story is so near the knuckle, it is impossible not to do the occasional double take.
Names have been changed, but there’s no doubting the main players, Princess Jennifer of Edinburgh especially. It takes some guts to be so accurate when relaying the setting and intrigue, and I wondered more than once where did the author manage to find all the details. Whatever the answer, it is a brilliant account of those events and the many players involved in the power games, even those who didn’t become clear until months or years later.
While crafted as a thriller, John R Dizon tempered the fast pace and tension with genuine Irish humor and a quirky dry wit, making the whole package a much more enjoyable read than it could have been. Beautifully written, this is prose at its best, and you can be assured of not one dull or tedious moment. The characters feel real, because they have been based on real people. The storyline is flowing, because it is well thought-out, and the plot is suspenseful and brilliantly paced. For a historical-political thriller, it doesn’t get any better. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Five shiny stars from me....more
A thinking person’s political parable – short and chilling – showing all-too-clearly the hazards of following political dogma without giving it even tA thinking person’s political parable – short and chilling – showing all-too-clearly the hazards of following political dogma without giving it even the most cursory discerning, intelligent thought.
Very well-written, though too short for me. I would have liked to have seen this story more developed. Perhaps the author may have plans to build on this idea – it certainly has merit, in my view. In this day and age, following doctrines sheep-like is an extravagance humanity simply can’t afford anymore.
Not a bad paranormal read, though very, very short. This was obviously not the first book in the series. The story starts abruptly with a major crisis,Not a bad paranormal read, though very, very short. This was obviously not the first book in the series. The story starts abruptly with a major crisis, which forced me to make assumptions without knowing why some characters reacted the way they did. As I read on, I discovered that overreaction was a running theme. Between the frantic pace, underdeveloped plot points, unrealistic reactions and lax editing (just looking at the title hurts), I felt a little cheated out of what could have been a good book. I can see the author has talent, and the plot is original and full of potential, but that is all I can say in favor of this episodic novella. I give it 4 stars for the entertainment value....more
The survivors are safe, but only within the walls. This nugget of an idea has formed the basis of many sci-fi, faWhat an honest-to-God beautiful read!
The survivors are safe, but only within the walls. This nugget of an idea has formed the basis of many sci-fi, fantasy, or post-apocalyptic novels, but I can honestly say I have never enjoyed the way this concept was treated more than in this book.
What do you do when the trusted elders who are there to guide you turn out to be your guards? When you discovered you’re not merely being protected, but held prisoner?
This is a beautifully written novel, original, and a very enjoyable read. I loved the narrator’s voice – that of Corinne, a young girl who notices far more than she is expected to, and really far more than it’s good for her. The familiarity and ease of address certainly counts for half the fun because, let’s face it, which young girl’s thoughts are straight-flowing and completely logical? But the other half – the quest, the other characters, the plot twists – all blended superbly well to make a very satisfying read.
Absolutely, truly, hugely loved this book. The five stars I award it are fully deserved. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel to anyone, any age. It will bring you hours of fun and enjoyment. I’m certainly glad I found a new author voice to follow. Well done, Lisa M. Green....more
A novel for young audiences, this was a surprisingly entertaining read, considering I am well past that age.
Refreshingly original and recounted with aA novel for young audiences, this was a surprisingly entertaining read, considering I am well past that age.
Refreshingly original and recounted with a good dose of wit and humor, the adventures these five youngsters were drawn into are full of heart and useful life lessons
The issues of friendship and trust are at its core, resourcefulness and confidence in one’s abilities, as well as social interactions – all these were well observed and used throughout the book in a down-to-earth manner sure to appeal to today’s young readership.
A smooth writing style did justice to all descriptions, but for me, the characters really stood out. Genuine, normal kids who had incredible powers thrust upon them. It was the way they dealt with this, the way they saw it – blessing or curse – the emotion, and the way they came together as a team to conquer evil, that made me really enjoy this book.
Full of action, a rollercoaster of adventure and fun, the Circle of Five fully deserves its shiny five stars. I wholeheartedly recommend it....more
Another razor-sharp, super-intuitive read from this amazing author. Secrets Room is every person’s worst nightmare, horror like you’ve never read befoAnother razor-sharp, super-intuitive read from this amazing author. Secrets Room is every person’s worst nightmare, horror like you’ve never read before. Whatever unresolved issues you may have in your life, fix them, before it’s too late. Because, once in the room, it’ll be almost impossible to face your fears whilst fighting the demons.
If you want dark, you’ll get dark. If you want shocking, you’ll get that, too. If you want incredible insight into human nature, you can do no better than read Kim Faulks’ books. I consider myself an avid reader, averaging several titles a week, and I can honestly say I haven’t read a more untamed, free writing style in many a year.
I read this book as an ARC, and after all this time, it’s still vivid and fresh in my mind. I still have chills when I think of Morgan observing the strangers she’s locked in with, all of which have touched hers or each other’s lives in subtle but very real ways.
The characters are something else! Who would have thought there was so much sadness behind rich-girl Rachel, so much disturbed, unprincipled and misplaced loyalty behind Coulton. Carmen, Dee, Glib – all these characters are so real, so troubled and so afraid, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you are not them.
The ending is a surprise, and it fits the horror theme of the story perfectly. Nail-biting and impossible to tear your eyes away from the page (and for those of us who are born softies, there is an alternative ending, too). I kept wishing for Slade and Morgan’s love to be given another chance. In a way, they get that. In many others, everyone gets what they deserve.
A dark, gritty, strikingly visual read with no sugar coating, Secrets Room is a book that deserves more than the five stars I can give it.
For the second time, the only time this has happened so far, Kim Faulks receives the Life Changing Read Award from me.
This book is a K.S. Haigwood classic! Good Side of Sin is the third book in the Save My Soul series and and absolute whirlwind of romance, action andThis book is a K.S. Haigwood classic! Good Side of Sin is the third book in the Save My Soul series and and absolute whirlwind of romance, action and adventure.
This installment of the story follows the adventures of Josselyn as she completes her Line of Defense Academy training and is sent out in the field to bring an undesirable situation under control. The deal with Lucifer is not as good as it seems, and this time he has solid plans to take over Heaven and Earth. His half-souled demons are wreaking havoc on Earth and the angels have been struck by common human afflictions. Should they be even able to lie? Should they want to?
As with the other books in the series, what gives life to all the action are the incredibly well-developed characters. They don’t feel made-up, but real, like normal people, who feel, think, love the same way any of us would.
There is one tiny surprise towards the end of the book, a little link that connects two of Haigwood’s series – I won’t tell you what it is; you’ll have to read it in order to find out. As its is, it’s perfectly done, and blends the two thus far-separate stories together smoothly.
K.S. Haigwood takes the simple concept of a battle between good and evil and turns it on its head. This riveting read is a rollercoaster of emotion, some of the best writing this author has ever produced. Inspired and original, and gripping till the very end, this is not the kind of read you can come back to later. You’ll want to read it in one go. Genius on the page. I loved it. Five sweet gorgeous stars for Good Side of Sin from me....more