Oh, Clayton, you genius you ;)! So, please, nobody judge this book in contrast to how long this took me to read and review! 2020 has been an absoluteOh, Clayton, you genius you ;)! So, please, nobody judge this book in contrast to how long this took me to read and review! 2020 has been an absolute chicken coop floor, if you catch my drift-both for the world and me personally. Onto the review!
Loved this book. So. MUCH! Beautiful end that brought forth the struggles of the characters, discovering truths and strengths, and the ending was perfect. The progression was easy to follow, an excellent pace mixed with action and insight, and I've so desired finishing this book to see its fruition, and not disappointed. Thank you, C.E. Clayton, for writing such a Wonderful series! I cannot praise you enough in your ability to weave this wonderful story, and will share it every chance I get. The ability to see your writing flourish and your growth as a writer has been awe-inspiring to say the least, and these characters have left me feeling happy-something that's been lacking lately....more
Where do I even begin? Im such a fan of C. E. Claytons works at this point, its hard to not gush about Book V, The Spark of Divinity, in The MonsterWhere do I even begin? I’m such a fan of C. E. Clayton’s works at this point, it’s hard to not gush about Book V, The Spark of Divinity, in The Monster of Selkirk series! Enthralled, enamored, so Much Action! It is a swift ride with so many elements moving within I’m honestly floored. If I can produce something even Half as good as what Clayton has given in this series, I could die a happy writer! There is love and loss, scores old and new to be settled, and in interesting turn that is unexpected. I love how the characters each have their different levels of understanding, individual roles, yet each knows they need one another without a doubt. It’s a bond of love and family beyond that of blood ties, all while incorporating political games that painfully believable. Excellent transition of chapters, and just the right amount of happiness to keep the reader readily engaged.
Let me identify first, I graciously received a copy of the book from the author. I have read the predecessors to this book, and will be reading itsLet me identify first, I graciously received a copy of the book from the author. I have read the predecessors to this book, and will be reading its successors! If you haven't read the first two in this series, DO! It's no secret I am in love with C.E. Clayton's writing, and will always be a fan of her ever growing skill as an incredibly talented author <3!
Now, onto the review :). This book was such a contrast to the first two it took me by surprise! My favorite experience as a reader is in seeing how authors blossom as they continue to progress in their craft, and Clayton has made impressive progress. The detail that was presented was well balanced with the intrigue and action, introducing new characters that you could completely understand the range of emotions that followed in their wake. We also get to revisit previous characters, which I will say no more on! Throughout this book we get to experience the blossoming relationship between Tallis and Tomas, and I love and appreciate just how well paced things are for the two. Their relationship is not like what is seen in today's society, but something that should be more aspired to, and that made me love their situation and characters all the more.
Through the discoveries that both Tallis and Tomas experience you are introduced to a land that is steampunk, which I adored. Personally, I have always been fascinated with it, and now I got to experience a taste of it in The Machines of Theda! I read the entire last half last night, foregoing several hours of sleep-that's how enthralled I was with the book to see where it went and how it ended, and am more than eager to start book IV! For as large of novel as this is, it went quickly, in my opinion. The last half is especially compelling, but I don't want to ruin this for anyone! Just know our Tally is as brave, and sometimes reckless, as ever, but that's what makes her so endearing and human.
Wonderful job, Mrs. Clayton! Can't wait to read the rest of your works!...more
What a rush! This was a joy to read, rough at times and in various places. Is it perfectly historically correct? No, and thats fine by me! Its a workWhat a rush! This was a joy to read, rough at times and in various places. Is it perfectly historically correct? No, and that’s fine by me! It’s a work of fiction worked around facts for the given time, and a roller coaster of a ride! More to come....more
I loved Rose Red when it came out, and have aimed to read this book for so long! I honestly really loved reading through this book, burned through itI loved Rose Red when it came out, and have aimed to read this book for so long! I honestly really loved reading through this book, burned through it in 3 days. Quick paced and detailed enough to depict the characters and tie you to their stories, very much styled as a diary-believable. I was a bit remiss to not have more paranormal details provided, which felt a bit lazy, but it gave background to the family. I had hoped for answers on what truly made Rose Red-hints but nothing confirmed or substantial. ...more
I Love this book. This was one handed down from my grandmother to my mother, my mother to me. It's a quick read, a story of time travel and mistakenI Love this book. This was one handed down from my grandmother to my mother, my mother to me. It's a quick read, a story of time travel and mistaken identity. Lee is on her way to a party, dressed and ready to impress after not having seen many of her friends for years. However, when she stops her cab and decides to surprise everyone by walking up, unannounced, her walk through the woods leads to an encounter with a mysterious fog that propels her backwards in time, to a past that will forever change her future. The story follows Lee as she is seemingly abducted, taken "home" to a man claiming to be her husband and who calls her by another name, to discover the intricate and complicated relationship that was tarnished by her doppelganger. All Lee wants is to return home to her own time, but when constantly under lock and key how can she make her way back to her rightful place in time? This was a wonderful story of compassion, love, and hope. The descriptions are beautiful, depicting the time and place perfectly. The characters are believable and contain their complexities, certainly to be appreciated individually....more
Michael Chrobak has a way with bringing you, the reader, to finding the beauty and wonders of faith. I find the topics he takes head-on to beMichael Chrobak has a way with bringing you, the reader, to finding the beauty and wonders of faith. I find the topics he takes head-on to be prevalent, no matter your age, though he does utilize his written works to reach the youth, especially. That being said, I’m a mid-30’s woman, and I truly appreciate what he’s been building through these books, and look forward to what’s to come!
Minor spoilers ahead!
Let’s start with the first half of this book: it’s a look into the Guardians, but particularly Thomas’ sister Julianna. The insight to the different Guardians was something I really enjoyed, and you get to find how all the stories begin to tie together, forming the intricate pattern that is the Guardian’s story. I did have some points that I have mentioned in previous reviews, where it seemed to be a bit disconnected to how youth acts and behaves in today’s society, but I will say when you understand the Guardian’s, you understand why they are the chosen ones. Still, there are pieces that were a little hard to digest. At one point there is a party for a friend who has reached “young lady” status, and at her birthday party, the girls are said to be wearing 4-INCH HEELS! I was like-wait, what?! At the young, fresh age these girls are at not ever would you see them wearing 4-inch heels. As a grown woman, even in my 20’s, that was a rare occasion, and only because I’m so short and my dresses hid those the whole five times I wore them. This is not a norm for any girl in their early teen years, let alone finding heels that high in the sizes they should be wearing in general would be almost impossible. There were some details that were obviously avoided just for the fact it made the scenes easier, and allowed the story to flow in the required direction-such as a seemingly major lack of adult supervision/involvement. However, those points aside, I loved the first half’s insight that was otherwise missing. Your heart will hurt, hope will rise, and it all leads well into the second half of the book, which picks up where the second book left off.
The second half of this book: it was a lot of fun. Action packed, but also pulled a little at the heartstrings. You will feel the confliction of the characters as they happen, and understand why these things are happening. Why the struggle is real, and that as we are as people without any spiritually powers/gifts would see both sides of said struggle. While coming out of one spiritually realm, and visiting another, and then another, it’s intriguing to get the provided insight to the individuals. I wonder if the next book(s) will delve any further into all the other Guardian’s realms! This book, too, is left on a cliff hanger, even more exciting than the last, but I definitely approved if this one more than the last! Not a complaint against the last, just a matter of what you’ll be lead up to, and wondering how it will all come together. Now, minor things I found-more grammatical errors than expected was an issue for me (I’m a grammar freak, and this happens, falls back on the editor and proof reading in my eyes *shrug*). Some of the speech patterns overlapped with multiple characters, but that didn’t bother me too much, as I think it is found easily that a certain group, or coupling, of people will have a habit of duplicating speech patterns/phrases. However, it was repetitive at times, and still something that should be watched a little more carefully-I will say it’s difficult when trying to manage a Multitude of character’s as what’s being done here, so I feel it was still a valiant effort applied, and it did not detract from my joy of reading!
Kudos to Mr. Chrobak for a fantastic job! I can’t wait for the next book to come!...more
Be prepared, this is a Lengthy review! Appreciation: The Paladin of Panama has such promise, though I hoped for more action! It is good in seeing theBe prepared, this is a Lengthy review! Appreciation: The Paladin of Panama has such promise, though I hoped for more action! It is good in seeing the different abilities coming to life in the characters, I can’t wait to meet the rest, and I enjoyed the educational side of what the church and what the associated community can bring. This book is overflowing with good intentions and messages, one’s many of the youth today could benefit from. I would say this series would be particularly good for those gearing up to head to the priesthood, or nunnery, as it touches on many of the struggles and ways to get past those issues. Michael Chrobak has done a wonderful job of incorporating fantastical elements without them being deemed “magical”, rather they are God given gifts and abilities, and not to be confused with any other power. I also have to give praise to making sure that all the characters have strengths and weaknesses, each their own struggles. These individuals, for the most part, are not all weak with only one strong, but lift each other up in various ways. Now, that has a flip side (see below).
Concerns: I did find some pieces to be more “preachy” in a way that was telling rather than showing, where the author’s intention came out more bluntly than I think intended. Almost a bit like having a father telling their child what they will experience in detail, little lessons they will learn as they go rather than letting them learn and experience firsthand. Which, for me, took some of the sizzle out of the book, some of the mystery, and rather dragged along a few pieces. There were stereotypes cast that I felt were trite, utilized to reinforce the religious and moral ideals, but I felt that a disservice. There were a few places I found the descriptions of the characters (all young, mind you) to be condescending, which shocked me a bit. It was a little bitter, and that pushed me away as a reader. Beyond that, I found pretty much all the female characters to be pretty much one dimensional, with defining characteristics only coming to light at the end of the book. I stand by that Thomas is written to be far too wise beyond his years, and while I expect the main character to have more strength than the others, I found Thomas, and the side characters, to be either written beyond their years, or at times painfully immature.
Getting Personal: I found the book slow for the first three quarters, and it didn’t “pick up” until the last quarter, making it a difficult read overall for me. It was like a first book, an introductory, which in some ways it is-meeting more characters, learning abilities, etc., but I felt there were pieces of detail/description that lent nothing to the story. I know I have had a bad habit of getting caught up in describing too many details, and that's what this felt like. Additionally, having read and reviewed the first I will reiterate here: having been raised Catholic, I have personal beliefs that strike deep within me, things I do not agree with the church on. So deep are my beliefs that I have walked away from the Catholic Church, as much as there are plenty of things I love and appreciate, I completely disagree with them on others. These books look to reinforce some of those those beliefs I disagree with, so it was more a struggle for me than I would have liked. That’s not to be confused, I’m not calling it bad – quite the opposite, the passion that this is written with, the firm belief and follow through is impressive and not to be dismissed. It just did not inspire me, personally, to love this book entirely.
Conclusion: I will read the next book in this series, this one ended on such a cliff hanger it was almost insulting! Michael, how could you leave me hangin’ like that, man?! Teasing aside, the last quarter is the best of this book, and so very well written out! I Loved it for that especially, but can't say anything so as not to ruin it for other readers! This rating was more like 3.5/3.75, but the ending helped close that gap to a 4. ...more