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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Club Nexus by E.J. Stevens - 4.5/5

Review of Club Nexus by E. J. Stevens Club Nexus is a paranormal fantasy novella set in the world of Ivy Granger. It contains four shorter works, all set at the same time and the same place but with different points of view. I purchased this story based on my previous experience with E.J. Stevens’ work, and I was not disappointed.

I give this book a 4.5/5. Here is my breakdown:

Characters: 5/5. As always, Stevens excels in making her characters believable and interesting. Each of the four characters featured (an Unseelie fae, a vampire, Forneus the demon, and Jinx, Ivy’s partner) is rich and involved, and their different takes on the same scenario are amazing. Thank you! 

Plot/Storyline: 4.5/5. I expect that this plot will become important through the development of Stevens’ next novel, Burning Bright. While the novella as a whole seems to mostly be an interesting diversion, a natural follow-up to the events of Ghost Light, the impact on Jinx and Forneus will, I imagine, have long-reaching consequences. My slight ding here is simply because, for the first time ever, I’m angry at Ivy. 

Flow: 4.5/5. The story was compelling and pulled me forward – even the POV changes are done effectively and well. Stevens is a master at balancing action and development, and Club Nexus, despite its brevity, showcases this talent to the fullest.

Spelling/Grammar: 5/5. I noticed no spelling or grammar mistakes. While this could be because Stevens always writes in such a way that I lose track of what I’m doing and then the story is over. <.< >.>

Summary: 4.5/5. This is an excellent set of stories and a great teaser for Burning Bright. E.J. Stevens excels, as always, and her pen (or word processor) has revealed secrets from both Jinx and Forneus that would have been missed if we were only looking through Ivy’s eyes. I am thrilled with my purchase and will buy Burning Bright as soon as it’s released. Thanks again!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Light Who Shines - 3.75/5

Review of The Light Who Shines by Lilo Abernathy

The Light Who Shines is a paranormal fantasy/romance story. I was given a free copy of this novel for a review. As always, the review is honest and reflects my true opinions of the work.

I give this book a 3.75/5. Here is my breakdown:

Characters: 5/5. This is where Lilo’s work really shines. She has created a rich, enveloping world full of characters that are real people. Their conversations are interesting, their motives are understandable, clear, and believable. The antagonist’s plans are excellent executed. Thank you for introducing me to Bluebell and Jack and Varg!

Plot/Storyline: 4/5. The plot was solid throughout, with interesting reveals and hidden secrets (to be given in the next book, I hope!) There were also many small side-plots, serving to further entrench the reader in the verisimilitude of Bluebell’s world. This book feels like a set-up novel, in that so many loose threads are waiting to be picked up.

Flow: 3/5. The story was compelling and pulled me forward – especially the last portion. My issues with the flow are twofold: one, the book is written in 1st person present tense, which is a style that I normally do not enjoy very much (the fact that I did enjoy this book is a testament to Lilo’s fascinating world!). Two: the dialogue felt strange and stilted at times – I especially noticed this with Bluebell, as she would, on occasion, speak like she had spent time rehearsing what she was going to say, even in the midst of distress and anger.

Spelling/Grammar: 4/5.  I noticed a few spelling mistakes, punctuation errors. Not many. They did not, in any way, disturb my enjoyment of the work.

Summary: 3.75/5. This is a solid work, enjoyable, entertaining, and compelling. With another round of edits (and consider changing the P.O.V. and tense!), this could move from “good” to “great.” Looking forward to the next installment!
Jason P. Crawford
Chains of Prophecy (Samuel Buckland Chronicles)