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Monday, January 12, 2015

Famine by Monica Enderle Pierce: 4.75/5

Today, I am reviewing the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy story Famine by Monica Enderle Pierce. The first in the Apocalyptics series, this is a story in the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been released from their imprisonment in the Outer Darkness, and so God has sent three soldiers to retrieve them – the Catcher, who will consign their souls back into the Darkness; the Guardian, who is to guard the Catcher; and the Beacon, who guides the Catcher in the journey. Bartholomew is the nascent Guardian who must fight off Famine and find the next vessel for the Catcher.
He’s been looking for fifteen centuries.

I give this book a 4.75/5. Here is my breakdown.

Characters: 5/5. Everything about these people was perfectly spun. No extraneous characters existed, and I found myself thrilling to the development of each. The book takes place over the span of about a decade, and each individual grows and changes throughout the story.

Plot/Storyline: 5/5. Absolutely outstanding! I was immediately grabbed by the story, and it held my attention till the end. It was unpredictable and compelling, with a large amount of suspense and thrill mixed in to the character development. I enjoyed the hell out of this book.
Flow: 5/5. Wonderful and clean. Onward and forward, with the perfect blend of description and dialogue and action. I was never bored, always wondering what was coming next. Well done, Monica!.
Spelling/Grammar: 4/5. A solid, well-edited work. A few typos were noticed (homophones being the largest offender) but in no way detracted from the story.

Overall: 4.75/5. Why did I put this off for so long? I’ve had this book on my reading list since May, yet other things seemed to take precedence every time I thought about it. I finished it in a few hours of reading, and I’m chomping at the bit for the next in the Apocalyptics series!

You can pick up your own copy at Amazon at the link below. Happy reading!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Veiled by Jennifer Osborn - an amazing story marred by poor proofreading

Today I’m reviewing the first book in the Shilund Saga, The Veiled – Expanded Edition by Jennifer Osborn. It’s an urban fantasy with a strong romantic subplot involving a species of wolf-humanoids called the Shilund. Although interaction with humanity is forbidden, one of them bucks the rules she was born into and takes in a man who is seriously injured.

I give this book a 3.0/5. Here is my breakdown.

Characters: 4/5. I enjoyed the characters in this story very much. The late reveal of one of them was a complete surprise yet made total sense, and the interaction between the two main protagonists was realistic and fun. I didn’t understand the main villain much; he seemed a little cliché and stereotyped, but otherwise Osborn did a great job making interesting people.

Plot/Storyline: 4.5/5. This was a real strength of this novel. I really enjoyed the plot twists and the development of the world of the Shilund. Coupled with the strong characters, this made the book a very enjoyable read. I don’t want to give the story away, but I especially liked the romantic subplot (what can I say, I’m a sucker for romantic subplots) and the development of the Shilund tribal structure.

Flow: 4/5. Another high point. I was very pleased by the pacing and the speed the story pulled me through the book. Pages turned at a rapid pace with nary a boring moment. Well done!

Grammar/Spelling: 2/5. Ah. This was unfortunate. This is an example of a novel that is badly in need of another proofreader. There are misspelled words, misused words, missing commas and punctuation errors in many places. Often, I’ll say here “but it didn’t detract from the story,” but it did.

Overall: 3.0/5. Osborn has created a wonderful story and I look forward to the sequel. Please, bring this book in for another edit and make it into the high-level offering that your readers and your writing talents deserve!