Review: The Curse of Nefertiti

The Curse of Nefertiti

Charline Ratcliff 6467448

PDF Version

Summary:

Over three thousand years ago, all of Egypt lies in ruins. The country that had dazzled the world is now completely annihilated, and the Nile runs red with the blood of her people. Nefertiti’s spirit walks the land and looks at the utter devastation she has unwittingly allowed to transpire. In desperation she cries out to the Gods, and they take pity on her. They send her forward into the future, so she may return later to correct her mistakes. This is the story of Nefertiti, of the life she has lived here as Kayla, unaware of her true identity until finally reunited with the man who is the living reincarnation of her murdered husband, Akhenaten. She is faced with a difficult choice. Return to Egypt and save her country and its people or stay here with the man who holds her heart. And if she returns to Egypt, will she remember her life as Kayla, so she may be returned to it before her life becomes forfeit in the past? Charline Ratcliff’s tale is woven with likeable and believable characters, powerful visceral imagery, and a tapestry of combining old with new to create a masterful novel. Her debut novel is a stunning achievement that deftly envelops the reader.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. The Curse of Nefertiti incorporated all the elements of a good romance as well as the components of a fictional story. The main character, Kayla, embarks on a journey that she doesn’t quite understand, let alone know is occurring. Psychological elements are always appealing in a novel, and Ratcliff included some in the journey Kayla must take.  Before the age of 13, Kayla cannot remember anything. I love the use of ‘amnesia’ in novels to enhance the journey a character must take. In this case, Kayla does not know what or why she is doing anything, but an internal drive, as well as internal voices, are compelling her to do things.

Probably categorized as a paranormal romance, The Curse of Nefertiti also uses historical elements to enhance the story. The romance that occurs throughout the novel was extremely predictable. You know what was going to happen, but kind of enjoyed it anyway. Romance with strong passion is hard to hate. Kayla is also a character that is hard to hate. As the reader, you can relate to her on so many levels. She is a typical women in her early years. Working long hours with not much time for fun or a love life. Those of us who are also working similar hours relate. She has family troubles and romantic issues just like the rest of us, except we are not queens.

I usually complain about stories being too short, or wanting more. But in this case I wish there was less. I felt like the story was great at the start, got extremely boring in the middle, and the plot picked back up at the end. The middle was filled with too much love and romance. Kayla and Paulo’s relationship was understood to be something more from the beginning and i felt that it took up the majority of this 384 page book. The romance building was unnecessary and I found that it really took away from the amazing story line that actually was the focus of the plot.

Something unique about this story is that it is told in first person, from Kayla’s point of view. This really enhances the overall story by allowing us to not only be in her head, but experience the confusion and ‘voices’ inside her head. If this story was written in any other view, it would not have been as effective.

The Curse of Nefertiti was overall, a good book. It was interesting in the plot I you could get past the excessive amount of romance and was quite interesting. I believe it would be a great book for those who love paranormal romance, reincarnation or books infused with Egyptian history. Written for mature audiences.

 

Late Night Review: Monkey Talk

Monkey Talk monkey talk cover final

T. Lucas Earle

PDF Provided by Author

Summary:

Monkey Talk is loosely based on the Chinese myth, the Monkey King, a timeless story about who belongs, and who doesn’t. In a future in which Chimps can give lectures on cybernetics, Mr. Towry is a Chimp with an attitude. Unfortunately, the rules are still “No shirt, no shoes, no service.”

Review:

I know I shouldn’t have been caught off guard by the fact that the main character was a personified monkey, but I was. The title could have led to so many different scenarios, and I find that reading the summary ruins plots for me. So going in blind, the monkey main character was a shock, but a pleasant surprise at that.

The take on the United States, and specifically the Boston area, that T. Lucas Earle takes is entirely entertaining and comical. Not so say it is not true. I think the truth in it is the quality that I liked most. The Boston area is described as an area of judging people. I can hardly disagree with this. People in this area care more about what a speaker looks like and how they carry themselves than the content of what they are saying.

It is hard for my to grab the actual concept of Monkey Talk because there are so many meanings I can assume. The entire story may be Mr. Towry realizing his animal nature, given away by the last thing we read, the fact that the cell is not what smells, but himself.  But maybe it was meant to expose the similarities we have with monkeys, besides evolution, and show the audience that we are not above other animals.

Monkey Talk is an interesting short story that is thought provoking for any audience. I actually think that maybe this story wasn’t intended for scholastic purposes, but a class could benefit greatly from reading this story. It reminded be of ones I had read in high school and even in some college classes.

 

 

 

 

Review: Impostor

Impostor
Susanne Winnacker
NetGalley
 
Summary:
Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.
Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.
 
Review:
So I enjoyed this book. But I can’t say that I loved it. It was a well written book, but nothing stood out to make it a great or perfectly written book. It was entertaining enough, the concept and plot I found to be unique, even though others have said it copies other works. Obviously I have never read them. It was interesting to read about a shape shifter, in essence, who took the place of a young girl in order to solve a mystery. 
 
While this book was fantasy/paranormal, I enjoyed how it incorporated more of a mystery. It wasn’t just not knowing it was a full on mystery. Probably my biggest problem with the book was that it was short. The book itself was physically short, but never let that deter you away from a well written book. The plot was short, I felt like some paragraphs and ideas were just not finished. They were not elaborate on enough. I do want to add, random though here, I loved the twin concept. I think that is something that is just not done enough in books these days.
 
I know, this review is a sad heap of words, but I just can’t tempt myself to write more. This book was blah, meh, alrught. It was entertaining enough, but something was missing. It was almost missing more detail and explanation.
Sorry this review sucks. But you guys needed to know!

Review: The 13th Prophet

The 13th Prophet

T. Lucas Earle13th prophet final cover

PDF provided by author

★★★★

Summary:

In this entertaining short story, T. Lucas blends classic noir and dystopian sci-fi, exposing the strange underbelly where conformity, fashion, and religion collide.

Review:

I was actually extremely excited to be asked to review The 13th Prophet, even if it was outside of my usual reading comfort zone. I love branching out and I appreciate all types of works. Described as a science fiction/ noir genre (with a fashion sense), The 13th Prophet  was unlike anything I have ever read.

Being that this genre was completely new to me, I was excited to experience it and figure it out. I can honestly say that I loved this short story and the way this genre seems to operate. It was dark and mysterious with elements of a dystopian society. OH, and the humor. I cannot forget to highlight the sarcastic, dark humor throughout the story. But not just the story. Obviously T. Lucas Earle just has a sense of humor that is easy to relate to and captures readers, he also features this humor throughout his personal blog. My personal favorite was on his “about” page.

I don’t want to give too much away on the plot because it is a great, quick read that I recommend to all those out there, but the plot was so interesting. You basically get shoved head first into the story with no warning.  I usually do not like be catapulted into a story without any background information, but somehow, this one works.  I eat my words here when I said you can never know too much. The less is more approach works nicely here and figuring out what is going on is actually entertaining.

Based in the future, the main character, Mulligan Burke, a bad ass PI takes on a case in the world of fashion. But this world is not like the world we know today. It is overtaken in the need to be in the latest fashion and technology. It could even be interpreted as a foreshadowing of the direction our society is moving in. Mulligan is the only person who can see the people around them for who they are, copies, just the latest version of the newest personality software.

I loved the descriptions by Earle, one that stuck out in my mind particularly was “Now I’d look like that man if he were melting.” Does that not just give the best imagery ever? I can see an older man, with his wrinkles sagging off of his face. The imagery throughout The 13th Prophet is simply impressive and incorporates well with the conversational writing captures the readers attention and drags them into a plot.

I can’t say I am a fan of the ending, only because it ended right when I was getting completely engrossed within it. But sadly this happens with all great short stories. You want it to continue and be longer but in doing that, it takes away the short story affect. In truth though, I would never complain about reading more. The plot within The 13th  Prophet was unique and captivating, who wouldn’t want to read more?

||Goodreads||Amazon||

 

Review: Tattered Innocence

Tattered Innocence17653107

Ann Lee Miller

SmashWords

★★★★★

Summary:

A tale of passions indulged, denied, and ultimately forgive. On the verge of bagging the two things he wants most—a sailing charter business and marrying old money—Jake Murray’s fiancée/sole crew member dumps him. Salvation comes in the form of dyslexic, basketball toting Rachel Martin, the only one to apply for the first mate position he slapped on craigslist. On a dead run from an affair with a married man, Rachel’s salvation is shoving ocean between her and temptation.

Rapid fire dialogue and romantic tension sail Jake’s biker-chick of a boat through hurricanes, real and figurative. A cast of wannabe sailors, Rachel’s ex, Jake’s, a baby—go along for the ride.
The many-layered story weaves together disparate strands into a seamless cord. Mother and daughter look eerily alike—down to their lusts. Their symbiotic bond, forged in the blood of childbirth on the kitchen floor and cemented by their secrets, must be cracked open. A son must go home. Sin must be expunged. Tattered Innocence is for anyone who’s ever woken up sealed in a fifty-gallon drum of their guilt.

 

Review:

As a big fan of Ann Lee Miller’s books, I was excited to pick up another one. Tattered Innocence is unlike the other novels I have read by her in so many ways, but it still holds the core concepts that she stands for. I was slightly intimidated when first setting out to read because of the sailing terms glossary. It is extremely helpful, but it looks more haunting than it actually is.

Different from other book by Miller, Tattered Innocence focused on two characters instead of a group. I enjoyed this approach a little more because we got to see the characters more in depth and experience their emotions and thoughts on a different level. We see the journey that Rachel takes and the immense guilt that she carries as weighted baggage. Jake, also carrying bags of his own, travels on an emotional rollercoaster and eventually understands who he is meant to be with.

Tattered Innocence does have religious elements weaved throughout the story, but they are muted compared to other books in this series. Religion did not play as big of a part as it does in other characters’ lives. Rachel shows Jake that he needs to reencounter his religious spirit, but even with these elements the main focus of the story was the growing romance between the two main characters.

The dynamic of the families within the novel are contrasting, and it shows the different background that Rachel and Jake grew up within, as well as showing why they mix so perfectly. I completely fell in love with Jake’s family. Call me crazy, but I want to start giving out Christmas gifts like his family. It is hard to make me cry during a book, and even harder to make me laugh. Written words don’t usually evoke laughter even when I can see the humor, but I was laughing so hard throughout the time they spent with Jake’s family.

I loved this book, there were so many surprises and twists and turns that the readers does not expect. I love expecting one thing and then something else happens. If you are reading The New Smyrna Beach series, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that some other characters snuck their way into this novel as well. As usual, this was a great book written by Ann.

Review: The One (The Selection Series)

The One (The Selection Series)15844362

Kiera Cass

Kindle Edition

★★★★★!!!!!

Summary: 

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen–and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

Review:

What is it about her writing? The Selection series, and The One in particular, evoke so many of my emotions at one time. I think I can agree with previous reviews on this series that I wrote in the past, I was a ball of anxiety throughout the entire novel. I hate those feelings, but I actually love it.

Waiting for The One to be released was a painful game, but I was so excited when it was released and immediately put it on my to read list. Finally, I had gotten to it and read this book in one sitting. AKA I did not sleep last night because I was so engrossed with Kiera Cass’s novel.

First of all, I want to address the cover. Is that even a real dress? Because I want to be married in it. I don’t think I have ever loved  a cover as much as the book except for this one. It truly captures the entire novel in one picture. I am just guessing here, but this cover might sell the entire series to a reader browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

Reading through all the reviews on goodreads, I love how everyone agrees that there really aren’t words to describe your feeling after reading this book, just gifs. While I am not going to include any in my review, I agree with all of them. You feel out of breath, anxious, happy, sad, annoyed and pretty much every other emotion out there.

I need to take a short time to talk about the overall theme of this book and series. It is literally, fairy tale meets the bachelor meets dystopian. Seriously? Could that get any better? Cass wraps up basically everything girls love and shoved it into one novel.

Leading away from my raw emotions and going to a more critical view, I still love The One. It was not only beautifully written but also well thought out. America has always been a favorite character of mine, and she blossomed in this novel. Before, we only got a hint of her true character, but now we can really see the beautiful girl she is.

Truthfully, I have always been team Maxon, but come on he is probably the most annoying character I have ever liked. I understand the effect of writing him this way, but he exasperated me. He was always so difficult and willing but unable to love America in the way she wanted. Basically, a common problem in the real world too. I just wanted to shake him and tell him he was being an idiot, also common.

How can I even begin to explain this book? Simply, read it. You will not be disappointed and now that all three books are released. There is no wait, just read.

 

 

 

Review: The Divine Apprentice

The Divine Apprentice

Allen J Johnston, Amber k Johnston19506076

Kindle Version

★★★★★

Summary: Kade looks up at his executioner with no fear or hate, watching . . .waiting. At six months old, he could hardly do much more as his grandfather agonizes over the task of taking the life of his only grandson. Born with the rare ability to control the Divine, Kade has the potential to become one of the most powerful Chosen to ever exist. Taken from his parents, at the age of ten, by his grandfather, a Master Chosen, Kade is taught to harness the power of the Divine for good. After a decade of training, Kade learns the harsh reality of the dangerous world he is about to be thrust into, as his Master is brutally murdered right before his eyes. Kade soon realizes he is next. With the help of a dragon, a species thought to have been a myth, and a feisty Essence Guardian, Kade must discover who – or what – is trying to eradicate his kind, before the Chosen are brought to extinction.

Review: Don’t you just love those books that leave you wanting more? I know I do and The Divine Apprentice by Allen J Johnston certainly left me wanting more. This book was entirely unique from any other book I have ever read. The concept of having these Divine Powers was an idea that I had never read about before but enjoyed thoroughly.A busy few weeks kept me from finishing the book in the time I wanted to, but I was always thinking about it, wondering what would come next. I am happy to say I finally had time to finish The Divine Apprentice and could not be happier with it.

Johnston’s style of writing was captivating to say the least.  While reading it is clear that each word is chosen with great care. The way in which Johnston writes truly captivates a reader, as if the plot was not enough to keep the readers attention.

The characters were simply wonderful. Kade, the main character who controls the Divine, has a personality that makes you want to be his friend. He is fierce and powerful, but at the same time sweet and caring. This is really demonstrated when Kade happens upon a friend, the Essence Guardian.  Another character that can hardly be overlooked is Kade’s dragon. Also a fierce and fearless character, Kade’s dragon is his protector and friend. I loved seeing the two interact and the dynamic between them. My only question throughout the book, might be something that I missed, but why was the dragon always running when he could fly?

I really just loved this book. The uniqueness of the plot and the stylistic writing by the author drew me in and I am captivating. I am so excited to read the next in the series, which I already have waiting next to my bed.