Saturday, April 27, 2013

Of Kings & Queens is Free Today!

Hey Everyone,

I am posting this a bit late, but Of Kings & Queens is free today on Amazon. You can buy it here. 

You can read my review of the novelette, by Suneeta Misra, here. 



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: A Princess of Fae by Bob Craton

Hello Readers,

I have not posted a book review in a few weeks, so without further ado, here we go :)

I just finished A Princess of Fae by Bob Craton, a fairy-tale parody about a Faerie princess on a quest, accompanied by a colorful cast of supporting characters, including a wizard, a thief, and an ogre. I enjoyed reading this book. I have not read a parody-style book in a while, and it was a refreshing change! The story was written in an unusual style, in that the characters often "interrupt" the narrator and correct him. I found this to be very funny, but was glad that the technique was not overused. The story also appealed to me because it was often random and the characters spoke/acted in a very non-fairy tale manner. I enjoyed the many pop-culture references sprinkled throughout the tale, especially the references to a certain series featuring vampires and werewolves.

Of the characters, my favorites were George and Loudt. I found the scenes where George held his own against the princess to be some of my favorites. I was not overly fond of the princess, however. The character fell a little flat at times, with her constant grumbling. The rest of the supporting cast were well developed.

In terms of plot, I found it to initially be a little slow moving, but never to the point that I lost interest. When I got to the first "ending", it felt quite anticlimactic, and I am glad that the follow-up ending was included. This was my absolute favorite part of the story!

In technical terms, the story was well-written, and I laughed often. I would say that some of the references to pop culture were too on the nose. It is okay, in my opinion to give more subtle references, and to believe that your audience is intelligent enough to pick it up. Overall, this was a fun read. I would definitely be interested in learning more about these characters, as well as reading more of this author's work!

My review: 4 stars

Monday, April 22, 2013

Attention: important notice about my schedule

Hello Everyone,

I recently finished school and will be entering a very hectic chapter of my life as I continue my medical training. As such, it will take me a little longer to respond to your emails and read/review your books. At some points during my training I may have to limit my queue to a few books per month. I will keep everyone posted. Apologies in advance for this! Thanks for your patience and I wish there was enough time in my life to read/review everyone's books!



As I am trying to work my way through my queue, I wanted to post links to my favorite webcomics for you guys to check out! I love webcomics, the only downside is having to wait for the next page to be uploaded because they aren't updated every day. Check out my favorites below!

1. Namesake: Revolves around the concept of girls with certain names having the ability to travel between worlds. For example, Dorothys always travel to Oz to save the day and Alices always go to Wonderland. The comic revolves a girl names Emma, who discovers that she is a namesake. I LOVE the concept and the artwork. You can check it out here.

2. Widdershins: A comic revolving around a young magician, Sidney Malik, who was expelled from his wizarding university for having a bad habit of accidentally stealing things, including a bracelet belonging to the King of Thieves. Very colorful, very funny! Can be found here.

3. Plume: A supernatural Western-style comic about a girl named Vesper Grey, and her supernatural pal Corrick. She sets out to continue her father's work of recovering magical artifacts. I love the style of the comic, as well as the relationship between Vesper and Corrick. Corrick is very funny. You can read this comic here.

4. Broodhollow: About a neurotic young man named Wadsworth Zane, who comes to the town of Broodhollow when he inherits his uncle's shop. The town of Broodhollow is very unusual, with many strange supernatural occurrences, which the townspeople claim not to notice. Click here.

5. Paranatural: About a young boy (middle-school age) who moves with his father and younger sister to his father's hometown. He is dealing with his mother's death, and once he arrives in town, finds that the area is chock-full of spirits, both good and bad. Click here. 

6. Fox and Willow: About an exiled princess named Willow, and her fox-spirit companion. I guess you would call this a fractured-fairy-tale format. Click here.

Let me know if you've read any other great webcomics, particularly in the fantasy genre.

Have fun,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Dust of the Universe by V.S. Kemanis

Hello, hello :)

It's been a while since I've posted a review! I just finished reviewing a collection of short stories entitled Dust of the Universe, by V.S. Kemanis. This is the first time I have reviewed a book of short stories, and it is done in a slightly different format, so bear with me! I will give a short review and rating for each story followed by an overall review and rating.

My Latvian Aunt: This was my favorite story and the best of the collection to open with. It revolves around the relationship between the narrator and her Aunt Mirdza, who she only knew for a short time due to a rift between Mirdza and the narrator's father. I must say, the author really has a way with words, and I thought that many descriptions in this story were simply lovely. Additionally, the ending was quite surprising and somewhat bittersweet. I felt that it was the perfect ending, and that the characters had come full circle. 5 stars!

Like Love: Interesting and well-written story, about a man named Harold, who receives a phone call from a Mr. Stanley Bridgeman, who informs him that their wives are having an affair. I feel that the relationships between the characters were well developed, and that Harold's conflicting emotions were captured perfectly. This story was a little depressing at times, but ended on a more uplifting note. I enjoyed this story a lot. 4 stars.

The Zephyr: About a young girl dealing with her new step-father and step-siblings. Wonderfully written story, which accurately captured the young narrator's confusion about her new family. There were some points, however, where I got a little confused. Overall, I still enjoyed it very much. 4 stars. 

Tidal Waters: About a family trip to the beach, and on dealing with an adolescent daughter. This story wasn't my favorite at first, mostly because I disliked Carly and Becca, but the characters grew on me. I also liked the ending and felt that it was well-executed. 4 stars.

Everything We Do: This is another of my favorites in the collection. Revolves around two sisters, helping their father to deal with the loss of their mother. Raises the important point that you don't have to be related by blood to be family. A beautifully written story, which made me laugh and tear up at many points. 5 stars. 

Lucky: About a single mother raising a child with special needs. Another favorite. I absolutely loved this story, and felt that the relationship between Marion and her daughter Jenny, was very realistic. 5 stars. 

Nothing Intentional: About Pressler, a married middle-aged lawyer, and a co-worker, Rachel Morehouse, who gets under his skin. This story was a little confusing at times. I still enjoyed it, but not as much as some of the others. 3.5 stars. 

Dust of the Universe: Loved this story. Kip's emotions regarding his family were captured perfectly. Another story that had me tearing up, due to the ending! 5 stars.

Conversation with a Biker: I enjoyed this story more than I expected to. I felt that the story arc was nicely done, with the narrator coming full circle, and with the story ending on a hopeful note. I also loved that the narrator was able to look past the stereotypes and her initial judgments to have a meaningful conversation with the biker. Nicely done! 5 stars. 

What I'd Like to Say: A woman reflects on her relationship with her older, once idolized brother. Very lovely and very sad. Another favorite, as I very much enjoyed the style of the story. 5 stars. 

Stolen Afternoon: Ginger visits her Grandfather. I enjoyed the conversations Ginger had with her Grandpa, and felt that the characters were well-developed. The ending of this story felt a little incomplete to me, but overall I enjoyed it. 4 stars. 

A Love-Hate Thing: I didn't expect to like this story, because I didn't like Darla so much, but she grew on me. I felt that it accurately depicted the character's difficulties in dealing with her mother's terminal illness, and her methods of coping. The ending was again well-executed. 5 stars. 

Reckoning: About the friendship between an accountant and his customer, during an audit. Not my favorite story, but I liked it, and I felt that the characters were well-developed. 3.5 stars. 

At the Crypt: about two sisters at their father's funeral, and their encounter with the mother of a childhood friend. I felt that the sisters' emotions were accurately depicted, as well as their contrasting methods of coping with their loss. I didn't love Agnes, however. 4 stars. 

Schizophrenia Indicated: wonderful story, with an unexpected ending! I thought the ending of this story was going to be much darker. I liked the characters very much. 5 stars. 

Occupational Hazards: very cute story, and a realistic portrayal of a family dealing with some stressful situations. Another favorite! I really liked Sandra, the main character. 5 stars.

Overall Rating (this is not an average of the above ratings!): 5 stars

As a whole, I loved this short story collection, so I could not give it any less than 5 stars. I enjoyed several stories, especially the first and last one, immensely, and still felt that the others were very well done. The collection is a very realistic look at different families and their varied situations and struggles. Several stories had unexpected (and pleasantly surprising) endings. In technical terms, the book was well-written, and well-executed, with no typos or grammatical errors. I look forward to reading more of this author's work!

Happy Reading,