Category Archives: Five Stars

A Single Light

A Single Light: A Thriller (The Line Between Book 2) by [Lee, Tosca]

It was early on a Monday morning at 4 am that I had gone through over one third of the book in one night. This book quickly became one of the best reads I have gone through in the past 3 months.

A Single Light begins with around 60 odd people forced to take shelter in a time vault due to the outbreak of a virulent epidemic. A runaway named Wynter and a former soldier turned bounty hunter, Chase are at the heart of the story. Both appear to be an unmatched pair as they have their own motivations and secrets. For the people in the vault, the only source of comfort and connection with the outside is periodic transmissions from Noah, the person who brings hope to the individuals. But all of a sudden, the link goes dark, causing to lose their composure. And when the time vault door opens all of a sudden, it begins a whole new set of unknown dangers to the group, stressed for many months. Infected animals, ghostly town, and people driven to the brink of anarchy. The support systems have failed, all semblance of order and law lying bare. What do you do? That’s where we find the characters in the story.

The story is intense and riveting as is the description of the dynamics at play between the different characters in a confined space. The notes that the story touches are really fundamental, fear, loss, joy but the presentation is remarkably somber and in line as to the way the plot is weaved. I really liked the way the author describes the gritty and raw emotions at play which I have seen only in a very few authors.

The best thing is that the author does not try to bend the story in a way that seems disjointed. It is a skill that is honed by working at the craft for many sleepless nights and long hours.

Though the story may not have political beliefs one may have, I wholeheartedly agree with what the author has penned about the need to break down the walls and be more exclusive. Normally a stickler for neat wrapped endings, I love the way the story concluded. I can’t wait for the next book.

Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07P5JKYT8

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The Underground

The Underground by [Bland, Roxanne]

Parker and Kurt are in a constant struggle for power. They, together with other types of ‘exotics’, live in Seattle together with human beings. Human are afraid of them and are repelled by the very idea of these creatures. The exotics only want peace. There is a plan, but there is a woman who might prove problematic to the success of said plan. As a means of displaying his superiority, Kurt takes Parker’s woman. Not because he wants her but because he wants to make a statement. Will peace ever be achieved? Can Parker reclaim his woman?

Roxanne Bland has crafted an intriguing plot that takes the reader deep into a literary forest. This book is eventful, lively and is filled with action and brilliant dialogue. This book will appeal to the deepest most sentimental parts of you but still arouse your intrigue and sense of adventure. The author leaves you disturbed not just by the sequence of events but by the frequent twists that the story takes.

One thing is necessitated though, an open mind. The book is written with blatant eroticism. It is a thrilling book even with such a strong romantic undertone to it.

I am consistently impressed with Roxanne’s ability to craft deep characters that change as the story progresses. The characters also display a myriad of traits. Parker is the alpha of his pack. He is expected to be authoritative and firm. His interaction with his pack is actually quite revealing of his true nature. The reader gets a feel of who he truly is away from the role that has been foisted on him. His indecision and doubt shine a light on a different side of him. A side that even the best leaders in the world have. Kurt on the other hand is a textbook dictator. He favors power plays and will exercise his arrogance at the slightest opportunity. His sexual deviance is no surprise, though shocking.

The author is not afraid to display some uncharacteristic traits in her quest to paint wholesome and realistic characters. She goes out of her way to help the reader recognize said traits and even endear themselves to the characters. The smart use of dialogue and action keep this novel moving quickly. With an open mind and a thirst for excitement, you will enjoy this book.

Pages: 377 | ASIN:  B07X6RRL5B

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The Best That Can Happen

The Best That Can Happen: The Grand Trek

Kathleen Schmitt worked on a farm, which was a far cry from the city life she was used to. It started as a sort of joke that turned into the best thing that could happen. This story has very little to do with the joke that started the journey. It is about the actual journey and the people encountered on the way.

On a deeper level, this story is about life. Kathleen Schmitt is telling a story about a cross-country horse ride, but a lot of the situations can be metaphors for life. Her masterful narration of the story pulls the reader right into the scene with her and the horses. It is almost like you are watching every moment of the journey, which includes everything from preparation to the experiences. She includes multiple dimensions to the story, giving the reader a headier literary ride.

This story is energetic, engaging and evocative. The author has done a good job of bringing depth to the story and layering it to make it more intriguing. The author introduces every character with utmost finesse.

This is a lot of story that fits within 266 pages. I enjoyed the story, but sometimes the story pace slowed as a lot of information was shared all at once. This may not be a problem for some as the story keeps the reader very busy.

The author has done a good job of relaying the quintessence of the trip. The narration itself has it’s own character and charm. The narration moves a person to ask, ‘why not?’ but still remain realistic enough to put loads of preparation into whatever it is. The different people in this, from friends to family and even strangers along the way, really do show you how vast the world can be. It also shows you that if anyone remains open minded they can learn a whole lot from whomever regardless of their status in life.

This is a book about life, people, horses and farms. Fantastic pictures that evoke strong emotion accompany an incredible wealth of information. This is the kind of book you reread every year just to relive the experience.

Pages: 244 | ISBN: 9780998430515

Available at TheGrandTrek.com

Ullr’s Fangs

Ullr's Fangs (The Incarn Saga Book 2) by [Wibell, Katharine]

Lluava is fighter in more ways than one. She is highly trained, has seen her share of the devastation of war, and she is a Theriomorph. Varren is Lluava’s partner and anxious to again see his grandfather, the king. When Lluava is told she will be traveling with Varren to meet King Thor, she is not prepared for what she finds in Varren’s childhood home. While Lluava and Varren are a pair to be reckoned with in the field, they have a private relationship that defies definition. Lluava’s stay in the royal castle begins a string of events that will change the course of the lives of everyone around her.

Ullr’s Fangs: Book Two of The Incarn Saga, by Katharine Wibell, is a rather dark fantasy surrounding the experiences of young Lluava as she faces some massive responsibilities. Her own fascination with Varren and her determination to become an even more capable fighter dominates the story line of Wibell’s work.

As fantasies go, Ullr’s Fangs is a wonderful thrill ride. I am a reader who becomes much more involved in the characters’ backstories and the relationships they have with one another. Though this installment of Wibell’s series is chock full of action, there is a much bigger draw involving Lluava’s fascination with Varren. Watching their interactions evolve is enthralling.

I am impressed with the tactful way in which Wibell deals with the mental decline of King Thor. His loss of memory and his periodic references to his son give the reader pause. Dementia is a difficult but relatable topic for many readers, and Wibell reveals the king’s struggle slowly and tastefully in small conversations. I find the inclusion of this condition to be a nice way to help readers further relate to the characters.

As I read, I kept coming back to Lluava and her personality traits. She is as kind and loving as she is fierce. When faced with the challenge of training, she perseveres through immense trials and physical challenges. The gentle manner in which she relates to the young maiden assigned to her at the castle is touching.

The shape-shifting aspect of Wibell’s characters is another intriguing element of her writing. I am amazed at the details Wibell manages to include in her work. Lluava’s transformation are easily visualized and exceptionally penned. The Theriomorphs alone are reason enough to read Wibell’s series.

Readers who enjoy fantasies filled with action and well-developed characters will find themselves deeply involved in the plot of Ullr’s Fangs. From cover to cover, Wibell keeps readers on their toes. The fantastic details throughout Wibell’s book bring readers into the story and provide ample opportunity for them to lose themselves in the world she has created. I highly recommend Ullr’s Fangs to any reader looking for a new fantasy series with memorable characters and highly-involved action sequences.

Pages: 342 | ASIN: B07CRQ7S6R

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The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry

The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry by [Brindley, Charley]

Sergeant James Alexander and his crew have cheated death. Where they landed when they abandoned their plane isn’t nearly as important as the century they landed in. Small things around them begin to add up very quickly as they try desperately to acclimate themselves to their surroundings only to find themselves left with more questions than answers. As they venture out, they begin to meet more and more people with weapons unlike their own who are not in any way fearful of the soldiers. One thing leads to another and Alexander’s crew begins to realize they have fallen into the past with no foreseeable escape.

The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry by Charley Brindley tells the tale of a group of soldiers bound for Afghanistan when fate intervenes with a plan none of them could have predicted. Brindley’s cast of characters is unique, and their banter, despite their extreme circumstances, is refreshing and engaging. The dynamic between characters feels true to life, and their exchanges mimic genuine relationships between coworkers.

There is no lack of action in Brindley’s work. From the first chapter, his characters are entrenched in a battle to understand their situation that moves quickly into a battle for their lives. Readers who appreciate well-drawn fight sequences and intricately described battle scenes, will appreciate Brindley’s work.

Cover to cover, the characters’ reactions to their surroundings and the people they encounter serve as a wonderful contrast to the time period in which they have found themselves. Brindley throws in the perfect number of references to modern technology in juxtaposition to the primitive weapons and lack of simple things we take for granted such as calendars and clocks. Consistency is key in books of this genre, and Brindley manages that with ease.

One of the most endearing aspects of Brindley’s cast of characters is the compassion shown by Alexander’s crew during a time of war. Characters one might expect to be brash and full of cold reactions in time of war are actually tenderhearted and loving. Their desire to tend to the injured and not only assist the wounded but provide genuine comfort is captivating. These traits add another layer to the already engaging characters.

History buffs will enjoy Brindley’s work. The author has gone to great lengths to include historically accurate information in his writing. Watching as the inhabitants of the past experience bits and pieces of the future is as fascinating as it is entertaining.

Rarely does one find a truly perfect blend of past and present, but Brindley has given just that to his readers. Memorable characters wrapped in a unique story line make for one fantastic read and lay the groundwork for what I hope are more books with Alexander’s crew.

Pages: 473 | ASIN: B07N6K1DRZ

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Keepsake: A Souvenir of Love

Keepsake: A Souvenir of Love by [Ariff, Shirin , Ali, Zunash Ashiq ]

Ready to feel enlightened? In Shirin Ariff’s Keepsake, this  short poetry book is filled with powerful uplifting words in each heartfelt poem.

The central theme in this poetry book is about the author being inspired and closer to God. In each poem, the author talks about nature and welcomed God into their life. Each poem highlights her spiritual journey to become connected and closer to Him. Whether you’re religious or not, this book would brighten your day.

In Keepsake, the poet speaks from her heart, and her heart and soul is clearly poured into every page. These poems are emotional journeys exploring nature and God’s paradise. I enjoyed the poems symmetry and easy flow. I think this is a perfect book for poetry enthusiasts, nature lovers, and the faithful.

Pages: 17 | ASIN: B07QPBMXRH

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I’m a Romance Scam IT Detective

I'm a Romance Scam IT Detective: Psychological Games * Real IT Analysis * Legal Matters * Gender Studies by [Co, Selina]

I’m a Romance Scam IT Detective aims to explain psychology of the crime, technical aspects of cybercrime and legal matters. This book is about Selina’s attempt to hack criminal’s machine, legal limitation she faced, misconduct of banks, and money recovery analysis. Jason remains Selina’s love of the life. Selina never actually loved Frederick but still fall victim into the scam due to fake passports and fake banking documents

Pages: 224 | ASIN: B07XPCPRQT

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Tormented By God

Emil Cioran had a very tumultuous relationship with God. He even quipped that attacking God was better than invoking him. He was a pessimist, skeptic and nihilist. He was against everything with regards to creation. While many philosophers have expressed their adverse stance towards God, Emil was notably and gradually aggressive about his displeasure with God and all related things. Tormented by God is a compilation of his works. It is a view of the other side of the coin. The author seeks to interpret Emil’s works and blasphemes from the knowledgeably authoritative standpoint of a professor of Theology.

Mirko Integlia is very articulate. His presentation of his own voice with regards to Emil’s works and related philosophical works is brilliant and impressive. Not only does he remain completely calm and centered in the face of an aggressively blasphemous philosopher whose views are a stark contrast against his own, he gives a full dimensional analysis. There is a lot to be said about an author who is capable of seemingly neutral presentation of views that so enthusiastically clash with their own.

The author is a master of language. The language is simple and mindful of a person who might find the subject matter a little daunting. This simplistic presentation makes the book more appealing. The subject matter in itself is interesting. To see atheism presented by a Christian is a  novelty. As you read you will get the feeling that Mirko really did try to understand where Emil was coming from in his views and rants. You get the feeling that the author is genuinely curious about these attacks against God. There is no passion for atheism itself but you can feel yourself being drawn to the progression of Cioran’s views from his first work, On the Heights of Despair.

There is an issue with clarity. In the beginning the reader might feel a little out of their depth. However, as the author gets to the second and third chapters they seem to have gained stability and therefore prose flows easily from there. Tackling atheism and an aggressively atheist philosopher is not easy. It is intense and sensitive. This is evidenced by the caution Mirko Integlia takes in his presentation. It also helps that the book is relatively short. Even then, it is exhaustive.

With everything that is happening in the world right now, one might be tempted to share the same views as Emil Cioran. However, Mirko Integlia’s work helps with any crisis of faith that one might experience from time to time. From this you can remain steadfast even when you are in the ‘troubling vicinity of God’.

Pages: 272 | ISBN-10: 882660326X

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Heart Of A Warrior

Heart of a Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 4) by [Holm, Denna]

Heart of a Warrior is an extraordinary vampire romance and epic fantasy book. We are introduced to Elena Murphy at the start of the book. Elena is distressed as her fated mated was not for their union which she so much looked forward to. One could feel her frustration and irritation as she stood on the deck of her house watching the dark clouds, thinking about Gabriel and where he could be. Elena is half-human. Gabriel was an old hunter from planet Laizahlia. He was, among other things, a patient and resilient character when he wanted to be. Gabriel had looked for his mate for years. He spent time and resources just to find his fated mate, his eillelé. His mate carried half his soul wrapped within Elena.

Gabriel is in a dilemma. He wants to claim Elena but he is conflicted as his council will make him do things he is not comfortable doing. To be safe, Gabriel has to convert Elena to a full vampire so as to be accepted by the council. This move is risky as Elena is happy being a half human. The conversion may tamper with her mind and even jeopardize her sanity.

Heart of a Warrior is a gripping and thrilling fantasy book. The vampire theme and twist in the story are exciting and held my interest. The author is able to engineer some creative scenes that make the unique character both charming and scary at the same time. Following the part about the missing children was scary and fascinating given they had potential threats like the Council and Slavers. Gabriel is a great character whom every reader will, eventually, empathize with. Heart of a Warrior is action-packed, with events that are unbelievable, but you don’t care, and characters who were perfect for their roles.

Every character had some sort of superpower which felt balanced and not overused. They were able to face their obstacles and even confuse the enemies for a while. I appreciated the odd, but well constructed, love story in this book. This novel combines a bittersweet love, a vampire story, and some fantastic characters that really carry this story. This is the fourth book in the ‘Immortal Warriors’ series but I didn’t feel lost and I think anyone can jump into the series from here. You will love the conversations between characters as they are witty and humorous. The plot was epic and the entire story entertaining.

Pages: 347 | ASIN:  B07X5TRQRF

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Cycles of Norse Mythology

Cycles of Norse Mythology by [Searfoss, Glenn]

There are many stories about the Norse realm. Only a few are common and easily accessible. Glenn Searfoss gives readers access to more than just the common ones. The reader gets more dimensions with regards to the characters in the fictional universe. This book is a rewrite of the stories on Norse mythology with a fresh voice and packed with exciting tid bits. The book offers a revamped look at all the suffering, victories and battles of the characters in Norse mythology accompanied by a glossary for a better reading experience.

This may be a rewritten version but it sure does not feel like one. The author has such a talent with words and phrases. The stories read like a symphony. With a captivating melody that makes the reader inch closer with every sentence they consume. It leaves the reader feeling like they are floating through a universe with endless possibilities with all their favorite heroes and characters. The author packs all the action and adventure possible into this book with ease.

One thing that the reader will note from the very beginning is the depth of research that has gone into this book. It is uncanny how one person can have such a mastery of the Norse universe, characters and everything in between. It is a sign of obvious passion and curiosity about the subject matter. The author’s understanding is the basis for their unique and original voice. This is actually quite infectious. For a person who is not a fan of mythologies, these stories will sure make them into definite enthusiasts.

If you have encountered characters like Thor and Odin, this book will make you fall even deeper in love with these characters and many more just like them. The author has carefully sculpted each character to have a unique element while also maintaining their original and beloved qualities. To take characters that have already been established and to give them a fresh coat of personality but still managing to keep their usual façade takes pure brilliance.

The voice of the author that comes through their retelling is provocative and fulfilling. The stories themselves are evocative and exciting. The imagery is borne of sheer talent and brave application of language. Any lover of mythology, regardless of age, and related fictional works will surely enjoy Cycles of Norse Mythology.

Pages: 838 | ASIN: B07QKL9CRK

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