Category Archives: Four Stars

The YOU beyond you: The knowledge of the willing

The YOU beyond you: The knowledge of the willing by [Ramzi Najjar]

In The You Beyond You, Ramzi Najjar offers advice that can help one change their perception about life, boost their self-esteem and improve their personal habits. The author is engaging and his words are thought-provoking. The author talks about life experiences, and the lessons one should take when they fail. This book has rare truths, some of which are painful and agonizing to read about. The author however uses a friendly tone and captivating words that enable the reader to keep going. The You Beyond You is not just a self-help book but a personal guide for anyone who would appreciate reading encouraging words before they start their day.

I enjoyed reading the chapter ‘Letting the Right Memory Run our Life,’ because of how great the author expounded about the mind. I learned about pure memory, being positive, and how prepared we should be psychologically. Some of the things we do subconsciously are a result of the energy around us. Other chapters that I immensely enjoyed reading about were those that spoke about body pollution, mind pollution, and getting imprinted with the correct memory.

In this book, you will learn that there are solutions to most problems if you are committed to look for solutions. The author advises that as an individual, focus on being a better person before trying to be helpful to the next person. The energy you carry in you will be reflected in your actions. Every human being has feelings and the author writes that there is nothing wrong with expressing one’s feelings.

Ramzi Najjar is a great motivational writer. His book has wisdom that can be helpful to teenagers, young adults, senior citizens, and anyone going through personal struggles. Being in the right state of mind will enable you to make better financial, career, and even romantic decisions and that is why this book is a must read for every reader. One good thing about Ramzi Najjar’s writing style is that he is easy to understand. The phrases he used are easy to comprehend and the examples given in the book are relatable. I would recommend The You Beyond You to anyone who is looking for an inspirational book for personal growth.

Pages: 474 | ASIN: B08DRR383Y

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The Little Book of Greatness

The little Book Of Greatness introduces us to a man named David who seems to have given it all up. Sitting on a cliff, David is troubled. He has not accomplished his dreams and everything seems to be crumbling down. David is thinking about life, wondering why he is in his current situation. Lost in his thoughts, a man appears from the woods. Little does he know that this stranger would give him something that may enable him to hold on for a little longer.

Ari Gunzburg speaks to everyone through David’s story. He speaks to his readers, and makes them feel like they are not alone. I like the comforting tone used throughout the book. When giving advice, the author uses a tone similar to that of a therapist. He is encouraging and offers hope to the hopeless. This book is meant for those that are about to give up. Things may appear like they make no sense, but the author assures everyone that we are destined for the best. You cannot help but admire how amazing Ari Gunzburg is with his moving words. Through his words you not only learn more about yourself as an individual, but also get enlightened about life in general and how our thoughts shape our destinies.

Chapter 12 is one of my favorite chapters. In this chapter, the author focuses on putting it all together. I enjoyed reading the conversations between Regina and David in this chapter. Major lessons in this chapter are rearranging our priorities and focusing on what is important in life. The writing is incredible and the text is engaging. Ari Gunzburg is a great narrator and captivates his audience.

The Little Book of Greatness is a motivational book but it does not feel bland like some books in the inspirational genre. The author wrote distinctively, narrating stories of scenarios that happen in real life as he incorporates important lessons in the story. I recommend The Little Book of Greatness to readers that would love some encouraging text that will cheer them up and help them become better people.

Pages: 185 | ASIN: B08GH63H75

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Stone Fever

Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book 1 by Norman Westhoff is a captivating adventure story full of inspiring narratives! In the story, we follow Keltyn, a geologist who is exploring a now defrosted Antarctica. Keltyn is trying to find iridium around Mount Erebus, a volcano that the local Onwei tribe has predict will erupt soon! While on her mission, Keltyn makes friends with two teens from the tribe; Luz and Joaquin. While on their adventure, the trio grows, learns, and discovers the ulterior motives of a certain Oscar Bailey! Keltyn must find a way to stop Oscar before it’s too late!

Despite the hardships found within this story, Westhoff has managed to create a heartwarming tale that I could not get enough of! He touched on so many relevant topics, including colonization, global warming, and cultural diversity!

The character development was spectacular and a particular focal point of this novel. We watch Luz grow emotionally from a naïve young girl to a fierce young woman by the end of the novel. I must say, I really enjoyed Luz’s relationship with her mother in this book; it strayed away from the typical nuclear family unit.

The world-building was fantastic! Westhoff took a risk using the real-life issue of global warming as a plot device and world-building tool, but he handled it with grace and elegance. His portrayal of the issue left me with a hopeful outlook, despite it being fiction.

Westhoff’s storytelling abilities are also praiseworthy! He can keep you hooked from page one all the way to page 299; it is incredible! There was never a dull moment; wait until you get to chapter 13; you will not be able to put the book down!

The writing style also captured my attention. It’s simplicity made the story easy to follow and a joy to read. There was never a moment where I had to go back and reread a passage due to intricate text, which can be a common issue amongst indie authors. The chapters where Keltyn was narrating were my favorite!

Stone Fever: Erebus Tales Book 1 is a thrilling adventure story that touches on important topics while always entertaining the reader.

Pages: 386 | ASIN: B085YF4RWG

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Taking Time

The last person you’d expect to take on the role of time travel pioneer is Marshall, who is not your typical hero. Rail thin, six foot three, and not the least bit athletic, he’s hardly inconspicuous. Nonetheless swayed by the perks that come with working on a top secret new project, Marshall is nervous and insecure in his new role. But he’s far more concerned about the necessity of travelling through time naked than he is with the situational ethics of doing so. Mike Murphey’s Taking Time: A Tale of Physics, Lust, and Greed is part science fiction, part thriller, and part light comedy. The work treads the line between something more scientific, with discussions surrounding the theories and laws related to time travel, and almost slapstick humor, mostly derived from the characters appearing in front of each other naked. 

The characters are well developed; all thrown together into a strange environment early on in the book; tightly integrating their relationships and inner conflicts and allowing the reader to get to know them more. Sudden flashbacks dramatize the otherwise smooth narrative, while the explanations of the concept of time, of dark matter, and physics more broadly, eventually give way to the stark reality that the project Marshall has been hired to work on is being used by both governments and large corporations for their own ends. 

Taking Time is a fun book that blends lite versions of the science fiction, thriller, and comedy genres without fully embracing one. You may find yourself chuckling in parts, and enjoying the entertaining twists and turns, if you’re able to suspend your disbelief for a few short hours. Taking Time kept me sufficiently entertained with its charm and humor. 

Pages: 358 | ASIN: B087PP8DPL

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Black Oak: The Loveless Chronicles: Chapter 1

In Titus Murphy’s Black Oak lies a story both riveting and enchanting. It contains a variety of characters and storylines, keeping you on your toes all through your reading. In summary, it follows the events happening in the small town of Wichita across different timelines; 1782, 1815, and the present day.

By depicting parallels and interconnections between these three timelines, it weaves a tale of love, magic, and destiny. As expected from any Young Adult Fantasy book, it is filled with mystical creatures like witches and jackals (hybrids of vampires and werewolves).

But what I truly find interesting about this book is that throughout the narrative, there seems to be a backdrop of suspense. The author has developed the plot in a way that you’re not really sure who to trust. Nobody and nothing is ever what they seem to be in this town. As such, with every page I read, I was constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop.

It also helps that this story reads easily, with tons of dialogue to break down the prose. However, while the fact that there are several main characters instead of a single protagonist makes it quite similar to real life and allows the author to draw interesting connections, it also means that a lot of characters are not fully developed.

I get a sense that this could be because this book is written to be the first one in a series though; leaving the author with several more venues to build on the characters. Truth be told, it is ultimately these missing details that make a reader yearn for more, curious about what will happen next. But if there is one element of this book that can definitely be improved upon, it is the grammar. There are a few errors here and there; something that can be polished up with some quick editing.

That aside, I love how the author subtly incorporates themes of racism and faith, making the narrative much more personal and relatable. The fact that even the readers don’t know who the villains are is a nice touch as well, giving this book some mysterious vibes. All things considered, Black Oak is a great read that will surely enchant and entertain any reader.

Pages: 275 | ASIN: B08KRQDCGY

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Resilience – The Ultimate Sustainability

In Resilience – The Ultimate Sustainability, Aris Papadopoulos extensively writes about natural disasters, the environment, buildings, and construction. The author uses statistics to explain his points and why he arrived at certain conclusions. He goes through several disasters, talking about their causes, the damages they brought, and lives lost. Reading about recent disasters is an agonizing experience as the author makes one feel the impact of the disasters as if they happened in real-time. You can tell that the author has studied and extensively researched the topics he writes about. Reading Aris Papadopoulos’s book is not only eye-opening but also an educative activity.

The author starts by talking about major disasters that marked recent U.S history. He starts by discussing various hurricanes, the effects they caused, and how whatever remained after the damage was salvaged. When talking about a particular state or town, the author first makes the reader familiar with the area, giving general data of the state or city and highlighting common elements associated with the place. His narration of the events leading to the disasters is excellent. He touches on the administrative structure and how the federal government comes in, as they make the reader aware of different communities.

Every chapter talks about something different. You are assured of learning something new with every page. Aris Papadopoulos is blunt with the truth and not shy of exposing the flaws where the system failed. This book should be read by everyone in any executive post or position of power. There is a lot to learn not only for those who are admins but also for people who are in various sectors like, engineering, construction, environmental conservation, meteorology, and anyone else involved in making policies. I found the author’s text to be helpful as he uses a language everyone can understand even when talking about resilience and responsibility. Since some disasters are unexpected, the author advises everyone to be alert.

Resilience – The Ultimate Sustainability is not just about disasters that impact America, the author goes global and discusses different countries. One can learn multiple lessons from the countries mentioned given how they handle the disasters that affect them. This book makes you understand how politics is pivotal in every aspect of life. Bad politics and governance mean that the masses get to experience mediocrity. Aris Papadopoulos’s book will enlighten you on the value of upright politicians and why the stability of certain sectors is better for the economy among other things.

Pages: 194 | ISBN: 978-0986181610

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Able Soul: Empowering God’s Spirit Within

Able Soul: Empowering God's Spirit Within by [Lucy Goncalves]

The biggest message that Lucy Goncalves has in Able Soul: Empowering God’s Spirit Within is that there is no challenge that is too hard if you believe in God. The good Lord cannot burden you with something that you cannot handle. Lucy Goncalves gives her story as a true testimony of what God can do. Her story is not only inspiring but also comforting. There is always a good thing at the end of the storm. Believing in God means that you have cast all your troubles to Him and trusting that he will take care of them. Lucy Goncalves tells every reader that goes through this book to have faith.

Able Soul: Empowering God’s Spirit Within discusses different things in life, not just the author’s stories. The book is refreshing and enlightening for anyone who questions life and the challenges they face. Do you ever feel that you need someone to lean on 24/7? Are you allowed to give up? Is it worth it being a Christian if all you have experienced is suffering and misery? These are some of the questions that get answered when you read this book. The author does not sugar coat her text but opens your eyes to realities and talks of how you can live a fulfilling life. In her book, Lucy Goncalves makes you feel that you are not alone even as you fight temptations.

This is ultimately a motivational and inspiring story. Lucy Goncalves gets personal and talks about living with cerebral palsy. She lays bare the realities of living with this condition, how it shapes one’s thinking and why we should all be kind to each other. The author’s personal experiences were touching. Through her story, we are reminded not to give up as God walks with us throughout. Lucy Goncalves is an inspiration, not only to people with the condition she has but also to everyone who is on the verge of despair due to one thing or the other.

My favorite chapters in the book were The Value of Reliance, The Art of Wrestling, Hunger to Serve, and A Faith-Filled Adventure. At the end of the book, you will gain an in-depth understanding of life, the Holy Spirit, and God. You will understand yourself as a person and those that live with you. The author’s encouraging words will keep you going, and help you move barriers.

Pages: 90 | ASIN: B07R66TN5X

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Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel (The Black Eyed Witch Book 2) by [Rowan Staeffler]

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel by Rowan Staeffler, is a thrilling tale set in a fantasy world. The main characters in the book are Lithia  and Ronan. Lithia is a witch and Ronan, a human, is her boyfriend. Ronan’s job is to protect the witches from people. The people want to kill the witches because they believe the witches are responsible for the many deaths in the battles against monsters. Lithia, Rononan, and other witches are on the hunt for who is really to blame for the deaths and save the world.

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel has a thrilling setup to an intriguing romantic fantasy that is filled with gruesome scenes. The author has a distinctive descriptive style that makes the grisly scenes lean towards the macabre a bit. For example this scene: “the bearded man continued to scream, watching his blood gushing out of the stumps.” (Chapter 1 page 3). Scenes like this showcase  the authors willingness to let the blood flow in some shocking ways that, for the right audience, can be entertaining.

The storyline on its own is interesting, it was something that kept calling me back to this book, and made it hard to put down, I wanted to see where it was all going. It made me wonder if they would actually end up capturing the Naguals and save the world. My favorite character is Ashley because she was fun, upbeat, and optimistic throughout the obstacles in the book. I also love fantasy, so I loved the scenes with the witches and their awesome powers trying to save the world. I really enjoyed this novel, and I think with a good edit it could definitely be a fantasy novel that I praise to everyone I come across. But as it is there are just a few sentences scattered throughout the story that feel oddly worded.

Foreboding: A Black Eyed Witch Novel is consistently riveting and filled with imaginative characters. Author Rowan Staeffler has created an absorbing fantasy adventure that is perfect for fans of sword & sorcery.

Pages: 303 | ASIN: B089FR4ZDS

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