Category Archives: Three Stars
Apocalypse Blockers by Simon Carr is a fun, short story about the end of the world. It is not as serious as it may first sound. In the book we follow a number of different characters that could be described as weird and strange. Each of the characters comes from a different dimension, they are right away forced to unite and join forces to avoid and block the end of everything that ever existed, to be known as the apocalypse of the multiverse.
The book serves as a parody of superhero stories and fantasy adventures. The characters presented are funny and are constantly making the most nonsensical claims possible, all of it adding up to an entertaining, comic-relief type of story. There are gods, priests, vampires, wizards, werewolves and even zombies. Different realities in the multiverse are visited by our group of main characters, in an attempt to block and stop an impending apocalypse in each of them, thus eventually receiving the name of “apocalypse blockers”.
The best part of this book is its creativity and blatant hilariousness that will leave readers laughing. There are many jokes and silly phrases throughout this unconventional story that truly makes it stand out. There are no rules followed nor limits to the way in which the world presented operates, a technique that allows the author to enjoy complete liberty through which he displays ridiculous, yet funny situations. However enjoyable the novel is, I found myself lost in some sections as I found it hard to follows some scene to scene transitions as there was some rather large leaps without reorienting the reader.
Apocalypse Blockers is a book that was written with the idea of fun in mind, its main purpose being to entertain its readers. Each character is unique and humorous in their own way. The humor presented throughout the entirety of the story made for a lighthearted read that included a number of witty remarks. I appreciate how uniquely different this story is from anything that I have read, it is an interesting approach that I would like to see more of in the future.
Apocalypse Blockers is an exciting science fiction adventure story that tells a hilariously wry superhero story that is consistently entertaining and witty.
Pages: 238 | ASIN: B08W81Z68G
Tags: 30 CHICAGO CHRISTMASES, adventure, Apocalypse Blockers, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, humor, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, satire, science fiction, scifi, Simon Carr, story, writer, writing
Timecrime is a crime thriller with an interesting time travel twist spun in. The story focuses on Joe Bedford who created a time machine to use for good but that quickly changes when he mixes with his girlfriend’s uncle, a mafia boss named Lorenzo Infanta. Lorenzo uses Joe and the time machine to steal precious artworks to sell for profit, but Joe refuses to let himself be used like this, which sparks a dangerous conflict.
Joe Bedford was a fun protagonist to follow, he had strong desires and an honorable moral compass while having conflicts that gave the character depth and nuance. His love interest, Samantha Infanta, was also very well-written. The chemistry and humor between the two of them felt authentic, however, some of the humor felt out of place, specifically during intense scenes.
The plot was solid, driving the story and characters to the end with a fierce motivation that kept me engaged and the ending was especially impactful and satisfying; partly due to the riveting time travel aspect which is kept relatively simple and straightforward. While I would have enjoyed more scene setting, the action and heist scenes were amongst the most enjoyable moments of Timecrime. The action flowed well and the setting in these scenes was used to great effect as the characters involved the environment in their fighting. The heist scenes were very intense and was something I looked forward to.
Timecrime delivers a unique blend of science fiction and crime thriller in a story that’s punctuated by entertaining moments and a great ending. With a bit of editing this could easily be a standout entry in a deep genre with it’s interesting characters, Michael Bay esque action scenes, and a storyarc that knows how to weave an entertaining tale. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy unique crime fiction novels.
Pages: 191 | ASIN: B08SZTZVW7
Tags: author, black fantasy, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, crime thriller, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, Peter Sao-Levene, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, thriller, time travel, Timecrime, writer, writing
The Red Thread of Fate by Woo Ae Yi is a fiction story following a half-Black half-Korean woman named Zarah, who was adopted by a white father. She is a victim of emotional abuse but can’t seem to break away from her white boyfriend, Perez (aka Threat). When she gets a new job, she meets a man forty years older than her. But despite their age difference, she feels drawn to Yue Lao, a Chinese man who fought in the Vietnam War. After she finally ends her four year relationship with Perez, she moves away from Indiana to another State. But she remains in contact with both men. Will she ever be able to cut ties with the people who are connected to her by the red thread of fate?
Red Thread of Fate has an intriguing concept, and it was interesting to see how the author wove it into this story, which is intended as a cautionary tale. So much of our future is affected by things that happen to us in our past, and it is hard to overcome this without allowing ourselves to be pulled back in by previous self-destructive patterns. Despite the darker elements of the story, there were some humorous moments, which I enjoyed. I also liked that there were poems interspersed throughout the story. I enjoyed reading them, and they helped to provide additional insights into the characters and events.
While I thought this was a compelling and emotionally-charged novel, I thought the writing was hard to follow at times because, in the beginning, the book didn’t follow chronological order and included flashbacks that didn’t seem relevant to the chapter. Things seemed to be a string of random incidents rather than a story with a strong central plot with a smooth flow.
Author Woo Ae Yi has given readers a provocative romance novel that provides thought-provoking commentary on relationships and how they change and affect us. Red Thread of Fate is an intriguing romance novel with an alluring character and some emotionally resonant moments.
Pages: 171 | ASIN: B092M9QMWP
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Red Thread of Fate, romance, story, suspense, womens fiction, Woo Ae Yi, writer, writing
Every abandoned building holds a bit of mystery. At one time or another, all of us have had that moment when we imagine the life that used to inhabit the old homes and businesses in our communities–it’s just part of their charm. On the other hand, those same buildings can be homes to some truly sinister activities. When Nate and his friend, Zachary, notice something amiss with the abandoned building in their neighborhood, they make it their mission to discover the truth. What begins as an innocent exercise in eavesdropping quickly turns into an adventure neither of the boys will soon forget.
Unlikely, by Wynsome Peters, is the realistic urban fiction story centered around two middle schoolers making their way into high school and finding adventure along the way. Nate and Zachary, curious and eager to prove themselves, begin their own investigation after seeing shadows and overhearing a disturbing conversation behind the walls of a dilapidated building. The young boys make it their mission to solve the mystery and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Peters has managed to create an engaging story which will appeal to adolescent readers who enjoy mystery plots with relatable characters. The move from middle school to high school is one that causes mixed emotions and a host of opportunities to meet new people. The author has given young readers two main characters who both feel and act like them and have their own unique families full of quirks. Readers will find themselves just as invested in Nate and Zachary as they are the mystery unfolding before them.
While I enjoyed this adventurous romp, I noticed a few grammatical errors which affect the flow of the story. With a bit of proofreading, and an editor to keep the story focused, this could easily be an exceptionally fun novel.
Unlikely is an intriguing middle school adventure story that builds up and unravels a mystery in entertaining fashion. The author’s choice of characters and storyline work well and provide a relatable and engaging story for younger readers.
Pages: 137 | ASIN: B07MRF18HH
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, high school, kindle, kobo, literature, middle grade, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, Unlikely, urban fantasy, urban fiction, writer, writing, Wynsome Peters, young adult
In Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis, Philip E. Barrington tells us the story of Grant, a man that experienced various interesting and intriguing things during his life. The book serves as Grant’s diary, through which he tells the reader his thoughts and the many life changing events that he experienced since he was a young boy.
Grant’s life is far from boring. In the book we follow him as he travels around different cities and countries, trying to make something of his life. He meets intriguing new people all the time, some of them become friends and helped him grow, some of them become terrible enemies that almost succeeded in ruining his life. Grant endures many betrayals, yet never gives up, always looking to find something better for himself to enjoy life to the fullest. Family, friendship, love, travel and the search of a career, are aspects that are deeply involved in most people’s lives and that are explored and shown in this book through Grant’s riveting life.
It was interesting following the different events that Grant had to go through in his life, there are so many things that are talked about in the book. Relationships, health issues, problems with the police and the law, corruption and family life. The author shares the many adventures that Grant had that would change him forever, from meeting new people to traveling to new places to discovering secrets of the universe, a set of fascinating events that allowed Grant Davis to find his life purpose.
I enjoyed reading about Grant’s story and finding out gradually the varying life changing events that he went through where he met interesting, odd and even threatening people that made him explore new things all the time: his life was truly riveting. However, I wanted these things to be explored more, and explained further, in the book. The book reads like a diary, which means that we don’t get too many details about the events and the people that were described in the book. Nevertheless, the book was still enjoyable and it was stimulating reading. In particular, I was intrigued by the themes that were explored near the end of the book, a series of mystical, soul-searching events that Grant came in contact with to possibly change his future, and other people’s futures, for the better.
Is it fully fiction or are there real life events mixed in the story? Who knows, it is up to the reader to figure out how much is fictional and how much is the author’s real story, so if you want to try to find out, you must read the book first. Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis is an interesting and easy read that illustrates the good and the bad that can be found all the time in every person’s life path.
Pages: 241 | ASIN: B08VKSQT36
Insights to the spiritual world and interactions with the physical is an intriguing book. It gets the reader to think about the spiritual world, the real world, and draw comparisons. The author writes in detail, capturing all the important information that the reader may want to learn about. Reading this book was a pleasant experience. Austin Maleik Collings gets one to think beyond the world we live in. Each page has something unique. The reader not only learns about one’s physical self, but also one’s spirituality and how to connect the two. The book goes over a topic more than once just so the audience understands the subject matter being discussed.
Some of the topics discussed appeared complex at first but after reading through a few pages, the reader gets to understand why the author selected the topics. I appreciate the author for writing this book as at the end of the reading, one gets to learn about different topics that can help one understand life. Reading about righteousness and evil was one of my favorite moments. How does one decide to be good or bad? Is free will a great thing for humans? While reading parts of the book that talked about evil, I reflected on my experiences and encounters with people who did good and some that were disappointing. Austin Maleik Collings will help you know more about yourself.
There are some pages which focus on being human and relating to God. These pages were also favorites. As an adult, it is one’s responsibility to live according to God’s wishes and taking part in constructive activities. Insights to the spiritual world and interactions with the physical is the kind of book believers and every human being should read because it enables one to understand complex subjects like the spiritual world, the power God has and our existence. One thing that stands out in Austin Maleik Collings’s writing is his narration and breaking down of points. The author does not rush especially when he introduces a new topic. While reading, you get to realize that the author writes hoping to engage with readers of all kinds. The diction in the book is excellent and the words used are easy to comprehend.
Austin Maleik Collings does not use technical terms which can be confusing for the reader. The paragraphs are far from complicated and the author’s inclusion of tales is a fun concept. Insights to the spiritual world and interactions with the physical is the kind of book that you read on a quiet afternoon when you are relaxing. Getting to learn about the earth, the spiritual side and the physical side was a delight. The ending of the book leaves readers in suspense, which was a great concept as it gets every avid reader to think of possible scenarios that would follow while digesting the content of the book.
Tags: Austin Maleik Collings, author, book, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, Insights to the spiritual world and interactions with the physical, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, spiritual, story, writer, writing
Stephanie Xavier hasn’t wanted for anything her entire life. She is privileged, spoiled, and has everything at her disposal. Her family’s wealth is well-known, and she has never had to hold a job or support herself. As perfect as her life seems, Stephanie is in need of much more. She has spent the better part of teens and young adulthood moving through meaningless short-lived relationships and has never known true love. The friendships she has made can hardly be called true. In fact, the only two women who still manage to spend time with her are as emotionally bankrupt as she is. When she makes up her mind to change her life, will the ones she wants to take with her be ready and willing?
Changing the Rules, the second book in the Sterling Wood series, by Charlene Johnson, chronicles the tempestuous life of Stephanie Xavier and her quest for a meaningful and loving relationship. After spending years bouncing from one man to the next in an effort to compete in a game based on sexual conquests, Stephanie realizes she wants love and not physical attention. Her problem is the man she wants, Craig, has been burned and is sure he can never love again–especially someone like Stephanie. He has heard the stories about her sex club and he knows she is the last person to commit. Their relationship seems doomed from the beginning. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Stephanie–as privileged as she is, she is a truly sad character.
Romance fans will revel in Johnson’s work. From cover to cover, the main characters are embroiled in one gratuitous sex scene after another. Buried within the explicit scenes is a storyline that doesn’t seem to get enough attention. The prologue set me up with some high expectations for the plot, but this was less a thriller and more of a romance. This is a plot-driven romantic suspense novel, with intense sex scenes, but I really wanted to see much more develop between Stephanie and several of the other characters.
I highly recommend Changing the Rules to any romance fan. With an element of mystery to the plot, I can see romance fans being intrigued with Stephanie’s storyline, her turbulent life, and the constant conflict she faces with Craig–she is a memorable character and definitely leaves her mark on readers.
Pages: 296 | ASIN: B08R81BYRT
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Changing the Rules, Charlene Johnson, college romance, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, new adult, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, urban fantasy, urban fiction, writer, writing
One bad work experience and a lay off is all it takes for Bryce’s life to change forever. Not only has the course of his life changed, but he has changed the direction of the lives of everyone around him. Those closest to him have no idea how much their lives will now be altered due to the decisions Bryce is making. When his rap career begins to take off, it doesn’t take long at all for the negative influences associated with that lifestyle to pull him in and ruin what he hoped would be a life of grandeur.
Ardent Grandeur, by Lynnette M. Clement, traces the career and unfortunate life choices of young Bryce. From the first moment in a recording studio to his last, Bryce is unable and, for the most part, unwilling to control his urges and say no to the many temptations around him. One by one, he brings pain and suffering to his family and the women in his life. Try as he might, Bryce falls time and time again.
Clement’s book, Ardent Grandeur, reads like a soap opera. Moving very quickly through the years, the author takes readers on a ride from the beginning of Bryce’s rap career to the tragic events that change his life forever. Written in the present tense, Clement’s work pulls readers into the lives of the characters and, at times, makes the story even more personal by turning to the reader with what feels like a second-person point of view. Bryce’s story is one readers will find fascinating and tragic and simultaneously horrifying.
While Ardent Grandeur has the makings of a wonderful realistic fiction story with a main character readers will find enthralling, there are some writing choices I could not move past. Long stretches of dialogue read more like a screenplay with little variety in sentence structure.
I found myself hoping with each subsequent chapter that Bryce would learn from his mistakes, make things right with his loved ones and stop repeating the same painful and damaging mistakes. He is one of those main characters I find exhausting because I was so emotionally invested in his character that I felt all the pain and suffering. Bryce was so authentically tragic. Ardent Grandeur is an absorbing urban fiction novel that will be hard to put down.
Pages: 242 | BN ID: 2940162735069
Tags: Ardent Grandeur, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Lynnette M. Clement, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, urban fantasy, urban fiction, writer, writing