Category Archives: Three Stars

C# Via the Happy Path

T. Cloudhorn makes programming seem easy for everyone. The author starts the book by introducing the reader to tech words, programming phrases, and new terms, and he goes further to explain how they function. Readers will love this book because it is not just for busy undergraduates but also for any beginner that wants to learn more about the C# language.

While going through the book, readers will learn about the coding concepts that are needed to build a foundation for successful programming in C#. The author explains even the most complex terminologies in a manner that those that are just starting out with programming can comprehend.

Included in this educational book are appealing and clear illustrations to help the reader understand object-oriented programming concepts. With simple language and concise explanations you will not feel lost while reading this book. T. Cloudhorn explains everything that needs to be explained in either text or visual methods.

In one section of this enlightening book, the author explains the difference between compilers, interpreters, and hybrid language systems. Other topics of importance that are included are learning about classes, generics, inheritance, interfaces, delegates, and events and why you would need to use them. If you are struggling to differentiate those mentioned above, this book is for you.

C# Via the Happy Path: Conversational style book for the busy (undergrad) student will help aspiring programmers learn about different programming concepts. This is a great educational resource for anyone just starting their programming journey, or for programmers who have been out of the programming space for some time and need a refresher, to better understand object-oriented programming.

Pages: 261 | ASIN : B09MN8V248

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Becoming Soul

Becoming Soul by El Alma is an intriguing book that reminds us of the simplicity of life. Before the modern age and having technology at our fingertips, we as humans were connected to our god. Our soul is the one being reborn with a purpose that is chosen before we enter this earthly life. After we are born, we forget this purpose to learn from our experiences in an unbiased view; thus, we settle into our life here on Earth, unaware at the beginning of how we arrived at this point or why we are even here. The book starts with a striking opening, ‘We start our journeys long before we arrive on Earth, for we are eternal consciousnesses.’ This take on life makes readers think back on their past experiences and contemplate their beliefs on life and the afterlife.

The author describes seven steps to reach Heaven and be together with the mother of all. These seven steps are Silence, Hope, Suffering, Loss, Survival, Believe, and finally, Heaven. This process, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Comparing and contrasting with Jesus’ journey, the author tells the tale of Asina. She embarks on her journey, where she almost gives up her quest for reaching the mother. There are times she thinks of ending her life and pursuit, but with the guidance of her guardian angels, she climbs one step after another in her journey to Heaven. This complex novel gives readers hope that even in your darkest moments, you can pull through and find the light that will lead you to answers and enlightenment.

Throughout the book, we also follow the story of women connected to Asina. Ezara, her grandmother, and Nettie, her own daughter. Both of these women, too, live through their seven steps, and sometimes it’s heartbreaking to see them suffer, but it is unrealistic to imagine a life without ups and downs. Yet, these moments strengthen the soul and your courage and determination to fight and survive till the end. The realistic approach to life without sugar-coating one’s existence will allow readers to take with them seeds of hope that the darkest moments of your life are part of the lessons your soul came to Earth to learn.

Becoming Soul is a beautiful story, and El Alma’s style is relatively easy to grasp. The characters show substantial development throughout the story, and at the end, the reader is left wondering and reflecting on their own journey and existence on Earth. Readers of inspirational fiction, new age fiction, or religious spirituality will find this an inspiring and thought-provoking novel.

Pages: 103 | ASIN : B085DHJC62

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Journey of 200

Journey of 200 by Wilbur is a story told from the point of view of Guillaume, a boy with autism.  With his two sisters, Catherine and Madeline, Guillaume wins a robot-building competition. The prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to India, and they somehow manage to set off on their trip with no parents involved. While in India they hear about a trek in China that will grant them life to the age of 200 if they survive the journey, so they set off for China to make the perilous attempt to reach the top of the mountain.

Journey of 200 is the first novel by new author Wilbur. The dialogue reflects the characters autism, it doesn’t always flow very well but that is part of the character development of Guillaume. The overall writing is well-structured and clear. The author has created a detailed world, giving readers a sense of his vision of India and China through the eyes of Guillaume. 

Journey of 200 is a colorful adventure story, and it does give a fascinating glimpse into a mind influenced by autism. I think this novel is for mature readers as it contains casual violence throughout, from the punching and kicking, children’s acquisition and use of guns, common brutality and horrific death. There is racism laced throughout the story, and savage misogyny, as when Guillaume impassively witnesses his sister being beaten and is unmoved. Wilber is able to use these themes to build on the suspense and action of characters.

Journey of 200 by Wilbur is shocking and provocative while maintaining a clear story line. While this book is not for everyone, those that enjoy seeing the darker side of society with a thrilling adventure and quest mixed in will enjoy this novel.

Pages: 121 | ASIN : B08ZXQ3NN8

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Storm

Storm: Book 1 by [Steven Paul-Germané]

Steven Paul-Germane’s Storm is an intriguing mix of erotica and mystery. It follows the life of Philip Stevens (Storm), a young man born into privilege. Born on a stormy day in June, he is a triplet, his two brothers are almost identical to him. It’s therefore no wonder that each triplet was hell-bent on having an individual personality separate from the rest while growing up. Unfortunately, Storm’s major personality trait is that he is a player, using both men and women as sex toys. As such, a big part of the book is filled with his sexual exploits. That aside though, there’s a serious mystery plot taking place concurrently – someone is stalking members of Storm’s family. This escalates from page to page, leading to a series of unfortunate events. Ultimately, there are many casualties and broken hearts. What’s more? The plot twist at the end is not only unpredictable but also downright disturbing. If you are a reader into books that leave you wondering what you just read, Storm is for you.

Another great thing about this book is the fact that its dialogue and prose are written in light, simple language – there are neither long-winded paragraphs nor heavy vocabulary. This makes the book easy to read. Also, the fact that the book is written in the voice of the main character from the beginning to the end gives it a uniformity that makes it a breeze to read. The disclaimer on the first page letting you know that there are a lot of erotic scenes in the story is not an understatement, readers looking for a hardcore erotica novel will have their fill with this book. If you are a reader looking for a vivid erotic novel then this is for you, as it very descriptive and this sometimes overshadows the mystery at the center of the story, making it feel like more of a subplot.

While the premise of the book is incredible, its outlandish story will entertain readers who are looking to read shockingly provocative carnal literature. Storm: Book 1 is an easy book to get into and has an interesting premise, with a little editing, this book has the potential to take fans of Fifty Shades of Grey to the next level.

Pages: 394 | ASIN: B0792JG5HQ

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SARAH

SARAH by [Amir Barghi]

Sarah: The Eternal Beauty is an erotic crime thriller set in 1974 following a young girl named Sarah who is forced to marry a ruthless older man to save her brother from debt after their father’s death. After Sarah marries the Colonel, her life is one of luxury and excess, but it does not bring her happiness. Though her husband professes to love her, she is nothing more than a possession to him. When she tries to escape the marriage, the Colonel refuses to let her go and uses her son to keep her tied to him. Sarah becomes a different person from the innocent girl she once was. Will she ever be free?

This short story was a quick read that showed the powerlessness that women often face in a male dominated society when the options are limited for those trying to escape a life of poverty. When Sarah was first introduced, I could sympathize with her character being forced to marry a man she didn’t love to save her brother from debt and keep their family home. Although I didn’t like the person she became during the marriage, I liked that the author wrote a happy ending for her, which is unfortunately so often not the case in real life. I felt that the ending of the book was a bit too abrupt, though. I wanted to know what happened to Sarah and her son after the dramatic ending. I would have liked to see who she became once she was finally free from the Colonel.

While I enjoyed the story overall, I felt that there were several areas throughout the book where I would have loved to have more detail so that we can dive deeper into the reasons and motivations behind Sarah’s actions, because at times I felt that her actions were inconsistent.

This intriguing thriller could benefit from some editing so that inconsistencies don’t distract readers from the interesting story. The story tense switched back and forth between past tense and present tense and there were a variety of grammatical errors that hampered the overall flow and understanding of the story. But all of this could be fixed with a good editor.

Sarah: The Eternal Beauty is a thought-provoking melodrama that has all the potential to be a riveting novel. Readers looking for a dramatic portrayal of what women face in abusive relationships will find an fascinating experience in this provocative psychological thriller.

Pages: | ASIN:  B087WTQWVF

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Dark Chase

Dark Chase by [Seth Sjostrom]

Fear haunts the hearts of the town of Hope, North Dakota. Their already small community starts dwindling as citizens drop dead unexpectedly. Heart attacks are not unusual. But in teens? With a fever? Delusions?

Suspicion falls on the long since abandoned Helberg house. A home of misfortune and grief. Not knowing what to do, the town of Hope calls in the experts. The FBI is assigned to the case with Dr. Ryder Chase and his paranormal team in tow. They arrive expecting an easy case of misadventure and ghostly unrest, only to find the house is not all that it may seem. In this paranormal thriller by Seth Sjostrom, Dark Chase will take readers down the paranormal investigative rabbit hole and unearth the mysteries of the afterlife.

It is clear the author has worked very hard to showcase his extensive research and knowledge of ghost hunting. He uses lots of terms and jargon associated with paranormal investigation. For example, Sjostrom refers to the EMF device that picks up paranormal energy in a room often when his characters are investigating the Helberg house.

What most people expect from thrillers is suspense and built-up tension. Dark Chase goes between a mystery story and a thriller novel without committing to either. I think a good mystery story requires little hints dropped here and there, as though the author is scattering rose petals, trailing them up the stairs and into the bedroom where all the answers we have been waiting for are revealed. I feel that this story has a trail that leads all the way to the last chapter of the novel where we finally get some answers to the perplexing mystery, all the while readers will be spinning trying to piece together the mystery at the heart of this curious story.

While I thought the characters were interesting, I felt that at times the actions and words used in dialogue were a bit awkward; like “purge” which is used to mean “throw-up.” But otherwise, the dialogue is sufficient to keep the story moving. In chapter seven the story brings to light the only secondary female character in the novel, describing her as “feminine” and “soft”. This character has been in the background for most of the book but the story suddenly sexualizes her through the eyes of one of the main characters, Dr. Chase, using stereotypical “feminine” qualities to describe agent Sohn. I do not believe this is intended to be sexist; I believe the story is attempting to create a subplot romance between Dr. Chase and Agent Sohn, but I felt that the descriptors and setup could have been handled with more subtlety and literary finesse.

Dark Chase has all the hallmarks and potential to be a very good mystery thriller. With a bit of editing the fascinating ideas contained within this book can really shine. Readers looking for an intriguing paranormal thriller with realistic ghost hunting jargon and procedures will find it in Dark Chase.

Pages: 302 | ASIN: B087BNBV4B

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Random Summer Storms

Dee has never known boredom. There isn’t a day in her life that hasn’t been fraught with drama, violence, or intrigue of one kind or another. From very early in life, Dee lived a youth that was leaps and bound beyond those of others her age. She and her surfer friends managed to survive a youth most could never imagine. After overcoming threats against her family and an unwilling involvement with the Cartel, Dee manages to build a life for herself–one that is filled with all the luxuries one could ever desire. Her life with Ian is, by all accounts, a perfect one. Or is it?

Random Summer Storms: Book Three–Family, by Denise Ann Stock, details the life of Dee and those who are important to her. Dee has a large closely knit family, and she reminisces about all of their accomplishments and relishes the thought of her own children’s promising futures. Family is everything to Dee and her husband, Ian. Their questionable past is behind them, and they have moved forward to create an enviable life.

As narratives go, Stock’s book has it all. Dee’s story lacks absolutely nothing when it comes to descriptions of the character’s lives, the lives of their children, and the interactions they have with extended family and friends. From Dee and Ian’s youth to their present stage of life, this first-person narrative extensively describes the lives of virtually everyone involved in Dee and Ian’s lives.

While the author does a thorough job of writing a well-developed narrative, there is almost no dialogue in the book. For all of the incredible life situations the narrator describes, I feel there is a lack of exchanges between characters that could have added to the intensity and drama of the book. A few verbal exchanges occur in flashbacks as Dee reminisces, but it isn’t extensive and doesn’t lend itself to any plot point.

I also missed any rising action and climax in this installment of the Random Summer Storms series. Early on, there is a hint at what may be coming. The narrator gives a mention of some impending doom, but then the reader is led on a journey through Dee’s memories and descriptions of her new life. After a couple of chapters, it is easy to forget there was a mention of a possible conflict.

Random Summer Storms has the potential to be a fascinating journal-style novel or an incredible drama. I can, however, recommend this book to any fan of personal narratives. Stock’s characters are interesting and represent amazing lives readers will find intriguing.

Pages: 252 | ISBN: 1952269474

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Hide

Hide: He knows your secrets by [Janine Ellis-Fynn]

Charlotte knew there would be trouble for her, and probably her friends as well, as soon as she got the news that her husband had woken up from his coma. Even on the best of days, Patrick could be moody, volatile, unfriendly, and at times downright violent. When provoked, his unpredictability escalated.  As each of the women began to receive bizarre gifts that referenced traumas in their pasts, they knew Patrick had to be responsible somehow and wondered collectively what he might actually be capable of. Turns out, there was plenty about him that even his wife didn’t know, but one woman was closer to the truth than she even realized.

Hide by Janine Ellis-Fynn covers a lot of ground on subjects as varied as abuse, trauma, revenge, and friendship. As cowed as Charlotte is by her abusive husband, she is equally emboldened by the group of friends made over the course of the past year. Despite each of them dealing with their own trials and traumas, loss and life changing events, they all have stood up for each other in ways they never could have imagined even doing for themselves. Patrick, on the other hand, is a product of his childhood, a time filled with endless days of abuse at the hands of those that should have fought to protect him. As a result, he is detached, not to mention a psychopath by clinical definition. Everything about the story sets the framework for a tense and engaging thriller.

While the themes of friendship and faith try to rise to prominence in this emotionally charged story, I would have enjoyed more easy flowing an organic dialogue to really bring the characters out and make them engaging. 

Hide is a very interesting story. I honestly could not put it down because I kept waiting for the climax. It really did have all the foundations of a great thriller, and I wanted to dive deeper into the characters and explore the central idea of this novel a little more in depth. If you are a fan of melodramatic thrillers, then you will enjoy this intriguing story.

Pages: 178 | ASIN: B09HHJMZRR

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