Rhythempoets

Home of authors Holly Hunt & Jophrael L. Avario

The Devil’s Claim by Alexander Wilding – Review

Blurb:

The Devil’s Claim is a historical fiction set in seventeenth century Herefordshire, England, a time in which the first-born son inherits all.

By the day’s end, this innocent young man will sell his soul to the devil and be on the road to Hell and damnation. It’s December 15, 1644, his fourteenth birthday. It will be a day that William Blinkingsop will never forget.

William’s father called him into the library to talk about his future. It was to be the worst day of his life—being the third son meant that he wouldn’t inherit any of his father’s land.

Hugo the eldest will inherit, and Thomas the second son will manage the estate. The smug smile on his two brothers’ faces as they came out of the library told him that they thought that Mommy’s little favorite had been put into his place.

Faced with only the church or the army as a career, William cursed his luck and his two brothers who stood between him and a life of ease.

The devil doesn’t come to you when you’re strong; he comes to you when you’re weak or upset. That night, the devil came to William and offered to arrange two accidents for his brothers, so he would become heir. William jumped at the chance. Two accidents later, he was heir to his father’s land.

However, when you let the devil into your life, he takes over. When William was seventeen, his father was taken ill, and a pillow across the sick man’s face meant William inherited his father’s money

Life was good for William, and he denied himself nothing. All the pleasures of the flesh were his, and he crushed anyone who stood between him and profit.

However, money and power meant nothing to him when three days before his forty-fifth birthday, the devil sent a demon to tell him he was claiming his prize.

William, in fear, rushed to the church in the hope the priest might save him. At midnight on the twelfth of December 1689, the fight for his soul with the devil begins. Will it be Heaven or Hell that wins the day?

My Review:

The only thing I didn’t like about this story was its length – it could have used a lot more time and pages, and used them well. The author should consider rewriting this story into a full-length book.

Characters were excellent, the rep. of the Devil was cool, and I like the negotiations. Well done!

4.5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Dream Walker Returns by Michelle Murray – Review

Blurb: 

The Darkness has waited a long time to return to Mystica. Now, with the help of the wizard Shadow it has found a way back into the land. It will stop at nothing and no one to darken all of Mystica. Miranda is called to Mystica to help fight the Darkness. Her friend Brian follows. Does he mean to help or hinder her? Can Miranda stop the Darkness and save Mystica, and if so at what cost?

My Review:

While I understand that the book is meant for people a lot younger than me, I also realise that the target audience is still a more advanced reading level than the author credits them. The writing is simplistic and sparse on detail, with very little taking place through most of the book. I mean, I’m still not sure how old Miranda actually is – She seems to be a teenager, and simultaneously seems to be an adult. Oh, sure, there’s a quest to defeat evil, and a quest to find the stones, and all sorts of stuff happened, but there wasn’t really a collective emotion tying the reader to the page. It’s all ‘bam, pow, kersplat!’ instead of taking the time to connect the reader to the characters.

That makes it an automatic 3-star.

The scenery and the settings were great, there’s a good quest buried in the pages – but it definitely needs a good going over, an expansion, and a rethink on target audiences, and the author’s use of the exclamation mark in out-of-places.

If you can get past all that, it is a good book. But it will take some getting used to.

3.5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The End of the Computer by Andre Mikhailovich Solonitsyn – Review

Blurb:

Eclectic science fiction/nonfiction author and historian Patrick G. Conner is back again… as editor of Andre Mikhailovich Solonitsyn’s monumental story of wisdom, fear and hope.

It is the magnum opus of an extraordinary wordsmith.

Travel to the edge of The End of the world with some of the most interesting and enjoyable people you’ll ever meet.

Share the spine-chilling thrills and great emotional epiphanies as this company of friends are forced into the adventure of leaving their hollow lives in Moscow and Berkeley and becoming the earth mothers and fathers of Thunder Valley… if any of them survive the journey.

Thrill with the discovery that a hypercomputer can be fun, kind, happy… and the most dangerous person in existence to those who would destroy the earth – with the possible exception of one strange and lovely woman who grew up being told she was mentally deficient and utterly broken.

As this company of friends get to know each other better, the story accelerates into hyper-drive, with heart-pounding crisis after crisis, drawing you ever closer to The End of this high-stakes game for the continued existence of the human race on Earth. Winner takes all. If there is one.

Deja vu and serendipity.
Eternal love, dark betrayal and death.
Unexpected joy and heartbreaking failure.
Sparklingly brilliant universal concepts, with a rare mix of whimsical humor.
And a look into the past to save the future.

The path to The End is full of some of the most intriguing thoughts ever put into words.

The conclusion has many complex levels, but one thing is certain: you will reach The End on a high note, with a sense of deep fulfillment… and then want to go back to the beginning and start the adventure all over again.

My Review:

An excellent beginning to what promises to be a good trilogy. The beginning of the end, this book sets up the world for the end of the computer age… and the beginning of something more.

I love Jay, but I can see him going rogue. He’s already predicted the other AI’s will go rogue. I see no reason why he won’t eventually turn his back on his ‘family’. He’s already illustrated his willingness to act cold towards them, and even with Andre’s lecture, he might eventually see no alternative.

Either that, or his ‘final solution’ is going to turn on him the next time he accesses the internet.

Well-written, with characters that, while hard to connect to (or even tell apart) at the beginning, this book is definitely one of my new favourites.

5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Across the Pond by Michael McCormick – Review

Blurb:

Across The Pond is a work of fiction, based on the experiences of Michael McCormick during the Vietnam war, 1967-68. At the age of 19, Michael was awarded the Silver Star Medal and the Purple Heart. After the war, Michael earned a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in clinical psychology. The forward to the book is written by Ron Kovic, author of Born On The Fourth Of July.

My Review:

Captivating and simple, this book relays the experiences of a man stuck in the Vietnam war, both in Vietnam and at home. It was a lot shorter than I would have expected, and the book would do well with adding a few more stories into its depths. As it stands, it takes less than an hour to read, but the images will stay with you a lot longer than that. There’s nothing overly graphic, just a feeling of the desolation the war brings.

Well done, mate.

4.5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adam Sealon and the Dragon’s Egg by Brian Singh – Review

drgon eggBlurb:

Adam Sealon lies to his mother and goes off seeking adventure. He doesn’t have to run far to find it. When he and his friend experience an unbelievable event and meet a crazy magician, they are warned to keep it to themselves. But what Adam’s Uncle shows him next will change his life forever.

This charming tale, written in epic-poem style, about a young boy and his exciting adventures will entice readers of all ages. The rhyming style keeps the story moving in an interesting way, while the story itself unfolds with a fresh and surprising ending. The work, both fantasy and poem wrapped in one, is filled with imaginative creatures and odd people sure to interest you and your young reader and leave you yearning for more.

My Review:

It takes a strong man to write a compelling and imaginative story written in rhyming verse. Brian Singh has brought that idea to the table, and he does it very well. With a spirited cast of characters, this little book brings poetry to the light in a way that will delight adults and may just get children on the search for the wonderful medium of poetry…

4.5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Awake by Lana Moon – Review

AwakeBlurb:

RESTLESS
Tormented by nightmares since the death of her family in a devastating tornado, Eve has returned to her Missouri hometown to face her painful past. There, in her aunt’s long-abandoned cottage, she meets an unlikely healer: a gorgeous incubus on the prowl for a mate. Victor offers Eve innocent comfort and soothing caresses, but his demonic nature won’t long be denied.
WANTING
For thousands of years, Victor has preyed on women’s hidden desires while his own longings have gone unfulfilled. Now, at last, he’s met the woman of his dreams. But while their passion is quick to ignite, their future is far from certain. Eve’s feelings of guilt and Victor’s own dark deeds still haunt them. If Eve gives him her body yet withholds her trust, an enemy from Victor’s past could end their love—and him—forever.

My Review:

If you remove the magic and the references to the Incubus side of Victor’s nature, this could just as easily be a short, sweet romance about a misunderstood man and his woman. They’re young, they’re in love, there’s a creepy wacko who loves in the forest trying to kill them. What part of that isn’t normal young romance?

You would have to remove the ‘climbing through a window to watch her sleep’ bit, though. That’s just creepy.

I find this sort of book to be delicious, to be devoured in one sitting. In this case, a little under two hours. Those are the best types of books. While I did find Eve to be a lovely character, some of her personality quirks (her ‘big secret’, for example) can be annoying when played too often. Victor’s return to animalistic form should have scared the hell out of her, unless he was still in control enough to control her. So many niggly bits that play well when reading, but don’t sit so nicely when you thin about them after.

All-in-all, a wonderful book, albeit not one really calling to be read again.

4/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Bound Obsession by Veronica Wilder – Review

Blurb:

Abigail Fuller is flat broke and terrified. Heeding the advice of her best friend, she enters Club Taboo in the role of a full-service escort.

Catching the eye of Patrick Dorson, she is swiftly driven into a world of pleasure and pain. But will Patrick’s rival claim her for his own? Or will her new lover’s jealous nature spoil any chance at happiness?

My Review:

With the 50SOG obsession sparking around the world, erotica quality has taken a nosedive in recent years. Despite, or perhaps, because, there is more in the world, it’s getting harder and harder to find quality smut.
Stop looking now, ladies. We’ve found it.
Written in a compelling and delicious way, Bound Obsession is a book that keeps you hungry for more. Patrick’s sexy body, Abby’s delicious naivety, it’s all leading to delicious, naughty sex that will have your husband up in the middle of the night.
I don’t know what else I can say about this one except… “Yes, please!”
5.5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 10, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Time Table by NJ Rayner – Review

Blurb: 

There’s something weird going on deep in the London Underground.
Down in the subterranean labyrinths of long abandoned tunnels, ventilation shafts and disused stations, strange creatures are engaged in pointless battles of stupidity in their dark hidden world.
And the discovery of a stone table with amazing powers will only make things worse, as with staggering incompetence, the rival gangs fight to gain control of it.
But who will be the victors? Which of them will gain control of the table? Will they have a clue what to do with it? And in the process, how much longer will they be able to keep their existence a secret?
Could the world below ground, and the world above ground, be well on course for an unpredictable collision?

My Review:

An imaginative look at the London Underground, I must say! With a delightful amount of humour and quirkiness, this book has definitely got it going on.
Written on the edge of Gaiman’s Neverwhere style, but with a lot more fun and games, this book brings the London Underground to life. With whimsy and magic smothering the characters, you would think it would get a bit annoying (and it does in some places), but the overall feeling of the book is both fun and joyous. The creatures of the Underground are magical, spirited and territorial, with fights spilling every which-way. Great for the young learning to read (except the slightly-ridiculous names) and the young at heart, this is definitely a book for everyone.

4/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 10, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Jaime’s Blues by Vinod Kumar Sharma – Review

Blurb:

On a blind dating trip to London, Jamie was subjected to indignity and assault for being an American and a Black. Feeling disillusioned, he cursed his existence and wished to be teleported elsewhere, to a more amicable world.

Next, Jamie and his crew were on a space mission. Vaccines, rodents, male sperms, and female eggs were on board the spacecraft for experiments. An accidental mix of vaccines turned the skin color of their white and black subject rats to a glossy blue. While Jamie and his crew were in space, the human race perished due to a nuclear holocaust. They returned to earth. Being the only survivors, they began to rebuild a new homogeneous world and vowed not to let the flaws of the earlier world surface again. They took the same vaccine as the test rodents and their skins turned blue. Their offspring were blue-skinned too.

Centuries later, the new world was populated with blue-skinned males and females. This new blue world not only hated black-, brown-, and white-skinned humans but also exterminated them. And then one day a Black baby boy, also named Jamie, and Pam, a White baby girl, were born into this glossy blue world to two different sets of parents through IVF that used, out of ignorance, male sperms and female eggs stored on board the centuries-old spacecraft on display at a museum. To save such odd colored babies from extermination—the law of the land—the parents managed to hide their baby’s skin color with blue paste. With time, Jamie and Pam grew to adulthood. A day after they got engaged, the truth surfaced and they were sentenced to death by lethal injection. Their parents learnt of the vaccine that had first triggered the blue skin pigmentation and stole its remains from the museum to replace the death serum with it. Strapped to their deathbeds with the lethal injections given, the wait started.

Were they exterminated, or pardoned? Or did the scene unfold differently?!!

Experience the complexities of various situations. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last moment. A journey full of adventure, action, romance, suspense, and …?

 

My Review:

Jaime has a wonderfully compelling story, with the later half of this epic-like journey culminating in the 1984-like future world. With perfection on the surface, covering and hiding the rotten underworld, it’s definitely a futuristic dystopian, and I love those types of stories. The idea of a world so steeped in ‘saving face’ and covering up the institutionalised racism is definitely something I LOVE to read.

A unique and wonderful representation of what we could, and probably shouldn’t be. This is a heavy book, full of racial and social prejudice, clearly intended as a comment on current racial tension and and international incidents such as those that have occurred in Britain, the USA and Australia, to name a few. However, from the ditching of the black MC at the airport, to his beating by Muslim youth, to the indifference posed by white highway patrol, this book feels like nothing more than “white shaming” for the sake of it. Pamela ditches because he’s not the tall white guy she presumed he was. The Muslims blame his white president for the situation he’s in. The highway patrol takes one look at him and the rain, and drive on.

That said, I have only marked it down one star. It’s not as bad as it seems. In fact, it’s more enjoyable the further in you get, with excellent pacing, wonderful characters and compelling plots, until you can’t really remember reading your way through the last 4 hours.

4/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

 

February 9, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Scars of Miranda by Ryan Henry – Review

Blurb:

***This short story takes place after events depicted in the novel Betrayal on Triton.***

In the final days of the Uranian moon-miners’ uprising, ragtag partisans of the United People’s Front stood a thin line between the last free colony on tiny Miranda and the armed forces of our corporate overlord, PhobosFusion. When I finally joined their revolution, all I wanted was to get in the fight as an APEC operator.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I had little discipline, training, or experience. But I had a lot of heart. Maybe that’s why our veteran squad leader, Ian MacClane, trusted me with a very special assignment. One that kept me out of harm’s way and in constant disappointment.

I was on recon duty when the most ruthless mercenary squad in the solar system dropped from the airless void to light us up. And behind the controls of my armored personal expeditionary chassis, I was thrust into the final battle for control of Miranda. So you could say I got my baptism by fire. But for me, the real conflict began when the slugs and missiles stopped flying.

Those mercs had shown up for an unlikely reason. One that would put my ideals and loyalties to the test. Backed into a corner and unsure of who to trust, I was forced to make the most important decision of my life — and, by extension, the lives of every free colonist on our moon.

My name is Annabeth Keller. This is my story. Don’t let me be forgotten.

My Review:

A well-thought novella that takes place in the same universe as Betrayal on Titan, which I recently read.
Talk about a heart attack! There are definitely some moments that left me speechless, which are definitely worth reading the other book, though not a necessity. With a darkness overshadowing it all, you can really feel the tension and damage heaped upon the characters across the board.
An improvement on the last book in terms of writing, style and characterisation, and a wonderful addition to the universe, there’s very little bad to be said about this book – except that it ended!
5/5

Buy Link:

Amazon

February 3, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off

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