Home of authors Holly Hunt & Jophrael L. Avario

Starchild: The Age of Akra by Vacen Taylor – Review



When Mai is chosen to take a pilgrimage to the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts to train with the oldest and wisest master of their people, an ancient prophecy is set in motion. The events to come have been predicted but are not unchangeable. When the Starchild returns to the planet of Sage, the foreknowledge of the prophecy begins to gain strength.

Four children come together and become linked to the events that lie ahead. In The Age of Akra, the first stage of their journey has them facing the deadly spiderflax, only then to be confronted by a creature of the underworld, an evil Dementra called Amual.

The struggle to bring peace to the world of powerful energies lies in the hands of these four children and a strange little lizard. And it will not come easy. This journey is only the beginning.

My Review:

A story with developed characters and world that would bring any one a little joy and tears. The characters that are introduced into this instalment are hardy and welcoming, without being whiny or annoying, as is the habit of most YA authors. Without a doubt, one of the better YAs I’ve read so far.

However, the idea of the MC being the ‘Chosen One’ is an overdone cliché – but how else were you going to get her out of a superstitious village of mind-readers, I guess.

Recommended for the younger readers, probably wouldn’t hold much weight with older ones.


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April 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Comments Off on Starchild: The Age of Akra by Vacen Taylor – Review

Reach For Your Light by Ces Creatively – Review


Emma Williams is searching for a new direction. Leaving behind a dead end career and harrowing relationship in London, she makes a fresh start in Bournemouth bonding immediately with flat mate Denzil and enjoying coastal life.

Falling in love with delicious Jeremy White she soon discovers that her new life is not as uncomplicated as she’d hoped. It may look like she has the perfect beach apartment and gorgeous man of her dreams but when visions of a mysterious stranger become reality and manipulating exes are out to cause trouble in paradise, Em just wants to find the truth in a world of deceit.

The Light Direction will take you on a fast-paced roller coaster of hot sex, mind games and supernatural visions that will leave you hungry for more.

My Review:

This is one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. Don’t get me went, it’s a perfectly linear story, it’s clearly a romance masquerading as a paranormal (seriously, the only paranormal thing that happens is a weird feeling and some glowing lights), with a bit of the hot ‘n’ heavy thrown in. But I just walked away confused.
Aside from wanting to punch certain characters in the face. There was no confusion about that.
I don’t think I really know what confused me.
Whether it was the fact the story didn’t seem to have an actual ending to round it off.
Whether it was the fact that Jaxx just seemed to appear out of nowhere at the end of the story, knowing everything about Emma.
Whether it was the ridiculous compound sentences lacking so much grammar that they flowed like a teenager’s thoughts (don’t get me started on the text-speak. It might be part of the character, but from someone who types out every word, it’s just f-ing annoying – I read to read, not decode!).
Or whether it was that the middle of the story only linked up to the story at the beginning and end by coincidence, orchestrated by the ‘baddie’ well before Emma even met Jeremy. There are a lot of blanks here that need to be filled by the sequel.
I hope Ms Creatively can answer these questions, and soon.

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June 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Transmigration of Cora Riley by Ellie Di Julio – Review

Once upon a time, there was a chubby little girl with red hair and freckles who thought the world was a magical place where anything was possible. Her daddy taught her to believe in faeries and to see what’s really there. Her mommy taught her that everyone has something special about them and that she could grow up to be whatever she wanted. She played outside with her friends, did well in her studies, and daydreamed whenever she got the chance. She was strong and fierce and trusted that everything would work out fine even if she didn’t know how.

Everything did not work out fine.

As she changed from little girl to grown woman, the world also changed. The magic gradually drained out of her life. Faeries were for children. Lovers consumed her thoughts. Career choices loomed. And when Death knocked at her mother’s door, she decided not to leave her small town. Her dreams of traveling the globe to experience the vast riches of life evaporated.

The woman settled down with a suitor who wanted the things she knew she should want. He bought her flowers, had a good job, and was loved by her parents. He made sure she never wanted for anything. They planned a life together. She grew comfortable in their love and in the soothing routine of their life.

Then one day, the woman realized that she’d let thirty years slip past. None of her childhood dreams had come true. She wasn’t the special star she’d always believed she’d be. Her life had become monotonous and painfully average. She wondered where the magic had gone and if it was too late to find it. The more she noticed that it was missing, the sadder she became, and the further she drew into herself.

Her lover didn’t understand. When she asked him for help, he selfishly turned away and rejected her. Now she would have to face the world alone. To her surprise, this didn’t upset her as much as she thought it would. He was a good man but not good enough.

Perhaps things would work out fine, after all.

And so she packed her things and drove away from her home in search of the missing magic. She didn’t know where the road would take her, who she would meet along the way, or if she would find what she was looking for. All she knew was that the time had long passed for her to have an adventure.

She never expected to die. She never expected to fail her quest before she even began. She never expected to forget her own story.

My Review:

This was a slow-starting story, but it didn’t take long to get going. As soon as we reached the Underworld, things really started bouncing.

I do have issue with the style of the story, however. While it is always acceptable as innovation, the character constantly breaks the fourth wall, leading to a stop-start feel to the narrative.

Nevertheless, it is a very good book, with enjoyable characters, an intriguing backstory (or two) and plenty of room for a second (or even third) book.


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March 11, 2014 Posted by | Book Reviews, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Home World by Bonnie Milani – Review

My review:

the story started out strongly, but I began to lose traction following it towards the middle. Nevertheless, there is definitely a good story here, with Jezekiah and Keiko a sweet note in an otherwise-stark universe. Sci-fi meets Romance, with both a sweet nibble and a bitter aftertaste – after all, when it’s a love triangle, someone has to lose…

The war in the background was a trilling ride, in response to the romantic main story. I would have been more interested in a story mainly featuring them, but it was good to have the scenes broken up with some hot lovin’.


Home World

Amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Waikiki, Jezekiah Van Buren thinks he’s found a way to restore Earth – Home World to the other worlds of the human Commonwealth – to her lost glory.

Ingenious even by the standards of the genetically enhanced Great Family Van Buren, Jezekiah has achieved the impossible:  he has arranged a treaty that will convert Earth’s ancient enemies, the Lupans, to her most powerful allies.  Not only will the treaty terms make  Earth rich again, it will let him escape the Ring that condemns him to be Earth’s next ruler.  Best of all, the treaty leaves him free to marry Keiko Yakamoto, the Samuari-trained woman he loves.  Everything’s set.  All Jezekiah has to do is convince his xenophobic sister to accept the Lupan’s alpha warlord in marriage. Before, that is, the assassin she’s put on his tail succeeds in killing him.  Or the interstellar crime ring called Ho Tong succeed in raising  another rebellion.  Or before his ruling relatives on competing worlds manage to execute him for treason. 
But Jezekiah was bred for politics and trained to rule.  He’s got it all under control. Until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth.  And suddenly these two most powerful men find themselves in love with the same woman.   A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.

Bonnie Milani

Bonnie has taken what might be called the sandwich approach to writing.  She started writing early, winning state-wide writing contests in grammar school, publishing an environmental fairy tale under the aegis of the NJ Board of Education in college.  After earning her M.A. in Communication at Stanford, Bonnie freelanced feature articles for East Coast newspapers and regional magazines, from Mankind and Peninsula to Science Digest as well as how to articles for the late & much lamented fanzine Speculations.  She stopped writing completely after marriage while building a pair of businesses with her husband.  It was only with the successive deaths of each member of her family that she reclaimed her love of story-telling.  Home World is the result.
Today, Bonnie lives with her husband of thirty-six years in Los Angeles.  She is still a full-time benefits broker, specializing in employee benefits for entrepreneurs and micro-businesses. 
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September 9, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Home World by Bonnie Milani – Review