Thursday, October 31, 2013

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Review first posted on Blog Critics as Book Review:'Man Made Boy' by Jon Skovron.

Just in time for the holidays and reading season, Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron takes you on a journey of modern technology and Classic mythology. 
Meet 17 year old Boy; he has never been out of his home. Of course being the son of Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride seem to keep him at a disadvantage. It is only as he gets his first chance to leave the fold on a company related business that he realizes just how much he stands out in the world of humans.
Living in a secret, hidden den under Times Square, his family and friends work in show business. Here they can hide their peculiarities though makeup and showmanship. Boy lives his life with his biggest joy being the computer and all its glory. A hacker at heart he finds he is uber talented and sets up a virus that he feels can move on its own. To his friends from the chat rooms on the internet, he is interesting and bold. They are all excited to test his theory. When he finally does release his virus, he is distraught; the whole thing just seems to disappear.
Leaving home, unhappy with his lot in life, he finds many other of his kind in small sporadic groups. When he meets the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, he is in love. She (they) introduce him to malls and diners, yet heartbreak is not far away.  Suddenly he finds that the demons he thought he had escaped are close.  Yet they are not exactly as he imagined as his virus has now come back to haunt him.  Can he address the errors he has made and save his family and friends form his own creative mistakes?
This is a fun and exciting journey into the word of monsters. The coming of age journey for Boy, mirrors that of most young men in the world, yet he must overcome so much more. He is the descendent of Monsters and he does not look like anyone else.  He has also created his own form of monster and is learning a hard lesson of courage.
This is a funny and creepy story full of heart and laughter. The characters are memorable and the story remarkable.  
This is a great piece of work for the young adult audience, but is enjoyable to any that are young at heart. If you are into technology, or mythology, a strange mix for sure, you will find this work both interesting and intriguing. The tragedy and joy keep you spellbound with interest. Skovron has given us a tale of monsters that is hard to put down. You will find yourself reading late into the night in this adventurous journey.  
Rating 4/5

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Life of a Double Agent by Kenneth J. Kerr

Posted first on Blog critics as Book Review:'Life of a Double Agent' by Kenneth J. Kerr.

Have you ever wondered about the intricate and unsettled life of those who choose to be double agents for their governments?
Kenneth J. Kerr brings us a tale of intrigue in the life of a young man who makes this choice early in his career.
In The Life of a Double Agent by Kenneth J. Kerr, we follow Jim Hunt as he is first recruited in college to help monitor activities on campus, for the CIA. After graduation he joins the army and is recruited by the Chinese, all with the backing of the CIA.  After serving for his country Jim settles down working for Dow Chemical Company and later Renewable Power Company, all the while continuing to his double life even as he moves forward.
Years of intrigue and travel follow him and even as he retires he finds he needs to be of service. He chooses to work for the Peace Corps after his retirement from both his job and the CIA. Yet he soon finds that retirement is not always that easy.
Kerr has given us a unique and interesting perspective of life as an agent. Following the entire career of Jim Hunt from his first introduction to the agency, to the end of his career working the government, you travel the corridors of countries and areas through the eyes of the author.
Kerr’s extensive travel gives him a unique view of the countries he describes, and you find yourself pulled into the sights and wonders of it all. The interesting part of this work is the highs and lows of the profession, and how he was able to give you both sides of the character, his home, family and work side, as well as that of his other identity.
If you are interested in travel and intrigue, you will enjoy this work. The transition of Jim’s life as he continues to keep his integrity while working with the CIA, keep you guessing.  With the normalcy of how the interactions go you find yourself looking at the faces of those around you. Could they too be leading a double life?
This would be a great book for a reading group. The discussion of integrity and intrigue seem at odds and yet somehow it works.
Rating 3/5
This book was received from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Winds of Salem by Melissa De La Cruz

Posted first on Blog Critics as Book Review:'Winds of Salem' by Melissa De La Cruz

When a magic spell casts Freya Beauchamp back to 1692 Salem, she is locked in a time when witches are being persecuted.  In Winds of Salem by Melissa De La Cruz, we follow the life of a young Freya as she finds the tides against her changing.
De La Cruz moves through the story from present to past and back again in an effort for those who searching for Freya to find the reasoning for the transference.  When first going through the witch trials of Salem, while she died as did many did, they were able to come back at another time and place. This time though, if they cannot change the fate of Freya, she will die with no return. The rips in the fabric of time and the strange power surges make rescue impossible.
Can Freya resist the urge to use her power, or will she be caught up again and lose her life in the historical challenge of the witch trials. Her family is working all venues to try and find the answers, hoping that she will make the right decisions, yet knowing that with no memory of prior events she will not understand the possible consequences of her actions.
The characters are the same ones we have come to know through her Witches of East End series, full of fun and devilment, yet now a darker twist adds a foreboding suspense that will hold you in thrall. To save Freya, her family must face some danger of their own, casting a wide net of inevitability to the possible consequences of being caught up in the machinations of those trying to destroy them.
The shift between times and places is done smoothly, and the description of events keeps you on the edge of your seat as the Beauchamp family tries to right the magic.
IF you enjoy the Witches of East End series, you will really enjoy this work which takes you back in the history of the family. If you love suspense and magic you will find both with a clever dash of humor that weaves throughout and relieves a bit of the tenseness, yet the danger is always close to the surface.
This would be a great book for a book club or reading group.  
Rating 4/5
This book was received free from the authors publicist. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding the material. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cold Light; Book 2 of the After Trilogy by Traci L. Slatton

Posted first on Blog Critics as Book Review: 'Cold Light; Book 2 of the After Trilogy' by Traci L. Slatton.

Love is an emotion that is often difficult to understand. While deep and abiding, love doesn’t always dwell with one person. Love of a family member, love of a friend and love of that one special person meant just for you, often get twisted, especially when making choices in youth.

Such is the case for Emma, who in the beginning, Fallen: Book 1 of the After Trilogy, she hooks up with a team of ruffians to rescue herself, her daughter and a group of orphans. When she is finally rescued by her husband and returned to her own home, she finds she has lost a piece of her soul, held captive by the man she sought for help. In Cold Light: Book 2 of the After Trilogy by Traci L. Slatton, Emma has come to terms with her loss. She loves her husband and her children need her. Yet she knows deep in her heart, the love is different. The yearning continues. Yet life decides to intrude and throw her another obstacle. Her oldest daughter Beth is kidnapped during a raid, and she knows that if she does not go after her, Beth’s life will become a nightmare.

Because of her prior experiences and the strange gift she has received from the mists, she is more capable then her husband to mount the charge. Haywood must look after Mandy, she has already been through much and they both understand one of them must stay. The safe zone were they have made their home is no longer safe. The mists have been coming nearer, and the people are afraid. Emma has a strange feeling about the returning mists, only one person seems to hold the key and she left him on another continent. Beth is only nine and her main concern now. She must go into the unprotected zone, there is no one else. Can she find her before it is too late? Can the strange sighting of the mists have something to do with her other life and Arthur?

Slatton has given us another stellar example of life after the fall. Emma is brave and bold, and attracts people due to both her personality as well as her power. Yet she must be careful, she does not want to be known as a witch. The characters that begin to surround her are gregarious and mysterious. When she runs into her old nemesis and love Arthur, tension only gets stronger. Slatton brings in all the heat and heart that keep you warm, even as danger and darkness descend.

This is a wonderful second part to her series, keeping you looking and hoping for more. There is such difficulty due to her depiction of characters; you root for them both to be the final winner of her love. This is a difficult task, yet she does it with aplomb.

If you enjoy end of the world novels full of adventure and romance, this will be the work for you. The characters are likable and the story holds both romance and loss. Slatton has found the key to lock the two together.

Rating 4\5

This book was received free from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Karma Stone by L. A. Wright/ Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Karma Stone by L.A. Wright

The Karma Stone

by L.A. Wright

Giveaway ends October 25, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win