I received this book from StoryOrigin in exchange for an honest review, and probably the only reason I stuck with the book to the very end. The book summary had me hooked which was one of the reasons why I had wanted to read the book in the first place. Plus, I have read other books by Janeal, so I was definitely looking forward to it. Unfortunately, this one did not match my enthusiasm.
Don’t get me wrong. The book is well-written and the details are incredible. Cassandra is blind and lives alone with her monkey, away from the rest of the population. She is independent and self-sufficient. How she goes on with her day to day task is praiseworthy. Then one day a stranger stumbles into her house and her life changes forever. She and Nikon’s friendship is fresh and dear. Her loving Monkey is too cute and his mischiefs, entertaining.
However, the book was too slow for me. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and I had finished 50% of the book without anything happening. It felt sterile, like watching someone’s (very descriptive) life, which made it difficult to sustain attention. It is only till the very end that it gets moderately exciting. I also couldn’t get the whole amant and odisome concept nor was the whole magical sand thing clear to me. Maybe it will get clearer in the subsequent books in the series. Reading through here, there was always this vague feeling at the back of the mind that something needs to be explained.
Maybe I would have to read the next one in the series to get the doubts cleared.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The book is a collection of unique short stories, on superior beings (aliens) existing amongst humans on earth. Hiding their true nature but living in plain sight, they are slowly manipulating everything in their favor. It would not be long when the human race would be completely obliterated. Only a gifted few humans can see them for what they are, which is why they are being targeted and killed off.
I liked the stories and found the concept definitely frightening and yet intriguing, which is what kept me going.
All the short stories are unique and captivating, but not all are of the same level. The opening story ‘Eclipse’ was a tad slow and dragged a bit. I would have preferred it to be a bit more crisp and tight. There are long narratives portions that made it monotonous at times. If they could have been dialogues it would have made a big difference. There were some sections I found a bit hard to understand—I got confused in the 3D and 4D parts and had to keep going back to make sense of it.
‘Death by Crowd’ was quite hardcore and the clean-cut writing brought it out well. Handled better than the first one. ‘The Genie’ was comical and fun reading. “Time Crawlers’, ‘the Cave’ and Nark-Astra’ were the best of all.
I liked that though starting off slow, the stories picked up the pace and kept me engrossed to the end. I liked the style of writing, and look forward to reading more stories from the author.
Presenting—The Valarsard Chronicles by Erin Eldridge
SERIES: The Valarsard Chronicles
BOOK ONE: The Ravening Heart of the Wolf
BOOK TWO: The Wolf in Winter
AUTHOR: Erin Eldridge
AUTHOR BIO: I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. The city is still rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. I have been a teacher for most of my life, most recently, a teacher of deaf students. Currently, I do part time support work with International students at a boys’ college. I’ve taught overseas as well, in Africa and in Brunei. I have two children, one of who, my daughter, lives in the UK and the other, my son, lives around the corner! I started writing two years ago and have completed four books: a contemporary romance, two war stories and a medieval fantasy. I have many more ideas for stories yet to come.
BOOK ONE SYNOPSIS: A brutal medieval warlord believes his lost true love has returned to him from the grave. A young girl is uprooted from the sheltered life that is all she has known and must learn to survive in a violent and pitiless world where man is wolf to man. A valiant young warrior loses his heart to her, but the unforeseen tears them apart. Fate conspires to throw all three into each other’s path with shattering results. A colorful cast of minor characters helps to create a stunning, stained-glass-montage of an adventure that will enthrall readers young, old, and in-between.
BOOK TWO SYNOPSIS: Following the dramatic events that closed Book One, the Valarsards settle back into harmonious co-existence. But tranquility is short-lived, enemies are close at hand, and both the wolf and the eagle are called upon as never before to protect loved ones and avert further tragedy.
In 1930, the great economist John Maynard Keynes predicted the working week would be drastically cut – to perhaps 15 hours a week, with people choosing to pursue leisure as their material needs were satisfied. Yet despite rising living standards, we are working longer hours than ever before. As the post-war compromise between big business and labour has been rolled back, the world of “ruthless corporate management” that legendary writer Willa Cather broke free of at the turn of the 19th century seems to be returning: leaving us with mountains of work and no opportunity to do anything else with our lives.
It took me some time to decide on what kind of rating I wanted to give to this book. I’m still not sure if a five star is the right one or not. To be honest, I’ve not been able to make up my mind about this book—whether I liked it or not.
As much as the gruesomeness and starkness nauseated me, the story was riveting and held my attention from the get-go. Inara did not seem to be a reliable witness because I was never really sure if she was telling the truth or just trying to keep the investigators on their toes. Yet, as I read further, I realized that she was the only one I could actually trust (you don’t have a choice there).
I trudged cautiously through the pages, unsure of what would be revealed and what turn the story would take. My hands often trembled and I shed quite a few tears (okay, a lot of tears) and was overwhelmed with the emotions Inara’s narration filled me with. I cried each time a girl whispered her real name. Every goodbye had me tearing my heart out. There were moments I felt I couldn’t read further, yet I continued. The way Dot Hutchinson has woven the story, Inara’s blunt narrative, to say that there were goosebumps on my skin and tears in my eyes, would not be far from the truth.
It sure is a haunting story and will stay with you for a long time. What scares me more, is the possibility of somewhere, there being a gardener collecting his butterflies, to fulfill his twisted fantasies. I can only pray that our girls stay safe, the lost never lose hope, and that we find them and bring them home, safe. Cause that’s all that matters.