Book review: Sands of Eppla by Janeal Falor

Sands of Eppla by Janeal Falor

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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.

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Book Review— The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector #1)The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

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Book Review—Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4)Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read a couple of works by Penny Reid and loved all of them, but I have to say this one took me completely by surprise. It’s hilarious, dramatic and passionately romantic. Ashley is the only sister of the Winston brothers. She has been gone for years and is now back to find an ailing mother and distant brothers. And then there is Drew, the pillar who holds them all together.

Ashley & Drew’s story while unraveling a lot of mysteries surrounding the brothers, reveals a very different aspect of Penny’s writing that I had not read before. The book somewhat split into parts dominated by different emotions. So it begins with humor and tussle, strained sibling relationship, overcast by sorrow, leading to overwhelming passion (thanks to Drew) towards the end.

As someone has said, the quietest people have the loudest minds—holds true for Drew. His poetry floods your senses with passion and emotion that is downright staggering. The outpourings of his heart will leave you speechless. The intensity of his feelings for Ashley is enrapturing. The eloquence of his words make him precious and I think were the best part about the book.

A good book to invest your time in.

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Book Review—The Sire by M.S. Fowle

 

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The Sire by M.S. Fowle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

M.S.Fowle weaves a fantastical tale about a kingdom bereft of magik—ruled by a monarch who cannot see beyond his thirst for power. He searches for the Sire, the creator of all magik and in his quest unleashes terrible cruelty on his subjects. War rages and the people of the land live in fear. Magik is prohibited; those found practicing are captured and punished. Here the select few enforce their rule on the laity, to subdue and control them. Amongst this chaos rises a story of faith, friendship, loyalty and …. well magik.

I liked the author’s writing style – the flow is smooth and effortless, though at times I did find it a bit grand in some portions. I had to stop, take a breath and go over the lines a couple of times to let them sink in before I continued further.

The characters are very endearing especially the twins. As you read through you will definitely fall in love with Claire and Walter. They fight yet they stand by each other. They will make you laugh, cry, bite your nails in fear for their lives. You will find yourself enjoying their adventures and little skirmishes.

The end was not surprising yet I was disappointed by the quick closing and felt that it was a bit rushed. It kind of broke the flow that the author had maintained through the earlier chapters. But let’s be honest I was also sad that the story ended.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and do hope there are more adventures of Walter and Claire and we read them soon. I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review – Behind the Mask by V P Smith

Behind_the_maskBehind the Mask: The Awakening by V P Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I originally posted my review on goodreads, but then I felt that there were other readers out there, who do not frequent goodreads so much, who should know about it. So I decided to share my views with you here. [I received this book in exchange for an honest review through ‘Booksgosocial’s‘ review program for authors]

It’s been quite some time since I have come across a book that I was glad to have picked up. ‘Behind the Mask’ is an edgy, engaging book that you would not want to put down, even for a minute. Though the narrative has some high and low points, but the story will definitely grip you, shock and terrify you and give you sleepless nights.

As the name suggests, the book is about figurative masks and the people behind them. Everyone is wearing a mask. Who can you trust? The person you’ve just met or the one you’ve known your entire life. Are they as good as we think them to be or are they hiding something – so heinous that one cannot even imagine?

Smith will keep you hooked throughout the book, making you sit up and take a closer look at the people around you. You’re might be reading the book, but you’ll start recalling things you’ve seen or heard and you’ll begin to wonder if there was anything there.

Behind the Mask may be a work of fiction, but is not as removed from reality as we might hope for. We cannot ignore the grim reality of our society that Smith highlights here. I am sure law enforcement officials and survivors out there, will agree with the depiction of the sick depraved souls who inflict atrocities on children for their own pleasure. Hidden in plain sight they go on with their games and we are not able to tell them apart.

The question remains – How do you recognize that face that’s hiding in plain sight. How will you unmask it? Are our children truly safe? Who are these criminals – familiars or strangers? Are you strong enough to go forth and fight out the evil that lurks underneath?

Despite the strong storyline, you might question why I just gave it 3 stars. As much as I liked the fast-paced narration Smith uses to superbly control what is revealed and what remains hidden in the story, yet I personally could not agree with some of the train of events as the story progressed. At a certain point I also felt that there was clearly an imbalance of power, where one person was at a disadvantage while too many people were getting away with things, too easily. I did however, love the cover of the book – on closer look you can’t be sure if it’s a guy or a girl.

While I do strongly recommend the book, I also want you to be aware that you will not find all the answers here and it may leave you wanting at the end. I don’t mind this as long as Smith carries forward the questions that arise here to the next book and we get see some gripping conclusions.

I look forward to the second book and hope that it will be as engrossing as this one.

I would highly recommend this one to all lovers of crime and thrillers. It will not let you down.