Thursday, 13 November 2014

Book Review -- Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

I loved the use of colours in the cover of this book - depicting bitterness and melancholy. The figure's expression and posture convey deep sorrows and pent-up woes. All of these serve to prepare the reader for a deep read.

This is a soulful a tale of overcoming obstacles. The emotions are heart-wrenching at times and very bright and perky at others. The book revolves around the lives of Aemi, the intelligent protagnoist of the story and Nol, the son of the mayor of Village of Rocks, where Aemi has been a slave ever since she remembers. Although she finds Nol and his arrogance loathsome, things take a turn when Aemi and Nol are enslaved by the dreaded People of the Sea and taken deep down the ocean to Itlantis, and also end up being made servants in the same house. With life flipped over before she has the power to comprehend anything that is happening around her, Aemi needs to not only reconcile her differences with Nol, but also needs to figure things out in their new world to make sense of all their high-end technology. Do Aemi and Nol succeed in escaping out of the ocean, is what forms the rest of the book.

I liked the plot and the book kept the story going at a reasonably good pace. I loved Aemi's characterisation - she is torn with a lot of internal conflicts as, how much ever she tries to hate Itlantis, she can't but help marvel at the beauty of the place. She also finds herself becoming friendly with her kidnappers. She also feels guilty about the her promise that she made to Kit, her friend from the surface, the one friend she considered true. The character is very down-to-earth and goes through all the turmoils that a normal person would - the author needs to be appreciated for keeping Aemi so real and not super-heroic or larger than life.

I would certainly recommend this book to lovers of out-the-world fantasy.

My rating for this book: 4.5 stars

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Book Review -- Divine Scales by Jennifer Blackstream

A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was an enjoyable piece inspired by The Little Mermaid. Marcela, the protagonist, is a very dutiful and conscientious mermaid, who never falters at her responsibilities. Enters Patricio, the prince with a surprising curse - one that makes people feel a deep sense of affection for him! He is repulsed by Marcela's overtures, as he perceives these to be a result of his curse, and does not believe that Marcela really adores him. Does Marcela manage to convince him of her true feelings, is what the book tells us, in the midst of showing us the lives of magical and fascinating creatures. Marcela is a mermaid who takes her duties as a daughter of Triton seriously. 

The characterisation was nice and the head-strong and yet fragile Marcela and the hasty but kind Patricio make an amusing couple - following their romance is thoroughly entertaining. I loved their encounters. The plot is neat and simple and the author handles it deftly. The book addresses the tastes of lovers of several book genres - romance, fantasy, drama and adventure. Some nice twists are beaded into the story which engage the reader's interest throughout. The pace of the book was just right and it neither rushes through several complicated scenes too fast to comprehend, nor does it drag on, at any point in the book. 

Divine Scales was a superb multi-genre treat. This was a sweet and cute love story, weaved with a lot of magic. If you love reading books that have happy endings, with stories that leave you with a smile on your face, then this one is for you. :-)

My rating for this book: 4.5 stars

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Book Review -- Monsters and Miracles by Wayne A D Kerr

I was provided with a digital copy of "Monsters and Miracles" by Wayne A D Kerr in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the colour theme on the cover of the book, which indicates a presentiment of risk and peril.

This book is a very interesting chronicle of the adventures of Xander Bookman, an intelligent seventh grader. Xander is a loner and is shunned by his schoolmates, who are wary of his "alien sightings", also causing Xander to be sent away by his parents to his uncle's ranch. Alone and feeling lost, Xander is listless about the prospect but when he realises his cousin Yzzie is missing. He sets off on a quest to find her and finds himself in an incredible journey that takes him through a fearsome laybrinth and makes him befriend the most unusual comrades he could have hoped to find! Even the disbelieving and skeptical Yzzie soon finds herself being in awe of the paranormal occurences around her.

As the author promises, "Truth does defy imagination" in this book that is sure to engage the curiosity of all minds alike. Although a book primarily targeted for pre-teens and teens, the book, I am sure will prove enjoyable for book lovers of all ages. The plot is gripping, doesn't slacken and the author manages to keep the narration flowing. Although more inclined towards being classified a paranormal adventure, the book has fulfilling moments of drama, friendship, self-realisation and other such elements. I love the characterisation and the reclusive Xander, cleverly masking in loneliness and longing, is sure to stay in the mind long after one has finished the book. Making up the perfect foil character for him is the happy and bubbly Yzzie. These two make an adorable team and their conversations make for an engrossing read.

I certainly enjoyed reading this book and found it fascinating and absorbing.

My rating for this book: 5 stars

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COMPUTER LOVE INC II: GESTATION by Kurt and Jessica Hansen

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After the sudden deaths of two previous Computer Love Inc. CEOs, Marius takes control of the company. Embracing the talents of his godson, John, and his best friend, Zak, he hires the boys to oversee the Companion Services Division. Marius refines his breakthrough technology, the Brain Machine Download, and as a result, creates his double, M2, as the prototype. Together, they ignite the future of Computer Love Inc. by acquiring an elite team of scientists to expand the company’s technological boundaries. Meanwhile, Marius struggles with the government’s demands for a clandestine initiative - the Secret Service Companion. Between the looming government presence and the overwhelming force behind his new team of inventors, can Marius survive the outcome of his own creations?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“So, Marius, I’m pleased, as I’m sure you must be, that the download between you and I went so well.”

The remark was sudden and bewildering.

“Yes, I am also pleased…” Marius paused. “What brings that up, M2? Is there something you feel we need to improve upon?”

“No, actually, I don’t think that at all. In fact, I think the process and aftermath have proven to be extremely fruitful, don’t you?”

“Well, yes… But then, what is it?”

“I just recalled an idea we had, that’s all,” M2 said.

“’We' had an idea?”

“Well, as you know, to say that we think alike would be an understatement.” M2 paused and allowed Marius to have a laugh. “So obviously your knowledge of robotics resides not only within you, but within me as well. I know you’ve thought about it, the possibility to help the company pounce into the next generation. What if, say, we were to make a team of Companions, not unlike myself, created from experts in different fields? For example… We could use that famous technology instructor, the woman from Advance Propulsion Labs who’s won awards for all of those groundbreaking projects they’ve done recently, or even that metal-loving genius who combines materials recovered from asteroids with titanium and such. It would be a team of biorobotic and propulsion brilliance with unlimited potential!”

About the Author:
Kurt and Jessica Hansen reside in northern New Jersey . Kurt has worked in the aerospace electronics industry for over three decades and enjoys the outdoors, writing, and composing music. Kurt is easily recognized with a guitar in his lap, a pencil in his mouth, and a piece of paper in front of him.

Jessica graduated from Montclair State University, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in English. Her favorite pastimes include reading, running and spending time with her family. She can usually be found with a book in one hand and a hazelnut coffee in the other.

The Computer Love Inc. series is a collaborative effort between father and daughter.

Kurt and Jessica Hansen Amazon Author Page:
Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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