Reviews of Our Books / Resource Links
BOOKS by Walter Knight (America's Galactic Foreign Legion and tie-ins): AGFL Book 1: Feeling Lucky | AGFL Book 2: Reenlistment | AGFL Book 3: Silent Invasion | AGFL Book 4: Demilitarized Zone | AGFL Book 6: Culture War | AGFL Book 7: Enemies | AGFL Book 8: Allies | AGFL Book 9: Scorpions | AGFL Book 13: Salesman From Mars | Vampire in the Outfield
BOOKS by Charles O'Keefe: The Newfoundland Vampire | The Newfoundland Vampire, Book II, Killer on the Road
BOOKS by Jamie Wasserman (including current and retired titles): Blood and Sunlight | Angel Moon, Book 2, Blood and Sunlight | Holding Back the Day | Night of the Guppy - Book 1 in the Series: Sylvia Chesterton, Vampire Guppy Slayer | Night of the Guppy - Book 2 in the Series: Sylvia Chesterton, Vampire Guppy Slayer | Night of the Guppy - Book 3 in the Series: Sylvia Chesterton, Vampire Guppy Slayer | Bud the Crud and the Vampire-Werewolf Wars
BOOKS by Robert J. Wetherall: Last Flight Home | The Making of Bernie Trumble: A Tale of Man and Mutt in a World Run by Women
Reviews for Christoper F. Cobb's A MOON CALLED SUN...
Big Al's Books and Pals reviewer Michael Thal gave a 3-star rating to A Moon Called Sun and said, "In 1967 accountant Steven J. Murphy mysteriously disappears leaving behind a mound of human ash. In 7013 scientist Snow White escapes from his dying society only to meet the same fate; as did Josette Legard, a 1942 French freedom fighter for the French resistance against Nazi occupation of France. Only Trace and his dog Skiff from 2012 manage to avoid the ash heap, but they wind up in 1818 Florida with a tribe of Seminole Indians.
Author Christopher F. Cobb writes an imaginative science fiction novel with superb characterization and a fascinating premise. When the three main characters interact with alien civilizations based on a moon called Sun, Cobb develops a unique dialect of English that at first is off putting, but soon becomes a delightful experience with humorous innuendo. The only fault that can be found in this novel are the numerous tangents the writer takes that this reviewer felt unnecessary and not driving the plot forward. Take out twenty-five pages of these scenes, seemingly written to amuse the author, then A Moon Called Sun would become first rate."
Reviews for Walter Knight's novella VAMPIRE IN THE OUTFIELD...
Amazon customer and fellow author Natasha Larry gave a 5-star rating to Vampire in the Outfield and said, "I can say that I gobbled down this story. I'll go ahead and say this is some of the best vampire fiction I've read in awhile.
Now, is it serious vampire fiction? Absolutely not, and that was the point. It was also why I loved it. I think I laughed through the entire thing.
Vampire in the Outfield is about a young man who wants to play baseball more than he wants to do anything else. The only thing is...he isn't very good...hence the steroids. Then he comes across a hot piece of ... you know ... and she turns him into a vampire. Now he has to deal with that age old question ... can vampires play baseball?
Well, yes they can ... still, it is a bummer being a vampire and not being able to pose for all those publicity shots. After all, vampires have no reflections. He doesn't fly or sparkle either...and now, he has to take on the evil empire, namely, the New York Yankees.
Vampire in the Outfield is a brilliant, tongue in cheek comedy about the world of vampires and baseball. It is quick and satisfying, which is a rare combination, and as such I am recommending it to anyone that has a sense of humor."
Amazon customer and fellow author Roland Yoeman gave a 5-star rating to Vampire in the Outfield and said, "This is my new favorite read. I laughed. I cried. Ah, that last when my ghoul friend, Alice, smacked me on top of my head for ignoring her while I was reading it. This book will brighten whatever day in which you read it. You will not regret reading this one. Walter has done it again, Victor Standish (I'm borrowing Roland Yeomans' computer to do this.)"
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 13...
Amazon customer Tinman gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 13: Salesman From Mars and said, "Mr Knight once again spins a tale that will leave observers questioning [their] sanity as [they] laugh uncontrollably. The salesman is exactly like the average car salesman you might run into on any given day.
Croc repellent!!!! LOL Those spiders are such an easy sale. This salesman may be the greatest threat that America's galactic Foreign Legion has yet to face. On the bright side finally someone has introduced magic mushrooms to New Colorado. The Grim Reaper is alive and well and remains a dire threat to our brave legionnaires but MSGT Green may have the answer.
Mr Knight thanks again for yet another great read. I must confess I am concerned about the museum curator. He strikes me as someone who might profit from misuse of museum property. LOL"
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 9...
Amazon customer Armycaveman gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 9: Scorpions and said, "Yet another good one from Mr. Knight. Captain Czerinski, Lopez, and Guido are at it again causing mischief and getting bad press along the way.
Can't wait to read more."
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 8...
Amazon customer Dave Carter gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 8: Allies and said, "This is the last book currently available in the series. With the fast pace, quick humor and deep wit, a totally enjoyable book to read."
Amazon customer Goldz gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 8: Allies and said, "This series is fun, light easy reading. Lead charachters are the kind you would like to drink with but [not] tell them where you live!"
Amazon customer Alan gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 8: Allies and said, "Walter did it again with his tongue in cheek humor and digs at the establishment, yet keeping you totally entertained while he does it. Keep them coming.
Amazon customer Jeff Cox gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 8: Allies and said, "Once again Walter Knight brings to us another great one! Colonel Czerinski's saga just keeps getting better. Here I am in the South Pacific ... starting Book 1 over again."
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 7...
Amazon customer Oldtimingguy gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 7: Enemies and said, "Delightful, laff-out-loud funny, satirical ( Fine Dining?! Among others), nostalgic e.g. Hometowns of Moose & Squirrel, Yogie, and others. And in book 5 or 6 (me memory ain't so good anymore) a page out of Stephen King.
A great cast of characters, of which two of my favorites are Guido and his pet Spot, and Iwo Jima (and I'm a arachnophobe) who has an amusing attitude problem (along with Maj. Lopez ... and a lot of others, come to think of it).
REBEL YELL, and I'm not from Tennessee.
This is one human pestilence that hopes the author's Muse keeps him going on this series. Good light read especially when exhausted from other intense ones.
REBEL YELL ... or maybe I am!
Love all the earlier books so far. Go Seahawks, Mariners (Cubs).
Another REBEL YELL ... I really must look into my ancestry!"
Amazon customer Jeff Cox gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 7: Enemies and said, "I hate when I read a series of books in one week! Now what do I do? Book 8 is on the way :-) The past seven books were great; one of the best I have come across..."
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 6...
Amazon customer Shawn Wisdom gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 6: Culture War and said, "This series is some of the most fun I've had reading ever!! I highly recommend each and every one of the titles. I can't get enough and am anxious to read volume seven. keep up the excellent work Mr. Knight."
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 4...
Amazon customer Shawn M. McDermott (Morvegil) gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 4: Demilitarized Zone and said, "Awesome!! New characters and some of the classics - I loved the young Militia kid!"
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 3...
Amazon customer Shawn M. McDermott (Morvegil) gave a 5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 3: Silent Invasion and said, "More politically incorrect goodness here! If you liked the first two books, this one is just as good. I already downloaded book 4! Lol. These books are the equivalent to Quentin Tarrantino Grindhouse cinemas. Cheap laughs and entertainment!"
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 2...
Amazon customer Sam Eaton ("Linh My") gave a 4.0-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 2: Reenlistment and said: "This isn't great sci-fi and, speaking as a retired soldier, it isn't a great military or experience of war work. What it is is a good fun light read. I've bought all eight volumes."
Amazon customer Joe R. gave a 5.0-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 2: Reenlistment and said: "This series is terrific light reading. If you like satire you will enjoy the entire series. I look forward to more of the same. I have purchased all seven available now."
Amazon customer Alan gave a 5.0-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 2: Reenlistment and said: "This is the second of the series and after reading it I have read all that have been published. This author is not politically correct but everything is done tongue in cheek and current with our political situation. If you enjoy SciFi and humor this series is for you. I can't wait til book 7 comes out."
Apex Reviews' Chelsea Perry gave a 4.5-star rating to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 2: Reenlistment and called it a "thoroughly imaginative and entertaining read steeped in politically incorrect satire [featuring] not-so-subtle wit in ... a highly enjoyable story." This second installment surrounds the struggles of ex-legionnaire Joey R. Czerinski and his ragtag band of compatriots as they try to stay alive while cashing in on whatever circumstances they land in."
Reviews for Walter Knight's AMERICA'S GALACTIC FOREIGN LEGION - Book 1...
8/3/2015 - review removed at the reviewer's request
Amazon customer Warped Teacher gave 5.0 stars and had this to say, "Reading is fun again. Somewhere along the line, a lot of authors got wrapped up in the idea that a thicker book is better, everything needed to be symbolic, complexities are the norm, and the reader needs to ruminate over what he/she reads to get the meaning. The America's Galactic Foreign Legion series brings back the idea that reading should be entertaining and not result in a brainache. The series is not complex, stories are entertaining, and the vocabulary doesn't leave you running to the dictionary every five minutes. I'm retired military and wished those years had been this much fun."
Amazon customer C. Bergin gave 4.0 stars and had this to say, "A nice surprise. I grabbed this book on Kindle because ... I'm kind of bored with the typical stuff I read. I was pleasantly surprised. I think labeling the book 'Military Sci-Fi' might be doing it a disservice. Most of the big-name books I've read with that label are either 'Vietnam in space' or 'Admiral Nelson in space,' and I'm kind of tired of them.
This book is told in a breezy, fast-paced, first-person style that really moves things along. It's nice to read a book that doesn't take itself completely seriously, and that just tells a fun story full of ridiculous (in a good way) situations, leavened with just enough seriousness to have a plot. Imagine your brash, bigger-than-life uncle telling stories about 'the boys' when he was young. It's the literary equivalent of the summer popcorn movie. If you take it for what it is, you'll really enjoy yourself. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next."
Amazon customer Steve C. Keith gave 5.0 stars and had this to say, "Unexpected fun. First of all, if you're looking for 'Dune,' this ain't your book. If you are however looking for pure escapist fun, the type that can make you forget that you're stuck at the gate at the airport, and your customer will be angry if your late, and your flight is delayed AGAIN, then this is for you. I have had immense fun reading all the books in this series, and would only ask that you approach them with an open sense of humor.
As to the gentleman who said he would rather read a toilet paper wrapper, who wrote it? If it's better than these fine books, shoot, I'll read it too!"
Amazon customer tinman gave 5.0 stars and said, "Book 1: The begining of my addiction. This is a book that you can't put down, and it leaves you with a hunger for more. Mr. Knight has a talent for grabbing the reader's attention and imagination while splitting your sides with laughter. As the human race faces the galaxy, only to find that everyone else all seem to be insects and they don't like us. Thus the need for the Galactic Foreign Legion. But of course only America can field such a well trained professional fighting force. The Legion is sent to New Colorado to save our assets from the invading aliens.
I am a vet, and each and every character reminds me of someone I knew in my days of service. Mr. Knight, although your talents may yet to be recognized on the top 10 bestsellers list, you are, without doubt, in my top 3."
Amazon customer Bruce B gave 5.0 stars and said, "The best value in books on Amazon. If you are looking for some great humor, this series of books [is] for you. I have read the first six and can tell you they just keep getting better. If you buy the first, be forewarned, you will end up buying all of them. THEY ARE THAT GOOD!!!"
Amazon customer Jed Fisher gave 5.0 stars and said, "So funny, it's true! I had a great time reading this book. I recommend it to anyone who ever enjoyed a good laugh. And as with all comedy, there is some truth, some commentary, [and] undeniable philosophy woven into the threads."
Amazon customer T "avid reader" gave 5.0 stars and had this to say, "Addicted. I started and kept on reading. It is totally ridiculous, but funny and addictive. I am reading all of them one after the other. Great fun!!"
Amazon customer Robert Woodard gave 5.0 stars and had this to say, "Fun SciFi. I laughed out loud as I read this book! It is so refreshing to finally read someone who is not anal-retentive and says to hell with the political correctness of the democrats and other liberal socialists."
Amazon customer Kevin gave 5.0 stars and said, "I really enjoyed the America's Galactic Foreign Legion Series. I laughed out loud at so many places in the series. This is not a serious book, and if you take it as one, you will be offended.
Keep writing them and I will keep buying them.
I cannot say enough good things about them unless to wish there were more out there."
Amazon customer Sam Eaton "Lihn My" gave 4.0 stars and said, "Worth the money. This isn't great sci-fi and, speaking as a retired soldier, it isn't a great military or experience of war work. What it is is a good fun light read. I've bought all eight volumes."
Amazon customer Dave Carter gave 4.0 stars and said, "Galactic Legion? Sign me up. Started this series on a whim, and got hooked, can't wait for the next. I have read 6 working on 7. The humor is a little sarcastic which I love and good fun all around. This would make a great mini series."
Amazon customer Jason Short "mad scientist" gave 5.0 stars and said, "Suspend reality, think of the humor of Terry Pratchet or Douglas Adams. This is a more gritty reality than Hitchhiker's Guide. It is full of military humor and situations, but it is not an epic sci fi military battle book.
The specific humor will appeal to anyone who has been in the military. There are lots of situations that so closely reflect our real world that I was dying laughing at several points. I have not laughed out loud so often while reading a book in years. My wife had to keep telling me to be quiet (she was sleeping).
Speedy read, not a lot of thinking, plenty of deadpan humor. A great recipe for a casual reading break from your normal sci fi genre books. You will either love it, or hate it."
Amazon customer paullywad gave 4.0 stars ad said, "Funny SciFi. Witty, tounge in cheek, SciFi. I have read 6 of the books and plan on reading them all. Any writer that can get me to smile as often as I did deserves my kudos!!"
Amazon customer Ronny gave 5.0 stars and said, "Great for Douglas Adams fans. If you are looking for substance, read Crime and Punishment. If you are looking for escape and a great read, buy this book. It flows well and is an easy read that will appeal to any Douglas Adams fan. I hesitated on buying this book several times and finally bit the bullet and don't regret it at all. I can't wait to read the next one."
Amazon customer nemahawg gave 4.0 stars and said, "Grows on you. This is Knight's first book, and it's a quick read. It's satirical, meaning that the characters are not going to be Hamlets, Ann Kareninas, or Willy Lomans--more like Douglas Adams's Ford Prefect. Also, it has some of the faults of a first novel that is not the product of heavy professional editing, or of creative writing workshopping--thankfully. Many of us have probably noticed that many of the people we meet in life are not tragic heroes, or terribly 'deep,' conflicted characters. In fact, most of us are walking cliches, stereotypes. Knight breaks many traditional 'unities' like having a consistent point-of-view. He goes from first-person to omniscient. If you like Kafka's perspective on the human condition, but wish he had a sense of humor, you might like Knight's satire. He catches his stride by the end of the novel, and keeps it going through the series. By the time you gt to #7, the characters have enough conflicts and problems to be as "well rounded" as they need to be--moreso than many people I know."
Amazon customer Rickles gave 4.0 stars and said, "In the tradition of Retief and Flandry of Terra - sort of...
If Laumer and Anderson's protagonists had not been smooth 007 character types, but had instead been completely base, morally bankrupt criminal types, governed completely by their lusts and unbridled greed, then you would have something akin to the characters in Knight's tales of the American Galactic Foreign Legion.
The pervasive Westernization and more specifically the Americanization of second and third world cultures in the late 20th century is broadened to a galactic scale in this series and provides a crass satirical mirror for our current global society. The response of the various cultures depicted in this series to the spread of American ideals, rugged individualism and vices cannot help but evoke comparisons to the recent backlash against Modernity in the extremist Islamic movement and the attacks against traditional American strengths, values and economic freedoms by the National Socialist American Left (Democrats) and their lapdog mainstream media.
Liberals will wring their hands in agitation over the non-PC, anti-statist satire of the series, the knowledge of which makes me enjoy the series all the more.
All that posturing aside, it's a fun read - enjoy."
Amazon customer Alan gave 5.0 stars and said, "One of the best and funniest SciFi books. This is the first of the series and after reading it I have read all that have been published. This author is not politically correct but everything is done tongue in cheek and current with our political situation. If you enjoy SciFi and humor, this series is for you. I can't wait til book 7 comes out.
Amazon customer c. fern cook gave 5.0 stars and said, "Surprisingly funny. Imaginative, clever, and just entertaining. I would recommend it to a friend."
Amazon customer Justsomeoneelse gave 5.0 stars to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky and said: "Very amusing and easy read, clever writing, bordering on (and reaching into) the absurd. I read a lot of SciFi and I haven't read anything quite like the Galactic Foreign Legion series. If you don't have sense of humor, pass on this one. For something different, have at it!"
Amazon customer Alex gave 5.0 stars to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky and had this to say in his review ... "First off, let me say I'm not a science fiction reader, but I was looking for something different and heard good things. The book was not a disappointment. If you like Vonnegut or Douglas Adams, you'll definitely enjoy this book. It's light-hearted, but it also tackles some pretty weighty topics. The writer does a great job of world-building, so you feel very much a part of the character's life. I'm half-way through book 2 and have already picked up 3!"
Amazon customer Shawn M. McDermott gave 4.0 stars to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky and had this to say in his review ... "If you want something different, fresh, but fun ... this is it. I found the reviews down below to be true. This book is the equivalent to starship troopers the movie, mixed with a bit of low-brow humor and comedy. You feel guilty reading this, it seems so basic yet it's so funny. I actually laughed out loud as well at the ridiculousness of it. Lets see, a loan shark named Bubba Jones? Yes its all downhill but its a fun ride. You will laugh, and for the price, you'll feel like you just saw Avatar at a matinee for 1 dollar!! "
Amazon customer fastdraw450 gave 5.0 stars to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky and had this to say ... "I enjoy reading different kinds of books, including science fiction, and a friend recommended this series, saying how funny it was. When I first started reading, I thought, oh how ridiculous, but then I kept reading and found myself chuckling, even laughing out loud. The humor is sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious, and draws from every nook and cranny of Americanized society. The author has quite an imagination and throws everything in - including the kitchen sink. He takes today's world and puts a futuristic a spin on it, and in the process makes us look at ourselves as a society and laugh at the absurdity of it all.
There's not a lot of deep characterization or long patches of narrative, but you do get a good sense of characters as the author hits the high spots and keeps moving. It is great escapism that doesn't make you have to think - just roll along with whatever happens, no matter how unbelievable it is, and you'll have a fun time reading.
OK, so it's not great literature. It's not heavy on the science either. It's an easy read, obviously written just for laughs. Not every book is going to please everyone all the time, because we all have different tastes. I thought I might be a bit above this low-brow humor, but found it is a guilty pleasure. If you can set your expectations of seriousness aside, you'll enjoy this series. I'm going to read the next one and the next!"
Amazon customer Curtis H. Scheenkle gave 4.0 stars to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky and had this to say in his review ... "Most fun I've had reading a sci-fi book since L. Ron's series. Funny satire, kept me chuckling. The bad guys are so bad I had to love them. Recommended."
Amazon customer Riley C. Nelson gave 4.0 stars to America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky and had this to say in his review ... "I bought this book on a whim as I was looking for some Military Sci-Fi and it's getting hard for me to find anything new to read in the genre. I stumbled across this and actually found it quite entertaining."
From Leif Nesheim, editor at the Vidette newspaper, in his review of America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky ...
Elma's Knight Kicks off 11-Book Sci-Fi Series With First Two Books
ELMA - If books about space alien spiders and interplanetary war are your thing, first-time Elma author has just the thing for you. The first two books in Walter Knight's 11 book series have recently been published.
"I started out thinking thinking maybe I would write something serious and it just happened," Knight said. "The books have evolved into something even a bit different than the first book ... into the culture clash of aliens living with humans."
Book 1 in the "America's Galactic Foreign Legion" series, "Feeling Lucky," follows gambling addict Joey Czerinski, who accidently enlists in the Legion to pay off a debt and ends up at the far corner of the galaxy fighting spider-like aliens and getting put on trial by the spider race for war crimes.
It's a fast paced book that doesn't dwell on detail; instead it romps through a satiric minefield of contemporary issues told against the backdrop of galactic war. "I put the alien spin on it, and it's funny," Knight said.
Noted fantasy and science fiction author Piers Anthony dubbed it a "facile romp, parodying the follies of recent wars and manners."
The book and its sequel "Reenlistment" are available at www.penumbrapublishing.com, www.Amazon.com, and www.smashwords.com in paperback or electronic format. Both 212 page books were published by Penumbra Publishing, they retail between $3 and $10, depending upon the format and retailer. I'll keep you updated as new info rolls in!
From the Aberdeen Daily World newspaper's review of America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky ...
Elma Man Pens New Sci-Fi Book
East County science fiction aficionado Walter Knight has authored a new book that his publisher is considering turning into a series, he says. Knight's book is titled "America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky." It's the tale of Joey Czerinski, a conscript in the Galactic Foreign Legion, who is fighting a war on other planets against a spider-like alien civilization. The 212 page fictional tale was published by Penumbra Publishing and is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.com for $10.00 and the Kindle electronic edition is $3 (only at Amazon.com).
Knight, who lives in Elma, said this is the first book in a series of 12 that he hopes to have published. All 12 are already written. "After I finished the first, I kept writing," he said. "I just kept writing because I kept on getting new ideas. I've passed muster and they've committed to all 12 books." He said the book is suitable for older children and adults and is written with a humorous tone, almost like a parody.
Amazon customer Terrance Thayer had this to say in his review of America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky... "As Legionnaire Joey R. Czerinski is being tortured and questioned while under the influence of truth serum he sings: 'I'm Libyian, on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again...' This book is a satirical spoof of modern times and quite an interesting read. I found some portions interesting, some portions maddening & best of all, some portions that made me laugh out loud! If you want a few hours of relief from the troubles of today, I recommend that you read this book."
Piers Anthony, famous and prolific sci-fi/fantasy author, has read and reviewed Walter Knight's first book in his military space opera, America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky. After reading about half way, he commented to Walt that he found his book fast-paced and was enjoying it. His review, posted in the fifth paragraph of his newsletter for Jamboree 2010 (January 2010), says, "It's wild, improbable, but great adventure." To see the entire review, please go to "Ogre's Den - from the desk of Piers Anthony" ... www.hipiers.com/newsletter.html. Thank you, Mr. Anthony!
Bill Davis, best-selling author of 'The Cowboy Chronicles' and '"Crisis at Camp Kosovo,' read America's Galactic Foreign Legion - Book 1: Feeling Lucky at Smashwords (www.smashwords.com) and has given a 5.0-star rating for Walt Knight's debut military space opera novel. Bill said of the book, "Walter Knight has a wickedly delicious sense of humor. I look forward to reading the next 10 books in the series."
Amazon customer Charles A. Van Bibber gave a five-star review and had this to say about Cold War, "Great book, terrific blend of espionage and murder, keeps you going right up till the end, many twists and turns, highly recommended."</p>
Amazon customer mr mike gave a five-star review and had this to say about Cold War, "I am from the midwest and he really captured the atmosphere and I loved how it revolved!! Good work."</p>
East Hampton Star reviewer Evan Harris had this to say about Lily Step Out, "Rita Plush is a first-time novelist making a bold go of it. In “Lily Steps Out,” Ms. Plush has chosen a story clearly close to home and close to her heart, and she is faithful and engaging in the telling of it.</br>
Ms. Plush’s handy way with dialogue and details marks the lively tale of one Lily Gold and her transformation from homemaker to entrepreneur. At the opening of the novel, Lily Gold finds herself thus: “Sex ... Lily thinks, lying next to Leon in their bed. Everything is better after sex. Even her thighs are a little thinner — but for how long? The afterglow will fade soon, and then it will be business as usual for them ... one with a scar down his chest and one with cellulite dimpling her thighs. Suburban New York housewife married thirty-three years, and what has she got to show for it? Making beds and fixing breakfast.”</br>
The one with the scar down his chest is Leon, Lily’s husband, who has undergone heart surgery and is now retired. Gold and Son Gift Boxes — he was the son — is out of business along with the dreams Leon harbored for developing a new kind of gift box and getting his due, a fair share of the company, from his father. In spite of professional disappointments, Leon had been a good provider for Lily and their son, Larry, now out of the house and getting a start on his own as a salesman.</br>
The one with the cellulite dimpling her thighs is Lily herself, married young and now in her mid-50s. She has had long experience as a wife and mother and has come to an important juncture. She wants and is willing to insist on gaining new experience not tied to the home. She has her wits about her; she’s smart and outspoken and self-confident. And so Lily Gold marches out one day to find a job. She’s drawn to interior decorating and to antiques, and finds work in an antiques shop. At work, Lily develops a friendship with her boss, Walter. He’s a case. Psychologically unwilling to sell any of the furniture in his store because of a deep and difficult personal connection to it, Walter frustrates Lily. Here Ms. Plush writes toward an investigation of how physical things connect to the psyche, how stuff can represent and embody the internal, but stops short of a probing exploration in favor of attending to the plot at hand.</br>
Lily Gold would probably love reading Henry James’s “The Spoils of Poynton,” but things are happening fast, and she’s busy with more practical and immediate reading on antiques and various aspects of home decoration. She pursues these self-directed studies throughout the novel. Lily is a sharp student. She’s learning and pushing herself, coming into her own. The details in Ms. Plush’s writing include physical description along with well-placed information about furniture and antiques; these details feel like the track upon which the story runs if not the fodder for the emotional territory it describes. Ms. Plush’s details will engage readers with a design/decorating/antiques bent, and these readers are sure to appreciate the ring of quality research and information.</br>
In spite of Lily’s boss’s own challenges on the selling-things front, he supports Lily’s ambition to open a store of her own. The give-and-take between them supplies much of the plot that moves “Lily Steps Out” along, heading surely toward Lily’s growing independence (and narrated in a fast-moving present tense!). Meanwhile, Leon’s unwillingness to take Lily’s ambitions and need for self-realization seriously causes discord in their marriage. Much of the conflict flares up around finances — particularly fairness, trust, and ethics around a joint bank account and the title to the Gold house. They fight: He shoves his plate to the side, gives her a fixed stare. “What do you know about business? You think I’m gonna lose my shirt because you want to be someone you’re not?”</br>
“How do you know who I want to be?” The blood spins in her veins. She fights to compose herself. Yet there seems to be love and attraction between Lily and Leon, and Ms. Plush is not shy about detailing the role of sexuality in the marriage. Lily and Leon have built a life together; they share a social circle and hold much in common, including a rapid-fire style of conversation and a bantering tone. Ms. Plush focuses on the dialogue in the book, and Lily and Leon (and to an extent their son) sound similar the way couples and family members can. But in spite of all Lily and Leon share, growing anger and estrangement take hold, and no one in the Gold house is giving in. Still, the reader gets the sense that someone may come around, that Lily and Leon do a dance, that perhaps new terms and norms can grow from Lily’s desire for an expanded fulfillment. An optimistic, playful ending reveals “Lily Steps Out” as a story of transition toward the glory of beginning."
Dan' Papers, the weekly paper of the Hamptons, had this to say about Alterations, "Alterations, Stories by Rita Plush (Penumbra Publishing), who’s had a house in East Hampton for over 25 years, is not only good but, as a collection, surprisingly good in the way the author shifts from a group of domestic tales full of Yiddishkeit (“Brooklyn Brisket” is the first offering), starting with a young girl (the author moves easily from third to first person point of view), to five linked stories that conclude the volume and evident skill in creating a male point of view.</br>
The tales, which originally appeared in various literary magazines, stand alone, but as a collection “come full circle” as explorations of a common theme – the aching need for family, by children, young adults and grown men and women. Plush knows when not to resolve delusions or disappointments, when to leave readers with an open-ended, haunting sense of curiosity. As Jack Paul in the concluding stories muses, “When you had it in your mind [people] knew only one song, they turned around and sang you two others.” Life’s like that, ragged, leaving you more times than not waiting for an expected or hoped for denouement which may or may not come.</br>
All 18 stories in the collection (is this number an accident? In Hebrew the symbol 18 or chai means living) imaginatively and cleverly explore how characters are altered by their circumstances, some heartbreakingly so. Will there be a dry eye after reading “Love, Mona”? Will there even be passive feminists who won’t fist-bump victim-heroine Nadine Scanlon for getting back in a hilarious way at the guy who raped her adolescent daughter? Plush manages to work in specialty lore – here, about woodworking, not to mention the wholesale clothing business and interior design. She also knows how to capture attention immediately, as witness the opening of “The Blatts” – “When I was a teenager and knew everything, I lived with my family in a modest plastic-slipcovered house between two neighborhoods: one very expensive, the other run down.” Each detail opens up as the story develops. The wonder of the stories is how Plush constructs different characters and situations with ear-perfect rhythms, silences and all, and fashions images that spot-on reflect various cultures, classes and ages.</br>
Then, again, those who have read Plush’s novel Lily Steps Out (2012) with its richly drawn complex central character who finds her voice and identity after years of going along, it’s no wonder. In the last tale, “Feminine Products” Lily makes a welcome cameo appearance."
Goodreads member Natasha Larry had this to say about Blood and Sunlight, "Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story" is one of my two favorite vampire novels on my kindle. This is actually the first vampire novel I added because I fell in love with the cover. I wanted to post a review so that if you haven't read this book, you can do so before the second title Blood and Moonlight is released in June-2011.
I'll tell you why I love this book before giving a brief summary. First of all, vampire e-books are overdone, and most of them are just like the one before it. This one isn't; it is a darker series, and Wasserman is - simply put - a great storyteller. There is something about his writing that makes it impossible not to enjoy this book.
Blood and Sunlight brings you into twenty-three year old college drop out Melanie's haunting and disturbing world. Her life isn't that great anyway when she learns the truth about vampires ... but not in the way you'd expect. After a whirlwind of possible evil threatens to wash away Melanie's last hopes to hang onto her fairytales ... she finds salvation in a very unlikely place."
From HellNotes (www.hellnotes.com), a Bram Stoker award-winning horror review site...
Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story
Paperback, 264 pages, $11.99
Review by Sheila Merritt
It is easy to be struck by the title Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story. There is no allure of Bram Stoker’s Transylvania or London; not a hint of the New Orleans or Paris of Anne Rice. In Jamie Wasserman’s book, the narrative takes place in Ellicott City, Maryland ... The female protagonist is looking for love in all the wrong places, and sees the seedy side up close and personal. Does she finally find a soul mate on home turf? Wasserman explores the possibilities with sly sensitivity interspersed with jolts of jocularity. He creates a nicely etched tale about expectations and assumptions confounded ... “Giving her fangs and immortality was like giving a shark an Uzi and malice.” ... Wasserman presents an astute glimpse into the dichotomy of youthful female sexuality. There is power, but insecurity tempers it. Vulnerability can leave scars, and trying to separate physical pleasure from emotional warmth is complicated. Melanie has learned from the past to be wary; and cannot forgive and forget: “She carried grudges around with her like other people kept pictures of their kids in their wallet.” ... In Jamie Wasserman’s first novel, there is triumph in opening up to what is extraordinary. Even when it occurs in the vicinity of one’s own backyard.
To see the whole interview, click here!
Wine Voice's 'Readers Favorites' columnist gave a 6.0-star rating (out of 1-5) to Blood and Sunlight and said, "I didn't want this story to end! I am a huge fan of good vampire fiction, with Blood and Sunlight I really got more than I anticipated, because it wasn't good it was absolutely excellent!
Melanie comes across as a person used to going along with whatever her boyfriends want. She is a twenty three year old college dropout who often feels much older than she really is. She doesn't like to be alone, so she is never without a boyfriend and frankly the ones she chooses well, aren't actually the cream of the crop, her current boyfriend Bryan, who likes to be called Lucian, is into vampires, wearing the dark clothes, powdering his skin to make it pale, dying his hair black, and for a while even wearing fake plastic, vampire teeth. To appease Bryan, she starts wearing dark clothes, and starts using the endless supply of drugs Bryan's buddy Carl always had. She feels like Bryan treats her very well, and that she hasn't really been fair to him, not wanting to read the books he recommends. Yeah well, I felt like she was too good to him, going along with his crazy antics, I mean heck she doesn't even believe in Vampires but is willing to go along with him, when to me, he seemed often acted very juvenile!
One night while they are out hanging out in the tunnels under the ruins of a place called Hell House Carl and Bryan are attacked by what appears to be a young girl, when Melanie runs to get help, she encounters man named Keenan, who promises to help. She passes out and when she comes to she is inside an old caretaker trailer, and she smells smoke. She meets Lucas, who turns out to be a vampire slayer. When the police start to arrive, he tells her they need to leave, actually the police chief, covers up a lot of what Lucas does. Can she figure out what has happened to her boyfriend Bryan, and Carl? What about Lucas, does he really think there are vampires? One thing for sure things are getting really weird, and Melanie knows she doesn't want to be alone. Is it really possible that there could be vampire on the loose in Ellicott City?
I found the author did a great job with the characters. I did want to shake Melanie a couple of times for going along with other peoples crazy antics, but honestly that is typical for the person she was. You could easily imagine the characters, especially Keenan and the loneliness that he must have felt, and the struggles he had lived through, wanting to protect Melanie making it easier for her. The story throws us several twists making this a very fast paced story, and once I hit the ending well, it wasn't what was expected.
All I can say is I certainly hope that the author is working on a sequel because I for one didn't want this story to end, I hope Keenan and Melanie's story has just begun!
On a scale of one to five I would give this book a six, it's just that good!"
Amazon customer fasdraw gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "Blood and Sunlight is riveting, and the writing is very well done – compared to some stinkers I’ve read. The characterization is unique and with realism that portrays a young woman's hopelessness and disillusionment with life in detailed, stark accuracy. The setting is eerily Gothic, so right for the story. The author’s previous writing credentials attest to effort and time spent learning the writing craft, and the results shine in Blood and Sunlight. I have to give this a 5-star rating, with no reservations. I recommend it for anyone who wants to read a really well-crafted horror/paranormal story with a romantic twist. Well-done, Mr. Wasserman. If you can, please come up with a sequel!"
Amazon customer L. Haynie gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "I took a chance and I'm really glad I did. It was different from the other vampire books out there. For one thing it was really well written. Sad, but true that this isn't always the case. It had a great flow, and the characters were well developed. The plot even had a nice surprise ending. Very enjoyable, and I hope to see more of Melanie and Keenan in the future."
Amazon customer Walter Knight gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "'Blood and Sunlight' is the first vampire book I have ever read. However, any genre can be enjoyable if the author writes well. Wasserman writes well, and it was a good read. Surprise ending."
Part Two of Valencia Wood, columnist at the Ellicott City Patch blog posting of a great interview with Blood and Sunlight author Jamie Wasserman. She writes, "Patch: When we last spoke, you were talking about your writing journey and background. Please continue with that conversation.
Jamie: I take a little heart in that I'm told Stephen King writes in much the same manner. There is a bittersweet story he relates in his memoirs about a dying woman who wanted to know how the Dark Tower series would end. Sadly, she wouldn't be around to read it. King told her that he didn't know himself, that the story was creating itself as it went along."
To see the whole interview, click here!
Amazon customer P. Brooks gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "Those who enjoyed the twilight series will love this book. It is full of interesting twists and turns. A great read."
Amazon customer Jane "Jane" gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "I really enjoyed this gritty vampire story. Not for kids! A quick read and a page turner - I finished it in two days."
Amazon customer MLPMom gave a 4.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "I have to admit, I never saw what happened coming. What a great new twist on vampires! Definitely worth the read."
Valencia Wood, columnist at the Ellicott City Patch blog has posted a great interview with Blood and Sunlight author Jamie Wasserman. She writes, "In this twisted tale by first-time novelist Jamie Wasserman, Ellicott City is the hometown of Melanie, a waitress and college drop out; [ ] the local sheriff; and Lucas, Melanie's [would-be] boyfriend. With plenty of small-town gossip and drama, Wasserman pushes the theme of vampires, fantasy and fairytales made popular by Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series into a harsher reality." (Corrections [ ] by Penumbra Publishing.)
To see the whole interview, click here!
Amazon customer Benjamin K. Ethridge gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "Lately I've been very skeptical about vampire books, games, movies, etc. When I was younger, I loved the monster and the myth, and wanted more. Then the market became saturated with the material and I lost interest, especially when some of the "good" stories weren't good at all.
That said, Jamie Wasserman's BLOOD & SUNLIGHT, is an example of why one should never close his/her mind completely to a subgenre. The novel starts with some wonderful atmospheric touches, which enhance the mood of the piece and really bring a reader into the Maryland setting. This is not easily done so fluidly in popular fiction. People are impatient nowadays and it normally takes some seriously dense prose to bring about mood. Here, the naturalistic description naturally flows into a very modern story. Wasserman is definitely a writer I will read as his new work becomes available.
But this book also treats each of its characters with keen respect. The main character, Melanie, is flawed. Big time. She often doesn't do the right thing and you have to keep reading on just to see what she's going to screw up. By the halfway point in the book, she is posed with a problem that is large for anybody, but it's EXCEPTIONALLY large for someone like her. It isn't a problem that is easily solved, by any stretch.
Blood & Sunlight is a quick, smooth read and a wonderful infusion of Vampire, for someone like me, the vampirely challenged. I recommend it highly. Although it is summertime right now, reading the novel I often felt in the throes of autumn, during an unexpected spell of rain. That is where this book's heart is."
Amazon customer LisaD gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "I'm somewhat local, so it was definately nice to read a story about a hot topic like vampires that are local. The story was very well written, and really gives you the feel of being 'in' the story. Knowing of and having been to some of the locations mentioned in the book really [brought] it to life for me and [made] me want to revisit those places. You really can tell that the author has been to the places as well.
This a great vampire book for those that LOVE the vampire stories, or the ones that just like a good book. Everytime you THINK it could be the end of the book, a new twist brings it back to life and keeps you turning the page!" (Corrections [ ] made by Penumbra Publishing)
Amazon customer Nicole Erickson gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "If you like vampires, or even just got drawn to them through the twilight series, this a a nice read that keeps you turning pages. The language is artfully crafted and the book speaks to a large population of readers."
Amazon customer Nicholas gave a 4.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "Decided to try a new author and was not disappointed - the book got even better in the 2nd half. It was a quick and easy read but kept my interest and kept me reading, wanting to know what happened next."
Amazon customer Mhoffman gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "I wasn't sure what to expect when this book was recommended to me. However, from the start the book captured my interest. This book exceeded my expectations with an wonderful story line! It's an amazing book filled with drama, excitement, romance, and action that makes you absolutely fall in love with the characters. Even those who are not particularly fond of vampire stories, you will enjoy Blood and Sunlight! What else to say other than Jamie Wasserman is a mastermind."
Amazon customer kcatalano gave a 5.0-star rating to Blood and Sunlight and said, "One of the most captivating reads of the recently popular vampire genre!!! Jamie Wasserman is truly a gifted narrator and Blood and Sunlight only emphasizes his talent. I appreciate his inclusion of authentic Maryland landmarks and traits, as well as his vivid imagery and attention to detail. I recommend this book to anyone who has a fascination for the vampire culture, or passion for a great love story or simply an appreciation for the geography."
Amazon customer MLPMom gave 5.0 stars and had this to say, "Great read! I really enjoyed Jamie's first book Blood and Sunlight but I have to say, this new one, is even better.
It isn't just the writing, although that is great, it is the story line and humor in this book as well.
I really enjoyed Millie and Jack's love story. And while there really wasn't ever any mystery over what Jack was, their love story was what held the mystery and getting to know them both, in love, was fabulous and sort of heartbreaking too.
Jack's story was wonderful to read. I really liked Lazlo and their father son relationship, it too was a little heartbreaking to read but in a good way. It was also a little dark at times too.
I love that this book didn't necessarily end with all the answers laid out for you. That you could sort of imagine what the ending (the true ending of the story) was going to be.
Once again I think Jamie came up with a wonderful new approach to look at vampires that hasn't necessarily been told before. Something fresh and fun and a little dark and mysterious too.
I look forward to reading more from him in the future!"
Amazon customer ?wazithinkin gave a 5.0-star rating to Holding Back the Day and said, "I loved the whole Peter Pan and Wendy element of the story. Claire and Millie are so much alike and yet so different at the same time. The author has developed all the characters in this book so wonderfully. The character development is done through cliff-hanging flash backs, which makes to book very hard to put down.
The insecurities of the characters makes them all very human, even the vampire Jack. Jack was very mystifying to me; he would sweep me away and then expose a very hard edge that was pure vampire, very scary. Millie made her choice with some regrets, she was a wonderful character to love and break your heart at the same time.
Matt is a great guy and he loves Claire but has problems of his own, he has lived with abuse his whole life. He is very insecure and all he wants is to be loved for the person he is.
Claire is not really sure what she wants; she has a desire to be normal, but seeks magic. I loved the whole Peter Pan and Wendy element of the story. I also was torn between the two worlds, the normal or the magic. Which would you choose? Claire is young; it will be interesting to see which choice she makes. Will she follow in her grandmother Millie's foot steps?
I would love to see this story continue, but it is a fully realized story and can stand on its own.
Holding Back the Day is a compelling and emotional journey that will sweep you off your feet. I highly recommend this book."
Amazon customer ?wazithinkin gave 5.0 stars and had this to say, "Angel Moon is the sequel to Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story. Keenan and Melanie have watched over and protected Kirsten for three years after the violent deaths of her brother and father; she now lives with and being raised by her Aunt and Uncle. Kirsten sees Keenan and Melanie as her guardian angels, they visit her at night through her bedroom window, tell her bedtime stories and leave her birthday and Christmas presents. Then they left her to grow up and live her life. Not understanding why her angels have abandoned her, Kirsten becomes obsessed with learning all she can about angels in hopes she can find them again and be reunited.
This story begins ten years later with Kirsten now at college continuing her search. The author brings us smoothly up to date while weaving two story lines together with seamless flashbacks and believable dialogue. Unbeknownst to Kirsten, Melanie is still watching over her. Melanie is also struggling with her blood lust; animal blood is just not satiating her thirst the way human blood can. Keenan is his ever patient self trying to help her adjust to her new vampire life and it is breaking his heart as well as mine.
Now bloodless bodies are showing up around campus and they are students connected to Kirsten. Professor Hollis has an obsession with angels and Kirsten. As he learns more about her history he comes up with a theory that he wants to prove. There is also a new villain in the picture, Stavros, Keenan's sire. He has come looking for Keenan, but it is Melanie who catches his eye. Revelations are made and I am truly beside myself, I love the twists the author has added to his vampires. Wasserman has truly outdone himself with this story and all I can say is that he had better be in the process of writing the next book to this series!
This is an excellent story and I truly loved it. I found no significant errors in editing or formatting. There is some adult language and situations."
Smashwords customer Amanda4242 gave a 4.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 1 and said, “What does one say about a book concerning a vampire guppy? It’s goofy fun, and I for one will never look at my fish the same way again.”
Amazon customer tahcastle gave a 4.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 1 and said, “The humor could almost be compared to Christopher Moore in the Lamb. This was extremely outlandish, funny and very fast. It was an enjoyable quick read. I had to look of the Guppy International Championships after reading, because I was so intrigued.
Story of a guppy, Sir Fin-land Aquarius III, that accidentally ingests vampire blood and becomes a vampire. The Secret Underground Pope (SUP)activates Hunter 2.1, Sylvia Chesterton to rid the world of this vampire on his way to the Guppy International Championships. She is not your typical Buffy.”
Amazon customer ?wazithinkin gave a 5.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 1 and said, “The adventures of Sylvia Chesterton, a slayer, are laugh out loud funny! This all started when Jamie started entertaining a few groupies on the Kindle Discussion threads with a chapter a day! This is a creative, light and unbelievably funny tale. Jamie Wasserman is a master storyteller and an author to watch! He also has an original vampire story that is not of the typical or funny variety - Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story.”
Amazon customer JP "Border Collie Mom" gave a 5.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 1 and said, “Breakthrough vampire fiction! One dark and stormy night while perusing the Amazon Kindle boards, I discovered vampire guppies. Relieved to realize that someone had documented the fight against this terrifying scourge, I bought this ebook. My daughter has been begging me for (gulp!) a guppy, and now my worst fears have been legitimized in the eink pages of this book- guppies are bad news, people!
Seriously, the writing is refreshingly fun. The plot is much more interesting (and original) than LKH's last 47 books. Buy this, you will not be sorry! Well maybe you will, but you'll laugh your tail off in the process.
Thank you for this delightful offering, now back to building Legos and stopping my Border Collies from plotting world domination. Again.”
Amazon customer ?wazithinkin gave a 5.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 2 and said, “In book 2 the adventures of Sylvia Chesterton, a slayer, continue. Jamie’s imagination and wit is unmatchable! These humorous stories are laugh out loud funny! Jamie Wasserman is an author to watch. He also has an enthralling vampire book to read that is not a funny vampire story - 'Blood and Sunlight a Maryland vampire story.' I highly recommend!.”
Smashwords customer Sheryl Painter gave a 5.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 2 and said, “I have laughed my way through this hilarious "horror" series! Can't wait to see where Mr. Wasserman takes us in book 3 - please oh please let there be a book 3... I'm just not sure who I root for more - Sylvia or Lord Fin-land.”
Amazon customer ?wazithinkin gave a 5.0-star rating to Night of the Guppy - Book 3 and said, “And the hilarity continues! This time with werewolves! In this story Carl the Bloodthirsty III, the new pack leader of the South Ireland Pack and Parts of Wales (SIP POW) and Eugene also a new pack leader of the North Ireland Pack (NIP) meet to end the Great Werewolf Wars and unite the packs. Jamie has a twisted sense of humor that is so fun to read. I love his short stories. And don't miss his novel Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story you won't be sorry!”
Smashwords customer Sheila Gallagher gave a 5.0-star rating to Bud the Crud and said, “I loved Bud the Crud and The Vampire-Werewolf Wars. I laughed so hard at the non-clichés. I could just imagine a younger brother thinking the same things Buddy did. He was so creative in his descriptions/storytelling. Nothing goes as planned for Buddy, but he is the hero of the story. He makes a lot of friends and helps end a war. And all in a week! This is a keeper. It was so much fun. (I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. Reviewed within a month of purchase.) ”
Amazon customer ?wazithinkin gave a 4.0-star rating to Bud the Crud and said, “Buddy is a fourteen-year-old late bloomer with bright red hair that has been a target for bullies all his life. This is a peek at the week his whole world changed. "Vampires and werewolves and ... puberty? It's all here."
Jamie Wasserman has an uncanny way of relating to the male pubescent mind. Buddy is just trying to survive his school years by burying himself in his comic books until he graduates and then suddenly everything will be different for him, right? Out of the blue a stranger sticks up for Buddy at the mall. A boy his sister Amber has had her eye on for a while now. Will comes to Buddy's rescue when Hans destroys Buddy's new comic book "The Haunted Man." Suddenly Buddy has a friend in Will and it turns out Will has had his eye on Amber as well.
This story is told through Buddy's eyes and we see how he deals with a whole cast of characters and how he learns to deal with bullies, vampires, werewolves, and slayers. I identified with the relationship between Buddy and his cheerleader sister Amber, who could do no wrong, their relationship rang true. I also really enjoyed Guy, Buddy's new found bodyguard at school, courtesy of Will. His lessons were invaluable to Buddy as he guided him to standup for himself and meet his challenges head on. The plot moves swiftly along in this character driven tale as we follow Buddy through his days at school, trips to the mall, and to the daring rescue of his sister and Will from the slayers.
Wasserman tackles Buddy's insecurities and challenges his, as well as others, concepts of friendship in this coming of age story with vampires, werewolves, slayers and bullies. With an overall theme of "the meek shall inherit the earth," this story was handled in a delightful way. I found myself cheering Buddy on and shaking my head when he stumbled. I love Jamie Wasserman's sense of humor and will read anything he writes. I have followed his writing career now for a couple of years and I have never been disappointed. I hope to see Buddy's adventures continue as this story ends with Buddy headed to a haunted graveyard with his deceased cat Spooky and a garden spade. What could possibly go wrong?
Format/Typo Issues: I found no significant errors.
(Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. Monday, September 9, 2013)”
Amazon (UK) customer AmberEyes gave a 5.0-star rating to Broadland Suspense and said, “Read it all in one go, as I could not put it down. Great plot, amazing characterisation, and full of - as the title infers - suspense. Would recommend!!”
CARRIE at BOOKONTHEBRIGHTSIDE.BLOGSPOT.COM gave 5 stars and had this to say, "Jaycie’s character is exceptionally strong, and I don’t mean the character herself, but as she is written. Her supporting characters also have great depth and development in this book. The teenage angst and twists in this book draw you into her character so fully. Before you know it, you read 5 chapters in an hour because you just CAN’T put this down. You HAVE to know what comes next! The way everyone winds and twists together during the plots is amazing! I love how the bonding between Haylee and Jaycie is so tight and built on so much love. The humor is added at exactly the right moments to break tension. The way the story peaked and then slowly brought you down out of the tumult of a storm that was the main plot is brilliant for any reader. I give it…wait for it….wait….5 STARS!"
Sixteen-year-old British blogger Claire at wdhabstihwsoft (we don't have any boyfriends so this is how we spend our free time) had this to say, "When Natasha asked me to review this I read the synopsis and it sounded amazing, and it was :).
Jaycie is a 17 year old girl with telepathic power and this is only part of what makes her a lovable character. She was so easy to like because she was so sarcastic and was always cracking a joke when possible, and as people know I love it when sarcasm is used in books. Jaycie's Father Mason and her Godfather John keep her grounded and I loved them both as well, if I'm honest I loved every character in this book even if they were bad because Natasha made me feel something for each individual. Jaycie also has a trainer named Allison who also acts as Jacie's Mum as her biological Mum left when she was eight, Allison was also amazing and she was probably my favourite out of the lot and I'm excited to see more of her in the second book. Now to introduce the love interest Matt Jacie's best friend, throughout the story you see her try to come to terms with her new feelings for him and although I haven't read a lot about him you can tell he is the protective type. This story revolves around mostly two characters one being Jaycie and the other being a girl named Haylee a quite girl who keeps to herself and is very mysterious, she was the most intriguing and all I wanted to do was find out more about her and her history which you eventually do. Jaycie's family are all so loving that I really wished every family could have the same affection for each other as this one does, However I can only wish.
At times this book was slow for me but all the time I was finding out new things and I was always surprised at what I found out, I think Natasha did well to explain everything like the powers and vampires. Before you think that the vampires she wrote about are the usual we drink blood and turn into a disco ball when it's sunny you can think again, they were totally unique in fact every aspect of this book was totally unique which is why I'm raving about it so much. There are so many questions your left with even at the end of the book, like where did the powers com from? and why? this is one of the may reasons I can't wait to start the next book.
Overall I could explain this book as being Buffy coming into the more modern age, seriously if you're a Buffy freak like me you might just wanna pick this book up and give it go. Even better it's in both Kindle edition and paperback! which gives you no excuse. This book will make you laugh and give you the shivers all in one go it's easy to read and I can't wait to see what happens in Unnatural Law."
Hanna Mariska at My Book Journey (hannamariska.blogspot.com) had this to say, "I liked the concept behind Darwin's Children; that evolution plays a part in the development of the human species and results in a small proportion of people like Jaycie that have special talents such as telekinesis. This was also complimented by angelic guardians, that help guide Jaycie to cope with strong bursts of her power.
I definitely liked Jaycie and Haylee, as they were both so different. Jaycie was outspoken, but in such a friendly and sassy way that meant you couldn't help but like her brashness and little nicknames. She's definitely the kind of person that grows on you, and I can't see how anyone wouldn't warm to her. In contrast, Haylee was so withdrawn and shy that I really wanted her to be brought out of her shell and find friends. Both of them though feel very real and typical of teenagers. For Jaycie, who just wants to be a normal teenager, telepathy and telekinesis doesn't help and she can't control herself around Matt. Bless her, it must be hard!
The first three-quarters of the books really grabbed my attention with suspense, fast pace and intrigue. However the concluding part of the story dragged a little for me as it lost a little of its humour and lightness, but it did leave a big hook for the second book that is very compelling.
An element of the story that stood out was the whole serial killer interest / abuse / execution issue. For this reason I think the story would suit a more mature YA audience. It was definitely out of the blue for me, but certainly makes you think about morality, vengeance and justice.
Darwin's Children is an interesting, funny, thought-provoking paranormal story that is certainly worth a read.
Lisa of Bookworm had this to say, "This is a very interesting and creative book. It deals with paranormal traits that a few humans have evolved to balance the world from evil.
Jaycie is seventeen and dealing with her skill at telepathy and telekinesis. She is trying to fit into a private school where she has always been home schooled. She is a loner, she doesn't have many friends. Her powers make it difficult to blend when she can hear unwanted thoughts. She's falling in love with her best friend, Matt. Life is tough. Unfortunately, it can get worse.
She is visited by a guardian angel who tells her to take a job to get to know another girl working in the Christian Bookstore. Haylee is also a loner. She is dealing with abusive parents and struggling to find a place for herself and dealing with superhuman powers that she doesn't understand.
I enjoyed this story. Natasha Larry writes with a distinct voice that is intriguing and easy to follow. My only warning would be that this book contains scenes that are graphic in nature of abuse and violence. I would only recommend to a more mature YA reader."
Books'n'Beans had this to say, "Applause, if you please, for a paranormal author who doesn't just ride along with the status quo. Yes, it's been said before, but it can't be said enough, that there's kudos for the author who steps outside the cookie-cutter mold of a genre. Natasha Larry is one such author.
Jaycie and her eclectic family (father, trainer, and friend-of-the-family uncle) take you into a paranormal world that literally defines paranormal. They are mortal humans who just happen to have extraordinary powers, they deal with vampires who are nothing more supernatural than people who are born with the gene, they encounter evil that is simply within normal human capacity, and they are watched over by Guardians that are equivalent to guardian angels.
At first, it seems as if Darwin's Children is going to start with the world's longest background history ever for a character. However, about 30% of the way into the story, you soon realize it's just the pace of the story. Not that a slow paced story is a bad thing. Quite the opposite is true for Darwin's Children. It is a story that slowly builds it's foundation, but it's an extremely well-built, solid foundation. In the long run that's critical. The absolute attention to detail and the explanations that are included don't seem forced and blend almost seamlessly into the plot.
A note for adult readers, this is a Young Adult book. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind while reading. Sometimes as adults we read a YA book, forgetting it's written for another audience, and expect it to be written for us. This creates a different set of expectations, so it's worth making the distinction. However it is a book that both YA and adults alike can enjoy.
Better news is that #2 (Unnatural Law) is already published! So start the Darwin's Children series, and keep reading!"
Naj of Unputdownable Books had this to say, "My first look into a telepaths world and boy was it different. It had tons of new outlooks into the paranormal world that was refreshing to me and most welcome!
The main characters Jaycie, Mason, John and Allison are seen in the beginning and I loved the relationship they had with each other. They’re one big happy, goofy family that Larry wrote so descriptively that you could feel the love. And on top of that she added humor and romance into the mix. Jaycie’s relationship with her long time best friend Matt blossomed to something different and the transition was perfect and very realistic which added points to the overall rating.
Of course, every protagonist needs a girlfriend into the mix and she has one in a form of Haylee, who’s disturbed and broken. Jaycie fixes that and in the process becomes her best friend with an unusual bond. Haylee didn’t hold any annoying qualities. No one in the story did, which surprises me in a good sense, of course.
The plot was somewhat there. I’m guessing Larry is waiting for the second book to come out, so she can show off her mad plotting skills! She’s pretty much nailed everything else.
Darwin’s Children is a refreshing read from an amazing author. It has everything you love about paranormal in it and more. It has Action, love, romance, and family. The best combination for a YA read. I can't wait to read Unnatural Law!"
The Pen and Muse Book Reviews had this to say, "If you are looking for real young adult paranormal page-turner, then you will have to read Darwin’s Children. Jaycie has a family with amazing gifts, and so does she. Jaycie knows that everyone loves her family, but she still doesn’t fit in to the fold. Jaycie’s world is going to change once she receives a cryptic message that will change her world forever. Jaycie has a best friend, Matt, but also meets a new girl Haylee who shares powers like her. She becomes close to Haylee thus leaving her relationship with Matt. It’s a young adult story that deals that with power comes responsibility and life. Sometimes we think we are making the right choices and then it turns out it’s a life lesson. Jaycie will find this out and she goes on this journey. I really enjoyed reading this book because I wanted to find out more about Jaycie and her journey."
Carol McKenzie of The Life of Fiction blog gave 4 stars and had this to say, "Natasha Larry is a funny and witty writer who knows exactly how to make her readers laugh out loud and also knows how to make a story so suspenseful that you're biting your nails as the pages turn. This book has the perfect balance of comedy and drama. We all know I love books with as many surprise and expected elements as possible, and Darwin's Children is one of those books! It's an amazing story filled with super powers, supernatural beings, humor, love, family, and plenty of drama.
I love books with a strong central cast of characters like the Delos family in Starcrossed or the Hayward family in Eternal Eden; Darwin's Children has a close family unit like those I love. It's is a novel filled with fun dialogue and relationships that some of us can only dream of. Jaycie's family is a strange one. Yet, even with her mother out of the picture her life is not lacking in the parental department. In the story we meet Allison, her car-lifting trainer/nanny, Johnny, her "uncle" an amazing guy with powers of his own, and her doctor father Mason who has her telepathic abilities only much stronger. Together these four take on a lot in order to help others. Darwin's Children is a book much like the X-Men comics and films. It's a story about people who are born with powerful abilities and what they do with them.
Jaycie is a seventeen year old girl in a prep school in Tennessee, who on the outside might look like any other high school girl, but inside is harboring loads of secrets including being telekinetic (moving things with her mind) and psychokinetic (reading minds and transferring her thoughts into minds). Her story takes a dramatic and suspenseful turn when she begins working at a Christian Book Store. There she meets a sad girl, Haylee, who needs her help. From there this amazing story just builds and builds.
I will say my least favorite part of the book comes in the form of Matt, Jaycie's best friend from childhood. He's like any normal teenage boy, hormone driven and not very understanding. Jaycie keeps a lot of secrets from him, for obvious reasons, but he kind of just gives up on her and I wasn't and probably will never be part of team Matt. See for yourself.
It is a dark and incredibly sad book at some points. I will say that it deals with some very adult issues towards the late middle and end of the book that makes the book more for an older teen audience. I would not recommend it to those under 14 or 15. The struggles and obstacles that the characters overcome is immense, Haylee and Jaycie especially the readers see so much growth in. I loved it and can't wait to check out book 2."
Shelby at Words to Follow (words2follow.blogspot.com) had this to say, "First of all, I thought this was such a great book to read. Second, I just have to say how jealous I was when reading about Jaycie's telekinetic abilities! If I had a super power, telekinesis would be it....that or the ability to turn invisible! Not sure if I could handle the telepathic powers though. Hearing another person's thoughts would drive me crazy. Not Jaycie though. She is one tough girl. I loved her carefree, positive attitude, and I think she was my favorite character. Honestly all the characters were wonderful, and really created an amazing family. Each person has a special power. Telekinesis, Telepathic, Mind Control, Super strength and speed are just to name a few. Then you have Haley, who has a power that hasn't been fully developed yet. Jaycie tries to adapt to her abilities while maintaining personal relationships. While learning about her powers, she also learns from her dad and John, about the rest of the supernatural world. Darwin's Children was so exciting, adventurous, and highly entertaining. WARNING! This book will leave you hanging and desperate to find out what's going to happen next."
Chioma of Black and Blue Ink Reviews gave a 5-star rating and had this to say, "You know a great book when you can easily be captivated by the characters and setting alone and fall in love with it before the plot even really kicks in, and Darwin's Children is definitely that book. Super powers and super humans done in an incredibly different way, Natasha Larry combines the best of all the paranormal and supernatural world coupling it with characters whose stories will pull at your heart strings, Darwin's Children is a book that I know will be stuck on my mind for a very long time.
In my opinion, I know a series is going to keep on getting better and better when the first book in the series can easily stand great as a stand alone title. And Darwin's Children is definitely one of those books. Jaycie Lerner was an interesting character from the start. I mean really, there are so many dishonorable and some might say sinister things a person could do if they had the power read and 'alter' people's thoughts, but does Jaycie do any of these things, of course not. She has other intentions for her abilities, and I must say, though she may seem like she is holding back at times, she definitely knows how to bring it when the time is right.
Not just Jaycie, but the whole Lerner family was so captivating to read about. The background of Jaycie's trainer/substitute mother and her superhuman abilities was so fascinating. As well as that of Jaycie's father and godfather, who couldn't be more annoyingly cryptic all the time.
The plot of this book hit me more emotionally than I anticipated it would. Jaycie and her friend Haylee go through a rough roller coaster throughout their friendship and at times the book became hard for me to read just because of the raw and horrific emotions that emanated from both Jaycie and Haylee at different times of the book. This part of the book in my opinion, though heart-wrenching, was written beautifully.
Darwin's Children has many layers to it, and they all lead up to a huge turning point in Jaycie's life. All throughout the book their is a foreshadowing to something big happening to Jaycie. And along this cryptic ride so much is revealed about the 'superhuman' world that Jaycie and her family are a part of. The different abilities of each character are each so unique and interesting to read when they finally play out. The story as a whole unfolds perfectly. Everything seems is interwoven into a great plot that I can't wait to read more of!
I can already tell this series is going to be a favorite of mine. I'm ecstatic to know the journey of the Lerner family does not end here, and I am eager to read what direction the books will go hereafter.
Recommendations: Series lovers and stand-alone advocates alike will thoroughly enjoy this unique and, at times, heart wrenching supernatural novel!"
Writing Style: 5/5
Diana of Imdqueen.blogspot.com gave 4.5 out of 5 stars and had this to say, "Before I say anything else I'd just like to throw out the disclaimer that when I really like a book I can't always list what I liked about it so I tend to go on about what I didn't.
And as I wrote that I couldn't even think if there actually was something that I didn't like. Well except the cover (which I've read around that I'm not the only one that felt this way about it), I just don't really like it when they put people on them, I like seeing the characters my way and this is a little too in your face. Oh and the description does not do it justice, it makes it sound like a simple story and it is anything but. (I used it because I can not summarize without giving too much detail or not enough.)
I really really liked it, the way all the emotions are describes is amazing and I know I said a couple of weeks ago that all stories are the same, but I've yet to read anything like this.
I loved the main character Jaycie, in the beginning she actually kind of reminded me of a friend I had in high school so I don't know if that helped me develop a connection with her, but there was definitely a connection. I don't even remember the last time I felt any type of connection towards a character in a book, especially one that I just started reading about. That's true for all characters Haylee: I can't even describe what I felt towards her. And then there's Matt, he wasn't even a main character but I liked him so much it surprised me.
The way the story progresses is so great with most books the major conflict is introduce so early that it feels like it drags on or it takes a few hundred pages for anything real to happen. But with this nothing really major happens for awhile; we're just getting to know the characters and that's alright. And that's a good thing since there's actually so much going on with the characters that it does require explaining. And then of course we get to the major conflict and it's pretty much a force yourself to stop reading situation.
I hadn't even realized that it's been so long that I've enjoyed reading something as much as I did Darwin's Children, it got to a point where I couldn't even stop reading.
Diamond Skye at ReadingIsMyCheapAddiction noted the cover was 'cool', and said, "I received this book from the author for my honest review. As with any book that I get I always assume going in that it’s going to be a good book. Why else would it be published. Some books disappoint, but this one didn’t.
The one thing that drew me in was the main character, Jaycie Lerner, is an African-American teen with physic powers. Plus she was one of very few African-Americans in her school. I can relate to that (not the physic part…I wish). Natasha did a good job of exploring the agony of being so out of place and different from everyone around you…from a teen’s perspective.
I also enjoyed how Jaycie’s best friend was a boy who eventually became her love interest. The author is good at developing the relationship between Matt and then the relationship between newcomer, Haylee, and Jaycie.
Darwin’s Children twists and turns like a good YA book should. Haylee’s past was dark and a little disturbing but I believe that’s what made this book an interesting read.
Overall, I found it to be interesting and a quick read. I’ve been jaded towards Paranormal YA novels for a little while because it seemed like I was just reading the same thing over and over. Darwin’s Children, while having some of the same elements, felt different and made me want to read more from Natasha Larry."
Tracy's Happy Bookshelf gave 4 stars and had this to say, "Darwin's Children was a refreshing change from many other YA Paranormal. At it's core, this book drills home a message of love and family. I truly enjoyed the family dynamics.
The main character, Jaycie Lerner, is a great voice for teens. She is strong, loving, caring and smart, but still remains positive even when faced with difficulties. However, a lot of that has to do with the loving family surrounding her. Jaycie's father, Mason Lerner, is an amazing man. He's smart, loving and protective of his daughter and family. He truly is a great example to all parents. I loved seeing the love between this Father and Daughter. In addition to Jaycie's father is her surrogate Mother/Nanny/Trainer, Allison Young. Allison is a great character. She is funny, smart, strong, sexy and just plain fun. It is her responsibility to train Jaycie to control her telekinetic powers. Also, being the only other female in the family, she takes it upon her self to deal with all the 'girlie' issues that arise. Sometimes whether Jaycie wants the help or not.
Of course no YA Paranormal would be complete without a little romance. Luckily for Jaycie, and us, she has her childhood best friend turned boyfriend, Matt Carter. Matt is very sweet and truly loves Jaycie. The romance was perfect. Not overdone and it was well balanced within the confines of the story. It did not take over as I have found too often happens in YA Paranormal.
We are also introduced to a pivotal character about 60 pages in. Haylee Michell is this broken, beaten shell of a girl who, with the love and caring shown from both Jaycie and her family, begins her transformation not only as a human but also as a superhuman. As we are introduced to Haylee, things start to shift and by the last few chapters, Darwin's Children, takes a bit of a darker turn from the light YA Paranormal we were enveloped in. I have read a few reviews that left some reviewers feeling that the ending was rushed and took too drastic a turn. Although, perhaps the ending was a bit rushed, I actually enjoyed the direction the story has begun to travel and look forward to the next installment.
In the end, I would recommend Darwin's Children to all lovers of YA Paranormal. If you are tired of characters that wallow in self pity and a lifetime of impending doom, this will be sure to give you a great read. I for one will be sure to keep my eye out for Natasha Larry's next installment in this series."
InsatiableReaders.blogspot.com gave an 'A+' and had this to say, "Evolution: For better or worse... Today's featured title is an ebook I finished late last week and have yet had the chance to expound on the thoughts and theories floating through my head as a result. Consider this post me making that chance. The title is different, the cover unexpected....but the story is one you don't want to miss.
Jaycie Lerner. How can one summarize this young lady? Studious for certain. Dedicated to everything and everyone. Oh yes ... I almost forgot ... a little spitfire just waiting to explode upon the world. Okay, perhaps she's not going to explode (at least not if her family has anything to say about it) but she can certainly unleash the wrath when necessary despite her outward appearance. At school and in life, she flies under the radar ... almost successfully except for the taunts of some fellow students who just don't know when to quit, which leaves her as an outsider. As with most of us that have ever been in her position, looking in doesn't feel all that good and it saddened me to see her want to fit in so desperately, given all her talents. Sad as that is, it does reflect the real world. We're not always that accepting of change or those that are "different". *shakes head* It's a shame too because we miss out on some stellar opportunities because of it. Anywho, where was I ... oh yes...
Jaycie is the girl with all the talent, but there are several other formidable friends in her extended family that have powers of their own. From persuasion to mind control, super speed to super strength, it's a mixed bag of power just waiting to burst at the seams ... or go up in flames as we discover two new characters that have a unique way of lighting up the night. Alison is her trainer, surrogate mother (hers is MIA), and friend, there when she needs her through thick and thin ... even when it comes time to talk about self control in regards to relationships and growing up. Thank goodness she's there because [if] left unchecked, the chemistry between Jaycie and one particular fellow is enough to rock all our worlds ... literally, or at least break a few windows. Her father is in a league of his own and certainly an example of what not to do if you're a parent with the ability to read your child's mind. *glares at character* Yep ... a teenage mind is dangerous enough without them poking around in there too. But seriously, his character goes through growing pains as well, and it's nice to see that relationship development and change throughout the story.
On the newcomer side, we have Haylee ... who is much more than she appears and has suffered more than could be imagined. She's a strong girl despite initial outward appearances ... think shrinking violet ... and it's wonderful to see how she comes into her own eventually. It may not be the most peaceful path, but its one that she has to travel and comes to terms with thanks to her new found "family". Continuing in the newbie vein, we meet and greet a few members of the Dey-Vah Guard as well as the more common Guardians. Let's just say though their intentions are for balance and keeping the peace, seeing one is not always a sign of good things to come. The Gray family has a brief stint towards the later half of the story, but I sincerely hope we get to learn more about their family as they seem fierce and fascinating themselves. Add to this mix a love interest for Jaycie and well ... you've got a wide variety of personalities to sort through, but you're sure to find one you can identify with. Kudos to the author on that accomplishment! A crowded cast can be hard to manage but she pulls it off well.
Story wise it holds its own and then some. It breaks free of the "book-one-in-a-series" syndrome early on leaving no doubt that you're in for quite a ride. There's highs and lows. Scenes of total control and total chaos but in the end, it's a well scripted plot that's carried out evenly throughout the pages and leaves you waiting for more ... or at least it left me waiting for the next installment. ^_^
There are two points though that did rub me the wrong way, which I'll touch on briefly here if you please. The first one actually occurs near book's end. One particular character is trying to recover from something or other (no, I didn't forget what happened, I just don't want to spoil it for you) and there is this dramatic build up of how badly they're doing and then POOF ... they'll back in action. I had a small case of reader whiplash from that turnaround. It just seemed like an odd turn of events due to the speed at which it happened. Does it affect the ending? No ... just raised my eyebrow for a page or two.
Second item to mention ... that (at times) was maddening for me personally was the emphasis placed on a person's ethnicity. For me, it doesn't really play a role for the most part. I mean, my brain conjures the story into a movie of sorts and I can see all the characters based off the descriptions and such but their actual detailed features when brought front and center, would in fact be merely shadows ... place holders if you will. Sure I can tell you who the blue eyed blond girl was or that the strapping young lad with the dark hair was following so-and-so, but at the base of it all is a love of the story. The journey, triumphs, tribulations, loves gained and lost .... all of the actual elements are what I embrace as a reader and though I certainly understand why the emphasis was placed (as well as the cover art ... just Google any of the multiple discussions on the "washing" of covers and the like or even read through the author's thoughts on a similar branch to the subject), it doesn't truly make a difference for me one way or the other. In fact, it almost gets in the way of my reading experience ... almost. (Hey, I DID say I liked this one A LOT ... didn't I? ^_^)
All in all, an exciting start to a series I know will remain on my wish list until we reach the very end ... though when or where that might be is any ones guess. There is a world of characters and challenges left to explore in this literary creation ... here's hoping the author takes her time showing us each and every one. I for one, can't wait! Recommended read for teens through adults as there are a few sensual situations, crimes of which shall not be named here, scenes and retribution scenes that the kiddos could do without, but rest assured it's kept as clean as it can be considering what the one character lives through.
Special thanks to My Love Affair With Books for introducing this title to me in one of their great bookish posts, thereby giving me the chance to make the connection with the author all through my little ole comment. Gotta love how the blogging world works ... so many ways to reach out and influence each other. My thanks as well to author Natasha Larry for the review copy as well as a fascinating read. (THANKS!) Curious how the series got its start? Check out the author's blog post for a glimpse behind the creative process. For more information regarding her work, check out her website (which at the time of this post looked to be still under construction) or follow along on Twitter. ALSO...through September 29th, 2011, GoodReads has your chance to win a copy of the book to call your own, so be sure to check it out!
JBronderBookReviews.com had this to say, "I have to [s]ay that I really liked this story. Jaycie is gently guided to help Haylee, a seventeen year old girl that is basically supporting her and her alcoholic mother. Jaycie’s friendship helps Haylee to realize that the world is not that bad and to see that she has a special ability herself.
But the big picture is that special people are around with extra ordinary abilities. Then there are Guardians that resemble angels to help guide people to create balance or Guardians that resemble fairies that can directly affect the world and protect the new people with special abilities.
I do admit that Jaycie’s budding relationship with Matt was just a little annoying. But then again I’m a jaded adult too. In it’s own way it was a good beginning for Jaycie to learn was she will have to go through to be in a relationship with someone.
I really liked how the people with special abilities go through surges when the brain opens up to the different abilities. I also liked how the story ending with a clear opening for future stories. This is a must read for those that like paranormal young adult stories.
(I received this book from Roxanne at Bewitching Book Tours for review.)"
James Crawford Book Review gave 4 out of 5 'broken hearts' and had this to say, "Darwin's Children is a required [an acquired?] taste. It's full of super-powered chicks and lots of action. Ok, so it's like chocolate ... chocolate is still a required [an acquired?] taste. Sure, the people who hate chocolate can barely be called human but ... of [oh?] never mind. I personally love chocolate Darwin’s Children.It's a wonderful tale about a super-powered girl named Jaycie finding her place in the paranormal world. This story has powerful expertly written characters that you will fall in love with from the start. Between Jaycie who knows who she is, and doesn't take crap from not one, and fragile broken shy Haylee, this book will have you smiling one chapter and wanting to cry the next. The story has some parts where it's a little slow, but it's a great story over all!
There are a few spots that are kind of dark, so I would recommend this book for the 15+ age group. Over all I give this book 4 out of 5 BFF Broken Heart Charms. What I loved most about this book is that it doesn't try to pretty life up for the readers. Some people are dealt bad hands in life and have their own inner demons to deal with. I feel a lot of young adults can relate if not emphasis [empathize?] with the characters."
Alaskan Book Cafe had this to say, "This was a captivating YA novel for me. It is different from most I read. It is a Guardian type with angels, the fae and even a family of vampires in it. I think one of the reasons why I liked this book so much is that it is unlike the books I have been reading. The story line is intriguing. Jaycie is living with her father who has supernatural powers. Her nanny/mentor is a woman with super powers. Jaycie shares the same superpowers as her father. They are training her in its use. She has the problem of balancing her supernatural powers and her normalcy. There is romance in this with a normal boy who does not know of her powers. She forms a friendship with a girl who has different powers that were unknown to her. Jaycie and the family take her in. I found the book interesting. I was fascinated by the way it unfolded and all the different superpowers in it; the way angels and the fae take part is intriguing. The vampire family's role is a new take also. I am really impressed that the heroine in this is an African American teenage girl who actually is like the ones I know. Jaycie is smart, respectful and educated. I am so tired of when the main character is an African American teen girl she is (a) pregnant, (b) on drugs, (c) locked up and, well, I could go on and on but you get my drift. I love the real portrayal. Darwin's Children was well written and fresh. I would recommend it to anyone who likes YA paranormal books."
Reviewer Pamela Roach had this to say, "Darwin’s Children was a great new paranormal YA. The author took abilities and gave them a new twist to make them fresh and exciting. The abilities have been seen more in vampires and other paranormal creatures in recent years. The characters with their powers are more reminiscent of X-Men than Twilight. But that doesn’t mean Darwin’s Children isn’t without its bite or two…
Our protagonist is Jaycie, who is down to earth and charming and faces a hard time in every direction – new definition of her relationship with best friend, Matt, snobby school and equally snobby classmates, her growing powers, and helping new friend Haylee.
Darwin’s Children, while hilariously funny and romantic, is equal parts and awesome action book – the ultimate Good Vs. Evil showdown…with Haylee and Jaycie the ultimate avengers.
The author kept it real throughout the book while still effortlessly maintaining the fantasy elements, the lines blurring so you believe it could actually happen. The tension rose as did the action, but still gave you time to breath with steamy Matt-shaped interludes.
Overall, Darwin’s Children was a charming and intense read."
Bunny at bunnycates.com had this to say, "I received this book to review, from the author. I was a little leery of it because I am not a fan of the cover, but the synopsis sounded very interesting and lets be real here: I am just wore out on vampires/love stories and this offered something DIFFERENT. I am so glad I accepted this book for review. It has everything you need to be entertained: paranormal, action, mystery, drama, and REVENGE (YAY)!
I loved the characters in the story. Jaycie, the main character, is a telepath. Allison, her “tutor/nanny”, has extreme strength and speed. Matt, the normal bff, whose super power seems to be hotness. The dad, a telepath. The God Father, a telepath/mind wiper. The new friend Haylee. They were all fleshed out well and most were relatable/likable.
Story wise, there are plenty of paranormal entities to fit everyone’s interests. Vampires, fire starters, telepaths, Angels, super humans, mind readers… So I think no matter what type of paranormal read you like, there is going to be something in this story to interest you. The plot is really good too! There’s a murder, some mystery, of course some heartbreaking drama and girls coming of age. The story is a great one, and the ending didn’t let me down. mmmm… I do love when there is a good bit of revenge to be had.
The ending left us knowing there will be more books in this series in the future, so I guess I will sit here and tap my fingers waiting to find out what Jaycie and her family get into next.
Star at www.bibliophilicbookblog.com gave four 'ravens' and had this to say in the review: "Darwin's Children is a potent mix of philosophy, evolution, action, family, romance, powers, and balance. Ms. Larry has created a world and characters that speak to your heart and a philosophy of evolution and balance that speaks to your soul. As in popular stories, Jaycie and her non-traditional family are beings in the next order of evolution - telepaths, telekinetics, empaths, those with immeasurable speed and strength. As such, with great powers come great responsibility.
Sometimes it's a little much for Jaycie, who is seventeen and has never been 'normal'. But she does want a relationship and love in her life, as do we all. But will her responsibilities keep her from what she wants?
The characters leap off the page to life as you read of their lives and the adventure that the maturing of Jaycie's powers takes them on - along with mysterious strangers and a new girl who is in a world of danger. An intriguing novel that gives you much to think about - I am eagerly awaiting the sequel."
Nicole at prettyopinionated.com had this to say, "I think as teenagers we all think our parents have some sort of mysterious mind-reading powers at some point, otherwise how can we explain how they knew when we were planning to sneak out, even though we were very quiet in making out plans. Thankfully, my mom’s skills got rusty by the time I was 15, otherwise I would have been grounded a lot more often than I was. Yes, I was one of THOSE teenagers, the kind I would never let Jake hang around with now that I’m a parent. While my mom may have occasionally been able to predict my moves, Jaycee’s father in Darwin’s Children can quite literally read her mind anytime he wants to. Her superhuman “nanny” can also eavesdrop from several rooms away, and her godfather can basically make anyone do anything with a single thought. Jaycee herself has quite a few tricks up her sleeve, and may very well be on her way to becoming one of the most powerful superhumans on Earth. Thank goodness they all use their powers for good!
In Darwin’s Children, 17 year old Jaycee is struggling to learn how to control her ever-strengthening powers by training with her superhuman nanny, Allison. She’s also learning how to deal with her new-found romantic feelings for her lifelong best friend, Matt, who doesn’t know that she’s a little different than other girls. On top of that, a mysterious Guardian drops in on her one day and urges her to get a job at a Christian book store and make friends with the girl that works there, Haylee. While Jaycee’s had a pretty good life so far, Haylee’s has been wrought with devastating trauma, and she definitely could use a break in her life. As the bond between the two grows stronger, Jaycee learns exactly what kind of trauma her new friend has been through, and jut how far she’ll go to protect her friend.
I really enjoyed this Darwin’s Children. It was tightly written with authentic dialogue and loads of personality. The characters of Jaycee, Haylee, Mason (Jaycee’s father), Allison, and John (Jaycee’s godfather) were developed flawlessly so that I felt I understood each one pretty well by the end of the book. The relationship between Jaycee and Matt progressed logically, and didn’t steal the focus from the true plot of the book- Jaycee’s journey of self-discover and friendship with Haylee. My only complaint is that the last part of the book, after the resolution of the major conflict, seemed to go a little fast. I understand the reasoning behind it, as it seems to be setting up what I hope will become a series, but I did feel it would have been a little better if parts of the ending were saved and fleshed out a bit for the next story. Other than that, I was completely pulled into the story and thought it was really well-written and intriguing, especially the mythology behind the different superpowers and supernatural creatures. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series (I am assuming there will be one based on the ending, if not, I hope the author will strongly consider it)."
Jennifer at thejenaissance.blogspot.com gave four paws (stars) and said, "Jaycie's got problems like any teenage girl. The school's full of mean girls, and she just might be in love with her best friend, Matt. Oh, and she's also a mind reader, an empath, and telekinetic enough to throw you across a room. She's got family issues - her dad's a whiz at mind control, her nanny/trainer Allison has super speed and strength, and her godfather John can make you believe anything he want. On top of that, she's due for a power surge any day now. Into this comes Haylee, a broken girl who's a lot stronger than she knows. It's up to Jaycie to give Haylee the confidence she needs to accept her powers, and if some old-fashioned vengeance is called for, she's up for that, too.
This is a great book. It hooks you at the beginning and keeps reeling you in to the end. The author has a great voice for teens; they're smart and funny, but also annoying and whiny. The situations may be supernatural, but the characters could be people you know. I particularly enjoyed the kids' reactions on learning about new worlds; denial, denial, denial.
There's some original twists on mythologies here. It's all about evolution; powers adapt to fit the person as well as the problems. Vampires are highly ethical, and have developed a taste for emotions with a blood chaser. It's refreshing to see a story where the vamps don't view humans as an endless supply of Capri Suns. The fairies look like fairies - really, really big fairies you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.
This is the first of a series, so a lot of foundation is being laid. Some small subplots, like the pyromaniac boy, while interesting, don't particularly add to the narrative. I can only assume that they'll come into play further down the line, like the mystery of 'The Core', an extra-sensory link that seems to multiply powers exponentially. Matt, especially, seems to be heading for a major role; the human linchpin of an increasingly inhuman group.
There's an overarching sense of love that runs through the story. It's about a family, really, one that comes together out of need and stays together by choice. Don't pass this one up. It's full of twists and discoveries, and new friends that seem like old ones.
Four paws up!"
Amber R. of awesomesaucebookclub.com had this to say: "I was trapped by this book as soon as I started reading it. I, literally, couldn't put it down. I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Jaycie is so saucy, funny, and sweet. She has an amazing support system. She needs it too with all of her amazing powers. I was impressed by her sheer strength and willpower to control everything she has going on in her head all the time.
The relationships that she has with her father, Mason, her trainer/mother figure/friend, Allison, and her godfather John are so amazing. They're are so hilarious together and you can just read and feel their connection and love.
I'm not giving away anything that happens but this book is amazing. There are some crazy twists and turns. I was seriously shocked at quite a few points in this book. I teared up and I was like, "holy snapples!" There were some definite "oh my god" moments, quite a few of them actually. I just can't wait to read the next books that come out. I can't wait to see Jaycie grow even more and see how her family deals with all the coming changes."
Emma of Belle Books had this to say: "I completely fell in love with the storyline and the characters from page one!
The story follows seventeen year Jaycie, who on paper has a fairly average life. She goes to a school that she hates and she doesn't really get along with any of her class mates, though she does have a very loving and devoted father, and her live in nanny who has become a mother figure to her over the years, Jaycie even gets a part time job in a book store. Throw in a little romance, and you have a typical high school girl, right? But Jaycie is harbouring a massive secret, she has both telepathic and telekinetic powers, her father is the strongest telepath known in the world and her live in nanny has super strength and speed.
Trying to get through a normal day for Jaycie is almost ridiculous with her powers, she can hear all the thoughts in people's heads, which can make her completely lose control. So she needs to be extra careful at school. When a guardian (thats sort of like an angel to you and me), tries to set Jaycie on a path to befriend a girl, she soon discovers that this girl may have powers too and doesn't know about it.
The rest of the book follows the two girls and how their relationship grows, there are a number of unexpected turns in the book which I was totally not expecting. One of them being vampires!
The book itself is well written, and although there are a few gritty issues thrown up in the book, they are dealt with in a mature and honest way, which I really liked. In some books these types of issues can make the book too dark, but I think Natasha found the perfect mix in Darwin's Child. There is also a science fiction element to the book as well, there are a few discussions about genetics and evolution. I am in no way a science girl, but the terms used were simple and easy to understand, which I really appreciated. I felt that I had more of an understanding of the background story through these little snippets of information.
The characters are very well developed, at times I actually wished these characters could be real and they would adopt me into their family. You can feel the love and devotion the family have for each other through the pages.
Overall, I loved this book! It captures so many different elements in it, family dynamics, love, romance, paranormal elements, science and genetic elements and learning to deal with your past and love who you are now!"
RayneeDaze of rayneedaze-readingfrenzy.blogspot.com had this to say: "Natasha Larry builds a world filled with fresh new characters with amazing abilities, crushing flaws and problems like everyone else. Jaycie is everything you want from a lead heroine; she is smart, witty, rebellious, stubborn, insecure and completely baffled when it comes to her feelings for her best friend Matt and the mystery that surrounds her new friend Haylee.
Haylee is awkward, mysterious and a character you will want to stand up and cheer for. Burdened with a power she doesn’t understand she turns to the only person in her life that seems to accept her, Jaycie.
Together they learn more about the paranormal world around them, as they become best friends. But how far would you go for your best friend? Would you carry their burdens? Would you kill for them?
As Jaycies powers grow the road she travels will become stranger and harder. Can she harness her powers? Can she handle being a teenager and a telekinetic super power?
Dive into the wonderful world of Darwin’s Children and find out!"
Sheila at www.sheiladeeth.blogspot.com gave a 4-star rating and said, "Darwin’s Children, by Natasha Larry (You'll have to look at July's Poetic Monthly magazine (http://www.poetstage.com/poeticmonthly.htm) to read my full review of this one) combines the teen angst of Twilight with the superpowers of X-Men, adding a complex and intricately detailed mythology all its own in small-town America. A high-school senior, ostracized at her private school but beloved in her home community, is learning how not to wreck the furniture when hormones send her powers into overdrive. Meanwhile there's a mind-reading father and strange guardians making an appearance; read with a 4-star complex coffee - it's definitely complex."
Andrea at http://thebookishbabes.blogspot.com had this to say... "The synopsis for Darwin’s Children was a real attention-getter for me. As you may expect from the title, the premise behind the abilities exhibited by Jaycie and her family is evolution. As humans evolve, they are able to access parts of the brain previously unused. According to Jaycie’s father, Mason, “Evolution is nature’s tool to ensure the survival of the species”. All supernatural beings (vampires, slayers, werewolves) and those with supernatural abilites (telepaths, empaths, telekenesis) are the result of evolution. Their world is all about the balance of good and evil.
Darwin’s Children has winsome characters that made me like them instantly. Jaycie was smart, brave and funny. She was also a little petulant and whiny, just like any good seventeen year old! She wants to have normal teenage experiences, but it’s almost impossible as a telepath. She can barely control her mind or her body. Every time she and her best friend Matt try to take their relationship to the next level, she is likely to shatter a window with her “vibrations”. Allison, Jaycie’s nanny/trainer is a 90 year-old woman, with the body of a 20 year-old. Mason and John, Jaycie’s father and godfather are the heads of their group. Mason is lovingly devoted to his daughter, but not above eavesdropping on her thoughts. John is a second father to Jaycie and spends his time devoted to finding and researching others like them. The character of Haylee was the wildcard for me. I just never could fully like her or trust her. Haylee is an outsider like Jaycie, with extra abilities of her own, but unwilling to open up to help from Jaycie. Haylee has some dark, dark secrets. I found her storyline really disturbing, hard to read.
Darwin’s Children is a layered, smart and complicated story. I really enjoyed the intelligence that was undoubtedly at work writing this book. Darwin’s Children was a book thoroughly unlike anything I’ve read before. Sure, I’ve read books about humans with super abilities, but none with so much thought, creativity and explanation behind the abilities. Although I have to admit, I got a bit lost in the explanations, especially at the end of the book. But I will definitely give the sequel a try."
Mandy Shemery of Literary R&R (http://literyrr.blogspot.com) posted this five-star review on Smashwords.com and had this to say, "Cover ...
The girl on the cover has a sexy fierceness about her. When I first received the book for review and saw the cover, I wasn't sure why she had the yellow and red colors around her. I thought maybe it was her aura. After reading, though, I now know that it is a depiction of Jaycie at the highest point of her powers ... go get 'em girl! =)
Plot ... Unusual, different, relatable, humorous, intriguing, empathetic ... all of these adjectives describe the story and the emotions the story can draw from you while reading.
I enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced and kept you interested. Once I started, I didn't really want to put it down. The characters are wonderfully human, but still has that super-power thing going on.
Main Characters ... Jaycie - I would venture to say this girl is spoiled, but she doesn't act that way. She's down-to-earth and is willing to help people (even without her super-powers). She has tough decisions to make and handles them rather well for a teenager.
Mason - Jaycie's father - A single father working as a doctor to take care of his daughter. He is reasonable and loves spoiling his daughter. He still excepts Jaycie to abide by the rules and will discipline her when needed. Basically, this is a well-balanced man ... someone all women dream about, I'm sure! =)
Allison - Jaycie's trainer - This woman kicks Jaycie's butt during their workouts. She pushes Jaycie's beyond her comfort zone, but not to the point that Jaycie'll get hurt. Allison is Jaycie's mother-figure and they treat each other as such. There is a definite bond between Allison and Jaycie that will be difficult, nay impossible, to break.
Matt - A regular human boy who is attracted to Jaycie and vice versa. He's a sweet southern gentleman, but don't let that fool ya ... when this boy has had enough, by George, he'll let you know! He seems to get mad pretty easily sometimes, but he's still a wonderful well-rounded character.
John - Jaycie's godfather - What I wouldn't give for a godfather like John. He's patient, humorous, giving and loves to give Jaycie pretty much anything she wants ... whether it be information or gifts.
Overall ... Simply put ... I loved this book. I'm eager to see what's going to happen with the characters in the next book. I would recommend this to all YA book lovers out there ... even the adults who are young at heart. =)"
Rachel at Rachel Reads (http://rachelreader.blogspot.com) had this to say: "I just have to say that this book was different from anything that I have read in a while. The concept is very original and refreshing. I went to college near Johnson City, Tennessee so the towns in this book were very familiar to me. That made me enjoy the book more. I really liked how Natasha Larry wrote Jaycie, the main character. She was definitely my idea of a typical teenager with all the feelings, thoughts and ideas she has. However, she is also a special teenager because she has lots of different powers. I can understand too how she would be hesitant to make friends with people because of these powers. Hearing a lot of people's thoughts would drive me crazy. Matt was also a great love interest and I hope that we can learn more about him in the next book of this series. I really liked Haylee though. When Jaycie and her become friends, you know it is meant to be (that is explained in the story). I feel bad for all the issues she has had in her life but she has very interesting powers that relate to her history. I have to say that I cringed during one part of the book but that part was definitely appropriate to the whole story. Thank you Natasha for contacting me and I am looking forward to the next part of this story."
Sabrina at http://cupofteareviews.blogspot.com (Cup of Tea Reviews) gave four stars and said, " So this is the second superhero novel I've read. I took a while to get into Darwin's Children. It kept on pulling me in and pushing me out. It was slow at the beginning but eventually it gives away to an amazing story. Darwin's Children has a unique interesting plot that just can't compare to other novels similar to it's kind.
What I really liked about this book was the characters. The characters kept me hooked in. The characters seem so real and you can't help but like them. You can practically feel the love and bond between them fly off the page. By the end, you feel you know the characters personally.
After reading this, I felt satisfied and happy. I really liked Darwin's Children and hope to see the next one soon!"
Smashwords customer Shari gave four stars and said, "My favorite part of Darwin's Children was the line up of amazing characters. I also really enjoyed how fresh and new this story line felt. The characters were absolutely wonderful and completely believable (well, as believable as super powered people can be). It was so refreshing to read a young adult novel that included a loving, attentive, and sweet father who also just happens to be telepathic. Jaycie is surrounded by people who love her, like her sweet and fun nanny/trainer that really acts more like a best friend and older sister, who also has super strength and speed. Her God-Father that can manipulate people's thinking, but only when it's really necessary, and her childhood friend the super adorable Matt. Then we meet Haylee, Jaycie's newest friend, she is a wonderful and complex character that I was instantly rooting for. The fact that Jaycie had been homeschooled was fun for me since I am a homeschooling mama. However, I was confused as to why she was forced to go to school when the book really didn't explore her school life very much except to let us know that she wasn't liked, and didn't really have any friends there. The relationships that Jaycie has in this book are so sweet and wonderful. Like when she visits the town candy store, the owners know her and adore her. Those little details made Darwin's Children such a great read for me. Not to mention the making out, crazy but super cool vampires, and the kick-butt action scenes. My only real complaint was that the end of the book felt a little rushed and confusing to me. I'm looking forward to reading more about Jaycie, Haylee and their growing super powers."
Amazon customer Avery Greaves gave five stars and said, "I am not going to lie, when I saw the cover of this book I was totally thrown off by it and I was somewhat hesitant to read the book (I know, I know, the old saying, "Don't just a book by its cover", but let's be honest sometimes we do buy books based solely upon their beautiful covers- in my case it was "Nightshade" by Andrea Cremer and "The Body Finder" by Kimberly Derting- and we sometimes do bypass books because of their covers ) and it really is a shame because this book was absolutely fantastic and one that I am hands down glad (and honoured) to have read.
I think that this book was so successful because the characters (Jaycie, Haylee, Allison, Mason, John, and Matt) were entirely realistic (however almost to a fault). Because the characters were so realistic they were easy to relate to and entirely likeable, but on the other hand their emotions and reactions almost felt tiresome after awhile and because they were so realistic you couldn't help but react to them in a way that you might with a friend or a sibling who is doing something that you think is making a mistake (ie. Jaycie not making more of an effort to propel her relationship with Matt forward since he was such a swoon-worthy guy) by (mentally) yelling at them, becoming annoyed with them, or rolling your eyes at their antics.
Furthermore, I think that this book is so successful because it is so unique and one of a kind. I have read countless paranormal books over the years, however I haven't touched one that is quite like this. Not once while reading this book did I feel like anything in its plot was overplayed (ie. a character with telekinesis, a guardian angel who is willing to protect their charge at any cost, etc.).
All in all, don't do what I did (judging the book by its cover)- if you do, I truly feel like you will regret having done so! I think that this book is a wonderful addition to the world of YA paranormal and I cannot wait to see what Natasha has in store for us next!"
Amazon customer Tisha gave four stars and said, "Darwin's Children is a great book about a teenager named Jaycie who has supernatural abilities. Her telepathic and telekinetic powers keep her from having a normal teenage life.
I really liked the southern hospitality and charm of everyone in this book. The characterization is great, all the characters are extremely likeable and have their own unique personalities.
I thought this book was very well written. This really impressed me since the author is new. Natasha Larry does a wonderful job at explaining how these supernatural powers work, and makes it seem real.
The only thing that I would have liked to see more of is Jaycie's relationship with her childhood friend Matt. I loved seeing them realize that they felt more than friendship toward each other, after being friends for so long. Matt is such a sweet guy, and I hated seeing him being pushed aside. I don't know if this will be part of a series, but I hope it is. There is so much potential there for more. I would recommend this to any fan of the paranormal. I think it's suitable for teenagers, though it has sensitive subjects that include rape. If that doesn't bother you, then you should definitely give this book a try!"
Smashwords customer Shaeeza Haniff had this to say: "I read this book and thought, this is fun! The story centers around a teen aged superhuman who is about to come into her power.
Surrounded by the other super humans in her immediate family, our heroine is taught, nurtured, comforted and supported through out her ordeals.
She is guided to become friends with another superhuman who is unaware of her own powers. Both are beautiful girls in their own right although awkward in their social skills - which is not uncommon for most teen aged girls who do go through their teen years feeling much the same. They both come of age in their own ways and build a sense of family for each.
The author's explanation of the reason for the super human abilities of the characters is believable, scientific and plausible. For the most part, the majority of our population have had some inkling of a sixth sense in our own personalities and this book tells of the possibilities, the imagine thats, and the what ifs.
Although a slow beginning, Darwin's Children is a great read that finishes with a tumultuous climax. I am guessing there is a second book coming after this one that I can't wait to read.
Word to parents - heavy petting, rape and violence."
Amazon customer Nova Sparks gave five stars and said, "Often times I like to try and see if I could guess the direction a book is going to go before I start or some time in the middle. I must say that this book has some really great moments that are so well written that you don't even want to guess where/how the book will end. That my friend, is the making of a great book. Natasha Larry is a lover of all things comic book and it shows in this beautiful story of companionship with people "just as different" as the main character. Darwin's Children is a amazing story that makes you feel like there maybe a little Jaycie in all of us. I'm really horrible at writing reviews that don't give spoilers so I will say this. GET IT! It is $2.99 that is well spent. It will make you hate whatever distracts you from turning each page of this blissful and exciting story! I can't wait for whatever else Natasha Larry has in store for us. And after this book... there is no guessing!"
Author Bonnie Lamer gave four stars in her review: "Jaycie Lerner is not your average teenager. To begin with, she has to constantly shield her mind from the onslaught of other’s thoughts, which is not easy to do when surrounded by teenagers who practically scream their heightened emotional thoughts at her. The result is that Jaycie often reacts inappropriately to social situations and is considered an outcast and a freak by her classmates. Her home life, though, is what keeps her sane. Her telepathic father helps her learn to keep shields in place in her mind and Allison and John help her learn control over her other abilities. Even if sometimes their lessons are a bit on the extreme side, the bond between these people not related by blood is stronger than most families who are.
Eventually, it is Jaycie’s turn to help another understand her superhuman abilities. A lost, broken girl, who Jaycie befriends at the request of a persuasive stranger, carries dark secrets inside of herself that are tearing her apart. With the help of Jaycie and her family, this girl learns that there is more to life than the memories of pure evil she holds inside of her. And sometimes, revenge is the only way to help along recovery.
The characters in Darwin’s Children are not only powerful, they also come across as people you would love to meet at the next neighborhood barbecue. Natasha Larry has done an excellent job of making the characters stand out from those in other books with their down home style and southern manners. But as secrets unfold and revenge becomes not a wish but a must, the strength the characters show prove that they are made of stronger stuff than most people. Not to mention, their powers are most enviable – superhuman strength, mind reading, telekinesis, the power to persuade anyone of anything, and the power to make evil doers feel the pain of their actions towards others. With all of these traits rolled into one book, this is a novel that lovers of paranormal and supernatural will love.
There were a couple of things that held me back, though, from giving this book a 5 star rating instead of a 4. A lot of information was thrown out over the course of the book and sometimes this distracted me from the main story line and made some of the passages move along slower than I would have liked. Not all of the information may have been necessary to the story line, such as Jaycie’s father and John going after a fire-starter in another state. The pace of the novel seemed to waver because of these extra details from fast-paced to meandering and as much as I enjoyed it, I couldn’t help but feel that some areas of the book could have moved along a little faster towards the final showdown. The other thing that held me back was the last few chapters of the book. Although they were well written and interesting, they were a little anticlimactic after the story had already reached a stunning climax. These chapters may have been better served as the beginning of the next book in the series.
Overall, I truly enjoyed Darwin’s Children and I am grateful that the author gave me a copy to review. It definitely makes my must read book list and if there is a sequel, I’ll be reading it! I give this book a strong four stars."
Wishes4Me at dream-wish-live.blogspot.com gave 4 stars in this review: "Short Synopsis: Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts! (provided by author)
My Thoughts: Normally, this isn't a book I'd pick out on my own, but it was pretty interesting and entertaining to follow along to. Larry puts on a new twist for paranormal fiction authors.
In this novel, seventeen year old Jaycie Lerner is a pretty powerful being with the powers of an empath, telekinesis, telepathic. She lives with a 'trainer' who helps her hone her skills and is also a mother figure for Jaycie, and her father, who also has powers just like her.
Jaycie sort of feels like an outsider and mostly keeps to herself, and feels like most people don't understand her. She has a best friend named Matt, whom she has mixed feelings about. Jaycie also meets a young girl named Haylee who has special powers that are unlike anything else. In this novel, Jaycie learns to cope with an upsurge of new powers, making new friends, and what it means to find her destiny.
I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Jaycie and Matt, as well as the relationship between Jaycie and Haylee. There were only a couple things that I found to be problematic. I didn't like how the relationship between Jaycie and Matt ended so abruptly and the way it ended. I felt that they had a strong connection and should have endured through the problem. I also didn't like how Jaycie reacted towards certain situations. At times she sounded like a five year old, instead of seventeen. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and entertaining.
Would I recommend this book: Yes"
Barbara Watkins of All Book Reviews had this to say in her prepublication review: “Combine – Paranormal, Romance, Thrills – You get 'Darwin’s Children.'
‘Darwin’s Children’, by author, Natasha Larry, has all the elements needed for a thrillingly paranormal good time. The author takes the safety and security of one’s life and links potential dangers with the supernatural world – with a mixture of suspense and fear. I devoured this read in one afternoon.
Imagine being a young teenage girl home schooled for the most part of your young life, and then finding out that you are now going to attend an Ivy League school – sound exciting? Now imagine that this young teenage girl is unique in that she has telekinetic and telepathic powers – powers that she is desperately fighting to manage. She finds life even more demanding in that her father has the same gift, and at any given time can read her thoughts – a horror indeed! Jaycie Lerner does not fit in with the so-called ‘normal’ kids, nor does she want to. She finds her unusual gifts a blessing when it comes to manipulating her teachers by reading their thoughts, and sometimes overpowering their authority. However, having such supernatural powers does not come without its disadvantages. Besides having to keep a step ahead of her telepathic father, she yearns for a close relationship with her best friend, Matthew Carter, only to shy away from telling him her true feelings – frightened he will see her as a freak of nature.
Visiting a local jewelry shop, Jaycie has an encounter with a stranger that startles her to her core. “Buy this bracelet,” the woman tells her, “Then meet me outside.” The stranger tells her that the Christian bookstore is hiring for a part-time position and suggests that she should apply. She informs Jaycie that she will meet and befriend a young girl that works there, and in doing so their relationship will restore balance to the world – then mysteriously she disappears. Next, the reader is introduced to a character by the name of Haylee Mitchell – a character the reader shall soon not forget. Haylee is plagued with her own demons. Forced to take care of her alcoholic mother, Haylee has relentless nightmares – or are they horrible visions of what is to come?
Vampires, fairy blood, guardian angels, magic, and the powers within the supernatural world – 'Darwin’s Children' has all of these strange and mystical properties. The characters in this book are well written and the storyline flows effortlessly. I only mentioned a handful of the characters as they are many, and all play a vital part in this paranormal thriller.
Read '“Darwin’s Children,' and I believe you will agree, author Natasha Larry has found her forte in story telling, and it’s in the genre of paranormal suspense.”Review by Barbara Watkins, www.allbooksreviewint.com
CARRIE at BOOKONTHEBRIGHTSIDE.BLOGSPOT.COM gave 5 stars and had this to say, "Once again, the connection with Jaycie and her family as characters is a strong one. I found myself being scared, relieved and saddened as the characters came to feel the same thing. The worst part of this book is that I only want to eat when they do, and since time for them is faster than it is for me, I ate too often. This book has me feel like I am in Alice’s rabbit hole…curiouser and curiouser. The tension in the story is a slow building one; however you do not get bored or lost as you read. Instead you seem to be even more engrossed with what you are reading.When the peak hits, you have an idea, but don’t know the how, why, when or where…just the who. Then it does it to you again. This book amazes me and leads me to want to read the next! 5 Stars!"
BunnyCates.com had this to say, "My Thoughts: First before I say anything else, let me just say that this is a BOOK TWO in a series. This is going to have spoilerish bits with regards to BOOK ONE. So if you have NOT read the first book – all you need to know is I LIKED THIS BOOK. Now, stop reading here so you don’t ruin the first book, and go start reading it. =D
This book has a lot going on in it, and I am not really sure what I can say that isn’t totally spoilery. The synopsis sums it up fairly well. In this book we not only focus on Jaycie and her trying to deal with her power but also with Allison and her loneliness. There is also something amiss in nature and the Vampires get involved. So we have the mystery of who is doing what, with whom AND some swoony romance thrown in. Yes, it IS that hard to explain without spoiling the entire book! haha! Action, mystery, suspense, romance, and paranormal super powers. There, that about sums it up.
In Conclusion: I enjoyed this book. I’m not sure I would say I liked it “better” than the first in the series, DARWIN'S CHILDREN, but I certainly didn’t like it less. I’m very pleased that Natasha Larry did not suffer from what is commonly referred to as “the sophomore slump”. It is hard to find a series that can keep up strong writing and a heavy pace through the sequels. Not only does UNNATURAL LAW keep up the pacing but the storyline is further developed and the “mystery” of it is solid. With strong female characters and a strong “family dynamic”, this series is a great example of what YA lit – should be. I say you should definitely pick it up because I can’t wait to read the next in the series.
I do highly recommend reading the first book in the series DARWIN'S CHILDREN so you understand what is going on and know the characters, etc. before reading this one.
Mom Notes: Contains some violence and some kissing. Neither are “graphic.”
Lili-lost-in-a-book.blogspot.com gave UNNATURAL LAW a 4/5 rating and had this to say, "In this second installment of Darwin's Children, Jaycie is still trying to get a hold of her powers. Yes, her power surge is over, but she is now more powerful than ever and it's too much for Jaycie to handle.
Allison is acting strange, and no one knows why. She seems very distracted...about something.
The Core's Guardian fairies are weakening, they don't know why, but it's very dangerous...having that they can't protect Jaycie and her family.
Also, vampires are being killed, again nobody has a single clue as to why. But let me tell you something: these last three things I just mentioned? Yeah, they're connected. Suspicious...
I really enjoyed this book! I love characters who have some super cool supernatural ability, and this series is filled with them! You know, it wasn't till they mentioned it in Unnatural Law, but these books do remind me of X-Men! :D I love X-Men!
I have to admit, I felt like there was a lot going on in this single book, but once I got to the end I was like, "Ohhhh! So that's how all this was related!"
I really liked all the diverse characters Ms. Larry presented us with...plus we got to meet some new people! And can I say that I was very happy to see more of Matt ;) What he can do really shocked me! It's really very cool, though :)
Overall, I thought this book was pretty darn awesome. And I just found out, like five minutes ago, that there will be another book in the series :D It's called Common Descent and it's expected to be published sometime this year.
Why yes, I am excited for it ;)
GEEK CHICK gave 4/5 to UNNATURAL LAW and had this to say, "After reading Darwin's Children, I was really curious as to what was going to happen next to all those characters. Well, I finally read Unnatural Law, and now I'm REALLY looking forward to the third book!
Note: I received an e-copy of this book from the author for review.
Wow! I think I liked Unnatural Law even better than Darwin's Children. The writing is a bit better, and the characters have developed really nicely! And while the plot is a bit complicated with its twists and turns, it definitely keeps you interested and flipping pages :)
Everybody we knew in loved in Darwin's Children is back for the sequel, and they're all more kick-butt than ever! Jaycie's power surge has settled down a bit, but she's still not back to herself, and is still extremely dangerous. Haylee is changing, too--she's grown more confident, more sure of herself, and happier, though there are still parts of her scarred by her horrifying past.
Allison gets a larger role in Unnatural Law, too. See her on the cover? She's dealing with mood swings, loneliness, and anger--and she's hiding a big secret from her family and friends.
Guess who else is back? MATT! I absolutely loved him in DC and UL. He knows Jaycie's hiding something from him, and he's determined to find out WHAT, and to make her understand that he isn't giving up on her--or on THEM.
But there's more to their lives than personal problems, though EVERYONE is dealing with them. There's danger in their supernatural world, and they need to find out what's going on.
With old and new characters, action, romance, and humor, Unnatural Law was really enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to the next installment :)
Unnatural Law gets <*><*><*><*>
Wayward Book Reviews gave UNNATURAL LAW 5/5 and had this to say, "Picking up from my review of DARWIN'S CHILDREN, I was worried Jaycie would be all powerful and my concern was who or what could possibly oppose an all powerful being? Well that's not an issue in Unnatural Law due to the fact that Jacyie's powers are now unstable after her last power surge. Telepathy is hit or miss at best and telekinesis is potentially extremely dangerous under high emotions.
Jaycie's instability is not the only thing hanging over The Core's head. The Dey-Vah guard (The Core's very own body guards issued by Mother Nature) are having instability issues of their own. There trouble; keeping tabs on the very people they are supposed to protect.
With so much going on and so many great characters with so many awesome powers, you would think there would be some difficulty keeping up with everyone, but I'm very pleased with how Natasha kept everything in some kind of order. I absolutely adore all of her characters. Jaycie is a wonderful person. Matt and John are hilarious especially when they get into their banter. And Haylee she's so sarcastic and I love it.
I give Unnatural Law 5 out of 5 Necromancers for all the intrigue, a few shadowy figures, and the whole cast of characters in general. I recommend it for ages 13 and up or for anyone who is a fanatic about superpowers in general.
Bookvacations.wordpress.com had this to say, "This novel picks up where the first novel in the series, Darwin’s Children, left off as Jaycie works to remember and understand her powers and abilities after her power surge. I very much enjoyed this novel, especially as Jaycie and Haylee have now begun to mature to a point that they’re extremely likable characters. While Jaycie does occasionally lapse in her ability to control herself, her selfishness and jaded personality has all but disappeared, and she really works to do what is right throughout this novel, endearing her to my heart.
As the characters and back-story was fleshed out in Darwin’s Children, this novel has less down time and much more action from the very beginning. There is a lot going on in this novel as Jaycie, Haylee, and her family struggle to figure out what is happening to Allison and who the mystery man is killing off the vampires. I spent a majority of this novel trying to figure out “who-done-it” and really enjoyed that aspect of mystery as well as the superb characterization. The fact that there are many key characters, yet they remain easily definable and don’t make the story difficult to follow, is a testament to Larry’s writing abilities. I think she’s refined her writing in this sequel and I cannot wait for more from her. Four stars."
Diana at Little Miss Drama Queen blog gave 4.5 stars and said, "While reading I kind of wanted to find something to dislike about it. Nothing big just a little something for me to shake my head at.
Why? I really don't know; I'll just do that sometimes. But I'm happy to report that I found none. The writing feels so real, as do all the characters.
I'm trying really hard not to make this sound like the review I wrote for Darwin's Children, but really my feelings are still the same. Maybe just a little amplified.
From the beginning I felt myself getting caught up in the story, which again I've yet to find any other to match it. And I doubt I ever will, it's such an original story with... I want to say true to life characters, but that doesn't even begin to describe them. There's somethings so comfortable about them.
Tracy at tracyshappybookshelf.blogspot.com had this to say, "First off, the cover. I must admit that the cover for this second installment is much more appealing than the first. This cover somehow offsets the first one and I am finding myself liking the Darwin's Children cover more as seen as a set rather than on it's own.
Shall we talk about what's inside the cover, though? I loved this book! Author, Natasha Larry has created such an amazing series. I love that the focus still remains to be on love and family...or at least for me it is. This series is full of great, believable characters, lots of humor and some kick butt action!
The relationships between these characters are what keeps me so in tune and invested in this story. This is a highly character driven series...which I love! We not only got to know the main characters on a deeper level, but were also introduced to some new and exciting characters along the way. I am really enjoying the romance between Jaycie and Matt though. Matt has really grown through this second book and I have developed a VERY strong liking to this young man. Not only is he hot and funny, but his brain is wickedly sexy as well! What more could a girl ask for, really?
I honestly believe that this book and this series will be a huge success. It is something totally different from most other YA paranormal out there right now. The main thing that I love so much about this series is the strong family core...something severely lacking in most YA books today.
I cannot say more really. If you are a lover of YA Paranormal? You MUST give Unnatural Law and this series a read. You will not be disappointed! Honestly! And Natasha? I am anxiously awaiting book 3! No rush, but I am waiting! ;0)
Rating: 4.5 Stars!"
Star at the Bibliophilic Book Blog gave 5 out of 5 stars and said, "Unnatural Law picks up where Darwin's Children left off - after Jaycie's power surge and now she struggles to control her unlimited power. Jaycie is depressed and moody, which makes her control even more tenuous. But Jaycie's not the only one going through a tough time right now. Allison, Jaycie's mother figure, is lonely. She wishes for someone she can be with and not put in danger because of her physical strength. Allison is now suffering from strange dreams and her abilities are 'off', misfiring and not where they should be. She's not the only one, either - the Dey-Vah Guard is weakening and the vampires are being killed off. Can everyone pull together in order to figure out what is affecting their powers and stop it before it is too late?
Unnatural Law is a great sequel to Darwin's Children. The characters are growing and their depths are being discovered. Ms. Larry has a way of creating emotion which leaps off the page - making the characters 3-dimensional effortlessly. Awash in unexpected twists and turns, Unnatural Law is an amazing book and I have no doubt Ms. Larry will go far! I felt the story was fast-paced, but didn't lose any of the detail needed to make a creative and original story which captures your attention from beginning to end."
Shelby at Words to Follow had this to say, "So impressed after reading this book! I have to say book 2 in the Darwin's Children series was great. I cannot imagine how hard it was writing these books. There is so much detail and things happening, yet you can easily follow it. Super impressed! This book was so exciting all the way through. The characters were still amazing, and I loved that Matt was brought into the story more. I really liked how there were several things going on at once that all tied into each other. Jaycie is trying to keep her powers in line after her surge, Haylee is learning about her ability, Allison is trying to figure out what is going on with herself lately, and Matt is the key to everyone's problems. There is also a few new characters in the story as well. Alonzo, a medium, was one that I really enjoyed. I can't say much more without spoiling. I read this book it two days. I seriously couldn't put it down. I loved this world that was created and its such a great, exciting, adventurous story!!! I was left begging for more! Natasha Larry, please tell me there will be more! Pretty please!!!!"
My Neurotic Book Affair said, "I am a huge fan of Natasha's book Darwin's Children, so I was super excited to read Unnatural Law. Natasha has really brought something totally new and exciting to the YA paranormal book scene. Yeah, there are vampires and even fairies, but not like any I've ever read about before.
Once again I was quickly drawn in to the character's lives. They are written in such a way that they seem very real. While I was reading Unnatural Law it felt more like I was hearing their voices in my head rather than just reading about them in a book. For me that is a huge deal because I really love reading books that are primarily character driven.
While Jaycie is struggling to learn control after her power surge a lot is going on in the lives of her family. Allison isn't feeling quite right, and doesn't really understand why. Haylee is learning more about her powers, and her family. Matt is learning that there is more to him than meets the eye, and dealing with not one but two protective "dads". While Mason and Johnny are trying to hold everything together in the midst of a weakening Dey-Vah guard.
Some of the highlights in Unnatural Law for me were meeting a few of the new characters, Sylvia Nash is probably my favorite new character. She is one of those women that you hope to get to know one day because you just know she will always make you laugh. Steven and Alonzo were both adorable and I'm hoping we will get to know them better in the next book. What I was really excited about as well was my favorite character from Darwin's Children returning. Matt! Oh how I love thee, and now I know why! I really enjoyed how Matt's character evolves in this book. I think Natasha nailed character development so completely in this book. I feel like I know all these characters personally.
The writing is fast paced, easy to read and witty as hell. The characters are lovable and their interactions are some of the best I've read. The heat between Matt and Jaycie is scorching hot! A book sure to be added to my favorites of 2011 list.
Amber R. at Awesome Sauce Book Reviews had this to say,"In this book we're dealing with the aftermath of Jaycie's power surge. Basically John, Allison, Haylie, and Mason are all rallying around Jaycie to help her try to learn how to control all of her power. It's not going so well. Jaycie is overwhelmed by her power and also she likes using her power against other people. Obviously she is causing some drama for all of her family because they have to do damage control.
I don't want to give anything away. This book has some amazing twists and turns. Jaycie's hot boyfriend Matt isn't what he seems. Allison is off. Her speed is off, her attitude is off, her hearing is off ... and we all know that nothing throws Allison off. There is something that is basically attacking the DeyVah guard and the answers to these questions will definitely throw you for a loop.
You're definitely going to want to check out this series. Natasha is weaving us a brilliant story. I've honestly never read anything before with this type of story line. If you're looking for something intriguing, mind boggling, and awesome, Natasha definitely delivers."
Mandy at Literary R&R (Avid Bookreader) had this to say...
Well, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I love that Allison is portrayed instead of Jaycie ... I even think I like this cover a LOT better than the cover for Darwin's Children (sorry Natasha!).
I don't know how many of you watch America's Next Top Model, but the portrayal of Allison on the cover reminds me of the pale blonde chic on ANTM that is fascinated with blood and ... oh my God ... now that I think about it, her name is Allison, too!!!! Coincidence? I think so...
There's quite a bit going on in this book and the pace stays fluent from the first page to the last. Without giving too much away, I'm going to try and give you a quick summary. Ready?
Jaycie's trying to learn to control her power, but needs the help of a supergeek until an alpha male figures out her problem.
Haley's getting more comfortable with the family and is starting to feel like she's a part of them.
Allison is lonely and "looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in too many faces, searching their eyes looking for traces of the one I've been dreaming oooffff..." ... Sorry, was channeling Johnny Lee via the movie Urban Cowboy for a sec ... Back to the book ... So, Allison's lonely and wishes she could find someone she doesn't have to worry about being gentle with. She finds someone she believes she can love, but can she trust him?
The fairies are pissed that something is affecting their abilities and they're unable to detect where the issue is. They typically blame everyone around them and finally, by process of elimination, have to look at their own clan.
The vampires make an appearance again and side with Jaycie and her family.
Jaycie - Seventeen and having serious anger issues. Of course, this has to do with the power surge she experienced at the end of Darwin's Children ... Oh, you don't know about that? How about going to get it and read it then?
Anywho, Jaycie is trying her best to control all of the power that she now has, but it's a little difficult to control ... especially when Matt's around.
Hayley - This girl stays in sarcasm mode. She uses it as a defense mechanism against people she doesn't know, but uses it for humorous effects with the people she knows and loves.
Matt - Dedicated as ever to Jaycie and will do anything in his power to help her ... which is basically whatever he sets his mind to do. Oh, you didn't know ... Matt's perfect.
Allison - This woman has some major emotional issues in this book. It's understandable to want someone to love, but she gets blinded by her wants and desires until it's, almost, too late.
Mason - Still a pretty cool (mind-reading) dad getting his groove on with some nurse chic who he thinks hid something major from him. He winds up all mad and has John wipe her memory.
John - If you thought a magician hypnotizing a person was funny, this guy is hilarious. Not only can he make a person do whatever he wants them to, but they obey with full cognizance of what they're doing and unable to stop it ... unless he wants you to forget, then he'll just wipe that little memory from your brain.
OverallI am totally loving this series so far. The concept is fresh and original.
Any and all YA paranormal book lover should read Darwin's Children and Unnatural Law. You will become so engrossed in the books that you won't realize you've been sitting for hours on end with no break whatsoever ... yes, they are that good.
I'm ready for Book #3, Ms. Larry!!!!! =)
Majanka at IHeartReading.net had this to say, "Colin McKenzie is back in another adventure that’s filled with dark schemes, extraordinary action scenes, assassination attempts and much more. Colin, Diane and Kelly are three Reploids who have proven their worth while battling a powerful cybernetic weapon named Succubus. But now they’re back on Maseklos Prime, working menial jobs while the Central Intelligence Division keeps a close eye on them.
But then the president, Drennan, is almost killed in a strange assassination attempt. Colin and his team have to uncover whoever’s behind the attack, before they try to attack the President again.
While Colin tries to uncover these secrets, finding out more about politics than he ever wanted to, and about Maseklos Prime, the Protectorate, and lots more, he also begins wondering about his dark past as a Vendetta working against the Protectorate. When he begins to have odd dreams, he starts to worry if maybe his old life has a way of catching up on him. With a third generation of Reploids somehow involved, who are specifically designed to be stronger than Colin and his team, this will be their hardest battle yet.
Barry Nelson masterfully crafts present and past into one, combines it with action and intrigue, and characters the reader easily starts to care about. Colin especially is a character one can easily relate to and care for. He tries so hard to blend in with human society, even going as far as attending a reunion to get closer to his family. But the harsh truth of the matter is that he’s different – and always will be. Then there’s his past haunting him. Even more so than in the first book, I really got a feel of him, saw him as a three-dimensional being with emotions and worries, just like everyone else. Then there’s the vast, creative world the author drags the reader into. With so many groups battling each other, the Protectorate putting its nose where it doesn’t belong, political intrigue, and cybergenetic weapons, the world of Colin McKenzie is complicated, dangerous and highly imaginative. If you’re a fan of science fiction, you’ll love this book. I for one can’t wait for the third book in the series, and to read more about Colin and his team.”
Jackie at MyTowerofBooks.blogspot.com had this to say, "This is a very original idea for a story. Ford's father is lost while scuba diving and has been gone for years. As a result, Ford is terrified of drowning. When his brother has an unfortunate accident while exploring the beach near their home, it's up to Ford and his sister, Mercy, to save him. They discover an amazing secret about themselves that will lead to adventure, excitement and danger. Ford shows bravery and also some good old-fashioned common sense :) He does things he never imagined he would be able to and sees his family in a whole new light.
Like I said, this is a very unique idea. I don't want to get into the source of the secret that is discovered for spoilery reasons, but I really liked this. I think it's a great, adventurous read that any Middle Grader would enjoy reading, either alone or with a parent. My only complaint is that the story feels like it's over, when there are still so many places left to be explored within the world of the book. I do realize MG [middle-grade reading level] can't be hundreds of pages long, so maybe a sequel would fix that :)"
Willa Kaye Danes, author of PIXIE, read an advance reader copy of The Tide Changers and said, “I was glad to get an advance reader copy of this book. THE TIDE CHANGERS is a very special heartwarming tale featuring a young teen hero who doesn't feel very heroic. He's afraid of the water until he accidentally learns an astonishing secret about himself while trying to save his older brother from drowning. I love this story and everything about it, from the characters to the action and the underwater surprises. It is a fun read for all ages.”
Ophelia Julien of Windy City Reviews had this to say about Jimmy Stu Lives!: “Author Kent McDaniel has incorporated teleportation, laser guns, air vans, and other technological devices to satisfy all sci-fi requirements, but he has also layered his book with more than just futuristic action and adventure. Protagonist Jimmy Stu has the opportunity to right the wrongs he set in motion with his last cynical and self-serving act. How many of us wouldn’t love a chance to go back into the past and correct one act, one omission, even one hastily-uttered sentence, if we could change the regretted outcome? And who better to make things right than Jimmy Stu, since it was his own quest for life beyond his natural span of years that made such a hash of the future?
Additionally, this story takes a pointed, albeit tongue in cheek, look at what can happen when a country allows a church to insert itself into the governmental seat of power. The picture the author paints is far from pretty, disturbingly realistic, and perhaps just a touch allegorical at this time in U.S. history.
Fans of the subgenre Southern Science Fiction will have a good time following Jimmy Stu as he literally stumbles from one mishap to the next, all while trying to figure out his own place in this confusing future time and win the heart of self-sufficient, self-defensive Connie Lee. Jimmy Stu is the proverbial Everyman: just that this Everyman has a body newly generated from DNA scans of his cryonically preserved head. Enjoy."
Reviews for Charles O'Keefe's THE NEWFOUNDLAND VAMPIRE, BOOK II, KILLER ON THE ROAD...
Kate Bainbridge, via Pager Turner Book Tours, gave 4 stars and had this to say, "Love, Lies, Blood, Gore, Vampires and the need for revenge plague Cassandra and John [[[Joseph]]] as they attempt to take care of a problem in the form of a rogue vampire.
Ok, so that’s what I got out of it. It’s very graphic in some scenes … quite descriptive. Not that it’s a problem, unless you’re not fond of blood and gore.
It’s a huge tangled web filled with deceit. The Countess is after Donald, the rogue. Donald is after Cassandra. Donald kills any fledgling that Cassandra turns. John [[[Joseph]]] is the fledgling. It’s one tangled, mixed up killing spree with a little romance tossed in the middle.s
Charles O’Keefe brings us a saga that won’t soon be forgotten. Pick it up … check it out! It’s not something you’ll soon forget!!"
Jonel Boyko, Goodreads member, gave 4 stars and had this to say, "This is definitely a cute, catching tale with a grown up twist. O’Keefe’s writing is approachable and draws you right in. This story is simultaneously eloquent and fun. O’Keefe’s subject matter is also thought provoking, while staying true to the paranormal twist on vampires. I also really enjoyed the historical and Canadian context of this novel. O’Keefe works little bits in here and there, staying true to the region and its history without taking away from the unique storyline.
As a reader you get to know the characters in this novel quite well, both in the present and with allusions to past events that make them who they are today. Each individual is developed in a manner that suits their personality. The differentiation in writing style and word usage really play this to its fullest. Also, the contrast between the different vampires, namely those who assimilate to modernity and those who are stuck in the past, is quite catching. It’ adds an extra layer of depth to the story.
Although reading the first novel in this series adds a bit of context, this can easily be read as a standalone work. Also, O’Keefe definitely adopts a unique take on vampires without straying too far off centre. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the paranormal and wants it written for adults, without the story becoming excessively erotic.
Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review."
Lynn A. Reynolds gave 4 stars on her blog and had this to say, "I know Charles didn’t think he’d make me smile when he wrote this book but I just couldn’t help myself when he makes references to some songs that I’m familiar with. Sometimes a chapter title might start as the title of a song or you might see some of the lyrics appear somewhere within a chapter. And then I smile again when Charles references an actor that I grew up watching. But now I have to get serious, this is a horror tale after all.
Donald Rathmore is a vampire out for a swim – somehow I never thought of swimming and vampires in the same story. That’s not the only difference these vampires have from others that I have read about. This shows how creative our author is. On the flipside, Donald has an evil agenda.
Joseph is a very sensual vampire and so is his partner Cassandra. She’s also the woman who made him. This story is about the mission they’ve been given. Donald may be the villain of this piece but he’s what has me hooked into this story. I also like that our author doesn’t romanticize his vampires.
If I had one disappointment it was that I didn’t see more of Donald. This being a horror story, I wanted to read more of his evil ways. But then again, this is a good thing because now I will want to read the rest of this series.
This book does have a lot of vampire action that will have you in its grip from beginning to end and then leaves you holding your breath at the end. The book has a lot of detail but the carnage is not what I would consider hardcore horror. But if you use your imagination you can add as much blood and gore as you want – for me, it was just enough. And you’ll be happy to know that the Epilogue will get you ready for the next book. In the meantime, you may just want to check out this book.
DISCLAIMER: I was given a copy of this book from Page Turner Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”."
Reviews for Charles O'Keefe's THE NEWFOUNDLAND VAMPIRE...
Scott Barlett, Amazon customer, gave 4 stars and had this to say, "I thought Charles did a great job of providing intriguing details about the transformation into a vampire, and also about existence as a vampire. (I would list specific instances of this, but I want to avoid spoilers.)
My main complaint about the book is the amount of training scenes--I could have done with fewer of these.
Otherwise, the main character, Joseph, is a likable one, and Charles creates a suspenseful buildup to the book's final conflict. I knew from talking to Charles that he included a lot of scenes in which the characters are playing games, like Risk and D&D, and I didn't think I'd enjoy that. I was wrong, though--Charles wrote these scenes in a way that builds character and provides context for the story. I finished the book wondering what happens to Joseph next!"
Nicole Parsons, Amazon customer, gave 5 stars and had this to say, "Charles O'Keefe's vampire world is different than the vampire world created by others. I was worried at the beginning of the book that I would get caught up in the differences and not be able to enjoy the book. In fact, it was the exact opposite. I immediately believed every word Mr. O'Keefe wrote. He set the scene so well I couldn't not believe. His vampire world trumps the rest.
I found myself drawn in by Joseph, the main character. He is regular, average guy. Incredibly relatable.
In terms of the "type" of book I'd classify it as the perfect mix of romance, sex, suspense, action and fantasy.
Book reviews are not my strength so I'll just close with: I love this book, I really hope there is a sequel, make sure you read this book!"
Michele Lynn, Amazon customer, gave 4.5 stars and had this to say, "I actually enjoyed this book. I have not read many books like this that are told from the male's point of view. A geeky, Dungeons and Dragons lover, who is very self-conscious, and not been lucky with the ladies before. It was a little hard for me to really connect with a male of this type of thinking of a male. The only books I read with any male pov, they were always either cocky and self-assured, or just plain confident and strong.
Anyway, that is nothing on the writing or anything, maybe boys really think like that, who am I to judge that. All I do know, is it would have been a red flag to me, if I was in his shoes, when this beautiful redhead hits on him, takes him home, and well, since she is a vampire, works to change him to one as well.
This is all expected really, with the name of the book, and the cover and all, so I knew this. I won't say too much on what all happens, as I want to leave out spoilers. I found I didn't like Cassandra at all, she was manipulative and uses poor Joseph who is turned to a vampire without him knowing, and he is even a vegetarian, which turns out to be a plus, you will see why.
There is some funny parts, and some action in this book, it gets really interesting that is for sure.
I highly recommend to all the vampire book lovers out there. Its well written and different."
Krista, Amazon customer, gave 4.0 stars and had this to say, "As the cover obviously shows this is one of the more...seductive/sexual books that I have reviewed here on this blog. But, this particular story does not go into any really erotic details (in my opinion) so therefore, those that don't mind stories that are a little more on the steamy side, this was a very unique and different read.
I have to say this is the first book that I have ever read that involved an adult male main character that actively participated in role-playing games. It however is not the first one that a vegetarian becomes a vampire. Which does end up playing a role in the story as he have qualms against feeding on humans. And brings some emotion to the change that is happening to him.
This story was more complex than I thought at first going into it. I found the plot very unique and interesting but was a little disappointed that what I thought was going to be the big climax of the story wasn't as big as it had been leading up to. Instead it opens up the story to the possibility of a series with different directions the characters can go next.
One particular thing that also stood out to me was the fact that the outlook on what a vampire is in this story had a bend to it as well. Not everything we have come to learn about vampires happens to our main character and his adventure into changing into one seems like he was putting on an old pair of lucky socks. One of my favorite parts about vampire stories is the turmoil emotionally over the transition, but you won't see very much of that here.
It was a very quick read, entertaining and very different than what I was expecting. I found myself laughing and smiling and rooting for these two to win the battle. Joseph really is a geek and there are not many of those being represented in books today. And definitely not the normal type of character you would think would end up being a bad-ass sword fighter."
Andrew Kuligowski, Amazon customer, gave 3.0 stars and had this to say, "I don't usually read books featuring vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc. But I do like to include some variety in my reading material, and who could resist a title like 'The Newfoundland Vampire'?
Printing out the .pdf, I found it came in at 105 pages BUT given the font size, margin size, and single spacing, I would consider this a full sized novel (albeit on the short side of that tag) rather than a novella.
I discovered a couple of interesting leading characters with a pretty nasty villian looming in the background. I found what I hope is a pretty good description of St. John's NF (although I haven't been there yet, sort of reminds me of a cross between Halifax & Anchorage).
I also found a lack of supporting characters - the ones that do populate the novel are not very clearly defined, with the possible exception of a couple of, uh, animals. (I think that author Charles O'Keefe could have fleshed out the characters just a little more sacrificing pacing or adding much additional word count.)
The author did commit what I consider to be a major sin, however ... he began the next novel within the confines of the current one. It's one thing to allude to the future - 'Hey, Captain America, would you like to join us Avengers and go around kicking supervillian butt?', but it's another to include an entire (short) chapter that introduces what I assume will be the villian of the sequel with the clear intent of not addressing it within the confines of these pages. I could forgive including it as a preview of the next book, or perhaps even as the Epilog ... but not within the book itself. Pleaase don't do that any more, Charles!
Overall, the book was a good read. I'd be interested in the next book in the series."
Jessica Caroll, Amazon customer, gave 4 stars and had this to say, "Cassandra, a sultry vampire vixen, needs Joseph's help to once and for all defeat her sadistic vampire ex-husband. After 10 years in the shadows of his life she seduces Joseph into her world and without his knowledge and consent makes him a vampire.
Joseph's life changed in a matter of weeks - going from a reserved, nerdy college kid to a more confident, sexy vampire. But, is he ready for the challenges he will face and can he forgive Cassandra for her deceitful ways and accept that she truly loves him?
I enjoyed this book for many reasons - the realistic paradigms and supernatural aspects, original storyline and the potential for an exciting new vampire series. I did feel however that the book was slow in some parts and that certain storylines, although necessary, detracted from the overall flow of the book. Having said that I would still highly recommend this book (4/5 stars) for anyone who loves a good vampire story with the right mix of seduction, action, mystery and a little quirkiness.
Here is my favorite quote from the book - 'If this was the life of a vampire, he would not just endure and accept it, he'd embrace it with open arms and full fangs.'"
Richard S. Friedman, Amazon customer, gave 5 stars and had this to say, "Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O'Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he's still fantasizing - but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph's adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night.
With the plethora of vampire novels in the past several years, one would assume the genre is quite played out. One would be very pleasantly surprised by the utter uniqueness and wit of 'The Newfoundland Vampire' by the superb writer Charles O'Keefe.
The fact that Mr. O'Keefe hails from Newfoundland and so craftly blends his home locales into the novel is a wonderful plus for a novel that is truly a joy to read! The Newfoundland Vampire will appeal to not only fans of the Vanpire Genre but to those who enjoy very witty and fun reads, written in tight, very evocative prose.
Joseph O'Reily is a most engaging of lead characters, and the finely drawn portrait of this young man by Mr. O'Keefe [corrected] allows the reader to fully appreciate his rather unusual fantasty! Chock full of bellylaughts and good natured fun, The Newfoundland Vampire is a complete joy to read from start to finish and a very welcome and unique addition to a well satuated genre!"
AN OFFICIAL JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ
THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB
Kat McCarthy (smittenwithbadboyheroes.blogspot.com) gave 4/5 'badboys' and had this to say, "The Newfoundland Vampire is a very compelling first novel in a new series. The author has created a unique story world of the origins of vampires and a secretive council that watches from behind the scenes. A well-structured mix of action and character development resulted in an exciting read full of anticipation with believable characters.
In a paranormal romance, I tend to focus more on character development. While reading this novel, I found myself really caring about what happened to the hero and heroine and fretting when things were tense and not going their way. I particularly like how the author portrayed the villain. He didn’t worry about showing a little good like some suggest you might want to (you know the good and bad side in everyone. Blah blah blah…) the villain is insane and evil with no desire to be any other way. He’s bad, always was bad, and continues to be bad. Bottom line. In my opinion, this was much more effective in this novel.
There are some great teasers throughout the novel that even bigger baddies and threats exist, providing great lead-ins to future novels in the series. This novel is nicely written and all elements are packaged in an engaging and enjoyable read.
The first novel in this series takes us into the dark world of vampires and Joseph’s transformation. He’s fantasized about being a vampire all his life and now finds himself living out that fantasy. However, despite his secret desire, he finds it much more difficult than he expected. He struggles with the change and the realization that he will have to let go of his human emotions and ideals.
Discovering that this world is much more violent than he had anticipated and that some have hidden agendas, he doesn’t have much time to adjust to his new life. He’s thrown into situations where he must defend himself and Cassandra from an evil villain out to destroy them both.
Joseph is the sweet guy next door with a heart of gold that you would trust to come feed your pet while you’re away. Totally reliable, dependable and kind. After his turning, he becomes the tormented hero that we all love to read about. He’s full of inner conflict, struggling to reconcile his new craving for blood with his caring of humans and is hesitant to become what is now in his nature to be.
Cassandra is our heroine and she’s a very interesting and intriguing character. Mysterious and alluring, she’s a nice mix of good and bad. She’s dealt with a lot of suffering in her 200+ years as a vampire and the author made me really care about her. At the same time, she is manipulative so there were instances where it was hard to sympathize with her. I really enjoy it when an author can elicit these conflicting emotions towards a character. It’s a true testament to the skill of a writer.
I already mentioned above how I enjoyed the villain John who is Cassandra’s ex. He’s a fabulous portrayal of what a villain should be. The story is a little light on supporting characters; however, this story is about Joseph and his transformation, so it’s understandable. I suspect we’ll see more characters in future novels as the adventures of Joseph and Cassandra continue.
This novel is a fast paced with lots of action but not so much that we miss the point of the story - Joseph’s struggle and gradual acceptance of his new life. The author balances this well making the story more believable.
I don’t think I’m giving away any spoilers with this but I just want to mention a different technique the author uses brilliantly. When Cassandra is revealing past events to Joseph, the author sets it up so that it’s done through blood exchanges. I found it to be more effective and compelling instead of the author simply narrating what happened. Plus it’s really hot when they do so.
Overall, this novel is a great start to a new series. The author delivers a different spin on the origins of vampires, a compelling story of a new vampire with lots of potential for future adventures. Recounted in a unique voice, this novel is well structured and pace-perfect. I was entertained from beginning to end. If you enjoy paranormal romance that is a little on the darker side, you will enjoy reading this novel. I’m certainly looking forward to Book #2 in the series."
Jamie Wasserman, Penumbra Publishing author and Amazon customer gives 5 stars and has this to say, "One of the appeals of the vampire myth is its malleability. In the hands of a lesser writer, he's simply a rehashing of the common elements that we've seen over and over (sunlight, crosses, garlic, stakes, and blood. Oh my!). But the more skillful author can use the vampire mythos as a stepping off point for their own myth-making, and this is exactly what Charles O'Keefe does in the Newfoundland Vampire. Sure, you'll find plenty of the typical elements to appease the most die-hard of vampire fans, but there is so much new ground here that it really feels as though Charles is entering into the next realm (and we lucky readers are along for the ride).
The story centers around a very atypical hero, Joseph, a self-described Star Trek and D&D nerd and the intersection of his very banal and sheltered life with the mysterious Cassandra. Is Cassandra the woman of his dreams or nightmares? Will her past be his undoing? The action is fast-paced, very sexy and often funny and dark.
The story itself is done very well with with intersecting story lines, clouded motivations, and rich backstory on every one of our primary characters. Add to that the backdrop of a bleak and harsh environment of Newfoundland and the political upheavel in the vampire society, and all the elelemts are in place for a powder-keg ending.
The perfect book for someone looking to rediscover the vampire myth."
Author Aine P. Massie (apmassie.com) had this to say about The Newfoundland Vampire... "Geek. Vampire. Superhero? The Newfoundland Vampire is not like many other vampire stories out there. It’s a mystery/horror/romance with action, morality (what happens when a vegetarian is turned? ), and an ex-husband from hell.
I really liked Joseph and even know a few people that would have been right there at the geek table with him, lol. Heck, even when he realizes he’s being used, he is still the ‘good guy.’
The romance has issues, like dubious consent and that ex I mentioned above. Cassandra is a strong woman at times and goes after what she wants, however, she’s a bit manipulative but . . . she’s still a great heroine. And John, the ex? Oh, he makes a wonderfully psychotic villain.
There are lots of questions left still at the end but I’m assuming those are left for book two to deal with. As someone who both loves and writes vampire stories, I was curious and am now excited about this series!
A flawed hero, a great premise, and it left me wanting more. I eagerly await to next in this new and intriguing series!"
Blogger/book-reviewer Diana (OffbeatVagabond.blogspot.com) gave a 4.0-star rating and said, "The Newfoundland Vampire was a blast to read. O'Keefe created such a unique take on the vampire world with a rare sort of character to play the lead, a nerd. And I enjoyed every second of it.
I love our lead character Joseph. He was quite adorable. A true geek through and through. He meets the girl of his dreams (well she meets him because he has trouble approaching women) named Cassandra, but he has no idea she is a vampire until it is too late. Joseph however has a knack for the paranormal and as always wanted to be something greater. He is a vegetarian and cares a lot for his friends and his families. One of the greatest things about this book is following Joseph and how he is handling his unexpected transition. Some vampire books have someone become a vampire and they just accept that they are bloodsuckers or we don't really find out how they really feel about it. I love that O'Keefe wrote it the way he did. I love that Joseph questions himself and doesn't just fall into typical vampire behavior. I love that even as a vampire, he still hangs out with his friends (love the role-playing scene) and still talks to his parents and takes care of his cat. Joseph definitely isn't your typical kind of vampire.
As for Cassandra and O'Keefe knows this, I have a sort of love-hate relationship with Cassandra. On one hand I do love her because she is a very strong woman who goes after what she wants. On the other hand and what Joesph contemplates a bit throughout the book, she manipulates Joesph to get what she wants. I do believe she truly does love him, but I know there is more to what she is letting on. But I guess I understand considering her backstory. Cassandra has fought tooth-and-nail to get to where she is. I won't be too hard on her for bending the rules a bit. But the questions Joseph asks at the end of the book still have me suspicious of her. But she is a great heroine.
The story was great. Cassandra wants Joseph to help kill her estranged, psychotic husband John Snow (not going to let this ruin my image of Jon Snow from Game of Thrones). John doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself. The whole war he has going on with Cassandra is more over a bruised ego. I wish we got more of his story, but he is a great villain in this book. I just wanted to know a little more of his take on things. I love Cassandra teaching Joseph how to fight (he already knows a thing or two about swords and knows martial arts). And I love that he teaches Cassandra about how you don't have to drink from humans. This leads to some interesting advantages, but I won't spoil it. But I loved it.
O'Keefe has also left us with plenty of things to ponder about for the next book which will be very fun. We get to know something about Count Dracula (and his stamp in history). We also meet the Countess who definitely has an agenda, but I am not sure what she is up too. Also we get to know some of John's friend Donald. Honestly I am not sure which of the two scare me more. There was also something Snow hinted at that I feel had more meaning than Joseph thought. I am so excited about what more is to come.
This book surpassed my expectations. It was sexy and lots of fun for geeks and non-geeks alike. Joseph is a character you would love to have around and having Cassandra at your back is just as good. That woman knows her stuff and doesn't take crap from anyone. A very good read for those looking for a different take on the vampire lifestyle."
Blogger/book-reviewer Tara (heyxtara.blogspot.com) gave a 4.0-star rating to The Newfoundland Vampire and said, "I'm going to admit, I'd thought this book would be a lot more ... cheesy than it was. I literally had images in my head of B-movies about female vampires seducing unsuspecting human males and having their wicked way with them ... yeah, we've all pretty much seen that one before. And okay, the storyline for this was somewhat like that to start with, but what made it not-cheesy-B-Movie-esque for me was the characters.
Joe is pretty much your average nerd, and more or less reminds me of all my male friends. He likes pubs rather than clubs, he struggles with approaching women, and he likes role-playing games. He's also recently started experimenting with vegetarianism, which of course, makes it all the more ironic when he finds that his first girlfriend has turned him into a vampire without his consent.
I really enjoyed Joe's inner monologue, and the way he reacts to things throughout the story - for example, he's pretty angry about becoming Newfoundland's first vegetarian vampire, but his nerdy side seems to think it's pretty cool. Joe also worries about real-world things, such as how he's going to deal with his parents since becoming a vampire, and how he's going to manage keeping up his commitments to his old friends - as well as balancing finishing his college degree. It would have been easy for the author to ignore those things, and I'm really glad he didn't because for me, it completely ruins my immersion in a story when I think about those kinds of details!
Cassandra was also a good character, I felt, and I liked the way she really had backstory and that it was touched upon throughout the book so that as a reader, you really understood what she was about. She was also the perfect mix of seductive girlfriend and mentor towards Joe, rather than being all out seductress. I also like the fact that she wasn't perfect, and had her own set of insecurities.
I also enjoyed the way the author interweaves previous vampire stories/legends, by bringing Count Dracula himself and The Countess into the mix!
Though, I have to admit, I kind of wanted more backstory on John Snow, Cassandra's estranged-husband-turned-killer. I think it would have given the story a little more depth, and yeah okay, I like my villains to be really evil. Not that I'm saying John Snow wasn't, I just like to really understand my villains. I also wanted a little more detail on the council, and it felt a little like a loose end at the end - though maybe it's one of those situations where ambiguous is best.
Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and whilst I wouldn't recommend it to a young-adult audience, I would recommend it to anyone who feels they can handle the mature themes, and enjoys a vampire book where there is no sparkling whatsoever."
Amazon customer brontebooks gave a 5.0-star rating to The Newfoundland Vampire and said, "Just finished reading The Newfoundland Vampire, really enjoyed it, not my usual type of read but this has held my interest from start to finish. I found it hard to put down as I wanted to know what happened next to the Vampires. Would definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading more of Charles O'Keefe books."
Amazon customer Corvek gave a 5.0-star rating to The Newfoundland Vampire and said, "I picked this book up from the author at the Newfoundland Science Fiction Convention the past weekend. I have now read the book twice. That doesn't happen very often. The vampires world he has envisioned is interesting, the locations are beautiful, and the pacing is great. What more do you want in a book - other than a second, of course."
Reviews for Robert Wetherall's LAST FLIGHT HOME...
Apex Reviews' Karynda Lewis gave a 5.0-star rating to Last Flight Home and said, "Ever since she was a young teenager in Nebraska, Kelly Cavanaugh has known that she was destined for greatness; however, she likely didn't realize the immensely difficult challenges she'd be forced to overcome in order to achieve it. As she rises to the top of the airline industry, she endures everything from heartbreak to tragedy to the throes of emotional trauma, but through the love of family and friends - as well as the unquenchable passion burning deep within her - she literally and figuratively flies over the worst that life has to offer on her way to fulfilling her destiny...
Last Flight Home is quite the emotionally satisfying read. In his stirring tale of personal triumph, author Robert Wetherall presents the reader with an encouraging reminder of the difficulties we all must face on the road to embracing our fate. Through the ups and downs of his courageous protagonist, Wetherall highlights the importance of remembering that life is a journey, not a destination, and that no matter how challenging our sojourns may be - the only way we ever lose is by failing to try. Highly recommended."
Smashwords customer Doug Pardee gave a 5.0-star rating to Last Flight Home and said, "A solid plot line with interesting characters. Well-written and well-edited. There are a few small errors in some of the flying scenes, but nothing that affects the story. For that matter, nothing that a non-pilot is even going to notice."
Amazon customer book reader gave a 5.0-star rating to Last Flight Home and said, "This is the third book of Mr. Wetherall's that I've read. I thoroughly enjoy his creative imagination! Last Flight Home is a very engaging story with so much to offer. It holds your interest from start to finish. I highly recommend this book and I hope that Mr. Wetherall keeps on writing!"
Amazon customer Skipper gave a 5.0-star rating to Last Flight Home and said, "Mr. Wetherall most certainly tells a terrific story. This is the first book I have not been able to put down until I had read cover to cover. It's impossible not to get immersed in the characters, the plot, the twists, the surprises etc. This books evokes a whole spectrum of emotion and keeps the reader turning pages. The story is exciting and fast moving. Last Flight Home has my highest recommendation for anyone who enjoys adventure, action, a bit of romance and a good dose of justice."
Reviews for Robert J. Wetherall's THE MAKING OF BERNIE TRUMBLE...
Amazon customer Skipper gave a 5-star rating to The Making of Bernie Trumble: A Tale of Man and Mutt in a World Run by Women and said, "Wow--what laughs! Goes to show that even serious subjects like gender issues can be mined for lots of humor in the hands of a no-prisoners-taken writer like Mr. Wetherall. Cover to cover this book is chock full of nuts!"
Reviews for Lucille Naroian's TALK OF THE TOWN...
Shelfari member Cheryl gave a 4.0-star rating to Talk of the Town and said, “Tony Garrett is the host of a late night television show called One on One. He is known as being very brutal. When Tony's guest is a no show, he is told by his producers that they have found him a last-minute replacement. His guest is Sam McCall. Tony receives an unexpected surprise when Sam walks out.
Samantha 'Sam' McCall is a mystery author. Her latest book is titled Murder in Paradise. Sam heard every word that Tony said about her and her book, slamming [it]. When Sam walked out, even she was taken back by her actions. She smacks Tony across the jaw.
The next day, Sam is the talk of the town, and her book is selling like hot cakes. Now the heat is on. Tony is in the hot seat. Can he convince Sam to give him a second chance?
Talk of the Town is a book you will be talking about to all your reader friends. This is a fun, light hearted read. The fact that Sam and Tony started out as mortal enemies and then became an item was enough to keep things interesting. I like that Sam did not take any crap from Tony. She put him in his place a few times. I didn’t like Tony at first. I thought he was egotistical, but once I got to know him better, I warmed up to him. If you ware looking for something quick to read to escape your boring routine, then you should check out Talk of the Town. You won't be sorry you did. I plan to seek out more books by Lucille Naroian.”
Goodreads member and fellow author Willa Kaye Danes gave a 5.0-star rating to Talk of the Town and said, “Emotional contemporary romance, with a lot of spicy tension and humorous tangles. Loved the spunky heroine and colorful support player, her agent."
Amazon customer fasdraw gave a 5.0-star rating to Unforgettable and said, “Maddie Price finds herself stranded in a killer storm while chasing down the con man who swindled her out of her life savings and left her standing at the altar. Widower Robert Kendall, a famous playwright, jumps in his truck to chase down his Doberman, who suddenly bolts into the rain. The dog finds Maddie and scares her half to death before Robert can get him back to the truck. Robert takes Maddie to his home to dry off, but gets an earful when he refuses to let her go back out in the storm to catch the man who ruined her life. The spark of attraction that erupts between them surprises them both.
Penniless, Maddie has nowhere to turn. Robert is a notorious softy when it comes helping people in need. Gun-shy after being fleeced by her ex-fiancé, Maddie has serious trust issues and is confused by her intense feelings for Robert. Robert is instantly attracted to Maddie, but another person in his life complicates things – a sultry redhead going by the name Andrea. Maddie and Robert feel so right for each other, but they don’t seem able to overcome personal fears and obstacles to stay together.
Although I knew how things would turn out (this is a romance, after all) I found it had a few surprises – including the gentle comic relief of a Chinese housekeeper, curiously named Mrs. O’Malley, who definitely likes her liquor. The story contains a few tasteful intimate scenes. A fast read but well developed, it certainly doesn’t skimp on emotions. I found myself wincing at every setback this couple experienced – but the reward at the end made it worthwhile. If you’re looking for a traditional romance with passion, emotional conflict, and the requisite happy ending, this book delivers.”
Goodreads member and fellow author Willa Kaye Danes gave a 5.0-star rating to Unforgettable and said, “Satisfying contemporary romance with a really sexy and caring hero and a plucky heroine that does her best to keep plugging away despite serious setbacks in her life. Amusing support players, like a Chinese housekeeper with a drinking problem, and an actor friend who wants a part in the hero's play so bad, he risks everything - including the budding romance between the hero and heroine. Great emotional story."
Amazon customer Kathleen McDicken gave 4.0 stars and said, "A pity this one has a title that is shared by a few. But this is a nice easy read. Romance meets weird! Good stuff!"
Amazon customer C. Fern Cook gave a 5.0-star rating to The Cat's Fancy and said, “Being the animal lover I am, I thought it was adorable using the voice of the pet cat to [tell] a story. Purely entertaining.”
Reviews for Gary Bolick's ANGEL'S ORACLE...
Simon Barrett, writing for BloggerNews.net gave a glowing review for Angel's Oracle and said, "Gary Bolick is a writer that deserves to be noticed. Within the pages of Angel’s Oracle, he explores many different arenas and does it with style and aplomb. His side journeys into the highways and byways of the past are deserving of books all by themselves..."
Amazon customer fasdraw gave a 5.0-star rating to Angel's Oracle and said, "I like fiction and read a lot of different genres, but admittedly Southern literary is not my usual cup of tea. However, I read this on a recommendation from a friend, and I was not disappointed.
The story opens with the telling of a legend unique to the town of Angel, Mississippi, then moves to 1959, the current period of the tale. However, historical ‘ghosts’ make frequent appearances and taunt the characters through imaginary scenes and telltale memorabilia.
The writing – at times lyrical in quality and other times gritty and graphic – tells a horrendous story of racial hatred and twisted personal vices, but it is also a deeply moving tale of love, loss, and sacrifice. There are so many issues touched on in the story, I cannot do this book justice with a brief review. Suffice it to say, a story of this quality and magnitude comes along only once in a great while.
Many of the scenes and details will probably disturb most readers, but without them, the story would lose its cautionary impact. Warts and all, I highly recommend this book."
Amazon customer G. Price gave a 5.0-star rating to Angel's Oracle and said, "There is one word I would choose to describe this book and it is 'BRILLIANT!' After reading the first five pages of ANGEL'S ORACLE, I sat there and just said 'WOW!' Gary Bolick is one of the most talented authors I have ever encountered. I look forward to reading his other books!" (G. Price, North Carolina, USA)
Apex Reviews' Karynda Lewis gave a 5.0-star rating to Angel's Oracle and called it "Raw, gritty, and unflinchingly honest ... with an impressive mix of mystical fantasy and hard-core realism ... [that] seamlessly weaves [a] compelling tale through the recesses of our nation's darkest collective hour. More than just another story about the perils of racism ... Angel's Oracle serves as a morality tale highlighting the spirtual implications of our often thoughtless words and actions ... Highly recommended."
Reviews for Andrew Arrowsmith's THE REALMS OF BELIAR: The Sword Myndarit...
Apex Reviews' Chelsea Perry gave a 4.0-star rating to The Realms of Beliar and said, "When the peace and stability of the longstanding Empire is threatened by the malevolent Alliance, an upstart group of bloodthirsty tyrants, the secure, prosperous life of old faces a tragic, abrupt end; however, four young, courageous heroes may just hold the key to preserving the Empire [ ] - but, in a world ruled by magic, only if they get a little help from a 'higher' source... Profoundly imaginative, The Realms Of Beliar: The Sword Myndarit is an enjoyable read. In the tradition of Tolkien, Herbert, and other Fantasy/Sci-Fi scribes, author Andrew Arrowsmith has crafted a compelling morality tale featuring unique characters and skillfully interwoven plotlines, all designed to captivate the readers' interest as the all-engrossing suspense of the saga unfolds. By the end, you can't help finding yourself inexorably drawn to the outcome of the heroes' fate, as Arrowsmith proves quite adept at prolonging the much-anticipated climax of his winding tale. A recommended fantasy thriller." (Correction [ ] by Penumbra Publishing)
Reviews for Mark Rosendorf's STATUS QUO...
Geoff Nelder at Science24Fiction had this to say about Status Quo, "This story would appeal to teenagers: most of the characters are young, while the elderly (over 21) are quite crazy. There’s love interest, pets, a thirst for enquiry, and an urge to prove the authorities wrong.
There are lines I wish I’d written such as: ‘I almost swallowed my Adam’s apple,’ and some that made me think out loud: ‘My tongue jumped to the back of my throat.’
I have to thank the author for making me investigate the true meaning of ‘outer space’. After 60 years of reading science fiction, I’ve always considered that phrase to relate to the volume of the universe beyond our solar system but in Status Quo – an apt title, by the way as the reader will discover although not ultimately – the phrase is used ubiquitously for anywhere above the Earth even before the Moon is reached. I found that the Karman line is 100 km above the Earth’s surface and defines ‘outer space’ such as that used by the 1979 Moon Treaty. I mentioned this in surprise to my wife, who already knew!
I will not spoil the ending, but if you enjoy a space adventure with aliens that are really alien – kudos to Mark Rosendorf for avoiding cliché there – and if you are not too worried about scientific accuracy, topped off with a satisfying finale, then this is the book for you."
Reviews for David Berardelli's STEPPING OUT OF MY GRAVE...
Natasha Larry at Paranormal Wire had this to say about Stepping Out of My Grave, "David Beradelli's Stepping Out of My Grave is a well crafted, paranormal suspense novel. The best thing about this book is that as soon as you start reading it, you want to keep reading it.
What do I mean? Allow me to share the first few lines from the novel.
'When I opened my eyes, I found myself standing on the lid of a casket in an open grave. I looked around, dazed and confused.'
Yeah, I would be too.
Stepping Out of My Grave tells the story of Jake, who wakes up in his grave after being killed by an out of control vehicle. After his death, Jake learns that he has spiritual powers and runs into Sierra, a young woman with a busted lip, whom he decides to follow home.
This is the start of the reader's adventure.
Stepping Out of My Grave is heart-wrenching, fast paced, and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves a good human interest story, with a little twist of the paranormal."
Apex Reviews' Chelsea Perry gave a 5.0-star rating to Stepping Out of My Grave and called it "an engaging, heart-rending paranormal tale ... skilfully crafted by the author ... tackling a range of different topics, chief among them the devastating effects of child abuse ... An entertaining mix of drama, action, and well-honed suspense ... a highly gratifying read."
Amazon customer C. Fern Cook gave a 5.0-star rating for Heart of Steele and said, "There is no doubt that this is a romance novel, but it offers more than the just a simple romance story. The story starts and ends with family secrets, manipulative relatives, lies, and blackmail. I don't want to give away the plot, I want you to enjoy the surprising twists the story takes on as it wind[s] its way to a surprise ending.
I would recommend it to people who wouldn't normally read a romance novel and without a doubt recommend it to people who enjoy romance novels. There are sexual scenes in the story, but I would not label it erotica."
Amazon customer C. Fern Cook gave a 5.0-star rating for Crystal Clear: Storm Ryder and said, "If you are the kind of person who likes a true sci-fi tale, then this book is for you. I just finished it and am a fan of Dana. I would recommended it to anyone who likes sci-fi."
Amazon customer C. Fern Cook gave a 5.0-star rating for Pixie and said, "I thought this author did a beautiful job of creating a magical world you could get lost in. I especially like the character of the father in the story. This a book you can feel good about giving to your teen. It keeps your interest without explicit sex or excessive violence."
Kimberly at Coffeetime Romance (www.coffeetimeromance.com) gave a 5.0-cup review for Dallas White's debut erotic romance novel, Dominatrix-Online.com - Mistress Blackheart: Policeman's Prerogative. Kimberly said, "This was such a fun book to read ... I found myself laughing out loud." See the complete review at...
Amazon customer C. Fern Cook gave a 5.0-star rating for Pixie and said, "I thought this author did a beautiful job of creating a magical world you could get lost in. I especially like the character of the father in the story. This a book you can feel good about giving to your teen. It keeps your interest without explicit sex or excessive violence."
Amazon customer Marinevet gave a 5.0-star rating and said, "Amazing! Right from the start this book grabs your attention and never lets go! I absolutely could not put this book down! I think the fact that the main character does everything that most of us wish we could do is what really draws you in! I can't wait for the next one!"
Amazon customer Kathy T gave a 5.0-star rating and said, "Great First Book. This book is very good. Fast exciting read and good background set ups. Looking forward to next one.!!!! I especially liked the fluidity of all the action and strongly feel it would make a good TV movie. This is not normally my kind of read but, once I started the book I couldn't put it down."
Amazon customer ham n bill gave a 5.0-star rating and said, "Action Adventure and Automatic Weapons. Love and revenge along with insight into Thai culture. An Ex-Seal and his cohorts take on international mobs to avenge wrong done to people they love. Moves along and keeps your attention."
Amazon customer tinman gave a 5.0-star rating and said, "Fast paced and full of action. The main character is a broken former Navy SEAL. He is lost and without purpose. He finds redemption in helping those who can't help themselves. Using the skills he learned as a Navy Seal he will deliver extreme justice to the worst of the worst. I have read the book again because I find it to be that good. The main character does what I think most of us would like to do when facing the worst society has to offer. The setting is in Thailand. You will learn a few Thai words and little about Thai culture."
Amazon customer and fellow Penumbra Publishing author Walter Knight gave a 5.0-star rating and said, "Death Spiral has lots of action adventure, and insight into the Thai culture. An ex-SEAL takes on Eastern European mobsters in Thailand in a take-no-prisoners battle for truth, justice, and automatic weapons. Hoorah!"
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