Novel Review: MacRieve by Kresley Cole


It’s probably been a year since I’ve read any books for personal pleasure. It’s odd. Reading had been such a large part of my life, I almost feel a since of wrongness by not doing it. A little straight talk before the review.

I officially log 2013 as the worst year of my life. I spent pretty much the first half of the year depressed and in tears. It’s amazing how depression can sap the motivation right out of a person. Though no longer depressed, I spent most of the last half of 2013 recuperating from the first half and trying to get my feet under solid ground.

And here we are today. I only mist a little when I talk about the first half of 2013. I love what the future holds. Lately, I’ve been reintroducing the things I enjoyed in the past into my life. I smile and laugh spontaneously. And now… I’m reading again.

Since I’ve been out of the book world so long, I didn’t want to ruin the experience by choosing just any book. So, I went with my favorite author… Kresley Cole. And, I tell you… she didn’t disappoint.

I picked up MacRieve last week and finished it this morning. So my thoughts.

This story didn’t progress The Ascension along as much as I’d hoped. In fact, I can’t say it did anything for the big picture. Well, I learned of a couple behind the scenes deaths… or maybe it was one. We get a bit of a cliff hanger of a major player from Torture Island. Other than that… nothing really to progress the overall plot.

As for the romance (Chloe & Will), there wasn’t anything unique or special about it. Nothing to stand out. It was Kresley Cole’s basic, guy finds life mate and screws things up royally with her. He treats her like trash because of his past but won’t give her up. Then he has to find a way to win her over again. Same old, same old. 🙂

The sex seemed a bit different. It was more like something I’d imagine in a porn movie. Spankings, dirty words, and rough.

So if nothing is unique about this book, why did I like it? Well, it wasn’t bad… just not overly special. I think I liked it so much because I’ve been out of the book world for so long. It’s like watching horror movies to the point that nothing phases you. Then going on a horror movies sabbatical for a few years, only to cringing at everything. I think that’s where I am.

So I’ll give this book 3.5 stars. It’s definitely not my favorite. However, it was well written and enjoyable.

On another note. I told my husband I wanted another book. He said, “Maybe you should savor books rather than reading it all in one sitting.” What gives?

Trusting Reviews: Only as far as I can throw the REVIEWER

I came across a Kindle Select freebie awhile back, read it, and left the following review on Goodreads.

The Three LettersThe Three Letters by Robert Ruisi

I received an event showing this would be offered for free. It sounded interesting, PLUS it’s short… something I could knock out in a few minutes.

I imagine it was a heartfelt endeavor for a father to take the opportunity to write letters of love to his daughters. Kudos to him. Not everyone takes the time to say, “I love you” to the ones they care about.

The letters were told in a fairytale fashion–once upon a time. I can imagine in later years his daughters sitting with their children at bedtime and reading the letters. One child might even ask, “Who is he talking about, Mommy?” And the daughter would say… “Me.” Or “My sister.”

So what did I think of the work overall? Well, it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t fond of the story telling and couldn’t get into the once upon a time style. It also had an air of repetition. I think it’d work for a children’s book, as I mentioned, a bedtime story, but not so much on an adult level. And since the letters were written for grown daughters, I think it missed the mark when it comes to the adult audience.

For the most part, I think these letters are something his daughters would appreciate. Perhaps the letters would even appeal to his family and friends, since they’d have a background knowledge. As for me the reader, I didn’t connect with the work.

One last item I’m adding. This work could use another round of editing. It’s short enough that a pass through a critique group would likely do the trick. As it is, it makes me wonder if English is the author’s second or third language.

Just my opinion: An interesting conversational piece and keepsake for the author’s descendants but lacks commercial appeal.

An interesting discussion followed in regards to the author’s personal life and the purpose of his publication.

In the past, readers (and writers) have put up a stink about dishonest reviews. It’s a common practice for some writers to endorse their buddies writers with 5-star reviews regardless of the quality of the writing. I suppose it’s the mentality, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.

When I first got involved with the indie community (as a writer, that is), I saw a lot of this. I’d read through reviews and recognize the names of other indie writers. In fact, I noticed a trend where little cliques had formed. I knew those reviews couldn’t be trusted because they weren’t based upon the quality of the work but rather a cross-promoting scheme.

We hear about writers purchasing 5-star reviews or even writers adding their own fraudulent 5-star reviews under fake names. The lack of integrity is sad. Even sadder are the reviews which come after the book was top-loaded with the 5-star reviews which state something to the effect “I purchased this book because of all the great reviews, but when I read it, I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it because the quality was so bad. I can’t believe people rated it so high.”

I’ve seen the effects of the other side also where writers will do the opposite to the competition–pay for negative reviews or write them under fake names to lower the rating of other.

It used to be finding great books was a matter of following the review trail. Not so much these days. It’s reached the point general reviews one finds on retail sites can’t be trusted because one can never be sure which is a fake review and which is an honest review.

What are your thoughts on the matter? How do you overcome the lack of integrity prominent with reviews these days?

Novel Review: Tomorrow Is Today (Tempest 0.5) by Julie Cross

After reading Tempest by Julie Cross (see review here), I head over to Goodreads to see when I’d get my next fix. Would you believe she already had a short story prequel? Woot! I dug right in. The blurb from Goodreads:

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, throws lots of parties, is interested in a girl he can’t have, and oh yeah, he can travel back through time.But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

This was a short read; this will be a short review.

I read this and totally wanted more. I absolutely love Julie Cross’s style of writing. The humor is fantastic. My only issue with this prequel is it left me sort of hanging. I’d hoped to find out how Jackson and Holly became an item, but it was more of a snippet of their relationship while Holly was dating David.

So basically, it was a decent read, but missed the mark in terms of filling in the “how did it happen?” elements from Tempest.

I’m really looking forward to the sequel of Tempest.

Tomorrow is Today is a free read. PICK IT UP!

Non-Fiction Review: Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright

I’d been searching the local used bookstore for months, looking for a work on Revelation. When NetGalley offered it, I jumped all over it. 🙂 So I read it, then got busy. I’ve been juggling the review for Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright to make way for other books I’ve read. I just need to get this one done. As I mentioned earlier, tonight’s the night of reviews. The blurb from Goodreads:

N. T. Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the back of the book. The series is suitable for group study, personal study, or daily devotions.

I loved the beginning of this book where it talked about the letters. While in high school, I’d never been much interested in history. In fact, it was a chore. These days, history has piqued my interest, and N.T. Wright really covered the historical relevance of Revelation.

Mr. Wright managed to turn the letters from a “Yah, yah… so what?” to “Really? That’s that’s why each letter had a particular focus?” I came away from the first few chapters of Revelation with new understandings I could apply to my life.

The rest of the book relied on a lot of speculation which may or may not be true in the end, yet was presented as fact. Basically, Mr. Wright took areas of the Revelation (the dragon, the beast, etc) and assigned symbolic meanings to them. Is the symbolism he used accurate? Who can say until all is revealed?

As for me, I’m more of an individual who prefers the bible presented with factual and historical evidence, as Mr. Wright did for the seven letters. However, his interpretation for the latter parts of Revelation were still interesting, and I believe most venturing into the final book of the bible would come out with more knowledge overall.

I recommend Revelation for Everyone to anyone who has general or little knowledge of Revelation and wants to dig deeper.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository