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Kip the Quick
Kip the Quick
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Kip the Quick"... an entertaining sword and sorcery, action adventure... 5 Stars, May 26, 2016
This review is from: Kip the Quick (Kindle Edition)
"Kip the Quick" is a standalone novel by Clifton Hill.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 188 printed pages and sold for $0.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was involved in a Beta read of this book.

Impressions:

Overall, an interesting, action-filled story that is well told.

I really liked the main character, Kip, and the way the author choose to developed his style, personality and a few quirky traits for us humble readers.

This was a somewhat over-the-top, sword and sorcery, swash-buckling (or maybe in this case, sand-buckling) adventure, that allows a few 'liberties' in the plot line to make everything fit nicely into place.

A tale that leans towards a Young Adult audience, but has enough intrigue and action to appeal to some Adult orientated readers as well.

As it is... 5 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Night Skies Over Valhallow
Night Skies Over Valhallow
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Night Skies Over Valhallow"... Not perfect, but the writing talent is there for all to see... 3 1/2 Stars, May 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Night Skies Over Valhallow is a stand-alone novel by Dan Osarchuk. It's a mixture of fantasy/sci-fi and presented in a medieval-type setting.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 258 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)
This novel basically follows two parties that have a connection. One group is a small band of adventurers; the other a solitary school tutor. Strange events are occurring and our unlikely company of heroes are in its midst.

Some thoughts on "Night Skies over Valhallow"...

I liked parts of this book and overall I liked the style of the authors writing. There was the occasion typo, but by and large the story had a nice flow to it that featured characters that frequently showed some eccentric personalities... resulting in some truly funny comments and situations.

What didn't work for me was the chapters that seemed to focus on back ground information... be it details about a situation or a character's past. These occurrences seemed to happen out of the blue or in the middle of a encounter and as a result broke the mood, pace and the excitement that had been generated to this point.

There were some intriguing events and battles described in gory detail and then the readers were fed some almost silly situations and goings-on that simply killed the terrific atmosphere that had been developed.

Impressions:
I think Dan Osarchuk can write and I feel that Dan Osarchuk has great potential. His style of writing held my attention...even the humor fit the characters and helped bring them to life.

I'd love to see this author do a focused, serious, Adult Fantasy (with or without some horror). Even keep the humor. But eliminate some of the questionable stuff such as some of what occurred in the underground waterway.

In essence, I wanted to love this tale, but as it stands, I just couldn't.

As it is... 3 1/2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


CREEPY CREEPY GRAVEYARD SHEEPY
CREEPY CREEPY GRAVEYARD SHEEPY
Price: $1.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More demented musings from down-under; but down under what, is the real question ;), May 20, 2016
CREEPY CREEPY GRAVEYARD SHEEPY
By C Raven Bartholomew

This Kindle e-book was approximately 24 printed pages and sold for $1.00 at the time of writing this review.
This free book was delivered to me, accompanied by a note from the author, threatening to move Canada if I didn't do a review ;)

The "Creepy Creepy Graveyard Sheepy's"
A book that's written to make you weepy

Filled with words about pus and gore
It's guaranteed you'll not be bored

But be forewarned it's unpleasant fare
To see sheep parts detached and bare.

And for those of you that read a lot
The general theme is one of rot.

For Shane the Sheepy is now well dead
Because of sheep dip found in his bed

Oh rest in peace my mutton-heady
May better words be left unsaidy.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Rise Siren Five (Disclosure Book 1)
Rise Siren Five (Disclosure Book 1)
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars "Rise Siren Five"... the Pros and Cons... 3 1/2 Stars, May 14, 2016
"Rise Siren Five" is the first book in the 'Disclosure' series by author S. S. Delaunay.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 336 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)
This is the tale of Cooper Pierce and Rise (Siren 5) who must attempt to save the world/universe from the evil Echelon.

Some thoughts on "Rise Suren Five"...

The Pros:
1.) an intriguing (if not exactly new) space opera theme... evil forces attempt to take over the universe against a paltry number of good guys.

2.) lots of interesting characters; some human, others decidedly not

3.) many encounters; battles both large and small.

4.) some thrilling chase and pursuit sequences.

The Cons:
1.a) there were several spelling/grammar mistakes.
1.b) I'm not sure if it was a formatting problem on my Kindle reader, but every contraction had spacing irregularities around the apostrophe... For example, the word didn't came out as didn ' t.
1.c) the prose had a dime store detective quality to it... now this may very well have been intentional and for effect, as it lent itself to the story-telling, but if this was not the case, then it gave the writing a decidedly amateurish feel.

2.) Rise, our heroine, was the most powerful character in the book, but she unfortunately had many moments of immaturity that came across as very annoying and childish. I find it difficult to take a novel seriously, even a space opera, when the woman that's chosen to save the world is portrayed as thoroughly unprepared to do so. Maybe coming of age??? Just didn't work for me.

3.) cover art... A dark, difficult to see image. Not something to catch the eye of a potential reader.

4.) and finally, my biggest concern with this novel. There was a disturbing preponderance of what I'd call misogynistic themed settings... situations that went out of their way to describe the sexual mistreatment of female characters. A heinous trait that seemed both an obsession and a sporting pastime of the books villains, the Echelon.
Equally disturbing was the fact that these sections of the novel were often described with graphic detail. It seemed overdone and completely unnecessary. Uncomfortable passages (IMO) to say the least. .

Impressions:

I really liked specific sections of this novel. And it might have been a great Young Adult space adventure except for the segments mentioned above.

As it is... 3 1/2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Zero Patient Trilogy (Book One): (A Dystopian Sci-Fi Series)
The Zero Patient Trilogy (Book One): (A Dystopian Sci-Fi Series)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "The Zero Patient" (Book I)... a dystopian masterpiece... 5 Stars, May 4, 2016
A review of "The Zero Patient Trilogy" book one, by author Harmon Cooper.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 263 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

An apocalyptic event in the past has left two dystopian regimes (conveniently called 'The North' and 'The South' because of their geographic locales), in a constant state of war. And no matter on which side you happen to reside, life is a constant struggle just to eke out an existence. Fate throws together two Northerners who, for very different reasons, are trying to sneak into the Southern territories. Thus begins the story of Sterling and Bolt.

Some thoughts on "The Zero Patient"...

1.) well written and edited.

2.) has an edgy ambience and atmosphere that is skillfully developed and maintained throughout the entire novel.

3.) the three main characters in this book, Sterling, Bolt and Hunter, are slowly developed to the point of being permanently etched in your mind.
But be forewarned, Hunter's character has a bizarre, out-of-the-blue introduction filled with the word-salad ramblings, reminiscent of a person in an acute episode of psychosis. And this segment is just long enough (and just early enough in the book) to make you wonder 'what's going on here'. I almost gave up on the book at this point. However I decided to stay with it and I'm glad I did... this strange tale is worth a little perseverance.

4.) there is one moment in the latter part of this book that will leave you stunned and devastated. You'll know when you get there.

5.) cover art... a strange, yet somehow fitting image.

Impressions:

A first book in a trilogy that is a tour de force in writing. A disturbing landscape, where the atmosphere is palpable; the characters disturbingly real.

For those into the dystopian fiction genre, it doesn't get much better than this.

As it is... 5 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Dragon Hunter and the Mage (Wounds in the Sky Book 1)
The Dragon Hunter and the Mage (Wounds in the Sky Book 1)
Price: $3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An action packed Young Adult, fantasy adventure... 4 1/2 Stara, April 25, 2016
"The Dragon Hunter and the Mage" is the first book in the 'Wounds in the Sky' series by V. R. Cardozo. This Kindle e-book was approximately 497 pages in length and sold for $3.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

Two boys, Prince Fadan and his step-brother Aric live in the King's palace in Augusta. They are good friends, but the King, (Fadan's father; Aric's Step-father), is a paranoid despot that tolerates no dissent. In fact several factions within the realm are contemplating rebellion and the two boys are soon to be faced with a decision as to where to place their allegiance, despite their obvious royal lineage.

Some thoughts on "The Dragon Hunter and the Mage"...

1.) an interesting and intriguing tale.

2.a) a story that is both action based and character driven with maybe the accent on action.
2.b) and with action in mind, many encounters on a scale both large and small.

3.) a terrific colored map giving the reader a sense of direction, distance and topography.

4.) an ending that completes this tale but sets up for future books in this series.

5.) cover art... a stunning image that hints at the tale within.

My only niggling concern would be the repetitive use of some wording. Maybe, just maybe a ploy that an author can get away with in a Young Adult work. (Loss of 1/2 Star)

Impressions

This is a work specifically geared to a Young Adult (YA) audience. Filled with lots of action that borders on the incredulous and features deeds that frequently require a measure of youthful abandon and reckless derring-do. While I feel that most seekers of Adult orientated fantasy adventure might find this a bit over the top, it will be a thrilling ride to those of the appropriate age classification.

As a YA work... 4 1/2 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2016 11:48 AM PDT


The Collectors: Karma Police Book Three
The Collectors: Karma Police Book Three
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Collectors"... another terrific installment of the Karma Police... 5 Stars, April 12, 2016
The Collectors: Karma Police is Book Three is this Kindle series by authors Sean Platt and David W Wright.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 96 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the authors provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)
Our yet unidentified hero(ine) once again lands in a situation where he/she is able to manipulate a situation going south and restore some measure of justice or sanity. In addition, he/she is being hunted... and more aggressively with each passing installment. This then is the tale surrounding the Caldwell family.

Some thoughts on "The Collectors"...

1.) well written... as always with tales from Platt and Wright, prose that is a pleasure to read.

2.) a tale with a near perfect sense of pace and timing; and a spot-on drama vs action ratio.

3.) lots of strange and intriguing facts are brought to light in this short work. A little more is revealed with each episode.

4.) the hunters (The Collectors) seem to playing a more prominent role in each ensuing installment.

Impressions:
An ending that tweaks our curiosity for next season's continuation.
A novel with a darker and more sinister edge, but overall, a terrific series.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


GREEN SNOT AND BOOGERS: Cartoon Collection Number 1
GREEN SNOT AND BOOGERS: Cartoon Collection Number 1
Price: $0.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Green Snot and Boogers... misses the mark... 2 1/2 Stars, April 12, 2016
"GREEN SNOT AND BOOGERS" is the first in a series of Cartoon Collections by author/illustrator Darrin Mason.
This Kindle e-book contains 21 cartoons and sold for $0.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Impressions:

Let me first say that I, of all readers, probably appreciate a weird and warped sense of humor (especially Darrin's) as much as anyone, maybe even more that most. However this small endeavor of 21 cartoons lack a certain something... let me see - it has grossness, crudeness and lockness, but little else.
Not sure what happened here, BUT the bottom line is that these offerings were, simply put, not particularly funny. I got a smile from maybe five or six of them; a couple I didn't understand, and the rest were... well - meh!

Feel guilty, writing this decidedly negative review. I loved Darrin's previous offerings in his 'Wicked Witch' tales and the ever entertaining, 'Zac the Zombie', BUT if you want honesty, I gotta tell it like it is.

As it is...2 1/2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Rise of the Archmage (Deathsworn Arc Book 4)
Rise of the Archmage (Deathsworn Arc Book 4)
Price: $4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Rise of the Archmage"... the Pros and Cons... 2 1/2 Stars., April 11, 2016
"Rise of the Archmage" is the 4th book in the 'Deathsworn Arc' series by author Martyn Stanley.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 229 printed pages and sold for $4.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Some thoughts on "Rise of the Archmage"... (Spoiler-ish material to follow)

The tale continues to follow our ragtag groups of adventurers... Brael, Saul, Votrex, Elden, Korhan and Vistni, as they strive to rescue a condemned girl from a dungeon in Cormaroth.

Some thoughts on "Rise of the Archmage"...

The Pros:
1.) what's gone on before... there is a brief recounting of the previous books. A great feature to allow readers to refresh their memories when there is a lot of time between books... wish more authors would do this.

2.) map... a decent map of the realm. Allowing the reader to get a sense of distance, direction and topography.

Cons:
1.) some questionable writing and sentence structuring left me wondering if there was an editor.

2.) religion... the discussion regarding the existence (or not) of God(s) was frequent and repetitious. It seemed a predominant theme in this book. It became very tiresome, very quickly.

3.) realism... after saving the girls (Lindie and Kaya) from execution, our band of heroes allow them to head off, alone, to Briem... a journey of 4 days and through a land filled with bandits, evil people and a force seeking their recapture. Does this sound remotely responsible or believable?

4.) conversations... many dialogues seemed dull and forced.

5.) some events/battles seemed to go on and on. e.g. the ordeal of Vexis and the battle between Korhan and Tubol.

Impressions:

I had the distinct feeling this tale seemed rushed; that the author simply pieced together a bunch of ideas, hoping to blend them together into a credible story. Overall I think that this technique failed. This novel did have a few good sections, reminiscent of previous books, but it turned out to be a medieval tale that was a mishmash of Sword and Sorcery, a quasi sci-fi event, a smattering of Young Adult (YA) and some decidedly adult moments that somehow just didn't fit well together... they just didn't work. I ended up skimming many areas of this book.

The theme and attitude of this book that may have some appeal to the YA audience, however readers of more serious, Adult oriented FA tales would struggle with this work... as I did.

Without a doubt, the weakest of the 4 books to date.

As it is... 2 1/2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Snowfall on Mars
Snowfall on Mars
Price: $2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Snowfall on Mars"... the Pros and Cons... 3 1/2 Stars, April 1, 2016
This review is from: Snowfall on Mars (Kindle Edition)
"Snowfall on Mars" is a space adventure/thriller by author Branden Frankel. This Kindle e-book was approximately 367 printed pages and sold for $4.99 at the time of writing this review.

Please Note: the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

Set in the future, space exploration and colonization of the near planets (in this case Mars) has begun. A Terraforming process was started to convert Mars' inhospitable atmosphere into breathable air.
However, everything comes to an abrupt halt when a nuclear holocaust (call The End, by the citizens of Mars) destroys Earth, terminating any and all types of communication, and effectively leaving the colonists stranded and on their own. Authority and civility are maintained only a short time before things turn into anarchy .
This then is David Adler's story of how one mans deals with some new and disturbing developments in a rapidly decaying Martian civilization.

Some thoughts on " Snowfall on Mars"...

1.) well written and edited... I encountered only a couple spelling errors

2.) told with a polished and professional style that I've seldom encountered. Storytelling that seemed to fit with the comfort of an old glove. Covering many points, but never rushed or too dragged out.

3.) characters... the main character, David Adler, is well developed; others maybe less so... but enough to justify their position in the story and their relationship to our main hero.

4.) flashbacks... many chapters begin with a flashback of sorts, giving the reader some important info on how things used to be, and how those things compare to present circumstances. Useful in getting to appreciated the devastating changes that have taken place of the last 20 years.

5.) cover art... somehow a fitting image for this tale. The uniform starkness reflecting the atmosphere and mood of this unique tale.

The Cons:
1.) credibility and believability... e g. our hero often did things by himself that were dangerous and as a result ended up in trouble on several occasions. In addition, there was a episode in an air vent that seemed to me, very unlikely.

2.) I felt there were several plot holes in this story, that with a little thought or tinkering could have being avoided, yet with almost no change to the overall story.

Impressions:
I really liked author Frankel's writing style and his approach to telling this tale. However the 'Cons' above were just frequent enough to drop this tale down a notch or two. And that's really too bad, because this story was intriguing and the storytelling so accomplished, but these 'soft spots' really took away from what could have been a space/thriller masterpiece.

A good novel that could have been great... it was so close.

As it is... 3 1/2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


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