Profile for R. Nicholson > Reviews

Browse

R. Nicholson's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1048
Top Reviewer Ranking: 862
Helpful Votes: 7443




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
R. Nicholson RSS Feed
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Santa Claus: EXPOSED (Only Read This if You Want to Know the Truth!)
Santa Claus: EXPOSED (Only Read This if You Want to Know the Truth!)
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Santa Claus: Exposed... a kiddy lit Xmas tale, December 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"Santa Claus: EXPOSED (Only Read This if You Want to Know the Truth!)" is a short book intended for a younger child (and maybe a parent), by author Guy Incognito. This Kindle e-book was approximately 85 printed pages and was free at time of writing this review.

Ahhh... the age old question of to believe or not to believe in Santa Claus... especially at this time of year. Does one really want to lose their one chance of getting what they really, really wanted on Xmas morning. Every child in that special age group goes through this period of doubt and tough-time decision making. I mean this is NOT a time to be wrong!

Our author, who has been known to cavort with such characters as David W. Wright and Johnny B. Truant when stories required a decidedly, how do we say this, more 'mature' approach. Nonetheless, this is kiddy lit at its best, meant for the younger child (and maybe even the older child who still harbors some illusion of receiving their elusive heart's desire)... whatever that may be.

Light hearted and well written.

From a guy whose seriously thinking of reverting back to the 'believer' ranks.

Merry Xmas everyone.

Ray Nicholson


The Heretic (Beyond the Wall Book 1)
The Heretic (Beyond the Wall Book 1)
Price: $1.99

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The Heretic"... the Pros and Cons... 2 1/2 Stars, December 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"The Heretic" is the first book in the 'Beyond the Wall' series by author Lucas Bale. This Kindle e-book was approximately 193 printed pages and sold for $1.99 at time of writing this review.

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

General Theme (minor spoilers)

This is a sci-fi space opera.
A distant world is run by an autocratic, dystopian regime that brooks no dissension. This then is the story of a group of people who want freedom and autonomy. They have the desire and the leader, but what they really need is a way off the planet... enter Shepherd, the owner and captain of the space freighter Soteria.

Some thoughts on "The Heretic"...

The Pros:
1.) rebelling against an autocratic regime is nothing new, but the premise for this novel did have some promise.

2.) intense, almost non-stop action.

3.) an interesting diagram of the Soteria and its internal compartments.

The Concerns:
1.) I thought the main characters, Shepherd and the Preacher, lacked much depth.

2.) character dialogues seemed a bit immature at times, e.g. the ongoing trust issues between Shepherd and the Preacher.

3.) this is a novel where events will often require suspending your sense of realism and believability (believability within the context of the setting).

Impressions:
I had great hopes for this work as the beginning was truly intriguing and suspenseful. But by about one third the way through I started to get negative vibes, and the concerns mentioned above seemed to dominate the rest of the novel through to the end.

So does character development, meaningful dialogues and a sense of believability really matter in a space opera?... you bet it does.

And finally, I was surprised how much my feeling towards this novel differed from the blurbs put on the book's Amazon.com page by many other authors.

As it is... 2 1/2 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Last Supper
The Last Supper
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Last Supper"... the Pros and Cons... 4 Stars, December 13, 2014
This review is from: The Last Supper (Kindle Edition)
"The Last Supper" is a futuristic, dystopian tale by author Allison M. Dickson that has a quasi fantasy/horror thread running through it. This Kindle e-book was approximately 369 printed pages and sold for $3.99 at time of writing this review.

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

Please be aware... potential <spoilers> throughout

General Theme

Genetic modification has spawned the 'Serpent Weed', through which its pollen has spread everywhere... and fast, literally choking the world's global agricultural economy to death..
In its wake, a religious group called the Divine Rite takes over, forcing their dystopian, religious doctrines on a helpless and starving society. In fact, its gotten so extreme that unless you can prove your worth to the ruling authorities on the yearly 'Justification Day', you're given your 'last supper'... a final meal that has been poisoned to eliminate you from being a further burden the true believers. And the population has been so cowed that those provided with the deadly repast, eat it willingly!

Enter our hero John Welland, whose wife was 'terminated' a while back, despite the fact that she was already dying of cancer. Rage has smoldered in John ever since and he's decided he's had enough... he's going to fight back. His journey takes him on a course to meet a host of monstrosities and on occasion, a few friends.

Some thoughts on "The Last Supper"...

The Pros:
1.) a dystopian motif... very different than AMD's usual horror themes.

2.) features AMD's incredible skill with her use of prose when it comes to describing the surroundings or providing graphic details regarding the mental and physical suffering of her characters.

3.) loved the premise of a rag-tag band of individuals coming together and eventually setting out on a quest amidst bizarre circumstances. And then able to persevere, despite the enormous odds against them.

4.) important characters can be severely injured or killed... adding a sense of realism and believability to the tale.

5.) some intriguing characters in John's coterie of allies... Genevieve, Harry, Saul, Zeth and his daughter Kaya, plus several other supporting figures.

6.a) memorable character... Akiva Paine
6.b) memorable moment... finding Kaya (near the end)

The Cons: <spoiler material>
1.) the deus ex machina like qualities of John's abilities towards the end. A development that always has me questioning the sense of believability of a tale (any tale) that uses this technique. Yes I realize this is fiction, but I'm talking about the realism within the context of the story. Always reminds me of a plot that's kind of painted itself into a corner and needs some extraordinary solution.

2.) I kind of struggled to understand some of the material in the last chapter. I came away not sure how John got to this point or what he was trying to accomplish by his actions.

3.) cover art... although I understand the image used for the front cover in relation to the story, I'm not sure of the reasoning for using this picture as your initial contact with the public... maybe trying to capitalize on the success of AMD's horror stories. It left me wondering if there might not have been better choices. Obviously a personal and subjective opinion on my part.

Impressions:

I absolutely loved the opening scene and beginning sequence. However, I felt the tale faltered a bit in the late-middle section and onwards ... especially when John took on his almost God-like powers. It was here in this latter third of the novel that I felt the story lost some of it cohesiveness and became a little disjointed. I was enthralled by John and his ka-tet early on, but my interest softened somewhat once he and Genevieve branched out on their own. I thought some of the situations in which they found themselves felt a bit contrived and the ensuing dialogues seemed to reflect this.

A finale that was made for a sequel, should the popularity of this novel warrant it.

As it is... 4 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Seven Skies
Seven Skies
Price: $3.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seven short stories with unexpected endings... 4 Stars, December 9, 2014
This review is from: Seven Skies (Kindle Edition)
Seven Skies is a collection of seven unusual short stories by Niraj Doshi.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 74 printed pages and sold for $3.03 at time of writing this review.

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

The seven stories are...

The Curse Of Coober Pedy
Hallucinations Of Ambition
The Legend Of Yam Ha-Mavet
The Kiss Of Fame
Alpha Nyani’s Tryst With Destiny
Smert
Aleks In Wonderland

Some thoughts on "Seven Skies"...

The scope of this work spanned the globe and ranged as far back as 2 million years BC to the present day.

I thought this was an interesting collection of short stories; stories that often lead the reader in one direction before zapping them with an unexpected revelation at the end. I liked all the tales except one, that being "Alpha Nyani's Tryst with Destiny" in which I thought the ending seemed a bit underwhelming and somewhat contrived.

This group of tales were all very different from one another and were short enough that reading them did not take a great deal of effort, However having said that, the 'shocker-ending' short story is not the genre of literature I would read by choice or be willing to devote a lot of time towards. To be honest, I was glad this collection was not any longer.

However, overall a good effort... 4 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2014 3:31 AM PST


The Shadow Of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy Book 1)
The Shadow Of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy Book 1)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Shadow Of What Was Lost"... the Pros and Cons... 3 1/2 Stars, December 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"The Shadow Of What Was Lost" is the first book in 'The Licanius Trilogy' by author James Islington. This Kindle e-book was approximately 688 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at time of writing this review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

The story of Davian, Wirr and Asha... three friends and students at a school for the unusually talented... better know as the 'Gifted'. However, being 'gifted' does not carry the connotation of being revered or honored as you might expect. Past events have tarnished the reputations of these special individuals and the authorities have place severe restrictions on not only the use of their unique abilities but also their freedom of movement. In fact, their physical safety is often threatened in public places.

Meanwhile in the north, an enemy long thought defeated begins to stir... setting off a series of events that dramatically change forever the lives of our three heroes.

Some thoughts on "The Shadow of what was Lost"...

The Pros:
1.) generally well written and edited featuring easy to read prose.

2.) a tale of action, travel and unexpected twist and turns (see Cons: below)

3.) the personality and traits of our protagonist (and several others) were developing nicely by book's end.

4.) cover art... an intriguing image; encountered and later explained with the story.

Cons:
1.) so many twist and turns and subplots that I found it became difficult to keep up with all the rapidly occurring and ongoing changes. This was especially true during the middle section which featured many 'flashback' scenarios.

2.a) no map... a tale of travel and diverse geographic settings. A map would have made it easy easier to follow direction, distance and topography.
2.b) no glossary of names or places. Again, as with map, it would help make sense of the varied array of the people and locales encountered.

3.) repetitive wording... the phrase "made a face" (as in, someone 'made a face' to show displeasure or surprise etc.). Used twenty-five times throughout the book (verified by the Kindle search function) and kind of stood out like a sore thumb after a while. I'm always surprised to see repetitive wording issues within a good book... I'd have expected that maybe one of the Beta readers might have picked up on this.

Impressions:
A very, very good fantasy adventure tale... just missing the designation of a 'great book' by some of the Cons mentioned above.

I suppose this would be considered a Young Adult (YA) book based on the age of our protagonists, however, the quality of the writing and the skill of the prose will likely satisfy most serious, adult orientated fantasy adventure lovers. I know it did for me until I began to encounter the seemingly ever increasing number of tangents the main story seemed to be generating.
I think when your writing an expanding plot line you risk losing reader interest because it not only becomes more difficult to follow, but it also loses some of its realism and believability (believability within the context of the story). Yet having said that, this complicated and twisting plot may have been easier to understand and follow had there been an adequate map. A personal and subjective opinion, I realize, on my part.

As it is... 3 1/2 Stars rounded up.

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Schlage FE595 CAM 619 ACC Camelot Keypad Entry with Flex-Lock and Accent Levers, Satin Nickel
Schlage FE595 CAM 619 ACC Camelot Keypad Entry with Flex-Lock and Accent Levers, Satin Nickel
Price: $108.72
27 used & new from $88.20

5.0 out of 5 stars The "Schlage 595 Keyless Flex-Lock"... keyless entry makes unlocking your door easy and hassle free, December 1, 2014
This is a review of the "Schlage FE595 CAM 619 ACC Camelot Keyless Entry with Flex-Lock and Accent Levers". This unit sold for $108.72 at the time of writing this review.

The specs...
Size... 3 x 3 x 6.8 inches
Weight... 1.5 lbs
Colors... there are 8 colors to choose from

Some thoughts on the "Schlage 595 keyless flex lock...

1.) has an attractive metallic finish and appears to be of solidily constructed.

2.) the outside lock has ten digits that light up when pressed... great for coming in at night.

3.) the 'flex-lock' feature... this allows you to turn a lever on the inside lock so the outside lock will either remain unlocked (very useful if your coming in and out frequently) OR automatically lock once the door is shut. Either way, two very convenient options.

4.) keycodes... easily programmable. Using the 6 digit master code, you can program and store up to 19 x 4 digits codes on the unit. Great for example, to give the babysitter or a condo renter their own unique code to use for a specific period of use... also just as easy to erase a code.

5.) the tumblers in the lock can be changed to fit any Schlage key. A great feature if you have more than one Schlage lock, i.e. front and side door, and don't want to more than one master key as a backup. N.B. changing the tumblers is tricky and should be done by someone with experience in this procedure.

6.) uses a 9 Volt battery (included). There is a warning signal when the battery is getting weak and needs replacement.

7.) handles are adjustable to either right or left sided use.

Impressions:
I've just installed my 2nd Schlage keyless lock on our side door because we've found the one on our front door was more useful and practical than we'd expected. Previously, this was one of those products that I'd never have considered or given a second thought to... now I wonder how we ever functioned without it. Truly a device for personal lifestyle convenience.

If you forgot to leave the porch light on... you'll love this lock.

As it is... 5 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Last Great Hero
The Last Great Hero
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "The Last Great Hero"... better than expected... 5 Stars, November 24, 2014
"The Last Great Hero" is a short work in the Sword and Sorcery genre by author Scott J. Robinson. This Kindle e-book was approximately 181 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at 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 (possible minor spoilers)

You know there are some things that define a 'great hero'... courage and bravery, unusual strength, battle skill and a sporadic (if not steady) supply of slay-able evil monsters. But unfortunately, there is one thing that even the greatest of heroes can't win against... aging.

Rawk, our hero, is at the point were each new encounter reveals slower reflexes, wounds that don't heal as quickly as they once did and joints that just aren't as supple as they use to be. However as the saying goes, 'once a Great Hero always a Great hero' (or at least that's how he remembers it in his own mind). Because there's one thing all Great Heroes have in common... and that's an unquenchable need for an unending supply of fawning masses and hordes of adoring friends. So... age be damned, sometimes you just gotta fight through the pain.

Some thoughts on "The Last Great Hero"

1.) a well thought out plot, skillfully told with a touch of subtle humor.

2.) a few intriguing encounters.

3.) an interesting and thoughtful main character in Rawk... a hero to easily empathize with.

4.) no map. Maybe not entirely essential here, but it would have added a sense of direction and distance to this locale.

Impressions:
I wasn't sure what I was getting into here when I started out. A strange tale of an middle age 'hero' replete with all the mental and physical baggage that he's acquired over the years.
I found that the writing style was surprising effective in portraying Rawk and his abundance of age related concerns. Told with a touching honesty and self-depreciating humor that inwardly revealed some ego crushing revelations... even if he fought tooth and nail to prevent his host of admirers from seeing his diminishing skills.

Another subtle sub-theme put forth was that of the underlying prejudices against a certain race living in the area. The author slowly and insidiously exploited this avenue, and by book's end, caused Rawk to start to rethink about his 'traditional viewpoints'.

An extremely well written, enjoyable book in the Sword and Sorcery genre.
Better than I could possibly have hoped.

As it is... 5 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2014 9:01 PM PST


Randy the naughty elf - 2nd Edition (new Children's Christmas book)
Randy the naughty elf - 2nd Edition (new Children's Christmas book)
Price: $4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars "Randy, the Naughty Elf"... in need of a grammatical overhaul... 3 Stars., November 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"Randy the Naughty Elf" is a short children's Christmas book by author Joanne Eff.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 19 printed pages and sold for $4.99 at 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 "Randy the Naughty Elf"...

The Pros:
1.) a short, children's Xmas story that has a moralistic story, plus a happy ending.

2.) each page has a beautiful color drawing depicting the action taking place. Art that could only be described as stunning. Bravo!

3.) cover art... exquisite!

The Cons:
1.) the prose reminded me of a story written by someone whose native language was something other than English. There were some run-on sentences, punctuations concerns and grammatical syntax errors ... all of which left me re-reading lines to try to garner the intended meaning.
for example... the three word phrase 'so as to' was used a few times where it appeared completely out of place.

Impression:
A really cute children's Xmas tale that has some of the best color illustrations that I've come across in books of this nature.
However... the author is in serious need of a editor that understands English grammar and will eliminate these very basic errors.
As it is, I don't think I could honestly recommend this at a price of $4.99. But if re-edited I'd reassess this opinion.

As it is... 3 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


The Mayonnaise Murders
The Mayonnaise Murders
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "The Mayonnaise Murders"... weirdly wonderful in an absurd sort of way... 5 Stars, November 9, 2014
The Mayonnaise Murders [Kindle Edition] by Keith Owens.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 347 printed pages and sold for $.99 at 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)

The following quote taken from the product page will give you a fairly good and accurate idea of what type of novel you're about to read. And this statement really does set the tone for the entire work.

"Whoever killed Johnny Beardy ruined a perfectly good sandwich in the process. I was hungry when I found him, so that's the first thing came to my mind."

Some thoughts on "The Mayonnaise Murders"...

1.) a sci-fi, space opera told with a definitive tongue-in-cheek attitude. However given its unusual subject matter, it's very well written and edited.

2.) the writing style and off-beat humor stays consistent throughout the entire novel.

3.) lots a bizarre action and encounters.

Impressions:
A very different tale that turns out to be a wild ride into the absurd and fantastic... however there's a consistent high quality to both the prose and story-telling. Well done!

As it is... 5 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Sword & Sorcery Adventure: Winter's Cold Heart
Sword & Sorcery Adventure: Winter's Cold Heart
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "Winter's Cold Heart"... an intriguing short from A.R. Williams... 5 Stars, November 9, 2014
"Sword & Sorcery Adventure: Winter's Cold Heart" is a novella by author A.R. Williams. This Kindle e-book was approximately 43 printed pages and sold for $1.99 at 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)

With a major winter storm brewing, Leif, Son of Jurgen, stumbles upon the mountain hideaway of the Elk clan. They not only provide him with food, warmth and shelter but also avail him of the opportunity to win the hand of the Chief's beautiful daughter. Simply go and slaughter the beast... piece of cake for someone of Leif's abilities. But as the rest of the strange and somewhat bizarre details are put into place, Leif realizes that there might be more to this adventure than meets the eye.

Some thoughts on "Winters's Cold Heart"...

1.) a well written and edited short story.

2.) a tale of high adventure, magic and intriguing encounters.

3.) the descriptive prose was of a quality that brought the settings to life and provided a compelling sense of atmosphere and ambience. Really a vital skill if one is going to attempt to write successful short stories.

4.) cover art... a collage picture that is both attractive and eye catching.

Impressions:
An impressive short tale; featuring a quest, a heroine in need of saving and a hero with the right stuff to do it. A true Sword and Sorcery genre adventure.

As it is... 5 Stars

Ray Nicholson
raynicholsonsreviews@hotmail.com
@ralannicholson


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20