Submissions Closed Temporarily 

Submissions are closed until I catch up a bit. I’ve got close to 100 books waiting in line, which is so awesome! I need some time to get through those before accepting any more.
In the meantime, check out my Patreon or my Donations page. All contributions go to supporting this site! 

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Trouble at Riverside Academy, by Liam Moiser


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Rachel’s pretty happy at Riverside Academy. Her and her boyfriend, Benjamin, are prefects, they’re about to graduate…life couldn’t be better. That all changed when one man walked onto campus with sinister intent.

Very well-rounded for a short story. Plot felt full and complete, with a good cast of characters. I loved the relationship between Rachel and Ben. It was a healthy, normal relationship. They had their differences, but they were solved in a mature way. A good idea to convey for readers of all ages. It managed to send powerful messages about lying and bad behavior, which made me think that this is geared for a younger audience.

The only thing I really had a problem with was the antagonists abrupt personality changes. I understand why it was done, but the execution and explanation felt a little flimsy. Almost as an afterthought.

Life’s not always easy, even when things are going your way. This book served as a good reminder for that, as well as reminding readers that they’re not alone. An easy, quick read that’s still satisfying.
Buy it here!

Day of the Tiger, by Dallas Gorham

7_28_17 Day of the Tiger

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Carlos McCrary is a private investigator, not a cop, thank you very much (quite possibly my favorite running gag throughout the entire novel). Hired by a millionaire, ex-NFL hotshot to help a friend, McCrary’s life just got a lot more exciting.

 

 

Now, please believe me when I say that this is, at its core, wholly a private eye novel. A modernized version, for sure, but it stays mostly true to the formula. It didn’t follow the ‘damsel in distress’ trope as much as others seem to. That was nice. While it remains committed to its genre, it defied many stereotypes with its characters.

 

 

I can honestly say I enjoyed every character in this, with the exception of the villain. I don’t think he was designed to be a sympathetic character. And he was good at making the reader dislike him. All the characters were integral to the development of each other, in one way or another. The plot almost feels constructed around them—that’s how well it aided them.

 

 

The plot was fairly intricate. Several overlapping story lines peppered the narrative. All of them were needed for it to feel complete. It really felt well-rounded. Everything made sense and I didn’t have any questions left at the end. The mystery part of the book was really disguised as background information and world-building, in my opinion. It was how the readers’ learned information that added depth to the characters and the world, without boring or overloading them.

 

 

I also enjoyed the diversity of the characters. I liked how they were treated and how the narrative came together around them. That diversity was another place where stereotypes were broken. It helped add a bit more realism and relatability to the cast of characters.

I loved the way everyone interacted. There was plenty of drama to go around, for sure. However, the difference came during how they handled everything. There was no unnecessary in-fighting, simply for the sake of drama. People got along, had good relationships and good foundations.

 

Action and dialogue were at a good balance. Action was carried out with realism rather than flashy Hollywood stunts. It really felt that McCrary was flying by the seat of his pants instead of miraculously knowing exactly how to escape a situation. That’s not to say things weren’t too easy sometimes, but he still at least hit a few speedbumps.

 

 

Quite possibly the series I’ll turn to when the mood hits me for the genre. Very well done. Excellent characterization. Definitely a good read.

 

 

Buy it here!

The Butcher’s Daughter, by Florence Grende


A poetic tale of from the daughter of immigrants that escaped to the United States from war-torn Poland. Along with her parents, the author forges a new way of life in a new country. What’s unique about this tale is that it includes some of the negative traits often neglected when talking about the survivors of a traumatic event. Animosity between family members, personal prejudices…everyone wasn’t optimistic about things. They felt like real people, reacting in realistic, not romanticized, ways.

The narration is another good point about this novel. It’s told with a very whimsical tone–as though the narrator was completely detached from everything around her. The way each segment was presented felt like a poetry book setup. Some chapters were half a page, others wee ten. It aided the tone and pacing of the novel well. A nice aesthetic for such a somber subject.

All of it was very well-written. It was emotional where it needed to be, and flexible with tone. As the narrator grew older, her style changed, becoming more confident more self-aware. She highlighted the difficulties of tradition versus progress.

I really liked the way this was done. This was a very unique style that was executed very well.

Buy it here!

Everything and a Happy Ending, by Tia Shurina


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Heartbreak and life struggles aren’t always easy to write about. However, it can be a cathartic experience for some. That’s kind of what this narrative felt like.

 

 

The author uses a very mature, very reflective and pensive approach to her narration. Struggles with divorce, unhappiness, and unfulfilling love are all overarching themes. There’s a very zen overture to her descriptions and allusions. The whole thing feels like a spiritual experience to the reader. It’s very well-written and described. There’s some cool tonal changes that mix things up, like taking on that of a playwright.

 

 

There were some convoluted areas where the description sometimes went a little too over the top dramatic. The author was setting things up for a big reveal, but instead sold things short when I realized I wasn’t 100% sure what was still being talked about. Sometimes ideas and paragraphs worked in reverse order. Or they trailed off and moved to another idea without fully completing a previous one.

 

 

If you like emotional memoirs and things of that nature, this one will be right up your ally. The subject matter is an easily identifiable one, and the way the author approaches it makes things relatable as well. There’s a lot of good teaching moments for both reader and author alike. Definitely a different kind of headspace that I think quite a few people would benefit from.

 

 

Buy it here!

No Review Today

Sorry guys. 
Had a lot going on lately. Reviews will resume tomorrow. I’ve got a bit of vacation time this upcoming week so hopefully you’ll see quite a few more! It’ll also give me some time to get myself ahead as well. 
Also, Wyvacon is this weekend! Shari Sakurai’s book, Adam, will be given away at the book exchange. I can’t wait! 

Death Unmasked, by Rick Sulik



A different spin on a classic cop tale. It follows quite a few stereotypes of the genre. However, it differentiates in the fact that it brings reincarnation and past lives–paranormal things–into the station. 

Sean Jamison’s so close to retiring. His coworkers think he’s losing it. In reality, that’s the farthest from the truth. Relics from a past life set him on a journey of self-discovery, heartbreak, and a killer much more familiar than he’s comfortable with. 

I liked the reincarnation aspect included in the narrative. The typical “gut feeling” that many cops seem to have was given more depth. My issue with it came near the end, during the resolution, when Sean suddenly knew an awful lot about other people’s past lives. Don’t get me wrong–the explanations tied things up nicely. A lot of information came that left me wondering why he knows all of this? Is the author looking to set things up for a sequel and explain things more then? The entire sequence felt a bit disjointed from the rest of the narrative. 

There’s a nice roller coaster of emotion that goes with this as well. Relationships were made and broken, people stepped out of their comfort zone, and really made quite a bit of progress with their personal development. I felt like things moved too quickly or easily on occasion, however. 

The ending felt a bit anti-climactic. There was a large buildup with the antagonist. It just seemed to coast along, though. I wouldn’t say it fell flat or short, but it didn’t feel nearly as exciting as the buildup led it to be. 

Character dynamics were nice. There were quite a few to get attached to, even in just a short period of time. And instead of featuring trim, young, handsome cops in the prime of their life, the narrative focuses on those in the later stages of life. It shows how it’s never too late for anything to happen–love, a sense of self and purpose, all of those can happen at anytime. Sometimes a person just has to wait a little longer than others. 

I also liked how the women were treated as characters. They were empowered, respected, and just as necessary to the narrative as everyone else. 
Death Unmasked was certainly a unique twist on an age-old formula. It followed quite a few stereotypes, but differentiated enough that it wasn’t boring. The world was set up in such a way that spin-offs and sequels that can explore some of the secondary characters a little deeper. 
Buy it here!

Lucky Duck Cola, by Stephen Puiia



Lucky Duck Cola was a bit all over the place. The premise is told through a Humaniac slave to an incredibly powerful, overly masculine man. It’s meant to be satirical over some current political issues like racial divide, and I see what it was going for, but quite a bit of polishing is needed. 

A new world was created to fit the narrative, a very futuristic world. However it’s not explained well. Everyone floats and there’s no explanation until the end. Trying to get a grasp on technology and the is a difficult task. Things move along at a rapid pace, and it feels like things are happening mostly at random. There’s no buildup or alluding to much of anything beyond his relationship. 

I liked the over-the-top way character creation was handled. They reflected well the extreme sides of things like toxic masculinity and segregation. There was a bit of depth for the characters and a bit more development than I expected there to be. 

I see the idea, and I like what the novel touches on. However, there’s some work that needs to be done to give things a little more definition so the reader doesn’t feel quite so lost. 

Buy it here!

Audio Review is Live!

 

We are pleased to bring you our very first audio review! Constructed a little differently than written reviews, they go a little more in-depth.
This one is for Moristoun, by Kevin McAllion. Huge shoutout to Kevin and his patience, as well as his continued support of us and our endeavors. Head on over to Amazon and check it out! Follow him on Twitter as well.
We’re hoping this won’t be the last. For now, however, it is the only one. Considering becoming a Patron, or donating on Book Reviews Anonymous for more content like this in the future!

The Poisoned Princess, by Armen Pogharian


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This novel felt distinctly like a retelling of the Dragon Age: Origins Dalish elf opening. There were, of course, deviations, but the similarities were pretty strong. Then, Toran, half-elf and half-barbarian makes it into an organization called the Warders after he’s banished, much like your character joining the Grey Wardens.
The Poisoned Princess was a cute little tale. Mysteries abound as Toran rallies a crew to cure the princess and find the assassin. There’s lots of action, most of which was pretty well orchestrated. Dialogue was prevalent as well. Thankfully it didn’t get too drawn out and boring in the way that many novels do. Quite a bit of storytelling and world-building was done through dialogue so keeping it engaging was important.
World-building was industry standard for fantasy novels. The narrative itself wasn’t too heavy on the external world, instead focused on a smaller area as it needed. Characters fit the world rather well. Elves, dwarves, humans…all of the regular players made it to the quest.

 

 

There’s definitely room for a sequel. The author created and interesting world, even if things feel a little on the generic side. I’m more interested in the Warders, and how Toran fares with them. Not a bad young adult fantasy at all.

 

 

Buy it here!