The Mandate of Heaven, by Rob Flanigan

1_19_18 Mandate of Heaven

4 stars

 

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon!

A Chinese takeover of Disney rife with political satire…what could possibly make the Magic Kingdom anymore magical?

 

Bert manages to spend more time at Disney than he ever dreamed possible, thanks to a very unusual set of circumstances. Much of it is very familiar to him—considering it is the life’s work of someone that stole his life’s work. Not even the Happies Place on Earth ™ is immune to corruption and wrongdoings.

 

This was an unusually creative storyline with some unique imaginings. The author certainly channeled their inner dystopian master; there’s many parallels to the current state of things in the US. Some of it feels like satire—the author’s way of inserting their own, personal opinions into the narrative.

 

The dialogue was done well. And while I enjoyed their interactions, there were some moments where I felt disconnected from their relationships. Description was mostly well-done. There were a few areas where it became muddled, but overall it was satisfying.

 

Plenty of humor reined free in a narrative of such serious subject matter. There was still plenty of time set aside for the magic of Disney, and the importance of family. It was explored on two different fronts, and created a wonderful way for the two storylines to overlap.

 

I rather enjoyed this rendition of Disney. It had many good, creative points, and a different approach to villainy. A somewhat slow read at times, but still an entertaining one.

 

Buy it here!

Advertisements

Nosferatu Chronicles: Origins, by Susan Hamilton

1_19_18 Origins Nosferatu

stars-5-0._CB192240867_

 

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon!

Vampires are not my thing. I’m going to go ahead and get that out of the way. Nosferatu and the original Dracula were alright, but I lose my taste for even them after the Twilight fiasco.

These vampires—Vambir, these alien freakin’ vampires—are totally my thing.

First of all, let’s talk about how we have sci-fi vamps. Second, let’s talk about how well they’re integrated into the era of Vlad the Impaler and the legend of Count Dracula. And Nosferatu. And modern vampires. Origins progresses history with the evolution of vampires. Not only was a thorough explanation given for the transformations, but they were all so integral to the plot.

Not only was the story seamless, so were characters. There was a wide array, and each of them had distinct personality—which, like everything else, served the plot well. Dialogue read easily and naturally.

It was filled with wonderful tension, suspense, and political intrigue. Every moment was carefully planned, and not a page was wasted getting there. Character development was on-point. Perspective switched were excellently placed. Each one allowed for the story to be told in an interesting way. It also utilized the ‘two sides to every story’-type narrative incredibly well.

This was a good book. A really good book. It gave me hope for the vampire genre. When I was it was hard to put down, I mean it. This was a really good book.

Buy it here!

Grains of Truth, by Elizabeth Ferry-Perata

1_19_18 Grains of Trurth

4 stars

 

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon!

As promised on the back cover, Grains of Truth nearly moved me to tears.

A novella about love, loss, hope, and ultimately the demons locked inside us, Grains manages to shed light on the negative impact depression can have, and how it affects family and friends.

The characters were certainly relatable. Writing style gave them a “real” voice. I liked their personalities, as well. They were well-suited for their small-town backdrop.

It’s hard to write a plot twist that genuinely surprises me, and this one succeeded. Not prepared for it, but happy that the author took the time to challenge just what constitutes a happy ending.

Buy it here!

Scent of Rain, by Anne Montgomery

1_5_18 Scent of Rain.jpg

4 stars

 

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon!

I wish more people would recognize and acknowledge what danger cults and sects of extremist religion present. Scent of Rain is a novel that touches on such subjects, told through the eyes of a young girl subjected to the horrors. It presents the stomach-churning truth of child abuse suffered at the hands of extreme Mormonism.

While the story of Rose yearning for escape from her fundamentalist home is fiction, the surroundings are not. My husband is an ex-communicated Mormon (not one of the extreme groups, thankfully) and so I was announcing details to him as I read. He just looked at me and replied “yeah, that sounds right.” The novel seems to be an avocation for awareness of the subject, and it does so by not sugar-coating the details. Child brides, abuse, murder, xenophobia, molestations—I was disgusted and angry while reading. Not at the book or the subject matter in a sense, but the fact that these things still happen in the modern era. I’ll leave things at that to avoid sparking a controversial debate.

I liked the cohesiveness of the characters and the various developments they achieved throughout. Free-will and free-thinking are presented as powerful allies when all seems lost. Personal strength, conviction, and faith are all tested to the breaking point. It aids in not just the story, but in spiritual growth and personal development. Obedience is a subject to be used with moderation, and the author does a good job demonstrating how obedience without question can be such a dangerous and disgusting thing. Hence why cults are seen as such reprehensible things, usually.

This book excels in bringing out emotionality and conveying exactly the kinds of thoughts the author wanted. Now, there is some editing to be done. Mostly technical, though. This novel feels more like an exposé piece than a traditional novel, and so some of the missing elements are easily overlooked and forgiven.

It’s easy to see that this novel was difficult to write, and kudos to the author for sticking with such a dark subject matter. I liked the very explicit, in-your-face presentation of the facts interwoven with the narrative itself.

Buy it here!

In the Glow of the Lavalamp, by Lily Wilson

1_5_18 Lavalamp.jpg

stars-5-0._CB192240867_

 

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon!

This is one of those books that, based solely on the title, I would pick up off the shelves without hesitation.

I would not have regretted it.

It was a collection of other peoples’ tales of embarrassing, bad, and hilarious sex. The author prefaces the novel by explaining that it’s a universal constant, and if you think you’re not included, well, that’s probably why your calls aren’t getting returned.

There’s plenty of humor to downplay the uncomfortable feelings usually associated with talking about sex. There were tales that turned traditional norms—both the acts and the kinds of people involved—on their heads.

They weren’t all about sex, either. Some were just plain humiliating stories that would let the reader know someone was having a worse day, or just provide a laugh that someone somewhere, desperately needed.

Buy it here!