Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Review: The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West

The Secrets of Islayne

A powerful island. A dangerous mystery. An impossible choice.

For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane.

Just when his long-desired future is within reach, Ronan and his three friends discover a deadly secret on the island. As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.


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Review: Tracy's Choices by Max Elliot Anderson


Tracy's Choices

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Review: Backpack to the Burbs: One Man's Epic Journey from the Pit to the Palace - by Stacy J Dodd


Backpack to the Burbs: One Man's Epic Journey from the Pit to the Palace

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Review: Zombie! Haunted Mansion: Memoir of Jesse Jamieson by Zombie Origin Media

Zombie! Haunted Mansion: Memoir of Jesse Jamieson

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Review: Sweet-pea's Thief by J. Cassidy

Sweet-pea's Thief

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My Take:

Gambling for dollars is one thing. But gambling for days is something else. Charlie is dying of cancer. He only has months to live. But he hears of a raven-haired girl that will play poker with you, gambling for your remaining time. If you win, you leave with more time. If you lose, you... lose time. With little to lose, he plays poker with Sweet-pea, who relates during the game the incredible tale of why she is gambling Years of Life with the dying.

With her body stolen by a monster, and her soul pushed into another parallel realm with monsters and magic, Sweet-pea's survival depends on the protection of others stuck in this horrific realm with her. Hunted by bounty hunters, monsters and the mysterious Tin Master,  Sweet-pea finds that while attempting to regain her life, she may lose her soul.

Drug Content:
PG - Sweet-pea is given a bottle of pills to help her cope with the shock of losing her body, pills she quickly becomes addicted to.

R - There's a good deal of violence and death, blood and gore. A torture chamber provides a horrific gory backdrop for one of the scenes. A hand is cut off, a throat is slit.

PG - There are a few cuss words, nothing serious.

Adult Content:
G - there's really no sexual content, though some obviously happened once off-screen.

Christian content:
Nada. There are some concerning concepts in this work, mainly that souls aren't eternal and can be used for food, that Time can be gambled away, or gained through a game of chance. There are some references to an afterlife. Heaven and Hell are referred to as real places, in other dimensions, but monsters can capture your soul during the 'tunnel experience' while heading to the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Loyalty, self-sacrifice, destiny and friendship play large parts in this tale. There is a definite struggle between good and evil here, but the lines are grayed.

Final analysis:
This book has an incredible concept - that between life and death there is a dimension the soul must travel through, and those souls can be stolen. That the body can be stolen, and the soul released to wander rather than move on to heaven or hell. The plot behind this story is gripping, the world-building phenomenal, and the action fast and furious. New life, Old life, are gathered like glowing marbles. Strange creatures like Griwald and Deadly Mimics threaten constantly, along with Tin Men and other horrific creatures. Magic amulets and spells are formulated and used to gain access to further dimensions, while time passes at alarming rates. Characters are often larger than life. However, the pacing dragged for me. It seemed to take an eternity for me to plow through some sections, while other sections moved so quickly I had to reread to catch important details. So, a great read, but some pacing issues. Four Stars!
About the Author:
J. CassidyJ. Cassidy's website reads,
I’m J. Cassidy and I used to be an oak tree growing in a park in England. I still like to be decorated once a year.
Pink, sparkly fluffles and rainbows make everything better.
She can be followed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/6twistedbiscuit