Review: Scapemaker


Scapemaker (Scapemaker #1)Scapemaker by Steve V. Cypert
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I feel terrible leaving this book only one star. Absolutely terrible. I wanted to like this so badly. But it was not a good book. I don't know if I downloaded an un-proofed copy, or if everyone else was able to look past all the mistakes, but the whole thing was just a mess.

I was able to download this for free from Smashwords with a code - otherwise the book is $2.99. And if I had paid $2.99 for this book, I'd want a refund. I'd actually be mad if I paid money for this. Again, I feel terrible saying this, but it's true.

Mr. Cypert could have used a serious proofer before publishing this and charging money for it. Unfortunately, I think there's just too much wrong with it to be considered "good" even if I liked the concept (which I did). The concept is something I haven't read or heard of too much, and it is an interesting way of portraying the dream world. However, the copy I downloaded from Smashwords reads more like a first draft than a finished product. I sincerely urge Mr. Cypert, if he is dead set on making this into a profitable series, to hire and pay for a professional proof-reader before continuing with selling the second book (and if he did hire one before publishing this one, he should get a refund). I wish him the best, but at this point I wouldn't consider this anywhere close to finished.

In list format I will discuss my problems (and I really hope that the author takes this as constructive criticism because that's how it's meant - I am sorry if it comes off as harsh, but I really think this needs a lot of help):

A note on comments

Just a quick note to let you all know that I've had to disable anonymous comments because of the high number of spam comments this blog has been getting.  If you have a Google account, or any of the accounts listed in the comment box, please feel free to use those to comment.  If you do not have one but do wish to comment in the future, please create one or use the OpenID option.

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Feedback is welcome, as always.

<3

Review: Evan Burl and the Falling

Evan Burl and the FallingEvan Burl and the Falling by Justin Blaney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this (revised) book in exchange for an honest review.

The last time I read this book, I gave it four stars. It didn't feel complete, but I still really enjoyed it. This time around, it is deserving of the five-star rank.

Evan Burl and the Falling is about a boy named Evan who discovers that he's doomed to become a monster. He lives with his uncle who he finds is charged with destroying him. He also lives with a group of girls he calls The Fallings, because they all fell from the sky as babies in boxes, completely unharmed. They appear to be immortal at first, as nothing can truly harm them and their wounds heal very quickly. But as he and they soon find out, they are not immortal at all. And something is causing them to die one by one.

Evan decides he must leave to protect them, but only after he finds out what is causing them to die. Is it him? Is it his uncle? What is happening to these girls he sees as his own sisters? And what is his future? Can he choose not to be a monster?

It's difficult to describe exactly what made me love this book so much. The writing style was great, very fluid and mostly easy to read. I felt so badly for Evan and his struggles with trying to control the sapience. I enjoyed the story immensely, and wanted to keep reading and reading and reading. It was a wonderful piece of fantasy, and only fantasy, which is so rare to see these days (unless you're looking for epic fantasy, of which there is plenty - but this is just simple fantasy).

****THERE ARE SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT****

Free E-Book: Evan Burl and the Falling

Evan Burl and the
Following via Goodreads
Another free download for you all today! I've been given permission by Justin Blaney to share his book Evan Burl and the Falling with you all for a limited time.  He doesn't know how long it will be available for free, so download your copy today.  And if you really enjoy it, please buy a copy!

Evan Burl and the Falling is about a boy named Evan who discovers that he's doomed to become a monster.  He lives with his uncle who he finds is charged with destroying him.  He also lives with a group of girls he calls The Fallings, because they all fell from the sky as babies in boxes, completely unharmed.  They appear to be immortal at first, as nothing can truly harm them and their wounds heal very quickly.  But as he and they soon find out, they are not immortal at all.  And something is causing them to die one by one.

Evan decides he must leave to protect them, but only after he finds out what is causing them to die.  Is it him?  Is it his uncle?  What is happening to these girls he sees as his own sisters?  And what is his future?  Can he choose not to be a monster?

I have read an older version of this book and really enjoyed it.  I'm reading the current version now and loving it so much more.  Justin has done extensive work to the story and expanded it so much that it now feels like a full novel instead of a novella.

If you would like to download a copy of the book, you can find the link here.  If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so on that site, or on Amazon.  If you do download it, Justin requests that you leave an honest review somewhere (Goodreads, Amazon, etc.), so please leave a review when you're finished.

Please comment if you download, and let me know what you think!

Review: Pearls in the Ashes

Pearls in the AshesPearls in the Ashes by Shelagh Meagher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fantastic foray into the history of the persecution of Buddhists and the rise of Communism in Mongolia from the 1930s until the 1990s. Pearls in the Ashes was not on my to-read list, but for some reason I downloaded it anyway. This book was so beautifully written, simple in style and plot but so rich and complex with details. Dash, the main character, is not always likable and not always pitiable. But when he finally gets the chance to redeem himself, I felt powerfully exactly who he was meant to be.

It's a quick read, even though it's a couple hundred pages long (the e-book edition I read was 138 but the description says it's more than 200). The flow is easy and the terminology is also relatively easy to understand. There is a glossary at the back in case you forget what something means.

Beautifully written, and I recommend it to anyone interested in Buddhism, Mongolian history, religious persecution, and stories of hope.

View all my reviews

Review: Eden at the Edge of Midnight

Eden at the Edge of MidnightEden at the Edge of Midnight by John Kerry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Eden at the Edge of Midnight is an adventure story about a teen girl named Sammy who desperately wants to be noticed, and her inadvertent foray into the former garden of Eden, now called Perseopia. When a mysterious old woman asks her to hold onto a bracelet she claims is magic, Sammy thinks she's weird but doesn't believe her. At first.

When Sammy is transported to Perseopia, she meets with danger almost at every turn. But a chance encounter with a dinosaur-like creature named Louis and the man who lives in a house on his back, Mehrak, seems to be her only hope. Can Sammy make it back home to what Mehrak keeps calling the Mother World? Or will she be stuck in Perseopia forever? And is she really the chosen one that the old woman spoke of? Or just another teenager?

I had a great time reading this book, not only for the story but for Sammy's personality. She reminds me so much of myself, and she's completely geeky for science fiction and movies and video games. The pop culture references spattered throughout the book were welcome reminders that there is another world to which Sammy belongs, and that she is a normal teenager who just happens to mean something to someone.

Mehrak's age is never made clear, nor is Hami's, the mage who inserts himself into the journey. But they must have been close enough in age to Sammy for her to be "interested" in both of them. It's never really clear just how much she feels for them, although that kiss at the end (I'm not saying with whom ;)) was pretty nifty. Mehrak is married, but his wife was taken by crabmen and he's on the hunt for her. Hami is convinced Sammy is the chosen child, but his plotting takes so many twists and turns it's always hard to tell whether he truly cares for her or just wants to use her to achieve his own ends.

The end of the book sets it up nicely for book 2, and I wonder what role Sammy will play in the next installment. It looks like the magi are in danger and maybe Sammy will be able to help.

Highly recommended for people who love humor and suspense, with a teen heroine who isn't annoying (for once), and is as big a geek as we fantasy readers tend to be ;)

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Free E-Book: Scapemaker

Hello my faithful readers!  This month, I have a gift for you.  Well, it's not from me, but rather from the author.  Steve Cypert, the author of Scapemaker, is offering electronic copies of his book for free through the month of March.  Exciting, no?  All he asks for in return is an honest review.

I'm excited to share this with you, because I like to be a resource.  If you hear of an author doing the same, please let me know!  I will be reading and reviewing this book later this month, for anyone who's curious.

In the meantime, feel free to download a copy of Scapemaker at this link.  You will need to create a Smashwords account if you don't have one already, but no worries, it's free.  Add the book to your cart, and once in the cart, you can enter the code ZS95Z, then hit "update."  This will make the book free, and then you can go to the download page and get it in pretty much whatever format you want.

The synopsis is below the jump:

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