Posts Tagged ‘Review’

NEW REVIEW Karen Victoria Smith’s Dark Dealings

Friday, June 1st, 2012

In Karen Victoria Smith’s urban fantasy, Dark Dealings, the mystical world overlaps reality through sabotage, murder and magic. Investment banker Micaela O’Brien has spent her entire life trying to forget the day her parent’s plane exploded over northern Dublin leaving her to explain how she was the sole survivor of the tragic event. Left under the care of her grandmother, Micaela quickly learned that she was not like her friends for she had visions and understandings that went well beyond her youth. After years of tamping her visions down, even convincing herself that they may have been caused by something medically wrong, she has learned to live her life without the nightmares and visions that plagued her youth.

That is until the deal of a lifetime brings everything back. Not knowing who to trust, Micaela is left to turn to the one thing she denied herself all these years, her visions.

Smith’s writing is spot on. Her characters are well thought out and developed and she reveals just enough about the players without giving too much of the story away. At first there does seem to be an influx of characters in the beginning of the story but Smith handles the character development well, quickly fleshing out a spot for each of the main characters in the reader’s head. I quickly came to understand and feel for Micaela as she fought for clarity and safety as her visions returned and her world was threatened by an unknown villain.

I would have liked to know more about her parents. They seem to have been highly respected and regarded in her grandmother’s Druid community, but the details about the explosion and how Micaela survived it (and what that meant) were few. It’s mentioned a few times in regards to her gift and legacy but never exactly what happened or why she survived.

I appreciated the different layers of story telling Smith infused into her work. Suspense, action, magic, mystery, all with a dash of romance, created an extremely well written story about a woman discovering her true path in life. Smith’s voice is strong and seasoned and I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the urban fantasy genre.

Review of Karen Wyle’s Science Fiction Novel Twin Bred

Monday, May 28th, 2012

In Karen Wyle’s science fiction novel, Twin Bred, humans have been living on a distant planet called Tofran for seventy years and have yet to find a way to communicate with the native species, the Tofa.

The Tofa don’t communicate through words, their faces are featureless so reading their expressions is out of the question and they emit odd smells at seemingly random times. Due to miscommunications and confusion, tensions between the two groups have been growing and the council is desperate for any sort of intervention. Scientist Mara Cadell, who has an obsession with twins after learning she lost a twin brother in utero, thinks she has the answer.  Her plan is to implant one human embryo and one alien embryo into host mothers. With the hope of using the scientific fact that twins have special ways of communicating between each other, Mara sets out to create special sets of twins specifically designed to bridge the gap between the two species.

Unfortunately, no matter how carefully engineered the experiment was, Mara couldn’t control certain important elements such as human ignorance and prejudices. As outside influences try to destroy the work she has dedicated her life to she starts to question the morality of her actions while trying to push through to achieve their one true goal of unification.

I have to say that Twin Bred is more science than I’m used to but Wyle handled the explanations, details and intricacies of the plot dealing with breeding people and aliens together quite well. Details concerning the sociological and psychological consequences of inseminating women with both human and alien embryos as well as the effects on the children themselves were carefully handled within the story. Wyle’s writing was meticulous in order to help even non sci-fi readers, such as myself, understand the specifics of the experiments without having it go over her reader’s heads.

The relationship between Mara and Levi was an interesting twist to the story and I think it really kicked up the psychological aspect of the story. I actually wish there was more time dedicated to their relationship. Wyle infused the story with a number of different characters to give a fuller and more detailed look at all the players involved in the experiment, (the scientists, the neighboring Tofa, the government officials, the twin bred, the host mothers, civilians) however at times it became too many points of view. By reading up on everyone’s stance on what was going on around them some of the characters who started out strong, like Laura, a host mother, lost steam as the story progressed.

However, with that said I found Mara to be a well developed and strong character. I loved how Levi was her voice of reason and the moments at the end of the novel involving her, Levi and the Tofa were tenderly moving.

Using science, psychology, and good intentions Wyle put together an interesting, thought-provoking read that any science fiction fan will love.

New Review of the Serial Bone Wires by Michael Shean

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

When I last reviewed Michael Shean’s Bone Wires, a cyberpunk noir featured weekly on Curiosity Quills, Detective Daniel Gray had just found the first homicide victim missing his spine. Now in its fifteenth week, two more bodies were discovered with their spines removed adding pressure on Gray to solve the case. Since the beginning of the serial, Detective Gray had his sights on that amber shield and with the identity of the bone thief now known, but not yet captured, he has finally achieved the shield and notoriety he so desired. However, with the killer still on the loose and being forced to accept an assignment for a Senior Vice Detective, Gray is learning that the road to the success he dreamed of is not as smooth and steady as he once thought.

Bone Wires is my first dive into not only reviewing but reading a serial. I was curious about how the pacing would flow and so far the story has moved along nicely. Shean balances development of the case with the development of the characters beautifully within each installment. His placement of plot points, introductions of new characters along with the further development of existing characters are well thought out and keep the story moving fluidly from week to week. (more…)

Review of Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

 

Rachel Abbott’s Only the Innocent is not your average “who dunnit” murder mystery. The question that drives this thriller is not “who” did it, but “why”. Abbott carefully constructed a world of mystery, depravity, sex, violence, manipulation and intrigue on so many different levels that I can honestly say you truly have to read until the last page to understand and appreciate the complexity of the story.

 

Philanthropist Hugo Fletcher is known world wide for his charitable works rescuing Eastern-European prostitutes from their dark world and giving them a second chance with a new job and foster family. However, there is a darkness to him that the flashing bulbs of the cameras hide. When he is found dead in the middle of sexual act, it is up to Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas to uncover the truth behind Hugo’s all too perfect public persona and unmask the vileness that was known to only those closest to him. It seems everyone who comes in contact with Hugo has a secret and it’s Douglas’ job to weave through the tangled web of deception and perversion to find the killer. (more…)

Review of Headhunters by Charlie Cole

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

In Charlie Cole’s Headhunters, Simon Parks is one of the best headhunters at Blackthorn, an antiterrorist cell operating outside the confines of the US government. But after losing his wife in a tragic car accident Simon relocates his family in hopes of leaving behind the spy game and focusing his attention on his two children. Only what Simon doesn’t realize is that no matter how far away he runs he is forever tied to his past; a past that doesn’t want to let him go.

From page one, Cole immerses his readers into a fast paced thriller where he orchestrates the twists and turns of a thriller suspense with fluid ease and expertise. Cole’s tone and voice in the story is one of a seasoned writer and belies the fact that this is his debut novel. (more…)