The Quest of the Thirteen by John DeFilippis

I haven’t read an epic fantasy book before, so I should say this is my first time. And as much as I wanted to have myself confined into reading romance, horror and suspense, I realized that adventures when it comes to book reading is quite satisfying too. The Quest of the Thirteen is another breath of fresh air into my now wide-ranging genre of book collection.

Review:

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What Is It About?

The Kingdom of Mavinor needs a new king, or at least, that’s what Onestus, the current King of Mavinor thinks. Gone were the days when he could protect the walls of his kingdom, due to the lessened strength and capability to join the battle because of his age. Having no children to succeed to his throne, he assigned The Scribes of the kingdom to look through The Scrolls on how to choose the next ruler of kingdom. Then they found out about Haggiselm, the old Mavinor ruler and his quest for the warriors to determine the rightful heir to the throne. Onestus then chose thirteen warriors and assigned them the ultimate quest of finding the Medallion of Mavinor, and whoever find it shall succeed Onestus in ruling the kingdom.

What I Think About It

Like I have mentioned, the book is a breath of fresh air for me since it is my first time to read epic fantasy. I thought this would bore me off, but it surprised me because it caught my interest. It was a struggle for me in the first part, yes, and it didn’t help that I have this impression that epic fantasy books have a knack of using heavy but not too Shakespearean English words. At first I imagined myself watching that old Ten Commandments movie, but as I made progress, I find myself like I am watching episodes of Once Upon a Time. I love the fact that the author used light words, and this is advantageous for epic-book-beginners like me. Needless to say, I ended up reading the book up until the end. I should add that this is not the kind of book I would normally have for my bedtime read, but it worked.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation:

If you are a big fan of epic fantasy books, then this is definitely a gem to add to your collection. If you are like me, who haven’t read epic fantasy all his life but need a new genre to read, I’ll recommend this as well. It’s not too light nor too heavy so you’ll absolutely enjoy it.

(This review also appeared in Amazon.)

Ironheart: The Primal Deception by Dakota Kemp

It’s another sci-fi book and as much as I prefer to read romance, mystery and YA adventure, it feels like my clouded judgment when it comes to sci-fi books is becoming clearer.

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What is it about?

Jack’s life has been all about survival. After his dad died and his mom left him and his brothers, he did what it took to survive one day at a time. Until he and his brother was unexpectedly hired by Fist, an underground mob boss and have them joined in his gang.  After their hide out is being raided, Jack finds himself with Freedom, an enigmatic revolutionary with deep hatred for the Primal Empire. Soon Jack recognizes himself as the most important pawn in a chess-like command of forces behind him.

What I Think About It?

To be honest, I haven’t taken so much liking with book that have prologues in them. There are books with prologues that don’t really feel like they’re relevant at all, and I felt the same for this book. I mean, it did not catch my interest, reading the first few pages or I was under the impression that this is going to be a hardcore boy book (yes, I’ve learned to refer sci-fi books as boy books). Anyway, after the prologue though, here comes Jack – an orphan teenager whose life mission is to become one of the most outstanding gangster (or at least that’s what I thought). His backstory was just so damn painful that I understood why he ended up not fearing death at all. I believe this is important, and the effectiveness of the back story being written made me connect to Jack’s character.  The mention of the Illuminati priests and the orphanage run by them caught my interest too. I have only read them in another book which happens to be Dan Brown’s, and I didn’t have any idea which of the books has the more accurate description of them.

As for the Primals, I honestly had a hard time imagining what they truly were despite the fact that the author has a very well-crafted description. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I am just starting to appreciate these kinds of book. Although, I should say that this is the kind of plot I’d go for in the movie. I think this will be a brilliant movie.

Recommendation

If you are a hardcore sci-fi book reader, then this is definitely a book that should be in your TBR list. But then again, I am not a hardcore sci-fi reader and I enjoyed it as much. 

Armageddon by Don Mardak

I’m starting to train myself not to judge the book by its cover. When I saw the cover of this book, I immediately thought of another modern sci-fi book. But after several pages, I was brought to another dimension conjured by the creative mind of Don Mardak.

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What Is It About?

A nuclear holocaust is going to happen, and as the United States military is doing everything in its power to prevent the said world destruction, Eric is being trained by a Tibetan monk called Shimahn to travel back in time to stop it from happening. Eric has to try to go back in time three times – and change something in there that would prevent the possible “end of the world” from happening.

What I Think About It?

The first few pages of the book made me feel like I was reading a scholastic material, something more of a non-fiction academic book and it was an info-overload-kind of experience for me. What caught my interest in this book is the manner in which Eric has to save the world – time travelling. The concept of time travelling in this book is different from the other books I’ve read (e.g. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), which I think is great, because then we have lots of ideas and means on how to travel forward and backward in time. I wasn’t sure though what kind of religious belief Shimahn has for he talks about God and archbishops, and Catholics do not have reincarnations and past life in their doctrines. Anyway, the concept of time travel to keep the world from destruction is a little bit tricky but exciting. First, what if Eric failed to undo or redo whatever it was that that he needs to? Surely there would be a different outcome in the future. What if Eric wasn’t able to come back forward in time, or killed while he’s back in time? Well, this was explained by the Shimahn in the book, but these were the questions that kept me thinking. I mean, I might consider going back in time if it’s really possible.

RECOMMENDATION:

Armageddon is a fascinating read. I am not a fan of sci-fi and war books (I’m a big fan of romance), but this definitely got me intrigued. The little patience I had with sci-fi books seemed to have grown, I think.

Face of Our Fathers by G. Egore Pitir

When I saw the cover of this book, I figured I would have a hard time to finish reading it. I am a bookworm, sure, but sometimes I have a little patience with historical suspense.

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REVIEW

What Is It About?

Stu and Angie Pierce are a couple who are out there reinventing their lives. Stu is a pilot who takes lesser flying schedule for triathlon training, while Angie does pro bono work as a human rights lawyer. They agreed long ago not to meddle with the other’s business, but when Stu saw a photo of a bruised girl in Angie’s files, he sets out to protect her without even knowing what the real danger is.

What I Think About It

I thought the prologue was something relevant to one of the middle chapters of the book, but when I started reading the story proper, I realized that the book actually has a modern setting and I am spared of reading a historical suspense. First of all, I admire Stu’s determination to respect what he and his wife agreed to. He doesn’t want to betray her trust in not looking into her legal files, but of course, his big time curiosity failed him. It’s just that Stu kept himself in the agony of thinking about all the possible dangers his wife might be facing, when he could have just asked Angie about it straightaway. I sincerely believe Angie should be forgiving.

Thing is, this book has a lot of words dedicated to the back story of the characters, which hid (this is just me, though) or concealed the real message of the entire story. I figured the story is about global terrorism, but I was way to absorbed in the back stories that sometimes I forget what was it about I am reading.

If you are into suspense and is fascinated about books that has a lot twists and turns, the you definitely have to read this book. Get on Amazon for $0.99.

I Heart Geeks by Various Authors

Whenever I go to the bookstore for some new reads, I can’t help but notice the prominent selection of contemporary romance books, both adult and new adult that featured alpha males. Well, who’d want a limp guy for a love interest, at least in a novel anyway? I Heart Geeks is totally different. I would totally agree if one would say that this is a celebration of all the guys out there whose geekiness is worth falling for.

REVIEW:

What Is It About?

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Edited and compiled by Susan Renee Page, I Heart Geeks is a compilation of romance short story that features cosplaying. There are seven stories in the book, all of which are written by different authors. Although there are different meet and greets and twists to the love stories, it brought me to another dimension which I have thought of a little before – the world of cosplaying and gaming characters.

What I Think About It?

Cosplaying is something I never considered doing, simply because I was not interested in online gaming, and I had the littlest patience with anime programs and characters. But of course, this didn’t waver my fascination in reading I Heart Geeks because like I said, it brought me to another dimension. I couldn’t relate with all the fuss about how the ’70s Catwoman is different from the contemporary Batgirl, or who is Joss Whedon. However, the fluttering sensation in the stomach brought about by having an eye-to-eye contact with someone I really like or maybe the unlikely come back of that guy who ditched me years before were just some of the things I could totally relate about. Although all the stories in the anthology gave me toe-curling scenes in a wholesome kind of way,  my favorite of all is Goldstar. The story featured a girl who is unknowingly about to have a face-to-face with her “the one who got away”.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

RECOMMENDATION:

If you are into romance, I Heart Geeks is something worthy of your collection. It’s a different taste of romance for it’s wholesomeness and geekiness. Oh and yeah, I appreciate geek guys. In real life, that is. Get in from Amazon for $5.39.

(This review also appeared on Amazon.)

Shock Collar by Darren Van Gramberg

Shock Collar is the second installment of Trauma Baby which is a trilogy by Darren Van Gramberg. In this second book, we are taken in the further realms of David’s deep and intellectual thinking.

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What Is It About?

After what happened between David and Isaac which left Lucy in a coma, they were being sent to juvenile jail. David was assigned to Manrazor, a juvenile prison which is known as the place for the most delinquent of all. There he meets the different kinds of juvenile delinquents, a pretty therapist and a woman from his past that would help him figure out what to do once he gets out of jail.

What I Think About It?

The setting strongly reminds me of Last Night I Sang to the Monster, most probably because of the jail, and also because of how the author narrates from David’s point of view. It seems to me that the children in Manrazor are all well taken care of, considering that they are in jail. Imagine a good set of meals three times a day, a place to sleep and to shower plus monetary allowance – if I am a teenage recluse, I may just want to commit a crime and be brought to prison than stay out cold and hungry! 😂 But this is not what David expected. People should be harsh and misbehaved, considering that he’s with kids who supposedly committed crimes. He eyed some potential bullies, like Frank and Antonio, both of whom he made peace in the end. He didn’t fully rest though, in finding out who’s behind the “tax collection” among the inmates.

Being in prison gave David the time to contemplate about his life, and h even considered his future once he got out. With the help of the young therapist Emma and his former teacher Ms. Ellison, he was able to map out what he was going to do. Certainly, fiction or not, this only signifies that all of us deserves second chances. I can’t wait for the final installment and see what happens with him and Lucy.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

RECOMMENDATION:

This book could be your bedside table read. You won’t even know you have to read a prequel in order to follow through which I think is fantastic. I think this is something that should be asked to be read by students in school.

Get it from Amazon for $0.99.

Caitlin’s Cruise by Caitlin Dinoski

I am not a movie buff. If you would take a look at my official blog (that’s bethgstories.wordpress.com by the way), I have a category there that says On The Big Screen, but it doesn’t have a lot of posts. However, this book, Caitlin’s Cruise is something that makes me think twice about being a movie buff.

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REVIEW

What Is It About?

Caitlin’s Cruise is a compilation of the author’s thoughts and reviews about all of the Tom Cruise movies. Caitlin’s not a big fan – no. Her husband, on the other hand is such a huge fan that he urged her to see all these movies. She was a bit reluctant but in the end, she agreed to do it, but she said she might as well blog about it.

What I Think About It?

Caitlin’s such a fantastic reviewer, and that’s not an overstatement. In all of the 38 Tom Cruise films she saw and reviewed, I must admit I only saw 3 – The Firm, Knight and Day and Jerry Maguire. I watched The Firm because of the novel. I saw Knight and Day because of the romantic angle. Then there’s this boy I liked so much and he can’t stop talking about Jerry Maguire, and I don’t have any idea about it, so I tried saving myself (LOL!). Upon reading all of Caitlin’s reviews, it makes me wonder what if I do the same? See all Will Smith films or Channing Tatum and review them all and make a book out of it. What do you think?

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

RECOMMENDATION:

If you are trying to look for an honest review about Tom Cruise films, or maybe want to get an insight on how to write a cool review, read Caitlin’s Cruise.