Saving Sindia by Peggy Edelheit

Good books are really worth curling up with especially on rainy weekend nights. This weekend, I curled up with a one of Samantha Jamison mysteries, Saving Sindia.

REVIEW:

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What is it about?

Samantha went on a solitary vacation in the Ocean City. But as she was expecting a peaceful, away from chaos vacation, odd things began to spring up – a mysterious note that says she’s the lucky chosen one, a woman she bumped with in the boardwalk by the ocean who knew her real identity despite the heavy disguise, and a man who drove a Mercedes car, just to name a few. Then Sam found herself in the midst of mystery that she needed to help solving.

What I Think About It

Peggy Edelheit has a different approach in writing mysteries. The scenes in every chapter are not too heavy – they were as if the mysteries are just part of Sam’s everyday life (which I suppose is really the case owing it to the fact that she’s an author of mystery books). I guess what I am trying to say is that, the scenes and the mysteries in them are just coming naturally. I also loved the little lesson learned portion after each journal entry that I ended up highlighting some of them, although I didn’t enjoy the journal entry parts. I didn’t quite grasp the relevance of them. The chapters were short, which I appreciated, although I suspect that’s also the reason why the story seemed slow-paced (or maybe I am just too inpatient in finding out who or what Sindia really was). And yeah, I also had to admit that I missed the sleuth trio, Martha, Betty and Hazel. I’d never forget their epic skunk shooting back in that Sam’s another mystery A Lethal Time.

Recommendation:

Saving Sindia is a mystery novel that I can categorize as a light read. Comparing to the hardcore mysteries like that of Grisham, Clancy or O’Shaughnessy, Edelheit’s books have this distinction. It’s mystery, and it’s light. Perfect for a lazy afternoon or if you just want to chill. 

The Day of the Dragonking: The Last American Wizard by Edward B. Irving

My brain seems to be wired to think of Harry Potter whenever there’s the word “wizard” involved. It did the same when I saw the title of this book. The word “American” made me stop though. “Oh wait, this should be interesting,” I told so myself.

Review:

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What Is It About?

Steve witnesses a  plane crash not too far from his apartment – he even got himself wounded. It could have been an ultimate disaster, except for the fact that he was the only one who saw what happened. Then he receives a call, offering him an investigative job, and after meeting the blonde girl called Ace Morningstar and experiencing “odd” things with her, he learns that he’s the one-army wizard who can save the world from the bad ones.

What I Think About It

I’ve been thinking – what if the government is packed with people who do magic? What if the terrorists could also do magic? What if all of us are wizards and we just don’t know it yet? When I saw the cover of The Last American Wizard, I thought it was a children’s book. I don’t have anything against kid lit (after finishing the entire HP series for 7 days), it’s just that I thought it would be just like Harry’s story. Which, again, reminds me that I shall not judge a book by its cover. The Last American Wizard is an action-packed sci-fi slash wizarding novel with a mix of humor. For some reason, I kept seeing Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in mind while Steve and Ace is on the scene! And I couldn’t just ignore the fact that I kept on giggling with Steve’s pronouncements. It feels as if the book was written with so much ease and fun that I am thinking the author totally enjoyed writing the story.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation:

If you enjoyed Harry Potter or the movie Jump, then you’d definitely enjoy this book. The Last American Wizard will provide you with action, sci-fi and humor, which I am not sure many books offer.

(This review also appeared on Amazon.)

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.)