Monday, November 10, 2014

Solomon's Freedom by Dennis Meredith

This is the first time I have tried one of Dennis Meredith's novels and I have to say he has a new fan. I was enthralled with this novel right from the beginning. The main premise of the novel is simple. Do chimpanzees have the same legal rights as humans do considering that 99.9% of human and chimpanzee DNA is the same? 
Dennis Meredith explores this thought provoking question in the form of Solomon, a very bright chimpanzee who has learned from a very young age to communicate by the use of computer images that symbolize language. The question arises when Solomon's owner mistakenly allows him to be sold to a millionaire who wants to harvest Solomon's heart for his own use. What follows is a fast paced and well thought out story that examines the ethical issue of whether our closest living relative deserves the same respect and dignity that humans have. 
I found the novel brought to life this very important issue and I became so involved in the story that I had tears in my eyes after staying up to read it to the finish. Highly recommended. I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Last Orphans by Neil. W. Harris

I was very fortunate to be offered this book to read in exchange for an honest review as I had my eye on it for awhile. I thought it would be good but it turned out to be even better than I anticipated.
What would you do if all of a sudden all of the adults in the world died and only teens were left to look after younger children while a ticking time bomb picked off the older kids one kid at a time.
It is a very different take on the typical end of the world scenario and it reminds me of an early Stephen King novel. All in all, the story blew me away. I was absorbed from the beginning and the excitement never let up. The author is very skilled at describing this new and frightening world and knows how to bring it to life. The characters were all believable especially the main character's internal struggle to rise above his personal feelings and lead the others to safety.
I am very grateful that I was able to read this wonderful book and cannot wait for the next book in the series. I am hooked!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Inner Path: Awakening to a More Spiritual Life by Geoff Bell-Devaney

I actually finished this book three days ago but had to really think how to word what I wanted to say in my review. I found the book to be very truthful and informative for the mind and soul. I only wish that there was a way that the author could include work sessions (as a dual reading and workbook) to bring the ideas home in a real way. I did read this on ebook format though so I understand that it might not be a feasible idea. It is one of those books that has such great ideas for how we should view our lives that I will be keeping it and reading it again. I would also buy a copy of a paperback if it included a workbook to work on the ideas suggested. I want to thank the author for giving me a chance on reading this book. I received it for free on LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Promises and Perceptions by Rachael Elizabeth Cole

I actually finished this a couple of days ago. I was given this on LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. I didn't find it all that much like Jane Austen but found it to be a cute short story. It is an easy and fast read. There was not enough space to develop the characters or plot more though. I would love to see this expanded in a full novel. It definitely has potential.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Prediction by Darren Sugrue

I received this review copy from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, the novel deals with issues such as the loss of a child and domestic abuse so be aware. I was absolutely blown away with this book from the beginning to finish. The author did an incredible job of making it a fast paced novel that draws you in but also takes the time to develop the main characters. I had great difficulty putting it down. It is based on a mathematical genius who has developed a formula that can predict the date of a person's death. Things don't go as planned and he is drawn away from his life as a crane operator back to the mathematical world of probability. I can honestly say that this is one of the BEST books I have read so far this year. It was a fantastic, enjoyable, and yes emotional read. I was in tears at the end. Prediction is well written, fast paced and very suspenseful. I would definitely recommend it. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Halfway House by Weston Ochse

I enjoy many types of genre but my absolute favorite is the horror genre. I have to admit that I was "spoiled" by Stephen King. The way I judge a horror novel is if I like and want to know more about some of the main characters and if there is some "meat" to the story and it is not just a plain "blood and guts" horror fest. I have been disappointed so many times that when I first started to read this book, I assumed it would probably be an ABC type of horror book. I am pleased to say that I was very wrong. It is a horror novel but is so much more. It is a view of urban life, and in particular, gang life, surfer life style, and orphans. The center of the story is the Halfway House and orbiting it are a few very interesting characters. Lucy, the gang leader, Kanga, the seasoned surfer, and Bobby, the epileptic/loner searching for his place. I actually grew to care about Bobby and surprisingly, Lucy. I received this book for free on LibraryThing in return for an honest review and am glad I did. I have actually found a new (for me) author in my favorite genre. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Those Devils by James DeSantis

I received this short story for free in exchange for an honest review. The first story I read from this author was "Sons". I had found it to be very original and intriguing and was interested in finding out what else he would come up with. "Those Devils" does not disappoint. The horror genre has been around for a long time and it can be hard to find something different and out of the ordinary. I was drawn in from the beginning and didn't put it down until I was finished. I am really enjoying the writing style. I can't wait to read the sequel!

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

I was curious after seeing the movie and decided to read the book. I understand that there is controversy regarding this book as to whether or not it is respectful enough for the Holocaust. I understand the concern but I also feel that the author's intentions (very important) were sincere in that he wanted to explain the Holocaust in words young people could understand. I don't feel it is trivializing the Holocaust at all though there are a couple of historical inaccuracies in it that an expert on the subject discussed in an article about the book. It was touching and sad at the same time. I would recommend it to people ages 13+ considering the subject matter and a harrowing scene at the end.

Under an Evil Star by Annette Ranald

I received this book though Librarything for free in exchange for an honest review. It is about the Donner Party as told by Louis Keseberg who was one of the survivors. The Donner Party tragedy is remembered for a variety of reasons including the cannibalism which took place. There has always been controversy concerning Louis Keseberg, cannibalism and murder.
I have always been interested in the story of the Donner Party and this book did not let me down. I found it to be very interesting although a few facts were left out and there were a couple of inaccuracies. It really gives you pause for thought as to whether history needs to rewrite Louis Keseberg and his role in this sad piece of history. I found the description of the dire circumstances faced by the party and the first person narrative of Louis Keseberg very convincing. Overall, I found the book a very enjoyable read and I was transported not only to the harsh winter of 1846-47 that they faced but also into the mind of a man who very possibly has been condemned by history. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the Donner Party tragedy.

Blueberry Hill by Bette Lee Crosby

This was one incredible book. It drew me in right from the beginning and never let go until the end. It is a memoir of sorts (using the author's own description) about two sisters and the different life paths they take and the resulting consequence. It is also about the life long bond that siblings can have and the underlying love that is always there. It is written from the heart and reaches deep into your soul. If you have ever loved someone through thick and thin then this book is for you. I never had a sister but I did have a mother who went through much the same as Donna did. It brought back so many tears and memories. I am touched that the author was willing to share something so personal with her reader and I am very grateful and honoured that Bette Lee Crosby let me read her book in exchange for a review (Library Thing). Thank you so much for giving me a chance. You have won a new fan :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

MH 370: By Accident or Design by Peter Lee

I received this book from Library Thing to read and review. There have been so many conspiracy theories and I am glad that this book did not provide yet another "out there" theory. The author appears to have the relevant background and training to be able to piece together a more plausible scenario using logic and his own experience. He does briefly delve into the more outlandish theories but explains why they are not reasonable. He is able to put together a possible explanation with what little evidence there is and also is honest in admitting that as more is known about this mystery, the book may be updated. I found the book technical but not too technical and I appreciate how he has tried to explain aircraft procedures and technology in a way that lay people can understand. I would recommend this book if you are interested in the mystery of MH 370.

Eden's Ore Secrets by B.V. Bayley

What a great read! I was hooked from the beginning. The author set the scene and pace very quickly but left time to develop the characters very well. I had a hard time putting this book down. It had a very original idea and was a fantastic and enthralling story from start to finish. I can't wait to read more from B.V. Bayly.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Way Out: A True Account of Schizophrenia by Walter Thomas Morton

I found this to be a very disturbing and honest account of what it is like to have schizophrenia. I found it a bit disjointed and hard to read at certain times but I think that this was intended by the author to show you what is going on in the schizophrenic mind.
Eugene starts off as a regular well educated and working adult but as the illness takes over he has to deal with homelessness, joblessness, and being barely able to survive.
I found the story to be very stark and sincere. I want to thank the author for offering me to read the book with no request for a review. I wanted to do one because I think this is an important book for people who want to understand what schizophrenia is and how it affects those who have it. Hopefully, it will also help others who do have it to know they are not alone. Highly recommended.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Graveyard Scavenger Hunt by Brian Barnett

This book was so much fun to read. The author was kind enough to give me a copy to read and review.
It is creepy right from the beginning but not too much. The characters had me smiling throughout the book.  One of the things I look for in a good book is whether I am “transported” to the scene in the book. He definitely nailed it. I had a movie going in my imagination that I could see vividly. 
I can’t wait for for my daughter to read it and also to read it to my other children. It is a wonderful introduction to the horror genre for children. I am looking forward to reading other novels the author has written. Thank you for letting me read this gem of a book!