Tag Archives: book review

ensoulment nick askew

Book Review: Ensoulment, by Nick Askew

I won an ebook copy of Nick Askew‘s Ensoulment through Goodreads.

ensoulment nick askew

Every being is infused with a soul upon their creation, but what would happen if a soul was split?

Running from his troubled past, Andrew arrives in LA, greeted by his loving boyfriend and headed for a night of celebration. When Jack gets down on one knee, the last thing either of them expects is Andrew’s sudden death, a tragedy that sets in motion a chain of events that will alter the fabric of reality itself.

As death thrusts him into a strange world full of outlandish and dangerous inhabitants, Andrew embarks upon a mission to reunite a princess with her long-lost prince. As familiar as it feels, he soon learns shadowy forces are working against him, and nothing in this land is as it appears. Andrew’s in a different kind of fairy tale, and he must seek out the other half of his soul if he ever hopes to find his way home again.

my review

Just yesterday I said I was going to make a concerted effort to be more tactful in my reviews, even negative ones. And here, the very first review I have to write after, I find I have very little positive to say, even when trying.

I’ll be honest. I found this immensely dissatisfying. It took almost a quarter of the book to even figure out what was going on (far too long) and, even then I often barely kept up with the erratic plot and perspective shifts. It was so dedicated to being Bizzaro that the plot itself suffered for it.

Then there is the writing. Some of it is just wrong in an editorial sense, like, “They were cold, tried and looking for any excuse…” But there are quite a lot of sentences that might or might not be wrong, but are just off, odd in a way that pulls you out to the story. Here are a few example.

“The ache in his heart, a pain he worked so hard to rid himself of, took bloom once again.”
—Do things take bloom? They take root, take flight. But do they take bloom…or just bloom?

“I left my wife in bed and crept down the hall to get a better listen.”
—You get a better look, does it work the same way for hearing?

“There was energy to his veracity, almost to the fact she wasn’t sure even he knew the reasons he did the things he did.”
—To the fact….or should it be to the degree?

“We were being precatious.”
—You have caution, you are cautious, you take precautions…Merrian Webber says precautious is a word, but man is it awkward in that sentence. Do we actually use it that way?

“He hoped repeating the name Lily would somehow convert the bird to find her…”
—Are we actually converting the bird—it’s possible in this odd book—or do we mean convince?

“As she attempted to lift her head, the dull pain retreated to sharp.”
—Does dull pain retreat to sharp, or should sharp retreat to dull?

You see what I mean, a lot of it is just a little…well, off. Which might be an authorial choice in a book so very dedicated to it’s own weirdness, but I rather think not. Then the whole thing ends with so little conclusion that I feel it better referred to as a fizzle than a bang.

All in all, I think the author had an interesting idea. The anthropomorphic animals were interesting. I liked Andrew to the degree I could, considering we get to know so little of him. But I’m not interested in reading more of this series.

 

magic for liars

Book Review: Magic For Liars, by Sarah Gailey

It was chore day, so I wanted to listen to an audiobook while I slogged away at them. But none of the ones I have on my Audible cloud looked appealing. Thus, I borrowed Sarah Gailey‘s Magic For Liars from the library.

magic for liars sarah gailey

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magical. She is perfectly happy with her life. She has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

I’ll admit that this was a tad on the slow side, but I generally enjoyed it. And I’ll tell you what I liked about it. I too am a salt-n-pepper woman (like the main character). That makes me 43. I figure Ivy was a bit older, though it’s not explicitly stated. She’s stuck in a high school dealing with teenagers. I have an almost 14 and almost 12 year old. They roll they eyes at me constantly, and generally think they know everything and parents are idiots, as teens are wont to do. The teens in Magic For Liars are the same. And like adults everywhere, Ivy sees right through their act. But because she has a mystery to solve she uses her adult knowledge to get the information she needs. She doesn’t posture and ensure the children know they’re children. As is always so tempting when their mien of superiority gets to be too frustrating. She lets them go right on thinking they’re the smartest people in the room. What parent hasn’t had that feeling while dealing with their teen? Maybe because I too am stuck dealing with tweens/teens in my real like, I found her manipulation of them with their own artifices superbly satisfying.

I did feel sorry for Ivy. She wanted to desperately to be loved, not too unlike all those teens. But her sister just wasn’t capable of it. I really hope the open ending, with the possibility of happiness on that front comes to fruition for her.

Interestingly, this could be read as a parable on the importance of providing access to safe contraceptives and/or abortions. There are certainly some interesting reflections of life and death, beginning, middle, and end of life going on in the book.

All in all, a winner for me.

 

 

fatal illusion

Book Review: Fatal Illusion, by Tameri Etherton

I grabbed a copy of Tameri Etherton‘s Fatal Illusion when it had a freebie day on Amazon.

fatal illusion, by tameri etherton

Don’t believe what you can see.

Fae are disappearing at an alarming rate and Rori MacNair must find out why before civil war ignites between the Seelie and Unseelie queens. When she wakes up alone in a strange forest, she must rely solely on her own wits to prevail against the dark forces rising against her people.

Assassins are taught to trust none but themselves, but Rori rarely plays by the rules. Dare she trust the mysterious stranger Therron when illusions cloud reality and nothing is as it seems? Her life, and those of Faerie might depend upon it.

Therron Mistwalker is hiding a secret. Having forsaken his kingdom, he lives as a thief among the fae, but when Rori enters his life he fears his days of autonomy are at an end. It’s a day he’s been dreading since he was born.

Relations between Faerie and the human realm are about to turn from respectful to hostile, and it’s up to Rori and Therron to find the enchantress responsible. . . if they can get over their differences long enough to do so.

my review

I thought this was amusing, but shallow. There were too many elements plopped into the plot but not elaborated on. There’s a curse to be broken and maybe a fated mate scenario, plus a potential war (that you never really feel the threat of since the queens get along well), evil sorceresses, and a mysterious threat from the human realm. But none of that is delved deeply enough into to grab the readers attention. Honestly, the fact that some of it is mentioned and not integrated into the plot is a big reason I won’t rate this higher. The whole ‘Rori could break Terron’s curse’ thing especially. What’s the curse? How might she break it, etc? It felt VERY left out. Mentioned, but nothing more.

Also, Rori has to be the worst spy ever. And she’s supposed to be a SPY in the book, even though the blurb says assassin. Maybe those two are one and the same and the words can be used interchangeably, but I’d expect to understand that to be the fact, having finished the book if it was the case. But, again, Rori has to be the worst spy ever. Everyone seems to openly know she is one and though Therron (not a spy) knows who she is (a spy), she doesn’t know him or his name despite being the heir to a neighboring kingdom.

All in all, the writing is easily readable. I don’t remember any editing mishaps and I liked the characters well enough. But I felt like I was reading an outline to a book, rather than a wholly developed one.