Review: Eric754

Eric+754Review of ERIC 754 by Donna McDonald

Rated 4 out of 5 stars. Entertaining; I can’t wait to read more in this series.

Readers who are hardcore sci-fi fans should be aware that this novel is less Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury and more Jane Ann Krentz or Sandra Brown. This is a romance in futuristic clothing; fun to read and intriguing enough to cause reader interest in the other books in this series, but definitely lacking in the science aspect of science fiction.

This series of novels follows the love lives of several cyborg soldiers (think the ultimate six million dollar man) as they try to come to terms with not only their uncertain future as war turns to peace, but also their relationships with human (and semi-human) females as they discern how much of their own humanity remains intact.

Eric 754 has survived many reconstructions and upgrades, so he knows what is in store for cyborg Lucy when her violent military programming and illicit Companion programming are about to be restructured, turning Lucy into something or someone not yet determined. No one can predict how Lucy will function or how much of her own consciousness will survive the extreme changes to her mechanical identity, but Eric is determined to stick by Lucy no matter what. He is committed to loving her, whether or not he can ever again convince her to feel the same way about him.

The love story is loaded with conflicts and adventures, cyber warfare and espionage, daring escapes and brave battles, so it is never dull. The narrative style is sometimes unsophisticated, even slightly immature, but the story moves along, keeping the reader interested and caring about the characters. Even with its occasional narrative weakness, the book entertained me enough that I immediately ordered another book from the series and look forward to reading it soon.

Caveat: Not for kids. These are soldiers, remember, and this is a romance novel for adult readers, with adult themes. Expect some profane language and some sexually charged dialogue. Lovemaking is dealt with tastefully, but couples are not always married or monogamous. 

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SCHIFFLEBEIN’S FOLLY Wins Award

Schifflebein'sFollyFinal-FJM_ARE_200x300  Readers and voters on Wattpad.com have named SCHIFFLEBEIN’S FOLLY winner of the Paranormal category in Wattpad’s PROJECTWD Awards 2016.

The family comedy steps into supernatural territory with several nonhuman supporting characters, including one sarcastic talking teapot.  Thus, the novel was included in the Paranormal fiction category on Wattpad.

68747470733a2f2f73332e616d617a6f6e6177732e636f6d2f776174747061642d6d656469612d736572766963652f53746f7279496d6167652f2d4a387467484a6c33677a4869513d3d2d342e313436343964393134303133653361623230343332333735353432392e6a7067PROJECTWD is the moniker of the Project Writer Development campaign, run by Wattpad members to recognize undiscovered, little known authors and works.  To enter, books had to have gained less than 15,000 readers to date (SCHIFFLEBEIN has just under 4,000), and the author must have fewer than 1,000 “followers,” or Wattpad reading fans. (Iris Chacon, author of SCHIFFLEBEIN’S FOLLY, has fewer than 700.)

This is the first year for the PROJECTWD Awards, and hopefully its organizers and administrators will be back in 2017 for the second campaign.

Read SHIFFLEBEIN’S FOLLY for free on its Wattpad page, or buy the book in paperback or ebook form on Amazon.

Review of WAER, by Meg Caddy

Shifters Lowell and Lycaea are opposites, he a shepherd and peaceful family man as contented in his wolf form as he is in his human one; she a loner, criminal, torturer and tortured, who refuses to shift to her wolf form even though she pays a terrible price for that refusal. They will endure much, and conquer some, together when the evil Kudienn faces the semi-benevolent Watchers in war for the mystic land on which they live.

WAER cvrMeg Caddy has created a medieval sort of world peopled with fascinating, often lovable, beings whose struggles against overwhelming evil captivate and enthrall the reader. The spirit of the story is ethereal and magically charged, and the language is eldritch and often poetic. I found myself highlighting passages for their beautiful prose.

The tragedies and blessings that Lowell and Lycaea share are recounted in chapters written in first person from his POV and then hers, alternating throughout the book. It is a page-turner destined to be loved by fans of The Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings, and Caddy is sure to become a popular story-teller in the line of the Grimms, Hans Christian Anderson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R.Tolkien.

Suitable for middle grades to adult ages, with minimal strong language and battle scenes, no explicit sex.

A complimentary download was provided by NetGalley.com in exchange for an objective review.

Review: THE SILENT VOICE, by Christopher Hodder-Williams

In Christopher Hodder-Williams’ science fiction novel, THE SILENT VOICE, four astronauts return from a lengthy Mars mission to find their world is not as they remember it.

Except for these four men, every human they encounter is under the delusion that nuclear war hassilent voice cvr decimated the planet, killing and displacing millions and laying waste to cities, land, and the infrastructure of civilization.  Their own senses tell the astronauts that nothing has been destroyed, there are no casualties, and — most disturbing of all — no one is in charge.

In this constantly surprising, and always intriguing, novel, the handful of “normal” humans remaining must overcome their differences and weaknesses to determine the cause of the mass deception and somehow restore the world as they knew it. Their mission will keep readers guessing through instances of humor, fear, romance, suspicion, adventure, and courage against all odds.

This story was first published in 1977, so readers who bear that in mind will be impressed with the author’s prescience. The early date also explains the story’s reference to cassette tape recordings and pay phones, inasmuch as digital recording and cellular phones were decades in the future.

The story is told through the recorded diary entries of the mission psychologist, lending depth of personality and greater intimacy between narrator and reader.

Fans of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Terminator” will feel right at home with this story. The author writes convincingly of NASA procedures, which deepens the reader’s “it-could-happen” sentiments.

This book does not contain offensive or prurient material and is suitable for readers of any age.

A complimentary download was furnished to the reviewer via NetGalley.com in exchange for an objective review.

 

 

 

 

Review of MUST LOVE GHOSTS by Ani Gonzalez

Author Ani Gozalez deserves hmust-love-ghostsigh marks for a happy, unhorrible, haunting tale.

Abby lives in Banshee Creek, Virginia, a town where every day is Halloween. In fact, the town’s people are trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records as the “most haunted town.”

Abby’s fiance, Cole, was a pillar of the community and an avid participant in the town’s bizarre activities until his death in Afghanistan two years ago. Now, his best friend, Matt, is back from overseas and has something he must deliver personally to Abby.

Readers will enjoy how thoroughly and gleefully the author has built the town of Banshee Creek, with its quirky legends and even quirkier people. The reader identifies with poor Matt, a serious guy, who never shared Cole’s love for unexplained weirdness, but who secretly shared Cole’s love for Abby.

The people and events in this town will constantly surprise and amaze, and may even cause Matt to admit his feelings for his best friend’s girl.

This is one of a series of novels and novellas about the denizens of Banshee Creek, and all indications are the series will be treasured — and each new book eagerly anticipated — by happy readers. It is a delightful blend of kookiness, sweetness, and romance. (No foul language, erotic explicit sex, or gory horror.)

Warm, Captivating, and Fascinating

 

Review of Sarah’s Orphans, by Vanetta Chapman

Book 3 in the Plain and Simple Miracles series

Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon, 2016

 

 

At only 23, Sarah Yoder has been taking care of her four younger brothers, the family house, and their small, struggling farm for years. Ironically, when her abusive bipolar Dat dies and her mentally-ill Mamm runs away, Sarah’s life gets a bit easier. A very little bit. Even with the help of her younger brothers, Sarah will have a hellish load of responsibilities. The farm may, in fact, soon be foreclosed and auctioned off.

Sarahs Orphans cvr

Vanetta Chapman has written a charming, enthralling story set in the Amish community of Cody, Oklahoma. We immediately sympathize with and respect young, hardworking Sarah, and it is hard to put the book down until we know her fate.

 

Sarah is aided by her faith, her Amish friends, and even the new owner of the dilapidated farm next door — who happens to be an Amish bachelor. There are some predictable elements, but there are also some unexpected twists in the plot. The narrative is filled with Amish cultural references and Biblical expressions. Christian readers will be gratified at how smoothly the elements of faith are integrated into Sarah’s story, as indeed they would be in Sarah’s life.

 

The writing style is clear, articulate, and sweet. This is the third book in the Plain and Simple Miracles series, and I enjoyed it enough that I am eager to read the first two novels.