Book Review: ‘Ether’ by J.S. Frankel

If I could give ‘Ether’ six stars, I would.

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Jesse Frankel EtherWhat an absolutely brilliant read!

Frankel is a master of inventive stories that surprise and enthral the reader. This book has all the ingredients of a page-turner – mystery, danger, teen angst, an unlikely romance, thugs, and surprise twists – and they’re bundled into a highly unique storyline that hooks the reader in and keeps them hostage until the story is done.

The characters are all crafted with expertise. Sam is a regular guy with flaws, hopes, and struggles that readers will definitely relate to. His responses to the unpredictable turns that his life takes reinforce the reader’s respect for him. Esther is refreshing and very individual, and presents a very strong female character who does far more than merely complementing Sam’s character. Her leadership and initiative are driving forces in the story, which no doubt would have ended very differently without her.

Acorn Award I Golden

‘Ether’ is one of those books that will leave you wondering what on earth you’re going to read next that might possibly compete with the incredible ride you’ve just had. It is most deserving of a Gold Acorn.

Grab your copy today on Kobo, Amazon or Devine Destinies.

Book Review: ‘Cherry Pie or Die’ by CeeCee James

A mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end is always a great discovery to make.

CeeCee James Baker Street 1 Cherry Pie or DieA mystery that keeps the reader guessing right to the end is always a great discovery to make.

‘Cherry Pie Or Die’ is a cozy mystery with a great cast of characters, each of whom is carrying some relics of their own past while on a tour of historic sites in Pennsylvania. None are immediately obvious suspects, while the clues appear to make no sense at all. Georgie Tanner is a well-crafted and complex main character: likeable, smart, and flawed enough to allow the reader to both empathise with her and want to know more of her own story.

With deft strokes, the author draws the threads of the story together without giving too much away, and the reader keeps puzzling away while looking over Georgie’s shoulder.

By the end of the story, the reader feels right at home at the Baker St B&B, and is keen to return for the next mystery. I will definitely be back for another visit.
Acorn Award II Silver

‘Cherry Pie or Die’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Freedom’ by R.M. Gauthier.

‘Freedom’ is a real page-turner, full of intrigue and suspense.

Renee Gauthier LM 3 FreedomThe third and final book in the Mystery of Landon Miller series, Freedom answers the questions that readers have wanted the answers to since reading ‘Control’ and ‘Bound’. Far from being about light-hearted romance and alternative lifestyles, ‘Freedom’ turns the spotlight onto Landon’s experiences and point of view in a way that raises some really important issues.

It’s really great, as someone who has read ‘Control’ and ‘Bound’, to get that different point of view that really opens up the main character and explores his motivations and concerns. It makes it much easier for the reader to empathise with Landon after having felt so much concern and sympathy for Lexi in those previous two books.

I also really appreciated the fact that the author was able to complete the story and maintain continuity with the previous books without going over old ground or telling parts of the story over again. Instead, the events in ‘Freedom’ fit neatly into that story like pieces of a puzzle, completing the bigger picture that carries with it so much more understanding.

If you enjoyed ‘Control’ and ‘Bound’, you really need to read ‘Freedom’ for the answers. If you’ve not read any of this series yet – you should! Not only do these books offer a great mystery/thriller read, they’ll open your eyes to important issues and open your mind to seeing things from different points of view.
Acorn Award I Golden

A real page turner, ‘Freedom’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Scheherazade Cat – The Story Of A War Hero’ by Stephanie C. Fox

A beautiful story of a little cat and how she saved a soldier.

Stephanie C Fox Scheherazade Cat

This beautiful story of a calico kitten and her role in the Gulf War is beautifully written in a straightforward yet heartwarming style that will be enjoyed by older children, but also by adults. The writing is expressive but still easily understood, and the uglier elements of the war are treated gently, although not ignored, so that younger or sensitive readers are not frightened or put off from reading the story.

The cover and illustrations by Milena Radeva are absolutely stunning, capturing both the story and the personality of the kitten as she grew and won her place in the heart of a soldier.

‘The Scheherazade Cat’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in both storytelling and illustration.

Find ‘The Scheherazade Cat’ here.

Book Review: ‘The Blue Serpent’ by Claire Buss

This is a little gem of a book that is well worth reading.

Claire Buss The Blue SerpentHaving recently read and loved ‘The Book Thief’, I was keen to read this brand new collection of flash stories by Claire Buss. They are very different than her excellent novel, but they are great stories nonetheless.

Each story is a brief vignette of a life, a mind, a heart, a soul. Some of them are lighthearted and entertaining, others are much more sobering. I found ‘Possibility’ to be very poignant, while ‘Once Upon a Time’ turned out to be a very powerful commentary on our society that was further developed in ‘Data Stream’.

I appreciated each of these stories for its own qualities, and for the way it made me think about things other than the demands and worries of a busy day. I enjoy reading short stories when life is hectic, and this book has filled bill perfectly.  Acorn Award II Silver

This is a little gem of a book that is well worth reading, and as such, it has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: (Almost) Average Anthology: Tales Of Adventure, Loss and Oddity by Jason Nugent.

A collection that displays the range and power of Nugent’s dark imagination.

Jason Nugent Almost Average AnthologyThis interesting and varied collection opens w ith an astounding personification of death that challenges the reader to confront their fear and think more philosophically about death as an entity rather than an event.

 

Once he has the reader’s attention, Nugent carries them from scene to scene, ranging from bleak to grim, to macabre. Each story delivers a thought-provoking punch or a clever twist that takes the reader by surprise.

 

I chose to enjoy these short stories individually rather than one after another in close succession, and found each one to be very well executed. As a collection, they display the range and power of Nugent’s dark imagination and his ability to deliver each story with a profound effect.

Acorn Award II Silver

This book has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

 

Book Review: ‘Thoughts of You’ by Anthony Beddis

An expressive collection of honest, passionate flash prose. .. but it’s not poetry.

2018-03-11 13.54.55This collection of honest, passionate flash prose is rich in imagery and high expression of the author’s love and desire for the object of his affections. The writing is quite poetic, taking the reader deep into the thoughts and emotions of the author as he expresses his innermost thoughts and feelings.

 

I was bemused, however, to see this book listed as poetry. It is definitely intimate and expressive, but it is also definitely prose as it is written in the form of full sentences, in paragraphs, arranged as such. Use of imagery, regardless of frequency or consistency, does not in itself define one’s writing as poetry.

 

The reader does develop a profound sense of intimacy with the author, sharing as one does in his most personal and honest moments with his beloved. His thoughts and feelings are highly relatable and his absolute honesty is disarming.

 

This is an enjoyable book that fulfils the purpose revealed in the title: these are the thoughts that fill the author’s mind and soul each day, demonstrating his adoration of, and also his commitment to, the lucky person who consumes him so powerfully. Acorn Award III Bronze

 

Book Squirrel has awarded this book a Bronze Acorn because while the writing really is lovely and I did enjoy it, it’s not actually poetry and should not be marketed as such.