Book Review: The Undernet by J.S. Frankel

‘The Undernet’ by J. S. Frankel brings new definition to the age-old contest between good and evil, and between truth and deceit as a young man seeks answers that seem determined to remain hidden.

Jesse Frankel The Undernet

Frankel has crafted realistic, likeable and engaging central characters in Milt and his girlfriend, Robbie.  They’re not perfect, and their mistakes have consequences, which makes them easier to empathise with and understand. Insights into Milt’s thoughts and gut reactions, and his feelings about Robbie, draw the reader into the often very confronting story of his quest for justice and truth.

Part of Frankel’s genius in casting this story is designing characters who live and work in the shadows, so that the reader has to keep questioning whether they are the good guys or the bad guys. There are so many layers of intrigue and concealment in this story that the reader is kept curious and wanting to know, much like Milt throughout this story, seeing the truth despite layers of concealment and misinformation. In this sense, the Undernet and the Dark Net take on the roles of additional impersonal characters that deliberately obscure reality in this story, just as they seem to in actual fact.

Some parts of The Undernet are definitely uncomfortable to read. In graphic contrast to the sincere and honest friendship Milt has with Robbie and with his best friend, Simon, Frankel gives his readers a solidly-written exposè of the dark side of human nature as one is likely to find it on the dark side of the internet – or anywhere. This is delivered with confronting realism and honesty. Through all of this, It was the strong identification I felt with with Milt’s “ordinary person” response to the ugly side of life that enabled me to keep reading and hoping for him to find the resolution he was so desperate to find.

The Undernet is available on Amazon or from devinedestinies.com

Book Review: Longing by R.M. Gauthier

Literature Lemur LeafThe Literature Lemur has been reading some great books lately! Today, our lovely lemur friend brings us a review of ‘Longing’ by R.M. Gauthier, who has been featured in Book Squirrel reviews and an author spotlight previously. 

Blurb:

Longing is the story of a Special Forces Officer and a Business Tycoon becoming unlikely partners in their fight for justice and revenge. Leroy, a Special Forces Officer, returns home from Afghanistan after serving 8 terrifying years, only to discover that his nightmare has not ended. After learning that his sister has been missing for months, Leroy sets out to find and bring her home. Meeting Landon Miller, a Business Tycoon and owner of an exclusive club exposes Leroy to a world of corruption that he had no idea even existed.

 Renee Gauthier Longing

ADR S&S Book Review:

Longing is a prequel to The Mystery of Landon Miller series, in which Gauthier gives us a peek at how everyone’s favorite Guy Friday ended up with the job of a lifetime: working for Landon Miller, himself.

In this short story, Leroy leaves the desolation of war only to find more misery waiting for him at home. His sister is missing, and Leroy will move heaven and earth to bring her home again. Along the way, Leroy discovers there is a whole lot of evil out there, and the deeper he digs, the dirtier it gets.

Once again, Gauthier has created a story where anything can and does happen, bringing life and soul to characters who we, as readers, feel connected to. Whether or not you’ve read “Control” and “Bound”, “Longing” is one short story you won’t want to miss.

You can find all things R.M. Gauthier at:    www.RMGauthier.com

Order “Longing” here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0180FSU1W

Great Weekend Reads

Looking for something to read this weekend?
Try these great recommendations – choose your favourite genre or try something new!

Contemporary Women’s Fiction: An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco. 
Book Squirrel Review                                                      Find it on Amazon 

YA Fantasy: The Curious Tale of Gabrielle by Zachary Paul Chopinski
Find it on Amazon 

 

Mystery/Thriller: The Undernet by J.S. Frankel
Book Squirrel Author Spotlight                                   Find it on Amazon 

Poetry: The Passing Of The Night by Joanne Van Leerdam
Book Squirrel New Release Post                                  Find it on Amazon 

 

Historical Fiction: Royal Thief by Laura Kehoe
                                                                                              Find it on Amazon

Dystopian/Dark Fiction: Only The Few by L.N. Denison
Book Squirrel Review                                                      Find it on Amazon

 

Paranormal: Sweet Vengeance & Sweet Discovery by Aliya DalRae
Book Squirrel Review         Book Squirrel Review     Find them on Amazon

New Release: The Passing Of The Night by Joanne Van Leerdam

People experience all kinds of night: loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, pain, and countless other darknesses. 

This newly released collection of profound lyrical poems explores the poet’s own experiences and observations of both dark and light, revealing her determination to not only survive, but to conquer whatever tries to overcome her. 

At the end of it all, the poet demonstrates that the smallest sign of light is enough to help a wandering soul find hope in the passing of the night. 

The Passing Of The Night is available on Amazon and all other major digital stores.

Introducing: Literature Lemur

Today the Book Squirrel introduces a great friend who loves to read and write reviews, which she wants to share with you here.

Literature Lemur Leaf

Book Squirrel is excited to introduce to you the Literature Lemur and her first guest review!

True confession: I’m not much into poetry. I’m probably not the first reviewer to admit this, and I’m certain I won’t be the last. That being said, I found the verses in Leaf to be heart-touching and compelling.

Van Leerdam has taken tiny bits of her soul and used them to paint words of such intensity that even the hardest of hearts can’t help but be moved. Her poetry is real and now, and it speaks to everyone on one level or another.

So even if you don’t think poetry is “your thing”, maybe give Leaf a try. You’ll find that you might just be into it after all. I know I did.

Blurb:

“This well-written poetry collection is filled with love, loss, betrayal, sadness, and ultimately, rebirth. My favorite poems included are The Artist, Observations of a Traveling Pluviophile, Misery, Pharisee, and Old. Best line from Pluviophile: “There are no rainbows without rain.” Love that.

Many gems can be found in this lovely collection. I recommend it for anyone who likes melancholy, deep, thought-provoking poetry.” – Amazon Review

‘Leaf’ is the first collection of poetry published by Joanne Van Leerdam.
Lyrical, often metaphorical and always unashamedly honest, these poems are expressions of the poet’s own experiences and observations about life, love and human nature.

“With this collection, the poet offers us a glimpse inside her thoughts. At times intimate and raw, Leaf has a dreamlike quality that resonates with the reader covering themes of love, loneliness, disappointment and despair” … “Van Leerdam’s poetry is beautiful and lyrical, poetry to be read aloud.” – Amazon Review

You can find all things Joanne Van Leerdam at www.jvlpoet.com

Order Leaf here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2W0HV6/  

Book Review: Sweet Discovery by Aliya DalRae

Having thoroughly enjoyed Sweet Vengeance, the first book in Aliya DalRae‘s Jessica Sweet mysteries, and Bittersweet, the back story of Malcom, I was keen to read Sweet Discovery.

Aliya DalRae Sweet Discovery

Not until I started reading did I realise how ironic the title is – many more questions than discoveries were arising in the most fascinating and heart-stopping ways. Absolutely, 110% intrigued, I had to keep on reading to find the answers to my own questions and theories, as well as Jessica’s.

This book is a fast-paced roller coaster of emotions, complete with loop-the-loops and tilt-a-whirls of mystery, secrets, horror, and intense personal conflicts for a number of key characters.

It’s a mark of a great writer that a story can take you on the journey not just of the main characters and the key plot, but also of the other characters through sub-plots that weave seamlessly with the main story. Characters I disliked intensely in the first book became more likeable not only through the development of their personality and actions, but also through gaining a greater understanding of their motivations and histories. Other characters that I quite liked in the first book underwent an almost opposite kind of transition. Once again, DalRae reminds us through this fabulous book that no matter how confident we might be that we’re right about people or situations, or even that we know something for sure, things aren’t always what they seem.

If you’re looking for delicious paranormal mystery adventure laced with more than a dash of hot sauce and romance, look no further. DalRae’s Jessica Sweet mysteries are the books for you.

Now, I’m waiting with bated breath for the next in the series. I’m definitely hungry for the next course.

Aliya DalRae’s Jessica Sweet mysteries are all available on Amazon.

ratings-1482011_960_720-2

Book Review: ‘Only The Few’ by L.N. Denison

L N Denison Only The Few
This suspenseful thriller had me hooked right from the start.

Immersed immediately in the world of post-apocalyptic London in 2025 and the life of the main character, Corporal Catherine Hyde, the drama unfolds steadily from the first page. From that point, the tension starts to build and the questions begin to gnaw at both the reader and Corporal Hyde.

Hyde’s character is brilliantly developed. She is likeable, strong enough to be a hero and weak enough to be believeable. The reader feels as though they know and understand her, and begins to feel defensive of her when she faces challenges from the situations she faces and from other people. Her flawed humanity contrasts profoundly with her strengths, adding another layer of deep complexity and irony to the story.

There are some incredibly confronting scenes which Denison has crafted to be both compelling and extremely uncomfortable: despite the strong desire to “look away”, the reader has to keep going because the story is just that good.

There is nothing predictable about ‘Only The Few’. The author keeps the reader wondering and guessing right up until the last page. On going back to previous chapters and re-reading sections, it became evident that the author had achieved exceptionally clever delivery of clues that the reader will never realise are clues until they return to those scenes after finishing the book. That is a sign of a gifted writer with a talent for creating and crafting fantastic stories.

The book concludes with a teaser line about a “companion” novel which spurs the curiosity and keeps the wondering and guessing going. I know what I want that companion story to be, but I guess I’m just going to have to wait until it arrives to find out if I’m right.

ratings-1482011_960_720-2

Bravo, L N. Denison.  5 stars from me.