Amazon and Reviews.

I have discovered that the vast majority of my reviews at Amazon have been taken down. Probably because I didn’t purchase the book through them, or their algorithm has decided there is too close a connection between author and reviewer. As a reviewer I am very upset, but I doubt Amazon is going to change the rules for me. As of now, I will no long post reviews on Amazon. You are still welcome to post all or part of my review as an ‘editorial review’ on your book.

I know that reviews on Amazon are important to you as an indie or small press author, but I have no intention of wasting my time posting something which never gets to the public eye.

Alex

 

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Little Golden Tree

Little Golden Tree

Deineke Henderson

This is a beautiful little book about a tree who loses it’s golden leaves to the wind. What will happen to it? The story line is easy for young listeners and readers to follow and it carries a message of hope, with a bit of humour too. The illustrations are the perfect balance to the story of the tree.

It is available on Amazon here.

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Timesnatched: Polestar

Timesnatched: Polestar

Barbara Boyle

Jack and Annie are just regular teenagers, Jack in the US and Annie in Britain. But a mysterious man in a blue coat snatches them to a future where a benevolent dictatorship claims to have cured all the ills of the world. The only price is freedom.

Jack and Annie are rescued by resistance fighters and learn that their future selves are essential to the resistance. General Graff, who had them kidnapped is snatching the younger versions of any who threaten the Federation.

The first task the young people have is to rescue their older selves from a bomb. We get to watch the characters grow and stretch in their new roles, and struggle with what it means if they don’t get back to their time to become who they are supposed to be.

There is everything you could want in an adventure story. The teens struggle to fill the shoes of their older selves and deal with a situation in a world changed drastically from what they knew. This is an enjoyable romp, and I will look forward to the next in the series.

You can buy the book here.

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Rath’s Deception

Rath’s Deception

Piers Platt

Rath is a smart kid with a gift. He has a perfect memory. He and his brother have a plan to use that gift to get out of the slum levels of their world. When his brother is taken by a gang, Rath is left on his own. He is caught stealing a police officer’s gun, but instead of being arrested, he is recruited by a shadowy organization of assassins.

He is trained and sent out to kill. Fifty kills and he get fifty percent of what he makes for the guild. The problem is he doesn’t like killing, but he keeps going because it is the only way for him to get out.

This is a wild ride of a read. There is Rath, but also a cop who has a bee in his bonnet about the mysterious group. He even managed to capture an assassin, but in the escape and aftermath is made a pariah.

The worlds are well planned and Rath is a complex character. We feel sympathy for him even as he does terrible things because we see the price he pays for his actions.

I highly recommend this book to science fiction readers.

You can buy the book here.

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Daygo’s Fury

Daygo’s Fury

John O’Sullivan

The blurb for Daygo’s Fury promises the beginning of an epic story, and certainly there is an epic story there. There at two stories, one set in a city in the poorest section, the other in a jungle setting.

I particularly like the chapters set in the city, though gritty doesn’t necessitate swearing. The words feel dropped into the story without need. Aside from that the characters are interesting and their struggle to survive creates an immediate empathy.

The jungle parts are more detached as the lead character there is disconnected from the people around him. It is difficult to care for a character who doesn’t care for others.

On top of this the stories have no connection well into the book. Each story could be a book in its own right. Trying to stuff both of them into one may be a little too epic. I found myself skimming through the jungle scenes to get back to the city storyline.

Even so, if you like epic writing and you’re willing to wait to see how the separate thread are joined, this book is for you.

You can buy the book here.

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Craftsman/Willbinder

Craftsman/WIllbinder

Seph Rondin and Thomas Stout

Brothers Bryon and Adam find some ancient relics while on a camping trip. The artifacts pull them to an alternate world where the old tribes of Ireland still live in a land of magic and war.

Bryon is a soldier, while Adam is a business man. The magic no only drops them in different places in their new world and at different times. Adam is there first with a helmet which allows him to understand and plan for the possibilities of his new world.

Bryon finds himself in a hidden valley where he befriends a goddess and soon becomes a military leader in his new home.

The duology of Craftsman and Willbinder is well thought out and planned. The characters are stretched to the limits of their abilities. At times I would like to have seen some scenes more developed.   Yet even so this is a fun read and I recommend it to fantasy lovers. The authors have books three and four out to continue the saga.

You can buy the book here.

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The Body in the Alpaca Pasture

The Body in the Alpaca Pasture

Jerold Last

Roger and Suzanne travel to the mountains of Argentina, for a real vacation this time; no murder cases, just fun as tourists. Their plans don’t last long as, wouldn’t you know it, there’s a case which the local police just can’t solve on their own.

The characters of Roger and Suzanne are well enough developed, in an odd way perhaps too much so. We get to watch them eat a pleasant dinner and make plans about their trip, so much so that we’re well into the book before we get a hint of the case.

The book is pleasant reading, but I would prefer a little more story and a little less of the minutiae of their lives.

You can buy the book here.

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Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here

Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here

Mark Rounds

Plague has struck the US and the rest of the world. Chad organizes his family and neighbours to stay safe and away from the infected. They cooperate in the best of survivalist fashion. The early part of the book is about the attempts to halt the disease as well as how to survive the coming collapse.

Then the book gets really interesting. The characters are well drawn for this style of book and they grow through the story. The details of the progress of the disease are well thought out and presented. I very much enjoyed reading the book and look forward to the next in the series.

You can buy the book here.

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The Conspiracy of Silence

The Conspiracy of Silence

Augustine Sam

The Conspiracy of Silence is a book of political intrigue centered around the death of the wife the Governor of California. It turns out that she didn’t exist, at least as the person she claimed to be. A black TV celebrity is charged with her murder and his attorney discovers something which lights a fuse to a powderkeg of political scandals.

The plot is byzantine in it complexity and sometimes I lost track of what level of time I was in. There are many long dialogues in which one character explains to another some essential part of the story. I would have preferred to watch more of the characters acting rather than talking.

The book is written mostly in what I’m guessing is third person omniscient, but the narrative voice isn’t quite strong enough to carry it off. I can imagine the story being told in the young lawyer’s voice.

On the whole it is a good story. If you like political intrigue and are willing to work through the complexity it is well worth picking up.

Buy the book here.

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Vision of The Griffin’s Heart

7bcfc1_8e02b2c450564fbe8c6d2d2c3e279e68Vision of the Griffin’s Heart:  

Andy Smithson Book 5

L.R.W. Lee

Vision of the Griffin’s Heart is a middle grade/young adult book. It is the fifth in the series. I’d recommend reading the first four so you know the players and the plot so far. Like many series, these books are so much stand alone parts as serialized sections of a complete work. The characters are lively and well drawn. Andy is likeable, but is human enough to relate to. In this book he is brought to Oomladee to gain the black claw of a griffin as part of their ongoing quest to lift a curse. This time the challenge is tougher as his magic sword no longer works agains the dragon Abaddon.

The story is well plotted with enough ups and downs to keep things interesting. If I had one complaint it is the consistent use of verbs other than said or asked  as speech tags, especially those which need an object and don’t get one. I recognize the people the book is intended for will have no issue with this usage, so it doesn’t count against the quality of the book.

I recommend the book for lovers of fantasy and well written fiction whatever age group it is aimed toward.

You can buy the book here.

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