Showing posts with label Paranormal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paranormal. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: Artful by Peter David

*I received this book free of charge through the First Reads giveaway program*
I admit, I've avoided the popular classical literature x paranormal crossover until now.  However, Artful by Peter David seemed really interesting and I was very happy to win a copy of it from

The book starts out with a little bit of background explanation of who the main character is and how his story relates to Dickens' Oliver Twist.  The main protagonist of the story is the Artful Dodger and this book delves into his paranormal adventures after the end of Dickens' story.  I actually really enjoyed the story, although the story telling could become a bit convoluted at times.  I was also slightly confused by the pace of the story because it seemed like it took a long time to get to set up any "real" action but then after the action started it was extremely fast paced.   I would have enjoyed the story more if much of the background information had been integrated into the entire plot instead of packed into such a long and drawn-out beginning.  I also would have liked to seen more development of the vampire mythology instead of just a few paragraphs discussing the origins of the vampires.

Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who like the fantasy/paranormal genre. It would probably be a good read for high schoolers and older readers who have already read Oliver Twist, but reading Dickens is not necessary to enjoy this book.

Artful on

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review! "A Gift of Thought"

*I received a copy of this book free of charge in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own*

After I finished the first book in the Tassamara series by Sarah Wynde, I was astounded by the quality of her writing and couldn't wait to read the rest of the series.  I emailed her expressing my appreciation of the first novel and she graciously provided me with the rest of the series for free. (Sidenote: If you read a book that is really good and the author has a website or email address, email them! Authors love to hear your feedback, especially new and upcoming authors)
"A Gift of Thought" by Sarah Wynde

The second Tassamara novel is "A Gift of Thought".  This book leaves the setting of Tassamara and takes place mostly in Washington, D.C.  I was mildly disappointed that Akira and co. were left behind, but I actually really liked that this book focused on ghostly teenager Dillon and his new relationship with his parents.  Dillon was one of my favorite characters in "A Gift of Ghosts", and in my opinion, is really the star of the series.  As usual with Wynde's writing, the dialogue and plot are superb.  Every character really comes to life and you feel like you get to know them on a personal level.  I do wish a few of the background characters had been fleshed out a bit more, but within the constraints of a shorter novel the writing is still exceptional. On the plus side, there was more action and drama packed into the last few chapters of this novel and I really enjoyed that. I read the entire book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.

Bottom line: Even though this is probably my least favorite book of the series, it is still extremely well written and worth a read if you enjoyed the first book.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review! "A Gift of Ghosts"

I'm an avid reader and can read several books per week. As such, I'm always on the lookout for new books. I'm not really picky about what I read so I recently downloaded several free Kindle ebooks from Amazon. One of the books that caught my eye was "A Gift of Ghosts" by Sarah Wynde.  Now, I usually don't have high expectations for free books. Most of them are rather amateur attempts by self-published authors. Some can be quite good, but others are horrendously bad.  I wasn't sure what to expect from "A Gift of Ghosts" but I was intrigued by the description. Let me just say now, I am so glad I came across this book.
A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde

Sarah Wynde studied English in college, and that definitely comes through in the technical aspects of her work. More than being technically good, this book was also very imaginative and had a ton of soul.  The beginning of this book does start off a little bit rocky, with the character Akira having an internal dialogue that can be a bit confusing until you get past the first few scenes.  Once you get past the first chapter though, this book is astoundingly good.  To sum it up without spoiling it too much, a skeptical academic named Akira is offered a mysterious job in the fictional town of Tassamara, Florida. Despite having a special paranormal gift Akira is skeptical of the company that hires her and even more so of all the rest of the mysterious residents of Tassamara.  With an eccentric cast of ghosts, telepaths, and scientists, this book is a great for nerdy readers who were fans of the SciFi channel show "Eureka". I should also warn you that there are a few steamy romance scenes that are probably not suitable for younger audiences, but I found them to be very tasteful and not smutty or obscene in the least.    

I was absolutely blown away by the creative writing of this story.  I found the plot to be extremely well written and the dialogue was supremely natural and fluid.  I found myself getting emotionally invested in the characters and wished the book was longer so I could have more time in their world.  This is also the book's biggest shortcoming. It is so rich and engrossing that it is simply too short to be entirely satisfactory.  I understand the writer's preference to write shorter stories, but I think Wynde could really excel with a longer novel.

Bottom line: If you want to get lost for a few hours in a mystical yet modern fantasy world, go ahead and read this book.