Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Review of Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page

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 Synopsis:
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission. (Taken from Goodreads)

Stars Given: ★★★★☆

Overall View (*Spoilers are included in this review):
This book attracted me because of its title.  I'm really interested in books that bring a little twist into well known stories.  The book started off a little slow in my opinion, there were some points where I found it extremely hard to push myself to continue reading.  It was near the middle of the book, that story began to get interesting.  However, I felt that there were some parts in which the author could have expanded more.  An example of this **SPOILER**was when Indigo died.  I felt that the author could have done a lot more in order to ingrain Indigo's character into the readers before killing the character.  The death felt very sudden and in a way detached.  What I mean by detached is that readers, well in my case, have a hard time feeling the overwhelming sadness death scenes should bring.  Although Indigo is a supporting character, I felt that her death should induce a stronger feeling from the readers since it is the turning point in which Amy sees the dark side of Oz.  I felt that there should be a bigger "climb" towards the death.  

The overall writing in this book was satisfactory.  There were times when I felt that the description could be better in order to bring the deep sadness of the residents of Oz.  I loved how there was a contrast in the happy look of the place compared to what the residents were feeling.  This contrast was able to create a bigger rift in the image of the wonderful Oz and Dorothy's Oz.

I read this book after watching Oz:The Great and Powerful.  I highly recommend readers to do this.  Through watching the movie, I was able to find many connections between Oz: The Great and Powerful, The Wizard of Oz, and this book.  It made the story flow so much more.  What would have been really interesting is if the story continued on with Oz being in love with Glinda. 

That would definitely create an interesting twist in this series as this would allow the author to create a more compelling story.  Creating suspicions as to whether or not characters are with the Wicked or if they're being sent to the group undercover would definitely increase suspense. 

I thought that the overall story was well written, hence I gave the book four stars out of five.  From where the story ended, I really hope that the next book will have a much more interesting and captivating start.

Character:
Amy Gumm -
Description of Character: Amy is the other girl from Kansas.  This is a big deal for the people of Oz since their current ruler, Dorothy was also from Kansas.  She is a person who seems cold, however as the story went on, Amy evolved into a kind character who was sympathetic person.  This does not mean that Amy is the type of character that would allow others to do the "dirty" tasks for her.  She is not one of those characters that hope that other people or environmental disasters to help her complete her mission.  Amy's character is a really intricate one if you take the time to slowly analyze her character through her actions.


Review of Character:  There were times when I actually disliked the way Amy acted in different situations.  The good news is that as the story progressed on, I was able to understand the reasons behind her actions.  What I really liked about her was her determination to do what she thinks will be best for her friends.  It was one of her qualities that stood out to me the most when I was reading it and I felt like it was the characteristic that drove her to go against Dorothy.


*Supporting characters not listed

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EBR Guest Review: Awakening Foster Kelly by Cara Olsen (Julia Goudreau)

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EBR Guest Reviewer: Julia Goudreau

Synopsis:
If only a pile of wayward curls and the inability to stay on her feet were seventeen year-old Foster Kelly’s most pressing concerns. Unfortunately, stubborn hair and clumsiness is just the tip of it. It was only a mistake, but when at the age of five Foster is told “You don’t belong here” the result is one broken heart. These four carelessly spoken words have shaped and shadowed Foster, and now—a senior at Shorecliffs High School—she seeks the wallflower’s existence, denying herself the most casual of friendships, much too afraid that someone will see what Foster believes is certain: she does not belong anywhere – or with anyone. This reality would continue to suit her just fine, however . . .

Love has a long-standing history of undoing broken hearts.

Like a comet, an unexpected arrival knocks Foster out of the crowded, starry sky, sending her directly into the limelight. Exposed and afraid, she will attempt to regain anonymity; but it isn’t so easy now that someone is watching. He pursues this shy enigma, confronting Foster’s deepest fears head-on, and in the process falls wholly and completely in love with her. But there is something he is not saying; a secret capable of certain ruin. There are two probable outcomes: either he will break her heart once and for all, or he will heal it.

In the end, though, it is Foster who must decide if she is worth mending.
(Taken from Goodreads)


Stars Given: (4 Stars)

Overall View:

***this book was given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews (Guest Reviewer Program)***

Holy moly. Definitely did not see that one coming.

"Awakening Foster Kelly" is about a girl that hides her own shell. The thing about Foster is that there are things about her that we can all connect with. There is a time when everyone feels like they don't belong. Whether it was because of your interests or actions or beliefs, everyone has felt like the outsider, looking in. Foster also is afraid. Everyone is afraid of something. She doesn't want to take risks and she just wants to live her life comfortably. Everyone wonders about risks and worries about them. There comes a time when you just want to take the easy way. The way that is comfortable and where you can control the outlook. Another thing about Foster that people can connect with; she doesn't like being the centre of attention. She avoids social situations. She is introvert and that's okay. Being uncomfortable in a social setting is something that some can understand. That being said, Foster Kelly is a character that we, the readers, can connect with and that is really important because, suddenly, you don't feel so alone anymore.

When I saw the page number, I cringed. I always do when I see that many pages. There were some parts of this book that were slow (around 400 page mark; my ebook page count was 852 for reference). Now, don't get me wrong. I loved going along this journey with Foster and seeing her get out of her comfort zone. Seeing how Dominic really helped her. But, after a while, it started to feel a bit repetitive. However, the 200-150 pages picked up the pace considerably, thanks to the mega-plot twists that blind-sided me (nice move, Olsen!). 


I quite enjoyed reading "Awakening Foster Kelly". I loved the fact that Foster was a character that I could easily connect to. I loved the fact that we got to see her try to work through her worries, her fears and the blanket that she wrapped around herself to keep her life comfortable. It was awesome to see how Dominic helped her through her troubles, while working through his own.

Olsen did a great job with the writing. There were parts that were almost poetic. I felt like they were lyrics from Foster's songs. Olsen wrote them in such a way that they come off the page, almost like you could hear the song in your head.

"Awakening Foster Kelly" was a really good book. The only thing that I didn't really like was the page count. This novel is definitely one to check out. Almost like Sarah Dessen's novels and Gayle Forman novel (I'm not saying which one. You want to find out? Read this book! :]) had a baby!

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EBR Guest Review: Discovering Daniel by Nadine Christian (Marie-Eve Castonguay)

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EBR Guest Reviewer: Marie-Eve Castonguay

Synopsis:
When a shocking memory surfaces that Ava McCoy can’t understand, she looks for answers. With her parents and her Uncle Sam trying to convince her that she is only chasing dreams, she is determined to prove that they are wrong, the vision too vivid in her mind to be anything but truth.

When her investigation reveals another world so shocking and yet so familiar, it feels as if the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together – with only one question left unanswered. Who is Daniel? The very memory of him draws her to the sea. Then, the ocean brings her the answer she’s seeking. Daniel himself.

United, Daniel and Ava must find out why everyone wanted to keep them apart – and who is now trying their best to do it again. They must find the answers – before they succeed in separating them. Before Ava loses Daniel all over again – this time, forever.
(Taken from Goodreads)



Stars Given: (4.4 Stars)

Overall View:
*** I received a free copy of this book for an honest review as part of the Guest Reviewer program for EBR reviewers Blog (Check them out they’re awesome)***

Before you start reading this book, you have to know that it’s about mermaids/mer-males/sirens/ whatever you want to call them. BUT, even if you don’t like mermaids, you SHOULD read this book. I didn’t know what to expect, but I decided to give it a shot because the first few chapters got me hooked into the story. This book is about two people from two different worlds trying to have a relationship without either of their worlds finding out. There’s a really cute romance and if love at first sight existed, this would be exactly how it would happen (kind of).

Let me start by talking about the characters. I loved Ava. She’s such a strong and independent teenage girl / woman.. I love the relationship that she has with her family. They’re so close and her dad is basically her best friend. Daniel was such a sweet guy. He’s thoughtful and madly in love with Ava to the point where he’s willing to give up everything that’s familiar to him just to be with her. He’s also quite the charmer. I mean, what 9 year girl could resist a 10 year old boy giving her a coral flower with her hair tie tied to it? Certainly not me.

I couldn’t put this book down. There wasn’t really any action scenes but I just wanted to figure out how their relationship was going to turn out. I was hooked and just wanted to see more kissy-kissy and cutsie romance. 


Something that disappointed me was that a little bit after half the book, I knew how it was going to end. I saw it coming. But still. I will not be re-reading it, but I’m still glad that I did at least once.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes secret relationships (Romeo and Juliette style) or who simply like’s mermaids.

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EBR Guest Review: Discovering Daniel by Nadine Christian (Julia Goudreau)

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EBR Guest Reviewer: Julia Goudreau


Synopsis:
When a shocking memory surfaces that Ava McCoy can’t understand, she looks for answers. With her parents and her Uncle Sam trying to convince her that she is only chasing dreams, she is determined to prove that they are wrong, the vision too vivid in her mind to be anything but truth.

When her investigation reveals another world so shocking and yet so familiar, it feels as if the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together – with only one question left unanswered. Who is Daniel? The very memory of him draws her to the sea. Then, the ocean brings her the answer she’s seeking. Daniel himself.


United, Daniel and Ava must find out why everyone wanted to keep them apart – and who is now trying their best to do it again. They must find the answers – before they succeed in separating them. Before Ava loses Daniel all over again – this time, forever. 
(Taken from Goodreads)




Stars Given: ☆ (4 Stars)

Overall View:

***this book was given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews (Guest Reviewer Program)***

You know what? If I could be any supernatural being, I would totally be a mermaid (but not the killer kind; just the Disney Ariel kind).

Ava just remembered something huge that happened when she was 9. This memory leads to a discovery. This discovery then leads to a whole world of lies that get blown up in said liars faces. Basically, the little lie turns Ava’s world upside down.

I found the beginning to be a little slow. I understand that it is important to set up the novel, I do. But in “Discovering Daniel”, a lot of that set up is Ava sitting down and talking about it with her Uncle. Even though it was really interesting to hear the stories about the merfolk, I would have liked to see Ava doing something (like looking for Daniel) in the beginning. However, the book picked up the pace after a while and the last 50-75 pages went by super quick! 


Yes. Ok. Some of this book was predictable. But it was a good predictable because when I found out that I was right, I was yelling “I KNEW IT! I WAS RIGHT!” (as you can see, I got really into the book). But the ending solution (I really don’t know what else to call it), I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed the fact that I could predict some parts, but I need Christian to tie it all together for me.

This is the kind of book that I will read over and over again. It is perfect for when you have just read a book like “The Fault in Our Stars” and have completed sobbed your brains out. You need a book where everything goes right in the world. So I thank Nadine Christian for writing the book that is like ice cream after a break up. It makes everything better (or sort of).

 Maybe you really like mermaids or you are really sad. Either way, they both are reasons on why you should pick up “Discovering Daniel” by Nadine Christian.

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Review of Street Food and Love by H.A. Enri

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Synopsis:
Sole Eaby, seventeen, has a few complaints he’d like to lodge against life, the main one being that his dad, Cedro, has recently quit his job and withdrawn his entire life savings, which included Sole’s college fund. Why? To launch a food truck business he knows nothing about.

To cope, Sole uses his knifelike wit to moonlight as a stand-up comedian, and so far, it’s paying off. He’s not only replenishing his college treasury, he’s making people laugh; but it’s one person in particular he performs for. Her name is Ava. When the fated bond of humor joins the two, and they begin a sort of quasi-romance, things begin to seem somewhat bearable. Of course, that’s when an ill-timed event decides to put another spin on things. Just when Sole is ready to move on with his own life and disconnect himself from his father and the family business, he suddenly finds himself in charge of the food truck he desperately loathes. Here is where Sole must realize that the answers to love and life are not to be found apart but, rather, are more like a savory recipe: only by combining the ingredients will the wonderful flavors reveal themselves. When comedy isn’t enough, the future seems ever bleak, and a fledgling love has barely had a chance to bloom, where will Sole turn?
(Taken from Goodreads)


Stars Given:
★★★★☆

Overall View:
This book focused less on the actual title (street food, and love), and focused more on the importance of relationships, either father to son, or girlfriend to boyfriend.  I found this book quite interesting and couldn't put it down.  Although I didn't learn too much about the characters, I enjoyed Sole's story and adventure through his life changing events.  The ending was definitely something I had not expected, and although there were a few grammar mistakes in the book (which I desperately wanted to fix), it did not take away the meaning of the sentences.  If this book had gotten more editors to find the mistakes, and had given the characters more time to allow readers to learn who they really are, I would give this book five stars.  For now, it will sit at four (probably 4.4 at the moment), and may be upgraded when I do have time to read it all over again.  Although I didn't get a chance to read it all in one sitting, the next time I do find time to read it, I believe that I will be able to read it all within a day.  This book is quirky, fun, and sweet when it needs to be.

This book has the type of plot that would draw me back in and make me want to reread it a few times.  I don't think I will ever get tired of the plot, and neither will other readers.

Character:
Sole Eaby -
Description of Character: Sole Eaby is the type of boy who could make anyone laugh.  Whether it is someone who despises him or craves him, he always finds a way to make other laugh.  Because his father suddenly used his college funds in order to pay for his "mid-life crisis", he became a stand up comedian.  His stubbornness has caused problems to grow between him and his own father, Cedro Eaby.  Although many, such as Lana and Ava, try to help them reconnect and end their grudges with each other, his strong personality prevents anyone from coming between him and his grudges against his father.

Review of Character: I did like his character at first, but as the story continued to move on, I found it a little difficult to "like" Sole's character and his personality.  Although I liked how strong headed he was, it bothered me that he could not see from other people's point of views.  Sure, his father may have been selfish, but Sole, himself, was quite selfish so I found him a bit hypocritical when he started to complain about Cedro. As the story started to reach the end, I did find that he had changed his ways (a little too late though...), his redeeming qualities did begin to show.  I began to like him more after that, although, like I said, it was a bit too late because he had only started to realize that Ava was right near the end.

 *Supporting characters not listed

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Friday, August 29, 2014

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Author Interview: H.A. Enri

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About the Author:

H.A.’s love for all things caffeinated is what keeps him awake and alert so he can pursue that glorious tyrant called Nostalgia. And after all, isn’t that what provokes most adult authors to write stories about the teenage years they long ago left behind (referring to Nostalgia, not the caffeine...he hopes)? When he isn’t writing, H.A. can be found quaffing coffee (Yes, he might be addicted—don’t judge) reading, riding his bike, snapping photos, making music, working on his theory of everything, and, on rare occasions, attempting to discover the elusive, and maybe impossible, secret to time travel. H.A. lives in So Cal. Street Food and Love is H.A.’s first novel.

Interview:
Would you actually want to own a food truck, and if so, what would you serve and what would you call it?
Owning and operating? Hmm. Perhaps, with a capital P. In conducting the research for this book, I came to understand a) it’s no easy task to keep a successful food truck running; b) success does not always have to do with the ability to deliver big on taste; c) concept and branding i.e. marketing are huge aspects to the business and, like many artists, that whole part of it is not always where the passion of it all lie; d) a little luck never hurts. Does this sound like someone trying to be a writer? Surely does. I love to cook and do at least four days out of the week, but to make my livelihood out it...I’d have to be pretty hungry to commit anytime soon. Lot’s of love to food truck owner operators.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've actually known I've wanted to be a writer since I was twelve. The brief excerpt of that mini epiphany is on my website’s FAQ's. As for YA, I didn’t know I actually wanted to write for young adults until about eight years ago. This book made it through the publication portal, but there are other predecessors on my hard drive, many young adults megabyte format wondering why they never got to graduate from being mere Word docs to full blown, bound, edited and printed books.

If you were a dish on a food truck, what would you be called?

I would be a patty of thick, ground, kobe beef, topped with cheese, caramelized onion, tomato, guacamole and a special sauce, all between buttered and toasted, thick sourdough. I’m simple, like a burger, but I am also not just your regular driver through or diner burger either (does this sound like some dating site profile? Ha!). In any case, it would be called the Soul Melt because more than deeply satisfying the palate, it would penetrate the soul of anyone who ate it. P.S. I really am into the world “soul” and all it connotates.

Novelists who inspired you?
The list is long. In YA we have Sarah Dessen, Gary Schmidt, Caroline Cooney, Ned Vizzini, I will add that not many people mention Vizzini—God rest his talented soul, and it’s shocking. He’s been considered a pioneer of the modern YA lit genre, and I agree. Hopefully, I see him on the other side and we can collaborate.

Talk about YA Lit.

It is summarily different than it used to be even twelve years ago. And pre 2000’s—forget it. That was like reading Homer. Seriously, I mean you have to practice writing effective scenes during commercials (do don’t delete them, you aspiring YA writers, from your DVR. They may prove to be useful yet) in order to match the pace of the current ideal YA. Secondly, don’t forget the lingo the characters used in your favorite sitcom right before the commercial. It should be transposed to your novel. Remember they used to teach, “Don’t write how you speak”? Not so anymore. Those teachers, apparently, were wrong. And no, I haven’t perfectly mastered the art of copy-matching-and-pacing at commercial speed in my writing style. you remember reading with a dictionary handy? Hey, with apps now, it should be easier, except that rarely do YA books require readers to have to use one anymore. Remember when you read something and went WTF? Even after three reads! And it wasn’t because you checked out. Sometimes it was like the writer just wrote and invited you to his house but said, “There’s the fridge and stove. If you’re hungry, do your best.” I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what is happening now and don’t get it, I do and am not against it. But something in my writing approach still doesn’t mind if readers are expected to sort of work through certain language tones and aspects.

Love and romance aren’t depicted the way the YA genre seems to be going in your novel. Why? 

Have you been around a high school aged lately? Till death do us part, mad love isn’t en vogue. Most young adults aren’t really sure where love fits into their lives, and to begin to truly to answer that is scary enough for many people, let alone young people. I wanted Sole to reflect a kid who didn’t just zero in on one girl and know she was the one. That’s usually not how it works anyway, at least not when your age still has “teen” as a suffix. As for Ava, many young girls with allure have older guys after them, and that’s why I wanted to show that in the first chapters. That’s reality for many young adult girls of her capacity. Sometimes, too, they chose those guys. I don’t think this makes my book not YA. Upper YA? Sure. But still YA definitely.

I sense an intentional avenue in your book carved out, specifically referring to your focus of a father and son conflict. Explain that.

Well, it’s got nothing to do with my own relationship with my father. We have an outstanding and close one. But you’re correct about the father and son aspect. Many fathers take a backseat in literature or are two dimensional caricatures who are hands off and don’t really permeate the minds of the young adult protagonist. Really? That is most dads? Huh... Anyway, I wanted to write not for guys, but so that guys could related to the literature as easily as girls could and do. Let’s face it: girl readers vastly outnumber young males, and I sort of wanted both to equally relate here. I can say I’ll probably continue to develop that in other novels.

You have a lot of comedy in your book. What’s the best joke (keep it clean) that you’ve ever heard?
I heard Dennis Miller onstage and, though I’m not saying this is my favorite, I’ll mention it because it just came to mind: he was speaking of the past and with subtlety, in his verbal memoir, he said, “It was hot back then...” and he paused. It was all about the way he said it. The audience slowly got it. Then he said, “The sun was still hot then, right?” He was comparing it to the way people think the past happened in black and white. The genius was, he didn’t even have to say that part to get audience in on it. Brilliant.

Are any of the characters in the book based off of someone you know?

Most characters are concoctions of many people in various forms—those we know, those we’ve heard about, those we’d like to know and those we knew. Once you put all that together, my answer, like a writer, would technically be kind of but not really. Not very technical, is it...

Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book because this idea had never been pursued in YA lit, let alone fiction. When the idea came to me, I thought it was worth telling for others out there. Of course, now there’s a film about a food truck owner operator, but not when I wrote the novel. I wanted to explore the concept of the food truck operator as a person with issues, so that’s when it turned YA because my teenage protagonist Sole became the focus. You can watch The Great Food Truck Race or Eat St. if you just care about someone and their food truck, but life as an owner operator is not the star idea of this narrative.

How’d you pick the title of the book?

It’s the material clashing with the existential. The truck is a symbol for all things wrong with the world for Sole, the novel’s main dude. Street food is what the truck is all about, so I used that terms versus “food truck.” Since the food truck or “street food” are always at odds with Sole and his heart (yes, it’s okay to sigh and say “aw.”), I chose to capture that with “love.” Until these two opposing forces learn to coexist, neither of them has a chance to make it. The title, in a simple way, somewhat epitomizes those novel’s major motifs.

Why did you pick LA as the setting?

My character, as an aspiring comedian, inspired all that is L.A.—someone who wants to get into showbiz and has the chops to do so. Sole thinks, like many, that achieving his celebrity plan is his exit card from all things painful. From there, I wanted to unveil of a story of someone whose greatest obstacle is not external—abuse, violence, etc.—but rather is the soft issues of the heart that are sometimes more detrimental than the obvious ones. There is this individual surrounded by the giant of possibility that is L.A., and his world is just this tiny, fading echo. I liked the contradiction.

How often do you write?

As often as I can but not as often as I’d like. This is where you probably want to hear my writing process and such. Really, some days it feels like I’m hacking away like a lumberjack at a petrified tree other days it feels like I’m driving up the 101 outside of L.A, ocean to my left, top down, music son, and the sun holding back some of its heat just because I’m on the highway. Do I go at it daily? At least four days out of the week, but I aim for seven. Writing doesn’t currently foot the bills fully, so I have another gig. I know, I know: when I say that I leave myself open for comments like, “Good thing, then I don’t have to worry about reading too much of your work,” or, “I can see why you keep your day job.” Sure, I get that I’m vulnerable to those criticisms, but it’s just the reality of most writers’ lives. Want to buy a thousand copies and change that? Ha, ha. 


Kidding.

What kind of books do you read?

I’m a social science junkie. I’m talking an obsession beyond obsessions. As for other genres, I do read lots of YA, of course, lots of it. And, I take in about four literary adult novels a year, one per quarter. I read that in parts between my others.

How important are names to you in your books?
Sometimes too much, so I try to back off. Many of my first drafts start off with names looking like this: ________. Yes, really. Then, when I finally give them a name, it’s nothing as potent and floral and full of atmosphere and meaning like I thought it would be. Someday, I’ll name my characters Jim, John, Jen and things like that.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I’m sort of just lifting off the launch pad. That’s a flattering question, but I’m not quite in a position to answer that yet. One might say, “I’ll take his advice and do the opposite.” Ha. I’m kidding about the mini joke. But really, I feel like I’m still aspiring. I’ll answer better when I’m past the aspiring level.

What secret talents do you have?
You mean writing isn’t one of them? 


Your main character’s defense mechanism against pangs of the soul is comedy. It seems like you can relate. 

That is maybe one trait the novel’s main dude and I share.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Time travel with knowledge retention. I would continually perfect my life, constantly updating it with the new life lessons I am learning.

What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
If I answered that, then that would be it. The biggest one hopefully was my best and hopefully I got away with it (last time I checked, that was still the case). So, yeah...


*The questions and answers of this author interview are only for Ethereal Book Reviews to use.  If you would like to get interviewed, please visit our "Contact Us" page and send us an e-mail.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Book Promotion: Street Food and Love by H.A. Enri

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22432900
Synopsis:
Sole Eaby, seventeen, has a few complaints he’d like to lodge against life, the main one being that his dad, Cedro, has recently quit his job and withdrawn his entire life savings, which included Sole’s college fund. Why? To launch a food truck business he knows nothing about.

To cope, Sole uses his knifelike wit to moonlight as a stand-up comedian, and so far, it’s paying off. He’s not only replenishing his college treasury, he’s making people laugh; but it’s one person in particular he performs for. Her name is Ava. When the fated bond of humor joins the two, and they begin a sort of quasi-romance, things begin to seem somewhat bearable. Of course, that’s when an ill-timed event decides to put another spin on things. Just when Sole is ready to move on with his own life and disconnect himself from his father and the family business, he suddenly finds himself in charge of the food truck he desperately loathes. Here is where Sole must realize that the answers to love and life are not to be found apart but, rather, are more like a savory recipe: only by combining the ingredients will the wonderful flavors reveal themselves. When comedy isn’t enough, the future seems ever bleak, and a fledgling love has barely had a chance to bloom, where will Sole turn?
(Taken from Goodreads)


Information About the Book:
Author: H.A. Enri
Link to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22432900-street-food-and-love
Publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing
Release Date: August 4, 2014
Links to Buy (with price):
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/H.A.-Enri/e/B00LMZM5R8
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/street-food-love-ha-enri/1119913578?ean=9781625530684 
Average Rating (from Goodreads): 4.00
Rating from EBR: ----

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Featured Author: H.A. Enri

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About the Author:
H.A.’s love for all things caffeinated is what keeps him awake and alert so he can pursue that glorious tyrant called Nostalgia. And after all, isn’t that what provokes most adult authors to write stories about the teenage years they long ago left behind (referring to Nostalgia, not the caffeine...he hopes)? When he isn’t writing, H.A. can be found quaffing coffee (Yes, he might be addicted—don’t judge) reading, riding his bike, snapping photos, making music, working on his theory of everything, and, on rare occasions, attempting to discover the elusive, and maybe impossible, secret to time travel. H.A. lives in So Cal. Street Food and Love is H.A.’s first novel.








Other Information:
Books Written:
  • Street Food and Love
Link to Goodreads Account: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8295103.H_A_Enri
Most Popular Book (by the ratings on Goodreads): Street Food and Love
Blog: http://haenribooks.wordpress.com/
Link to Author Interview: Coming Soon

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Monday, August 25, 2014

2

EBR Guest Review: A Native's Tongue by Michael D. Dennis (Angela Vasquez)

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EBR Guest Reviewer: Angela Vasquez

Synopsis:
A Native’s Tongue, by Michael D. Dennis, was published in June 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon in ebook and paperback, and on Barnes & Noble

“A Native’s Tongue is about a young man trying to find his way in the world. He struggles to keep the woman he loves while entangled in the sex, drugs, and tragedy of Los Angeles. It was inspired by real events,” says Dennis.

Charlie Winters has never been an overachiever. He is used to just getting by while living with his single mother and working a dead-end job at a cheesesteak stand.

Meanwhile, he’s constantly grappling with the voice of his sister, who died in a tragic car accident years earlier, echoing in his head.

So when Violet, an older woman, sets her sights on Charlie and refuses to let go, he follows along. He soon finds himself immersed in a destructive relationship that still fails to fill the void within him.

But then he meets Jennifer, a mystical young woman whose energy and life convinces Charlie to pursue her, even through the darkest corners of Los Angeles, and sets their lives upon a path that can’t be stopped.

Escaping to the California coast, Charlie and Jennifer finally find what they’ve always needed. But a sudden illness quickly pulls them both back to LA. It is there, amid the sex, drugs, and split-second decisions that pulse through the city, that tragedy strikes—threatening to tear Charlie and Jennifer apart forever.

Love and tragedy collide in Dennis’s poignant new novel, A Native’s Tongue.
(Taken from Goodreads)


Stars Given: ★★★☆☆ (2.7 Stars)

Overall View:

***this book was given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews (Guest Reviewer Program)***

A native's tongue is a story of manipulation, lies, and people who definitely aren't sane.

 Charlie is a young man struggling in his life, he doesn't know what his going to do with it, with a job that it's not going anywhere; he wants to find the trail to a good life. But there's something that it's tormenting Charlie's mind and it's his sister, she passed away a long time, but her soul still remains, she appears like a ghost in certain moments of Charlie's days. So went he meets Violet he decide to go for it, they aren't good for each, he knows that he never is going to love her, but he doesn't care he wants someone who take care of him, and she is going to do that, he doesn't see his sister's ghost when it’s with her.

 The thing is that Violet it's a manipulator she wants something she got it, nothing can stop her, and she wants Charlie. She controls everything in his life, his job, where he lives, where he is, everything. But she take care of him, she is in love with him, in this crazy way, that you know it became an obsession. She is desperate to get Charlie's approval, to get his love, but that's something he can't give it to her.

“But even now, Violet wasn’t happy. Not having a companion who loved her chipped away at her confidence. The most unattractive element in a human being is desperation, and Violet wore desperation like a mink coat in the middle of a New Orleans summer. It was obvious to anyone of either sex that the aim of all her hard work was to attract a man who would love her.”
He meets Jennifer in a bar when he is with Violet, and he fall for her right away, it was love at first sight, their soul mates and they both know it, but it wasn't the right time. He likes the frame of innocent that it's around her, he doesn’t even know her name but he knows she is the girl for him. When Charlie realize that he is wasting he's time with Violet he leave her, she isn't find about this she things it's a phase, that he just want to fool around with Jennifer, that he is in love with her. But he wants to find Jennifer, but there are things in his life that aren't good. He isn't planning to find her but when he does it's not in the way he had in mind. Their re-connect and they thing that everything in their life are falling the way they shut be. But something happen, and they are falling apart again, but this time it's forever, they only were together for a couple of days, and people who you might thing that has nothing to do with, were involve.


The thing is, this character were really hard to understand, Charlie is so vulnerable, for me he can't be in a relationship in this moment, because, he isn't taking care of himself, and he is depending of everyone, including Violet, who is confusing, love with gratefulness, Charlie never loved her but in her mind he is and that made her do things that weren't pretty. It was really frustrating, and Jennifer well, SHE IS CRAZY, she's too weak for the word of Violet and she paid the consequences. All these

character were insane.

Pain make people act with no logic, no mercy, and this story is proving of that.

“You have to burn a forest down if you want it to grow back again.”


 The character are well made, but there were a lot of things that Michael Dennis, didn't say, like what happen to Violet after she find out what happen to Charlie. And time, it was confusing; in a moment we were with Jennifer in the present, and the next page we were with Charlie years ago.

 This is a story full with drama, with surprises, it's written beautifully, in a poetic way, but it's heavy, it's not for a trip or waits in an airport. I have to said, it was good, but it's not a must read, if I have to ranking it, I would give it 2.7 of 5.

 What can I say I'm a fan of good ending, even if are nice or bad, but this was an awful ending.

2 comments:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

1

Blog Barrage: Tempted by a Rogue Prince

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About the Release:
Tempted by a Rogue Prince, the third book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback.

Tempted by a Rogue Prince and the Eternal Mates series is set in the same world as the Vampire Erotic Theatre series, so if you’re a fan of that series, you will love Eternal Mates. Throughout this series, you’ll have a chance to catch up with the cast of the Vampire Erotic Theatre series and learn more about their world. In Claimed by a Demon King, you’ll get to visit the theatre, and some of the favourite characters in the Vampire Erotic Theatre series.  Here’s more about Tempted by a Rogue Prince, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.

To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website.  Find out how to enter the Tempted by a Rogue Prince international giveaway (ends August 24th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 6 chapter sample of the novel here.
Felicity is hosting a Facebook release party for Tempted by a Rogue Prince on August 17th, so join her then for amazing giveaways, Q&A, teasers and more. All the details here.

More About the Book (Tempted by a Rogue Prince (Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 3)):
An elf prince on the verge of losing himself to the darkness, Vail is maddened by the forty-two centuries he was under the control of a witch and forced to war with his brother. Now, he roams Hell seeking an escape from his terrible past and the heads of all who bear magic. When demons of the Fifth Realm capture him, he sees a chance to end his existence, but when he wakes in a cell to a beautiful female, he finds not death but his only shot at salvation—his true fated mate. 

Captured by the enemy of the Third Realm when the war ended, Rosalind has spent months in the cells of the Fifth Realm with her magic bound, forced to heal the new king’s demon warriors, and haunted by the lives she has taken. When she’s brought to heal an unconscious man, she discovers her only hope of escape has come in the form of her worst nightmare and the first part of a prediction that might spell her doom—a devastatingly handsome and dangerous dark elf prince.

Unwilling to fall under the control of anyone ever again, Vail must escape before the Fifth King can use him as a pawn in a deadly game of revenge, but he cannot leave without Rosalind, the woman who looks at him with dark desire in her stunning eyes and awakens a fierce hunger in his heart. A witch who drives him mad with need even as the darkness within whispers she will enslave him too.

Can Rosalind escape her fate as they embark on a journey fraught with danger and resist the temptation of her rogue elf prince? And can Vail overcome the memories that madden him in order to seize his chance for salvation and the heart of his fated female forever?

Tempted by a Rogue Prince is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer here.

Excerpt:
Pain. It tore at him. Shredded his flesh. Smashed his bones. Devoured his soul. Blood. He needed it. Ached for it. Hungered. Darkness. It consumed him.

A floral scent swept around him, invading his senses, driving back the darkness and the agony. Nature. He was somewhere green and verdant, beautiful and soothing. He could see it in his buzzing mind, and could see it for himself if he could just get his eyes open.

He yearned to run his fingers through the tall meadow grass. He longed to lift the wild blooms to his nose and inhale their delicate fragrance. He needed to lay beneath the mighty oak and let the dappled sunlight play across his tired body as the melody of the branches swaying filled his mind. He wanted to breathe deep of it all and let it fill his soul with light.

Vail forced his eyes open, filled with a hunger to see the nature that brought with it such a sweet, enticing scent.

Black stone greeted his eyes. The rank odour of mould overshadowed the soft floral fragrance.

A dream?

Had he been dreaming of nature, a fantasy so real that it had crossed over into reality? He couldn’t recall the last time he had dreamed. Nightmares were his constant companion. Never dreams.

But there was no nature in his dark damp cell. No sunshine. No flowers. No meadow grass.  


No beauty.

“You’re awake.” The voice was female, edged with a quaver that spoke of fear, and a sense of familiarity.

He shifted his eyes down to her. Beauty and nature stood over him and he saw blue skies in her eyes and sunshine in the spun gold of her hair. A faint scent of wild roses clung to her. He didn’t remember her, or did he? It was hazy. Her face seemed familiar.

“Remain still,” she said and he complied only because he wasn’t sure he could move, not even to snap her neck or tear her throat out with his fangs.

Why would he do such a thing to the delicate little wild rose?

She trembled, her shoulders shaking so violently that her matted fair hair tumbled off them and down her front.

He wanted to reach out and sweep that hair back into place.

Vail became aware of the cold heaviness of manacles around his wrists.

Hazy things started coming back to him, slowly gaining focus in his weary mind. The demons had done this to him. He was sure of that. He recalled the fight and wanting death, and waking to this female. He recalled her saying he was bound.

They had him chained and had a female in his cell.

She was a trap.

Crushing weight pressed down on his chest and his throat clogged. They had sent her in to hurt him.

To abuse him.

He snarled and fought his bonds, desperately trying to break the chain between them. He was stronger now, although he didn’t know why. Power flowed through him, strength he hadn’t felt in as long as he could remember. He used all of it on the restraints, bowing off the cold stone slab as he fought them.

“Please keep still.” She reached out to touch him.

To lay her hands on his flesh.

Vail bared his fangs at her and rolled off the slab, hitting the floor hard enough to knock the air from his lungs. He kicked off, scrambling as he attempted to rise to his feet and placing as much distance between them as he could manage.

“Keep away,” he said in English, using her tongue.

She shot to her feet and he growled at her, flashing his fangs in warning again.

“I cannot,” she barked and took a step towards him. “If I don’t heal you, they’ll punish me!”

Fear shone in her blue eyes. Eyes that implored him to believe her as she took another hesitant step towards him. Her arms shifted, coming forwards, and metal rattled. His gaze dropped to her wrists and he blinked.

She wore the same heavy cuffs as he, and had worn them for some time judging by her scarred wrists. A foreign sensation bolted through him on seeing the pale streaks of silver and red on her delicate skin. A need that he didn’t understand.

He felt compelled to take her hand in his and smooth his fingers over the scars, as if that action could erase the ugly marks of her captivity and restore her flawless skin.

He had no such power, not over flesh and bone. Not anymore. He had forsaken it long ago when he had severed his connection to his people and his powers had withered over the endless centuries since then.

And he had no reason to desire to use it on this female.

“Please?” she whispered and he lifted his gaze back to meet hers. “I have to heal you.”

A healer.

What species was she? Many could heal and many of those appeared human.

Including witches.

He growled at her, unable to stop himself, a reaction to that word that would stay with him until death finally embraced him. She didn’t flinch away. She bravely stood her ground this time, although her heart missed several beats and he sensed the fear she held buried deep within her.


Not only fear of him. She feared the demons too. And something else.

Something unknown to him, but something he needed to understand. He wasn’t sure why. It ran deep in his blood, a compulsion he couldn’t comprehend and that made no sense to him. It tied him in knots, twisting his insides, making him feel useless and weak.

Cursed female.

He narrowed his gaze on her, studying her delicate features and the way she held herself, drinking in everything about her, searching for a clue as to the reason for his strange reactions to her. Perhaps they had drugged him. It was all a ploy to weaken him and lure him into her trap. They wanted to watch her bring him to his knees. They would laugh as he suffered at her hands.

They were attempting to play on his compassion, but that had been their mistake.

He had no compassion left.

It had been wrung out of him thousands of years ago.

“Please?” she said again and gestured to the slab. “I’m not going to hurt you. I just have to heal you.”

He didn’t want to lay on it and allow her to touch him. He didn’t want her hands on him. Caressing. Fondling. Groping. He snarled and flashed his fangs again, and she shrank back, a little gasp escaping her.

“I would do as she asks, Mate. She isn’t going to hurt you, but if she doesn’t do as ordered, the demons will hurt her.” The deep male voice was little more than a snarl and Vail cast a glance off to his left.

A male with long dark hair streaked with gold occupied the cell opposite his, casually leaning against the thick deep grey stone wall. Green eyes locked with Vail’s, holding him fast. Fae markings tracked up the male’s arms, flushed with blood red and ash black, a sign of aggression. He was handsome too, despite the thick dark beard. He folded his arms across his muscular bare chest, the twin cuffs he wore clanking and filling the heavy silence, but they had no chain between them.


If this male spoke the truth, then she did too, and the guards would punish her for her failure. Vail pressed his hands against the sides of his head, dug his fingers through his blue-black hair and clawed his scalp, raking his nails over it. Gods, he missed his claws. He missed his armour. He needed it back. It was the only thing that could ground him.

The male pushed away from the wall and moved to the bars. He wrapped his hands around them and his gaze slid to the female. Lingering. Possessing.

Vail bared his fangs and hissed at him, barely maintaining the human appearance of his eyes and ears. He had to hold on to his veil. He couldn’t let these people know what he was. Who he was.

The man shrugged and kept staring at the female. “I warned you, Little Girl. You play with vipers and you’ll get bitten.”


Tempted by a Rogue Prince is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find all the links, a fantastic 6 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/tempted-by-a-rogue-prince-paranormal-romance-novel.php

Books in the Series:
Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar – coming in 2015


About the Author:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

 Website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk
Blog: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/felicityheaton
Twitter: http://twitter.com/felicityheaton
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/felicityheaton

1 comments:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

0

Giveaway: The Betwixt Series, I Know Lucy, Set Me Free by Melissa Pearl

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Synopsis:
The Betwixt Series includes Betwixt, Before and Beyond. 
Follow the lives of two teenagers who have to discover that sometimes to find your way, you have to get completely lost. This emotional series deals with the consequences of bad choices, young love... and the ultimate power of redemption. 

Betwixt
Beautiful, wild-child, Nicole Tepper, is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded. 

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out? 

Before
In this prequel to Betwixt, find out who Dale Finnigan was before he became known as“scar-face”—the unassuming hero everyone underestimates. 

Beyond
In this sequel to Betwixt, find out how Nicole Tepper proves to Dale that she loves him beyond all common sense.


Information (about book):
Author(s): Melissa Pearl
Rating (On Goodreads): 4.19
Rating by EBR: ----
 Release Date (Estimation): December 1, 2013
Link to Review on EBR: ----

Synopsis:
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Lucy Tate is on the run. After witnessing the brutal murder of her parents, she's spent five years in hiding -- taking on different personas and faking her way through life. The authorities can't be trusted, so she remains in the shadows, always one beat ahead of the man who is forever hunting her. That is, until she meets Zach Schultz, a senior at Monte Vista High and the one guy she can’t bear to leave. Suddenly her natural instincts to lie, steal, and run are overshadowed by something else...the desire to stay. It’s her one shot at a normal life.

Curious by nature, Zach is immediately drawn to the new girl at school. How can a person look both confident and vulnerable all in the same moment? Determined to learn more about her, he tries to get close, but is thrown into a world of lies and confusion. The only thing that becomes apparent is that discovering the truth may get him killed.

Information (about book):
Author(s): Melissa Pearl
Rating (On Goodreads): 4.12
Rating by EBR: ----
 Release Date (Estimation): April 20, 2014
Link to Review on EBR: ----



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Synopsis:
Lucy Tate has spent the last 5 years on the run. That is, until she met Zach, the one guy she couldn’t bear to leave even though it could cost both of them their lives.

Hunted by a crooked FBI agent who killed her parents, Lucy has taken on one disguise after the next. But Zach knows exactly who she is and in spite of mounting evidence indicating her guilt in her parents’ death, he knows she’s innocent.

Convinced that it’s time to put her years on the run behind her, Zach and Lucy vow to fight back, clear her name, and take down the real killer. 

With support from Zach’s loyal friends and his uncle, an investigative reporter, they set out on a dangerous mission hoping that the truth...will set them free.




Information (about book):
Author(s): Melissa Pearl
Rating (On Goodreads): 4.16
Rating by EBR: ----
 Release Date (Estimation): May 3, 2014
Link to Review on EBR: ----

Information (about giveaway):
Start date: August 16, 2014
End date: September 6, 2014
Format of Prizes: First price: Hardcover; Second and third prize: ebook
Information need to participate: 
  • mailing address in proper format (if won)
  • Read "Terms and Conditions" before entering

*We are not responsible for the damages, lost prize, etc. We are NOT the ones who mail the prize to you, therefore, Ethereal Book Reviews is solely not responsible for anything.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

1

Guest Review: Hidden Animal by Anca Rotar

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Guest Reviewer: Sean Wai Keung


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Synopsis:
Birds of all kinds live together mysteriously inside a country manor, a nobleman’s careless life is disturbed by an unexpected intruder, a monk travels a dying world in search of a god of chaos, and being the ruler of a fairy court is not all it’s made out to be. The Birds, symbolizing hope, faith and sometimes fatality, the Beasts that, in their various forms, embody the allure of danger and of all that is primal, and the Spirits, which have their subtle ways of influencing all action, come together into one Hidden Animal, which is nothing but the part of human nature that always remains mysterious and unexplained.  (Taken from Goodreads)










Stars Given:

Overall View:
‘Hidden Animals’ is exactly that. The title, suggestive of secrets, wildness, mystery & nature, perfectly describes the book itself. Its author, Anca Rotar, has split her work into three main parts: The Birds, The Beasts, The Spirits, but the whole thing starts with a single prologue poem, Thysia, a mission statement fearlessly addressed to the reader which contains in its bare bones both humour & the atmosphere of occultism. Half prayer/chant, half knowing wink in the readers direction, Thysia is a powerful way to open a collection & luckily for the reader it does not disappoint. 

The first section, The Birds, consists mostly of poetry – the white space around the words is a sky, the lines are formations of birds. But don’t let this fool you into thinking the section lacks punch. There is both sadness & anger contained within the poetry, especially in The Lightless, whose opening lines: “When I am finally empty, / I suppose God can pour in” evokes the endless cycle of nature, the use & re-use of the holy.


This theme continues into The Beasts, a section which begins with a creation poem & ends with The White Wolf, one of the longer & one of this reviewers favourite short stories. There is a general concern throughout both it & the section as a whole with time & space, blood & bones. There is less humour than in The Birds but instead quirkiness takes more of a step forwards. From Sophia Says, for instance: “...the animal heads on the wall / bow as she passes by”.
This quirkiness turns once again into something different by the time we get to The Spirits. This section is by far the most playful, the rhyming The Wish Gone Wrong & the opening line of short story The Answer being prime examples: “I don’t know what the answer is, but let us imagine something.” However, everything also seems a little sharper. The short stories are more fragmented, the poetry brief and small, fleeting. It says something that the final piece of the section, Up the Stairway, deals with spiders & ends with an opening statement, going back once again to the cycle of nature. From birds to insects. This final section rounds the book off nicely & manages the not-easy task of tying the sections together. This, I believe, is the books greatest success. While each poem & story could definitely stand on its own, the themes & sense of purpose Rotar has woven throughout give the book a different identity, a sense of oneness, & at the end of the day it is this which made it a delight to read. ‘Hidden Animals’ is well worth finding.

1 comments: