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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book: Harmonics: Rise of the Magician

Author: Collin Earl & Chris Snelgrove

Publisher: Silverstone Books

Pages: N/A

Date Read: 1/5/2011

From Amazon

They built what could not be constructed. A weapon lightyears ahead of its time. A weapon so superior it defied the known laws of physics. Seven years ago, they were on the verge of unleashing its power. Then…they lost it. Now they are on a desperate hunt to reclaim what they stole. Following the trail of unexplainable deaths, they frantically search for what may become their ultimate demise. But what if the project doesn’t want to be reclaimed? Join their hunt wading through political power-plays, corporate corruption, domestic terrorism, and the greatest enigma of their time- the infamous assassin known only as: The Magician.

Gavin’s Analysis

This is the first work I have ever read by Collin Earl, and I must say, he has left me wanting more! This story seems to me as more of a “Prequel” to the storyline he is working. Most of the book doesn’t seem to make any sense for the first two or three chapters, until the “camera” per-say settles on the main storyline, that of Samantha Montgomery of Academy City 676’s life. It was her last year of high school, and her life gets flipped upside down. Her school was attacked by 3 different groups all at once. One, a Research Lab who from my take on the story, has created a human of supernatural talents that, I am not positive but I believe, has the ability to split compounds into their elements, and recombine the elements into whatever they want. This is what it seems the element Earl has coined “Harmonicum” can do, from the various little tidbits given about MESA Lab’s involvement with it at least, and the”Experiment” escaped from MESA Labs. Although this book has left a few open strings in anticipation for the next book, all in all I would say it tells a fascinating intro to a whole new world of Earl’s which we will all come to love as the story progresses. Only time will tell, Until then we must wait for the release of his Next book in the series.

I don’t know about other readers, but I for one can not wait to get my hands on the next book Collin Earl publishes in this story.

-Gavin Chester

Memorable Quotes:

Looking back, I think I knew, even as we sped down that motorway, that life – my life as I had known it – was never going to be the same again

Ratings:
Overall: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Writing Style: 8/10
Uniqueness: 10/10

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Book: Department of Temporal Adjustment

Author: Veronica R Tabares

Publisher: Sun Break Publishing

Pages: 336

Date Read: January 7, 2011

From Amazon: Time is a funny thing… Happily married, Vanessa and Tony are the proud parents of three little girls. Still, something’s missing; both Vanessa and Tony want to finish their degrees. It’s a pretty big decision, but with their heart set on the University of Washington they make a pact: One or the other will always be at home with the kids. It’s only fair, so when the couple schedules their classes, courses, and lab work it’s a matter of protecting home base. As it goes, life is good, if a little hectic. Vanessa often finds herself at the lab on campus late at night, but so what? She’s young. Still, when she accidentally steps through a time portal on campus that shoots her into the future, she’ll have to trade in her lab coat for a super hero’s cape and hold on for dear life. Part time warp Nancy Drew mystery, part Super Mom drama, Department of Temporal Adjustment by new author Veronica R Tabares is a funny, tender, and engaging adventure about motherhood and the incredible juggling act a woman succeeds at every day, even when one hand is tied behind her back.

Gavin’s Analysis: This story is about a house-mom named Vanessa and her involvement with a time-portal she stumbles upon while at college, and how it affects her family. Vanessa is the main character throughout the story, although her husband, Tony, and three daughters do play big roles. Her college lab-partner, Erica, plays a important role also, although hers is a bit more minor, and only through a part of the book. Right from the beginning of the book, it jumps you right into the life of Vanessa and Tony and how hectic it is. Within a few chapters, Vanessa is already noticing strange things around campus, from oddly dressed people roaming the grounds at strange hours, to a weird humming noise in the building that she uses the lab of. A lot of mysterious things happen to her throughout the book, things she can’t explain why they are happening to her, and that make her think she is going crazy. At first, when I read the book description, I expected a bigger focus on the sci-fi aspects of the story, the whole “time portal on her college campus”. I was expecting some huge adventure in the future. Yes, I was disappointed, but that is NOT to say the book was un-enjoyable. I still greatly enjoyed the storyline, which is more a focus on her life in the present and how her short forays into the future affect her life, along with the life of her family. The storyline is nice, and the ending to the book is very happy. It is written in the first-person and in the end is told to be a “journal of sorts” although it reads just like a story rather than a journal, which I was happy for. All-in-all I really enjoyed the book, even though it wasn’t what I had originally expected.

Similar Titles: I can’t think of any similar books I have read. If I ever do think of any, I’ll let you guys know.

Memorable Quotes: “On to the greatest adventure of all time. Family, Marriage, College—Life.”

Ratings:

Overall: 9/10

Plot: 7/10

Writing Style: 9/10

Uniqueness: 9/10

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October Breezes

Book: October Breezes

Author: Maria Rachel Hooley

Publisher: CreateSpace

Pages: n/a

Date Read: January 18, 2011

From Amazon

Skye Williams knows everything there is to know about mistrust: Dad skipped out when she was five, leaving Mom with an angry daughter and an upside-down mortgage. Then there were the boyfriends—at least a dozen—hot on his heels and hot for her mom, none of whom stuck around long enough to figure out Skye hated them—hated the underage toys they brought as bribes and the way they looked at her, speeding past with the same distaste they would have for a yellow traffic light. And now this Warren Jacobs has shown up to sweep Mom off her feet—and all he’s brought with him is a crummy, dog-eared book. She doesn’t even read! How can Mom even like this guy, much less trust him? He’s just another loser with a capital L.

But Warren’s not the only concern rocking Skye’s world. Devin Abbott, a guy she’s known since kindergarten, has changed. Almost at once, he’s become this tall, broad-shouldered guy with dark hair and easy eyes she might date—if he hadn’t always been her best friend. Skye swears there’s nothing between them, but everyone else thinks differently. Devin doesn’t act the way he used to, especially when Kellin Morgan, senior quarterback, asks Skye out. Flattered, she accepts, and, Devin sulls up—and he isn’t the only one. Kellin’s best friend, Tyler Rutherford, gets bent out of shape, too, as he’s always wanted Skye for himself. When Kellin and Skye attend one of Tyler’s famous parties, neither senses the impending disaster. Afterwards Skye is left with consequences that will change not only her life but also that of everyone who loves her.

Gavin’s Analysis

October Breezes follows the life of a young high-school girl, Skye Williams, through many of the terrible experiences she goes through.  Other key characters include her mom; her mom’s fiance, Warren; Her best friend, Devin, her new beau, Kellin; her unlikely ally in all the mess, Jimmy; the girl who wants her boyfriend, Becca; and the guy of her nightmares, Tyler. On the proverbial “high-school food-chain” Skye and Devin rank quite low, so low they don’t exist to the “popular crowd”.  Kellin, Tyler, and Jimmy are all on the football team, and Kevin is the quarterback. Kellin and Jimmy are the opposite of all the stereotypes that just popped into your head. Tyler follows said stereotypes to the dot. Becca is the witch with a capital B who controls the minds and actions of all the girls in the popular crowd, the “queen bee” you could say.  Throughout the book Skye runs into problems that threaten to destroy her life, usually caused by Tyler and Becca. Devin tries to warn her, but every time she ignores him they grow farther and farther apart. He doesn’t like Kellin, but Kellin isn’t the problem, Tyler is. Becca pretty much hates Skye’s guts, because she has the guy Becca wants more than anything else.

I’d have to say I see through Devin’s perspective the most, if I was asked. I can relate to being in his shoes, trying to stop your close friend from dating a guy that is going to hurt her. I sympathize with Skye, but as I’m not a teenage girl, and have been in almost none of her problems myself, I can’t really imagine being in her shoes. This is  really good book, but it isn’t the kind of book I would ever say I “enjoyed”, because its an extremely sad story.  I didn’t like the story, but there was a very loud message being said through the story, and the message is a good one. Throughout the book, I found myself on the edge of my seat, worrying for Skye, and wanting to punch Becca in the face.  The writing is so good, it just drags you right into the story. I couldn’t put it down My favorite part of the book was the ending, when we finally learn what the big deal with Becca is, and the couple that should have been together throughout the whole book finally come to terms with their feelings for each other.  The ending to the book, was the best part because it ended all the sadness. My least favorite part was all the times Skye was abotu to do something stupid, and I couldn’t warn her (I know that makes me sound silly, but its true). I wouldn’t ever change anything to the story, it was written perfectly as it should have been, and for that I congratulate Mrs Hooley. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any and all young adults out there who enjoy reading, and even a lot of those who don’t enjoy reading should read it. I would especially recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, or Brian Katcher’s Almost Perfect. Thank you to Mrs. Hooley for giving me the chance to read this novel and enjoy it.

-Gavin Chester

Ratings:

Overall: 9/10

Plot: 8/10

Writing Style: 10/10

Uniqueness: 7/10

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