The Trail in the Woods #bookreview

First sentence: “Where does that supposedly scary trail go?” Janet Johnson asked her long-time childhood friend, Robert Wild, and snickered slightly as she pointed at the overgrown barely visible path that vanished just in front of them.

About the story: The Devil’s Tail is an overgrown trail, lying a few miles southeast of Portland, Oregon. Rumors had it that two people once hiked the trail, never to be seen, or heard from again. When childhood friends, Janet and Bob, decide to hike the trail, they embark on a thrilling and frightening adventure of a lifetime.

My thoughts: The Trail in the Woods held a lot of promise. It was an interesting premise; however, my thoughts wavered a bit as I read. I think it was because the book is in need of a good editing. The first sentence alone had me stumbling. There were sentences I felt could have either been omitted or tweaked in order to make the reading that much smoother.

The dialogue tended to fall flat, and I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. There was too much showing rather than telling within the narrative and the dialogue.

As I kept reading, my interest did grow to find out how the story would end, and found it certainly was a different way to end things.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Does it interest you? Buy it here! (Change link)

*For more reviews, visit: Angela Kay’s Books*

A little bit about the author:

Stanley Straub
Stanley Straub was a Guided Missile Technician in the Navy and worked as an electrical engineer in the Aerospace Industry. He is a master at crafting technical thrillers that will capture you and thrill you with his stories. Mr. Straub loves writing Science Fiction suspense stories and has been honing his skills by writing spine-tingling stories since he was in grade school. He has his own unique style. If you like reading suspense thrillers, then you will love reading his books. He is the author of three published thrillers, “The Killer Within”, “The Segmented Tail”, and “The Trail in the Woods”.

The Killing Ploy #Bookreview

  • Title: The Killing PloyThe Killing Ploy by [Haberman, Steve]
  • Author: Steve Haberman
  • Print Length: 265
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2012
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Espionage

Pablo de Silva is a former CIA tracker and shooter who is being haunted by the memory of his last mission, when he failed to save the lives of a fellow agent and lover. In this present day, he’s been trying to work through his failure, but it isn’t so easy when his colleagues are holding him in such low regard because of such failure. When his former boss calls him home on a new assignment, he quickly begins to realize that he’s fallen into a dangerous web.

The Killing Ploy was an interesting read. For the first half of the story, though, I found myself slugging through. The characters weren’t rounded out as I liked and a lot of the times the dialogue didn’t quite fit who they were as people. And while the scenery was developed wonderfully in the narrative (marvelous job at that. Coming from somewhere that doesn’t travel to exotic places, I felt I was there), there were a lot of times when I felt the sentence was incomplete. For example: She could remember their panicky flight out to the terrace, stumbling down the steep bluff, and struggling up some dunes to her Mercedes. After that, though, a fog as to why they had escaped to RCB.

I can see what the author is saying in the last sentence, but it, like many others, don’t really sit that well with me.

The second half was much better than the first. I can see a better grip on the writing and details. While the dialogue still wasn’t up to par, I found myself getting a little more into the story, wanting to find out how it would end.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Steve Haberman

A University of Texas graduate, Steve Haberman pursued legal studies at UCLA before embarking on a career as a legal assistant. Profitable stock market investments made travel abroad possible, and he has since visited Europe extensively and frequently, including London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, as well as Milan and Budapest. Many of these feature as settings in his two e-book novels. “Murder Without Pity,” a murder mystery with tragic echoes from the past, occurs in Paris. “The Killing Ploy” (with heavy overtones of “fake news” before that was topical) is set partially in several Continental capitals. His two works in progress, “Darkness and Blood,” the sequel to “The Killing Ploy,” and “Winston Churchill’s Renegade Spy” also use foreign locales. He is presently planning another three month trip abroad for research on a fifth thriller, this one set in the post World War II apocalyptic ruin of the German capital.

Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter #bookreview @elleboca

  • Title:  Unelmoija: The DreamshifterUnelmoija: The Dreamshifter (Weeia Book 1) by [Boca, Elle]
  • Author: Elle Boca
  • Print Length: 208
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Amy is Weeia. She doesn’t know much about the Weeia race, only that they are superhuman with special abilities. In Unelmoija: Dreamshifter, Amy is beginning to learn more about her own Weeia ability. As she discovers more about her powers, she learns someone is trying to kill her. To save her life, Amy must rely on a mysterious stranger who both attracts her and repels her, as well as her father she’d never met.

After reading Elle Boca’s Weeia Marshalls series, then reading this book, I can honestly say that she’s grown as a writer. Unelmoija: Dreamshifter is her first novel and also the book that introduces us to the Weeia universe. I liked the idea behind the Unelmoija universe, and I also liked most of the characters. The only thing about Amy that I wasn’t too crazy about was that it seemed as though she was a little too happy-go-lucky. Even in danger, I couldn’t really feel her trepidation. I also felt she struck a friendship with Duncan a little too quickly after deciding that she didn’t trust him. I think it would have been better and more intriguing if Amy and Duncan showed their obvious attraction, but struggled with feelings that were developing.

When I first started Dreamshifter, Amy was acting like normal people do, then the narrative throws in something about a kidnapping of her and her mother, which, as the story progresses, never got fully explained. I had gone back to the very beginning of the book to the table of contents and began to flip through, thinking I may have missed the prologue or something. But, I didn’t, which made me feel as though I was thrown into something I should have already known. Sometimes the way the dialogue was written confused me.

*For example: “I can see your mind is set.” I’d won the first battle. I kept quiet, as the situation was uncertain.*

In that scenario, it’s Duncan who is speaking. Then, in the same paragraph, it jumps into Amy’s first-person narrative. There were a lot of instances about that.

I think this was a decent beginning to the series. It isn’t my favorite, but I did like the premise. And as I said earlier, Elle Boca does grow as a writer. All series needs something to get the ground running, and Dreamshifter does the trick. I would be interested to see where Amy goes now that she’s learned more about Weeia and her powers. Maybe the questions I had in the first book are embellished in the ones after.

Overall Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Severed Empire: Wizard’s Rise Book 1 #bookreview

  • Title: Severed Empire: Wizard’s Rise Book 1
  • Author: Philip Tomasso
  • Print Length: 434
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: February 12, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Mykal, a farm boy from Gray Ashland, along with a few of his comrades are on a quest to save the Old Empire from the Mountain King, whose ambition is to become the next Emperor. If they fail, a terrible darkness will steal the light from their realm forever.

Wizard’s Rise by author Philip Tomasso was a decent beginning to a series. It did what it was supposed to do and introduced us to the characters we should know. When I began reading, it took quite a bit of turning the pages for me to get involved. There were a few actions scenes in the beginning that I enjoyed, other than that, I felt it dragging. However, later on, as it progressed, I became more eager to see what would happen next. I felt the plot grow, along with Mykal, our hero.

The dialogue didn’t always bode well with me. I felt that it was trying too hard to be humorous and it just didn’t seem to fit, although the humor was cutesy. I think it may have been due to who said certain phrases.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy the read the more I went on. The layout of the world was described extremely well. The characters could have had more depth but they still grew as they should have. By the end, it was a great beginning to Philip Tomasso’s fantasy series.  Although any age of fantasy readers may enjoy Wizard’s Rise, I feel it would fit much better for young adults rather than adults. If you’re expecting and prefer a dark fantasy with a lot of grit, like I did, then prepare for more of a lighter read. I do look forward to the next installment.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Phillip Tomasso

Tomasso is an award winning, Amazon Best Selling author of over 20 novels and novellas.

Prolific, he has published novels for young readers, suspense enthusiasts, legal thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, and most recently focusing more and more on horror, fantasy, and books for young adults (YA).

He and his oldest son (also named Phillip Tomasso), co-authored YOUNG BLOOD, released in February 2015.

Tomasso works full time as a Fire/EMS Dispatcher for 911, Tomasso dedicates his time to continually working on new writing projects, and his three children.

Be sure to visit his website: http://www.philliptomasso.com

Follow him on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/P_Tomasso

PRESERVATION: Winner, 1st Place Best Book 2014 (The Bookie Monster)

ADVERSE IMPACT: Winner, 1st Place Bloody Dagger Award (All About Murder – 2004)

JOHNNY BLADE: Winner, 1st Place Bloody Dagger Award (All About Murder – 2003)

If you are looking for books with Wizards, Magic, Dragons, Pirates, Private Eyes, Detectives, Suspense, Action, Dinosaurs, or Zombies . . . be sure to check out Phillip Tomasso.

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