Burn, Do Not Read! Book Review

See? I told you I review other people’s books!

This one in particular was handed to me in person back in August. I must apologize to the author, Kevin Flanders, for taking so long to get to it; The Count of Monte Cristo takes FOREVER to read when you’ve got a job and kids as well.

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Now, to the book: Burn, Do Not Read! By Kevin Flanders.  I have to start off by saying that I didn’t necessarily hold any hopes for this novel, as it was self-published, and as you may know, such books are a hit or miss.  As I began reading, I was afraid it might be a miss; the font changed back and forth between two or three different types, the speaker changed what tense he was speaking in, and the format of the paragraphs was broken at very odd places, breaking up the flow of reading.  I WAS given a “Sample Copy,” however, so I will give the author the benefit of the doubt.  The tense issues mostly ceased by the second or third chapter, and the flow got much better. Basically, all I am saying here is that the book, as I was given it, could use the touch of an experienced editor.

As to the MEAT of the story itself, I will tell you that while I don’t generally go for the suspense/thriller genre, this book definitely qualifies as such. I was engrossed.  The story follows the heartbreaking case of Jack Gibson, a grandfather and recovered alcoholic, who dives dangerously close back into alcoholism when he accidentally hits and kills a 6-year-old boy with his truck one day.  The incident serves to haunt Jack throughout the rest of the book, despite the best efforts of his loving wife Mary, who in turn dies herself a year later.  The combined tragedy drives Jack to decide to leave his life behind and move into a house (which he buys online, sight-unseen but for internet photos), clear across the country, much to the consternation of his family members.

The house is desolate, lonely, creepy, and (I don’t care what anyone else says) totally freaking haunted.  Once Jack has moved, his life seems to jump from livable and almost carefree to a nightmare in his own home, due to the strange sounds and loss of lights… not to mention the constantly-howling coyotes and the scary stories he’s heard about the previous occupants of his little house in the woods. I don’t want to give away the story in its entirety, but I will say that I read on the edge of my seat quite often, and found myself wondering what would happen next, even while out taking a walk on my own.  I was eager to read more, and the plight of Jack being torn between the enticing “sanity” that could be brought back to him by alcohol or the fight with whatever demonic figure was possessing his house was one I could not wait to finish.

Alas, the book does end.  I was on the edge of my seat up until the second-to-last chapter, when the nail-biting terror suddenly stops.  I have to say that the ending was terribly anticlimactic.  So much build-up… it was frustrating to read.  I felt like the story had no tangible resolution, and we are left to wonder what actually happened in the creepy house in the dark woods.

Still, the rest of the book is totally worth the read.  And if you are of a religious tendency, perhaps you can make your own meaning from the end of the story.  I, personally, am going to let my imagination run wild and start drawing monsters in my sketchbook.

 

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Review Offer!

I have dabbled before… (see PAWS Review)… but now I think I am ready to take on a real challenge.

I would like to read and review your book.

I vastly prefer novels in the genre of fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/thriller, but I will be happy to read a synopsis of your book and decide if it is something I would be interested in.  If the material doesn’t interest me, I can’t read it. I do enjoy a bit of history as well, so historical thrillers or historical romance (not smut) would be considered.

Here is the catch: you will need to provide me with a copy of your book (I have a Kindle, or hard copies are acceptable) and $1 to my PayPal. If these terms are agreeable, please send your review request to ameliaritner@gmail.com.

Warning: I am a Grammar/ English Nazi. If your writing or grammar is terrible, I will not be able to finish reading the book and I will refund your fee. Please write a personal email to prove how articulate you are when you pitch me your story.

Thank you! I look forward to your books!

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Thanks, Guys!

Finally have gotten some feedback on Fuzzy Business 2 from a few folks.  Apparently, the second book is better than the first!  The wheels in my head are turning for book three, and I will be writing the outline this weekend while I still plug away at my fantasy novel.

Now, can you write an Amazon book review for me?  pretty please?  With cherries and lasagna on top?

Book Review- P.A.W.S.

P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

I got this book free in exchange for a review, and ended up really liking it!  The ending was a bit anti-climactic, and it could use the touch of a more experienced editor, but otherwise it was an engaging story that I definitely enjoyed reading.  The author certainly knows cats and Jewish tradition!

Being a cat lover myself, this book caught my interest immediately in the first chapter. You get to know Miri as the story goes on, a shy, somewhat sheltered girl, who grows into her own powers once she discovers them. I love that she is one of a very few cat animaguses, though I confess I was confused as to how her magical transformation managed to not hurt at all and also change her clothes and backpack along with her body. The villain in this story, Alistair, comes off truly evil and devious. I feel that the author did a great job developing these characters, but I should warn that there are a couple of pretty explicit scenes that would make me reluctant to let anyone under 14 read this book. The ending left more to be said, in my opinion, though perhaps that is an opening for a sequel. That said, P.A.W.S. is a well thought-out world with likable characters and detailed scenes that definitely kept my attention, and made me want to open up the Kindle each day to read more.

Dammit, Amazon…

It has been brought to my attention that if you downloaded Fuzzy Business for free, Amazon may not allow you to write a review.  If you still want to tell me (and the world) what you think, please use the comments section of the “Reviews” link to the left of the page here, and write a review there.  Thanks, guys!

Book Reviews

I’m looking to garner some book reviews for my new novel.  Would any other new authors like to trade off?  I’ll send you a copy of my book, you send me a copy of yours, and we can write honest reviews of the work?  Other suggestions on how to do something similar are also much appreciated.