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Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Moondust Review

So, I finished reading Moondust by J.L. Weil about three weeks ago. All I can say is “Hallelujah!” The reason I say that is because the plot has finally a good pace to it. It wasn’t as slow as the first two books. If only the first two books had the same pace as this book, it would have made them better. Anyway, I’m going to start this review with the small stuff. The characters of Bri’s aunt and friends became a bit better. They were less stock characters and became real characters. Anyway, the grammar and punctuation issues. But I finally figured out why. I took a better look at the author’s website, and it turns out that the author self-publishes her books. I would think that if an author had a publisher, the author’s works would have to undergo a proofreader or an editor. Anyway, onto the bigger stuff. There are still some things that were left unanswered. For example, what lead Lukas to do what he did? Did something happen to him that made him like that? Why didn’t Bri’s mother want Bri to know about her heritage? Why didn’t Bri’s paternal side take Bri after her parents died if they knew that she could inherit powers and abilities? Will Bri now reach out to her father’s side of the family to learn more about magic? Or will she stick with learning about magic through Gavin’s family? What makes Bri’s powers/abilities so scary, besides the obvious, that other witches and warlocks were willing to her in order to stop her? Is her ability to steal other witches’ powers also associated with another witch or warlock that did horrible things à la Voldemort from the Harry Potter series being a Parselmouth?
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Amethyst Tears Review

Well, I finished reading Amethyst Tears by J.L. Weil about a month ago, and all I can say is that it’s pretty much like my Luminescence review. I will admit though that more things happened in this book as compared to Luminescence. However, the storyline seemed to still be focused on Bri and Gavin’s relationship. Anyway, in my review of Luminescence, I know that I said that there were things that weren’t explained. In Amethyst Tears, there were a few things that were cleared up. For example, it was revealed that Lukas is a witch (technically, a warlock), and a college freshman at the college that Bri wants to go to. He helps Bri to understand her powers and teaches her some spells. It’s also revealed that Morgana le Fey is Bri’s ancestor, and that they have similar, if not the same, powers. It also seems that Morgana le Fey is a bit of a gossip queen. Anyway, I have a few questions about them. Why are they important to the story other than to help Bri understand her powers and as a gossiper? What are their backstories? It doesn’t stop there either when it comes to questions that I have about the book. How does Bri seem to know spells and other relevant information that no one taught her or told her about? Is it that there were more teaching sessions that Bri had with Lukas that weren’t mentioned in the book? Or is it that Bri is psychic or has some innate knowledge of spells and information? And why isn’t Bri more curious about her witch heritage? And why didn’t it dawn on Bri to ask her aunt about her witch heritage? Is she that absorbed into her relationship with Gavin that she didn’t even think about it? Anyway, that sums up my questions about this book. As for the characters, the characters of Bri’s aunt and friends as well as the resident mean girl still seem like stock characters. And again, this author really needs to find someone else to proofread and edit the book because there were a lot of incorrect word usage, grammar and punctuation issues. For example, in one spot of the book, she used either descendant or decadent, I can’t remember which, when the other word would have made more sense. Anyway, that’s the end of my review for this book.
Amethyst book cover

Luminescence Review

Well, I just finished reading Luminescence by J.L. Weil. You can find a synopsis here. Personally, I don’t think that it is one of the best books out there. There’s a laundry list as to what is wrong or left unanswered. Well, first off, this book reads so much like the Twilight series, but instead of it being about vampires, it is about witches. The main comparison is the characters. Bri, the main character, is like Bella in that she’s socially awkward and totally absorbed by her love interest. Gavin, the love interest to Bri, is like Edward: he’s dark and broody. The only difference between Gavin and Edward, besides the witch vs. vampire thing, is that Gavin has a goth/punk look to him. Jared, Gavin’s older brother, is a cross between Emmett and Jacob. Jared has Emmett’s appearance, but Jacob’s ability to shape-shift. Sophie, Gavin’s sister, is like Alice. Sophie, like Alice, has the ability to see the future, but it’s vague until a person makes a decision. Last, but not least, is Gavin’s mom. She is much like Esme in that she is a very nurturing type of mother. The second comparison is the ménage à trois between Bri, Gavin, and Lukas, who is Bri’s friend in her dream world. Then there’s the third, and much smaller, comparison. Bri gets “saved” twice by Gavin: once from a group of drunk guys, and the other from the resident baddie, Morgana le Fay.

The second thing is the plotline. To me, there was no actual plotline. The first half of the book is solely focused on Bri and Gavin’s relationship, and the second half hastily reveals that not only is Bri a witch, but Gavin and his family are witches as well and that Lukas is actually a real person! There are so many questions that were left unanswered. For example, why is it that Bri doesn’t freak out when Gavin said that he was a witch, but completely freaks out and becomes catatonic when she finds out that she’s a witch? If Bri is a witch, then why wasn’t she told about her heritage? Did it come from her father’s side, since Bri’s maternal aunt doesn’t seem to know about it. Or did it come from her mother’s side and her aunt is a witch as well, but for whatever reason, she didn’t tell Bri the truth? Assuming that her aunt knew the truth about Bri, was the reason that Bri wasn’t told in part that her powers or abilities might not manifest at all? Or could it be that Bri’s powers or abilities could have come at any time? Or could it be like the Harry Potter series, where even someone is from a known witch family, they may not have any powers or abilities and vise versa, where someone with no known witch family has powers or abilities? Can Bri tell the truth about her being a witch to her friends? Is magic supposed to be kept secret in this series? If so, why? Did something happen in the past to force it underground? In addition to all of that, who are Lukas and Morgana le Fay? Why are these two characters important to the story? Are they going to play a big part in the subsequent books? Especially Morgana le Fey. Is her story going to be crucial to understanding the subsequent books? And why is it that the incident of Bri burning, unintentionally, the popular girl’s arm, and the ghostly experience at Bri’s friend’s house never really brought up again? I would think that based on how the popular girl was described, she would have made Bri’s life at school even more miserable due to the burning incident.

Anyway, that leads to my next issue. The secondary characters of Bri’s friends and aunt as well as the mean popular girl were little more than stock characters rather than actual fleshed out characters. To me, it seemed that the author only put in these characters in order to show that Bri interacts with other characters than Gavin, his family, and Lukas.

My last complaint is that the grammar and punctuation are not great. I mean, did the author even have someone else proofread the book before it was published? It seemed like the author didn’t have the book proofread. Personally, I don’t like it when there are so many grammar and punctuation issues that could have been prevented by having a proofreader. Now, I get that there will an occasional miss, but still…

Anyway, given my less than glowing review, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not you want to read it.
Luminescence cover

The Divergent Series Book Reviews

So, I finally finished reading the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I might reveal some spoilers, so if you haven’t read the series, don’t go any further. Keep in mind that I saw the movies of the first two movies before I read the books, so I had some idea of what was going to happen in the first two books. However, when I read Allegiant, especially the ending, I was shocked. I can’t believe that Tris was killed off. In all of my years of reading books, I have never read any book where the main character was killed off. I have read other books where other characters were killed off, but never the main character. Anyway, besides Tris’ shocking death, I was surprised by what was on the outside of the city of Chicago. I never expected that the city of Chicago would be a subject in an experiment. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a psychology major, and I know that one influences of the books was a psychology class that the author took, but the experiments as described in the books reminds me of the Stanford Prison experiment. To me, it’s not so much the actual Stanford Prison experiment that the book reminds me of. It’s the ethical aspects of the Stanford Prison experiment that seems similar to the experiment as described in the book.

The Divergent Series book cover

Red Queen Review

So, I finished reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard within the last month. Personally, I really liked the book. However, I have some concerns about the book, and it’s mostly related to its possible influences. I’m pretty sure others who have read the book will agree with me when I say that it seems to be a combination of the X-Men and The Hunger Games. With X-Men, the influence seems to be just that there are people who have abilities and people who do not have abilities, and there is an obvious distinction between the two. With The Hunger Games, the influences, to me, are more obvious. With The Hunger Games, it seems to be that the influences are the idea of people fighting in an arena in front of television cameras for entertainment, and the idea of an underground movement to overthrow the government. I also couldn’t help but notice that the main character of Red Queen has the potential to be the Katniss Everdeen of the book. Personally, based more on The Hunger Games influences, I can’t help but wonder if the author of this book was influenced by The Hunger Games and/or the same things as The Hunger Games author, or if it is all just a big coincidence. In any event, I really liked the book, and would recommend it if you’re a fan of X-Men and/or The Hunger Games.
Red Queen book cover

A Wicked Thing Review

So, I finished reading A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas about a month ago. You can find a synopsis here. Personally, I liked the story. I liked how well-thought out Aurora’s reactions were to life post-kiss. However, as the story went on, it doesn’t seem like Aurora has much of a personality. I don’t know if it’s because of her age or because she was sheltered, but there is something that doesn’t sit well with me about her personality. I find her a little too passive. Anyway, I would recommend the book if you’re interested in fairytales.
A Wicked Thing book cover

A Darker Shade Of Magic Review

So, I just finished reading A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab this past Sunday. You can find a synopsis here. I liked the book. It seems to be a combination of The Lord of the Rings, with a One Ring type of object, Doctor Who, with having fixed places and times, and Harry Potter, with magic. My only issue with the book is that I found the translations for Antari words to be useful in the beginning, but it eventually became annoying after a while.
A Darker Shade Of Magic

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