Children Of The Stars

– by K. Aten

 

K. Aten‘s latest, I must say, took me to a whole new level of intrigue!! The subject matter, the significance of the metaphysics, psychic abilities including telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, telesthesia, levitation, clairvoyance, the lot! As if not enough, Aten also injected the divine connection of soulmates, not to mention, higher consciousness, aliens, other universes… the whole nine yards! With all these ingredients mixed together to create a uniquely engaging and intriguing story about two royal babies, princesses, born from two different planets, Tora and Reyna, in the Q’orre system, who were bonded as soulmates (Q’sirrahna), but as a result of their respective planets being under attack, they were inevitably shipped off to Earth for their own protection, kept under watch by the Watchers. When I read this prologue, I couldn’t help but be reminded a little bit of “Superman.” Just a little bit.  But what really piqued my curiosity and intrigue was how Aten moulded the back story of the entire situation with the MCs’ planets of origin, the system, the battle, and the nature of the soulmate bond and the circumstances in which the two MCs, Zendara Inyri Baen-Tor (Zen), Princess of Tora, and Amari Losira Del Rey (Amari), Princess of Reyna, were separated on Earth, living separate lives but were meant to be reunited when the timing was right. I won’t elaborate here except to make reference to the following: Wes Penre and Robert Morning Sky. It’s uncanny how Aten’s story here reminded me so much of these two people. If you know either or both of them, you’d understand. Simply remarkable! Obviously, this is just my own interpretation regarding the parallels between what Aten brought into this brilliantly weaved and told sci-fi/speculative/paranormal/supernatural/metaphysical story, and Penre and Sky’s observations. If you don’t know what in the world I’m referring to, don’t fret. Read this story as is. But if you do, then, it really is extraordinary, innit? Hmm.. I wonder…

Anyway….

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21 Weeks Series (Weeks 1-7, 8-14, 15-21)

– by R.A. LaShea

21weeks

*This commentary applies to all 3 installments of “21 Weeks”
(Weeks 1-7, 8-14 & 15-21)*

 

How do you catch a perfect killer?

R.A. LaShea‘s tour de force of a serial crime saga, “21 Weeks” that spanned out in 3 7-week installments, is prolly the best constructed and executed crime procedural series I’ve ever read in any fic yet! Thanks to an enthusiastic recommendation from one of my GR mates (Cheers, Farah!), I grabbed a copy and never looked back! My goodness! It was like watching the entire case on-screen! So meticulous. So methodical. So absorbing and addictive. In fact, LaShea’s design of the entire case is so ready to be adapted from book-to-screen. imho! “21 Weeks” is truly one of the most original serial crimes created, what with the types of killings constructed and the methodology of solving it.

First off, I was immediately drawn to the aesthetic structure of LaShea’s presentation of her story – dividing it into weeks. Reminded me of the TV series, “24,” but instead of every episode representing one hour, this one was by week. And in each week, starting from “Week 1,” the story began with the day, the location and the time, reminiscent of the TV series, “Law & Order.” With this technique, I discovered that my brain was processing my reading of each Week as if it were a week instead of my usual reading time of x minutes to finish a chapter (Week). In essence, the constant display of the day and time on the pages tricked my brain into slowing down the reading time lapse to match LaShea’s. I can’t explain it any other way, so if you think I’m bonkers, maybe I am! Ignore this! Anyway, it literally brought Beck and Co.’s entire investigation of each homicide to life, for me, making my experience much more acute! In addition to this effective structure of presentation, one of the best bits was that I felt like LaShea gave me, the reader, the opportunity to work through and determine the killer’s modus operandi myself rather than spoon-feeding me, you know? Simply brilliant!

Continue reading “21 Weeks Series (Weeks 1-7, 8-14, 15-21)”

Sandman

– by Tammy Bird

 

One word. Sandman. On the book cover. The text almost translucent, as if trying to hide in plain sight with its colour melding into the sandy beach with an ominous-looking sky looming above the troubled waters.

What is Sandman?

When I first heard about Tammy Bird‘s debut novel, “Sandman,” I was immediately curious. First, the cryptic title, which set my mind whirling trying to ascertain its meaning or symbolism. The aesthetically unsettling cover closed the deal for me. SOLD.

Then, the fact that the revealed plot from the blurb was twofold – a search-and-rescue effort post-hurricane and what was lurking in the sand dunes. I thought that was a fascinating approach to writing in the crime thriller genre in lesfic. Needless to say, I utterly enjoyed the story as a whole. I was glad to discover that there were more than met the eye, beyond the twofold-plotline blurb! Truth be told, I actually didn’t read the blurb before I read the book because I was so intrigued by the title that I wanted to find out for myself including what the case would entail. I must say, I was surprised when I went back to read the blurb afterwards when I saw the revelation of the title’s meaning! I wish the blurb didn’t mention that, though. Oh well, it didn’t affect me because, thank goodness, I didn’t read the blurb before delving into a book this time!

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Return To Doll Island ( Book 2 – Sequel To The Curse Of Doll Island)

– by Ocean

 

Honestly, with THIS cover, could there BE any doubt that this one was gonna leave me panting to catch my breath after?! And that blasted doll!!! Christ, Ms. Ocean!! Now you’ve done it!! Aaargh!!

This sequel…. *ok, honestly, if you haven’t reading Book 1 “The Curse of Doll Island,” do it now before reading this or you’ll be sorely disappointed you’ve missed the crackin’ genesis of all “Return to Doll Island” is offering, not to mention, those bloody dolls!*

…. err, where was I?

Oh, this sequel, right. This one LITERALLY started right after the end of Book 1. So no time for breaks for our MCs, Rosie and Devin! Ocean has definitely hit the nail again with “Return to Doll Island,” a non-stop, heart-pounding, pulse-racing, fast-paced, mad-dash action-adventure that would suck you into the vortex of FUN, THRILLS, and WHIRLWINDS of twists and turns that went from 0 to 60 right from the first page, not to mention BUCKETS of laughter, as Rosie and Devin raced against time to redeem what they “accidentally” LOST by the end of Book 1! Oh yeah, I’m still catching my breath in my mind as I type this! What a wild and absolutely bonkers ride, indeed! And I LOVED every moment of it!!

Continue reading “Return To Doll Island ( Book 2 – Sequel To The Curse Of Doll Island)”

Deadeye (Luce Hansen Thriller Book 3)

– by Meredith Doench

 

After having read Books 1 and 2 of Meredith Doench‘s utterly engaging “Luce Hansen Thriller” crime series, which I thoroughly enjoyed, obviously I HAD to read its 3rd installment, “Deadeye!” Speaking of Doench, it was thanks to Jeannie Levig who first recommended her series to me when we talked about dark lesfic crime thrillers. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known and would’ve missed an opportunity to explore Doench’s brilliant crime writing style and plot weaving in lesfic! For me, her style is reminiscent of James Patterson and Thomas Harris’, which is my cuppa tea. Needless to say, Doench’s 3rd installment continued to showcase her crime/thriller writing skills in crafting yet another intriguing case, not to mention, her insights into the ongoing development of Hansen’s emotional and psychological journey as she continued her efforts to juggle her work with her personal life better this time. One swift read later, yup, this one’s my favourite installment of the series, yet.

Obviously, I have to comment on the captivating book cover! Feast thy eyes: A scope target. Fixed on a Celtic cross. Red all over. Interpretation: Danger. Insidious. Deadly. Sniper. That’s the story. Right there. Staring at me. Who wouldn’t be curious? Well, I was! And as I explored the story, I was immediately struck by its symbolism. Well done!

Because Doench also included Hansen’s private life which she first developed in “Crossed” (Book 1), continued growing in “Forsaken Trust” (Book 2), including her romantic relationships/entanglements, there was no reason she wouldn’t further advance Hansen’s relationship with her current partner, Bennett (first introduced in “Forsaken” not merely as Hansen’s love interest but played a major role in investigating and solving the featured case), in this installment. So, even though, like other crime serials, the Luce Hansen series is a procedural, meaning each installment can be read as a stand-alone, I’d personally advise readers who haven’t read the previous two books, to do so, IF you’re also interested in the chronological development of Hansen’s private life besides the case-of-the-week plot.

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Secrets Of The Last Castle

– A. Rose Mathieu

 

After having SO much fun with “Sins Of Our Fathers,” obviously I HAD to continue the A. Rose Mathieu way with her sophomore effort and sequel to “Sins,” “Secrets Of The Last Castle” immediately or I wouldn’t be able to go on with other titles! First off, sequels, in general, are hard to write mainly because of all the pressure of trying to top the success and quality of their originals, aren’t they? Hence it’s not commonplace for sequels to fair better than their predecessors because most often than not, creators tend to go overboard (with few exceptions, obvs!). But Mathieu not only succeeded in nailing another top-notch sophomore story but also succeeded in crafting a sequel with flying colours! Perhaps even surpassing the overall quality of the writing and storytelling of the first one, imho! In fact, for me, “Secrets Of The Last Castle,” was just superbly remarkable and extraordinary!

You know how sequels tend to be bigger and more elaborate than the first, right? Like Randy Meeks said in “Scream 2,”: “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate — more blood, more gore. Carnage candy.” Mathieu did it. With remarkable effect. The plot was bigger, more sinister and infinitely more dangerous, Elizabeth and Grace’s relationship was more expanded, deeper, their roles in the plot more intricately entwined, stakes couldn’t be higher.

I was beyond ecstatic that I had the opportunity to take that fabulously thrilling ride with Elizabeth, Grace and the rest of the pack from “Sins Of Our Fathers” in this highly entertaining, superlatively weaved, darkly subversive piece of crime/mystery thriller! This time, Mathieu took her innate skill in weaving a truly splendid tale and elevated it to another level of brilliance! In this sequel, Mathieu delved even deeper into the many intertwining events and stories that formed this tale. A cerebral, intelligent, clever, ingenious plot that just kept getting more intricate at each developmental stage of the story, the characters, primary and secondary alike, the ever-changing situations and warping circumstances.

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