Day: November 3, 2013

Review of: Cryptic Tongues by V. A. Jeffrey

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Cryptic Tongues: Book Two of the Red World Trilogy by V. A. Jeffrey is an epic tale of the never ending battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil; of the competition between light and darkness for the souls of men.

A complicated tale that has a cast of thousands (well, not precisely thousands, but the parade of characters is long) and that spans a vast geography of the mind. Somewhat biblical in structure, Cryptic Tongues is an interesting tale, and thankfully, the author has included a glossary at the end to help keep the clans, characters, and locales straight.

Competently crafted dialogue and a fully-formed world make this an interesting read for fantasy and sword and sorcery fans. The character development, while it could be stronger, was quite believable, and the settings reinforced the sense of doom that hangs over the inhabitants of this strange world.

I received a free review copy of Cryptic Tongues, which is the second in a trilogy about the Red World. I give it four stars.

Review of “Ranch Hero 2: Moooving Velma”

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“Life is indeed a wonderful mystery . . . and not all guardian angels have wings.” This is the main theme of Ranch Hero 2: Moooving Velma, an entertaining tale for children written by Janet Green and illustrated by Linda Cowen.

Barn Barn and his sister Chubadoo are dogs who live on Sneaky Creek Ranch. They are excited because they are being visited by their adventurous cousin Libbi Lou. As the three follow Farmer Max to see what he’s up to, they discover that Velma the cow is stuck up to her udder in a muddy creek.

But, all is not lost. Ziggy, the Hero of Sneaky Creek Ranch, is there to save the day. Now, Barn Barn and Chubadoo can’t see Ziggy because he’s invisible, but for some reason Libbi Lou can see him, and she watches in amazement as he comes up with a plan to get Velma out of the mud.

This is a nice story to read to younger readers, or to be read by those who are learning to handle more complex sentences and concepts. The illustrations are colorful and really help to move the story along. I received a free review copy of the book and was completely enthralled by the vividness of the writing and illustrations, and plan to get a copy for my granddaughter who is an avid reader.

If you’re looking for a good holiday gift for that special young reader on your list, you couldn’t do better than this.


Review of ‘Tempted’ by Paul Micheals

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Tempted by Paul Micheals is a coming of age story with a difference – a dark twist that will come at you from left field and knock you to your knees.

When his father is murdered, Alexi Gallo has to drop out of school and take a low-paying job to support his pregnant mother. His life seems to be going nowhere fast until one day he is approached by a slick-talking attorney, Rudolph Dontinelli, who offers him a job. He is puzzled that Dontinelli knows so much about him and his family, but eventually gives in and becomes a runner for a string of high-priced prostitutes.

Life gets complicated when he finds himself falling for Traci, one of the hookers, and then even more so when his mother dies during childbirth.

Tempted shows the gritty underside of life, that plane occupied by a large percentage of the population – but with a freakish difference. Alexi has a secret that even he doesn’t know at first, but one that spells the difference between order and chaos, between life and death – and, if his luck runs out, the choice for him could be death.

Michaels is a master craftsman who takes the ordinary and mundane and somehow molds it into a grotesque, almost unrecognizable image, which is nonetheless believable. Take a wild ride with him through the twisted pathways of Alexi Gallo’s life; you won’t regret it.