Book Review – Halfway  by Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma

Book Review – Halfway by Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma

by Dale E. Lehman 0 Comments

Book Review – Halfway

by Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma

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1 Blogger Review

Dale E. Lehman 
BookGobbler Author
 

 


Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

An Amazing Ride, One of the  Better-written First Novels

An old rule of science fiction writing states that an author is allowed one independent miracle per story. In “Halfway,” Lokesh Sharma and Anubhav Sharma hit us with a real doozy: your memories are being harvested, and after you die you are remade with an engineered body and a little bracelet that connects you to those saved memories. Thus reborn into a world called Enigma, you are judged for your actions during your Earthly life and either admitted into the paradise of Elysium or condemned to the torment of Hell. But these realms are not religious/spiritual realms. Rather, they are technological realms situated in a distant part of the galaxy. Pardon the pun, but how the hell did that come about? We aren’t told, and for now it doesn’t matter. Independent miracle. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

And it is an amazing ride. Like their authors, the key characters hail from India and have backstories bound up with the customs and history of that land. Dev, a young computer wiz who pulled himself out of a suicidal funk by entering into an illegal cell phone scam with his over-the-top pal Sid, faces Hell because he was killed when he ran in front of a truck with an old suicide note in his pocket. An open and shut case, except he didn’t kill himself at all. His death was a tragic accident. Meanwhile, a young woman named Aparna is in similarly deep trouble. After her enraged father killed her boyfriend in front of her for the crime of dating Aparna, she retaliated by murdering him. Worse, she’s now killed two of the locals in Enigma, although in self-defense. But in Enigma, justice can be as elusive as on Earth. In fact, the “afterlife” doesn’t seem all that different from Earth, riddled with politics, corruption, lust, murder, and other lesser crimes and sins. Worse still, lurking in the background is the specter of war as Hell’s self-appointed queen Phoenix prepares to attack Enigma. This is an amazingly good story given that the premise makes absolutely no sense. I found it hard to stop reading. Even better (or flummoxing, depending on how you feel about it), this is book 1 in the “Aspiration for Deliverance” series, and in some ways it’s not a complete story. The lives of Dev and Aparna don’t intersect at all. This is just the set-up for whatever comes next. But it works, so long as you’re willing to wait for book 2, where at least some questions will presumably be answered.

In spite of my raving, this is not a perfect book. It’s a first novel by a pair of indie writers, and as usually happens the writing could stand some editing. Not that it’s terrible. It’s among the better-written first indie novels that I’ve read. But it could do with a fair bit of tightening. Some material needs reorganization for clarity, and many of the information dumps should be cleaned up.  The description is a bit klunky. There are too many sound effects for my taste (I’d get rid of them all, guys, and write some engaging action instead). Oh, and many of those hyphenations and capitalizations shouldn’t be there. Because of these issues, I’d make the writing a 3, but the story easily deserves 4+ if not 5. So overall, let’s give it a 4 stars mark.


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” and “True Death” 

 

 

 
Book Review – Chasing Symmetry (Riley’s Peak #1)  by Tempeste Blake

Book Review – Chasing Symmetry (Riley’s Peak #1) by Tempeste Blake

by Brittany 0 Comments

Book Review – Chasing Symmetry

(Riley’s Peak #1)

by Tempeste Blake

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1 Review

 
 Brittany, Top Reviewer
BookGobbler & Brittany’s Pages

 


 

Britanny's Pages Book Review by Brittany

A Murder Thriller with a Shocking Twist!

Bianca James thinks she has her life together. She teaches art at the local college, dotes on her car Picasso, and she has a wonderful best friend. But when Bianca discovers a murdered woman in the school’s storage closet, things become a bit more complicated.

Finn Tierny has returned to Riley’s Peak to help take care of his father. He joins the police force and is part of the crew that responds to the murder scene. He is surprised to see Bianca, his former art teacher and his older brother’s ex-girlfriend.

Soon after the murder, Bianca begins to receive threats  and Finn does all he can to keep her safe. The two begin to fall for each other, even with Finn’s brother Dylan trying win Bianca back. Everything comes crashing down and Bianca’s life is put in danger in a clever twist of an ending.

Chasing Symmetry started off really strong, I flew through the first few chapters with the murder investigation and then it started to slow down. I had to put it down and come back to it later.
The novel stands as both a murder mystery and a love story. Police are trying to find the murderer and Finn is in love with Bianca, and wants to keep her safe.

As a love story, it wasn’t believable enough for me. Bianca is caught in two interconnecting love triangles. One with brothers Dylan and Finn, the other with Dylan and his now girlfriend Jewel. On Finn’s side, the narrative is that he comes back to town and immediately becomes protective of Bianca (obviously he’s already in love with her). And to be honest, he’s in love with a person he barely knows. The attraction seems to be all physical and that, for me, is a shallow base for a love story. Not to mention that she was his art teacher AND it’s his brother’s ex-girlfriend.

The murder mystery was a little on the slow end in the middle (hence my original 3 star rating), but the clever twist at the end upped my rating. The author introduces several characters that have the potential to be the murderer. It kept me guessing through the whole book and the ending totally blew me away.

If you are a murder mystery fan, definitely give this book a try and see if you can figure out the ending better than I can!

Chasing Symmetry gets 3.5 stars.


Originally Posted on Britanny’s Pages

 
free thriller book : Cold Comfort by Larry Darter

free thriller book : Cold Comfort by Larry Darter

by gobbler 1 Comment

Free Book : Cold Comfort

(The Malone Mystery Novels, Volume 3)

by Larry Darter

 

Giving away:

  • 10 free kindle book s for Reviewers only (3 given, left)
  • 3 Paperbacks Raffle (free to enter)

– Ends 9th Feb 2018

Genre:

Thriller / Mystery

Blurb:

A knock on the office door of Los Angeles PI Ben Malone can only mean one thing, a new case. This time the visitor is a local defense attorney at Los Angeles law firm Ross & Logan, Liz Harper, with an interesting story to tell. Harper’s client, bad-boy actor Zack Sinclair, has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Holly Sutherland, one of Hollywood’s most famous and popular actresses. Harper believes her client is innocent, at least of the murder, and hires Malone to prove it before the case goes to trial. Malone starts investigating. The case quickly gets darker when he uncovers some ugly secrets. Malone enters into a daring game of cat-and-mouse with some LA mobsters who want him to drop the case, a game he might not come out of alive.

Message from the Author:

Hello Mystery Fans. I’d love to get your feedback on the recently released third novel in the Malone Mystery Novels series. Like the first two books, this is a stand alone novel. You needn’t have read the earlier books.

Links:

Request here:

  • For an eBook (or eBook + Paperback Raffle) please first regsiter to BookGobbler here, you won’t have to fill in two forms, but would be able to select this novel in the registration page.
  • Previously registered users please only fill: name and username, email, select option and consent – Thank you!

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I consent to the terms and wish to enter this giveaway
* Please read our giveaways T&C here

 
Children’s Book Review – For Cats’ Eyes Only  by Olli Tooley

Children’s Book Review – For Cats’ Eyes Only by Olli Tooley

by gobbler 0 Comments

Book Review – For Cats’ Eyes Only

by Olli Tooley

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1 Blogger Reviews

 Joni Dee
BookGobbler Admin

 


 

Book Review by Joni Dee

Two paws up! Great witty book for bedtime

I must confess, this is my first ever attempt to review a children’s book. While the basis for comparison (for me) is very much available across many children’s books of various genres: classics such as “The Cat in the Hat”, Disney princesses, educational, books aimed to induce sleep and more, the question remains what are you looking for in a children’s novel, to start with.
While Disney princesses may be good to calm the toddler, and old Dr Seuss appeals more to the parent, I tend to look for the balance between the two approaches. You can only read Cinderella a handful of times before you start imagining the pumpkin-carriage get squashed on the way to the palace, and at the same time Thing Two and Thing One are long dusted and done. When referring to children’s media across the board, one can only be grateful to Peppa Pig‘s creator for introducing subtle jokes, which will go over the child’s head but will get the adult to chuckle. But when your choice of literature is ‘Daddy Pig’s day off’, then Houston you have a problem.
If you dismiss my wife’s claims that I am an infantile – then like me you might be looking for a bedtime story which will keep you interested as well as maintaining a level of sophistication, that can  teach the toddler a thing or two about life. And this is exactly what Olli Tooley does (albeit he exclaims straight off the bat, that he is not looking to educate us). This is a fantastic read, which I enjoyed very much with my little girl.

Felix the cat is an undercover agent, who is in hot pursuit of his arch-nemesis Swifty the tortoise, who naturally gets away without a trace. I don’t want to give up any more spoilers, as I can see through my telescreen that you’re biting your toenails. The book introduces the world of grown-up thrillers to kids, using the same jargon you would find in an everyday spy thriller, but keeping it simple and identifiable. For a thriller author like myself, this was a welcome approach. 
While I have to admit that my four year old didn’t completely understand the sarcastic tone, she was still very much fascinated to the story, and yes – dads are allowed to have fun too!”For Cats’ Eyes Only” is a much recommended read, especially if the old Disney books simply make you yawn. So if you want to zest-up bedtime story and help your kid develops a sense of humors – just say yes to Felix.* I also liked the initiative of this book given to kids 4-11 in Devon, I wish we had initiative like these here in London! Two paws up!
 
Book Review – Sacrificial Lam  by Gary Guinn

Book Review – Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn

by Julia Wilson 0 Comments

Book Review – Sacrificial Lam

by Gary Guinn

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

3 Blogger Review

   
Stephen Bentley
BookGobbler Author
 Rodney Strong 
BookGobbler Top
Reviewer & Author
Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic 

 


Reviewed by Stephen Bentley

A Good Read!

Thoroughly enjoyed Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn. He certainly knows how to write suspense. I know it’s a cliché but this really was a “page-turner.”
Reminded me of John Grisham and James Patterson.
 What, for me, makes it a slightly unusual thriller is the setting – academia. The plot is set almost entirely on campus. It is where the protagonist, Dr. Lam Corso, is employed as a professor. It becomes clear early in the book that someone is threatening him and his family because of his liberal beliefs. The question of who that someone is remains almost to the very end, when the identity of Corso’s antagonist is revealed.
The storyline captures the zeitgeist of modern America in depicting an essential conflict between those with far right leanings and the liberal thinkers. The author deals with all of that in a thoughtful, stylish way without resort to any kind of tub-thumping. He also skilfully deals with issues surrounding the Second Amendment but in such a way as to weave it into the story without overt politicization. 

Guinn’s writing style smoothly takes the reader along on interesting journey. At times, the author over indulges on the literary references sprinkled throughout the book which became a little irritating as it appears he is trying to “show off” somewhat. Apart from that, and one plot twist involving police procedure, nothing in this book grated upon me.

The characters are real and the pacing is just so. Once I made a start I simply had to finish it.
A good and even a great read!


The Reviewer is the Author of “Who the F*ck Am I?” and a former undercover cop 

 

Reviewed by Rodney Strong

I Look Forward to Seeing What Else Gary Guinn produces.

Professor Lam Corso is a liberal teacher at a conservative university.  His views can often lead to conflict with students, teachers, and parents.  But when he gets a death threat he dismisses it as a prank from a colleague. As it turns out it is a big mistake, as things quickly escalate and he finds not only his life in danger, but the lives of his family.

About halfway through this book I found myself getting frustrated with Lam’s apathy towards the threats, and that’s when I realised that Gary had done his job right.  I was drawn into the world he had created, so job well done.

The book mostly flows really well and there are some very descriptive well written pieces.  The plot, although nothing terribly new, moves along at a nice pace and there is certainly no chance of getting bored by the story.

Sometimes the descriptive pieces came at the wrong time.  The author tends to have his characters conduct internal monologues right in the middle of a tense action piece, which is distracting and unnecessary.

I don’t want to go too much into the story as that will contain spoilers, but I wasn’t overly convinced by the antagonists reasons for targeting Lam in particular, and there were some confusing motivations from other characters as well. I live in a country where there aren’t a lot of guns, so it didn’t seem natural to me that a clearly anti-gun character would think of buying a gun as the first line of defence, but perhaps that’s simply a cultural difference.

All in all, an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what else the author produces.

4 stars out of 5

The Reviewer is the Author of Troy’s Possibilities

 


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Whom To Trust?

Sacrificial Lam by Gary Guinn is an edge of your seat contemporary thriller. It will have you hooked and guessing from the start as you become absorbed in the action.

The reader ‘feels’ the threat and danger that lurks around every corner. “A part of him was afraid of everyone.” We suspect most characters until the culprit is revealed.

There are themes of loyalty and family. Family is everything. A mother’s love and instinct to protect means she will do anything for her young… even if it means sacrificing her principles.

Family loyalty may become warped over the years. Impotence to act in the past may influence behaviour in the present.

The novel has religious intolerance and behaviour that will incite hatred. God is a God of love. To use His name to incite hatred is the complete opposite of all that God stands for. “Religious intolerance and extremism… It was the reason she stopped going to church.” Churches should be a place of safety not a place where people in positions of influence abuse the trust of others.

There is a vast difference between standing up for what you believe and abusing your position. We must be people of principle but we must not be people inciting hatred of others.

Sacrificial Lam was a nail biting thriller. It was a compulsive read that had me hooked, guessing and following red herrings at times. A read to be read with the lights on and the doors locked.

I received this book for free from The Book Gobbler. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic

 


 
Book Review – The Rosegiver  by Sandy Hiss

Book Review – The Rosegiver by Sandy Hiss

by gobbler 0 Comments

Book Review – The Rosegiver

by Sandy Hiss

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

1 Blogger Review

Charlotte Foster
BookGobbler Top Reviewer
 

 


Reviewed by Charlotte Foster

Overall, An Enjoyable Quick Read

I received this e-book from BookGobbler
I thought this book was a pretty quick read. I think that this book has both negative and positive things as most books do.
The basis of this novel is about Rachel Harper, a seventeen year old girl, who is a RoseGiver, you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is. I thought it was a unique concept though. I also thought the pacing of the story was awesome. I just flew through the chapters. I also found the worldbuilding to be visually stimulating and loved that it was set in the 1800s. The descriptions of Thistle Grove and Rosethorne Inn were straight out of a dream.
I liked the minor characters too. They were likeable and the incidents that occurred throughout the story with regards to the supporting characters was quite unusual but, I think added to the story. The story does have a little romance, a love triangle, but it’s the slow burning type. The relationship grows from a friendship instead of a love at first site type of thing. Most of the plot was based on the mystery of the disappearing girls.
These were some of the things I liked, so in my opinion, the positive. Now for some of the things I didn’t like, the negative. The story has way too many things that the plot could revolve around, or elements. When I first started the book, I thought it was going to be about Rachel’s gift which would have been extremely interesting and unique. Instead, the book is a mixture of Rachel’s gift, demons and vampyres all encased in a beautiful Victorian world. This meant that sometimes, the plot was all over the place. I think the author would have a better story if she stuck one element and carried it till the end.
The main character, Rachel was an idiot. The girl has no sense of propriety for a woman in that era and if it was the intention of the author to make her different, it was an unsuccessful attempt. She is more of a damsel in distress that gets herself into stupid situations and looks for a man to rescue her at all times. She makes rash decisions too. Victorian girls were always chaperoned and not allowed to roam the woods alone like she did.. If she was meant to have a rebellious streak, maybe find a way more true to the period.
Overall, I truly did enjoy the story. I would recommend reading this book if you like YA historical fiction.


The Reviewer is a BookGobbler and Goodreads Top Reviewer  

You can read this review on Goodreads

 

 

 
Book Review – Pen, Please  by George Mayes

Book Review – Pen, Please by George Mayes

Book Review – Pen, Please

by George Mayes

Average rating (all reviews) :

 

1 Blogger Review

Dale E. Lehman 
BookGobbler Author
 

 


Reviewed by Dale E. Lehman

An Intense Coming-of-age Novel With a Solid and Engaging Story

“Pen, Please” is an intense coming-of-age novel set in Oklahoma. We meet protagonist Andre Young at age sixteen when he returns home from a summer leadership program in Texas only to find his father hospitalized with a blood clot in his lung. The first of many trials Andre faces in the novel, it’s far from the first in his life. Through flashbacks and present-day narrative, this young black man’s journey is exposed as a chronicle of heartbreak, tragedy, and headlong rushes down blind alleys, some imposed upon him and some of his own making.

Andre is fundamentally a decent guy struggling to make sense out of a life in which every joy is followed by a dozen sorrows. But he’s also headstrong and easily tempted to take the easy way out. His troubled relationship with his father and his distance from his absent mother haunt him throughout life. He can’t sort out his relationship with women, nor can he hang onto a job in spite of being an excellent worker. He even briefly descends into selling drugs. But through it all, he valiantly struggles towards something for which he has no good role models: how to be a man.

This is a first novel by an indie writer, and as often happens in such cases, I have to give two verdicts. One the one hand, I think the story itself is solid and engaging, while the key characters are drawn well and generally intriguing. On the other, the writing isn’t what you would get in a novel released through a mainstream publisher. Author George Mayes has potential. He can sometimes turn a good phrase, and one or two particular witticisms made me laugh. But the narrative passages read like he’s trying too hard, and the dialogue could use considerable work. Also, somewhere about mid-story the novel seemed to become a rush of scenes separated by time gaps of indeterminate length. This may be me–I admit to being easily confused–but by the end of the novel I really had no idea how old Andre was anymore, and I got lost in the sea of friends and coworkers surrounding him. There are scenes I wish Mayes had shown us instead of just alluding to as past events. I would guess this novel could easily have been twice as long. It’s that rich in content.

However, I can’t fault Mayes for these shortcomings, precisely because this is a first novel by an indie writer. Nearly all writers start out this way, and in today’s world a great many publish their first efforts. Rather, I hope he takes this as encouragement to develop his craft, because I think there is a really good storyteller in there struggling to get out. I think the story itself is at least a 4 if not a 5, but overall I’m going to have to go with a 3.


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” and “True Death” 

 

 

 
Free eBook : The Rosegiver by Sandy Hiss

Free eBook : The Rosegiver by Sandy Hiss

Free eBook : The Rosegiver

by Sandy Hiss

Giving away:

  • 10 free kindle book s for Reviewers only (3 given, left)

– Ends 4th Feb 2018

Genre:

Fantasy

Blurb:

It is the late 1800s, in rural England, seventeen-year-old Rachel Harper has been summoned by her aunt to assist with housekeeping duties at the family inn. She is also required to perform duties as a rosegiver, a messenger for the weak, the broken-hearted, and the dying. On her journey to Rosethorne Inn, she befriends a writer named John, who informs her about a rash of missing girls in Thistle Grove and nearby towns. He also discusses the topic of vampyres which intrigues Rachel.

Message from the Author:

Hello Dear Readers, I’d love to get your feedback on my debut novel, a gothic fantasy/fairytale.

Links:

Request here:

  • For an eBook (or eBook + Paperback Raffle) please first regsiter to BookGobbler here, you won’t have to fill in two forms, but would be able to select this novel in the registration page.
  • Previously registered users please only fill: name and username, email, select option and consent – Thank you!

Please write a full address including City and State

I consent to the terms and wish to enter this giveaway
* Please read our giveaways T&C here

 
Free book : The Master by Dora Ilieva

Free book : The Master by Dora Ilieva

by gobbler 0 Comments

Free Book : The Master

by Dora Ilieva

 

Giving away:

  • 20 free kindle book s for Reviewers only (1 given, 19 left)
  • 2 Paperbacks Raffle (free to enter)

– Ends 22nd Feb 2018

Genre:

Thriller / Mystery

Blurb:

Three years after her father’s tragic death, Kossara receives a mysterious phone call and a lucrative job offer. Eager to relaunch her academic career, she silences the voice of caution and accepts the proposal which requires that she return to her native Bulgaria. There she discovers that what seemed like an innocent research opportunity is a race against death. Aided by her friends, she struggles to locate a valuable document only to realize that it must remain hidden forever.

Message from the Author:

The Master is a fast-paced international thriller. If you like mystery and history, this is the book for you!

Links:

Request here:

  • For an eBook (or eBook + Paperback Raffle) please first regsiter to BookGobbler here, you won’t have to fill in two forms, but would be able to select this novel in the registration page.
  • Previously registered users please only fill: name and username, email, select option and consent – Thank you!

Full address (in case you win a paperback)

I consent to the terms and wish to enter this giveaway
* Please read our giveaways T&C here