Monthly Archives: November 2016

Breach Of Consciousness

cover

By Peter Castillo

thor

https://www.amazon.com/Breach-Consciousness-Peter-Castillo/dp/0692678239/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476233895&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=breach+of+conscious%2C+castillo

Plot

Marco Torres has lived all his life with a special ability. He is a novice telepath. As an adult, he meets others of his kind and soon they’re involved in a murder mystery.

I expected a lot more from this plot. It wasn’t a very long story and moved quickly. Although the premise was fine and promising, it lacks oomph.

Characters

Marco Torres: former Navy, struggling writer, tattooed

Marie Sutton: blonde, deciphers handwriting

Vicky Donnelly: long dark hair, fit, has a sister

Daniel Santiago: 40s, average build, mustache

Rebecca Santiago: Daniel’s twin sister

A few others. The characters are fine, distinctive. A shorter story means one doesn’t get to delve too much into back story but there was a bit of information here and there to get a flavor of the characters.

One thing I was interested in, was how did Marco make a living. He must have had some savings left over from the Navy because he didn’t work at any paying job.

Dialogue

Pretty good. Daniel has a good voice as does Marie and her mother.

Writing

1st person from Marco’s POV.

As mentioned this was a shorter story and the first part of the book was rushed through to get the reader through Marco’s childhood and onto being an adult. I think some slowing down would have helped the story, show more experiences with his talent. How else did it manifest itself when he was in the Navy? Examples? Adventures?

Unfortunately, there was little tension and danger shown in this story. Even when Marc and the Santiagos are surrounded by a gang I didn’t feel the danger. Without playing too much of a spoiler, the Santiagos have the power to ‘take over’ another person’s body for awhile. I thought this was cool, and there were several instances of this. However, there should have been more danger, more risk.

The author, at the beginning overuses the term ‘brain farts.’

All in all, this needed a bit more fleshing out. Cool cover, but it doesn’t really represent the low thriller inside.

My Rank:

Green Belt

Green

Beth’s Book

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By Tim Woods

https://www.amazon.com/Beths-Book-Tim-Woods-ebook/dp/B005LVUYEA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475798247&sr=8-1&keywords=beths+book%2C+tim+woods

Plot

An author struggles with writer’s block, an agent who reminds her she’s past deadline, a brother addicted to drugs and alcohol, a possible new romance, a son who says he’s bi-sexual and is trying to reconnect with his father.

Okay. That is how I saw the plot. That NOT the plot that was given to me. Direct from Amazon, here is the first line of the blurb about this book: What happens when fictional detective, Katie Shields, not only takes psychic possession of her author, but also starts to treat her creator as a suspect in a crime?

So, I’m thinking I’m going to read some supernatural tale and was very disappointed when it turned out not to be anything of the sort. If there was a ‘possession’ I missed it.

Characters

Beth Shepherd: 49, author, owns a cat, has a son, twice divorced, wears glasses, played volleyball at UCLA, has two brothers, parents dead, drives a Mazda Mia ta M-5 convertible

Stephen: Beth’s brother, 48, thrice divorced

Julie Sawyer: 38, black hair, former Olympic swimmer, fit, owns a bike shop

Here’s my take on the characters. I didn’t care. Beth’s only likeable quality is the car she drives. She’s depressing. She’s depressed about her ex husbands, her son even talking to her second ex husband, her friend’s constant fitness challenges. Her agent is on her. Then when she gets to New York, another friend is pissed at her and that wasn’t seen until Beth arrived. This woman has everything going against her I stopped rooting for her and caring about her long about page 50 (epub version).

Dialogue

Voices are distinctive. Not much else to say.

Writing

She spends most of the time brooding (shown in back story) about her two ex husbands, reading motivational quotes to help her get writing again (which don’t seem to help), arguing with her brothers, and finally, finally, at just past the half way mark does Katie Shield, the fictional detective start ‘talking’ to her. Not through possession as hyped, but through Beth’s internal dialogue that she’s writing. She writes scenes with her brother and the detective. She writes her ‘conversations’ with Katie, either on her computer or in her head. She takes her character in a drastic left turn to be able to finish the book.

There is some profanity.

Time passage was an issue. I found it difficult keeping track of time. Early on, she arrives home and in the next chapter she arrives home. Did a day pass?

Again, I just didn’t care. This went on and on with her writer’s block and brother problems and one more problem on top of another.

I hope this is an issue only with the epub version but all passages that were to be italicized were underlined.

Just when I thought things were to wrap up and Beth could start putting her world back together, there is a revelation that concerns her and her brother. The problem with this revelation is that is wasn’t hinted at during the entire book. If it was, again, I missed it.

So, how do I rank this? A fail, in my opinion, in regards to what I consider false advertising of the plot (again, maybe I’m not deep enough to catch the possession angle).

The like-ability aspect plays a part and one can see where I stand from the comments above.

It was clean, no errors (other than the underlined stuff).

The rank I choose is based on my enjoyment of the novel with regards to the clean writing.

My rank:

Camouflage Belt

Camo

Old Dog, New Tricks

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By Marie-Yolaine Wiliams

https://www.amazon.com/Old-Dog-New-Tricks-Shelter/dp/1478761636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475627351&sr=8-1&keywords=old+dog+new+tricks%2C+williams

Plot

When Boscoe’s owner dies, he’s taken to a shelter. But Boscoe is an older dog. Will he find a new forever home?

I took this book because I love animals and I adopted my cat from a shelter. When I saw the request for a review I grabbed it at once. I think this plot is just the right one for showing young people that older animals are worthwhile companions, that they are loving and want a chance to enjoy a good life.

Characters

Mr. Pickett: 100 years old

Boscoe: 11 year old Basset Hound

Max: 8, collect baseball cards

You don’t need too many more characters to make a story a good one. Just the basics. They are simple yet complete.

Dialogue

Not much dialogue but the conversations are important to the story. Don’t worry about voices in this book. If you’re reading this to a child YOU make the voices distinct.

Writing

I like a book that isn’t afraid to share the truth. People and animals die. Yes, it’s sad but the point is to make life worth living for people and animals.

I chose this book knowing what it was and knowing that I would like it, even though I also suspected-correctly I might add-that it would choke me up and get me glassy-eyed. I often think of my previous dogs and miss them.

I think the writing was on target, clean, concise, and poignant.

On the few occasions I read children’s books, I find it difficult to rate them. It comes down to like-ability and if I would recommend it to children I know.

This one is a definite yes to both.

My rank:

Brown Belt

Brown

Super Mia And The Good Luck Duo

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By Marie-Yolaine Williams

https://www.amazon.com/Super-Mia-Good-Luck-Duo/dp/1478771577/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475546267&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=Super+Mia+and+the+goodluck+duo

Once again, before I start in on this review, I must let you know that normally, I don’t accept children’s books. Just as I don’t accept YA or fantasy and most sci-fi…unless the book catches my interest. This one did. This one and another one by the same author. Please don’t send me requests for reviews for these genres because 99% of the time I will take a pass.

Plot

A dumped greyhound is befriended by a stray cat. They both are rescued and taken to a shelter where they meet the manager, Mia. Mia discovers that, after the two animals have been at the shelter for awhile, some amazing things happen.

I liked simplistic plot where characters are introduced and there are animals involved at a shelter and a happy ending for all.

Characters

Baggins: black greyhound

Evader: nicknamed ‘Vader’, black cat

Mia: animal shelter managers, suffers from M.S., blue eyes, blonde, Greek

Anouk: French, shelter assistant.

Interesting duo of humans and they share a bit of each culture. There are ‘interviews’ with two dogs at the end of the book, shelter adoptees that are pretty good.

Dialogue

Okay. A bit of a distinctive voice from Vader and the two dogs at the end.

Writing

A somewhat longer children’s book but not too long for boredom to set in. Could have used more pictures as there were pages without any pictures. A good message given for people to adopt animals from a shelter.

My Rank

Purple Belt

Purple