Monthly Archives: February 2017

Monarchs

41mejh-uncl

By Alex Chu

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https://www.amazon.com/Monarchs-Based-Actual-Email-Author/dp/148345620X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483056630&sr=8-1&keywords=Monarchs%2C+chu

Plot

When Logan Weidman receives an email to join a secret society known as the Monarchs, he believes it to be spam. However, the group is real and if he joins, he will have years of success and wealth ahead of him. All he has to do is…kill someone. Soon Weidman discovers that there are more things to the Monarchs than just the benefits. Can he escape the influence?

Okay, I was intrigued by this plot, especially since it’s based on a real email received by the author. Unfortunately, this plot is pretty predictable in the way it unfolds.

Characters

Logan Weidman: 29, works at a call center for a furniture company, B.A. in Economics from N.Y.U., MBA from Rutgers, parents divorced

Jarod: late 20s, tanned, short dirty blond hair, green eyes, works with Weidman in the call center

Lee: Auburn hair, thin, has a dog, works with Weidman in the call center

Hunter Hummel: olive skinned, sapphire eyes, golden blond

Fernando: Latino, 30s

Kyiwam: black, early 20s, black hair

There are a few more characters who are introduced throughout the book. Not a lot of background info on them and some don’t have last names.

Dialogue

Fairly average voices, no real distinction. Conversations don’t last long.

Writing

Book is divided into 2 Parts. Profanity. Some chapters headed by date.

As mentioned, this book is pretty formulaic with no real surprises. I thought it might get into more of the history of the Monarchs, where and how they originated, how their influence worked throughout the centuries, how they influenced world events, etc. But, sadly, none of this was delved into.

Fairly clean writing but it’s a shorter book than most, so it’s a quick read.

This is good story but it could have used more meat. I thought it would have been interesting to learn more of the email the author received, the contents, how she handled it, and how it developed into the story.

My Rank:

Green Belt

Green

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Mortom

mortom-cover

By Erick Therme

therme

https://www.amazon.com/Mortom-Erik-Therme/dp/1495285936/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Plot

Andy Crowl is the sole heir to his cousin’s house. Inside, he finds a dead rat…which starts him and his sister on a quest to solve the clues their cousin left for him. In doing so, family secrets are revealed.

An interesting puzzle case. I like those. Solve the clue, which leads to another, and another.

Characters

Andy Cowl: 30, smokes, likes puzzles, divorced

Kate Anne Crowl: Andy’s sister

Nate Shawler: shop owner, 300 lbs., scar on arm

Mary Moore: 5’, 200 lbs., aunt of Andy/Kate

Ricky Simms: cemetery groundskeeper, 60s, thick neck, widower

An interesting cast of characters. Mary has the most relevance to the game, but the others add to the plot.

Dialogue

Some good voices. Nate’s easy going, Kate’s whinging, Ricky’s yelling. Some overuse of ‘ly’ adverbs on tag lines.

Writing

Book is divided into Days. Relatively short chapters. A couple instances of mild profanity.

I thought the story flowed fairly well with some hiccups. There were several cliffhangers and the next chapter would start with the person already out of danger and an explanation of how. That was a bit of a let down.

Mild action but nothing real intense. The story seemed a bit disjointed in places, but it was pretty easy to follow. One of the clues didn’t make sense and was never explained, but the story wrapped up well and left me feeling a bit for Andy, because he didn’t know the story was over.

Anyway, clean error free writing and a pretty good book.

My Rank:

Purple Belt

Purple

Resthaven

resthaven-cover

By Erik Therme

therme

https://www.amazon.com/Resthaven-Erik-Therme-ebook/dp/B01C3FFIYC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482781161&sr=8-1&keywords=resthaven%2C+therme

Plot

Kaylee is invited to a friend’s house for a party. The attendees end up in an abandoned retirement home for a scavenger hunt. The hunt doesn’t last too long when Kaylee encounters a deaf boy. From there, danger lurks around every corner, especially when they find themselves locked inside the building

Not quite what I expected. I didn’t expect a ghost story, but this has some suspense.

Characters

Kaylee: 15, father and mother having marital problems, blonde

Jamie: 15, blonde, parents dead, owns a cat, has a mole on her lip

Ethan: 15, Jamie’s twin brother, dark hair, freckles

Wren: 15 dark hair, beaky nose

Anna: mud brown hair

Sidney Elizabeth: braided pigtails for hair, parents in prison

I thought the characters were pretty good and they interacted well together. Only a couple had last names. Since the story centered on Kaylee, I didn’t see a lot of development from the others. Jamie was missing in the story for a long time and though the reason is explained, I thought she should have had more play in being Kaylee’s antagonist.

Dialogue

Reasonably good voices and conversations went okay. Not a lot of time for extraneous stuff, but the arguments between the girls played out well.

Writing

First person from Kaylee’s POV.

This book doesn’t have any chapters. Except for the epilogue, it’s one long scene. I think writing it this way is fine.

The story is more for the YA or NA crowd. As mentioned, It wasn’t what expected.

Some more descriptions about the building/the halls/rooms at the retirement home would have been good.

Otherwise, a fairly quick and error clean read.

My Rank:

Green Belt

Green

Electromancer

cover

By Daco

daco

https://www.amazon.com/Electromancer-Daco-ebook/dp/B01AOH7BFA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1482117253&sr=8-3&keywords=electromancer

Plot

When the electricity utility heiress Alexa Manchester tries to give the world a great source of electricity, sabotage causes havoc and transforms her into a super being. Able to fly and fire bolts of electricity Alexa becomes Electromancer.

And just in time, too, for there is an evil force brewing, wanting to control the world. Momo and his henchmen who have created the Big Zapper.

It’s a fight for power, literally and figuratively, as Electromancer squares off against Momo. But she is not alone, for in the midst of battle, here comes another force to reckon with-The Blue Arrow.

Oh wow! I had fun reading this book. What an excellent plot. A new superhero book. I thought this plot was well crafted and well delivered. It made me want to believe in superheroes again. It threw a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming and sets up for a series…if Daco would like to write another book.

And I wish she would.

Characters

Alexa Manchester: parents dead, owns a power plant, 29, blonde, blue eyes, wealthy, owns a cat

Bigelow ‘Biggie’ Bitterman: 4’11”, drives a sedan, black hair

Sigfried Sawyer: 37, chauffeur/butler for Alexa, azure eyes, short sandy hair

Zachary Zero: alcoholic

Bobby Baumgartner: 37, mayor, owns a gold Lamborghini

What a wonderful cast of characters. I loved every one. From the elder council members to the slutty twins. From Alexa’s uncle to Professor Slipter. Great names, distinctive personalities. Great comic book characters without going over the top…well, not too much.

Dialogue

Of course the voices were all there. You knew every character by the words and tone of voice. Conversations were wonderful to read. I think there is just the right amount of dialogue. I think, too, there is just enough comic book bad guy dialogue to keep it humorous, yet, dramatic and fun.

Writing

Daco knows how to write.

No profanity except for a very minor instance. Chapters are headed by location, time, etc. Varying lengths of chapters, but mostly short.

A couple misspelled words.

Action is succinct and doesn’t drag.

As mentioned above, the story is presented with a well thought out sequence. You have the introduction to the heroine, the bad guy, and a couple of fun changes in characters. I won’t play spoiler, but the comic book fun doesn’t end.

And romance? Oh yes, there is a bit of spark (pun intended) between two characters.

If you want a fun read to escape from the world, this one is it. I love it. I want more.

My Rank:

Red Belt

Red