Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blown Circuit

Title: Blown Circuit (Circuit Series #2)

Author: Lars Guignard

Genre: Spy/Thriller/Mystery

Publisher: Fantastic Press (December 12, 2012)

Buy Links: 

amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/Blown-Circuit-Adventure-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00AMRGX2A

amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blown-Circuit-Adventure-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00AMRGX2A


Synopsis: From the bestselling author of Lethal Circuit comes the long-awaited sequel, BLOWN CIRCUIT. Michael Chase is back. He survived China. Barely. But now he's got bigger problems. He has enemies. Deadly enemies. 

A pair of coordinates broadcast on an obscure frequency have brought Michael to Istanbul, Turkey where credible chatter has emerged that a terrorist group plans to use a devastating device to hold the world hostage. Designed by Nikola Tesla, arguably the greatest inventor of the Twentieth Century, the device is experimental, it is capable, and it has been missing for almost sixty years. If Michael is to prevent a catastrophe, he'll need to get to the device before the Conspiracy or risk upsetting the global balance of power forever. Of course, finding the Tesla Device is one thing, knowing whom he can trust with it is another matter entirely. If Michael is to survive, he'll have to do both. If he doesn't, what started as a bad day is about to become a disaster.

Review: Blown Circuit is a sequel, but it doesn't read like one, in the best way possible. I haven't read the first book, and I found no problems in following the story of Blown Circuit. It works great as a stand alone novel. It's an exciting adventure and while it is not a young adult novel, I feel that teens would enjoy this book as well as adults. There were times, during the action scenes, where it got a little hard to follow, but I think that's just the nature of the beast. It's hard to write clear action scenes; it's much easier to see them. Overall, Blown Circuit is a well-written adventure that many will enjoy reading. 4 Stars. 


Author Bio: Lars Guignard is a former film and television writer and graduate of both McGill University and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His bestselling novel, Lethal Circuit, has been a TOP 100 Amazon Spy Thriller since its release. In addition to the Circuit series, Lars is the author of the children’s adventure series, Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse and the paranormal mystery series, Brood

Ever since attending high school in the Indian Himalayas, Lars has been an avid backpacker and traveler. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest where he is busy completing the third Michael Chase thriller for release in 2013.

For news about new releases, please join his email list here:http://www.larsguignard.com/contact/

He can also be reached at the following places: 
Blog: www.larsguignard.com 
Twitter: @Lars_Gu 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LarsGuignardAuthor

I am a book tour host with CMBook Tours: I received a complimentary e-copy of this book for the purposeof review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Broken Bridges

Title: Broken Bridges
Author: Roy Kindelberger
Genre: Children's middle-grade 
Publisher: Black Rose Writing (August 21, 2013)
Buy Links: Black Rose Writing - Amazon 

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Rey is sent to an old rundown steel town near Pittsburgh, where he has to deal with his aging grandparents, isolated dad, missing mom, bullies, broken bridges, and horseradish sauce. While Rey sits on an airplane bound for Pittsburgh, he clutches a crumpled note. It’s been forty-one days since his mom left—no words since. Rey’s dad is sending him to Pittsburgh for the summer to stay with his grandparents, so his dad can pull his life together. Rey feels so alone. Somehow Rey has to find himself. He’s timid, unsure, yet has to make choices. These choices lead Rey to become more confident, as he makes the transition into his teenage years. Rey arrives in the middle of a heat wave. He quickly runs into trouble with some bullies and is in several difficult situations. Rey hangs out with his friend, Jason and discovers a mentor in his grandfather—bonds which are all put to the test when his grandfather becomes extremely sick and Rey has a final confrontation with the bullies. And then there are his parents. Will things ever return to normal?

Review: Well, I certainly enjoyed the sentiment of Broken Bridges. I found it difficult to read at some points, because the accents of the characters don't flow and sometimes don't make sense. The grandpa is often seen saying "yunz," which I have never read any any book nor ever heard-and I consider myself to be well versed on small town hick. (I grew up in a small town in Utah and spent time in the South, maybe it's something more specific to where Kindelberger grew up. I don't know. It just bothered me.) There are also a great deal of sentence fragments in the story, and not on purpose as style (which I totally get; I do it, too) but just as mistakes. The story itself is rather sitcom-y in parts and has simple typos. I feel like Kindelberger just needs a really good editor to fix the errors and tighten up the novel. I think it would be well worth the cost. But back to the story itself. Broken Bridges is a very touching story with great characters. I think it would be a very relevant read for today's children, as many have divorced parents or other family troubles. This novel would help them to understand that they are not alone in their difficulties. 3 Stars. 

Roy's Headshots 007(1).JPGAuthor Bio: Roy was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He loves sharing stories with his children and students. They are always looking out for a story, book, poem, or song that makes a difference in their lives. Roy taught kindergarten for fifteen years. He now teaches second grade. Roy lives with his wife, Laura and two wonderful children, Emily and Hailey in Bothell, Washington. You can reach him at: http://www.roykindelberger.com/ Author Links: WebsiteBlog, and Facebook

I am a book tour host with CMBook Tours: I received a complimentary e-copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pilate's Wife

Antoinette May takes the important tale of Christ and Pontius Pilate and puts a spin on it, telling it from a woman, Claudia, Pilate's wife, via her life story. Pilate's Wife is an intellectual read, but once the story is started, it's hard to stop reading. Truthfully, I'm not very knowledgeable about this time period in history, nor do I buy that this is the "true story" of Christ, but it's an interesting theory. Under the genre of historical fiction, I found it a very interesting read. I recommend it to any who enjoy reading about women in history. 4 Stars. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

Katrina Kittle's The Kindness of Strangers is a touching novel about a widow and her two boys who welcome a third, and troubled, young boy into their home and their lives. The Kindness of Strangers deals with sensitive topics, but is a compelling read. Kittle's style and the story itself remind me a lot of Jodi Picoult. It's one of those books where you don't want to like it, because you don't want to like the terrible things that happen, but you enjoy reading it. It really draws you in. The characters are realistic and really stick with you. I highly recommend this novel to the mature, sophisticated young adult or adult reader. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

I bought Refuge for a nonfiction class at UVU (same class where I read An Elemental Thing), but it ended up not being read in class, and it took me until now to read it. Refuge is Terry Tempest Williams' female family history told alongside the story of The Great Salt Lake and her migratory birds. 
It was really hard for me to get into the novel. Chapters opened with different numbers, water level, number of birds, etc. Numbers are hard for me to comprehend, so the significance of the numbers at the beginning of each chapter was missed by me. It also felt like things weren't exactly in order, which was hard for me to understand. It was unclear when things were happening in the timeline. I also felt that Refuge has a very narrow demographic as to who would be most drawn to it. I know it's not something I would pick up off a shelf and take home myself. I give it 3 stars.

The Storyteller

The latest Jodi Picoult book, The Storyteller, is not quite a book I would classify as a "Jodi Picoult" book. I'd classify it as a Holocaust novel instead; it is very much unlike all her other works. Picoult tries to make it her own, make it thought provoking, but for me, it's simply a Holocaust novel. The Storyteller is three stories in one, the past, the present, and the allegory. I enjoyed all three aspects, and felt that they could all stand independently, in fact, I would have been fine without the "present" story. Generally, though, I feel that way about all past/present historical fiction novels. 
So, I did like it. The characters were real, imperfectly so. The story was compelling. I enjoyed reading it, couldn't put it down at parts. The questions of the novel, "Can you forgive the unforgivable?" and "Where is the line between justice and mercy?" did not impact me on the level I would have liked them to, nor did I bond with Sage since I feel I would have made different choices. And yet, I am not Jewish. My grandmother was not in a concentration camp. A Nazi Officer has not asked me to forgive him. This isn't a realistic question for me. I would like to think one way, but until you're in the situation yourself, can you really know how you would respond? I'm not sure. 
The Storyteller is not an original novel, but it is a good read. I highly recommend it. 4.5 Stars.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The White Princess

The White Princess is the tale of Elizabeth, the daughter of The White Queen and sister to the Princes in the Tower. At the conclusion of the Cousins' War, when Henry Tudor takes the throne, Henry also takes Elizabeth as his wife. The pair is less than pleased to be wed, but they know it is necessary to unite the houses of York and Lancaster, and it is most necessary for there to be a whole slew of Tudor Princes, else Henry won the war for nothing. Henry struggles to hold the throne, hold the love of England, and gain the love of his wife. Things seem to be going well, but then there is "the boy." The boy who may very well be Prince Richard of York, Elizabeth's brother. The boy with a better claim to the throne then Henry. 

Philippa Gregory is very upfront with the fact that this is fiction about a mystery, and we don't know the truth of the Princes in the Tower or their death. She is only presenting a case of what might have happened, a story strung together by the facts we do know. Loving Gregory's work as I do, I tend to believe her story, that it is possible things could have happened this way. 

As with all historical fiction, we already know how the story ends. There isn't going to be a big twist. Yet The White Princess is still an enjoyable read. It's not my favorite Gregory work because Elizabeth wasn't as complex a character as her mother or grandmother (I also felt the book ended too soon). She is, however, still a unique character. Same as Henry. Both of them are very realistic and make choices I feel to be true to character. Reading The White Princess also helps one understand Henry VIII better because one comes to understand his heritage. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book.