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Dystopia, PUPS and more! (October Author Spotlight: Robert Jackson-Lawrence)

RJ LawrenceWebsite
Amazon Page

Greetings!  The Review Board here to gain greater insight into the mind of October Author Spotlight, Robert Jackson-Lawrence.  The navigator of the journey will be Mr. Controversy.  So without further delay, Mr. C., take it away!

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1. Thank you for sitting down with us at The Review Board, Mr. Jackson-Lawrence! We are very excited to have you! How old were you when you discovered your gift of writing?

I used to write a lot of stories, both at school and out of school. I think the first one I remember was a story called Super-Tooth vs Dr. DK. It was a superhero story. I must have been 7 or 8 and I remember my teacher reading it out to the whole class!

After that, I remember the stories got longer and darker, taking on more of a horror and science fiction slant in line with what I was reading.

2. WOW! What was the first thing that you have written, and did it give any indication that writing was going to become a big part of your life?

Erm, see question 1 lol!

3. LOL! How important is it to you to have extra eyes on your work, in order for your works of art to flow seamlessly?

Very important, I wouldn’t consider publishing now without having a few other people read what I had written. I remember when I first published Knightfall, I did it without hiring an Editor first (I know, I know, rookie mistake). The early reviews all commented on grammatical and editing errors, and when I had the report back from the editor there were mistakes on almost every page!

I recognise that I am blind to my own errors when writing, regardless of how many times I read through it, so having other people look through is vital. I now have a small group of beta readers who give me honest feedback, as well as a great editor who fixes all the stuff I can’t.

I’m always open to feedback though, so if anyone has any thoughts or comments on what I have written please let me know!

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4. Trust and believe: we ALL have been where you were when we first published! Who or what inspires your unique way of writing?

My writing style has been heavily influenced by what I have read over the years. I started Knightfall in about 1995, and during that time I was reading a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Terry Pratchett.

With regards to the style and format of Knightfall, that has been very strongly influenced by television. Knightfall is written like a television show, split into 10 chapters (episodes) and then each chapter then split into scenes from the various character’s viewpoints in   chronological order.

5. A great and creative idea, indeed! “Knightfall” has quickly become one of my favorite series! How did you come up with such an intriguing premise?

Knightfall came from a dream I had in about 1995. I woke the next day and wrote down as mush as I could before I forgot it. The dream covered most of the first book; the lab, the attack, moving to the other world, the Road Trains and the people on them, all the way up to the Regent’s death in Island City.

The original plan changed a lot after that – in the first sketch of the story, Alexander wants Ben to repair an ancient Mech so he can use it to destroy the Southern Baronies. How I’ve grown!

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6. Growth is often a tool that is amazing to have! Seeing the times in which we are living, do you believe that a “Knightfall-esque” situation and scenario is feasible?

Maybe! I seldom turn on the news without seeing updates from one conflict or another all over the world. Contrary to what many readers believe however, Ben isn’t in the future, and he finally works out where he really is in the third book (New Light) if you haven’t read it yet.

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7. I have my copy, and will dig right in soon! With Benjamin Knight as your protagonist, do you see a bit of yourself in him?

He has all the same awkwardness and shyness I had at 15, but sadly I don’t have his genius! I’m sure, in the original dream, I was the protagonist, and I changed it to someone else as the story was written. I put bits of myself into the various characters of the book, all apart from Carl who is basically my Dad!

8. I greatly appreciate that type of inspiration and innovation! Do you have any books that you keep close to your person that you enjoy reading?

I hate to admit it, but I seldom read a book more than once. This isn’t because I haven’t enjoyed them, but more that there are so many new books coming out every day that I will never get around to reading all the ones I want to, let alone reading books a second time.

For writing help and advice, I often talk to fellow authors and have several useful pages in the bookmarks folder on my computer.

9. Fantastic! Do you have any other writing projects that you are working on currently or in the near future?

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After finishing and publishing Book 3 of the Benjamin Knight series, I finished and polished my 8 book series for younger children (PUPS! – The Adventures of a Third Grade Werewolf) and I recently published the first in my new series X-Calibur (titled The Return). This is a science fiction series with elements of Arthurian legend mixed in.

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I plan on writing one or two more of the X-Calibur series before finally writing the 4th book in the Benjamin Knight series (Oracle), due for release in 2015. It is slowly simmering in the back of my mind at the moment, the details finally bubbling to the surface. It will tell the story of The Piper and what really happened to all the children in Gerlder’s Ford…

10. I cannot wait to get into more of your books! What advice would you offer to all writers who are looking to take the Leap of Faith in the realm of writing and publishing?

Just do it. Keep writing, try to write whenever you can, and write what you want to write. Don’t try to second guess what is popular, because by the time you have something finished, it won’t be popular anymore! Just tell the stories you want to tell and have fun doing it.

Don’t be scared to take the plunge and make your work available. It’s never been easier to publish your work for the world to see, and don’t be put off by bad reviews. You will get bad reviews. Guaranteed. But you will also get great feedback on what you have written and you might just make someone’s day.

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Mr. Lawrence thanks so much for your time!  Thank you everyone else for checking out The Review Board.  Feel free to like, share, subscribe and comment.  Have a great day!

The Wordsmith of Truth on Where is Heaven?

whereisheavenWhere is Heaven? by Phil Bowie
Amazon | Amazon Author Page

Note: This book was submitted by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Greetings!  The Review Board here to give our thoughts on Where is Heaven? by Phil Bowie.  Before we proceed, let’s present the blurb vis Amazon:

A near-death experience turned out to be inspirational for author Phil Bowie. A firm believer in God but a long-time skeptic concerning the believability and practices of humankind’s many organized religions, he has gathered a lifetime of experiences, proven facts, and conclusions from the best and brightest minds on the planet in the writing of this book. If you’ve ever doubted what you’ve been taught about religion and the Bible, this book will give you true, fact-based answers that you can firmly believe. Among other insights, it will tell you where heaven really is.

Now to provide her take, Wordsmith Andi:

WordsmithLogoThe Wordsmith Weighs In

I’ve never read a book before that seemed to be tailor written for me. Or maybe I just never realized there were other skeptical believers out there that had the same questions I did and do. Apparently Phil Bowie did have that realization and he’s given us all a book to be proud of.

I grew up in a family that wasn’t particularly religious. I remember being a Jehovah’s Witness as a child; there are still clear impressions of the kingdom hall and the orange chairs we used to sit on (or that I would get down on the floor and crawl around under). For one reason or other both of my parents were cast out of the congregation through something known as “dis-fellowship”. This happened around my tenth birthday, or so I think, because I don’t remember celebrating any holiday until I was ten years old.

As I grew older I went to church with my grandmother on the Sunday morning of our occasional weekend visit, but I was always stuck in with the Sunday school kids who were all kids I didn’t know. As an introvert, being thrust into that kind of social setting was probably the most awkward of all so I never absorbed much from any of the lessons and if I did it was always to question the logic – or apparent lack thereof – and be met with scorn. So eventually I just shut up.

I’ve always felt, like Bowie, that there was some divine power at work but the Bible and my ideas of spirituality, over years of sampling from different churches and religions, have never met up with success. So imagine my elation when I was handed this book with a request to review it.

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Phil Bowie writes with the ease and flair of a well-educated and informed old-timer sitting on his porch telling stories to his children and older grandchildren, explaining his thoughts and feelings about God, Heaven, organized religion and the Bible with unabashed candidness. His factual accuracy adds an element of much needed realism in what is otherwise a pretty abstract concept the world has spent thousands of years wrestling with, warring over, and contemplating.

I appreciated his in-depth examination of the root of organized religion, its purpose and affect on society from ancient to modern times. Laying bare the mysticism and exposing the juxtaposition of a wrathful, vengeful, punishing God with a merciful, loving, unconditionally loving God by taking an objective look at many of the stories and books of the Bible, Bowie questions the merits in taking the Bible literally given all the scientific knowledge we now have at our disposal. Is there a “real” Heaven or Hell and where are they if they do? How does prayer work? How do evolution and creationism science co-exist? Why do we refer only to Darwin’s theory of evolution instead of the Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution? Bowie covers all of these topics with admirable aplomb, and sometimes even through light humor to prove the ridiculousness of a particular point.

Taking things a step further, Bowie begs us to consider what influence blind faith accomplishes and what it means for the future of our planet and survival of our species. Having professed to living through several decades, Bowie attests to how society’s values and morals have changed over the years and gives us an honest picture of what the future holds if we do not hold ourselves in check, not by strict adherence to outdated traditions but rather by harnessing our innate goodness – that divine spark that exists with each of us and compels us to achieve greatness, and to preserve our Eden, planet Earth. Exploring topics such as population control, global warming, space travel and the implications of confirmed extraterrestrial life, Bowie draws distinct connections between religion’s potential effects and influence on survival of our species both ill and to the good, many of which were astounding and alarming, each based in irrefutable fact.

I want to thank Phil Bowie for taking the time to thoroughly research each of his many subjects and for the writing of this book. He answered a great many questions I had, and tuned me into a great many more than I never knew I should be asking. This is a book that will stay with me in thought, and be referred back to again and again whenever I find myself engaged in any sort of intellectual conversation or debate on this subject.

A definite “would recommend”, I give Where is Heaven? a maximum rating of 10 stars.

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Now, let’s see what Mini Truth has to say.

minitruthbannerTruthful Takes

There is so much I need to and want to say about “Where is Heaven?” that I honestly haven’t the remotest idea of where to start.

That being said, I suppose the best tactic would be to start at the beginning; that being the blurb.

Like any reader, before diving into a book or opting to purchase one an individual looks at the cover first (the cover was nice—an eye peeking through the universe—pretty cool) and then the person reads the blurb. Here it is, once again:

A near-death experience proved inspirational for Phil Bowie. A firm believer in God but a long-time skeptic concerning the believability and practices of the world’s major organized religions, he has gathered a lifetime of experiences, proven facts, and conclusions from the best and brightest minds on the planet in the writing of this book. If you’ve ever doubted what you’ve been taught about religion and the Bible, this book will give you true, fact-based answers you can firmly believe. Among other insights, it will tell you where heaven really is.

WHAT A MISLEADING BLURB!

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However, today I’m going to do things a little bit differently than I usually would. Today, for efficiency purposes, I’ll tell you about my overall thoughts on the book first, then dive into the pros (not that there were many) and cons.

Back to what I was saying above.

When one reads the blurb the first thing that comes to mind is that this story will be a type of biography. One that would take the reader on an adventure to ultimately discover where heaven is. As, due to the title and the blurb, that is what’s most clear.

Well, let me tell you folks, that ISN’T the deal at all! Not even close.

In the introduction the author sort of reiterates what is said in the blurb, and in the first chapter the author dives a tad into his Christian upbringing. THAT along with many 3 or so more memories, were thrown here and there throughout the book, was ALL that there was in regards to any type of biography. THAT was it! This took up approximately (tops) 10 pages of a 340 page book.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking to yourself, “Wow. So if that is all there is about the author’s personal experience, then surely the rest of the book explains where heaven is. Because, honestly, what else can it be?”

Oh, my beloved reader, how wrong you are.

Let me go ahead and tell you what it’s not

It’s NOT what you thought at all.

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An enormous percentage of the book was religion bashing. Yup, you got that right… the author went out of his way to trash all forms of organized religion, and took a keen pleasure in insulting Judeo Christian/Catholic/Western Christian beliefs. The irony is that in the bit that he speaks of his Christian upbringing, he narrates about it in such a fond tone, as if they were the best memories he’s ever had. There is also the fact that the author tells us time and time again how strong his faith in God is (Wait until you find out what this is all about!).

Had it been anything like me, who had a terrible experience in my Christian upbringing, I might’ve said, “Well, I can kind of see where he’s coming from.” but that wasn’t the case at all.

The other parts of the book consisted of religious politics, current news, science lessons, technobabble and literary lessons.

Some of the things that were completely unnecessary in this book were the constant veering off on tangents of miscellaneous things like Dante’s Inferno, the God Particle (also known as the Higgs Boson), the astronomy lessons, the religious & political mumbo jumbo, and so much more. No seriously, the author would constantly change direction and deviate onto things that just made absolutely no sense—babbling on for pages and pages.

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Now here is where the book REALLY kills me…

I was only at about a quarter of the book when the author tells us where is believes heaven is.

The answer?

In the memories we leave behind of ourselves. In the hearts and minds of others. Essentially, we live eternally in the hearts and minds of our loved ones and the people we impact in this world. THAT is supposedly heaven.

After the author relates where his opinion of heaven lies, he opts to tell us where he believes hell is.

The answer?

On earth.

The next thing was telling the reader who God really is.

The answer?

The Higgs Boson (The God Particle).

Reader, I’m sorry to say it, but I HATE, HATE, HATED THIS BOOK! And, I’ll tell you why. What most people do not know about me is that I am an avid student of anything mythological, biblical, historical and scientific. Therefore, I know just about everything there is to know about religion and how history and science affects many religious beliefs. Due to this I was able to judge this book by utilizing my profound knowledge of such things. I’ll tell you this, as a science buff I hated it… as a history admirer I hated it… as a biblical enthusiast I hated it… and as a history fan I hated it. There was NOTHING I liked or enjoyed about this book whatsoever.

Not even l when I tried to rationalize the fact that this was supposed to be his, quote-unquote, “personal experience with God.”

People, you’re reading the review of a fellow skeptic, and a even as that, I hated it.

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PRO:

  • The spelling was good.

CONS:

  • It is truly a damn shame, when the first thing you notice about a book is the never-ending, run on sentences. Before you pick this book up, be sure to prepare yourself for a race. It’s EXHAUSTING! Some sentences were up to 1 and 2 paragraphs long! I kid you not. I have pictures to prove it.
  • Then there was the “And-a-topia.” I noticed right off the bat the incredible amount of “ands” in the writing. Some sentences having even up to 7. Due to this, curiosity took over, and I really wanted to know exactly how many there were throughout the book, so I searched them. 3,729 ‘Ands’ in a single book! (insert wide eyes gasp here) Whaaaaat??

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ands

  • Tons of odd sentence structure. Things that seem off in some sentences.
  • Bizarre placement of certain phrases and comments. Like, for example, on one page the author is writing about some more religion bashing, then suddenly says that he is going through the book for edits at that very moment and noticed something else interesting on the news. And the sentence that immediately follows is that he’s doing yet another overview on the book and noticed an additional thing on the news. Below you’ll see the page.

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  • The writing is the epitome of “preachy writing”. It almost feels like the author is trying to impose his beliefs on everyone. Very presumptuous.
  • There were times when the author seemed to think he was being funny as there were a few one-liners here and there. He wasn’t.
  • For such an adamantly professed believer in God, I find it strange that this author preaches throughout the book like Billy Freaking Graham about random religious crap, then says that heaven is in our heads, hell is on earth, and God is a cell. I mean, really, what’s the freaking point in believing in God at all if that’s the case?! I’m just saying!

Guys, I could seriously go on for days about the faults in this book, but I think I’ve said enough. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. Well, maybe my worst enemy if I wanted to be mean. (giggling)

3 TRB Stars.

Now taking the two ratings and divided by two, The Review Board gives Where is Heaven? 6.5 out of 10 TRB Stars.

6.5stars

Thanks for checking out The Review Board.  Feel free to like, share, and subscribe.  Have a terrific day!

Vision Unleashed on The Loyal Man

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The Loyal Man by Michelle Montague Mogil
Amazon | Amazon Author Page

Greetings!  The Review Board here to share our thoughts on The Loyal Man by Michelle Montague Mogil.  First, we have Nikki Vision.

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Funny twist on the usual vampire plot.

Oh no, another vampire novel!! Was my first reaction to this book. However, as I began to read on, the easy narrative style and engaging protagonists of Ethan and his estranged vampire wife, Ana, pleasantly surprised me. The title I assumes was Ethan’s struggle to stay loyal to his wife despite her no longer being human. I thought the premise of this husband and wife vampire/human relationship and their squabbles, neatly done.

A refreshing take on the vampire scenario, as it deals more with the psychological and emotional impact of someone you love becoming a demon, than on the blood lust and stereotypical fang-bashing story lines of most vampire books. Basically it is a book about a man who wants his wife back, but with the twist that she is a vampire. There are annoying demons too, which adds to the overall humour.

Characters are well defined and believable, and that is thanks to the naturalistic dialogue and ordinary situations and settings that the characters find themselves in. We can identify with Ethan’s dilemma because it isn’t supernatural. The situations he finds himself in in trying to help Ana slate her thirst for blood, are very humorous and as a reader, I often winced at the occasional slapstick style of problems he encountered trying to stay loyal to this monster ex wife.

truebloodI suppose it reminded me a little bit of True Blood, in that the vampires aren’t seen as scary monsters and live amongst humans, and the humour side of it. I like True Blood, so that isn’t a criticism.

The opening scene is funny and we are plunged straight into the action that allows the reader to know the situation immediately.

I liked the first person narrative voice. It was chatty and amusing and easy to follow the story. The dialogue was on the whole believable and naturalistic which helped to make the story line credible. Even when Ethan decides to opt for early retirement because of what he has become, the supernatural element is outweighed by the normalcy of his day-to-day life which again, helped me to buy into the fantastical storyline.

The narrative is fast paced and never dull, and I read the book quite quickly. I was engaged from beginning to end. The action is good and character driven, which I enjoyed. Exposition kept to a minimum in favour of getting the story told through fast paced scenes, especially towards the end where Ethan does something bad, were very compelling and well-written. The ending does promise a sequel, at least and I would love to read more of this quirky couple and their odd lifestyle. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a quirky, but familiar read all in one.

Some typos/weird sentences: “All the sudden, he was a tour end of the bar, grinning at me”

“Yes, my dear little Popândău,” she hissed. “we will deliver you to the psych ward and your…”

Repetition of words throughout and maybe too many qualifying adverbs after dialogue for my tastes, but nothing to terrible that it spoilt my enjoyment of the tale. There is a lot of dialogue and sometimes I wanted to have more physical descriptions to help me picture the settings and characters.

Vision Verdict: 8 out of 10 TRB Stars.

I suppose I would have liked something different than the usual, “ask us in,” burning in the sunlight, vampire thing, as Michelle doesn’t really try to think of new ways for vampires to live, but I so enjoyed her writing and characters, that it ceased to matter to me after a while. All-in-all, a really good read.

Now let’s peek at what No Labels has to say.

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Unleashed Speaks:

I was first exposed to this author’s work at a former review group I was a part of.  At that time, we all were assigned to read The Gentle Man, which is the predecessor to this book.  I did enjoy that particular book yet I was curious as to more insight to Ethan, who was one of my favorite characters in the first book.

When the author alerted me that she decided to cover Ethan’s story I was intrigued.  When she submitted The Loyal Man to TRB, I had to satisfy my curiosity.  I had to find out whether the follow up would mimic the elements I enjoyed so much about the first book.

With eagerness, I delved in.

The first few pages of the book started off with Ana the vampire sending a message to Dr. Cruciat.  Soon after that, the author takes us into a day in the life of Ethan adjusting to having a wife as a creature of the night.

One doesn’t have to necessarily read The Gentle Man but to understand the impact of some of the past characters, such as Domm, and the sinister ways of Dr. Cruciat, it would be a great idea.

For me, the pace in this book runs slower than its predecessor and the development somewhat choppy.  The initial presentation of the showdown between Cruciat and Ana was hinted at immediately but took several chapters before things circled around.  Also, there were quite a few new people presented in the early going before familiarity was established with the main characters. Some of the side stories took away from the central conflict, which was Ethan’s dynamic with Ana.

When the confrontation occurred, it was not nearly as climatic as I had hoped.  Similar to the antagonist in the first installment, there was great ease in defeating the foe, and it left me wondering what else to anticipate because this scene happened at about the seventy five percent mark in the book.

The other twenty five percent represented vengeance for Cruciat’s death and a possible trial for foul play, whose resolution also was a bit contrived.

Unleashed Verdict: 7 out of 10 TRB Stars.

Although the syntax was done relatively well, there was something lacking in this follow up.  Ethan should have been the star but his plight took a back seat to all the other events going on around them.  The epilogue was cute but wasn’t sure it was overall necessary unless it is setting up for another installment in this couple’s tapestry.  Despite the missed chances in The Loyal Man, I do enjoy the author’s overall writing style and remain open to reading other books by her.

Now taking the scores and dividing by two, The Review Board gives The Loyal Man 7.5 out of 10 TRB Stars.

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Thanks for checking out The Review Board.  Feel free to like, share, subscribe, and comment.  Have a terrific day.

The Choo-Choo of Change

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Greetings No Labels here.  I’m putting a bookmark in my reading to update everyone on some things going on with The Review Board.

During the last two weeks of 2014, there will be a bit of visual shenanigans (aka redecorating) going on.  The Review Board will be adopting a new template, along with a new banner and logo.  We hope this upcoming modern, more contemporary adaptation will still be in alignment with overall reader enjoyment.

More information and updates will be provided the closer it gets to the end of the year.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Now back to reading.

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Unleashed Speaks on To Travel Without a Map

totravelwithoutamapTo Travel Without a Map
K.A. Brace
Amazon

Genre: Poetry

Greetings everyone!  The Review Board here to share our thoughts on To Travel Without a Map by K.A. Brace.  Without further delay, the Unleashed One:

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Unleashed Speaks

Although I read all types of genres, poetry is my favorite one to read.  It was one of the first ones I was exposed to when I was young, and as an author, I’ve written poetry since I was eleven years old.  Therefore, when I talk about To Travel Without a Map, it comes from the perspective not only as a person who writes in this genre but a reader who adores this genre.

To Travel without a Map represents a throwback to style and structure in the way of stanza formation, rhythm, and cadence.  Each poem in this collection has a consistent thrum designed to generate enlightenment and understanding involving elements of the human condition.  The author has quite the vocabulary that is welcoming without being show-offish.

If I were to pick out a favorite poem, I would not be able to answer.  The majority of them have a beauty that lingers long after I’ve moved on to the next page.  At times, I felt as if this author talked about bits and pieces in my life in a technique nothing short of gripping eloquence.

Visual presentation had nary a flaw, if one at all.  The ambiance of this work echoed having intimate conversations about life, love, and everything in between—humanity overall.

No, the cover doesn’t have a lot of pop, yet it is in symmetry with the tone of the collection as a whole.

Unleashed (and TRB Verdict)

10stars10 out of 10 TRB Stars

With many eclectic forms that poetry has taken, it is nice to have a work which still adopts the mannerisms of old.  Although I was given this in exchange for an honest review, this will be added as a permanent staple to my library.

For those who are fans of the traditional mechanisms of poetry with a conversational like component, To Travel Without a Map is for you.

Thanks for checking out The Review Board.  Feel free to like, share, and subscribe.  Have a terrific day!

The Harmony of Controversy on Rapunzel (now named The Last Fairytale)

rapunzelmollygreeneRapunzel by Molly Greene
(old cover and title of the book)

Greetings!  The Review Board here.  At the time this book was submitted to us for review this was the original title and the accompanying cover.

After lots of digging, we have discovered that this book not only has a new title but also a new cover.

thelastfairytale-origrapunzelmollygreeneThe Last Fairytale by Molly Greene
Website | Amazon

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

TRB was not notified of any of these changes nor submitted new content to go along with this.  Therefore, our review will be based on what was given to us at the time of intake.

First to share her thoughts, Harmony Kent:

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This novel is set around the San Francisco Bay Area and is a mild thriller. The story opens with the discovery of a dead body, and a wannabe-investigative journalist is implicated in the murder. A chance meeting with an old college friend, who happens to be a private investigator, soon sets them both on a danger-filled quest to unravel the puzzle. There is a minor romantic thread running throughout the narrative.

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The writing style is passive, but well put together on the whole. There are a lot of introductory clauses left without commas, and some spelling errors that need addressing.

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Near the beginning of the book, is a slight plot inconsistency, as we are told that a character has life-saving skills, but she doesn’t display any at all, and just a few paragraphs further on we are told she doesn’t know what to do. The character development was done well, and I felt they were multi-dimensional. Dialogue was realistic, although some of the tags need editing. The plot was steady throughout, but I did feel the ending could have been rounded out a little more. The climax was barely touched upon before a fresh chapter ensued which had jumped straight into the happily-ever-after stuff, without any kind of satisfying resolution. The facts were told, rather than shown and glossed over. So it ended up being an anti-climax.

Harmony’s Verdict:

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All in all, I enjoyed this read and would recommend it to people who like clean thrillers without lots of violence or swearing. If the editing were tightened up, and the proofreading revisited, I could see this book achieving an easy ten stars. As it is, it gets a very soft seven out of ten TRB Stars.

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Now to share his thoughts, Mr. Controversy.

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Molly Greene’s “Rapunzel” centers around a young investigative journalist Genevieve Delacourt who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Going to a late night job interview (NOT UNCOMMON these days, citing how I have been to a few myself; mainly for Life Insurance sales opportunities), she finds that the person who was to interview her is deader than a door nail, and she becomes the Prime Suspect in the eyes of the San Francisco Police Department. Feeling that the walls are closing in on her, she enlists the help of her old college friend Cambria Butler who happens to be in the Private Investigations and Legal fields. A jackass of a corporate executive, his loyal admirer, and a snarky San Francisco Detective force rounds out the cast of characters in this 162-page read.

The story takes on a “matter-of-fact” tone; if told by the person who is seeing everything unfolding as the story progresses, understandable. The MOST Telling piece of detail that is making me feel a bit uneasy is that the story is being told from a first-person Point of View: the insinuation that the narrator PERSONALLY KNOWS the characters is evident within these pages.

Case in point: BOTH Genevieve Delacourt and Cambria Butler are referred to as “Gen,” “Genny,” and “Bree” respectively throughout the story.

IF the narrator IS NOT a part of the story, then there is no need to tell the story from a first person perspective; it WILL confuse your readers.

To me, the story felt cookie cutter to where I have read several stories that had a similar feel. I AM NOT taking away from the story, for it is well constructed. What i will say, is that a bomb of a plot twist or 4 would have gave the story the roller coaster feel that I KNOW that it possesses. Unfortunately, it felt like sitting on the bench on a carousel as opposed to the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA.

7stars

Survey (and overall TRB) Says: 7 out of 10 Stars

Ms. Molly Greene DOES have a good story here! It is “thriller enough” to where it will not make you have a bowel movement during your sleep. As long as she continues to have extra eyes on her work to wrangle errant spelling errors as well as punctuation marks, she has Great Potential. Give “Rapunzel” AKA “The Last Fairytale” a read; you JUST MIGHT like it.

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