Monday, May 19, 2014

Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey

     An idea occurred to me a few weeks ago to do a series of articles featuring regional authors from the Ohio Valley. I set out to find as many current authors as I could and queried several of them in regards of the articles. Among the authors that responded I selected Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey as my first story to read. The intention behind the articles was to post it on my author blog, not to do a full review. This, however, had to be thrown out the window once I read Deceived.

    Deceived opens up on Gabriella Smith, a young high school senior who is put up at a boarding school. Spending the majority of life, after the death of her mother, moving from house to house and city to city with her father; it is the first chance she has ever had to both complete a full school year and, more importantly, feel normal at least one time before going to college.

     Gabriella, or Elle, is plagued by a reoccurring nightmare that she can never fully remember. To make matters worse, a sense of being followed and watched plagues her everyday life. These feelings are brought to a new level when a young man she meets at a flea market suddenly shows up at her school and begins adjusting his course schedule in order to align all his courses with hers. This young youth is Brian, who quickly becomes both a potential threat, and a love interest.

     At this point in the story, which is still incredibly early on, you begin to both piece together and become lost in Elle's peril. Reports of an alleged serial killer stalking the area near the boarding school, coupled with Brian appearing when the feelings of being watched and pursued overtake Elle and threaten to push her sanity over the edge.

     Its when the true killer reveals himself that Elle realizes just who she can trust. The only question is, can she trust herself to escape and keep herself, and her friends, alive?

     Lindsey does a wonderful job putting together a YA story that transcends its intended genre completely. While the story is written from the perspective of a high school senior, the character of Elle reads much older, though not in an unbelievable way. With such an adult character, you get a story that is enjoyable for the young adult and adult thriller fans alike.

What I liked:

  • As I just mentioned, the character of Elle reads much older. This gives her an emotional availability that her "younger" classmates lack. Even the swiftness she falls for Brian gives her a 'real' quality I connected with. 
  • Though this story is categorized as a YA thriller, there is a mysterious element to it. For much of the story you are left wondering, just who you can trust and who you can't. Lindsey does a great job bringing to focus possible 'troublemakers', while building back your trust in a character you may have begun to doubt. 
  • The characters Deceived are as varied as you could hope. Many times authors have difficulties with the personalities of their characters, but not Lindsey. Each character has a unique personality that is recognizable and relatable whether they're a hormonal lacrosse player, artistic social butterfly, or even just have a small appearance here or there. 
     In the end Deceived gives you exactly what you want when you pick up a new book; a good read that keeps your attention throughout. Combining a great mystery with constant twists and turns, with thrilling content and a truly ageless appeal becomes sheer perfection. If you are a fan of sitting on the edge of your seat while losing yourself in finding out just who that shadowy figure is, then I highly recommend picking this book up. 

Overall I'm going to give Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey a 9/10 based on:

     8/10 for readability - Though this scores the lowest out of my categories, don't think its a bad thing. The story is long, but moves at a comfortable pace. It becomes hard to put down early on as each scene leads quickly into the next. The only thing I can say is that there are a few times when the story moves a little too fast, and a slower pace would be welcome. 

     10/10 for characters - I really cannot rave enough about the characters in this story. Each character, both main and ancillary, is unique and memorable. You get a strong sense of who they are and where they're from. This also assists in the mystery aspect of this story, giving you a connection with the characters that make you sit and hope your favorite isn't a brutal killer inside. 

     9/10 for story - Thriller meets mystery is the best way to describe the story. Each page turn brings you closer to finding out who the killer is and what he/she wants. At the same time you are bombarded with small details that threaten to send you in a different direction, enhancing the story exponentially. 

*X-factor - For followers of my review I typically pick out the most memorable part of a story. I'm going to continue this trend, but I'm no longer giving it a rating to factor into the overall score. 

     X-factor - The thing for me that sets this story apart is the character of Gabriella. As far as heroin's go she offers more depth than you would expect from a typical YA story. With both the naive nature of a young adult, and the worldliness of an adult, Elle makes this story exactly what it is; a wonderful read. 

     A thank you goes out to author Julie Anne Lindsey for the opportunity to read and review her title Deceived. Being a thriller fan I was a little worried that a YA thriller would be to young for me, but I'm very happy to have had my fears put to rest by this wonderful story. 

To pick up a copy of Deceived, click here


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Seedbearing Prince

     Before you read any further I have to point out that this review is for The Seedbearing Prince: Part II and as such there are some spoilers. I invite you to see my review from my old site for The Seedbearing Prince: Part I here.

     Getting back into reviewing indie books has been a great experience. I had left, originally, to do a revamp of my site and encompass not just reviews, but rather merge my author page with my indie reviews. I’m still very much learning about web design, and the site will be undergoing face lifts periodically, though the content will remain relatively unchanged.
     Author Davaun Sanders reached out to me to review The Seedbearing Prince: Part I after finding me on Goodreads. It wasn’t long after beginning the story that I knew this author was someone to watch. The book transported me to a newly conceptualized world that I could not compare to anything I had read before. It was full of fantastic characters, a young protagonist whose simple life has kept him sheltered from the truth of the world around him, and a set of despicable villans that strike fear into the hearts of all. I had given part I a solid 9/10, and was a little worried going into this one that Sanders would have trouble following up such a solid piece of work.
For those that have not read my first review I feel that a little background on Davaun Sanders is warranted.

     “Davaun Sanders was an architect with a small design firm that fell victim to the 2008 housing market collapse. Instead of seeking out another firm immediately, he did what many of us wish we would have and began writing full-time. Sanders also writes poems and even performs spoken word poetry. This combination of an architects eye and poets soul turned into a debut novel that showcases both those attributes.”  - Zach Tyo via

     The story picks up where part I left off. Dayn has been carried off by the fleshweep while Nassir and Lurec battle the prevailers of Montollos and attempt to escape the world with the seed.
We discover, from the prologue, that Dayn has been freed of the fleshweep by the Thar’Kuri. Quickly escaping the clutches of the monstrous beings, Dayn finds himself wandering through caverns full of the deplorable Thar’Kuri, a band of human raiders, and a band of nomads who may be his only hope of survival.

     Meanwhile, Nassir and Lurec manage to escape Montollos thanks to a navigator from the ring. After discussing their options, the duo decide to complete the quest tasked to Dayn. As they pass through the torrent Lurec begins to discover the seed displays a special property as it furthers its distance from Dayn, giving the group hope the seedbearer may still yet be alive. That realization set them on a course directly into the heart of the torrent, and a set of worlds lost to the darkness.
Deception from the Ring, a lost seedbearer and a sinister plot being hatched by the leader of the voidwalkers keep you perched fully on the edge of your seat as you learn the origin of the World Belt and of the vile Thar’Kuri’s role in the breach and the very destruction of the worlds themselves.
As I mentioned in my first review, Sanders experience in architecture comes out whenever he describes a setting. Whether its discovering a visually stunning new world, or learning something new about a familiar place, you have no trouble picturing these fabulous and amazing worlds. Particularly, in the case of this story, the description of the world of the voidwalkers is a personal favorite of mine.

     Sanders’ poetic past also continues to show itself in the second installment of The Seedbearing Prince. Its apparent in the choice of words, but in particular the character’s interactions and inner monologues. Each character reveals their inner selves during each dialogue, bringing you closer to them with each page turn.

     If you followed my other review site you know I like to break down the story into the pros and cons of reading. I’ve decided to ex that portion and replace it with a similar, yet less suggestive, portion of ‘Things I liked’ and ‘Things I didn’t’. In reality it is still going to be the same thing, in revamping my reviews I realized calling something a con of reading is more of a turn off for a reader than I feel it should be.

What I liked:
  • The pace with which the story moves along is perfection. Each page turn neither rushes the story, nor does it slow to a turtles pace.
  • The character’s growth throughout the two parts has been tremendous. When first met the characters seemed set in their ways, but traveling together has furthered the life Sanders created for them, as well as furthered the reader’s connection with them.
  • It was apparent from the first, and if you’ve only read this review so far I’m sure you caught on, that Sanders eye for architecture assisted his ‘world building’, yet somehow he manages to pack more new and exciting worlds into this story that is already filled to the brim with exciting, unique and stunning worlds.
     If you have read any of my other reviews you’ll know that I really dig into a story to find something that I don’t particularly care for. You’ll also know that The Seedbearing Prince: Part I is one of the few stories that managed to score a near perfect with me. This put some ‘fuel into my fire’, but even after reading through two times I can’t find a single thing I didn’t care for.

Overall I’m going to give The Seedbearing Prince: Part II a very solid 9/10 based on:

10/10 for readability: Sanders story flows even better than its predecessor with a flow that can only come from an experienced writer.

9/10 for story: The story fits perfectly as a sequel to the first. The action packed, edge of your seat, will Dayn and the belt survive story is both unique and familiar at the same time.

9/10 for characters: I’m assuming that the bulk of you reading have read the first story, or at least my review and know I feel in love with Sanders’ characters from the first. This 9/10 is based on the character growth and development which is incredibly important in keeping characters from growing stale.

10/10 for visualization: This is based on both the new worlds and the expansion on some existing settings. Sanders has proven to me that he belongs in this genre that requires the up most attention to detail, and an ability to transfer the visuals in your head into a manuscript that effectively creates that visual in your readers head.

     Thank you to author Davaun Sanders for allowing me to review the second part of this series. I was a fan after the first, but this has confirmed, for me, that Sanders is going on my shelves with some of my favorites.

If you would like to pick up a copy of The Seedbearing Prince: Part II click here.

If you are unsure you can pick up a free copy of The Seedbearing Prince: Part I here.

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Monday, May 12, 2014


After opening my personal site, here, and doing some reviews, I realize I miss having a site dedicated to fellow indie authors and their work. With that thought in mind, and some advice from my wife and a fellow author, I decided to reopen this site. I will not be doing reviews at the same frequency as before, I am still hard at work on my first publication, but I will be posting more interviews from new authors.

While I'm working building this site, I would like to invite anyone to email me at to request a review. I may turn some down and instead decide to do an interview or an advertisement if my schedule fills up quick enough. I will also be updating submission guidelines and updating the site design.

I can't say how happy I am to be back to doing what I love, helping other indies get the visibility they deserve.