Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review of Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford

Brief Summary: "Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter" by Nikki Jefford is the first book in a series where we are introduced to Aurora Sky, accidental Vampire Hunter. 

Long Review: The first in a 6+ part series Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter while interesting is not a series I will be reading further. The main character, Aurora Sky, is not a likeable character at first. She seems a little distant from the beginning. Aurora suffers an automobile accident and awakens from her coma on the nearby base in Alaska. She comes to find out in order to save her, her mother has signed her up for a top secret program as a vampire hunter. Aurora is hesitant at first to accept this new responsibility. Over the course of the book she eventually comes to accept her new direction in life. She ends up falling in love with a vampire, but this is acceptable since he doesn't kill people. The book ends on a poor cliff hanger which did not keep me interested. While I would like to see how the relationships develop further between the characters, the pull is not great enough for me to purchase the books. I think this would be a good read for a young teenage girl. 

Rating: 2.7/5

Other works by the author: Northern BitesBad BloodNikki Jefford

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review of Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West

Brief Summary: "Yesterday's Tomorrow" by Catherine West follows the life of Kristin Taylor and her pursuit of a career in journalism during the Vietnam war. 

Long Review: After her father, a journalist, is killed in Vietnam Kristin the oldest of the Taylor's follows in his footsteps and becomes a journalist. Her brother, Teddy, ships out to Vietnam and against the protestations of her mother, Kristin follows to finish the story that got her father killed.

Upon arriving in Vietnam without work or a visa Kristin finds room with Catherine Maddox. Kristin first encounters Luke Maddox, Catherine's, brother when he points a gun at her face because he believes she is an intruder in his apartment. Kristin and Luke get off to a shaky start but with the help of Jonno, Luke's Army driver, they start working together. Luke is a photographer, and Kristin suspects, working for the CIA or the AGENCY. 

The book proceeds with the Luke and Kristin getting into various forms of situations. A romance develops and at first the motives behind it are not pure. Soon love begins to take hold in the most unlikely of places, Hell, as it is called. After a traumatic experience surrounding the loss of a main character for which Kristin feels responsible, she heads home. 

Once home Kristin struggles with readjusting to life. She is experiencing what we now know to be PTSD from her time in Vietnam.  Kristin is also waiting for the return of Luke to the States and heads to Jonno's sister's house as a refuge. Kristin's family eventually turns up to find her and she spends the next few years adjusting to life. 

In the end this book was a very easy read. The writing is very solid and the characters were well developed. The strife and emotion the characters felt was very well examined. The book did seem to have religion interspersed throughout but this did not detract from the reading experience. Overall, I was glad to have read this love story and was glad to be able to learn more about the Vietnam war. 

Rating: 3.7/5

Other works by the author: The Things We KnewThe Memory of You, and Bridge of Faith

Friday, June 23, 2017

Review of Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton

Brief Summary: "Sweet Masterpiece" by Connie Shelton drops the reader into the life of an aspiring professional baker Sam for whom life becomes strange after receiving a wooden box from a client.  

Long Review: Sam is a middle aged aspiring professional baker who hopes to someday open her own shop. Her day job as is to clean properties around the Taos, NM area for the government. At one of her properties she is given a wooden box from a suspected witch who promptly dies. The box seems to give her energy and the ability to see things others can not. The book continues with the discovery of a grave at another property Sam is working on and her second run in with Beau the sheriff. A relationship then develops between Beau and Sam. Sam's grown daughter is thrown back into the mix as well. 

Overall the story seems to be a bit lacking in several areas. As the first book in the series I expected more of Sam's backstory to be setup. The writer did go into some of the details of Sam's life such as age, marital status, and job. It was a surprise when a daughter who had previously lived in California was brought into the storyline. The daughter seems to be a burden on her mother's life and drains her emotionally and financially. There are several times in the book when a scene dramatically shifts and I was taken aback. The author sometimes goes from day to night without a smooth transition or chapter break. 

The book was a good attempt by the author at a book. It was be interesting to see if in the next book and the rest of the series the writing develops by the author. I do not think I will be purchasing an books to continue the series as it did not capture my attention very well.