Happy Thanksgiving! … & Your Weekly Self-Published Book Review: “Aurora of the Northern Lights”

thanksgiving

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

aurora of the northern lights holly hardin

mom's c

gelett burgess children's book award gold

Aurora of the Northern Lights

by Holly Hardin

ISBN: 9781432724399

Synopsis*:

Come along as author Holly Hardin conjures a mystical world of adventure, sprites, and magical charms. After losing her parents, little Aurora sets off on her own. Because she’s different, Aurora finds it difficult to find anyone who will listen to her story, even at Christmas time. As her story continues, Aurora receives special gifts to keep her safe and important clues to find her new home.

Follow the journey as Aurora encounters a host of creatures along the way–including one very famous bearded man. What follows in this beautifully illustrated and delightfully written book is a heartwarming story of a home lost and found–and a Christmas lesson for us all.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Reviewed by Grace (age 5) and Ella (age 4) Gleichner and Mom

“Aurora of the Northern Lights” is the story of a young girl named Aurora.  Aurora’s parents meet in the cold lands of the Northern Fey.

Grace: “It’s cold and snowy here, do you think this is where the Northern Fey live Mom?”

Ella: “Maybe they live in the North Cold (what Ella calls the North Pole).”

Aurora’s father, William, becomes sick in the cold so her mother, Mistletoe, agrees to move to a farm where the weather wasn’t so cold.

Ella: “We moved but it’s still cold here, just like in Manitowoc.”

Mistletoe and William are thrilled with the birth of their daughter Aurora, and for seven years everything is wonderful.  But, then all three of them get sick and Aurora’s parents don’t survive.

Grace: “That is so sad.  That’s why we get shots, so we don’t get sick, right Mom?  Are her Mom and Dad in Heaven now?”

Aurora feels lost, and when she wanders into town the people of the town shun her.  She doesn’t know what to do when suddenly a witch gives her a charm to protect her from harm, and tells her that this is not her true home, she needs to head to the forest.

Ella: “What a pretty necklace!”

She does head to the forest, where she does meet some Fey.  But, these are not her people and they too tell her to move on.  But, their queen provides her with a nice wool cloak and oak staff for her journey.

Grace: “At least she’ll be nice and warm.”

After traveling through the bitter cold, Aurora is about to give up when she comes upon a castle.  When she knocks, the door is opened by Santa Claus.

Grace: “Look Mom, Santa!  I can’t wait until he comes!”

Ella: “Don’t forget to put a cotton ball on my calendar so I know how many more days.”

Santa invites Aurora in where she is welcomed by all, but she then sees a woman who looks like her.  This woman is so happy to see her, because she is her Grandmother.

Overall I thought that “Aurora of the Northern Lights” by Holly Hardin was a well-written book; the only issue I had was that little Aurora was only seven when her parents died, and she was on her own and shunned by adults.  But, it does show children that life isn’t always easy, and even if you are different you can always find people who will love you no matter what.

– reviewed by Reviewed by Grace, Ella, and Mom on Reader View Kids

Other Reviews

“Named for the Northern Lights, Aurora faces a woeful plight. To many lands, she must roam, searching for her true home.”

Aurora of the Northern Lights is a delightful story, beautifully illustrated and told entirely in verse.

Aurora is the child of a beautiful and pale young Northern lady named Mistletoe and handsome William, a visitor from the South. William finds the Northern climate difficult, so they make their home in the temperate South.

When Aurora is orphaned, she is unable to stay in her old home. As she searches for her new home, those that she meets along the way are quick to chase her off. To some extent the story is one of intolerance. But fortunately, with perseverance and luck, Aurora finds a place where she is welcomed and loved.

I found the book a fun and engaging read. I imagine that the pictures and verse will go over very well with children. I highly recommend Aurora of the Northern Lights.

– reviewed by Gabi317 on Starting Fresh NYC

Aurora of the Northern Lights is a beautiful and touching story that is destined to become a Christmas favorite amongst young and old alike.

Mistletoe is an elfin living in the North, who falls in love with William, a human. When it becomes obvious that William is not built to live in such frigid conditions, Mistletoe leaves home to live with William a little further South, in a little town.

After a few years, they welcome a darling baby girl, whom they name Aurora, after the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) under which they were married. When tragedy strikes, Aurora is left to fend for herself. She doesn’t quite fit in anywhere, and commences upon a journey to find a place she belongs.

Throughout her adventures, she meets several people who shun her from their communities, yet bestow upon her gifts to help her along her way.

After trekking through ice and snow for days on end, Aurora finally comes full circle, finding the place she truly belongs.

The story is written completely in verse that flows on paper, as well as when read aloud. You cannot help but be filled with a variety of emotions as the story ebbs and flows through the happiness and the heartache.

Illustrations by Donald Vanderbeek add to the beauty and poetry of Holly Hardin’s words. They are beautiful and elicit as much emotion as the story itself.

Children will be held captive by the words and the pictures when this book is read aloud to them. It inspires visions of families cuddled together on the couch, wrapped up in blankets on a cold December night, sipping hot chocolate, as they share the story. It could even inspire young authors and artists to create their own story.

I received a copy of this book when I was a reviewer for BookPleasures.

– reviewed by Andrea Coventry on Amazon

 


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Self-Published Book Review: “An Inky Summer”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

an inky summer by fred and cheryl lowman

cipa evvy merit

An Inky Summer

by Fred and Cheryl Lowman

ISBN: 9781478777434

Synopsis*:

When 12 year old Freddie discovers Inky, an American crow, sitting on the fence near the back steps of his house, it is the beginning of An Inky Summer. Read this true story and laugh as this crafty and intelligent corvid upsets neighbors and relatives with his antics.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

A Wonderful True Story!

A delightful book! This book will not only be enjoyed by children, but by the adults who read it to them. The story will make you smile, laugh, and maybe even cry. It takes you back to a simpler time when kids didn’t have all the electronics in their lives. You will never look at a crow in the same way after reading this story. They are truly a very intelligent creature that we should learn more about. Also the illustrator, Dan Carsten, did an excellent job in bringing the story to life with his vibrant drawings. A must read for all ages!!!

– reviewed by Crowman on Amazon

Other Reviews

A Special Encounter to Enjoy.

A wonderful remembrance that is recalled and shared with the reader. It create’s our own wish to have an “encounter” with a creature to recall. It is a heart warming story that expresses much honesty and joy in the what may be if we are accepting. This story sparks the imagination and is made that much more special knowing it is a “true story”.
Well done!

– reviewed by Boppa on Amazon

Great Read!

I just loved this book. It really captured a perfect time in a young boy’s life. I was drawn in right away, and it made me want an “Inky” crow as a pet for myself. I learned a lot about crows. In the past, I would just see them as large, black birds; and now I am looking for individual personalities when I see them. The illustrations are wonderful and brought the book to life. A perfect read!

– reviewed by Gail V. on Amazon

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Tuesday Book Review: “Notes from the Trenches: A Musician’s Journey Through World War I”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

notes from the trenches gary foster

cipa evvy merit

Notes From the Trenches

by Gary H. Foster

ISBN: 9781478792741

Synopsis*:

The Terror and Triumph of WWI in a Soldier’s Own Words…

The Foster family of Wisconsin were vibrant and happy in the early years of the 20th century. Like many families in the area, they were descended from German immigrants and had a healthy appetite for hard work and beer. Barbara Foster, widowed early in life, created a loving home for her children Leo, Ottilia, Mary, and Kunigunda. They were all musicians, forming their own orchestra and playing in regional and local venues. But despite Woodrow Wilson’s promises, America found itself drawn into the Great War overseas, and Leo Foster, bugler for the Wisconsin National Guard, was sent to the front lines. Nearly a century later, this book reconstructs Leo’s World War I experience from letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs from Leo’s footlocker. Nothing compares to the immediacy of the war experience in a soldier’s own words. Notes from the Trenches follows Leo from stateside training to the horror of the Meuse-Argonne offensive and his battle-weary return home in May of 1919. Full of wit, good humor, and honesty, these letters provide a fascinating window into the War to End All Wars, with insightful organization and context from Leo’s grandson, Gary Foster.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Notes From the Trenches” by Gary H. Foster.]


4 out of 4 stars


Get an in-depth look into World War I from a soldier’s perspective. Leo Foster’s eagerness, pride, humor, bravery and sense of patriotism will surprise you in Notes from the Trenches by Gary H. Foster. His life continues to inspire his lineage with many following in his footsteps.

A young musician of German ancestry from Wisconsin joins the 32nd division famously known as ‘Les Terribles’. His new journey takes him across the states, then to France and finally to Germany in a bid to fight for his country even if this means that he loses his life in the process.

Told by Leo Foster’s grandson Gary H. Foster who served in the Navy, Notes from the Trenches reveals the content of many letters that Leo wrote to his family. His mother and sisters seem to have been quite close to him. Even in the heat of war, Leo good-heartedly continues to taunt his sisters in his notes. His concern for Kuni, Mary, Tillie and his mother, Barbara shows in every letter. It is clear that he was more concerned over their welfare more than his own as he made every effort to reassure and encourage them.

Perhaps the most impressive bit of Foster’s book is that it reveals the true picture of war, the sacrifice that families have to endure both for the soldiers in the front lines and the family members left behind. Leo’s mother, Barbara, must have been a strong woman to have endured all she went through and still hold on and hope for the return of her son. The destructive nature of war is shown especially in the later letters written by Leo.

The letters are obviously in the first person which adds to the storyline’s authenticity. Leo’s humor as he constantly refers to his weight and love for ‘eats’ adds a unique comical strand which helps to lighten the weight of the account. His mention of love interests heightened the book’s appeal and gave me a glimpse of his personality.

The book is very well researched. Every letter is carefully placed in chronological order and life after World War I is also covered.

Ultimately, Notes from the Trenches fosters the spirit of patriotism and touches on an incredibly important part of history that shaped whole nations. It also reveals a history that is too powerful to be forgotten and a people’s resilience and bravery that should always be valued. I rate Gary H. Foster’s account 4 out of 4 stars.

– reviewed by EmunahAn on OnlineBookClub.org

Other Reviews

One is amazed that despite the raging horrors of war and the …

“Notes from the Trenches” is a fascinating glimpse back in time to World War I. It is fair to say that this war has been largely overshadowed by World War II and the conflicts that have since followed. As a result, bookstores have an abundance of material on those subjects, but only a handful on the War to End All Wars. This book puts World War I in the hands of the reader as written by bugler Leo Foster in his letters home to his mother Barbara and his sisters. The colloquialisms, daily routines, and wide-eyed wonder of a young man experiencing the Old World as new in the midst of conflict are fresh on the page. The author allows Leo to speak in his own words, while guiding the reader through the broader historical events of the conflict. This has the effect of giving the reader the chance to experience the war much the same way Leo Foster’s mother and sisters would have through his letters. Readers will find Leo to be brash, humorous, and possessing a brand of “gee whiz!” American optimism that seems to have largely faded from American civic life. One is amazed that despite the raging horrors of war and the normal hardships of life in that era, there was a strong attitude of pressing forward and making the best of whatever happened in life. Certainly something to glean from this book, as well as a newfound appreciation for the sacrifices of so many of that generation that our modern world continues to reap the benefits of. I highly recommend this book, and as a reader who had (I’m embarrassed to admit) a very limited knowledge of World War I, I think this is an incredible way to be introduced to the story of that conflict and the sacrifices of so many true heroes like Leo Foster.

– reviewed by Brady Christian on Amazon

A Gripping Documentation of Life on the Battlefield from a WWI Soldier Who Fought For Freedom

Rarely is there any documentation of the thoughts in real time from the men in the field who fought during WWI. Without technology or the sheer opportunity and willpower to document such emotions as they occurred, the personal trials of the fighting men in the “war to end all wars” seems lost to the ages. Then comes along Notes From The Trenches, a gripping book that recounts the actual perspectives of Leo W. Foster, a bugler in the 121st Machine Gun Battalion, 32nd Division in WWI.

The book captures in vivid detail the sacrifices, wonder, elation, disappointments, tensions and an overpowering desire to win at all costs as documented by a young man who voluntarily leaves the comforts of his Wisconsin home to fight “over there” in the battlefields of France, documented through the actual letters written by Foster and sent to America. More than 90 letters, kept for decades in the soldier’s stored footlocker, are showcased in their raw and largely unedited form, all organized in chronological order with added color and perspectives from the author about the events that led to American victory in Europe.

Notes from the Trenches is a solid read, and it’s an intriguing glimpse into the real-life battles of a war fought a century ago.

– reviewed by Mark Foster on Amazon

 


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Tuesday Book Review: “Cursed”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

cursed jeanne blanchet

cipa evvy merit

Cursed

by Jeanne Blanchet, PhD

ISBN: 9781478747901

Synopsis*:

The year is 394 CE. Christianity has recently been declared Rome’s state religion, and the empire’s pagan temples are being shut down. When Christian Princess Serena accompanies Theofilus, a young priest, to oversee the closing of Vesta’s sanctuary, she pilfers a necklace from the statue of a goddess, inciting the head Vestal to call a horrific curse down on her and her family. Cursed traces the remainder of Serena’s life as she wonders if the curse will destroy her completely and attempts to cope with her gradually rising desperation. Meanwhile, Father Theofilus embarks on a lifelong quest to find the priceless antique Palladium, which had been housed in the sanctuary and which he plans to donate to the Church as a means of furthering his ecclesiastical career. Stilicho, Alaric, Theodosius I, Bishops Ambrose and Augustine, and Saint Jerome are among the fascinating individuals who return to life in this historical fiction thriller. Their exciting adventures are set against the background of the fall of the once-mighty Roman Empire, the rise of Christianity, and the mass migrations characteristic of Europe’s turbulent fourth and fifth centuries.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Jeanne Blanchet’s “Cursed” is an epic historical account of Christianity’s strong entrance into Roman culture, and how religion came to be more absolute than the power of even the emperors.

Christian Princess Serena and a young priest and aspiring Bishop of Rome, Presbyter Theofilus, make up two of the principal characters in the cast. Serena is pampered and used to living a life of luxury.  While her heart is often in the right place, she is easily misguided, however, by material aspirations and the beauty and allure of things, like jewelry.  Presbyter Theofilus started out as a promising young military prospect but turned his sights on the Church when religious traditions in Rome became overrun by Christian teachings and power.  What these two young people learned during their years, as did every other Roman citizen and intruder, was that Christianity’s power was to be stronger than anything else.

“Cursed” starts out strongly and is filled with rich details and obvious research.  The terminology which the author inputs into the story represents long hours of academic study, which help produce an authentic picture of Rome in its final century.  While the details remain strong throughout the novel, the pace staggers a bit as the story progresses.  It seemed that the author’s aspirations for the novel almost became a little too broad.  Whereas the synopsis of the book intimates at the book being about a young woman being evilly cursed by one of the remaining pagan priestesses, or Vestals, of Rome, and about Presbyter Theofilus’s journey to find the antique Palladium, these storylines become a little blurred.

While most of “Cursed” takes place toward the end of the 4th century CE, there are various chapters that almost randomly go back in time 30, 40, or 50 years.  One contains details about the coming of the Goths, while another provides backstory on the current Bishop of Rome.  While the historical details are strong, the context of why these chapters are included in the midst of the main story is lost.  I think the too-broad aspirations and outlook for the plot ended up overshadowing the intended theme and main point of the book, albeit unintentionally.

I am not sure I would consider this a read for the general audience.  The historical and technical terms may make the prose seem a little dense and hard to understand.  I am a history student and an aspiring historian, so the inclusion of the historical facts was perfectly normal, easy to understand, and even exciting to me, but it may pose as a barrier for those who aren’t as historically inclined.

“Cursed” certainly shows a lot of promise as a work of heavily research historical fiction.  The idea for the story is unique and captivating, and the characters are unique enough to make you want to know what happens to them by the end of the book.  In the end, “Cursed” by Jeanne Blanchet is a great example to aspiring writers of how important structure, pacing, and context are in contributing to the overall understanding, execution, and package that is a novel.

– reviewed by Megan Weiss on Reader Views

Other Reviews

History come to life.

The author has taken the historical account of early Christianity and the fall of Rome and woven together a most descriptive narrative to bring the events to life.

– reviewed by Nancy Redmond on Amazon

This book has inspiring attention to detail and emotional depth. The knowledge and research that went into the writing of Cursed has made it a real page turner that pulls you right in and won’t let you put it down.

– reviewed by MacLennan on Amazon

 


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Self-Publishing News: 10.15.2018 – New Releases!

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically new releases written by self-publishing authors and published by independent presses! Today we’ll be featuring brand-new releases in the Outskirts Press Bookstore!

If you are looking for a gritty period redemption story, this may just be the book for you. Set in a 1930s port city somewhere in the South, it features Joseph Curcio–homeless, disillusioned, recovering alcoholic–and Amanda, his former student,  who gives him shelter. Their platonic friendship gives him the stability to heal and a foundation upon which to resurrect his career in the writing of a diary–a diary he hopes to use to confront and understand his own failures, and recover his sense of self. Despite his best efforts, though, it seems as though his project is doomed to failure, and that the flaws which brought him down the first time will do so once more. Portrait in Broken Glass is written in sharp and incisive prose, with all the humor, humanity, and realism of the best fiction out there.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist with a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, Lari Kathleen Quinn specialized in domestic violence treatment and prevention–and her expertise shows! Teddy O’Brien, the protagonist of Kiss the Doors, finds herself stranded and struggling to get by in South Dakota when a road trip with her fiancé ends in tragedy. Later a witness to a domestic violence incident and surrounded by hostile strangers, Teddy begins to seek help–and begins to understand more about her own past as a survivor of domestic violence. As she slowly begins to rebuild her life and emerge from her depression, things in town take a sudden unexpected turn (or two!). This book is full of heart and, like Portrait in Broken Glass, finds its feet in a voice of sincerity and insight.

As the season begins when we must close down and mulch our own gardens for the winter, Debra Hester chronicles the days leading up to her mother’s death, and seeks to paint a portrait of all of the wisdom she left behind even while showing, in unflinching prose, the challenges remaining for those left behind: fear, anger, grief, and loss. Debra sets much of the book in the family garden as she grapples with all of those things and more, seeking healing in the beautiful backyard garden which was their shared legacy. A powerful, if heartbreaking tale, My Backyard Garden doesn’t flinch away from the difficulties of loss, but it ends on a hopeful note–reflecting the healing which is ultimately to be found in shared memories and a life well lived.

Last but certainly not least, we couldn’t close out this week’s new releases without mentioning Gabriel F.W. Koch’s latest book: And Comes Day’s End. Koch’s credentials are stellar: winner of the 2004 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award, winner of the 2016 CIPA EVVY Award for Fiction/Science Fiction and Merit Award recipient in 2018, finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award in Science Fiction and Mystery, a nominee for the 2017 CIPA EVVY awards, and the second-place winner of the Outskirts Press Best Book of the Year award, Koch knows his stuff. This book features a new and compelling voice for Koch, and centers on Michael McKaybees, a private investigator working in New York’s five boroughs. When his best friend is killed and he himself is implicated in the murder, McKaybees must fight to clear his name by investigating the city’s criminal elements as well as its most preeminent citizens–all before he himself is locked away for crimes he did not commit. Murder gets personal in this great new mystery, and it’s a definite must-read for longtime Koch fans!


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Tuesday Book Review: “Classroom Boredom Busters”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

classroom boredom busters donna malone

cipa evvy 3rd place

Classroom Boredom Busters

by Donna Malone

ISBN: 9781478785323

Synopsis*:

Spark student curiosity and increase student participation with classroom activities that won’t add to your busy workload. In Classroom Boredom Busters, veteran educator Donna Malone shares her proven ideas for exciting kids about learning.

Teachers of all content and subject areas in grades four through twelve can encourage active learning using movement (for example, role-playing being in a press conference); word games (such as writing messages in bottles); and friendly competitions (including game shows).

Educators who have attended Malone’s professional learning workshops have received these ideas enthusiastically, and students of theirs still fondly recall, “I remember when…” because these teachers used activities from this book. With Classroom Boredom Busters, every lesson comes alive and becomes more memorable.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Reviews

Entertaining Learning: A Win-Win Combination

This is the best book available on the market for all teachers who want to make learning fun again! Students will be entertained while they learn, a win-win situation for teachers and students alike. Award-winning author Donna Malone presents 50 clever games to captivate and energize students in the classroom, especially middle school where attention spans are short. The book includes eight categories of games, five in each. One section includes learning games that get children out of their seats, up and moving, to play games such as “Wall Slap,” “Snowball Fight,” and “Vocabulary Relay.” Other games are based on everything from popular game shows to celebrity glamour. Malone has almost 30 years of teaching experience and is a popular presenter at conferences. Currently, she serves as School Improvement Specialist at an agency for the Georgia Department of Education.

– reviewed by S. Mclaughlin on Amazon

Attention Educators

Educators will find Classroom Boredom Busters refreshingly effective for today’s youth. The author delivers some uniquely fun and simple approaches to stir up the stagnant climates in many of today’s classrooms. Donna’s box of strategies are delightful as well as practical for all involved parties. As a classroom teacher, I’m looking forward to adding many of her ideas to my repertoire!

– reviewed by Laurel on Amazon

 

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Tuesday Book Review: “Wasp on the Wind”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

wasp on the wind c r norris

cipa evvy 2018

Wasp on the Wind

by C.R. Norris

ISBN: 9781478785989

Synopsis*:

The saga continues as a future apocalyptic world begins to reveal its secrets . . . Chris, now a Trax, was what the West Sand Command called “a greeny.” Her “Before Time,” that time before she had been rifted, had been from a distant past, and perhaps even a different timeline. Who could say . . .? But after some three years of training and a return to the very group who had rescued her from the desert, her “Now Time” circle was complete . . . with one adjustment, she was now also “Det Arju′” She carried with her a mysterious pendant that she had been ordered to present to Lon, the Tagos of the Choe, an assignment that, as of yet, no West Sand Commander was aware. Bruce, Chris’s friend, and fellow “Before Time” band geek, was rejected by the Trax. While Chris trained, his path hooked him to the side of the Taden’s greatest nemesis, the Captain. Now as his lieutenant, he must help the Captain save his command by aiding him in the capture of Ponopin, a genius Tader entrepreneur, and the Brigade’s greatest thorn. But as fate would have it, neither mission is as easy as it sounds, the tangle of circumstances sending Chris and Bruce on a collision course with each other.

Richly imagined, beautifully characterized, and deeply engaging, Wasp on the Wind will leave you clamoring for the upcoming third book in The Wasp Chronicles series.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Wasp on the Wind” is the second book of the “Wasp Chronicles” trilogy by C.R. Norris, a science-fiction/action-adventure series that follows several different perspectives. Readers explore the world through military officers, merchants, and even a man wanted by the government. Each storyline is vastly different, but all of them converge with at least one other during the course of the novel.

The variety of characters provides insight to all corners of the setting, allowing the reader a total and immersive experience. The world itself is detailed and painstakingly wrought. Norris balances an impressive number of societies with an even more impressive number of characters. The novel’s scientific aspect is interesting and easy to understand, providing a fantastic introduction to the genre.

While the vast cast of characters provides many sides to an already complicated story, they can sometimes prove a hindrance. The point of view jumps are often random and confusing. There is no warning before the shifts occur, and this makes it seem as if the author simply couldn’t decide whether they wanted to write in third person limited or third person omniscient. It’s enough to pull the reader out of the story completely while they try and adjust to a new point of view that often lasts only for a few paragraphs.

I found many of the side characters come off as flat. They have a single trait that defines them, and they seem more like they are there to fill up space. Sci-fi novels tend to be more action-driven than character-driven anyway, but like the sudden point of view jumps, I just found these side characters distracting. I was annoyed with the one-dimensional feel of them and the way they drew focus from the main characters, and felt that a lot of them could have been combined or cut from the novel altogether.

Overall, “Wasp on the Wind” by C.R. Norris left me conflicted. The story is intriguing and something I want to know more about, but the characters and point of view conflicts give me pause in continuing the trilogy. I removed two stars from my final rating for these issues. I don’t think I would highly recommend the series for anyone with a love of character driven novels.

– reviewed by Skyler Boudreau on Reader Views

Other Reviews

Great storytelling! May even be better than the first book in the series which was also excellent. Very powerful and intensely written with strong character development. Highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for a different sort of sci-fi.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Vinny D.

Just finished reading The Wasp’s Nest by C. R. Norris. Since I am 85 and don’t usually read science fiction I wasn’t sure, but I enjoyed it so much and will look forward to the next in the series. M’s Norris just might have got me started reading science fiction that several of my grand children enjoy. Thank you young lady you did a great job!

 – The Wasp’s Nest as reviewed on Amazon by Joan Stegall

 


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