Yearly Book Reviews: Free Peek at a Writer’s Shelf

Book with glasses and magnifying glass

Book Reviews

Reading is a perk, and a necessity, for a writer. As a consequence I read a good deal on a pretty wide range of topics. So here is my collection of reviews for some of the books I have managed to get my hands on. Enjoy.

Nota Bene – I am also a reviewer for Book Sirens, so if you like what you see, ping me.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews – Quick and Dirty or Reviews that Reveal

As authors we are all scrambling for reviews of our work. Give it a think. You want quick and dirty or reviews that reveal? With that in mind:

Can we talk?


She Who Became the Sun: An Unsurpassed Dazzling Creation

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Shelly Parker-Chan’s novel of yearning and becoming carried me along effortlessly. The prose transports the reader from one idea and image to the next with a simple clarity of purpose.

The Goblin Emperor: Is the Hero too Honest?

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

I wanted something more. I think what I missed was some sense of compelling emotion. In essence the story is of a nice guy with a rotten father who gets shipped off to a gulag for 10 years with a sadist and comes back–still a nice guy.

Rise of the Ranger by Philip C. Quaintrell

Rise Of The Ranger: Tropes and Grit Sans Heart

Rise of the Ranger by Philip C. Quaintrell

I’m trying to set some quick thoughts down about this book, and I’m finding it nearly impossible. Mainly because I’m trying to remember the story. That’s not a good sign, I only read the book two weeks ago.


Cover_The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora: A Brave New Con

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I don’t think I have enjoyed a book quite so much in a very long time. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch presents a richly convoluted story that twists and turns faster than a back-alley chase.  

The Priory of the Orange Tree: Strong Women and Power

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannnon

I’m having a hard time formulating a book review. That’s decidedly odd. I am rarely at a loss for an opinion. This time around is a bit different. I am at no loss for opinions, but I am lacking that single thread that ties a review together.


The Power of the Eight

The Power of the Eight by Suzanne Rho

This is one of those books that improves after the fact. If that sounds like I am damning it with faint praise – hold on – I’m not. As I initially read the story I found it enjoyable. It’s the kind of read I like to take along with me on a lazy afternoon where I have nothing else to do.

The Things We Keep

The Things We Keep by Julee Balko

A story about grief, both that which we let go and that which we keep. The thread of grieving carries the story from far before we meet Serena to the final resolution of her own pain. As the reader progresses through the layers of understanding Ms. Balko reveals…

Cover of Intense Transformation by Matthews

Intense Transformation

Intense Transformation by Paul W. Matthews

This little book is rather like a HIIT workout itself. Short, intense, sometimes a challenge, but in the end, it is worth the work.

For those that are not familiar with the term, H.I.I.T. stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. Many programs over the years have…

Cover of Ta Le by Yessoh

Ta Le

Ta Le by Yessoh G.D.

I picked up the novel of Yessoh G.D. entitled “Ta Le” because I wanted to experience a culture that was not my own. I find myself torn about leaving this review because my background is not African and I’m…

Book Review Cover of Dark Apprentice by Val Neil

Dark Apprentice

Dark Apprentice by Val Neil

Wow, I really dislike Nikolai Fedorov.I know this guy. He is the guy who smirks when they think you can’t see. He is the guy convinced of their own superiority. From the first page to the last Nikolai, the main character, is both protagonist and antagonist in his own story. 

Book Review Cover of Steady: Keeping Calm in a World Gone Viral by Johal


Steady by Dr. Sarb Johal

80% of the people around the globe would find some idea or thought within these pages that would help explain the currently fluid world we find ourselves within. They would find an understanding professional…

Book Review Cover of Oathbreaker by Rettger


Oathbreaker by A.J. Rettger

If I was still giving my one line book reviews I would say Oathbreaker, the premier novel by author A.J. Rettger, was “Brain Popcorn.” I might even go with “Dark Brain Popcorn.” Oh, for simpler days. 

Book Review Cover of Ground Control

Ground Control: Far More About Inner Than Outer Space

Ground Control by K.A. Hough

I thought I was in for a straight-forward girl meets guy, gets on a shuttle to Mars, all heck breaks loose. I could not have been more wrong. While the plot does follow the basic tenets of Sci-fi and space colonization it is far more a story about inner space than outer space.

Book Review Cover of Wild Things Will Roam by K.M. West

Wild Things Will Roam: Gore-fest with a Soul

Wild Things Will Roam by K.A. West

The debut novel by K.M. West, is a post-apocalyptic gore fest with a soul. The surprises don’t stop there. The concept that the things that go bump in the night are still with us is reframed.

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2 responses to “Yearly Book Reviews: Free Peek at a Writer’s Shelf”

  1. Hi Mari!

    I would be honored if you could review my soon to be published book!

    Here are a few details.

    Book Title:

    Anger Unmasked for Parents: Discovering the Hidden Path to Anger Management for Happy Parenting and Raising Peaceful Kids.

    Genre: Nonfiction / Self-Help / Anger Management

    • Hey Sarah — I’m sorry your comment got munched. Thank you for thinking of me as a reviewer. I’m going to pass. I have no experience as a parent and would not be a good fit. Much luck, and congratulations on being published.

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