Book Review: No Lasting Burial, by Stant Litore

No Lasting Burial

 

 

NO LASTING BURIAL (The Zombie Bible), by Stant Litore

 

I won a copy of No Lasting Burial, by Stant Litore, in a Goodreads Giveaway, and I give it 4 Stars.

As with my other reviews, I will not rehash the story in the book.

I was teetering between 3 & 4 stars with this book, mostly because I felt it was a bit long and dragged on sometimes, however, all the parts come together to make a great and fascinating whole read. So I’m giving this book 4 stars for this author’s creativity, knowledge, and for this book’s uniqueness.

I can just start by saying, I do not think I’ve read anything quite like this before. It’s an amazing twist on Biblical tales. However, I think it’s a better read for those who are familiar with the Bible. When I started reading, I didn’t know that this is only one book in a series of books; the others which came before this one. However, one needs not to have read the others. This is also a stand alone book.

My only trouble with this book is that it was too long. Not the story itself, but the sentences are written in great length, with no slang and are…I hate to say it…terribly well constructed. I am not sure, because I did not research the writer, but I do not think he is a native speaker of American English. I spotted so many paragraphs that I could have shortened. This is why I think some readers, even those well-studied in the Bible either through a religious or historical perspective, might lose interest. Also, if you don’t realize there’s extra information in the back that might clear up some questions, you’ll get through it without some an understanding that the information afford you. The language and sentence structure in this book is definitely for a more adept reader with a large vocabulary, perhaps even higher educated.

On the flip side this is an incredible story, and one I had no idea I was going to read. The writer’s knowledge on the subject he’s written about is vast. This is not a zombie story…all about zombies…, but that’s not to say that readers who enjoy zombies will not enjoy this, as long as they are history buffs or interested in things biblical. I say though, if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, this is it.

This book is an emotional ride, despite it’s literary style, and you will feel all sorts of things if you stick with it… sadness, anger, sympathy… just stick with it. You’ll also realize that the Biblical characters are just like us. If you consider this a page out of history, plus a few zombies thrown in, you’ll see even after 2,000+ years and a half a world away, we are the same.

It took me longer than I would have liked to get through it. Not technically because it is long, but I do read more than one book at a time. I am looking forward to reading his other zombie tales, and I will add – I hate all things zombie. Until No Lasting Burial, I have never read a zombie tale and have watched few zombie movies, etc. I just do not like them, but in Litore took my mind off of that with this sweeping tale.

This book was so interesting to me. Everything else in the book was so interesting, he could have wrote this fiction piece without zombies…I mean, he already had the Romans… and I would have still read it.

If you like cultural or world history, religious history, smartly and amazingly written literature,and zombies?…this is the book for you to. And if you are not familiar with with Biblical history or that time period, you’ll learn a lot. This book has great depth, was written with great thought, and has rich food for thought.

Book Review: Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare

Greetings, dear readers:

Here’s another review for you!

Book Review:

Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, by Scott D. Southard.

 

Max cover

 

* Please note: I purchased this book. The author did not solicit this review.*

 

My overall Amazon Star Rating – 4 stars for this mystery/thriller.

 
As always, I will not rehash the plot of this book and summarize the story. I’ll leave that up to the book’s cover and other venues.
First off, this is an absolutely fantastic cover design. However, I was deceived by this cover. The story isn’t the tale the cover caused me to assign to it. But it’s nice, nonetheless, and deserves applause.

 
The characters are well-rounded and none are alike. Maximilian is a character to be reckoned with and I found myself wanting to punch him in the face a few times. Bob, the narrator of the story, is actually my favorite character. I mean, who can’t love someone named Bob?

 
The copy could use another look from an editing perspective, but there’s nothing too awful or that impeded my reading the story. I was into this book from page one. The amusement is solid and the scenes and different storylines merge nearly flawlessly from one to the other. The amusement is solid and the scenes and different storylines merge nearly flawlessly from one to the other. Even though this book is narrated in the First Person, we can still seem to see the other character’s points of view, personalities, even facial expressions and feelings. The First Person narration takes away nothing from this story at all. It’s still well rounded and entertaining. The story is paced well until the end. I felt the ending came way too quickly.

 
When I started reading this book, I thought I was reading one tale, and then by the last few chapters of the book – the last 3 or so – a plot twist was revealed that left me shaking my head. I wanted Maximilian and Bob and the crew solving a great mystery…do or die. I was very confused at the end and had to sit and think about it for a while. In truth, the end plot twist caused this story to come crashing down for me personally. In fact, I am still not sure what in the world happened. On another note, I believe this would’ve been a good plot twist…in another story.

 
By the end, I wanted to give this book fewer stars, because I was disappointed. However, at the center of the book, I had already assigned it 4 stars. So, I am still giving this book 4 stars because I was hugely engaged until those last few chapters…where that end twist made me livid. If a book can do that to me, it’s worth the stars! Therefore, I cannot base my rating on the fact that I did not care for the ending. I was fully entertained up to that point. I did not like the changes in reality, back and forth – are we real or not, that started happening in the last quarter of the book. It was confusing. I really wanted a haunted castle, or someone smart enough to create a haunting for the likes of Maximilian Standforth. I, personally, was let down at the end. The story left me going, huh?… I just feel the plot twist shorted the story of something that I could rave about.

 
I think if you love mystery or thrillers…or anything even Sherlock Holmes like, this is a good book for you. It was for me, but in my opinion, the ending ruined my high. It’s a good ending if you’re a reader who likes a surprise ending that knocks your car off the rails.

 
I wish the author would write more stories with these two characters. I mean, the ending of this book is such that there would be no questions raised regarding more stories of this group.

 
Here’s the Amazon link to Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare. Take a look!

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Maximilian-Standforth-Case-Dangerous-Dare-ebook/dp/B00CXSDEBE/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405884587&sr=1-1&keywords=Maximilian+Standforth+and+the+Case+of+the+Dangerous+Dare
Happy reading!

 

Book Review – When Stars Die

Stars cover2

 

WHEN STARS DIE, By Amber Skye Forbes (Review)

*Please note, I purchased this book and the author did not solicit this review.*

My overall Amazon Star Rating – 4 stars for this paranormal YA.

This book is available in paperback & Kindle.
Here I am with another book review. I started to read When Stars Die, by Amber Skye Forbes, a couple months ago, but into only about the first 5 Kindle pages I had to put it down due to some personal matters. Technically, I was not reading anything at all really. I picked this book back up on a Tuesday, if I remember correctly, and finished it on Friday. I started at page one and began again. I read the book during my work commute and lunches at work. I found that I didn’t want to stop reading and needed to know what was going to happen next.

 
If you’ve read my reviews in the past, then you’ll know I do not synopsis of a book, since so many other reviewers do that so I just don’t bother. Please check Amazon for the back cover and other reviews of the book. The link will be posted at the end.
I’m not really certain what type of book When Stars Die is, for me. I do believe it’s YA/fantasy or dark fantasy. But, I believe it’s suitable for any age group really. So if you’re a little older, don’t hesitate to pick this one up.

 
I’ll start with what I liked most – a new, interesting concept; taking old ideas and weaving them into new stories, different stories. The book is edited pretty well – I didn’t catch any big errors or anything that rocked the flow of the story, and the story is remarkably written. It has a fantastic cover! – but, I must admit, I’m not sure exactly what the cover has to do with the story or which character that might be on the cover.

 
The truth is I did not like the opening of the book. I hated Mother Aurelia, and I didn’t like that Amelia felt she had to be professed to save her brother. I even hated that she did something so naive as to run away from home and disregard her parents. But, I guess an author’s done their job when they evoke such extremes from their readers.

 
This book was dark and emotionally stirring, indeed. I was caught off guard by it. In fact, I am the type who writes such darkness herself, therefore, I allowed the darkness of the tale to sweep me away because I am the type that lives for such a thing. And the book made me happy through its darkness.

 
The darkness and the heavy subjects nearly pulled me under. I wanted this book to take me away to someplace else and it did. I think if this book is truly YA, it will take strong young minds to get through the emotional ride.

 
However, there were a few holes in the story…or maybe it’s just things I personally didn’t like. You know how that goes. Just because I didn’t like how a scene turned out, doesn’t make it bad. They are not poorly written scenes, but sometimes we don’t like the outcome. I do feel Amelia carries on and explains things in her mind to a fault at times and it sort of got on my nerves.

 
I have read a few other reviews for When Stars Die and I see a chief complaint – that the author didn’t reveal everything in the first 3 chapters. She wasn’t supposed to. This is a mystery – it unfolds. She wasn’t supposed to tell you right off the bat all about Amelia and her family. Or how she got to Reims. That stuff was revealed as it should have been, in my opinion. While, yes, some of it should’ve been explained in more detail, I do think the timing of the events and revelations of the story were okay. If she did reveal everything in the first pages, what would be the point in finishing the story?

 
I think as far as story and plot, it was revealed all in good time. Now, yes, there are a few missing pieces, and I do feel this book could’ve been longer. We could have known more by the book’s end. But the author wrote what she wrote and maybe in the next books she’ll slow it down a tad and give us more info.

 
I liked this story overall. I feel the idea was innovative and her fantastical places and people were captivating. She took things that have been written about for centuries and put a new spin on them and I liked this idea very much. I definitely give the storyline and inspiration in the book 5 stars because a witch tale has not been done quite like this before. Freshness…some readers are just afraid of it.

 
Some of the characters needed a bit more development. Some of them were not as smart as I’d like them to be, but the main characters are young. However, none are less than three dimensional. I do feel that Amelia spent most of the time a bit too confused, but who wouldn’t be. I feel she came off as weak yet she was strong at the same time. Maybe she was a complainer, but she always did what she felt needed doing and it was for selfless reasons. She’s naïve and, dare I say, wishy-washy at times, but she is only 18, and she has had little experience with the outside world…and remember, she’s been in a convent for 3 of those years. So her actions or train of thought might seem more like that of a 15 year old than an 18 year old…just remember where she’s been. She’s learning the hard way.

 
POSSIBLE SPOILER — I’m trying not to “spoil” here as I usually do not intentionally include spoilers. As for Oliver – he was my favorite character and I think he had further potential. Maybe he was the character I identified with. I wish Amelia had made a better choice when it came to him. I mean, she became a shadowman anyway and what happened between them was the let down in the book for me. It’s the spot that broke my heart. And it just seemed like their final scene went way too fast. I understand Amelia had to make a quick decision but I just feel there was room for more where the two of them are concerned. It was even told to her by Collette that Oliver did love her. Perhaps, Oliver could have made it further down the story line. Maybe even into the next book. But that can’t happen now and I’m hoping that Amelia will redeem herself in my eyes in future books. I do understand her POV – Oliver had an agenda that he really couldn’t help. Even if he allowed him his “exaltation” and became a shadowman to be with him, he still had another agenda which she may not have been able to stop him from accomplishing, or talk him out of.

 
As for the other characters, many had parts where they flowed in and out and I think their personalities were well defined enough for their roles. But, if some of them are returning, we’ll need more background on them in the subsequent book. I am hoping Nathaniel makes his return in a blaze of glory and I hope he doesn’t break my heart too.

 
In the end, the surprise for me was Mother Aurelia. She redeemed herself to me. I was glad someone did. I wonder what became of her?

 
I’m looking to the next book for the author to slow it down a bit, and write until it really is finished. The ending of When Stars Die was a bit rushed. Good, but rushed. Things could have been more developed. Expanded.
I will definitely be giving the next book a read.

 

 

Check out When Stars Die, for sale on Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/When-Stars-Die-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00H7PCAV8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404060002&sr=1-1&keywords=when+stars+die

Book Review – Kydona: From Ashes

Kydona FA Cover XxSmall(1)

(4 of 5 stars on Amazon)

Hello Friends,

Here is another review for a really great book. If you like action, battle scenes and war stories with an underlying bit of romance and erotica, read on. As always, I try to refrain from using spoilers.

This latest blog is a review for Kydona: From Ashes, by T.K. Krug III. This is the sequel to Kydona which I reviewed in May, 2013. In case you haven’t read the first book, Kydona, you can read that review as well if you’d like to. You can find it on my blog here: https://wandasparyla.com/2013/05/15/book-review-kydona-7/

I think it’s important for you to read my review of Kydona because in Kydona: From Ashes you’ll get more of the same, but this time with more plot and more places to visit. Some things I liked most about the first book besides that it was written by an author who knew his subject, was how a few characters showed me there was more to them than meets the eye, and how the story closed was awesome too. The door just slammed shut. I know some won’t like that type of ending, but if there’s going to be a sequel, it’s fine and dandy by me. It was a nice little cliff hanger for this, the second story.

I can say little more than I already have in my earlier review of Kydona about the author’s incredible ability to bring one into war with him…or his characters…and force you to see and feel everything and everyone. This book is less about the development of some old character and more about development of a human being in the midst of the greatest despair to date in his history. It’s about how people under life-altering, horrifying distress can do one of two things, give up and give in, or reach for each other in support instead of lying down their sword to an enemy whether that enemy be foe or oneself.  This is a book about a path to destiny. In this book we see the main character, Marcus, grow tremendously, even if unwilling at times, unfurling himself slowly like a military banner. And, this is exactly as it might have been for a man like him, in his situation, 1,000 years ago…or even today.

Marcus’ ability to go from drinking and binging like a teenager in the first book to overcoming his feelings toward unspeakable crimes against humanity, as well as his need to commit them for the common good, and live to the bitter end to make peace with himself, is heroic. In Kydona, he was tossed headlong into a war, to the frontlines, carelessly as a punishment and/or to be rid of him, yet in Kydona: From Ashes we champion him on as he prevails little by little overcoming his foes.

And, of course, there is no shortness of scheming. There are still methodical wenches and politicians, and military men…we just don’t realize what’s truly going on off scene until closer to the end. And well, there’s lies. The place that these lies put Marcus in regarding his father is maddening and sad.

This second book has quite a few twists and turns in it and despite Marcus being let down at nearly every turn, it is his men…who were first his comrades, then became his very own army… that showed him the respect and loyalty that carried him through.  It was for their honor, and not his own, that he trudged onward through to the end of the book.

In Kydona, the two countries, Elessia and Kydona, are forced into a battle because their leaders refused to realize the one thing that would bring peace. Then in the end of Kydona: From Ashes, the story comes full circle (maybe seemingly accidental, if you don’t believe in fate) and peace is, for the moment, derived from the very thing first denied. Can’t tell…I don’t want to spoil.

Again, as in the first book, there is a character that proved that he was not just hogwash. For me, in Kydona it was Vernon. In Kydona: From Ashes, it is Roslene. I thought the whole time she was out only for Number One, and while even in the end it seemed so, I realize that maybe she schemed for love to actually raise someone above her. Devious, yes; shallow, no. But you all may find the characters that surprise you to be different from my picks.

We don’t see a huge difference in some of the lesser characters, but the growth of Marcus as a person is overwhelming enough in and of itself, and while we still catch glimpses of Vernon’s love of mischief, wine and women, as this story progresses, it becomes more of a joke. After all, even in our own lives, as we grow and learn out of pain, do we not wish for the good ol’ days? And really, would we truly go back if we could? Vernon continues to be a pertinent piece of this saga, even though he disappears for awhile, while Marcus makes his mark in Kydona and deals his hand with its tzarista, then Vernon reappears just as loyal as ever in the end.

I am still stumped as to the underlying theme of immortality that wades around in the last quarter or so of this book. I am wondering, will that go somewhere?

There are a couple of small things that kept me from giving Kydona: From Ashes five stars. Of course, these are just my opinion. I think the author should have given an introduction to the characters and a little back story for those who didn’t realize Kydona: From Ashes is a sequel. And it would also be a good refresher for those who might read Kydona but take several months to pick up the next book.  This information could be given in a prologue or even in bits and pieces in the first couple chapters of the book with Marcus reminding us who these people are. The next thing along that same line is that perhaps on the back cover, or in the description, it should be revealed that this is a sequel so folks know to grab the first book.

In passing, this book could use a bit more editing but the oversights did not distract me from the story, but I’d urge the author or a proof reader to have another go at sprucing it up.

Overall, the story is engaging, the feeling of camaraderie stays with you as you read. If you want to know how people make it through war…maybe this is it.  My assessment of the first book, Kydona, stands true for From Ashes as well (don’t forget to read my Kydona review!). Once again Krug’s work reads as well-researched historical fiction from the start. Nothing about what goes on in this book seems forged or overblown to me.

Feel free to check out an interview I did with T.K. Krug III here: https://wandasparyla.com/2013/05/15/t-k-krug-iii-an-author-interview/

Happy Reading!

Reviews for Someday Always Comes

I see I have a new review on Amazon:

8/2/13- 5 Stars – “Although not normally the type of novel I read, availability of a free promotional copy persuaded me to take a look. Having a relatively short attention span, the length of the novel (500+ pages) caused me a little trepidation, but I persevered. I am glad I did. The novel is very well written, first person POV from a sixteen year old girl trying to hit the big time as a rock star. Her background and story seemed very real, and I found myself totally engrossed and at times, quite emotional. Some of the situations I found difficult to comprehend, not being female or American, but I have no hesitation in awarding 5 stars for an excellent story.” ~by Rob Read

Thanks, Rob Read!

 

Check out my other reviews on Amazon…
http://www.amazon.com/Someday-Always-Comes-Wanda-Paryla/dp/1478329963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366378241&sr=8-1&keywords=someday+always+comes

Also, on Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17311306-someday-always-comes

Happy Reading!!

Update – Books I’m Currently Reading for Review

I’m currently reading these and will review them shortly:

-Kydona: From Ashes, (the sequel to Kydona) by T.K. Krug III (finished – review will be up in a few days!)

-This Love, by Nazarea Andrews

***

After I review the above books I’ll start on:

-Finding Pride, by Jill Sanders

Book Reviews

As you many of you noticed, I posted my last book review here (Crystal Promise: The Shattered Crystal, by James Funfer). Originally it was an Amazon review which I shared here and on Goodreads.

Starting sometime in May (date yet to be announced), I’ll be doing more of these. I won’t be publishing any reviews for well-known authors on this blog. So you won’t find any Anne Rice or Steven King reviews here unless the Household Name’s book blew me away. Otherwise I’ll leave those reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads.

I have a bit of criteria I’m following for reviews…

-I will review a book only AFTER it’s been published, even for requested reviews.

*Note: At this time I do not want to become a part of host review-blog circles. Maybe later in the year.*

-My non-solicited reviews will come from free downloads I grab via Kindle from new or self-published authors or if by chance I win a book in a giveaway, and if I can’t pass up a good buy. I am totally not against paying for what I read. Authors deserve to be paid.

-As for review requests: Author or publisher must provide me with a print or electronic copy of the book.

-I am not limited to “new” authors. My goal is to review books by mostly by indie authors. I don’t care if you’ve got 5 books out there, or whether they’re doing well or not, I will review your book as long as you are an indie author and self published your past & current books. (See exceptions below.)

-If you are published through an independent or small publisher (like James Funfer & Branch Hill Publications), I will review your work. Please, no books from large publishers. My only exception to this are Harlequin-published books because I feel these authors do not always get the respect or exposure they deserve. Yes, you’ll see 600 reviews on Amazon regarding a book, but many of them don’t make a large profit and if they write well, that may be overlooked. I wish all authors to experience their own best seller at some point. Until then, we little guys must stick together.

Right now my blog is followed by about 630 people and I want to grow my following and help other bloggers grow theirs all while exposing my  fellow indie authors, and those published by small publishers and presses. If I review a book, I will ask the author to do a short blog interview too that I can post with the review so readers can get to know the author. If I accept a request – it’s first come first served. Once I get to your book, I’ll need 4-6 weeks to read and review the book. If I accept your request, I’ll let you know an approximate date your review will be posted here under my reviews menu.

My preferred reading genres are fantasy, paranormal, romance, historical anything – as long as the period’s research is quality, thrillers, mystery, occult/mythological, or any mixture thereof. I like Sci-fi if it’s mixed with fantasy. I read contemporary, young adult, coming of age, women’s fiction, Amish, family, and chick lit. I’ll review soft porn (i.e. Fifty Shades of Grey)…no kids, no violence, no sexual murder. I also read older children’s fantasy (i.e. Harry Potter). Got vampires, witches, immortals, and gods? I want to read that. I’m not too big on zombies. No zombies unless it goes against the same old, same old. The same applies to aliens.

As for anything labeled “Christian fiction”, I’ll read it as long as it is family-oriented, or there’s a lesson to be had in the pages. I want a story…not to be preached to. I do not accept non-fiction Christian books.

I like poetry and will review books on poetry. I’ve been writing poetry for 30 years. I am not an expert, but I’ll do my best to give a good critique.

In the non-fiction categories I read true crime, or biographies (preferably of royalty or serial killers…Don’t ask!). I do not read biographies of politicians…unless it’s a female politician who left a mark. Think Thatcher or H. Clinton.

Also, I will review anything Pagan, Wicca or Witchcraft related whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Have a story where Athena and a group of witches saves the day? I want to read it.

Things I don’t read: hard core horror (think Saw); no pornography, and no sex between children and adults, or humans and animals. No non-fiction Christian. No self-help or related books. No manuals. No educational texts.

I am new to reviewing and I do not review like many traditional reviewers. For instance, there are no spoilers, and very little revealed about relationships between characters because sometimes that spoils too. I want to get better at it if you all will give me a chance.

I will not publicly inform a self-published author of grammatical or improper word usage errors in a review. I think that’s a terrible, merciless, hateful thing to do. I also do not give “star” ratings based on grammar, etc. My reviews are based on story, character development and my emotions. Self-published authors many times have no editor; they can’t afford it, and therefore edit their books over and over again by themselves. And many of them publish with mistakes that are later caught by friends or other authors who let them know privately what the problem is. If I find unkind errors, I will privately alert the author or publisher.

Gods know, I published Someday Always Comes the first time with a missing word on the back cover! Woe! Then I read the first printing to find errors. I fixed them. So there’s about 160 copies between print & e-book floating around with grammatical errors, a missing word or two, and incorrect use of the word “balled”, which should’ve been “bawled.” Anyway, while the errors did not affect the story, I was – and still am – horrified. I would’ve ran out in front of a bus before I’d publish mistakes on purpose. I edited that book for over 7 months. I am an only human. The past can’t be undone, so we must do the best we can in the present. Mistakes happen.

Okay… This was your news update. I’ll announce when I’m going to start reviews. I want to start sometime in May, but that is tentative…Could be June. But I’ll post sometime in May about the date regardless. I have stuff I am trying to get out of the way. At this time I cannot even accept a request. However, if you’d like to ask me any questions about submissions, please private message me at my author Facebook page or email me at my author email addy… wandasparyla@yahoo.com. Please put REVIEW in the subject line. Don’t be shy, if  5 – 7 days goes by and I haven’t returned your email, please email me again. I check my spam folder regularly, but you never know!

Thanks for reading!

~Wanda