Book Review: September Sky (American Journey #1)

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Author: John A. Heldt
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Series: American Journey
Genre: Science-Fiction- Time Travel | Romance | History
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 412
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon


Blurb

When unemployed San Francisco reporter Chuck Townsend and his college-dropout son, Justin, take a cruise to Mexico in 2016, each hopes to rebuild a relationship after years of estrangement. But they find more than common ground aboard the ship. They meet a mysterious lecturer who touts the possibilities of time travel. Within days, Chuck and Justin find themselves in 1900, riding a train to Texas, intent on preventing a distant uncle from being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Their quick trip to Galveston, however, becomes long and complicated when they wrangle with business rivals and fall for two beautiful librarians on the eve of a hurricane that will destroy the city. Filled with humor, history, romance, and heartbreak, SEPTEMBER SKY follows two directionless souls on the adventure of a lifetime as they try to make peace with the past, find new purpose, and grapple with the knowledge of things to come.

Review4+1:2 Stars Black

 

I’ve always been a huge fan of Mr. Hedlt’s books and The Mine and The Journey are one of my all time favorites. As a result, I had huge expectations from this one and, I must say, that September Sky didn’t disappoint me.

The storyline is well thought out and thoroughly researched. All the historical facts and places are to the point. Though the plot felt a little far-fetched at times, I still enjoyed it, given that the book was about time-travel, a far-fetched concept in itself.

This book is written in third person multiple POVs which give a very clear idea about everyone’s thoughts and reflections. Author’s writing is one of the best parts of the story and I can’t sing enough praise for it. It is simple, relatable and flows beautifully.

It book had a slow start but it picked up the pace gradually. This, however, is a point that I have gotten accustomed to while reading Mr.Heldt’s books. So, when I read his books I know what to expect and that makes it a little easy for me to get through the slow start of his books. But might be a problem for anyone who’ll be reading his book for the first time. So bear in mind that his books are worth the initial labor.

The ending is amazing. In spite of being a romance novel, I really didn’t see it coming, so it was a pleasant surprise. All the questions were answered with great care at the end and I was completely satisfied with the way things turned out for everyone.

The characterization is really good and I felt a connection with each and every character (even with the secondary ones) and thoroughly enjoyed reading about each and everyone.

As this is the first book in the American Journey series, I’m really looking forward to reading the next one.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Charles Townsend lifted the small, framed photo from the corner of his desk and studied the boy with the bat.

Highlights: Storyline.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Paragraph: 

With that Geoffrey Bell, professor of physics, cruise-ship lecturer, and time-travel agent, walked out of the room and out of sight. He left his guests with Victorian clothing, bogus documents, and twenty-first-century anxiety.

Final Thoughts: A heart-warming read.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

 

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Book Review: Googolplex

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Author: K.G. Johansson
Release Date: September 16, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Science-Fiction | Speculative Fiction   
Edition: Paperback 
Pages: 206
Publisher: Affront Publishing
Source: Editor, Peter Oberg 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

If you could have anything but the one thing you really wanted, what would you do?

Jack is part of a group of colonists traveling to the distant planet Shylock to build themselves a new home. But Jack has trouble letting go of his past and the world he left behind. He becomes obsessed with what could have been, and with the help of multis – mysterious beings from parallel universes – he begins his search for truth. However, in a world where even love seems impossible to define, what can he find?

Rating

4-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Googolplex has a really, really unique plot based on very famous concept of multiverses. The uniqueness of the plot really stood out and over all this book makes for a great sci-fi read. There are various elements in the book that I absolutely loved and

Characters:

I felt a really strong connection with the main character, Jack. I felt for him whenever his heart broke and felt happy to see him make progress. Rest of the characters were not stressed upon enough to establish a connection but that wasn’t a problem as the story was completely around Jack and his adventures (so to say.)

Having said that, I really liked the concept of multis and was constantly intrigued by their presence and interest in Jack’s life.

Romance:

There was just a hint of romance but a lot of passion. Jack was completely hooked on his childhood crush and went to extreme lengths in order to find her. The entire process was really enjoyable. I also liked the concept of sic-fi mingling with a person’s love interest on a whole another level!

Writing:

One of the best things about the book is author’s simple yet effective writing. It flowed beautifully and flawlessly and made the experience of reading this book a really pleasant one!

Beginning:

The book started with a bang! I really, really enjoyed it and was sucked into it right from the first line. After reading a few pages I started to feel connected to the main character, Jack and I knew that I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Ending:

The book’s ending was not completely surprising, though I felt that it was a little far-fetched. I was expecting it to be a little more convincing than that but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

Cover Art:

The cover could have been a little better but, considering the theme of the book, it’s actually quite appropriate.

Blurb:

The blurb describes the book perfectly.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line:

Highlights: Uniqueness of the plot.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It’s hard to hate anybody that you’ve seen from inside.

The only people you like are people who also want to be alone. But at the same time , this also means that you’ll mostly leave one another be – which makes you stand each other.

Final Thoughts: A decent Sci-Fi read with a unique plot.


Review by:

pics-2 copyHeena Rathore P. aka The Reading Bud

My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.) I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.

The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.

Read more about me here.


Book Review: Waiting For The Machines To Fall Asleep`

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Authors: Hans OlssonBoel Bermann, Erik OdeldahlIngrid RemvallLove KölleLupina OjalaChristina Nordlander , Pia LindestrandJonas LarssonTora GreveAndrew CoulthardAlexandra NeroJohannes PinterAndrea Grave-MüllerAR YngveMy BergströmAnders BlixtMaria HaskinsPatrik CenterwallBjörn EngströmKG JohanssonOskar KällnerSara KopljarEva HolmquistMarkus SköldAnna Jakobsson Lund
Release Date:  6th May, 2015 
Series: None 
Genre: Science-Fiction Anthology | Speculative-Fiction | Short-Stories | Fantasy
Edition: Paperback 
Pages: 324
Publisher: Affront Publishing
Source: Editor (Thanks Peter!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

26 short stories from the new wave of Swedish speculative fiction writers. Forget about cheap furniture, meatballs and crime fiction. Sweden has so much more to offer. Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep includes twenty-six stories from the new generation of Swedish writers of science fiction and the fantastic. Stories ranging from space horror and post-apocalyptic nightmares to tender dramas. Stories with steampunk horses, android uprisings and cheeky goblins. Stories that are action-packed, wise, silly, beautiful, surreal and horrifying.

Rating

5-stars

Review:

I absolutely enjoyed all the stories in this book (for individual ratings see below.) This book is so much more than just an anthology. It was an experience. So many different stories, so many unique concepts and such amazing writing styles – this book has everything to be a brilliant read. There were some stories that literally made me feel dreadful thinking about what might have happened (Lost And Found) and there were stories that made me smile (To Preserve Humankind.) There were stories that really worked me out in anticipation (Outpost Eleven) and stories that I thought were funny (Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right.) Never have I ever enjoyed a single book so much. I’m going to be looking out for more works from the authors I enjoyed the most. I’m really happy that I am lucky enough to have read this book. I’ll recommend this book not only to Sci-Fi fans but to anyone and everyone who wants to read some beautifully crafted stories. I really hope that they decide to release this book internationally, so that everyone in the world can read this book. Following are the individual ratings for all the stories:

  1. Melody Of The Yellow Bard: 5/5
  2. The Rats: 5/5
  3. Getting To The End:  5/5
  4. Vegatropolis – City Of The Beautiful: 4/5
  5. Jump To The Left, Jump To The Right: 5/5
  6. The Order Of Things: 5/5
  7. To Preserve Humankind: 5/5
  8. The Thirteenth Tower: 4/5
  9. Punchcard Horses: 3/5
  10. The Philosopher’s Stone: 5/5
  11. A Sense Of Foul Play: 5/5
  12. Waste Of Time: 5/5
  13. The Damien Factor: 5/5
  14. Wishmaster: 5/5
  15. Quadrillennium: 3/5
  16. Mission Accomplished: 5/5
  17. The Road: 4/5
  18. Lost And Found: 5/5
  19. The Publisher’s Reader: 3/5
  20. Stories From The Box: 4/5
  21. The Membranes In The Centering Horn: 5/5
  22. One Last Kiss Goodbye: 5/5
  23. The Mirror Talks: 5/5
  24. Keep Fighting Until The Machines Fall Asleep: 5/5
  25. Outpost Eleven: 5/5
  26. Messiah: 3/5
You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: The man approached me when I was on my way home from the university.

Highlights: Brilliant selection of stories.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

It’s a place of maybes, I guess. Where bad things can happen, and often will, but also might not.

Everybody who lives here has seen something they can’t explain. And everybody who lives here has seen things they don’t want to explain

Strange, how quickly you adapt to things if someone tells you it’s normal

Memorable Paragraph:

And then I thought maybe you actually could. Maybe money was some kind of delicious dish. But sister told me people long ago thought the small round things were beautiful. And they just wanted to have as many of them as possible. Way back when the crowd was beautiful I said to myself dreamily. When people just looked at things because they liked to look at things, beautiful things. Not because they were wondering if this thing or that was edible, like I do. But then, I’m always hungry and there is so little to eat in the Newest New World.

Final Thoughts: A must-read for everyone!

Movie Review: Dracula Untold

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Directed by: Gary Shore

Starring: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon and Dominic Cooper

Release Date: October 10, 2014
 
Running Time: 92 minutes

Adapted From: Dracula

Language: English

Official Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2aWqecTTuE

 Plot Summary

Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) is a great hero, but when he learns the Sultan is preparing for battle and needs to form an army of 1,000 boys, including Vlad’s son, he vows to find a way to protect his family.

Vlad turns to dark forces in order to get the power to destroy his enemies and agrees to go from hero to monster as he’s turned into the mythological bloodsucker Dracula.

Based on characters by Bram Stoker.

Tribute

Review

4-Stars

I’ve always been fascinated by Darcula, though I’ve never read about him but I’ve always been curious to know about his life. I’ve always thought of Dracula as a very negative character due to the frequent negative portrayal of him. I’ve always considered him a bloodsucking killing machine, but after watching this movie I felt a strong need to kick myself! I never thought that Dracula can be interpreted in such a glorious and honourable way. He is shown as a caring and protective father who’ll go to any lengths to save his family and empire from the rude and egoistic Turks. After watching Dracula Untold I’ve undoubtedly turned into Dracula’s sincere fan. To be honestly he has successfully hit the top note when it comes to my “Favourite Vampires list”. I can say, without a single speck of doubt, that Vlad is the best vampire that has ever walked on the face of the Earth.

The bats are shown pretty amazingly, specially the bat-effects whenever Vlad took a flight or ran super-fast. Dominic Cooper played the part well, though I thought there should have a bit more action! I was left craving for some one on one bad-ass and gory fight between Vlad and Sultan. There could have been a lot of action in the last 15 minutes but unfortunately the fights were child-like!

Other than the awesomeballs character of Vlad, I really really liked Master Vampire. He scared the hell out of me and I really freaked out at his close-up. He looked every bit like the name suggests and I was actually hoping for the villain to be as scary and dangerous as Master Vampire, as disappointing as it is, that was really not the case.

Vlad looked dangerously scary when, near the end, he bites Dominic Cooper. The effects are awesome and the costumes were up-to the mark. Sarah Gadon’s performance really didn’t stand out. In my opinion, some other heroine might have played the part better!

Sneak Peak

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What do you feel about Dracula Untold? Feel free to share your views 🙂