* Review: Angel War by Philip Dodd

Angel War by Philip Dodd

Cover Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆
My Favourite Chapter: Chapter 23- ‘Eden’
Would I recommend? ★★★☆☆

“Pattern broken, orders forgotten, bands of his rebel angel servants fled before them, to his dismay, and cowered away from their path. As those who retreated gathered thickly around him, he heard many of them rage in agony against the thought of their defeat, which was not to his liking, nor that their eyes no longer shone with the arrogance of certain victory.”

                              Available for purchase from Amazon

About
From an early age, Azel, the Prince of the White Castle of the Angels of Light, plans what he calls his great rebellion against the Father. After his self transformation into a four legged, scaled beast, he names himself the Dragon. At the head of his rebel angel army and his dragon flocks, he brings war to the angel lands. His intention is to dethrone the Father and rule in his place. Khem, the Child of the White Mountain, vows upon his Silver Sword to be his slayer. The lonely, perilous path of the dragon slayer, he takes. At its end, he stands alone, to challenge the Father’s foe to combat.

Review
I’ll start by saying that at 536 pages long, this book requires a lot of time, concentration and dedication. I’ll add to that by saying, it’s worth it. Teamed with a steady pace, this book is packed full of beautiful description and captivating action from cover to cover.
Dodd states in the acknowledgements that the King James version of The Holy Bible was the main inspiration for the book, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that is solely a biblical story. Although it is indeed laced with interpretations of stories from both the old and new testament, you need not know any background of this as the imagination of the story holds strong and true throughout.
This isn’t something that can be read over a couple of sittings, in fact it took me a few months to finish it (and I consider myself a fast reader,) but I found myself needing a break every so often before returning to the book. This isn’t necessarily due to the length of the book, more so the content. It takes a while to fully absorb the characters and their surroundings, and I find it important to take time away and order it in my head so I can fully grasp what is happening within the story before returning to read more. This isn’t a negative attribute, if you like a book that takes time and thought and takes place as more of a journey than a story, this would be perfect for you.

Overall
I was really torn as to what ‘star’ rating I should give this book. It’s so beautifully and thoughtfully written, but it’s not something I’d pick up again and I’m not too sure if I would recommend it to anyone. I think it’s simply a case of ‘it’s not quite my cup of tea,’ and this  bares no reflection on the book itself. Having said that, it’s a book I am glad to have read and it left me with a lot to think about after completing it.

* Book was sent for free in exchange for an honest review. 

* Review: Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey by Alexandra Bogdanovic 

Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
My Favourite Chapter: Chapter 10
Would I recommend? ★★★★☆

“That really sucks,” I would inevitably say after listening to their tale of woe. “But I bet I’ve got a story that tops it.”

Available for purchase from Amazon

 

 

 

About
Chastity Bono is now Chaz. Her decision to “become” a man made headlines around the world, but she is not alone. Transgender men and women frequently appear on television talk shows and reality programs to share their stories. By doing so, they inevitably get the attention they seek, but not necessarily the kind of attention they want. While some come forth in an effort to promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding in mainstream society, their decision to live as or in some cases have surgery to become – the opposite gender often sparks curiosity and more visceral reactions born out of ignorance. But this is the other side of the story. Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey is a tragedy, a comedy and a love story. It is my story. In vivid detail, I recall how I met, fell in love with and married the man of my dreams, only to find that he self-identified as and wanted to become a woman. Read what happened after I learned the truth. Originally from the New York City suburbs, Alexandra Bogdanovic is an award-winning reporter based in Connecticut. Her next book is based on her father’s life as a staunch anti-Communist and political refugee in post-World War II Europe.

Review
This book tells the story of Alexandra and her discovery of her husband’s hidden secret. Written from a stance that I didn’t quite expect, I fully appreciated the attention to detail and the need to bring the reader into the situation; achieved through the use of an almost informal tone, openness and the abundance of description.
With a clearly interesting life anyway, I took more away than ‘just’ having read a book about how a woman recovers after learning the truth about her husband. At times, I felt myself so captured and eager to turn the next page that it was as though I was reading a piece of fiction.
As I’ve said already, this wasn’t what I was expecting from the book. If, like me, you appreciate an honest story where the small details truly matter, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for something a bit more fast-paced, you’re looking in the wrong place. Given how captivating the writing style is, the pace of the book really doesn’t matter. In fact, it is quite jumpy in places; with vast detail given in some areas and very little in others, but as a non-fiction book this just reflects on the fact that is a true life story.

Overall 
This was a book that I read from cover to cover; partially due to the length of it (160 pages) but also due to the ease of reading. The writing style, for me, was definitely the shining point of this book and made me want to carry on. If you enjoy non-fiction, I would highly recommend this book.

* Book was sent for free in exchange for an honest review. 

* Review: Live or Die- A Stroke of Good Luck by Richard L. Burns

Live or Die- A Stroke of Good Luck by Richard L. Burns

Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆
My Favourite Chapter: Chapter 21 – Think
Would I recommend? ★★★☆☆

“They say laugh and the world laughs with you. I badly needed to rediscover my sense of humour, relearn to laugh. To date there hadn’t been much, outside of laughing at myself.”

Available in Paperback and on Kindle from Amazon 

 

 

About
Live or Die summarizes the purpose of the book. It is a story of the alternatives between life and death and specifically refers to the third leading cause of death in this country and around the world – stroke. Every 45 seconds someone is stricken with stroke in this country, about 15 million around the world, and a 1/2 million die. The book is a story of hope and practical advice on how to handle the problem, survive and recover as a whole and better person.

Review
This isn’t a book for everyone, however if you’re looking to understand more about Stroke or looking for support either for yourself or a loved one, this may well be the book for you. With an equal balance of both fact and personal experience; this is both educational and (for some) relatable.
The voice of the author is strong, full of honesty, making it feel as though you are being spoken to rather than reading a book. As someone with very little understanding of the illness, I’m certainly glad to have read this and have nothing but the upmost respect for those who have overcome this. If that’s not a positive feeling to leave a book with, I don’t know what is.

Overall 
This is an inspiring story, with a strong voice running throughout. I would recommend this to anybody looking to learn more about this illness and gain a greater sense of understanding. For me, it was definitely an eyeopener.

* Book was sent for free in exchange for an honest review. 

*Review: Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler

Children of the Knight by Michael J.Bowler

Cover Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆
My Favourite Chapter: Chapter 10- Is that what we’ve become?
Would I recommend? ★★★☆☆

“Arthur weaved and zigzagged through the heavy late-afternoon rush-hour traffic, grateful for the sheer number of cars to help block their pursuers.”

Available in Paperback and for Kindle from Amazon

About
According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?

This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.

With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army-the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.

Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.

Review
This is a story that is full of passion, dreams and hope for a better future; all with the assistance of the well known King Arthur. You can’t help but find yourself captured by the stories of the children in this, you need to find out what happens and you find yourself rooting for them every step of the way. This is the aspect of the entire story that held my interest and made a few points that I found off-putting more than forgivable.
Personally, I found the character of King Arthur more than a little annoying, and whilst I can see why the use of old english language was prominent, I found it distracted from the dialogue itself and it’s something I struggled to get my head around. As this language leaked into the speech of the children, it became easier to follow it, but this leads to my next qualm.
There are many things that I’m willing to believe in a story, a horse being ridden by an old King through the streets of L.A is something I’m willing to accept, but I found myself a little annoyed by how easily these children were ‘collected’ and how only one turned back to old habits. With children who have experienced such damaging pasts, it’s hard to get your head around how one man could become greater than their struggles. I just can’t imagine it being that easy to ‘rescue’ people from their lives and pasts, at least not in the time span that was portrayed. Then perhaps, that’s simply me looking into this far too much.
That aside, you have to admire the sincerity behind every word. At times I found there was too much happening, too much to follow without needing a regular break to align the story in your own head, but this was all made bearable by the heart in this story. You’re rooting for the characters every step of the way, you’re hoping that one day an uprising like this is possible, you’re hoping that battles like these really are ones that can be fought and won.

Overall
Although I found myself with mixed feelings about this book, I really would recommend that you give it a try for yourself. It has all the ingredients for a great story; the mixture of reality and myth, a meeting of hearts all centered around the dark sides of society that, for some, is all that is known. This really is a captivating story.

* Book was sent for free in exchange for an honest review. 

* Review: Penelope Pan by K.B Plum

Penelope Pan by K.B Plum

Cover Rating: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
My Favourite Chapter: Chapter 21
Would I recommend? ★★★☆☆

“Mobilizing these poor, wounded creatures into a willing offensive was out of the question. Yet, there was no other solution. It was either convince them to take up arms…At the same time, Penelope recognized the implausability of expecting the handicapped and elderly to overcome Hook, the Red Guards, the Sadists and no doubt every outlaw in the dome.”

 

Available on Kindle from Amazon 

About
An award-winning journalist in her other life, K.B. Plum takes a wild and naughty turn to steamy satire in Penelope Pan, an irreverent take-off on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. In her first attempt at erotica, Plum ventures into heretofore forbidden territory, applying her long experience as a reporter to topics sure to titillate, amuse and horrify.

Where Peter Pan was meant to appeal to youngsters, Penelope Pan is meant to escort adults into a world of lurid sex, fantastical adventure, and outrageous comedy. The book is also a testament to how a young woman of breathtaking beauty and limitless optimism can lure to the surface the “little boy living inside the grown man.” True, Penelope’s methods are anything but PG rated.

She is, after all, operating in Netherland, a universe both dark and magical, a place where rabbits ride bicycles on silver tightropes and a murderous pirate, Simon Hook, is legendary for stripping men of their testicles. Central to the story is Hook’s Blood Sun Extravaganza, an Olympics of Erotica that features acts in which virgins are deflowered, slaves indulge in sexual domination, and sadists lay the groundwork for the intimate pairing of a handicapped man and woman.

Add to all the licentiousness and ribald comedy, a writer/hero taken captive by Hook and made to suffer all manner of physical abuse while at the same time acquiring sexual fulfillment from his Goddess of Inspiration, a succulent maiden able to trigger his orgasms via titillating imagery she speaks from afar. There are as well, fairies, horny pirates, gay exhibitionists, torture devices, rabid pit bulls, and a grizzly let loose on a damsel chained to a Witch’s Cradle.

What does it all lead up to? The resurrection of a whole man and the reality of a woman most men can only dream about.

Strong adult content includes feminine domination and male submission, oral sex, anal sex, intercourse, animal husbandry, homosexuality, bondage, masturbation, audience sex, kinky relationships, whippings, torture, sadism, and Erotic Stage Productions.

Review
I have so much to say about this book, and I don’t really know where to begin. Firstly, I’ll start by saying that I really didn’t know what to expect when reading this book, and when I got started it was so far beyond anything I may have thought. This is certainly a book that can be ‘read’ in many different ways, and for me, beyond the sex and the grown-up fairytale elements; I couldn’t help but be slapped in the face about how the two main focuses appeared to be the sexual pleasure of the men within the book, and the disgusting treatment of women in order to appease said pleasures.
I could write an essay on this book, and how poignant the character of Penelope is, but this is a review and not an analysis so perhaps I’ll save that for something different.
The only thing I could relate this to (and even then- at a push) is ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Süskind. If you know the book, then you’ll understand what I mean about the tone of the book, and the behaviour being presented as ordinary. This same tone is found within ‘Penelope Pan,’ and it makes for an uneasy read. I love an uneasy read, personally.
I don’t know if I was expecting a book that’s simply put a naughty twist on Peter Pan, but that isn’t what this is. (Which I’m glad for, I’ve avoided the 50 shades hype for a reason.)
There’s so much substance to this book, whether this is on purpose or not I don’t know; and it really doesn’t matter. It’s incredibly well-written, the story-line is well thought out and I couldn’t put the book down because I just needed to know how it ended.
I don’t know if ‘pleasantly surprised’ is the right phrase to use, because the book is far from pleasant. I thoroughly enjoyed, and it’s not very often that a writer can balance out darkness with reasons as well as Plum has with this.

Overall 
I remain slightly torn on my overall opinion, and this is mostly because I’m still not quite sure what the intention of the book is. Ordinarily, this doesn’t matter, but it sits uneasy with me that I’m still unsure. I’m not too sure who the audience would be for this book, and that ties in with my original point. It is published as Erotic Fiction, but that’s not how I read it. That’s a good thing, in the sense that it contains that substance that it can be read in a different way. However, it does make recommending it to people a little hard. I can think of only one person who will enjoy this, perhaps. I will be passing it on to her so I can get her opinion too.
It’s by no means an easy read, and there should be some sort of ‘disturbing content’ warning. Having said that, I enjoyed it. And I don’t know what that says about me.

* Book was sent for free in exchange for an honest review.