Friday, March 9, 2012

Cerulean Dreams book review



Orion, the last city of men. Deep within the desert, a secret lay waiting. Young women found dead in the street. A corporation that controls the sleep of a populace that never sees the light of day. Alexander Marlowe seeks to unravel the mysteries of Orion as he helps a young girl, Dana, flee the city. The closer they come to the truth, the greater the danger that hunts them. Follow them as they search beyond the boundaries of everything they have ever known for answers.


As a reader of his other novel "The Ocean and the Hourglass", I knew I would be in for another good surprise! What I found was a great plot with an amazing cast of characters.

Alexander Marlowe uses the visor that connects him to the network that runs the city but he doesn't like it.  Most of the surviving humans after the Water Rights War have all inhabited the city and it's a utopia society - or so they would have everyone think. All of the citizens of Orion use the visors as their main link to everything, but little do they know how much Cerulean Dreams controls them while their visors are on!

Alexander Marlowe is an investigator - used to be cop. He watches the news and knows that young blonde girls are disappearing but no one seems to care.  He takes it upon himself to investigate what is happening which leads him to Dana, a woman who technically is off of the grid.  She tells him the Lurking are coming to get her and she refuses to go.  Marlowe's visor malfunctions and he soon finds himself a wanted man - wanted for the murder of the young girls who have disappeared.  He now also sees through his visor manifestations of ghosts and other phenomena gliding around the rooms, buildings, and city streets. He knows that the government is behind another project called "The Lurking", and why he is a wanted man, but does not know how to uncover the corruption within the Cerulean Dreams project.

Dana urges Marlowe that they must leave Orion, the city but Marlowe believes they won't exist outside of its walls.  All that is out there is desert but Dana beseeches him.  If they stay, they die. If they go, they die, but she is sure that once the Truth is revealed, it will explain everything. If you want to find out what happens, then read Cerulean Dreams by Dan O'Brien and find out how it ends!

This book has a great storyline that somewhat reminds me of Blade Runner in a futuristic land of corrupt governmental politicians and technology that runs the world. I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars for it's writing content is good, but sometimes I found myself a little confused within the story itself and had to go back a few times to see what I missed. Cerulean Dreams is still a great read for the Sci-Fi futuristic genre readers out there!

I received this Advance Readers Book for the express written review only with no monetary compensation or gain involved. 



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

American Sniper book review

American Sniper, Autobiography of Chris Kyle

Book Description:

He is the deadliest American sniper ever, called “the devil” by the enemies he hunted and “the legend” by his Navy SEAL brothers . . .

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.


I received this book for my review only with no monetary interest provided by the publisher for my written expressed review.

American Sniper is one story of just one man who had an incredible journey during the war in Iraq/Afghanistan. While I am so honored and proud of Chris Kyle defending not only Americans in Iraq and the surrounding areas, but other military members as well. I can’t help but read between the pages to see see his wife struggling to raise their first child by herself. With Chris contemplating a second tour and re-enlisting for another 4-5 years of being deployed back to Iraq, his Wife is left with a feeling of loss and anger towards her husband for not putting his wife and family first. Chris has done some amazing things by being a SEAL! Things that many of us Americans could not even fathom having to deal with. Chris has my utmost respect and admiration for helping to protect the American ideals that make our country great. What I don’t particularly like is how he put his country over his wife and children when coming up on his 2nd tour. With a wife and child at home and another on the way, he decides to re-enlist for another dangerous deployment that could end his life and leave his wife without a husband and his children without a father.

I have to take the side of his wife after his first tour that he should not have re-enlisted to be with his wife and family. He served his country with honor and saved many lives, while at the same time killing so many terrorists that threatened any type of life in Iraq. After his first tour however, he was plagued by thoughts of not being their for his fellow soldiers that he forgot the most important rule in life. To be a loving father and husband, for that is what is truly will be remembered by the ones you love and whom you will depend on in life. Yes he has many memories as a sniper and has remained very close to other SEAL’s throughout his life, but it is his wife and children that will make him the man that he is.

I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I would rate this book higher, but I felt that his patriotism truly leads his life over his family. God, family, country is how it should be. Thank you Chris Kyle for your service and your pride for America. Now take the time to have a happy and fulfilling relationship with your wife and children. God Bless you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Realms Thereunder book Review

The Realms Thereunder; written by Ross L Lawhead Book One of The Ancient Earth Trilogy

Review by Steven Smith

This book was given to me for the express intent of my personal review only with no monetary gain whatsoever and is only for my review.

Ross Lawhead has taken his first step in fulfilling a fictional based storyline that I will no doubt have to read the next book called The Fearful Gates. He has a great storyline that you can relate to regarding a secret history of England and the sleeping Knights who protect the realms of ancient Earth before, during and after of any evil doing. I found myself immersed in this book for the first few chapters. I found the characters of Freya and Daniel to be compelling and well written. However, after the first 4 to 5 chapters I found myself being confused on the storyline where Freya is once in a chapter with Daniel and 2 other knights, then is all of a sudden pregnant and has a different story line altogether. I found myself disconnected with how it switched from past to present, one realm to a different realm and one story to another very distracting! I found myself being very confused between which part of the story line I was at and had to skip either back or forward to find myself figuring out where I should be.

Better timeframe negotiation and chapter development should be given to better straighten out the story as most readers I feel would be very confused in this book. I feel like Ross who although has a great storyline, needs to define the chapters and stories within stories to better give understanding of where each character is at. I think that while he definitely has a great premise for storytelling, I was let down on many occasions trying to figure out where the characters were going or coming from. Chapter formatting and development needs to be well written and chronological instead of fragmented the way this book is structurally put together haphazardly.

I would rate this book a 3 out of 5 stars for The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead.

For Ross’s first book however, he as a strong writing ability that will hopefully bring more fluidity and structure to his next series of books to come.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review of "The Ocean and The Hourglass" written By Dan O’Brien

The Ocean and The Hourglass, written By Dan O’Brien
I received this book complimentary of the author with the express intent of my written review only with no monetary compensation or gain.
The Mariner could be the next great superhero, or could it possibly be the Prodigy? My mind travels to far off lands and oceans where the characters jump to life with every page I turn. I want to reach inside of the book and take care of the main character, Nicholas Miles. He is only a teenager, but one who has been delivered a hard life! With no father to guide him, and a mother who can only find peace through the bottle, Nicholas attaches himself to the only thing he finds real, The Mariner! A comic book about a man who is one with the ocean and has remarkable superpowers. Nicholas finds himself in the only reality he finds comforting, his comic books.
As he gets to school, he is confronted by the school Bully. Mark and his gang of high school thugs are always on the hunt for easy prey to pick on and Nicholas is usually the target! With his favorite comic book torn to shreds, and tears running down his face he finds the strength to stand up, gather his thoughts, walk out school to the place he knew he could order another Mariner Comic, the Library! Finding his way to the library in the freezing cold is no ordinary feat! He has challenges along the way and once he gets there, he finds Mr. Thompson the librarian asking questions why he is not in school again. Of course, Mr. Thompson knows better and has been one of the few friends Nicholas has! Nicholas dodging explanations quickly asks if he can order another comic book, but the librarian has a better idea! As he leads Nicholas to private section where special and rare books are held, he tells Nicholas of a book that is so special that it has rules attached. Seeing the hourglass next to the book Nicholas asks what it is for and Mr. Thompson explains the 5 rules of the book. Nicholas promises to follow the rules and starts reading once the librarian has left the room. What adventures await him as he quickly finds himself immersed within it’s pages. 
The rest you will have to find out for yourself as I would not want to spoil the adventure! I found this book extremely exciting, exhilarating,  and action packed with adventures at every turn of the page! Dan O’Brien has a great writing style that does not confuse the reader with overly difficult character development, but with a grace that engulfs you into believing every character in the book picturing in your mind what each one looks like. I loved this book and would definitely recommend not only to young adults, but to reading audiences from children, school systems, science fiction, to adult readers as well.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars! Would definitely recommend to my children and others to read! Thank you Dan for coming up with an original book that I can only somewhat compare to The Never-Ending Story, written by Michael Ende. The Ocean and The Hourglass, a wonderful Book with twists and turns abound within it’s pages for all to read!