The Luminess of Mars

Title: The Luminess of Mars
Series: Aoleon The Martian Girl #2
Author: Brent LeVasseur
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher:  Aoléon Pres
Publishing date: February 23rd 2015
ASIN: B00S70U8NE

Synopsis: Gilbert gets to visit the Martian Space Academy (Aoléon’s school) where he encounters Aoléon’s nemesis, Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, as well as receiving a history lesson on the Martian people by Plutarch Xenocrates.

My Review:

The book is fast paced and full of adventure just like the previous one. The author has successfully created a resourceful and high energy superhero. For the most part the writing is to the point, but sometimes it seems like the plot loses its grasp on the story and it sort of waddle around, and at some points I think it would have done better with stronger editing.
The graphics are still fun, but I still think they speak more to the younger part of Middle Grade readers rather than the older part. The graphics follow the style of most modern cartoon shows for children.
One thing I really dislike about this series is its clunky and awkward title format. The title format makes it hard to distinguish each volume from the other, and I think it would have benefited from sticking with a traditional graphic novel format or just given each installment a title and call it a series like all other books.

To end the review on a positive note I did enjoy the story for what it was, and I think the writing will be engaging for children who are just starting to read on their own.

Author Bio

Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl

Writing with depression and battling writer’s block

When you are a writer and you struggle with depression, writer’s block isn’t just writer’s block anymore. Writer’s block is something that can be easily swayed when you put your will to it; but when your writer’s block comes from depression it is significantly harder.
I have experienced this first hand. In the past I’ve had writer’s block, and I’ve dealt with it. The best way to battle a block is to just sit down and write. The last few years I have struggled with clinical depression, to a degree where I have been on medication. As I write, I do realize that this post should have been written in May, during mental health awareness month, but mental illness is here for all the other months too. For us all to help remove the stigma, we need to be talking about it, not only in May.

The problem with a Writer’s block when you are depressed, is that the will to something about it is far away. For me, writing has been a sort of therapy. My writing is where I write out my anger, my hatred. It is where I can be anything I am unable to be in my real life. Two years ago, I just stopped writing, and writing has been a constant struggle since, and my depression has turned worse. It is a downward spiral; I can’t write because I’m depressed, I’m depressed because I don’t write.
Because of my illness I was unable to finish my Creative Writing Degree, I had to defer my third year and will be doing it over this year. And I do claim to have all the answers to fix it (I’m still not writing the writing I need), because there is no magical cure and it might not get easier.
To battle the writer’s block, the first step is to realize what’s the problem. In my case depression is the reason or my writer’s block, and eventually the writer’s block became a contributing cause for my depression. It was already too late for me to turn things around when I realized this, a whole semester had passed and it was three months until my dissertation was due.
When you realize what the problem is, you can take steps to fix it. In the past my writing had always been linked to my reading. If I read a lot, I would write a lot. At my writing peak I wrote 5000 words a day and I read almost 100 books that year. It is my belief that all writers need to read. To quote one of my favorite Lannister: “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.”

I think what I am trying to say here is that it is important to see things in context. As writers we create context in all our little pieces of work, but while we are doing this we forget to take a look at our own, very real, life. So my advice would be: read wide,  read often, and read to expand your mind. Also, remember it is no shame in putting down a book that just doesn’t rub your back.

PArt I: First Contact

Title: First Contact
Series: Aoléon The Martian Girl
Author: Brent LeVasseur
Genre: Science Fiction, Middle Grade
Publisher: Aoléon Press
Publishing date: January 31st, 2015
ISBN: 9780979128516
Purchase Link:

Synopsis: The launch of this exciting and innovatively illustrated new series takes the reader deep into the heart of an unforgettable and out-of-this-world friendship in a story full of hijinks, hilarity, and good old-fashioned fun.

My Review:

I would like to start off this review by commenting the nice illustrations that accompanied this Middle-Grade Science Fiction book. Even though they can look rather simple they weree vivi and color full, and complimented the story. They are imaginative and I’m sure that younger readers will really appreciate them.
The story itself is very easy to follow and the text is large, which, both, make this book great for kids who’s just learning to read on their own.
After saying this, there isn’t much going on in the story. But this isn’t necessarily bad, younger readers might need a simple story line to follow while I as an adult reader would have liked to see more going on in the story
Bottom line is that this is a book that king of reads like a TV-show, written by an authors who is 100% aware of his audience without dumbing down the language. It is very clear from the story that this book is Middle-Grade, and it doesn’t try to be anything more than that.

A brush with Danger

Title: A Brush with Danger
Author: Adam Frost
Genre: Children’s fiction
Publisher: Little Tiger Group Stripes Publishing
Publishing date: 6th July, 2015
ISBN: 9781847156167

Synopsis:Solving Crime in Record Time! A priceless painting, a mysterious letter, a piece of cheese so stinky it’s deadly… From the art galleries of Paris to the palaces of Moscow, detective Wily Fox is on the trail of Dimitri Gottabottomitch. But the brown bear is doing whatever he can to throw Wily off the scent. Can Wily solve the case of the priceless painting or will he be the victim of an art attack?

My Review:

This is a children’s book that’s party illustrated. It has large text which makes it easy to read. The story is interesting and engaging, and not too scary. The pace is quick so the reader won’t get bored, and it follows the main plot closely.
The story is relatable and the story is very suitable for any gender. Also it would be the ideal book for the young readers to read on their own.

The Designed

Title: The Designed
Series: The Designed Series #1
Author: Kate Tailor
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: BookBaby
Publishing date: January 26th, 2015
ISBN: 9781483548838
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: What if the next new drug was you? Raleigh’s body produces a drug that could define the future of medicine if the dangerous world surrounding it doesn’t kill her first.
Eighteen-year old Raleigh Groves can sense disease in others and is suffering from her own unexplained illness as well. After years and dozens of doctor visits, she has given up hope of ever finding a cure, let alone a diagnosis. Then she meets a man who explains that her talent and curse are linked. Her body produces a drug, Lucidin, which allows her to sense others. She’s rare, and the drug she makes is coveted.
Rho has spent the last few years on the run. The Lucidin that is racing through his system makes him a target. Surrounded by addicts and dealers on one side and scientists and doctors on the other, he has to rely on his wits and his team to stay one step ahead. So far he has stayed afloat, but some of his brothers haven’t been as lucky.
As Rho and Raleigh collide they must face the perilous world of Lucidin together. Nothing is black-and-white and Raleigh must decide where her alliances lie. Sometimes the hardest heart to sense is your own.

My Review:

The Designed is a very well written indie book. It got a lot of tension, the author knows to pace her characters and the events. The story is intriguing and drives the reader forward, it is a book you can easily read in one sitting.
Like any other work of art The Designed does have it’s problems and one of the main problems with this book is the story of Rho. His story line is very intriguing, but it raises too many questions, questions which are left unanswered. This is the first book in a series, but I am a firm believer that every “first book” in a series should house enough qualities to stand as a stand alone book (in case you have no interest in continue reading the series). At that book this book failed, as it ended on a cliffhanger, and not only a cliffhanger but a massive one
That aside, this books has enough good points; exceptional writing, leveled characters, multiple layers and a good story. This is a book which is well worth reading.

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Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books

TOP TEN TUESDAY 1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. A topic is provided for each Tuesday. This week’s topic is actually My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics We’ve Ever Done In The Past 5 Years. But as I have not done Top Ten Tuesday for very long, I took the liberty to pick an earlier topic and answer that.
So my topic of the week is: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books.

I love quotes, and I love posting them everywhere. My Facebook and Twitter if overflowing with quotes (which is why I opened a tumblr account: It’s for the days I go crazy about quotes but still want to keep my facebook friends and twitter followers). Picking a Top Ten is not easy, so this is more of a “ten first quotes I thought about from my favorite books”-list.

1.. “There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.”
― Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

2. “No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

3: “So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

4. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

5. “I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

6. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

7. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

8. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

9. “Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections

10. “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Abomination

Title: Abomination
Author:  Gary Whitta
Genre: Historical Horror/Fantasy (?)
Publisher: Inkshares
Publishing date: July 30th, 2015
ISBN: 9781941758335
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: ENGLAND, 888 A.D. As King Alfred the Great struggles to defend his realm from hordes of Viking invaders, the Archbishop of Canterbury stumbles upon an ancient secret — dark magic that could turn the tide of the war in England’s favor. But when exposure to the magic corrupts the Archbishop, Alfred commands his greatest Knight, Sir Wulfric, to hunt the mad priest down. One final campaign for Wulfric, and one that brings with it disastrous consequences…

My Review:

Gary Whitta is no doubt a terrific screenwriter, there is no doubt in that. With Abomination he tries his hands on fiction writing, and his book’s premise is intriguing and original. It was with great excitement started reading his book, and after a few chapters I found myself wishing he had just written a screen play for a movie or a TV-series.
The story is well told, apart from many striking historical inaccuracies. The inaccuracies can be dealt with as a part of the premise is that historians did cover up what really went down.  The writing-style is simple and straight forward, and too much so. To me this book reads much more like a screenplay than a piece of fiction. There is too much telling, and not enough showing. The reader is never challenged to think on his or her own, it’s just simply too simple.
The characters are interesting but not too complex, and I am not quite sure if this is intended to be a teen/YA-book or a book intended for adults, the writing style and word choices indicate the former.
The story has such promise and the blurb felt like a fresh breath, though the reading experience would have been greater if the author expected more from his readers.

City of Fae

Title: City of Fae
Author: Pippa DaCosta
Genre: Teens & YA, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Publishing date: May 7th, 2015
ISBN: 9781408868720
Purchase Link: amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.
Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.

My Review:

I’m going to jump right in and say it, this book was a huge disappointment. This is a book I was really looking forward to read, the plot sounded interesting, the cover was gorgeous. But upon reading the pages, the story just fell flat.
Instead of a love triangle, we got  a love quadruple (if that’s even a thing), as if love triangles aren’t hard enough to pull off without too much jibber jabber. It is okay that a book needs drama, and romance is an important factor in YA-fiction, but enough is enough.
At several point it felt like the plot was hand-fed to me, expect you reader to be intelligent, don’t treat them as if they are stupid. The “big reveal” was revealed to the reader long before it was written in plain words.
The strongest point with this book was the plot, which by all means felt like a fresh breath in a otherwise swamped area. The plot was just executed poorly and with too much going on around it.

Pegasi & Prefects

Title:  Pegasi & Prefects
Series: Scholars and Sorcery #1)
Author: Eleanor Beresford
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: KoR Cubed
Publishing date: January 10th, 2015
ISBN: B00R7MZOJQ
Purchase Link:Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Charley’s final year at Fernleigh Manor is complicated by a runaway pegasus, unwanted Games Captainship, a dangerous new rival and, most of all, falling head over heels in love with another girl. What is a reluctant Senior Prefect to do?
A magical YA school story with a sapphic twist, the first in the Scholars and Sorcery series of lesbian YA fantasies.

My Review:

First off I don’t understand the need to label every books featuring a gay characters as a LGBT (or GLBT). We should stop alienate these kind of books if we really want equality.
The book however, felt a little like starting in the middle of a series that somehow tries to be Harry Potter just with a all-girl school. The writing style was elegant, but the story just felt too plain and simplistic. It starts off with the main character as a graduate student, and her breaking school rules. The concept of the whole world did just not agree with me, I felt like I was questioning everything. Eg. why would the school permit students to bring their Pegasuses with them, and then deny them to go to the stable and see them etc. I’m not too familiar with the boarding school concept in general, but it just felt like it went back to centuries and I did not grasp what and where this world is.
On a positive note, I did really like the cover.

Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

TOP TEN TUESDAY 2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. A topic is provided for each Tuesday, and this post will answer my top ten for that topic. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

1. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (finishing)
2. Ignite The Shadows by Ingrid Seymour
3. The Designed by Kate Tailor
4. Centuries of Genocide: Essays and Eyewitness Accounts by Samuel Totten (Editor) & William S. Parsons (Editor)
5. Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
6. Footprints in the Desert by Maha Akhtar
7. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
8. The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
9. Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
10. Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye  by Tania del Rio

What books are you looking forward to read this summer?