Forlorn, a dark story of suspense ISBN: 9781978440180 Vinspire Publishing, an e-book copyright 2017 and written by Gina Detwiler.

A prologue describes the situation that results in Grace Fortune being pulled by her Guardian Angel when she is 6 years old from the flaming wreck of her family’s automobile that consumes her parents. The story begins as Grace, now sixteen and being raised by her aunt and uncle, is a student at the Buffalo Arts Academy, where although suffering from a degree of Attention Deficit Disorder, possesses a lovely voice and ability to play the piano. With her are her somewhat misfit friends that include scientifically inclined and quite pragmatic Ethan Ellerman who is there on full scholarship as a designer of video games, artistically inclined Brianna (Bree) Reynolds who at the moment points out a newcomer to the school who is every girl’s dream man, Jared Lorn with muscular build, almost white hair and strikingly blue penetrating eyes and his seeming attraction to Grace. Ethan points out that Jaren is a felon and was transferred here because he had stabbed another student with a fork at a different school. He heard that he moved from “Ohio or Oregon, something with an O anyway”. However he was said to play the guitar amazingly well. Only shortly thereafter Derick Holder, the boy with whom Jared had fought appeared at the lunch room and opened fire with an automatic weapon. Ethan is struck in the stomach and falls into Grace’s lap bleeding profusely. She calls out “Derick! Please stop! Stop shooting.” Her guardian cries out to Grace to sing a special song which he sings to her in the night when she has bad dreams from the Dark Ones seeking a way in. Her singing causes Derrick to hesitate and suddenly Jared moves as a blurred figure knocking the gun from his hand and literally throwing him against a large plate glass window with sufficient force to shatter the glass killing Derick. From this moment the tale becomes one of war between forces of good and evil including different levels of both with guardians, archangels, appearance of ‘the Risen One”, demons, fallen angels, the Nephilim, the importance of faith and the power of prayer per se and through music.

Discussion: The author has presented a most unusual fantasy that may well appeal to readers, especially YA who enjoy conflicts between good and evil forces as they vie for dominance in the living world. The trials and tribulations of the two protagonists are suspenseful as they engage in a series of activities that take them on remarkable journeys. Regrettably, from this reader’s perspective, the tale contains numerous hiccups that are difficult to accept and therefore may require a SPOILER ALERT. If, however a reader enjoys unusual suspenseful fantasy stories pitting the forces of good versus those of the ethereal dark side, obtain the book, enjoy and do NOT read further.

Two of the most difficult discrepancies for this reader to reconcile are: Much is made of the fact that Grace’s parents were completely destroyed by the fiery crash. Yet her mother suddenly appears with an entirely different scenario? Neither Grace nor her friends know much about Jared and seemingly nothing about Derrick yet Grace speaks to him by name and is uncertain when he left school when he is massacring the students?

Conclusion: A fascinating fantasy that should be of particular interest to younger readers and most especially to those of religious inclination. Regrettably and although having enjoyed many tales in the fantasy genre, this reviewer apologetically cannot reconcile the plot discrepancies mentioned.

3* 5* Fascinating fantasy for many; -2* for reasons described.

The Croxton Project: j293

The Croxton Project: j293 an e-book assumed published, copyright and written by Ian D. Wright,

Sub-titled “A Blueprint for Deception”, the story line follows newly-married and highly successful investigative reporters Steve and Emily as Joe Jefferies, former Special Forces officer and now private security company owner, requests their aid. They are indebted to Joe on several levels and happy to help in an involved security assignment. It seems that Lomax Technologies recently had added David Croxton, a brilliant young engineer, to their staff. David had developed a workable prototype of a weapon that offered tremendous possibilities. The government contacted Lomax who assured them that all necessary security features were in order and issued the contract. Unfortunately, until acquisition of David, Lomax Technologies had quite literally been a Mom & Pop organization developing gadgets. John Lomax was the CEO, his wife Margaret was the fiscal officer and son Brian head of marketing and sales. All was rather sloppily run and security spotty, at best. Government agents were due to perform a routine inspection within a couple of weeks. Joe was called in because even Lomax suddenly realized numerous holes existed in his security coverage. The problem is further complicated when David suddenly disappears following thoughtless activity with a Karl Zeigler after meeting and being introduced by his beautiful associate. Other characters of importance are Peter Bridge, Lomax’s personnel manager and Jarvis, David’s immediate supervisor who is prone to taking credit for David’s accomplishments, even though any malfunction in the prototype could be rectified only by Croxton. Steve and Emily, together with Joe and his task force, pursue a course of intrigue and deception that leads to an ultimate conclusion.

Discussion: The author has provided a tale set in England during the cold war era that relives the frenzy among nations to gain the most devastating weaponry. As such, it encompasses various aspects of the espionage, deceit, paranoia and frequently thoughtless activity that led often to unfortunate results. The tale is fast paced and moves forward quite directly for the most part to a termination, part of which in this reader’s perspective, should have been accomplished more efficiently as set in motion by the author. But then, this is a personal opinion of an action that each prospective reader must judge for him/her self.

4* 5* Interesting Cold War Era tale; -1 reviewer’s personal perspective.