Leftover Girl

Leftover Girl
ISBN: 9781946089007, Dirt Road Books, an e-book by C. C. Bolick

This ‘coming of age’ (with a twist) book follows a period in the life of Jessica Ray Delaney, a 15-year-old as she and her family return to her adoptive mother’s home town of Credence, Alabama after numerous and often abrupt unexplained moves. (Her adoption had followed her being found under strange conditions by her adoptive father at 4 years of age). Her life appears to be filled with the numerous challenges of a teen entering a new school with its already structured social groups, bullies and all. However, her problems are exacerbated by the fact that her parents although loving, seem to emphasize the adoptive fact and she also worries about her adoptive father’s health problems. She is close to her Aunt Charlie’s daughter Bailey and is attracted to her Aunt’s son and popular football player Pade which is the source of further bullying. This fact, associated with another relationship that she gradually develops with Chase, a new boy in town whose mother is Jes’s English teacher gradually gains increasing importance as the tale unfolds and the reader learns more about Chase, his mother, Jes’s earlier history and her family attachments. Of further importance are her dreams and return of memory of her early life. Unfortunately, much of this material had been known by her adoptive mother and father but had not been revealed to her because they had been told by counselors not to do so because her mind eventually would supply the facts. The ending is acceptable for the plot and provides an easy entré to the next volume in the series.

Discussion: This is a rather complex story with acceptable ‘other worldly’ overtones that should be most enjoyable for young adult readers and for the reader who is less pragmatically inclined. For these latter individuals, regrettably there are far too many unexplained actions and unresolved issues other than the ‘other worldly’ matter which is, to reiterate, acceptable and interesting.

3* 4* For Young Adult and/or readers less pragmatically inclined.

A Darker Shade of Sorcery, The Realmers Series

A Darker Shade of Sorcery, The Realmers Series, an e-book by the intriguingly imaginative author, William Collins.

Plot: First presented to the reader is a welcome note from Master of Illusion, Padrake Pontiferous: “To whichever race you belong, orc, elf, djinn, human or other: You are now a Venator. Welcome to Veneseron Fortress, school for Demon Hunters. Your job is to travel through the many realms on missions we assign you. …Of course, your most important purpose will be battling demons and the Dark-Venators. Here at Veneseran we will train you to use enchanted weaponry, from Spellzookas to elemental grenades (grenades that actually employ the elements). And wield whatever form of sorcery you possess, from Curse-breaking to Creature Summoning. All so you may save countless lives against the eternal evil. Enjoy your stay. (P.S. Please specify at the front desk whether you’re arriving by Airship, Alien craft, Bubble-sphere or other means.) From this most enlightening introduction the story moves to introduce two humans, Evan, a young London orphan beset by bullies, and Brooke, a young girl living with a family who almost completely ignores her. Each arrives at the Fortress by a different route and means and the plot proceeds to develop as they settle in, make new friends, and enemies, from among an assortment of elves, Halflings, members of alien races and others while living in a city inhabited by these and other strange creatures. They develop their skills with all types of strange weaponry and engage in deadly combat with all manner of demons. AND, the reader discovers that these two humans share an unknown and only ultimately discovered trait from a most powerful source that can provide chaotic results. The attempts to manage and possibly use these traits to combat the abilities of the powerful source will be told in the succeeding volumes.

Discussion: This is a most intriguing tale for young readers that, because of the author’s engaging imagination, may offer some degree of interesting amusement to the more mature reader IF he/she still retains a bit of their earlier appreciation for fantasy. It moves well and the supporting, as well as main characters, equate well with their surroundings and activities.

4* Fantasy tale for the young that certain mature readers also might find amusingly readable.

The Perfect Tear

The Perfect Tear
ISBN: 9780996216029, Rockit Press, an e-book by Connie Lansberg.

Plot/Characters: A unique civilization of superior beings control all thing in the universe. The Crystal Hall is where all DNA is stored and from there can be added bit by bit. Tsera is one of the Ancients, the author of the template upon which the present pattern of DNA is distributed, a Master of Manipulation, and the person in control of the Library where every unique sequence of DNA is stored. Every year a Creation Contest is held in which new templates are submitted, the winner of the contest being awarded an opportunity to ‘dethrone’ Tsera. Lerion is one of this year’s novices who has submitted a design which he is confident will win. Lalycri, an attractive young novice, also has submitted a template and is approached by Lerion against the rules. The contest begins and he worries that she will report his action, thus disqualifying him. She does not because of an ulterior motive, which later is discerned by Tsera. Lerion is the winner and decides to challenge Tsera, something no other winner ever has done because, if lost, the results could be fatal. Tsera has established on Earth a group of ‘singers’ whose pure songs can cause food to grow and help the normal seasonal patterns to continue normally. Specifically: “Tsera had won the original contest with a remarkable achievement in matter manipulation – an inspired creation of a world situated in the third density, a thing thought impossible at the time. She had created living creatures by manipulating vibration and sound into form. Tsera had designed these beings to evolve to full activation. However, the most audacious thing she had done was to imbue these basic life forms with the gift of music. She had embedded many clues to lead them to the true function of music but they remained blind to its power.”

“Secretly, Lerion didn’t believe even Tsera was capable of creating a life form in the lower densities with the ability to reach full activation, and violently disagreed with sharing music, the creation language, with such an inferior form of life.” He believed her premise was flawed and was desirous of correcting it by removing the ability from these beings. The tale evolves as the reader follows the manner in which he attempts to proceed and involves a number of these ‘inferior beings’; Eleanor, her mother and father Maria and Charles, her goat Bella, best friend Audrey, Prince Edward, his companion John, and numerous other characters with lesser, but important roles. Lerion’s ultimate goal is to seize the all-important ‘third vibration’ which is responsible for the creation of life and is contained within “The Perfect Tear” and basically eliminate it and them.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has presented a true fantasy most appropriate for younger readers. Fanciful creatures intermingle with earthly beings and there is an abundance of heartbreak, suspense, fear, redemption, cruelty, deceit, deception, and greed and above all, the author’s desire to project that love is a most basic component of life. Thus, even the ‘young at heart’ may enjoy this tale but must be able to disengage themselves from the somewhat strange admixture of science with mystical maneuvering and the story’s somewhat meandering activity, against which maturity more often rebels. If this can be accomplished, they also may arrive at the author’s desire to project love as an all-important component of life.

5* fantasy gem for youth; suggestions also for mature ‘young at heart’ enjoyment.

 

Connected

Connected
ISBN: 9781617981555, Wild Child Publishing, an e-book edited by Leslie Karen Lutz, authored by Kat Stiles.

Characters/Plot: The plot actually is quite complex with several threads and many questions, some of whose answers are revealed as the story continues. A number of characters are variously interrelated. The story begins when teen-age Emily (Em) is struck and thrown into the air by a drunken driver who stops, determines she still is breathing and leaves. She feels a tremendous heat generating and awakens to find there is no damage. She discovers through the school nurse (Judy) that she has the gift of ‘healing’. Somehow this is associated with a tendency for her hands to perspire heavily so as to be an embarrassment in school. One thread of the plot follows a ‘coming of age’ theme with Angel the leader of the group making her life miserable. Next introduced is her one good friend Roz, whose father has been like a father to her – her father having been sent away by her mother for believing he had acted inappropriately with the child (which may have some substance because we learn later that her mother insists she visit a psychiatrist because of disturbing dreams she has repeatedly.) Emily’s mother Anne is extremely involved in a job that requires odd hours and besides is quite a difficult person with whom to equate. Lauren, her older sister who has problems of her own, is constantly dominant. Tommy, transfers from another school after ‘getting in trouble’, and is attracted to Emily. As the story progresses we further discover that Tommy has unusual sensual (hearing, sight, olfactory) sensitivity and Roz is clairvoyant. The second major thread evolves when their collective powers are brought to bear in searching for a murderer and the tale introduces several more characters. The story’s ending provides an extension of one thread that initiates what may be assumed to be a forthcoming sequel.

Discussion/Conclusion: The author has set forth a thriller/mystery/romance with a touch of the occult that is somewhat unique. More especially it is a book for the teen/pre-teen reader. However, the uniqueness lies in the fact that it has enough of an interesting opening and theme to stimulate to an extent the interest of more mature readers. Admittedly, the later will need to ‘overlook’ the more obviously youth oriented story to follow the interesting tale.

4* Intriguing tale for young readers even the more mature may find interesting.