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My Demonic Ghost

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizUpon reading the synopsis for My Demonic Ghost, I was instantly intrigued and was excited when I was able to get an advanced copy of the book by the author. As a fan of the supernatural and paranormal genres, I love when a book brings a refreshing and original take into an idea that’s been used before which Jacinta Maree was able to do. Let’s start off with what worked for My Demonic Ghost. The idea of a demon possessing a human is not a new concept but what if the demon didn’t possess you? What if the demon was more like a ghost who opted instead to chain you to them and use your soul to keep them on the human plane? That is the concept to the book and I really liked it. I also liked the fact that the demonic ghosts aren’t as black and white as one would think. They aren’t just purely evil. There’s vulnerability to their characters, especially to Lock’s, even though they have such great power.The writing style was beautifully done. The world is vivid and described well. The reader has no problem making out what Maree has created both in the human world and the spirit realm. The spirit realm was one of my favorite aspects of the book. The suspense is pretty well done and the action scenes are fraught with tension.Betrayal was the best character out of the book. She is beautiful, agile, strong, and jumps into battle with a ferocity I would be afraid to go up against. I loved her scenes in the book. I also liked the Hunters, they hunt down the Banished (the spirits who attach themselves to humans). They are undeniably strong, fast, and worthy of their title.Lock was another character I liked. He is as young as Rachel and starts off the story filled with snappy retorts, tough attitude, and selfishness. But as the story progresses his character does as well. He is this kid who has been battling stuff few adults would ever be brave enough to and he was used to doing things alone until Rachel. He had this vulnerability to his character and a strong will to keep fighting.But I did have some issues with the book. Rachel, the main heroine of the adventure into the spirit realm, is too gullible, easily persuaded, and a bit shallow considering any time she saw how gorgeous a demon was she instantly felt at ease with them and wanted to befriend them which didn’t make sense. The narration, which was done by Rachel, was at times over dramatic.The romance between Rachel and Lock was sub-par. They start off not really being able to stand each other but that ends quickly with Rachel deciding he’s just a misunderstood spirit. I just felt Rachel trusted him too quickly. I did like the ending since it wasn't a cookie-cutter happy ending. It was bittersweet and fit the book. Lock's sacrifice and growth toward the end was a nice touch. It was good to see him attain some maturity and wisdom.My Demonic Ghost is a nice take on an old concept and the writing, for the most part, is beautifully done. I just wanted a stronger heroine and less dramatics. I would still recommend any supernatural and paranormal fan to give My Demonic Ghost a chance. There are aspects of the book that are enjoyable. I also would like to see what happens with Lock and Betrayal in the next installment so I will most likely continue the series.
My Teacher is an Alien

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizI originally was simply interested in reading Eyes Like Stars. I had a feeling the book was going to be geared more toward children’s writing than young adult. But come to find out, Eyes Like Stars is geared for any age! I FELL IN LOVE with this book! Author Lisa Mantchev is a wonderful writer!The setting is ridden with havoc and beauty and magic. The descriptions never feel dragged out or overdone. You can picture every character and every scene without a problem. I never felt like the setting was lacking or missing. Eyes Like Stars was very well written. Lisa Mantchev is in complete control of her story and characters. She brings them to life in a laid back and casual manner. There isn’t a moment you feel as if she’s trying to force a character onto you or an idea. The entire book flows perfectly. You will be delighted with silly jokes and learn of Shakespearean references and travel through a tasty love triangle!I usually get annoyed with love triangles. So many have been done throughout books, makes you wish for a newer version of a love triangle and Lisa Mantchev delivers just that in Eyes Like Stars. Bertie has two love interest: Nate, a pirate from The Little Mermaid who only ever has one line, and Ariel, the air spirit from The Tempest. Nate is the brawn: strong, trustworthy, dependable. Ariel is the brains: cunning, charming, and clever. Like Berite, I would find it extremely difficult to choose between either one! Nate cracks me up and Ariel makes me want to kiss him and punch him in the face. They are both so scrumptious and irresistible!For those of you who have never read Shakespeare or have long forgotten, no need to worry. Lisa Mantchev throws you right into the Shakespearean world and guides you through it via the characters. Eyes Like Stars is a beautiful example great young adult fiction! You will find yourself laughing as Bertie’s tiny fairies friends play out their pranks, yelling at Nate and Ariel as they each try to win Bertie, and feel as if you have grown smarter from all the Shakespeare lessons (lol). Eyes Like Stars is an easy read and will have you running to the store to buy the sequel (Perchance to Dream–which wonderfully enough is out in stores now!)Go buy Eyes Like Stars! Trust me when I say you will FALL IN LOVE with Bertie and her world!
Darkness Before Dawn

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizI have missed reading stories where vampires are actually portrayed as the heartless predator they really are and Darkness Before Dawn brings back the terrifying portrayal of vampires but only slightly. Nine years have passed since the thirty-year war between humans and vampires took place and Dawn’s parents were killed leaving Dawn to become the youngest named Delegate for the Agency. Dawn’s job is to keep the tentative peace between vampires and humans and to keep the blood supply ample for the vampires so they don’t attack which means keeping Lord Valentine happy. Lord Valentine is the leader of the vampires in the city of Denver and is as ruthless as a vampire can be. As Dawn adjusts to the fame and criticism of the role as Delegate, she finds her life turned upside as vampires begin to invade the city and abduct humans. But those aren’t the only threats. Lord Valentine’s son takes an interest in Dawn and complicates her life even further. But blood supply and Victor are not the most threatening aspects to Dawn’s job. She will find herself right smack in the middle of a battle that will change the vampire regime and bring back someone Dawn had thought to be dead.Darkness Before Dawn is narrated by Dawn. The authors made an attempt at portraying the character as a strong and wise female lead but it didn’t work. Dawn often came off rather unbelievable. She also makes incredibly stupid decisions. She wasn’t the worse female lead I have ever read, certainly better than others, but there was nothing remarkable about her character. In action scenes, Dawn was pretty useless. She would make an attempt but would quickly be over powered and needed to be rescued. Tegan, Dawn’s best friend, is a complete airhead, shallow and rather annoying throughout the book. She not only makes decisions that nearly get both her and Dawn killed (more than once!) but she also falls for a guy based on looks then decides he is not like other guys and must be with him. Michael, Dawn’s boyfriend, is bland and throws tantrums so easily when Dawn isn’t an agreement with him. There was nothing really likeable about him. Sin, the guy Tegan falls for and the new guy to the Watchman team (team of humans that protect the city by taking down vampires that get passed the wall), is your predictable bad boy. He thinks he’s above the rules, easy on the eyes, and cocky as hell. Out of the secondary characters, Sin was the one I liked.Victor and Richard where pretty good characters. They are both vampires but civil ones. There is humanity to them and an old world charm which did fit their characters well considering they are two of the oldest vampires. Victor is agile, fast, and has a fierce determination. He isn’t driven by fear but by his passion to merge humans and vampires together in true peace. Richard is patient, kind, loyal, and wise. He also has a good sense of humor. I liked his bond with Victor.The best part to the entire novel was the world building. The portrayal of what the city looked like after a thirty-year war with vampires and the wall protecting the city were all well detailed. The loss, the pain, the fear housed within the broken parts of the city where showcased well within the architecture of the city. I also liked the fact that every city where humans lived was closed off from other cities. Only one train ran from city to city, non-stop, to bring supplies the humans may need but humans could not interact with anyone else outside of their city. This was a great quality. You could feel the isolation within the world building. I also liked that the TV shows and radio shows were all made from within the city. Any outside tv shows or radio shows were banned since vampire leaders did not want humans to be able to exchange interaction. There is, of course, a love triangle but a sad one. The love triangle was rather ridiculous and really just felt unnecessary. The action scenes were sparse and lackluster, especially when the final epic battle with Lord Valentine comes into play. I had expected much more than what took place within the scene. The suspense build up was one of the aspects of the plot that was written pretty well. The pacing and fluidity moved at a steady pace. There were a few moments scenes were dragged down but for most of the book, the story reads at an easy pace.Overall, there were aspects to Darkness Before Dawn I enjoyed reading. But much of the book was predictable and nothing really too surprising happens that the reader won’t be able to figure out early on. The ending was the most predictable part of all and reminds me of countless other paranormal novels. I am interested to see how the story progresses since I did enjoy Victor and Richard’s character. There are also unresolved aspects to the plot such as what happened with Tegan and Sin, what will become of Dawn now that she has sided with Victor, and what will happen to the city after the big revelation toward the end. I just hope Dawn becomes a stronger character.
Everneath

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizI had been putting off reading this book ever since I first saw it sitting on the shelf in Barnes and Noble. The cover was attractive and the synopsis intriguing but I was worried I was going to be stuck reading another crappy love triangle with a girl too stupid to realize the bad boy is really just a jerk. I was completely surprised how much I loved this book! Everneath was a lovely, heart wrenching paranormal love story.Nikki Beckett has just woken up from a hundred years of sleep where she was attached to an immortal, Cole in what is known as the Everneath. The Everneath is a dimension between Earth and Hell where immortals , or Everlivings, feed on Forfeits, humans who willing agree to be sucked free of their emotions to add more years of life to the Everlivings. Nikki forgets her life before she entered the Everneath. She can’t remember how to feel, turning into nothing more than a husk once she is freed from Cole. The only thing Nikki can remember is the face of a brown-haired-boy. Although a century has passed in the Everneath, only six months have passed on Earth and Nikki only has six months to say goodbye to her family before the Everneath claims her back forever. As Nikki attempts to live a normal life and fix what she can about the broken relationships with her father, brother, and Jack, the brown-haired-boy who had been her boyfriend before she disappeared, Cole returns to the Earth to find her. He is determined to have Nikki as his queen whether she likes it or not.Everneath is a paranormal romance mixed based off the story of Hades and Persephone from Greek mythology with a bit of action. Most of the book follows Nikki’s journey to reestablish her relationship with Jack in the hopes of easing his pain from her disappearance and seeking redemption with her family. I was surprised by how beautiful Brodi Ashton was able to create such a heart wrenching and tragic tale I couldn’t help but root for! I wanted Nikki and Jack to find their way back to each other but at the same time I was also against it since Nikki had chosen to go with Cole. Readers, of course, discover what the reason was and at first glance it sounds like such a cliché and stupid reason. What I liked is the fact that both Nikki and Jack owned up to what happened and realize how stupid they both were.Nikki starts off broken and hollow. She can’t remember how to laugh or cry or really care about people. She puts on a mask so she can find a way to give her father and her brother the peace they deserve before the Everneath claims her back. She goes through the motions of a normal everyday life but she’s dead on the inside. Little by little she awakens and thanks mostly to Jack, who is just as broken as her but has never stopped believing she would return to him.Cole is ridiculously good looking, talented (he plays in a band), and powerful as one would expect an immortal villain to be. He is both an obstacle for Nikki and an enticement. She had shared a century with him and he knows her better than she does. Cole cares about power and has a secret scheme up his sleeve but Nikki can’t quite figure out what he wants.The relationship between Nikki and Cole isn’t a love triangle between Jack, Nikki, and Cole but more of a tolerated relationship. Nikki has a bond with Cole because they shared a heart and he has this sort of vulnerability when it comes to Nikki. He trusts her. He has grown to care about her. It will be interesting to see what the author does between Cole, Nikki, and Jack because I’m sure Cole isn’t giving up!Even though I saw the ending coming, I was still saddened by what happened. I definitely can’t wait to read the second installment to know what happens!!There were a few things that did bother me though. Nikki’s father and brother aren’t really seen throughout the book that much. One would figure since she has returned after being gone for six months, there would be more scenes showcasing how fragile Nikki’s relationship with both of them is and how they are rebuilding. It also didn’t make any sense that Nikki’s father accepted her return home but didn’t investigate to make sure her story about being rehab was true or that the cops didn’t show up to question her. Nikki’s dad just makes her do drug testing, randomly, to check that she isn’t doing drugs (as everyone believed she was and still is). It was also annoying how often Nikki lamented over her choice to go with Cole instead of having fixed things with Jack. I also wanted to know more about Cole’s past and how he become an Immortal and more about the Royal family. I also wanted an explanation as to why the Forfeits get to return only for a six month period of time. Why not longer? Why do they have to return back to the Everneath and not be allowed to stay on Earth? I wanted more in depth explanations but I’m guessing that will come in the other two books.I did feel a similarity from the Everneath Trilogy to the Juliet Immortal Trilogy by Stacy Jay but that didn’t stop me from loving the book. Both first books in both trilogies have laid a foundation for two really well written trilogies I look forward to continuing.Everneath is fast paced and an easy read. The story is mainly character driven which was great and the dynamic between the various relationships are well written. I do hope there is more action in the next two books of the trilogy and more depth to each of the characters. Any fan of paranormal romance, who strictly loves romance, will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Hex Hall

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizI had instantly been intrigued to this book through the cover. One girl standing in a forest dressed in a school uniform. Another girl upside standing in a lake with a black cat. As soon as I read the blurb, I was hooked and I was not disappointed! Hex Hall was filled with witty banter, well defined characters, and tantalizing mystery.The novel is told from Sophie’s point of view. She is a witch who was raised only by her mother. Her father she has never met so it’s been up to Sophie’s mother to teach her how to handle being a witch which has made Sophie pretty inept at creating spells. Most of the time, her spells don’t exactly go the way they are supposed to. One of Sophie’s love spells goes wrong at prom and Sophie’s mother sends her to a reform school called Hecate (Hex) Hall. It is a boarding school for magical children who haven’t exactly hidden their powers well in the human world. I was very happy the book was told from Sophie’s point of view. She is too funny! She will cause you to have a lot of laugh out loud and shake your head in amusement. You wind feeling like Sophie is your friend and caring about what happens to her. She is sweet and caring but is she also stubborn and strong. She doesn’t care about being Miss Popular. She just cares about being true to herself. She can be gullible at times but she has never had any real friends and has always felt like an outcast. She also doesn’t understand the magical world and has to learn as she makes mistakes but that’s what makes her endearing.Of course, no YA novel would be complete without a set of villains and a really hot guy. Elodie, Anna, and Chaston are the top witches at the reform school. They are super powerful and have nasty attitudes to go along with it, especially, Elodie. Archer Cross is the hot boy on campus. He is, technically, off limits considering he is dating Elodie but that doesn’t stop Sophie from daydreaming about him. He is your all around bad boy: sexy features, toned up body, powerful magic, and huge vault of sarcasm at his disposal. I was surprised at Archer’s character because he comes off as being this egocentric jerk but turns out to have a heart.The pacing of the novel is wonderful. You never feel weighed down. Sophie’s voice flows seamlessly with the plot as it moves forward. The chapters are just the right amount of length. The plot is filled with magic and a dark, sinister mystery as Sophie’s fellow pupils are falling victim to an unseen force attacking the school. All fingers point to Jenna, Sophie’s best friend who also happens to be a vampire. Jenna was, by far, one of the best characters in the book. She is open and loving but don’t mess with her, she will take you down! She cracked me up many times throughout the book and she is completely obsessed with pink which is my favorite color, so it was hard not to love Jenna *hehe*The novel is a bit predictable but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Sophie and her story. The magic was so much fun and the characters were engaging. The twist at the end was a very nice touch by the author! There did, at times, seem as if the characters weren’t taking what was happening as seriously as they should but I’m hoping in the next novel the author has the characters mature more. I also hope the drama intensifies since in Hex Hall, the drama was there but not as much as I feel it should have been considering the characters were facing such difficult and tragic situations.Hex Hall is an easy and fun filled read. It may at times lean more towards humor instead of drama, and at times seem somewhat predictable, but the characters are lovable and the plot is very interesting. I look forward to reading the next novel, Demonglass, and continuing Sophie’s adventure.
Hex Hall: Raising Demons

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizDemonglass takes off a few weeks after Hex Hall ends. I had fallen giddy in love with Sophie and her crazy world of witches, sharpshifers, and fairies. The next installment delivered even more in sarcasm, suspense, and shocking twists!Sophie heads to London to spend time with her father and agrees under the condition that Jenna, her best friend who happens to be a vampire, gets to tag along with her. Sophie’s dad agrees and throws in a surprise, Cal will be tagging along as well. You find out the reason page 18 and will fall out of your seat when you do with laughter and as much shock as Sophie has!Cal plays a much bigger role in the second novel. More of his personality shines through and more about his past. Sophie grows closer to him. Cal is absolutely adorable and sweet. He has this quite sexy charm about him and really awesome powers as a healer. Sophie is still as snaky, feisty, and willful as ever. She still speaks her mind (even though she gets herself in a lot of trouble for it!), is loyal to those she loves, and even when the odds are against her, Sophie still stands up and fights back. Jenna is still oozing with sarcasm and everything pink. But we get to see a more girly side to her. She is head over heels for another vampire and it was so cute. Sophie’s dad plays a much bigger role as well. He is wise, loving, and a very powerful demon. Archer does return and is still as infuriatingly sexy as when he was introduced in Hex Hall.The choices Sophie and Archer make did frustrate me and anger me. Sophie knew by going after Archer she was putting, not only her life on the line but her father’s and the remaining members of the Council. She lies and keeps secrets which end up costing her dearly.Despite the predictability and cliché aspects within Demonglass (girl falls for bad boy, love triangle forming, teen angst), there were some really good twists. I found myself unwilling to put the novel done, needing to find out the family secrets Sophie seeks and to understand the truth about Daisy and Nick, the two other demons Sophie meets. I wanted to know who was the real threat to the Council and all of Prodigium: is it really Archer and The Eye? Or is the threat coming from within? The pacing was spot on with the plot of the book.Demonglass is full of romance, betrayal, shock, and heartache. But don’t worry, all you action fanatics, there is plenty in this novel! The ending is left at a cliffhanger but I had already suspected that would happen since the first one had been as well. But what a wham bam ending! Sophie’s world completely falls apart and she has even more secrets to uncover. I am definitely looking forward to reading the third installment, Spell Bound, which unfortunately, does not come out until 2012. Hopefully, the wait is worth it!
Desires Revealed

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Bridget StrahinA vampire story like you've never read before.Desires Revealed is told from the points of view of Nicole and Bek. It’s 1572, Nicole and her family run through the street of France from an angry religious mob trying to eliminate the Huguenots and find refuge and safety in the home of the very powerful vampire Bektamun. Bek, who is cautious at first, takes in the Gervais family. Offerers them food, a home, protection and anything else they would need. Bek is almost instantly taken with the young and ever so curious Nicole. From they're very first encounter, Nicole isn't afraid of Bek even though she knows what Bek is. Over the years, as Bek nurtures Nicole in her loving arms, Nicole and Bek build an incredible bond. Bek knows that loving a human (or several humans) is pointless because they have such short life spans, but through the Gervais family, she learns to love. She learns just how powerful her love is and how far she will go to protect her new family when they're lives are threatend by an old foe.For me, this story was a straight shot and almost a little too predictable and repetitive at times. Though, there were a few things that did surprise me. Not having read the first novel in this series, I was not aware of Nicole and Bek's relationship, so when I read that Bek was starting to develop romantic feelings for a then, fifteen year old Nicole and that Nicole was also expierencing the same feelings for Bek, I was a wee bit shocked. It just seemed out of place that in the previous chapter Bek is showing Nicole something related to motherly affection then in the next, Bek is sexually attracted to her. I'm not in anyway against same sex couplings but this felt wrong and uncomfortable. I also had a hard time with the torture scene. It pained me to read about Nicole being brutilized the way that she did. Nicole was sliced, burned, beatend and at one point the author describes how the “Pear of Anguish had torn through her virginity and was ripping her apart.” That was just too much. The scene came off too much like a brutalized rape and content of that nature I DO NOT like to read. I didn’t see the need for the scene either.However, there were some minor good points to the book. Michael, with all his hottness, wit, and willingness to do what ever it took to make his make Bek happy. I just simply loved him. And then there was Oskar. Though he was probably one of the most evil villains I have ever read, to the point I actually got a little nervous to read the next page, he was well developed enough for me to appriciate Harrington's writting skills. Desires Revealed is not a book I recommend reading for those under the age of eighteen and if you choose to read the book be aware the content contains rape like scenes, sensuality, and torture. This wasn’t a book I enjoyed, especially given the fact that the author did not let me in on the content beforehand. I wish her the best of luck with her future novels but I will most likely not be reading anymore of Nicole or Bek.
My Royal Pain Quest (The Lakeland Knight series, #2)

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annnabell CadizI first met Lord Arkus in My Sparkling Misfortune, the first novella in the Lakeland Knight Series. I had a lot of fun getting to know the humorous villain turned hero against his will and was glad to have the chance to jump into another adventure with him. My Royal Pain Quest turned out to be just as enjoyable and wonderfully funny.My Royal Pain Quest starts off right where My Sparkling Misfortune left off. Lord Arkus is determined to find a way to save Jarvi, to wake him from the never ending sleep he been cursed under. He sets off on a quest to commit three good deeds: the Deed of Pure Hand, the Deed of a Cool Mind, and the Deed of Noble Heart. Lord Arkus isn’t too happy considering he also trying to return to being known as a treacherous villain. Along the way, Lord Arkus meets some interesting characters, learns how to become invisible and fly, and discovers something he never thought he would really experience: romance.Lord Arkus is still the sarcastic-wannabe-villain-turned-hero-against-his-will and I had so much fun being able to see how he evolved to let people in and trust. He still does so begrudging and reluctantly since he still isn’t comfortable being seen as a villain. He also still has this charm about him that makes a reader want to know what he will do next.Cassandra has a tough-take-no-nonsense attitude from the moment she comes into the story and wicked knife skills to back it up. I instantly loved her character from the beginning! She wasn’t dictated by her fear and jumped into a fight when the need called for it, which happened most of the time throughout the novel. She was also vulnerable at times and caring. I also liked that she was never afraid to challenge Lord Arkus or speak her mind around him.I also really enjoyed the Swirgs. They were so cute and adorable. I really liked the concept of the magical berries that help you to fly or become invisible. The action was present throughout pretty much most of the book and so was the humor. The pacing and dialogue were also well done, except for a few places where the dialogue dragged down the fluidity of the scenes. The only real problem with My Royal Pain Quest, as in other short novellas written by Laura Lond, is the amount of action packed into the story. Everything is dealt with so fast and squeezed in together that the story isn’t as fully developed nor the backstories, as much as I would have preferred. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the way the novella ended!! I laughed so hard and was so excited! I cannot wait for the third installment in the Lakeland Knight Series.
The Assassin's Curse

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell CadizOh the troubles of being a pirate. The story starts off with Ananna escaping her arranged marriage and running off to lead her own future; one that she planned for herself. Naji, an assassin, was sent to kill Ananna but when they face off in the desert, Ananna ends up saving Naji from a deadly snake thus, activating a curse that binds them together. Every little bump or scratch that Ananna suffers Naji feels it tenfold, her safety is now his main priority--his life depends on it. Together, they search to the ends of the earth to find a cure to the curse, only to find out that in order to beat an impossible curse, Naji must complete three impossible tasks.I thought the book was exciting. Clarke put together an imaginative world full of darkness and adventure. Ananna is the rough and tumble type that can hold her own in a fight and still look great in a dress. She was full of spirit and wit and I could read her all day long. The intensity of the situations that Ananna and Naji kept finding themselves in were thrilling and kept me on edge all the way to the end. I would recommend this novel to everyone, I mean come on, kick butt adventure around every corner and a shadow lurking assassin hottie, who wouldn't want to read this?!
One of Us, Old Boy

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Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Bridget Strahin must say, when I first read the synopsis of this story, I was excited even though it's well, a short story. In my opinion, short stories are hard to get into because the writer has very little pages to get you hooked in and for me, it never works out. However, Mr. Shosty had no problems with that.From page one all the way through the entire story, I was hooked. Mr. Shosty had a way with his words that had me flowing from page to page and before I knew it, I was at the end and disappointed. Disappointed because I wanted more.The story follows Dr. Trotter as he reminisces and tells his young protégé Thomas about past days of friendships and war. It is a moving tale of an old man with more days behind him then in front, who has many secrets to share with a young man who wants to one day follow in his footsteps. The only thing I have an issue with is the cover. It's a picture of a pentagram on a floating island and I'm not sure how it fits. I would recommend changing the cover so that the story isn't misleading. It really has nothing to do with the story.The story was well written and imaginative. I would recommend this quick read to anyone, no matter what genre they are used to reading.
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