Detours in Time by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

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price
Paperback: $11.99
Kindle: $3.65

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On a whim, feisty Tabitha takes a trip to the future with her trusted friend Milt, an awkward Science professor. Wonders and curiosities abound. However, their amusing journey soon becomes a challenging maze of difficult decisions. When an unplanned detour occurs, the two set events into action that may save one life and yet destroy another. Can these friends of completely different mindsets agree on a course of action? Amid the backdrop of a future that reveals great wonders and horrors, Detours in Time starts as a fantastic escape and grows to present many moral dilemmas and surprises that can either destroy the strongest friendship or bring two people closer.

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We follow the story of Tabitha, nicknamed Pinky, and her friend, a science professor, named Milt. Being the mad scientist he is, he constructed a hybrid car, called Envo. The car is capable of flying and, you guessed it, time travel. Any resemblance with Back to the Future is purely coincidental. Nothing to see here, move along.

The story itself is well constructed. We follow the pair on their journey to the future. As you would imagine, everything does not go smoothly. The story then shifts from travel to a our-actions-might-change-the-future kind of thing. I mean, I expected something like that as soon as I picked up the book, so it did not catch me off guard, but I do not like the feeling when I find the story predictable. The love story unfolding between the two is just bad. I mean, again, it is totally predictable. The second thing is that it was poorly written. At some parts it was really awkward and just too smooth. It was basically a Hollywood romance without the twists.

Carrying on. The descriptions were great… The first time at least. I loved the future that the author laid out. It was basically something that I would imagine the future looked like, so it felt familiar to me, and I could easily relate to it. So this was done exceptionally well. Now, to return to the other part of the second sentence. I believe many of you took the hint and a simple word appeared in your minds: repetitions. If it did, congratulations, pat yourself on the back. If it did not, blame me. Anyway, some descriptions were made vividly enough the first time around. If I give an example (no, it will not spoil the story for you), the descriptions of 2047 tattoos were great. But they should not be repeated again and again. Every time the pair meets a new person, we immediately jump to their unique tattoos. Why not jump to their unique personality? Why not explore the minds a bit more. This is not a movie, I do not need special effects for the book to be great, I need something relatable, something that makes me think, laugh, cry (I don’t cry, I’m a man. Testosterone. Roar!) and so on and so forth.

The characters were not that great. I mean, you could not relate to any of them, they were just too plain. Sure, they showed emotions, but nothing else. No development, no serious thought process even in the midst of potentially changing the whole future. They were naive and made me want to slap them. But then again, this is only the first book of the series, so maybe we will see more of that in the second.

All in all, it is a fun read. Especially if you enjoy time travel and futuristic books.

Book recommendation: 7/10

Dreams of Heaven by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera

Dreams of Heaven Cover-ebook

price
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER
Publication date: August 5, 2017
Kindle: $1.21
Paperback: $10.95

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Savannah Watkins awakens to a horrific dream of losing her family in a tragic car accident, which causes her to vacillate between two lives…before and after the car accident. As she struggles between realities, Jesus Christ suddenly appears to offer her unorthodox guidance. He accompanies her to the grocery store and for walks on the beach while answering some of life’s toughest questions. His answers challenge her traditional beliefs and repeatedly emphasize there is no death.

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I want to start off by saying that I do not really consider myself as the most religious person out there, and I have told that to the author as well, when I was offered the book for review. The author’s response surprised me, because she told me that she is not religious either and that the story came to her in a dream. I found that quite interesting, so of course, I have signed up for the journey.

As it is stated in the description, we follow Savannah, who believes she is having a dream about a horrific car accident. Now this right here is quite interesting, because it divides us. She actually lives in two different realities. The reality in which she had a car crash is what we would call our reality, this is what really happened (or did it?). The reality in which she meets Jesus Christ, is the reality that SHE believes is the real one. She passes through these worlds with dreams, so when she falls asleep in the world where she had an accident, the world with Jesus Christ is her world of dreams. But when she falls asleep in that world, she awakes in the other world, in which she had the accident. I know it may sound complicated, but it is not.

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Here is a small design of how this goes down, for those of you who did not quite understand that. 

Now, while reading the book, this transition between the worlds was quite unnerving for me, because I knew that she lived in the world where the accident took place. But after I finished the book and went through it a few times in my mind, like I always do before I write a review, I now see that I might have made a mistake to assume that. Before I tell you why, I want to tackle the elephant in the room.

To be perfectly honest, I smiled to myself when Jesus Christ was first introduced to me as a reader. It was just so simple and so plain, and everyone just instantly believed it was him without any serious doubt (there was some, but not too serious). It sounded a bit childish. He hangs out with our protagonist, and is there to answer any of her questions. More than once, her question gets a question in response, questions that require some thought. Even from you, the reader. You stop yourself to think about how you would answer the question. They are not about religion or stuff like that, they are about living in the world, being happy and most of all, feeling loved and giving love. I believe this right here is a fair assessment on why this book is not only for the religious people, but for others as well. Not to mention the metaphors behind the conversations, but I will let you all see those for yourselves.

Now to return to my previous thought. After thinking about it, I can see just why Savannah would claim that she lives in the world with Jesus. The reason is, because the author did an absolutely beautiful job in separating us. What do I mean? If you look at this book from a religious standpoint, the world with Jesus will be the world you believe she is actually alive in. If you look at this book from a non-religious standpoint you will, like I did, believe that she is alive in the world without him, the materialistic, harsh world that we all know. The story is left open to interpret it as how you want. If any of you have read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, you will know exactly what I mean. Those of you who have not read it, The Turn of the Screw is a story that is also left up for interpretation. You can read it 5 different times, and you will understand it differently 5 different times. Same with this book. This also brings me to the ending of the book, which also gives you just enough information, but leaves it up for interpretation. You can only speculate about what happened, there is no definitive answer. Or rather, there is an answer, but it depends on what approach you take.

As the last point, I would just like to mention the cover, as it is absolutely beautiful, one of the best I have seen in a while.

All of this considered, the only thing that did bother me, was the appearance of Jesus for the first time, as I have mentioned before. Maybe a bit too direct, too naive. But then again, it is only my opinion. For someone religious it might be just the way he or she sees it happen in his own mind. I will, however, consider it from my point of view, so…

Book recommendation: 9/10

Blood Tide – Brian Burt (OLD REVIEW)

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Opening your heart takes far more courage than battling your enemies.

One word that can describe the book – Amazing. This is the most action packed book I have read in years. If you think that you can compare it to the first part then you are highly mistaken.
This second part of the Aquarius Rising takes the whole story up a notch. It takes what the first book had to offer, but amplifies it immensely. It does not fool around, the action starts a few pages in, and it will just draw you in and make you want to turn page after page to see what happens next. If you think the first book had an awesome story then hang tight, this one will offer that and much more in each and every chapter. The climax of the book is so intense I found myself unable to put down the book.
Like in the previous part, chapters are divided in a sense that you are able to see the whole story from every angle. But that does not mean that you know everything. Far from that. You will need to connect some ties together too.
You are able to experience the story even more deeply because you know the setting already and you know your characters, the ones that made a bond with you in the first book. Like in the previous part, some bonds will be broken, and you will feel a void that cannot be quite filled. You will also see that the book offers many new characters so you should not go into the book thinking you know each and every one of them to their core.
I probably forgot to state a few important things but I will just let it be. I cannot say too much because I, as usual, do not want to ruin the book for other readers. But I can say this – read the book. There will be no time wasted here, you will like if not even love it.

Book recommendation: 9,5/10

Aquarius Rising: In the Tears of God – Brian Burt (OLD REVIEW)

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There’s always light in the darkness. It may be hard to find, but you can’t stop looking just because you’ve grown accustomed to the gloom.

To be honest here, I did not expect the book to hit off like it did. The beginning was really nothing special, I found myself trying to accustom to the setting and the beings I was reading about. There is a bit too much information and detail at the beginning and you are not sure exactly who is who. This causes no problems later in the book, as soon as you catch the flow, you are ready to rock’n’roll.
If you are a fan of having many descriptions of the things you are reading about, then this is also a book for you. The author shows his descriptive skills right off the bat. Even if you find descriptions boring, do not turn away from this book. They are not over complicated. They are here to help you imagine the setting better because, just like the story, the world is immense. It is not just set in the ocean, but also on the land.
After you dive into what Mother Ocean has to offer you find an impressive story that just draws you in and does not let go until the very last page. The story is so immensely deep that you could easily make the book into a movie (if it were not for the fact that human-dolphin hybrids would be hard to recreate). It will take you through friendship, shame and death all while being wrapped up in a blanket of mystery.
You will develop a bond with the characters and will sympathize with them through their journey. Many bonds will be broken, but many will stay with you to the end of the book.
I have to thank the author, Brian Burt, for sending me a review copies of not only this book, but the second part as well. Thank you for inviting me into the vast Mother Ocean and showing me all the beauty it has to offer. I cannot wait to start reading the second part.

Book recommendation: 8/10

At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft (OLD REVIEW)

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This is going to be a very short review. There is nothing much to say here, sadly. I would like to state that I have and will defend H.P. Lovecraft as one of the best writers ever, but this book is definitely not up to his standard. I went into this book expecting to experience some real horror and mystery that would not let me put down the book. I got everything other than that.
There is just so much describing going on that you would think, in the first few pages, you are reading a geography book about the history of different kinds of rocks. You would think that he is just trying to set the scene so you can imagine the place better, but this just goes on throughout the whole book. Descriptions after descriptions, even the monsters could not escape the real horror here. It just ruined the whole story, because the story itself was really not that bad, but the realization was awful.
It is awfully tiring to read this book. If you are a fan of long descriptions of things that you do or do not care about, then this is most certainly a book for you. If not, stay away.

Book recommendation: 3/10