Review: The Rogue

The Rogue The Rogue by Lee W. Brainard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love science. When sci-fi is packed with good science, I'm in reading heaven. This is a great premise and much better executed and believable than most end-of-world story plots. Quite frighteningly believable. All the science fits together very well. Very interesting that the Rogue is coming from the Seven Sisters (Pleiades) in Taurus. Everything seems to happen in Orion these days, so I was pleased to see Taurus pop up.

But this book proves the norm of real-science/fictional stories however. Most science-based novels are top-heavy with science and very weak on character development, and have a rather disjointed story flow with zero transitions from one point of view to the next. That kind of writing makes it very hard to get caught up in the story and really care about what happens to the characters.

Brainard does a pretty good job with helping you to care about the characters. The most likable one is Woody, although it was tough to figure out who he was at first. Introducing Ariele first and then switching to Irina would have been okay except the two characters that were supposed to be so opposite (Ariele = free spirit, hippy-like, Irina = conservative Christian) actually acted so similar I couldn't tell them apart until well into the story. Also, beyond them being athletic, they had very few physical features and no speech patterns that were different so they blended together.

The flip-flop in time and characters at the beginning is very confusing. I guess I was just supposed to know that the description of the two women at the beginning was giving me clues at how different the characters were so I could tell them apart. Good plot point that didn't come off at all. Another bit of confusion is the lack of transitions from one POV to another. The itallics helps to differentiate between characters' thoughts, but then head-hopping drives me crazy anyway, so I might be prejudiced in that regard.

Brainard throws in news about happenings in the Middle East that could literally be taken from this morning's paper. These things did not move the story along at all, had no effect on the characters, and did not provide any tension, story line, or flashpoints in the story. I know they were to provide a set up for conflict later in the story. It would be much better for the story flow if Brainard had just left that out and introduced all that when it actually matters for the story.

This is a really good story premise. With a bit of old-fashioned developmental editing and character development, this will be a terrific series.

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Review: Beneath Copper Falls

Beneath Copper Falls Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I had reviewed this book. But then I get a notification... ACK! I'm sorry Colleen, I mishandled this!

I loved this story. It was captivating, and held my interest all the way to the last page. Colleen has a great knack for keeping the pages turning. Suspenseful, some places humorous, and believable/lovable characters. All round good writing!

Five of five stars. Thank you Colleen and Netgalley for giving me this book to review in return for my honest opinion.

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Review: My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey by Amanda Barratt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was okay. I did enjoy the history of Niagara Falls, I've always wanted to go there.

This story brought me to the every edge of suspension of belief. You have to suspend belief in a lot of books that are supernatural or fantasy or sci-fi, but you'd think you wouldn't have to do that with historical romance.

A young woman saddled with the cares of holding an estate together while the brother spends it away, it's just unbelievable to me that this woman who apparently has a great head on her shoulders would traipse off to America leaving her spendthrift brother behind to ruin the estate. She couldn't depend upon her mother because apparently she didn't have a brain or any gumption. How dumb is that?

While this chit is in America, I'm worrying about the estate back home. The story didn't mesh with me.

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Review: Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees

Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees by Angela Elwell Hunt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great historical novel from Angela Hunt.

This novel is a great stand alone (I never knew there was a 1st book until I started writing this review!) Angela weaves this story with history, romance, family and Jewish traditions with tremendous skill. There is intrigue, humor, 2nd-century BC daily living as well as war tactics. She also gives great insight into how Antiochus Epiphenes terrorized the people of Judah.

Just plain great writing. If you like historical accuracy blended into family saga well, then this series is for you.

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