Book Review – The Dandelion Farmer by Mathew McCall

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The Dandelion Farmer
Mathew McCall
4 Stars

Well, my Gentle Readers, Mathew McCall delivers an interesting view on Mars Colonization through his novel, “The Dandelion Farmer“.

The story centers on one, L. Edwin Ransom, the self professed Dandelion Farmer, and an incident with evil millionaire mogul, Du Maurier. Du Maurier has a strange interest in Ransom’s little farming operation, but is it greed? Or something deeper? The planet Mars has seen its share of bloodshed when the peoples of Earth came calling upon its longtime denizens. An uneasy peace has held for a couple of decades since the Tellurians (Earth people on Mars), broke free of their Earthbound governments to establish their own rule. This peace is tenuous at best and the ever present threat of more war keeps everyone on edge. When Du Maurier’s threats escalate into more violent attempts upon the life of Ransom and his people, he heads to his father-in-law’s home where he is caught up in the man’s quest to find out what happened to the Aresians (original settlers of Mars who disappeared after years of war witht he Tellurians).

McCall fashions this world and the storytelling as a collection of letters, journal entries, telegraphs, and excerpts from historical texts. This means sometimes telling the same scene from different perspectives. Some readers may find this tedious, but it does provide insights into the personalities of the various characters. Some of the more historical records included could probably have been trimmed or cut out for sake of keeping the action going, but they allow the reader to see the depth to which McCall has developed the setting he created his story within. Of particular interest to me was the character of Adam Franklin and later, Aelita: an Aresian who grew up in Tellurian society after she was orphaned during the war.

I won’t hold back here. This is a long read with some dry parts (the aforementioned historical texts for one). The overall story though is intriguing. McCall leaves you wanting to finish the chase to discover the Aresians, and see Du Maurier get his just rewards along the way.

Grab your copy on Amazon now if you’re ready to join the Dandelion Farmer on his quest.

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Book Review – Marked by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia #4)

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Marked (Running Toward Illumia #4)
Angel Leya
5 Stars

This installment of Running Toward Illumia brings Astrea and her friends through dragon infested tunnels to a waiting ambush, culminating in her first confrontation with Xia, the Dragonfae, and current Mouthpiece of the Mythics. Astrea must face the trial designed for moon elves in order to become the Mouthpiece. If she survives, she will only have a multitude of races depending on her, and an angry half-blood whose power and seat on the Council she usurped. Overcoming her lineage is only one problem she faces in Illumia.

Angel Leya has dragged me headlong through this series as I couldn’t put them down. Now, I have to wait for part 5 to find out what happens next. Grab this series now so you are ready for part 5 when it releases.

Marked on Amazon

Links to my reviews of the other parts of this series.
Book Review: Banned by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia Book 1)
Book Review: Lost by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia 2)
Book Review – Drenched by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia #3)

Book Review – Drenched by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia #3)

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Drenched (Running Toward Illumia #3)
Angel Leya
5 Stars

I am rushing headlong through this series and you should too. Astrea is approaching her destination with her companions: the unicorn, Windmane and the elf, Gander. Secrets are revealed and Astrea is struggling to reconcile her origins with her present state. The fog is compounded by a constant drizzle that only seems to darken the hopes and mood of her little party. Windmane and Gander are constantly at each other’s throats, while Astrea tries to sort out the strange attraction she has for the elf. As they draw nearer to Illumia, Astrea is worried over what will happen to her once she reaches the city.

 

Grab your copy on Amazon today. Don’t forget to check out Angel Leya’s website.

Book Review: Lost by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia 2)

Lost (Running Toward Illumia 2)
Angel Leya
5 Stars

Angel does it again in this installment of her Running Toward Illumia series. The tension mounts as Astrea and Windmane race to get to Illumia before time runs out. Along for the ride is an elf named Gander. The trio all hold secrets they refuse to share with the others and several times it seems the conflict will come to a point (literally, as there is a unicorn involved here.) By the end, Astrea gets some of the answers she seeks, but are they worth it?

Come find out for youself when you pick up Book 2 of Running Toward Illumia.

Angel Leya’s website

Lost (Running Toward Illumia #2) on Amazon

Book Review: Banned by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia Book 1)

Banned
(Running Toward Illumia 1)
Angel Leya
5 Stars

You need to grab this book now and start a magical journey with the talented Angel Leya.

Astrea is an outcast amongst outcasts, the Banned. Her lack of red hair and freckles, a trait that seems to protect them in the mists of their forest home, make her stand out when all she wants to do is fit in. The forests of her home are lacking in sustenance of late, creating a real fear of famine and starvation. When Astrea spots a unicorn in the forest, she’s thinking it’s her lucky day. But, what if killing such a majestic creature brings about a worse curse then starvation?

Come get your feet wet with this quick trip into the latest realm from a talented writer. I’ll be quickly moving on to the next book in the series.

Banned on Amazon

Angel Leya’s Website

Book Review – Trading Darkness: A Dark Fairytale by Lisa Hofmann

Trading Darkness : A Dark Fairytale
Lisa Hofmann
5 Stars

My Gentle Readers, Lisa Hofmann delivers on all counts in her novel, “Trading Darkness : A Dark Fairytale”. She gives us love and betrayal, magic of many kinds, and the classic dichotomy of light and darkness.

Our story begins with a realm gripped by witch hunting madness and poor Agnes is caught in the middle. She makes a deal with a demonic power in order to try and save her family, but the demon has designs of its own.

The Blackvale familial lands of Wildenburg have a dark secret, and younger brother Gregory is about to find out just what his family’s prosperity costs. When his older brother refuses to see through his end of the pact with the Century Demon that protects their tiny fiefdom, Gregory faces a difficult decision. He must choose one of his twin daughters to sacrifice to the demon. Lose one, or lose everything as his brother so recently discovered.

Gregory gives up Louisa, but then spends the rest of his life and his sanity trying to discover if she lives. He even goes so far as to make a deal with the Immortal Wishmaster, who hides his own dark past.

Lisa weaves these characters together in such a way that you’ll be deep into the book before you realize it. She draws you into this world and makes you care about each character, even the ones you should dislike. Gregory, the father who had to make the most impossible choice. The Wishmaster, bound to balance his own light and darkness within. The Century Demon, wholly given over to revenge, even has a past that makes her bitterness understandable.

I’m so glad I picked this up and will be keeping my eye out for more from Lisa.

Grab your copy on Amazon now.

Book Review – Lost Coast Rocket by Joel Horn

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Lost Coast Rocket
Joel Horn
3.5 Stars

Today I bring to you a story of a child prodigy and his friends building rockets and pushing the limits of legality.

Joel Horn begins the tale of Kenneth B. O’Brien (Ken to his friends) at a very young age. From the time he can walk and talk, Ken is with his Grandpa Arnold, a former NASA engineer. A love of rockets and aeronautics is born within the young boy, an obsession carried through the entire book. Twin traumatic events shape young Ken’s life (the death of his grandfather and a fatal mudslide).

This was enough for me to keep reading at first, even through the mass of technical rocket jargon that dragged down the pace of the action a bit. The constant timeline jumps in the first part of the novel made parts hard to follow or seemed extraneous and unnecessary. (Like the tale of Akira’ father and some hikers later in the book).

These things aside, as the group of misfits age, the action and tension pick up as the team begins to design and build their biggest rocket yet.

I won’t spoil it for you, because I do think this one is worth a read if you like these kind of stories. So pick up your copy today and see what all the fuss is about.

Lost Coast Rocket on Amazon

Joel Horn’s Website