The International Review of Books

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International Review of books magazine Executive Editor - Laurence O’Bryan Editor-in-Chief - Tanja Slijepčević Assistant Editor - Kathy Denver Graphic Designer - Mirna Gilman Ranogajec

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Editor’s letter You are very welcome to our International Review of Books magazine! Hey readers and authors! The International Review of Books came into existence half-way through the month of September and boy have we hit the ground running. To those of you who have used our services, thank you. Our reviewers have enjoyed reading your awesome work and I have loved playing my part in helping you gain your editorial review. For those of you who are only hearing of our service let me explain the concept. We offer our reviewers up to help you gain an editorial review. What is an editorial review? This is a review for you to use on your Amazon Author


Central page. This is not a fan review, this is a professional review given by one of our experienced reviewers (many of which are known bloggers or Amazon Top Reviewers). The reviews are offered in three tiers: A short review/blurb (usually 2-3 sentences in length). A review of up to 250 words along with a Ÿ page advert in this very magazine. A review of 250+ words along with a ½ page advert in this magazine. You can see examples Included throughout this edition. Amazing books and reviews from our brilliant team at The International Review of Books. We review many genres.. Kathy Denver, Assistant Editor International Review of Books Magazine


Four Star Rating

“I stomp on a smoldering sleeve of someone’s jacket as I focus on where I need to be in order to avoid the third set of flames.”—Enchained by Janet McNulty In the space of a futuristic or distant city, Janet McNulty paints a harsh and horrifying reality of a police state hemorrhaging violence and cruelty. The most robust children, harvested at birth, are relegated to a life of structure and trained as future Arbiters. Their sole purpose to honor without question the laws and prejudice of their society.


“Malayan Communist Party. Over.” Jamie frowned. ‘I thought they were on our side against the Japanese. Over.” “I don’t think swearing at our captors is going to help much either,” said Douglas.” The story takes place in Malaysia in 1946 immediately preceding the Malayan Union. Kater captures the turmoil of the region shortly after the Second World War. Some areas saw the expulsion of the British by the Japanese as liberation, but others were disappointed by the ease that the Japanese defeated the British forces. Some did not welcome the return of the British after the war. Britain hoped for a peaceful return to the administration of the region while MI6 worried about communist agitation from the Chinese. However, something


“The truth is in his eyes not his actions.” This story flows nicely, following the traditional story arc. Cohen spends a lot of time on the exposition of the novel, none of it superfluous. He sets up the characters and their situations in great detail yet he does so in a fast paced narrative which at no time becomes pedantic. There are a lot of characters, each with an interesting back story, as well as splendid descriptions of their actions as well as the various settings. Even the horse stables is well thought out! The rising action could be considered from the time Reynard reveals his true intentions to his pirate captives until McNamara and Catalina face him in a sword fight to the death. There is never a dull moment here!


Following the climax, an epic pirate battle at sea, the denouement sees everything neatly resolved for both the book’s characters and the reader yet the door is left open for a possible sequel. (Fingers crossed!)

I am a woman who is deeply troubled. --1 Samuel 1:15 NIV This was a wonderful book! It’s a story of good versus evil and kept me thinking about the characters long after I put it down. When an evil man threatens the safety of their son, Enya goes behind her husband’s back despite the dangers of traveling alone. It is a story of faith and forgiveness and love and compassion in a land filled with ancient rituals and superstition. The suspense and danger kept me up late and the rich history of ancient Ireland and the early days of the church make it a very interesting read!


“What happened to that feeling that everything was just right? That you were in control? What happened to everything that everyone used to admire about you?” The author ramped-up a fastpaced tale that held my undivided attention from beginning to end. At first, the main protagonist of the storyline appeared as a shallow two dimensional character. In time, as the narrative progressed, his character developed sufficiently to where I could sense his every change in mood. It was like his pulse could be felt beating on my Kindle. Unclear at first, the plot eventually began to take root in this character-driven novel. Like a ball of wool unraveling, I had a ringside seat to witness a slow debilitating ruination of a life. There were times it was a little difficult to bear. With the scenes unfolding, the stormy ride left me anticipating an appalling ending. Secretly, I’d hoped I was wrong. Not sure what stirred ahead, the digital ink whisked by in a blur. 10

“…he’s driven by a moral conscience rather than greed.” The Edgewater Legacy by Wanda Pyle is a novel set in the heady days of the 1980’s when everybody was trying to live the American dream by getting rich, famous or both. Chris Kinglsey is a young man finding his way in the LA music scene during the early 80’s with an indie music label. I found Chris to be a compelling character, especially with his strong moral and ethical convictions.


“Life was not about fighting. Rather, it was about letting go.” T.M. drags you into her sordid world of drugs, alcohol, and sex addictions, and doesn’t let go! This story, for me, was painful to read about her abusive childhood and downward spiral into the depths of despair. The ending leaves the reader wondering about the author’s current life and sobriety status.


“Unconditional Love conquers all!” “Love is the Answer, God is the Cure” is the story of Aimee Cabo, who was in the Miami news for almost five years from 1989 to 1994 in a case the media named “The Case from Hell.” This sexual abuse case pitted her and her sister against her parents who denied all culpability. As she fought court battles, poverty, abuse, and addiction, Aimee always turned to love and to God. Another near tragedy struck when her daughter was almost murdered by a tenant she found in Craig’s list. This is the story of a woman who had all the odds against her and how she persevered to find true love and form a family that could withstand anything.

Reviews: Love is the Answer, God is the cure is Aimee Cabo Nikolov’s debut memoir in which she talks about her traumatic childhood events and how she found the strength to fight adversities of life through love and her unshakeable faith in God. The author was at the centre of a case the media named “The


Case from Hell” in Miami for five years from 1989 to 1994. This sexual abuse case pitted her and her sister against her parents who denied all allegations, and instead, the sisters were labeled as liars. The book starts with Nikolov leaving for the Dominican Republic with her younger sister Nicole for vacations and meeting Dr. Boris, a doctor from Bulgaria there. Despite her initial reservations, Nikolov finds herself pulled toward the tender, dignified young doctor and ends up falling in love with him. They plan to marry but Nikolov carries a burden so heavy from her past she must share it with her fiancé before moving ahead in the relationship. As she unravels her past, a horrendous story of sexual and mental abuse emerges which lasted over the course of many years. Dr. Boris, a wonderful guy, has no qualms about Nikolov’s past and the couple go ahead with the wedding. Finally, Nikolov finds stability in her life, but there are times when the tragic memories of past resurface and threaten to pull her back to the endless recesses of darkness once again. The love of her husband, children, her sisters and her faith in God keeps her afloat. While narrating the story of her life, the author doesn’t shy away from divulging the most intimate details; she stays open and honest about her addictions, substance abuse, her time as a stripper and high-end escort and she does so in a neutral tone without any hint of melodrama. Her acute faith in God, at times, seems like a stretch to even those reading her narration, but she never loses it. Although hard to read, the book sheds a good light on how childhood sexual abuse can continue to destroy a victim’s life even decades later; Nikolov, a mother, a wife with bright future ahead, at times, struggles with feelings of low self-esteem, self-worthlessness, shame and guilt and has the urge to get lost in dark recesses of drugs and alcohol. A book that shows there is always light at the end of the tunnel. An inspiring effort!


‘“..Civilization’s last dying breath before being engulfed in wilderness.” In Prelude to the Shards, author Michael Timmins begins three distinct storylines that together create the vivid and immersive world of Ismia. This detailed and movement-driven collection sets up what is sure to be a fantastic new series.


You’ve always had the ability to change to Future by the choices you make,” the Raven said. A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust. In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom. 16

Reviews: Dagger’s Destiny, by Linnea Tanner, is the second book in The Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. The book picks up immediately after the events of the first book in the series, Apollo’s Raven. Set in the year 24 AD of Britannia the young Princess Catrin must save her father, King Amren, from the wounds he suffered during the attack at the prisoner exchange. However, King Amren is more concerned about the curse his first wife, Rhan, placed upon him, and Catrin’s role in sparing the life of the Roman Marcellus. For King Amren these are treasonous acts, for which his daughter must be punished. Meanwhile, Marcellus, also wounded during the prisoner exchange, suffers at the hands of his fellow Romans and his father, Lucius Antonius, who see Marcellus as a traitor to Rome for letting Catrin lure them into an ambush. As Catrin and Marcellus struggle to save their own lives, they try to make their fathers understand the complex love that they have for each other. Each must keep war from breaking out between the Romans and the Cantiaci, while avoiding death for treason. At the same time, the curse placed on King Amren by Rhan has changed due to Catrin’s actions to save Marcellus, with dire consequences for the Cantiaci if the new curse can’t be interpreted in time. I greatly enjoyed Dagger’s Destiny. Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story. Linnea has done a superb job of creating a detailed and vibrant world of Celtic Britain at a time right before the invasion of the island by Emperor Claudius in 43 AD. She has taken the many myths and legends of the Celts and given them life through the characters of Catrin, Rhan, Marrock, and Myrddin. In each of these the mythical powers of the ancient druids are brought to reality. I loved how the magic of the druids was woven into the story, complementing the drama being created between Catrin’s desire to prove her loyalty to her father, and the machinations of Rhan and Marrock. At the same time, the political intrigue is played out in an epic fashion between King Amren, the Romans, and the Cunobelin tribe. Everything meshes together to give the reader a truly entertaining story of love, magic, and betrayal.


“At this, a murmur of concern rumbled its way through the massed beings. At the edge of the thrones’ clearing, a tall man stood. Rose would have thought he was a normal man but for the fact that instead of hair, a large feathery crest stood high from his skull.” When reading The Awakening of Magic Book one of the Wereding Chronicles, you enter the world of Wereding Woods and get to know the characters. This book is well-written with great descriptions and well-developed characters helping bring the reader into this supernatural fantasy realm. This is a creative story with characters that perfectly fit into a magical world. You’ll find werewolves and a Goddess, Horned God and elf, even humans and trolls, dragons and more interesting creatures. Mostly you’ll find love, friendship, magic, and adventure.


“It is when we have no dreams that we should be troubled.” Bing is fixing to enter one of the most stressful moments of his life. For his entire life, he has studied and prepared for this moment, to take the highly competitive examinations. The Civil Service Examinations are a mark of the elite. Those who pass will attain high honor. Those who do not will study again to either retake the exams or go into another form of work. The exams are tedious, meant to test you at every turn, and extremely hard to pass. He has had the best tutors, every opportunity to succeed, but now the rest remains with him. He will be tested on what he knows, and how well he can articulate those thoughts. In 1630s China, sons follow the family traditions and continue in the vein of their fathers. Bing’s father is a highly respected government official, and he has given Bing every opportunity to succeed and follow in his footsteps. 19

“I long for a God who can show me the meaning of life, who can give me a reason to live.� Set during the period of Late Antiquity during the 6th century A.D., a young man searches for meaning in a world torn between the prevailing Greco-Roman cultural and religious traditions, and the emerging Germanic and Christian traditions that later formed the foundations of the culture of Europe. Silvanus grows up in an isolated village at the far end of a small island. When his father suffers a grievous injury rendering him unable to work or travel, young Silvanus must undertake a treacherous journey alone over the mountains to the city of Fabricia to sell their wares at market and bring much needed supplies back to the family. The journey is fraught with danger and temptations and Silvanus endures many hardships that he blames on a vengeful and unforgiving God named Aquila.


“...I never could have lived as a warrant’s wife, kept like a cat in dark, close quarters belowdecks on the very ship I once served as surgeon’s mate.” It’s 1765. Young Patrick MacPherson, former surgeon’s mate and new captain of the merchant ship Andromeda, is determined to gain fortune, if not fame, as a merchant from the cantankerous colony of Rhode Island. With the injustices of British rule growing ever more onerous, the northern colonies are slowly coming to a boil. Yet for those willing to take the risk it all, there are fortunes to be made – and Patrick is determined to make one. All it takes is one or two successful runs to the rich, open market of Havana.


“It is when we have no dreams that we should be troubled.” Against the backdrop of war in the Middle East, CRY EDEN continues the saga of Noah Greenspan, a young and successful Jewish businessman, and his Palestinian-American wife, Alexandra Salaman, a rising-star journalist in Washington, DC. Rich in historical detail, Cry Eden is a story about the power of love challenged by the stresses and tensions of age-old animosities. War, economic crisis in America, and terrorists plotting unspeakable revenge against Alexandra all converge in this page-turner of historical fiction. “Cry Eden,” a riveting read, was preceded by “The Eden Legacy” and “Heirs of Eden,” and concludes the Eden trilogy.


Reviews: Cry Eden by Harold Gershowitz is the third book in the Eden Series. This edition is a novel with two parallel story lines-- one on an international level and another on a family level. Although it is part of a series, the book stands well on its own. It is the fall of 1973, and the Arab countries of Syria and Egypt are about to invade an unsuspecting Israel. Israel has grown complacent with its superior air force and its version of the Maginot Line -- a compressed sand barrier built on the Eastern bank of the Suez Canal. The conflict will almost crush Israel and bring the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. While the world faces war, the Greenspan’s lives continue in the United States. Noah, a successful businessman, has been chosen as the Chairman of the Jewish Council of Washington, D.C. His wife, Alexandra Salaman, is a columnist at the Washington Evening Star. She is also a Palestinian. Their child Amos, named after the Mossad agent who helped save his mother’s life, is being raised Jewish. The Greenspans’ marriage contrast the events of the Middle East. What is a happy marriage is about to be challenged by outside events. The players in both lines of the story do not control their own destiny. Israel and the Arab States are influenced or controlled by the US and USSR. Likewise, the Greenspans, find themselves affected by forces beyond their control. A tertiary level of characters tie the two plot lines together seamlessly and bring the story to a dramatic conclusion. Moving from history to thriller and back again Gershowitz creates a fast-moving and exciting reading experience.


“There was a smell right before we saw the girl. Like--” “Like a mass grave after a flood?” Fiends of the Hub is a fastpaced, vampire horror novel that reads a lot like a 1980’s “campy” horror flick--IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS! It is full of great one-liners and laugh out loud moments, complete with a little gore.


Love, hate, evil, business and politics without borders. This is the story of it all. Suspense is in the knowing which plot line is the main one. Characters are well developed. Reader is hardpressed to know for sure who are the good guys and who are the criminals.

“Weeks go by with nothing from you, and then THIS you send me?” Says Cici to her dead - but not gone - identical twin, Anna Carmen. Reverend Cici Gurule’s identical twin sister was murdered two years ago. But the bond between the twins is stronger than even death, and now CIci’s twin is determined to guide her surviving sister to the aid of a kidnapped woman. At least, when she thinks of it… 25

“With this little venture, I first learned about leverage, processes, and distribution -- things that would serve me well in my future business ventures.” Billy Houston Rags to Riches takes you on a colorful journey involving exotic locations and larger than life personalities. The largest personality is Billy himself. A self-described serial entrepreneur, Billy offers a glimpse into the workings of his ever-active mind always on the lookout for the “next big thing.” He usually finds it! We meet his merry band of men: Chook Burns, Roger “the Dodger” Freeman, and Pat Gabriel as Billy talks about his upbringing. The story weaves a tale of an entrepreneurial mind going all the way back to high school. As the businesses come and go the reader is given a better understanding of the bonds between friends, the business acumen needed to be successful, and what happens when you try to take more than your fair share of the pie. 26

“I don’t think Gods plans are going the way we think.” This is why I love to read less known authors. From time to time, you can discover a great book like this one. We follow Michael Kieh, a priest who gets involved in some strange murder cases (don’t want to say too much for not risking spoiling anything). Then, every other chapter we go into his past to see his childhood in Liberia. The crime part of it was good but it isn’t what makes it great. The strong element of this book is its characters. They are strong, well developed, original, and none of them fell into clichés or anything like that. How many books have a priest has the main character? There are also a lot of others elements that make this book stand out a good way. 27

Mary Jackson-Peale was and wasn’t like the rest of us. She heartily embraced all the deadly demons in her relatively short time here. Ironically, sher also sought redemption and resurrection. I will leave to the reader to decide if she achieved those objectives. MARY JACKSON PEALE. UNFLAPPABLE POWERBROKER TAKES A JOURNEY THROUGH THE DARKSIDE OF LIFE. By 23,the supremely confident Mary Jackson-Peale had become one of the mostinfluential theatrical agents on London’s prestigious West Side. But herself-indulgent lifestyle, which included a string of bi-sexual relationships,endless cocktails of booze and drugs, and the accidental manslaughter of hersex-craved boss, made her a felon on the run.


“Was he ever going to find time to forget about work? About violence and misery and death? About the missing and the murdered people he had not been able to protect? Would there be even one day of peace?” A speeding SUV crushes a Smart Car. A dog is found shot dead in an alley. Then, in the dark fury of a cataclysmic storm, someone commits a shocking crime. But that’s only the beginning. Sgt. Adam Davis must grapple with his PTSD, and postpone his passion for reporter Grace Rampling, to find a multiple murderer. Broken Through is a carefully crafted novel with fully developed characters who I became very invested in. As the second novel in a series, I never felt that i was missing out, having not read the first novel, it definitely was a stand alone. Grace and Adam were a dynamic couple, both with interests outside of each other who, although very attracted to each other, were strong characters when they were not together.


This book is a well thought out, emotionally layered ďŹ ctional piece that delves into the very real and often charged issues of the men and boys we send into service. It’s unconventional beginning draws the reader into the story in order to discover more about Mercy, the main character. The character development is concise and well done. Absolutely a book worth reading.


“China is a sleeping dragon that has awoken to shake the wine drinking world.� Loren Mayshark has a passion for both China and Wine and this interest and care for the subject come through in her all-encompassing book on the Chinese wine industry, past, present and future. This is an extremely well-researched tome which provides insights into all aspects of the wine industry in China. A lot of thought, care and research have been put into producing this encyclopedia of the history of Chinese wine. The author covers the entire gamut of topics on the subject ranging from the history of wine through the dynasties, the burgeoning wine tourist industry, the different wine regions and the types of wine produced, imports and exports, the external factors that have affected the rise of wine in the country, what the future holds and even counterfeit wines and their effect on the industry. 31

Love is waiting around the next curve…but trouble is never far behind. Noemie’s Journey is a wonderfully evocative story, with enduring characters and a writing style that cuts straight to the heart. Set in the turbulent 1960s, it poignantly addresses the divide between traditional values and moral imperatives. It’s a beautiful romance whose historical setting frames the obstacles they had to overcome.


“Assassination of a US politician. You in or out?” Stefan Mendoza may be ex-Agency but he’s still supremely competent, and still very, very dangerous. He also runs the best contractor team on the black ops market in his post-apocalyptic world. Or does, until someone betrays his team to their North Korean enemies. With his team either dead or on the run, Stefan is abandoned to the vicious attentions of his NoKo captors. In one session after another, his captors have only one question: ‘who you work for?’ It’s a question Stefan can’t answer, and not just because of his Agency conditioning. Because if there’s one thing he’s realized, it’s that he simply doesn’t know. But he suspects. And that suspicion points to a betrayal that makes no sense. A betrayal that should be impossible.


“Just consider the implications, Billy. You could possess not only a physical but decisive mental advantage over your opponents and the other athletes in the would possess the added advantage of enhanced on-field visions, decision making, and playmaking ability…” -Zach Billings

In the future it is more than just a game. In a world secretly ruled by an organized crime pyramid with strange and mystical powers, crime lord Gigi Salerno is the sinister hand casting the ultimate fate of victory or defeat. But when a brilliant team doctor envisions future WFFL rosters filled out with AI, Salerno’s masters secretly decide he’s expendable. Now threatened by the intrepid ambitions of a young sports columnist determined to expose the Octagonal while faced with the covert maneuvering of a once trustworthy lieutenant and the conflicted loyalties of an unscrupulous general manager, Salerno is confronted with a dilemma and, he may have to befriend one of his enemies to vanquish his double crossing masters. Will he survive long enough to capture what he secretly desires most - the reluctant affections of a beautiful woman? 34

“...Free will is an illusion.” A frightening insight into a not-so-impossible future. This suspenseful, emotionally rich page-turner shows the dark side of the advanced technology and social networks; the twisted morals of a society driven by superficial social status and manipulated by the elite. The imperfect, realistic characters’ lives brilliantly show the possible consequences of one’s choices.


“I’d rather be an honest captain than a shit-eating colonel,” she countered, saluting and walking out. After the Great War the world population is less than three billion. Women outnumber men four to one. American women, fed up with blood and war want to keep it that way. The Athena movement begins putting women in total civic, military and political control. It’s a new America and a new world where women rule.

Newly inaugurated President of the United States Harper Jo Harman has a lot on her plate. One of the first things she looks into is the massacre at Stone Bridge. In sharp contrast to her predecessor she doesn’t want to annihilate the Rebellion, preferring instead to move them to the Relocation Zone. A brutally cruel international assassin is on the loose killing heads of Athena nations and there are powerful domestic enemies who feel she has gone too far in moderating Athena policies. Then there is Will Cameron, a breeder assigned to the newly created Vegas facility. He ignites feelings she hasn’t had since Ryan, her only love, died in the Great War.


From the Author Athena Rising is a twist on many traditional conventions and historical themes. In this novel gender discrimination isn’t frowned upon, it’s enforced but it’s women who dominate. Another interesting twist is that to maintain the Athena gender ratio of 4 to 1, female to male, childbirth becomes controlled by the state. Births are permitted or abortions are required. This of course drives Christians and other independent thinkers to the fringe of society in droves. Heterosexual sex is discouraged and even outlawed if the male isn’t an approved breeder. All males under 55 who aren’t approved breeders, based on health, demeanor and I.Q. are forcibly castrated early on, later reduced to mandated vasectomies. So whole segments of the population are outcasts. Similar to the treatment of American Indians, a Relocation Zone is established for millions of rebel Americans. All of this happens in the not too distant future after a cataclysmic war in the Middle East literally gets blown to hell by Russian and Chinese chicanery that involves nuclear destruction on a massive scale. Human nature can be a complicated study on the margins but at its core we tend to desire food, shelter and security. All of that is marginalized as the world’s population is cut in half, unleashing even more conventional violence and death. Strangely, male births are greatly reduced, interpreted as divine intervention. Across the earth women band together and proclaim “Enough!” and the Athena movement begins.


“Life is a voyage of self-discovery, and there will always be new things to learn as we take in all the experiences life has to offer.� Although geared toward teenagers and young adults, Life Lessons from a 40 something has all sorts of good advice applicable for all ages, even those of us who are 40 something as well. A pleasant read, full of Ms. Sommers personal experiences and the lessons she learned over the years.


“Trauma doesn’t have to define who you are or rob you of your freedom and joy.” Not all births are the emotionally poignant experiences you might hope for. Sometimes, due to circumstances out of anyone’s control, giving birth can be a traumatic, painful experience. Lisa Burke had such a birth. It wasn’t at all like she had envisioned. It wasn’t at all like the birth of her other children. That trauma took years to overcome. But overcome it she did. Dealing with the anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occasioned by the traumatic birth experience, was not an overnight fix. Slowly, over the course of several years, she reclaimed her life using a series of positive life skills and selfcare practices that she includes in the book with the hopes of helping other women who have experienced similar trauma.


“Everybody loved her.” Ronni is a lonely young woman who works in Fairfield View Nursing Home and really loves the patients she caters to, especially one. Violet looks upon Ronni as the daughter she never knew, and confides in her about her life story, culminating in the challenge that Ronni should write a book all about it after she dies. Rising to the challenge, Ronni begins this literary journey and discovers many surprising and heart rendering facts along the way.


“Some dreams deserve to come true, I say with tears in my eyes.� Production Values in set in the cut throat world of showbiz, and the story focuses on two partners Kat and Bea, who have stood by each other through all the highs and lows of the production business. They have completely different backgrounds, but have somehow forged a brilliant friendship, unfortunately all that is soon tested.


“Tegan’s thoughts were bitter--he had left so fast his shadow might take a while to catch up.” The Six and the Crystals of Ialana is a fast-paced, traditional hero’s journey tale. Six (seven if you count the extra kid who isn’t technically part of the “team”) kids set out on a quest to find a crystal. The story is told through multiple point of views and has a ton of action scenes that make for a fun adventure. There’s fighting, telepathy, running, screaming and a whole lot of dreaming. The writing is clean, and well edited, and while it was a fun read, there are two issues that kept me from giving any score higher than a three star. One of the things that separates a great story from an okay story, is the connection the reader gets with the characters. While The Six and the Crystals of Ialana was an okay story, it lacked in character connection. Part of the character disconnect is because of the multiple viewpoints.