International Review of Books Magazine - August 2021

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Editor’s letter

You are very welcome to our International Review of Books magazine! Well, welcome to 2021! Here at The International Review of Books, we have been making a few changes to the way we review books. Gone are the three, four, and five-star ratings. In their place, we now offer a gold, silver, or bronze seal to show visually what the reviewer thought of the work. The layout is also different. The reviewers fill out following sections:


• A general summary for context • Concise review • General thoughts on the novel Furthermore, we have a section that allows the reader to offer supportive critique. This part allows for the mention of format, spelling, or any other issues the reviewer noticed. It is not published and is shared only with the author, to offer a fresh perspective on their work and a constructive dialogue with a reader. We hope these changes better reflect the hard work writers have put into their beloved work, while giving readers a unique, rounded and spoiler-free insight into books waiting to be discovered. Welcome authors and readers, we look forward to you finding each other in these pages! Masa Radanic Reviews Editor



No matter the weather Sebastian sleeps outside and they call him silly, but he is happy. The family is happy for the day he enters their home, when he is ready. A sweet story with beautiful illustrations.

The Cargo blends Sci-fi and Paranormal Romance, fresh and entertaining as it twists werewolves mythos. The banter between our hero and the ghost of his ex-lover trapped in his mind laces the story with strong humor.


An exciting, adult/ young adult fantasy, with a strong message of working together and not looking for the lime-light, and a crescendo ending that rises to a marvellous finale.

If you’ve been struggling with developing your personal brand, then this is the book for you. Becoming your badass self will propel your endeavors to new heights!


Dimensional characters, arc of tension, evocative language and thematic purpose. Stokes left me with the uncanny feeling of looking deep into the character’s soul only to see my own reflection.

An interesting novel weaving together true history and a fabricated monster. The adventures hop around the globe and through time from 16th century Scotland, Egypt, and Spain to 19th century New York and Ireland.


An intriguing take on the history of creation and modernday people’s paths to the afterlife. This mix of philosophical and existential concepts with fantasy tropes creates an engaging novel.

Written in an interesting way, taking inspiration from true facts and adding what’s missing for it to make sense. A believable fantasy story, giving people hope in the good in the world, despite the horrors it contains.


Genesis has never been depicted with such depth and flair. The Dark One creeps amongst the beauty and sows the seeds of dissention. Well worth a read.

A woman haunted by her past, with a chance to remember that there is more to everyone than their darkest moments. Well written, bringing in the spirit of the holiday season.


The jokes in this book are great for children, and there is more to this story than laughs.

Even though I only met Ronnie in this book, she was a well developed character and it was easy to connect to her and see her personality. Well written and easy to read, with a very dynamic plot.

Fantastic writing, keping readers eager to turn the page to find out what will happen next.


They’re called the Greatest Generation for a reason! When you read the author’s thrilling account of his father’s remarkable WWII legacy, you have to pause and give thanks. Could not turn the pages fast enough!

An intriguing plot which rapidly escalated to corruption from above and within. This quickly leads to murder in order to silence those who know too much.


Intriguing and unique. Characters were thought out and carefully crafted. A well-written (but sometimes gory) novel of how the power one has attained through either God or the Devil can be used to maintain control over others.

A well-written and quick read, taking on a chapter at a time, with each chapter standing on its own idea. Many helpful, interesting thoughts, and input from a variety of philosophers.


He is a trained killer while his girlfriend abhors violence and she can sense future events - a very interesting pairing. The veneer of reality makes for an interesting read.

T.A. Bruno’s novel packs a lot of great ideas and inspiring world-building. He gives us exotic extraterrestrials, fabulous technology - as well as engaging action scenes and an immersive plot.


I really enjoyed why the author was so passionate about overcoming the power fear has on us. I’ll continue to keep working on lessons in this book. It is easy to read but powerful in message.

A fast-paced and characterdriven story with high stakes and an interesting, emotionally charged plot. It offers plenty of thrills to readers who enjoy space exploration and tight pacing.


If you are a World War II fan or enjoy art this is a great read! Intense and thrilling historical fiction full of suspense, well-developed characters, and wonderful descriptions which bring the story alive.

A slow-burning murder story. Clear, sunny skies mask the storm that’s brewing. Intriguing characters with great background and depth make this well-edited, easy-toread detective story a winner.


Rich in historical detail, it paints a clear picture of an 18th century slave colony. The use of archaic language lends an authentic voice to Elisabeth and her obsessive quest.

Written with eloquence and wisdom about the various steps or “Soulutions” we can take to heal ourselves and our devastated, divided world. Toward a more balanced, healthier, and more harmonious lifestyle.


A beautiful whirlwind tale of eternal love, family ties, and protecting the most precious aspects of life. It is easy to connect with each character, enhancing the emotional imprint of the story along with the thrilling reading experience.

A helpful book with steps and details on harnessing your inter power. If you ever wondered about mindfulness, self-criticism, visualization, hypnosis, and more, then this is a great book for you.


This book finds a fascinating way to bring the decision process to life showing errors are important and we learn throughout to find success. It has a deep and methodical outlook of the process.

A romantic fanciful novel of love, loss and unexpected newfound love. Truly touching and oftentimes sad, with a backdrop of greed, dishonesty and betrayal—with a delicious surprise ending that warms the heart.


An addictive look at the French Resistance through the tale of two lovers working to free France from the Nazis. A beautifully written must-read for historical fiction fans, which captivates from the first.

I really enjoyed the story and empathized with Molly and Dave. The story connected with each narrator and I enjoyed getting to understand each character. The great twists and turns left me shocked at the end.


It’s like spending a cozy afternoon curled up, listening to your grandfather’s stories.

A funny retelling of life as many of us knew it back then. This book was an absolute riot to read, with a dry wit I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing in years. I couldn’t stop remembering—and laughing!

This history through the lens of “everyman”, with light tone and shrewd observations, will have one nodding in agreement and chuckling throughout.


Relatable, insightful, useful and thoughtprovoking. It spoke to me and gave me clarity over my life. Recommend if you are looking for a way to boost your confidence and be the best you overall.

This heart-warming story is beautifully written and the characters have great depth. Some genuine giggle moments, and deeply touching ones. There’s a touch of reality to everything, right down to the aromas of baked goods.


Extremely insightful and thought provoking. It takes us on an incredible journey as we learn about another civilization, and through them how to have a longer, healthier, more mindful existence.

Based on personal experience of raising a dyslexic daughter, a well-researched and concise look at dyslexia. It proves we may be approaching it in the wrong way, and that dyslexics can flourish and lead beautiful and creative lives.


A wide array of topics, in a fairly well-organized and well-written book. It has some illustrations and many quotes to help present the information. Well researched topics, whether everyone agrees or not.


guide. His meanderings around his neighborhood turn into educational and enlightening experiences, as he ponders crucial roles he’s played in his life such as being a father and husband, and struggles with his aging and mortality. In direct contrast to his focus on life and death, Sam basks in her youthfulness and seeming invincibility. Sam remains oblivious to her master’s lectures on barking at other dogs, and playfully displays preoccupation with the more important things in life like greeting other dogs and chasing squirrels. Through his adoring relationship with Sam, the reader realizes that though humans and their canine companions are different, the love that they share for each other undeniably bridges this gap. This is a highly recommended and heart-warming read for animal and dog lovers alike!

This is more than just a story about a man and his dog. The author makes an everyday walk through an ordinary neighborhood an extraordinary experience by comparing people and events he experiences on his walks with his dog, Sam, to essential transitional themes humans struggle with throughout their lives. A captivating and charming example of the enduring bonds that develop between humans and their pets. At the heart of this story are Sam and her master David, who after turning sixty, decides to set upon a journey to gain a better understanding of the world around him with his faithful canine companion as his tour

Well written, immensely satisfying, and thought provoking!


practical steps not in a ‘you need to do this’ way, but more of – ‘this is what I did, and what worked for me..’ My favorite line is: “I’ve learned during this journey that it would not be one big thing that would help me move from adversity to emotional wellness; instead it would be a series of small things that, when brought together, would create change.”I think this sums up the book perfectly. We can read to simply enjoy her memoir, or take things away to be encouraged, or maybe learn to seek the positive in everything, as Rosie did. I took away from this that there is no shortcut through sorrow, but there is a way through it, and once out I can look at the world around me and appreciate all I see.

Inspiring and uplifting, Find Your Joy is a truly encouraging memoir. Learn how Rosie moves from survivor to thriver, in this positive journal-style autobiography. Rosie’s own trials are laid out in short snappy chapters, which is great for dipping in and out. Her writing style is light and easy-to-read, and I found myself racing through the pages.

Five out of five stars from me.

To have four cancer genes and two cancers is a bitter blow, as well as other events that filled her life with sadness.. I salute Rosie’s desire to help others cope with their problems, and this book certainly accomplishes that. The whole book is encouraging and uplifting, with


eloquently describes in his or her story. Just as quickly as people appear in our lives, they often disappear, leaving us bereft and bewildered about what became of our friendships. Of course, there is the other side of the coin, with authors sharing tales of enduring friendships that withstand the weathering of the passage of time. There are also tales of people discovering that they now feel close to someone who they least expected to be their friend. However long our friendships last or not, the people we call, or at one time called, friends, each make a definite impact on us in their own unique ways. This is a must read for anyone who has ever had or been a friend to someone else!

The voices in this fascinating collection of essays on friendship come through loud and clear with important and insightful messages we all need to hear.

A thoroughly enjoyable and heartfelt read! This is an invaluable book for anyone seeking insight and comprehension of the convoluted and often misunderstood road we travel known as friendship. A definite 5 star rating!

As much as I enjoyed reading the various essays, I also appreciated that the stories were organized into various categories, such as, “The Helpers,” and “Unspoken,” amongst other important groupings, to help readers distinguish between and better understand the different types of friendships we cultivate. There are as many stories of friendships as there are types of friendships, as each author so


for is at the root of the problem. Wrey portraits his path of rebellion and quest for freedom with a sensible touch. Liberty Bound impressed me with its portrayal of a postapocalyptic and stratified society. It feels well-thoughtout, and fuels the conflict of the story. When Finbarl discovers disturbing truths, he has no choice but to rebel against a cruel and corrupt society or to abandon his values. I appreciate the way he changes and matures in his decisions and determination. As he awakens to the realities around him, he goes through a lot of feelings, including the overwhelming sense that life has lost the value that it once had.

Set in the future in Athenia, the last beacon of civilization, it follows Finbarl-apcula. He leads a fulfilling life as one of the city’s protectors. Outside Athenia’s gates Ferrals, a supposed sub-human race of creatures that seek to destroy the city, roam the wilds and pose threat to the remains of civilization. Finbarl and other soldiers use the Jumblar plant to remain sharp and vigilant.

The story confronts readers with a disturbing vision of humanity. Poignant, provocative, and original, Liberty Bound is an addictive page-turner that’s not afraid to ask weighty questions.

His unquestionable faith in the system starts to wane when he’s made to lie to help convict a mother he once rescued from a bully. After discovering more lies and witnessing corruption, he realizes the civilization he is willing to die


However, there are extremist radicals who are attempting to steal this work and use it for nefarious means. Our familiars, Jacob and Petra of The R Group are brought in to find these extremists and eliminate them. The Enigma Ignite explores not only the use of nanotechnology and drones in battle in great detail, but also explores the relationships between the major characters including my favorite, Andrew, whose network was called RocknRoll and each IP was named after a famous rock star. As Andrew said, “Rock ‘n Roll will never die!” A very unique and detailed techno fiction novel which is perfect for those who would love a deep dive into the intriguing world of nanotechnology and are huge science fiction fans. For the average reader, much of the specific language of the novel is too scientific, although they may enjoy the relationship aspects of the story.

In an effort to gain the upper hand in combat, governments are turning to nanotechnology to improve their soldiers’ performance on the battlefield. When an experiment for the Chinese government goes horribly wrong, killing an entire battalion, the stakes are raised in the efforts to find a safe, reliable method of using this technology. We follow Texas university professor Su Lin as she attempts to use nanotechnology as a means to increase global food supplies, to continuing attempts to use that technology along with drones and computers to control troops to have the best advantage in battle.


the reader think. They create great detail with a well-developed plot and characters. There is a reason these authors have been praised for their work and readers keep coming back for more. Even if you haven’t read the other books, you can have an easy time getting into the story. The story and writing is that good. This science fiction story is technology heavy. But, even if you aren’t sure of the technology jargon it is written in a way that the reader will easily understand what is happening. Being the 11th book in the series I find myself wanting to read more about the world and the characters. It does continue from the other books, but I felt I picked up what was happening quickly. It just left me with a desire to know more.

Derek Shoales narrates a complex story full of mystery and intrigue, science fiction and technological elements. It is a story of villains, romance, supercomputers, and adventure. A world where people have created artificial intelligence hoping to make life easier for themselves. Now their freedom to choose is gone. The characters deal with figuring out how to live as they endure the Artificial Intelligence Wars and seek a return to freedom. Will humans win or will artificial intelligence?

This book has the elements you want in a story: villains, romance, and action. It keeps readers on their toes without being overwhelming.

The award-winning authors have designed a creative idea making


feelings as well. Details bring the story alive for the reader. We share in his memories. When he is haunted, we are haunted. As he deals with mounting guilt, we feel that guilt. The writer develops great story telling for the reader. He wants and needs a new beginning. Yet, his loss keeps him feeling sad, guilty, and alone. His feelings and life are full of conflict, dealing with what happened and deciding on the next steps of his life, including possible new love. Does he even deserve this? It is all set in the backdrop of history and everything else happening around him adding to a well-rounded story.

This is a compelling story set in the last of the 1860s, the Gilded Age. A man called The Dutchman, who travels from his homeland to America, has suffered great loss. His unborn child has died along with the love of his life.

This is a well constructed book. It is interesting historically and on an emotional level as well. It is wonderful to know this is a legend that was expanded and fictionalized to bring it to life and add emotions to it, helping readers relate.

The writer has written a great story of feelings and imagery. She has handled this story eloquently, telling an inspirational story. Written as historical fiction, she works from legend told by her family over time, which adds to the intrigue. There is more to this than a historical fiction story. It discovers



that all the issues we are facing in our society today are as old and tried and tested as humanity itself. The Travels are raising many of the cultural and religious issues and their repercussions, showing them through the lives of the story’s characters. What is faith? What does it mean to be faithful? How important is survival? How important is it to reach one’s goals? These and many other questions are faced by Thoma. I enjoyed the sweet honeyed tea-like flow of the story. Author has done a great job weaving historical facts and figures into the fabric of fiction. Reader is getting enough history and history lessons to make it all so much more serious and meaningful.

Like a slow-burning aromatic candle or a tale of one thousand and one night, The Travels of ibn Thomas whisk the reader into the dawn of civilisation as we know it. Reader is taken on the journey on many levels: geographically, culturally, religiously and psychologically. We watch Thoma ibn Thomas grow and mature from an orphan boy into a grown up man, professional, husband and father. Thoma is made by his journey as much as he was made by his genes.

All in all a very interesting, full, multi-layered story as much about human life and its place within multicultural society as it is about universal truths.

The Travels of ibn Thomas is a very interesting, suspenseful and mesmerising excursion into the 11th century. One has to stop and think


The leitmotif of the book is an enchanting metaphor of the caterpillar and the butterfly and how the beings in the human bodies embody initially the larval stage of spirituality development. The rigid beliefs that cage us need to be cast away so that we can change. The metaphor compares the enlightened awakening of the human to a butterfly that has undergone a complete metamorphosis. An abstract concept like spirituality and Oneness is very beautifully articulated by the author, which enables the reader to understand the intricate complexities of spirituality and how to attain Oneness. The depth of spiritual experience of the author is self-evident.

The book is a practical guide to attain Oneness, focused on spirituality and how to get back to our primordial state and allow the Source to operate through our body by letting go of our past templates, frameworks and archetypes.

Re-reading the book multiple times will give us multiple different perspectives to reflect, which will guide us to operate at higher frequencies and attain a higher level of spirituality through Oneness.

A fascinating story and a guide on Spirituality and how to enable the Source or our Creator to operate through our body by letting go of ourselves and thereby becoming one with Oneness. When we talk of Oneness, we talk about Nature and a respect for all the things related to life. Becoming Oneness is the sacred feminine path through enlightenment, the path of total transformation.


Jew. The story is full of “accidental meetings” that turn out to be important later on regarding rescuing Sadie, as well as a bunch of “we almost made it”moments. I found this book to be a bit better than mediocre, and I read most of it in one sitting. Many parts of the storyline and the setting are unrealistic, but it was still entertaining. There’s no real depth to any of the characters, and it was hard to make an emotional connection to them. I think I can compare this book to the “thirteen in a dozen” action movies we all watch just to be entertained for two hours and nothing else.

Poland, 1920: Sadie, a Jewish girl, falls in love with Alex, a non-Jewish professor and former war hero. They are discovered, and her parents force her into a marriage with a wealthy Argentinian Jew. The wedding turns out to be a sham. Sadie ends up in the hands of the Zwi Migdal, a mafia-like organization that, amongst other things, “steal” Jewish girls by pretending to marry them but place the girls in Argentinian brothels instead. Alex finds out about this and vows to never rest until she is safely back in his arms. Given that it is 1920, I found it a bit unrealistic that a Jewish girl would actively pursue the man who is not only her professor but also not a


flow of the story. As a ghost, she thought at first how she was attached to her corpse, and that limited her ability to interact with the world. After her corpse was discovered, and the cop responsible for the investigation took possession of her necklace, she found out that it was the object she was attached to. It’s a wise use of perspective as Julia was able to investigate along with the cop who wanted to accuse her husband of murder. The book also has a certain “time travel” feel. Since Julia was murdered about three decades ago, we were allowed to see things from her perspective whenever modern developments were mentioned in the story.

Julia’s Heart by Loretta Ross is a novel that wonderfully combines suspense, mystery and heart. This is a mystery book that has not lost its soul. While you try to discover facts that would prove or disprove your own theories, you do not lose your concern for the characters presented to you. You want to know their motives and their hurts, to put yourself in their shoes as you try to imagine what went wrong and what caused them to do the things they’ve done.

In the end, the novel would not only touch your heart and imagination. It would also bring to mind very important questions about our mortality and the importance of the time given to us.

Even the fact of Julia being a ghost has been used well to help in the


with tantalizing mystical hints from people the protagonists meet on their way to combat something supernatural is novel in the best way possible. This book is nothing like what I’ve read before. My advice would be to let yourself get pulled in and fully immersed in it, accepting whatever it’s throwing at you. If some things don’t make sense I wouldn’t worry too much about it - it was either never meant to make sense or you’ll have a light bulb moment later on when you realise what it was about. With this book being so far out of the ordinary, I simply didn’t know what to expect.

‘Ghost’ is the first book in The Justice Chronicles. It follows an FBI profiler, Kate Justice, in her task to capture a serial killer with seemingly supernatural powers, who threatened her own life a year ago. Haunted by that traumatic event and revelations which keep presenting themselves as snippets that only Kate and her new partner Chris seem to be able to connect, they are faced with challenges beyond imaginable.

All I can say is I can’t wait to read the rest of the series and can only hope I’m better prepared to take everything in its stride without gasping aloud quite so often whilst frantically turning the pages, needing to know what it all means and what happens next.

Fast-paced and packed with interesting facts about anything from antique cars to Biblical texts, this book makes a captivating read. Its approach to using standard FBI profiling techniques combined


The focus is on the protagonist and the ordeals he faces, and how he overcomes them in the end. He is a vaccine scientist that has developed a potential vaccine for the coronavirus, yet burdened with guilt for not being able to save his wife. There are numerous twists in the story and just when you think you are beginning to get the hang of it, there is yet another surprising twist that keeps the reader on his toes. It is a fast paced thriller that ensures you keep turning the pages to know what is going to happen next.

A story quite relevant for the current times. A raging pandemic, a stunning conspiracy and a racy action thriller. All ingredients that come together to form a stunning thriller from start to finish. A simple story line with non stop action that enables the reader to quickly breeze through the pages and observe how the confounding twists in the story make for an absorbing ending.

The conspiracy which is not to be revealed is an underlying theme that also drives the story, and the ending has a surprise twist yet again. A racy thriller which offers a quick breezy read on a lazy afternoon.

A fast paced action thriller that revolves around the current COVID 19 pandemic and tries to provide some high level insights about the virus and the race by various countries to obtain the secrets of the vaccine in order to produce it on a commercial scale.


The book is peppered with facts and figures and other data that will help an ordinary investor build his knowledge and manage his investments in an effective manner. It helps the investor undertake suitable investment choices that enable him to build his wealth over a period of time by focusing on existing and emerging options and allocating his funds to various asset classes through a structured financial plan. Key asset class metrics are categorized and explained beautifully for each asset Scarcity, Rarity, Provenance, Condition and Historical Importance. In short, the book helps you to develop a concrete set of skills and tools required to evaluate each asset class from a holistic perspective and it provides sample frameworks to select the best options in an asset class and a strategy to incorporate those collectibles into your portfolio in order to help you to achieve your long term investment objectives.

A beautifully written book on Collectibles and how to invest in them to reap the maximum benefits for the long term future. The deep experience of the author is reflected in the approach followed in the book for explaining various concepts related to investing in Collectibles. The book imparts a lucid understanding of what are collectibles and how to evaluate collectible investments. The author shares his genuine appreciation for them as an investment avenue and explains why they are a sound and substantial addition to your investment portfolio.

An excellent book to build your confidence and find your way as an investor in collectibles.


What follows is a Da-Vinci Code-like adventure as mysterious higher powers become involved in the search for the valuable Globe and Codex. Yael, a dangerous and worthy foe is hired to find the thieves and solve the crime, working discreetly to keep the information from both the public and even the Vatican, yet all is not what it seems to be, the biggest twist is yet to come! This novel was fast paced and so shrouded in mystery that it kept my interest until the end, the characters were well written and despite being the supposed ‘bad guy’, I found myself needing to know more about the enigmatic Yael and even more about the secret prophecy and what it foretold.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading the first instalment of The Magdalene Prophecy, but from the start I was roped in. Beginning with the findings of an almost mythical artefact ‘The bronze globe’ with history steeped in suspicion was exciting and set the scene for this fast paced mystery.

The ending of the book spoke of much more to come, so onto the next Magdalene Prophecy instalment I go... Enjoyable and easy to read, fast paced and full of questions that keep you wanting more.

Set in Rome, a beautiful but also stifling atmosphere emerged as two former lovers worked feverishly to keep some important religious artefacts falling into the wrong hands, believing wholeheartedly in the prophecy of Mary Magdalene.


meditation, spirituality, self reflection and much more. Whether you are facing your past, dealing with present anxieties, mental health, tragedy or other you can bet on this book leading you through it one step at a time. There isn’t pressure to do it one way vs another, just expertise on how to change only yourself- which is our only real control (as explained in this book). Melody has beautifully crafted a labor of love to help anyone overcome their obstacles. It’s even easy for children and teens to apply as it’s written for all audiences.

In 1349, when the Black Death pandemic devastates her village, weaver’s daughter Alys, trapped in a loveless marriage, learns courage and compassion towards others. But as Spring brings new hope of a return to normal life, she looks for a way to free herself and follow her heart.

When something bothers you, something saddens you, pick this book up and reread it again. It will help you with your own self care and mental health. Well written, down to earth and with easy to digest advice and techniques that will simplify life not over complicate it. Really enjoyed reading it.

This book is written with advice, quotes, personal dialogue from the author and applicable tips you can use anytime/anywhere. The author wrote this book for facing challenges both inner and outer ones. The best way to read this book is by taking notes and journaling alongside. There are tips for positive affirmations,


the decisions people make often showcase the best and worst of human nature. Anstey is adept in portraying both. The reader is carried flawlessly from extreme highs to extreme lows as they follow the plights of the characters. The plot moves along smoothly and steadily with few surprises, but with enough intrigue to keep the reader engaged. The book is well-researched and documented and the author’s use of formal language and archaic expressions only add to the general atmosphere and mood of the story.

In 1349, when the Black Death pandemic devastates her village, weaver’s daughter Alys, trapped in a loveless marriage, learns courage and compassion towards others. But as Spring brings new hope of a return to normal life, she looks for a way to free herself and follow her heart.

The book speaks to the resilience of the human spirit and the belief that better times will come if they hold on to their faith and their humanity. I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction who also enjoy the work of authors like Ken Follet.

Thirteen Forty-nine is a timely work of fiction that sheds light on the plight of those affected by the Black Plague in the mid-thirteen hundreds. The author’s attention to detail in describing not only the physical ravages of the plague, but also the emotional and psychological effects, is to be commended. As with most major disasters, 43

experiences. She has made me want to get out there and risk more, see the world, and grow deeply as a result. I reveled in her adventures and cheered her on as she explored wonderful and sometimes dangerous places I was especially struck by her courage, not only to face being the only black AfricanAmerican girl in an all-white California neighborhood, but also among the first two black female students at med school. She describes gaining confidence while traveling and living outside the U.S. Her amazing spirit allowed her to carry on despite obstacles and embrace life. The author, Cornelia E. Davis, is a remarkable human being, global practicing physician, and world-wide traveler. In her compelling memoir/ self-help book, she shares her amazing experiences on how to live well while taking intelligent risks. As a result, we see how her willingness to do this on a global scale has enriched her life, brought many friends from around the world, and helped others through her medical practice in remote places where the need is greatest. Dr. Davis is a wonderful tour guide and I learned not only from her life lessons, but by her incredible travel


I loved this memoir/self-help manual and learning about oneself through intelligent risk-taking while traveling. To see the world through the eyes of the remarkable author was a privilege and pleasure! I highly recommend this wonderful book to readers who love to travel and seek personal growth as a result.

something to do with being genetically predetermined to ultimate happiness. On the other side we explore the afterlife. I found it’s system very interesting. It’s what you did in life, if you left a mark with your personality, or what had an impact on you, that determined your rank there. And then there is Death and his younger brother, the OM. It’s hard to determine in which “box” to put the book or even how to characterize it, and that is its biggest charm. The storyline is quite segmented and reads more like a collection of short stories that fit loosely together.

The book is segmented into 12 chapters, each focusing on a different character, with a theme underlying all stories. Life and death. Passage of time and how important memories are. How our actions in life, and what we do, affect our afterlife and what brings the most meaning to it all.

I love the uniqueness of the Author’s approach to the question of life and death, and philosophical musing. It made me think, it was touching and often funny. It’s one of the most creative books I’ve read and I greatly enjoyed it.

The characters are in different stages of their life or afterlife, so each provides a unique aspect and philosophical musing on their stage in the process. AJ, an 11-year-old girl, is terminally ill, and her brother, somewhat of a mad genius, declares a war on death. AJ on the other hand is barely bothered, which might have




text and it was easy to keep track of the characters (ie who they were in relation to the main character, their shared history, etc). You have here a man intent on revenge towards the people who he feels ruined his life while he was defending his country. In addition he also saved the life of one of his fellow soldiers and was condemned for that heroic act as well. Now it’s payback time, unfortunately for those he hates. These types of books usually become gruesomely descriptive. I happen to enjoy this genre and thought the writer wrote realistically and captured the weaknesses and strengths of each of the characters. I surprisingly was even able to dredge up a little sympathy for the killer, which adds to the realism of the novel as well.

A scary story that will keep you up at night, so be warned! It begins with a very graphic description of a cold-blooded murder of a mother and daughter. What adds to the fright and terror the reader feels is the question of “why?” A seemingly normal average family that is changed in an instant. As we proceed through the book, there are more horrific murders taking place for a very specific reason. I definitely enjoyed this novel. Well written and fast-paced plot (I dislike stories that just go on and on and you end up skimming through the book). This had just the right amount of


The Cold War setting is gripping, with world balance of power at question. As critical American intel is shared by a traitor with Soviet spies, we understand how precariously — perhaps as never before — the Free World hung by a delicate thread. Fiction often illuminates truth more authentically than pure historical fact, and that’s the case here. I especially liked the winding narrative, the skillful way in which the author draws psychological portraits of key characters, and the keen insight into a world in crisis. I found myself reading into the early morning, unaware of a fierce thunderstorm that bellowed outside. That’s evidence of a story well-told and happy escapism into another world when current events feel overwhelming.

The second in the Quinn Chase detective series is a treasure for spy thriller fans. It follows Searching for Edgar’s Five Dancers, which introduced readers to the compelling main character Chase. In author Efren O’Brien’s latest, Down Heartbreak Boulevard, we’re taken on a wild ride from New York to Europe to laboratories in New Mexico, as the Cold War rages. The race is on for nuclear supremacy, and Chase gets embroiled in something bigger than he could imagine as he works to solve successive murders in Santa Fe. As he does, readers find themselves pinned to the page as the twists and turns of the deftly written narrative unspool.

Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, international espionage, crime thrillers, and twisty mysteries. I loved it and want to read more by the author.


to be made here if one is determined enough to push the limits... characteristics often associated with the typical New Yorker. That being said, the stories are entertaining and softened by the author’s own sense of humor. He refuses to take himself too seriously, finding the common thread in his experiences that allow even those not born and raised in New York to nod and smile in agreement. Only in New York taps into the mythology surrounding the city in a highly personal and entertaining way. Each story is a vignette illustrating an evocative episode in the author’s life. Rather than a chronological list of life events, the reader is presented with a vivid portrait of life in the city through the eyes of someone who lived and loved it. In the end, we not only come away with a new appreciation of the city, but the feeling that we have met a new friend.

A collection of short stories that present snapshots of the author’s life in New York City. It’s like sitting down over drinks with an old friend and reminiscing about the “old days.” The city pulses with life as the reader encounters colorful characters and experiences that are especially unique to life in New York. Unified by a singular perspective, this collection of short stories underscores a passionate love for a city whose diverse nature encompasses the gritty underworld of crime bosses and the high rolling executives of Wall Street and the advertising world. The underlying message here is that there is money


that is about the people as well as the artifact. More than an artifact is dug up in this story. There are questions surrounding it that need to be answered. What does this find really mean? What is the story behind it? Finding the answers makes the reader eager to know what is happening and what happened long ago. Every step of this story adds more details. It is full of everything you are looking for in historical fiction with some mystery and romance. This is a fascinating world throughout two timelines and two worlds found in the same place. The world has changed since the artifact had last seen the light and the writer did well relaying it. The design of the book is great throughout, with a very interesting story idea.

The writing in this book is superb. I felt like I was at Hadrian’s Wall with a group of students on an artifact dig. His descriptions of what was happening, what the characters felt and saw were wonderful. I also felt like I traveled into the past where the artifact originated. These details brought the story alive. Yet, it is more than about finding an artifact. There is a story of love and mystery as well. This creates added interest in the book. The main character has to deal with going on an important mission that could risk his future career and the hardship of theft. The author intermingles the two timelines into a complete story


were. She is encouraging, supportive, proud and shares stories of her past with them. A third theme that pervaded the novel was persistence. In the beginning, Piperlicious just wanted to go on a treasure hunt. When she learned she would be going to Hawaii, she did the research to find out about a missing treasure there and figured out what she would need to overcome the obstacles. She put the work in and was able to succeed. This is an important lesson for children.

An adorable children’s book that provides plenty of adventure and opportunity for children to use their imaginations as they read the story or have it read to them.

The illustrations were another highlight of the story, making the characters bright eyed and engaging. All in all, it was a very enjoyable book.

I absolutely love that Piperlicious was given this trip as a reward in a contest for the National Feed American Children competition. It also was heartwarming that the King and Queen wrote a big check for charity at the end of the story. This shows that adults do follow through with their promises. There were several other themes in the book that were clear. Sisters getting along and cooperating was a huge theme! It was nice to see how Piperlicious included her sister in everything she did. I loved that another theme was the relationship that the girls had with their grandmother. As a grandmother to two, I enjoyed seeing how close the three of them


rules of law and society clash constantly as each individual pushes their own interpretation of justice. They rationalize constantly to justify their illegal, unethical and immoral behavior until the end. I didn’t fully realize the intent of the author until the end, when he draws a distinct parallel between the incidents described in the novel to the atrocities taking place currently— sex trafficking, the complex and heartbreaking immigration situation, and of course the fight against a worldwide and deadly pandemic. While the legalities and language of the law has changed since the nineteenth century, it appears that we are still hounded by these horrendous problems.

A murder haunts the occupants of a nineteenth century community as they try to pin it on a man who had the most to gain by killing the Rabbi. A community which, by their own admission, strives to promote and gain through vices such as gambling, prostitution and dubious medical practices. An interesting take on the unraveling of a community as they turn against each other as opposed to banding together. A murder brings out the worst traits in each character as they attempt to justify their abhorrent behavior to others as well as to themselves. Since this takes place during the nineteenth century, the


As a cousin of the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., I like to think of myself as somewhat more learned in the field of economics. However, as the author succinctly phrased it, many of us don’t know what we don’t know. Truer words were never spoken. An honest and thought-provoking expose on our future as a possible and potential cashless society, this should be read by all who have a vested interest in the machinations of our financial systems and its capabilities—which basically is all of us. A supremely well written and understandable (surprisingly so!) history and insightful explanation of China’s innovative moves on its digital currency revolution, as well as an advocate for social media and its myriad benefits It also takes into account the devastating effects of the pandemic as it impacted the use of paper money as well as destroying the livelihood and financial potential of billions of people in America and around the world. The facts and figures described here were both shocking and enlightening and I feel this book should be read by anyone who has money in their wallets—or bank accounts.



of responsibilities. 2.Using templates to ensure work is done exactly the same each time. 3.Revision tables to detail document changes. 4.Identifying purpose and scope. 5. Definition of special and unique terms. 6. Workers’ duties. 7. Instructions for executing the procedure. 8.Identification of documents used during the procedure. 9.Understanding what needs to be included in a “Record” 10. Use of attachments— additional information needed to do a procedure. 11.Types of errors the author has seen over her many years in the business. 12. Final summary on “what to do” to get the job done right.

Although I have no experience as a technical writer in the nuclear power industry, I was able to learn a great deal by reading this deftly written, beautifully designed guide. If I were in the industry, I’d snap this up in a heartbeat to hone my skills and prevent what could be deadly accidents. It would become my “Bible,” filled with easy-to-follow directions from Cat Stephenson, a 25-year veteran in the field.

With a list of Resources that aid in writing or reviewing procedures in the industry. This is a masterful example of “what to do” in sharing a quarter-century of wisdom with others who can benefit. Kudos to the author on a tremendous job well done!

The author clearly lays out the most common problems in procedure writing and offers solutions for each — an incredible support for anyone so tasked. The guide describes “what to do” in 10 chapters: 1. A clearly delineated description


there is life after death. Memories after loss. This is the new hope. This book took me a while to get through, not because it wasn’t wonderfully put together, but because it tugged on my heart strings and made me cry a few times. I say this to prepare you for the emotional ride the author and therapist takes us on. Each story will make you smile too with the lessons, and wisdom from those involved. When you are faced with death there is much sadness, but each of these stories shows you that even when life is short lived it can be lived to the fullest and can still make an impact.

A collection of stories about redetermining hope in the most difficult of times. There are children’s accounts of battling cancer and how they want to live the rest of their numbered lives.

This book reminds us that we must always learn, grow, pivot and aim for happiness. Our journey isn’t done on earth until we are no longer here and onto life after death.

There are stories about battling complicated grief and sudden loss after violence in a school and its effect on survivors, victims families and surrounding community.

I definitely believe this book should be read and reread.

This is not the hope for something good to come your way, but a hope to find beauty in the sadder times, to have hope that each darker time can have light and that each parting is only a temporary condition, that


in a violent episode. However, at this point the reader feels he perhaps has finally learned the truth of his existence and, if given a second chance, will try to make better choices and a better life for himself. We hope he succeeds. What a cast of characters. It is important to understand the abuse and squalor these people are forced to deal with, the lack of education and the ability to analyze their choices in life. We are taken into lives that we may have no conception of unless we hear of them on the news. Rather than passing judgment on these misguided souls, if we can read this novel with empathy and sympathy we can learn and try to understand the souls of these underprivileged individuals. It’s a unique story for a type of unique reader, one who will be immersed in the plot rather than judge it.

The reader has to delve past the foul language to get into the heart of the story—which is that talented people with good hearts and caring souls can make consistently bad choices in life, which is what the protagonist does, over and over again. In his search for friendship and love, he attaches himself to people who are readily accessible to him. He trusts them and the comfort—albeit temporary—that they offer, and is disappointed over and over again. Rather than learn from these experiences, he nevertheless goes out of his way and continues to try to help them, which unfortunately culminates


dismember animals that can be cooked and eaten. Some see Kitt as a vicious, cold-hearted monster; others view him as doing what he has to do to survive and help his parents as they struggle to exist in an uncivilized barbaric environment. Despite the violent and primitive tasks the family does, Kitt still tries to get paid for his work in books and printed materials rather than gold and silver, which he does not value. He asks himself if all roads leading to accomplishments and knowledge are barred from him, and he must therefore take the warrior’s road? We are left with this thought - that perhaps he does not see himself as a killer or craftsman or swordsman but as a learned individual who is doomed to not follow his chosen course of life as it is forbidden to him.

“If he does decide that you are worthy of his steel, then you’ll get a blade that has no equal, you’ll pay the earth for it, and anyone who wants it has to prize it from your dying hands.” Aslaug, Kitt’s mother, is forced to allow her husband Eckehart to teach the son the skill of creating swords of steel and using the instruments to become an expert swordsman. These teachings are necessary as there are many different types of soldiers from different countries that intend to do harm to those they meet. It is also how people survive, as the expertly made swords kill and


group of unlikely coworkers intent on foiling terrorists’ plans. The book is full of great characters, all of them have depth. I particularly like Brother Al, a monk who joins the team to help get them access to religious places. He’s a Benedictine monk who’s a crack-shot, and has an Obi-Wan Kenobi aura (or so Brandt thinks)! I really liked how much personal stuff was worked in about the characters, it really brought them to life. The love interest was subtle, but valid and added to the story. The characters are rocksolid, the plot flows swiftly. This is a meaty epic in the world of gripping espionage thrillers.

This exciting thriller is a flawlessly executed espionage tale that will keep you turning pages! Every great book needs a great protagonist, and Steadman gives us that with Brandt. He’s that quiet hero who doesn’t seek the limelight; he has moments of greatness and yet feels more at home when he’s in front of a lovely setting that he can paint. He’s torn between his art and his work with the CIA, and he’s not sure how he’d cope except for Casey (a field agent and his partner in life) who keeps him grounded.

The Prague Connection really is a not-to-bemissed thriller, with spoton settings, believable characters and a frighteningly believable plot, Steadman proves himself yet again as a political thriller writer to be taken seriously.

In a world where every day evil is looking for victims, comes a


to retain their place in the hierarchy. The plan comes to fruition and they return to their rightful homes, thrilled with their journey and the feeling they helped the birds accomplish something great. To use the word again I found the story to be utterly engrossing and magical. Well written with colorful descriptions of life as the children experienced it, and the historical context and significance of their surroundings. Even if one has not visited Athens, you are still transported to that era and can visually “see” every detail the children see. The illustrations are gorgeous, really. Appropriate without being childish. This book does not talk down to children, but achieves its purpose of whisking the reader away on a unique journey. I loved every page.

A truly magical and vivid story in which you can almost smell the wares of the marketplace and see the pottery and wares being offered for sale. Two children--a boy and a girl-- visit a pet store and discover two birds trapped in a cage. Not just ordinary birds, however, but TALKING birds! Through a conversation with the animals, they learn the birds wish to return to the land they came from, and the children agree to help in this journey. As a reward, the boy and girl are able to also get to the magical kingdom of the birds, an experience not usually offered to humans. Inside the birds’ world, they come up with the idea to build a city in the sky which would enable the inhabitants


abuse goes on and on, but she thinks of nothing but the welfare of her children. No one in the town they live in offers to help, including her two sisters. When she is left an olive farm by her uncle, her other family members become enraged and cut her off completely. The story continues with two of her older children developing a friendship with a well-off Jewish family, which includes a brother and sister. The friendship spans years, and as the story unfolds we are taken through the reign of Mussolini and Hitler, the death camps, the sadism of the military, and the worsening war. We learn of the older son Geno, who is forced to enlist, the Jewish woman he loves, his sister and her feelings for the Jewish brother, and what happens to these individuals as they live through the war, never losing hope that happiness is within reach. ,

A riveting story about a poor Italian family, a mother who has ten children, and an abusive husband who cares for nothing but himself. The story takes us through the mother’s fervent desire to feed and clothe her children, the fear and punishment she has to live through, and the selflessness she personifies in her struggles to survive in an arranged and tormented marriage. The story begins when we learn that Raffaela was given to her husband by her father, who had only the best of intentions. However, Giuseppe was a monster disguised as a human being. The beatings and verbal


important or outstanding treats. I also loved the variety of the characters, even though I could not easily connect to Vesta; she was, however, a strong woman with a great sense of logic, independence, and trust in her own skills. I won’t approve of all her choices, nevertheless in the end I had to admit I understood her. The ending also promises development in some other characters, so it would be interesting to continue the series. From my perspective, it is clear the author has done the research and probably even travelled to all the places mentioned in the book. I have been to a few of them, and I definitely felt an echo of my own memories, the atmosphere of the places and my own experience. Moreover, the passion for tarot reading and for the secrets, myths, and historical facts surrounding its creation and symbolism, is clearly radiating from the pages.

A very interesting story that could be written easily as a standalone, but has the potential to draw the reader into the flow enough to make them want to continue. It has a natural flow, focused on the storyline and the heroine. The elements of fantasy are not too strong, though certainly strengthening towards the end and accompanied mostly by the revelations about Vesta; however, I believe this will change in the next book.

The book was nicely written, with some engaging dialogues and interesting scenes.

Places and characters are believably described, zeroed in on the most




and the world through his eyes and through his ponderings. Although The Sandman is set around golf, this isn’t really a book about golf. It is much more than that. It is a deep, and thoroughly lovely, look and expression into what happiness is. It reflects on life, dreams and integrity. It is superbly written, and like the flow of a trickling brook it is completely relaxing and mesmerizing. David W. Berner takes us on a bird’s eye tour behind the passion of golf, behind the game itself and into the appreciation of nature and the company of likeminded people. This is a gem of a novella, a five star story that’s well worth a read.

What an absolute delight this piece of literary fiction is! With vivid descriptions, excellent character portrayals and an engaging storyarc I was hooked from page one; what’s more I couldn’t put it down until I’d reached the last page.

A beautiful novella, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely read more by this author.

The opening is clever. We never see Jimmy the tramp, but we are instantly presented with questions. Who is he? Why does he walk the fairway of the Old Elm Golf Course in his bare feet? And most importantly, what has happened to him? His obvious love of the game is lost on the grounds man, who has had enough of the vagrant’s presence. Yet, the boy is intrigued by him. I was gripped by his day on the golf course, seeing the game


This book is a rainbow of bright and hopeful wisdom, of ageless ideas that inspire humans to raise their energies to new levels of consciousness and spiritual evolution.. This book is written by an advanced healer who introduces many concepts connecting consciousness to the oneness, the source centre, so vital for touching the flame of true healing connection. While so many of the concepts are intriguing, there is a smorgasbord of information that may seem overwhelming at times. For instance, the book touches on many topics: guides, angels, dimensions, automatic writing, time, reiki, death, channeled messages, quantum physics, and the creative power of thought, just to name a few. At times, the reader may need prior information to understand the extraordinary concepts that move rapidly throughout this writing. Nevertheless, the author is a visionary, and his book will open new channels for anyone who dares to read it.

A fascinating albeit complex look into the many mysteries of the Universe and its Creator. The author clearly states his purpose in writing this book—to achieve world peace and become a gentler nation (ascended). We are asked to draw our own conclusions from what we’ve learned here. While it is a lot of information to disseminate and absorb, I found it incredible that one person can put forth these ideas on the Universe so succinctly and so clearly that it can be read and understood by any individual motivated to learn more about our Creation. A must read for anyone willing to stretch the boundaries of their mind. -


Dark yet engaging read with interesting premise and potential to grow into a great series. The everlasting battle of good and evil, of celestial beings and demons, will never grow old, and the ways to use the theme together with the portraying of the nephilim are endless.

After an attack on Ariel’s Gate, the orphanage for peculiar children who are unaware of their legacy, the Gate is quickly disassembled and the children sent their own ways. But the evil intervenes, and only the oldest few survive under the ex-military, ex-inmate who has taken a vow he is now about to fulfil. Though fate, God, and love have all their own means to steer the lives of any beings walking the human realm.

First half of the book has a big potential for improvement - the set up and general introduction into the story was too long and


There is blossoming romance that worms its way into the reader’s heart and is able to play with the reader’s emotions if they get tuned into the story. Especially in the second half of the book there is a lot of action and tension, interpersonal drama, and challenging decisions to be made that test and/or prove the

characters’ personalities and morals. Secrets are revealed gradually to keep the mystery level high, and even the element of religion is kept balanced to not disturb anyone, believer or not.


lagging for me. Once it was revealed to us what we are reading about, the whole book turned 180. The story progressed at a rapid pace, I noticed a higher ratio of dialogues and forwarddriving storytelling, was finally able to make an emotional connection with the characters, see the development in them, and appreciate the general dynamics in the book, relationship-, emotions-, and storywise.

“Is God here for me or am I here for God?”


self care, mental health, and how you can care for others.

This book really breaks down areas of your life you can improve on that’ll impact productivity. In focusing on each sub group you can apply it to life so you lead a healthier lifestyle.

This information I found was great to share with my kids in helping them care for themselves more, and living a better, healthier lifestyle. I love how the information can be read to most ages such as teens and adults.

The book is about productivity, it goes through each part of the day including sleep, eating, routine, movement and circadian clock. Each sub section though can assist with living a better life for more than just productivity. It’s about

I learned about BDNF, and how my age group getting 7-9 hours of sleep is absolutely necessary.


I really needed to read this information, and will continue to go over it again and again. It’ll be helpful for the present and future. I never realized that productivity can be impacted by so many things and that living with more balance, healthy choices, and making better choices can impact so much. It makes me wonder why more businesses and more employees/entrepreneurs don’t focus more on these areas as a


What’s great is you can apply each sub category of information to your day to day and take little steps to correcting things, especially your circadian rhythm.

community where it would make the biggest impacts financially. I valued the information tremendously. You should definitely give the book a try.






“I believe it’s when we give without asking for anything in return that we fulfill our best potential as human beings.”

way that I almost felt like a voyeur, glancing into the souls of both Luna and Lucien. The long diary extracts emphasize this feeling.

This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. There is so much to say, I hardly know where to begin! This is both a tender love story, and a glimpse into Cambodia.

Lucien is a man of habit, and one afternoon he sits down in his favorite café to discover a diary left on a chair. Not able to help himself, he is drawn to the author who has left no name or clue of who she is. He empathizes with her struggles, and a yearning for love is ignited within him.

The book is written in such an intimate, deeply philosophical


Evy Journey delves deep into her main character’s personalities, pulling back layers to discover their essence. I drank in the message that has been poured into this novel, like… we may have tenacious self-control, but in the end our feelings will have their day. Amongst the busy, scurrying of ‘doing’ we need to cherish the moments when we sit under our own

mango tree, and just ‘be.’


Luna is given the diary by the person she loves most in the world, her grandmother. Raised by her grandmother in Honolulu, Luna is lost and lonely when she is taken to live with her parents in California. At this stage we have elements of ‘The Notebook’ and I was hooked by the romance that follows.

All the above would have been enough to make this a tender and moving love story. But there is more to come. Tears aside, I was so happy to have come across this book. Emotive, gripping and sweeping this is a beautiful tale that I will remember for a long time.


While currently considered predominantly a New Age activity, the author points out that appreciation of the healing properties of crystals has been around for millenia, and has occurred in many diverse times, cultures and practices. The use of crystals, he says, can help everyone on their own spiritual journey, regardless of their religious persuasion, although he particularly references Christians and the Bible.

I learned something about the crystal culture, and was slightly surprised it seems to be as popular as the author contends. There were helpful lists of what would be considered the main crystals to achieve certain goals/intentions. The author is not offering a panacea, rather stating that people need to find their own path, and that crystals could be just one more tool to help them along the way. There were many beautiful pictures


It is a quick read, and useful for someone who wants to know a little more about this area. It is not science, nor is it intended to be, but rather is designed to give people something to focus on while dealing with issues. Every child for example has a favourite rock that they find, and “just like”, and the author says this is how people should find their own crystals, by trusting that feeling.

I liked the science part (where he dealt with crystal formations and chemical reactions).


of crystals throughout the book. I didn’t like that there were a couple of mentions of prominent people who, in my opinion, would not normally be associated with crystals, and for me their names were out of place here.

Overall, written with a definite audience in mind so does not disappoint from that perspective. Tries to cover a lot, without overwhelming the novice. For those interested in this area, it will be an informative read, and a useful primer.


Catrin is a very strong female lead despite her very young age, forced to mature early thanks to all the horrible situations she had to live through or witness. Not only her physical prowess but also her mental strength shape her into an admirable heroine, suffering through a range of emotions and letting her weaknesses teach her how to turn them into strengths too. Marcellus, on the other hand, is a little lost, not only because of the memory loss, but also

Gladiator games, Celtic druids, sorcery, slavery, love that seem to be doomed and cursed by everything. All those are the flavors of this intriguing story, following the paths of our two main characters, divided and waiting to be united. Vivid descriptions and occasional mentions of historical facts create a believable world, society, and customs.


Even though I haven’t read the previous two books, it was not too difficult to get into the flow of the story and navigate the world building. It’s easy to read the book as a standalone, important events from the past are always explained to get the fuller picture, references give hints, and I got familiar with the characters fairly easily.

The book is written coherently and develops smoothly, with appropriate language reflecting the historical era the story is set into. I have to say I really enjoyed it and jumping into the series later motivates me to go grab the first two books to catch up and then continue reading the next one.


due to several bad decisions or not understanding the situation. Yet I can’t hold a grudge against him, seeing that his heart is true. Their interactions are very enjoyable, and the sudden turns in their relationship are making the read even more interesting.


personal circumstances, and the author’s reactions to certain public events.

“The shattered glass pieces start to look like a puzzle.” Observation of the Moment is a short collection of poems the poet himself said he never planned on writing. The topics range from his memories of growing up in New York to his grandfather’s eulogy. Interspersed between these intimate writings are poems about daily life, current international and

In general, the poems are written in free verse, following the natural cadence of the speaker. However, the author used several techniques that added to the variety of his writing style. In many of the poems, the poet directly addresses an unknown “you,” probably meant to be the reader in most cases. In a few, the “you” is clarified


I especially liked the contrast between the poet’s careful diction and his immigrant parents’ speech patterns in “It’s Tough Love,” as a nod to dialect poetry. While the poem “Reborn” contains a masterful example of concrete poetry. Readers who are inclined to traditional poetry may not enjoy Observation of the Moment as much. Most of the descriptions center around the author’s thoughts, his observations about specific events, rather than focusing on the physical surroundings, such as the sights, sounds, or responses to physical stimuli.

Despite those limitations, the writing flows well, and the poems are thoughtprovoking.


in a footnote or the commentary section. In others, the identity of the apostrophe “you” remains elusive.




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