Afternoon – Robert Lampros, A YA Religious Fiction

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Title: Afternoon

Author: Robert Lampros

Type: Religious Fiction, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Afternoon Cover (5.5x8.5)

Blurb:

Afternoon is a novella for young adults about courage, faith in Jesus Christ, and growing up in a surreal and challenging world.

It’s been a while since I’ve read religious YA fiction, and I couldn’t ask for a better reintroduction to the genre. I usually don’t read these types of books, but this Afternoon made me want to read more! Just to tell you folks, if this genre isn’t really your cup of tea, go ahead and read this. You won’t regret it, I’m sure.

So what exactly did I enjoy about this book? There are many things, but the main reasons are:

  1. The writing was clear, I loved how the sentences were constructed.
  2.  The topic, and how the author writes about it. The main character’s meeting with Jesus was somehow relatable to me, since I’ve imagined meeting Him in a field of flowers too.
  3.  The storytelling was vivid, and you could easily relate to the events in the book.
  4.  The writing was soothing, and you feel like cheering the main protagonist on throughout the whole book.
  5.  I love how the writing tells us about the character’s love for God. It was heartfelt, and what the character tells Him when praying is really touching.
As you can see from the list here, I highly approve of this book. There are some things the author can work on, like making transitions between events more smooth, and creating an ending that would give readers a sense of closure.
Otherwise, this book was highly enjoyable, and I recommend this novel to any age who would enjoy a nice, soothing read about Him.

Stenibelle (League of Elder) – Blog Tour Post

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STENIBELLE-TOUR-GRACIA

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The Author, Mr. Ren Garcia:

Ren colored

Title: Stenibelle (League of Shadows)

Author: Ren Garcia

Type: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Steampunk

Rating: 4 stars

Blurb:

THE 3rd TURN OF THE SHADOW TECH GODDESS The quest of Paymaster Stenstrom spans the planes, taking a bizarre turn in the 3rd universe, as there he is not an affluent man but a woman in desperate circumstances. Lady Stenibelle is imprisoned for her role in the Seeker Affair, is penniless, and her House of Belmont-South Tyrol is on the verge of extinction. Her spirit broken, Stenibelle is resigned to perform her sentence without fuss, do as she is told, and fade away in obscurity. However, fate is not yet finished with her. Stenibelle is in the gaze of hidden benefactors with ulterior motives. People claiming to be her dear friends come forward, yet she does not know them. The Quests of the Shadow tech Goddess proceed, and she must discover the hero that lies within or face total oblivion. The disgraced 30th daughter of the House of Belmont will either be the final stake driven into its dying heart, or the ray of light that comes to save it and all else that follows.

This book was not what I expected! I’ve read a lot of books in this particular genre, and somehow those books always had the same factors embedded in them. This book…it was certainly not slow-paced, it was certainly not typical steampunk/sci-fi fiction, it was CERTAINLY not unoriginal. The author did a very good job portraying the main characters, the technology, and the plot line.

First and foremost, what I really liked about this novel were the various types of steampunk technology. Of course, all of the technologies had interesting names, like bolabungs, or VUNKULA (yes, it’s supposed to be capitalized 🙂 ). These made reading about them a little bit stressful at first because the names do not give a glimpse on what these technologies really are. I mean, bolabungs? It made me think of baubles, and those glass balls hanging from ropes for decoration in people’s houses. However, when the author explains to you in vivid detail on what they really are, you can’t help but want one for yourself. Thanks to this book, I really want a VUNKULA of my own, thank you very much. Kudos to the author for inventing these devices with his imagination!

The second part that I really liked about this book was that the imagery and the descriptions of the characters and the world really drew me in. I could easily picture the setting, and could easily imagine what the characters looked like. Some authors try to achieve a vivid sense of imagery in their writing, but end up having just some or none. This novel had no problem doing so, which heightened my reading enjoyment factor.

There are a few things that I didn’t enjoy in the book, but no book is perfect, right? For example, Stenibelle being a girl in her reality but being a boy in other realities seemed cool for a second, but then seeing her contemplate on what gender she liked made me sigh. I really wanted her to end up with Gwendolyn, but alas, it did not happen (I may be biased because my ship did not sail<= fangirl language). Another thing that I didn’t really enjoy was that although once you get into the book you enjoy it, the beginning was somewhat confusing. I blame myself for this, though. I should’ve read the other books in the series, although this book could be considered a stand-alone.

Other than that, this book was a phenomenal read. A bit on the short-story side, but if you want a fun, interesting read to keep you on your toes, this book is for you.

Thanks to Ms. Amy Del Rosso and the author for letting me participate in the book tour!

About the Author: 

Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature. Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood; he also has a passion for caving, urban archeology and architecture. His books are published by Loconeal. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their three dogs.

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Blog Tour Schedule:

September 21st – Christine Abee – Review
September 21st – Marian Allen – Guest Post
September 22nd – Melissa Martin’s Reading List – Review
September 23rd – TBA
September 24th – Cabin Goddess – Recipe & Review
September 25th – Room With Books – Playlist
September 28th – Atomic Pirate Girl’s Book Worm Booty – Review
September 29th – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review
September 30th – A Diary Of A Book Addict – Review
September 30th – Triple A Book Blog – Review
October 1st – Heather Ann’s Book Reviews – Review
October 1st – Leigh Anderson Romance – Guest Post
October 2nd – Karin Baker – Review
October 2nd – Pixie Vixen Book Reviews

The Shadows (The Fianna)

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Title: The Shadows (The Fianna Trilogy)

Author: Megan Chance

Type: Fantasy, Historical, Romance

Rating: 3 stars

The Shadows

Blurb:

Grace Knox has grown up hearing the folktales of her Irish ancestors, especially about the warriors who fought for control of Ireland. In 19th-century New York City, however, these legends are far from Grace’s mind. She’s much more concerned with how to protect her family from debt collectors, and whether her childhood friend Patrick Devlin will propose. Patrick is a member of the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of young Irish American men intent on fighting for the independence of their homeland, whatever the cost. Patrick and the Brotherhood use ancient magic to summon mythical warriors to join their fight to protect Ireland. One of them, Diarmid, finds himself drawn to Grace, and she to him. When Diarmid discovers that, in their desperation, the Brotherhood has also summoned a rival group of ancient warriors, he warns Patrick that there will be bloodshed. Grace is caught in the middle of two men she loves, and discovers she alone holds the power to save Ireland?

I really liked the start of this book. There was magic, adventure, and a sense of suspense that made you want to keep reading. I also loved the main character, Grace, and the multiple POVs that kept the story interesting. There were so many points I loved when reading this book, although there were some things that the story may improve on (I loved the Irish theme of the book though!)

The protagonist of the book, Grace, is a poor girl who was once wealthy before the death of her father. Her mother wishes for riches, but doesn’t help at all in the house, and Grace’s brother is a drunkard who keeps on using their scarce resources. To also add to Grace’s problems, her grandmother is slowly dying, while losing piece by piece of her sanity. Grace’s situation is undoubtedly bad, and the only choice for her to elevate her status in society is to marry someone wealthy, whether sparks may or may not fly. I loved Grace’s character. She was strong and resilient, and had a reasonable head on her shoulders. I also couldn’t help but notice that unlike other heroines in other books, she also wished that she had some money, and some piece of her former status. This part of her character I admired, since she turned into someone human that readers can relate to. Let’s be real for a second. If you were in her shoes, you would wish you had money too :D. Later in the book, she has to make a difficult decision (I won’t spoil though), and that decision was something I did NOT expect. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s a plus in my book.

The plot of the story was intriguing, with not just a few secondary characters, but a LOT. I loved how the author actually made their decisions matter in the book, instead of letting them fade into the background. Also, the choices in the book was astounding! I loved how there were actually difficult decisions to be made, not just by Grace, but other characters like Patrick and Diarmid. These choices pushed the plot and made the story more fascinating, more than what I expected.

But not all stories are perfect, so here are the things I did not exactly like about the book:

  1. The plot was….s…l….o…w….

Okay, you’re probably thinking, she’s one of those people who are really impatient when reading a book. I’m sorry, but it is true. It is only because I wanted to know more about Grace and her powers that I finished the book. It was a long, uphill battle for me, since I’m more of a fast-paced book kind of gal. But, BUT, the end was worth it, so I’m glad I finished it.

2. The heroine did not end up with the guy I wanted her to end up with.

Yes. I didn’t really deduct a star because of this, but still, WHY?

3. There were times when I wanted to hit some of the characters on the head.

Remember when I said that Patrick and Diarmid had to make some important decisions? Some of those decisions I really didn’t like, (not going to spoil even though I really want to), which detracted from my reading experience.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars, and would definitely read another book by Ms. Megan Chance. This book is filled with suspense, Irish magic, and Gaelic galore. If you’re a fan of these genres, then go ahead, read it! Tell me if you enjoyed the book or not. 😀 See you next time!

*This ARC was provided by Netgalley*