Monday, 29 August 2016

BookPlex -Honest Reviews



                These days most people don’t buy anything that they haven’t done some research on and this includes books. I know that before I buy most books I tend to google them and read the reviews from a variety of sites. Unfortunately there are some companies out there that hire people to write sparkling reviews for certain books which gives them higher ratings. If you read carefully, you can always tell which reviews are fake and written by someone who most of the time has never even read the book. There is never any criticism of the book in it, there are never any key elements about the story line mentioned, and the whole thing just seems very generic. It’s really too bad that this happens because for Indie authors, sometimes the only way to get reviews is to pay a company to source out the book or to pay reviewers outright. Reviews get the book’s name out there, it gets them to the top of the list when they are googled, and most of all, it gets them talked about. The reviews also help the author see what readers are looking for and what they can tweak or change in their books.  I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of these Indie authors contact me to read their books in return for reviews. I always make it clear that I ONLY give honest reviews. If I don’t like something about the book, I am going to mention it. I won’t be harsh but I will tell the truth. I also work for a company called BookPlex and have written reviews for them for the past five years. I know that everyone is now suspicious of companies that pay for reviews and I understand why but I would not write reviews for a company that told me how to write them. All BookPlex asks me to do is write a fair and honest review. The reason I work for BookPlex is because I get the chance to read a lot of books I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered. I also often get to read books before they are released or soon after. I have discovered so many amazing authors this way, ones that I have gone on to buy their other books because I’ve enjoyed the one I reviewed so much. To be honest, the pay isn’t enough for me to do this and not enjoy it or to be told that I had to give a high star rating to a book I really didn’t enjoy. BookPlex does a great service for authors and readers and they are getting lumped in with all of the sleazy companies that “engineer” a fake review. I get to choose the book I want to read, it’s given to me and I write the review. I send it in to them, it is checked to make sure it’s not full of grammar mistakes and not too short, and them I am told to place the review. Never have I been told in five years to change anything on any of my reviews and believe me, I have not given great reviews to every single book. Unfortunately, BookPlex is getting trashed by some individuals who have never worked for BookPlex and/or have an axe to grind with them for some reason. Without BookPlex, I would have missed out on so many fantastic authors and their books. Not every review you read on the net is a fake one. This is a fair and honest company or I wouldn’t be writing any reviews for them. If you want to check them out, head to their webpage at www.bookplex.com.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Blood and Magic - George Barlow



                Blood and Magic is the first book in a new supernatural/fantasy series called the Ink Chronicles and for anyone who enjoys the work of Jim Butcher, this is sure to be a new favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from start to finish and my only problem with it is the cliff-hangar at the end and the fact that now I’ll have to wait for the second book in the series. Blood and Magic tells two stories that at first may seem separate but are actually tied together. One story is told from a human point of view and one from someone who has just found out they are not totally human.
                Alex is a detective on the hunt for a serial killer who has been leaving victims with their throats slashed. The murderer never leaves any evidence or witnesses and there doesn’t seem to be any link between the victims. Henry is a socially awkward lab tech who one day finds himself seeing people’s reflections in a strangely odd way. Some of his colleagues may not be human if their reflections are telling the truth. Unbeknownst to Henry, he is actually an Inquisitor, someone who can see the mutations in people, among other magical skills. In order for Henry to stay alive he needs to learn how to use his new skills and magic and learn to rely on others who are trying to keep him alive.
                This is a fantastic world with a wonderful setting and characters that are lots of fun to read about. The author makes them jump off the page and become real. This would make an amazing movie or TV series. There are quite a few different characters but all are so well written and so unique that it is easy to follow them. I loved this book and am excited to have discovered such a fantastic author. I read the digital form of this book and it formatted to my ereader well. The editing was well done with only a few very minor mistakes. The cover really draws the eye and suits the genre well.

The Shepherd - Lela K. King



                I know the basics of the bible, the stories that I learned from Sunday school as a child. I’ve never thought about what happened “behind the scenes” so to speak, the story behind all of the characters who we just touch on but never really learn about. Ms. King takes the reader on the journey of a young shepherd’s desire to meet Jesus after his father is one of the shepherds summoned by the angel to go see Jesus in the stable after his birth. The book follows Demas’s life through his trials and tribulations and exhibits how he keeps his faith in Jesus no matter what happens to him. His faith carries him through life and it is beautifully written about. One of the most well written relationships in the book is that of Demas and Joel. Joel betrayed Demas’s family to Herod when they were young and Demas carries the hatred for him throughout his years. In the end, he finds forgiveness for Joel due to his belief in Jesus’s teachings. The whole book is full of these sorts of well written and believable characters and prove what a fine writer Ms. King is. The book is never preachy and doesn’t pound bible references into the reader’s brain. Instead, it is a lovely story that is entertaining and has deep meaning for people who believe in Jesus. By the end, it will reinforce the reader’s faith in God. Ms. King writes about biblical times as if she were actually there and creates it in a very believable way. It is an easy read with a feel-good warmth to it. I would venture to say that even people with no interest in the bible would enjoy the book. I read this on my ereader and it formatted well. The editing is very well done and the cover is quite beautiful. This is well worth reading!