Short Review/ Bargains, Deals and Steals

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Title: The Lens and the Looker
Author: Lory S. Kaufman
Genre: post-dystopic, young-adult
Series: The Verona Trilogy #1
Published: March 2011
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5

A quick, short review of a quick, short book. This was a book with a lot of promise. It's the premier novel in a series of three, with number two, The Bronze and the Brimstone being published this June. The idea of time-travel from a post-dystopian society to past medieval-era Verona in 1347 is a clever premise and works well with the three protagonists. It is a bit simple, probably aimed for kids in their early to middle teens, but enjoyable for those older than that as well, who are just looking for a light "snack" book and not a 'takes-time-and-thought-to-digest meal'-book.
A lot of thought and preparation has evidently gone into the story and the differing worlds that Kaufman has created. He writes well, blending 24th, 30th and 14th century ideas, technologies and personages into a believable, epic adventure. Engaging and easy to read, I hope that the next in the series has a little more depth will hold more details about the later technologies Kaufman has imagined, as well as the differing lifestyles from the 24th/30th century. The trials and tribulations that occur move the plot along nicely, always keeping the reader's attention focused on the pranks and exploits of our three teenage lead characters as they try to navigate this 'camp' and get back to their time-honed ways of being 'hardcases'.
The personalities of the women in the novel could have been fleshed out more. Shamira is mostly on the sidelines, helping when told what to do and rarely takes any initiative on her own. She is clever and not afraid to stand up for herself, but it is clear she is mostly a foil and friend for the other two boys. Giulietta seems a bit more believable but that is because she interacts with Hansum the most for the romantic angle of the story, and there has to conflict and interest within the storyline. Thus, Giulietta is a bit more fleshed out than the other female characters.  The Signora does not add much besides comic relief and angelic hallucinations, but she was genuinely a funny addition. I hope that the women are less background and more central to the plot of the next in the series. I'm told they are, and that makes me likely to pick up the second much sooner.
The best part? You can buy the first and the second for only $2.99 each on Nooks or Kindles. 

Other screaming Nook/Kindle deals I've come across when I was shopping for books I do not need with money I do not have:

Starfire Angels: This is FREE for Nook and Kindles. This is the first in a series by the author, Melanie Nilles. Synopsis blurb from Raea's life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it's part of the heart of a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the power have sent an agent to find her, but she's too busy evading a nosy reporter, dating a hot new foreign student, and learning what she really is. Only one person on Earth can help her, but he's not from Earth.

Dead(ish)Another free ebook, this one by Naomi Kramer. Synopsis blurb: Linda’s had a bad day. First her boyfriend killed her. Then she woke up, still on this boring plane of existence, and with an odd obsession about her missing body. Mike won’t tell her what he did with her body and she can’t find the stupid thing herself. There’s only one thing she can do - torment the bastard until he coughs up the information. Contains adult themes and frequent profanity.
Monster in the Mirror - this completely FREE short-story/ebook is not one I will be buying or reading personally. I hatehateHATE being scared, but I thought it'd be worth looking into by a fright-lover.  Info from For a limited time, includes two free additional short stories.
Could there be a hidden room somewhere in your house? And just what would you find lurking there?
Nate, his little sister, and best buddy Dan, stumble upon a hidden room during a sleep-over. What they find inside is anything but friendly. Includes two bonus short stories: Steven, Space Stowaway & Bloody Marcy."

The Weight of Blood by David Dalglish is a free, high-fantasy ebook. Here's the online blurb: Harruq and Qurrah Tun, half-blood exiles of elves and orcs, have sworn their lives to the prophet of a death god, gaining power in return for igniting war between the race of elves and man. Harruq's love of an elf may save him from his dark path, but to protect her means he must turn against his brother and fight the killing nature with which he was born.

The Demon Girl, by new author Penelope Fletcher is a supernatural young-adult novel about a powerful girl with an unknown past and future. Rae Wilder has problems. Plunged into a world of dark magic, fierce creatures and ritual sacrifice, she is charged with a guarding a magical amulet. Rae finds herself beaten up, repeatedly, and forced to make a choice: to live and die human, or embrace her birth-right and wield magics that could turn her into something wicked, a force of nature nothing can control. This ebook is only $.99 for Nooks and absolutely FREE for the Kindle. The author has another novel, Lunar Light, which is also only $.99 for my precious Nook and Kindle. This novella focuses on the myth of the wendigo and a young girl named Evangeline who must balance both sides of her nature. 

Andrew Lang's Fairy Books (The Blue, The Red, The Green, The Yellow, The Pink, The Grey, The Violet, The Crimson, The Brown, The Orange, The Olive, and The Lilac) is ONLY $.95 FOR NOOKS. I'm sorry, but that is just plain ridiculous. Twelve books of traditional fairy tales gathered from all over the world, collected into one edition for under $1. I'm a happy, happy girl. Kindle edition is slightly more expensive, coming in at $1.99. If you love fairy tales, this is definitely worth buying.

The Lunarmorte Trilogy by Samantha Young, comprised of Moon Spell, River Cast, and Blood Solstice vary from $.99 for the first, to $1.49 for the second, with the third being the most expensive at $2.99. From what I can gather online, this is a single story broken into three separate parts about a young female werewolf. 

<broken french>et, voila. Je suis fini pour auj'ourdhui.</broken french>


  1. Lots of good freebies out there these days! That's a perk I hadn't anticipated when I got a kindle. ;)

  2. I know! I love it. I find all kinds of fascinating new books.


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