Posts Tagged Hell

The Black God’s War: Splendor & Ruin, Book I by Moses Siregar III

Storyline: Holy Moses! What a splendid and unique fantasy start to an original fantasy series! The Black God’s War: Splendor and Ruin, Book I written by the highly talented Mr. Mosey Siregar, will grab a’hold of you and pull into his world where gods fight alongside man and destinies unfold in unimaginable ways.

A mighty empire pushes to conquer the neighboring kingdom of Pawelon and after ten years of endless fighting, an end might finally be in sight. Lucia must decode the meaning of The Black God’s messages for her and her holy brother, Caio. Even though Caio is a man of peace, their father, the king, thrusts this war upon them, risking both of their lives for glory.

Prince Rao is powerful sage who will stop at nothing to see this war stopped and gone from his lands. He must use all of his skills to fight not only the gifted siblings, but their gods as well. Rao must reconcile his own philosophical beliefs with those of the myths of the invaders’ gods.

Can a peaceful resolution be met without anymore unnecessary bloodshed and tears?

Grammar/Spelling:  Incredibly, this might be the first book I’ve read in ages and ages without a single grammatical or spelling error. I don’t know if it’s because I was so captivated by the story that I overlooked them, but Moses did a phenomenal job editing his book!

Character Development: The story focuses on a variety of characters and fully develops each person perfectly. Moses carefully crafted each character’s personality so that the reader can truly feel Caio’s reluctance in leading his father’s army into battle. The inner-struggle of Prince Rao as he tried to convince his father that he was worthy of his respect and was a worthy fighter. Lucia’s strong will and desire to protect her brother at all costs while hiding her own dark secrets came across clearly and distinctly.

Writing Style: The story flowed beautifully and quickly. Even though Moses introduced two very different and wholly new religions and a completely new pantheon if gods, I never felt as if I were overwhelmed with information. Nor did I felt as if I there wasn’t enough information about each side’s beliefs and rituals.

Another unique facet of The Black God’s War was the telling of all sides of the story. I’ve read books (and hell, watched movies) that showed both sides of warring nations, but never with this approach. Every important scene was told through the eyes of each player’s perspective.

I felt myself being pulled in separate directions: Huzzah! May the Rezzians conquer all!

No, wait! Let’s hear it for the Pawelons! They must destroy the invaders!

Well played, Moses. Well played indeed!

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 5

The Black God’s War: Splendor and Ruin, Book I by Moses Siregar III was a dazzling beginning to a fantasy series that was a delight to read and nearly impossible to put down. I am really looking forward to continuing the series and believe that Moses’ story will only get better!

Everyone and their respective mamas should go out and get a copy (or sit on their couch and order it)! I only hate that it took so long for me to review the book and pass along the greatness to you!

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Now, I would like for you to meet Lucia, the royal daughter of the Kingdom of Rezzia. She’s as stunning as she is fearless.

Celia: How did you first meet your writer?

Lucia: You want to talk about that bastard? Was it when he was torturing me with nightmares of dying children? Or when he tortured me with nightmares of my flesh burning? Or when he decided to kill (SPOILER ALERT)? No, I remember now. It was when he dropped me into the black god’s underworld lair. After falling through the pitch black for so long I lost my sanity, I landed in a dark sea full of the dead bodies of our soldiers. Yes, that was how I met him. You’ll pardon me if I prefer that we change the subject.

Celia: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Lucia: Yes. The Book of Time. I am a member of the royal family of Rezzia, and I have a patron goddess. At the least, a brief mention of my life would have to be written into The Book.

Celia: What are your favorite scenes in your book: Action, Dialogue, Romance?

Lucia: Romance. There are so many scenes in this book. Action? There was too much of it for me. Dialogue? I prefer quiet. I only found some modicum of repose in my romance with Ilario.

Celia: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Lucia: No, but the bastard had to work on some things.

Celia: Do you infiltrate your author’s dreams?

Lucia: Ha! What kind of person do you take me for? Do you understand that Lord Danato, The Black One, has invaded my dreams since I was thirteen years old? For the last sixteen years? And after all I’ve been through, you think I would be so insensitive as to infiltrate another person’s dreams? The answer is no.

Celia: Are you happy with the genre your author has placed you in?

Lucia: I’d much prefer to be in a trashy romance. A very trashy romance, at that. That sounds rather pleasant after all I’ve been through. But the bastard put me in the correct genre. I can’t hold that against him.

Celia: Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer is so inclined?

Lucia:  *Sigh*

He hasn’t put me through enough? Why would I want to be subjected to his cruel treatment again? I suppose it’s possible that my life will be very different in the future. I admit, I’ve put some of my demons to rest. But I’m afraid the decision I made at the end of this book will haunt me, and I’m not sure I’m ready to face those issues.

Celia: If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Lucia: You haven’t read this book yet, have you? I have powers, but I didn’t ask for every power that I have. Although, if I could, I would choose to have one of those powers again. I’m sorry I can’t say more. You’ll have to read the The Black God’s War.

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Satan’s Mirror – Roxanne Smolen

Storyline: Roooooooxxxxxxxxanne! You don’t have to turn on the red light! Wait… I mean, Ms. Roxanne Smolen’s Satan’s Mirror really captures the essence of evil and the enduring faith of mankind. Not much to do with *ahem* ladies of the night or Sting…

Emily has the world figured out: she’s a skeptic through and through. Nothing is as ever spooky, scary or terrifying as it seems. Emily is the host of an investigative show that disproves urban myths and unravels mysteries for the world to see.

When her boss gives her a lead to follow down in sunny Florida, things take a decidedly dark and evil twist. Ghosts, demons and disappearances abound as Emily tries to unravel the mystery of Satan’s Mirror. A local legend that has otherworldly beginnings. Only when her own life begins to fall apart does Emily start to believe that something beyond rational explanation is the cause of the horrors…

Can Emily’s sense and sensibilities keep her safe and help her find her missing daughter? Will she be able to find the strength in herself to do the impossible to fight the evil incarnate and maintain her sanity?

Grammar/Spelling: I didn’t notice any grammar or spelling issues. Yay!

Character Development: Emily is an interesting woman. She’s smart and determined and not easily swayed by the world around her. She even goes so far as to insist that her daughter face her fear of monsters headlong (much to her dismay as these kinds of monsters aren’t exactly Sulley and Mike Wazowski). It was definitely easy to see the strength in Emily and even when she was in the horrors of hell – making her way to save her daughter – she tried to help everyone that she met. Even at the risk of running out of time and getting caught herself.

Writing Style: The book could use a good hair cut with a pair of carefully wielded surgical scissors.  What I mean by that is: it has too much ‘fluff’ for my tastes and what I mean by ‘fluff’ is ‘extraneous description’.  If it was a little less wordy, it would be more appealing to me.  The method works well for Stephen King, apparently; but, I do find myself skimming in The King’s books simply to get past the ‘fluff’.  I prefer a little less talk and a lot more action.

On the other hand, there are several instances where a lack of description really takes away from the story. For example, Emily decides to hide out at a bar in St. Augustine and the author describes what Emily ordered and she also mentioned that it looks like there is a stage for a live band (but not that one is performing). From this description, I wasn’t really able to garner if Emily was actually able to “hide” in plain sight; meaning that I didn’t know if the bar was busy or if it were empty and if she even did a good job at avoiding the police. It seems as if she’s describing something for a report.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 3+

I would say that this is a good novel to read for anyone who is interested in the paranormal and proving or disproving faith. Satan’s Mirror presents us with an interesting take on the concept of hell and an all too familiar story about a woman fighting her way through her own skepticism and trying to save herself from Satan himself.

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Duality – J.M. Pierce

Storyline: Duality written by J.M. Pierce addresses the eternal struggle of man’s faith in a higher power; a modern day story of Job, if you will.

Kurt is a very bitter man and he’s lost. He has tried to be a good man by praying and going to church as often as possible. But after burying his wife and then his eldest daughter and losing his job all in a very short span of time, he first questions and then loses his faith.

Eventually this all comes to a head when he ends up killing a man. As he’s trying to escape, Kurt is hit by a car and killed. But… his troubles are not over just yet.  Kurt now has a new job as the devil’s newest demon, Gavril, and he must accept his fate as a servant of Satan. His first task is to harvest his own son’s soul and bring him back to hell with the rest of the damned.

Can Kurt overcome his dark anger in time to prevent his son from making the ultimate mistake? Will Kurt regain his faith in God? Only God Himself knows…

Grammar/Spelling: I only noted one problem with Duality: a double period at the end of a sentence on page 82 (in my PDF version). Other than that, it was perfect.

Character Development: Duality features a simple man, Kurt, who doesn’t realize all of the good things he has in life. He thinks of himself as a good Christian, goes to church frequently and prays often. The reader is able to follow Kurt from the beginnings of his trials and tribulations to the very edge of madness when he must make the ultimate decision regarding his faith in God.

Writing Style: The story was written as a series of flashbacks throughout his current situation as a demon in order to highlight Kurt’s struggles with his inner demons. This definitely kept the plot moving along at nice pace. Mr. Pierce’s descriptions of hell and of the devil are very realistic and quite frightening.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 4-

This was an interesting story of one man’s journey from faith to hell and back. I could very nearly feel Kurt’s pain and resentment at the world around him for all of the terrible things that befell him. This would be an excellent story for someone who has lost a loved one and can’t seem to find the light again. I believe that his might help show that there is always a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and to make life as great as you can possibly make it.

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