DARIN C BROWN

Author of The Master of Perceptions

Review of Atticus Crayle: The Accidental Spy, by Jason Rybak

Atticus Crayle: The Accidental Spy by Jason Rybak My rating: 5 of 5 stars Atticus Crayle is the classic young adult hero. He has the brains but not the brawn, and he has mad skills despite his face being an open book. This first installment of the Mondial series introduces Atticus during his initial spy mission, one of trial by fire. He’s shot, attacked, and worse, attracted to a young female with similar interests to his.During his ordeal to rescue the kidnapped girl, and then the kidnapped rescuer, he never loses his head (except when encountering attractive members of the … Read More

Review of Chad Queen’s “The Bearer’s Burden — Phantom Pact #1”

The Bearer’s Burden by Chad Queen My rating: 5 of 5 stars Chad Queen demonstrates brilliant imagination with his complex world-build. Chalice is a place where those appropriately trained can conscript the phantoms of the recently passed by entering into a pact with them. The price is high–having more than one consciousness simultaneously can drive the bearer insane. However, Cade Elegy, the protagonist, fights through this and many other battles in this primary installment of this new series. In addition to the masterful world build, Queen tells a great story. The plot has twists and turns, and the ending satisfies. … Read More

Review of Relentless, by Karen Lynch — Awesome!!

Relentless by Karen Lynch My rating: 5 of 5 stars In Relentless, Karen Lynch brings to life every mythical creature ever considered. From vampires and werewolves to trolls, goblins and imps, she builds a world containing all manner of fantastic creatures. Set in the Northeast US, the hidden universe exists outside the vision of the human population, who only see the occasional carnage.A major subplot involves vampires and the vampire hunters, which Lynch handles superbly. She explains the natural history of the relationship, and the reader doesn’t feel slighted about the reasons why this conflict exists.She also does a wonderful … Read More

Review of “The Game” by Terry Schott

The Game by Terry Schott My rating: 2 of 5 stars Initially, I expected to leave a stellar review. The concept of recreating “The Matrix” with different parameters got me turning the pages. In this book, Earth is a virtual reality where the players–who are children in the “real” world–are born, experience life in the VR, and die with only minimal passage of time. They then take their performance-based earnings and re-enter with additional capacity. Meanwhile, the wealthy of Tygon watch in a “Hunger Games” fashion as the virtual lives unfold. It’s an interesting premise, albeit clearly adapted from other … Read More

Review of Ignited, by Desni Dantone

Ignited by Desni Dantone My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was pleasantly surprised by this paranormal urban fantasy. I picked it up free on Amazon and left it in my TBR queue for a long while before starting, but then raced through it in 2 days. It reads very quickly and the writing is excellent. The plot centers around a teen with a horrible past, such that she fears living. If not for a guardian angel, she, too would certainly be dead. She can’t even talk to her crush, she’s simply hopeless.. Then a new and even more handsome … Read More

Review of Beyond the Veil, by Pippa DaCosta

Beyond the Veil by Pippa DaCosta My rating: 4 of 5 stars Beyond the Veil creates a world where demons and humans coexist, with the emphasis on those who cross the veil from the netherworld into the human world. The protagonist, Muse, is half-blood, so she can reside on either side, having characteristics of both races. Unfortunately, half-bloods are usually killed or tortured on the other side of the veil, so she seeks peace on the human side. Tranquility is not her nature, however, and the lust of Mammon, one of the Seven Princes of Hell, sweeps Muse back into … Read More

Review of “The Changing Tide” by KA Dowling

The Changing Tide by K.A. Dowling My rating: 4 of 5 stars KA Dowling builds a relatively contemporary world where two races compete for dominance on an island where few leave, and only pirates visit. Readers learn the history of the enmity in book one, The Changing Tide. We are also introduced to Emerala the Rogue, whose value to her people is obviously significant based on the intrigue around her, but deliberately unclear heading into the second book.The cast of supporting characters includes Emerala’s family members, the rival Chancey king and military guardsman, and pirates, one of whom was born … Read More

Review of Dylap, by A.C. Salter — Fun and exciting!

Dylap by A.C. Salter My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book. The premise involves a land of fairies with a complex social hierarchy living in a magically protected city. Our protagonist, a fairy who cannot fly, is rescued from the river Twine by a one-winged night watch captain. He then seeks his own future among these tree dwellers, while simultaneously trying to discover his forgotten past. Being different then the rest, he is nearly universally despised (or feared). He meets and befriends other outcasts, but despite proving himself on multiple occasions, he is still resented. When … Read More

The Duff, by Kodi Keplinger — Review

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger My rating: 4 of 5 stars This story touches on many aspects of complex young adult life, including teenage romance, alcoholism in the family, and most importantly, self perception. Bianca tells the story from the first person perspective, but she never describes her own appearance very well. For all we know, she is absolutely gorgeous, but she doesn’t see herself that way. She takes the viewpoint of the boy she despises, and feels that she is the DUFF. She spends the majority of the book coming to grips with other people’s … Read More

Review of Private, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Private by James Patterson My rating: 5 of 5 stars James Patterson does not disappoint with Private, the first in a new series featuring Jack Morgan. Jack owns the investigative firm Private, a multinational agency that specializes in discovering secrets for a price. Jack himself, an ex-Navy pilot, is haunted by secrets of his own past, and the novel starts from his first person point of view. Patterson develops several other key characters, including Morgan’s twin brother, the memory of his father, a love interest or two, and a series of employees, bad guys and clients that captivate the reader. … Read More