Book Reviews

Lost my Olive lost my life along with it by K K Smithereens

3 Stars

A collection of poetry that frustrates and interests at the same time. The typical sentiments of love and lost repeatedly take place in almost every poem. There is almost a teenage angst about the voice of the sentiments. Similar to how devastated a 15 year old might feel, when they promise never to love again.

The style and structure reinforce this repeated sentiment. Using a simplistic rhyme scheme that often verges on becoming a limerick. This continued rhythmic beat can tire the reader as the theme rarely changes.

However, what interests is the brief moments the author moves from the subject or when he expands the structure. This shows glimpses of more substance from the author. The length of the collection is probably too long, for what is basically one subject. There are a few elements of narrative that discuss what drives the author, but it tends to get lost amongst the poems. Certainly if the author restructured this collection and tackled the subject of love more abstractly it would benefit the reader. Poems along the line of ‘untitled’ would fully expand the thought and wordplay. Read in small sections you get an understanding of poet that would blossom with guidance.

Broken Silence by Gennaro Episcopo

3 Stars

A  poetry collection that states it focuses on those moments of silents that reveal more than we realize, however whilst reading a different aspect comes to mind. Written in style like a form of therapeutic muses there is a strong focus on loneliness and feelings of low self-esteem. The collection as a whole could easily resemble one persons journey, with various poems following on in theme and subject.

There is a rapid pace to the collection, due to a mixture of short and shorter length poems. There is room for expansion with some pieces and those poems that are more expansive stand out greatly.

The grasp of the sentiment of isolation provides an interesting backdrop for a fast paced collection of poetry.   An  encouraging book for an author with the ability to further develop.

Dante’s Amulet by Melinda De Ross

4 Stars

An interesting romantic tale that follows the lead of many with a blistering start to slowly lose its intensity. The beauty of the beginning is two unlikely characters meeting and forming a strong bond. The female character is unique being an English shooting instructor and the male character being more typical as a Latin lover. Yet the author plays with these characters with delight and you sense a genuine relationship growing. The intense sexual scenes give the first half that honeymoon sex feeling. Leaving a warm feeling for the reader to indulge in.

The elements of paranormal and violence, while interesting are not fully developed and feel quite separate from the main story. The initial set up for the introduction is quite bizarre and the main protagonist is far too obvious in his villainy. However these elements are brought in late and do not distract too much from the playful start. Very much a story of two tales, thankfully one dominates the other to make it worthwhile read.

Callback from the Muse: Poems by Michael La Ronn

3 Stars

Reading the author’s afterword dictated the beginning of this review as it mentions a common scenario for many new writers in poetry. Trying to find an audience and gain recognition. However despite its popularity the buying audience is limited for new writers and recognition requires falling into classical structures. New styles and subjects of poetry are welcome. Though maintaining the quality is the hardest aspect.

This is particularly true in this collection. I maintain my doubts about blending muses or stories with poetry. The differences in structure greatly imbalances the styles in my opinion. In this collection the muses begin well with a creative and descriptive style. However they started to become obscure and lose impact towards the end.

The same can be said for the poetry that starts well with a strong number of highly creative poems. An array of different subjects give it a scatter-gun approach, which excites at first. Though this fades as a more traditional focused approach may have improved the flow of the collection. As with many new writers the term unfocused promise comes to mind. There are elements contained in this collection that the author can further develop to return with a stronger collection of poems. Overall worthy of a read with the hope of more to come from this author.

A Touch of Poetry by Melinda De Ross

3 Stars

There is a dream like spiritual sense to this small collection of poems. They are connected in subject matter and use of language that envelop the reader to enter a different plane. Each poem almost follows on from the next or reflects back to sentiments already raised. This enables it to have a consistent flow and the overall length of the book is judged right to avoid the feelings being overdrawn.

There are a few key words repeated, which are dreams, memories and illusion. This enhances a hypnotic feel in the writing. However the constant repetition can weaken the effect over time. There is a potential for further expansion of themes and more grander metaphors would further develop this collection. Overall it is dream like in its intentions as it passes and fades in similar manner. Though you will remember elements for further reflection.

Unabridged by Melinda De Ross – Release Date: August 17 2014

5 Stars

Due to its popularity the Romantic Comedy novel is the more harder to get right. It relies heavily on conversation, emotions and empathy for the characters. The tales need a degree of fantasy mixed with reality. Even more importantly it needs to flow from beginning to end and have a draw like a daytime soap.

The author manages to combine all the elements above into a common tale of lost love. There is the classic Cinderella type theme in the delightful character of Angelina who rises from a poor upbringing to be a successful journalist. Despite her achievements she has sadness in the depth of her heart for a lost love by name of Blade. Blade is the atypical Prince Charming that seems unreal in his warm nature. Leading to an unlikely set up that is put together by a consistent flow of storytelling.

The tempo is very important, along with the minor cliffhangers on every chapter that have that TV show appeal. The author appears very aware that a quick read that pulls on desires and fantasy is the key to success with the story. The support characters are equally sentimental in value and the introduction of a darker nature only strengthens the ending.

In conclusion for those seeking to be transported to a common tale of love, this is an adventure worth reading.

Hi, My Name is Bobo.: (A Weekend in the Life of a 5th Grader) by James Gordon

4 Stars

Playing on a universal nostalgia is the strength of this book to draw you in and delight in childhood memories. Though the audience is young children, it can easily resonate with adults with a childlike heart. Reading like a diary of a young boy, the style, font and more importantly language capture the necessary feel.

Children often find delight in simple things and these moment are displayed repeatedly. Cartoons, food and girls are the plaything for the young boy’s mind. The gentle charm of each scenario described without complexity have that hypnotic feel that is hard describe in terms of its pull to the reader. Having the full adult learning experience my questioning would be loss on the intended young audience.

Therefore to enjoy the feel of the family home and child perspective over a simple weekend, I recommend paying a visit to this world.

Food Run by Cindy Santos

3 Stars

A short tale that highlights the social, economical and emotional aspects of a routine shopping trip. The subject is an everyday matter for many people in this economic climate and is able to find a sympathetic audience. The storyline is not fully stretching and due to the familiarity is easily deduced. However what makes it work is the level observation for the scene that is described with clinical precision.

The flashback and comparison to the day gone era of more emotive customer service is a delicate way of showing the problems of sterile supermarkets. The tone is fairly level until emotions are raised at the end, which causes a moment of reflection on the principles of the main character. The dialogue is mainly internalized and there may have been an opportunity to include more from the surrounds of the scene.

I view this as a test of writing before a major piece of work is produced. If the author succeeds in fulfilling her potential then it will be very much worth looking back at this staring point.

Coping With Terminal Stillness by Justin P Lambert

3 Stars

In this third poetry collection the main overriding theme is of highlighting perceptions. Thoughts and values we automatically draw upon. These elements are greatly worked upon in the second section of this book. A short poem on social networking speaks volumes for what we perceive of friendship in this age. The first section deals with similar conceptions using nature as the theme. A poem intertwining elements of the creation from the bible is well structured and there is a joy felt by the author in its production.

However there is a strong sense of this book being a scrapbook of concepts and ideas. By incorporating essays and short stories it loses momentum. This is particularly felt in the strong second section that loses much impact by a long essay on 9 self improvement concepts. You can emphasize with the thought, but it seems out of place. The short stories included are like elements of ideas that require more work before presenting to its audience.

With a better structure and stronger focus on a particular theme this book would have realised its greater potential.

Revenge of the Orgasm: (An Erotic Autobiography) (The Lust Series) by Greatest Poet Alive

5 Stars

I am reminded by a lyric from the underrated rapper K Dee “It’s hard to represent without confidence” when reading this book. Much has been said about the popularity of erotic writing. Is it the fact it is taboo or the enjoyment of expression of intimacy? The author’s pen name and foreword display much bravado. Realising this is based on true events, can only make one imagine a modern day Don Juan character that is part of the intrigue of this collection.

An explosive beginning of poems displaying sexual scenarios moves at a relenting pace and then slowly eases into a more leveled pacing. Making one think this has been expertly selected for dramatic effect. I particularly admired the uses of alliteration that has an approach to quicken your reading. Another technique of adding time stamps adds to the autobiographical feel and place the reader in the scene.

The sense of voyeurism draws you into the work and the poem ‘Westin Incident’ further emphasizes the point. A poem where two separate couples are jointly making love and one of the partners views the stranger through the window. An interesting concept that highlights your curiosity.

A refreshing honesty flows throughout the collection with little judgment or reflection. If your excitement to read on is captured from the beginning then this is a collection for you. A poet with great self-confidence and an unashamed narrative.

The Ectopic Epiphany  by Justin P Lambert

4 Stars

A second poetry collection by this author emphasizes a delectable charm that softens and draws the reader into his world. A well structured collection of poems and essays that in essence has an autobiographical feel. When drawing from life experiences they need to resonate with a universal understanding. The family section particular plays on those small familiar family moments that we often reminisce on. You are drawn into the authors world of a poet that combines being lost in the thought process with the trials/joys of family life.

Honest writing is the charm that makes this a delightful collection. Despite almost becoming preachy during the creation section of the collection, reading a poem about holding hands with his wife in bed shows the power of personality on writing. Certainly worth your time to read.

Love and Ink by Kiana Donae

3 stars

An interesting collection of poetry that tackles subjects passionate to the author well, though a tighter selection of poems would make this a great book. There are elements of great poetry when the poet deals with femininity and sexuality. These are handled with care and raise issues different from many poetry books. For this reviewer focusing on this subject in more depth would enhance the book.

Using life as a focus works well when the reader can identify with your subjects fully, this is often hit and miss in this collection. Where there is a feeling it would be useful to be in the author’s mind for better appreciation. Some of the poems have that filler effect or are simply pleasant. There is nothing wrong in a pleasant poem, however when it follows her more powerful poetry it gets overpowered.

I feel a sense of an opportunity missed when there is a clear arch for subjects on sexuality and equality that inspire the poet. Though readers will be entertained and left with much thought from the poems. The structure and style is defined well. Some poems lack the proper closure or strong finish, but the sense of more to come from the poet keeps you reading. An enjoyable collection with a show for a promising talent to develop further.

Love Story: (Never Give Up On Love) A Romantic Short Story Novel by Quensetta Williams

3 Stars

This is a short rapid tale about lost love, which reads like a brief conversation with a friend. The issue with writing such a short tale is that it needs start and maintain a fast pace. This story starts slowly despite the short chapters and then gathers much speed towards the end. Leaving the reader a little dazed and wanting more detail.

There is nothing new or different in this tale that is typical in its structure and you can more or less guess the ending from the beginning. What is missing is character development and dialogue. However because love is such an eternal emotion this more than anything forgives the weaknesses. Despite how it is told most readers would identify with some of the elements and the ending leaves that hope we all seek.

Brine Rights: Stanzas and Clauses for the Causes by Brine Books Publishing

3 Stars

Modern poetry is at its best when it tackles new subjects and establishes new techniques. In this collection of poetry mixed with short stories, the new topics are most welcome. The overriding theme of the collection is social justice and exploring the ills of society. However the impact is failed greatly by the structure and selection of material. Due to the vast difference in pacing between stories and poetry it is a balance difficult to interweave in a collection. Similar problems that have happened in other collections appear. Either the poem or story stands strong with the loser fading into the background.

Similar to inserting short programmes into a 3 hour film the beginning of the book is badly paced. There is a sense by the editor this will cause frustration as the ending of the book relies solely on poetry. The saving grace as the stories though tackling strong subjects are fairly obvious and read more like witness accounts from the news. A split between both styles would greatly improve the reading.

Having been distracted by the structure the good points are the poetry. A powerful poem sandwiched between two stories is ‘Ruined Goods’. That is unapologetic in tackling scenes of rape with a harsh conclusion. A simple poem that could be expanded further that loses it impact by being placed towards the end is ‘Pecking Order’ that deals with racial issues. A later entry of a poem called ‘Declaration’ is a typical fist pumping call to arms poem that is better as a starter or finish to a collection.

In conclusion despite being frustrated on many occasions there are enough gems to warrant a read.

 

 

Eight Lessons for Young Poets by Sherwin W. Howard & John S. Howard

3 Stars

This book is very much like a starter that wets the appetite for the main course. In reference to this book that main course is for budding poets to go out and write poetry.

Simplicity is the format, which for an instruction book is useful to cater for a wider audience. Though the book is for young poets the majority of the elements covered would be for a teenage audience rather than a young child.

The structure of the book is to provide an example that is indexed to an end note for further information. Starting with the general structure of the poem it moves on to rhyme and metering. Ending with different styles of poetry.

Like poetry the book can be taken simply or used to gather deeper thought. The book is therefore like a leaflet summarizing elements of poetry. However for a more deeper understanding and thorough reference you would read further or take a class.

Unfinished Business by Ted Tayler

5 Stars

It is a good sign to have a read sequel and be keen to read the first book straight afterwards. This was my first reflection upon finishing this book. For those who have a fondness for reality crime investigation shows there is an uncanny resemblance. The setup, layout would easily fit into such a programme, bar the ending that very much has a fictional take.

Despite the initial setup being slightly questionable for the killer come vigilante to run amok, the author takes you on a structured journey of the mindset of a organised murderer. My television reference concerns how these types of stories have been shown a thousand times, but we still have that voyeuristic nature to view more.

From the outset you are well aware of the journey that lies ahead and how this will conclude. With that in mind the author has a strong purpose to entertain on the path we have concluded. This is done well with the reasoning behind the killings, including the dynamics between the typical strong male hero and his weaker female character who becomes empowered along the way.

In parts you will become astonished by the ease of the crimes and the struggles of the police even though you are already prepared for the ending. However as the pace of the ending quickens and the shine of arrogance from the killer weakens. There is a sense of ease that dots joined together from the beginning have formed the picture you wanted.

Taking what at the end of the day is a straightforward tale and making it entertaining is no easy feet. For this alone I applaud the author and say to you the customer to make sure you take a look at his work.

Nadia’s Tears (Devia’s Children) by Julie C Gilbert

3 Stars

In the sequel to Ashlynn’s Dreams (Devya’s Children) the continuing adventures of Jillian and the children with special gifts shifts focus to her sister Nadia. With sequels we may wish for a copy of the original or a continuation that expands the story to another level. After completion of this book, I personally enjoyed revisiting characters, but I had a sense my nostalgia was not fully met.

This due in part to the main crux of the story ending early and giving way to additional side stories, which though interesting have the capacity for greater expansion. The prolonged tension between Jillian and Dr Devya takes a backseat along with the philosophical debate from the first book.

The wise, secretive and brilliance of Nadia is on display though at times it is a game she too easily wins at times. Her lead in the story has the effect of weakening other characters, which unbalances the usual rapport. However, despite this frustration there are enough elements to make this an enjoyable read despite the weak ending. A book that requires the first to be purchased for better understanding and with enough potential to point at a stronger third if the author wished to continue the tale.

Always Hers: Bedtime Stories and Poems by Edward J Cole

4 Stars

Being asked to review more genres outside of poetry, I cannot help by fall back on my poetic eye whilst reading. This book covers both poetry and short stories. The stories are clearly the star of the show with the poems having a subtle simple means to introduce the following story. The gentle structure to these poems are the calm before the passion of what are erotic encounters.

Again the author surprises as the stories move with a slow similar structure with differing environments, but the passion builds with each tale. Looking for a central tale to define the book is done easily with the ‘Prince and Duchess’ trilogy. This tale that appears towards the end centers on a growing sexuality by said prince that portrays a lasting confidence. Rather than simply have sex for the sake of fulfillment. Like the overall theme of the book it is a gentle guidance that builds with a learned passion. Leaving the reader not embarrassed or shocked, but enjoying the expression of sex. I have not mentioned the word love, which is the most important word and its omittance is necessary. Bedtime stories excites for the prelude for sexual adventures or dreams.

Be A Spark: Seeking Light by Maria Mudassir

3 Stars

There is a subtle irony from the beginning of this poetry collection, where the authors asks critics to be kind and appreciate the simple joy of writing. Harsh words can destroy early talent. This is a collection that shows much thought and vision. Though it is hindered occasionally by pacing and length. Very much like a good movie that adds that extra hour that disturbs full enjoyment by the viewer.

An example is displayed in the poem ‘Not Dead, I’m Still Alive’. I wonderfully concept that starts majestically that gets weighed down in the middle and loses power towards the end. This is a reflection of the book as a whole. Long poems require much care and precision to maintain a connection. The author’s shorter poem provide much better focus, even though the longer poems have the greater concepts.

With a youthful spirit the technique of writing is geared to speak directly to you the reader giving insight and inspiration through life’s journey. A noble concept that requires good handling to not become too strained and overbearing. A poem to a father is gently handled with simplicity. With that tone this is more of a guide for the poet to further develop her skills and talent. A good beginning.

Escape by CH Little

4 Stars

There is a simplicity and inevitability about the plot, in a tale that resembles a folk tale to scare young adults.  Yet with such a foregone conclusion the length and pacing is judge well to ensure the weaknesses in the plot is not reflected upon greatly.

The general naivety and desperation of the main character plays well to the angst that is so apparent in today’s society, with many longing for such an escape.  The shift between the lack of awareness by the character to the state of high alert drives the finale well. With an epilogue highlighting the pain of regret it almost forms a piece of social commentary.

This brings me back to the overall sense of the story being a folk tale to educate and warn the reader.  The sensitivity and cruel nature of the end displays the strongest points of the author. With such a story the way you are drawn in and then cast aside quickly is solely down to the skill of the author. Worth a read.

Element of Freedom by O’Nika Barnette

3 Stars

A poetry collection heavily influenced by music artists is played to capture the essence of blackness. A very difficult subject to master in a small poetry collection and in this case too much for the author. The simplicity of poetry, which appears youthful at times, has an almost one toned manner. The changes in pattern and tone appear exclusively towards the end of the collection.

The two stand out pieces that would make an excellent starting point to strengthen this collection are “Insanity” and “My black, your black, our black”. Insanity inspired by Dylan Thomas forces the poet to reach a higher level that the simple pacing from the beginning highlight may not have been achievable. The second standout poem, plays well in summarizing elements of black history with the author’s own experiences.

Overall an interesting collection that holds back the talent the author can express with the right encouragement, subject and inspiration.

My Poetic Soul Unleashed by Melica Niccole

4 Stars

From the melodic bounce and joy of her first book, the author returns with a deeper angst filled collection. In this collection you get more of an insight into what drives the author and her emotions are on full display for reflection. With such angst you can maintain a rhythm, but the tempo is much slower. It ebbs and flows with such a degree to hypnotize you into feeling the angst.

Not wishing to hold back on sharing her inner feelings, very personal revelations are revealed in her end note. This has the aspect of trying to create an emphatic understanding of what the author is using as a basis for her work. As the author states in Born to be Deep: “Born to be me, In other words, I was born to be Deep”

There are a few elements of play, but in general it is tour de force of discovery and hoping to instill inspiration in the reader and the author. Though missing the magic of her first book, this is a fitting continuation of her poetic journey.

Little Book of Love by Robby A Lyon

3 Stars

Little is such a keyword in this title, as though the poems are few and the depth of expressions not overtly complex it displays a gentle charm.

You find yourself in a similar mood to a Sunday afternoon, just relaxing and not being too taxed by the words of this author. Providing poems that flow and pass you by like a leaf on a spring day.

With such an effortless tone it makes the book one to read in a state similar to the cover. This in turn reflects how poetry in a simpler form can maintain a sense to be compelling to the reader. Even a poem labeled ‘Ode to Vagina’ is inoffensive and has a subtle play with words.

For staying true to his style, I commend the author. Whether a leaf passing you gently by is enough to entertain you depends on the reader. Certainly worth a read.

On the Verge by Tim Ellis

3 Stars

A book with such high ideals and an introduction of intrigue that sets up the readers levels of expectations, only to leave a want for much more. An environmental social narrative style collection of poetry is a much wanted change as a subject. However the constraints of the poet due to having to publish work found makes this particularly difficult to critique as the true writer is the creative force of this book.

Putting all this to one side, using the truck analogy the poem selection is weighed down by the trailer of off beat muses, when the real driving force is the more structured poetic rhyme and meter. When focused on a subject with traditional poetic techniques the work truly shines. The poems that are more muse like and simple outpourings to continue the story feel lost and confused. The overall metaphor of the unicorn and man’s misuse of its environment is a beautiful concept that flows throughout the book. Though personally I feel it is not tackled well as a single poem.

The middle section loses much focus and becomes clustered. Thankfully saved by a strong finish of poems that follow more structure, which helps not only in reading, but in gathering momentum.

The poet who has chosen this work shares a poem to provide a contrast to what has been read in the end, which makes the reader wonder if he interceded more from the beginning it would have a better journey.

It must be noted proceeds of purchase go to a charity, which is not a sole reason to buy the book. However it is notable in the overall theme portrayed in the writing.

A Year of Tears: Learning to trust and Accept Love Again by Nikki Knight

4 Stars

Such an eternal theme that captivates most writers that can be both understood and misunderstood by the reader. The beauty in this subject is that it remains forever relevant, but making it interesting for the reader is a challenge.

The author clearly knows this subject and the introduction from the beginning establishes where she is coming from in writing. Describing the style of writing leads to many interpretations. It could basically be deemed a short story in a journal format. More vividly it could be a narrative epic poem with a touch of Villanelle repetitive emphasis. A combination of all may lead to a definition of the style and this automatically breeds interest while reading the piece.

Though highlighted from woman’s perspective with characteristic self-confidence issues that impact on the majority of women in this age, it has elements for understanding by both sexes and has an inspirational feel to this vast subject.

This journey of the female character with highlights of modern day angst has an almost therapeutic touch as she speaks out to the reader. Healing herself through the pain and providing questioning to heal those readers experiencing similar feelings.

With so much that can be explored in this brief piece of writing, upon reflection it could be expanded as it has a sense of a summary of a novel. Though it could merely be a work that causes creative expansion to combine with your own sentiments to dream of the full story.

A Witch’s Aura by Devon Volkel

4 Stars

The premise of this book in combination with the title gives the reader a picture for foretelling what may occur with the story. This puts a pressure on the story to uphold your interest and thankfully ‘A Witch’s Aura’ succeeds well. The youthful nature of the characters and young love brings much memories to anyone who has experienced such emotion. You may find yourself in a dreamlike state as the friendships and loves are formed in the story. Connecting with a character is important to empathize as the story develops. For lovers of paranormal and of course witchcraft, the elements mentioned provide fascinating insight.

Instincts dictate this dreamlike happiness cannot be maintained without a trial and the plot twists gather a strong wind towards the latter part of the book. I am still undecided whether this should have come earlier or more hints placed sporadically. How this would have effected the overall feel and character empathy would be an interesting alternative.

None the less the climax pulls at your heart despite the head already knowing the outcome. An exceptional tale that reads well, demanding your attention as it draws you in emotionally before releasing its surprises. Highly recommend you read.

Rembrandt’s Bible by Atari Hadari

4 Stars

What fascinates me about this collection is that you intentionally may be judgmental about what to aspect. Religious poetry and specific references to Judaism would potentially make this collection typecast for a very selective audience. Some basic understanding of religion helps to have a deeper meaning of the subjects and references made by the author. However what comes to light is the use of language and structured flow of the poems, which is universal for any reader to appreciate. There is a blend of strong narrative story telling that resembles parables, which is sometimes humorously entwined with a modern day background. Almost reminiscent of your favorite history teacher who makes an unwanted subject sound interesting. The sporadic selection of more deeper and sorrowful poems, help to bring a sense of balance to ensure this is not just religious satire. A particular favorite poem that captures the essence of the collection is ‘A Captain’s Wife in Egypt’ a blended poem with humor, ode to modern day fused with the past and ending on such a poignant reflective note. This approach shows off the talent of the author and reminds me how connected we can be to different cultures. On this note, I recommend you read and put judgments aside on religious and cultural poetry.

Meditations: New Poetry by Scott Hastie

4 Stars

Sometimes when writing a review your emotional state comes to play and longing questions you have appear to be reflected by the words of an author. This comes into mind as this collection tackles the general mysteries of life and how we should tackle them truthfully.

Meditations is an apt title as the majority of the poems force a reflection. Poetically the pacing and descriptive language used in the poems flow effortlessly with ease. There is a strong motivational theme and with such a feel the collection ends before becoming too self-righteous to those with a low tolerance.

An advertisement for this collection could come from the excellent poem ‘A perpetual riddle of life’. A poem with the strength of a wise sage with a last line that describes the purpose of reading this collection ‘And thus makes our world anew, shower it with enlightenment never ending’.

Ashlynn’s Dreams (Devya’s Children) by Julie Gilbert

4 Stars

The beauty of writing is to both entertain and enlighten the reader. This book achieves both in my opinion as following the end of this story, you are left with much philosophical thoughts on science and the mystery of dreams. The writer takes on the youthful character of Ashlynn with ease as she develops in stature and maturity as an unlikely heroine. The story is moved along by using the journal format that also maintains the youthful nature of the characters like a teenage diary. The interplay between the characters viewpoints in this journal provide varying viewpoints of scenes that almost mimic the readers thought. The scene that creates the story arc touches on our greatest fear and leads to what can be described as a battle of wills from what appear to be unmatched opponents. The protagonist who’s opinion and motive raises many moral questions is well handled,if not slightly less prominent in the final scenes. Though thankfully provides one lasting telling point. Without giving away too much, dream control provides a fascinating subject. Especially when the majority of the characters are at a young age. The developing mind being granted overdeveloped powers is a beautiful contradiction. The book plays to many audiences and should not be typecast as teen fiction as it evolves like the characters in maturity, giving the reader deeper substance with each chapter. A delightful book that pleasantly surprises and recommended for reading.

Poetic Outlets by Melica Niccole

5 Stars

An impressive collection that flows with such a rhythm it is infectious. The start to any collection paves the way for the reader. The rhythmic beat that drums from the beginning is reminiscent of your favorite song. The poem Sophisticated Lady, being a suitable climax of the poet in full flow and enjoyment of her craft. I could not help, but smile as I read each stanza.

The collection then moves onto that age old theme of love. Which continues with the style the poet has chosen, but the rhythm changes pace like the emotion itself. This theme continues for a while and just as I was debating in my head how the poet would tackle more different or challenging subjects, along comes the poem Melica Wants To Know.

A powerful write about the debate of the American healthcare system. Though one-sided in its argument it does so in a compelling manner. As stated before this collection is like a song and unfortunately it has to reach an end. From the happy rhythmic beginning to the slowed down romantic middle it finishes with words for the soul.

An ode to the works of Michael Jackson is a last playful delight before the collection ends. Though the haunting poem Lost hits home the multi-talented nature of this poet. While delighting in her early words, this poem reminds us about the disconnection many feel in this world.

5 stars are dished out to freely these days in reviews, you could blame the app store for this as true great work has that something special that stays in the mind and changes your mind. This book is like my favorite song, well crafted and a tempo that brings joy.

Reflections of Soul by Queen Spades

3 Stars

My initial thoughts is this collection intentional written as such or is there further creative aspect not fully explored. I had a growing sense of the collection being monologue by the author, expressing her thoughts. This is fine as a concept, but some of the poetic elements to drive a poem seem brief conception. Touching on emotional subjects, a lack of full emotion and imagery by the author hinder what are good ideas. Being a short collection, demands the reader’s attention to grasped immediately and held till the finish. There are true moments of inspiration and some poems worth revisiting. Reflecting on this, I hope it forms a basis for stronger future work.

The dVerse Anthology Voices of Contemporary World Poetry edited Frank Watson

4 Stars

An intriguing collection of poetry that requires slow absorption to truly appreciate the diversity of styles. Upon reflection what stands out for me is the strong narrative note of numerous poems that give an almost novel like feel. This is highlighted by poems that often veer into prose like format. Subtle hints of nature play theme in poems in ode to classic poetry with typical metaphors of the seasons. What makes this special is the careful selection of poems and different cultural influences. With poetry having a global audience it is refreshing to see work from outside the strong North American and Asia continents. The section of translations of German poems was of particular interest for the gentle pacing and high visual imagery. While reading you will potentially gravitate to certain poets and styles, however this does injustice to the purpose of the book. Therefore rather than listing my favourite poets and poems from the book, I suggest you begin from page 1 and enjoy a wonderful collection of world poetry.

Unscrambled Eggs by Nadia Brown

4 Stars

In her second book, the author’s development has grown to enhance her writing. Once again with stories of life and elements of history the poems of short length weave amongst each other to inspire and enlighten. Poems like ‘Black Souls’ and ‘Blind eyes become open’ tackle the plight found in black history in a sensitive manner. A focused pattern of poems have elements of nature, which bring a sense of life and lightness to often deeper subjects. The short length of the majority of poems often leave you wanting extra verses. It resembles an author who sometimes runs out of steam when starting so strongly in her work. However despite this shortcoming, the book is a recommended read and this is an author to watch develop further in her writing.

30th Year Poetry by A. J . Hayes

3 Stars

A noble effort by author A. J. Hayes is the basis for his poetry book `30th Year Poetry’. In writing poems daily for a year this does lead to obvious pitfalls. A slow beginning eventually makes way for an array of fascinating insight on subjects close to the author’s heart and occurring in his life. His work is at his best when there is a more emotive essence and dealing with worldly subjects. The rhythm of his pieces also improves when he appears more focused.

There can be much frustration, when great poems are followed by fillers and what appear unfinished poems. This can break your own reading flow and question whether more tightly editing/arrangement would benefit the book.

The author often switches into prose and communicating directly to the reader, which often distracts more than aiding the poems.

A breakdown of each poem and the thought process involved is quite an interesting concept that completes the book. Due to the nature of the book it seems suitably placed as you join his year journey from another aspect.

Overall the book shows the skill and passion of the poet and is worth reading. However a more focused and better poem selection would show off his undoubted talent

BECOMING: The Life & Musings of a Girl Poet by Nadia Brown

3 Stars

This is quite a difficult review for I have to take many aspects of this book into consideration. The poetic side is fine and some well thought out descriptions are used for uplifting poems. However a few poems feel unfinished and certainly could be expanded. With musings it is highly dependant on the readers view and how compelling you put your points across. Once again this is sometimes the cases with some muses causing thought and touching your emotions. Other muses simply pass on by. Towards the end of the book, the poems cease and it almost has a self-help, life coaching feel. Which raises some good points, though how necessary it was is debatable. This uncertainty and questioning of what you are reading often deters from the authors hidden skills of poetry.

Dreams by Erica M Christensen

3 Stars

In her second publication, the author continues to explore love and relationships. Divided into three poems the repetition of wanting something that is not there does feel strained. Especially with the choice of wording to emphasise this point. The idea is good, but more exploration of the emotion and description would enhance the poems. This could work more strongly as a singular poem, but feels strained when expanded. Overall you are left wanting like the character.

Life and Me (Stephen D Oxlee anthologies) by Stephen D Oxlee

4 stars

Life and Me displays the traditional style of poetry in rhyme. This anthologies deals with the world surrounding the author, where can picture him with a pad and pen transforming muses into poetic form walking around town. There is a slight religious concept that intercedes his poem, but no overbearingly so. Regular references to Christmas highlight the joy of that festive season. His poems are at there strongest when the rhyming is consistent. When this is not the case it can slightly deter. Tighter and powerful endings to his poems would really highlight the power of his words. Though overall there is a peaceful and melodic joy to his work. Displaying a talent worthy enough to share and read.

Words of Marc D Brown by Marc D Brown

4 Stars

The poet states in one stanza a fear of failure, he can be content that this book succeeds. As expected in a collection of poems, themes of love, angst and society compete for attention. Each theme is handled well in particular the deepest angst of the poet that shine brightest. There is always going to be a difficulty of each poem maintaining the standard of the next or previous. Midway through the book this seems to be the case. However it finishes strongly and raises thought on the concepts raised. The poet’s call to arms for poetry to be heard is welcomed and this book certainly deserves reading.

Always You by Erica M Christensen

4 stars

As a single poem it is great in its own right as the subtle way it creates the scene is haunting. The words demand empathy for what is a common tale in this world. The use of repetition is powerful, not just in reinforcing the message, but in asking the question for the reason why unwarranted love lingers in your mind.

If I Told You My Inspired Poems by James Jackson

3 Stars

The first book by this poet is an emotive collection dealing with themes of race, love and life. A slow start in the beginning builds pace as the poet finds his feet. A few poems leave you wanting more and formatting issues can distract. Though when the poet touches on romance the rhythm and writing increase to another level. Whether intentional or not the strong finish begins with the use of more structured rhyme to the poems. A recommended read and if the poet follows the momentum, his next book will be of an even higher quality.