eBook Review: Bridge Daughter by Jim Nelson

This ebook was sent to me by the author for an honest review.


Title: Bridge Daughter

Author: Jim Nelson

Length: 386 pages

Purchase at: Amazon Kindle

Summary: In the god-fearing city of Concord, California, thirteen-year old Hanna lives with her attentive and caring parents. Life is quiet, quaint, and outside of her Aunt Azami and Uncle Rick, Hanna truly believes she needs nothing more in her life. Everything changes, however, on her birthday, when she decides to steal a pregnancy test from her local pharmacy.

Her life is cut in two: life before pregnancy test, and life after pregnancy test, and she must learn to cope with the indelible fact that she is her mother’s bridge daughter. Hanna goes on a mission to learn her own beliefs and values, from herself, to her parents, to God himself, and along the way she learns the gut-wrenching truth that sometimes there is a purpose to your life. And it may not be what you hoped.

Impression: I’ve never gotten teary-eyed after reading a self-published book yet, and I’m happy to say that Bridge Daughter is that inspirational and entertaining of a novel.

Jim Nelson weaves a novel FRAUGHT with taboo topics (religion, sex, life VS death) and handles them so professionally and emotionally. Hanna is a beautiful character that undergoes one of the most trying and tortuous character arcs I’ve ever read- the entire time, I rooted for her through all of her trials, good or bad. She begins the book as a naïve, immature child and ends the novel a saint. Though that, ladies and gentlemen, is the question that Nelson seems to pose all along: where is the line between morality and the right to live your life as you see fit? Is there a line? Is there actually a divine reason behind your existence?

This is an incredible scifi novel that bridges (ha) the gap between religion and science. It is so emotionally superb and is not overhanded with any of the themes (because let’s be honest… religion novels tend to drive people batty, but this is one of the gems that genuinely, genuinely asks you to learn and question on your own). The style is a tough one for authors to grasp, because not many people can write from a thirteen-year old girl’s stunted perspective. But Nelson achieved the nigh impossible. You learn and grow with Hanna, you come to understand the world she exists in and the choices that she has to make, and you endure the tests she must face with as much uncertainty and doubt as she does.

I would suggest this novel to everyone- it is intelligent, gripping, and hard to put down. The action is full-speed ahead; no one makes it out of this book without a tested perspective after some masterfully written heart-wrenching moments. Nelson is a tried and tested author, and I genuinely suggest his book to all scifi and high fantasy lovers. Five feather pens!


Self-Published eBook Review: Forbidden Outpost by Tony Rubolotta

Hey friends!

I have another self-published eBook review here for you guys, and it’s a fanfiction written after the classic movie, Forbidden Planet. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it is a hard science-fiction feature starring Leslie Nielson as the main protagonist, and bears a lot of stylistic choices that can be seen later on in the Star Wars movies. The classic was made in the 50s, so it is a very specific taste of a story, but it may intrigue some of you.

Read on for my own personal review of the self-published eBook!

This novel was suggested to me by the author, and is available for free to all readers.

Title: Forbidden Outpost

Author: Tony Rubolotta

Length: 1101 pages

Platforms: iBooks, Kindle, Smashwords

Synopsis: Written as a fanfiction to follow the popular classic movie, Forbidden Planet, this story follows Captain JJ Adams as he departs the planet of Altair 4 with his crew and his new, beautiful girlfriend, Alta. After the harrowing events that had happened on Altair 4 where Alta lost her father to the powerful sciences of the Krell aliens, they find they have not seen the end of intergalactic problems as Alta begins hearing voices and seeing apparitions in her dreams.

During their trek back to Earth, Adams lands his ship at a passing planet to sort out these concerning changes, and soon learns that weirder and stranger threats are at bay. Along with his crew and the planet’s inhabitants, Adams must discover the truth about the alien Krell species and its desire to influence and control Alta.

Impression: Though the author assured me this novel was great as a standalone story, I would highly recommend watching the movie it was based on to complement this artfully rendered fanfiction of the cult classic. There are many themes and world-building bits of information that I could only appreciate fully upon seeing the movie. Rubolotta is a very technical and precise writer, and this in turn creates a calculating and accurate atmosphere for the story.

This book was a far leap into a different genre of scifi drama than any other story I have read. Forbidden Planet is known for being incredibly ahead of its time (it’s effects and influence can be seen in Star Wars) and also draws intelligent influence from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and even Freudian theories. The movie was produced in the 50s, so there are clearly a lot of era-specific themes that influence the character creation and the dialogue in this novel.

The story’s tone is playful and innocent and does a great job of harnessing the same feel and style of the movie. There are many characters from the movie that make an appearance and some awesome inferences that any fan would love, so I would absolutely suggest this eBook to a tried and true Forbidden Planet fan.

Personally, I had a hard time connecting with both the movie and the novel. For those who aren’t familiar with the movie or came away disenchanted like I did, I would probably not recommend the book. There are many sexist undertones that overshadowed most of the character interactions and the dialogue was just as cheesy and unbelievable as the screenplay that was written. I did not enjoy the speed of the novel (slow and plodding like the movie) and I also did not like how there were many coincidences that brought together the plot (also seen in the movie). Just like other bits of 50s-era entertainment, the atmosphere is incredibly important. I feel like Rubolotta nailed this in his story, but the characters, themes, and style just wasn’t for me.

I will give this story a rating of 2 feather pens, because of my disinterest and dislike of the movie, and therefore, this story. Fans of Forbidden Planet would enjoy this story, though, so if you are familiar with the classic, pick it up and let me know what you think!


quill pen ink

Author Interview: Christi Smit

Gamma Nine by Christi Smit

Hi everyone!

I’m so happy to be able to bring to you an interview of one of the most passionate, most creative authors in the self-publishing world: Christi Smit, author of Gamma Nine.

Now, hopefully you guys checked out the book review, but Gamma Nine is an epic sci-fi story based hundreds of years in the future and revolves around a military group defending the universe from a deadly plague. The world is rich, the characters unique, and the story is well told. I was lucky enough to wrangle Christi into being my first interviewee, and he gratefully accepted the challenge!

Gamma Nine debuted in the #1 spot on KOBO in its categories, and was #1 for a week in the top 50 sci-fi books and was in the top 10 for a week in the overall top 50. Smit not only put a ton of effort into this premier novel, but he also created a program in which readers can share creativity and become involved in the Gamma Nine universe. Called the Star Explorer Program, readers and fans can contribute pieces of art of the Gamma Nine universe; drawings of characters, spacecraft, planets, etc. Smit crafted this welcoming contribution to create a community of sci-fi lovers who want to express their love of the novels. And speaking of novels, a new (free!) novella will be out TODAY, and click here to download it as an epub. I will put all of Christi’s links at the bottom of the interview, but don’t hesitate to check out his main website here for more info about his books .

Without further ado, let’s learn about the author behind the story: Christi Smit!

Debut Self-Published Author!
  1. Gamma Nine is an epic science fiction novel that combines an artfully described universe with technical and tactical accuracy. Did you have to do a lot of research for the militaristic and advanced tech scenes? If so, what resources did you use, and how did you meld accuracy and creativity?

Before I wrote Gamma Nine I wrote a 15000 word technical document as part of my universe building. I used it to set the stage for myself and as a history lesson for the universe. It still contained a story and some of the characters present in the current novel. The ZERO chapters are a shortened less technical history refined from that document. While I was writing this technical document I used previous knowledge from media and the internet to fill in the smaller gaps. However, as most of us know these days – when in doubt Google it. I spent hours upon hours reading scientific journals, articles and information about cell structure and how the mitochondrion functioned within a cell and my imagination took that information to create the Beast. I read about faster than light travel and all of the theories and hypothesis on the subject. But sometimes you have to connect reality to science fiction somehow. My explanation for some of the things contained within my novel are outside of what we understand as reality, what is and what is not possible. That is where science fiction comes in and connected what we know to what we wished we did or could. It also helped that I read mostly science fiction novels, so to a degree I know what has been done or has been tried and that foundation is what helped me write Gamma Nine.


  1. Will this fabled technical document ever be released? And how does it differ from the current novel?

I might release it as a fun thing for fans should there be enough of them to inquire about it. I still have it here somewhere. The technical document, named The History of Us, differs to Gamma Nine by great lengths. There is far more information on weaponry and military structure. It also contains detailed infection situations and contains a longer version of the original outbreak described in the ZERO chapters. A few other differences would be the formation of the P-SEP program and the birth of the first Star Explorer vessel, BEAM drive information, universe exploration with a few planets thrown into the mix and the birth of the first Titans. The ending is also different from the ZERO chapters. But that I will leave to readers once I release the raw document sometime in the near future.


  1. This is kind of a two-parter: Is science fiction your favorite genre to write? Why do you write scifi?


Science fiction has always been my favorite genre. It allows my imagination to run free and that is when I am at my best. Horror and Fantasy are genres I also love, but I feel a greater connection to the worlds of science fiction and all of its sub-genres. I have more than this one story planned for the Gamma Nine universe and even more new and exciting projects after the Gamma Nine Trilogy has concluded. There might even be a second trilogy or more stand-alone novels in the Gamma Nine series depending on how much the readers love the universe. That is how much I love writing science fiction. I would keep writing it as long as people wanted to read it. The universes, mine and others, are just places to get lost in and I thrive on the information written into science fiction novels. The details and scope of it all just makes my knees go week whenever I get stuck into the genre. Because of that and many other reasons, there was no choice in the matter when I decided which of my stories to write first. Science fiction bit me when I was a child and I have never regretted making my first light saber noise or begging my parents for spaceman action figures. Nowhere else can your mind leave this planet and see through the eyes of some distant star traveller, nowhere.


  1. Which character of yours did you enjoy writing the most? Was one of them particularly difficult to write?

I enjoyed writing Pyoter, Sam and Xander the most. I love writing characters with strange quirks and a good sense of humor. Sam has not shown the depth of his humor yet, he is quite shy, but he will. Rivers was also a particular favorite of mine; he features in my most favorite part of the novel. But I won’t spoil it for those who have not read the novel yet. Nathan was difficult and so was Christian, for personal and other reasons. It was sometimes difficult to separate reality from fiction in some cases while writing them.


  1. What was the hardest part of writing Gamma Nine?

To keep writing. Some days I would wake up and refuse to write. Other days I would start writing and not stop until I have the perfect scene. I do not know why that is but I guess it comes down to stress and all of the work involved in self-publishing. At first the novel would have been 80000 words, then 100000 and it ended up on 124000. So that shows you how much of a day to day struggle it is to keep to your schedule and ideas of what your novel should be. That is also one of the hardest parts I think.


  1. Are you an outliner or a freewriter? (Meaning, did you plan each scene before you wrote or did you just let your ideas take you where they wanted to?)

When I was studying creative writing I came across an article describing the different kind of writers and how they go about their work. I was intimidated at first when I read about organic writers, those lucky few who plan very little but can write great stories. At that time I was still an undefined and unrefined writer. With practice I started noticing that I was becoming more and more organic as my courses progressed. Most of the courses forced you to plan and show your outlines for everything you did. I did not enjoy that way of writing. It was not until I started my first real project – the document mentioned earlier -that I became truly free to write as I wanted to. I do not plan except a start and end point. I know where I want to begin and I have a vague idea of how the first arc needs to end. Other than that I sit down and I just write. Sometimes I would imagine future scenes or get ideas while I am doing the mundane day to day things. I even dreamt about some things in the novel because it consumed my entire life while I wrote it. I have a notebook I write some things in, but mostly they are just ideas like the names of a vessel or character I thought of or heard that sounded great. Planning just seemed unnatural to me. I write and the story creates itself as I go along.  At least 60% of the novel was decided as I was writing a scene. It sounds strange to other writers but even now I already have an idea of Book 2’s start and a little peek into an end, the middle part will be created as I put pen to paper. The only thing I know is some new characters and some scenes I want to put in, but nothing is set in stone and all of it is floating around in my mind. The same goes for the short story I am writing now. I knew what I wanted to write about and the name, the rest I made up every time I sat down to write.


  1. Which writers inspire you?

There are so many. But Orson Scott Card was the one that inspired me to write all of the things stored in my head. His foreword in the original Ender’s game was life-changing. My future wife pushed me to get off my lazy behind and hone my skills and Mr. Card was the trigger.


  1. Why did you choose self-publishing and what part of self-publishing appealed to you?

It was the only option at the time that would get my work out there as fast and easy as possible. I wish I did try the traditional route but the genre I chose is not very popular in publishing houses in my home country. I did the research and taught myself about self-publishing and it seemed like the best option. Maybe, or should I say hopefully, I will get published traditionally sometime in the future. I guess it comes down to luck in the end. I regret not sending my manuscripts to publishers in other countries though, something I need to do for the next book or series.


  1. What are your writing goals?


I have only one. I want to share my stories with others. I want those people that read my stories to put the book down at the end and feel as if I transported them away from whatever was bothering them at the time. It would be great if a reader contacted me and told me that my writing meant something to them, or even just kept them busy for a while. I want my stories to reach people, emotionally reach them to maybe help them through a difficult time or just make them smile, even if it is just once. If I can connect to a reader like that, then I consider myself a lucky man.


  1. Do you have any book recommendations that you’d like to share?

Would it be cliché to recommend J.K Rowling, Tolkien or the great Orson Scott Card? Even if it is, read whatever you can find with their names on it. Their writing is beyond the fantastic and borders on perfect in my opinion. Although Tolkien purely because he created what we know as fantasy today, without him we would not have all of the wonderful stories we have today.  If you want to read something quirky and fun, read Felicia Day’s book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost). It is worth it.


Thanks everyone for reading and I hope you enjoyed the interview! Definitely check out Smit’s book, the first in his series. Hopefully this is the first interview in a series, so if you liked seeing and reading this, please let me know!

For more info about Christi Smit and Gamma Nine, here’s the info you need:

Follow the happenings on Twitter: @GammaNineSeries


US Amazon Author Page 

UK Amazon Author Page

Gamma Nine Website/Buy Page

Artemis Novella



New Self-Published eBooks: April 17-23

We’re back with another awesome list of upcoming self-published eBooks! You know, it’s really fun bringing you guys new debut and self-published authors. Sometimes I feel like I get stuck in a rut reading the same kind of books or the same authors… this is all well and good, but there really is nothing like an unexpected story or novel to really make you start thinking. I like to surround myself with great stories, and I’ve definitely found some gems since I started recording them here for all of us avid readers. Have any of you guys stumbled across something self-published or a recent debut novel that you instantly loved? Let me know! I’d love to hear what is currently catching your interest 🙂

And here’s our upcoming books this week:



The Driver Series by HS Stone available April 17, 2016

Lifepod by Anu Morris available April 18, 2016

Eclipse of the Soul (#2 in the Interdimensional Saga) by JL Hendricks available April 17, 2016

Chronicles of Domaria by LC Lopes available April 18, 2016

The Apprentice’s Talent by Ray McCarthy available April 18, 2016

Hellavey (#2 in the New Breed series) by Lisa Vandiver available April 18, 2016

Winter Smith: London’s Burning by JS Strange available April 18, 2016

Scorched Magic (#7 in the Elemental Magic series) by Angela Wallace available April 18, 2016

The Last Heroes before Judgment by Matt Wilk available April 18, 2016

Scattering Stars by Wendy C Jorgenson available April 19, 2016

Echoes of Tomorrow (#8) by Douglas Wayne available April 19, 2016

The Curse of the Iron Skull (#2 in the Dust McAlan series) by CK Burch available April 19, 2016

Freedom/ Hate by Kyle Andrews available April 19, 2016

Alice in Sinland by Antarra Mann available April 19, 2016

Beauty’s Songbook by RJ Vickers available April 19, 2016

Raiding Cuailnge by Stephen Russel available April 20, 2016

Horribly Ever After by Thatcher C Nalley available April 20, 2016

Earth to Nole: Return of the Prince by Kumar Lomash available April 20, 2016

Tarquin Jenkins and the Book of Dreams by Peter Ford available April 20, 2016

Ghost of Winter by Wendy Tardeiu available April 21, 2016

Cosmo Flux by Samantha Ricks available April 21, 2016

The Anzu: The Wormhole by Mary S Shepard available April 21, 2016

Exfiltration (#4 of the Maelstrom series) by Jack Colton available April 21, 2016

Tempest (#2 in the La Sylphide series) by K Gorman available April 22, 2016

The Sorceress and the Demon (#3 in the Vampire Addictions Trilogy) by Thea Atkinson available April 22, 2016

Iron Fist Keep (#3 in the Prophecy of Axain series) by Steven Atwood available April 22, 2016

Crossed: The Karma Crusades by A Bernette available April 22, 2016

The Other Side of the Clouds by JL Virtanen available April 22, 2016

Canticum Tenebris (#2 Wrath of the Old Gods) by John Triptych available April 23, 2016

The Destroyer (#3) by Michael-Scott Earle available April 23, 2016



Death of Civilization; Invasion by Nathan Hale available April 19, 2016

Cosmo Flux by Samantha Ricks available April 21, 2016

The Anzu: The Wormhole by Mary S Shepard available April 21, 2016

The Vampire of Levantine by Jacob Mossberg available April 21, 2016

Fallen (#5 in the Siren Series) by LA Griffiths available April 22, 2016

Iron Fist Keep (#3 in the Prophecy of Axain series) by Steven Atwood available April 22, 2016

Canticum Tenebris (#2 Wrath of the Old Gods) by John Triptych available April 23, 2016



[Lulu doesn’t post upcoming publications, so this list covers last weeks self-published eBooks]

Silent Stalkers, Blood Fiend, Shadow Things, Midnight Terrors (1, 2, 3, 4 in the Trail of Evil Series) by Timothy Broyles available April 17, 2016

A Journey Too Far Plus Imposter, The Man with Two Minds Plus Mindswitch by Donald H Sullivan available April 17, 2016

Broken Truth by Danielle Dunn available April 17, 2016

Intergalactic Alliance- A Galaxy of War by Adam Luke Neal available April 16, 2016

Forbidden Outpost by Tony Rubolotta available April 16, 2016

Al is in Wonderland by Alaa Abi Haidar available April 15, 2016

The Love Theory by Michael Stansfield available April 15, 2016

Stellar: Off-World by Damian Sylvester available April 15, 2016

The Dryatrix by LZM Lightbrick available April 14, 2016

A Nun for Love, A Sailor in Time by SD Ann available April 14, 2016

Travelling on with Fently Bunklecuzly by Lorraine Bean available April 14, 2016

The Portal Prophecies: A Halloween’s Curse by CA King available April 14, 2016

The Omega Chronicles: The Blockade by Tennijsen Neil available April 14, 2016

Project Genesis Plus Life Pod by Donald H Sullivan available April 13, 2016

The Gorgon Medusa by Tyrone Ross available April 12, 2016

When Ravens Fall by Savannah Jezowski available April 12, 2016

Elfenwurl: Plus the Kidnapped Unicorn by Donald Sullivan available April 12, 2016

Robo Raptors and the Gutsy Rebels by Ben Patterson available April 12, 2016

Downfall by Aaron Morgan available April 12, 2016

An Evil Mind by Susan Hart available April 12, 2016

Forging of a Knight: Rise of the Slavekeepers by Hugo Valentin Negron available April 11, 2016

The Portal Prophecies: Frost Bitten by CA King available April 11, 2016

Last 90 Days by Gail Matelson available April 11, 2016

The Orphan Fleet by Brendan Detzner available April 11, 2016

The Blood Wolf by David Valdez available April 11, 2016

Pendragon Rewrite by Miz Angela Maroh available April 10, 2016

Awakening into a Dream World Reality by Jason NaKondri available April 10, 2016

Human Remains: Ten Classic Sci-Fi Tales by Susan Hart available April 17, 2016

Knights of the Martyr by Daniel Beaton available April 10, 2016



Fallen (#5 in the Siren Series) by LA Griffiths available April 22, 2016

Canticum Tenebris by John Triptych available April 23, 2016


Disclaimer: This list is created based on my own research. Any oversights in self-published books are not done purposefully or out of maliciousness. Books with a listed publisher other than the author’s name, listed under a genre other than Fantasy or Science-Fiction, or advertised on a separate eReader site, will not be included. Amendments will not be made to published posts. To ensure inclusion in the weekly updates, please send me an email and a link to your eBook to thedriftingpaige@gmail.com and, if given enough notice, I will do my best to include you!

eBook Review: Squid’s Grief by DK Mok

Hey everyone! Here is an in-depth review of a self-published eBook called Squid’s Grief. If you like the movie Blade Runner, dystopians, and character-driven novels, you should absolutely pick this guy up (or download it, rather 😉 )!


Title: Squid’s Grief

Author: DK Mok

Available: Kindle

Length: 356 pages

Synopsis: Baltus City is a futuristic hub in the middle of a dystopian world. Within the sprawling metropolitan, gangs vie for power, none more notable than the one lead by the recluse, Pearce, or the one led by his enemy, a smart forward-thinking woman named Verona. Caught between their constant warring is a young girl nicknamed Squid- downtrodden and stuck in a never-ending cycle of bad choices and bad people.

Squid has managed to stay just barely afloat in her life of crime with help from a not-yet-jaded police officer named Casey, but when a job goes wrong and she becomes guardian to an amnesiac named Grief, her world is turned upside down. Squid and Grief have to navigate the poisonous city to not only find his identity, but also find her salvation in the trash and scum that the gangs leave in their wake. Alone, they may have failed, but together, they may finally succeed.

Impression: This is DK Mok’s third novel, and I really am a believer in the fact that the more full novels an author writes, the better they get. This is a superb self-published novel, and Mok’s experience shows. I honestly went snooping around a lot because I didn’t believe that it actually was self-published. Mok has mastered alternate points of view, as seen in the five (maybe more) POVs that are used. Each character has a different voice. I feel like this is such a hard thing for a new author to master and Mok certainly has control over this technique. It made the novel very personal and the audience easily becomes invested in the characters. I especially liked the fact that the main character, Squid, is far from a strong character, but she’s still a compelling female lead. After the popular hullabaloo about strong female leads (and that’s a discussion for a different day), Squid is refreshing and real. I didn’t like her (purely based on personal preference… I wouldn’t want to be her friend), but I wanted to know her story. And the fact that I put that much thought into a character is proof just how great this book is.

I loved the cop Casey and her voice. I think she was so real and so at odds with Squid’s character. They were so different and yet their friendship was genuine. Even the interactions between the lesser characters were very real and the dialogue actually made me laugh at one point. Who says humor can’t be used effectively in fantasy??

The cover art is also beautiful and really puts the reader in the right frame of mind for the setting of the story. I think the only thing that put me off throughout the novel was that the sections of narration of each character were all rather short. It works for an eBook because it makes the reader think they’ve read more than they have (for whatever reason I thought this was a nice touch since you don’t have a physical book to grade your progress), but the sections were a bit too short. They weren’t full enough scenes for me, and I feel like the ones at the beginning of the novel should’ve been condensed. Some of Casey’s scenes, while interesting, were so short that I felt I didn’t get a feel of her as an actual character. Same with Verona and Grief. Toward the end, the short scenes built up the tension wonderfully and really added depth to the book, however. So, I would only apply that comment towards the first 250 pages. I’m giving the book 4 feather pens because of the artful skills that completed this book and the fun storytelling, and I really hope DK Mok churns out some more books!

This is a fantastic novel full of fast-paced action. Even in a dystopian world, Mok has brought to life the downtrodden and the optimistic in a literary world where repression and doubt is fashionable.



eBook Review: Ariel’s Tear by Justin Rose

Woot! I have an awesome eBook review in store that I’ve been promising you guys. I hope you enjoy this little personal reflection on the book. I tried to keep is super objective (when you’re an editor for your day job it’s hard not to be super critical of grammar and such) and to provide as much detail for you readers incase you were looking for a new read. And here we go!

ariel's tear a tale of rehaven by justin rose

Title: Ariel’s Tear: A Tale of Rehaven

Author: Justin O. Rose

Available: Lulu

Length: 184 pages

Synopsis: This novel is a about a family who lives happily in Gath Odrenoch, one of the largest cities in the land of Rehaven. Within this respected family there is a father named Reheuel, a mother named Tessa, two sons named Geuel and Hefthon, and a young daughter named Veil.

Reheuel has just been appointed Captain of the Guards, a prestigious position within Rehaven, when he and his family take one last trip to the City of the Fairies. Instead of beauty and peace, they travel far to find desolation as the fairy city is attacked by pillaging goblins. The Tear gem, a gem made purely of Innocence and which instills power and connection among the fairykind, was stolen during the massacre, and only when Reheuel and Geuel intervene at the risk of their own lives do the goblins finally retreat. But, the fairy city is not saved and the problems have only just begun, because with the Tear gone the fairies are disconnected and changed from the peaceful, innocent beings that they were.

The family must part ways as the problems compound and Ariel, the leader of the faeries, travels with Reheuel to retrieve the stolen gem. The battle between fairy and goblin becomes one mankind cannot ignore. Reheuel’s family, against all odds, must fight the menace that threatens the good of all races, and fairykind and mankind must come together despite their conflicting beliefs and livelihoods.

Impression: Remember the first time you watched the movie Fantasia and you felt like you were watching a whole new universe through a small window pane? And the sheer magic of the world in front of you made you feel like you were transported into another world? That’s how I felt when I read Ariel’s Tear.

Rose is really a fantastic author- I was super impressed by how immersive and how different this book felt overall. I absolutely felt like I was reading some classic fairytale. I couldn’t even put my finger on why this was, except for the fact that Rose is a master of descriptive text. The environments were perfectly detailed and there were some absolutely breathtaking one-liners in this book that I will never forget. For example, on page 16, Reheuel and his wife Tessa are speaking, and Reheuel says, “Our hearts eat time and they turn it to memories.” How many times has this applied to all of us? All the time! We look back, growing older, and our fond memories have suddenly become gilded and pleasant, because our heart had been the one to twist them into another state of thinking. I love that Rose has introspective moments like this in which the audience is knocked back on their feet in thought.

I liked that this book, as it is a fairytale, wasn’t overly drawn out. I kind of had the sense of it being a sort of epic in mind, but the conflict in the story wasn’t so much as epic as it was a symbol of good triumphing over bad. I liked the take on magic, but honestly some of the questions I had after the book was done were due to unanswered and conflicting magical details. I felt like that was the biggest storytelling loophole that took me out of the immersion, but if children were reading this story I doubt they’d pick up on it. So, if you’re like me and you pick up on that kind of stuff, then I’d say steer clear… there are a lot of inconsistencies in regards to the magic.

I was also frustrated because I feel like Rose could have given each of his characters a better voice. The dialogue between characters is so similar that it just broke the illusion and made the story feel fake and kind of brittle at parts. For example, I’d be so immersed in a fight scene (because damn Rose is great at narrating fight scenes), and then it’d be over and all the fairies and the soldiers and the children would sound like the same person having a conversation with himself. They all used the same sentence structure, phrasing, and word choice. The only two times I found a bit of a break in that one dialogue voice was when a soldier at the end used the colloquialism “lad” (we got some Scottish people in Rehaven?!?) and the youngest daughter, Veil. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but it was probably easier to give her her own voice because she’s 1) young, and 2) a girl. Tessa, the mother, even sounded just like her husband/ her sons/ the fairies.

However, I do have to give Rose props because he was really fantastic at writing the fight scenes, building us a whole new world, and completing most of the arcs that the story set out for us. I will be giving this story 3 feather pens as a rating, because it was a very good story and I loved the atmosphere, but the details that keep the audience immersed needed work. It’s Rose’s first book, though, so I feel like he has so much more growth and potential in store. (And between you and me, I’d LOVE to see him write some horror/thriller/mystery stories. His penchant for describing gore is pretty gnarly -as seen in his fight scenes- and I think with his imagination, he’d be able to churn out some gruesome stuff. But that’s just me and my twisted intrigue!)