More Indie Reviews (or Part III)

I have so many reviews to share, and I’m reading faster than I can get my reviews posted. Three more 5-star books, all different!

The Gemini Connection

by Teri Polen

Oh, what a fun read. Sci-fi fans will have a blast with this thriller, but readers who love human stories will thoroughly enjoy this book too. Simon and Evan are twins with a unique connection even though they are strikingly different. Simon is cerebral, a scientist and gentle soul. Evan is a jock with a temper and a painful chip on his shoulder—he’s never been able to live up to his parents’ expectations.

Despite their differences, the brothers are fiercely loyal to each other, and when Simon goes missing, Evan makes it his mission to find out what happened and bring him home. He’s a successful bender, capable of entering the dreams of clients to unblock their memories or fight their nightmares. Their connection and his talent lead the way.

The world-building is excellent, and though “bending” is a bit of a scientific stretch, Polen does a credible job making it feel plausible throughout the story. The pace moves along at a speedy clip, and there are plenty of tight spots and danger.

The story is told in the first-person point of view of both brothers. You might have guessed that I just loved the characters, particularly Evan and Simon. Their relationship wasn’t without its bumps and bruises, but the steadfast loyalty they felt toward each other had me rooting for them from the start. Secondary characters were richly drawn and three-dimensional, as were peripheral players. A great read that I highly recommend.

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***

The Hat

by Craig Boyack

In this short read, Boyack has teamed up Lizzie, a young woman with two part-time jobs, and a talking hat that she stole/inherited from her grandmother’s estate. Yes, you heard that right—a talking hat. At first, she’s rather suspicious and freaked out by the hat, but when a friend’s newborn is stolen as part of a larger baby-napping ring, Lizzie and the hat set out to rescue the infants.

What ensues is pretty entertaining. The banter between Lizzie and the hat is exceptionally witty, particularly as the hat navigates advances in technology (it’s been in a box for a long time). The duo reminded me of wise-cracking detective team with snappy dialog and lots of attitude on both sides.

This book can be polished off in a couple of hours and is well worth the time. Highly recommended.

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Amanda in Holland

by Darlene Foster

This book was quite a bit of fun. Foster combines a middle-grade fiction plot with a colorful tour of Holland, including its famous sites, snippets of history, and its wonderful flowers and food. I had the great fortune of visiting my grandparents in Holland when I was Amanda’s age, and her experiences in the book mirror my memories in great detail. It was a blast to traipse along beside Amanda and enjoy the country once again.

The main plot focuses on the recovery of a lost puppy, but secondary plots weave through the story, and all come together nicely at the end. There’s a bit of mystery and some danger to keep the tension up. There are also some very moving scenes when Amanda visits Anne Frank’s home and a war memorial dedicated to the Canadians who helped liberate Holland during WWII. A lovely book for young readers and absolutely perfect for readers who plan to travel the world.

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Happy Reading!

 

 

 

74 thoughts on “More Indie Reviews (or Part III)

  1. Great reviews, Diana! And my TBR list continues to grow….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reviews, Diana. I read The Hat some time ago and need to do a review myself. I enjoyed it as much as you did. The other books sound just as enjoyable. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved The Hat and have The Gemini Connection on my ereader waiting for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the books. Best of luck to all the authors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mae Clair says:

    I’ve read The Gemini Connection and The Hat. Both were great. Like you, I especially loved the witty banter in The Hat!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. balroop2013 says:

    I enjoy reading your reviews Diana, as they say a lot without revealing much…those are the reviews I love! Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely week.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jan Sikes says:

    Excellent reviews, Diana! Thanks for sharing! I thoroughly enjoyed “The Hat!”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Teri Polen says:

    Well, this just perked up my Monday quite a bit. Thanks so much, Diana! I’m also a fan of The Hat – such a fun book, and I’m really looking forward to reading Craig’s newest release. I haven’t read Amanda, but I sure have seen some wonderful reviews of Darlene’s series.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Tempted by ‘The Hat’ – another to get my head in. Good reviews as ever, Diana – I enjoy reading them.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great reviews! I have only read “The Hat” but I completely agree its a fantastic read:) They all sound intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. dgkaye says:

    Wonderful reviews Diana. I think many of us have read the Hat and enjoyed as much as you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ooo some good titles there! You sound like you’re having a blast reading some good stuff at the moment 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve slowed down quite a bit, Jess, since my parents live closer now and I’m spending a lot less time in the car. I’ll slow down a bit more when I get writing again. But it’s been a blast getting caught up on my TBR. 🙂 Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. acflory says:

    -grin- The Gemini Connection has gone straight to my TBR list. It sounds like my kind of sci-fi. Thanks, Diana!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Wonderful reviews, Diana! Sharing…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. You have me so intrigued with The Gemini Collection (and also good reviews on Amazon by you and Robbie and Marcia). I’ve just added it on the Kindle, but my guy would really love this book (he doesn’t “kindle”) but the paperback is $18.95, too much in my mind for a softback. Not sure why it’s so expensive that way, so just a heads up to the author that many still like to read ‘paper’ books, but at reasonable prices.
    The Hat sounds like fun! And all of Darlene’s book are winners.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hopefully Teri will have some info on the paperback Gemini Connection price for you, Pam. It’s a fun read with great characters. The Hat is a riot and short. And you’re right about Darlene’s book. Took me right to Holland. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Teri Polen says:

      Pam – I’ve mentioned to my publisher (as have other authors) that the price for paperbacks is set too high. We’re hoping they listen and consider reducing the prices. However – I recently changed the book description on the back, and have several copies with the old description I’m selling for $10.00. If you’d be interested in purchasing one, please email me at tpolen6@gmail.com I love seeing teen boys reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I loved The Hat and the other two are on my toppling TBR pile 🙂
    Fabulous reviews, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Great reviews, Diana. I’m struggling to catch up with all of my reviews too! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s hard when you want to add other posts between them. I’m at 263% of my Goodread’s goal as a result of listening on my phone while driving. It will slow down as I get back into writing, but what fun it’s been! Happy Reading, Colleen. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Three fabulous reviews, Diana. I have also read and enjoyed The Hat and The Gemini Connection.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. ghostmmnc says:

    I’ve already read “The Gemini Connection”, and it was so good I didn’t want it to end, and would love more stories about these characters. Thanks for the reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  19. These sound like fun books. Thanks for sharing Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Great collection. Darlene’s book is wonderful–I’ve read it. The rest I will have to check out!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Great reviews, Diana! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Darlene says:

    Amanda and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the lovely review. I am so pleased you enjoyed the book and that it evoked good memories for you. I am in such good company here and both Teri’s book and Craig’s book are on my TBR list. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  23. They all look great but The Gemini Connection particularly stood out to me. I’ve really noticed lately that the world building makes the difference between a good SFF and a great SFF and I always love well developed characters ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Teri does a nice job with world-building. This is a YA novel, so the teenagers take center stage, but there’s none of that annoying angst that occasionally accompanies YA books. She’s a mom of teenage boys, so she has first hand knowledge! Thanks for stopping by Theresa. Happy Reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Reblogged this on Entertaining Stories and commented:
    While I’m touring Viral Blues around, you might want to check out this wonderful review of it’s predecessor, The Hat.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. So glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and placing me with these wonderful authors.

    Liked by 1 person

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