Category Archives: Novella or Short Story

Review: Kian’s Hunter by R.J. Scott

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Title: Kian’s Hunter
Author: R.J. Scott
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Publication Date: March 19th 2014
Series or Standalone: Fire #1
Format: eBook, 2nd edition, 102 pages

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Please note, this book was originally a short story written in 2010. This version is inspired by that short story and is a complete re-write.

Kian has crossed over from his world to ours to seek revenge. His plan is to kill the monster who murdered his Uncle. The same monster who used magic to escape to our world and is hiding here and growing in strength.

Regan Campbell is a hunter of Demons. The first son, of a first son, he is the one who protects this world from the monsters that no one else knows are here. When Kian reaches this world, he knows Regan is the perfect man to fight alongside him, but Regan trusts no one. It isn’t until they are facing death and a terrible evil that will be let loose, that Regan finally realises he can trust another…his fated partner, Kian.

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This is a good story to start off the Fire Trilogy. The world bulding is pretty good and interesting with a parallel world concept, Fire magik, and demons. However, the two main characters, Kian and Regan, didn’t sit well with me. They are likeable MC’s but everytime Regan and Kian do something, they seem so distant to me that they are actually in there but I barely feel them. Eventhough the story is always about them still there’s no attachment made. And also, the story lacks chemistry. I did not see the spark when they become lovers, and their relationship looks forced.

The fighting scene against the Danio, which is supposed to be the strongest demon, is not handled well. They finished it off like a piece of cake. Though, I loved the magik fire idea, the demon hunting, and the bond thing. Those are interesting.

I think I’ll continue with the series. But I’m looking forward to the next installment that the MCs would be able to explore their world. Not just by Kian narrating it. Because there are some parts left vague in the plot and I want those to be cleared. And also I’m curious about who Darach really is.

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Review: First Kiss by J. Tomas

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Title: First Kiss
Author: J. Tomas
Publisher: JMS Books
Publication Date: August 29th 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: eBook, 11 pages
Source: Free Read via Smashwords

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Download it HERE!

Noah Lipinski has a fierce crush on Doug Hathaway, a hot jock on the high school football team whose locker is fifteen down from Noah’s in the hall. When Melissa Bradshaw, only the most popular girl in school, suddenly shows an interest in Noah, he suspects he’s being set up for a cruel joke. She asks him to Homecoming and he refuses to go.

After school, the doorbell rings and Noah’s sure she’s back to pester him about the dance. But when he opens the door, he finds Doug there instead, with an explanation and a much better offer than Melissa’s.

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I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Everyone seems to enjoy this but me. I may not in the right mood when I read it but this is not really as impressive as to my first J. Tomas read which is the My Online Secret Admirer. I came across this on Smashwords as a free read, downloaded it and finished it in just a few minutes because the story is short with only 10 pages. Rating a short story is hard but I think the reason why I’m giving this a low rating, is not because of its shortness. It is never will be an issue, I have read plenty of short stories online and also way back in high school for our both English and Filipino subject, and they’re all good.

Looking back, the problem here is,  I didn’t see any link to connect me to the characters or even to the plot. And had this poker face throughout finishing the story. I didn’t smile or whatever that emotion I am supposed to feel. And  the storyline is quite shallow, just two good boys in the closet who both shared their first kiss. *sigh* I need a chocolate right now.

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Review: ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong) by Bob Ong

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Title: ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong)
Author: Bob Ong
Publisher: Visprint
Publication Date: February 2001
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 181 pages

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Bakit namamalo si Miss Uyehara?
May mga notebook bang lumilipad?
Bakit masakit sa ulo ang Mafhemafics?
Ano ang sikreto sa pagkakaibigan nila Pepe at Tagpi?
Bakit may mga taong nakapikit sa litrato?
Masarap ba ang Africhado?
Sino si Tigang?
Bakit may mga classroom na kulang ang upuan?
Masama bang mag-isip nang malalim habang naglalakad?
Saan ang Ganges River sa Pilipinas?
Bakit may mga umaakyat ng overpass pero hindi tumatawid?
Sino ang webmaster ng bobongpinoy sa Internet?

No calculators.
No dictionaries.
No erasures.
No cheating.
Oops, time’s up!

Pass your papers.

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ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong) is one of the most popular filipino book ever written. If you’re a filipino and haven’t heard about this. Gods, where have you been??

Matutuwa ka sa libro na ‘to kasi lahat ng nagawa mong kalokohan noong elementary at high school maaalala mo rito:

1. Yung terror teacher mo na kapag tinawag ka eh kulang nalang maihi ka sa upuan mo.
2. Si crush mong famous.
3. Si best friend na crush din yung crush mo.
4. Yung tropa mong hindi ka iiwan.
5. Mga kaklase mong nagbigay kulay sa buhay estudyante mo.
6. Si Ma’am na cool.
7. Yung kakopyahan mo tuwing may test.
8. Si mokong umasar at inasar mo din.
9. Yung pesteng haircut policy na hindi ka tuloy maka-porma.
10. Yung late ka tuwing cleaner ka.
11. Yung teacher mong kwela.
12. Yung upuan at silya mong mala-World War II.
13. Si crush ulet.
14. Yung mga nasa Top 15 na hindi naman deserving! Anyone?
15. Yung canteen niyong nagiging mala-sardinas tuwing recess.
16. Yung pogi/maganda mong ST (student teacher).
17. Tuwing report na mukha kang tanga.
18. Si teacher na grabe magpakopya ng notes eh kulang na lang punuin na yung blackboard ng manila paper.
19. etc. etc.

Lahat yun maaalala mo kapag binasa mo yung libro. At syempre maiiyak ka kapag tapos mo na basahin yung libro. Kasi sobrang nakakamiss pala maging estudyante sa kabila ng mga bagsak na test.

Isa itong librong ginawa para sa mga estudyante at mga dating estudayante na magpapaala-ala sa atin kung gaano tayo kaloko noon. XD

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Review: GingerDead Man by Logan Zachary

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Title: GingerDead Man
Author: Logan Zachary
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: January 20th 2015
Series or Standalone: The Paavo Wolfe Mysteries #2
Format: eBook, 159 pages
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley

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Paavo Wolfe sells horror, but he isn’t prepared for what he finds in the baker’s oven. A body burns at his feet, and his ex, Detective Joe DeCarlo, is on the case. Joe is getting unwanted help investigating the crime from Paavo and his best friend, Stacey. While Paavo and Joe’s relationship is getting better, going uncover in the bathhouse isn’t going to help Paavo mend their issues.

A steam room stranger, the new bakery owner, and his landlord reveal grudges against the dead baker. Lured back to the sauna, the heat is turned up as Paavo embarks on a dangerous relationship. When the homeless shelter blows up, Paavo knows he’s in trouble and has to keep Stacey and Joe out of the line of fire. Can Paavo find the killer before everything goes up in smoke?

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Everything is good. I liked all the characters. They are interesting and funny sometimes. And they kept the story okay. Plus the fact that there are just so many gay guys in here. I’ve counted seven, I think.

The story starts with a hideous crime scene. And I didn’t like how it is executed. First thing in the list, some characters are obviously made look suspicious and guilty. I don’t know if that’s on purpose but it ruins the effectiveness of making this a crime story. Because you should let the readers think and guess. Especially if that certain character has nothing to do at all in the entire story. I’m talking about James McKenzie, his mysterious appearances are pointless. I just don’t get it. He looks very intriguing and seems to have something to do big on the plot. He’ll be seen sneaking up somewhere and eventually going to disappear, and occasionally the subject in someone’s coversation, that he is missing, which made him more suspicious. But the story ends giving him NO significance at ALL.

And the most annoying part is when Paavo Wolfe investigating the crime and comes up with an idea or realization. He’ll act like it is very unexpected. As if the readers didn’t know that from the very beginning. Because it’s freaking obvious.

There’s also this redundancy in the writing. Like after the murder, different people ask Paavo what really happened. But his explanation doesn’t need to be narrated in the story again and again.

The conclusion is quite cliche but because of Joe’s sweetness and the other characters’s awesomeness plus the cute dog, the story is still recommended.

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Review: Maybe With a Chance of Certainty by John Goode

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Title: Maybe With a Chance of
Certainty
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: October 19th 2011
Series or Standalone: Tales from Foster High #1
Format: eBook, 2nd Edition: Expanded Version, 98 pages

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Kyle has worked hard at being the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad is the baseball star at Foster High. Both boys are damaged in ways that the rest of the world can’t see. When they bond over a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks that maybe his life has taken a turn for the not-so-lonely.

He finds out quickly that the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you’re gay and falling for one of the most popular boys in school, and if being different is a sin in high school, then being gay is the biggest sin of all. Now Kyle and Brad need to come to an understanding amidst the scrutiny of their peers or their fledgling relationship will crash and burn before it ever gets off the ground.

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I feel bad about myself for not liking the book because everyone seems to enjoy it. But the whole review is based on my opinion.

First, the story lacks maturity. Why? The whole plot is terrible. It’s a cliché story in its highest level like those annoying children books in a poor-pretty-girl-meets-young-handsome-prince-way. But this one is more likely to look like in a poor-smart-boy-meets-handsome-popular-guy-way.

The story follows two different teenagers. Kyle was the poor yet smart boy who lived with his dumbass mom. And he was the unpopular one who made himself distant from everyone else. And there was Brad. A popular baseball player who adored by everyone and lived with his wealthy family..But despite of the good image, no one knew he was broken inside.

That kind of concept is very familiar and overly used and juvenile.

Second, superbly annoying characters. Yeah. I know the fact that Kyle was deeply in love with Brad. But when Brad approached Kyle to talk something, it caused Kyle into erection. The heck was that?? Was that even ‘love’? or ‘lust’? or is that even normal, that seeing or talking to your crush causes you into erection?? oh God, can someone help me, please? And for Brad, what the hell he was doing asking someone he barely knew to help him to study history? Where were his friends? oh I knew it! he liked Kyle too! You nailed it Perco! You nailed it!  (-_-)

And this so-called love story between the two was just as rapid as a bullet. If we do the math, it took only few hours of their relationship for them to kiss each other, for Brad to share his feelings to a stranger. And it took only a day and half for them to messed up one another. My God. Were they kind in a hurry? And that annoying part when Kyle and Brad argued, their conversation was very emotional like they’ve been together for years. Excuse me? You guys just been together for 2 days. Are they for real?

And the most ridiculous part is, when Brad tried to introduce his girlfriend to Kyle. And that was the time Kyle that acted differently that pissed off Brad. The hell?? Did Brad even forget that he had something with Kyle? That he and Kyle kissed each other, argued like they were married for years, and they even jerked off one another. Were those things as easy as clapping your hands to be easily forgotten? Maybe Brad was an superbly insensitive moron.

Lastly, the endless car metaphor. Im sorry but it was very tiring and boring. Dont know how to feel about that.

I dont know if i can recommend this to you but I heard the second book is better than this. I think its worth a shot.

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Review: Kapitan Sino by Bob Ong

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Title: Kapitan Sino
Author: Bob Ong
Publisher: Visprint
Publication Date: May 2009
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 166 pages

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THERE IS SOMETHING STRANGE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Naunahan na naman ang mga pulis sa pagtugis sa mga holdaper ng isang jewelry shop. Bago noon, may iba na ring nakahuli sa isang carnaper; sumaklolo sa mga taong nasa itaas ng nasusunog na building; nagligtas sa sanggol na hinostage ng ama; tumulong para makatawid sa kalsada ang isnag matanda; tumiklo sa mga miyembro ng Akyat Bahay; sumagip sa mga mag-anak na tinagay ng tubig-baha; naglanding ng maayos sa isang Boeing 747 na nasiraan ng engine; at nagpasabog sa isang higanteng robot. Pero sino ang taong ‘yon? Maliligtas nya ba sila Aling Baby? At ano nga ba talaga ang sabon ng mga artista?

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Matagal ko nang nabasa yung libro pero ngayon ko pa lang gagawan ng review XD

Ang kwento ay umiikot kay Rogelio Manglicmot na sa kalaunan ay nalaman niya at ng kanyang kaibigan na si Bok-bok na may kakaiba siyang kapangyarihan.

Nang matutunan na ni Rogelio na kontrolin ang kanyang kapangyarihan at napagdesisyunan niyang maging isang Hero sa pangalan na ‘Kapitan Sino’. At nang malaman ni Rogelio na isang halimaw ang anak ng mayor ay tinalo niya ito. Pero halos nawalan na siya ni lakas ng loob ng mabuhay pa nang mamatay ang kanyang kasintahang si Tessa na siyang huling biktima ng halimaw.

Hanggang sa isang araw lumaganap amg isang epidemya at lahat ng mamamayan ay despiradong makahanap ng lunas. Napag-alaman ng kinauukulan na ang dugo ni Rogelio ay maaaring maging lunas.

Nagtapos ang kwento ng may makasalubong siyang isang amang may dala dalang batang may sakit at sinaksak nito si Rogelio nang malamang ang dugo nito ay ang lunas.

OKAY. Maikli lang yung libro gaya ng ibang akda ni Bob Ong. Isa ako sa mga tagahanga ni Bob Ong, at isa to sa mga kwentong muntik nang magpaiyak sa akin. Pero medyo naboring ako sa pagbabasa kasi medyo common na yung plot. Pero gaya ng ibang akda, pinapakita dito ang buhay buhay nating mga pilipino. Inilalarawan ng libro kung papaano madaling makalimot ang mga pilipino sa mga nagawa ng mga bayani sa ating bansa. Na sa kabila ng ginawa nilang mga kabutihan sa ating bayan, hindi nabibigyan ng halaga.

Yun lang.

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Review: Blind Faith by N.R. Walker

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Title: Blind Faith
Author: N.R. Walker
Publisher: N.R. Walker
Publication Date: February 28th 2013 (first published January 26th 2013)
Series or Standalone: Blind Faith #1
Format: Ebook, Second Edition, 144 pages

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This is a re-release edition

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece, makes a house call to a very special client. Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well. Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?

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It was a fun and cute read. A fairy tale-like story with a happily ever after conclusion. Every characters, major or minor, was likeable. No antagonist. Even Mark, the badass friend of Carter, was interesting and funny sometimes. I did also appreciate the man and dog relationship shown in here. It was beautiful. And the dogs were so cute and adorable. I loved the overflowing cheessiness in here that really made me smile throughout the story. And the ending was satisfying. I’ll definitely continue with this series.

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Review: Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman

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Title: Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales
Editor: Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: December 16th 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 264 pages
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley

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Myth, magic, and monsters—the.stuff of childhood dreams (or nightmares) and adult fantasies. Delve into these classic fairy tales retold with a queer twist and surrender to the world of seductive spells and dark temptations.

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Few things about this book.

1. It is obviously a collection of retold classic fairy tales with a queer twist.

2. Yes buddy, You heard me right! With a queer twist. So don’t expect to see Sleeping Beauty waiting for handsome Prince Charming to rescue.

3. Mature scenes are visible in some stories. Yeah, there’s a lot. So if you’re a kiddo thinking that this is your fairy tale,  I’m commanding you right now to close your eyes and go back to your home and watch some disney cartoons instead.

Okay. This compilation is good. I mean, it gives us a lot of different variety of a short story in just a single book. Some stories were serious. Some were funny. Some were sad. Some were dark. And some were erotica. But not all the stories here were okay. Few were seriously dull. And boring. I had quite high expection with this book because the premise was really interesting. But I didn’t get the similarity of some retold stories to the original one. It somehow felt forced. Because the mature scenes became more prominent than the story itself. But some had really good and interesting version. So here’s my favorite:

1. Red by Andi Marquette (5 stars)
– I really really loved this version. The likeness to the original story was still there but with more exciting plot. The characters were lesbians, yet reading it wasn’t awkward. And I’d love to read more from this author.

2. The Vain Prince by Andrew J. Peters (4 stars)
– I liked the dark part of the story but the ending was a meh.

3. The Snow King by Rhidian Brenig Jones (3.5 stars)
– Everything was beautiful except the freaking seed part.

But I really liked this anthology and you would also like this too.

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Review: Polar Nights by T.T. Kove

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Title: Polar Nights
Author: T.T. Kove
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: July 13th 2012
Series or Standalone: Arctic Love #1
Format: Ebook,
Source: eCopy from the Publisher via NetGalley

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Andreas has been in love with
Christian for as long as he can
remember, but he’s also always
known it would remain one-sided. When he travels to Svalbard to take the last years of his Masters, spending time with Christian again brings back those feelings and makes life more than a little awkward.

The very last thing Christian needs is to have a very grown, very stunning Andreas living with him for a few weeks. Even the awkwardness between them is not enough to stop his attraction. Neither is the fact that Andreas is his sister’s stepson.

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This is actually a good story but not that enough to catch few reader’s attention. There were quite a lot of characters thrown out in here for a short story. But T.T. Kove still managed to give them short appearances. But the problem was, I coudn’t decide where to place my focus. Maybe the minor characters needed more of those appearances and since this is in a series, I’m hoping to see more of them in the next installment.

I liked the awkward moments between Andreas and Christian. They didn’t know what to do with each other’s company. And Andreas being tongue tied every time he talked to him. I thought it was cute. Though they were too old to do those kind of teen stuff. And I took notice the redundancy of describing the place. Yeah, I got the point that Svalbard is such a beautiful place, but stating it all over again was tiring. All in all, this still a good story to read.

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Review: In Plain Sight by Josh Lanyon

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Title: In Plain Sight
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: JustJoshin
Publication Date: August 22nd 2013
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Ebook, 37 pages

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Nash didn’t believe in love until it was too late. Now he’s looking for reasons, for answers, for meaning. Sometimes the truth is right in front of you the whole time.

Previously released in print edition of short stories collection, In Sunshine Or in Shadow.

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A short and simple love story that moves my heart. It’s not typical for me reading books with middle-aged protagonists. But this really is a good book.

Same with the other mm story, In Plain Sight also shows how being gay affects the entire life of a person and those people who surround him. How it affects your carrer. How people think of you. How they treat you. Almost everything. And that’s what makes me feel so sad. That every time I read mm books, there’s always this kind of negative atmosphere that being gay is such a big deal like an atomic bomb soon to explode.

Anyway, I like the story between Nash and Glen. It was overwhelming. I wish it was not that short because their chemistry was heartwarming. I just want more of them.

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