YouTube

Interview with Nina Soden

I was able to have my first returning interview last night! Now, this really is the first live interview we had, but I started my YouTube adventure with her as my guinea pig and somehow I was able to fool her again to coming back. The wonderful Nina Soden stopped by and we discussed her ever-growing collection of novels, the differences of paranormal vs supernatural and then I put her on the spot with a quick game of “name as many movies about…”

She’s a great person and as Indies, we should all try and check out what we’re capable of doing. Our community is large and strong, so let’s keep that mentality going. Check out her page and let her know that I sent you!



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Review

Sector C: The Chosen by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★★
Cover: ★★★ 1/2

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.5)

 This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Nina Soden starts off on a brand new series and I think, out of the gate, it’s brilliant. I was asked to help look over her final rough draft and offer a review. In spirited fashion, I will hit all the usual points I make when rating an ARC, minus the grammar Nazi in me pointing anything critical out.

Sector C is a futuristic, supernatural take on what the world might be like if there were societies where you were brought up, trained and tested to fall into the category of vampire, lycanthrope, breeder, donor or castaway. The story follows the lead Heroine, A (because they are assigned alpha-numerics as names until they are worthy to choose their own name). She is resourceful, smart and strong, while somehow at the same time being slightly awkward and unsure of herself. Throughout the novel, you get a better sense of her as a character with each page and before long, Nina has you in the compound feeling like another student and wondering what will come next.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

I’ve reviewed all of Nina’s books and since I helped with the final edits, I can’t really judge it on final product, but I can say that it flowed as good if not better than her previous works. It provided detail and ease of reading and made it fun to move along with her characters.

Story:

It seems to pull from a lot of unique but also comforting angles. The society idea is reminiscent of Divergent with the different groups, emotionless feel and the coming of age choice, and the combative / competitive nature, being teenagers and isolated from society feels a little Hunger Games. Putting supernatural elements into the mix puts it in a different class altogether and makes it it’s own.

Characters:

Loved getting to know each character with the personalities I could pair with people I’ve known in life. Getting used to the alpha-numeric names took a chapter or so to get used to, but before long it was common nature.

Appearance:

The only really non stellar grade I could give would be on the cover. Part of it draws me in and another part of it doesn’t speak to me the same way the book does. If anything I like the cover to exceed the writing or story and in this case, Nina’s world in Sector C makes the cover not do it justice. I blame Nina’s awesome writing on this one.

Sector C Bk 1 - FRONT

Final Thoughts

I powered through this read for two reasons: 1) Nina needed it back quickly 2) It was a great story and kept me engaged the entire way, wanting to know what was in store for A and the rest of her classmates. Nina is one of those authors I expect to look at and go, I knew her before she got the movie deal.

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest. Sector C: The Chosen will release on or before the 31st of March. Be on the look out and go to Goodreads and put it in your “To-Read” shelf.

Amazon: Nina Soden

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Review

Revenge by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★ 1/2
Story: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★★
Cover: ★★★★ 1/2

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.625)

 This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This third (final?) installment of the Blood Angel series is once again looking at the transformation of Alee (Aleerah), the only living dhampir. It continues after her transition back into high school, learning the ropes of a vampire, the nature of being a witch, the betrayal of the Underground and the love dichotomy she finds herself in.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Nina’s writing has progressively improved throughout the series and by this point, she has started to master the craft. Weaving in the imagery and emotions of her characters. There were some misspellings here and there, giving the teeny ding on the writing alone.

Story:

This story starts off on the fast track and very rarely slows down. The build up over the series has led to this moment of turmoil, transformation and transcendence. Nina’s work on the first two novels set the stage for this wonderful and fast-paced supernatural showdown. There were a few parts in the end that threw me. *SPOILER* When the Founders battle started happening, I felt there was little build up to making them the antagonist, so it felt a tad closed off and ended abruptly. That took a bit of the story down, but in all, it was a wonderful ride seeing the characters grow aside the writer herself.

Characters:

Each character has grown into their element from the first novel to this last one. Alee has grown into the confident yet hesitant teen, pairing along with her new vampire feelings she tries to maintain. The affections of Jathan to Damian to Kyle keeps the temperature always on high.

Appearance:

I have loved Nina’s book covers on all her books. This last one just didn’t stay par with the others. It’s hard to match perfection three times in a row. I think if there was something more in the eyes portraying revenge as the title, I’d probably have given it a straight five.

Final Thoughts

Nina created a wonderful set of characters living in the town of Atlanta, MI. When I read her first story, I was a bit hesitant from the way it started, but midway through I could see the story developing faster and faster. Through Beginnings and into the fast-paced start of Revenge, you can see the progression of the Supernatural setting that was painted along the way. There were some brief flashes of time where I wish I could have taken a red pen to the plot to maybe guide it more towards the answer I was looking for. But, I’m a reader, not the writer. Nina did a great job and I had a blast getting to know more about her through her writing and some brief conversations we shared. I look forward to all her upcoming works and I hope to get an Interview out of her in the near future!

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Review

Beginnings by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Cover: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★★ (4.5)

 This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The story is a Young Adult/Supernatural novel set in the town of Atlanta. It continues the storyline of Aleerah (Alee), a teenager who is starting to learn more about her true nature of being a dhamphir (half human/half vampire). The second novel takes a look at her new life she has had to create for herself and how it overlaps into her old one.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Nina writes wonderfully, connecting characters to emotions and effortlessly carrying the story along with her. There were still areas in this novel that were editorial oversights and a couple of areas where word usage made me pause and reread more than it should have. So in all, 4/5 as far as that whole process goes.

Story:

The story-telling process shows vast improvement from the first novel. relying less on the development of the main character, the readers are able to dive right into her life and pick up on her new talents of being both a witch and vampire. Learning about the Underground and its connection with her family is still elusive but with a third book, I hope to gain more background on the Wenham Coven.

Characters:

The characters remaining from the first novel carry on with their same qualities, so I didn’t find myself questioning anyone’s reactions. The only thing that left me wondering throughout the book was Jathan’s character. I couldn’t really confirm, even by the end of the book, whose side he was on or if he was real.

Appearance:

Love the simple, gothic and eye-catching use of colors. It says to the reader to be aware and that’s just what they will find inside.

Final Thoughts

Intertwining the magical/supernatural realms of witches, vampires, lycanthropes and other creatures is somewhat saturated these days. Thankfully, a few glorious writers can pull it off and not make it feel like a chore to read. Nina is one of those writers. She has enhanced the flow of her story in this second installment of the Blood Angel series. Her characters and writing keeps a playful tease between a powerful female character and the fragility of her still being a teenager coming into her own skin. Here’s to the third installment, hoping to see her ability to entertain continue to thrive!

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Review

3 Futures by Peter T. McQueeny

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Cover: ★★★★

Overall: ★★★★ (4.625)

This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

3 Futures is a collection of three stories by author Peter T. McQueeny. I must say that it was an absolute blast getting back into what I find as the epitome of Sci-Fi. Not just hinting at the future or space travel or any other elements therein. Peter takes each story and leaves the reader’s mind to run openly through the possibilities of life in the distant future while playing back to the essential qualities of an actual plot running parallel.

Whether the story involved elements of supernatural, to surreal to downright androids, Peter is a craftsman of words and worlds and I see his works rising up to infinite levels of possibility. Everyone who has a love of stories should read 3 Futures and it’s a must for Sci-Fi enthusiasts.

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Peter masterfully crafts his words together, leaves enough room to not explain the technologies to death and had a remarkable editor as I saw really no errors to my untrained eye.

Story:

Each story had a different scenario, still sticking to futuristic setting but with different contexts. All three were entertaining to sift through and kept me engaged to come back for more.

Characters:

Father Jim Frankenstein is my favorite, I see a little John Constantine in him and hope he resurfaces in another novel. The second story was all that I really had issues with. There wasn’t much of a connection to the people and it ebbed & flowed rather quickly from one point of reference to the next. The last story, brilliant job in conveying the lead character and his struggles to stay awake.

Appearance:

The cover is the only areas I would take away a full star. It’s not that it’s bad, I see the reference to the priest, but the three images don’t really speak to me in terms of “pick me up and read more” so for that I had to look objectively as when I first received the novel.

Final Thoughts

The Sci-Fi genre has many ups and even more downs some days. Whereas I am a firm lover of Star Wars, I find that the Sci-Fi genre gets inundated with similar space travels and strays away from its roots. Science (plausible, explainable) Fiction (made up) is like having full flavored “diet M&M’s” that actually take off pounds in my book.

Point is, Peter has a way of bring the genre back into the cradle of life that Sci-Fi was intended. He tells a story that just happens to take place in the future. He adds the plausible, thinkable technology or social structure and allows the reader to explore with their own thoughts. Reading his work really made me analyze my own and I hope I can shape my stories with more thought the next time I write.

Links

Find Peter’s book through the links below and his blog post. You can also follow him through Twitter @FrFrankenstein

3 Futures (only $.99 on Kindle!)

Peter’s Page



 

Review

Awaken by Nina Soden

Rating Overview

Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★ 1/2
Cover: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★ (4.375)

This book was given to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The story is a Young Adult/Supernatural novel set in the town of Atlanta. It follows mainly along the storyline of Alee, a teenager who is starting to learn her illness is actually the side effects stemming from who she truly is, a dhampir (half human/half vampire).

The Critical Points:

Writing:

Nina writes beautifully mixing in scenery and emotions with her characters along the way. The only reason she is not getting a 5-star rating in this area is due to some minor editing errors with spelling and a little structure peppered throughout the midsection of the story. There were a few cases when the he/she areas got flipped and made it confusing. Nothing worth getting all bent over though.

Story:

As far as Supernatural settings go, I like the spin and background that Nina gives all of the characters within her novel. Some of the areas felt a little cliche, but the realm of vampires, witches and shape-shifters tends to be popular right now. So, unless there’s a completely new angle that hasn’t been touched, it will always feel that way. There were some tweaks to the elements of vampires and lycanthropes that I enjoyed. The one thing I always wonder in every witch spell is why must they always cut the palm of their hand? Can’t they give themselves a short-lived bloody nose? I mean, I’ve cut my hand there on accident and it hurts forever. (Obviously not a flaw, just my own personal curiosity)

One thing I was almost lost with is the beginning. It takes a long time to get to the meat of the story as we follow Alee throughout her infancy to teenage years without knowing where it will end. Still, done in such a way that I wanted to keep reading. From midpoint on, flowed like water in a river, great job.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters surrounding Alee throughout her years, thankfully constant, but in the beginning there are a lot of similar names and relationships that puzzled me up until the end. Lots of lineage to account for. I docked a little for that and an area where Alee’s romantic relationship seemed to springboard, losing me for a moment.

Appearance:

The cover is wonderful. Subtle colors, great font and makes you wonder what to expect before you even break the spine. Would love to find a hardcover in the store. Very well done.

Final Thoughts

As genres go, there are a lot of similar elements that go along with the supernatural. Each one brings a slightly different take. The same principles seen in Anne Rice novels won’t always apply to True Blood or Vampire Diaries. I think going into any scenario of supernatural, readers should try as best they can to wipe their slate clean and take in the surroundings the writer is painting. Nina Soden is a great author and I look forward to the remainder of her series and what she has developing.

Links

Find Nina’s books through her links below and I’ll simply direct you to her WordPress site for now and she provides the rest.

Awaken: a Blood Angel novel

BEGINNINGS: A BLOOD ANGEL NOVEL

Revenge: A Blood Angel Novel

Nina’s Page



 

Mind Blown, Scategories

Do Vampires Poop?

A question my wife and I started discussing in short length last night while watching an unnamed program. Still, it brought up a valid (albeit ridiculous) point in the realm of supernatural characters. Mainly, because there are so many different classifications of vampires out there, how do you decide whether such a debate has merit. Are they the Anne Rice vampires, traditional Dracula, Twilight, True Blood or other said genres that have filled in almost every variable?

Let this act as a talking point between us or feel free to carry it out with your friends. I would love to hear some of your theories here.

Also, I think if I ever create a children’s book, this shall be the title.