A MelanieM Review: Descendant (Apocalypse Rising Book 1) by Mychael Black

Standard

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Andrew Blackwell is only one of countless humans who managed to survive post-World War III. Living in the shell of what was once New York City, he focuses on working hard and playing hard. Nothing else matters.

But fate has other ideas, and they arrive in the form of a rather surly angel who’s been sent to find the one special human who can possibly help save humankind.

Thrown into yet another war, Andrew has no choice but to trust Mikhail … no matter where the angel may lead him.

I first started reading this author through the Legends of the Romanorum Series, a complex and riveting series I very much enjoyed that was co-authored by Shayne Carmichael. Once that series was finished, I really lost track of anything else Black was writing.   So when I saw that JMS Books had released a new story by this author, I grabbed it up, eager to see what the new story offered up.

Sadly,  while there are some terrific elements here, the overall tale just never came together for me, which was quite the disappointment. Descendant (Apocalypse Rising Book 1) by Mychael Black is incredibly short which leaves no room for character development, world building, or even much in overall plot depth, which pains me to say.  It reads more like an outline, less like an actual published story, granted with tons of sex that makes little sense.

One of the interesting elements here is that Andrew Blackwell is sought after by Heaven and Hell because he’s the only descendant of John the Baptist, and therefore, one of the closest links to the son of God still living.  I think that’s how it goes.  Really, there is no exposition here.  The world is a mess after yet another world war but again no  world building to lay a foundation.  We find out that’ there’s a way station between Heaven and Earth but little else.  Andrew and Mikhail jump into meaningless sex that instantly turns into love I think, there’s tons of shouting and yelling and then oh yes, the war between Heaven and Hell is on.  What?

The book is over.  And it’s just begun!  We are just really pages in.  Granted it’s the first in the series but still.  If the reader is left feeling clueless, well,  I would be floored if they were feeling anything else.  Sometimes I wanted to ask if Black was going for a satire or for a straight up supernatural romance, because it was hard to tell at times.

I think I’m leaving the series here.  I never came to care about any of the characters or their various fates, let alone the Apocalypse.  Maybe I will revisit that earlier series or check out other stories this author has written in the meantime.  As for this short tale, I’ll leave that up to you.

Cover art: Written Ink Designs.   Cover is ok, the angel is appropriate to the story, except the city is supposed to be in tatters.  Oh, well, half right is something.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Kobo | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published March 30th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07NPJYVDG

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Second Level by Drew Marvin Frayne

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The path to true love is never easy, especially when you are on opposite sides of the world’s greatest theological debate.

It’s Halloween, and the Demon of Masturbation—Dom, for short—has come to Earth to collect sins and souls for his boss. But a representative from the Interfering Angel Network—Ian—has been sent to put a crimp in his plans. Frankly, though, the two seem less interested in sins and souls than in the three bottles of tequila they down during the night. Alcohol can lower the inhibitions, but it also impacts judgment, and Dom and Ian soon find themselves in the world’s most awkward threesome with a young mortal virgin.

Forget battling for his soul—their real passion seems to be for each other. But Halloween night is waning fast, and the veil between the worlds is only lifted for one night. How can two beings from opposite sides come together when they know they are destined to forever be apart?

Second Level by Drew Marvin Frayne has to be one of my favorites simply because I laughed so much.  And it had such a neat twist at the end.  But mostly because of the humor and the wonderful characters.  Dom the Demon of Masturbation is priceless, especially when he’s musing on how beauty and body image has changed over the centuries.  What’s a short, chunky demon to do?

However, it’s in the swing towards poignancy towards the end where the depth of the story really kicks in and pulls at your heart, surprisingly so after sort of labeling the story a comedy.  No there’s more to this little gem than just that.  Read it and find out for yourself why I highly recommend it.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is again just perfect.

Sales Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: October 23rd 2017 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781947904101
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Review: Angel by JL Merrow

Standard

RATING 4 out of 5 stars

How do you know if you’re one of the damned?

As a child, Don wanted to become a priest. Now a grown man mostly at ease with being gay, he’s left the Catholic Church and has chosen instead to help people through his work as a parole officer.

His strong faith is shaken when his latest assignment turns out to be Michael, a young man Don hasn’t seen since he took Michael to church as a child — and saw his parish priest cast Michael out of the church as a demon.

Meeting him as an adult re-ignites the obsession Don had with the boy he couldn’t save. But can Michael be saved at all? Or is the strangely compelling demon with a taste for risky sex as damned as he believes himself to be?

JL Merrow is an amazing writer, I’m a huge fan of her works. It seems I already missed this short when it was first released, I couldn’t miss it this second time.

The blurb tells you everything you need to know about the story, I read it and liked it. Angel is a super short story, well written, quick and engaging. Being so short there wasn’t really space for a lot of development in the romance part, to be honest pretty inexistent. But the author was great at showing me how deep Dan was into Michael, from the moment they met again twenty years later, Michael is everything Dan can think and dream of. From that moment Dan will go after him and try to save him.

I have to say I wish Angel was a little longer and I would have preferred to have Michael POV too. I was interested in the MCs and yes, I wanted more about them, about what happened all the years they were apart, and I wanted more of them together. For these reasons I was going to give this short just three stars, then the ending part blew me away. The last pages were really beautiful and emotional, the feel of acceptance, the feel of love mixed with fear, all of these filled my heart.

The cover art by Witten Ink Designs is well done, simple, clean and fitting.

Sales Links:   JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 34 pages

Published March 11th 2017 by JMS Books LLC (first published February 24th 2010)

ASIN B06X3TDMW5

Edition Language English