Reviews of fiction booksPosted by Stevan V. Nikolic Sun, September 13, 2015 19:00:21
Kirsten Jany’s novel “Enter to Win” is a murder mystery of
the “who-done-it” genre that keeps readers attention from the first to the last
A stage for the story is Daytime Soap Opera Show struggling
to improve ratings. The contest was held to find real life stories for the soap
opera and four finalists were picked for the chance to win $200,000. They were
brought to the rented mansion just as the Show’s director was murdered. They
became the main suspects in the murder mystery, and the plot starts building up
in the tension. Every new page reveals a new twist in the story and new guess.
However, the author masterfully manages to maintain suspense and suspicion
towards several suspects all a way to the end.
I find characters in this story well developed, and
particularly enjoyed hearing their individual first-person narrations in
succession as the story was unfolding.
In mystery writing, plot is everything, and writers usually
follow standard rules. Kirsten Jany bends those rules and applies unusual plot
development with surprisingly good outcomes. This produces particular
intellectual challenge for the readers and joyful reading experience.
Jany’s writing style is original and refreshing. I can only
predict that her books will find its way to many bookshelves in times to come
and I warmly recommend it.
Reviews of fiction booksPosted by Stevan V. Nikolic Sun, September 13, 2015 18:58:35
Division of the Marked is a fantasy novel with well-crafted
characters and a story that keeps reader’s attention from the first to the last
page. The world that Mrs. McCarron created, as the setting for the story about
fifty boys and girls chosen to be “marked” and separated from the society in
order to be trained as “knowledge-keepers, martial artists, and possessors of
strange and wonderful abilities”, could be an unlimited source for many more
adventures of the characters inhabiting this fictional realm.
Aside from some discrepancies in the plot development of the
three part novel, it was a delightful read. The characters of Bray and Yarrow
are believable, likable, and well balanced throughout the story. Contrary to
this, some of the side characters and the background structure of the two
Chisanta groups - Chiona and Cosanta seem to be a bit unexplained. But I don’t
see this necessarily as a drawback. Perhaps it was done on purpose. In any
case, it didn’t take away anything from the overall reading experience.
While I am really impressed with this work, I am even more
fascinated with the potential that Mrs. McCarron’s fictional world has for the
creation of future adventures, maybe even a whole series of books. With the
writing skills that Mrs. McCarron displayed in this novel, it is quite possible
to become a great success.
Reviews of fiction booksPosted by Stevan V. Nikolic Sun, September 13, 2015 18:54:26
S.R. Howen's Medicine Man is a very interesting and well
written novel. The flow of the story is smooth and it captures the reader’s
attention. Personally I enjoyed reading it, but I kept asking myself all along,
would I like it as much if I didn’t have some previous knowledge about Native
American culture and beliefs.
To fully appreciate this book it helps to visit Acoma Pueblo
(Sun City) or some other Native American locality and believe in Bear Dreamers.
But I don’t necessarily see that as a drawback. After all, as it is the case
with numerous great works – “many were called, but few were chosen”, Medicine
Man calls readers to truly engage in order to be rewarded with a full
Based on the Native American historical tragedy as a broad
setting for the story, S.R. Howen’s novel has all the characteristics of the
Epic novel and it is a great starting point for an epic novel series. Here one
can find everything - from clash of the cultures, adventures, unsolved
historical issues, fight of the good versus evil, romance, mystery, hidden
symbols, to time-shifts and parallel worlds.
The author did a great job in developing the main character
of the story -Shannon Running Deer, a respected trauma surgeon. I find it
almost ironic that the author chose for this character to be a “trauma surgeon”
in the modern setting of this story. Caught between two worlds, two cultures,
discovering his inner self, his true identity that spread throughout many
lifetimes and reality levels, fighting an evil from the past ( and in the past)
, he is trying to deal with conflicting feelings, fulfill the mission that he
was destined for, and find his peace. It is a real “trauma” journey of the true
Of course, the Hero meets his Heroine. Her name is Morning
Dove. In the modern setting of the story, she is a Native American teenage
girl. As the story transcends into a different reality her identity gets more
and more veiled into allegory. Here everything is a symbol! It is up to the
readers to discover Morning Dove’s true greatness in her complex relationship
with Shannon Running Deer. I don’t know if the author did this on purpose, but
it works very well. Some readers may complain that they were “cut short” here,
but I think that the author’s reasoning was more along the line – it is not
about our “knowledge” of Shannon and Morning Dove’s relationship, but about our
All in all, S.R. Howen's Medicine Man is an enlightening
read! Looking forward to reading Medicine Man II.