Wednesday, May 30, 2012

About A. Jacob Sweeny, Author of The Pulse Myths Series

A. Jacob Sweeny holds a degree in History with an emphasis on Ancient Near East. Her immersion in world myths and her archaeological fieldwork provided the initial spark that led to the development of The Pulse Myth series which is a trilogy that includes Pulse Of Heroes, Of Blood And Pulse, and soon to come Pulse Genesis. Adding to this collection is a new series of novellas and shorts called- Pulse Historia. A Sword for- His Women available in kindle version is the first short. Besides writing, A. Jacob Sweeny loves to cook and Italian and Indian foods are some of her favorite cuisines. She has always been immersed in the literary world and will read anything from Shakespearian plays, philosophy and spiritual books, to comedy and modern thought. She is a strong advocate for the protection of women and children worldwide. And is active in animal rights groups. She suffers bouts of writer’s insomnia, and is delighted to share those hours with her pug and two cats.
 Keep up to date with A. Jacob Sweeny by visiting the website for The Pulse Myths Series at
Join the Facebook page for frequent updates and to connect with fellow fans at

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review of Pulse of Heroes

I wasn't sure what I was going to think when I agreed to review Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny for Tempting Book Tours. I am relatively new to the world of the paranormal in books, but keep coming across some gems. The following Amazon description told me right away that this book was going to be something different that I would probably enjoy.
A suspenseful, passionate, paranormal romance that sweeps through the emotions of first love and heartache as it traverses centuries and continents.

Michelle used to feel like she was behind in everything, especially school and relationships. Her great aunt from the old country says she is like a bland meal, "no salt or pepper". But in junior year, everything changes. Her father takes a position on the Town Council, a popular boy in school becomes interested in her, and most importantly, the Hekademos Learning Center, a private school for 'troubled' students, moves into her quiet neighborhood amidst the protests of the entire town.

After seeing the School Regent out with a group of young guys just before Christmas, Michelle is convinced that there is something odd about them. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she embarks upon a mission to figure out what is really going on. After an embarrassing fall over the school wall, Michelle meets Elliot and her ordinary ‘bland’ life changes its course forever.

Elliot is no ordinary human. In fact, no one at the Hekademos Learning Center is. Beautiful and fierce, they have survived throughout the millennia by weaving in and out of human events. Through them, Michelle learns that history and myths from around the world are dotted with references to their kind. Michelle falls madly in love with the ever-striking and mysterious Elliot and, as much as he tries to fight it, he develops strong feelings for her as well. Although Elliot carries numerous painful memories from his many pasts, he disregards his own better judgment and the advice of his friends, and finds himself falling for Michelle‘s offbeat personality. Their feelings grow in intensity, but when History catches up with them, the difference between their life paths threatens to destroy any future that they might have had together.

Michelle learns that there are infinite shades of gray between black and white, and has to deal with the bundle of contradictory emotions called love. After some unexpected twists during a family trip to Europe, she has to trust her intuition in order to face the danger and uncertainty of being drawn into Elliot’s wondrous world. Ultimately, it is up to Michelle to make the split-second, life-altering decision that will either tear them apart forever, or give them another chance.

The book is in two parts. At the very beginning, we are introduced to Michelle and her friends as they prepare for Halloween. A near-accident and a premonition give some insight into what is yet to come, without giving away major plot points. Michelle is a very relatable character, with the usual problems of what to wear to the upcoming dances, strep throat, and that elusive boy. You feel a kinship with her and root for her in the romance department. Despite the bizarre happenings with the boys at the school down the road, the storyline seems quite believable and realistic.

As she gets to know Xander and Elliot, you find yourself being drawn into their world. You strive to understand their complex history and even find yourself falling in love with Elliot. You want to keep on reading so that you can discover more of the missing pieces and fit together the random bits that you already have. The second part focuses more on the battles being waged between the boys of the Hekademos School and others of their kind. Michelle has been drawn into the middle of it all, questioning her relationship with any of them. At times you wonder if she has made the right decisions; other times you find yourself yelling at the book (or Kindle in my case).

A.J. Sweeny has done an excellent job of blending fiction with history in a way that I have never before seen. I felt like I learned something new about both mythology and some historical stories as I read through the book. I also felt inspired to look up some of the stories to which she alludes in her tale. The teacher in me appreciates that aspect of the book. Perhaps some young readers will feel compelled to learn more about mythology and history, where they would not have otherwise?

It took me longer than usual to finish Pulse of Heroes. I am a fast reader, so 500 pages usually is not an issue for me. The first chapter or two take some time to reel you in. Once I got going though, I had to take longer because I needed to taste every word, feel every emotion, and process every new bit of information. The pages turned quickly, but I didn't want to miss a thing. I was actually disappointed when it was over, only because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I absolutely must get my hands on the rest of this series!

Pulse of Heroes is also available for your Kindle, by clicking here.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review of Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident

I fared better with the second installment in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. When I polled my friends about how they felt about the series, many of them said that they felt the series started to go downhill, starting with this book. I beg to differ. I liked this one better.

First, there was much less violence. I don't mind action movie. I even enjoyed Die Hard, to which the author compares the series. Somehow, though, I don't like it as much, as it was presented, in a book for kids.

Second, Artemis Fowl actually has a softer side. At the end of the first book, he begs for Holly to help his demented mother. In this one, he teams up with the LEP to rescue his father, who is being held for ransom up in the Arctic. Many of the characters from the first one book make an appearance. Holly and Artemis even seem to form an attachment to each other as they have to save each other's lives.

This installment was a little bit more interesting to me, as I already knew the characters. I thought the story flowed better than the first one, with a more understandable plot line. I also managed to read it within a couple of days, whereas it took me several weeks with the first book. I feel more optimistic about reading the rest of the series in preparation for the release of the final book this summer.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review of Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is a name I had heard time and again, but had never tried to read. When NetGalley announced that Disney Hyperion was going to release the ebooks for us reviewers, two at a time each month, I decided to check them out. The final book is coming out in July, so they wanted to offer us the opportunity to catch up on the series should we want to check out that one.

Starting the book, I have to say that I was torn about whether or not I liked it. Artemis Fowl is a despicable character. He has no patience for his mother, who suffers from dementia. He plots to kidnap a fairy to gain riches. He comes from a long line of corrupt people. And he is only 12 years old.

Artemis is also highly intelligent. His plot to kidnap Holly, the fairy, is so intricate and so well-planned, that he is always one step ahead of her army. They keep playing right into his hands. An amusing part of this whole part of the story is the seriousness of tone and how it mimics movies that I have seen about armed forces and how they speak to each other. When I did a bit of research about the book, I found that the author supposedly even describes it as "Die Hard with fairies."

It took me a while to get through the story. Basically, Artemis has discovered the existence of fairies and goes after them. Meanwhile, the fairies are going after trolls. Artemis manages to kidnap a fairy named Holly. Her people come after her and actually pay Artemis a ransom for her.

Yes, there are a lot of other things that happen and a lot of other characters. Honestly, this was all I got out of the book. It was hard for me to read, but so far the second one is easier for me to get through. I did a brief poll of my friends. They either loved the series or hated it. We shall see how I manage with the rest of it.

What do you think of Artemis Fowl?