A winning and complex fantasy tale.

BLUE DHARMA

: THE STORY OF ANAIYAILLA

In this epic spiritual fantasy, the forces of good and evil battle for control of a distant planet much like our own.

Ancient scripture foretells that the Demon Lord will return to lay claim to the Earth. That dark hour has come, and Lord Vlockor’s legions of demons, orcs and other beasts are quickly routing the cities and villages of humans and elves in search of the ninth and final Hellfire gem–the possession of which would allow Vlockor, the Demon Lord of the Nine Hells, to dissolve the barrier between Hell and Earth. Some of Vlockor’s demons had succeeded in finding the gem, but while bringing it to their master, they were ripped to shreds by a dragon. This pivotal incident is witnessed by a human named Krell. Though he fears it will bring danger to his people, he recovers the gem and gives it to his clan chief, but his trepidation proves correct, as an army of orcs soon descends upon his village. Krell and his men arrive just as the orcs are laying waste to the town, and they, with the aid of a band of elves, inflict a fair amount of damage upon the demon forces. Unfortunately, that’s not before the demons find the gems and take several prisoners, including Krell’s sister Anaiyailla. After battle wounds are somewhat healed, Krell and the elves team up to rescue the captives and prevent the Hellfire gem from reaching Lord Vlockor. This enthralling tale, the first of a four-part series, bears much similarity to The Lord of the Rings trilogy; fans of fantasy fiction who aren’t drawn to the tale’s spiritual aspects will still find a great deal to enjoy. Noteworthy is the fact that the two authors are incarcerated for murder–Hunt of the notorious “Billionaire Boys Club,” and Adams, his cellmate. The duo plans to publish the second installment of this saga next year.

A winning and complex fantasy tale.

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-9798349-0-5

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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