Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fiction Review

The Teleportation of an American Teenager: A Novel for All Ages
by Andrew J. Rodriguez
ISBN-10: 1932672796
Review by Heather Froeschl

What would you do if you were given a quest to travel through time? As a soul traveler in "The Teleportation of an American Teenager" young Ivan will spend time as a completely different person, in effect, becoming a completely different person in his own life. Will what he learns of humanity change the course of history, or that of the future? Is this what his quest was intended to be?

It all began with the Druids and the place of ancient speculation, Stonehenge. George, Ivan's eventual grandfather, is drawn to the mystical setting, awaiting word from his ancestors. The Celts paid attention to the past and this is truly the very essence of what would later become the quest, and ultimately, Ivan's life's purpose. George is indeed visited by a Goddess who bears a message to him. Surviving the famine, George makes his way with his young son Finn to a new life in America. They are fulfilling their destinies.

Ivan will spirit travel (the author calls this teleportation) and spend time in historic places. Thus telling a story within a story, all for the purpose of completing his quest. The tale is wonderfully woven and intricately detailed. This epic adventure is sure to please everyone who reads it. At once paranormal for the method of time travel, adventurous for the situations Ivan finds himself, and romantic for obvious reasons, the book is an outstanding mixture of appeal to many readers. Self touted as a "novel for all ages," the novel is also a book for all tastes.

The author has done a wonderful job immersing the reader in historic settings, introducing deep characters and completing a full plot. A handful of typos did little to distract me from the enjoyment of the read. I am hopeful that Andrew J. Rodriguez is hard at work on additional stories and that we will soon be hearing from this author again in the near future.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Fiction Review

Monkey 99
by Michael Doyle Amspaugh
ISBN-10: 1932672915
Review by Heather Froeschl

Evolution has never stopped progressing. The results in humans are now within the mind rather than obvious physical manifestations. What will happen though when more and more people come to realize that their mindful abilities make them superior to your average human being? In "Monkey 99" Michael Doyle Amspaugh offers a theory of widespread psychic knowledge and a story in which someone with great abilities attempts to control those who come into their own.

In the beginning we are led to believe that the people at the Institute are trying to prevent evil from taking over those who have abilities. Unfortunately, not everyone has this goal in mind. Sometimes the evil is within.

The focus group of characters includes those who are teachers and those who have been recruited into the institute based on their powers. They are invited in an abductive way, but nonetheless become willing participants in their training. Of course they would, for the alternative is to be frozen until a later date.

The plot of the book is at once futuristic yet current and is a twist of almost believable science fiction and fiction in the psychic/paranormal realm. It is an adventure story within the mind and full of action and intrigue. The book will get the reader thinking of the possibilities all the while giving an entertaining read.

I was impressed with the plot twists and the depth of characters. On the other hand I was distracted by numerous typos (though my inner editor always is.) "Monkey 99" is a good read with very minor flaws that are far outweighed by its positives.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Non-Fiction Review

Debt Dilemma
by Taffy Wilkins Wagner
ISBN-10: 0976742101
Review by Heather Froeschl

Author Taffy Wilkins Wagner shares her story of debt, dilemma and overcoming it all. From her humble beginnings to her military career, then to her life as a civilian, Taffy tells all when it comes to her financial woes and experiences. Can you learn from her mistakes? Probably!

Career choices have a lot to do with debt or sucess and Taffy willingly shares what she learned on that front. Marriage can be a stepping stone to debt or it can be a partnership in being financially sound. It all comes down to the choices you make as a couple. Taffy outlines the steps she and her husband took to be debt free.

Through all of their ups and downs Taffy and her husband kept their faith. This side of the book lends itself well to Christians and is an inspirational tale.

Included in the book are sample budgets for families of two and four, that suggest that readers can get out of debt if they follow them.

This little book is packed with good advice, helpful suggestions and lists of credit guidance.