Book Reviews

Book Reviews |
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Tess Talks Fairy Tales |
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Blog FreebiesI’m a “little-bit-of-everything” kinda gal and I review books of all genres.  I generally like books of a fast-paced nature with well-crafted and flawed characters, preferably of the anti-hero variety.  Would definitely say I have a preference for fantasy, dystopian or sci-fi novels with a really gripping plot and if it’s got an intricate and original magic system, I may go weak at the knees.

If the above sounds a lot like your own literary habits we may be good friends, and you may find that I can recommend a good book or two (or ward you away from some).



descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription DNF (Did Not Finish)

descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription I hated this book

descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription I didn’t like this book

descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription I enjoyed this book

descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription I really liked this book

descriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescriptiondescription THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING


One thought on “Book Reviews

  1. Tess,

    This is John Reinhard Dizon, author of Tiara on Amazon. I would like to be featured on your website.

    Tiara is one of the most original novels on Northern Ireland written in quite some time. Based on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, it borrows from the Princess Diana tragedy in a what-if scenario, then takes a dark turn into the shadowy world of terrorism that brings us right alongside modern day headlines. Its politics, its characters and its storyline are controversial and intriguing, turning this into a first-rate page-turner.

    Princess Jennifer is a widowed member of British royalty who pursues a vision quest in attending the negotiations at Stormont leading to the GFA in NI of 1998. She becomes a fantasy object to Berlin Mansfield, a terrorist who finagles his way into the peace talks to meet the Princess. Unknown to both of them, she is also the target of the Ulster Defense Association, a loyalist gang intent on holding her hostage to stop the negotiations. She is kidnapped by the UDA, and Mansfield offers his services to the rival IRA to try and rescue the Princess. CIA agents Jon Stevens and Slash Scimitar are in NI on a mission and end up helping the British track down both Mansfield and the kidnappers. Eventually the ‘black knight’ rescues the Princess, and we end up on a different track on this rollercoaster that eventually hurtles us home safely into the Good Friday Agreement.

    Tiara’s Jennifer is a knock-off of Princess Di, reminiscent of the guess-who characterizations employed by Mario Puzo in The Godfather. She’s a statuesque, emerald-eyed blonde whose philandering husband buys the farm in a boating accident, leaving her with her own unique title (the Princess of Edinburgh) and position as heiress to the throne of England. She buries her grief in British philanthropy, drawing her into the centuries-old debate over the Troubles in Ulster. She becomes a crusader for the quest for self-governance, and in doing so becomes a target for the Ulster Defense Association, a loyalist terror gang. They kidnap the Princess in a last-ditch effort to derail the talks, and we see a reenactment of Lady Di’s car accident become a segue into her capture. Her celebrity catapults the incident into international headlines, and at this point the story escalates into a tale of romance, intrigue, revenge and murder between the UDA and the rival IRA.

    Although the IRA and their counterparts, Sinn Fein and MADD (Mothers Against Drug Dealers, or Evil Mothers), remain shadowy figures in the novel, the conflicts within the UDA are most noteworthy. Elderly bosses Jimmy “the Bull” Doherty and Delmore Merrick struggle to maintain control of their politically-savvy kidnap team under street tough Baxter Cody. Along with fraying political connections, they eventually lose their most deadly assassin, Shannon Blackburn (my vote as the scariest villain of all time), as well as their control of East Belfast in the changing times ahead. The subplot provides us with an insightful look at NI in its arrival into a new century amidst its traditional values and mores.


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