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Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House

Nika C. Beamon. CreateSpace, $15.99 trade paper (246p) ISBN 978-1-5004-3667-4

In this hope-filled memoir, a woman rises above the challenges of navigating the modern American medical system. Beamon, a TV journalist, lays herself bare as she frankly discusses her journey through years of suffering as she searches for a diagnosis for her illness. For those with unusual conditions, the road to diagnosis can be filled with disbelieving doctors, seemingly unrelated symptoms, and increasing desperation as the sick person struggles to understand why the body is failing. The author bravely relates all of these things, presenting her growth through long-term pain, her life with chronic illness, and her journey to becoming her own medical advocate in touching and sometimes agonizing detail. Although some of the details—both medical and personal—can get graphic, this medical memoir is a worthwhile read for those suffering from or interested in chronic conditions and the often long road to diagnosis. Agent: Chelcee Johns, Serendipity Literary. (BookLife.)

Reviewed on 08/29/2014 | Details & Permalink

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Illuminated

Jackie Castle. CreateSpace, $12.99 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-4811-9462-4

In the first of Castle's White Road Chronicles, 17-year-old Alyra begins to learn who she really is. Captured as a child by the ruthless king Darnel, she has no memory of where she comes from. Only when she meets with a man that Darnel has captured, a messenger of sorts, does she realize that she is somehow significant; she carries a medallion that is worn only by those who have "stood in King Shaydon's presence." Armed with this knowledge, Alyra determines to overthrow Darnel's rule and return to the land of her origin. The Christian allegory is obvious: King Shaydon represents God and Jesus Christ, and Darnel the Devil or forces of sin. Alyra's story is both heroic quest and spiritual journey, and Castle sets up the story well for the sequels. While the Christian allegory is solid, other elements are flawed. The story is set in medieval times, but the dialogue is peppered with contemporary slang, and the prose is stilted at times. This may satisfy allegory fans, but as fantasy fiction it brings little new to the genre. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 08/29/2014 | Details & Permalink

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One

Ron Glick. CreateSpace, $14.99 trade paper (412p) ISBN 978-1-4961-0025-2

With all the subtlety and grace of a raging bull in a china shop, the first installment of the Godslayer Cycle harkens back to long nights spent with fantasy role-playing games in a friend’s basement. Nathaniel Goodsmith’s fate is to be an instrument of the Pantheon of old gods—long thought dead by the people of the realm—in the coming war with the unimaginatively named New Order of younger gods. Tasked with this mystical imperative, he must go forth to find the first of the nine swords forged by the old gods before agents of the New Order can thwart him. Nuggets of creativity, like the old gods’ intriguing approach to gender, are briefly explored but overshadowed by the crowd of characters and their clumsy, overly verbose dialog (“We would infect this New Order and cripple it afore it can deliver unto us a death blow”). Details are lovingly expounded, ad nauseam, grinding the narrative to a screeching halt. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 08/01/2014 | Details & Permalink

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