Mishap & Mayhem by M.M. Shelley

Volume 1

For centuries magical beings have hidden in the darkness, waiting. Some good, some evil. A battle is brewing, and only twins, Grasiella and Tatiana, have the power to stop it. It’s the summer of the year 2045, and sixteen year old Grasiella, along with her twin sister, Tatiana plan to visit their grandmother in Hawaii. They have no idea that when they arrive on the island of Kauai, they are about to be drawn into a secret, the secret, of their family’s dark origins and magical powers. On the first day of their arrival, their grandmother is accused of a horrible crime involving a faerie. Whispers have spread throughout the islands about the disappearance of a faerie named Sita Knook and her connection to a mysterious group known only as the Cinerians. Before long, Grasiella and Tatiana are doing battle with ancient races and magical beings. All the while trying to retrieve an ancient stone of power and impress a couple of local surfers, Kana’i and Kye, cousins who have some pretty exciting family secrets of their own. It’s pretty serious stuff for two girls who were planning to spend the summer at the beach getting tans, but then that’s the trouble with secrets, sometimes they just don't stay buried.

Messy, poorly written and completely pointless.

The book has no redeeming qualities beyond the fact that it's thankfully short and thus quickly done with. It's a mess through and through, mixing in bits of this and that from Hawaii, magic, faeries, aliens, a dash of Greek mythology for no apparent reason, futuristic notions and an alternative historical past.

I never did figure out what the girls are doing there in the first place, as the initial storyline of them being sent to their grandmother on Hawaii for some mysterious magical testing, is thrown out the window the second they get there. Who G (for Grandmother apparently) is, we never learn, and whatever family relationship they are supposed to have is pitiful. A word that actually also aptly describes all character interaction. The alternative historical past fits in absolutely nowhere, the Greek mythological characters are thrown in there just for the hell of it and is yet another giant plot hole of which the story is full of.

None of the characters are in anyway endearing to the reader and I would have been happy to see them all chucked into a volcano - at least that would have put an end to it. Unfortunately the story rambles on and the poor red thread attempting to imitate a credible storyline is a tangled mess. What more is, the plot, characters and their dialogue and actions often had me rolling my eyes as it's so filled with bad clichés and just unbelievably bad examples of writing. (Also, if I read the "dialogue" >>Wow, crazy.<< one more time, I'm going to scream.)

All in all, I took a bullet for you, my dear reader. You have been warned.

145 pages (ePub) / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy of the book, my apologies for being less than grateful in my review of it.


  1. Look, just because you haven't got a scrap of imagination doesn't mean you should attack someone who does. Really, everything you wrote is more appropriately attributed to the fourth grade reading level of the Twilight saga, and let's face it, that's been horrendous - erm, tremendously popular. For pity's sakes, if you can't see anything constructive to comment on, or make some sort of positive comment about the manuscript to encourage a fledgling writer, just keep your gob shut.

  2. Thanks for the warning. Actually it sounds as IF she borrowed the plot from a Sherrilyn Kenyon novel in the Belador series.

  3. Hmm... sounds most of all like a transcription of the Sabrina episode where she goes to Hawaii to solve the family secret and meets her evil twin. I think I'll give this one a miss...

  4. Whoever is posting the Twitter stuff, be advised that the word is ANON not ANOM. What are you, twelve? Is English not your primary language? Learn the language well enough to spell it correctly, at least! How can you presume to criticize when your command of English is so poor? May you lose your eyesight and have to become a bully some other way. One other thing - if Ms. Shelley writes so poorly, how on God's green earth could I be HER? My voice is entirely different, or did you not notice that? What kind of reviewer are you anway?

  5. Anonymous I'm going to have to ask you to leave. I'm growing weary of your attacks on me. We're all entitled to our own opinion, the above is mine. I don't understand the level of your anger and why you feel it necessary to continue like this. You've made your opinion clear, so now go. Please.

  6. Oh, my goodness! I'm being asked to leave! the thing is, I really don't have to. You can't take back your own meanness, but you have the nerve to act injured when someone responds in kind. My point here is simple: If you are going to review books by authors that are just starting out, and could benefit from CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, then BE CONSTRUCTIVE, not DESTRUCTIVE. Everything I said was hurtful and not helpful, and it was done with a point in mind: so you could realize that being hurtful is wrong. If you could've suggested something helpful to Ms. Shelley that would have been a blessing, instead you just trashed the book. Couldn't you have at least suggested she get a better editor? The book was not worthless, whatever you may say about it, and you are entitled to your opinion, but a mean-spirited attack is what I saw. I will not comment here again, but neither do I value your opinion, as it is not balanced or even vaguely helpful. By the way, I would've posted with my name, except the only option open to me was "anonymous", so I opened a Google account in order to respond to you. Please consider the feelings of the people who have toiled to put their vision on paper, as you expressed yourself willing to do one day. When you do, I hope people are kinder and more supportive of your vision than you have been with hers.

  7. Every reviewer has the right to their own opinion. If they can't handle the criticism, maybe this business isn't for them. There will always be someone who doesn't like the author's work. I'm going to have to side with BoB with this one.

  8. Sounds like a confusing read, but the premise is really interesting. I don't know if I am simply unread, but I don't see many YA books with twin protagonists.

    Keep your chin up noiashui - your reviews have never offended me.

  9. Felicia, you're right, everyone has a right to their own opinion. However, the best critics are not destructive or mean enough to silence another's voice. Re-read the critique that Noiashui wrote, and I quote: "it's a mess" "I would have been happy to see them (the characters) all chucked into a volcano" something about a"poor red thread" "rolling my eyes" and "I took a bullet for you."
    In what way is this constructive? In what way can an author take something away to help improve? It's easy to throw stones, my dear. It's harder to build something than to tear it down. I get the distinct impression that you would've closed down the original production of "Les Miserables" instead of seeing its potential and tweaking it into the 25 year Broadway hit that it is. This author's voice, while not to your liking, is her own distinctive voice, basically your reivew was a screaming "shut up" to her.
    I am glad she continues to write, and she takes classes and seminars in order to improve herself. The book was submitted to you for critique, not massacre.
    BookGeek, thank you for your kindness in noting that the premise is interesting. I know that her work will improve, and I also know that she's not likely to ever submit a copy to this so-called 'reviewer" again.
    Noiashui: all I have to say is, when and if you do write a book, I hope it is more kindly received than you deserve.

  10. Wow, I popped in here to see what all the hoopla is all about.

    This is not my genre to read, but I can understand poorly written books and horrendous books. Even so, I'm sure it's not easy to write a negative review. As a book nerd and reviewer myself, I always try to find something I like in a book. And there are some books where you cannot find-one-thing.

    It's not your job to give constructive criticism to help the writer to improve their game. It's your job to review the book. Can you include constructive criticism in a review? Yes, but mainly your job is to give your opinion of the book to other readers. That's it. As a writer who put herself out there, the author must be willing to take the negative with the positive. And no matter what, there will always negatives.

  11. Technically Carrie, it's not Noiashui's job at all. She doesn't get paid for this, does she? Therefore, it's more of a hobby. Had the author submitted her book via a legitimate means, to a legitimate critic, I suppose I wouldn't have reacted so strongly. However, this person is trashing books, but claims to love them. Then the caliber of the types of books she claims to love (Harry Potter, for pity's sakes) isn't evactly at a level I would expect for someone who is so severe in her criticism. Not that there's anything wrong with Harry Potter, but most critics agree Rowling isn't the best writer. She can, however tell a good story. That's my point. I think that Noiashui is harsh and not at all enlightened in her dissertations on various novels; it's something like expecting a novice singer to identify a Heldentenor. It's presumptuous and
    a little silly. At one point for some book or other - a vampire story based on Mr. Darcy, I think - Noiashui said she wanted to stomp on it, and felt like burning it. This is no book
    lover, let me tell you, her attitude towards books appears more Fascist than anything else.
    Having said all that, I won't bother to visit this site any more. Those of you that wallow in Noiashui's trash can continue to do so. Harsh?
    So what? I'ts just my opinion. She should't set up a web site unless she's willing to get a bit of critism, now should she?

  12. Hmmn, My reviews are less critical or opinionated for new authors than seasoned ones.
    Never the less i am honest without choosing to be harsh, but everyone has their way of reviewing.
    I suggest you inform authors that you are a Scathing Reviewer so that way they have the heads up.

  13. Well,

    Lets see, author asks for an honest opinion, gets said opinion and then cries about it. A real opinion is better than those that choose to review a book they did not read and give it a spiteful review just because. If the reader felt this way then it is this way. Besides, one opinion may not be the opinions of others. I have reviewed plenty of books with a one star and found them quite good. Just keep trying and try to learn from the reviews not fight back.

    Free Book Reviews

  14. One review is one review. Because of the hoopla, I've now seen this review as opposed to another reviewer's thoughts (which may have been positive).


    Suggestion? Both 'sides' should drop it.

  15. When you put your work out there, not everyone's going to like it. Deal.

  16. This review made me love this blog. I love it when people are honest.

  17. It is the job of an editor to offer constructive criticism on how to make a book better, not a reviewer. Reviews should be honest, even brutally so, because there is a big difference between a review and an advertisement.

    Also, your description of wanting to chuck characters into a volcano is exactly the way that I feel when I read Mark Twain.

  18. I agree with bookswithoutanypictures 100%! Except for his comment regarding Mark Twain. :)

    Which goes to show that people can share authentic feelings towards something without agreeing, and still treat each other civilly. A negative review of a book is in no way a negative review of an author, but a negative review of the author's work. It's hard for authors and readers to separate the two at times, but it really should be done.

  19. Thank you very much for all the kind and supportive comments :) it's great to see a healthy debate

  20. YES, EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINION, GOOD. But, i kind of agree that the review was quite mean, honestly, seriously mean, however, the best thing to do was to have ignored it, now business wise, it really isnt good publicity. Do you know how many people you have scared away from this book by replying to this comment, and making it popular. She even posted it on book blogs. The best response to a bad review is to say THANK YOU and leave. And i know it's not easy, but think of it this way, you're on the losing end, the best thing is to keep this review under wrap as possible. That being said. follow me ya'll on my blog... http://theseven-piecestone.blogspot.com

  21. WOW! I've been reviewing books for 4 years now and as a reviewer it is not my job to "help" the author out. It is my job to review the book and give my readers an honest opinion of the book so they can decide whether they want to spend the money and get it for themselves. I highly disagree with doc 123, that J.K. Rowling is not a high caliber of writer! Several N.Y. Times best sellers have said she is quite the writer and that they were HONORED to be on the Best Seller list with her! So I think that says quite a bit about her ability to write!
    As for this particular book that is being reviewed . . . it is noiashui's opinion of the book. She read it. She is not required to make the author feel warm fuzzies about her "baby" she is to give an honest opinion about the book she read. The author is well aware that when she hands her "baby" to the publisher to get published and it makes it's way to a bookstore and into the public's hands people are either going to love it, hate it, or kind of like it. Attacking the reviewer is not going to change how she feels about the book, and it's not going to change anything for the author either. Really if your that "upset" about what was written about this book go get it, read it for yourself and write your own review. Maybe you'll have a different take. I know that 4 of my friends and I could read the same book and write different reviews because it will affect us differently. It's a book, it's not that serious! You can follow me at http://www.frommipov.blogspot.com

  22. I didn't think the honest and entertaining review of the book was mean at all. Yeah it hurts if you are the author but it isn't like she was dissing the author. Just saying what she thought of the book.

  23. I think it was far more entertaining than mean. :)

  24. Whew- I see quite a stir here. Iben's review may be a bit on the harsh side but it is honest, forthright and addresses specific shortcomings of the work which I think is important when providing a negative review. The author CAN (and hopefully WILL) gain experience from the comments.
    There is a danger to being self-published especially if the author is new and has not used experienced beta readers, a critique group, nor an experienced editor.

    Frankly, I feel the comments of doc 123 and anonymous have gotten out of line and are unprofessional.

    The first few comments of Anonymous were so full of name calling and mudslinging that I felt those comments didn't deserve a reply because the commnents show the venom and immaturity of anonymous. However then I realized that anonymous continued the diatribe as Doc 123.

    Doc 123 comments have more tear down quality towards Iben than Iben's comments on the book. Iben was at least discussing the work and not the author.
    My comments to Doc 123 would include (and could include so much more):
    There are many "amateur" reviewers who give of their valuable time to read, review and post. That does not make them/us not "legitimate". In fact, independent, amateur bloggers are a resource for respected book publishers and especially for small presses and new authors who sometimes struggle to get reviews.
    Challenging Iben on her age, her reading choices and this one review is as inappropriate as anyone judging a book based on only one review. This is after all just one person's honest opinion. As other comments noted: are we not permitted to have different opinions?
    A better response may have been to just say: "I disagree with your opinion" and offer a link to a more positive review thus providing alternatives and balance. By responding in anger and ugliness the comments have probably brought more attention to this one review than was necessary (or desirable for the author).

    Iben- Thanks for honest reviews and keep up the good work on your blog.
    (BTW - this is the first time I have visited Iben so I am not an old friend but just another independent reviewer/blogger.)

  25. I think the motivation for review should be made very clear to the writer and the readers. One of the first things I mention on my blog is that I love books and the people who write them and will give reviews that are my honest opinion on these books.With this mindset I try to make sure that I give my criticism in a manner that will not destroy the upcoming writers confidence. As I read through this review my eyes kept popping out in astonishment and i silently kept "saying what, how can you say that". If a book is so bad it has no redeeming qualities I would rather take the cowards way out and tell the author I will not give a review and then give them a breakdown of what I found. But then as I indicated earlier, I love books and their creators, so I not only review to give opinion to my readers but out of goodwill I have sent my noted corrections to the author (so what if I'm not their editor). In conclusion, its very important to state your intentions for reviewing clearly so that the writer and the reader know what to expect.

  26. Phew, some of these comments are pretty heated. I have to agree with Andi. It is not the reviewers job to help the author. I clearly state on my own blog that I am not a professional writer. I just review books for my own enjoyment. New follower noiashui

  27. I would not be a bit surprised after the reaction of doc123 that people will want to get a copy of this book to see just how bad or fair it is. I am disgusted as to doc123 reaction to a book review. I would be ashamed of myself after I got calmed down. Who knows more reviews will tell the story. I intend to pray about this it got way out of hand.

  28. Despite doc123's protestations to the contrary, it seems that she IS the author of this book and has taken offense at the reviewer's opinion.
    I agree with many of the comments here that the review is honest and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
    If the author cannot take the heat, then she should get out of the kitchen.
    As to doc123's Harry Potter comments, perhaps she should take a lesson or two from J. K. Rowling whose writing appeals to millions of people of all ages and from all over the world. Even other authors and academics applaud her skill. Perhaps doc123 is merely jealous of someone else's success or perhaps she is just a book snob. Either way, there is no call for being downright rude and abusive.

  29. Keep up with the honest reviews and never apologise for telling the truth.


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