Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson


The Unknown ManThe Unknown Man by Natalie Hanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this thriller a freelance FBI agent is tasked with finding the missing children of the FBI's special informant. All the evidence seems to point her to one man, but this conclusion is too asymmetrical much like her own body so the agent starts to question everything this investigation leads her to some disturbing revelations. Even though everything seems lopsided can she discover the identity of the unknown man before it is too late? You will just have to read this unique story to find out.
This book is a journey of deep self discovery packaged into a mystery thriller. It has a unique plot, unusual characters, and an overall unexpected outcome. It almost reads as if the author wrote it backwards they had an idea for a dramatic ending then they worked their way towards the why and the how. The agent was disabled, but she used those disabilities to solve the case so it made sense in the end. The trip took a long time because before any action could take place several paragraphs were dedicated to either her physical or mental state. This is understandable due to the growth required, but the repetitiveness of the statements had a tendency to be tedious. How many times can one read about a sweaty chicken cutlet stuffed into a bra? I enjoyed reading this book despite this and would recommend it to anyone who likes characters archiving self discovery, thrillers, mystery, or unusual suspects.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Witches, Spiders, and Schemes by Elizabeth Pantley

Witches, Spiders, and Schemes (Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic, #4)Witches, Spiders, and Schemes by Elizabeth Pantley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Story maybe magical in total, but singly it leaves something to be desired.
    This is a story about a town that requires a conduit to filter the good and bad magic. The honor of being the conduit transfers from one generation to the next. Han was brought from San Francisco to a magical town where her family lived. The question is will she take over the job from her father?
     My first impressions of this book were unfavorable but I read the whole thing because I thought my poor feelings were unfair due to the fact that I have not read the rest of the books in the series, and have no rapport with the characters. While the underlying plot is interesting, the characters are undefined and are hard to relate to. The overall descriptions of the people and places are repetitive and unimaginative and the climax of the story is undramatic. The two most interesting characters are the ghost king and the albino Olm and they are in the story limited amounts. I really wanted to like the characters but they did not grab my attention their plots were all over the place with hints to past events that I had no knowledge of and it was like reading a flash fiction instead of an entire novel. This confusion may be elevated by reading the rest of the series. If you like magic that seems to only be in the fabric of the town making the buildings enchanted, a Ghost King, who can stop time and transport people into a wood to tell them a story, a talking amphibious lizard walking on land, and a sassy cat whom has her own mystery solving club. Then this book is for you, but make sure you read the other books in the series first or you will be very confused. If you are looking for an action packed fantasy adventure with magical elements, then I would recommend looking elsewhere.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Mother: A Novel by Farin Powell


The Mother: A NovelThe Mother: A Novel by Farin Powell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After many years of nursing her aging father when he died, Helen, was finally free to live her own life. She decided a drastic change was necessary to vanquish her demons that included a move to Paris. While there she met an older man and had a whirlwind romance which lead to marriage and the birth of her daughter. When her daughter was born, Helen thought her life of suffering was all worth it, as there is no greater power to heal than, love. This however is just when Helen's life really gets interesting as a series of events will change her life forever. Does she have the will power to survive it all? You will just have to pick up this wonderful book to find out just what happens to Helen and her family.
This is a well written dramatic book filled with passion, love, sorrow, perseverance, and intriguing characters. If you are a mother, are going to be a mother, or are a daughter, then this book is a must read. It captures the beauty and devotion of a mother who, despite all odds keep fighting for everything she believes in. As a mother of four children all of whom have had various medical issues, and a wife of a disabled man, I could highly relate to Hellen. She was so human that she almost seemed real, her grit, passion, and hard work even in her darkest hour was very motivating. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books about, romance, drama, powerful woman, stories about overcoming insurmountable odds, and the ups and downs of normal everyday life.

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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Dragons in the Clouds by David Blair

Dragons in the CloudsDragons in the Clouds by David Blair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good start but needs a bit of polish.

This book is about an epic battle of dragons versus man. Both plant and meat eating dragons are under attack by the king. The herbivore dragons are helped by a wizard who sends them into the sky. A great idea is spoiled by jealousy, however, and tragedy for all is the result or is there still hope? You will just have to read this book to find out.
This is an interesting young adult fantasy novel filled with action, adventure, dragons, magic, and friendship. The underlying plot of this book is well thought out and is interesting. The characters were somewhat diverse and flowed well with the plot. For the most part it is a solid read, because of its uniqueness, and it made a good fantasy. The biggest downfall of this book was the overall writing style. For example, there were many overused phrases such as "Kicked the horses into a gallop" was used three times in the same paragraph consisting of only four sentences, and that is just one of many examples. There were also several phrases which didn't fit into the time period like "the king and his pose". The whole book said a lot, but lacked a good description of the environment, and characters. The beginning started out strong but as the story within the story unfolded the characters and the world they lived in seemed to loose depth and the overall book became tedious. It is hard to say whether or not I would recommend this book to any reader. I enjoyed the storyline, but the monotonous phraseologies and lack of connection to the characters made it hard to read. Some older readers may dislike this, book due to these factors and should pass. On the other hand younger individuals who pay less attention to details, and the repetition would not bother them, would probably enjoy the dragons, and magical undertone, but there is a lot of violence, so finding the correct reader demographic may be difficult.

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Tea, Anyone? by S.R. Mallery


Tea, Anyone? (A Brooke & Abby Cozy Mystery Book 1)Tea, Anyone? by S.R. Mallery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brooke is an unofficial investigative consultant for the police department and even though the chief of police does not like her attitude, or methods at the behest of a sexy detective, he sought her expertise when a slew of unusual murders started happening around town. When she hits a dead end in the case and her roommate was hurt, Brooke has to turn to her, eccentric neighbor for help, this unusual woman uses some unconventional means and an old car to get some answers. Together they must find the killer before he strikes again.

This book is a wonderful example of a skillfully crafted who-done-it mystery with a time travelling supernatural twist. This author is a master of the time travel genre, well rounded research transports the reader into the past where the truth to the present lies. Throughout the whole book the characters are believable, the plot is fast paced, the twist is fantastic, and Brooke's strange comfort cat is funny. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries, thrillers, psychics, romance, or an all around good read. Curl up in your favorite reading spot with a cup of tea and check out another thought provoking read by this award-winning author.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Giant Forest by Mia and Bill Belew


The Giant Forest: Chapter Book for Parents and Grandparents of Preteens Who Love to Read (Growing Up Aimi 1)The Giant Forest: Chapter Book for Parents and Grandparents of Preteens Who Love to Read by Mia and Bill Belew
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a story of five friends who are lost in the forest and during their journey to get home, they learn the value of friendship and self-worth. This is a Christian based chapter book with discussion questions after each chapter. In some settings such as weekly Bible study or homeschool classes, this book would be a good source of curriculum. As a general read, however the questions are distracting and break up the flow of the work. The story and life lessons contained within are still insightful and entertaining. The characters are rich and the ending is unique. I would recommend this book to Christian homeschools and bible study groups. I would encourage the authors to make two versions of this book one with the questions for those looking to expand on what they have read and one without for those who just want an interesting fantasy fairy tale read.

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Queen of Dragons by J.A. Armitage


Queen of Dragons (Kingdom of Fairytales: Sleeping Beauty, #1)Queen of Dragons by J.A. Armitage
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Princess Azia Rose always lived in the shadow of her adopted mother the infamous Sleeping Beauty, but this did bother her as she liked being independent. She has been content to just look after her disabled brother secretly play fighting him with swords behind the castle. Until her parents decided due to an unrest among the dragons she must marry in preparation for ruling the kingdom. The hijinks that ensue after this bombshell is a fairy tale within itself. This story is a continuation of the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and it is a good adaptation unfortunately just as it starts to get good it abruptly ends. Despite the lack of closure I still would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and or classic fairy tales. The characters are well-rounded and believable. The plot once the introduction of the characters is complete is fast paced and enjoyable. Despite leaving you wanting more, this book as well worth the read.

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Friday, August 28, 2020

Persistence of Vision by Liesel K. Hill


Persistence of Vision (Interchron #1)Persistence of Vision by Liesel K. Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie sees a man on the LosVegas strip and her whole world turns sideways. Strange men try to kill her, weird visions flash through her mind, and she discovers things about herself she never thought possible before. This book is a twisting, turning Sci-fi adventure filled with time travel, mystery, and mental powers beyond belief. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventures with a sci-fi element. However, I would highly encourage anyone who reads this book to make sure they have access to the next books in the series because the ending leaves you hanging with many unanswered questions.

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P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

P.A.W.S. (The P.A.W.S. Saga, #1)P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just before Miri's Omama died she gave her the cat charm she always wore around her neck. Little did Miri know this act of kindness would save her life as well as put her in grave danger. This is a unique coming of age young adult fantasy novel is filled with magical creatures, a dangerous power hungry man, and an element of self discovery that will leave you highly satisfied. Even though this is a series most, if not all questions are answered and the ending does not leave you lost. It does however leave you with an imprint of the characters and a longing to continue their stories. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes shape shifting fantasy adventures or to anyone who is looking for a light read which leaves you satisfied and wanting more at the same time.

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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Review Sands of Eppla by Janeal Falor

Sands of EpplaSands of Eppla by Janeal Falor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Casandra was blinded by magic and then left alone by her caregiver. She was okay with her isolation because she had the company of a naughty monkey. One day a wounded man entered her life and her whole world was upended. In a world where love was by first sight alone, she was destined to be loveless forever. Despite the danger of being captured and enslaved she set out on a quest wither new friend to find her caregiver, what she finds along the way is more than she ever bargained for.
This is a good book it has a well rounded plot with believable characters. The world is well described and makes you feel a part of the story. It is a great shame that the author has not continued on this would be a great series. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes, fantasy, adventure, romance, This is a quick read that is engrossing and, well worth the time it takes to read despite, being unfinished.

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