Saturday, January 13, 2018

book reviews Jan-13-2018

I have read the following books 

Autumn's Calling: The Battle (Autumn's Calling #2)

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A great sequel. I was pleased with the sequel. I love the zombies were more than mere zombies. I wasn’t expecting this direction but I could barely put it down. The action lasted till the very last page. I liked the characters and how well they had such continuity through both books, something many struggle with. I hope to read more by this author soon.

Courting Disaster

            I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

a great erotic short with a story that is captivating. The politics and class system are interesting and leave readers thinking about the politics and class systems and how they effect the lives of people every day.  The author creates vivid characters with unique traits and personalities. They all have motives and morals that make them feel real.  I’m excited to continue where the story left off with a unique political system and complicated relationships.

Christmas, a Cat and Cardiac Arrest (A Heather's Forge Cozy Mystery Book 1)

            I received a free copy of this book via Hidden Gems and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A fun and fast paced cozy mystery.  With dynamic characters and many suspects readers are just as immersed as our protagonist.  With hot guys, cute cats, and a mystery to be solved this is a great cozy mystery for lovers of the genre. My only criticism is the author used a few phrases multiple times and it was noticeable, a prime example is the protagonist reflecting more than once that these things only happen in books and TV.

Khalla's Play: Merakor I

            An epic fantasy with a world which is highly developed.  With numerous political themes it keeps readers believing the world is real and the dangers in the world feel real for the characters. The detail of the world creates an environment in which readers can vividly picture the world. The characters are well developed and let readers learn and care about the characters and their deep relationships. 
As someone with a visual impairment I had the screen reader read to me in a few places.  The numerous names with similar sounds or first letters it was confusing at first however they are developed enough readers will be able to tell them apart with a little extra concentration. There are almost too many characters but the author does a great job of making sure to answer any looming questions.
Khalla is a unique protagonist for a book with elves. vampires, necromancy, and beast who could be friend or foe. Readers can expect this book will not follow the hokey vampire tropes instead the author created his own lore which always makes a novel including vampires more interesting.
I’m excited to keep going in the adventure as well as read some of the books I’ve missed.

Driving Grandpa

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A laugh out loud memoir. I found myself laughing numerous times as a spry old man recounted tales of his past while engaging in antics in the present with his son. I fell in love with the dog, I also found myself crying because of the touching love between the narrator and his grandfather. Even though the two never discuss how they feel no words were ever needed because it was clear they cared deeply for each other.  I couldn’t put it down once I started it. This is a great book for veterans, family members of veterans, and family who want to understand their parents and how they feel as they go through their journey of life.

The Chimera (The Chronicles of the Phoenix and her Knights Book 1)

I received a free copy of this book from Hidden Gems and am voluntarily leaving a review.

With characters who harbor various feelings towards each other and other groups there is constant tension in this page turning fantasy. With two characters’ names being so close in their linkage to another character it became confusing at time but I believe that was an author choice.  There was action on every page making the book incredibly difficult to put down. I’m excited to read the next book.

Still Alice

A tough read because it reminded me a lot of what I saw as my grandmother struggled with Dementia.  I wished I had read the book earlier in my life. This book captures feelings and emotions that caregivers and families need to hear but often don’t.  I can’t thank Lisa Genova enough for capturing the internal struggles, while someone is frustrated by their loved one not knowing how to use the remote the person struggling knows they don’t remember and should and the shame and confusion is significantly worse, but is often overlooked.  I want to read more by Lisa with as much insight.

Truth (The Geneva Project #1)

I received a free copy of this book from Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A captivating tale of magic, friendship, a dystopian world, and finding one’s place.  In a world where orphans are the lowest class and aren’t even allowed to have names our protagonist, nicknamed Tippy, must find her way in a world where nobody seems to want her.  As fi being the youngest orphan in her class weren’t enough Tippy discovers she has some powers that she can barely control.  A great story where magic and a realist future collide. I couldn’t stop thinking about the wonderful characters once I put it down. I can’t wait to continue with the gang as they keep going on their quests.

Seventeen in a Madman's Dream

The author creates what seems like an extreme situation but anyone who has ever felt like Lilly Can relate to. This is not your typical high school bully book.  I want to read more from this author even with the difficult flow because the plot the characters, the twists, and the raw emotions were incredible. Written in present tense but spanning over so much time makes the reading difficult. If it were not for these issues Seventeen in a Madman’s dream would be an easy five-star book for me.  The jumping and the style may not be for everyone but if you can overlook the style the author fills this book with humor, genuine feelings, and countless twists and turns.

Haunted by the Devil (Soul Salvager Book 1)

by Bill Hiatt (Goodreads Author)Julie Nicholls (Goodreads Author) (Illustrator)George Donnelly (Goodreads Author) (Editor)

I received a free copy of this book from Hidden Gems and am voluntarily leaving a review.

An absolutely captivating tale.  An epic battle of good and evil.  The author creates a vivid world where the spiritual realm meets reality as a young boy is thrown into a world where he must fight against the devil and his minions.  While it’s hard to believe anyone would be as noble as the protagonist the story is still a phenomenal hero’s journey.  While the characters must face the perils of the divine they are forced to deal with their own mortal temptations.

Saving Christmas

A wonderful collection of Christmas stories with bonus stories included. The author writes in a fast pasted way that keeps the action moving and the pages turning.  The characters are all different with their own personalities in each story as well as not having stock characters appear throughput the book. The first bonus story was touching because it not only captures the sprit of Christmas but has a touching message about alcoholism and youth struggling with not having a place to go.  Bonus story two features a touching tale of love, cancer, and Christmas along with the action and intrigue of vampires.  With rich details about vampire lore the author creates a unique Christmas story. Bonus story three features a second forbidden love but with a science fiction twist.  With multiple loves and losses our unique protagonist is forced to deal with his normal mundane life while he struggles with his faith.  Full of love, faith, and the spirt of the holiday season this is a great collection for the month of December or if you just need a dose of holiday cheer.

Murder in the Forbidden City (Qing Dynasty Mysteries #1)

I received a free copy of this book from Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A great story that the author clearly did research for.  The author makes readers feel like they are really in the world with vivid descriptions and frequent action.  Full of action surrounding politics, the murder, and drama within the court the pages turn by themselves.  I’m not sure where the next book will go but I’m excited to find out.  Lady Li is a unique character with aspirations and that makes her someone you want to root for.

The Tale of Atterberry (The Faire Pendant Series #1)
by Leah Price 

I received a free copy of this book from Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

The renaissance fair isn’t just a place for fun, instead it’s a place where two worlds collide.  With fairies, fortune tellers, and many mythical creatures Glenna must encounter and even work with.  She learns that imagination is more than she had ever imagined and must work to save the day at home and in a new frightening place. 

Prom Impossible (Prom Impossible #1)

A fun young adult novel featuring the humor in angst readers can enjoy from the comfort of the couch even after high school and laugh at how serious the issues felt at the time.  Full of unique characters and numerous teen antics this was a fun read.  A touching tale of coming of age, getting what you wish for, and self discovery.

Free write 1/365: five minutes

What was the inspiration/prompt?

What did I write?

        “Tiffany report to the main office please”
        My name was broadcast across the school for what I don’t know. I couldn’t have been in trouble and it wasn’t time for honor roll awards.  I traipsed to tee office biting my nails. If I’d done something to get into trouble I knew I’d get a whopping at home.  Mrs. Kendra sat at her desk sorting papers looking away from the cute Japenese girl sitting in the chair across from her. Her hands were folded neatly across her lap.  She carried a few bags as if she was traveling. Mrs. Kendra sighed and rapt on the door behind her.
        Principal Ryan walked out of his office and shuddered. “Tiffany this is Rika. She is a foreign exchange student. Your parents signed up to be hosts.”
        He looked at Mrs. Kendra and grabbed a stack of paperwork. He motioned for me to come into his office. Once I had taken a seat he shut the door behind me.
        “Rika is here. Your parents had some things come up which ultimately disqualified them from being hosts but it was discovered too late. You are a legal adult. Would you agree to be her host on paper?”

        Her parents served this spam sushi atrocity for dinner thinking it will make it feel like home.

What about you?