Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Serpent in the Glass by D. M. Andrews


The Serpent in the Glass.
What the book has to say about itself.
On his eleventh birthday Thomas Farrell is informed that the deceased father he never knew has provided for his education at Darkledun Manor, a school for gifted children. Thomas, however, feels he's just an ordinary boy, but Darkledun Manor proves to be anything but an ordinary school...

In this work of fiction the reader is transported into a world of myth as the young protagonist, Thomas Farrell, seeks to understand who his mysterious father was, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent. As the story progresses, Thomas and his friends become increasing caught up in a world they never knew existed - a world beyond the standing stones.
 
What I have to say about it.
This was a very fun and pretty quick read. But it very much reminded me of Harry Potter. Almost to the point where lots of things seemed a bit of a knock off. The further I got into the story, the more original it became but that knock off feeling is the reason I didn't give it 5 stars.

Thomas is an orphan, raised by some uptight "English" parents. They do have a daughter Jessica that loves Thomas as if he were her real brother and they have a fun and kind relationship. When Thomas gets enrolled in Darkledun Manor he makes sure Jessica can come with. Thomas was given a glass marble type thing with a serpent that looks like a dragon suspended in it. This turns out to be a magical object that gives Thomas powers that belong to him as the heir to something special. (Trying not to give spoilers here)

I did enjoy this. I think it would be a great read for those who loved the Harry Potter series. I think young boys and girls too would like this book.
 
Check it out on AMAZON HERE
 
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review: Adversarious by M. L. Chesley




ADVERSARIUS


            By:  M. L. Chesley

M. L. Chesley is an Alaska based author, online blogger and MMORPG junkie. She has been writing fantasy for several years. Between writing, work and family she barely has time for much gaming, but some days, raids take precedence over all. If you would like to learn more about her world, created in this book, go to www.mlchesley.webs.com. You can also follow her blog at www.caledonialass.blogspot.com.

 
What the book has to say about itself: 

Two kingdoms, two goals.
The king of Relavia is determined to wipe out his warring neighbors in Paridzule, a worthy adversary for over five hundred years. News of an arranged marriage between his son and the daughter of his lifelong enemy has fueled the temper of Relavia's tyrannical king. What he doesn't realize is the true measure of his son's honor and how far he is willing to go to gain peace.

What I have to say about it:

I didn't really know what to expect from this book. I'd heard hints about it, but I purposely didn't look up anything about it because I wanted to come at it fresh with no previous prejudice. I do wonder if that approach is what made me unsure which character was the Main Character. (I'm still not exactly sure, but I'm thinking its two of them.)

Things I really liked.  The story gets off to a start with a battle scene on a ship being attacked by Pirates. (she spelled it weird, but I can't remember exactly how it was) The world building was wonderful. The variety of characters was fun. And usually when you have that many characters in a story, you begin to lose some of them, or they become 2 dimentional, but all her characters felt pretty developed to me. I even remembered who most of them were even the ones who only showed up in passing. Something I thought was well done. Not even their weird names could throw me off.
There wasn't really any romance per se, but it was still a romantic type book. The two characters who love each other, don't even interact really except in a flashback, but I was still rooting for them. 
There are also side stories, and supporting characters who have wonderful interactions with each other, and there is always excitment and adventure and even more fight scenes. (including assassins.)

Things I didn't like so much, and some of this might be a bit of a spoiler, but I'll try to be careful.  This book seemed to stop too soon for me. I know it is the first in a series, and it wasn't like I was left with a cliff hanger or anything, but I really wish she would have been able to keep going. I want to know what happens to those people right away.
I kind of know what the plot is, but there are a variety of side plots that enhance the story, but also make it so this book couldn't complete a full circle without becomming too large. I didn't like it that the two I was rooting for didn't end up together, but I'm pretty sure it will happen in another book. (It better!)
There were a few spots where I stopped believing in the magic because I couldn't help feeling the same way about it as the characters did when they found out the limitations of magic, but later on it was explained in a way I could accept.

Overall, this is a fun book. Pretty hefty, and not a light or a short read, but it is enjoyable. I really am looking forward to the next book because I have to see what happens next.


Check it out on Smashwords HERE
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book review. THE ALIAS by Mandi Tucker Slack




 
Book Review:  THE ALIAS by Mandi Tucker Slack
Alias Cover.jpg



What the book says about itself:

Jacey Grayson is an average, young, divorced mother struggling to build a new life for her son, Blaze. But when the FBI discloses some disturbing information about her ex-husband, Jacey's life becomes anything but average. At the risk of losing her identity, her future, and her heart, Jacey and Blaze flee to Utah, hoping to hide and start over once again. But no matter how far she runs or who she pretends to be, her past is always lurking nearby, bringing old fears with it. Thrilling action and a suspenseful plot make this novel an edge-of-your-seat-read. 



What I have to say about it:

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed. The story seemed to flow very well without making me feel like there were things happening just to move the story forward. I loved how though Jacey was going under a different name, I never got confused when they used the other name. The romance in this was just perfect for me. Nothing blushworthy ever, and it developed in a way I could accept without making it feel like it was forced. But it was still very sweet and romantic and I couldn't help rooting for the couple.
Jacey stayed in an abusive relationship for many years and when she eventually got out of it, she works hard at making a new life for herself. I loved how the author made us aware of how women from abusive relationships are all different, but may have similar reasons for sticking with it. But I also loved how Jacey changed and made a person for herself that wasn't going to ever allow herself to be abused again.
The only problem I had with this story was Jacey's ex, John. Of course he was a creep, and I did get his motivations for why he did what he did, but there were a couple places where when he was talking to his partner in crime he sounded a little too "tough guy". Besides that one little thing that's hardly worth mentioning, I really loved this book. It was a fast read and I never once wanted to put it down and go look for something else to do.




Check out her website HERE
Find it on AMAZON HERE
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review The Time Hunters by Carl Ashmore



The Time Hunters.
Here is what the book has to say about itself. 
Becky is a typical thirteen year old girl. She likes Facebook, gossiping and plenty of sleep. So when she and her brother, Joe, are invited to stay with their 'loony' Uncle Percy at his stately home, she thinks it’ll be the worst summer ever. What she doesn't realise is that Bowen Hall is also home to a baby Triceratops, two Sabre-tooth tigers and the mythic hero, Will Scarlet...

'The Time Hunters' is a thrilling adventure that takes Becky, Joe, Uncle Percy and Will on a quest through time to find the legendary Golden Fleece.

The Clock is ticking....

 
Here's what I have to say about it.
This was fun. It was a time travel book, and I don't usually read those, but I'm glad I did this one. The two kids, a brother and sister reminded me a bit of the relationship that the siblings in Fablehaven have. Loving, but still a little combative at times. The great uncle they go to live with during the summer seems a bit odd and eccentric, and the kids aren't all that excited about going to stay with him, but when they get there, they have a good time and discover he's got a couple time machines and they get to go with him on a couple trips.

Bad guys chase them through time while they are looking for the legendary "Golden Fleece", there are twists to common history where we find out the "REAL" story of things including Jason and the Argonauts, and Hercules. It's a fun interpretation of history. (though that's just a fun side story) Lots of quirky things and very fun.

The story is very British, and it took me a bit to understand their lingo and some of the phrases they used, but pretty soon I was totally into their world.

 




Check it out on AMAZON HERE

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review. Fair Maiden by Cheri Schmidt


Fair Maiden by Cheri Schmidt
 
This was a fun read. Magical and seemingly paranormal, but with a twist I didn't expect. The characters were well developed. I loved them. Christian Sparks, an Earl moves into an old Castle. When his presence wakes up the "ghost" who's been trapped for centuries in a hidden room. She can't remember who she is, or where she came from, or how she died. He can see her but no one else can, unless she chooses for them to. She's transparent though so she can't be passed as anything but a ghost. 

Christian can't get his inheritance from his father to maintain this castle and grounds until he gets married. (Silly parents) but he doesn't have any prospects for marriage and he's of course fallen for this ghost. 

The ghost (who we eventually learn her name is Tessa) knows she can't have him, but is still connected to him. She can't leave the castle grounds because of the spell around it, but when Christian goes to a ball to meet some ladies his mother is insisting he pick a bride from, Tessa calls his name and is transported there. And that makes things fun because sometimes she flits back and forth from being ghost like to being flesh and blood. But no one knows when it's gonna happen. Through the workings of a spell and with the help of a witch, they figure things out and learn who Tessa really is, but that's just the beginning of what they need to do. They've got to end the spell that's on her, and save her from the threat that caused her to be under that spell in the first place. 

This book was fast paced, engaging, romantic without getting blushworthy, and like I mentioned, not what I expected when I first started it. Nice twist. The only thing I didn't like was the epilogue where I'm not sure if they were leaving things open for a sequel or if it was just a tease for me to think of what happens next on my own.
 
Check it out on AMAZON HERE.
 
Check it out on Barnes and Noble HERE