Book Review: Dragon Stone Trilogy by Kristian Alva

This is a tale of the prophesied boy, Elias, with magical powers from a small village. He discovers a dragon stone and is hunted by an evil emperor. The story has elements that have been seen before: dragon, elf, dwarf however it is mixed with new and interesting creations like the necromancers. The backdrop of a simple village where Elias is living in a dark time, being poverty stricken was well depicted. His grandma was his one and only family. She was his guide but she hid her true magical powers. The story would have benefited if both the characters were developed substantially more. This is a simple story but it is fast paced and keeps you turning pages to find what happened next. Book 1: Dragon Stones is however, pretty short.

The end of book one offers some nice surprises which also kept me going on to Book 2: Return of the Dragon Riders. While we have yet to meet the evil emperor Vosper, more about Elias’s parentage is revealed to the readers. Thorin, Elias’s halfling friend from Book 1, is still around providing advice, support, and the occasional comedic relief. There’s plenty of action in this novel and it is well-paced. I like that the point of view shifts around and we get to spend time away from Elias. Elias is a well-meaning teen who wants to think the best of nearly everyone. Many of the other characters are not so trusting. In fact, there is a hidden traitor among them, which adds suspense to the story.

Book 3: Vosper’s Revenge, is an excellent ending to this saga! There is more action, mystery and magic. The evil Emperor Vosper and his forces are stronger and more wicked than ever and their opposition to the Riders and the land of Durn comes to an action packed conclusion. I really enjoyed the strengthening bond between Elias and his dragon, Nydiered. Their story is sweet and warms the heart. The end of the book seemed rushed. The battle between Vosper and Elias seemed almost anticlimactic. I would have also enjoyed a more detailed account of the after effect of the war, as well as what happened to the characters. However, the book was still a decent conclusion to the series.

Overall, I give the entire series four stars.

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Book Review: Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones

This book has it all! Think Greek mythology dressed up in today’s clothes. You are reminded of Percy Jackson where there are Gods, Demigods, Nymphs and so forth but there in the similarities end. Chloe, the main character is a teenager that hears voices. She kept having these “hallucinations” and no one really understood them. They could only do the thing that made the most sense and that is to call her crazy. It is her coming of age story. Realizing and owning what she is and what she can do. She is the Oracle of Delphi, a very powerful incarnation at that.

Strafford Law is her guardian. He is a dishonored demigod and there is a cute romance blossoming between Chloe and Stafford. The many worlds are interesting but definitely borrowed from cities well known to most readers.  I do not necessarily understand the tattoos and how much the demigods seem to like them! This book was fast paced with a lot of twists and turns. It was a fun, entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a very imaginative take on ancient Greece and their famous Gods.

One issue that I had with the book was the development of Chloe’s character. She inherently seems to get good at fighting and leaps before thinking. This seems to be a miss with an Oracle but perhaps we will understand this behavior in the other books. 4.5 stars! I will definitely watch for more books in this series and by Diantha!

Book Review – Twinned Universes by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Twinned Universes is about Paul Lyon Harrison who finds that he is a part of two universes. This is a fast paced book with a very interesting premise. I must say it has been a while since a book kept me turning the pages or rather scrolling along till the very end! For all the sci-fi fans out there, this book has it all: Other worlds, clones, space travel and crazy quantum quirks!

This is a great book for the young adult readers as well. Paul is a teenager that suffers a family tragedy and finds a way not just survive but thrive. Sandra Ulbrich Almazan’s narration gave me the right amount of background information along with moving the story forward that it kept me wanting more. Although this is part of a series having not read the first book in the series did not cause any difficulty in following the story. This is a must read for me and gets four and a half stars from me.

Book Review – MythWeaver by David J Normoyle

This is a story about Jagger Burns a reluctant hero. He is a young man that finds escape in a world of his own creation. The world that Jagger created had elements of Greek and Norse mythology woven in. This was a great way to learn a little bit about both mythologies and how each has so much in common. The short stories from each were interesting but gruesome and barbaric at the same time as mythology is.

My complaint is that I just couldn’t identify with Jagger, if I could have seen why he was this way or what his motivation was perhaps it would make it easier. It also took him a long time to snap out of his troubles in order to save two worlds! Overall it was an interesting concept. I would definitely say that this is a book for high school aged and older, solidly young adult.

Book Review – Leandra’s Enchanted Flute by Katy Huth Jones

Sometimes the magic lies within.

This is a fantasy tale filled with talking birds an enchanted flute and a world that is dying. The main character Lee Ann (Leandra) has just survived chemo and her cancer is in remission when she gets called into this world. This is an easy story to follow for the young readers. What I like about the book is how it compares cancer to things tweens or teenagers could relate to. The story itself is absorbing and the characters are interesting. I like that Lee Ann although physically weak is portrayed as a strong character capable of defending a world.

I would give this book four stars and caution the readers of the content. I think it is appropriate for tweens/ teenagers and particularly if someone is dealing with cancer on any level. Another subtle message of the book is how our world is connected. There is evil in many forms but if we are strong then we have a way of fighting it. The author is a cancer survivor and the reader can definitely see some of what she went through in her own personal journey.

The story did leave me with an incomplete feeling. Even if a book is part of a series I like to see some closure. This book does have an ending but perhaps its not the ending I was looking for! I sure hope Katy continues Leandra’s journey so that eventually I get my ending!

Book Review: Savannah’s Story – Jodi Stone

This is a story about Savannah, the youngest of three sisters. All she wants to do is play with her sisters and her dollhouse. She also does not want to get bored but no one wants to play with her. She makes a wish that comes true!

What child doesn’t want to live in her own imagination and doesn’t hope that her dolls come to life? This is just such a book that sparks the imagination. This is a great book for the younger readers as well as a great book to read to your children. The illustrations add to the story and help the reader to follow along.

The story itself rhymes and would be fun to read out loud. I actually think this would encourage a first time reader to read out the words just to see (rather hear) how they flow. I would say that since this is a book with dolls, dollhouses and a lot of pink it might appeal more to girls. I however am a firm believer that liking pink or dolls is not just for girls but not everyone feels the same way. This book gets four and a half out of five stars from me.

Book Review: A Father’s Wish – Christine Corretti

King Big Bear is about the animals in Germany set several hundred years ago. The kind and benevolent king of that kingdom is Big Bear. Despite having all the wealth and devotion of the animals, Big Bear isn’t happy. He discovers that having a baby animal would help him be happy and he adopts a young wolf cub. The adventure that follows is filled with a magical wizard and lots of forest animals.

Here’s what I like about the book: it has two very important messages. The first is about adoption and this is from a parent’s perspective. It portrays all the love that a parent has for the adopted child. The second is about cruelty to animals and how it is not okay in any form. I think both points are well conveyed in this classic fairy tale-esque format.

I would recommend this book for children 7-8 years of age and older since there is some death and killing involved. I would also make the same age recommendation since this does talk about the parent’s perspective towards adoption and the loneliness one can feel without a child/ cub. Overall, I would give it four stars out of five. It is a great starter book when trying to introduce adoption or animal rights to a child.

Book Review: Gifts to Our Children – Merry Mary

Gifts to our children is about just that, the gifts that we choose to give to our children. It is more about the attitudes we teach them, consciously or subconsciously. The author tries to explain her point of view through instances in her own life. It is a really interesting perspective as a lot of it is about life far away from the United States.

Mary speaks from experience but the tone of the book starts to lean towards being preachy. I find that I disagree with a few of her view points as well. However, one must recognize that parenting is such a personal choice that there really is no one size fits all.

I would say read this book with an open mind as the underlying message is beautiful. I like the concept and even if I don’t agree with everything in the book; I do find myself analyzing what I would like to pass on to my daughter. I believe that was the main purpose of the book: to make the reader realize how a child learns.

” Children learn by what they see. What you live is what you give.”

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Book Review: The Boots My Mother Gave Me – Brooklyn James

It has been a while since a book in this genre kept me wanting to read and not put the book down. The main character Harley is endearing as a child, she wants to be strong. She wants her father’s love and she is completely happy to forgive every abusive action of his. Her growth from a frightened child as she realizes her father’s limitations to a strong young teen is wonderful.

Harley has just one refuge, Jeremiah. Her friend since childhood and her first for a lot of things. Both characters grow with the book and the way they experience life and each other changes with time. James does a great job of telling this story. I love the fact that Harley is a strong woman that wants to make it on her own, away from the life that she once knew.

There are a few parts in the middle that seem to be stretched and the instances where she flashes back to a childhood memory is distracting. That is the only reason why this book doesn’t have the highest rating in my book.

Overall this is a great read, a tear jerker at times and has romance that melts your heart!

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