Archive | September 2015

Awakening (The Alventia Series Book 1) by Laura Greenwood

Length: 54 pages
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy

Synopsis: Awakening is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with some twists. Princess Keira of Alventia grew up hearing about a princess who was doomed to sleep for 100 years when she turns eighteen. She never really believed in it until it happened to her. She pricks her finger on a spindle and falls into a ‘waking’ sleep, where she knows what is going on around her. As the decades pass, fewer and fewer people come to visit. And somehow, she turns into a vampire. We don’t know for sure if this is part of the original curse or not. With not many years left of her curse, she is kissed awake by Phillip, the son of the Dark King, the one who made the original deal with the Queen who desperately wanted a child. Her castle became desolate while she was sleeping, but this is okay because she goes with Phillip to his. The rest of the story has her interacting with the Dark King and Hansel and Gretel and learning more about her curse and what she has become. Continue reading

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Will The Real Albert Speer Please Stand Up? The Many Faces of Hitler’s Architect by Geetanjali Mukherjee

Length: 41 pages
Genre: History, Non-Fiction

Synopsis: The author takes us on a short trip through the life of Albert Speer, but focuses mainly on the Nuremberg Trial and later evidence of deceit during the trial. The third paragraph of the official blurb gives us an idea of where the author is going to take us on this journey.

“In the years since the trial, biographers have been fascinated with the life of Speer, and have attempted to understand the man behind the enigma. The reason for the fascination is as much for his proximity to Hitler and the regime as it is for his actions at the end of the war. Were they justifiable? Was Speer’s biggest flaw his ambition and his turning away from obviously inhumane acts? Or did Speer manage to pull off the ultimate conjuring trick, convincing the court of his unintentional involvement, all the while wholeheartedly supporting the Nazi regimes’ treatment of those they oppressed?” Continue reading

The Quantum Door by Jonathan Ballagh

Hold on to your hats for a quantum ride!

Length: 294 pages (paperback)
Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: Brady and Felix are two brothers whose lives will forever change when they venture over the chain link fence that surrounds the neighboring property. The No Trespassing signs posted along the fence are like neon lights saying, ‘Look over here!’ What twelve-year-old boy (Felix) could resist that temptation? And what about the blue lights Felix is sure he saw?

Felix and his older brother, Brady, send in a drone to explore the property, and the drone is inexplicably knocked out of the air. This is when we start getting introduced to the unusual cast of characters which includes Nova, Achilles (my favorite), Thorn, and Nyx. And that’s just on this side of the quantum door. And the boys still don’t know what the quantum door is!

Just wait until you check out the other side!

Cover Art: The cover and inside illustrations were done by Ben J. Adams (check him out at benjadams.com). My favorite illustration of them all is the one below, of Achilles. I just want to meet him and touch him! Doesn’t he just glow?

Interior_Ach

Back to the cover art! I’m one of those people who prefers more color on my books. Bold, contrasting colors tend to catch my attention the most. That being said, this cover still does a good job and has an otherworldly, eerie feel to it. It captures the essence of the first part of the book quite nicely.

My Thoughts: For some reason, I am finding it difficult to form my thoughts into words and sentences. So, if my thoughts seem a little abrupt and don’t flow from sentence to sentence, that’s why. Oh, my very first thought when I read the title was Schrödinger’s Cat!

I found the book entertaining and well written. The landscapes and characters were easy to picture in my mind (but I wish there had been a few more illustrations). I thought the author did a really good job giving personalities to the various characters like AJ, Achilles, and Thorn. But, I felt that the main characters could have been developed a little more than they were. You don’t need to know science to enjoy this book, which can be good or bad. There is science introduced and science used, don’t get me wrong, but I think the author could have taken advantage of the opportunity to teach readers a little bit more. In my opinion, it’s never too early to get kids interested in science and math.

Notes: This book is aimed at younger readers (10-14), but older readers can certainly find it entertaining and worth a read.

Rating: 4 stars

disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Update

Hello everyone!

I have been busy these past two weeks with my regular job and a contract job (editing a book!).  I have edited college research papers, but never a book, so I was really excited to get this book editing job! There is so much more to editing a book than I ever thought there was. It took way longer than I was expecting. WOW! I’m in the process of going through the book one last time after the author made corrections and changed things, so hopefully I will be back to reviewing books on Wednesday or Thursday.

Have a great week!

Hildegart

Those Who Remain by Ian Blackport

Length: 486 pages
Genre: Post-apocalyptic

Synopsis: The official blurb for this book is:

“Mallory travels forests and abandoned towns with her little sister as a lone companion, scavenging for meager food scraps. Almost one decade has passed since civilization collapsed in the wake of an incurable pandemic, leaving behind a ruined world without meaning or hope. Only one thing in this unforgiving existence is worth protecting, and no line exists that Mallory is unwilling to cross for her sister. Compassion is a fatal weakness when each day might be her last and the only protection comes by way of a loaded gun. Every stranger is a threat and each human an adversary. In this bleak life, Mallory follows one rule: trust will get her killed. There can be no alternative, because she learned long ago that survival meant sacrificing her humanity.” Continue reading

Yeager’s Law by Scott Bell

Jack Reacher, watch out! Abel Yeager is in the house!

Length: 266 pages
Genre: Thriller

Synopsis: Abel Yeager is a former US Marine, down on his luck, who drives a truck for a living. Instead of driving for a trucking company (which actually pays pretty good), he purchases his own truck and is barely making ends meet.

The story starts with us meeting Yeager just outside of Judsonia, Arkansas. Almost immediately, the action starts! He pulls into a rest stop and is followed by Humberto Cruz and his henchmen, who try and hijack Yeager’s truck. But, before the henchmen can get away with the truck, Yeager comes out of the restroom and takes on the would-be hijackers. He disables everyone near his truck, but it turns out Humberto was still in the car.

Enter Charlie. Charlie is a bookstore owner on her way to St. Louis to look at remainder books. The odd thing is that her ex-husband referred her to the warehouse in St. Louis. She pulls into the Arkansas rest stop, only to find Yeager at the business end of a handgun. We find that she carries a Smith & Wesson in her purse. What a lady! She prevents Humberto from shooting Yeager and off go Humberto and his henchman.

The hijackers don’t give up and follow Yeager as he drops off his load of copper and heads back to Texas with a load of remainder books bound for Charlie’s bookstore. During this trip, we find that another group (and Charlie’s ex) is after the pallets of books in Yeager’s truck. Two groups of bad guys, Charlie’s ex, one truck full of remainder books, Yeager and Charlie. That should be enough, right? Wrong.

And on goes the story. More Jack Reacher-esque action, more shoot ’em up scenes, more greed… Continue reading

Warrior Lore: Scandinavian Ballads by Ian Cumpstey

What a gem!

Length: 76 pages
Genre: Mythology/Folklore/History

Synopsis: When I first started writing this review, I was struggling with what all to include for the synopsis. I looked at the official blurb, again, and decided I would let it do the writing. So, here is the official blurb (which is better than what I had written):

“Thor resorts to cross-dressing in a bid to recover his stolen hammer. The hero Widrick Waylandsson comes face to face with a troll in the forest. A king’s daughter is abducted from a convent in rural Sweden. A young fighter has to show off his prowess in skiing and shooting for King Harald Hardrada. And more…

The medieval Scandinavian ballads in this collection tell stories of champions and fighters, vikings, and trolls, drawing on Norse mythology and heroic legend. There are riddles, and there are appearances from Thor, Loki, Sigurd, and other figures from the myths of the Edda and from history. Narrative ballads were part of an oral folk music tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600, although the ballads themselves are older. These new English verse translations are mainly based on Swedish tradition.

The ballads transport the reader back in time into the fells and forests of the far north. These verse translations can also be sung, just as the ballads were in old Scandinavia.

All the ballads included are:
Widrick Waylandsson’s Fight with Long-Ben Reyser; Twelve Strong Fighters; Hilla-Lill; Sir Hjalmar; The Hammer Hunt; The Stablemates; Sven Swan-White; The Cloister Raid; Heming and the Mountain Troll; Heming and King Harald.” Continue reading