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Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Songkeeper Chronicles Book 1: Orphan's Song

"Who Will Keep the Song Alive?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
 
Storyline - Birdie has always been different and hears a mysterious song only she can hear keeps her company. Suddenly, her world is turned upside down because of this song, a curse as her closest friend calls it and is whisked away from the only life she has ever known. Now she is hunted by the Khelari, dark soldiers, meets new creatures, and fight for her life. Meanwhile, Ky, a street boy who is part of the Underground, a group of orphan children, becomes mixed up in a ploy by the leader to wage war on the Khelari. Will Birdie discover what the song really is and why it is so powerful?

Author - Gillian Bronte Adams

Publisher - Enclave Publishing

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Lots of fighting and bloodshed. Several characters seek vengeance and they also fight the desire to give in to evil ideas. Ky fights within himself to see what is the right thing to do for others. Birdie struggles weather to ignore the song or if there is something good to it. Amos struggles with his past and if he should reveal the truth.

Personal Opinion - Orphan's Song by Gillian Bronte Adams is a fun, adventure filled, mysterious book that takes some good twists and turns. There were a couple of long battle scenes yet they remained interesting and progress the story well. Ky was a fun character and I loved Amos's use of language, his strange words of exclamation and calling Birdie and Ky "lass" and "lad", giving the book a more Scottish feel then English like most fantasies. Birdie was a quiet, not tough, kind of girl yet was brave and determined. Wish there was more in of the Gryphon in the book but is seems like book 2 will have more of him. The beginning was a bit long and the breaking of the story between Birdie and Ky was confusing at first because I couldn't see how they would come together. When they did, it moved great, revealed some much craved for information, and ended with a cliffhanger. Looking forward to the next book and this is a good start to a new fantasy series.

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To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Patmos Deception

"An Ancient Island Holds
an Ancient Secret..."
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms

Storyline - Carey travels to Greece only to find the Institute that had offered her a job has closed, leaving her stranded. Thankfully, Nick, a journalist in Paris and an old friend of Carey's offers her a job. An under the radar job seeking stolen antiquities. Dimitri is a local for-hire tourist boat guide on Patmos struggling to make ends meet in the troublesome economy of Greece. So, to keep his family's legacy alive, he agrees to some illegal work. Yet the job requires more than he bargained for. They are all in danger and it will take their knowledge, skill, and determination to survive.

Author - Davis Bunn

Publisher - Bethany House

Age Group - 16 or 17 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Each character is encouraged to turn to God for direction in their current situations as well as dealing with their past such as Dimitri previously being a womanizer and then a smuggler and Carey with overcoming bad relationships.

Personal Opinion - I liked the idea of an ancient secret affecting modern day lives and thought this would be a good adventure novel. The characters were diverse and had detailed histories about how they became who they are and where they are now. There's a lot of information concerning various islands (mostly Ephesus and Patmos), their history, a legend, and how they tied in with Biblical times. The novel also gave an in depth image of the economic crisis in Greece. For all the work of creating characters with various personalities and histories, the book did not emphasis the mystery that much. This made it highly character centered and made me think on several occasions "What is this book about again? Oh, right." In fact, the story could go several chapters about the characters' present and past, were they were going, or the island's history without even touching on what the main plot was. I prefer books that are more evenly character and plot centered then heavily one way or the other. While it had great information and characters, I found this book slow and not my particular taste.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Bethany House Reviewers.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm

Chew on a good book today!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cover Reveal: Draven's Light

"Don't judge a book by its cover" does not happen. When I am looking at new books, trying to find something new, the cover is the first thing that makes me pick it up. From there, the title and synopsis influence my interest and then the book itself. Covers spark the imagination and hint at what the book is about.


ANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Tales of Goldstone Wood. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit: www.AnneElisabethStengl.blogspot.com
 
Anne Elizabeth Stengl's books have some of the most beautiful covers. And today is the reveal of the cover for her newest novel. So here is the cover of Draven's Light, releasing May 25, 2015.


In the Darkness of the Pit
The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.
 
But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?
 
An excerpt is available here.
 
 

 
The author is also running a giveaway right now so enter the Rafflecopter.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Killer Species: Menace from the Deep

"Unnatural Selection"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Emmet has just moved to Florida but it is not his first choice of homes and almost being eaten by an unknown species of crocodile on the first day confirms it. But his scientific father is caught up in the strange discovery of this new animal and they are not going anywhere. The designer of the new crocodile is furious that the Everglades is being destroyed by snakes and tourist and will do anything to protect the land, including breaking the law and setting loose his creations. As Emmet settles in to his new home and gets to know Calvin,  son of his father's co-worker, his father gets into trouble and will have to find a way to save him while not getting eaten.

Author - Michael P. Spradlin

Publisher - Scholastic

Age Group - 12 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers*

Personal Opinion - Killer Species was a pretty good read (but the intended age group will enjoy it more than an older one). Emmet and Calvin were distinct characters and personalities, one jumpy but determined and the other quiet but knowledgeable. The situation was extreme but believable with the antagonist and his desire to save the swamp yet having scientifically engineered crocodiles produced to carry out that plan. Emmet's various names for the creatures were fun. It was interesting how the boys turned to the adults for help so much because that is not always a common characteristic in middle grade or young adult books today and is a positive element. The only thing that I wish had been different is, at the beginning of some chapters, stuff was summarized, even before it happened, so the reader didn't get to discover it with the characters when it happened. The summaries weren't detailed but took away some of the surprise. Besides swearing to God once, this seems like a good middle grade adventure, science fiction book for readers.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Other Book Reviews for this Author - The Youngest Templer Trilogy

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Ice Dragon

Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms
 
Storyline - Adara was born during the coldest winter her village has seen in over a hundred years, and is just as cold. She loves the winter and the ice dragon that visits, bring an icy chill. Yet, because of her frosty behavior, her family can't get close to her. As war advances to her village and winter comes sooner every year, her family struggles with what to do, stay or leave. When it seems like her whole world is about to fall apart when she is seven, one choice from here will affect the outcome of her whole family.

Author - George R. R. Martin

Illustrator - Yvonne Gilbert

Publisher - Starscape Book; Tom Doherty Associates, LLC

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Detailed description of mother's womb and was born with a cold affecting her. After a brief temptation to runaway and abandon her family, she returns to face a terrible enemy. Unconditional love, even when it is not returned, shared.

Personal Opinion - Beautifully told. The story was very symbolic of love and family and sacrifice and change. I am actually surprised how well it was told with so little dialogue which is really popular for stories. I wish it had been longer and went deeper into the characters and events, especially since it is for an older age group despite how short it is, but I think it had a good message about cold and warmth and how people change.

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Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Author,

Awards - New York Times bestselling author

Note - The book has recently been republished with a new cover.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
 
Chew on a good book today!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Best Books of 2014

Wow, it has been a while since I've done one of these Best Of lists.

Ended up reading a lot of non-fiction which is surprising because I am more of a fiction person. I had a troublesome year when it came to reading. According to my GoodReads Goal, the total is 22 books. Yikes! That is much less than I've read before. None the less, I hope to create a better habit of reading this coming year (consider it one of my New Year's Goals). Also, I thought I would share some of my favorite books I've read this year.

Non-Fiction

1. Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck

2. Ruby's Tale by Patrick Bettendorf

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History by Andrew Farago

4. 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables by Bob Welch

Fiction

1. Awakening by Tracy Higley

2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (No review on site)

3. William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher

Young Adult and Teen

1. East by Edith Pattou

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (No review on site)

3. Disney Frozen: The Cinestory by Robert Simpson, Erik Burnham, Josh Elder, and Leonard Maltin (Review coming soon)

If you want to whole list, check out this list I have on GoodReads. Hope you all had great books this year. How about sharing your favorite in a comment below.

Chew on a good book this new year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

 
Bookworm's Ranking - 3 Worms

About - Ever tried to rectify science and religion? Wondered about genesis vs. the Big Bang? How about what was going to happen when the world ends? Or even the question Pope Francis asked, would you baptize an extraterrestrial? Fr. Guy Consolmagono and Fr. Paul Mueller, priests, work for the Vatican Observatory, and have degrees in science, are asked these questions and more which  they now present in this book. To help explain, they write as if they are having a conversation together in various locations (from art galleries to Antarctica). They talk science and religion and how they don't compete with each other even if they don't always seem to agree. Yet, God created both and they both share important truths of our world and Heavenly Father.

Author - Guy Consolmagno, SJ and Paul Mueller, SJ

Publisher - Image Publishing

Age Group - 15 and up

Personal Opinion - Like most Catholics (or Christians for that matter) I have heard the arguments on science vs. religion before, which is why I was interested in this book. I might have wanted a way to show how religion is true and science can prove it when I started this book (which the authors warn against) and learned some interesting things (such as the Vatican has an observatory and astronomers! ;) ). The idea of using conversation style writing and locations was intriguing in the beginning and seemed like it would help explain the science and religion in a common form so it might be more understandable. But, it got awkward pretty quick. It didn't seem to be used as effectively as it could and, on occasion, the authors got on tangents on the location or example they were sharing for a couple of sentences that felt like the discussion was going off topic for no good reason. I struggle with science so that didn't help me and the explanations seemed long winded and over done. To a scientist, everything was probably necessary and it was pretty much understandable but overwhelming. I could only read so much at a time and then needed a break, yet, at the same time, I felt like if I kept reading everything would come together clearer. I did appreciate what they were trying to do. This book I would recommend to someone who understands science more than me, even borrow them the book. But, someone who struggles with science, I would tell them about the book but hesitate in giving it to them.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Blogging for Books.

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm.

Chew on a good book today!

Fish