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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection: The Little Mermaid

"Is Grass Truly Greener than Ocean Blue?"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Pearl has always dreamed going to see the people on land, even if that means leaving behind the merman, Keel, who wishes to marry her. But, when he decides to give her what she's always wanted, it is a dream come true and ignores the warnings of the dangers of land. When she get there, will it be everything she ever dreamed or will the warning of her loved ones prove true?

Author - Jenni James

Publisher - StoneHouse Ink

Age Group - 14 and up
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Pearl and Keel lie to their families. Pearl is a bit gullible which get her and Keel in trouble once. Some fighting. Pearl and Keel are willing to make sacrifices to save each other. The both learn the truth about the world, changing their perspectives and being open to more then they originally thought.

Personal Opinion - This retelling of The Little Mermaid had a lot of the hallmarks of the original tale with a few twists. And isn't that just a beautiful cover? Keel, the leading merman, is a real prince in shinning... ah... scales, while Pearl's curiosity tends to get the better of them. While Pearl is curious and determined to live her dream of visiting land, there was one moment in the story I thought she was kinda dumb but don't want to go into details because of spoilers. Mostly, this story is well told and well built but I did have a couple of things that I wish had been different. This book had a lot of kissing and cuddling and it seemed over kill. It also took long time for them to get on land, like half the book. The people were presented as cruel and the reader doesn't get to know what the people are saying (because Pearl and Keel can't understand their language and vice versa) which can be good but it makes me wonder what was said and if there was a miss communication that blew out of proportion. I wish there had been more on land time and mix of people and maybe a point of view of someone who knew what was going on that the merfolk didn't. For a lot of the book, the world is full of terrible people who only look out for themselves. But, at the end, there was some hope when one character showed kindness. This was close to the end with very little time to get to know that character and have hope that there is some good. I like Jenni Jame's writing, this being the third book of hers I've read, and I will read more but this one is not my favorite and could have been better.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

Other Reviews for this Author - Jenni James Faerie Tale Collection: Beauty and the Beast - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thieves of Greatness

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Elizabeth is the second daughter of King Henry the VII and unlikely to ever receive the crown or be remembered. Shunned by her family, she feels alone and wishes to be great. Yet, when she starts seeing a flying sailing ship, she begins to worry that she is going insane like her father is rumored to be. When the ship lands atop the palace and the man called Captain invites her aboard, she begins an adventure where animals talk, travels through time, and meets the other children invited on board like King Tut, the boy king of Egypt, Neal Armstrong, an adventurous boy who jumps into everything, and Coaxoch, a shy Aztec princess. But, their adventures are interrupted by someone taking children out of their time and abandoning them. As they race to stop whoever is doing this, the hunters become the hunted and they will have to find a way to send the world's and time's children back to where they belong and find in themselves all they can be.

Author - Emily C. Burger

Publisher - Howling Wolf

Age Group - 12 and up
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Elizabeth decides to go with a man on a sailing ship that flies who she just met. Coaxoch struggles with right and wrong. Each child has to face their fear and doubt to overcome the evil they are facing and use their talents.

Personal Opinion - I've been jumping between rating this book at 3.5 or 4 stars because, while it is good and interesting and the characters are great, there were some questions and concerns I had. The story was really good and engaging, having a Doctor Who feel with the Captain and the Explorer and the strange items aboard the ship as well as picking up people who are fantastic (the biggest difference here is in Doctor Who, the companions are just normal people while each kid in this book is a recognizable figure from history but the sentiment is the same for the people who come along). That is one cool thing, that the every kid is an important person from history, which really shows that, "Every child has the ability to make history," as Captain says, and there are hints of how these children do so while reading this book. Speaking of history, while it was fun seeing  different people from various cultures and historical time periods, I did question the historical accurateness at times. The reader gets to see Elizabeth in her home for several chapters before she meets the Captain yet there were times I thought, "Is that right? I thought it was different." It makes me want to do research. That being said, the issue of accurateness also comes into play with point of view. It seemed it was mostly from Elizabeth's POV yet sometimes the author would seem to speak to the reader director, and then, again in the description, an item would be described by being compared to something else, something Elizabeth would not know anything about because of the time period difference. It made me wonder who was telling this story. There were also several POV changes without a scene break or chapter change that went from one character to another with only the change of a sentence. For the antagonist, I am still not clear is what his motivation and goal was. Lastly, and this is more personal, I would have liked to have seen Elizabeth at home longer at the end of the story, had seen how she changed, especially after how long the beginning was before even before a hint of the flying ship. But, this story was good. It wasn't a, "I have to get back to this right now!" story for me but, when I was reading, I was interested and engaged, enjoyed the various characters, human and animal, and seeing how these historical people before they were famous were brought into the story. I think there is a lot of room for it to become a series and continue on but it also works well for a stand alone. This is a good book, maybe one I would not say, "You have to go buy this," but, if someone was interested in it, I would say good things and support them picking it up. The author, Emily C. Burger, has a great future in writing if she wants to continue and work on it some more. I would keep an eye out for her next book.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Books Releasing in May

Hey Bookworms,

May today (hey, that rhymes!) and some new books. I love new books. New stories. New adventures. New worlds. So, lets check out what's coming out that I'm interested in.

A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold

Release Date: May 16

A retelling of two fairy tales by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I love when fairy tales are mixed together to make a new an original story and seeing how they fit together and what new meaning comes from that. Sorry for the run on but it is so fun. Also, I hear good stuff about Stengl and look forward to reading her books.

Okay, not the best list. I did get an email with about 10 books on it from Goodreads but... I wasn't really interested. It had books from authors that I've only read once, such as Becky Wade whose book is really good and has a new one, Her One and Only, and Lynne Hinton with Sister Eve and the Blue Nun, but I knew nothing about or from a company so I wasn't interested in that particular story (one was a new TMNT graphic novel, Volume 14, but I've already read the comics collected in it so I didn't see that I should post about it) or authors I have read, even more than once, and am no longer interested in reading. So, yeah, new that I have heard and read about that is releasing this month is this book. While there are others coming out that is worth the time, this one is that I remember.

Please, share what you are interested in reading (or coming out) this month. Apparently I need the help. Have a great month and see you in June for a new list (there will be more than one book next month, I can promise that.

Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quest for Truth: Unleash

"Claws Raised. Mouth Open.
It Was Coming for Her!"
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - The adventure continues as Oliver, Tiffany, Mason, and Austin unravel the mystery surrounding their parents kidnapping and Ursprung. As they journey from planet to planet, more clues are found, more enemies are made and secrets are revealed. While struggling with all this, They also learn of an ancient truth of one who sacrificed himself to save the world and of those who still hold that truth. As thing get more dangerous and the come closer to their destination, their lives are in even more at risk then before. Can they stay out of the hands of the Ubel and Corsairs, save their parents, and discover the secret to eternal life?

Author - Brock Eastman

Publisher - P & R Publishing

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Lots of shoot outs as they fight to stay free and various enemies try to capture them. The kids lie at one point so those who took over their ship would not know what they had discovered about the mystery. The Wikks never leave each other behind and defend one another even when it could get them captured or in danger. Once they even put themselves on the line to save one of their enemies from death.

Personal Opinion - This was a nice edition to the story. The characters have grown, more determined and more capable of facing danger and always looking out for their friends, even when it might derail them from their journey. The is also a lot of action. That being said, this particular book felt like they were just running around from one spot to the next without much headway in the finding of Ursprung. *SPOILER* It was also not very believable when they shut the door in the face of a bad guy who had taken over their ship, held it shut until all the clues they had gathered were hidden and talking with each other on what to do with them, and then open the door and it was almost nonchalant as the bad guy walked in, found some fake clues they had hid and everything was find. This guy was supposed to be smart and devious and it barley phased him and he did very little to the kids who were obviously hiding something from him *END SPOILER*. So, there were believability issues and a lot of planet jumping. One thing that also just gets to me, and maybe this is just me, but, in stories where people convert who have never heard of Jesus in any way, convert on the spot with only a paragraph of explanation given to them, they just believe and it makes a difference to them, and the story they are given of his love and sacrifice is so general it isn't even specific on what happened. Those are not believable and even people who have believed in God for years find it difficult, challenging, and even face doubt. While this story gave me plenty to irritate me, I enjoy the adventure and think the idea of them finding the truth about eternal life intriguing also because I can see the hints dropped that the characters don't because I know the Bible and they don't. I look forward to reading the last two books and seeing how this wraps up.  

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook, Publisher, Author,

Other Reviews for this Author - Quest for the Truth: Taken - Review
                                                    Quest for the Truth: Risk - Review
                                                    Sages of Darkness: Howlsage - Review

To read or comment on this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Real Force: A 40-Day Devotional

"What lessons may we learn from this galaxy 
far, far away and how do they relate to the beliefs we hold so near, near to our hearts?"

Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms
About - Star Wars is a rich experience of cultures, morality, and action. But, can this beloved series represent and teach us more about the Christian faith? Paul Kent takes readers on a 40 day journey through the saga, using characters and events of the Star Wars realm to show Christian teachings and Bible verses to bring readers deeper in their faith in God. Everyone might want to be a Jedi and use the Force and visit Tatooine and Cloud City, but Kent shows us who the real Force is in this world.

Author - Paul Kent

Publisher - Worthy Publishing

Age Group - 14 and up

Personal Opinion - 40 days of seeing connections between Star Wars and Christianity. For this devotional, I did only read one chapter a day and it was really nice. I just got to focus on that and got to examine my faith through this great story. Since someone at my church has made a Bible study using Star Wars, there were a couple of times the author would take a different approach to the same situation than that study took so I would start thinking "what about this interpretation?" I was just stuck with that other idea, not that what the author was saying was any less pertinent. I did enjoy this. In the beginning, though, there seemed to be times where the chapter, beginning quote, and the information in the chapter didn't seem to go together very well. Like, it started with one idea but covered another. Somewhere within the middle of the book, this mostly went away but made enough of an impression that I still remember it. It also seemed to cover the original three more than the prequels (but the original three were better). It is also too bad the author couldn't have incorporated anything from the new movie (I believe this book was published before the movie was release or really close to). So, if you love Star Wars and want to see your faith through the lens (or, maybe, parable) or the films, check out this book.

Video - This is a video interview with the author about the book and Star Wars films.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook,

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Harry Potter Books 2-4

(I told Squirmy that Time Turner isn't real
but he is hoping it will give more time to read)

Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

Storyline - Harry Potter is continuing his schooling at Hogwarts and learning more about his past and facing more dangerous. In Chamber of Secrets, the school is being terrorized by a monster that is petrifying students and it is only a matter of time until someone is killed. In Prisoner of Azkaban, a notorious inmate escapes and is linked to Harry's past and it is taking everything Harry can do to survive the Dementors, guards of the prison looking for the escapee, around the school and control his anger when he learns the truth about this man. In Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard Tournament is underway and visitors from other wizarding schools come together to compete in these dangerous and deadly games, and someone has added Harry as a contestant! Fun magic, action and adventure, and friendship fill the pages of books 2-4 as things become progressively darker and more serious for Harry and his future.

Author - J. K. Rowling

Publisher - Scholastic

Age Group - 14 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Disobedience and rebellion is something of a staple of the series as well as fighting (and, most recently, hexing) with the bullies. In book 3, when Harry hears of someone who was involved in killing his parents, he want to kill them but comes to willingly giving them to the Dementors instead. In book 4, Hermione begins to black mail a reporter, handling the illegal actions of the woman herself instead of seeking assistance from an adult. The return of Voldemort is creepy. While they are disobedient and try to handle things themselves, they usually come to turning to a teacher they can trust and learn important lessons in the end. Lessons of friendship, justice instead of revenge, and standing up for what is right even when you might get hurt.

Personal Opinion - Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in more adventures and danger as usual. While the characters do make bad choices that never seem to get addressed in the series of them being right or wrong, there is a lot of good in them. Yet, there is definitely actions I would not condone or support. The characters are constantly coming face to face with evil and doing the right thing. Harry especially keeps putting his life on the line to save others. I think the series also shows well how kids think and feel. The characters are realistic and trying to solve puzzles, especially when they can't get teachers to tell them everything, is normal. Also, the main thing of this series is right vs. wrong and good vs. evil. I think the characters keep learning the deeper into the series the books go. Of course, right now the books are still fairly light hearted, making me laugh out loud and chuckle and a lot of charming magic. Yet, I've also moved on to the later books and they get darker, more serious. I think there is meaning in that. While I can see caution with these books and discussions on some of the actions the characters take that are never addressed, it is a good series that I think can teach a lot about good, friendship, and standing up for what is right.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Publisher,

Awards - New York Times Bestseller
Other Reviews for this Author - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Review
                                                    Very Good Lives - Review

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

Monday, April 4, 2016

Books Releasing in April

Hey Bookworms,

It's been a while. Life has just been crazy. Thanks to all who have hung around and I'm sorry for not posting reviews. I am trying to post them more. So, there are some good books releasing this month and I hope you enjoy the list.

King's Folly

A new fantasy series by Jill Williamson. One of my favorite authors. That is enough to get me interested. As the world falls apart, a prince sets out on a journey to save his world. I don't need a lot of information to read Williamson's book but I look forward to reviewing it for ya'll.

Release date: 5th

Counted with the Stars

This one sounded really interesting even though I've never read anything by this author. It takes place when Moses frees the Hebrews from Egypt. The protagonist, who is an Egyptians, decided to go with them when they depart. A fascinating idea to follow a story of someone who is learning about God.

Release date: 5th

This looks like a steampunk but considered a fantasy. If it does have steampunk to it, it would be a new genre for me. It is about a woman who has powers she can't control and, in the process, is killing her soul. It is published by Enclave Publishing which publishes great speculative, Christian fiction.

Release date: 15th

Book 2 in the Songkeeper Chronicles which Book 1, Orphan's Song, was reviewed here on Bookworm in January 215. It will continue the adventure of Birdie, Ky, and their friends. I can't wait to see what happens and have the gryphon in the story more. Also, learn about those cats they are ridding on the cover. I already have my book pre-ordered.

Release date: 15th

Good list, right? I want each of these books (one I already have and one is pre-ordered). For reviews, I have found I have difficulty posting on Sundays. So, I will be trying posting those on Wednesdays. If anymore changes come up, I will keep ya'll posted.

Are you excited for any of the books above? Or do you have your own books you are counting the days to? Please leave a comment with what books you are looking forward to this month. And remember to...

Chew on a good book today!

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