Monthly Archives: September 2018

Rock-A-Bye Baby by LRW Lee

Every night the sandmen and maidens weave dreams for their dream charges in Wake. When a sandmaiden falls in love with her dream charge, her father is furious, threatening her safety in Dream.

I really enjoyed Rock-A-Bye Baby. I figured ahead of time at what point in the story the book would end based on how many pages were left (it was a very satisfying end point and made perfect sense). I will definitely be continuing on with the series. The facts of the fantasy world are laid out through flashbacks which are very effective at showing what brought us to the point where the story begins. The author is very adept at using words and descriptions that are quite clever. For example, the sandmen and maidens are a sort of birdlike creature and when they greet each other they give a peck on the cheek. I occasionally found myself just sitting and savoring the excellent way something was phrased before going on with my reading. I highly recommend this book to late teens/early twenties and on up!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 114
Pages Read in 2018: 29,295
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Asked by the Author, Reason: I Like the Author

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

In Reconstruction Era Texas, Captain Kidd is a news reader. He goes from town to town reading articles from newspapers from around the world to audiences for 10 cents a person. He’s asked to take a ten-year-old girl along with him and deliver her to her aunt and uncle in Castroville, near San Antonio. Little Johanna has spent the last four years as a Kiowa captive and along the way, the Captain begins to teach her how to once again be a part of the society she came from.

News of the World is a slow and meandering book. There were a few interesting scenes, but for the most part there just didn’t seem to be much of a point. The worst thing about it was a writing style choice the author made. She did not use any quotation marks. At all. This was very distracting and sometimes made it difficult to read. There did not seem to be a reason she made that choice. It did not contribute anything to the story. Since I live in Texas, discussion of the geography was interesting, and the relationship between the Captain and Johanna was sweet, but otherwise there was little that I enjoyed about the book. I don’t particularly recommend reading this historical fiction novel (a genre I usually enjoy quite a bit).

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 113
Pages Read in 2018: 29,053
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Book Club

Power of the Heir’s Passion by LRW Lee

Power of the Heir’s Passion is a novella/short story that expands on the first chapter in the first Andy Smithson book. It goes into detail about how Imogenia’s plan was approved and why after 500 years Andy’s role in the curse was created. It’s an interesting extra bit of information for people who enjoy the Andy Smithson series. I recommend reading it either before the first book or before the third book.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 112
Pages Read in 2018: 28,824
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: I Like the Series

Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning by LRW Lee

Andy arrives back in Oomaldee just in time to go after the Stone of Athanasia and save the King and Mermin. Andy and Alden make several discoveries along the way, including that King Hercalon V looked just like Andy when he was 15, making Andy suspicious that they might somehow be related.

My 10- and 12-year-old boys absolutely love the Andy Smithson series. As soon as we finished reading Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning, they begged me to buy the third book to read to them (which I happily did because I’m enjoying the series, too!). There is lots of action and adventure, but since it’s aimed at a younger audience, it’s not too intense (which is not to say it is not scary or sad at times, because it definitely can be!). I highly recommend this book and the whole series to middle grade kids on up. It makes a great read-aloud!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 111
Pages Read in 2018: 28,774
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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: I Like the Series

Shirley by Andrea Pearson

Shirley has been crushing on Jacob for almost a decade. She sets out to tell him how she feels but has car trouble on the way. Walking to find help, she meets Travis, who may just be able to help Shirley forget all about Jacob.

Shirley appears as a side character in some of the Kilenya Chronicles books. She’s kind of annoying. Jacob is polite to her, but has no interest in returning her affections. She is not nearly so annoying in this short romance, and you find out things about her and her life that help you understand her a bit better. I really enjoyed the story. (Note: Shirley is currently only available in a special box set and not as a standalone book.)

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 110
Pages Read in 2018: 28,530
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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series

Aaru: Halls of Hel by David Meredith

Koren was rescued from his clutches, but Magic Man has bigger plans. Teamed up with Atem, he manages to upload his hybrid creation, Hel, to Aaru’s server, where she proceeds to take control of the quarantined section. Meanwhile, Koren’s life is spinning out of control with her mother probably having an affair and her father drunk most of the time, her boyfriend basically ignoring her and her fans and paparazzi following her everywhere. In the paradise of Aaru, Rose is wondering just who she is, if she’s still the same Rose she was before she arrived, and what her purpose is now.

There is a lot going on in Halls of Hel. The pacing is good and it’s easy to keep track of all the various storylines. There is a Huge Major Event right at the end that I didn’t see coming and after it happened, but was not explained immediately, what it actually was was one of many possibilities I thought of. I highly recommend this book (but read the first in the series first or it will make little sense). Aaru really made me think and Halls of Hel was just as thought-provoking. I look forward to seeing where the author takes the series.

(Note: I previously rated this book 4 stars due to numerous typos and editing issues. The author has addressed these and the re-edited version is now available from Amazon, so I am thrilled to be able to give it the 5 stars it absolutely deserves!)

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 109
Pages Read in 2018: 28,438
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Science Fiction

The Pearl of Great Price Made Easier by David J. Ridges

The Pearl of Great Price Made Easier is an excellent study guide to assist in making scripture study time more meaningful. It goes chapter by chapter, and practically verse by verse, explaining and clarifying things, defining words, and giving background information. The entire text of The Pearl of Great Price is reproduced in the book with the explanations written in parentheses and italics within the verses. I highly recommend this book. I learned quite a bit from it!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 108
Pages Read in 2018: 28,032
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Religious