Archive

Fantasy

The Golden Acorn

 

 

Author: Catherine Cooper
Book Length: 377 Pages
Published Date: August 20th, 2010
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

 

When Jack Brenin finds a golden acorn lying in the grass, little does he know that it is the beginning of a thrilling and magical adventure. Just an ordinary boy, Jack has been chosen for a hugely important task, and enters a world he believed only existed in legend.

 

 

As all good fantasy books, this one is filled with twists and and adventure as well as the usual quest. It is the first in a series, though enough is wrapped up by the last page that you don’t get the cliffhanger effect. And enough is left to give a good starting point for the next book. There are talking animals, nymphs, dryads, Druids, and even time travel. Shape-shifting is done by the main character as well as his friend and his mentor.

Mentions of things such as what happened to the Druids when the Romans came, and having and using a Book of Shadows are touched on, but they don’t go in-depth. So those who would rather not read about these things, or expose their children to such may wish to steer clear.

This is listed as a children’s book, but I quite enjoyed it. I will be picking up the next book in the series once my to-be-read pile is smaller.

 

4 Stars.

Wish

 

 

Author: Alexandra Bullen
Book Length: 340 Pages
Published Date: December 1st, 2010
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

If you could have anything, what would you wish for? The impossible…or a real chance at being happy?

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. But Violet’s return isn’t what Olivia expected. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

 

 

There were a number of cringe-worthy moments in this book. There were also quite a few sweet ones, and you will want a box of tissues handy near the end. Olivia and Violet were well-written, full of interesting quirks and compelling to read. I think I liked Calla the most however, I’m not sure why, there was just something about her as a character that I liked. Lark and Eve seemed very glossed over, they weren’t mentioned enough to really have any idea what their personalities were like. Which is a bit strange since they are Calla’s best friends, and Olivia spends most of the book around Calla in one way or another.

I knew after the first few chapters that this would not be a book I would read more than once. And yet it managed to hold my attention through til the end. I wanted Olivia to grow as a character, and she did. I wanted things to go well for her, and find out more about the people around her. All in all, this was not a bad book, it just isn’t something I will be reading again. It is also the first in a series, though each of the 2 books appear to be stand-alones. It is how the wishes are given out that tie them together.

 

3 Stars.

Painted Blind

 

 

Author: Michelle Hansen
Book Length: 341 Pages
Published Date: January 14th, 2012
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

 

Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risqué photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Now everyone–especially her dad–can see it.  And yet, somehow, those are the mundane things in her life because she is about to fall unexpectedly, head-over-heels in love with Erik, a mysterious young man who rescues her from a crowd of admirers, and who she’s actually never seen because…he can make himself invisible.

As strange as this may seem, it’s about to get even stranger. Erik takes her to his palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition:  she may not see him.  Overtaken, intrigued, and still not wholeheartedly believing he’s real, Psyche is going to have to decide if she can love him blindly; because if she can’t, she may lose him forever.

 

 

“Your mother visiting is as painful as a building full of teenage boys?”
“Worse.”

This book looked interesting, I liked the cover, and the premise sounded like it might be fun. I’ve always loved mythology, but didn’t remember much about Cupid and Psyche. I read the first 2 chapters or so and it was good, but then had to go do something. I picked it up again yesterday afternoon and couldn’t put it down again until the last word. It sucked me in and I kept telling myself “just one more chapter.” Then it was “just one more page.” And suddenly the book was over.

I loved how everything seemed so true to life as far as personalities and emotions. Psyche was shy, but also stubborn. She made a stupid mistake, but knew it and did everything she could possibly do to fix it. Cupid was strong and smart, funny and honorable. And the secondary characters were just as good. I’d love to have friends like Aeas and Titus. I don’t want to say too much, as I’m afraid of giving away some of the best bits in the book.

This is totally a book I will be re-reading many times. If you only get one new book this week (or this month) this is the book you need to get.

 

5 Stars.

Steal The Dragon

 

 

Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Length: 275 Pages
Published Date: November 1st, 1995
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

When Rialla was young, slave traders from Darran ambushed her clan, killing all the men and enslaving the women and children. For years, Rialla lived in bondage, serving her master while waiting for a chance to escape. When that chance came, she made the best of it–and fled to the mercenary nation of Sianim…

Now she can strike back at her former masters. A lord in Darran seeks to outlaw slavery–but there are plots to kill him before he can. Rialla is chosen by the Spymaster of Sianim to prevent the murder, and she’s plunged into a world of deadly magic–where gods walk in human form, where her most trusted companions are not what they claim, and where Rialla could be enslaved again…

As a spy, Rialla realizes the danger of her mission. As a former slave, she realizes she has no choice.

 

 

“I seem to have turned a simple information-gathering mission into defying the gods with a man who claims heritage with an obscure, all-but-forgotten race of tree-folk.”

I really enjoyed this book. It is the 2nd in a series, however reading it was more like reading a stand-alone book. It started and ended as though it was a single book and not one of a series. The characters were engaging and my favorites were of course Rialla and Tris. The fears and emotions Rialla displayed through out the book made sense and were appropriate to the situations.

The villains in the book were as well written as the heroes. Why they did what they did all made sense, and was worked out by the end of the book. No loose ends making you wonder about random details. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy and intrigue.

 

5 Stars.

The Godmother

 

 

Author: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Book Length: 318 Pages
Published Date: September 1st, 1994
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

Make a wish on a mustard seed for a Fairy Godmother for the entire city of Seattle, and what do you get? Felicity Fortune is not what Rose was expecting, that’s for sure. For a Fairy Godmother, she uses very little magic. Instead utilizing what she calls ‘connections’, and networking to get her charges the help they need.

 

 

With appearances from Snow White, Hansel and Gretal, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and other familiar characters, I expected something more. But the reality is this is not a light read, not a fairy story, and certainly not for children or younger teens. Each person you meet in the book has problems, yes they tend to parallel the stories they’re from, but they’re also darker. Hansel and Gretal for instance. Their mother leaves them in a shopping mall, twice! The first time a kindly police officer manages to reunite them with their mother. The second time? A pedophile takes them home with him.

I usually love this author, and honestly the book is well-written. It just isn’t something I will be re-reading, and most likely would not have purchased had I realized what I was getting into.

 

3.5 Stars.

Suitcase Of Stars

Author: P. D. Baccalario
Book Length: 240 Pages
Published Date: March 1st, 2014
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

The first few chapters tell how the main character, Finley hates school and reading. He manages to fail and be told he has to repeat his grade because he’s had so many absences due to skipping school to go fishing. Finley’s father asks the Reverend of the local church to find Finley a job for the summer that he will hate, in the hopes of bringing the lesson home that going to school was far better than not going.

While delivering mail for the post office, he meets a strange girl called Aiby Lily. She and her father are full of mysteries, and driven by curiosity he soon becomes friends with her. Each time he talks to her, he learns about a different magical item or more about her family and the Enchanted Emporium. Can he help to keep Aiby and the Emporium safe?

 

 

 

There are lots of neat black and white illustrations in this book. I’m not sure if the eBook version has them or not, as my copy is a hardback. It kept my attention throughout the book, and Finley seemed to be in character for a 13 year old boy. More interested in fishing and mysteries than in school. Most of the book is getting to know the characters and figuring out mysteries. It sounds like a slow or boring read, but the way everything came together actually made the book go fast.

It’s also told from Finley’s point of view, so if that bothers you you may want to skip this book. I was a bit disappointed because reading the official summary on the back, I was expecting more. It makes it seem as though a big part of the book is going to be magical adventure and getting one over on the bad guys. This happened, but was only a fairly minor part of the book. At least to me, it seemed more like an introduction to the series, and I hope the other books are more fleshed-out. I will most likely be picking up the 2nd book in the series. This is listed as a children’s book, and for the few faults I mentioned, I still liked it.

 

3.5 Stars.

Influential Magic

 

Author: Deanna Chase
Book Length: 320 Pages
Published Date: March 3rd, 2013
How I Got My Copy: Purchased
Available From:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

 

Willow lives in New Orleans and is the owner of a store called The Fated Cupcake. She’s also a part-time vampire hunter, and chronically unable to remember to keep her cell phone charged. A recently turned vampire becomes a double-agent and turns over information to Willow’s vampire hunter boss. It seems there is someone interested in kidnapping Willow, who and why is unknown. What’s worse, Willow now has to partner with the double-agent, who just happens to be an ex-lover who dumped her just before he turned.

 

 

 

I love how the Fae are portrayed in the book. The author fleshed them out wonderfully well, all the little quirks and explanations about what will sap their powers, as well as what will boost them. So many authors make the mistake of making their main character all-powerful or perfect. Willow is shown to have both strengths and weaknesses, and it makes for a more realistic read. (And yes, I did just say ‘realistic’ about a fantasy novel!)

I also got easily and quickly attached to the characters. Willow’s best female friend and usual partner Phoebe quickly became a favorite. As did her childhood friend Talisen. There is a romance element all through out the book. Both Talisen and David, Willow’s ex-boyfriend vie for Willow. But there is also a huge amount of mystery and adventure. Some of the twists I expected, but quite a number of them were a complete surprise. I’ll be picking up the 2nd book in the series to find out if the rest is as interesting as this first book was. I would definitely recommend this book.

 

4 Stars.

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