This book is pretty much a continuation of Seraphina. Its great because it does open up with a prologue of sorts, told in a third person narrative whiThis book is pretty much a continuation of Seraphina. Its great because it does open up with a prologue of sorts, told in a third person narrative which gives a very nice synopsis of the first book. Its a great refresher and I thought it was the perfect way to bring the reader back up to speed after a long break from reading the first book. Anyways, this book focuses on Seraphina's quest of finding all of the half-dragons in her mind and convincing them to return to her home and fight for Queen Glisselda's kingdom where a dragon war is brewing.
Pacing for this book is fairly slow going for the first 1/3 to 1/2, then things change up and move along faster. Its a very, very long book with over 600 pages, but again, I was entertained enough that it really didn't feel that long. This book is a journey and has lots of discovery. It takes place in numerous fantasy lands as Seraphina travels with her group to locate the other half dragons. Its still told in a first person narrative, through the eyes of our heroine, Seraphina.
The main characters remain constant: Seraphina, Glisselda and Prince Lucian Kiggs. All of the grotesques in Seraphina's garden are discovered and introduced to the reader, each with distinctive and peculiar personalities. Orma, Seraphina's uncle is less present in this installment. Abdou, (aka Fruit Bat ) plays a fairly big role in this story, as he accompanies Seraphina on her quest. Janouella, who is present in the first book becomes Seraphina's arch-nemesis. We find out so much about this young lady as pages are turned in this one.
Overall, I think I may have enjoyed Shadow Scale slightly more than I did Seraphina. I enjoyed discovering and meeting all of the grotesques in Seraphina's mind. It was interesting to see how each ones special traits manifested in real life. Each one had his/her own unique abilities too. I was intrigued by the lore about the saints and how the author weaved this into the plot. It was peculiar, but interesting. The concepts of racial discrimination, overcoming weaknesses and learning to love yourself are explored deeper in this installment. The romance between Kiggs and Seraphina steams up a notch but then fizzles out a bit as the novel concludes. World building was unique, but had some holes, especially when it came to Orma's fate. I was not satisfied with how that situation wrapped up. Again, the conclusion to this one has an epic battle-like scene where Seraphina is pitted against Janouella. When the book finally finished up, I did think it was a suitable wrap up to the series. I felt like Seraphina experienced a whole lot of growth and changed into a much better, stronger person.
I would recommend this to Seraphina fans. I almost feel like this book may be slightly better than the first, well if you can make it through the slow start....more
Did you ever have an imaginary friend growing up? I know some kids do, but not everyone. Who would have guessed an entire middle grade book would be wDid you ever have an imaginary friend growing up? I know some kids do, but not everyone. Who would have guessed an entire middle grade book would be written devoted to this subject. The Imaginary is a very peculiar middle grade read about a very creative girl called Amanda. With a very active imagination she is able to create her friend Rudger. No one can see Ruger except for Amanda. They go on many made up adventures together. Life is good. Well, it wouldn't be much of a story if we stopped there, now would it. One day, Amanda gets hit by a car and smacks her head and totally forgets about Rudger. He will not stop at anything to get his friend back and make her remember.
The Imaginary is told in a third person perspective. Its set in a suburban neighborhood. Pacing is slow-moderate with an action spike near the culmination of the book. Its written for a younger audience, but adults may enjoy the story more than kids. It may also boarder on being a bit scary for younger kids, too. Rodger, Amanda's imaginary friend, is the point of view the story is told from.
What I found confusing about this one is how the story opens at a certain place in time, then goes backwards in time and after that fairly quickly comes back to that point and moves forward. To me that was all just a little weird. The villain in the story I found to be somewhat creepy, almost the things youngsters nightmares might be made up of. I mean, he eats imaginary friends or their reals so he can keep himself alive for another year. The author does just an ok job world building as he attempts to set the stage for how imaginary friends life cycle works. When Rudger is separated from Amanda in the middle of the story, the reader is filled in on how one becomes an imaginary and how one eventually fades. This story had no romance, which for a middle grade book is just perfect. It also didn't have too much action going on. There is a decent battle scene at the end, but I'm just not sure if there was enough going on to keep active little minds attention as the story progresses.
The characters were a bit two dimensional. Amanda, seemed somewhat spoiled and self-absorbed. She cared more about herself than anyone else, even Rudger. Rodger, the imaginary, seemed to have at least a conscience. He was pretty simple minded, unable to imagine anything for himself without Amanda. He also wasn't very good at figuring out how to get back to Amanda. I didn't like his decision to actually hurt another child, just so he could get to the hospital. It was nice he also realized the error of his ways, after the fact. Fridge, the dog, Amanda's mother's childhood imaginary friend I think may have been my favorite character. He liked to take it easy, he's old and sleeps a lot, but seems to have gained wisdom in the years he's hung around kids being an imaginary friend.
This story is a stand alone, so the conclusion was complete and fulfilling. It is a story about good forces vs evil. The ending is happy and I feel t the story ended in a favorable fashion.
I'd recommend this book to middle grader readers who don't mind a slow read. Creative youngster will appreciate this book, especially if they have ever tried to make up a friend before. Younger kids may be a little bothered by the villain in this story. ...more
A solid four star middle grade book featuring a chimney sweep called Grubb (with two B's), who is twelve or "thereabouts". Why two B's you may ask? WeA solid four star middle grade book featuring a chimney sweep called Grubb (with two B's), who is twelve or "thereabouts". Why two B's you may ask? Well, the extra "B" is for a blessing. He was left on the doorstep of a childless couple, Mr and Mrs Cleary as a wee baby. Mrs Cleary loved and cared for him well, embracing this gift with open arms. When Grubb reached the tender age of six, Mrs Cleary unexpectedly died. His stepfather, Mr Cleary, didn't hold similar sentiment for him. He thought of him a as a burden. After Mrs Cleary's death, Grubb was barely fed (to keep him skinny and able to fit in the chimneys), made to sleep in a cold barn with a mule, and beat just for fun. One day, while sweeping chimney's for a wealthy client, Grubb causes a whole lot of trouble. Unable to recover from the devastation, he stows away in a trunk, eventually ending up in Alistair Grim's Auditorium. This is where the story takes off.
This book begins quite slow and leans towards being slightly boring. Writing style reminded of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There were fun illustrations which helped moved the story along, too. At about 15-20%, the pace picks up and its pretty much action packed until the last page is turned. Its a long book, but it didn't feel like a tedious read. Told in a first person narrative, from Grubb's perspective, his story details an amazing, action packed journey.
Grubb, the main character is absolutely charming. It would be crazy not to fall in love with this young boy. He is polite, kind and hard working. His situation was grave, yet he rarely complained. He continued to work hard for his stepfather, despite horrific living conditions and abuse. I was touched how he even found it in his heart to take pity on Mr Cleary, especially right after Mrs Cleary passed. As the story progressed, we also find out Grubb is brave, honest and selfless. He's a great role model for youngsters.
Alisair Grim is a wealthy man. At the start he seems like a crazy old bat searching the globe for magical items. I wasn't sure if he was going to be good to Grubb or not. His character is revealed slowly throughout the story, along with the secrets of the Odditorium (his mechanical house). I do have to say as I read more, this man grew on me. In the end, I liked him very much.
Nigel Stout, Alistair's coachman is a large bald guy who wears black goggles. Mysterious and odd, it took me a while to trust him. I thought he had potential to be kind or an ogre. This guy has plenty of secrets which were fun to uncover along the way.
Prince Nightshade is the villain in the book. He's not a real prince, he just calls himself one. He competes against Alistair in trying to collect magical items. They both are in search of the second Eye of Mars. However, his use for it is of course for evil, not good.
My favorite character in the entire story was Dougal "Mack" McClintock, the Scottish pocket watch who never seems to be able to keep the correct time. Each time the watch is opened, Mack has blacked out and doesn't have a clue what time it is or what's been going in his absent state. Mack ends up playing a big part in the story. His humorous demeanor makes him very enjoyable.
This is a story which starts off a little slow, but patient readers will be greatly rewarded. This book has a little bit of everything, Red Dragons, a Yellow Fairy, a Banshee, Samuri's, sirens, shadesmen and much, much more! It screams entertainment and I think it should capture the attention of even the most reluctant readers. It reads like a fantasy with steampunk elements infused into the plot lines. The only drawback for me was I thought the battle and action scenes were very complex and difficult to form pictures of in my mind. The ending has an unusual twist. I'd say its slightly predictable to me, but I think the intended audience will not be able to suspect it like I did. At the close of this story, the original adventure wraps up, but I do believe there is quite a bit in store for Grubb in the not so distant future.
Deviation is book two in Hildenbrand's The Clone Chronicles, a series about controversial human cloning. I really enjoyed book one. I wish I could sayDeviation is book two in Hildenbrand's The Clone Chronicles, a series about controversial human cloning. I really enjoyed book one. I wish I could say the same about this one, but I found this book to be lacking the suspense and flare of the first book. It picks up right where Imitation left off. I almost felt like this book and the first one should have been combined into one longer novel. I think what was missing for me was forward momentum. This one felt like it stalled, quite a bit from the frenzy of the first book. The politics moved into the forefront of the plot and the romance did consume more of the story than I usually like. I didn't really get to excited about the way the clones were going to be used in the government. We did get introduced to a new character in this book, Neil, Daniel's imitation plays a big role in this installment. The other characters are all the same as last book. Titus becomes trickier and even more evil. Ven and Linc's romance blossoms. Again this book is told in a first person narrative from Ven's point of view. I felt like the pacing in this book moved quite a bit slower than the first. I wasn't as caught up in everything and this one wasn't able to hold my interest as strongly as the first one gripped me. Warning, this book ends on a MAJOR cliffhanger. I'm not sure when the third and final book will be released. Even though this book wasn't as exciting as the first one, with that crazy ending I'm vested enough in the series I will pick up the third book. I'm dying to know what will happen next. I'm crossing my finger book three will be the best in the trilogy. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Imitation. Just be prepared for a little slower paced book with a crazy incomplete finish!...more
Griping, this one will always keep you entertained from the moment you sit down until the last page is turned. Inherit Midnight stars a 17 year old feGriping, this one will always keep you entertained from the moment you sit down until the last page is turned. Inherit Midnight stars a 17 year old female called Avery Vandamire. Most of her life she's lived in a mansion with her elderly grandmother. Her father abandoned her to alcohol and her mother died when she was born. Avery's grandmother is a family genealogy buff. Mrs Vandamire has dedicated her life to learning and recording the Vandiamire family legacy. Raising Avery has meant spending endless hours teaching her the history of the family's heritage. Mrs Vandermire has also kept Avery on very short reigns, isolated from her friends and attending an all girls school. So its no surprise when her grandmother takes ill, Avery begins sneaking out of the mansion to hang out with friends. Of course, she gets caught and this lands her in boarding school where she's treated poorly. One day, out of the blue, a young man named Riley shows up unannounced at her school with orders to bring her back to the Vandimire mansion to compete against her other family members to become the sole heir of the Vandimire assets. Now this is where the story takes off.
This is a very fast paced story which has multiple settings throughout the course of the novel as the would be heirs travel internationally to compete in challenges to earn their inheritance. It was written in an absorbing fashion, comfortable to read and difficult to put down. Its told in a first person narrative through the eyes of Avery Vandamire.
Avery is a obstinate, strong willed young woman. She's very brave and when we first encounter her she's attempting to escape from the boarding school her grandmother has sent her to. Right away we see she'll stop at nothing to achieve what she wants, not letting anything but maybe death get in her way. In the beginning, she's very standoffish because she's always been picked on growing up. She's the black sheep in her family and no one has ever cared for her even in the slightest. What I liked about Avery is she's compassionate and does consider others in her decision process.
Riley is the family attorney's 19 year old son. He ends up being Avery's guardian of sorts throughout the competition since she's not 18 years old yet. He's strong and of course very protective of Avery. I like how athletic he is, which ends up being helpful in many circumstances. Riley is also intelligent and has a great relationship with his father.
Mrs. Vandamire is Avery's ailing grandmother. She's quite the old coot. Concerned with how money has changed her family she decided to make them earn their inheritance by proving they know about their family heritage. She has designed a complicated series of challenges for the heirs to progress through. Each time the loser is eliminated and only received $100,000. As the story progresses, I don't really find much sympathy for this woman. She's quite crazy and most of the things she did to Avery were only for VERY selfish reasons.
All the other Vandamire heirs. Oh boy, they all have flawed personalities. They all have been tainted by the Vandimire fortune. The children are all super spoiled and very entitled. They don't feel like they have a need to work hard for anything. I absolutely hated how poorly they all treated Avery. A few of the heirs show significant growth after the competition, making a few of them even likable in the end. Most of the others, though, remain as evil as ever and deserve what they ended up with.
I totally found this story engaging and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved finding out about each challenge and watching the heirs work through them. It really helped me see each ones personalities. What I found even more exciting is the fact that there was a puzzle within the challenge. I loved rooting for Avery as she completed the challenges. Each one was exciting and nail biting. It was great to see different heirs fall flat on their faces because most of them were cheats and dishonest with the way they conducted themselves in the challenges. The feelings between Riley and Avery grew as the story progressed. I enjoyed the fact their romance didn't overtake the main plot. One of my favorite elements in the story came when after each challenge Avery was rewarded with a special gift from the Riley's dad. I can't say what she got each time because it might spoil the story. All I can say is there was a story within a story and I was drawn to both.
In the end this story wrapped up quite nicely. It has a pretty decent ending to the main story, its sort of what is to be expected but with a little twist. As for the secondary story line, I wish there was some type of epilogue which would have told me a little bit more how that situation played out. I'm hopeful it worked out for the best for everyone involved.
This book commences right where Pawn ends. Kitty Doe, now masked as Lila, remains living with the Hart's, continuing her facade as the Prime Minister'This book commences right where Pawn ends. Kitty Doe, now masked as Lila, remains living with the Hart's, continuing her facade as the Prime Minister's niece. That is, until she begins to distrust her finance, Knox. As this splinter of doubt grows into a festering wound, Kitty becomes more and more anxious, eventually committing an act of treason. This lands her in a place called Elsewhere, essentially a prison for anyone who is deemed unworthy for the real world. Here is where the story takes off and we are introduced to a new setting and a whole different area of world building.
Captive is set in a futuristic United States. Presidents are extinct and instead Prime Ministers rule. America is no longer a democracy, its transitioned into a meritocracy - society where a person's entire life is based upon a score he/she recieves on a test taken at the age of 17 years. The range of scores are 1 to VII. Scoring a III or less means the government deems you unworthy of reproduction and assigns you to a lesser job, pretty much earning you a life of servitude. Scoring IV or higher enables you to a career, the right to marry, start a family and enjoy a life where the government takes great care of you by awarding you a job where you will contribute greatly to society. Pacing in this one is quite rapid, with lots of suspense and tension building throughout the story. Its told in a first person narrative from Kitty Doe (Lila Hart's) viewpoint.
The main character Kitty by no means is unintelligent, even though she's not able to read because of her dyslexia. The dyslexia sometimes puts her at the mercy of others since she's unable to read anything for herself. In this installment, Kitty is no slouch. Raised in a challenging environment, when forced to return, immediately falls back into her old ways. Spirited, determined and unflappable, Kitty tries to find the best way to help the Blackcoat Rebellion succeed so she and Benjy can finally live out the life they deserve, together.
Benjy remains Kitty's rock. He's always there for her and somehow knows the right words to say for every situation. He continues to offer his support throughout the story, providing a shoulder to lean on or the inspiration to continue moving forward.
Knox is a sketchy character who falls into the "gray area" of good vs evil. I never knew if I should fully trust this guy or not. I'm sure Kitty (Lila) felt the same way. He's great at making one think he's playing for a particular side then turns around and appears to stab people in the back.
The new characters, Scotia, Hanna and Noelle all play integral parts to the story. Its difficult to discuss them without giving away too much. So I won't elaborate on them here.
Captive is the second book in "The Blackcoat Rebellion" series. Everyone will be pleased to know it doesn't suffer from middle book syndrome at all. This story is completely different from the first. I'd say book one is helpful for developing the plot, world building and setting up the game. Book two moves to a new setting and our heroine faces a different subset of new problems to deal with. The author does repeat little tidbits of information, just to refresh the readers memory, which I found very helpful. Not unlike the first story, this one is very unpredictable, with so many twists and turns. I didn't figure anything out ahead of the main character. The author makes it obvious something very secretive is going on with Kitty (Lila), so of course I knew something was amiss, but I never would have come up with what actually ended up transpiring. Romance in this installment is done to perfection. The love triangle which I feared may develop in this book fizzled out. The love between Benjy and Kitty (Lila) continues to blossom at the perfect pace. The romance is very innocent and sweet. When it does turn more intense the author handles it in a very delicate non-descript fashion. The book wraps up well. Again, the current problems the heroine faces are resolved. However, the author makes it evident, more issues are brewing and Kitty Doe with not be short on hurdles to overcome in the next installment, Queen, coming out next year.
Not sure if this one is more like 3.5 stars or 4. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and round up. Our Endless Numbered Days is about an eight yearNot sure if this one is more like 3.5 stars or 4. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and round up. Our Endless Numbered Days is about an eight year old girl called Peggy who lives with her mother and father. Her mother, Ute, is a famous pianist and her father, James, is a wacked out survivalist. When Peggy's mother is away on a pianists tour, her father decides to take her on a camping trip which ends up stealing 9 years of her life. Pacing to this story is slow moderate with somewhat of a nail biting finish. Narration is from Peggy's point of view. The only caveat is the setting and time frame changes up every now and then between Peggy in her present life back at her home and Peggy in her past life in the woods. Peggy, or Punzel (as she ends up referring to herself while in the wild) is an innocent victim. She's only eight years old when she's abducted by her father and forced to live in the wilderness. Her father lies to her telling her mom has died and they are the only two people left in the woods. Peggy is a pretty resilient little child. The conditions and situation she endures living life in the wild are horrific and unimaginable. Despite all this, Peggy is a fighter, a hearty little girl with spunk, vigor and spirit. She's quite the heroine and even ends up being able to rescue her father at one point in time during the novel. Its difficult not to get behind this precious little girl. Over the course of the novel I appreciated her character growth. James, Peggy's father is a lunatic. He starts off the novel on shaky ground, but by the end he's totally off his rocker. I appreciated him in the beginning, it was evident he cared about his daughter a great deal. The farther I went into the story, the more I saw him losing his sense of reality. The repercussions were nasty.
Overall, this is was a difficult and challenging read. Throughout the story, it read like a survivalist story. Peggy and her dad suffered many hardships, learning eventually to live off the land. Their story was well detailed, making it real and raw. Even though I knew in the end Peggy would somehow escape her father, the culmination was still very much anticipated. In the end, the story concludes abruptly. An unexpected twist occurs, which I didn't see coming. In fact, I totally missed it on my first read. I had to re-read the last 2-3 chapters a second time to make everything come together for me. Much of what really is going on is only hinted at or made slight reference to. When I finally had an epiphany about what was really going on, I had a sick feeling. It made the story even more gut wrenching.
My recommendation for this book would be to people who like to read survivalist stories, as more than a fair amount of this story is about living off the grid. The lion's share of this story is about surviving in the wilderness and the battles one goes against with nature. Next this book would also be great for book clubs because of the subtle twist at the end. It would definitely promote some good discussions. ...more
This is a creative and imaginative book which just missed the mark at being great. I'd classify it as young adult steampunk. Penny, the heroine, is aThis is a creative and imaginative book which just missed the mark at being great. I'd classify it as young adult steampunk. Penny, the heroine, is a young lady suffering from a congenital heart defect, affecting only the women in her family. The condition already claimed the life of her older sister and baby sister. It has ripped the family apart, her mother turns to psychics and her father to alcohol to drown his sorrows. So, when Penny collapses and is close to death, her family options for her to have a mechanical heart implanted to replace her failing one. The surgeon, well renowned, Calvin Warrick, who also happenes to be her dead sister's finance (prior to her death), ends up going off the deep end after implanting Penelope's new heart. He becomes more of a mad scientist and begins obsessively augmenting young children and other people without consent, even to the extent of killing them in the name of science. All this with the hope of improving Penny's heart. So, the main story revolves around Penelope and the police force trying to catch him and put him behind bars, all the while, full well knowing that Penny's mechanical "ticker" is slowly failing and the only one who can repair it is the mad doctor.
Penelope, the main character is brave and fierce. I did appreciate her no-fear attitude. At times I felt like she was being a little too reckless. She knew her heart was failing, but she made up her mind she wasn't going to be treated like an invalid or handicapped individual. Her spunk and vigor should rally any person with a disability.
Marcus, the young police officer charged with apprehending Calvin Warrick is brave and level headed. Even though he was quite young, he manages his police forces like a veteran. This guy never gives up and he won't stop until he has Warrick behind bars.
Nick, Penny's twin brother is very overprotective. He doesn't want his last sister to die, he's already lost the other two. It was difficult to fault him for this trait. However, he holds a lot of pent of animosity towards his twin, which doesn't bode well for him as the story progresses.
I'm not sure of the setting in this story. It seemed like its in the future in a fairly big city. Pacing was moderate to fast. This was one of those books where there is always something going on, either the main characters were in hot pursuit of the perpetrator or they were involved in a fight scene. The author doesn't leave any time for the reader to feel bored. The narration is done in first person through the voice of the main character, a female, Penelope Farthing. Her voice was confident, with a decent infusion of humor, which help lighten the mood.
This is a steampunk novel, so it did have an assortment of creative ideas, concepts and gadgets. There were mind controlling spiders whose colors controlled there effectiveness. Plenty of electronic gadgets and communication gear were used, but not readily explained. In addition, many of the weapons were also somewhat high tech, too. I think the entire story would have been taken to a different level if the world building and gadgetry would have been more well defined.
For those readers looking for romance, this story didn't exclude it. The developing relationship between Marcus and Penelope was evident, but luckily was kept in the background. It didn't overpower the main story, which is something I always appreciate. Some may deem the relationship instalove because it happened over only a few short days, but since it took the entire story for anything significant to happen, it didn't feel like instalove to me. The conclusion for this book was solid. I felt like all the loose ends were tied up nicely. I'm nearly certain this is a stand alone novel. But, not unlike most books I've read lately, the author did leave room for more story if she really wants to pursue it later on. ...more
When I originally requested this from Netgalley.com I didn't realize it wasn't the full book. So, I went into this one slightly bummed out that I'd beWhen I originally requested this from Netgalley.com I didn't realize it wasn't the full book. So, I went into this one slightly bummed out that I'd be writing a review and giving feedback on just a sample. The sample was 150 pages long. Its a strange story, with complex world building. It takes place in the past and time travel to parallel worlds. The setting is primarily in London and its parallel worlds. Pacing was fast, lots is going on and there is a decent amount of explaining which needs to take place to keep the reader up to speed with how the time travel and parallel worlds work. Writing style was easy to read, but detailed and complicated. Its told in a third person narrative from multiple character perspectives.
The characters were just beginning to come into there own as the sample came to a close. I enjoyed the main character Kel, he's a deep character, not really being a true human. He has two different color eyes and is able to wield magic. The King and Queen of London, adopted him as a child, mainly because of his value. Not all characters in the book have the ability to time travel or have magic. Lila is a character who narrated a few chapters. I think she's a character I will be drawn to in the full version. I like her strength and perseverance. She's a survivor and to do this she spends a lot of time impersonating a man. This is how she protects herself.
This is a great sample. It really made me yearn to read the full book. The story just was getting rolling when the sample concluded. I'm left with so many burning questions and now I'm dying to get ahold of the full version of the story. What a great start to a new series by V.E. Schwa....more
This was an Amazon Freebie. I decided to give it a chance and I'm very glad I did. This book is different. It begins with a sixteen year old girl, MacThis was an Amazon Freebie. I decided to give it a chance and I'm very glad I did. This book is different. It begins with a sixteen year old girl, Macy, beginning her spring break. She goes for a run, trips and somehow gets a sliver embedded in her shin. It becomes fierce infected, so bad that she's admitted to and ICU with sepsis. During her illness she slips into a medically induced coma. In this in-between state, hovering between life and death, she enters a magical place called Chanticleer. At Chanticleer, things are similar to being on Earth, with one exception, one must conquer his/her worst fears, or face some pretty bizarre consequences.
This book has two settings: and ICU and a magical world called Chanticleer. Writing is typical for a young adult book. Its detailed, but is all from a young lady's point of view, so older readers might not be as engaged with the everyday worries of a teenager. Pacing is moderate pretty much through the entire book. The story is told in a first person narrative through the eyes of a sixteen year old female, Macy.
The main characters are Macy, Bing, and Sebastian. There are many other side characters, but they don't play as big of role in the story. Macy is a very fretful girl. She's very self conscious and believes everyone is watching her. She's easily creeped out and has some pretty irrational fears. One of her most comical fears is of the stuffed giraffe her father has hung in the great room. Even though Macy seems like a psycho, she's really not. In fact, I thought she was smart, a good problem solver and very mindful of other people's feelings.
Bing is Macy's shadow. He's free spirited, usually somewhat of a rule breaker and has a difficult time keeping secrets. I do like his honesty and especially became for fond of him towards the end of the story.
Sebastian is a gorgeous young man who immediately finds a place in Macy's heart. He's encouraging and spirited. I especially like how he has no fears and helps Macy overcome much of what she's scared of.
This is a really strange, in a good way sort of read. It reminded me of dark version of "Wizard of Oz". I liked how it integrated conquering ones fears into the plot lines. There are so many innovative elements in this story: "pinging", "dipping" & "tipping" are just a few. Near the beginning the reader is introduced to the idea of the "shells" of Chanticleer. Its a big mystery to Macy and I wanted to know as badly as she did. In the first third of the book the reader and Macy do get to find out about the "shells" and its pretty creepy. Its difficult to explain how exciting this story is without spoiler.
The ending of this book was very complete. Some of the occurrences were a little predictable, but many of the twists and turns were very unexpected. I really enjoyed reading this one and had a difficult time putting it down. I like how the author left the ending open for a possible sequel.
I would recommend this book to young adult readers who enjoy fantasy stories with new and exciting elements.
I'm not even sure how this book ended up on my kindle. I think I may have downloaded it as an Amazon Freebie. Anyways, since the holidays are upon us,I'm not even sure how this book ended up on my kindle. I think I may have downloaded it as an Amazon Freebie. Anyways, since the holidays are upon us, this is a Christmas story, I thought it fitting to try and read it now. Plus, its a short book and I'm working hard towards my Goodreads goal this year. This is one of those books that borders on being sappy. It did manage to capture my attention from the first couple of pages and it was compelling enough I didn't want to put it down until I was finished. This is a story about four amazing children, under the age of twelve and how they managed to pull off a Christmas miracle and get help to their injured parents after a car accident.
The story is set in December, right before Christmas, in North Carolina. Its a quick, easy and suspenseful read, a book about survival, determination and never giving up hope. Pacing is moderate to fast. Its quite a short little book at less than 150 pages, so a lot happens in a brief period of time. I must note this one does have some subtle religious undertones, nothing to preachy and it most likely won't bother non-religious readers. This book is told in a first person narrative, from the perspective of the eleven year old Chapel.
The characters are youngsters, all of them sweet and innocent, but very resourceful for their tender ages. There are four siblings in the book: three boys and one girl. Chapel is the eldest at eleven. He's the leader after the car accident. He made me proud how he was able to keep the family together and motivated. Then, next in line is Salem, he's eight. Salem is the idea generator. He's the one who could think outside of the box and figure out solutions to complex problems. I really admired his ingenuity, especially for an eight year old. He remained brave the entire quest. After that is London, he's five and full of spunk and vigor. I love how he enjoyed running ahead and reporting back what he saw when they were trekking the long road to finding help for their parents. Finally the youngest, 19 months old is Georgia. She was an extremely pleasant little one. It amazed me how long she tolerated being carried in a backpack without complaint. I also loved her cute little baby words for things. She was adorable and I believe helped keep the older boys motivated to find help.
I have to admit, for a kindle freebie from an unknown author, this book wasn't half bad. It did have a lot of dialogue,but it was well done and integrated into the story well. The way the kids interacted seemed very believable. I felt overwhelming compassion for them and hoped they would find help soon. Along the "Road to Nowhere" these kids experienced some unique hurtles. Some of the things that happened seemed a little too perfect, but this is one of those pick me up reads with some building tension, but one you just know will have a happy ever after ending. Its a perfect Christmas read and a story that offers hope and leaves readers with a warm feeling at the end.
I'd recommend this book to readers who like stories about survival, youngsters and books with a subtle moral message. I'm pretty sure boys as much as girls would appreciate this story. The suspense will keep readers entertained and alert. This is the perfect read to get readers in the mood for the happy holidays. Those searching for a nice clean read with a happy ever after ending, no violence included, this is your book. ...more
Antebellum Awakening, no longer takes place at a boarding school. Instead, the story moves to a castle setting. Pacing is slow t SETTING PACE AND STYLE
Antebellum Awakening, no longer takes place at a boarding school. Instead, the story moves to a castle setting. Pacing is slow to moderate, moving at the perfect story telling pace, where the reader can take the time to absorb everything going on. The writing is easy to read, with a touch of ever present tension building (a ticking time bomb) as the novel moves forward in time. Its told in a first person narrative from the perspective of the female lead, Bianca.
A few new characters are introduced in this book. One of the more notable characters is Merrick. He's the young man assigned to train Bianca to physically fight. If Bianca can defend herself physically and with magic it will strengthen her chances of defeating the villainous Miss Mabel.
Bianca, sadly, is still faced with her inheritance curse, yet she's granted a one year reprieve by the evil villainess Miss Mabel. Bianca's main struggle in this book is dealing with the loss of her mother. Along with this overflowing grief, she's also challenged with keeping her ever growing powers in check. I felt pretty badly for Bianca and her situation. She blamed herself for her mother's death and her sorrow was palatable. I admired her aspiration and drive to both avenger her mother's death and kill Miss Mabel. In the end I'm totally happy with the decisions she makes. I think I wouldn't have liked the story as much if she had chosen differently.
Bianca's besties from book one, Michelle, Leta and Camille still play large rolls in the story. They are allowed to continue "home" schooling at Bianca's father's castle so they can help boost Bianca's spirits. The girls end up gallivanting about the castle, raising a ruckus here and there to help lighten the generally dark mood. Its fun to see these friendships grow in this installment. The three girls also made plenty of progress as characters as each refined their strengths and gained better control of their weaknesses.
Believe it or not Miss Mabel becomes even more callous in this book. She's very cold and calculating and will stop at nothing, letting nothing stand in her way of the goals she has set forth to achieve - to RULE the networks!
The first book in this series, Miss Mabel's School for Girls is an action packed story about a young witch, Bianca, who is attending an all girls boarding school. What's unusual about this young gal, other than the witch piece, is she is plagued with an inheritance curse. One which will kill her on her 16th birthday unless she is able to break it beforehand. In this second book, the feel of the story is completely different. Antebellum Awakening is more about a broken girl, trying to heal. Its about learning to let go of the grief, without forgetting the person you lost. Anyone who has lost someone close, will definitely understand what poor Bianca is going through.
My favorite aspect of this particular novel is how Bianca progressed through the grieving process, learning how heal her broken heart all on her own. Dealing with grief is very much individualized and I like how the author let Bianca solve the problem, herself. Throughout the book, she constantly battled with her roiling powers and the way she was able to finally get them under control in the end was empowering. The character and plot development, in this story, became deeper and more complex. The politics and world building were advanced significantly, too. In the end, the book settled at a decent resting place. It doesn't have quite the cliffhanger as book one did. However, its pretty obvious this story is far from over. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I can't wait to see what will happen next.
I recommend this book to fans of Miss Mabel's. This is a great book for advancing the story. It doesn't rehash, instead, it only gives subtle hints about what happened before to jar the reader's memory.