What a delightful series! I am sorry to be finished with book 2. I do hope there will be more. For the young adult this widens the world to seek out l...moreWhat a delightful series! I am sorry to be finished with book 2. I do hope there will be more. For the young adult this widens the world to seek out life beyond the comfort zone. For those of us that are older and for whatever reason bound to our situation of home and hearth, this lets out our wanderlust. We travel with Ginny and her friends to fulfill the requests of her belated Aunt Peg's 'scavenger hunt' listed in her 13 blue envelopes. For me, it was during a couple weeks of the summer when I chose to watch over other walls than my usual four. I was house sitting for relatives and friends. It would still be me sitting somewhere. But it got me out of my bed and on other sofas. Meanwhile, reading this special book, I felt I was really traveling, after all. packing and unpacking was involved. So though my real life was spent doing my usual within the same city I live in, I was in London, England, Amsterdam, and Paris. I read finished reading this over a week ago, already returned the book to the library. But I loved it so much that I think when I feel the wanderlust, I will look this series up again. It was that much fun. (less)
Disclaimer: I feel I can claim I am friends with the author, Margaret McGaffey Fisk. She has been an important member of the writing group I belong to...moreDisclaimer: I feel I can claim I am friends with the author, Margaret McGaffey Fisk. She has been an important member of the writing group I belong to. I don't think that comes into play in this review, first of all because I fell deeply into the world she created, and second because I was saddened to find myself back in reality when I finished this adventure.
Safe Haven began this adventure for me. It precludes the series The Steaamship Chronicles of which this, Secrets, is book 1. I had already fallen in love with the characters, Lily and Samantha. To research the burbs and other reviews please check out Amazon and GoodReads.
Meanwhile, my review. Although this started sadly and then got exciting, it leaves me in the heads of Sam and the boy, Nat. I would guess this is the set up for much more fun ahead.
I wish Samantha was set free to do what she does best, but, again, that will happen, I'm sure, in the next books. There seemed to be times where I tended to put the book aside and attend to other shining things. I don't remember having that problem in Safe Haven. Maybe it is all my own problems and not that of the author. Maybe I am not in the demographic the book is for. I do know I would have had fun reading this to my children, or had them read it to me way back when.
It is: A great bedtime story, a great for Young Adults as Sam learns to fit in her world. And fun for this old lady!(less)
Twelve year old Darlene would have LOVED this book. Yet at 64 I love it even deeper. As a kid, reading about Trina's adventures on her home world whil...moreTwelve year old Darlene would have LOVED this book. Yet at 64 I love it even deeper. As a kid, reading about Trina's adventures on her home world while dreaming of space travel would have captured my heart, as that was my dream. As an older adult, I can see the fuller picture that includes the choices Trina and her sister, Katie, must make as they grow to become adults.
Feminism embraces these choices. The old world explorers knew some of these choices. Stay with the family you know or explore. Meeting new people and finding yourself in new family happens, our population wouldn't be so large if that wasn't the case. But then which dream to do you follow? Do you stay or do you go? Can you live without your loved ones? Would they want you to? All these questions are addressed within a tight, well-written story I didn't want to leave. You know those tales you leave with sadness, that make you read slower to savor your time with the characters but the plot won't let you? Yeah, that's what happened to me with this book.
I am so glad to know Margaret McGaffey-Fisk! Maybe I can put peer pressure on her to make this a series? What an excellent read!(less)
I am SO SAD! This is the end of the series. I could live in this series forever. I want to be Jess, or Harpreet. They are my favorite characters. Both...moreI am SO SAD! This is the end of the series. I could live in this series forever. I want to be Jess, or Harpreet. They are my favorite characters. Both are pilots who fly between Earth and Mars and globally on either. Oh, include the moon in that for Jess.
REAL science fiction. Real research involved in the science. These things are all possible and hopefully the space travel will be something we do.
Mars as a colony is grand! Its a believable world peopled according to what is possible in the beginnings of populating another planet.
Creepy things have taken over the political system of Earth. Such a marvelous planet to an outsider. Rain, oceans, breathable air. But recycling bodies? 'Rebodying'. Ew. Although some of the science might be worth looking into for incurable diseases.
I know. You are looking at what I am saying and wondering what in the world I am talking about. Sorry. I should stick with reviewing. I try so hard not to make spoilers that I find relaying what the book is about nearly impossible. Meanwhile, these are the books I would have died to have to read when I was a kid. Still they hold up for me at 64. Though a little heavy in males, I find that the author has included all ages and sexes which is refreshing. And they learn from each other.
Okay, there is a bit of romance, but Jess isn't all googly she holds on to herself and the couple completes each other intellectually and emotionally. That, too, is refreshing.
Cidney Swanson, also took a chance an included a sibling that has a disability. Jess's brother, Ethan, seems to be a bit of a savant or has autism or Asberger's Syndrome. She never labels his differences as such, just describes him with his assets and problems in ways that he is just human like all of us. Ms. Swanson is amazing in how she portrays this character.
In fact, the writing of these books is fantastic. I think I found an editing oops, but it was so minor that I can't remember it at all. THAT's how an author writes!
The series ended very well. I was glad to stick it out to the end. I didn't have that incomplete feeling I often feel at the ends of books. Even still, I feel I will have to reread them all again and again! I recommend everyone who is a sci-fi buff to read them all. By the way, The first book, Saving Mars, is free right now. But for once I don't feel bad about spending the money on the rest of the series. I think Ms. Swanson's promotions of her books are very well done. Please, find these and enjoy them like I did--do.(less)
I actually finished reading this a few days ago but... well... life happened and I haven't been on the internet much. Good things, friends, furniture...moreI actually finished reading this a few days ago but... well... life happened and I haven't been on the internet much. Good things, friends, furniture acquisitions, etc. So now that things are settling down, I feel I can revisit this wonderful book.
Let me start with what I didn't like. The font. Though I loved the cursive feel that reflected entries in the diary of this teen, the font was just too small to read in large chunks. I think if I could have read faster and more, I would have been much more emotionally invested.
The story wins five stars plus. It introduces to us the way many of our youth discover their sexuality. The pain of being called names just for attempts at love. And this during the most vulnerable time of our lives: adolescence. Hopefully parents and teachers read it to see how they might help kids go through this as graceful as possible. Hopefully, the judgement will die as folks learn that people are people and love is just love.
The illustrations were marvelously done. I loved the subtlety of color gradually introduced after the blue haired sweetie. This stays in my permanent collection as I know I will want to read it again and again, just to enjoy the drawings.
Because I couldn't leave the story behind, I had to find the movie on Netflix streaming. It is in French with subtitles so I have taken my time watching/reading it. Actually, I have to say I am watching a bit before sleep every night as it is the quietest time so I can pay attention; fewer distractions for me at that time of night. The actresses are well selected and ... the French can make a better movie than we Americans with all our hang-ups. I feel this may be the movie to watch over and over and teach myself French--among other things. ;-)(less)
Want a light read that is fun and full of adventures? This series offers all that. As I said in my review of the previous book, this is a combination...moreWant a light read that is fun and full of adventures? This series offers all that. As I said in my review of the previous book, this is a combination of sci-fi/fantasy/YA/Romance.
I love the characters and their talents. What I still have a problem with is that the main character only uses hers to get herself in trouble. She is immature for 118, she's immature for 18. And the constant fainting is just annoying. At least the author has the character and her friends acknowledge this trait. What is even more annoying is that this is supposed to be a person that is a doctor and scientist. She has gone through all that schooling and has dealt with people going back to Churchill. She is long past teen tantrums. As for her taking chances, that might be less too with maturity. Not that she has any of the horrid aches and pains or fragileness of old age, but just an ability to foresee who she is putting at risk by her actions should be called to mind.
Even so, when you let all that go, this is a fun read. I loved all three books in the series, Proximity, Relativity and this one Vitality. I think even late grade school students would enjoy this. I would have read and enjoyed it had it been around for me in fifth or sixth grades. There is very little science, it is merely alluded to with space travel and other innovations. The talents these aliens possess are more what feels fantasy. Oh, and there is one human from Earth. How I wish he would have been more involved.
Oh, the romance! Not my thing. Have at it girls! In fact, that is why I don't think guys will like this so much. Still, it was a nice book to escape into.(less)
Disclaimer: This ebook was a gift from the author for an honest review.
If I were a teen this would probably be getting a much higher rating. Even so,...moreDisclaimer: This ebook was a gift from the author for an honest review.
If I were a teen this would probably be getting a much higher rating. Even so, I would say this rates a 3.5 star rating. So I rounded it up.
What was good? The book didn't get mired down in the angst that a lot of YA romance novels do. What worries presented were not hormonal but rather more about life lessons and growth of characters. I liked that we got to see the romance from several points of view. Parents and their own problems were included. There was even a little sister who was given worth beyond being cute. Bravo! The main characters were both strong in their own right yet flawed making them realistic. The story was good. There were a few plot threads so as to keep it all interesting. And I felt I learned something. The terms and play of fencing as a sport was explained while not getting bogged down in detail.
What was bad? Not much, actually. As I'm thinking about this I feel it is my own age that prevented me from immersing in the story as a reader should. Oh, and assumption that Coke is number one. I prefer Diet Pepsi!
Conclusion? If you like Young Adult Romance, this is a book for you.(less)
Disclaimer: I was given this ebook by the author for an honest review.
Sara has done it again! Another book I couldn't put down. BUT really, Sara, did...moreDisclaimer: I was given this ebook by the author for an honest review.
Sara has done it again! Another book I couldn't put down. BUT really, Sara, did you have to do that? Can't tell you. Spoilers. But NO!!!!
This is the first book of SM Rein's that left me feeling a bit of a cliffhanger. Not a good ending with threads to tie up later but... So yes, I was glad I had the next book already downloaded so I could start reading.
This one cleared up questions that I had about Rylie's children. It had been a while since I read the book where they were born and lived in Haven, so I had forgotten their names and how that turned out. But Oaths of Blood helped explain all that a little. Say, wouldn't it be great to have a Wiki about the books, characters and worlds of Ms. Reine? If it has been a while, or the memory isn't as good as it should be, it'd be nice to be able to look it all up for a refresher.
Though this one didn't involve Reno so much it still has Las Vegas, and mentions Reno on occasion. This gets my attention. One always wants to know how their state and cities will fare in a demon apocalypse. :-)
I was happy to see Elise and Rylie join forces as I love those two characters to bits! I'd write more but Spoilers! On to the next book! (less)
Well, that's sad. I am officially out of Cidney Swanson books to read. This was such a fun romp. After finishing all the Saving Mars I could find, I d...moreWell, that's sad. I am officially out of Cidney Swanson books to read. This was such a fun romp. After finishing all the Saving Mars I could find, I decided to read this fourth book of the Rippler series. This one was from the best friend, Gwen's point of view. That caught me off guard at first. I hadn't read the rest of the series for a while so I felt I missed something. But after reading reviews and blurbs I finally got back on track and enjoyed the rest of the book.
This story is more fantasy, though, I suppose there is an element of science here, it felt much more the fairy-tale. In fact, you will find a few fairy-tales retold in this book that were very apropos to the plot and characters. Speaking of plot and characters, Ms. Swanson did her usual believable, lovable characters in an enchanting, exciting story.
For me, Visible wasn't as fun as the space sci-fi of Mars, but the Rippler series does offer enough adventure to help me ease back to other books and stories. Visible is aimed at young adult. Saving Mars didn't feel dedicated to one group or another. Oh, and though there wasn't a cliffhanger and all plot strings were clean up, there was enough left that should she decide to, Cidney could write more to this series. I look forward to reading more!(less)
This second book was so much better than the first book. It has more action and viewpoints to see from. I know a lot of people that don't like differi...moreThis second book was so much better than the first book. It has more action and viewpoints to see from. I know a lot of people that don't like differing points of view but I do. I didn't like Maya that much in the first book. She was too wimpy. But in this book we get to see her through her friends eyes. And we get glimpses into their lives apart from her. In the first book I wanted to know more about her best friends, the twins. In this one we get inside information, so to speak. I wanted to dig deeper into her mate's life and we did.
What I like about both books is that I can see that the author, Martha Bourke, spent a lot of time researching and then educating the readers to a part of the world some of us needed to be introduced to. She didn't give this information in a boring way that would detract from the story, but, rather, as a significant part of the tale, as much a part as the supporting characters.
Something that usually gets to me in novels is the use of other languages. When most authors add that 'piece of class,' they seem to assume we all know these other languages as well. Other authors will go to the far extreme and translate in parenthesis. But that get cumbersome and takes the reader out of the story for sure. Ms. Bourke has figured out a great way to integrate the translations so that the reader feels a part of the conversation. Well done!
I will remember this story and may read the series again. But I didn't feel as secure at the end of this book. Though it wasn't a cliffhanger, I feel my nerves are jangled and wish I had the time to get to the next book (I think I saw that the next book is out) but it will have to wait. Have you seen my currently reading shelf, meaning those I must read and review soon? Not to mention my TBR shelves! So off I go to my other books until I can pick up the next one and have a bit of time.
Oh. My. Gosh! I think this is the best book ever! Thank you to all that recommended it so highly. I, too, now sing its praises!
Laini Taylor is the sto...moreOh. My. Gosh! I think this is the best book ever! Thank you to all that recommended it so highly. I, too, now sing its praises!
Laini Taylor is the storyteller's storyteller. Once I started into the world that she created I didn't want to leave. In fact, though the copies I had of the hardback and the CDs were borrowed from the library, I couldn't bear to return them had I not gone ahead and bought the Kindle and Audible versions to read again. And while I was at it I picked up the next in the series.
Oh, and I need to sing a few praises to the narrator, Khristine Hvam. I was caught up in the sound of her voice and her ability to wring out every nuance each word and even syllable the book had to offer.
The main character, Karou, is real, palpable. I could see through her eyes, smell what she smelled, anguish in choices to be made or mistakes that resulted. The cast of characters surrounding her were also real. I keep trying to come up with another word, after all this IS fantasy, but that is all I can come up with, real.
Magic is in abundance in the book, whether it is meant to be or not. Yet it is highly believable. And always leads to hope. Hope is the theme, I think. It made me feel it deep inside in places that haven't felt it for a while. Hope. How many books give you that? That is a priceless commodity.
Please read this book with the audio along side. It immerses you into this world and you will feel hope, too.(less)
Disclaimer: This was a free Smashwords ebook from the author for an honest review, Thank you!
I love the way Evelyn Ink thinks. Her books are always so...moreDisclaimer: This was a free Smashwords ebook from the author for an honest review, Thank you!
I love the way Evelyn Ink thinks. Her books are always so creative and fun. The worlds she builds are like our own but not. The people have many words similar to ours and some that stray from ours but in logical ways. The best part about her worlds are that they are somewhat steampunkie with aeroships at the like. Her characters are believable, flawed but ever growing.
Silver Tongue's blurb presents the book as dark and scary. As a middle schooler or junior high student that might be thrilling but as an older student I think this book is just a fun adventure. I can imagine reading this book to my own children so long ago and having a great time with it. But it isn't simple. Older people can enjoy it, too!(less)
Oh. My. Goodness. I love, love, love this series! Oh, how I wish this would have been around when I was a young adult. I think it would have been the...moreOh. My. Goodness. I love, love, love this series! Oh, how I wish this would have been around when I was a young adult. I think it would have been the motivation I needed to pursue being an astronaut, math skills be damned!
Don't be afraid to read it if you are a little younger than a "young adult". I think even as young as a 10 year old could read it as this is a fairly benign story. Still it is a great adventure with space travel and futuristic life on Mars and Earth. I'm 64. I can't get enough of these books. There are older characters to relate to in the story, too.
Speaking of characters, as much as I love the girl from Mars, Jess, her brother, Eth, is even more fascinating. He is a highly functioning autistic person or maybe he has Asberger's syndrome. The author never applies a label, which I find refreshing. Eth uses what he knows and plays the role he is assigned in the mission even through his own disabilities. But then the rest of the crews does the same thing. Each character has their own short-comings and strengths. That is why the series works so well.
As I have stated in the reviews of the first two books, I think guys would like this as much as the gals as there are characters they can relate to, and the action and adventure just keeps coming.
On this, the third book for me, I found it a little less action and more setting the stage for more to come. I can hardly wait for the next book, but I have to wait for my next paycheck as I have spent my allotment for books for this month. By the way, this three volume set is still $.99.
I think everyone, especially science fiction buffs will love this series. The author has done her homework and even gives websites for Mars fans to look up all they need to know about Mars and spaceflight. Enjoy!(less)
This series is so much fun, so exciting, that I read book 1 and this book 2 straight through. Then I was stranded without book 3. Yikes! As luck would...moreThis series is so much fun, so exciting, that I read book 1 and this book 2 straight through. Then I was stranded without book 3. Yikes! As luck would have it the boxed set came on sale for $.99 so I picked it up and started to read the #3.
It is often the case that a sequel isn't as good as the first book. In this case I think this one was even more exciting. I read until 4 in the morning just to see what would happen. The characters and worlds are well built and believable. In this book we get to know more about the support team and the depth of the antagonist.
So far in the series there are no cliffhangers. The reason to keep reading is that you care about the characters and worlds. Cidney Swanson's writing style works for me. I had already read the Rippler series by her, and I think Saving Mars is even better.
Though this is considered Young Adult I think anyone could read it and have a great adventure. And it isn't just for teen girls. I think guys of all ages would like this, too. All you need to be is a science fiction fan to love it!