Tag Archive: action



SpellsmokeSpellsmoke by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sorry to be late to the party, again. Between computer/internet issues and smoke making my eyes too blurry to get online to write this, I am about a week late for this review.

I am always happy when I get to review yet another of S.M. Reine’s books. She has got a library full of her own writing at this stage. She never stops! So I couldn’t wait to read Spellsmoke. Unfortunately, I seem to have a huge amount of books to read right now and some are waiting for reviews. It’s hard to be fair when you have favorites. Wink, Wink.

When a book starts with Meadowood Mall… I’m hooked. I knew of every aspect of the walk through the mall. Even Dippity Dots Kiosk! And Borders! I love when Sara includes Reno and other places many of us know and love in her stories. Who knew so many demons and vampires walked the Washoe County streets? I wish I would have gotten to know her when I lived there!

Okay, Lincoln Marshall is not my favorite character. He maybe is equal or above Cesar but most people will like them, I think. What I liked was meeting old friends like Rylie and her wolf clan. Which reminds me: Please, if you haven’t started these series’s Start with Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon, #1). That’s when you meet Rylie Gresham for the first time. Lincoln comes later in the series. But recurs often enough you get to like him.

Oh, and we get to see Sophie Keyes the historian again. She’s a little weird, but I like her a lot.

Ms. Reine is bringing up touchy issues in this book but handles them with grace. Thing like racism and abuse. I’m proud of how she presents these and finds ways to explore both sides and introduces other angles not in a dogmatic way but rather in ways we all need to think on.

I can’t wait to read book three in this little series. We weren’t left on a cliff but were given enough to want to continue. I hate putting Sara’s books down and go back to real life!

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The Missing Girl: A Short Chapter BookThe Missing Girl: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love getting books from my favorite writers for review. It’s the best of both worlds. Getting to see their writing, getting to read new books.

Ms. Gita V. Reddy has created another fun story, mystery(?) for middle grades. I don’t want to give anything away here, but the story didn’t go the way I thought it would. But neither is it as scary as the title might imply. So go ahead and read it. It’s free right now on Amazon.

There is a bonus story in this book. If it wasn’t about a boy, I would have thought that Gita knew me in grade school. Yes, I was the talker that teachers moved around the room trying to find the person that would encourage silence in me. Nope. Didn’t happen. In fact, and I hate to admit this, even in college as a 40 something-year-old adult, even when I sat next to the teacher I found them interesting and willing to share conversation with me. Being social is a good thing and can teach you more than silence. On the other hand, as a teacher, I understand the disruption to the lesson plan. I did see that it can be useful for bringing up questions the class might have been afraid to bring up. I loved the kid of my heart in the second part of the book.

Both stories made for good reading before bed. You or your children might have fun with these, too.

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Shattered: Logan Book 1Shattered: Logan Book 1 by Valerie Davisson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story. I could have done without the mystery, especially the murdery bit. But I kept reading beyond when the book didn’t work for me.

As I have stated before, I have trouble reading tree-books. It has to do with my tracking abilities. But I am a life long reader that doesn’t give up that easily. So I set up my Kindle with black background and largish white font. Then I use the text-to-speech to track with what I do read. I don’t do well with just audio as I tend to ADD away with shiny things. But with both modalities working I can get into stories very deeply.

This version was difficult for me. I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t use the black background/white font. It only wanted white background black font or everything went black. The text-to-speech worked but I couldn’t follow with my eyes. I finally gave up. At about 60%! I do hope the author and or the publisher got that all fixed. Since I was asked to review this book I have to be honest, the font/formatting, was the worst for me.

I let it go for a couple months but the story kept haunting me. I wanted to know what happened. I had loved the research shown about glassblowing. Native American bits. And seeing what seemed to me a realistic look at bereavement. I loved the realism of teaching and use of music. Honestly, I didn’t need the murder bit. I did like the character that did the killing and I thought it gave her a humanity having lupus and all. But I guess some people like to have the tension a good old murder gives a book. Just not me.

Still, I can’t wait to see what happens next. For book two I have the Audible version. I’m getting better at keeping my hands busy doing sudoku, knitting, or drawing. So in the next few days I will review that one, too.

I think others will enjoy this story, too.

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Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga, #1)Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When a young distraught young woman finds herself in another dimension her life is forever changed. As long as she becomes what this new reality wants from her.

It was an interesting read but the minute it became like epic fantasy I became bored with it and nearly stopped reading. For those who love those ancient stories, this will be quite pleasing. But I only liked it when the modern woman who has now lost her parents finds herself back and forth in time. I thought it interesting to watch a modern woman adjust to old ways but when the story veers off to the inhabitant of that world, YAWN! Thank goodness it went back to the main character it became more interesting again.

Maybe others will like it better.

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Re-Review: Beta by S.M. Reine


Beta (War of the Alphas, # 2)Beta by S.M. Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was given this 4 in 1 book of this series free for review. What I have to add to what is written below is that reading it this way I can hardly tell where one book ends and the next begins. That may be because I am ‘reading’ rather listening by text-to-speech. I use the British female–sounds like Julie Andrews reading to me! The books are seamlessly woven together. I do not like the main character as much as I do Rylie, the first one we meet in Ms. Reine’s worlds and the Alpha that remains Alpha through everything. Deidre is full of flaws and teen mistaken ideas and addictions. Yet, she grows on you and you find yourself rooting for her.

Disclosure: I was gifted this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! What a sequel! I must admit that I am confused as to what our Omega/Beta, Deidre Tombs actually is as a shifter, still we were given a few clues in this book. I really love her character. Shoot, by saying that I show how Sara Reine writes her characters; so realistic that I forgot there is a writer! Yet how realistic is a shapeshifter? Yet, I believe it while reading it. As always, I am left gasping and wanting to become the main character in Stephen King’s Misery. I want the next book NOW!!!! I want to see if I am correct in my guesses. Don’t worry, Ms. Reine. I’m generally a passive person and have plenty to keep me reading until you can crank out the next.

I was glad to see old friends from Seasons of the Moon and on through other series our prolific author has scribed. By the way, I do highly recommend reading all her books start with Season of the Moon. Her books are full of chills and thrills and characters, places and scenes that are at once unbelievable yet the reader sees everything that is taking place. All senses are engaged and you are there! Beta felt as good as any of her books. And the ending, though not quite a cliffhanger, leaves you wanting to know more. What will happen next? What is she? Great job, Sara!

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Beta: An Urban Fantasy Novel (War of the Alphas Book 2)Beta: An Urban Fantasy Novel by SM Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was gifted this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! What a sequel! I must admit that I am confused as to what our Omega/Beta, Deidre Tombs actually is as a shifter, still we were given a few clues in this book. I really love her character. Shoot, by saying that I show how Sara Reine writes her characters; so realistic that I forgot there is a writer! Yet how realistic is a shapeshifter? Yet, I believe it while reading it. As always, I am left gasping and wanting to become the main character in Stephen King’s Misery. I want the next book NOW!!!! I want to see if I am correct in my guesses. Don’t worry, Ms. Reine. I’m generally a passive person and have plenty to keep me reading until you can crank out the next.

I was glad to see old friends from Seasons of the Moon and on through other series our prolific author has scribed. By the way, I do highly recommend reading all her books start with Season of the Moon. Her books are full of chills and thrills and characters, places and scenes that are at once unbelievable yet the reader sees everything that is taking place. All senses are engaged and you are there! Beta felt as good as any of her books. And the ending, though not quite a cliffhanger, leaves you wanting to know more. What will happen next? What is she? Great job, Sara!

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Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am SO impressed with this series! Especially since I had to read it backward. For the most part, I read it on my local library’s Kindle and listened to the library Overdrive version. This last book, book one, I actually had had the chance to buy the Audible version. I figured I will eventually buy all of this series (Kindle and Audible) so that someday I would read it in the correct order. If it is good and held together reading it the way I did, imagine how good it is reading it the right way!

Spoilers are hard to avoid as I write this. In fact, I thought by knowing what was to come I wouldn’t be able to continue. Then something happened between Metais and Day. Something seemed off as I remembered what was to happen in book two. Luckily, by the end of book one that issue revealed itself properly. Everything else held together very well. Again, I am so impressed with the world, characters and story that Marie Lu (author) built.

In this first book, you get to see how June and Day meet and start falling for each other. I had wondered about that. You get to see how Day meets Tess. You actually meet Day’s family. You meet all the people who play crucial roles later in the series and now you know why (if you read it back to front, that is).

Yesterday, I saw that Legend is on sale on Amazon. It is $3.00. If you can, I suggest you buy it. If I had more than a dollar to my name, I would buy it now. Alas, that will have to wait.

Now a comment on the narration by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan who play June and Day respectfully. I don’t know if this is their first narration gig or if they were finding their voices to these characters, but this one felt like they were new. Especially, Mariel Stern, whose voice appeared higher and a little crackly in comparison to the later books. Maybe she was attempting to sound younger? And, of course, if they recorded them in order that would still be the case, right? But as this story continues both voices become stronger and true to the characters. I was often in a situation where wearing headphones and listening were impossible and I had to read the book strictly by sight, and there were times my eyes were tired and I just listened, either and both methods hold up and maintain a fantastic story. An author who writes very well, combined with narrators who read very well, makes a wonderful experience, even in a dystopian world.

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Outsider: The Flawed Series Book TwoOutsider: The Flawed Series Book Two by Becca J. Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given the ARC by the author for an honest review. Because of it being an ARC, I will not count into this review any of the editing errors that I did pick up. In fact, the story caught me up so firmly that I hardly noticed these oopsies.

About that story! Wow! Told from the viewpoints of the main character, Josh, and his female interest, Alex, and their nemesis, Nic who is out to kill Alex. I like that you can get into the heads of each of these people. Sure, one could guess at the insecurities young people have about starting a new relationship, but Ms. Becca Campbell (author) gives us deeper insights than those surface issues. Put into that mix suddenly awakening abilities and one can understand the deep confusion. And seeing what was motivating the bad guy was ingenious!

This series is so much fun! It keeps one on the edge of one’s seat wondering what is going to happen? How will they get out of this one? Try to read this one so that the last half is long before bedtime. I was lucky that I was able to finish long before sleep. There are nightmare elements that I didn’t want to have entering my subconscious. (Course the next book I picked up then was by Neil Gaiman, gulp!)

It had been a long time since I read the first of the Flawed series, Flawed. Even so I found a reread wasn’t necessary. Enough review is set up in this book two that one wouldn’t feel lost. In fact, one could read this without having read the first book. But the depth you would have from reading the series in order is unbeatable. I highly recommend reading this series if you are inclined to read fantasy books about new or young adults. This one was more contemporary than other fantasies. In that way, it is fun to visit Colorado and California as they are.

I can’t wait to read the next in the series!

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Review: Champion by Marie Lu


ChampionChampion by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five stars! And that’s with me starting to read it on book three! I never do that. I like to start at the beginning and read a long series to the end. Starting in the middle or later can be chancy at best. But there was no choice. I saw such high ratings and I think a GoodReads friend recommended it. So I jumped over to Amazon. WAY too expensive for me right now. So I went over to my library website to see if they had it. The had the regular version of book two and this third book. BUT with this large print book I was able to land the audio-CDs. How lucky was that?

Let me take a moment out for a font complaint. Why is it that large print versions don’t give spaces between lines? Even with the larger font I still couldn’t read it straight through. I needed to use my trusty dusty bookmark to keep track, like a first grader! Old eyes, what can I say?

What kept me going, though, was the audio version. The voices of June and Day were read by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan respectively. They were wonderful narrators! I must make sure when I finally get this series for myself that I get the Audible Whispersync with the Kindle version.

I must marvel at the writing of Marie Lu. That I can come into the story this late in the game and not feel lost is to her credit. Sure, I felt like I was missing a little background on how it all started and how relationships grew, or didn’t, but I felt I already knew, somehow. There wasn’t a lot of background descriptors dragging the story out, so I assume Ms. Lu snuck it all in there somehow. Magic!

And I am surprised that coming out of the book I have a hunger to read the entire series, real soon! I put all the books on all my wishlists. Just reading a book three should have had me feel I was finished, ya know?

Oh, and if you read this one, have some Kleenex on hand near the end. It’s not horrid, but I haven’t cried like that near the end of a book for a long time. But that shows the amount of truth that this story held for me. No, I am far from being a teen–65, but I could still relate to all that was going on with these characters.

Oh, and this is the first book in a long time that felt that either guys or girls could read it with equal fervor. Each chapter is either June or Day (Daniel) and both are tough but caring human beings.

As I have said before, where were authors like Marie Lu when I was a teen? This book kept my interest from beginning to end. And I think that if you are unlucky enough to not get the first two books you can start here and still have an active adventure!

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The Desert ThiefThe Desert Thief by Daniel Patrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was given this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Daniel Patrick has done it again! This was the second book in his children/young adult series involving Lara and her locket. It is very steampunk and fun. There are new friends and dangers, including the sinister Sora who is out to kill Lara and get her locket.

The first book The Locket Thief felt very much like Golden Compass without daemons and drunken polar bears. But this had just as much action and adventure. This book made a great continuation of the first.

Daniel’s characters are fun and likable with a bad guy you love to hate. There is flying in airships and long treks through the lands below. I really like the new people. I didn’t so much at first. I didn’t understand the beginning with a differing point of view but I stuck with it and soon understood.

I have to admit that I wasn’t in a childrens’ book mood so it took a lot for me to get into it. Having it downloaded in my Moon Reader Pro helped with that as I just put on the text-to-speech and allowed the story to encompass me. Soon I couldn’t stop and found myself reading far later than I should. I blame this book for my 2PM wake up. Where does the day go when you rise so late?

If you’re looking for a fun little adventure to pull you out of your mully grubs this is the series for you.

One note, I would suggest reading both books as closely as possible if you have a memory like mine. I think I could have used more reminders like, Where did the locket come from? Why is it important? Who were the folks that died before and how did they die? Mr. Patrick did include a few clues but I could have used more.
And… I hope there will be more as I am concerned about threads that weren’t neatly tied up. At least I’m left feeling safe, no cliffhangers.

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