Tag Archive: fantasy



The Light PirateThe Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rosemary Benson’s narration gave this well-written story a deeper sense of credibility. I am so glad I got to listen to the Audible version of this book. Was it the author, Lily Brooks-Dalton, or the narrator that caused me to smell the world, feel the humidity, and stand strong in the wind blowing around me?

As tangible as the world seemed, the grief was palpable. Each stage of life has happy occurrences and endings. The book takes us through many lives and increases in ecological disasters, but we witness the good in the bad. The magic in the dull, difficult world.

The main character, Wanda, born during the hurricane in Florida that she was named after, grows up as severe weather changes take effect. She needs to survive. Her family and a good neighbor friend see her through as much as possible. Wanda grows anyway.

I feel I have made this sound very depressing. It is, in parts. But mostly shows us how we can survive if we pay attention. Not just to the warnings but to the world around us as it is adapting. I’m leaving this book behind with a promise I may read it again. It will haunt me. In a good way.

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The Secret Benefits of InvisibilityThe Secret Benefits of Invisibility by C.W. Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just as fun as the first book in the series by C.W. Allen. Ivy Tara Blair (Narrator) is excellent at acting out the different characters.

If you need a break from overly adult, angsty books, this book and the first one will make you feel better. I bet it would be a fun read-aloud book for parents and kids.

I loved meeting the Dodos the most. Obviously, not the world we know.

The adventure is intense, and you are invested in the outcome immediately.

The boy and girl are not typical kids. Both have their take on how things should be. And I love how they respect each other while teasing here and there, but lovingly.

Give this a chance. I think you’ll like it!

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Relatively Normal Secrets (The Falinnheim Chronicles, #1)Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want a little reprieve from the heavier material you’ve been reading lately? This is the book. It is so much fun and a quick read. After all, it is a chapter book for middle grades. But I don’t quite know how to intrigue you without giving spoilers. Here is the blurb, even it has spoilers I wouldn’t have included.

“Tuesday and Zed Furst are perfectly normal children with perfectly strange parents. Their father won’t discuss his job, their mother never leaves the house without her guard dog, and the topic of the family tree is off limits.

When a last minute “business trip” gets the adults out of the way, Zed and Tuesday decide to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Too bad some thugs with shape-shifting weapons have other ideas. Their escape leaves them trapped in the modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim, where everyone insists their father is a disgraced fugitive. They hope whoever is leaving them coded clues may have some answers, but they’re not sure they’re going to like what they learn.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they’ll need the help of a smuggler with a broken compass, their unusually talented dog, some extremely organized bandits, and a selection of suspiciously misquoted nursery rhymes.

Zed and Tuesday may not have all the answers, but one thing is certain: when it comes to normal, everything is relative.”

Add to the adventure the great narration by Ivy Tara Blair in this Audible version, and you will be in a place of pure enjoyment.

I don’t remember how I heard about these books, but I am already reading the second. I love the characters and how they go about solving the mysteries around them.

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Faerie Knitting: 14 Tales of Love and MagicFaerie Knitting: 14 Tales of Love and Magic by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a delightful bedtime book! Especially the Audible version with January LaVoy narrating. The stories are short enough to do one a night. Normally, I don’t like short stories. But after reading Braiding the Sweetgrass, this felt similar enough not to feel a shock but an excellent way to hear stories of love.

AND the book comes with knitting patterns—even the Audible. I picked up the PDFs and printed them to my knitting folders. I can’t wait to try some of these. Although, I think a few are way beyond my abilities. But the way knitting is woven into the stories is captivating. I’m sorry to be finished with the reading.

If you are unaware of Alice Hoffman, she is the author of Practical Magic, among many others. She writes with the pen of a poet. This particular book is co-authored with her sister. What fun that must have been.

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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maybe not my favorite book. Yet there are bits I think will come back to me in memory. Though I am not sure I will look for the next series book.

The characters and plot are a little different than most dystopias. The talents of some of the people are interesting. But let me say, Audio readers need to let us know when we are in a new chapter. I had a hard time figuring out who the point of view was most of the time.

Something I don’t often see in sci-fi/fantasy, but this seems a good genre for it, polyamory. No judgment, just a few people who love each other.

If you want something a little different, this is it. Try it. You might love it.

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Improbable Magic for Cynical WitchesImprobable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know who recommended this, but it was an insightful read. Kate uses Tarot Major Arcana to tell a piece of a teen’s confusing life. I love how we learn the cards as a story unto themselves and how it applies to Elenor’s past.

Kate Sclesa is a young adult novel, and the romances cause angst. But I loved climbing into Elenor’s thoughts and seeing how she caused her worries to grow.

Stacey Glemboski (Narrator) brought this Audible version alive with her voice acting.

Quite an enjoyable and inspiring read.

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Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THIS is my favorite kind of science fiction! So may questions about what might happen if we were to get out among the stars! Patricia Rodríguez (Narrator) made the story even better! Becky Chambers writes such different and intriguing books!

I am still feeling the charm, so I have downloaded the first two books to read again. I just didn’t want to leave Ms. Chambers’s universes.

What if we left Earth. What if it were doable to save as many as possible and fly through space. What if other worlds were found? What if other beings were found and able to learn from us and vice versa? What if whole generations lived, died, and were born on a spaceship of some kind? How do we deal with the dead? How do we document life and death to make it understandable for us and others? How do religion and politics play a part? Sexuality? So many questions!

So many characters. A friend mentioned keeping track of the characters. I may need to do that on the next read. I think I’ll need to dedicate a whole notebook for this next read!

Don’t worry. No matter that you don’t know who or what is speaking, it all works out that you realize you did follow it and are so happy to have been there with the author in the end.

I can’t wait to start again!

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The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels, #1)The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t do this often, but I think I should include the blurb from the GoodReads page.

“A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.”

My friend, a Pirates of the Caribbean fan like me, suggested this for fun. Her book club had just enjoyed it.

But after the serious reading I had been doing of late, this was just not my cup of tea. At least at first. By the end, my sense of humor came back, and I had a hard time reading it before bed without letting Laugh out Loud moments escape me.

My copy came from the library on the Libby app. It was the audio version and the narrator, Elizabeth Knoweldon, was a hoot to listen to. I loved her accent and how she adjusted her voice according to the character.

If you are looking for a fun summer read, this might do the trick!

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Wind and SilkWind and Silk by Alice Ivinya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My friend wrote a lovely review of this book. I went to Amazon and saw the Kindle version was only $.99, so I picked it up. Today I found myself in need of a distraction. We were on a bus on the way to the ophthalmologist. Though the drive isn’t as bad for me as it used to be, this bus was killing me. This bus enhanced every bump in the road. So I went looking for a distraction. Since I didn’t have Kindle downloaded on my phone, I found my music on Spotify to get me by. I downloaded the Kindle at the next wifi spot so I would have something to read on the way home.

I found listening difficult with the bus noise, so I hoped reading would work for my newly decataracted eyes. Guess what? I read a whole book without text-to-speech or Audible! Okay, it isn’t very long. I finished it on the way home (less than two hours).

So I got to go to the land of dragons. I assume it was Japan. The main character was being married off for family prestige in the way it used to be, and let’s hope not coming back around. But will Fangying’s disabilities hold her back? Will her new husband beat her?

The story is gracefully told. I found it just what I needed for the painful drive. And I am so happy to have read, with my eyes, a whole book! Fantastic magic and dragons, too!

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A Plague of ZombiesA Plague of Zombies by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am going to give this another listen later. I feel I lost something or that it ended far too soon.

I love reading about Lord John. His sense of morality, committed to doing the right thing, propels him more than other men you might read about. He cares deeply and wants to save lives and hearts/

The narrator isn’t as fun as Davina Porter and I think she could have done this book. But Jeff Woodman does a good job keeping the story going.

If you are on an Outlander binge you can’t quit, here is one to help give you your fix.

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