Posts tagged ‘book review’

April 24, 2015

The Legends of Windemere

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

This is book six of the Legends of Windemere series. I’m behind in my reading, but hoping to catch up on this excellent adventure later this spring.

I understand the seventh book is out now, too. It’s called Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue.

I’ve enjoyed all of Charles Yallowitz’s books.

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November 8, 2014

Burned

Burned, the second book in the Dragon’s Trust series by Krista Wayment, was released at the end of October. It’s a great middle-grade read but fun for adults who love lots of action, too.

I really love how real Wayment’s dragons are. They are as much characters of the book as Renick, Lainey and Thane are, and their personalities shine through in everything they do.

Also, I love the idea of dragons that can talk.

In Burned, one rogue dragon seeking revenge causes a lot of trouble for Renick and his friends. I really felt for this dragon, and for everyone in his path, because Wayment made his dilemma and his motivations so true to life. For me, the real villains were the dragon-hunters, who only wanted to capture the dragon’s magic. Once again, Renick stepped into the role of a true hero, an ordinary person who does something extraordinary because he cares about others.

I loved this book.

 

November 5, 2014

My #NaNoWriMo progress, #burgersandbooks giveaway and more

Family of the Tri-Rune, by Charles Yallowitz

Family of the Tri-Rune, by Charles Yallowitz

It’s been another busy week, and once again, I’m behind on the blog.

I actually signed up for NaNoWriMo this year–something I’ve wanted to do for about five years now and just never have. So far this week, I’ve written just over 10,000 words. That makes me feel good.

Kathy Robinson, who won the first week of the Burgers and Books giveaway, also won the Burger King gift card. There were very few entrants for this giveaway. I enjoyed the idea of promoting reading parties while promoting indie authors, though, so I may continue to do these once in a while.

I wanted to review Charle’s Yallowitz’s Family of the Tri-Rune on Friday, but the day really got away from me. Here are my top thoughts (and possibly spoilers, so readers, beware):

Where Luke Callindor’s character grew immensely in Allure of the GypsiesNyx’s character grew in Family of the Tri-Rune.  It seemed like she started to come to terms with some changes she needed to make (for the good and safety of all), as well as with who she truly is. There were some remarkable and fun revelations about her origin in this book.

There were more revelations about Selenia Hamilton, too, as well as some of her contemporaries, and I was surprised when someone from Sari’s past showed up. These elements added twists to the plot that gave me lots of A-HA moments. Lots of fun! I also found some compassion for someone I thought was an enemy, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in this character’s future.

Some new champions stepped forward toward the end of this book, which makes me excited to read The Compass Key and start to follow their character arcs, too. While I won’t be running a #burgersandbooks giveaway in November, I hope to find time to read Yallowitz’s most recent book and post my thoughts on it here on this blog.

 

October 30, 2014

Ghost Moon Night is available–just in time for Halloween!

 

Just a  very quick post to let people know Jewel Allen’s book Ghost Moon Night is finally available. I wasn’t able to go to the release party last night, but I downloaded the book last week and couldn’t put it down.

The ghosts/zombies are really scary, and the island culture is so woven into the story that readers learn a lot about the Philippines, as well. There was a sweet romance subplot, great friends and a terrific main character that I really couldn’t help liking.

If you’re looking for a great Halloween read, check this one out.

October 30, 2014

#lukecallindor grows so much in ‘Allure of the Gypsies’

 

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

I didn’t get to blog last Friday, and I’m still playing catch-up. While there were no new entries to the #burgersandbooks giveaway, I did have a chance to read The Allure of the Gypsies by Charles Yallowitz.

Here’s a moment of thoughts for the character Luke Callindor:

I enjoyed his character development in the first two books of this series, but I would say his personality deepened quite a bit in this book. For most of the book he struggled with pain and how to deal with it, but by the end, I began to feel that the pain was making him grow, and he was becoming a better person because of it. Nicely done.

I was surprised at how strong Luke Callindor became during the battle scenes, too. Some new powers developed, which surprised and delighted me.

Now about the rest of the book.

My favorite scenes centered on the battles as Sari the gypsy, Nyx the caster and Luke Callindor fought a vampire caster. This was about halfway through the book, but there was so much more to enjoy. Luke’s greatest growth came after these battles during other fight scenes, and Sari’s ability to accept what had already happened to her life didn’t play out until the very end.

Oh, and one more favorite thing: In Allure of the Gypsies readers find out something important about Selenia Hamilton, one of my favorite characters from Beginning of a HeroI found that one bit of information completely rewarding.

This is a fun fantasy adventure!

 

October 18, 2014

Excellent weekend reading: The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

I first read The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower back in 2013. Here’s the Amazon review I wrote for it:

Months after reading this book, my mind is still drawn to it. The fight scenes are descriptive without being overdone, the characters are realistic and dynamic, and there are surprise punches I just didn’t see coming. It’s a great adventure story. There’s a lot going on in this book, but Charles Yallowitz somehow made it all flow together seamlessly. I’ll continue to recommend this series to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy.

That holds as true now as it did when I first read the book. Nyx is a complex, exciting character who I feel really compliments Luke Callindor’s character. The fight scenes are realistic and the action is both fast-paced and smooth. It kept me reading and reading.

It’s been a busy week, so I haven’t finished reading through The Prodigy of Rainbow Tower the second time, but I’m enjoying what I have been able to read. I’m looking forward to finishing it again sometime soon.

I will say this: I don’t read every book twice. Especially when it comes to an entire series. Charles Yallowitz has done a great job with his books. (Check out his blog, and watch for his first video interview coming up on October 22).

From my blog review last year:

According to Dave Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines, books should evoke strong emotional responses. I would say Yallowitz’s settings do that for me. I’m only a third of the way through the book, but I had to fight myself to put it down long enough to blog about it.

If you’re looking for a book to really draw you in this weekend, this is a good one. I’m hoping for more entries to the #burgersandbooks giveaway this week so I can give this book away next Friday.

Happy reading!

 

October 11, 2014

First winner for the #burgersandbooks #giveaway ! Prize: Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz

Week one of the October #burgersandbooks #giveaway is down. The winner of Charles Yallowitz’s Beginning of a Hero is Kathy R. Congratulations, Kathy! I will send you your electronic copy tonight. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz--book one in the Legends of  Windemere series

Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz–book one in the Legends of Windemere series

The first time I read Beginning of a Hero I was struck with the action. The fast-paced writing drew me in, and my mind created great and immediate images around Charles’ Yallowizt’s story.

It was one of those reading escapes in which I felt like I really was inside the book—climbing the stone walls, trudging through the swamp, and going through the training exercises.

If I had to pick a favorite reason why I enjoy this book now, I would have to say it’s the characters.

Luke Callindor is strong willed and stubborn, and maybe more than a little cocky. He ran into his fair share of trouble because of that, but he handled himself well in those times of trouble. That built my confidence in him as he built his own confidence in himself. For me, that made the entire story believable.

There were some strong female characters, which I always love to see. One of my favorites is Selenia Hamilton. Her role is a supporting one, but her character is steel-strong and absolutely immovable. I liked that she was a sort of mentor to Luke Callindor and that she learned to respect him as the book progressed.

One of Charles Yallowitz’s writing strengths is his ability to write in present-tense. I haven’t read many books written this way, and he does an amazing job of it.

I recommend this book and the rest of the Legends of Windemere series to other fantasy fans.

 

July 29, 2014

Jacob Holo’s Dragons

Jacob Holo's The Dragons of Jupiter...see his Amazon sales page!

Jacob Holo’s The Dragons of Jupiter…see his Amazon sales page!

About a year ago, I read Jacob Holo’s The Dragons of Jupiter and was more than pleasantly surprised. This is by far one of the best sci-fi books I’ve read in a long time. I’ve been meaning to get back to my blog to review this, and it hasn’t happened, and hasn’t happened…and tonight, that’s going to change.

The battle scenes in The Dragons of Jupiter are very, very well done, although maybe a little bit graphic for my taste. I loved how innovative Holo was with his weaponry, though, and that made it really hard to put down even the most descriptive scenes.

I loved the body makeup the dragons wear when they’re not on duty.

I love how they work as a team.

I love the interactions between the team members, between brothers Ryu and Kaneda, between everyone and the Matriarch.  I tried to pick apart the character development and couldn’t do it. It was just that seamless, and I’ll be studying this book in the future, trying to see how Holo managed to weave his character development into the story so well that I didn’t even notice it was happening.

What a way to make readers care about the story!

Holo has a couple of great web sites, too. Read more about The Dragons of Jupiter at dragonsofjupiter.com (I am now a proud follower), or visit holowriting.com for information on Jacob Holo’s other books and writing activities. He has a lot going on.

Also, his book covers are terrific. See a sneak peak for the book cover of Humanity Machine at holowriting.com. I am looking forward to reading that one, both because of the book cover and because, if Holo always writes like he did in The Dragons of Jupiter, I’ll never be able to set his books asides for things like doing laundry and dishes.

 

April 14, 2014

Thoughts on ‘Trusted,’ by author Krista Wayment

Trusted, by author Krista Wayment, is lots of fun!

Trusted, by author Krista Wayment, is lots of fun!

On March 27, I attended the virtual launch for the book Trusted, by local fellow author Krista Wayment.  I have to say this immediately: the launch party was a lot of fun. I’ll be attending more of those.

The book was even better. My busy life put my reading time on hold, but one of my daughters started reading it that very weekend.  She even opted out of a family trip in order to keep reading, then called before we reached our destination to ask whether Krista Wayment had any more books out.

If only I could have captured the sound in her voice.

This weekend, I finally sat down and read the book myself. It was a quick and enchanting read. Without giving too much away, here are some of my favorite parts:

  • I really loved how humans normally travel in this world. You get a peek at this just a few pages into the book. Extraordinary! I wish I could try it sometime.
  • I loved Krista Wayment’s descriptions of the dragons in Trusted. It was easy to get a feel for both their personalities and their beauty.
  • The main human characters were intriguing, too. I expect the next books will reveal more about them. For now, I kind of wish I could meet the character Renick and study how he communicates. Krista Wayment did a terrific job with him.
  • The dragon names…oh, I loved how the humans got their dragon names! That was one of my favorite chapters in the entire book.
  • My very, very favorite part of this book was one sentence given during dialogue between a dragon and a human. And here it is: “Sometimes our success is not measured by the outcome, but by our efforts.”

I’ve already recommended this book to family and friends, and I’ll keep recommending it whenever the opportunity arises. Trusted is just that delightful.

 

 

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March 6, 2014

Why all authors should join a book club

"Epic," by Conor Kostick, in a nice shiny library protective page. :) Take a closer look at the book  on Amazon.com.

“Epic,” by Conor Kostick, in a nice shiny library protective page. 🙂 Take a closer look at the book on Amazon.com.

In November, a neighborhood friend invited me to a book club. I went, although I felt a bit nervous…I had never been to a book club before.

The winter holidays and planning for 2014 meant no real book club meetings again until the second week of February. I attended again, and solidified my opinion on book clubs: All authors should join one.

Here’s why:

  1. Book clubs are a great way to get a feel for what readers love to read. This doesn’t apply just to the books that the club chooses, but also to the way a book is written–the prose, the structure, the characters. It’s just a good way to learn about the elements of a well-written book (and, in some cases, it’s a good way to learn what not to do).
  2. Book clubs are a great way to get your name out in the local community. I’m an open book online (pardon the pun), but in real-life situations I’m generally shy when it comes to talking about writing. I usually won’t even mention it unless someone else brings it up, but in January I took a risk and let the book club members know I love writing. They’ve become a great new support group for me.
  3. Even better, five die-hard fantasy fans from this book club have agreed to beta-read for me. Finding solid beta readers who will follow through in a timely manner can be difficult, so I’m excited to give them a try! (If all goes well, they’ll be reading for me sometime early this spring.)

This month, we’re reading and discussing Epic, by Conor Kostick. I’m about three quarters of the way through and I love it so far. It’s one that’s going to make it onto my Great Worlds list.

If you’ve read it, I’d love to hear what you think about it.

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