Solstice Blessed by Crystin Goodwin

Now, don’t get all run around the house in your undies screaming excited, this isn’t a new novel. But, by all means, get a little bit jumpy up and down excited because this is two short stories about a few favorite characters during their holiday season. 

The stories are cute, fun and holiday themed, just what the book doctor ordered for December reading.

Would I recommend it? If you are a fan of the Blessings of Myrillia Series you should certainly read these too! And if you are any kind of young adult fantasy book lover and haven’t yet been exposed to Myrillia I recommend putting Unblessed on your Christmas wish list straight away!

Book Doctors should be a thing. “Ahh Mrs. Pumpernickel, You’ve sprained your ankle, ice and elevate until you’ve read all of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and you should be as good as new.” or “It’s alright little Patsy Pipsqueak, you just have the flu. Drink lots of fluids and read Yesterday’s Doll by Cora Taylor, and you’ll be just fine.” And then doctors’ offices and pharmacy’s would have libraries and books stores attached to them and life would be so much better. Yes, I’ve convinced myself, book doctors should totally be a thing. 

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The Owl Goddess by Jenny Twist

 

You know me, I hate to reveal too much about a book in a review. I promise, no big spoilers but I’ve got to tell you something this time…

… the owl goddess, her name is Athena and she lives on a spaceship.

Talk about food for thought!

Let’s just say that when I start out a book and “regular” people are named Zeus and Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite, there are expectations and ideas that pop into my head. When those “regular” people met some other mostly regular but more stone-age-ish other people and they have names like Atlas and Prometheus and Pandora… More ideas occur.

As it turns out, I meet a character named Pandora, I just hold my breath the whole time waiting for the you-know-what to hit the fan, because you know it has to… it’s Pandora! You don’t even need any extra foreshadowing when you have a name like that!

For the first part of the book I wasn’t a very good reader. Instead of just putting my faith in the story and letting it flow, I couldn’t stop wondering what the author was up to and guessing how what I knew about those names was going to fit in.

Then there was a turning point about halfway through the book. Suddenly both the characters and I had a grasp on what was going on and I finally settled in and enjoyed the unfolding of the tale.

Would I recommend it? The author did a really nice job crafting her story around Greek mythology yet writing something totally new. I think this will not only be a hit with young adults who already know and love Greek mythology but also an excellent way to introduce kids, who would rather read about space travel than where olive trees came from, to the classic tales.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

 

Raelia by Lynette Noni

The worst thing about this whole Medoran Chronicles series, of which Raelia is book two, is that the author, Lynette Noni, lives in Australia.

I on the other hand live in the USA, far from Australia. So far from Australia that hard copies of her books aren’t even sold here.

This is a terrible problem because these are books that need to be shared.

These are the kind of books that I want to be able to loan to the next young adult who walks through the door.

These are the kind of books I want to hand to the next adult who enjoys YA fantasy.

These are the kind of books that I want to lend my Harry Potter fan friends.

Then I want to pass them off to a person who claims not to like fantasy but that is enough of a reader that they will give them a try when I tell them how great the characters are.

And then, once everyone is done gushing, I want to put them nicely on my bookshelf where I would smile fondly at them whenever I passed by until the next reader dropped by my house looking for a good book.

Would I recommend it? Not only would I recommend both Raelia and Akarnae (which you should really read first) I encourage you to buy them, especially if you are outside of Australia. Perhaps then, one day, we’ll get some paper copies on the shelves here!

Also, if you, like me, are fond of “real” books come check out my Book at the Door giveaway, I’ve got books to share!

Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth

Steampunk is a literary genre that confused me, if I thought of it at all.

When it did cross my mind all I could envision was people dressed in outfits involving lots of leather, corsets, top hats, a few random gears thrown in and goggles. Always the goggles. But the why of it all escaped me. I turned to the internet and Dictonary.com gave me a definition…

“A subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steam power of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or a fantasy world.”

… clear as mud now right?

But what I’ve decided is, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what Steampunk is or isn’t because as the writing gets better, the genre matters less. Not to say that I wouldn’t have wanted the author to describe this alternate history full of magic and technology as well as she did. No, quite to the contrary. Because she described it so well and because her characters were so rich, there was no confusion. I didn’t read a “steampunk” book.

I read a book about a sister whose brother was kidnapped. I read about oppression and freedom. Class warfare and  outright warfare. I read about evil beings that weren’t and good citizens that weren’t either. I read about trust and I read about love.

Sure, there were some crazy gizmos in amongst all that but, at the end of the day, the gizmos weren’t what had me flipping pages long after I should have turned in for the night.

Would I recommend it? Don’t let a funny word like steampunk scare you off, give it a try, I think you’ll like it.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Hi, Honey!

So, don’t be mad but I really feel like the best way to tell, you know, all the people, how good these books are involves you. And by involves you, I really mean me telling you the thing I try not to say too often to the man who is the most wonderful husband ever.

You see, I know that I was a bit girly about the love I had for the completely awesome female assassin main character when I tried to push the book on you. I can see now that perhaps that wasn’t quite the right track to take with you. I could have mentioned more of the plot, or a few of the fairly awesome male characters. Probably I should have told you that thing about the beautiful witches with their iron teeth and nails and how they just “play” with men before, you know, eating them (unless, of course, they are just out killing for fun). And how by the end of the books you won’t hate them and how I think that’s pretty indicative of some amazing writing.

But I didn’t.

I just kept telling you that you were going to love it and badgered you until you finally started reading the first one. Then, of course, I’m sure you remember how I annoyed you until you read it faster so you could get to the amazing parts. That was foolish of me. I’m sorry. But, not even, when you went to the library in another town to pick up book three because you’d be able to get your hands on it sooner did I actually say “I told you so!” like I totally could have.

So sorry, for telling, you know, all the people, about all that. But I want them to believe me (or, really, it’d be believing us now right?) about how great these books are and how they should definitely read them!

Thanks for your help!

Love you!

Would I recommend them? Yes! (And I think John might too, if he’s still speaking to me after this…)

Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth

I sit with the sleeves of my stained, maroon sweatshirt pushed up so the holes in the cuffs don’t catch on my thumbs and interfere with my typing. My pants, though rivaling the age of my youngest daughter, must be eight years younger than their counterpart but without holes or stains to create a matched set. Nor do they have a shape or distinguishing feature of their own. Just baggy black pants that swish round my ankle as my barefoot swings under the table.

I’d be lying to you if I said this was just my blogging outfit.

That’s right, I went out into public in this fantastic get up.

Twice.

Today.

So, it’s a bit surprising to me that in thinking back on this book, so much of my memory revolves around clothes – and I liked it.

Perhaps I liked it because of those snap judgments we make on the people around us based on their clothes. Don’t worry, I’m not looking for reflections on my own appearance (though I bet you’ve got opinions now, and if shopping hater and cheapskate were on your list you’ve got me at least partially pegged). This book, littered with clothing descriptions, instantly rounds out the characters as they are introduced.

Maybe it’s that in a book that draws characters from multiple time periods, clothing differences were an important distinguisher.

Or, maybe, it’s just that I like a unique witch-y mystery, and the main character happened to like fashion.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Young adult fans, this is nicely written and it’s got just the right amount of spookiness in it for those of you who are horror wimps like me. You can trust me on this. I have way better taste in books than clothes!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

The Secrets of Ice Cream Success by A.D. Hartley

Do you remember that group of kids, (mostly boys) that was so fun to be around?

Clowns, jokers and best friends they teased each other and everyone else, wrestled and created a friendly hulabaloo everywhere they went.  Everyone giggled with them and nobody ever took seriously until one day you turned around and realized that somehow, between all the fart jokes and noogies, they’d gone out, conquered demons you didn’t even know they had and accomplished things.

The gang in this book is saving an ice cream emporium but I think you’ll recognize them anyway.

Front Cover PNG Smashwords

Would I recommend it? Yes! The antics of the boys (and girl) are an excellent counter balance to the heavier elements of the book. I was hooked by the drama and laughed my way through the plot. Which might mean I have the sense of humor of a fourteen year old boy… But it certainly means that I’d recommend it as a great middle grade or young adult book.  Heck, I’d even say that, as your child’s responsible parent, you think you should probably “check” this book for them and read it first!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!