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Showing posts from December, 2013

Book Review: A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway

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A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Evelina Cooper's world consists of steam-powered machines, fancy-dress parties, and the mysterious death of a servant in her best friend, Imogen's, house. This is Evelina's year to come out in Victorian society, that is, Victorian society of the steam-powered, speculative variety. All she should be concerned with is obtaining an invitation to be greeted by Queen Victoria, certainly not spending her time worrying over the untimely demise of Grace Child. Unfortunately for her, Evelina is the niece of renowned detective Sherlock Holmes, and like her brilliant uncle, finds the mundane, drudge of existence to be utterly tiresome. So, Evelina involves herself in catching Grace's murderer, not only to serve justice to the poor, murdered girl, but also to exercise the talents she has been given, both the intellect of the Holmes family, but also the magical talents of the Coopers. Evelina literally has a foot in two…

Book Review: Winter Shadows by Casey Bond

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Winter Shadows by Casey Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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

This review is painful for me to write because I always try to be as nice as possible to authors, especially new ones. But, I just could not get into Winter Shadows. There was nothing to grab me, not the heroine, not the hero (either one), and none of the secondary characters. Claire is bland and one-dimensional and I can't tell the two "heroes" apart half of the time, their personalities are so similar. I understand she's trying to write Christian speculative fiction, but the message, whatever it might be, gets lost because she lacks skill.

Had her writing been more active, I might have actually invested emotionally in the story, but truthfully, she needs writing lessons. Either from a college or just by picking up books on writing from the library. Her passion is there, but her skill falls sadly short. I hope before Casey attempts a second …

Book Review: Thornewicke by Charity Bishop

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Thornewicke by Charity Bishop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Evangeline lives a normal life. She goes to school with her friends, lives with her parents, and nothing exciting ever happens to her. Except for the terror that something is stalking her. Add to that the stunning news that her Aunt Henoria is still alive, and not only alive but wants her to visit, and Evangeline's life is set on a new course. What about her is so different? The normal life she has always led was merely a facade and Evangeline's magical talents rise to the surface as soon as she steps onto the borders of her aunt's property, Dragonspire. It is at Dragonspire that Evangline discovers the reality of who she really is, meeting the local minister Alistair, running into the great Nikola Tesla who lives down the road from Henoria's property, and especially, discovering just what True magic means. Evangeline discovers that the forest of Thornewicke is dying. It is being overrun by evil c…

Book Review: Burning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier by Lori Benton

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Burning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier by Lori Benton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read Chapter One

When Willa Obenchain is kidnapped by Indians at the age of fourteen, she expects to never see her parents again. She adapts to her new culture with the Wolf Clan, her new life. She even eventually marries and has children. Then, in practically the blink of an eye, she loses everything and is left adrift. She has two choices. She can either follow join the Wolf Clan at Niagara where the British soldiers have promised refuse. Or she can return home to the parents she hasn't seen in twelve years. She chooses the latter and is on that journey home that she meets Neil MacGregor, a scientist/botanist who is cataloging the flora of the American frontier. Despite all of Willa's hopes that her family might still be where she left them, she finds her former home vacant. The townspeople do not trust her, and the man she once cared for as a young girl just beginning to blush into womanhood…

Book Review: It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

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It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Cullen McNamara is frustrated as all get-out with his father for securing him a place at the Chicago World's Fair. Always a clever boy, Cullen invented an automatic sprinkler system for houses and barns. The Fair is everything he ever imagined it would be, but it turns out that his location in the Machinery Building is nearly deafening. And Cullen already struggles with his hearing at the best of times. He's nearly resigned himself to returning home since he can't even hear the few customers who might be interested in his invention. A stroke of good fortune comes his way, or maybe it's Providence, when Cullen discovers that the young lady he met on the very first day of the fair, Miss Della Wentworth, is actually a teacher for the deaf. She agrees to tutor him, and love blossoms at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.

I practically eat, sleep, and breathe the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Have you ever r…

Veronica Roth, what are you doing to the world!!! a.k.a. When reviews ruin the ending!

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I don't know whether to be furious or grateful to this one Amazon reviewer for totally spoiling the ending of Veronica Roth's Allegiant. But because I'm a nice person, I won't go into details about the spoiler that smacked me upside the head.

Have you ever stumbled on a review that completely ruins your desire to read a book? I mean, I haven't even had a chance to read Insurgent yet because of school, and now I don't really want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. I've got it checked out from the library on my Kindle and it expires in a few days, and I'm just going to let it expire. I know myself, and I know that I'll likely never finish this series.

The ending might fit in with the character development . . . or it might not. I'll never know. All I know is that Veronica Roth might have made a monumental mistake. No matter how much a person might dislike The Hunger Games trilogy, at least the ending is satisfying. A lot of readers aren't happy w…