Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Absent Book Review

Absent by Katie Williams is truly an amazing read and one that left me yearning to learn what happened next. My heart ached for Paige, Brooke, and Evan as they had to watch everything continue without them. Of course we know the world moves on without us after we pass on, but no one wants to be stuck watching the world move on without them. No one wants to sit and watch their friends mourn over them, or watch as rumors fly about how they died. No one wants to sit in the same place that they died and think about how they could have done things differently, but for Paige, Brooke, and Evan, they’re doomed to that life.

Or at least that’s what Evan makes them believe when they first die. Paige gets antsy with the situation and does something about it. And I find a lot of myself in Paige, and I enjoy novels where I connect with the main characters. If I was in Paige’s shoes I would have done the same thing. I would have traveled those halls and tried to change everyone’s perspective about my death. I would have tried so hard to change everything, but only to find out the same thing she finds in the end- which I won’t say because I don’t want to spoil the novel. Though there are a few things I would have done differently had I been Paige while she was living- for starters I would have avoided Lucas like he was the plague. But if Paige would have done that the story wouldn’t have transpired the way it did.

I’m curious to know if anything happens next though. I feel a little left hanging. Like there’s more to the story of Paige, Brooke, and Evan. Do they move on into the afterlife? Or is this the afterlife? So there are a few questions that are left unanswered, but unanswered questions are ok because the story was amazing and will definitely lead me to read more of this author’s novels in the future.

Absent-Amazon

Review of Serafina and the Black Cloak

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Amazon

Blurb:

An exciting new mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate and must solve a dark and dangerous mystery. This Disney Hyperion novel became a New York Times Bestseller in the first week of its release, and has been a smash hit ever since.

 

“Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt’s vast and oppulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion’s hidden doors and secret passageways.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.

My Review:

Five Stars

Serafina and the Black Cloaks cover is what enticed me to want to read the novel in the first place, the blurb made me want the novel more so, and eventually led to me getting the book. And I’m glad that I did. It’s one of those novels that you can’t help but continuously read no matter what you may need to be doing. And it’s that way because every turn of the page holds a new adventure for Serafina. And it leaves you guessing until the very last page what is really going on, none of it is predictable.

The novel starts of off with Serafina and her Pa, explaining a little about their life in the Biltmore Estate. They live in the basement of the estate and no one knows they are living beneath them. Which I find a bit odd that you can live somewhere and no one know you’re there, but the Biltmore is a large place, so it’s possible for someone to go unnoticed, especially a girl like Serafina. To simply put it Serafina is more cat-like and she’s excellent at sneaky around undetected. Which does her good when she’s roaming the halls of the estate at night catching mice.

But one night things change and a girl goes missing. Seraphina sees what happens to the girl and freaks out. She tries to convince her Pa, but he refuses to believe her. I ultimately feel he refuses for more reasons than is let on here, and a lot of that gets wrapped up as the story progresses. So, Serapina does what any child would do, she investigates. Though I don’t think most twelve year old children can say they’ve done what she’s done, and if you can then kudos to you because you’re a bravery twelve year old than I was.

Ultimately Serafina and the Black Cloak is a story of friendship and one girl desperately wanting to belong to the world that doesn’t know she exists. She wants to be seen instead of just see, she wants to interact instead of daydream of interacting. And if you’ve been hidden for your whole life wouldn’t you want that too? And rather than hiding, like her Pa, she takes the challenge, regardless of the danger. And she does it because deep down she knows she’s something different and she knows the woods contains what she is, and she knows she’s the only one that can stop the man in the black cloak.

Review of The Paper Magician

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Amazon

Blurb

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.

My Review:

Five Stars

I’ve been wanting to read Paper Magician for a while now and finally got around to reading it and I’m glad that I did, because now I’m hooked. And I can’t wait to read the next installment and see what happens next- though I’m curious if it involves different characters since it is titled The Glass Magician and Ceony and MG Thane are paper magicians.

When I first started reading this book I wasn’t sure what a paper magician was. I initially just thought of a regular magician, but didn’t consider magic being broken into different categories and a person being bound to one object forever, which thinking about now sort of stinks. Can you imagine being bound to something you hate forever, never to be able to change that? That’s what Ceony fears as she journeys to MG Thane’s home. She doesn’t want to be a Paper Magician, but she has no choice in the matter as that’s what she was chosen to bond to.

We follow Ceony and watch her grown into her paper magician skills, and become quite good at the art. But then something horrible happens. And she goes on a dangerous mission to help her instructor. I think most students probably wouldn’t do the same, in her situation, especially college environment. But then again if I knew someone’s life were on the line and I was the only one willing to help them I’d do what I could to save them. So Ceony did just that. She risked her life to get the one thing that could save MG Thane- his heart. I know if I would have went through what she did I would have been a total wreck when I got back to the house, my whole world would have crumbled around me. She went through some crazy things to get MG Thane’s heart back, but she did it because she cared for him.

And I think the thing I love most about this novel is watching Ceony’s mind change about paper folding from one of hate to one of love. In the beginning she felt trapped, but as the story progressed she learned to love the item she’d been bonded with. Like we all learn to love the cards we are dealt in life. Sometimes we are not happy in the beginning, but we all come to be satisfied in the end. Which I think is a lesson we can all learn from Ceony. We may not like the cards that are dealt to us, but they are dealt to us for a reason, so we just need to follow through and one day that reason will be spelled out to us.

Review of Born of Water

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Amazon

Blurb:

In the buried archives of the Temple of Dust may lie the secret to defeating the Curse, a creature which seeks to destroy 16-year old Ria for the forbidden gifts she possesses. But it is from among the ranks of those who control the Curse where Ria will find her best chance of success.

Only the Priestess Niri can save Ria from the forces that hunt her, if Niri doesn’t betray the girl first. Along with Ria comes Ty and his sister, Lavinia, both bound to defend Ria from the Church of Four Orders. However, Ty has been living a life less than honest and keeping it from his sister. To survive a journey that takes them across the breadth of their world, the four must learn to trust each other before pursuit from the Church and Ty’s troubled past find them.

Born of Water is the first book in the Rise of the Fifth Order Saga full of elemental magic and epic fantasy adventure. Welcome to the mythical world of Myrrah, ruled by the Church of Four Orders – Fire, Earth, Water, and Air.

My Review:

Five Stars

Words cannot express how much I loved this novel. It starts off with such a hook that you immediately crave more of it and find it hard to put it down. It leaves you on the edge of your seat craving more as you turn each page. And even has you yelling at certain characters to go ahead and confess their love for each other. The last one is rare for me to do, because normally I’m not the person wanting characters to fall in love. But the love between four characters in Born of Water was so powerful that I could feel it and I was mentally yelling at them- and trust me I was delighted when they confessed their affections.
Each character is extremely relatable and you can’t help but love them right from the start. Ty who risks it all for a girl he thinks he loves. Ria who is on the brink of death because of who she is. Niri who risks her life to save a girl she doesn’t even know. Lavinia who puts it all on the table to protect her friend. These are the people you want to have by your side if the apocalypse happens because they hold true to each other. They are true friends and work so well together. Then other’s come into the mix adding to their team and it’s amazing to see the team work build, and their skills grow.
Now the part I didn’t see coming was what Ria actually is. From the start it is said that she has the power of magic and isn’t an elemental. Having the power of magic is forbidden in the world that Born of Water is set in. So a curse comes after Ria, wanting to kill her. But in the end it comes out that Ria isn’t what Niri thought she was. And Niri isn’t exactly what she thought she was either. Or at least she can do more things than she thought she could do, which is really cool to think of. And isn’t something I saw coming at all. I kind of felt it with Ria, but not with everyone else, and that’s amazing. I love when a book throws something at me that I didn’t expect and keeps me on my toes. It makes reading interesting.
I really enjoyed this book so much that I went and got the next one right after I finished the first, and can’t wait to read it. I look forward to many great reads from Autumn Birt, because she’s a brilliant writer.

 

Review of Ruby Celeste and the Ghost Armada

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Amazon

Blurb:

Prepare to enter a dangerous place—the world of sky pirates!

After arriving at The Pharmacologist’s Eden, a grand floating port run by the cut-throat Rhod Stein, Ruby Celeste discovers the deckhand she arranged to purchase has been sold out from under her and replaced with a man kidnapped from the world’s surface. So after dispatching his guarding henchmen, she snatches him and then flees—but not before blowing a gaping hole in the SkyPort.

But unbeknownst to Ruby, Stein survives the blast. And along with the assassins now hot on her tail, she has other problems to contend with: the frail man she kidnapped and his newfound place on her ship, a pervasive series of dangerous electrical malfunctions—and what about the diary she finds on a derelict ship? Are its pages filled with the deranged words of a madman—or does it really hold the key to finding the mysterious Ghost Armada?

My Review:

Five Stars

Ruby Celeste and the Ghost Armada was a wonderful tale of Ruby and her crew flying through the air in their airship. You follow the crew as the travel to get a new deckhand but end up getting cheated by the man who was selling the deckhand. This ticks off Ruby and ends up causing chaos and leads to a chase. In the process Ruby takes the deckhand, who she finds out was kidnapped from his home on the surface, and he wants to go home.

Along the journey Ruby and her crew are attacked on three occasions.Each attack leaves her ship is worse condition than what it started in, and it doesn’t seem like the ship started in great condition to start with. But the crew stands together and keeps fighting whatever is dished their way by the man pursuing them, however Ruby assumes that the man she brought back on to her ship is the cause of these attacks. Later she comes to realize that he isn’t, but only after a crew members has jumped off the ship and the ship is left in shambles after an attack.

In the end it all works out for Ruby and her crew, and it’s awesome to see how the story starts out one way and ends a totally different one. I didn’t expect many of the things that occurred to occur, and it kept me on my toes and I absolutely loved that. I can’t wait to read what happens next to Ruby and her crew, because I’ve come to love them

Review of Fire and Frost

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Amazon

Blurb:

Crystal Frost has spent her whole life believing she’s ordinary, and her mother has long held the secret of her heritage. When Crystal begins seeing the ghost of a dead classmate, her life spirals out of control. She’s faced with the threat that everyone will find out she’s a freak, as if the struggle to figure out her new-found abilities wasn’t enough pressure. Crystal has to find some way to save the people who have come to her for help all while trying to keep her abilities a secret. Will she be able to fulfill these overwhelming demands while solving the mystery that is the ghost of Olivia Owen?

My Review:

Five Stars

Fire and Frost by Alicia Rades was an amazing read that left you on the edge of your seat. I found it very hard to put this book down, and actually read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. And I think because the characters are so well crafted that that makes it so much easier for the reader to fall in love with the read quicker.
Crystal is your average teenager, or so she thinks and then her life takes a turn she didn’t expect when she starts seeing the ghost of a girl that passed away a year ago. Eventually she learns that she has abilities she didn’t know she had and that her mom does too. And she goes on this journey to learn more about who she is and strengthen her abilities with the help of her best friend and mom. But she also has to help the ghost of her classmate, and her classmate that is blackmailing her because she knows her secret.
We follow Crystal as she pieces the puzzle together and figures it all out. And in the end she helps everyone that needed her help. And she learns something about herself along the way, which is always really cool when that happens to characters in a novel.
I became quite fond of Crystal and enjoyed seeing her grow as a character and into her abilities. I knew she had it in her from the start, and am glad to see the story end as successfully as it did with her resolving the issue. However, it left me on a cliffhanger and now I’m dying to read the next one because I really want to know what happens to the little girl.

Review of Love Tink

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Amazon

Blurb:

Enchanted meets Peter Pan in LOVE, TINK

This is a novella– the first of six episodes.

Tink is hopelessly smitten with Peter, the leader of the Lost Boys who’d mysteriously arrived at Neverland two years ago. Unfortunately, Peter is tired of the adventure and especially tired of dodging Captain Hook who is after his head. He just wants to go back to New York City and live his life as a normal fifteen year old

Tink is the only one who can help Peter return, but it breaks her heart to do it. She just wants to make him happy, so she does the unthinkable and betrays the fairy king. Now her heart is filled with remorse. Should she go after Peter? Should she follow him to his New York?

My Review:

Five Stars

Love Tink was a wonderful retelling of Peter Pan that really made you think. It is always hinted that in Peter Pan that Tink has feelings for Peter, but Tink never acts upon those feelings. However, in this retelling, Tink tries to react upon her feelings. She tries to tell Peter that she loves him, but ends up finding out that he is unhappy in Neverland. Though Tink doesn’t understand why Peter is unhappy in Neverland and doesn’t want to help him leave she eventually succumbs to doing the right thing. Which is what love really boils down to in the end, sacrificing things for the person that you love.
As in the original telling of Peter Pan, Hook is the bad guy. And he’s out for Peter Pan as always. But he doesn’t appear to be as menacing as in the original telling of Peter Pan, which I suspect might change as the story progresses.
Elle Strauss creates such a magical picture of Neverland that makes you wish the green lights would whisk you into Neverland so you could frolic with Tink and the other Neverland fairies. And I can’t wait to read the next episode to see what happens, because I’m rather curious what Tink’s mischief gets her into.