Tag Archives: Fantasy

REVIEW // “The Ghosts of Camals College” by Annette Siketa

20 Jun

I’ve welcomed my friend and fellow author, Erin Elliott, to help me with reviews.

This is her first contribution. Based on her review, I’m interested to know more!

About the Book:

Professor Lution, the Chancellor of Camals, (The College of Customs and Myths and Legends), has a problem. Although there have been Darlings at Camals for generations, there is considerable opposition to the latest candidate, Grace. As a compromise, Professor Lution proposes conducting a suitability test, which on the surface, is relatively simple – follow the clues and find a book.

Being ignorant of these facts, Grace is introduced to the world of the supernatural, and finds herself in Beatrigone, which is in effect, a giant film set. However, when the test is hijacked by the evil Viletrix and his hideous spectral army, Camals loses control.

With the assistance of Wendy Wallace – who just ‘happened’ to be there, Pan, Arjunar – a historical archer, Gwiffyn – a mysterious wise woman, and four extremely angry Incan ghosts, amongst many others, Grace wins the battle for Beatrigone, but it is not over yet. Upon returning home, she must decide whether to attend Camals, or have all knowledge of Beatrigone, its strange and quirky inhabitants, and indeed the college itself, wiped from her memory.

“The Ghosts of Camals College”
by Annette Siketa

4 Stars

Grace Darling is your average eleven year old, with two exception: her creative imagination and the fact that she is a Darling. On the verge of her twelfth birthday, Grace finds herself thrown into a world that is unlike anything even the creative Grace, could imagine. In the land of Beatrigone, Grace confronts mammoth talking snakes, friendly giant snails, fairs from times past, and a variety of other characters along the way.

Grace is trying to find a way home for her new friend Wendy and herself, when she finds herself plunged into a war of good versus evil, the winner takes Beatrigone. Using all the creativity that she possesses and all that she has learned from her new friends along the way; Grace finds that the balance of this strange land rests on her shoulders. Will she be able to fix all that is wrong in this strange land full of ghosts and other wonderful creatures, finding her way home in the process? Or will she fail to destroy the land that evil has filled, destroying her chances of finding the way home?

This book was a strange mix of Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter, with a little Greek mythology thrown in for a little more strangeness. The story is constantly unfolding, leaving the reader wondering; what could possibly happen next. It even ends in such a way that will have you looking for the second book in Grace Darling’s new life at Camals.

I would rate this book four out of five stars and recommend to those who like a continuous adventure, with no rest to regain your thoughts.

Buy it on Amazon

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REVIEW // “Waiting For Dusk” by Nancy Pennick

6 Nov

Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in writing!

It’s November which means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short.
For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo, people who dream of being writers set forth to torture themselves for a whole month. This torture hopefully results in 50,000 words that mostly make sense and make up the first draft of a novel. The goal is to write 1667 words every day for 30 days to reach the ultimate 50,000 word goal.

I am participating for the 4th year. I gave it a shot in 2009, 2010 and 2012. (I skipped 2011 since I had a 2 month old baby at the time!) For the first time ever I am right on track and thrilled beyond words. Someday I hope to see my book featured on book review blogs!

If you’d like to follow my progress you can check it out on the sidebar and also right at the NaNo website here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/faerietears

So, because I’m tying up all my time in NaNoWriMo + regular work + my weekend job, I’m going to share with you a review that I have on my Goodreads account from September. I’ll see about getting the review for the sequel written up soon as well.

Without further ado………………….

Review MAY contain minor spoilers – nothing I don’t think you’d guess just from reading the synopsis though!

 

“Waiting For Dusk” by Nancy Pennick

4.5 Stars // “It Was Amazing”
Young Adult / Fantasy

When I first picked up “Waiting For Dusk” and started reading, I was sure I wasn’t going to like it. The first couple of chapters were kind of boring and Katie was just irritating. But oh boy am I glad I stuck with it! After those first couple of chapters, once the story got going, I was SUCKED in!

When Katie complains about being bored because all of her friends have “abandoned” her for summer vacation, her mom gives her a book to read. Katie isn’t too thrilled, she hasn’t read a book that wasn’t required for school in forever.

However, Katie does read the book then falls asleep… and wakes up in 1927!

I’ll start with what I did NOT like about the book:
As I said above, the story didn’t grab me right away. I love a book that hooks me from the first chapter or, even better, the first page!
I also didn’t really care for Katie’s attitude, she acts like a typical teenage brat – which is fine – except that I don’t think an 18 year old mature boy, like her love interest is, would be into that.
I also thought that the characterization of Tyson was strange. I get the importance of his character arch, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere, I feel like Katie should have had a clue about how he felt about her considering they’d been best friends since they were 8. He came on too strong. But hey! Maybe I just didn’t like Tyson! I also wish there had been more interaction between Katie and Drew before they begin professing their love for each other, it is implied that weeks have gone by, but we don’t really SEE much of that interaction. I wanted to read more about their courtship.

What I DID like about the book:
While a lot of the story was predictable, it was still very fun and there were still twists that I did NOT see coming! I loved the supporting cast in 1927. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something in this book that just grabbed me and would not let go. I literally spent almost an entire day laying in bed reading this book, getting up only to feed my child and change her diaper. I read it aloud to her when she craved my attention, because I couldn’t put it down.

If you have read the Time Travelers series by Caroline B. Cooney (Both Sides of Time, Out of Time, For All Time, Prisoner of Time) you will LOVE the Waiting for Dusk series. It’s got a lot of the same elements without repeating the same story that Cooney told. I would happily have both sets of books on my bookshelf.

I’m looking forward to reading Call of the Canyon, the second in this series, because the end of Waiting For Dusk left me craving more. (OK, who am I kidding? I literally finished this book and then went and downloaded the second onto my Kindle!)

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/nancypennick/WaitingForDusk.html

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17279864-waiting-for-dusk

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

REVIEW ~ Into the Deep (#1) by Missy Fleming

22 Oct

“Into the Deep” by Missy Fleming

5 Stars “It Was Amazing”
Young Adult / Fantasy

*** This was an ARC and will be released Wed Oct 23 at the publisher’s website as well as Amazon Kindle. Other vendors to follow.

I am a huge fan of Missy Fleming’s book “Happily Never After” so as soon as I had the opportunity to get my hands on the ARC for her new novel, “Into the Deep”, I jumped at it. I abandoned the other 3 books I was reading and dove right in.

On the outside, Into the Deep is the story of Zoey, a young girl who has just turned 16 and discovered she’s actually the daughter of a mer-king. This story is so much deeper than that though.

This story tells the tale of a young girl learning to accept who she is, flaws and all. When Zoey was six years old she was attacked by a shark and lost her leg. She’s spent 10 years learning to adapt to a prosthetic leg, but has never felt whole. She always felt out of place and awkward, like a spectacle among her peers. Becoming a mermaid allows Zoey to become comfortable with her body, and in finding love with her mermaid form, she also comes to love and appreciate her scarred human form.

This is also a cautionary tale to humanity about the destruction of our plant, especially our oceans. The emotions Zoey experiences as she witnesses first hand the pollution to our oceans is tragic. I could really feel her pain.

But don’t worry, this is not overly in your face PSA’s! I feel Zoey’s emotions, but I don’t feel the author shoving the message down my throat.

I can’t say enough good things about Missy Fleming’s writing. There was a scene near the beginning of the book, where Zoey is at the aquarium and something scary happens, and had I not been laying in bed reading, I would have been on the edge of my seat!

Also, have no fear, there is a touch of romance. The first merman Zoey meets is Nerio and be still my heart, I have a crush! He’s a guard in Zoey’s father’s kingdom and therefor, not an acceptable merman for her.

There’s also Xander, an acceptable match, as his family is second in power to Zoey’s. Their match would be one the kingdom would rejoice over. Xander made me a little uncomfortable at first, he felt like the popular boy at school who’s nice to the shy awkward girl, and she feels like he must be playing a trick on her. Especially compared to Nerio who was so honest and genuine. After reading about Xander a bit, it danwed on me just who he reminded me of – Adrian from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series (but less mentally unstable!) His level of confidence can be overwhelming.

And, amidst the boy drama, Zoey also has a step-mother and half-sister who are cold to her and won’t even acknowledge her presence if they don’t have to. And the oceans? Yeah, they’re rising in both temperature and level, causing disastrous effects to both the humans on land as well as the inhabitants of the sea. The cause is a merwitch named Calandra who is taking over the kingdoms of the ocean one at a time, will Zoey’s kingdom be next? Will her people be able to stop the witch?

The ending? Yeah. You’re going to love/hate it. Pretty much everything Zoey has known her entire life has changed. You think you know where it’s going and then BAM! Ms. Fleming pulls the rug right out from under you. I can only keep my fingers crossed that the next book gets written asap. I need to know what happens next.

The only negative thing I can say about the book is that there was some repetition of Zoey’s thoughts, but not enough for me to dock a star or even half a star.

Five stars.

Buy It Here: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/missyfleming/intothedeep.html (Oct 23, 2013)

Add to Goodreads Here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18689912-into-the-deep

***Note: This book is published by the company I work for, but I stand by my review that this is an awesome book!

** Secondary Note: I designed this cover, though I can’t take credit for the awesome mermaid, I did do the text layout and added the dolphin.