Posted in Book Reviews

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton Book Review

While preparing for her wedding, Elodie stumbles upon something at work that reminds her of stories that she heard in childhood. Doing some digging, she discovers that the stories her mother used to tell her before she passed away may have been built around a mystery that happened over a hundred years before her time. A mystery involving a thief and an artist and a robbery gone wrong.

I really enjoyed this book. This is the second Kate Morton book that I have read. Both of them were very beautifully written. They are both very sad books. I’m not going to lie. It’s like she goes out of her way to make a happy ending book that’s laced with sorrow. It’s not really a bad thing. It definitely makes you think. It also gives a big air of realism.

There are many characters in the book. Including the ghost of a model who passed away in Birchwood Manor. I loved her parts in the book the best. I loved how observant she was of everybody who came into the manor over the years after she passed away. She even kept up with technology by observing people. It was impressive. Elodie was a very nice person, but it felt like she was going through the motion in most of the book. I can relate to that, but it’s still sad.

Joanne Froggatt was the narrator of this book. I’m recalling the name from memory. I hope I didn’t spell it wrong. She did a pretty impressive job. I only had one issue, but it was more personal preference than it was an actual problem with the book. I feel like she could have changed her tone influx for the time era changes. Again, this is just a personal preference.

I knew I’d enjoy this book from the moment I got it. The cover is gorgeous. The description pulled me in. After reading The Forgotten Garden, I had a feeling it would be a beautifully tragic story. I was not wrong at all. It’s definitely worth the read. I’m glad I took the chance reading it.

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

The Best Is Yet To Come by John F. Allen Book Review

This book is a collection of short stories. Therefore, I feel like it would be best if I give my thoughts on each story individually. I will then give my final thoughts on the book overall. This review will be a tad longer than my normal reviews. My normal reviews focus on stating what the story is about, my thoughts on it and the characters, my thoughts on the narration when possible, and my overall thoughts of all.

The Chocolate Malt: This one was very tragic and sad. Even though I’m saying this, I still wish some details would have been clarified and explained a little better. Other than that, I really did enjoy the story. It covers some real issues.

The Sweetest Autumn: Couldn’t relate to the main character at all. She was full of herself. If she didn’t understand it, then it was horrible. She was full of prejudices about almost everything. The message behind the story was pretty amazing.

Lazarus: This was a pretty interesting story. If it ever turns into a series of novels, I’d definitely read it. I kind of wanted more to the story than was given quite frankly. It definitely could have been a lot longer.

The African Princess: This one was a very tragic story. I believe it could cause a bit of triggering due to some sensitive issues that get brought up in this book. It is definitely not a story to read aloud to your children. Then again, I don’t think any of the stories in here really are.

Forest Of Shadows: This story disturbed me a bit. It also contains a few adult scenes in it. This is also another story that I felt could have been drawn out to add a bit more context to it. Maybe that’s just my opinion.

Hoodratz: This story definitely needs a trigger warning. There are also a few things that I didn’t really care for in the book that I don’t want to discuss publicly. It is a nice little PSA of the dangers we can get ourselves into, but I’ll leave it at that.

The Ivory Christmas: I really enjoyed this story. It was like a fairy tale does adult crime show. It was a refreshing little mix. There was a part that talked about an old tale but gave it a new spin that I thought was nice. The original is super cringy.

The Legend Of MatcheMonedo: This story was completely creepy. I feel like it would be the perfect kind of campfire spooky story. It wouldn’t be appropriate for young children, but for older teens and young adults, it would be great. It kind of reads like a mini horror movie honestly.

The Adventures Of Star Blazer: This was a pretty impressive read. I think this is one of my favorite of the stories, to be honest. In my honest opinion, I believe this would be better suited for a novel or novella at the very least. There’s a lot more of the story that I would have liked to read. I’d of loved to have been able to connect with the characters more and get to know them.

Witch Way Is Up?: This was my favorite one. It had some Buffy vibes. It also had some True Blood Vibes. I also felt a little Night Myst vibes. I’m not sure if anybody is familiar with that book. I absolutely loved it. I need to go back and read the book again and the rest of the series honestly. I need more! That’s all I can say.

I really enjoyed all these stories. I don’t think that any of them are completed by any means. I feel like I was basically reading pitches about novels or movies. I feel like a lot could have been added to all of the stories. I also feel like most of the stories could use a bit of a rewrite. They all have amazing potential. I can’t wait to see what else this author comes up with!

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Tom's Inheritance by T.J. Green Book Review

Tom’s grandfather suddenly goes missing. The only thing that he says is that he’s going on a trip. Nobody thinks anything of it until he doesn’t return. When Tom starts to worry, a mysterious package shows up from his grandfather stating that he won’t be returning. Tom is left with more questions than he had before. He now thinks that his grandfather may be in danger.

While I wished for a bit more with this book, I really enjoyed it. It was very clever and unique. I love how each of the elements are portrayed as worlds in this book. It’s brilliant in my eyes! The only issue I had with the book was that it was too short for me. I say that about a lot of books. I love long stories. They are my preference. I do adore short stories as well.

I really loved the wit and wisdom of all the characters in the book. I love that a few of the characters in the book are one of my favorite paranormal creatures. Fairies! I can’t get enough of them. I was convinced I was a fairy as a child. I’ll leave it at that. The main character was pretty awesome except for a small part of the book where I wanted to smack him. I’m sure we have that issue with a lot of characters we read about.

This book was narrated by Nick Howden-Steenstra. I really enjoyed hearing the accent. I’m not sure if it’s his own accent or one that he uses for narrating. I do know that it’s very soothing. It made an already enjoyable story that much more enjoyable. I have not listened to anything else by this narrator, but I would definitely be willing to!

While this book was too short for my taste, I really did enjoy it. I am looking forward to picking up the rest of the series and seeing what happens from there. It’s unique and intriguing. I should mention that it is a King Author retelling. So to speak. It’s still very impressive. I loved the way they spun it.

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Anybody Want To Play War? by Tommy B. Smith Book Review

Bryce’s world changes when he’s attacked by a dog that had just got done killing another man. He barely made it out of the ordeal alive. From then, he struggles with facing other people. Including his parents. Not knowing what else to do, he runs away and tries to start a life on his own.

This book needs a LOT of work. The important issue with the book is that some of the descriptions are a bit choppy at best. It’s not too horrible, but it is noticeable. Another thing I noticed was the time gaps that aren’t really fully explained. It also goes back into the past with no warning at all. I had to reread several passages to figure out where I was.

I just couldn’t when any of the characters in this book at all. I empathized with them all for their situations, but their attitudes were not great at all. Starting with the main character. I assumed he was fourteen for the most part of the book. I found out he was actually sixteen. He has such a horrible attitude and no sense of what he’s done wrong. If that isn’t bad enough, nobody actually listens to him which just fuels the fire and provokes him into making more bad decisions than he already made! It’s frustrating! I get that everybody has issues, but this seems to magnify it all.

I have put this book down a lot. That makes me feel bad. I know the author of this book put a lot of work into writing this. I want to say that I feel like it has a lot of great potential. It definitely could use a polish. I also feel like it could be renamed. The name doesn’t exactly make sense with the book itself. I assumed it was about a veteran or an active soldier. This is just my opinion. I encourage everybody who wants to give it a try to go for it.

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Becoming Human by Samantha Bell Book Review

Mary is a reaper. For fifty years, she performs her duties without complaint. She hates what she does, and she hates humans. She hits her breaking point when she’s expected to start mentoring new reapers. She blows up and terrifies her first charge. As a punishment, she’s made into a human to learn the true extent of human nature. She will remain a human until she’s learned the lesson she’s meant to learn.

I really wanted to love this book. I mean the concept of the plot is absolutely amazing. I loved it. There were just many things I didn’t really care for. One of the biggest issues I had was the fluid way time went by that wasn’t really clarified in some spots. So I got a little lost now and then. I will admit that most of my dislike is because I’m an adult. Some of it was just too juvenile for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand teenage things. I was a teenager once. It’s hard to explain. I will restate that I loved the concept behind this plot.

My BIGGEST issue is that I really could not stand Mary at all. I will admit that I warmed up to her a little towards the end. It was literally at the very end. There were things that she did through the ENTIRE book that just made me want to yell. It was so frustrating! Then there was the fact that she went from not understanding one second to completely knowing about it in all context another. With no show of her learning or figuring it out. It was very frustrating. That and the fact that she had snide judgmental comments through the entire book!

This book was narrated by Taylor Barton. I really enjoyed her narration. She did an amazing job. I especially love her depiction of each and every character. She took the time to give every one of them a voice behind their personality. I know this is a given with narration, but it’s not always done properly. I love when narrators nail it as fully as she did.

I was not in love with this book. It was mainly because of my complete dislike of the main character. I will admit that most of the reason I didn’t care for this book was personal. I fully encourage anybody who is interested to give it a shot anyway. While I may not have fully enjoyed it, somebody else may fall in love with it. I fully respect their opinion.

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Ice On Fire by Amy Cecil Book Review

$0.99

Ice has been given an ultimatum. Kill himself or watch everybody he loves die. He agrees to the plan not giving away he has the upper hand. After taking the person down, he goes into hiding until he can make sure that his loved ones aren’t going to be in further danger than they already have been.

I was on edge waiting for this one. The last book ended on an intense cliff hanger. And it just so happens that this one ends on a cliffhanger too. I’m already into the story! I don’t need more of a reason to be into it! It’s infuriating! I believe this is the third book that I’ve read by this author. She’s incredibly talented. I can honestly say that she will be placed on my instant buy list.

It’s amazing how much I admire all the characters in this book. I can’t really say I relate to any of them. I do adore them, though. I do wish there was more interaction and dialogue in this series. I also wish that certain scenes and scenarios would be played out a bit more. I wouldn’t complain if these books were super long!

I’m a bit disappointed with the narration in this book. Both Mark and Maya Bravo narrated the first book as well. I didn’t have any problem with that one. I didn’t really have a BIG problem with this one. There were just a few sections where they didn’t really sound like they were putting their all into the story. I really think I’m just being picky here, but it did take away from the story a bit for me.

I loved the first book in this series which made me crave getting my hands on this book. It also made me completely devour the book in one sitting. I was excited for it. It shouldn’t have really come as a shock to me that it ended the way it did! I need more! I crave more! This is probably not healthy.

ICE $0.99

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

A Thread Of Grace by Mary Doria Russell Book Review

Claudette and her father find themselves in the middle of Chaos in Italy. Italy has broken ties with Germany. Between the Nazis invading and looking for Jewish people and people attempting to fight them off, many people are forced into hiding. Every day is faced with danger. People find themselves praying every day for the war to end. This story is based on actual events.

I read this for book club. I will be going to the meeting in a few weeks. I really enjoyed it. It was just really overwhelming for me. Luckily things weren’t graphic, but it’s not hard to realize what’s going on. It’s not hard to remember all that I learned about the war. I also found the book really hard to understand at first. That changed once I switched to audio.

About the characters. There were really so many characters. It was very overwhelming. There was a little boy who I couldn’t wrap my head around. He was glad his sister was dead. He wouldn’t care if his parents died. It just screamed sociopath to me. It chilled me. I’m not even going to lie. Claudette was a very passionate woman. I did like her. The rest of them I just got a bit confused over.

I can’t remember the name of the person who narrated the audiobook. I turned in the book before I even thought about it. I had checked the audiobook out from the library. She was very good. I felt like I was actually in Italy in the 1940s. It was hard to get back into my surroundings when I was finished listening to the audio every time. It was intense!

I really did enjoy this story. It just makes me sad. That entire time frame makes me sad. I couldn’t imagine how people dealt with things back then. The fear they must have gone through every day. It’s just a lot to process. It’s very great that people write about history. I hold on to the belief that if we keep the memories alive that we won’t make the same mistakes again. Only time will tell.

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Facing The Fire by Carol Beth Anderson Book Review

The Grays have taken over. Despite all the efforts from the Golds, they managed to overtake the government and change the system entirely. The Golds are now in danger. They are wanted for many different supposed crimes to the new King and Queen. They must stay hidden and find a successful way to shut they Grays down once and for all.

I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I think it might even be my favorite book of the entire trilogy. It held my attention for the entire book. If I could have gotten away with finishing the book in one sitting, I would have. In a heartbeat. There were some things I feel could have been detailed a little bit differently, but it wasn’t really anything major. I’m probably being just nit-picky.

I went back and forth on my thoughts on Tavi. She has great potential. She also has a great deal of responsibility on her plate. She’s the ONLY person that’s ALL blessed! That’s a lot to process. There’s nobody who can fully understand exactly what she’s going through. It’s just that she doesn’t really process things properly. She also doesn’t communicate with others well. She expects everybody to include her, but she wants to do things alone. Yes, the intentions are honorable, but still. I don’t want to butcher the names, but I loved the rest of the Golds too. Especially Tavi’s love interest. He’s so sarcastic. I’m a sucker for sarcastic characters.

The author narrated this book and the first two books. I stated in previous reviews that she’s an incredible narrator. I stand by that. If she narrates any of her other books or for other authors, I will gladly pick up a copy of the audiobook and listen to it. She has great vocals. It’s amazing how much of a pull she has. She definitely pulled me right into the story.

While I feel like this trilogy could have used a lot more flair and dramatics, I really enjoyed it. I may not consider this one of my favorite trilogies of all time. This book was the best of the three. It definitely hit a lot of the expectations that I had for this book. I was also impressed that I was never able to predict anything in this entire trilogy. I love that I was completely floored with every turn!

Facing The Sun
Facing The Grays
The Complete Sun-Blessed Trilogy

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Facing The Gray by Carol Beth Anderson Book Review

Tavi is devastated when the Grays kill somebody important to her. In her grief, she turns away from everyone and determines to take the Grays down by herself. She’s determined to take them down no matter what the cost. Even if that means she becomes a Gray herself.

This trilogy has maintained the same pace. I do enjoy it a lot. I just feel that it’s not meeting its full potential. It’s a lovely story full of lovely characters. I also love that everything is explained very discreetly. Especially the time gaps. It’s pretty great. It definitely helps keep confusion at bay. It’s one of the things that really bothers me. I hate when there’s a time gap but it’s not really clear.

I really can’t say I loved Tavi in this book. I wanted to smack her in more than one instance. I did understand why she was being the way she was being though. It’s natural to grieve. We all grieve in our own ways. I also didn’t like the fact that none of her friends seemed to even try to understand. I can understand that too. They didn’t really fully get the extent of her struggles.

The author also narrated this book. She did fantastically. I’m still somewhat convinced that she narrated this series I listened to. It’s not realistic. There’s a different name listed. It just sounds like her so much. If she ever decides to narrate as well as write, I’d definitely buy books she narrates. She has a talent for it. When I say that, I mean narrate other people’s books.

I really did like this book very much. I fully recommend the person reads Facing The Sun first. It helps make sense of this book a lot more. I am both excited for the third and final book of the trilogy and nervous. I’m excited because I can’t wait to see where the story goes. I’m nervous because, after this, there’s no more! It’s insane. I’ll be willing to risk it anyway.

Facing The Sun

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Facing The Sun by Carol Beth Anderson Book Review

Tavi is born facing the sun. This is a very big thing in her world. Those born facing the sun are given a gift. There are some who even have two gifts. Tavi is special. She’s born full blessed. This is a rarity that has never happened before. In other parts of the world, something else that has never happened before happens. Somebody has learned another way to obtain gifts. Another way to live life. One without restrictions.

I really enjoyed this story. I LOVED the idea behind the story. I just feel that it didn’t fully live up to its potential. I’m not saying I hated the story or that it wasn’t worth reading. I just feel like I expected a lot more. I really don’t know how to fully explain it. Maybe I can put my finger on the exact reason why I feel this way with the rest of the trilogy. It is a very beautiful and wholesome story though. I will say that.

Tavi has got to be one of the most well-rounded children I have ever read about. I mean she has her moments where she’s jealous or she’s childish. She recognizes she’s doing it though. She also recognizes it’s wrong. I’m horrible with names, so I can’t really say all the other characters. There were some adorable ones though. I loved Tavi’s older sister and her cousin. They were such great supportive characters. Then the “meadow boy” I loved his wit. Give me a character with wit or snark and you will have me fall in love with a book.

I listened to this book and read along when I could. The book was narrated by the author herself. I really liked her voice. She has a talent for narration. I’ve considered getting into narration myself. I’ve also considered writing books. It’s nice to know that the option of narrating my own books is an option. I had to double-check that this was her first narration. Her narrating reminded me of another narrator I listened to in the past.

While I feel like this book didn’t quite meet it’s potential, I really enjoyed the story very much. I look forward to seeing where the rest of the trilogy takes us. I see many great things in store for the lovely Tavi. I am also unsure of what will happen with the greys. It’s hard to give a solid opinion on them. I’d like to see how that unfolds.

My Rating:

Thank you for reading!

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