Friday, July 31, 2015

Crystal Kingdom

"Crystal Kingdomis the final installment of a "Kanin Chronicles" by Amanda Hocking.  Prior to reading this novel, I did not know it was part of a series and this is the final book.  However, I at times enjoy reading books from a series but not specifically in order. This way, I can tell if I enjoyed a book by itself, and if it's good enough for me to try the rest of the series.  Well, with "Crystal Kingdom", you'll need to read the prior books in the series to figure out what's going on - because it seems like it starts right where the second book of the series, "Ice Kissed" ended.  With that said, proceed if you would like.

As to the story, maybe it has to do with not reading the first two books, but throughout, I find it confusing and hard to follow the plot.  As to characters, Bryn is your typical heroine, but she seems to be near perfect with both physical and mental toughness.  It's a different kind of toughness compared to Katniss from "The Hunger Games" trilogy.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In awe with Days of Awe

Yes. I am in awe with "Days of Awe" by Lauren Fox.  Isabel Moore, in her early 40s is in a state of reverential wonder (not in a good way) as we open with the funeral of her best friend, Josie, who died in a single car accident.  As she grapple with her grief of such a lost, her marriage has fallen apart, and trying to understand a moody daughter heading towards her teen years.  Can we relate? Do we relate? Ms. Fox gave us an honest portrayal of what goes through a woman's mind as her world, as she know it is falling apart.

"Days of Awe" is smart, funny, satirical in some aspects, sad, pathetic at times and Isabel's self-deprecating narration just makes you want to give her your two-cents.  As you read this, you won't be able to be nonchalant about it. You'll feel a need to jump in there and enjoy the past, the present and hopefully towards a promising future with her.  In all, enjoy the humor as you follow a woman's mind through her "not-yet" midlife crisis, but an adventure for a new start to learn about who she really is.

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher, Knoft Doubleday Publishers through Net Galley for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Four Among the Fair Magnolias

Magnolia trees are very common in the southern states of the United States, and with a title as "Among the Fair Magnolias", one would easily tie the setting to somewhere in the south.  "Among the Fair Magnolias" is a collection of four separate historical novellas, all set in the south within a decade before or after the war between the states, better known as the Civil War.  Each novella are written by a best-selling Christian novelist, (Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser) with themes of freedom from love, from honor, from the past or freedom of self. 

Each story is a beautiful journey we share with a Southern woman, as we read through their story. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Great Expectations with its Manga counterpart

Charles Dickens' classic "Great Expectations", has always been a favorite amongst readers with its own following.  Combine it with a cult following of Japanese anime, known as manga, you have a winner for both sets of readers. This manga classics version of "Great Expectations" is created by Nokman Poon (artist), Crystal Chan (story adaptation) and Stacy King (English dialogue adaptation), and published by Udon Entertainment.

To be honest, I never was a great fan of Dickens' "Great Expectations", because of the uncertain ending or rather the dual ending.  As a classic, I think we should really keep it with a final ending, and not for the readers to choose an ending to their liking.  So for me to pick this up, it really was because of the beautiful manga illustrations.  I've been a manga fan growing up, and I guess I still am.  Seeing how beautiful Estelle and how handsome Pip was drawn, just drew me in.  I'm glad I did. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Conjure some time with "The Conjurors"

An orphan being bullied, sent from one foster home to another, and suffers from an incurable disease. A teenage boy being haunted by his dreams.  As their world seem to slip away from them, they are tied to another unimaginable reality.  They are Conjurors - people with magic in them that are bound on Earth, and will die if they can't release their magic.  So they are brought to their rightful world, the Globe. And between the Earth and the Globe, they fight for their happiness, their love and the right to live.  This is simple description of "The Conjurors" series by Kristen Pham.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Find your Piano Man

"The Piano Man Project" by Kat French is a funny and light-hearted urban read for one of those days that you just want to kick back and enjoy a good laugh.

Ms. French gave us a Bridget Jones-like story with a quirky character that's smart, caring and full of love for others and an anti-social mess of a broodingly handsome man.  How two very opposite types learn to be neighborly and keep the electrical chemistry at bay brings about the humor of the story.  We're not only talking about the plot, but the names are a hoot. Honeysuckle? Who names their child that?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Continue on with "The 12 Brides of Summer", Collection #2

As mentioned in the previous post about "The 12 Brides of Summer: Novella Collection #1", these 4 book collections are digitally printed by Shiloh Run Studios, a digital press division of Barbour Publishing, and was off to a great start as Book #1. Now, with Book #2, I was indeed looking forward to the short stories by Mary Connealy, Amanda Cabot and Maureen Lang. Boy, was I in for a treat.

A Bride Rides Herd by Mary Connealy was a great start. Similar to her other novels, Ms. Connealy gave us a little bit of action, a little bit of fun, a little bit of "uh-oohh", and a little bit of romance. It was a nice, simple read, which I kind of wish it was a full novel since I felt many areas, it was just glided over with a time reference. I was reminded by Ms. Connealy's new book, "Now & Forever" with the opening scene.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Off to a decent start with "The 12 Brides of Summer"

Shiloh Run Studios, a digital press division of Barbour Publishing recently started publishing a series of historical novella collections titled "The 12 Brides of Summer".  Each collection will consist of 3 short stories, with a total of 12, hence "The 12 Brides of Summer".  I've just finished collection #1, which includes the following stories:
  1. The Blue Moon Bride by Susan Page Davis
  2. The Sunbonnet Bride by Michelle Ule
  3. The Wildflower Bride by Amy Lillard