Reader's Favorite

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Absolution: The Ted Roth Story by Edmund Hulton

Absolution: The Ted Roth StoryAbsolution: The Ted Roth Story 
by Edmund Hulton


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 


Have you ever wondered what made someone a killer? Why they did what they did and how they decided that killing was the best or only way to deal with the problem? Absolution: The Ted Roth Story is the story of one man's life, told by him from his youngest days up through the end. Teddy explains what happened to him that drove him to kill his best friend at the tender age of 10, and blame it on another boy. It takes you through each and every killing that Teddy commits and gives you an insight into what he was thinking and feeling when it happened, and his reasoning for it. Author Edmund Hulton gives a wonderful first person, biographical kind of fiction story that opens a world of a killers mind up to the read, and you find that it is eerily similar to your own.

Although Absolution: The Ted Roth Story is a work of fiction, you can almost feel the realness of the story. The reader is easily able to identify with Teddy and the others in the book, so much so that at times you might think he's a monster and other times, you want to defend what he did as an act of justice. Author Edmund Hulton has taken on the human fantasy with the mind of a killer and yet given him a real life, a purpose and a motive to live and told his story in such a way that you start to question who is the good guy and who is really the bad guy in the story. Definitely a read for mature readers only because of some of the events that occur that lead up to some of the killings, they are not described in graphic detail, but the topic is hard to deal with for some readers. That in and of itself makes the reader question the justice of what Teddy does in certain cases.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

At Water's Edge(The Water Rushes, #1) by S. McPherson

At Water's Edge (The Water Rushes, #1)At Water's Edge  
by S. McPherson


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 


Dezaray used to be an outgoing social butterfly, before her parents died in a plane crash, now she keeps to herself and shoulders the burdens of more than she deserves, but she dreams of something else, something more. In another dimension, Lexovia is the last of her race, the hope of her world and protected at all costs. All she wants is to be a teenager and have some fun. At Water's Edge (The Water Rushes Book 1) is an epic story of two worlds or dimensions that at one time used to live together in harmony with a portal between, in each dimension was a twin or counterpart, and Lexovia and Dezaray are one of those sets. Now the worlds are kept apart by the evil Vildacrux, and Lexi is their only hope of defeating them. So when Lexi and Dezi accidental trade places things get a little crazy to say the least. Author S. McPherson weaves teenage angst, romance, social issues, rebellion and honor into an epic fanatsy that will keep you spellbound until the last page.

At Water's Edge is titled to be the first book in a series, and I for one truly hope that is the case! I know that I could not put this book down. I laughed and cried, and I kept reading until the end and still wanted more. I wanted to know what happened next. Author S. McPherson pulls you into the story in such a way that you feel for the characters, you root for Dezi, you want her to break free of her past, you want Lexi to triumph. You feel a part of the story, which is what makes it all that much better of a read. Although it is marketed as young adult, because the characters are seventeen, this is a great read for any age.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay by A. Algeri

The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay (The Mermaid, #1)The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay 
by A. Algeri


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for Readers Favorite


Journey back to a historical time, Pirate lore, regency romance, rules of court and proper society. Brinn Fairchild hates it all, she doesn't want to be presented at court, attend balls, and act like she doesn't have a brain. Of course her mother doesn't agree, but then again her mother has been hiding some secrets of her own. The Mermaid and the treasure of the Bay is the story of the summer that the Fairchild family comes back to their small oceanside village of Nyar Kaad. For her mother and sister, this is just a sort visit, but for Brinn, this is her last chance to find a way to stay. To convince her mother that she doesn't belong in Adaria. Maybe the legend of the pirate captain John Tharaid, who is credited with founding the area, and said to have buried a huge treasure in the bay, is just what she needs. Author A. Algeri blends historical and fantasy together into a story full of secrets, mystery and discovery.

The Mermaid and the Treasure of the Bay is a complex story of a historical time period, yet set in a total fantasy setting, with secrets and mystery, proper society and rebellion. It is so well written and engaging, you just keep reading until you finish. Author A. Algeri does a wonderful job balancing the different dynamics of the various genres. Also another layer in this story is the interaction between Brinn and her mother, Brinn wants to embrace life and intelligence, living for herself and her mother is all about reputation and society, following the proper lines and living above reproach, distancing herself from history. Its an amazingly complex story in so many different ways.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Ancient Guardians: The Reckoning (Book 4) by S.L. Morgan

The Reckoning (Ancient Guardians #4)Ancient Guardians: The Reckoning (Book 4)
by S.L. Morgan


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 


Take a science fiction book, where the world is technologically advanced in medicine and knowledge, knowing of other dimensions and realms and travel between them. Then add in the romance and pageantry of the Victorian and Regency Era's, mix them together with intrigue, mystery, and action and you have the land of Pendiams and the Ancient Guardians series. Ancient Guardians: The Reckoning in the fourth book in this series by author S. L. Morgan. The wonderful thing is that, you really could pick up this book and read it, enjoy it and never have read the other books in the series.

Ancient Guardians: The Reckoning starts at the end of a rescue mission with Levi awakening having lost all memory of the last nine years of his life. Believe it or not, Levi did a great deal of growing during those years and is a completely different person, almost. There is the task of trying to get Levi's memory back, still guarding the Key, and Earth to save, and Earth is still unaware that aliens exist - although the world leaders do, they have decided they don't believe the threat is enough to inform the people. Author S. L. Morgan weaves an amazing story that brings fantasy, science fiction, intrigue, mystery, espionage and so much more. What is funny, I started reading this book and I was enjoying it and every once in awhile I was thinking, humm this sounds like something else I have read, then halfway through the book I finally realized that I had actually read the first book in the series, but only that book, nothing since, yet I still had no trouble following the story and understanding what was going on.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book Three) by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3)The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, Book Three) 
by Libba Bray


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Sweet Far Thing is the final book of the Gemma Doyle trilogy. This is our last visit to the Spence Academy for Young Ladies and to the Realms, but there is still quite and lot that needs to be accomplished before the end of this book, which is why it is a pretty big book!

Mrs. Nightwing has finally raised the funds to restore the damaged East Wing and so construction on the East Wing has begun and it is suppose to be done in time for a large gala ball for the end of term in May. Of course this has all the ladies atwitter wanting to watch the workers instead of doing their studies. The scariest thing for the girls has been that Gemma has not been able to open the door to the realms since they imprisoned Circee in the Temple Well.

Gemma had thought you was done when she destroyed the runes, but no she needed to find the temple and then she imprisoned Circee in the Temple Well, but in the process gave herself all the Magic, now she needs to give the magic back but to who and how. Should she give it to the Order, to the Rakshana, or to the different tribes in the realms? Maybe she should make all the tribes of the realm come together and share it equally. As Gemma is trying to figure that out new and more disturbing visions start coming to her, and she is pretty sure they have something to do with her decision but she just isn't sure how.

While dealing with the visions, the girls have to deal with Ann's cousins wanting to come take her to be their governess, and them wanting to help Ann control her own destiny. Then there is the matter of Felicity's inheritance, for her to get it she must be presented to the queen and have her debut ball, but Lady Markham, who has always promised to do that is having second thoughts after talking to the snob Lady Denby, so plan appease Lady Markham is in full effect. That of course has unwanted marriage prospects that no one realized might be coming.

Pippa did not want to be forced to marry a man three times her age and made a drastic decision to stay in the realms, without realizing the costs until too late, yet she still took control of her life. Fee wanted her inheritance and to live on her own, away from her parents where she was safe, and she could keep Polly safe. Ann wanted to make her own way in the world through her own talent and Gemma wanted to decide for herself what to do with her future. These were still radical ideas for 1896, but there time was coming.

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Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, Book Two) by Libba Bray

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2)Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, Book Two) 
by Libba Bray


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Rebel Angels is the second book in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. This book picks up as book one ends, with Gemma destroying the runes in the realms. The first of the book is Katrik, and his being called back to London by the Rakshana. They give him orders to watch Gemma and have her find the Temple in the realms and bind the magic to the Temple.

After having not been in the realms for two months, when the girls finally do go back, they are surprised to find Pippa there. They had assumed that she had crossed over the river when her body died, but she told them that she was told she didn't have to cross over, she could stay in the realms, although Gemma's mother told her that anyone who didn't cross over would become corrupted, Felicity and Ann don't want to believe that, they want to have Pip back with them and be all together again.

Since we have now hit the Christmas holidays, everyone will be heading home, except Ann who will stay at Spence, until Felicity comes up with the "brilliant" idea to pass Ann off as a long lost niece of a distant Russia Duke and cousin to the Czar himself. Gemma isn't sure this will work, but there is not stopping Fee once she has an idea in her head, and well, maybe that can be a good thing at times. Ann will get to see society and how it really works and may it will shatter her fantasies of it all.

At Gemma's house, nothing is going the way it should be. Grandmama is dour. Tom feels neglected and like he has to do everything and yet nothing he does is good enough for his father, and their father is broken and addicted to laudanum or opium. And for Gemma, the visions are getting worse and nothing is making sense, she can't find the temple and she doesn't understand what they mean.

Then on top of all that we have your regular Victorian Society Snobbery storyline. Who is invited to what balls and who isn't, who sits with who at the opera and who is invited into what Gentleman's club. Also tucked into the story in the off paragraphs in a little blurb here and there about the workers movement, this is very late in the year 1895, and so when the ladies are about town you will hear talk of the workers movement, the factory fire, taking up money for the families. So many layers of story.

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An Empty Swing by N.J. Hanson

An Empty SwingAn Empty Swing 
by N.J. Hanson


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed For +Readers' Favorite 


Luis is the target of the school bully Butch, and Serena is the gothic chic everyone avoids. When Luis spends some time in the old playground to avoid Butch he encounters Alice, a ghost, which completely freaks him out. He runs into Serena in the library in the section he needs to learn about ghosts and she ends up telling him what he needs to know, only to freak out on him. An Empty Swing is this amazing story that gives us teenage characters, coming into their own, the paranormal aspect of the ghosts. Then we have the mystery and crime element of why the ghosts are here and how they died. Author N. J. Hanson does a wonderful job of blending so many different layers of story together into one cohesive story.

An Empty Swing is such a complex story. For most of the ghosts, which happen to be innocent young kids that just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time, their existence as a ghost is no big deal, but to one kid, it turns him into a vengeful spirit. Luis has a backstory and history that plays into Serena's backstory and history, in ways that they never knew. There is some spiritualism, some crime and mystery, some detective work, some coming of age and teenage romance and some happily ever after. Author N. J. Hanson gives us characters to love, ones to hate, and ones we aren't sure about. Although this is marketed as a young adult book, it can easily be read by adults. There is one retelling of one victims account, but exact events are not described only alluded to, so I would advise parents to be available for teens should they want to discuss it after reading.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, Book One) by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, Book One) 
by Libba Bray


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Gemma wants is to get out of India and go to boarding school in England, and she can't understand why her mother refuses to let her go, even her grandmother still lives in England. When strange events on the streets of India one day lead to Gemma seeing visions, her mother's death, her father's unraveling and the family's sudden move back to England she finally gets her wish.

Spence Academy for Young Girls is not what Gemma was expecting, but maybe it is just what she needs. Her roommate is not the type of girl Gemma would have picked as a friend, but maybe there is a reason they are together. When the most beautiful and the most popular girls end up befriending Gemma, first as a joke then as a new club, they all discover secrets of Spence Academy.

Author Libba Bray takes the reader back in time, but gives us girls that fight the status quo of their time. They want more than to be seen and not heard. They are discovering more about themselves and learning right, wrong and the grey areas in between. There is power, strength and so much more in this story that these girls are just scratching the surface of, and the whole way learning so much about life and friendship.

This is a great young adult, teen read. It is even a great parent read. Even better, a teen and parent read and then talk about together! There are discussion questions in the back of the book, so it is already set up for a book club or classroom, or even parent/child discussion. I personally love to read books my kids are reading and then talk with them about those books, question them and challenge them to see more than the surface meanings of the book, find what is hidden in that second and third levels that the author want to get through.

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Exiles of Forlorn by Sean T. Poindexter

Exiles of ForlornExiles of Forlorn 
by Sean T. Poindexter


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 


When you are the thirdson, your role in the family is to die. Really, the first son is the one who inherits your fathers stuff, and then the second son, well now he gets your mothers lands and stuff if she doesn't have any living brothers, and the fourth son, well he is tucked away in the monastery in case something untold would happen. But the thirdson, they send you out to fight a war, a war that has been going forever, and for no reason except that it keeps everyone busy and employed. Lew is a thirdson, but he is sure there has to be more that this to life. Aboard a ship, the Songwillow, bound for exile, he becomes part of a band. The group includes Antioch, his defender, Uller, the magic student, Blackfoot, the street urchin and part time thief, and Reiwyn, the pirates daughter. The most unlikely band you will every see, but they stuck together, and straight to Forlorn, which everyone said was the end of the world. The Exiles of Forlorn is the story mostly of what happens to this little band of characters once they reach the shores of Forlorn, but there are looks back at how each of them got to be on the boat in the first place. Author Sean T. Poindexter does a wonderful job placing those looks back at pivotal points in the story where they make sense.

Exiles of Forlorn is Young Adult in the Lew and his crew of exiles are all in their late teens, still kids really, and so in some ways the story is their coming of age as they find their place in forlorn and what it means to live there. Are they just there for the time or are they going to stay. The technology and instruments that they rely on throughout the story gives you the feeling of the middle ages, but fantasy. Author Sean T. Poindexter makes sure to throw in something completely unexpected just when you are comfortably lured into thinking its the middle ages. This book has war, and with war comes fighting and death, but its not glorified, or anything, so I recommend it for middle school readers that can handle the topic.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Make it Right; Make it Matter by Chiara Talluto

Make it Right; Make it Matter 
by Chiara Talluto


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 


In every life we are dealt things and experiences that in turn shape us and make us into who and what we are. In Amanda's life, she allowed her mother turning into a drunk when her father died to cause anger in her and she refused to ever forgive her mother. When her older brother, who had always taken care of her, died of leukemia, she allowed she grief to take over and encourage her sense of abandonment. Even after finding and marrying a wonderful man and having two beautiful daughters, she still turned to alcohol to cope with the world. A short sober stent only proved that there were deeper issues that she needed to deal with. Make It Right; Make It Matter is the title of the book, taken from the last words that Joshua ever said to his sister Amanda. It took her a lot of searching and travel to discover that she was worthy of life, love and mattering to people. Author Chiara Talluto gives the reader a realistic tale of someone searching for a purpose, for validation that they mean something, they are worth more than just being left or abandoned.

Make It Right, Make It Matter is a well written tale of the past and present, of what was going on that made Amanda turn to alcohol and feel worthless and why she is searching for resolve and to be better. In the past, the reader can see hints of themselves and people they know, they find something to take away from the story that makes them pause and think about their own life. Author Chiara Talluto paints a wonderful picture with her words and challenges the readers as they enjoy the book. I can think of four people to pass it, and I am sure all of them will get something completely different from the book. I recommend mostly adult reading because it is adult themes, but in this day and age there are a number of teenagers that are dealing with these same issues.

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Spirians: The Beginning by Rowena Portch

Spirians: The BeginningSpirians: The Beginning
by Rowena Portch


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for +Readers' Favorite 

Good vs Evil, Light vs Dark, Arch Angels vs Lucifer; this concept has always captured our attention. Open your mind to a world of Spirians, or the Protected Ones, Light and Shadows, or the Fallen Ones. In the Spirian clan is a young warrior Shanuk, who is powerful but still a little too boyish, and easily angered to be a leader. The elders of the clan fear that sooner than they want, they will need Shanuk to be ready to take over the clan. Calla, is part Spirian and part Fae, she is a healer in the clan and she is the love of Shanuk, yet she too will have to endure and learn to be a leader among the people and not just and headstrong young girl. Spirians: The Beginning tells the story of Shanuk's growth, what happens to the elders that leads to his becoming the leader of the clan. It also tells Calla's story, what happens to her and her growth to become his partner in the clan. Author Rowena Portch gives us a well written tale of secrets, betrayals, revenge and making the wrong and right choices in this story that keeps your attention from beginning to end.

Spirians: The Beginning is a well written tale, giving enough history to make everything that occurs in the story make sense, yet not so much as to bore the reader. Every character has a background, some tragedy that lead to them being in this clan, and those tragedies ultimately lead to them making the decisions that the later did, either wrong or right. Author Rowena Portch weaves historical, fantasy, coming of age, spiritual all into a tale that keeps your attention and has you reading from beginning to end. I recommend this book for adults only, there is some references to sex - the mating, bonding and then some other, so I wouldn't let younger kids read it, but that's a parental choice.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifacts, Book One) by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifacts, Book One)
by Cassandra Clare


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Lady Midnight is the beginning of a new series by Cassandra Clare. This one called the Dark Artifices and it takes place about 5 or so years after the end of the Mortal Instruments series, give or take a few years. But you will hear Clary and Jace's name's brought up and it's not that far removed from the end of the Mortal Instruments. Just to give you an idea where we are starting, but we are not in New York, the setting of the Mortal Instruments, nor are we in London, the setting of the Infernal Devices, we are in San Francisco. Completely new city, completely new set of shadowhunters, well sort of.

You know how those same names seem to keep popping up again and again! You will find them again, and some of our favorites will drop in for a visit now and again in this story.

Here we have a disconnect between the faerie world and the Shadowhunter world, they are no longer in communication, yet a series of deaths brings the faerie's to the Institute for help, but is all really as it seems? Young Emma Carstairs and her parabati Julian Blackthorn are tasked with the job of discovering the truth, with the help of only their younger siblings and Mark, Julian's older brother who was kidnapped by the fae and has no idea of the normal world. This is almost an impossible task. But, if they can do it, they can ensure that Mark will be able to stay in the Shadowhunter world and not have to return to the fae. Julian will have part of his family back, something he has always wanted.

Once again, Cassandra Clare gives us a story of youth facing a daunting task, that should be well over their heads, and yet they attack it with courage and determination that is unbelieveable at times, they do not give up. Their faith in each other and belief in what is right supersedes anything else. You will fall for these characters!

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The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

The Bane ChroniclesThe Bane Chronicles
by Cassandra Clare


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Bane Chronicles is a collection of stories about the life and adventures of Mangus Bane, everyone's favorite Warlock. Word of warning - DO NOT READ this until you have finished the Mortal Instruments AND the Infernal Devices, unless you want them to be spoiled for you! Some of the stories occur during the periods of those series and you get Mangus point of view of what was going on, where in the other books you got it from only the Shadowhunters point of view.

Mangus Bane is character quite unto himself and is a joy to read about. He is not self-centered or as egotistical as you would think a centuries old Warlock would be, but he has a calm outlook on life.

There are also a lot of things that Mangus' stories fills in. There is a story about Valentine's Circle, the moment that Joyceln first comes to him with Clary and many others, so you find that in reading about Mangus he fills in some gaps and gives you more details. Which is why you would hate to read it before you read the original stories.

Definitely another must read by Cassandra Clare.

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Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, Book Three) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, Book Three)
by Cassandra Clare


My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Clockwork Princess is the third book in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Set in London in the 1800's this book finishes up the story of the Devices, of Mortmain and the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.

Let me start by warning you that you will need to keep some tissue close when reading this one, because things do not go the way you think they are going to go and there is a lot of things that happen that will have you in tears, both good and bad.

The mystery of Tessa is finally revealed and we learn how she came to be and what exactly she is, and why Mortmain is so interested in her in the first place. That mystery again reinforces how long this plan has been in place and how many different people Mortmain has used to get what he desires.

The Consul finally shows his true colors when he refuses to support Charlotte and anything that she says about Mortmain, leaving the London Institute completely alone to fight him on their own, and almost impossible battle.

This book does a wonderful job of telling this story and giving us closure to the characters that allows us to but the books away and know that all is well with them. I really think you should read this series. It can be before or after you read Mortal Instruments or you never have to read Mortal Instruments, but the author is great at giving you a glimpse into the mind and soul of the person. They become almost like friends and you want to know what happens.

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