Monday, July 25, 2016

Book Review: Warrior Kids, A Tale of New Camelot

Warrior Kids: A Tale of New CamelotWarrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot by Michael J. Bowler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lance has a new mission, but no less vital than children’s rights. He’s now taking up his friend Itzali’s cause - climate change. After all, what’s the point of kids having rights when they don’t have a decent world to live in? But just like before, he’s making some powerful enemies and might bring about change, but at the cost of his own life.

Following up on his previous series, author Michael Bowler continues with the characters from his Knight Cycle books. Continuing with his mix of Arthurian values in modern society, and strange fascination with long, luscious locks, he sets youth as the real heroes against one of society’s biggest scientific issues, that of climate change. Like with the previous books, the results on adults are a bit far fetched, but nice to imagine. I love the emphasis on chivalry and camaraderie, and remember wishing as a kid that adults would take me more seriously (and the reverse - now as an adult wishing they wouldn’t.) The language was certainly juvenile, right down to spelling because or ‘cause as “cuz,” which I’m proud to say would have annoyed me as a child, as I was a grammar nerd then too. I thought it was an ok read, with a good plot timing, although details left me rolling my eyes at times. Still not a bad afternoon of reading, and hopefully inspiring to the YA set.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Book Review: In Black and White

In Black & WhiteIn Black & White by Catherine Lavender
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Micah is determined to discover her roots. She knows her white father abandoned her mother, leaving her to grow up as a biracial child in a black community. But when she discovers her father has died and left her a sizable estate, she’s determined to figure out what really happened. But will finding the key to her past seal her fate with her father’s racist relatives?

In Black and White is a fascinating look at how modern racial politics intertwine with the past and inform the present. I was genuinely engrossed in the story of Micah’s parents, Sydney and Loretta, and how it was acted out as a bestseller. The story speaks to the heart of what we see today in the struggle that just can’t quite resolve itself. The first half of the book was gripping; unfortunately in the second half I was distracted by a lot of tense hopping and minor grammatical errors. I think that if those were addressed this would be one of those page turners that you can’t ever quite put down.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review: That Frigid, Fargin Witch


That Frigid Fargin Witch by M.R. Mathias
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vanx vows to vanquish that frigid, fargin’ Hoar Witch after what she has done to his friends with her mottled mutations. With the help of Chelda and new friend, Foxwise Posythorn, he seeks out an underworld way into her fortress. He never meant for Chelda to get stuck there, but she determines to help the Fae after what the witch did to their queen. Can she help them guard the Heart Tree against the witches strange creatures?

Again picking up immediately where the previous book left off, Vanx and his friends set off on the final leg of Vanx’s personal quest. I was relieved to discover that this book had a lot more action in it (and less journey) than the others, and even the dialogue seemed more on point. Vanx also had some personal decisions to ponder and play out, which helped the plot along better than the previous two books also. I was pleased to find that this book made me want to turn pages and see how the characters were going to foil the evil witches plans; it was definitely worth the work up in the previous two installments. Happy to see the direction this series has taken!


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Book Review: Saint Elm's Deep

Saint Elm's Deep (The Legend of Vanx Malic, #3)Saint Elm's Deep by M.R. Mathias
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With Gallarael saved - mostly, Vanx is free to pursue his personal quest, and heads North with Darbon, who is trying to get over his lost love. Finding a new band of merry men, Vanx strikes out to pursue the Hoar Witch, who is presumably his grandmother, if legends about his father are to believed. Naturally it’s a trip fraught with danger and mystery, and has become habit for Vanx, lots of loss. Can he find out his real claim to the Saint Elm name?

In book three of the Vanx Malic series he goes deeper into his roots, which has been a mystery for some time. Drawn by some unknown force he pursues a difficult course and again, risks life and limb for knowledge, his limbs and his companions. I felt like this story was not just an afterthought, or wrapping up a dying plot point, as it seemed with book 2, but I still was frustrated by some of the superficiality of the characters and the past pace of the plot. I’m hoping that we go a little farther in depth in the rest of the series, as there are many fascinating characters to meet along with some interesting lineage. Honestly, I couldn’t get over the “Elm’s Deep” as it seemed a blatant rip off of Tolkein and “Helm’s Deep” but I suppose that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and there is no shame in imitating Tolkein.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: Dragon Isle

Dragon Isle (The Legend of Vanx Malic, #2)Dragon Isle by M.R. Mathias
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vanx Malic has to go to Dragon Isle to save Gallarael, the daughter of his former lover. To do that he has to get the blood of the most vicious dragon there, the crimson fire breather Pyra. He has help, but knows it will likely come down to him. What he doesn’t realize is his goddess will give him his own calling that will lead him to adventures he never anticipated.

Dragon Isle picks up immediately where book 1 of the series left off, with what’s left of the group fighting to save Gallarael. While an interesting read, and I enjoyed the change in scenery, it felt very much like a bridge or filler book. It didn’t quite measure up to the first book, even though it clearly moved the story along, which I appreciated. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t quite as invested in these characters like the Wardstone trilogy or even the first book of the Vanx Malic series. It was a quick read and enjoyable, just superficial comparatively.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book Review: Through the Wildwood

Through the Wildwood (The Legend of Vanx Malic, #1)Through the Wildwood by M.R. Mathias
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vanx is pretty sure he can escape his shackles, but there is the matter of the pretty girl to save also. He can tell their party is about to be ambushed, and he feels compelled to save her, as he is quite certain she was sent to purchase his freedom by her mother, who was fond of Vanx warming her bed. But can he save her from the poison she encountered on her escape? And what of the strange wizard’s pack and the unnatural attraction to it the ogres seem to display? Will he ever work his way out of the Wildwood?

In The Legend of Vanx Malic Mathias follows up his hugely successful Wardstone Trilogy with a new hero, the half Zythian Vanx Malic. This is a shorter tome than the three Wardstone books, but no less entertaining or engaging. The fast paced book doesn’t have a whole lot of time for character development, but the potential is certainly there and the story well done enough to keep the reader guessing and looking for more history. I hope that Mathias is able to keep the series going and continue the tie-ins to his previous trilogy, as I can see this particular fantasy realm being rather engrossing if he can. There was some minor grammar and editing needed but for the most part I thought it was really well done.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review: Kings, Queens, Heroes and Fools

Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two)Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools by M.R. Mathias
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hyden Hawk has been charged to find the Silver Skull of Zorellin, leaving his friend Mikahl to defend his new title as High King and reclaim Wildermont from the combined forces of Shaella and Ra’Gren, her reluctant ally. Due to Hyden she now has a new dragon and a new mission, to free her lover, Gerard, from the demonic realm he to which he was forced to retreat. But does Gerard retain any of his old self, or has he turned into the new king of hell? Can anyone fight against him once he’s freed?

Picking up right where The Sword and the Dragon leaves off, Kings, Queens, Heroes and Fools follows the story of Hyden Hawk and Mikahl in their new roles, while delving deep into the new political atmosphere created in the original book. As typical of Mathias, there are a lot of characters to follow and a lot of magic to help, but I found that it seemed much easier to follow the plot as there were two clear alignments between good guys and bad, and the basic plot of fighting over a kingdom to command. There is some emotional development, but I was actually looking for more in the new relationship for Mikahl, beyond the cliche that he falls in love with the girl he has to save. Still, there is great chemistry in the bromance that is Hyden and Mikahl, even when they must fight their separate battles, and I look forward to the conclusion of the trilogy, which will hopefully shed some light on the fate of those trapped in the Nethers.


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Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.