Monday, December 15, 2014

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution

This is a review for Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, a tie in novel to the tv show Sleepy Hollow, by Keith R.A. DeCandido
 ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 1 star, I didn't like it at all.

Ichabod Crane is a man out of his time.  He was born in the Eighteenth century and fought in the Revolutionary War.  A twist of fate and a bit of witchcraft bound his life to one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  He died in battle when the Horseman died and when the Horseman was resurrected in the modern world, Crane was resurrected as well.

Ichabod is hoping for a bit of peace when he goes to the park but instead he is given a cryptic message from his wife trapped in limbo.  He has to find the Congressional Cross that he was posthumously awarded to stop the resurrection of a very powerful witch intent on bringing about the apocalypse and destroying the town that captured and killed her 250 years before.

I tried, I really did but I just couldn't get into this book.  I wanted to like it, I really enjoyed the show.  The book is lacking something that the show has.  There is a lot of poor grammar and mangled phrases and not just intentionally mangled phrases.  The bad 'cop talk' makes it feel like a 1950's crime novel.  The jumps back in forth in time and perspective are somewhat annoying.  It is easy to tell who is 'telling the story' but the constant shifts are distracting.  It just feels forced and mass produced and somewhat procedural.  After looking up the author I can see why, he has dozens of books in multiple licensed universes across several genres.  I am sure there are lots of people that would love this book, it just isn't for me personally.  That said, if you like the show you should give this book a quick read.

About the Author: KEITH R.A. DECANDIDO is the award-winning, best-selling author of almost 50 novels, among them books in such universes as Star Trek, Supernatural, Doctor Who, World of Warcraft, and many more. He also writes short fiction, nonfiction, and comic books. Visit him at

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


This is a review for Nightmares by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

"Good night, Charlie.
Sleep tight, Jack.
Turn out the lights
and watch

Jason Segel is a multitalented man.  Yes, he is Jason Segel, the actor from How I Met Your Mother and The Muppet movie reboots.  Jason is fairly similar to the main character in this book, he suffered from nightmares as a child and learned from them.  This is his book writing debut!

Kirsten Miller grew up in a small town similar to the one in this book minus the spooky purple mansion.  Now she lives and writes in New York City.  She has written several other book series.

Nightmares! is the story of Charlie Laird, a twelve year old boy who has suffered a lot.  He lost his mother right before he turned nine, his father has remarried a woman that he is sure is a witch, and they all moved in to her creepy purple mansion.  None of that is his biggest problem though; Charlie suffers from nightmares every time he so much as dozes off.  Real, scary, terrible nightmares!  He goes to another world when he sleeps and he is tormented there by his biggest fears. 

Things are about to get worse for Charlie, his nightmares are slipping into the waking world and the entire town is in danger and it is all his fault.  If Charlie is going to save his brother, his friends, his town and himself he is going to have to face his biggest fears.  Two is always stronger than one, maybe with his three best friends help he'll be strong enough to save everyone. 

I have to admit I was a little turned off by the beginning of this book.  Charlie is pretty mean to his brother and dad and he calls his stepmother "the stepmonster." Looking at the stepmother through Charlie's eyes she does seem pretty horrible.  She makes green pancakes and split pea soup and her job is really weird.

Charlie is no saint by any means but he isn't a character with no redeeming qualities either. Despite all of his problems Charlie doesn't whine, he doesn't sit down and say "why me?" or "life is so unfair."  He doesn't run from his problems either.  He reaches down deep inside himself and with the help of his friends he finds his courage and faces his deepest fears.  At the beginning of the book Charlie turned me off, he was not especially sympathetic but as his journey progressed I found myself cheering for him.

I would recommend this book to everyone.  Parents may wish to read it before letting their kids read it, or read it with their children.  There are definitely some scary things in this book but it is all about facing your fears and overcoming them.  I will definitely be reading this book with my eight year old!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pump Up Your Book- Winter Wolf by RJ Blain

Winter Wolf
Rj Blain

November 24, 2014
 Book Blast Event Media Packet:

About The Book

Title:  Winter Wolf
Author: RJ Blain
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Thriller / Supernatural Suspense
Publisher:  Pen & Page Publishing
Publication Date: November 24, 2014
ISBN:  978-1-928148-00-5

Book Description:
The Hunted Wizard
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.
Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.
Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.
But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Book Excerpt: 
Almost everyone in the store had a phone. Dormant devices, from reading lights to mobile chargers, littered the tables. One woman, browsing books nearby, had four battery-powered devices in her purse. One was a phone, and like mine, it hungered. Its need was strong; its battery waned to the point of failure.
If I wanted, I could charge it for her.
No one would notice if I did. Maybe the woman would wonder how her phone hadn’t died before she got home. It only had a few minutes left. It’d take me all of ten seconds to fix it for her. If I did, I wouldn’t be so aware of it. But to do so, I’d have to touch her—or her phone. Some things I could manipulate without having a direct conduit, but cell phone batteries were tricky, greedy things.
I cringed a little, setting the thriller book down. I picked up the next nearest title. I flipped it over, not reading the text on the back. Did I dare? Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the woman browsing through the books. All it would take was a few seconds. I could charge it without her noticing.
That was one thing I was actually good at.
I put the novel I held down and wandered to the same table, careful not to look at her. Book by book, I investigated the titles, circling to where she stood.
“You’re Nicole Thomas, aren’t you? The actress. You’re her.” My quarry appraised me with a pleased expression.
People normally recognized the mainliners, people with beautiful faces and voices to match, people who didn’t avoid crowds.
In short, people other than me.
I met her gaze, abandoning my perusal of novels. “I am,” I replied, wincing a little at the sandpaper-rough quality of my voice. At least I hadn’t been reduced to a whisper—yet. My fatal flaw was my rough, grating voice. Chronic laryngitis did that to a person. It ruined careers, as it had mine, though I hadn’t quite given up on being an actress. I’d already lost the ability to sing.
I wasn’t going to let a stupid disease take everything away from me.
The woman smiled, not seeming to mind talking to someone who sounded more like a zombie than a human. “You’re taller than I expected. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
She thrust out her hand.
We shook.
I left her phone alone.
“They keep putting me next to giants,” I quipped. It was true. When I did manage to get on the silver screen, I worked alongside actors easily a foot-and-a-half taller than me. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” I matched her smile. She didn’t tell me her name, and I didn’t ask for it.
It took all of my will not to fiddle with her phone. All it would take was a murmured word and a thought, and it’d be done. It would have been easy to charge the battery when our hands had been clasped together, but I hadn’t dared.
If, sometime later, she noticed her phone had magically been charged—literally—she might remember me. She knew my name.
And in true cowardice, I couldn’t bring myself to help her. If she connected the strange behavior of her phone with me, she might tell someone. If she did, I’d be as good as dead—or worse. I had dabbled in the occult, and the occult had dabbled back, and there were those who didn’t like when that happened.
The last thing I needed was them finding me.

Purchase Book at:

About the Author

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series (In no particular order):
Anne McCaffrey's Pern
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files
Brandon Sanderson's Elantris
Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series
Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

Contact RJ at:

Contest Giveaway

Pump Up Your Book and Author RJ Blain are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins September 3 and ends on November 25, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 26, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

Rafflecopter Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 22, 2014

Doctor Who: Silhouette

This is a review for Doctor Who: Silhouette by Justin Richards.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.

Justin Richards is a rather prolific writer.  He has written quite a few Doctor Who novels and oversees many others in his role as Creative Consultant for the BBC licensed novels.  This is the first book I have read that was written by him but it is unlikely to be the last.

The Doctor and Clara are drawn into Victorian London when they observe a power spike that should not exist in that era.  The Doctor doesn't want to involve "The Great Detective" and sets out to investigate on his own.  Meanwhile Madame Vastra is working on an investigation of her own and Strax is trying to find the man who murdered his friend.  The three investigations lead them to the Frost Fair and the Carnival of Curiousities.  Coincidences are piling up all around them and as the Doctor knows, coincidences are rarely actually coincidental. 

Silhouette is new territory for me.  Twelve is fresh and new and a bit of an unknown but he worked well alongside Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, Strax and Clara Oswald.  I felt that Richards' portrayal of the four regulars was very well done.  Clara's cheekiness, Jenny's accent, and Strax' inability to tell man from woman were all included in here and I could nearly hear their voices as I read. 

The villain in this story was a good match for the Doctor.  He was quick and clever and gave the Doctor a good challenge.  It was not immediately obvious to the reader who the true villain was or even what he was.  The Frost Fair was a good distraction to refocus both the Doctor and the reader and keep them in the dark.

All in all this was a good book.  The story kept me interested, the characters rang true and the length was perfect.  There were a few minor grammatical errors that bugged me but nothing that made the book unreadable.  I felt like the setting was borrowed from some other source material but the longer the story went on the more the author made it his own.  If you are a fan of Doctor Who you should definitely read this one.  If you are not a fan of Doctor Who....well why aren't you?

I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.  You can find more information about this book here


Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Irish Table

This is a review for My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorn.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.

The main author, Cathal Armstrong, is a Dublin, Ireland native.  This book describes his journey from his Da's vegetable garden to owning his own restaurant in Virginia and all the steps in between.  Armstrong fondly reminisces about his childhood and the work ethic and love of food his parents instilled in him.  He doesn't shy away from mentioning his own mistakes.  He has come a long way but he isn't haughty or entitled about it.  This book is the work of a street smart, Irish lad with common sense and humility.

The recipes in this book range from the incredibly simple, basic staples of Irish food to the fancy, decadent dishes served in a fancy restaurant.  As you read through the book there are stories and anecdotes about all of Cathal's family.  You get a real sense of who he is and for me that makes trying his recipes all the more fun.

The recipes in this book cover all the Irish basics including fish & chips, beef stew, shepherds pie, rack of lamb, scones and a wide array of potato dishes.  I haven't tried all of the recipes in here but what I have tried has been delicious.  Each recipe includes detailed instructions.  There are recipes for people of all skill levels.  Every recipe uses ingredients that are readily available.  You may have to stop at more than one store but you should be able to find most everything you need if you live in a decent sized town.  You will need to track down a butcher for some things like sheep kidneys for steak & kidney pie and a few of the rarer ingredients have websites listed where you can look for things you may need as well.

If you like traditional Irish food or want a really well written recipe for something a little fancier you should check out this book.  If you want a mix of the two then this is definitely a book you should get your hands on!  This cookbook will be staying in my kitchen for years to come.

You can check out an excerpt of this book on the publisher's website here.

I received this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Alice in the Country of Joker: Nightmare Trilogy 1: A Dream Before Dawn

This is a review for Alice in the Country of Joker: Nightmare Trilogy 1: A Dream Before Dawn

I give this book ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 3 stars, I liked it.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series here is a little background info.  Alice in the Country of books are based on a japanese video game series.  Alice was kidnapped by the White Rabbit and brought to the Country of Hearts.  The Country of Hearts is very different than the world Alice is used to, some of the inhabitants have animal ears, some of them have faces that are hard to see, violence is everywhere, and life is not considered precious because everyone can be replaced.  To return to her own world Alice has to fill a small vial, the vial fills with the medicine of heart every time she interacts with the strange inhabitants of the Country of Hearts.  The vial was filled and Alice chose to stay with her new found friends.  The Country of Hearts is a strange place and as soon as Alice got used to it everything changed and she found herself in the Country of Clover.  Some of her friends were missing in Clover but there were new people around.  Now in this series it is April Season and each area of the land is in a different season.  All of her friends are back and there is a circus with the enigmatic Joker in charge. 

Ok, background info out of the way, on to reviewing this actual book!
Alice has chosen to stay in Clover tower and has taken a job working for Nightmare.  He is weak and sickly and avoids work as often as possible.  The regular people in this world are scared of him but Alice thinks he is kind.  Nightmare doesn't seem to mind other people being scared of him but he really wants to impress Alice.  The results are disastrous for Nightmare but hilarious for the reader.

I really enjoy Nightmare as a character. I was hoping to enjoy this series more. I was put off by the sloppy art style compared to the other books in this same franchise. There are small variations between the various series in this franchise but most of them are more refined than this one. This one relies more heavily on exaggerated expressions and chibizations than some of the others. The story itself is still good and I am interested to see where it goes. One other thing that bugged me is the cover art/color pages; every other cover or color page that has had Nightmare he has been shown with grey or blue-grey eyes and suddenly this one he has red eyes. Not only did the artist not match with the other series, but also failed to match his eyes with their own previous art.

That said; if you enjoy this franchise and like Nightmare you should pick this one up

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dear Luke, We Need to Talk. Darth

This is a review of Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth.

I give it ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ 2 stars, I disliked it.

The Author, John Moe, is a radio show host of a nationally syndicated show.  His show is called "Wits."  He is also a columnist for where his column is called "Pop Song Correspondences."  

This book has a lot of celebrity and comedian endorsements, because of this I expected it to be funny.  It was not very funny.  There were a few occasional humorous sections but the vast majority of it was not funny.  Perhaps my sense of humor is just different than intended for this book, or perhaps I expected too much out of it because of it's endorsements.  Either way I just didn't enjoy it very much. 

The parts that I found funny were great.  Dorothy Gale's letter to the Good Witch was pretty spot on, though a bit heavy on the work "fuck" somehow I doubt a 1920's girl would have used that as much as we do in 2014.  The Walking Dead walker forum was a humorous look into the mind of a zombie.  

The sections I didn't enjoy were ones that have been on the internet for years as memes.  Yes, Popeye seems to be some weird Navy experiment and Spinach seems more like a drug than a vegetable on that show.  Yes, all of the aliens encountered on Star Trek The Original Series were basically humans with make up or funny hair cuts who spoke perfect English.  Those things are funny the first time you notice them but they don't hold their humor very long.

If you haven't spent much time on internet meme sites you will probably enjoy this book.  If, like me, you have read them all you probably won't enjoy this book a whole lot.

I received this book free from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Reasons My Kid Is Crying

This is a review for Reasons My Kid is Crying by Greg Pembroke.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

Author Bio via the publisher: Greg Pembroke is the father of two sons (and the husband of one wife) from Rochester, NY. He works part time as radio advertising copywriter three days per week and stays home with his young sons two days per week. 

This book is absolutely hilarious, more so if you are a parent or around small children a lot!  It is a glimpse into the life of a parent or caregiver.  Children are brand new to this planet and they are unfamiliar with it's ways and customs.  They don't quite understand our speech and we definitely don't understand their logic.  This book is a testament to all of those things.

I personally loved this book.  My son is past this age, his tantrums are generally rooted in reason now but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of it.  I was reminded of the days when a broken piece of cheese, a refusal to let him explore something dangerous or allowing him to dress himself could result in a sobbing fit on his part and complete disbelief on mine.  I also found that along with all of the hilarity of this book it is a reminder to me as a person that everyone has their own perspective.  Even between adults a comment or action can be interpreted differently by everyone involved.   It is a small reminder to take a moment and think about the people around me each day and remember that everyone has their own thoughts, troubles and joys that I may not even know about.

You can find out more about this book on the publisher's website here.
You can watch a trailer for this book below.

I received a copy of this book from blogging for books in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

This is a review for Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle is the story of nearly twelve year old Gabriel.  His father is missing and has been for 3 years, his aunt is sure he will be back someday, he is missing, not dead.  Gabriel and his talking raven friend Paladin travel to Aviopolis to search for his father.  Every step they take they are faced with riddles, good thing Gabriel has been learning riddles his whole life.  They have to solve every riddle they are faced with or they have no hope of finding Gabriel's father or fighting the evil that is holding him!

This is George Hagen's first novel for children.  It is a very good story.  Gabriel Finley is a fairly loveable lead character.  He is everything that a good role model should be; brave, strong, honest and trustworthy.  He isn't perfect, he definitely has his faults but they serve to make him a well rounded character.  His best moments come when he faces his faults and overcomes them. 

I enjoyed this book quite a lot.  The story moves along at a good pace.  The characters are interesting and likeable.  The villain is sufficiently scary but not an inhuman monster who is completely alien.  Children reading this book can learn many valuable lessons from Gabriel and his friends.  "Don't assume you know what someone's home life is like."  "Spying on people will hurt both you and them."  "Being kind to someone is free and you may make an unlikely friend." 

If you are a fan of books such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson you should check this book out.  You can find more information about this book on the publisher's website here

I was given a copy of this book by netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Oliver and the Seawigs

This is a review for Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

 Oliver and the Seawigs is the story of a 10 year old boy who has been raised by his world explorer parents on the road.  He has spent all 10 years of his life living in their explorermobile.  His parents have finally explored everything in the world and they are going to settle down in a real house and Oliver is going to go to a real school.  Oliver is very excited to do things that normal kids do.  All of the plans go awry when his parents discover several new islands in the ocean next to the little town where they are going to live from now on.  They rush out to explore them while Oliver unpacks and settles into his new bedroom for the first time.  The islands disappear along with Oliver's parents and he sets out to save them.  Along the way he finds a talking albatross, a near-sighted mermaid and a living island.  The seas are a little more unexplored than Oliver and his family realized!

Philip Reeve mixed a charming blend of reality and fantasy in this story.   The level headed Oliver who just wants to live in a real house and go to a real school is a charming main character.  Sarah McIntyre's adorable and whimsical illustrations are the perfect match for this cute story. 

This book is a great story with a good lesson that I know will be read over and over again in my house!  Oliver teaches kids that they are not powerless.  They can be brave and strong and maybe even save their parents!  It also teaches them that just because they are a little different doesn't mean they aren't just as good as anyone else around them.

I received this book free from netgalley for review purposes.  You can learn more about this book from the publisher right here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Girl In The Road

This is a review for The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 3 stars, I liked it.

The Girl in the Road is an intricately woven story.  It bounces back and forth between two seemingly separate narratives.  Meena is a twenty something woman in India who was orphaned at birth and is struggling to find her identity.  Mariama is a ten year old girl who is fleeing from her home across Africa.  Both of them have the same goal in mind: Ethiopia.

This book is quite different than my usual reading material.  I struggled with many aspects of it.  Meena is a very sexual being and the book describes many of her encounters.  Mariama is a small naive little girl running from a danger she doesn't understand.  Both of them are fleeing their pasts and searching for a better future.  Each of them is plagued by visions of a girl in the road and they struggle to understand the meaning.

The story is set in two different time periods, both in the future.  India and Ethiopia are the main backdrops and the futuristic setting adds a difficult layer to understanding the cultures.  Many struggles and wars mentioned in this book are fictional but little context was given for them, the context is not strictly necessary but would perhaps help clarify some things.

All of this adds up to a book that takes you on a surreal journey across a landscape that is vaguely familiar but is somehow alien as well.  Monica Byrne wrote a wonderful piece for her debut novel.  This book is a very twisting 'road' and the final piece of the puzzle doesn't fall into place until the last page.  The author does not shy away from the unpleasant aspects of life and this book faces those things we all would rather ignore head on.

More information about this book can be found here on the publisher's website.  Author information is available here.  I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dark Eden

This is a review for Dark Eden by Chris Beckett.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 4 stars, I liked it a lot.

Dark Eden is the story of a small group of humans living on an alien world with no sun.  There was an accident and two humans were left behind on Eden while their three companions went back to earth for help.  The two left behind started a family and told their children to wait by the circle where their space ship had landed.  Now it is 160ish years later, the family has grown 532 members and food is getting scarce for them.  The oldest members of Family want to continue staying by the circle of stones and wait.  John Redlantern is just a teenager but he knows that if food is scarce now, it will only get harder to find the bigger Family gets.  John can't stand sitting still and waiting, he wants to make things happen.  John dares to do what no one else before him ever has.  His actions have consequences far bigger than he ever could have imagined.

The first third of this book moved really slowly.  It set up the basis for the story, showcasing how different life on Eden is from the life that the reader knows.  It showed how dull and boring it is just to live day to day waiting for something that may never happen and struggling to find food for 532 people every single day.  Once the set up was over and things started to happen this book was really good.  Chris Beckett did an excellent job portraying human nature.  His characters aren't perfect, they have good and bad traits.  The impatience of youth is shown really well but not demonized.  Beckett did a good job showing that just because something is different doesn't mean it is bad, just because someone has a different way of thinking doesn't mean they are wrong.  The world that Beckett created here is fascinating, the creatures that live on this dark planet with no sun, the amazing trees that have flowers that bloom with light.  The animals are similar to ours and yet completely alien.

This book takes a long hard look at what would happen if two humans were left alone on an alien world with little technology and had to rebuild from the ground up.  What things get left behind and forgotten and what gets carried on?  Do you sit and wait for rescue or do you do the best you can with what you have?

I would definitely recommend this book.  It is less Star Trek and more primitive humans but very good.  It is worth a read.  Once I got past the set up for the story I had a hard time putting it down!  You can read an excerpt of this book right here on the retailer's website.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Howl's Moving Castle

This is a review of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I give this book 5 stars, I loved it! 

In the land of Ingary it is well known that it is a misfortune to be the eldest child in a family of three. Sophie is the eldest of three so it is no surprise to her when she is cursed by a witch. To break her curse she seeks out the Wizard Howl who lives in a moving castle in the wastes. Howl turns out to be much more difficult than she imagined possible. Howl and Sophie have to work together to break the curses the Witch of the Waste put on each of them. They struggle through all sorts of adventures as they try to free themselves from their curses.  Not everything is quite as it seems with both Howl and Sophie.  They each have to set aside their preconceived ideas about the other person and the actions of those around them!

I initially read this book after seeing the film adaptation. I loved the film and wanted to read the source material. The film and book are quite different but they are both beautiful stories. The characters are compelling and you can't help but feel sorry for poor Sophie as she struggles with the effects of her curse. There is more to these characters than meets the eye.

If you enjoy stories about magic, witches, and wizards then you should read this one! Diana Wynne Jones weaves a beautiful tale of magic and just a little bit of mayhem in her amazing new world. I want to know more about the world of Ingary and it's people and inventions!

The Search for Wondla

This is a review of The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I give this book 5 stars, I loved it!

The Search for WondLa is the story of Eva Nine and her robotic mother Muthr. They live quietly in a hidden underground Sanctuary.  Eva Nine longs to leave the small sanctuary and explore the surface of the earth.  Muthr says the surface is not safe and Eva Nine is not prepared for life up there yet.  One night their quiet world is invaded, set on fire and torn apart. Eva Nine is suddenly thrust into a harsh world teeming with dangers and everything is different than her survival simulations led her to believe.  She sets off to face this harsh world with the help of her Muthr and all of the companions she picks up along the way. She faces many strange animals and wanders a desert searching for other humans. She encounters many kinds of unusual creatures and not all of them are friendly! How to survive when nothing in your life has prepared you for the things around you. How to survive and even thrive in a hostile wasteland? Eva Nine has a fairly good strategy!

I am always on the lookout for new and interesting books for my whole family. My son is a voracious reader and keeping him supplied with good books is a never ending task. I usually read the books I buy for him before he gets to read them, most books pass my inspections, rarely with such flying colors. The Search for Wondla blew me away! It is absolutely fantastic!  This book deals with some heavy things in a no nonsense way. Death, imprisonment, human rights and depression are all touched on and discussed in a mature and responsible manner. DiTerlizzi doesn't gloss over the hard subjects but he deals with them in a sensible way that will help kids struggling with these things.

If you enjoy fantasy, survival or futuristic stories this is definitely a book that you should check out, no matter how old you are! 

Gregor the Overlander

This is a review for Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I give this book 5 stars, I loved it!

Gregor the Overlander is a really cute story with some really good messages for both kids and adults. The plot is pretty easy to follow for kids but the story is intriguing enough to keep adults entertained. My husband and I both read the whole series in less than a week each! It is similar to Alice in Wonderland in some ways.

 Twelve year old Gregor and his two year old sister fall down a hole in their laundry room and end up in a new world.  Gregor is a very responsible child.  He is the oldest child in his family.  His father went missing before the series starts and Gregor stepped up to help his mother take care of his family.  When Gregor finds himself in a whole new world away from his mom, all he wants to do is get himself and his baby sister safely back home so his mother doesn't worry.  When Gregor finds out that he is important to the survival of Underland he faces a new kind of responsibility and if he chooses not to help them their world will end. The animals in Underland are huge and intelligent, they have their own tribes and rulers.  The lives of the people in Underland are much different from what he is used to.  There is an old prophecy that the humans in Underland think involves Gregor. Gregor has to decide if he will help these people or not, but first he has to decide if he even trusts them! 

This series is by Suzanne Collins, the author of the Hunger Games.  This series is geared for a slightly younger audience than The Hunger Games but it holds up well for older readers as well.  If you enjoyed the Hunger Games you should definitely give this book series a read.  If you or your child likes a good adventure story then you should read this book!

Monday, May 12, 2014


This is a review for Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ I give this book 4 stars out of 5.  I liked it a lot.

Mind the Gap
Neverwhere is the story of an average man who discovers that the world is not a simple as it seems.  Richard Mayhew makes his fiance very angry when he stops to help an injured girl on the way to an important dinner with her boss.  He knows the dinner is important but he can't just leave a young girl bleeding on the sidewalk.  This act of kindness turns his world upside down. 

Everyone knows that you have to mind the gap on the London Underground, everyone hears the warnings over the loudspeakers but Richard is about to learn the real meaning behind the warnings.  He quickly learns there is more to London than meets the eye and those who are unlucky fall through the cracks.  The more he tries to help the girl, the deeper he gets dragged into the "underground" and the harder it is for him to go back to his normal life.  Richard has fallen through the cracks and he has to learn to cope with a whole new set of rules.  He has to survive in order to get his life back, but the new world is much more dangerous than the one he is used to.

Gaiman's story is well written, you can't help but sympathize with the nice guy who got dragged in over his head trying to help someone.  The underground world works in a whole new way and keeps the reader guessing right along with Richard.  Just when you think you know how the story goes, Gaiman throws you a curveball and you have no idea if Richard will find his way through the underworld and back to his ordinary life or if he will stay where he landed when he fell through the cracks.  Gaiman has a way of telling a story that just grabs you by the hand and drags you along until the end and then leaves you wondering how it ended so fast.

If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman you definitely need to read this one.  If you enjoy stories about the secret worlds hidden within the ordinary one, you should read this one.  If you have ever wondered why you need to "Mind the gap," you will not be disappointed with the answer.

House of Many Ways

This is a review for House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I give this book 5 stars, I loved it!

House of Many Ways follows the story of Charmaine Baker as she suddenly finds herself house sitting for her magician uncle while he is away.  All Charmaine wants to do is quietly read a book and help the King with his private library but nothing goes quite according to her plan.  Her uncle's house is a huge mess, he forgot to mention that he had an apprentice coming and Charmaine is completely unaccustomed to dealing with magic or doing housework.  When the King agrees to have her help with his library she thinks she will get a break from all of the weird things in her uncle's house but she soon finds that not all is as it seems at the palace either.  The King is scouring his library for clues to find a large pile of gold missing from the treasury for over 200 years and the Princess asked a witch to help them search.

Charmaine is pulled into the mystery when she saves a toddler from falling off the roof of the palace and finds herself talking to a fully fledged wizard in disguise.  A spell is cast to help her find any clues in the library that they need to save the kingdom. With the spell cast all of the seemingly unconnected things happening around Charmaine begin to connect.  It is a race against time, she has to follow the trail of clues and solve all of the mysteries before it is too late.

Diana Wynne Jones weaves an interesting tale.  I was half finished with the book before I even noticed!  She reveals just enough to keep you interested and keeps leading you along until the very end.  The seemingly random events of the book all tie together in a surprising way.  You can't help but love the characters from poor Charmaine who just wants to read peacefully, to the directionally challenged apprentice wizard, to the doddering old King and the wizard disguised as a precocious child who loves rocking horses.  Nothing is quite as it seems in this story and if you aren't paying attention you'll get lost in the House of Many Ways!

(This book is a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle and Castle In The Air but it can stand alone.  Some of the characters from it's prequels make appearances but it is not necessary to have read the prequels to follow this story.)

Welcome to my Blog

Hello readers,

I am Lorelei, on the internet I am known as Laurahonest.  I am a 31 year old stay at home mom.  I am a huge bookworm.  I have shelves and shelves of books.  I am always looking for new books to read.  I read every spare moment I can.  I have an elementary school aged son who is also a bookworm.

When I was a kid my favorite gifts were books.  My Christmas list was usually all or almost all books.  I grew up in a very rural area and we didn't have tv until I was 12, by then my bookworm habits were firmly established.  My parents would send me outside to play and find me camped out in the shade somewhere reading. 

By the time I was 4 years old I would correct my parents when they read me bedtime stories if they skipped a word or read something out of order.  I could read to myself by the time I started kindergarten.  I started reading chapter books to myself in first grade.  I read The Hobbit by myself the summer before I started third grade.  I was 9 when I received the Little House on the Prairie box set and read it for the first time.  I have since read the entire series more times than I can count.  When I was 12 my dad took me into our family library and told me I could read any book on his western shelves.  I devoured Louis L'amour and Zane Grey.  In my sophmore year of high school my mother gave me a list of 150 classic books to read before I graduated.  In two years I read nearly all of the books on the list.  The few that I didn't read where ones that I couldn't find.

Now I am an adult and I haven't slowed down my reading at all.  My husband dreads me entering bookstores because we will always leave with at least one new book if not an entire stack of new books.  The bookshelves in my house are double and triple stacked.  There is always a stack of books on my desk waiting to be read.  My local librarians and the clerks at all of the bookstores within 25 miles of my house know me by name.

This blog is something new I am trying out.  When friends and family ask me for book recommendations I forget every book I have ever read.  I would like to be able to list off more books than the current one I am reading.  I hope to keep this blog filled with reviews of books I read.  Hopefully the reviews will be mostly positive but I promise to be honest in my reviews.