Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Mirror of Pharos by J.S. Landor

Title:The Mirror of Pharos
Author: J.S. Landor
Genre: Children’s Fiction & Sci Fi & Fantasy
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Limited
Publishing date: 28th November, 2017
ISBN: 9781788034159

Synopsis:Jack Tideswell’s parents died in a diving accident while exploring the underwater ruins of the ancient Pharos lighthouse. So Jack wants nothing to do with adventure. Until that is, a seagull delivers a strange disc, addressed to him in his own handwriting.
In the blink of an eye, all kinds of magic are let loose, sending Jack on a dangerous journey. Can he learn to navigate time before it’s too late to save the one person who can help him unravel the secrets of the disc?
Whether he likes it or not, there’s no more hiding away. And no looking back. Especially when Alpha is watching. A wolf who sees all there is to see

My Review:

I was very excited starting to read this book, but also quite hesitant, because the book is compared to Harry Potter and other reviewers have compared it to the early Harry Potter books. Both Harry Potter and Jack are orphans so the comparisons start already in the first chapter. Additionally it is a book that suggests ancient Egypt and I am sort of a fan of the area. However, I did find the book a bit hard to start, it did not suck me in right away and I did not get carried away with the story. For me the story moved a bit too slow, so it was too easy to just put the book down to do something else. Once I got past the first initial chapters, it was easier to keep reading and the story indulged me. The characters you meet are easy to like and imagine. The illustrations that I saw was great, but my kindle seemed to have a small issue showing the illustrations properly (or it could just be my iPad that had the issue), though I would recommend getting this book in book format rather than for kindle.

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Medium Wave by Rose Zolock

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Title
:Medium Wave
Author:Rose Zolock
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing
Publishing date: April 6th, 2018

Synopsis: Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake. Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live in air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival

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My Review:

It has been a while since I have found a book where I am caught on from the first page. Medium Wave has a beginning that sucks you straight in and keeps you hooked. The main character Becky, is interesting, mostly I found her interesting because she is a fraudster who gets turned into a “real medium” (sort of). Though the story is much about good and evil, it is also a story that is character driven. The characters seem to hop out of the pages, they seem like real people.
Medium Wave, as interesting as it is is not without a few faults. In the beginning there is quite a lot of infodumping which might have benefited better at other relevant parts of the story. Though I did not mind the infodumping that much, I did feel that it did kick me out of the story for a brief moment while it was going on before the action at the radio station quickly sucked me back in. That aside I very much enjoyed to spend time with Becky, for the other POVs I did not care as much, but I will look forward to spend more time in this bookiverse. Medium Wave is a terrific debut novel and it can only get better for here.
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The Seer’s Curse by J.J. Faulks

Title: The Seer’s Curse
Author: J.J. Faulks
Genre: Frantasy
Publisher: Matador
Publishing date: April 28th, 2018
ISBN: 9781788038546

Synopsis: Orleigh is cursed. Or so the other villagers believe. With each harvest worse than the last, something must be done. And so they consult the Seer. A deal is struck: the village will thrive once more, but in return, Orleigh must be sacrificed to the Earth God, Teymos.
A tale of friendship, acceptance and self-discovery, filled with a new mythology, The Seer’s Curse is a moving debut to be enjoyed by all fantasy fans

My Review:

The Seer’s Curse start off a little slow in order to set up a world that is a little different from ours and to set up the plot. I think that for some readers the beginning might be a bit too slow to stick with, but when you stick with it you will get delivered a story of self-discovery and acceptance. At times the story seems a bit confused in regards to which audience it’s intended for, whether it is middle grade, teenage or intended for the YA genre. That issue aside, I did really enjoy to hear the story through the various point of views it had to offer, however the view of the Seer became redundant and did not really add any value to the narrative of the complete story. Overall I believe this is a good debut novel and I look forward to what else this author can bring to the table.

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Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

Title: Herding Cats
Series: Sarah’s Scribbles #3
Author: Sarah Andersen
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publishing date: 27th of March 2018
ISBN: 9781449489786

Synopsis:Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.

My Review:

I love small, quirky books filled with self irony and truth. I also love cats. Putting the two together in a series of ironic cartoons is not a mistake. This book was a blast from the first page (I mean the cover) to the end.
Sarah’s drawings are insightful and fun without becoming cliché, they make you laugh and they make you think. And to be quite honest, as an aspiring crazy cat lady, I recognized myself in a lot of the fun scenarios the book puts forward.
As much as I though enjoyed the book, I will have to point out that it did have a lack of cat related topics and the comics did not have a clear topical connection. This did though  not take away from my enjoyment of the comics, but as a book it would have felt more as a “book” if there were some interconnection between the comics.
That aside, if you want to read some quirky comics about adulting or not adulting, you will certainly enjoy this book.

The Elf King by Lorraine Hellier

Title: The Elf King
1st book  in an unnamed series.
Author: Lorraine Hellier
Genre: Fantasy – Children’s
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
Publishing date: 28th of January 2017
ISBN: 9781785898877

Synopsis: Bay Leaf is the new Elf King. In this fantasy tale his sister, Sweet Pea, demonstrates her love and devotion for her brother. The elves go on a perilous journey to the Mountain Shrine where Bay Leaf must take his ‘Oath of Allegiance’ to the ‘Moon Lake Elves’. An enchanted book offers advice and guidance from their ancestors and warns Sweet Pea to take care of her brother

My Review:

The Elf King is very clearly intended for a younger audience, which I was aware of when I started reading. Still it took me a little while to get with the story, it might have been the beginning that seems a bit abrupt or that the pace seemed a bit in certain places. Though once I got  a grip on the story I managed to stay with it, and I did rather enjoy it.
The narrative is fresh and young When I read it kept reminding me of the Disney movies about Tinkerbell, and I think those who enjoyed those movies will enjoy this book series very much (maybe when they are slightly older than the intended age-group for Tinkerbell).
The community in which we meet the elves felt very natural and convincing. Lorraine has her own take on the elves without it becoming forced, you can see her own little world in there.
I do though recommend this book for younger readers, though I see no reason older readers shouldn’t enjoy this book too.

How Do Cats Do That? by Peter Scottsdale

Title: How Do Cats Do That?
AuthorPeter Scottsdale
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Publisher: Indie
Publishing date: 15th of July 2016
ISBN: 9781536855722

Synopsis:You’ll Be Amazed by How Cats Do The Wonderful Things They Do.

My Review:

“How Do Cats Do That?” is a handy little book about what cats do, how they do it and why. It is a very short book, but it contains a lot of information. Each “chapter,” if I can call it that, is headlined with a question about something cats do and the following paragraphs explains what, how and why (not necessarily it that order).
I very much enjoyed reading it, though I did spot a few grammatical errors, but it did not take away from the fun of reading the book.
Much of my enjoyment of the book can be attributed to me being very much a cat person, living with two cats, and I think any catlover would enjoy reading this book (even if they already know a lot about cats).
It might also be beneficial to check out the authors blog where he blogs about… cats.

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

Title: Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms
Author:Robert Paul Weston
Illustrator: Misa Saburi
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publishing date: 20th of February 2018
ISBN: 9781101918746

Synopsis: A warm, gorgeous exploration of a little girl’s experience immigrating to a new country and missing her home and her grandmother, who still lives far away.

My Review:

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms is written through a series of Tanka poems , a traditional Japanese poem. The poem style is applied flawlessly throughout the book, and though it has few pages this book covers a lot of ground.
The story is about Sakura, who relocates with her family to America, and her meeting with the everyday in a foreign country with a new culture and a new language. It gives a view of how she misses her old home and her grandmother, but still becomes a sweet story about friendship.
The illustrations in this book is beautiful and varied, they compliment the story excellently. It is an excellent story, very suitable for young readers between 3 – 7 years.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café by Richard Dee

35086847Title: Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café
Author: Richard Dee
Genre: Cozy Crime, Light Sci-fi
Publisher: 4Star Scifi
Publishing date: 15th of June, 2017
ISBN: 9780995458161

Synopsis: Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn!
She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.
But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not.

My Review:

I am not much of a crime or mystery reader, but as this book sounded like quirky science fiction  book I decided to give it a try. The book did not disappoint.
The heroine, Andorra Pett, comes across as a likable mess in control with a habit of stumble into trouble. Though she has a bit of a striking personality at first, she quickly becomes a character you want to spend the next couple of hundred pages with.

The story has all the familiar classical marks of a crime novel; an outsider getting into a secluded society with few ways in and out where she ends up having to solve a crime in an environment where everyone might be a suspect. With it being a bit of a crime story and a bit of science fiction, these elements do shine through and should be strong enough to enthuse any regular crime reader looking for fresher watering-hole.

The story is set in space, so of course we will have to label it science fiction, but the elements of science fiction are light. The whole thing takes place on a space station circling Saturn, making most of the day-to-day life pure speculation, but the author has managed to do so without jamming a million made up words down the readers throat. It is believable that this colony could potentially exist in a future time.

Another thing I particularly liked about this book is that the trusted sidekick is gay, and he is not gay in the stereotypical flamboyant way books and movies like to gay people out to be. Like all people he does have his, for the lack of a better word, issues, but they do not seem to be there because of his sexual preferences but more as normal character flaws (because all characters have to have flaws to be real).

For last, I did really enjoy to read this book. I might have struggled a bit while setting into the story but I usually do. It takes a chapter or two to get you hocked. Bottom line is, I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys science fiction, guilty pleasure or crime fiction.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe Full Banner
Hosted as part of tour by Rachel’s Random Resources

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks by Seniha Slowinsk

Title: Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks
Author: Seniha Slowinsk
Genre: Picture book, Children’s fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publishing date: 1st of February 2018
ISBN: 9781912262274

Synopsis: Can you help Rocky Rocks find his socks? If you can see, you must tell me, what colour sock you can see?
I’ll give you a clue, it rhymes with bed, could it be the colour…

My Review:

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks is a nifty little picture books which will teach the youngest readers about colours as you search through Rocky’s house looking for socks.
The book is written in light rhyme which makes it easy to read out loud and easy to remember. The illustrations are large and colourful, which makes them entertaining.
I would recommend this book for the youngest readers, as the text and illustrations are fun.

My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher & Phoebe McEwe

Title: My Anxiety Handbook
Authors:Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher & Phoebe McEwe
Genre: Teens & YA, nonfiction
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Publishing date: 18th of January 2018
ISBN:9781785924408

Synopsis: Helping young people with anxiety learn to recognise and manage their symptoms, this anxiety survival guide teaches 10 to 21 year olds how they can overcome their biggest worries.
Showing that anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people face, this book helps young people understand the ins and outs of their own anxiety and helps them to challenge the difficult patterns they may get into. Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully.
With practical chapters on sleep, exam stress, transitions, and seeking extra help, this is a go-to guide for any tween, teen or young person living with anxiety.

My Review:

I think that “My Anxiety Handbook” will be a very handy book for any teenager who suffers from Anxiety. As aimed at young adults as well I think this book might be trying to cover a bit too much ground. Anxiety in young teenagers will be quite different from Anxiety in a late teens, beginning of twenties somethings.
That aside I think this book is interesting enough, that it will draw in anyone who struggles with anxiety, simply because it provides you with a tool belt to deal with your anxieties. Also, this book strongly validates that anxiety is a real thing, in a world where most people will suggest that you just need to pull yourself together. It lays out the ground work of techniques you can try on your own, in order to overcome (ar at least cope) with your anxiety.
What I call “the psychology part”-of the book, might be a bit too heavy for some younger teens, but I think that anyone who suffers from anxiety and want to do something about it will keep through.
The book also have some interesting stories from people who experience anxiety on a daily basis, and I think that this is a much-needed perspective. It can be very soothing and liberating to read that you are not the only one who suffers, because when you have anxiety it can really feel like you are suffering alone. I am saying this as someone who is a very angsty person with social anxiety, and I really enjoyed this book and reading the stories of other people.
For me, I think this book might be the best fit for someone in their mid-teens, but I would not say that someone from outside of that group shouldn’t read it.