Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

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Author: Anthony Doerr

Published: January 15th 2015 by Fourth Estate (First published May 6th 2014)

Blurb:

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Continue reading “Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See”

Book Review: The Sweetest Spell

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Author: Suzanne Selfors

Published: August 21st 2012 by Walkers Children

Blurb:

Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher’s daughter, has escaped death twice-first, on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability-she can churn milk into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.

Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund finds herself desired by all. But Emmeline only wants one-Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances once tempted her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. But others will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains-no matter what the cost to Emmeline.

Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all. Continue reading “Book Review: The Sweetest Spell”

Book Review: A School For Unusual Girls

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Author: Kathleen Baldwin

Published: May 19th 2015 by Tor Teen

Blurb:

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle them in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts… Continue reading “Book Review: A School For Unusual Girls”

Book Review: The Shattered Crown

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Author: J. W. Webb

Published: March 5th 2015

Blurb:

‘You ride into peril, Corin an Fol!’

Those are the words of the witch at the ford. Corin an Fol, mercenary, brawler, womaniser and drinker, ignores them and thus finds himself caught in a tangled web of sorcery, intrigue and dark prophesy.

When the High King is murdered and his broken crown goes missing, Queen Ariane suspects the wily hand of Caswallon the sorcerer. She forms a secret council and rides out to find the Oracle of her Goddess, to see if her worries are proved right. But Caswallon is onto her and the noose tightens fast around the young queen.

Corin an Fol returns to his village seeking solace in drink. Instead he finds an old contact waiting for him who persuades him to join Queen Ariane in her fight against Caswallon. And so, like the queen, Corin an Fol is snared by the sorcerer. Our boy has a big sword and bad attitude, but is that enough to survive the hordes Caswallon sends against them?

Review:

A millennium after the previous book, Gol, The Shattered Crown focuses on a new hero, a mercenary named Corin An Fol. Just as calamity has struck Gol a thousand years before, now the same thing happens within the Four Kingdoms and the surrounding land as war is threatening to begin anew. The murder of the High King is only the beginning of everything. Continue reading “Book Review: The Shattered Crown”

Book Review: Six-Gun Snow White

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Author: Catherynne M. Valente

Published: November 10th 2015 by Saga Press (First published February 28th 2013)

Blurb:

Forget the dark, enchanted forest. Picture instead a masterfully evoked Old West where you are more likely to find coyotes as the seven dwarves. Insert into this scene a plain-spoken, appealing narrator who relates the history of our heroine’s parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. Although her mother’s life ended as hers began, so begins a remarkable tale: equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, this is an utterly enchanting story…at once familiar and entirely new.

Review:

“She put jasper-and-pearl combs in my hair and yanked them so tight I cried – There, now you are a lady, she said… She put me in her own corsets like nooses strangling my waist till I was sick, my breath gone and my stomach shoved up into my ribs – There, now you’re civilized, she said… She forbade me to eat sweets or any good thing till I got thin as a dog and could hardly stand I was so damn hungry – There, now you’re beautiful, she said…” Continue reading “Book Review: Six-Gun Snow White”

Book Review: Paths of Glory

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Author: Jeffrey Archer

Published: March 3rd 2009 by St. Martin’s Press (First published January 1st 2009)

Blurb (taken from Goodreads):

Some people have dreams that are so magnificent that if they were to achieve them, their place in history would be guaranteed. Francis Drake, Robert Scott, Charles Lindbergh, Amy Johnson, Edmund Hilary, Neil Armstrong, and Lewis and Clark are among such individuals.

But what if one man had such a dream, and once he’d fulfilled it, there was no proof that he had achieved his ambition?

Jeffrey Archer’s book, Paths of Glory, is the story of such a man—George Mallory. Mallory once told an American reporter that he wanted to climb Mt. Everest, “because it’s there.” On his third attempt in 1924, at age thirty-seven, he was last seen six hundred feet from the top. His body was found in 1999, and it still remains a mystery whether he ever reached the summit.

But only after you’ve turned the last page of this extraordinary novel, inspired by a true story, will you be able to decide if George Mallory’s name should be added to the list of legends, in which case another name would have to be removed. Paths of Glory is truly a triumph. Continue reading “Book Review: Paths of Glory”

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Authors: J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Published: July 31st 2016 by Little Brown UK

Albus Severus Potter is struggling with being thought as the only Potter who is thought to be entirely different from his father, Harry Potter. As he continues with his struggle and the burden his name seems to put on his shoulder, the relationship between father and son begins to fray. Harry, on the other hand is having troubles with both fatherhood and his job in the Ministry. Upon hearing a conversation Harry had, Albus takes it on himself to try right the wrong his father made but his actions might lead to terrible consequences.

Written in the form of a play and not a novel, I had every intention Continue reading “Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Book Review: Spiral

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Author: D.U. Okonkwo

Published: July 2015 by A Few Words Press Ltd.

Nina Bishop, a solicitor, was invited for a business networking trip organized by a client to Kitzbὔhel along with her firm partners and friends, Angela Akura and Neil Vaska. Parker Drayton, owner of a chain of hotels wanted to kill two birds with one stone on this trip hoping that he could forge a better relationship with his sons, Justin and Hugh during that trip. Due to an unforeseen reason, the pilot of the private jet bringing all of them to their destination had to be changed at the last minute. Jake Rush, the best pilot in Jets by Gwynne, was to pilot their jet instead. Everything was going well until Hugh made a thoughtless decision to barge into the cockpit and disrupted the flight. The jet crashed in the middle of nowhere in Austria, where they were surrounded by snow and mountains. Continue reading “Book Review: Spiral”

Book Review: Alias Hook

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Author: Lisa Jensen

Published:  May 1st 2013 by Snowbooks Ltd.

The life of Captain Hook does not end with him being eaten by the infamous ticking crocodile. Instead, that was just one of his many near-death encounters. Every story needs a villain, and for that reason, Peter Pan refuses to allow Captain James Hook the respite death brings, even though his crews are killed and new ones are brought in.

Hook believed that it was his fate to be forever trapped in the nightmare which is Neverland but as strange and wondrous dreams begin to haunt him, and things are happening in Neverland that surprises even him, Hook begins to wonder. Everything changes when Stella Parrish, a full-grown woman finds her way into Neverland thus making her into a forbidden being. With the innocence of a child and the ability to understand the creatures in Neverland, Stella might just be his ticket back to the real world. Or they could both be stuck there forever. Continue reading “Book Review: Alias Hook”

Book Review: The Prophecy (The Fulfillment Series #1)

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Author: Erin Rhew

Published: October 1st by BookFish Books (First Published November 1st 2013)

Layla Givens thought that she was another ordinary Vanguard, so she did not give much thought when her adopted parents instructed her to always wear her hood and put on her eye drops whenever she went to the village square. However, everything changed on the Day of Dawning. Layla found herself proclaimed to be the Fulfillment who will bring peace between the two warring kingdoms, Vanguard and Etherea. Continue reading “Book Review: The Prophecy (The Fulfillment Series #1)”