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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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30 01, 2015

Review: Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson

By | January 30th, 2015|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

mitosis book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Mitosis is a novelette sequel to Steelheart (which is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read!). I think the narrator of the audiobook, Macleod Andrews, did a great job reading. If you have never read any of Brandon Sanderson’s work, you could do much worse than give this a listen. If you already like what he writes (and I certainly do!), I’d recommend starting with Steelheart before setting  your sights on this one.

Mitosis is about a world of super powered people. Unfortunately, all of them seem to already be or to turn insanely evil. It’s a planet with supervillains devoid of any superheroes. So it took a few regular people to become regular heroes and stand up to them. This story takes place after the first successful revolt of the regulars.

It is still too early for the

23 01, 2015

Review: Meritropolis by Joel Ohman

By | January 23rd, 2015|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Series, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Rating:

meritropolis book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

After the “Event”, the surviving humans have worked together to build a new life within the the walls of Meritropolis. Unfortunately, the population of 50,000 lives in fear of a brutal system that assigns each citizen a merit score that determines whether they get to live or die. Most of the population have accepted this as simply how life works now and are content with the trade off of being allowed to live from day to day. But for one high scoring individual, conforming is not an option. Charley is seventeen years old and has an agenda. He wants to bring the system down in the name of his brother, who was unjustly put outside the gates to die.

Charley soon finds out that he has bit off more than he can chew and that brute force may

27 12, 2014

Review: How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete by Mick Bogerman

By | December 27th, 2014|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

HOW_TO_NAVIGATE_ZOMBIE_CAVE_AND_DEFEAT_PIRATE_PETEHOW_TO_NAVIGATE_ZOMBIE_CAVE_AND_DEFEAT_PIRATE_PETEReviewed by Jessa Larsen

With a pitchfork, mining helmet, and a treasure map, Mick Bogerman has just finished tying up his little brother (for safety of course) and is ready to hunt for treasure in the mysterious Zombie Cave. If you’re worried about the brother being tied up, no need, Mick knows what he’s doing and obviously a zombie cave is no place for little brothers.

Unfortunately, Mike probably could have used the extra help, younger brother or not; he is soon to be sludging through zombie goop in the chase to retrieve the coveted pirate treasure before the tide comes in and drowns him. Of course, drowning may be the least of his problems once he finds the worst monster of them all, the infamous Pirate Pete!

How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete is a delightful story that is perfect for

18 10, 2014

Review: Santa Rita Stories by Andrew J. Rodriguez

By | October 18th, 2014|Categories: Action & Adventure, Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

book cover of santa rita storiesReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Santa Rita Stories is a novel (not a short story collection as I had anticipated) about the stories of Santa Rita, Cuba as told to the reader by a young narrator, Carlos, who is hearing the stories told by Pedro, a character who resides in the town.  Pedro is an older, seasoned man, homeless, a bit eccentric and lives in squalor near the wharf of the small fishing village. He smokes discarded cigar butts, swigs cheap rum and reads anything he can get his hands on. He seems to live in this way by choice, not by circumstance, though there are parts of his past that could explain how he ended up in his current situation.

Rodriguez’s narration fits the subject matter perfectly.  He sits the reader down and spins tales. As the stories progress

20 09, 2014

Review: Surrounded by Sharks by Michael Northrop

By | September 20th, 2014|Categories: Adventures & Thrillers, Children's Books, Young Adult|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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51wBXoWn7qL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Reviewed by Carrie Ardoin

Surrounded By Sharks is the first book I’ve ever read that had anything to do with frightening sea creatures, but upon reading the synopsis of this book I was excited to give it a shot. Sharks have become a well-known symbol in pop culture, with the culmination of the much anticipated Shark Week series that the Discovery Channel showcases every year.

In Surrounded by Sharks, by young adult author Michael Northrop, the main character is indeed in the middle of a number of the predators. But to me, the more immediate danger would have been not the animals, but any number of other things that could have killed the boy: exposure, exhaustion, thirst, and above all, drowning. Whatever antagonism Davey experiences, Surrounded by Sharks is a thrilling novel that is sure to keep teenagers engaged with its danger and suspense.

The

14 09, 2014

Review: The Heist by Daniel Silva

By | September 14th, 2014|Categories: Action & Adventure, Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

Rating:

51LEPFYYjRLReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Heist is the 14th Gabriel Allon book and I enjoyed this one even more than the last couple I’ve read.  Some of the books, especially the ones with Ivan, can get a bit on the gruesome side with very detailed accounts of all the nasty things people can do to each other. This one skips over most of the gore and it’s much more an international spy thriller–James Bond meets Mission Impossible.

Gabriel has been collecting a large list of ‘friends’ whose sense of right and wrong and what laws to abide by vary greatly. This time around he gets them all to help him pull off the worlds biggest heist. He started it all because his friend Isherwood happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Julian Isherwood went to a villa in Italy to discuss the

31 08, 2014

Review: Sniper’s Honor by Bob Lee Swagger

By | August 31st, 2014|Categories: Action & Adventure, Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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18668498Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

I found Sniper’s Honor to be a very good read. I do tend to enjoy a book that tells a story of the past and the present in tandem. Here we have Bob Lee Swagger, a rather famous contemporary sniper who learns about Milli Petrova, a WWII Russian sniper who killed Nazis and then disappeared. We get the two stories in parallel–Bob trying to find out what happened to Milli and Milli’s story.

Swagger’s friend Kathy Reilly, a reporter for the Washington Post, sent him an email asking about an old Russian sniper rifle. It peaks Bob’s interest, especially when she mentions it’s in relation to a Russian sniper who disappeared from all the records. A beautiful woman sniper.

Swagger decides to hop a plane and go help his friend do a little snooping to see if between them they can find

18 08, 2014

Review: Irenicon by Aidan Harte

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: Action & Adventure, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Rating:

irenicon_jkReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Irenicon is a strange book and it took me some time to get into it. I think part of my problem was the write-up/blurb about it. The question posed was, “What would have happened if Jesus Christ had died as an infant?” Which made me think the author was going try for an alternate history or a big game of “what if?” Well, this is a fantasy based on alternate history and it has plenty of ‘magic’ in it (not sorcerers and witches casting spells–it’s much more subtle but it’s there). So the mention of Christ being slaughtered in a purge as a child is not the meat of the story.

The story is centered around the town Rasenna, Italy. The year is 1347. Rome is no more and Concord is the current power in the region. The ruling class are called

5 08, 2014

Review: Time and Again by Jack Finney

By | August 5th, 2014|Categories: Action & Adventure, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

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imagesReviewed by Colleen Turner

When I typically think of time travel stories I think of someone sitting in some sort of machine that they manipulate to transport themselves to some other time and place. But what if all we needed was our own mind to escape to the past? What if each and every one of us, the imaginative individuals who can believe beyond belief that they are in another time, actually put ourselves into a kind of hypnotic state and then open our eyes and actually find ourselves there? And what might we do with that sort of power and the ability to change events of the past to alter the events of the future? These are the unusual and thought provoking questions answered within Jack Finney’s Time and Again, a novel written almost forty five years ago but just as

4 08, 2014

Review: Apocalypse by Dean Crawford

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: Action & Adventure, Contemporary, Genre Fiction, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

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Apocalypse_scnReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Apocalypse is the third book in the Ethan Warner series. This is a fast-paced book with a lot of action. It reminds me a lot of Dan Brown and Steve Berry–plot holes and poor physics included. While I enjoyed reading most of the book, the single biggest problem I had with it was the poor physics. Crawford tried putting in a ‘reasonable’ amount of ‘science’ to explain how someone would be able to ‘see’ into the future. I couldn’t swallow any of it–most of all the explanation on how it worked. The physics explanations in the ending were absolutely horrible.

Ethan and his partner Nicola Lopez are private eyes in Illinois. They are trying to catch a rather nasty piece of work who skipped his bail and represents a fairly large payday for the duo. When the fugitive