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review 2017-01-11 16:04
Book Review: Song of the Sending (The Expatriates #1) by Corinne O'Flynn
The Expatriates (Song of the Sending, #1) - Corinne O'Flynn

Title: Song of the Sending

By: Corinne O'Flynn

Series: The Expatriates #1

Categories / Themes: fantasy, coming of age, young adult, adventure

Read: 8th January - 12th January, 2017

Rating: 4 / 5

Obtained: Won an eBook copy via a Giveaway

Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

 

Song of the Sending by Corinne O'Flynn is a young adult novel, full of adventure. Despite living in a travelling carnival, James "Jim" Wales feels like he doesn't belong there. He's always felt as if he's not from the Modern World. One day, he receives a bird messenger, carrying a note from someone he believed to be long gone. Black Riders soon attack the carnival, led by a terrorist named Eldred. He is what is known as a Scholar, born with a symbol. As it turns out, Jim has a similar one. He is the one that Eldred hunts.

 

I wasn't impressed with Jim. He's an alright character, but he's kind of dull and the situations surrounding his life aren't the most original. Many are reminiscent of other young adult series that I've experienced. I thought that many of the foreground characters had interesting points to them. However, I felt like the author could have cut back a few characters. A lot of background characters were mentioned, despite having no part to play in the book. I wasn't a fan of the Jim / Charlie relationship; it didn't seem like a very important part to the plot, in my opinion. I can appreciate that he has feelings for her, but I think he had better things to think about and (to me) it kind of seemed disrespectful to the people who had died. I didn't really like Sam; as a character, some of his comments seemed depressing and I felt like some of his actions only served to make him seem like a third wheel.

 

I didn't necessarily appreciate all of the magical happenings. Charlie's magical power development seemed odd as she had no indication of it before going across the bridge. It did have an important part to play in the book, but I think it could have been better explained. I appreciate that there are differences between Bellenor and the Modern World, but a bunch of things don't make sense. For example, Bellenor and the "Modern World" were separated centuries ago due to the "Great Shift". The Modern World has advanced to present day, with Bellenor stuck in some kind of medieval/ Middle Ages setting- or so it appears to the characters. Why has Bellenor not advanced from that point in time? More to the point, why are they able to understand each other so easily? Not to mention, the people are speaking English, no less. In centuries, the English language has changed a LOT as it's taken on new words from all sorts of countries and it mutates day to day, depending on slang and new inventions. However, the people in Bellenor speak modern day English, but that doesn't make sense; they would have a lot of differing cultures depending on their own people. So, although they have travellers from the Modern World, they would likely have their own language. I could understand similarities, but not the exact same language. I think that some other things are unclear as well. In the beginning, it almost seems as if Jim has little knowledge of Bellenor. Yet, later on, he seems to have more knowledge of it- and the events during the family's departure- than others have.

 

Overall, it was fairly well developed and I can see that the author has put a lot of details into even small, unimportant things such as background characters. Not all of it works out, in my opinion; I feel like some of it is unnecessary. However, I admire the author's dedication to building such a comprehensive introduction to the series. Whilst I wasn't a fan of many characters or all of their actions, I found that there were some intriguing points to their personalities and some of the choices they made.

 

I won an eBook copy of this book via a Giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on it.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1872452563?
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review 2015-12-19 19:47
The Christmas Train by Rexanne Becnel
The Christmas Train - Rexanne Becnel

Full review on my blog.

4.5 Stars

The Christmas Train is the story of Anna and Eva. Anna is a sweet little 10-year-old girl who lives with Nana Rose, her grandmother. After the inevitably sad death of Nana Rose, her mother decides she can’t take care of Anna and sends her to live with her dad in Iowa; a man Anna has never met. It is on her journey on “the Christmas train” that Anna meets Miss Eva, an older woman who thinks she’s on a train to her villa in Germany in pre-World War II. Having had such a close relationship with her grandmother, Anna sees a little of her grandmother in Miss Eva and so we follow them as their lives become intertwined in a friendship that will melt your heart and give you all the feels.

This is a feel good story, with lovable characters and a warm positive message. It’s impossible not to fall for Anna. She’s this adorable 10 year old that thinks and behaves like a grown up. Miss Eva, even though she’s the grown up that acts like a lost 10 year old, you can’t not fall for her in her time of need. As a family member of someone who is struggling with senile dementia, it was impossible not to feel compassion for Miss Eva.

My favorite character is Nana Rose. You gotta love Nana Rose! Find out what I loved about her in the full review on my blog.

If you’re looking for a short and cozy Christmas story to read curled up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and candy canes, this is the book for you. If you are traveling during this Christmas season and you need reading material, this is the book for you and your journey. It will warm your heart, make your trip more cozy but most importantly it will make you want to be aware of the people travelling with you. Who knows, maybe you will meet your “Anna” or your “Miss Eva” on your Christmas bus, plane or train. If you do, you will be blessed.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
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review 2015-11-28 16:53
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose
The Witch of Painted Sorrows - M.J. Rose

Full review on my blog.

I chose to read this book because of the author, the book cover, the title and the description. It was an all in one for me.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the story of Sandrine Salomé, a woman who decides to escape her unhappy marriage in New York to find shelter at her grandmother’s house in Paris. Her grandmother is a famous Parisian courtesan, who has accumulated innumerable treasures in her house. When Sandrine arrives, she finds herself homeless, as her grandmother had moved out of the house in hopes of turning it into a museum. Her grandmother doesn’t want Sandrine near the house. There is something about the house, Sandrine can’t let go of it, she manages to inhabit the house and along with Julien Duplessi, the architect in charge of the museum project, she embarks in a life changing journey of discovery, not only of the dark mysteries of her family’s past hidden inside the house but also a journey that will lead her to discover her passion for art and her own sensuality.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a delight for the senses. The setting is described in such a way that it is impossible not to feel like you are right there, inside that house, exploring the hidden room, mixing the pigments, creating the paintings, walking through the Parisian streets, or living the bohemian life in Paris in 1890.

And the provocative romance, it is impossible not to feel seduced by it. It is I must say a book for adults. I wouldn’t recommend it for YA nor the advanced YA readers. Not that kids today aren’t reading about sex, but I wouldn’t want to give kids the idea that adultery is enchanting. The sensual content in this book is more likely to be enjoyed by adults.

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is a story that gets sexier and darker with every page you read. Reading it feels like touching velvet. It is a bewitching story. I couldn’t put this book down. I was so into the story that when I finished it, it left me hungry for more. I wanted to keep reading; I wanted to stay in that magical world for a while longer. And this abrupt ending is the main reason it didn’t get 5 stars in my rating.

Nevertheless, this book confirmed that I am a fan of MJ Rose. I can’t wait to read more of her work. If you’re looking for a book with an exquisite blend of history, romance, eroticism, magic, witchcraft, paranormal, mystery, and art, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that will make you travel back in time to the bohemian life of the Belle Époque in Paris, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a hypnotic story filled with passion, mystique and drama, this is the book for you.


Full review and other musings of mine on my blog.

 

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/read-reviewed-74-the-witch-of-painted-sorrows-by-m-j-rose
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review 2015-10-31 18:14
Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
Within These Walls - Ania Ahlborn

Full review on my blog.

Within These Walls is the recollection of “unusual” events that took place in two different time periods in a house located in 101 Montlake Road in Pier Pointe, Washington. The house is owned by Jeffrey Halcomb, a cult leader on death row for the death of 10 of his followers back in 1983. Halcomb has decided to give crime writer Lucas Graham exclusive interviews because he wants Graham to write his side of the story. But there is one catch: Lucas (Lou) must move into his house on Pier Pointe.

Lou is not going through a high point in his life, his wife is having an affair and his writing career desperately needs a comeback. He naively figures he’s got nothing to lose, takes the deal and moves into the infamous house with his 12 year old daughter, Virginia. The house welcomes its new inhabitants and without losing time finds the way to reveal to them the secrets she’s kept within her walls.

Aside from Lou and Virginia’s story line, we also read about Audra Snow, a congressman’s daughter who lived with Halcomb back in 1983, and was a victim of the mass murder that took place inside the house.

I couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up all night reading it and finished it at 5:30 AM. I really enjoyed how the story slowly pulled me in. It was creepy scary from the get go, and it got creepier as I kept reading. The author does a good job in blending the two storylines; the jumps between the different time periods are well executed and you never feel lost. The secrets are revealed not all at once but in a very addictive rhythm that keeps you turning the pages.

I don’t usually like to do comparisons but if I had to describe this book in that way, I would say that this book is pop culture’s Age of Aquarius meets The Sixth Sense (did you just hear “I see dead people” in your mind?). It has everything you can expect in an adult frightening read: mass murder, cults, orgies, ghosts, mystery, horror, thrills, love, grief, etc.

If you’re in the mood for a fast paced mix of paranormal, horror, mystery, suspense and psychological thrills all in one, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book to add to you Halloween TBR, this is the book for you. I’m looking forward to reading more of Ania Ahlborn‘s creepy horrific work.

Full review and other musings on my blog.

 

 

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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links.
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/read-reviewed-71-within-these-walls-by-ania-ahlborn
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review 2015-10-17 18:51
Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green
Spy of Richmond - Jocelyn Green

Full review on my blog.

Spy of Richmond is Jocelyn Green’s fourth and final book in her Heroines Behind the Lines Series. Even though this book is the conclusion to a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. It is a well-rounded and complete story that keeps you turning pages until the end.

Spy of Richmond is a wonderful piece of historical Christian fiction. Once again, the book’s synopsis gives the reader absolutely no clue that this book has religious messages. Having read it, I can say that yes, there are Scripture references throughout the book, especially towards the end (too many for my taste), but you are already too invested in the story that you need to keep on reading in order to know the conclusion of this voyage back to life in the Richmond of the 1860s.

Spy of Richmond is a story that has a wide array of characters that are all relevant to the story; each person plays an important role. There are three main story lines, headed by Sophie, Bella and Harrison, which are fabulously intertwined to create an entertaining narrative.

For more about the characters check the full review on my blog.

Spy of Richmond is a well-researched book about the Civil War. It is not a stereotypical story about slaves being abused and forced to work or about Southern belles who live their lives oblivious to the racial issues happening. This is a fantastic story about people who regardless of their social status, the color of their skin or if they came from the North or South, work together to fight for what they believe is the right thing to do. It was very interesting to read about the brave risks taken especially by women in a time where they were thought of as decorative, weak and brainless figures of society.

My favorite part was the History behind the Story section, where the author describes what parts of the story were fictional and what parts were based on real historical events of the time. There’s also a list of select books that can serve as resources for those interested in doing more research on the historical facts portrayed in the book.

If you’re looking for a book that will help you learn things about the Civil War they didn’t teach you in school (or you didn’t pay enough attention to), this is the book for you. If you’re into historical Christian fiction, this is definitely your cup of Joe. Book clubs should consider adding this one to their reading lists. The discussion guide included touches a wide array of subjects, not only historical or religious, that could lead to interesting analyses and conversations.

If you’re looking for a story about survival while doing the right thing, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a captivating story that takes you back to the real difficult events that led brave men and women in the US to freedom, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that will make you think about what freedom means to you, this is the book for you.

Full review on my blog.

 

 

BUY ON AMAZON US | BUY ON AMAZON UK

 

 

 

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
I received an Electronic copy of this book but was not financially compensated in any way nor obliged to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal experience while reading it. This post contains affiliate links
Source: bloggeretterized.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/read-reviewed-69-spy-of-richmond-by-jocelyn-green
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