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review 2017-03-02 18:47
Scary: Dr Fell's Playground of Doom | Audiobook Review
Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom - David Neilsen,David Neilsen

A mysteriously creepy MG Fantasy

 

When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids' hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor's spell.

 

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor's secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

 

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I received this book for free from the author. My opinions are my own.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen, read by the author, published by Listening Library (2016) / Length: 5hrs 23min

 

SUMMARY:

I think the scariest part of this book is how alone these children are in their efforts to figure out what is happening. It is a common theme in MG & YA books that the adults are somehow not there (or the kid's fail to consult them). In this book they are there, but (for reasons I won't reveal) are of no help whatsoever. That seems worse to me somehow.

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review 2016-11-18 17:47
An Improvement: The Alliance of Isian | Review
The Alliance of Isian: The Isian Series, Book 2 - Serena Clarke,Carolyn Kashner,Red Mountain Shadows Publishing

A pleasant, clean, YA/NA fantasy romance.

 

War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side. Isian decides to make an alliance with their long-time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I received this book for free from the publisher. My opinions are my own.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

The Alliance of Isian by Serena Clarke, read by Carolyn Kashner, published by Red Mountain Shadows (2016) / Length: 7 hrs 30 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #2 of 3 in the "Isian" series, but could easily be read as a standalone. Number 3 is not yet available on audio.

 

SUMMARY:

In my review for Book #1, I wrote how that book didn't really appeal to me until the final third of the story. Thankfully, this book was more enjoyable almost from the start. I still feel that there isn't anything outstanding here, and that the dialog often seems too contemporary, but it was a sweet fantasy romance.

 

I have tagged the book with diversity, as Gabrielle and her family are POC and their country has different customs & culture.

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review 2016-11-12 16:29
When Your Sanctuary is Threatened: Tris's Book | Review
Tris's Book: Circle of Magic, Book 2 - Tamora Pierce,Tamora Pierce,the Full Cast Family

This MG Fantasy doesn't shrink from the truth about Pirates.

 

Earthquake damage leaves Winding Circle vulnerable to pirate attack, so everyone - including the young mages-in-training Tris, Briar, Daja, and Sandry - is working to strengthen the community's defenses. When Tris's cousin Aymery comes to visit, he advises the "weather witch" to return to the family that exiled her, but she doesn't wish to leave her friends to face the threat without her.

As the onslaught begins, two things become terribly clear: The pirates have a powerful new weapon, and they have an accomplice within Winding Circle. But the attackers have failed to reckon with the fury of a young mage betrayed once too often and her very stubborn, very loyal friends.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


 

BOOK DETAILS:

Tris's Book by Tamora Pierce, read & published by Full Cast Audio (2004) / Length: 5 hrs 31 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #2 of 4 in the original "Circle of Magic" series, all of which are available on audio. There are also additional books (only some of which are on audio) with the same characters.

 

**This review may contain spoilers for the previous book.**

 

SUMMARY:

One of the things I like best about this series is the way that the children work with & along side their adult mentors as well as together. That really starts to be solidified in this book as they make both good and bad choices in that regard.

 

Another strong point of the series is the message that choices/actions have consequences. Tris & the others continue to deal with the emotional results of the ones they make in this book for many years.

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review 2016-10-25 16:41
Wagner meets... The Sleeping Beauty | Review
The Sleeping Beauty: Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 5 - Mercedes Lackey,Gabra Zackman,Audible Studios

This Adult Fantasy, which mixes various fairytales with "The Ring Cycle," is one of Lackey's better 500 Kingdoms novels.

 

Heavy is the head--and the eyelids--of the princess who wears the crown...In Rosamund's realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs: For every princess there's a prince. The king has ultimate power. Stepmothers should never be trusted. And bad things come to those who break with Tradition....

 

But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the guinea pig in one of her stepmother's risky incantations--thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.

 

When awakened by a touchy-feely stranger, Rosa must choose between Tradition and her future...between a host of eligible princes and a handsome, fair-haired outsider. And learn the difference between being a princess and ruling as a queen.

 

The moral of the story? Sometimes a princess has to create her own happy endings....

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


BOOK DETAILS:

The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey, read by Gabra Zackman, published by Audible Studios (2013) / Length: 11 hrs 5 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #5 of 6 in the "Five Hundred Kingdoms" series. These books can easily be read as standalones.

 

SUMMARY:

Although I feel that Ms Lackey's newer books lack the narrative tightness & emotional punch of her earlier work, this one is the one I like the most. I enjoy the characters, even the disreputable ones, and find more of the story to be interesting.

 

Note: it is not necessary to be familiar with "The Ring Cycle" at all. Ms. Lackey does an excellent job of presenting the slightly altered details she has based this on.

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review 2016-10-11 15:40
Nice & Not so Nice: No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished | Review
No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished: Heartstrikers, Book 3 - Audible Studios,Vikas Adam,Rachel Aaron

Two wonderful protagonists & a slow burn romance make this NA Fantasy a real pleasure.

 

When Julius overthrew his mother and took control of his clan, he thought he was doing right by everyone. But sharing power isn’t part of any proper dragon’s vocabulary, and with one seat still open on the new ruling Council, all of Heartstriker is ready to do whatever it takes to get their claws on it, including killing the Nice Dragon who got them into this mess in the first place.

 

To keep his clan together and his skin intact, Julius is going to have to find a way to make his bloodthirsty siblings play fair. But there’s more going on in Heartstriker Mountain than politics. Every family has its secrets, but the skeletons in Bethesda’s closet are dragon sized, and with Algonquin’s war looming over them all, breaking his clan wide open might just be the only hope Julius has of saving it.

 

Buy Now | +Goodreads

Disclosure: GMB uses affiliate links, clicking and making a purchase may result in a small commission for me.


Source: I received this book free in return from Audible. My opinions are my own.

 

BOOK DETAILS:

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron, read by Vikas Adam, published by Audible Studios (2016) / Length: 18 hrs 50 min

 

SERIES INFO:

This is Book #3 in the "Heartstrikers" series. The author confirmed on Twitter that there will be 2 more books (for a total of 5) and that she hopes to publish them both in 2017.

 

**This review may contain minor spoilers for the previous books.**

 

SUMMARY:

You really should be reading this series. Each book builds the story and the characters further. So much happens in this book; yet I don't want to spoil anything, so this review won't have a lot of details.

 

CHARACTERS:

Julius: Although I don't always agree with his decisions, I am very impressed by how much he has grown. By the end of this book he knows who he is, what he wants, and what he is willing to do to get it. And he is not ashamed of any of it.

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