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review 2017-07-20 01:23
An Interesting Twist
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

The author has a wonderful writing style that pulls a reader in and this one was quite interesting at times and had great potential. My problem with it is that I felt like I was reading a soap opera with some not so likable characters. In my opinion, the most likable characters in the book were Nancy's teenage sons and even they had their moments.

Nancy was boring and judgmental, more often than not, at least until the end. She's so concerned about her marriage that she moves to Hawaii, but then proceeds to spend as much time as possible away from that family. I understand and can sympathize with her situation, but as a married woman and a mother, I couldn't get on board with her actions. Ana is certainly a psychopath and it was easy to see her manipulation of Nancy and the situations they were in, but I was disappointed with her endgame. After everything that happened, I expected much more. The wayward husband, Chuck, does at least try to make things right, and honestly, his actions were the only ones that made sense to me - I didn't agree with them, but they did make sense. 

There is an interesting twist at the end that I didn't see coming, but by the time I got there, it was too little, too late for me to have much more than a meh feeling about the whole book. 

 
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review 2017-07-17 18:55
The Goddesses
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

Title:  The Goddesses: A Novel

Author:  Swan Huntley

Publisher: Doubleday

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Four

Review:

 

"The Goddesses" by Swan Huntley

 

My Thoughts....

 

What will happen when Nancy want a change in her life as she 'jump starts her family' by moving to Hawaii?  This poor lady had been through so much with that cheating husband Chuck and twin boys that seemed to in into something one way or another.  With all of this drama going on in Nancy's life would moving to Hawaii cause her some happiness?  What happens when she moves to Hawaii with her family?  Who is the woman Nancy will meet and what affect will she have on life?  What will happen when Nancy finally gets out of this disillusion that she had felt so apart of?   This is a interesting part of the read as the story shows just how people often look for happiness in the wrong place.  I will say that was quite a toxic friendship.  Will Nancy learn that one can't live through other people?  Be prepared for lots and lots of drama! I will also say that author really knows how to give the reader a good entertaining read of thrills and  suspense that will keep one reading to see what will happen next in this beautiful Hawaiian setting.  I found "The Goddesses" quite a interesting read that even thought it was captivating it could be somewhat a frustrating read at times too. 

 

Thank you to Net Gallery for the read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-09-02 01:19
Girls and Goddesses
Girls, Goddesses and Giants: Tales of Heroines from Around the World - Lari Don

      Arc provided by Lerner Publishing Group through Netgalley
                Release Date: September 1rt

This was an interesting collection of  twelve short stories for young readers with young girls as heroes.
These are tales full of wit, wisdom and sometimes self sacrifice.
Now, I know that I am not this book's intended audience, but I've become accustomed to middle grade books that are brilliantly written. I didn't find that to be the case here. I found the writing style to be serviceable, but maybe that was already the goal: to have the tales told in a more traditional way.

Chi and the Seven-headed Dragon (Chinese legend) - 3,5 Stars
One day, a dragon with seven heads appears in the Kingdom. The Emperor who likes things quiet _who doesn't?_is less than thrilled by this circumstance, and following his counsellors' advices decides to feed the dragon with what is supposed to be his favourite food: little girls. -_-
Typical.
 Weeks and years go by, until courageous (and bright) Chi appears. Then, and all by herself she is able to properly deal with the dragon: it may involve a different diet ;)

Inanna and the Box of Monsters (Sumerian myth) - 3.5
A story about Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of Love ( no, I had never heard of her) , who wasn't content with the power she already had, and how she came to acquire more of it.
A story that shows us that not even the God of Wisdom can resist a goddess, if she decides that she wants something from him.
According to Inanna, the ends definitely justify the means ;)
Also good friends always come in handy!

The Wolf in the Bed (French folktale) - 3.5 Stars
"Once there was a young girl who lived at the edge of the forest."

Was this the first Red Riding Hood story?
I don't know. Apparently it was one of the firsts in which the girl saved herself all by herself.

Telesilla and the Gates of Argos (Greek legend) - 4 Stars

When the city of Argos is invaded by the Spartans, and Argos' men fail to protect it, it will be up to Telesilla, a young schollar, who will command the rest of the population into the protection of their city.

“We are the women of Argos and we are defending our homes.”

A wise woman who knew what drove most men.
Ego.

Durga and the Demon (Indian myth) - 3.5 Stars
The story of the fight between a super powerful demon ( aren't they all?) and a woman. "A tall dark woman named Durga."
A story of the "type" be careful what you wish for...


Kopecho and the Two Suns (Venezuelan myth) - 3.5 Stars
Another perfect example to which if you want a job well done, you have to do it yourself... even at great risk.

Mbango and the Whirlpool (Cameroonian folktale) - 2.5 Stars
 The perils of envy...

Hervor and the Cursed Sword (Norse legend ) - 2.5 Stars
The story of a powerful cursed sword and the family who kept it throughout the years.
Because like they say, "it's our family curse".
Well then...you can keep it.

Visiting Baba Yaga (Russian folktale) - 4 Stars
Or basically how to survive your wicked stepmother whom to make matters even worse, is also related to Baba Yaga...
Can't a girl ever catch a break?

Aliquipiso and the Cliff (Native American legend) - 4 Stars
In which the self sacrifice of a girl managed to save the rest of her tribe.

Tokoyo and the Skin Rope (Japanese legend) - 4 Stars
Good deeds never go without reward? Also, what's with so many girls sacrifices? *says she in a naive tone of voice*


The Giant’s Heart (Scottish folktale)- 4 Stars
In which a Princess must beat the Giant who has kidnapped her, in a match of wits. Now, she only has to find where he keeps his heart... and be able of destroying it.

All in all, a rich and interesting collection for young readers.

Author's Official Site

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review 2016-07-29 22:33
Your classic teenage boy coming of age story...with a dragon
Choices - Alexander F Patterson

The following book was kindly sent to me by the author, Alexander F. Patterson, who requested a review.

 

Choices is a fantasy novel that takes place in Northern Europe during the 5th century (or thereabouts). This is the story of Richard Orlendr and his dragon, Aiden. This is a slightly different spin on dragon lore in that Richard and Aiden can communicate telepathically. The book is written from Richard's POV and he considers it more Aiden's story than his own. I suggest that you make sure that you are in the mood for an epic fantasy before starting this book because it is very detail oriented especially in regards to the mythology of the Norns and the gods. (This is touted as alternative history as much of the world building is taken from real historical events.) This book is also very dialogue heavy especially in regards to the communication between Richard and Aiden who have a very unique/close relationship. For the most part, I enjoyed this book but I don't think I'll be continuing the series (the ending was slightly ambiguous leading me to believe that a follow-up is possible). I enjoyed the historical references but I wasn't really invested in the characters or their journey. Also, the references to magic and its casting were dubious and unrealistic (think Harry Potter and how 'realistic' the magic is to the reader). This is a 4/10 for me.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-07-05 23:55
Urban Fantasy With Norse Gods YES !
Arctic Dawn - Karissa Laurel

Book Two in the Norse Chronicles series

Spoiler free review

 

I loved book one, it was the perfect mix of fantasy, action, suspense, with a tease of romance and great writing. Book two, took all that was generated in the first book and intensified it. I did not want it to stop, I dreaded the ending which came too soon. My mind carried the story into my dreams, working out some of the problems for the characters.

The story is written with such beautiful imagery, it's poetic at times. The words twisted to squeeze every emotion out of the scenes. I found myself re-reading lines just to hear them again.

 

Solina, she is a woman I can admire. She is faced with two or more hot hunky male gods and she doesn't jump on them ripping their clothes off. How she can hold back is a wonder to me. This is a character that thinks things through. It irritated the crunch off my toast a few times but I enjoyed the story more without the typical romantic tangle in the middle of a life or death brawl. This girl takes her saving the world job seriously. She'll think about the body slamming mojo after the job is done. Thank the gods for a thinking female main character.

There is so much happening in this book, when it rains it pours even for Norse gods.

Thorin, son of Thor, ancient and yet young in this human world develops into a more relatable god man. His history, his beliefs and his choices. He is a god, powerful, ancient, and sometimes an idiot. Solina, after a long time away must come out of hiding to search for her friend Skyla and track down a very dangerous weapon. her powers are still in the learning phase but she tries and never gives up. Skyla, the tough as nails Marine finds herself at a well of information, Val does a lot of disappearing, and touching. Helen, well her wicked ways continue.  There are emotional distractions on top of the world saving must do know actions that churn and drive this reader and the characters nuts. We all needed a spa day after that ending.

 

Let's talk about the ending. Naughty Ms. Laurel, you tease ! Yes, there was a terrific cliffhanger. Now I must hang and swing over the sharp edge till book three is released. That was brutal of you and I thank you for it. 

 

I was lucky enough to be given an advanced reading copy for my reading pleasure and review.

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