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review 2017-04-03 21:15
Book Review of Arabelle: And The Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures Book 1) by Julia Stilchen
Arabelle: And the Star Crystal (Arabelle's Adventures) (Volume 1) - Julia Lela Stilchen

Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series

 

Venture off into the magical land of Wistaria where there are mages, elves, fairies, mermaids, magical creatures, and more!

 

Arabelle is looking forward to obtaining her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. When the day finally arrives, her best friend Yunika goes missing. Will Arabelle be able to find her bff and still make it to the Starfall Ceremony in time to catch her first falling star?

 

Arabelle is the youngest of all mages. She doesn’t let that stop her from trying her best. Even if it means confronting dragons, traveling throughout the twists and turns in the land of Wistaria, and taking on any challenge she encounters. Seeking to improve her skills, she teams up with her besties on a fun filled magical adventure.

 

Set in a fantasy setting filled with magical adventures, each story encourages imagination while lightly addressing topics of universal themes: self-esteem, self-acceptance, teamwork, friendship, and problem solving skills.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in Arabelle’s Adventures Chapter Book Series. I absolutely loved it!

 

Arabelle is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She is a young mage who is determined to catch her first magical star at the Starfall Ceremony. Unfortunately, her best friend, Yunika (who happens to be a human shape-shifting unicorn), has gone missing shortly before the event is due to begin, so with the help of her other friends, Kitsy (a furry - a human but with animal ears and tail) and Pip (a talking parakeet), Arabelle finds herself on a rescue mission. Can she find her friend in time, or will she lose the chance to catch her first star?

 

This is a fantastic children's chapter book, full of action, adventure and danger. It is told through the eyes of Arabelle. The story is the perfect length for young readers who have a short attention span. It is entertaining, but also educational. The story teaches the reader about friendship, teamwork, building confidence, solving problems by thinking things through and achieving dreams through hard work and perseverance.

 

Each character in the book has different strengths and weaknesses, and they complement each other as they face difficult challenges. I must admit that I'm not sure I would like to meet up with the Lullaweeds from this tale, they look like pretty flowers but are plant-like creatures. Once they get their leaf like arms around you, it's hard to escape. *Shudder*

 

Julia Stilchen has written a fantastic chapter book that is full of imaginative description which allows the reader to picture the scenes with ease. Her characters are lifelike and likable, and her writing style is easy for children to follow and understand. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

 

This series of books are aimed at children aged 6-10. Depending on a child's reading ability, this book would be easy for a child to read either with the help of a parent or on their own. It would also make a wonderful bedtime story for younger children if read by a parent. However, I think that adults would also enjoy this story just as much as I did. - Lynn Worton

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review 2017-03-21 02:49
Ink and Shadows (Ink and Shadows #1) by Rhys Ford
Ink and Shadows - Rhys Ford

UPDATE:
While reading the length of this book, one star. <----- That pretty much sums up the state of editing in this book. Hence the rating.

==================

I was sooooo looking froward to this book! This is pre-Kai Gracen universe, I was told. But the moment I dug in.... *sigh* I expected horror elements, of course, but not like this :/

This is a horror, alright. This. Is. Frigging terrible. Who "edited" this book? They really need to be fired. Like 3 years ago. Before this mess came out :/

Warning: Misplaced modifiers, POV ping-pong, adjectives (ab)used as nouns.

I lost the story behind this terror! :/ Sure, horror was never my poison, but it's on me, not the author. I still love Kai Gracen, but he certainly received much more attention from people who somewhat know how to apply English grammar to a written text. It wasn't perfect, but it was readable. Lack of editing in its entirety, however, I cannot forgive. Not where it comes to a published book. Not when that book costs you 7 bucks :/

I am beyond disappointed and this.... this close to DNF.


66% After acquiring a massive headache that not even sake can heal, I am DNF-ing. My brains says No. More!

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review 2017-03-19 21:34
Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey #1) by Melissa Scott
Death by Silver - Amy Griswold,Melissa Scott

Solid writing; a few typos don't count. An excellent historical with a dash of magic. Non-romantic relationship (not for the lack of interest on both MCs part), mystery suspense and scenes of past abuse dominate this story. The two MCs-wizard-detectives do get together closer to the end, but as far as I recall all sex scenes fade into black. 5 stars for a great historical fantasy mystery-suspense :D

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review 2017-03-19 21:33
The Errant Prince by Sasha L. Miller
The Errant Prince - Sasha L. Miller

king's guardsman Myron, sent out to find and bring back a missing prince Tam, finds him in an enchanted cottage. They talk, they work, they play school of magic, where Tam spends pages and pages on teaching Myron some spell, they smooch, they cook and clean and so on. Nothing significant happens up until 45% of the book.

Then the prince suddenly decides to return to the royal castle to see his brother, the king. Tam magically transports Myron and himself to the king's quarters. Catching up with the brother and an ex-lover, kiddie scenes, more frigging spell teaching (hey, anyone needs beaming up? I have the manual! *waves "The Errant Prince" in the air*) ensues.

There is a minor issue of arranged marriage, but everyone plays nicely, even the evil ex, and as a result Tam and Myron live happily ever after.

The book is very nearly angst free. I was waiting for a conflict with the ex-lover, but the guy was decent, he apologized and said all the right words, even went an extra mile to teach Tam's new lover new spells. I really felt for the guy and Tam acted like a "bad dude" to him.

2 stars.

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review 2017-03-15 02:46
A Death at the Dionysus Club (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey #2) by Melissa Scott
A Death at the Dionysus Club - Melissa Scott,Amy Griswold

I think I love this book even more than Death by Silver.

Same quality writing (still, there are a few pesky typos, but who cares, they are just that - typos), with amazing characters. Take Dolly Hall, for example. He dies in the very beginning of the book, but his presence is palpable all the way through the end. Challice, the poor soul. Stuck in a straight marriage, thinking himself an abomination at the same time longing for family and kids. There is not much of him in this story, either, but I couldn't help worrying about him and his wife.
Magic. Spells. Curses. Sex magic. Forbidden magic. Evil creatures. Half House. No, literally, Half House :) Yeah... pretty cool!
London. I was attached to both my ipad and my phone, following the streets on Google Maps and checking out the landmarks while reading. I only visited all the usual tourist traps for the most part when I was there, but it made it easier for me to orient myself. London is one of the most spectacular cities I've ever seen (step aside, Paris!) and one of my favorites.
Evil sorcerer. Well, not quite a sorcerer, but he used some pretty weird messed up magic. This time he was much harder to pin. In Death by Silver the murderer was very predictable and it caused me a lot of frustration. Every time the said criminal was on page, I couldn't help but yell at the boys: Right there! See? How can you be so blind! Figure it out already!
I could not put the book down and didn't want it to end. If you love KJ Charles, you will like this, too.
The MCs are under much pressure where their affection for each other is concerned (those were the times *sign*), so don't expect prolonged or explicit sex scenes. But the tenderness is there.

Very much recommended.

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