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review 2018-03-22 16:02
Shock Waves by Carolyn Keene
Shock Waves - Carolyn Keene,Franklin W. Dixon

Series: #3 in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries

Rating: 3 stars

Nancy Drew and her boyfriend, Ned, are among the guests invited to flourish Padre Island, on the Gulf Coast. Everyone's geared up for spring break, including Frank and Joe Hardy. The brother detectives happen to be staying at the home of wealthy friend Buck Calhoun. While scuba diving, Buck makes a play for Nancy, which Ned intercepts. But, the game begins when Buck finds a sunken wreck, and a dead body. Meanwhile, Padre Island's social set is raided buy a squad of resort sharks. The sophisticated crime group has ripped off a fortune in loot. But, they've never left a clue until they snatch a pair of melted keys belonging to Joe Hardy. The worthless keys have deep personal value for the youth sleuth. And, he vows to track them down no matter what the risk...in Shock Waves. This novel has twists and turns like a switch-back road that keeps one guessing. (from Goodreads)

First off, there were way too many characters. Bess and George could have easily stayed home and Claire and Kristin were absolutely pointless.

This wasn't a great Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. The others I've read have been much more intense and interesting. There were some weak spots and as I said earlier, it felt crowded. I personally could've done without Ned being there because I ship Frank and Nancy... #oops

The ending wasn't surprising. I didn't guess right, but it was more like "oh, okay" then "OH MY GOSH I NEVER SAW THAT COMING" if you know what I mean. I don't know, at the beginning it's set up like a murder mystery but throughout the book they're focusing on lost pirate treasure and thefts.

Plus there were a couple of mistakes from the cover to the book, like how on the cover Nancy is showing Frank what she found when in the book it's Joe who found it. And in the summary, Buck's last name is different then what it is in the book. All in all, not impressed and a bit disappointed.

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review 2018-03-18 01:57
Let My People Go
Imagine... The Ten Plagues - Matt Koceich

In this second book about time travel and Biblical stories, Matt Koceich again intertwines the two to create an incredible adventure. “Imagine: The Ten Plagues” takes the reader back to Ancient Egypt during the time of Moses and the exodus of the Israelites, seen through the eyes of a young girl. Eleven-year-old Kai Wells is facing a bully in her Florida neighborhood when suddenly she finds herself transported thousands of years back in time. She befriends a resident and becomes involved in helping a child stay safe from the Pharaoh and his servants while witnessing the plagues visited upon the hardhearted Egyptians.

“The Ten Plagues” was, in my opinion, a quicker and even more exciting read than its predecessor, “The Great Flood.” Koceich neatly creates characters to whom young readers can relate, while dealing with issues germane to what kids are facing today. This narrative focuses on bullying and standing up for what is right despite intense pressure, and yet it does not become preachy or superior. This is a great way for kids to learn a moral lesson in a fun and interesting way and to also introduce or reinforce major Biblical stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-03-14 18:42
Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery - Lois Gladys Leppard

Mandie has just celebrated her thirteenth birthday and been surprised to discover that she has permission to go with her grandmother to Europe. It's just too exciting to be true!

Grandmother Taft, Celia, and Mandie are given a big send-off as they board the Queen Victoria bound for Europe. Traveling on the ship with them is Senator Morton. His attentions keep Mrs. Taft distracted to the point where she slightly neglects Celia and Mandie a situation guaranteed to mean trouble.

The girls meet some unusual people on board, and even find someone in their room when they return to it one night. Candy and fruit disappear from their cabin, and someone's valise turns up under their settee. Then comes the real surprise!

Uncle Ned won't be able to rescue them this time! (from Goodreads)

This was actually a good Mandie book. Mandie herself was pretty decent and didn't act like a spoiled brat. We were introduced to Jonathan in this book, a character whose name has been featured in future Mandie titles. Also Celia (my favourite character next to Uncle Ned and Sallie) is going to be featured in the next, like, ten books, so that's great. 

I'm also intrigued about the fact that the next few books take place in Europe, starting with England, the only European country I've been in (unless you count two hours in Scotland). 

As for the Mandie book, this follows Mandie and Celia as they travel across the ocean towards England. The entire book minus the first chapter or so is set on the actual ship, and I always find ship books fascinating (especially if characters don't suffer from seasickness). They encounter a mysterious old woman and a stowaway. They also have a shocking revelation about class, which I enjoyed because it feels like all the main white characters are rich, except maybe Joe, which bothers me because it implies that us poor white people can't have adventures either.

All in all, this was a solid Mandie book, and I can't wait to see what adventures await them in Europe!

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review 2018-03-11 22:10
Atlas of Middle-earth: Revised Edition
The Atlas of Middle-Earth - Karen Wynn Fonstad

Anyone who loves Middle-earth's maps will love this book. It is chock-full of large maps of the First, Second, and Third Ages, detailing the major events from them all. Follow the Elves, Hobbits, Men, and more through their epic journeys. Also has valuable information about how many miles the Nine Walkers traveled each day, what the climate was like in their time and much more.

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review 2018-03-11 21:48
Myth and Middle-earth
Myth & Middle-Earth: Exploring the Medieval Legends Behind J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings - Leslie Ellen Jones

I enjoyed this book about how various mythologies and legends were re-used and presented in a new light by J. R. R. Tolkien, especially the section on drowned lands. The Celtic myths of Ireland and Wales were interesting too. There's much more inside for anyone interested in mythology and how Middle-earth reflects these. Recommended!

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