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review 2017-10-28 19:39
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (The Tales of Dunk and Egg, 1-3)
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: Being the Adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall, and His Squire, Egg - George R.R. Martin

I didn't know what to expect from these novellas except that they occurred around ninety years before A Game of Thrones and featured a knight named Dunk and his squire named Egg.

 

First thing: I love the illustrations! They're reminiscent of the books I read as a kid, and I wished they were in color. They fit tonally with the stories and the illustrator picks great moments to highlight.

 

The novellas were originally written for anthologies, and so spaced out over time. Reading them one after the other shows some repetition in some of the exposition, and some similarities in the tales are more obvious, but those are the only issues I had and they were minor. 

 

The stories aren't as grim or dark as the ASoIaF stories, so if you've been avoiding those because you don't want all the murder, pillaging, raping and child endangerment, these might be more your speed. Of course, this is still George R.R. Martin, so they're not fluffapalooza, but they are lighter in tone and Dunk and Egg are very sweet with each other.

 

Dunk is one of those rarities in Martin's writing: a genuinely good guy who stands by his convictions, does what's right and doesn't get horribly killed because of it. Egg is irascible and sheltered, but more than game for following Dunk around the kingdoms and proves receptive of everything Dunk has to teach him, whether it's how to care for armor, how to treat others better or how to hold his tongue. ... Ok, maybe not so much that last one. ;) 

 

There's also still plenty of politics and intrigue, as these stories occur about a decade after the Blackfyre rebellion and the realm is still feeling the aftermath of it. Dunk might not be very good at avoiding getting tangled up in events, but he's so far proving good at getting out of them. :D

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review 2017-09-09 16:09
The Big Pets - Lane Smith

 

The pictures in this book are phenomenal. Very whimsical and dream-like.

The book itself doesn't have much of a story, it is more just a description of the world. But the book is still fascinating because of the pictures.

Great for young children, especially cat-lovers. 

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review 2017-09-09 01:26
Moondrop
Moondrop - Katey Hawthorne

This was cute. A high school teacher meets a dragon-shifter and it's tru wuv, though not in that creepy brain-washy meant-to-be way that tends to define the shifter genre. This could've been rounded out more, but for a short, breezy read this was nice. 

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review 2017-09-05 09:08
Honey Moon Dog Daze by Sofi Benitez

A fun, cute book. It is fast paced and has a unique writing style. I found the names of the Moon characters to be a little silly, but in a good way. I have to wonder if the author knew about the Harvest Moon game franchise when they named a character that. Also the three dogs named Manny, Moe and Jack made me laugh out loud. Did the author see a Pep Boys commercial and get inspired or was the names a 100% coincidence? Funny, none the less.

 



I like how Honey is inspired to start a dog walking service after recusing Stormy. Honey seems to be a likeable character and I did enjoy how she got along with her family. I liked the hints that her Turtle backpack might be magical, or is it her imagination? I love the friendship between the three main girls and also how it ended with a possible 4th friend.

One thing that I wish would be different is more description. There seemed to be a lot of telling instead of showing, which could make some of the story a little lackluster. However, I will admit there were several times where I find myself smiling. There is something going for it, and I hope the author continues to write stories for children and adults alike.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.

Disclaimer: I received this from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the chance to read this!

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review 2017-09-03 18:40
Blow Down (The Plumber's Mate #4)
Blow Down - J.L. Merrow

More fun and snark from our psychic plumber. 

 

Tom's little secret - the ability to locate hidden objects (which occasionally includes dead bodies) and leaky pipes - is not so secret anymore now that someone let the cat out of the metaphorical bag. Tom's propensity to martyrdom allows him to be guilt-tripped into displaying his talents to the public - with the expected disastrous results.

 

Really, y'all, this is why you don't ask the guy who can find dead bodies to perform "magic" tricks. I mean, that should just go without saying.

(spoiler show)

 

I did feel the whodunit was a bit more obvious this time around and wondered why Tom and Phil didn't cotton onto them sooner. That aside though, the mystery was full of wackadoodles and cagey relatives aplenty, enough to be fun while still making you wish Tom would start wearing a helmet everywhere he goes. :P And it does seem Tom's abilities are taking on possible new skills - not that he's anymore open to testing them out than he was before.

 

I like the way Tom and Phil's relationship is progressing. There's still plenty of ways for them to miscommunicate without going the whole Big Misunderstanding route, and they trust each other enough that they don't blow everything (well, most things) out of proportion.

 

That's not the only relationship Tom has to foster here either, now that he's found his "real" dad. I like that their reunion and getting to know each other was realistically awkward and that they're taking their time getting a feel for each other. I still need to know a lot more about Mike, so hopefully we'll see that in the next book, which I'm pleased to see Ms. Merrow has planned for next year. Fingers crossed there are no delays it getting it to us. 

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