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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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review 2017-10-26 13:10
Tau's Pride: Sacrifice by Wendi Kelly & Deborah Dorchak
Tau's Pride: Sacrifice - Wendi Kelly,Deborah Dorchak
Tau's Pride: Sacrifice continues in the world of Angels, shifters, demons, Talutha, and goodness know's what else. I'm sure we've only scraped the top of the barrel as far as Kelly and Dorchak's imagination goes! Although this is only the second book in this series, I would highly recommend you read the first series, just to get a handle on the different characters and the relationships they have.
 
You may remember that I fell out with Cole in the last book. Well, he is making efforts to redeem himself, but to be completely honest, it's not really working with me. Then again, I have always been biased towards Harry. The fallout/effect from the last book is shown in this one, with the affects being far-reaching to everyone connected to Regina. I love that woman, I really do, but she really needs to start focusing on the bigger picture. She has so much help on hand, people who love her, that I wish she could take a moment to simply breathe. Actually, I related to Olivia in this book A LOT! There is always drama, always some crisis going on, and as for who is with who - well, I've actually given up on that now. I just figure that they are all together, in one way, shape, or form, and that will have to do. With so many characters, new and old, all interlinked in so many different ways, I just can't keep track in my mind over who is with whom! Another thing that Olivia mentioned is the fact that it is now the Pride, not the Pack. In fact, the pack is now given a lower-case when it's mentioned. I get that they are doing something completely new, and with new comes chaos, but I do feel a sense of sorrow that the cats seem to be taking over.
 
Now, with that all being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, and read it in one sitting. You have bad guys, you have good guys, and then you have bad guys that you actually feel sorry for and want to help (Victoria and Simon anyone?). This book is extremely well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow. The scenes also smoothly flow from one to the next without any jarring. The world building is amazing, and I am in awe of these two authors for not only providing such a distinctive story, but in a world is intricate and intriguing, and it will keep you turning the pages. Definitely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/tauspridesacrificebywendikellydeborahdorchak
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review 2017-10-17 17:41
A Quick and Exciting Horror Read
Ultimate Sacrifice - S. E. Green

I loved this book and I totally agree with the Mindy McGinnis quote on the front. Vickie and her family live in a wooded area and her grandfather owns the farm next door. One day her twin exits the forest covered in blood and she learns that a young child named Michelle, whom she regularly babysits, was found dead and the crime scene resembled a ritualistic murder. An investigation ensues and we learn tons about Vickie's family and friends as well as the small town community.

I considered this book a short read at just about 175 pages. I usually like more to my books but I have to admit, it really worked in this case. It made the story seem that much more fast paced and made the situation more dire. I really liked Vickie but I will say she is either the bravest 17 year old (because she investigates the Satanic killing on her own because she is frustrated with the police) or the stupidest. There were times I was reading where I know I would shake my head because what she was doing could not end well at all. And the ending! I actually screamed and yelled. And since the hubby was at work, the dogs looked at me like I'd lost my ever-loving mind.

If you can't tell, this book was tons of fun so I seriously recommend picking it up.

I received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

 

I am using this for In the Dark Dark Woods block on my 2017 Halloween Bingo Challenge.

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review 2017-08-28 16:34
Duty, Honor, Sacrifice (Toronto's Elite #2) by Angela S. Stone
Duty, Honor, Sacrifice - Angela S. Stone
Duty, Honor, Sacrifice is the second book in the Toronto's Elite series, and whilst we focus on a different pair, the characters from book one also play a big part in it. It is for this reason that I would recommend that you read this as a series, rather than standalones.
 
Chris and Logan have had an on-again/off-again relationship for approximately three years, and both of them want more, but neither of them are prepared to say anything. Mixed up with this is the job that they do, with Logan currently searching for someone involved with child porn/kidnapping. They get pulled onto another case though, with Jaden appearing to be targeted by a media leak within the department. This means that they work more closely with Jaden and Cam than they have previously, learning more about those two and themselves at the same time.
 
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it to be a brilliant carry on from book one, there were parts where I was a bit confused. This was simply because the story is told from both the main males' perspectives, and sometimes it wasn't clear just who was talking. It was "he said, he moved, he thought," whereas a name might have been a bit more helpful at times. I must point out that I received an ARC of this, so I'm sure that this will be picked up and sorted before the book is released.
 
On the whole, this is an exciting, action-packed book that I can highly recommend. Looking forward to book three now.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: REVIEW BY MERISSA - Duty, Honor, Sacrifice (Toronto\'s Elite #2) by Angela S. Stone - @AngelaSStone, #M_M, #Paranormal, #Romance, #Suspense, 4 out of 5 (very good) sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/dutyhonorsacrificetorontoseli
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review 2017-08-07 00:00
Duty, Honor, Sacrifice
Duty, Honor, Sacrifice - Angela S. Stone A must read.

I found this story about Logan Weber and Chris Muller to be a relatively well-written story with a captivating plot and somewhat funny and entertaining characters.

The beginning was interesting and grabbed my attention from the get go. The relationship between Logan and Chris and the initial mention of older man/ younger man confused me quite a bit but the writing style was so good, I kept on reading and it all came together about a quarter of the way through. I especially love the supernatural / psychic powers the characters have and how the author explained and weaved this into the story.

Noel, Chris’ little boy, was crafted as such a strong, resilient and happy 5 year old that he served as another pivotal character you just couldn't stop reading the novel just to find out more about.

The love story between Chris and Logan, once you found out their history and their backgrounds, was well written and touching. The love scenes were steamy and their overall love story and interaction just makes your heart pitter patter along with them. The supporting characters in the story are strong and well defined and add extra layers to the story. The author really made me feel like the other novels in this series are an absolute must-read while still making this novel stand in its own.

A free copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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