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Search tags: set-aside-but-will-return
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review 2020-10-19 21:49
Monsterstreet: Camp of No Return
Monsterstreet #4: Camp of No Return - J. H. Reynolds

Every time I read one of these MonsterStreet books, I swear it's the best one that I have read. So, I will say it again, these books just keep getting better and better! I'm hooked on this series! Every time that I hear that a new one is coming out, I'm all over it, just waiting for release day and I'm over 50 years old. This book had it all. It had the creep factor, the suspense, the cliff hangers at the ends of some of the chapters and fantastic characters. Do you need to start at the beginning of this series to enjoy this? No, but I guarantee that you'll be inhaling them, once you start reading them.

As you read books in this series, you'll come across aspects in the mystery that you know or you feel that you know, are not as scary as they come across. What I like about this series is that the author, dismisses many of these aspects immediately, instead of letting them add up, and then dismissing them later in the book. An example: if a character in the book finds a cloth with red liquid on it. Instead of having the reader believe that this cloth is a bloody towel throughout the book, the author lets the characters uncover what the cloth might be immediately and dismisses it as a napkin with ketchup on it. I feel that helps put the important pieces of the mystery together in the book.

Riding to summer camp on the bus, a few of the kids, made friends. They each felt special, as they were amongst a selected group to be invited to Camp Moon Lake. It was said to be magical yet they have promised, like all previous campers before them, not to disclose what occurs while at camp.

When Brodie tells Harper and Darla the rumor that he heard about the camp, this summer camp just took on a chill. As a fog smothers the camp and a scream welcomes the campers, this week at camp will be one that everyone will remember.

I enjoyed the horror aspects of this for young readers. No blood or gore but I would know your audience before letting young elementary children read this. Some children might not be able to handle it, and I'd hate to hear about someone having a nightmare. If a child is able to distinguish reality from everything else, they should be okay reading this. I'm not going to go into what this book was about as I don't want to spoil it. I really loved the book and the ending was amazing! I can't wait for the next one!

Issues: bullying, friendship, family, 

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review 2020-05-16 14:30
Oswald: Return of the King
Oswald: Return of the King - Edoardo Albert

by Edoardo Albert

 

The book begins with lists of difficult names I'll never remember, but clarifies pronunciation and historic context. It also explains the importance of names to Anglo-Saxons and why no two will have exactly the same name, although descendants might get an adaptation of an ancestor's name.

 

After the cast of characters, we get an overview of what happened in the previous book, Edwin. This is very useful for people like myself who haven't read the first one, and also starts to give us the feel for the historic period.

 

Then we get to the story for this book. I want to describe it as good, but it doesn't have the flow of really great writing. Too many sentences starting with ing verbs can put me off easily. It works in moderation but the beginning overdid it somewhat.

 

Once I got past that, I was able to get into the story more and appreciate the historic period and events as well as getting to know the characters. Oswald is a reasonably likeable character who would actually like to be a monk, but duty requires that he take up kingship. The pace was a little slow, but ultimately it did take me to the Historical period and the characters were well defined. I felt sympathy for Oswald's changing fortunes and the expectations put upon him just for being born in a line of kings.

 

One of the strong themes in the story is the changing face of religion, as Christianity begins to take hold in a country with Pagan roots. Different factions even within the same families might worship the old gods or embrace the new faith. The latter tend to be very forceful with their opinions, rather like some modern factions.

 

I would recommend this story for anyone who wants to get a strong feel for Anglo-Saxon history. It is atmospheric and realistic about some of the nasty things that happen in battles without becoming overwhelmingly gory.

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review 2020-05-10 05:06
Review: The Return by Rachel Harrison
The Return - Rachel Harrison
The synopsis of this book was just intriguing enough to make me pick up this book without actually giving me any idea what it would entail. I liked the idea of a girls trip that uncovers something sinister about what happened to their friend. I did not realize before I was reading it that there would be some horror aspects in this one. I figured that out while I was reading in bed at midnight, everyone else in the house sleeping soundly. Needless to say I did not sleep much and devoured this book in about 48 hours. 

This book focuses on the friendship between four women; Mae, Molly, Elise and Julie. Two years ago, Julie went hiking and vanished. Mae and Molly presumed that Julie was dead when she had not surfaced after a year, but Elise never let go of the feeling that their friend was alive. On the second anniversary of when Julie disappeared, she is found by her husband sitting on their porch with no recollection of the last two years. Her friends all go out for a weekend getaway to reconnect. Everything is going fine, Julie is back and she's acting just like herself. Except when she isn't acting like herself. Elise is uneasy about her friend but also about the hotel itself, everything is setting her on edge. But it's just her imagination right? Julie is still Julie, isn't she?

Elise was the perfect narrating character. She was the closest to Julie and has felt left behind by her friends. She views herself as the hanger-on of the group. Her friends are all successful while she works a pathetic job and still lives in a studio apartment. She is sure they do not approve of her choices and probably talk about it amongst themselves when she leaves the room. She was so relieved when Julie was found because now the dynamic between the friends would be restored. I empathized with her and identified with a lot of her feelings of unworthiness and anxiety. 

The plot was super creepy. It was set in a mismatched hotel that sets Elise on edge, and set me on edge too. The author did a very good job at playing on the fears and anxieties that plague all of us. How many times have we sworn that we saw a shadow moving in our peripheral vision? But then we look and nothing is there and we chide ourselves for being scared, we're adults after all! Or how many times have we averted our eyes at the gap in the curtains, convinced that if we look someone will be standing there? No one ever is, but we all feel the thrill of fear in our gut just the same. That is the type of horror at play in this novel. I recommend reading it in daylight only.
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review 2020-04-23 13:26
Return to London
Return to London - Terence Jenkins

by Terrence Jenkins

 

The enthusiasm of the author is immediately apparent in the way he launches right into the history of the area of London from The Elephant and Castle to Clapham Common with little introduction. Almost too much information comes at the reader rapid fire before getting a chance to settle into the narrative and the feel of the book.

 

Despite this exhausting barrage of history and facts, the reader is drawn into the world of 1940 London and a little known bombing incident in a trench on the Common. From there we learn about the embankment and the film and other associations with some of the buildings there.

 

The book goes on to explain the difference and origins of Kennington and Kensington, how the Black prince got his epithet, and several facts about Croydon that I hadn't known.

 

The book is entertaining and what it lacks in delivery is made up for in pure facts and detailed information.

 

The tour carries on in Bermondsey and to Jacob street where Nancy from Oliver Twist met her death and other literary associations with the area. There are detailed descriptions of monuments and churches, as well as some very good pictures of the areas covered.

 

This is not a book to sit and read in one sitting, but one to savor and assimilate the information over several reading sessions. We are regaled with the notoriety of Blackfriars Bridge, told the origins of the word 'piccadilly', which I've often wondered about, and learn about King John's menagerie of exotic beasts which were once kept in the Tower of London.

 

Apart from the Dickensian associations, we learn other literary facts such as that the original print run for Moby Dick was only 3000 copies, most of which never sold. It rather puts today's independent book sales into perspective!

 

This is a book I will read again, especially just before any trips to London when I might want to visit significant places. There's a wealth of information about London's history with many little known details that make the book particularly fascinating. Highly recommended for History buffs especially.

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review 2020-01-26 15:06
Great Story and Characters
Shifter Planet: The Return - D.B. Reynolds

Rachel Fortier is a much sought-after expert when it comes to exotic planets—especially the deadly kind. So when she’s hired by Earth Fleet’s most respected scientist to join a mission to the tightly closed planet Harp, it’s a dream come true. Until she discovers their mission is to capture shifters and sell them to the Military. Shifter Aidan Devlin is on patrol far from his clan when he sees a shuttlecraft landing where it definitely shouldn’t be. As the invaders emerge, he’s surprised to see a lone lovely woman, who doesn’t seem to belong. But when he’s captured and put in a cage, he has no one but her to help him escape.

This was a pretty good book. The story was well paced. I hadn’t read this author before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really liked both Aidan and Rachel. I loved following them through this adventure. I can’t wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.

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