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review 2015-03-09 00:20
Finn McCoul by Brian Gleeson
Finn McCoul - Brian Gleeson

Genre: Ireland / Giants / Folktale / Humor / Family


Year Published: 1991


Year Read: 2009


Publisher: Rabbit Ears Books


Series: We All Have Tales



“Finn McCoul” is an Irish folktale from the creative company Rabbit Ears Productions and is about how Finn McCoul must face his nemesis Cuculin and only his wife, Una, knows how to handle the giant brute. “Finn McCoul” is a great tale about true cunning that many children will enjoy for many years.

When Finn McCoul was born, he was no bigger than a fire-breathing dragon, which was too small for a giant. King Coul, Finn’s father, was so displeased at the size of his son that he throws Finn over the castle wall and into the water. Luckily, King Coul’s mother sees Finn in the water and she saves him from drowning and she decides to raise the boy herself in the woods. Many years later, Finn grows up into a man and he decided to leave his grandmother to become a great hero. Eventually, Finn finds a giant woman named Una who was extremely beautiful and they got married and lived on top of a mountain in a castle.

However, the reason why Finn made his home on top of the mountain was because it was the only way to avoid Cuculin. Cuculin was a fearsome giant who once flatten a thunderbolt into a pancake and he would always show it to his foes to remind them of the beating they are about to receive from him. Cuculin tried to find Finn McCoul, but Finn would always run away from him before battle. One day, Finn was helping his friends build the causeway from Ireland to Scotland when he started gnawing on his thumb. Whenever Finn starts gnawing on his thumb, he immediately sees the future and he found out that Cuculin was coming after him and he decided to go straight home to Una. When Finn got home, he told Una about Cuculin and she tells Finn that she needs time to think about how to deal with Cuculin.

What is Una’s plan and can Finn defeat Cuculin?

Read this book to find out!

Catherine O’Hara does a splendid job narrating this story especially as she uses an Irish accent so effectively to narrate this heroic Irish tale. Boys of the Lough’s music is beautiful and truly captures the true spirit of Irish music as the tunes are cheerful and old fashioned. Peter deSeve’s illustrations are beautiful and hilarious at the same time, especially during the scenes of Cuculin lifting up Finn’s house to make the wind move away from the house as he was instructed by Una to do so.

“Finn McCoul” is a wonderful tale from Ireland about how it is wise to be cunning whenever a bully threatens you and it will be an instant classic for children who love comedy and folktales. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some Irish names that might be too hard for smaller children to pronounce such as “Cuculin” and “Una.”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2014-10-02 10:54
Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #4)
Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Year Published: 2009

Number of Pages: 386 pages

Date Read:  10/1/2014  

Publisher: Delacorte Press


Series: Fever #4


Remember when I said that “Faefever” is probably the darkest book in Karen Marie Moning’s famous “Fever” series? Well, I think that the fourth book in the “Fever” series, “Dreamfever” managed to beat “Faefever” in the darkness category by a mere mile with its tragic twists for the characters!


After MacKayla Lane gets brutally taken advantage of by the Lord Master in the last book, she is more determined than ever to bring her sister Alina’s murderer to justice and save the world as the walls between the Fae world and the human world came crashing down on Halloween night! Not only that, but MacKayla will soon discover that her feelings for Jericho Barrons has increased after Halloween night and yet, she cannot bring herself to trust him at all. The same goes for V’lane, the Fae Prince, who also wants to keep MacKayla in his clutches, causing MacKayla to also not trust him. But when the Lord Master finally takes things in his own hands and the people that MacKayla truly cares about are in great danger, MacKayla has to put aside her personal feelings for both Jericho and V’lane, while discovering more dark secrets about the war against the Fae!


Wow! This series just continues to amaze me as we read through MacKayla’s journey in trying to save the world from the Fae while trying to figure out who she should trust in this frightening world.   Karen Marie Moning has done a fantastic job at writing this fourth installment in the “Fever” series as the stakes are raised higher for MacKayla and it was fantastic seeing MacKayla grow as a character as she used her wits and strategizing skills to gain allies in the most unlikely of people. It was also tragic seeing MacKayla realize that the world she was so comfortable in (the world where she was just a regular woman who loves to shop and spending time with her parents) was slowly crumbling before her very eyes due to the Faes invading Earth and causing mayhem on the world. I actually felt sympathy for MacKayla as I would have been upset about being yanked out of my comfort zone without warning and being faced with the reality of the world (which is something I have to go through quite often in real life). I also loved the way that Karen Marie Moning wrote MacKayla’s relationship with Dani as they have a sisterly bond with each other and it was great seeing MacKayla do everything in her power to protect Dani from the evil forces of the Fae while Dani does the same for her. It was also interesting seeing how MacKayla’s relationship with Jericho Barrons and V’lane continues to grow, even though she still does not trust either of them and she still argues with them at any given time. I do however like the fact that MacKayla is discovering more secrets about both V’lane and Jericho as it makes the wait to figure out their past lives less agonizing than ever before. I was happy to learn a bit more about Jericho’s dark past through MacKayla’s new talent in reading people’s minds and now I am more interested in the irresistible yet aggressive bad boy Jericho Barrons! As for the sex scenes in this book…oh…my…goodness! Things were really sizzling between Jericho and MacKayla in this book and I just pray that they get over their distrust of each other and get together already (unless, V’lane has something to say about that)!


For anyone who does not like strong language and mild sexual content, this book does have stronger language than was shown in the previous volumes (especially now that MacKayla just outright says the curse words rather than replace them with more “flowery” terms like “kiss my petunia”). Also, there are a couple of sex scenes in this book, so anyone who does not like sex scenes might want to skim over these scenes.


Overall, “Dreamfever” is definitely one intense novel that fans will enjoy and also throw their hands up in the air in frustration due to the book ending on a huge cliffhanger (hmmm…why does that sound familiar…oh yeah! The same thing happened in “Faefever” with that irritating cliffhanger!) Now because of this book ending on a cliffhanger, I’m going to check out the final book in the “Fever” series, “Shadowfever!”


 Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2014-02-04 06:47
Faefever (Fever, #3) by Karen Marie Moning
Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Horror / Paranormal Romance

Year Published: 2008

Number of Pages: 501 pages

Date Read:  2/3/2014   

Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning



Series: Fever #3

After reading the second book in Karen Marie Moning’s famous “Fever” series, “Bloodfever,” I was more determined than ever to read the rest of this series and lo and behold, I finally managed to pick up the third book in the series “Faefever” and man, was this one shocker of a novel!


MacKayla Lane is back once again and now things are much more complicated for her than ever before!  First of all, Mac continues to search for the mysterious and dangerous book, the Sinsar Dubh.  But, every time she gets near the book, she immediately falls ill and cannot approach the book at all.  The second thing that is complicating her life is that her trust in both Jericho Barrons and the immortal Fae Prince V’lane is starting to weaken as both men keeps secrets from her and they both want to use Mac to find the Sinsar Dubh for their own purposes.   Mac, determined to find out the truth about this new nightmarish world that she is thrown into, decides to make new alliances that could help her discover more about the Fae and her destiny.  Unfortunately, Mac will soon discover that something more horrible than she could ever imagine would come to Dublin in full force!


Karen Marie Moning continues to weave more mystery and horror into her “Fever” series and this novel is definitely no exception to this rule!  I loved the way that Karen Marie Moning made Mac into a more proactive character in this novel as she goes out of her way to discover more about the Fae and how she could defeat them. I was curious myself about what is really going on with the Fae creatures invading Dublin and how Mac will establish her relationship with the other sidhe-seers, including Dani, who are lead by the harsh and prudent Rowena.  Thankfully, this novel revealed everything about the history of the Fae and about the sidhe-seers’ roles in protecting the Sinsar Dubh and I must admit I was shocked by the revelations of these facts!I have been enjoying Mac’s relationship with Dani, the young sidhe-seer on Rowena’s side as Mac treats her like a little sister and I always thought it was a bit adorable whenever Dani uses the word “feck” to substitute for the other “f” word whenever she gets angry.  Just when I thought that Jericho Barrons could not get anymore mysterious, his mysteriousness level goes up to eleven in this novel as there are hints that he may not be human (I hope we learn more about him in later books).  But, all of this mysteriousness just makes me love Jericho Barrons even more and I really loved his rough and complicated nature (even though I wished that there were more moments between him and Mac in this novel). 
V’lane was a pretty interesting character in this book (even though at the moment, I am for team Barrons/Mac) since he is a Fae Prince that seems to help out Mac whenever she is in a jam and I do wonder what his relationship with Mac will become in future books (man, all this mystery about these characters just makes me really want to check out the rest of this series)!


For anyone who does not like strong language, this novel contains stronger language than in the last two books.  Also, this novel is a bit darker than the previous two novels due to Mac’s distrust of both Barrons and V’lane strengthening throughout this novel and due to more horrible things happening to Dublin due to the Fae’s existence.


Overall, “Faefever” is a fantastic and shocking novel in Karen Marie Moning’s “Fever” series and I definitely cannot wait to read the fourth book in the series “Dreamfever” (man, why did this book have to end on a huge cliffhanger?)
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
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review 2014-01-05 11:45
Bloodfever (Fever, #2) by Karen Marie Moning
Bloodfever (Fever #2) - Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Horror / Paranormal Romance

Year Published: 2007

Number of Pages: 349 pages

Date Read:  1/4/2014

Publisher: Dell
Series: Fever #2


I have noticed that it has been years since I had read Karen Marie Moning’s first novel in her popular “Fever” series “Darkfever.” Now, I am back with a vengeance and I have just recently picked up the second book in the “Fever” series “Bloodfever” and it is as good as the first novel!


MacKayla Lane is back and this time, she and her new brash yet mysterious partner Jericho Barrons are searching for a mysterious book called the Sinsar Dubh which contains the darkest magic imaginable!  But, MacKayla and Jericho are not the only ones after the Sinsar Dubh, as the immortal Fae Prince named V’lane is also after the Sinsar Dubh and he also seems to be after MacKayla’s heart!  Also, to add more load to MacKayla’s life, she ends up meeting with a young sidhe-seer like herself named Dani and MacKayla will soon realize that there are more secrets being hidden from her than she will ever know!


Karen Marie Moning has done it again with her stellar storytelling about a young woman trying to understand her place in this frightening world.  I loved the way that Karen Marie Moning explains this nightmarish universe to the readers as it makes the myths that surround Ireland so much more understandable to me and I cannot help, but be so immersed with the mythos of the Fae and the Sidhe-Seers shown in this world!  I also loved the intensity and frightening moments that Karen Marie Moning brought to this story as I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat wondering how MacKayla was going to make it out of Ireland alive!  But, probably the best parts about this novel were the characters themselves!  MacKayla Lane is probably one of the best heroines I had ever read in any paranormal romance novel!  I loved the fact that we are able to see the world from her point of view and how she is trying to cope with this strange and dangerous world that she was suddenly forced into.  Sure, it may seem like MacKayla is complaining about her new life throughout this novel and that can be pretty annoying, but in this case, I actually sympathize with her frustrations in trying to understand this new and dangerous world. Also, the fact that everyone just refuses to tell MacKayla anything about her duties as the sidhe-seer just makes me sympathize with her even more since I would have been frustrated with people not telling me the things I really need to know.  But, probably my most favorite character in this novel is none other than Jericho Barrons himself!  Jericho Barrons is probably one of the most dangerous and mysterious heroes I had ever read about and I will admit that I tense up whenever he gets mad since he is shown being super strong (which I do wonder about).  But, Jericho Barrons is easily one of the most interesting characters in this book and I loved the fact that he is always described as being extremely strong and muscular (two traits that I seek for in every alpha male hero that I read about in romance novels)! 
I also loved the introduction of Dani, the young sidhe-seer in this book as she is not only a perky girl with an attitude, but the fact that there are other sidhe-seers in this world besides MacKayla really has me intrigued to see what Dani and MacKayla’s relationship will be like in future books!


For anyone who does not like strong language, this novel contains strong language (even more so than the first novel) and anyone who feels uncomfortable with the strong language can feel free to skim over these words. Also, this novel has gory violence which involves various creatures getting eaten and we are being told this in graphic detail and that might be unsettling for anyone who does not like gory violence.


Overall, “Bloodfever” is a truly brilliant continuation of Karen Marie Moning’s fantastic “Fever” series and I will definitely be picking up the third book in the “Fever” series “Faefever!”
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
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