Thursday, July 28, 2016

Little Fish Has Many Friends by Guido Van Genechten

This is a cute little book about Little White Fish and all his little friends in the sea. The pictures well done and the book itself is written in a way that early readers could read it too. I read this to my young son and he really enjoyed naming all the different animals and all the ways they were playing. I received a copy of this book from the publishers (thank you) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Three out of Five Stars

Who Will Dance with Little Mouse? by Anita Bijsterbosch

This adorable little book tells the story of a little mouse who loves to dance but wants a partner. It seems that every animal she approaches has an excuse but there is a happy ending and a very happy mouse too.
This book is fun to read out loud to a child (I read it to my son) especially because you can imagine and try to speak in different voices for all the different animals. The photos are sweet and the book is simply written so it is good to either read to a little one or have them read it themselves.

Three out of Five Stars

The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

I love a good end of days pandemic horror novel that has a supernatural twist. Think "Swan Song" and "The Stand". As a result, I can be very picky and to be honest, I find that the majority of authors who try this combination leave much to be desired.
"The Night Parade" begins with a father and daughter fleeing the CDC because she has a gift in her genes that could save humanity. The disease is called "Wanderer's Folly" and it begins in an almost biblical fashion with a massive dying off of all birds around the world. Then humans are hit and for some reason, some cities and communities are hit harder than others. The symptoms appear to be similar to the flu pandemic of 1918 but "Wanderer's Folly" makes the 1918 pandemic seem like a walk in the park.
The strength of the novel lies in the vivid description and the main characters; particularly the moral question of an individual's right to live as opposed to many people. It resonated with me because I am a parent and I could not help but feel the father's desperation to save his daughter even though it will result in the extinction of all humanity.
David Arlen is the father trying to protect his daughter Ellie who apparently has the same genetic mutation her mother had but Ellie apparently also has an almost supernatural ability.
You need to be prepared to read until the end because the book really is hard to put down.
I am wondering why I have never come across Ronald Malfi before and am looking forward to reading more.
I received a copy of this novel for free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Four out of Five Stars

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Never follow a Dinosaur by Alex Latimer

This book was absolutely hilarious and I found it to be a very fun read. 
Sally and Joe discover what they believe to be dinosaur footprints and follow them to find out if they are right. What follows is laugh out loud theories that build and build and are really very funny. 
I wanted to read the book to my 6-year-old son and ended up not only reading it to him numerous times but he wanted to read it for himself too. This book is definitely a must-read for young children who love dinosaurs and pure silliness.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (thank you!) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Five out of Five Stars

Monday, July 25, 2016

Krystal Blue (The Blue Moon Series) (Volume One) by Destiny Hawkins

When I first started reading this book I had started asking myself what I had gotten myself into. I thought it would be possibly one of those books that you keep losing interest in and keep putting down. Wrong! I could not have been more mistaken.
I was hooked from the first page and that is due not only to the story line but the writer's compelling descriptive writing and wonderful character development.
Crystal has had a very hard life starting from when she witnessed her mother's murder. Moving from foster home to foster home where she encounters much violence, Crystal somehow manages to hold herself together and make her way to her dream of a higher education. She thinks she is a normal girl but there are hints that she may be different or as the reader learns, much more.
I love books where everything is not plainly written out but subtle hints are left for the reader to find.
I grew to like Crystal and admire her determination. I also liked how the character of Alveya developed and grew to also like her. There is a hint of LBGT and I appreciated how the subject was dealt with in a delicate and respectful way. Now I have to add another series to my "I have to read this now" list. I can't wait to continue the story of Crystal, Alveya and the strange world they live in.

Four out of Five Stars

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

My children have always raved about Nate the Great so I decided to grab one of their summer reading books to take a look at what they are talking about.
Nate the Great is a private detective who takes on a new case. His friend Annie's picture has gone missing and it is up to Nate to sleuth out what happened to it. 
This is a beginning readers book and as such it is very simply written for young children. It is a wonderful introduction to the detective mystery. It is enough to keep a child's attention and introduce words for this age group.

Four out of Five Stars

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (The Unbelievables #1) by T.C. Tansley

I received a copy of this book for free from Goodreads competitions. 

Kat is an unusual girl. She has always been able to see ghosts otherwise known as "the Unbelievables" since she was a little girl but was forced to disbelieve in them after almost becoming possessed by one. Fast forward a few years when Kat is a teenager. She is in her junior year at McTernan Academy where she is doing a research project for a professor. The project brings her face to face (so to speak) with the ghosts she has long denied.

I really enjoyed this read and can see it appealing to the YA audience especially ones who love the supernatural and stories with a twist. There is a hint of romance but not enough to derail the main storyline and I enjoyed learning about the main characters. It is enough that I am very interested....ok I cannot wait until the second book in the series. I especially liked how the author explains how and where the idea for the series came from. 

As an aside, I have an almost 12-year-old daughter who hid the book from me so she could read it first. Apparently, she really liked it too.

Thank you to Goodreads and especially the author for the opportunity to read this novel.

Four out of Five Stars

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Project Apex by Michael Bray

I had thought this would be a ho-hum regular zombie novel but it is actually quite different and has a refreshing twist. Six years after a scientist makes a discovery of a brand new species of monkey with miraculous and regenerative powers, he realizes that he may have discovered mankind's doom. A new breed of man has been created by combining monkey DNA and human DNA. These supermen have now gone rogue to create a new dawn for humankind which includes basically decimating most people and recruiting new supermen to help with their cause by biting (told you there was a zombie twist here) those who they feel will contribute to the New World Order. The novel is full of action and fast paced. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Highly recommended to readers who love a good zombie novel but one that is so much more and different.

Four out of Five Stars

Of Giants and Other Men by Caspar Peek

Sometimes I like to wait to review a book to let to absorb the whole idea and let it sink in. I am sure other book lovers will know what I mean :) I have to admit I was distracted by the cover of this book and thought I had made a mistake requesting it but I ended up completely enthralled by the first sentence. This is a beautifully well-written novel that just takes you by the hand and brings you along to meet the main characters and their world.
Tomas Delacorte's world is shaped from the day his father's ashes arrive with a visit from a General and other soldiers. His mother tries to make sure in her own flawed way that her son never goes along the same path his father did but is not wise enough to understand that her son is hurting just as much as she is. The place is Nicaragua during the reign of Somoza. Tomas has a cousin named Fausto and they decide to become blood brothers but end up leading different paths as adults during this tumultuous period in Nicaragua's history. The descriptive writing literally draws you into the book and you see, feel, and smell what the characters do. I have to admit that I knew next to nothing about this subject and it was a fascinating eye-opener. It is a fantastic family saga and also is much more than that. My only regret is that it ended almost too abruptly for my taste and I was not prepared to finish the book on that note. Highly recommended.

Four out of Five Stars

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Babylon Code: Solving the Bible's Greatest End-Times Mystery by Paul McGuire and Troy Anderson

"The Babylon Code" was a fascinating read although it seemed to rehash certain subjects over again (which would be an editing issue and as such I will not base my review on that). The history is very interesting and well researched. I took my time reading the book as there was much to think about and absorb. I did find the end a bit preachy and would have preferred to stick to the main facts of the book. All in all, I found it to be well written and would recommend it to anyone who wonders about secret societies and the connection to the End-Times. The biggest thing to take away from this book (to me anyway) is not to be afraid of the Book of Revelation at all but to see it as a book of hope and not despair.
I received a copy from the publishers via Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.

Three out of Five Stars

Memories of Heaven: Children's Astounding Recollections of the Time Before They Came to Earth by Wayne W. Dyer, Dianna Hicks-Garnes

"Memories of Heaven" is not an analysis of what may happen after we die or are between lives but is a collection of anecdotes of young children's recollections as to what they "remember". There is no proof offered but the children's voices speak loud and clear on their own. I actually found it very sweet and touching. In between the recollections, Wayne W. Dyer adds his thoughts on the subject. All in all, I enjoyed reading the book and took my time to let it absorb.

Three out of Five Stars