Review: The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 4) by Rachel Aaron

spirit warReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Spirit War (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 4)
Author: Rachel Aaron
Format: Ebook
Page Count: 544 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 15+

Summary: Eli Monpress is on his way to earning the largest bounty in the world. Along the way he gathered friends, master swordsman Josef Leichten, and demonseed Nico. When Josef finds his name on the bounty list jump higher than Eli’s he says he has to head his home in Osera. Eli and Nico tag along and discover their friend is really a prince! Then a second impossible bit of news reaches them – the Immortal Empress is on the move and she’s coming to claim the world.

Why I started this book:

I’ve been enjoying the series. I can’t believe there is one left!

Likes:

  • How Josef procured the Heart of War.
  • How Josef really melded with the Heart during this book.
  • Eli’s time with the Shepherdess and what makes him change his mind about being with her.
  • We learn why Eli wants the outrageous bounty he requires.
  • The entire Spirit War!!!
  • What Eli does at the very end – I just have to say “You got served!”


Dislikes:

  • Sharp Mountain – Good thing Miranda escapes! Poor Slorn.
  • Eli’s parents – what is wrong with them? Seriously.

Last Minute Thoughts: OMG cliff hanger! Wow!

The Spirit War (An Eli Monpress Novel)

Rating: 5 Treasure Chests

[phpbay]spirit war rachel aaron, 10, “”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

prisoner of azkaban

Reviewed by Captain Lyaf Yarr

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Format: Hardback
# of pages: 435
Grade Reading Level: 5.9; Ages 11+

Summary: School hasn’t even started and there’s and escapee from a high security wizarding prison out to kill Harry Potter. He has been warned not to be looking for Sirius Black by Arthur Weasley, but as Harry said to Arthur, “Why would I go looking for someone I know wants to kill me?” At school the Ministry of Magic has put a guard in place made up entirely of Dementors. The Dementors are only suppose to be in charge of the wizard prison, but Cornelius Fudge seems to think their presence will inspire confidence in the populace. Though how we do not know as Sirius Black has escaped the guards once already! Harry’s life is in danger in more ways than one this year.

Why I Started the Book:

I read this book because I’m continuing to reread the Harry Potter series.

Likes:

  • I liked it when Malfoy got his “just desserts” for insulting Buckbeak the hippogriff.
  • Rowling came up with a really fun artifact– the time turner. I especially enjoyed its use and the turn of events at the end of the story. I thought Dumbledore’s omniscient handling of the predicament to save Buckbeak and Sirius Black was excellent.
  • The Marauders Map was awesome! I liked how it showed where everyone was and where they were going. Now if only it showed the difference between a person in Animagus form and the normal human form.
  • The Dementors were scary, but awesome, and I loved reading the parts where they were mentioned.
  • Remus Lupin is a fantastic character! He was helpful, knowledgeable, and patient. The best Defense Against the Dark Arts teach to date in the books!

Dislikes:

  • I greatly disliked Draco Malfoy and his father. Yes, they’re characters to love to hate, but it really is unfair what they can get away with because they’re Malfoys. For instance when they got Hadgrid in trouble after his first Care of Magical Creature lesson. It clearly wasn’t his fault.
  • I didn’t like Hermoine deceiving and depriving Harry of his new Firebolt. She could have handled her concerns better instead of going above Harry to a teacher.

Last Minute Thoughts: This book is where the series takes off and fleshes out.

Buy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Paperback), Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-7), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Audio Book), Harry Potter 1- 7 Audio Book Collection

Book Rating: I give this book 5 treasure chests for cleverness, creativity, and creepy creatures!
tc5

[phpbay]azkaban, 5, 29792, “”[/phpbay]
[phpbay]azkaban, 5, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

ender's gameReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Ender’s Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Narrators: Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison
Format: Unabridged Audio Book
# CDs + Minutes: 9 CDs (11 hours, 11 minutes)
Grade Reading Level: 9th Grade
Summary: In a near-future society, the human race is in a war against the buggers, a hostile alien race, who nearly won twice in two wide scale confrontations against humankind. Fearing a third invasion, a system was put in place to discover and train child prodigies in the art of war. This system found Ender Wiggin, and set a course for him unlike any other kid that has gone before. Is Ender the general humankind desperately needs?

Meanwhile a second (side) plot revolves around Earth, Ender’s siblings, and it’s three separate governing bodies. The Hegemon, Strategos, and Polemarch, all struggle for supreme control and threaten humankind on the home front. Peter and Valentine are determined to make the world over in their image and work to achieve this through the “Nets” to influence how the masses think. Are two kids capable of achieving that sort of influence?

Why I Started This Book:

I can name approximately half a dozen boys over the last several years telling me I had to read this book. It was essential, a must read! I caved. Got it in audio format, because I’m grooving it right now and settled in for the long haul. I now have to apologize to the first five guys who said to read it and I ignored. Great book!

Likes:

  • Orson’s style of writing. It’s obviously a style meant to be read aloud; in fact audio format is the best version to meet this book and is something the author mentioned at the end of CD #9.
  • Orson’s writing is very evocative. You see pictures and feel emotions and think thoughts as if you were a part of the book itself.
  • Battle School is fantastic. I loved it when Ender finally goes up in rank and starts commanding. The mock battles are some of my absolute favorite moments.
  • The surprising twist at Command School. It was an ending I did not expect it. I liked it even more when Orson took the story further and explained the aftermath. That too did not go how I pictured it might. Frankly, I was expecting that Ender was going to have to watch out for Peter.

Dislikes:

  • Very little. I was going to say the graphic nature of some of the fights or the violence but as Orson pointed out in his ramble at the end of the CD #9 the language is in fact very plain. All graphic nature is rendered through the reader.

Last Minute Thoughts: It’s definitely a book for boys as it deals on many fronts issues boys face more often than girls such as bullying and warfare. Ender also goes through a crisis of identity of self. He does not want to be a killer (or hurt others) but is forced to become one. I think the following quote explains this very well:

Unlike his brother, Ender does not take pride in destroying others and commits this action because he is often pushed into situations which demand physical defense. This portrayal and situation in the novel justifies Ender’s actions. (Nick M. on Amazon.com)

I am glad I came to this book now instead of earlier in my life. I don’t think I would have appreciated it then. I do now. It’s terrific! I’m giving the audio book to my dad and telling him to listen to it. He’s on CD #2 and loves it so far.

Buy: Ender’s Game (Unabridged Audio Book), Ender’s Game (Paperback), The Ender Quartet Box Set (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind)

Find books by Orson Scott Card on ebay.

Book Rating: 5 Treasure Chests.
tc5

Keira runs a book review blog for readers by readers on romance novels entitled Love Romance Passion. She’s been reading romance since she was in her teens and began blogging about romance so she could share her passion for her favorite genre. She loves reading paranormal, Regency, historical America, and highlander most of all and completely adores blind and wounded heroes.

[phpbay]ender game orson, 10, 29792, “”[/phpbay]
[phpbay]ender game orson, 5, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Will Work for Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Will Work for Prom Dress
Author: Aimee Ferris
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 272 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 12-16

Summary: Quigley Johnson and her best friend Anne Parisi have joined together to get jobs, buy dresses, find dates, and go to prom. It’s all part of the betterment plan. But playing a corpse or dressing as pickle aren’t exactly glamorous, that’s why when Anne’s designer mom offers them positions as models for fledgling designers they both jump on it. They like 2 young men there, but with two boys courting them at school it’s hard to know who to ask as their formal date.

Why I started this book:

Goodreads recommended it to me based on books in my TBR pile.

Likes:

  • How Quigley handles David throughout the book and especially at the end when his pranks are hurting others.
  • Poor Quigley goes through a lot of minor mortifications – face full of dressing as the corpse, having to dress as a pickle, etc. She gets through it all with aplomb.
  • I like how she gets her art focus and pursues it almost absently. Additionally I love how her anger at life gives her a great idea for a speech.

Toss up:

  • Anne is sort of a good friend. There are things she does well, like stick with Quigley through thick and thin, but then there’s a lot she does not. One of which is leaving Quigley behind while chasing after boys. She also gets into a scrape with the police for vandalism.

Dislikes:

  • Zander was really harsh at one point in the book and honestly I don’t feel Quigley should have gotten back together with him, despite his reasons. They could have been friends. I would have preferred that honestly.
  • This book was one I picked up and put down a bit, but once I pushed through the slow part it was smooth sailing.

Buy: Will Work for Prom Dress

Rating: 3 Treasure Chests

[phpbay]will work prom dress ferris, 10, “”, “”[/phpbay]

Review: Exile by Anne Ousterlund

by First Mate Keira

Title: Exile
Author: Anne Ousterlund
Format: Trade Paperback
Page Count: 304 pages
Grade Reading Level: Grades 7-12

Summary: Aurelia has exiled herself from the court in the last book, bearing her name, when she refused to marry the creepy king of a neighboring kingdom. She plans to tour the country of Tyralt (her soon-to-be kingdom) and visit the whole of it to get a feel for the people from every part. Almost immediately she suffers another assassination attempt. Who’s behind it this time? Can it be that her sister, Melony, has their father’s support now? Is there nobody she can trust? Well there’s one… Robert.

Why I started this book:

I was given a copy by the author.

Likes:

  • The growing relationship between Robert and Aurelia. It’s sweet and grounded with room to blossom.
  • Aurelia’s ability to charm those around her even when they’re hostile. A good quality for a leader.
  • The trip up the Gate… I mean the gauntlet. Very vivid imagery and sad too when they come to the wagon wedged into the rock.
  • The desert tribes sequence was one of my favorites. Loved it.

Dislikes:

  • The first assassination attempt in this book leads to a major melt down for Aurelia. Luckily it doesn’t last forever.
  • Aurelia’s real mother. Talk about a trying parent. That woman needs a kick in the rear and someone to shake some sense into her.
  • I got tired of the guilt both Robert and Aurelia visited time and again for doing what they had to do in order to survive the final confrontations in the previous book. A little was fine, even expected, but it dragged the story down and made it more somber.

Last Minute Thoughts: Robert takes a while to confess his love, but you’ll love it when he does. She too is pretty reserved until she isn’t. This can be at times very frustrating! I’m so glad he finally made a move and stood his ground not willing to be cowed because of her title. Who’s ready for the next book? I am! I want to know more about the new Heir of Vashone.

Buy: Exile

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

[phpbay]exile ousterlund, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Audio Review: Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, Book 1) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

peter-and-the-starcatchers

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, Book 1)
Authors: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Format: Audio book
Length: 8 hours and 39 minutes
Narrator: Jim Dale
Grade Reading Level: 5th Grade+

Summary:  This trilogy is about how Peter Pan became Peter Pan.

Orphan boy, Peter, and his fellow Lost Boys, are sailing on the Never Land to become servants to King Rundoon when they are attacked by pirates during a storm. The pirates are lead by the vicious Black Stache and Peter barely escapes with his life. Both crews and passengers are marooned on an island inhabited by natives and a monstrous creature called Mr. Grin. Peter and his friend Molly Astor must protect a “treasure” at all costs or risk the bad guys gaining unlimited power.

Why I started this book:

Jim Dale was the narrator. Enough said. This guy is a genius with voices!

Likes:

  • Settings – descriptions – characters – the humor! Very action packed!
  • Lots of fun stuff for boys! Truly a great book series for young readers. It is a swashbuckling adventure not to miss.
  • The descriptions are gripping. I would not want to eat ship food meant for the crew. Shudders.
  • I love how every wild and fantastical idea rolled right into the story of the beloved Peter Pan.

Dislikes:

  • I was hoping the “star stuff” was in fact pixie dust. Oh well. Clever story.

Buy: Peter and the Starcatchers, The Starcatchers Series Box Set

Rating: 5 Treasure Chests
tc5

[phpbay]peter starcatchers dave barry, 10, “”, “”[/phpbay]