Book Review: War of Kings and Monsters

War of Kings and Monsters by Christopher Keene

War of Kings and Monsters
by Christopher Keene (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Nathan has no idea who he is. He is an apprentice Caller in the king’s home and best friends with Prince Michael, but he has no memory of his family and assumes he is an orphan. He studies under the Master Callers to summon Melkai monsters from another world. Some of the monsters are massive, and others are miniscule, like Nathan’s own little Melkai, a small lizard. The barrier between the world of humans and the world of the Melkai is weakening. Nathan is sent on a quest to find the other half of the magical key that can seal the barriers between worlds before the destructive Melkai are unleashed to roam freely across the land.

I enjoyed the plot of this book, because there are some clever twists and turns. There are several times when some particular character or object or connection is revealed and it was just so satisfying. The plot is full of fantasy tropes, but I didn’t really mind that because I like tropes. Some of the plot devices were obvious, but again, I don’t mind that as long as it is set up in an interesting way.

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Classic Book Review: Aunt Jane’s Nieces and Uncle John

Aunt Jane's Nieces and Uncle John by Edith Van Dyne

Aunt Jane’s Nieces and Uncle John (Aunt Jane’s Nieces, #6)
by Edith Van Dyne (Pseudonym), L. Frank Baum
3 out of 5 stars

Patsy and Beth are on a cross-country automobile drive with their father and uncle John, when they encounter a disabled young girl searching for her distant relatives. They decide to help her, and the group travels across the Southwest, finding adventure on their way to California.

The plot can be a little slow with all the descriptions of travelling, and the scenery, and the mountains and deserts and the plants and wildlife, etc… If you enjoy travelling-style books, then you would like this one. I found it interesting to hear about all the different places they visit, but it definitely slows down the main plot.

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Picture Book Series Review: Giraffe and Bird


Giraffe and Bird
by Rebecca Bender 
5 out of 5 stars

Giraffe can’t stand Bird, and Bird completely detests Giraffe. These two pester and annoy each other all day long! But when a big storm comes rolling in, they begin to miss the companionship they had in teasing each other. These frenemies might hassle each other, but deep down, they are truly good friends.

These picture books are all so cute! It’s funny to see how Giraffe and Bird play pranks on each other and annoy one another, but always in a good-natured way. The stories are silly, and I love the hilarious characters! It reminds me of the way that siblings will sometimes tease each other, but they really love each other underneath it all.

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Book Review: The Secret of Platform 13

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson

The Secret of Platform 13
by Eva IbbotsonSue Porter (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars


The baby Prince of a magical land has been stolen in London, and the King and Queen must wait until the portal between the worlds opens again in 9 years before they can rescue their son. They send a rescue team of oddballs; an old wizard, a fey, an ogre, and a young hag. With the help of some nice ghosts, they locate the Prince, but he is not at all what they had expected.

Wonderfully inventive and funny! I love this book more every time I read it!

The world-building is imaginative and weird and wild. The characters are interesting and all so different. There are a lot of supporting characters with hilarious personalities, and the main characters are all beautifully vivid.

I really love the way the writing can paint a striking scene in just a few words, really drawing the reader into the story. The plot has all these funny twists and turns that really capture your attention. It’s such a delight to read!

Book Review: The Tiger’s Nest

The Tiger's Nest by Trudi Trueit

The Tiger’s Nest (Explorer Academy, #5)
by Trudi Trueit (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

In this book, Cruz and his friends are tracking down another clue that his mother left for him when she died. This time they are visiting the Seychelles, India and Bhutan, and the stakes have never been higher. The spies from the evil Nebula corporation are closing in, and Cruz begins to doubt is he can trust even his closest friends.

There are a lot of plots twists and major revelations in this book! Just when you think it’s going to be another formula plot, finding the clues, solving the puzzle, and traveling around the world… Bam! Something insane happens and it throws everything into turmoil. The adventure is fantastic!

I just adore these characters! They each have some good development and I love their different personalities. It’s so cool to see how they discover their strengths and weaknesses in this book and grow closer as a team. Cruz is such an amazing main character. He surprises me in every book!

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Classic Book Review: Emily’s Quest

Emily's Quest by L.M. Montgomery

Emily’s Quest (Emily, #3)
by L.M. Montgomery
4.5 out of 5 stars


Emily is left behind at New Moon while her friends pursue their dreams and travel the world. She throws herself into her writing and struggles to get her stories published, but gradually earns the respect of her family when she begins to make her writing a success. Through a series of mishaps, she loses her connection to some of her dearest friends and her childhood sweetheart, Teddy Kent. She searches for happiness with a man she doesn’t really love. Emily has to face the truth deep within her heart before she loses Teddy Kent for good.

This has always been my least favorite book in the Emily trilogy. She spends so much of the book being lonely and melancholy, and it makes me depressed. There isn’t as much humor in this book as the other ones. However, it is still an excellent book and an enjoyable read!

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Graphic Novel Review: The Sprite and the Gardener

The Sprite and the Gardener by Joe Whitt

The Sprite and the Gardener
by Joe WhittRii Abrego (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Wisteria is a little sprite who is new to the area. The sprites live in a neighborhood where the humans do all the gardening, so the ancient art of using magic to help the plants grow has been completely lost. Wisteria begins to experiment with a budding power, and finds that she can make a difference in one small garden.

This graphic novel is so adorable! All the little sprites are so beautiful and sweet. I loved the delicate art style and the pastel colors. Each panel is blossoming with exquisite little details in the background of each scene, and strong emotions in the body language and facial expressions of the characters. It just carries you away to another world!

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Graphic Novel Review: Bronte

Brontë by Manuela Santoni

Brontë
by Manuela Santoni
1 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel begins when the Bronte sisters have returned from Belgium after completing their additional education. Charlotte convinces her sisters to try publishing a volume of their poetry together. Their brother, Branwell, is an alcoholic and opium addict, and their father, Patrick, is becoming more and more ill and weak. The sisters try to make some money with their writing to help support the family.

The story takes extreme liberties with the historical facts, to the point where very little of their real lives is actually reflected in the book. I also hated the way that the sisters’ personalities were represented. They are written as being foul-mouthed, belligerent, and anti-social; and that is presented to the reader as their “passion” when really they are just rude and mean in this book.

Nothing about their charitable work with their father’s parishioners is mentioned, nothing about their many visits with their close friends, and nothing about their strong Christian faith. Instead they are presented as being completely self-serving and isolated.

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