Friday, January 31, 2014

Sentient: The Mentalist Series Book Two Book Review

Gemma Green (Colt) is back in Sandes and nothing is the same. When we last saw our heroine, she had just escaped a threat that could've destroyed her family. But by luck or destiny, she survived only to face a more powerful foe.
Sentient is the next installment in The Mentalist Series by Kenechi Udogu. New characters arrive and new talents surface. In this book, Gemma seems emotionally drained by everything that has happened, however her abilities are gaining strength. Although Gemma is more subdued mentally this time around, outside forces push the plot forward.
Russ is as solid as ever and holds Gemma up where she's lacking. Laura is a quirky character that Gemma nor the reader are really sure of her intentions. She brings much needed relief to the growing tension of the plot. The background of The Mentalists is really beginning to grow here. Something big is brewing and it looks like it's headed toward Gemma whether she likes it or not. You'll have to read to find out what.
I recommend this for a good read. There are many mysteries posed and many mysteries made clear. I'm looking forward to the next installment to answer some big questions and see what Gemma is really capable of.

Rating 4/5
Available at Amazon

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Trolls Book Review

The Trolls by Polly Horvath

Melissa, Amanda and Peewee spend a wonderful week full of stories with their Aunt Sally. Some of the stories are scary and some are funny. But the children can not wait for a new one each evening after school.

Aunt Sally is the last resort babysitter for the children when their parents leave on vacation after their regular babysitter gets sick. Their dad has not talked about his sister Sally and the only communication is a yearly Christmas card from her. But the children get to know her and their family pretty well by the end of the week.

Melissa and Amanda are not very nice to their little brother Peewee, whom Aunt Sally calls by his real name Frank. Aunt Sally doesn't say anything, but her stories tell the girls plenty about family and how important it is.

I listened to this as an audio book with my children. They enjoyed the stories even if not all of them ended happily, each one had a "sorta" lesson. I'm especially glad about the story that got my children eating more of their green beans at dinner.

I recommend this for ages 8 and up. There are some scary elements. After all, the title is The Trolls. But there is nothing too bad, and beware of one choice word (hell). Yes, in a middle grade book. I didn't draw attention to it and my children didn't seem to notice.

Rating 4/5

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Release: Silver Tongue by Evelyn Ink

Silver Tongue
By Evelyn Ink

Book Blurb:
Deep in the tunnels and passages of the Grendel mines there is a mystery waiting to be uncovered – a secret weapon left behind and forgotten to all, but a few. As the alliances of a once stable country shift and rumors of civil war take rise, another mystery surfaces: children are disappearing. All over Shalendorf in every city and every province – young men and women are simply … vanishing. When the parlormaid from the Manse at Ivorydeep disappears along with two children from Catchfrost, Belin Vaulatrix is forced to take notice. For even far from Casterwick and the turmoil of the ruling families, Belin is having some drama of her own. A single letter sealed with the crest of the royal family has brought her world crashing down. It is a request she cannot refuse and as the rumors, mystery, and tensions build, Belin plans a disappearance of her own.
Please note: Silver Tongue is a companion novel, not a continuation of Ill-fated, even though a few characters from Ill-fated will make a cameo appearance, this is a stand-alone book and it is not necessary to have read Ill-fated to enjoy this book. 

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Five Children and It Book Review

What would you wish for if you could have a wish a day? Five Children and It by E. Nesbit is about five children who find a sand fairy and tells what goes wrong with all the wishes they make. I listened to this as an audio book and I was entertained. Every wish the children made seemed to turn wrong on them. There is plenty of suspense as the reader wonders how the children are going to get out of the scraps that their wishes put them in.

The story gave some important lessons about being careful what you wish for (to be cliche) and also the dangers of wanting the material things in life. The children learn that what is really important is their family, just the way it is. The children grow wiser with every wish and are better for having met the straight-talking sand fairy.

I was surprised to find out that this book was published in 1905. Even a hundred years later, the lessons learned by the children can apply to those of today, especially regarding the desires for things and money and beauty. I recommend this for an entertaining read.

Rating 4/5

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Football Genius Book Review

Football Genius by Tim Green follows Troy White as he realizes a dream. Troy lives with his mom, has two good friends and loves football. But he hardly ever gets to play because he's second string quarterback and the first string quarterback's father is the coach. So Troy sits on the sidelines. But he has a gift of being able to predict what the other teams' next play will be. There's a turn of events when Troy's mom gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons football team. Will Troy get a chance to help them turn around their losing season?

I enjoyed this book. It was my first sports related read in a long time. I did found it a bit hard to follow some of the technical football terms, but it was a good read anyway. It gives you what you need to know to get an idea about what's happening during the game scenes.

I'm familiar with Atlanta and the Falcons, so it made for an entertaining read to hear about places I knew. While using a real football team made it realistic, it also dates the book. I admit that I only recognized a handful of players names, many of which are now retired from the NFL.

Troy's character is realistic and easy to relate to. Like any other 12-year-old kid he has dreams, good friends and minor problems at school with bullies. He sometimes makes poor decisions but he owns up to them. I thought this was a good lesson because although he gets in trouble, it's not as bad as if he chose to lie. Truth is an important theme throughout.

The suspense the author creates is great. I kept waiting for things to happen whether good or bad. It kept the momentum going and me reading, waiting for the next obstacle to be overcome.

I recommend this for middle grade readers whether you like football or not, whether you're male or female.

Rating 4/5