Mini Book Reviews
Rather than doing several posts individualized by book review, I decided to catch up on a bunch of summer reading reviews and quickly do several mini book reviews in one post. I would love your comments though and am happy to discuss each one more. These quick reviews are in no particular order, not even the order that I finished them. You may find a pattern though in that my audiobook reading has jumped way up this summer!
Find Us by Benjamin Stevenson, narrated by Harriet Gordon-Anderson
4 hrs, 18 minutes
This was a quick paced audiobook to listen to. I thought it would be a basic crime-solving story, but it had a great twist to it. The main characters are very believable and the dialog is excellent. The pacing of the story is excellent 95% of the way. The ending felt a little rushed, but often stories feel this way as all the action culminates in a few decisions and a few reactions. I might have liked one more chapter from the last active character as she gave an interview six months later. Any more details about why would be a major spoiler!
The Trials of Blackbriar Academy by Olivia Ash, narrated by Amana Dolan
10 hrs, 19 minutes
I really enjoyed this quick audiobook. It is a little bit of Harry Potter-esque, but more Young Adult than Middle School Aged themed. It is not unique to have a female student housed with a boy when it happens last minute, but usually the reader is relieved to know that the boy is gay. Not this time, this book is quite steamy from roommates to frenemies to even one of the Academy’s adults.
The magic is interesting as it’s not just wand-waving and chanting. The Trials are not a unique idea, but they are well done.
I would definitely recommend this story to students mature enough for the sex scenes who don’t have the stamina for longer novels like the Harry Potter series.
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, narrated by Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
26 hrs, 34 minutes
I first read this back when I was in middle school. A friend introduced me t the series and I shall be forever grateful. Decades later I still enjoy it and I am looking forward to the series coming out on Amazon sometime soon (within 6 months I hope!).
It was strange for me, moving from the print version to an audio version. A few of the names are not pronounced how I pronounced them in my head through 14 books. I’m sure the error is on my part, but it is still jarring.
This series is interesting in that the author, Robert Jordan did not live to complete the series, but he knew he wouldn’t and found another author (Brandon Sanderson) to complete the series. They worked together, Jordan left copious notes, and Jordan’s wife was involved too. This book is still early in the series and there is still a great deal of “setting up” happening mixed within the character development and plot development. This book could easily stand on its own, but it is a fantastic piece of a greater saga.
Witches of Blackbone (Books 1 & 2) by Jo Spurrier
This is another quick series that I read through. The first book was something that popped up on my recommendations and it was free. So I read it. It was very good with a different sort of relationship between a fledgling witch and a (young!) mentor. A lot of the individual bits of action are easy to predict, but the story itself carries one along easily in a fast paced rambling fashion. The characters are really what pulled me in and convinced me to read book two immediately upon finishing book one. Go ahead, give it a try!
Murder Between Worlds by Morgan Daimler
This was a short read by my regular fantasy length, but it was so good that I read it completely in 24 hours (though I might have stayed up too late that night). This is an excellent murder mystery story in a fantasy setting. It is not your typical fantasy, and it is awesome!
This book takes place on Earth, but our mortal world and the Fairy world had suddenly been merged 100 years ago. Therefore there are unwilling relationships and difficult politics between the races. Not surprisingly, Elves still are the ones who seem a bit stuck up and snotty and the mortals are really respected. All sorts of other magical creatures are mentioned as just every day pieces of reality. A little romance is tossed in, to keep the story more enticing, but is also not your typical romance as there are several inter-species blunders that keep the reader amused.
Wicked Ways (Witches of Hollow Cove Book 6) by Kim Richardson
This series is a quick read through. Each book only takes a day or two to read, but the story is not rushed. There is character development (More so in the first two books) and plenty of plot details to make the story plausible. There isn’t a lot of development bout the setting, relying on the reader to imagine the interior of a grocery store or the town morgue, without weighing down in details.
The general concept of this twenty-something, relationship-failing, sarcastic baby witch is pretty cool. This main character is very powerful, if only she had more than a basic clue as to what she is doing. Her family dynamics are quite interesting and I really enjoyed the development between House and she, but it would be a major spoiler from Book 5 is I explained this more. I hope we read more about House as the series continues.