Review: Emerald Blaze
Thursday, November 17, 2022

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5)Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the kind of story I love to find when I open an urban fantasy novel. Magic, intrigue, multifaceted characters, intense action, and just a splash of romance. Andrews' masterful world building creates a colorful and rich history for a world not unlike our own. Because I did not realize when I picked this book up that it was part of a larger series, I was definitely missing some information, especially where the characters were concerned. That said, I had no problem following along and inferring the events of the previous books. It was still a wonderful and satisfying read.

New Release: Chaos Song
Friday, November 11, 2022

Today is release day for CHAOS SONG, book 6 in my award-winning Magicsmith series!
First I want to shout out a big THANK YOU to everyone who preordered the book. Thanks to you, Chaos Song made it all the way to the Top 50 Bestsellers list on Amazon for contemporary fantasy. If you bought the ebook version, you should be able to start reading right away. Physical editions are in the mail. :)

If you didn't get around to preordering, you can still support this launch by grabbing your copy today. Consistent sales are huge for the success of a book in the early days of its release.
You can find purchase links on the book's page here on my website.

Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the StacksDear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a terrific and hilarious book that is basically a collection of book reviews from a collections librarian. Because this book is written as a series of love (and hate) letters addressed to the books they describe, I decided to write my review in a similar style. ;)

Dear Dear Fahrenheit 451,

You caught my gaze from across the room. Not a crowded room, mind, for not many people visit the library at 7PM on a Tuesday. I read your title, and it was love at first sight. In your pages I found truth and humor. I found insights and rants. I found old friends, new acquaintances, and a few shady characters that I'll be sure to steer clear of.

Spotlight: The Last Huntress
Monday, October 10, 2022

Today I'm spotlighting Lenore Borja and her debut novel, The Last Huntress!
I was lucky enough to get to read an advance copy of this book, so here's my personal take on it: The Last Huntress spins a fantastic tale of found family and fated love. The story is a blend of modern and mythic, fleshed out with distinct characters, vivid details, and an original spin on the idea of what lies behind the looking glass. Fans of YA paranormal romance won't want to miss this modern day Greek myth set in a familiar yet uniquely realized world.

The book will be released on November 1, 2022, but you can preorder your copy now!

Review: Talking to Dragons
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fourth and final book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The writing threw me off a bit when I first started reading it because, unlike the previous three books, this one is written in first person. We get the story from the narrative perspective of Daystar, who is the son of Cimorene and Mendenbar from the previous books. Once I got used to the the stylistic shift however, I enjoyed the story.

Daystar’s quest is a mystery to him. As a result, the plot comes across as somewhat random. He has no idea who he is (in relation to the plot), where he’s going, or what he’s supposed to be doing, so there’s a strong sense of him just wandering around without purpose. This didn’t seem to bother my daughter, but I found it irritating.

Game Review: Living Forest
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Recomended age: 8+
Playtime: 40 minutes
Players: 2-4
Living Forest is a semi-competitive game in which each player takes on the role of one of the seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). The forest is under threat from a fire salamander called Onibi and the four (or however many) of you must band together to put out its flames and protect the sacred tree.

Review: Daybreak on Raven Island
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Daybreak on Raven IslandDaybreak on Raven Island by Fleur T. Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved the characters in this story. The three kids who get trapped on the island are unique and memorable, and each has a distinct set of goals and motivations. Tori is a soccer goalie suspended from play due to bad grades. She hates being on the prison island because it reminds her of her brother who was just arrested. Noah is afraid of everything. He has been since his mother died. But he's willing to face his fears on the haunted island if it means getting a chance to see his mom's ghost. Marvin wants to be a movie director, and what better place to film a horror flick that a spooky, abandoned prison island? The three alternate having the narrative perspective, and each voice is unique.

Review: The Adventurer's Guilde to Successful Escapes
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful EscapesThe Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I liked this book much better than its sequel (which I read first). While the story was still a little "pull the main character along," there were a lot more plot twists and character development.

The main character is named Anvil, and she is joined by her friend Penelope from page one as they attempt to escape the orphanage where Anvil is being held prisoner. After a fortunate turn of events that sees them away from the orphanage, the two girls are joined by a boy named Hiro, and together they set off on a whirlwind adventure.

Review: The Great Hunt
Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2)The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I definitely enjoyed this story more than the first installment in the series, The Eye of the World. I think the writing was smoother and the threads fit together a little more naturally. These books are designed to be read in order, so a lot of the plot and character growth that happens in this book is directly dependent on the events and reveals of book one.

Let's start with the characters. Rand continues to be the central protagonist, though he is not always the most important character. This is definitely a large cast story, which it kind of has to be to get that epic quality one would expect from this type of book. I liked Rand better in this story. While he started off annoying (pushing his friends away to save them), and he still made plenty of mistakes, I feel like he solidified as a character in this book. He no longer felt like an empty shell narrating events as they happened around him. Even when he made bad choices, at least he was actually choosing things.