Monday, October 19, 2009

Review Copy Arrival: The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

Received from:
Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up Your Book Promotion
Tour Date: December 11th
Release Date: 1/1/2009
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 276

About the book:

Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz.

In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she's honored as ''the chosen one'', the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz's control. But it s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous ''Magic Warble,'' in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen s ''zelbocks'' before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.

Review Copy Arrival: The Masonic Myth by Jay Kinney

The Masonic Myth: Unlocking the Truth About the Symbols, the Secret Rites, and the History of Freemasonry by Jay Kinney

Received from:
Anna Suknov at FSB Associates
Release Date: 9/1/2009
Publisher: HarperOne
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288

About the book:

The Truth Revealed
Freemasons have been connected to the all-seeing eye on the dollar bill, the French Revolution, the Knights Templar, and the pyramids of Egypt. They have been rumored to be everything from a cabal of elite power brokers ruling the world to a covert network of occultists and pagans intent on creating a new world order, to a millennia-old brotherhood perpetuating ancient wisdom through esoteric teachings. Their secret symbols, rituals, and organization have remained shrouded for centuries and spawned theory after theory. The Masonic Myth sets the record straight about the Freemasons and reveals a truth that is far more compelling than the myths.

ARC Arrival: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Received from: Publisher
Release Date: 12/8/2009
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 464

About the book:

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.

Review: The Last Word by Kathy Herman (FIRST Wild Card Tours)

The Last Word: A Novel (Sophie Trace Trilogy) The Last Word: A Novel by Kathy Herman

My rating: 4.0/5.0
This is my first book by Kathy Herman, but definitely not my last.

Thank you Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group for sending me this book for review.

When I decided to review this for the FIRST Wild Card Tour I didn't realize it was part of a series. Usually I am very particular and have to read a series in order. But I realized I couldn't do that with the time constraints of this review. So I dove in. You know what - my brain did not explode :). Yes I think there were some things I think I could have benefited from knowing by reading the first book, but I never felt at a loss when reading this book. The author goes enough into the circumstances of the first book to understand but not so much to give away the plot of the first book completely. So I will be going back to read the first book for sure and will read the third book when it comes out.

After all of that - let me talk to you about The Last Word itself. This is a well plotted book. I enjoyed the suspense plot, the family plot and the glimpses I got into the Jessup's neighbors in Sophie Trace. I enjoyed the small town setting of Sophie Trace, which is a small close-knit community in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I also enjoyed the characters in the Jessup family, from Brill the Police Chief mother, to Kurt the stay-at-home while running his business father, to the older daughter Vanessa who comes home pregnant from college and darling Emily, the ten-year-old who has been through so much. Each member of the family adds to the depth of the story and gives you a good glimpse of a fairly normal family who has their share of problems.

The suspense was well done, but kind of took second place to the family time, but that was okay, since it kept coming to the foreground through the book. It was well-executed and kept me hanging on until the end. I had some things figured out, but one outcome completely floored me (in a good way).

The book never came off as preachy to me. The teachable moments were handled well and never felt holier-than-thou because they came from characters that had had their own troubles. No one was perfect in the story and all the Christian teaching came from the various flawed characters which makes it easier for me to grasp and understand. I don't like books where all the characters seem preachy and perfect, it's definitely not so in this book - each one, (save young Emily) has their own problems, whether confronted in the past or affecting them now and all of them have great understanding that they will have other problems too, that Christianity does not guarantee them a perfect life.

So give this series a try, whether starting at this book or the first one in the series, The Real Enemy. It's worth the time it takes to read - I flew through this when I had a chance to read and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

100+ Book Challenge
Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009

What Are You Reading Monday - October 19th

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see J.Kaye's Book Blog and join in!

Books Completed Last Week:
  • Hell's Gate by Stephen Frey (library)
  • Earthquake in the Early Morning by Mary Pope Osborne (audio with son)
  • Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne (audio with son)
  • Civil War on Sunday by Mary Pope Osborne (audio with son)
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (library)
  • The Last Word by Kathy Herman (review)
Reading Now:
  • Purity in Death by J.D. Robb (audiobook)
  • Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly (review - book tour)
  • Love You To Death by Shannon Butcher (review)
  • The Maze Runner by James Dasher (review)
Reviews Completed Last Week
  • Breaking the Bank by (review)
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (review)
  • The Well-Behaved Child by (review)
  • Love Your Body, Love Your Life by (review)
Reviews to do:
  • Magic Treehouse books #17-23
  • Only In Your Dreams by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Relentless by Dean Koontz
  • Hunted by P.C. and Kristin Cast
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • True Colors by Kristen Hannah
  • Hell's Gate by Stephen Frey
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  • The Last Word by Kathy Herman

Summary -

It was a busy week for me with a day trip to a local pumpkin patch with my 4-year-old's daycare class and an afternoon of shopping, plus a wedding too. But I did get some great books read and a few reviews done. I plan on catching up on my reviews better this week. Wish me luck!