Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Relic (The Dean Curse Chronicles) by Steven Whibley

The secret Society began more than a thousand years ago, during a time when kings took war seriously, while disregarding human life. The Society evolved out of necessity to preserve life.

Dean Curse continues to be the youngest member of the secret Society, being only fourteen. He wonders why he was never given the chance to accept or reject membership. In Relic, he learns why everyone in the world isn’t a member - People are different, and some would use the gift for their own benefit, others would go insane having to deal with the visions and possible failures resulting in death.

Accepting his life’s fate as a member in the Society, Dean’s visions of people in danger of losing their life, is all-consuming. He shares his visions with a few of his best friends, which certainly helps Dean deal with his vision to vision occurrences, especially since he only has twenty-four stressful hours to save a life.

Relic is about Dean’s vision of a museum robbery, where he believes a monk will be killed. Brainstorming strategies, he and his friends involve breaking the law and the police.

I recommend Relic, because it is packed full of adventure for kids, and may spark an interest to put down the video games and start a fun secret society of their own. Family and friendship values are sprinkled throughout the book, which is a secret bonus in itself.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Planet Willie by Josh Shoemake

A Heavenly Detective

Being dead and hanging out in heaven isn’t Willie Lee’s cup of tea. After being murdered as a mortal, his ‘future’ becomes rather boring, until he is given a task to change from his angelic state to incarnate and become a detective back on earth.

Sporting a no-holds-barred attitude, Willie provides plenty of humor (at times, off-color) throughout the story. He wastes no time enjoying a politically incorrect life, which includes plenty of booze and women.

This is not your typical book; the characters are exaggerated and a bit outrageous. Watching Willie balance his angelic thoughts and actions with earth’s many temptations, is amusing.

Trying to complete his original task, Willie would also like to solve his own murder mystery.  Is he a successful detective?  Find out by reading Planet Willie by Josh Shoemake. It’s an unusual story, demonstrating a change of pace to be entertaining.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Magic Bridge by Thomasina Burke

A trip around the world!

Browsing for a good novel, I was fortunate to locate this treasure, Magic Bridge. The pitch for the book described the setting in Arizona, and having lived in Phoenix, I was excited to take the trip. It was nostalgic visiting Phoenix and other memorable places in the great state of Arizona.

There’s more to the story than beautiful landscape, however. We share the lives of Bridgette and Matt, who meet in Crown King, Arizona. Not only do they fall in love and marry, but they travel the world, and as lucky readers, we get to hike right alongside the couple.

As with any relationship, there are ups and downs, and Bridgette and Matt live through adversities most relationships hope to escape. Promises are made and Bridgette is put to the test in keeping her word.

What balances the heartbreak of the story is being able to travel the world with two characters that relish life, and are intelligent, interesting, and very real. The true meaning of friendship is a major theme in Magic Bridge, and Bridgette and Matt’s friends are the cream of the crop.

Booklovers, who appreciate history, and stories about genuine relationships, will be captivated taking a trip around the world with Bridgette and Matt.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Daughters by Florence Osmund

Captivating me immediately, I anticipated a story filled with rich history and conflict of the 1940’s and 50’s. My expectations weren’t met after reading the first couple of chapters.

The story was about a young woman, Marie, who lived her first twenty-something years as a white woman, only to discover the father she never met, was a Negro. Conflicted with being biracial was the heart of the story. But Marie’s conflict involved excessive commentary lacking an equal amount of struggle.

While it was a noble story, with a link to history, I felt so much more could have been expounded to add historical depth. It mentioned a few events, adding language, music, and culture, but I longed for more.

My favorite character was Richard, Marie’s ex-husband. He sprinkled conflict into the story and I looked forward to his unexpected visits.

Daughters, by Florence Osmund, is a feel good story about relationships that will leave you thinking about your own believes and prejudices. Simply touching on historical accounts of the era, it may serve as a motivator for research.