Monday, January 27, 2020

“Lost Girl” by Chanda Hahn

In a secret facility, children are being experimented upon in the hopes to give them powers that will make them grow into superior soldiers. But some of the scientists in charge have come to realize that this facility is not something they want to be a part of when the current generation is ruled a failure and plans are made to start all over after destroying their “failed” experiments. Unwilling to be a part of something that will kill innocent children, a few of the scientists decide to help as many as possible escape from the Neverland facility.

Wendy has no memory of her previous life at Neverland, she only knows that she has night terrors and nightmares that she doesn’t understand. She also sees shadows that don’t behave the way that shadows should, though no one else seems to see these things and often believe that she is hallucinating or even a bit crazy. But the truth is that she isn’t crazy or hallucinating. So what is really going on, and why can’t she remember anything of her life from before she met the people who eventually adopted her?

I really enjoyed this story. It was a very unique twist on the Peter Pan story. I loved how all the familiar characters were involved, from Captain Hook and S.Mee to Slightly and all the other lost boys.

I was greatly amused at the role that J.M. Barrie played in the story. I am very glad that I picked this one up to read and will continue on with the rest of the series to find out what will happen next in this retelling. I truly enjoyed the twist that the author took in writing this tale, and how she made it all seem to be something that could take place in the “real” world. Recommended.

Monday, January 20, 2020

“The Gender Game” by Bella Forest

Set in a future where humanity has almost destroyed itself, the people have split into two separate societies. On one side of the river was the Kingdom that was designed and ruled by men. Women who are born in or chose to move to Patrus had no rights. They were little more than the property of their husbands or fathers. Women who broke the law in Patrus, even unintentionally, were often executed by hanging.

On the other side of the river was the Queendom designed and ruled by women. Much of each society was similar, save that in Matrus, it was the men who had no rights. If they failed their testing at the age of 8, boys were sent to the mines and forced into a life of hard labor. Criminals in Matrus were also executed, though they were killed by injection rather than at the end of a rope.

After her brother failed his testing, Violet often found herself in trouble and grew up in “Juvenile Facilities” working off her time in repetitive and mind-numbing tasks. If she could stay out of trouble, she would eventually be reintegrated into Matrus’ society. Unfortunately, trouble always seemed to find her. After her latest infraction, she expected to be killed, but instead was recruited for a task that if successful, would be of great assistance to her country. If she succeeded, she was even promised a reunion with her brother. She simply had to retrieve an item stolen by Patrus that was of great import to Matrus without anyone from Patrus realizing she had been sent from Matrus after it.

This was a very interesting story that has been sitting on my kindle waiting for me to have a chance to read it. I really enjoyed it, and am very curious as to what will happen in the next book in the series. While this one doesn’t exactly end on a cliffhanger, it is near enough to one that I feel almost compelled to continue on immediately with book 2 so that I can find out if Violet is able to be reunited with her brother, or if there is more going on in these two countries than even those living there are aware of. This story was well worth my time to read. I am only sorry I waited so long to get around to it!

Monday, January 13, 2020

"Mail Order Bride's Baby
and her One-Arm Indian" by
Florence Linnington

When Mr. Wilson at the Orphanage Rachel had grown up in & currently was teaching at began to have rather roaming hands and making other threats, she knew it was well past time for her to find a new home. She had placed an ad in a mail order bride catalogue and had been exchanging letters with a farmer by the name of Motega. His proposal came at the perfect time to allow her to escape unmolested.

But just as she was leaving, a baby was brought to the orphanage. The orphanage did not have the ability to accept and care for an infant. Unwilling to abandon a child in need, Rachel decided to take the baby with her and hope that the farmer she was about to meet would accept both of them.

What she didn't know was that he was an Indian. As were so many white settlers of the time, Rachel was not ready to be the bride of someone so completely different from herself.They needed each other in order to be able to survive through the harvest and beyond, but could they come to accept each other as well as their different ways of doing things? And what about the prejudices of the townsfolk? That alone could easily be enough to destroy any hope of a new life, let alone one in which they might find their way together.

This was a fascinating story of how even those who think themselves so completely different can come together and find that maybe there is more to a person than how they first appear. I enjoyed seeing many of the characters in this story, including but not limited to Rachel and Motega, learn this lesson.

I believe Ms. Linnington's story ideas continue to improve and develop in depth and complexity, while still retaining the sweetness that first drew me to enjoy reading them. I look forward to reading her next tale.

Friday, January 10, 2020

"Daughter of Time" by Sarah Woodbury
Narrated by Laurell Schroder

I found this to be an interesting audiobook to listen to. Meg and her daughter find themselves in a car crash, except that instead of waking and finding themselves in a damaged car, they found themselves far in the past in medieval Wales. Uncertain if they will be stuck in the past or might someday find a way to return, Meg and her daughter must learn to survive and thrive in Prince Llwellyn’s household.

How does one find wind up starting in a car crash in Pennsylvania only to wake up in a castle in Medieval Wales, surrounded by people who have always lived there? Meg has no idea if she and her daughter will ever find a way to return to where she came from. And then she finds herself falling in love with the medieval Prince of Wales.

I enjoyed listening to this story. The Narrator did a very good job (as far as I could tell since I don’t speak Welsh) with pronouncing the names of the characters from both time periods. It was not at all difficult to tell from her narration which character she happened to be portraying at the time.

All in all, I enjoyed the story as well as the narration and will be looking for the next book in the series, (This was a prequel to the series and made for a fun little introduction to a series I had not previously had the chance to enjoy.) I will look for the next book in the series to see where the story goes next, Though whether I will wind up reading it on my kindle or listening to the audio version remains to be determined.

Monday, January 6, 2020

“Night (Hero Society Book 4)”
by Jessica Florence

In the 4th book in the Super Hero Society series, Esme’s twin brother Eli lay dying of Leukemia. She has the power to heal him, but each time she uses her abilities leaves her own life is shortened in exchange. Eli refuses to allow her to save his life at the expense of her own. And though it breaks her heart to do so, she honors his wishes and allows the leukemia to end his life.

Years Later, Esme is working as a nurse. She has befriended the Hero Society and often helps them out when they need medical aid, though she hasn’t shared the knowledge of her own abilities with them.

One of the doctors at the hospital, Dr. Dorian seems to enjoy tormenting Esme for some reason. He often appears to take great pleasure in simply driving her to distraction. And while he claims to have no interest in her, eventually the two do become intimate, seeking pleasure from each other’s bodies without emotional attachment. At least that is what they keep telling themselves. But what happens when one of them starts to feel something more?

Like the rest of the series, this book captured my interest and held it until the end. It was a very fast read for me as I did not want to put the book down! Also like the others, it is also not really appropriate for younger readers due to the sexual language and encounters in the book. While not graphically detailed experiences, they are still a bit more than is meant for younger audiences.

I enjoyed this book as well as this series. It hooked me and kept me coming back for more. I believe others will enjoy it as well. I’m very glad I gave this series a chance. I believe others will be too.

Friday, January 3, 2020

"The Bargain: a Short Story"
by Clara C. Johnson

This was an interesting little YA short story about a young woman whose family is going through a very difficult time. Her mother is extremely ill, her father is working himself far too hard to try and make ends meet, and Ada has had to leave school, giving up her dream of becoming a teacher in order to help take care of her younger siblings.

And when her father is fired from his job, things turn desperate. If something doesn't change soon, the family will starve within a few weeks That's when a fairy comes to Ada and takes her to meet her master who has an offer for Ada. Her decision could save or doom her family. But either way, her life will never be the same again.

I enjoyed this short little tale. It really makes you stop and think, did Ada make the right choice? Or did she really even have any choice at all? I thought it was an interesting little tale and fun to read.

Firefax by A. M. Vergara

During the Revolutionary War, there are rumors of a city of gold that is hidden on an island whose location is known only to the Firefax fam...