Category Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Lakes of Mars”

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Book Reviews – “Lakes of Mars” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Merritt Graves. Mr. Graves has published two novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the future. Mars and other locations in the Solar System have been colonized. The primary character is 17-year-old Aaron Sheridan.

Sheridan has joined the Fleet after a crash killed his family while he was piloting their shuttle. He had hoped to be assigned to the war out on the Rim and die. Unexpectedly he is assigned to Corinth Station, the premier Fleet academy run by the United Fleet of Mars.  The academy is nothing like he had expected. Life there is brutal and cutthroat. The young officers in training learn more through survival than from their instructors.

The cadets are broken into different groups and there is a battle going on between groups. Sheridan gets drawn into this and finds that it is not clear which side he should be on. Sheridan just tries to survive, then he meets the brilliant Eve. He dedicates most of his time to help her research a cure for her brother.

Before long though he and some of the other students begin to suspect that the United Fleet of Mars is hiding something at Corinth Station. The more they investigate, the stronger they feel that they have to do something.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13.5 hours I spent reading this young adult science fiction novel. There is action and a touch of romance in the book. I liked the overall plot, but I am not a fan of the Sheridan character. I understand having a flawed hero, but to me, he has a few too many flaws. The cover art is OK, though I think something closer to the plot line would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Review of “Eye of the Ninja”

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Book Reviews -“Eye of the Ninja” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by D.M. Marlowe (http://www.dmmarlowe.com). Ms. Marlowe has published three novels in her “Eye of the Ninja Chronicles” series. This is the first novel in the series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the near future. Earthquakes and other disasters have claimed the ‘ring of fire’ around the Pacific leaving Japan devastated.

The primary character in the story is young Mei Barrett. She has been raised by her father and trained in the Ninja arts. When he is killed she spends four years in hiding. She suffers from a mutation of her eyes that draw attention to her where ever she goes. She must avoid any attention if she is to continue to avoid the wind demon that killed her father.

She finds that there are others that are fighting the demons. Others that knew her mother and father. Others that may become the friends, the allies, and the family that she has been missing.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 277 page young adult fantasy. There is a lot of Japanese cultures embedded in this novel. I also felt that it was a little disjointed, particularly in the beginning. It also seemed to end more abruptly than it needed to. It is a mixture of martial arts and the supernatural. I do like the cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Episode #5 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you have not seen the four prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.

Short Films– The fifth short (12:59) episode, “Sacrifice”, of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Dark Realm” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on August 10. The synopsis:

In this final chapter, all those trapped inside the Dark Realm face more difficulties as they try to escape. While Malcolm and Gavin mourn the loss of their friend, Chelsea finally reveals to Adelaide why they must stick together. What could it be? And will Sage succeed in saving the imprisoned girls, or will he change the course of history forever?

 

Episode #4 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you have not seen the three prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.

Short Films– The fourth short (9:00) episode, “They Are Coming”, of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Dark Realm” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on August 3. The synopsis:

Sage is faced with a dilemma: should he help the young imprisoned girls or obey his grandfather’s orders to not risk changing the future? In the meantime, Malcolm, Gavin and Navarro learn the mysteries of The Dark Realm from Oddvar, but will they be able to keep their cool in order to escape? And have they lost Chelsea and Adelaide forever?

 

Episode #3 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you have not seen either of the two prior episodes, you should begin viewing with Episode #1.

Short Films– The third short (13:53) episode of the Sage Alexander prequel “The Rooms are Alive” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TV on July 27. The synopsis:

Sage enters the Dark Realm with strict orders not to alter the past — and possibly the future — by interfering with what he may witness in there. In the meantime, the five other young warriors get further lured into the Dark Realm and meet a surprising face. Can they work together to find a way out? Will Sage play it safe or risk the future when he hears desperate calls for help?

View episode #4

Episode #2 of “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm”

If you haven’t seen it already, start viewing with episode #1 before you watch this episode.

Short Films – The second short (10:47) episode of the Sage Alexander prequel “Are We All Going to Die?” was uploaded to YouTube by TigerBeat TVon July 20. I do think this one was better than the first. I am glad that friend Ashlea Rae has a larger role in this episode. The synopsis:

Sage still feels unprepared to enter the Dark Realm, so grandpa Alexander begins to memory share with him. He continues to recount the story of the young warriors who set out to find a portal to the Dark Realm… Will they find it? And will Sage finally feel ready to enter it himself?

View Episode #3

Review of “Ruthless Magic”

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Book Reviews – “Ruthless Magic” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Megan Crewe (http://www.megancrewe.com). Ms. Crewe has published eleven novels. This is the first in her “Conspiracy of Magic” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set on an Earth where magic has been real but hidden from the general public until recently. Now each year the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old who has a magic ability. Some of these are ‘chosen’ while the rest have their magical abilities destroyed. The only other option is to take the Mages’ Exam.

The two main characters are Rocío Lopez and Finn Lockwood. Lopez has dedicated herself to excelling in magic, but because of her low socio-economic standing, she is not ‘chosen’. In a desperate attempt to retain her magical abilities and advance in society, she chooses to take the Mages’ Exam. Lockwood has shown only mediocre ability but is ‘chosen’ because of his family. Feeling ashamed, he chooses to take the Mages’ Exam to prove his worth.

They and a group of others taking the Exam are put through a series of grueling and dangerous tests. Lopez and Lockwood become allies to survive. That evolves into a romantic feeling for one another. The challenge they have is to survive the tests.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 350 page young adult fantasy. I liked the characters and the plot. I have read two other novels by Ms. Crewe and have liked them as well, though of the three I think this is her best. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm

Short Films – The short (10:41) first episode of the series “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm” was released July 14 on the TigerBeat TV YouTube channel. This six-episode video series is based on the Young Adult “Sage Alexander” series of books written by Steve Copling. I haven’t read any of the books in the series myself, but a granddaughter has and says it was very good. That seems to be a common consensus as the book is rated 5/5 on Amazon and nearly as well on Goodreads for both books in the series. The synopsis for the video series:

All of Sage Alexander’s training with his guardian angel Leah has lead to this moment, but is he actually ready to enter the Dark Realm on his own? Meanwhile, five more young warriors-in-training discover a portal into the Dark Realm… 200 years earlier. Will this truly be one last adventure?

The video series certainly looks promising. The few special effects shown in the first episode are reasonable. In addition to this just looking like a good story, I have the added incentive for it to be successful and picked up as a series – I know one of the young actors, Ashlea Rae.

See episode #2

Review of “Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today”

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Book ReviewsWWIIWWII Timeline – “Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today” eBook was published in 2018.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains a few scenes of Violence. The book is a collection of very short (mostly 2-3 pages each) stories about World War II experiences shared with today’s children. Views are recorded from the military and civilians, Allied and Axis. The accounts give a very different look at World War II and the lives of those who lived through it.

I thought that this was an interesting 7 hour read of this 320 page non-fiction book. I learned a few things while reading. I had never heard of the Land Girls. I did find that the stories began to get a little repetitive. I think that Young Adults would be interested in these accounts, but would have a difficult time reading the book cover-to-cover. I can see where teachers would want to share selections with their classes when the World War II era was being covered in history. I liked the cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hullmetal Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Hullmetal Girls” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Emily Skrutskie (http://skrutskie.com). Ms. Skrutskie has published three books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. All that is left of the Human race is aboard a fleet of ships that have been looking for a new home for centuries. The primary characters are young Aisha Un-Haad and Key Tanaka.

Un-Haad is willing to do anything to save her family. Tanaka doesn’t remember how or why she is a Scela. Un-Haad, on the other hand, volunteered to become a Scela. The Scela are the fleet’s enhanced and mechanized soldiers, no longer merely human. Un-Haad sacrificed herself to try and save her little sister and brother. Being new Scela means that they must work hard to get a good assignment. That is the only way that Un-Haad will be able to help her family survive in the rigidly structured fleet society.

She and Tanaka soon find that there is much that has been hidden from them. Much that is hidden from the general population. Their loyalties to the Fleet government begin to waver. Will those in charge ever let a new homeworld be found?

I thought that this was an interesting read of 8.5 hours for this 320 page science fiction novel. All of the primary characters are young women in this story. I would say that it would be something appropriate for Young Adults. The author put together an unusual universe for the story to play out in. I liked the cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).