Category Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the second of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and considerable Mature Language. The story is set in our contemporary world, but in an Alternate Timeline where magic is possible. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

The story picks up almost immediately from where the first novella “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” left off. Victoria and her brother, along with their friends, continue to battle with the Ministry of Magical Entities (MOME). Victoria not only learns a great deal more about her magical abilities, but she also finds that she has some rather deep attractions to both a boy and a girl she has met. That attraction proves to be reciprocated and the three eventually have a very intimate moment together.

I thought that the 4+ hours I spent reading this 222-page young adult fantasy were interesting. Both of the novellas I have read so far in this series have been a bit crazy. The character of Victoria Marmot is not one that I am drawn to. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novella 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).

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Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the first of her “Victoria Marmot” 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 ‘R’ because it contains lots of Mature Language and some Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US, but one that has magic. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

Marmot has just begun her Senior Year at a new school in Flagstaff, AZ. She is living there alone in the house that her parents left her in their will. She is struggling to get through the first day in a new school when things start to go strange in a big way. While camping alone Gwen, a beautiful redheaded girl, pops up naked at Marmot’s campsite saying that she is Virginia’s “Narrator”. Then there is Edik, the young man in her class that turns out to be a vampire.

From that point, the story of Marmot’s life really begins to get crazy and she begins a quest. She finds she has magical abilities. She discovers that she has a sibling. She is attracted to both a boy and a girl that are helping her.

I thought that the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 269-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The character of Victoria Marmot is colorful. She does make a good main character, though she is far from what I would call normal. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (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).

Book Review: “The Witch of the Hills”

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Book Reviews – “The Witch of the Hills” eBook was published in 2018 (March, the original paper edition was published in 2018) and was written by J. M. Fraser (https://jmfraser.com/). Mr. Fraser has published four 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 ‘G’. The story is set the contemporary US in the northern midwest. The primary character is sixteen-year-old Brian Danahey.

There is nothing special about Danahey other than he is starting college at sixteen. While driving home from a wedding he accidentally meets a beautiful redhead named Rebecca Church who is about his age. He only is able to spend a few hours with her before she disappears.

He goes on to college, but he cannot get Rebecca out of his head. As he does what he can fo find her, he hears about the legendary Witch of the Hills. While a wild idea, the ‘witch’ is supposed to live near where he met Rebecca. As Danahey follows his quest to find Rebecca he finds himself traveling through time.

Rebecca is following a prophecy that predicts that she will meet up with a boy named Brian. She is desperate to see the prophecy come true as she has deep feelings for Brian even before she meets him. She will also need his help to stop an imminent threat to the world.

I found nearly 9 hours I spent reading this 346-page Young adult romance. This book was written well enough, but I had a hard time getting engaged with the story. It seems to me that the plot is targetted at pre-teens or maybe very young teen girls. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Changeling”

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Book Reviews – “Changeling” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Molly Harper (https://www.mollyharper.com/). Ms. Harper has published more than thirty novels. This is the first in her “Sorcery and Society” 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 ‘G’. The story is set in an alternate history of sorts where magic is possible. The primary character is 14-year-old Cassandra Reed, aka Sarah Smith.

In this timeline, those with magic have risen up and taken over the world. Those without magic, the Snipes, are ‘taken care of’ by those with magic. Those with magic grow richer and more powerful, while the Snipes simply become servants and tradesman.

Smith is a Snipe and has grown up living in the Warren. She and her family serve the magical and powerful Winters family. Once Smith accidentally demonstrates a magical ability of her own, things change. Snipes are not ever supposed to have the ability to use magic. Smith, has the ability and it is powerful. The Winters change her looks and enroll her as a distant cousin in Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies.

The Winters foster the coverup as it would be just as devastating to them as to Smith and her family for the truth to get out. Smith struggles at the school having to deal with snobby girls. She finally finds a couple of friends there who are each an outcast in their own way. Her jealous sister threatens their subterfuge and everyone is threatened by a witch that wants to raise the dead and use that army to take over the world.

I enjoyed the 7+ hours I spent reading this 271-page young adult fantasy. The characters were interesting and the plot, while not new, was well implemented. I did think that the end to the story came more quickly that it could have. The final confrontation might have been strung out a little more. Certainly, a firm footing is laid for follow-on novels in the series. The cover art is OK, but a scene from the story would have been better in my opinion. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Time’s Children”

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Book Reviews – “Time’s Children” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by D. B. Jackson (http://www.dbjackson-author.com). Mr. Jackson has published six novels. This is the first of his “Islevale Cycle” 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in another world where magic is possible. The primary character is fifteen-year-old Tobias Doljan.

Doljan is a student of magic with a specialty as a Walker who can travel through time. He is sent to the court of Daerjen. The sovereign of Daerjen, Mearlan IV, asks him to Walk back in time fourteen years, far beyond what is normally allowed. Doljan agrees to take the risk and the burden of aging himself fourteen years in order to stop the war that has been going on.

Doljan survives the trip back in time, but Mearlan and his court are unexpectedly attacked and killed, disrupting the timeline. The only survivor is Doljan and Mearlan’s baby girl. Doljan, though only fifteen in the body of a thirty-year-old man, must find a way to save the princess and evade the invaders.

Doljan’s close friend and love from the magic school, Mara, senses the disruption in time when Mearlan is killed in the past. Though she has forgotten who Doljan is, she knows she must follow him into the past to correct the change in history.

Plots that span time. Magical creatures. Threats from foreign powers. This has the making of a great fantasy series.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 13 hours I spent reading this 528-page fantasy. I liked the plot and the characters. I think the twist of aging those who travel through time adds to the story. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Weird War 2”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Wierd War 2” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Richard Denham. Mr. Denham has published seven 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Violence. The book is a collection of short (one to two page) non-fiction stories about World War II.

I spent an interesting 5 hours reading this 176-page book of strange non-fiction tales. I was hoping for more of the unusual. Unfortunately, I had heard most of the stories collected in this book before. This might be a good book for someone just getting interested in that period, particularly for a young adult because of the short story structure. The cover art is a good choice for this book. I give this book a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

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


If you are a student of the World War II era in history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.

Book Review: “The Cheerleaders”

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Book Reviews – “The Cheerleaders” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Kara Thomas (https://karathomasbooks.wordpress.com). Ms. Thomas has published six 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 a contemporary suburban US community. The primary character is 17-year-old Monica Rayburn. She is on her High School competitive dance team. She probably would have been a cheerleader, but they don’t have cheerleaders at her school. At least not anymore, not for the last five years.

Five years ago two cheerleaders died in an auto accident, then two more were murdered. A fifth, Rayburn’s sister, committed suicide. All dead within three weeks. They had a suspect for the murders, but he was killed resisting arrest. Now Rayburn begins to question her sister’s suicide. She is seeing evidence that maybe the man resisting arrest wasn’t the killer after all.

She gets hints at what happened five years ago from a strange neighborhood boy. She hears other things from her stepfather, a cop, and the man who shot and killed the murder suspect. Then there are the things that she hears from people who were close to the dead girls. The more she finds out, the more she questions the official story.

I thoroughly enjoyed the near 7 hours I spent reading this 384-page young adult mystery. I liked the characters created for this novel and the convoluted plot. This is a bit of a dark story, but I liked it. I also liked the plot twist at the end of the novel. The cover art is OK, but I think a better image could have been chosen. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

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).

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?