Category Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Cursed”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Cursed” eBook was published in 2019 (October) and was written by Thomas Wheeler. This is Mr. Wheeler’s second novel.

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. The story is set in medieval England. The primary character is Nimue, though Arthur, Merlin, and others from the traditional tales of King Arthur are there too.

In this version of the story, Nimue, whose mother is an Arch Druid, ends up with the famous sword of power. She has also grown adept at very powerful dark magic. Her mother along with everyone else in her village is killed by the Red Paladins, a militant group of the Catholic Church. The Red Paladins seek any and all of the Fey folk they can find. They want to purge their souls through torture and death. They also want the sword of power Nimue carries.

King Pendragon is another force that wants to hold the sword that he will become the one true king. Complicating matters is the Viking Ice King who is also after the sword. Nimue and her friends must survive this lethal field of adversaries, while she tries to survive and save the Fey.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 416-page fantasy. While I liked the overall plot, the familiar characters have little to do with the history we have all grown up with regarding Arthur. I think I would have liked the story better if there had been no effort to tie it to the Arthur legend. The cover art is OK. 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).

Wednesday SciFi Flix: “Rim of the World”

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(See my other Science Fiction posts) – I watched the movie “Rim of the World” on NetFlix a few nights ago. This is not for the serious Science Fiction fan, but rather it seems aimed more at Young Adults. The synopsis (per IMDB):

Four misfit teenagers join forces to save the world when an alien invasion interrupts their summer camp.

The kids in the starring roles are all attending a dysfunctional summer camp. All of a sudden their world is turned upside down by the invasion of aliens. The camp is evacuated leaving the kids stranded. An astronaut crashes near their camp and gives them a thumb drive. If they can get the thumb drive to JPL there is hope to stop the invasion. The story follows them on their journey to deliver the thumb drive.

This wasn’t the best movie and the 5.1/10 rating on IMDB reflect that. It is rated TV-14. I suspect that is due to the Violence and Mature Language in the movie.

Book Review: “Singularity”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Singularity” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Rick Lakin (http://www.ricklakin.com). Mr. Lakin has published two novels. This is the second of his “StarCruiser Brilliant” 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 the not too distant future on Earth. The primary character is Jennifer Gallagher, actress, tech entrepreneur, and Brilliant crew member.

Gallagher is incredibly successful at everything she tries and is only 17. The Brilliant’s crew meets with the Blue Angels and does some incredible flying with them. They also debut some of the capabilities of Brilliant before the public. They must contend with a presidential candidate that is campaigning against robots. They must also go on a deep space mission to confront a bioterrorism attack.

I thought that the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 386-page science fiction novel were interesting. This is a Young Adult novel and one that seems to be targeted at the very young end of that category. While second in the series, this novel reads pretty well on its own. I felt that the plot seemed to be targeted more at the grade school age reader. For me, the plot was far too simple. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.3 (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).

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). This is Ms. McClain’s sixth publication. This is the third in 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 scenes of Violence and quite a bit of Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate universe to our one. One with magic and creatures of fantasy. The primary character is 17-year-old Victoria Marmot.

This story picks up shortly after the second novella in the series (“Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy“) ends. When the story resumes, Marmot is being held captive on a deserted ‘Hell’ world with the ‘squirrel demon’ and is fighting to survive.

Marmot must escape. Then she must rescue her comrades again. There isn’t so much a plot for this novella as there is the overall plot for the series. This is mostly just a continuation.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 250-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I still think the characters are a little crazy. There are no details, but Marmot is still sexually attracted to the same pair she hooked up within the last novella. 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).

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).

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.