Category Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Changeling”

51s16DA-aFL

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).

Advertisements

Book Review: “Time’s Children”

51ZYDtlXK8L.jpg

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”

51g+j-uvqXL

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”

51lNYgEt0KL

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”

40529400

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”

debfront_3_orig

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