Tag Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Heir of Lies”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Mallory McCartney (https://www.authormallorymccartney.com) published the novel “Heir of Lies” in 2020. Ms. McCartney has published three novels and this is the first of her “Black Dawn” 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. The story is set in a fantasy world. The main characters are late teens Emory Fae, Adair Stratton, Brokk Foster, and Memphis Carter.


All four have been students at The Academy, a school for those with special abilities. Stratton has always been a loaner and a little feared for what he could do. He was tolerated mostly because his parents were close to the Fae’s and founders of The Academy.


King and Prince Maher arrive from the Shattered Isles demanding a new treaty with Kiero. Soon afterward, there is a revolt. The Academy is destroyed. The four main characters find themselves on opposing sides.


The 14+ hours I spent reading this 456-page fantasy novel were interesting. I liked the plot concept, but it seemed to head in too many different directions. It needed more of a focus. The cover art does not connect with the story. I think that a better choice could have been made. 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: “Keep Calm and Carry On, Children”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Sharon K. Mayhew (https://skmayhew.blogspot.com) published the novella “Keep Calm and Carry On, Children” in 2019. This is her first publication.


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 ‘PG’ because it contains a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in the UK during late 1940. The primary character is eleven-year-old Joyce Munsey.


Munsey and her eight-year-old sister Gina survive a German raid on London during the Blitz. Their parents decide that the girls need to leave for a safer location. They become part of the Operation Pied Piper exodus in September of 1940. Their destination is Leek, Staffordshire in the West Midlands of England.


On the long train ride to their temporary home, the girls meet two other children, Sam Purdy and Molly Neal. They are both about Joyce’s age. The Mumsey girls and Molly end up with caring foster families. Sam ends up with a man that just wants him for farm labor.


The kids all end up in Leeks and are able to continue their friendship. The kids stumble upon men involved in the black market. This puts them in a dangerous situation.


I enjoyed the 2.5+ hours I spent reading this 157-page young adult mystery. The mystery is ‘lightweight’, but that seems appropriate for a young adult book. I like the view of WWII as seen through young adults’ eyes. Clearly, this seems to be the start of a series of books describing the kid’s adventures. I like the selected cover art. I give this novella a 4 out of 5.


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


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Eve 2.0: The Ultimate Gaming Experience”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Winter Lawrence (https://www.winterlawrence.com/) published the novel “Eve 2.0: The Ultimate Gaming Experience” in 2019. Ms. Lawrence has published two novels. This is the first in her “The Gamer” 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 some scenes of Violence. The story is a combination of science fiction, romance, and action.


The primary character is High School student Guinevere “Gwen” or “Teddy” Nielson. Gwen is an avid gamer. Something she has in common with her boyfriend Pete Sampson. She isn’t quite sure if he is really her boyfriend as they live hundreds of miles apart. They also have never met face-to-face.


Next door to Gwen lives Ryan, her ex-boyfriend, along with his eight-year-old brother Ben. Gwen tries to avoid Ryan, but she likes the rest of the family. Things become very tangled when all four of the kids end up inside a Virtual Reality game. The game company Pete’s father owns developed it for the Department of Defense. Once inside, they go through many trials and tribulations as they attempt to survive. Meanwhile, their bodies have slipped into a deep coma.


I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 340-page young adult science fiction novel. The plot includes a little romance as well as factors that I don’t want to give away as spoilers. While there is action, it is pretty light-hearted and veery much in line with a young adult novel. The Middle School or High School student who is also a gamer would find this book of interest. There is already a second novel to the series in development. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.


You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).


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

Book Review: “Do You Dream of Terra-Two?”

51lqQl2ap3L

(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Temi Oh (https://www.theonlytemioh.com) published the novel “Do You Dream of Terra-Two?” in 2019. This is her first 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set in the not too distant future.

The first colony ship in on its way to an Earth-like planet. The mission is a project of the British Interplanetary Society. Onboard are 10 astronauts. Four are veterans while the other six are teenagers. Ahead of them is a 23-year trip. As you might expect the trip has potentially lethal problems that must be overcome. The story is told from the viewpoint of the teens.

I thought that the 10 hours I spent reading this 544-page young adult science fiction novel were interesting. This is a bit of an alternate-history as the mission launch is set in 2012. This was a different take on a ‘generation’ ship in that it carried adults and the teens to take over. I liked the overall plot, but it was a little slow and dull at the start. I do not like the cover art for the Kindle edition. The paperback and hardcover art is much better. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Lost and found”

41t+HBUvgnL

(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Orson Scott Card (http://www.hatrack.com/) published the novel “Lost and found” in 2019. Mr. Card has published more than 70 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 Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is 14-year-old Ezekiel Bliss.

Bliss has had a troubled past. He can sense lost objects and then knows who they belong to. Early on this got him labeled as a thief and is now somewhat ostracized by his classmates.

As he begins his Freshman year of High School, a girl starts following, then walking with him to school. That is how he meets Betty ‘Beth’ Sorenson. Sorenson annoys Bliss at first, but after a while, she grows on him. Bliss gets involved with a group looking at micro powers. He meets others who each have a useless power. A detective who is looking for a missing girl approaches Bliss hoping he can help him find her.

At first, Bliss turns him down, but he eventually decides to help, due much to Sorenson’s influence. Bliss’s abilities don’t work well with finding someone. He has to try various indirect approaches to the problem. Bliss learns what means the most to him when Sorenson goes missing.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult mystery novel. I have read a few other of Card’s novels and enjoyed them as much as this one. While targeted at young adults, readers of any age will enjoy this novel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Before the Broken Star”

51ejc5QdbNL

(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Emily R. King (http://emilyrking.com/) published the novel “Before the Broken Star” in 2019. Ms. King has published 5 novels. This is the first in her “Evermore Chronicles” 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. The story is set in another world. The primary character is 17-year-old girl Everley Donovan.

Donovan saw her family killed. She was attacked too but somehow survived. She lives because of a miraculous mechanical heart. She has always assumed that her uncle, a skilled clockmaker, had created the heart. She has been living for years with her uncle and hiding as his adopted apprentice.

Donovan’s father had been an explorer and that is somehow tied to the family’s death. Her father’s former partner Killian Markham comes into the clock shop. It was he who had killed her family and attacked her. She knows she must avenge her family. Now Governor Killian Markham is leading the colony on Dagger Island.

Donovan gets charged with a crime to be sent as a potential wife to the Dagger Island colony. Dagger Island was the last place her father and Markham explored. Donovan wants to revenge the death of her family and find out why her father had to die.

First Lieutenant Jamison Callahan had first seen Donovan in the clock shop. He is the Governor’s aid and is in charge of the women convicts being transported to Dagger Island. Much to Donovan’s annoyance, Callahan seems to have feelings for her.

Donovan must survive the journey by ship and fit into the colony until she can take her revenge. Dagger Island has many myths and there are dangers there to avoid. She must also find a way of being consigned to an unwanted husband.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 294-page young adult fantasy novel. I liked the characters and the plot. This has the makings for a good series. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “The Mercutio Problem”

51fgbs7SWhL

(See all of my Book Reviews) –  Carol Anne Douglas (https://www.carolannedouglas.com) published the novel “The Mercutio Problem” in 2019. This is her fourth novel and the second in her ‘Merlin’s Shakespeare’ 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 Violence and Adult Situations. The story is set in contemporary times and in the realms of Shakespeare’s plays.

The primary character is high school actor Beth Owens. The wizard Merlin again sends her back to the age of Shakespeare. She must struggle with Richard III. He has become a mixture of the character from Shakespeare’s play and Merlin’s arch-enemy Mordred.

Richard is fomenting a revolt of Shakespeare’s characters to get their stories rewritten. He not only is causing problems in the world of Shakespeare but also in the real world. There are some characters who want to keep the stories just as Shakespeare wrote them. They have become Owen’s allies.

The young High School student Owens must lead the opposition.

I found the 6.5+ hours I spent reading this 296-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I read the first novel of this series (Merlin’s Shakespeare) and hoped this one would get better. I’m disappointed to say that it didn’t. The basic plot was good, but it felt weak as implemented. There is a bit of LGBTQIA woven into the plot. The selected cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Einstein’s Compass”

51qOAKZRrmL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Authors Grace Blair and Laren Bright published the novel “Einstein’s Compass” in 2019. This is Ms. Blair’s first novel. Mr. Bright has two other novels to his credit besides this one.

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 and Mature Situations. The story is set in German and Switzerland. It begins in the late 19th century. The primary character is young Albert Einstein.

The young Einstein is given a compass that does more than point to magnetic North. He becomes involved in a struggle between light and dark. Between angels and fallen angels. He finds himself often in danger. He learns to use his compass to travel through time and learn physics from the great physicists of history.

I thought that this was an interesting 6.5+ hour read. This 400-page young adult science fiction novel was a little disappointing. I came close to calling a ‘Rule of 50‘ on it and setting it aside. I think that the selected cover art is interesting. I give this novel a 3.7 (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: “Starship Repo”

51SLeqUJA6L._SY346_

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Patrick S. Tomlinson (https://www.patrickstomlinson.com) published the novel “Starship Repo” in 2019. This is his sixth 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 ‘PG’. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is ‘First’ aka Evelyn.

First is 17 and has run away from home. She is living on her own and is one of the only humans on an alien space station. First has been stealing and running small-time scams.

She steals a vehicle but instead of making a little cash, she is drawn into a team that repos spacecraft. She and her team have one close call after another.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 326-page young adult science fiction novel. I liked the plot of the novel, but I am not a fan of the tongue-in-cheek approach. The book is more a collection of short stories than one major plot. This is the fourth novel authored by Mr. Tomlinson that I have read and I have enjoyed them all. I give this novel a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

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

Book Review: “Three Remain”

418CmlcNGuL

(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author R. A. Andrade (https://www.raandrade.com) published the novel “Three Remain” in 2019. This is Mr. Andrade’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 takes place in the contemporary US. There are three principal characters. Sara, Traci, and Glen. 

Glen wakes up at his rural home to find himself without power or communications. Sara wakes to find herself in a wrecked car and without any memory. Traci, a 13-year-old, falls asleep in the movie theater and awake to silence. 

The three come together and find that they are alone. Before long they discover themselves faced with one obstacle after another. Then they realize that these are not random occurrences. They are being tested.

I enjoyed the 6+ hours I spent reading this 261-page young adult science fiction novel. While not labeled young adult, it has that feel to it. I do like the plot, though it seems to be simply implemented. I give this novel a 3 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).