Tag Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Ben Towie http://www.benzilla.com published the graphic novel “Four-Fisted Tales: Animals in Combat” in 2021. He has published five works.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. This book looks at the relationship between animals and the military over the ages. Some mentioned were service animals while others were mascots. Each of the animals has made its own impact on history.

I enjoyed the 0.5+ hours I spent reading this 120-page graphic novel. It is well drawn and I enjoyed each of the short stories. While I recognize that the work is targeted at a younger audience, it is very short. Too short in my opinion. I do like the selected over art. I give this graphic 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: “Enola Holmes”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Nancy Springer https://www.nancyspringer.com published the book “Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche” in 2021. This is the seventh book in her Enola Holmes series. This book was released today, August 31, 2021. She has published more than 50 works.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The primary character in the book is teen Enola Holmes. The much younger sister of the famous Sherlock and Mycroft.

As young as she is, Enola is a very independent woman and every bit as smart as her older brothers. She has also inherited her brothers’ intelligence and powers of deduction. A young woman, Letitia Glover, shows up asking for Holme’s help. Glover received a letter from her brother-in-law that her twin sister had died. She has been unable to learn anything from the widowed Earl of Dunhench. Glover wants to know what happened.

While Holmes does not seem overly interested, Enola jumps into the investigation. She is soon undercover in the Earl’s household. She discovers that the Earl’s first wife also died under unusual circumstances. Enola is sure that there is something amiss.

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 259-page period mystery. The book is short. The book is more of a novella than a novel. The book does read much like the original Sherlock Holmes stories. But this mystery is not too difficult. Ms. Springer mostly targets young adults so that can be somewhat expected. If you have access to Netflix you will find their production of an Enola Holmes mystery movie. I do like the chosen 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: “Children of the Resistance – Volume 1 – Opening Moves”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Vincent Dugomier published the graphic novel “Children of the Resistance – Volume 1 – Opening Moves” in 2019. This is the first of six in his Children of the Resistance series. He has produced several graphic novels. Vincent

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 publisher suggests this publication for a 9+ audience. The story is set in 1940 France. The main characters are the two young French boys François and Eusèbe. 

François lives in the village of Pontain-L’Écluse. François cannot believe how the adults have accepted the German occupation. He enlists his friend Eusèbe to unite their families and neighbors against the Germans. 

I enjoyed the hour I spent reading this 60-page graphic novel of the French Resistance. I don’t read many graphic novels. This is only the third that I have reviewed. True stories from WWII inspire the story. The two barely teen resistance fighters do not accomplish great acts of sabotage. Their resistance is mischief targeted at the Germans. Though if caught they would have been severely reprimanded, even shot. They do succeed in changing village opinions about the occupation. I like the chosen cover art. I give this graphic novel a 4 out of 5.

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


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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 550 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: “Earth Alone”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Daniel Arenson (https://danielarenson.com/default.html) published the novel “Earth Alone” in 2016. Mr. Arenson has published more than 65 fantasy and science fiction novels. This is the first of his “Earthrise” series.


I obtained a copy of this novel through a promotion. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence, mature language, and mature situations. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary characters are Marco Emery, Lailani Marita de la Rosa, and Kemi Abasi.


The aliens called the Scum attacked Earth about 50 years before the story begins. The remnants of humanity are struggling to survive. They are still subject to the occasional attack. Emery and Abasi grew up in Toronto, Canada. At 18 all young people are required to join the HDF (Human Defense Force) and do 5 years of service.

The story tells about Emery and his training. It also tells of his first combat experience. There is a bit of romance, but it is not a major factor in the novel. The novel reminds me a lot of Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.


I thoroughly enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 368-page young adult science fiction novel. I would like to read his many other books in this series and the sister series. I do like the cover art used for this novel. 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: “Complex: A Dystopian Thriller”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author A.D. Enderly (https://adenderly.com) published the novel “Complex: A Dystopian Thriller” in 2020. This is the first of his “Silent Beautiful Universe” 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, mature language, and mature situations. The story is set in a dystopian future. Governments have given way to corporations.


The book has several characters, though the most important are 19-year-old Val and her 12-year-old sister Kat. Val and her sister are now orphaned and struggling to survive. Their father warned them both about giving in to the corporations and joining a complex. A Complex is a corporate-run city. They are willing to ‘take care of you’ for a price.

When Kat is kidnapped, Val does everything she can to find her. Concurrent with Val’s quest there are other powers at work. The pharmaceutical company NovaGenica is making a move for more power. One of the large complexes is doing everything it can to recruit clients. This includes murder and terrorism.


Beyond this AI systems run many of the establishments. While Val has found a romantic interest in 18-year-old Trevor, her focus is on saving Kat.


I mostly enjoyed the 17 hours I spent reading this 595-page science fiction novel. The first part of the novel I found very slow. Fortunately, the pace picked up after the first 15% of the novel. There are many plots that are intertwined. After getting past the beginning, the novel was very good. I do like the selected cover art. 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).

Book Review: “The Infinity Courts”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Akemi Dawn Bowman (https://www.akemidawnbowman.com) will publish the novel “The Infinity Courts” in 2021 (April). This is Ms. Bowman’s fifth publication. This novel is the first in her “Infinity Courts” 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 mild violence and mature language. The primary character for this young adult novel is 18 -year-old Nami Miyamoto.

Miyamoto is just graduating from High School when she dies. She awakens in a place referred to as Infinity. She finds that others who have passed before her are in conflict with Ophelia an AI. Ophelia has somehow traveled to Infinity and is attempting to take over. Ophelia was popular as a personal assistant (think Siri or Alexa) when Miyamoto was alive on Earth. Miyamoto had spent hours talking to Ophelia before she died.


Now Ophelia is trying to rule Infinity with a population of androids. The people there are becoming their unwilling servants. Miyamoto becomes part of a resistance group. She has taken on an Android-like appearance enabling her to move among Ophelia’s minions.


I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 480-page young adult novel. The book follows the typical teen thrown into an apocalyptic environment of many young adult novels. There are a few good plot twists and of course some romance. I do like the chosen cover art. 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: “Nameless Queen”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Rebecca McLaughlin published the novel “Nameless Queen” in 2020. This is her first publication.

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 mild violence. The story is set in another universe in the city of Seridan where magic is real. The primary character is a teenage girl known only as Coin.

Coin is one of the ‘Nameless’. Only those who have a name have status in this world. She has been living on the streets as far back as she can remember. Shortly after King Fallow dies she discovers the tattoo of a crown on her arm. That is the magical symbol of the heir to the throne. The only way King Fallow could have passed on his throne to her is by uttering her name.

How can King Fallow have named her when she doesn’t have a name? She wants to keep it hidden but when a close friend is in danger she reveals herself. No-one wants a Nameless in charge. She is constantly at odds with those in power, particularly General Demure. With no real education other than what she has learned on the streets, Coin has a difficult time fitting in.

Nameless have been disappearing in Seriden. Coin tries to investigate but does not receive much help from the authorities. She discovers a plot to take over Seriden but finds herself at risk.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 344-page young adult fantasy novel. The ‘commoner-thrust-onto-the-throne’ theme is not uncommon. This version does have some things to set it apart. While the novel came to a conclusion, there is plenty of room for a sequel. I like the chosen cover art. 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: “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).