Tag Archives: Young Adult

Book Review: “Merlin’s Shakespeare”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Merlin’s Shakespeare” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Carol Anne Douglas (https://www.carolannedouglas.com/). This is Ms. Douglas’ fifth publication and the first 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 ‘G’. The story is set in both contemporary times and in Shakespeare’s England. The primary character is 15-year-old Beth Owens.

Owens is a theater student, particularly interested in the works of Shakespeare. Merlin appears to her and sends her back in time to Shakespeare’s England. She meets various characters from Shakespeare’s plays some of whom she likes and others which frighten her. Merlin has sent her back to search for a missing Shakespeare play about King Arthur. Along her way she begins to find that she has some magical powers of her own.

I thought that the 8.25 hours I spent reading this 358-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The plot is pretty simple and the characters are not the deepest, but it seems targeted at the very young adult sector. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.6 (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 Dragon Sickness”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Dragon Sickness” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Ava Richardson (http://avarichardsonbooks.com). Ms. Richardson has published seven novels. This is the second of her “Alveria Dragon Akademy” 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 a land with magic and dragons. The primary character is the young dragon tamer Kaelan Younger.

Younger has struggled to be accepted at the Akademy. She is trying to learn the extent of her abilities and to adjust to her partner Prince Lasaro. Her existence at the Akademy is complicated further by the sudden onset of a deadly illness among the dragons.

Younger must keep secrets from the Prince as she tries to discover the source of the illness. Their relationship struggles with the deception she must maintain. The kingdom itself comes under threat from Alveria’s enemies. Will she solve the illness before she is driven from the Akademy or branded as a traitor.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 367-page young adult fantasy. This was clearly targeted at a young adult audience. It is an adventure with a little romance thrown in. I 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: “Star Child: Awakening”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Star Child: Awakening” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Petra Landon (http://petralandon.com). Ms. Landon has published five novels. This is the first novel in her “The Zenkoti Fables” 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’. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is the young girl Navi.

Navi is trying to find her way off of the mining world where she lives. She sneaks aboard a spacecraft while following a man who has been asking questions about her. Before she can get off the ship it unexpectedly leaves taking her with it as a stowaway.

She discovers that the ship’s crew is led by the only man to have been able to successfully confront the military of the sector. Before long her presence on the ship is discovered and she becomes part of the crew, at least until they can drop her off.

Her adventure does not end there as the ship must dodge space outlaws, greedy corporations, and the powerful Guild Coalition. She is exposed to many new people, some become friends while others become deadly enemies. Along the way, she is surprised to discover some secrets of her own heritage.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 180-page science fiction novel. I enjoy space opera like this. This is somewhat of a young adult novel but reads well. The cover art is eye-catching. 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: “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).