Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Title: Waterfall (River of Time #1)

Author: Lisa T. Bergren

Publisher: David C. Cook

Format: ebook ($.7.39) Paperback ($9.99)

Length:  384 pages

Release Date: February 1, 2011

Genre: young adult historical romance, time travel

Available at: AmazonBarnes & NobleDavid C. Cook

Summary: Gabi and Lia Betarrini are used to traveling the world with their archaeologist parents. They’ve spent summers in Italy ever since they can remember, but since their father’s death, their mother has thrown herself even more into her work. Her latest discovery brings them to ancient Etruscan tombs. Even though they know it’s off-limits, the two girls sneak into one of the tombs while their mother is pre-occupied. Inside they find handprints painted on the cold stone wall, but the handprints are warm to their touch, and when both girls touch the prints at the same time they are sent careening back through time into the 14th century, where they find themselves in the middle of a medieval skirmish for territory.

The problem is they land in that time a few days apart, so they have to find each other again. With two warring families fighting over that territory, it becomes a difficult prospect. Add to that an incredibly good-looking medieval lord with a jealous fiancee’, an evil rival lord who would love nothing more than to take over their castle, some well-played strategies, and two vicious she-wolves. They’ll be lucky if they can make it back to their own time in one piece!

Review: It keeps you fully occupied from start to finish. So action-packed! It’s written in first person, so you get an in-depth view of the main character and all the challenges she goes through that help her grow into her role as the savior of Siena. The plot keeps moving, never a moment for Gabi to rest. There were a few places I would have liked more description, a few places there was more telling than showing, but then again, the story was moving at a steady pace and the extra description might have interrupted the rhythm.

Recommendation: It is a great book for any age group if you like adventure. A little romance, but nothing you wouldn’t want your eleven year old to see. Good clean fiction. Loved it! Gotta give it five quills:

Five Quills

 

This is the first of three novels in the series, plus there are two companion novellas. I’ve purchased all the others and have them waiting on my Kindle! Good stuff!

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Review: The Last Great Wizard of Yden by S.G. Rogers

The Last Great Wizard of Yden

Title: The Last Great Wizard of Yden

Author: S. G. Rogers

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: ebook ($2.99) Paperback ($10.99)

Length:  296pages

Release Date: October 12, 2011

Genre: Young adult fiction, fantasy, paranormal

Available at: AmazonBarnes & Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: On Jon Hansen’s sixteenth birthday, his father mysteriously disappears, but no one believes Jon’s claim to have seen someone kidnap him. In fact, a media leak makes Jon into a laughingstock at his school, drawing the wrath of the school bully.

When the family heirloom he received on his birthday turns out to have magical powers, Jon soon finds himself the target of a wizard’s greed for absolute power. Jon, along with a handful of friends and one bully, transport to an alternate dimension and undertake to rescue Jon’s father and save Yden from vicious warlords and one evil wizard.

Review: Rogers wove an amazing and intricate world, a world that captures the imagination and leads it on a quest for adventure. The characters, though they come from a variety of backgrounds, meld together so well, one cannot imagine the story without any one of them.

Recommendation: Well-written and intriguing full length novel. I didn’t want to put this book down until it was done. It is a fantastic and fun read for young and old alike, anyone who likes to use their imagination while reading. Loved it! I give it five quills.

Five Quills

Review: The Missing: Book 1 – Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Found

Title: The Missing: Book 1 * Found

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks, Simon & Schuster

Format: paperback ($6.99)

Length: 314 pages

Release Date: April 21, 2009 (reprint edition)

Genre: Middle Grades – science fiction

Available at: Book stores everywhere

Summary: Who are Jonah and Chip anyway? Even they don’t know. When cryptic messages start showing up in their mailboxes, they suspect they may be in danger. The two boys, along with Jonah’s adoptive sister, Katherine have a mystery to solve: the letters, the trip to the FBI office, strange people appearing and disappearing at will…what is going on?

Review: Talk about leaving you in a position where you HAVE to read the next book in the series. You are thrown right into the mystery at the very beginning and the suspense builds seamlessly to the end. But it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning.

Recommendation: Great read for those interested in science fiction and time travel. Geared towards young adult, but intriguing for any age. Four quills:

four quills

Guess I’m gonna have to pick up Book Two!

Review: Minna and the Valentine by S.G. Rogers

Minna & the Valentine by S.G. Rogers

Title: Minna & the Valentine

Author: S.G. Rogers

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book ($1.99)

Pages: 64 pages

Release Date: January 31, 2012

Genre: Romance – Fantasy

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Minna’s father hates wizards, so Minna has had to keep her secret powers hidden from him. When the head of the wizard school and his protege show up on her doorstep asking for help to seal a rift in the fabric dividing alternate realities, Minna is forced to choose between saving the world and guarding her secret.

Minna and the wizard’s protege set off on their quest to retrieve the magic letter opener and repair the rift, but they get much more than they bargain for when they realize their destinies are connected inextricably on both sides of the rift.

Review: This a short read with a straightforward plot. It was light-hearted and clean, and fun to read. Since I hadn’t read anything from this author before, it gave me a small taste of what to expect from her longer works. As a short story or novella goes, it was well done. It focused on two main conflicts: the rift had to be fixed and the two main characters had to realize they were meant for each other.

If the author wanted to make this into a longer novel, it could easily be done. I definitely would read the longer version as well. It would give more time to develop both conflicts and build suspense. As it is, the characters and setting are well written and offer an enjoyable story, including some surprising twists along the way.

Recommendation: I haven’t read a whole lot of magic/fantasy. The genre makes me a little nervous, but S.G. Rogers did an excellent job with this story. I believe the primary age group is young adult here, but adults who enjoy fantasy will like this as well. A great book to read when you want something light, quick and fun. I give Minna & the Valentine four quills.

four quills

Review: Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley

Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley

Title: Eye of the Sword (Book 2 of the Angelaeon Circle Series)

Author: Karyn Henley

Publisher: WaterBrook Press

Format: ebook or paperback ($9.99 available for pre-order)

Pages: 256 pages

Release Date: March 13, 2012

Genre: Romance – Contemporary

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, WaterBrook Press

Summary: The land blight is spreading and the Camrithian comains, the kingdom’s protectors, have disappeared. If the three kyparis harps are not united by the time the stars align, they will have to wait another two hundred years to restore the Wisdom Tree. By then the blight will have destroyed the earth.

The king of Camrithia charges his newly appointed comain, Trevin, to make a journey to the north to consult the Oracle, find the missing comains, and return the two missing harps to the princess. But he’s working against the clock. If he is not back within the month, the princess will marry the evil prince Varic of the Dregmoors.

Varic would like nothing more to kill Trevin and end his quest before it starts. And Trevin has his own demons of guilt haunting him as well. With so much riding on his completion of the quest, Trevin has to discover who he truly is, and fast. What better place to find the answers than the Eye of the Sword.

Review: The plot is seamless and engages the reader from the very beginning with an immediate life or death scene. I felt like the world the author created was well-developed, though since it is the second book in a series, and I didn’t read the first book, I think it took me a little longer to figure out all the nuances of the setting.

The writing style has a very Anne McCaffrey flavor, with angels and winged horses woven into the story line. The hero proves himself on a quest, finding out who he is in the process. The story wraps up nicely at the end, and although there is more to come in a third book for a complete resolution, I was satisfied with the ending. Well done, Karyn Henley!

Recommendation: I loved this book. It’s been awhile since I’ve read something with a medieval-like setting, with quests and oracles and sword-fights. I do recommend reading Breath of Angel, the first book in the Angelaeon Circle series, and then read through all the books in order. However, I read this book first and was not lost at all. But I would have liked to have a more in-depth understanding of the history of the characters. Honestly, I enjoyed this book so much, I intend to go back and read the first one and any others that follow in the series. I award Eye of the Sword my highest rating:

Five Quills

I received this book for free fromWaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. More information about this author and book can be found at the following sites:

Karyn Henley’s author page        More Info about the Book       Sneak Peek at Chapter One        Author Bio