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The Orphan and the Mouse (2014)

The Orphan and the Mouse (2014)
The Orphan and the Mouse - Martha Freeman. Illustrated by David McPhail. 2014. Holiday House. 220 pages. [Source: Library]

I definitely enjoyed reading Martha Freeman's The Orphan and the Mouse, a fantasy novel inspired by E.B. White's Stuart Little. The book is set in 1949. (Note: I haven't read Stuart Little, but, this novel tempts me to seek it out.) This fantasy is told through multiple perspectives: a few mice, one cat who loves to hunt mice, a couple of orphans, and a practically evil orphanage director. It is illustrated by David McPhail.

I liked this one. I liked the setting. It took some time for me to get hooked on the actual story, but, no time at all to get hooked on the premise of the story. I liked the characters. Mary, the mouse heroine, was a great narrator. I also came to care for Caro, one of the orphans living at the Cherry Street Children's Home. The book offers some suspense and mystery, though often the reader knows much more than the characters in the book. Readers get to watch the characters put it all together and possibly maybe save the day.

I also really appreciated the length of the chapters!

© 2014 The Orphan and the Mouse of Collection of Book Reviews
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Sniffer Dogs (2014)

Sniffer Dogs (2014)
Sniffer Dogs (2014) - Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (And Their Noses) Save The World. Nancy F. Castaldo. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Sniffer Dogs was a great read. It is packed with information. I learned so much by reading it. For example, did you know that there are specially trained dogs who can alert diabetics (type 1) if their blood sugar is too high or too low?! While I knew that there were dogs involved in search and rescue, I did not know that there were also dogs especially trained to search out bones. The book is very reader-friendly; I loved all the photographs. I loved the personal stories about the men and women who work with and train dogs to do very special tasks.

I would definitely recommend this one to readers of all ages who love dogs. It would also make a great choice for those readers who enjoy compelling nonfiction. This book is about dogs who make a difference, and also about the special bond between dogs and their trainers/owners.

© 2014 Sniffer Dogs (2014) of Collection of Book Reviews
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Silver Like Dust

Silver Like Dust | Collection of Book Reviews
Silver Like Dust - Kimi Cunningham Grant. 2012. Pegasus. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

Silver Like Dust focuses on the relationship of a grandmother and granddaughter. The author--the granddaughter--wants to strengthen her relationship with her grandmother. At the start, she feels like she barely knows her. She knows a few things, perhaps, but not in a real-enough way. For example, she knows that her grandmother spent world war 2 in an internment camp. She knows that that is where her grandparents met, and also where her uncle was born. But her grandmother has never talked about the past, about the war, about her growing-up years. In fact, her grandmother has always been a private, quiet person. So she focuses her attention and begins to do things intentionally. She sets out to get to know her grandmother, she sets out to get the story, the real story. The book isn't just telling readers about the grandmother's experiences in the 1940s. The book is telling readers about the process, the journey, to getting to the story. That was unique, I thought. Not every nonfiction book lets readers in behind the scenes. I also thought it kept the book personal. This is very much family history, taking an interest in your family, in the past, of making sense of it all.

I found it an interesting read.

© 2014 Silver Like Dust of Collection of Book Reviews
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The Magic Half (2007)

The Magic Half (2007)
The Magic Half (2007) - The Magic Half. Annie Barrows. 2007. Bloomsbury. 212 pages. [Source: Library]

Miri is the middle child in a large family. She has twin older brothers--Ray and Robbie--and twin younger sisters--Nell and Nora. The family has just moved into a new house, a not-so-new house. Miri's room used to be part of the attic, it is a bit unusual, and not just because of the super-ugly wallpaper. But Miri only comes to realize this a week or two after the move. One afternoon after a horrible fight that ends in punishment for Miri, she discovers something that will change everything. The discovery? A single lens from a pair of glasses taped to the wall near the floor. She looks through the lens. She's curious like that. And that's when it happens. She finds herself in 1935. She meets Molly. Molly's mom is dead, her dad is out of the picture--has been out of the picture for six years. Molly is "being raised" by her aunt alongside her cousins. Think Jane Eyre. That's really all I have to say about Molly's situation! Molly is convinced that Miri is her savior, could Molly be right? Has Miri traveled to the past to save Molly? And what does it mean to save Molly? Does that mean taking her back to the future? How would that even work? So many questions Miri has! She'll need to brainstorm if she's going to succeed.

I liked The Magic Half. I like fantasy novels. I like time travel stories. Is it the best book ever? Is it the best time travel story ever? Probably not. But it doesn't have to be the best for me to like it, to enjoy it. This one might pair well with Laurel Snyder's Seven Stories Up.

© 2014 The Magic Half (2007) of Collection of Book Reviews
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Magic in the Mix (2014)

Magic in the Mix (2014)
Magic in the Mix (2014) - Magic in the Mix. Annie Barrows. 2014. Bloomsbury. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Magic in the Mix is the sequel to Magic Half. I enjoyed both Magic Half and Magic in the Mix. Both books star Miri, a middle child. In the first book, Magic Half, Miri travels back in time and "rescues" Molly, a girl living in 1935. Molly fits right in with Miri's family when the two return. In fact, Miri and Molly are the only two that remember Molly's true origin. To everyone else, Miri and Molly are twins. Molly has always been a part of their family. In the second book, Molly and Miri do more time traveling. First, they travel back in time to 1918. Molly recognizes her mother, Maudie, and her aunt, Flo. The two are teens. Flo sees Molly and Miri as unwelcome intruders--gypsies, she calls them. Maudie, on the other hand, while still thinking of them as gypsies, sees them as potential friends. Second, they travel back in time to the Civil War era. I'm not exactly sure the book names a year. If it does, I can't recall it. Here's where everything turns tricksy. Molly and Miri aren't the only ones doing time travel. (view spoiler)

I liked the book fine. However, there were several things that didn't charm me. I don't necessarily enjoy the family scenes. I don't know about the two youngest, but the oldest four children are irresponsible, disobedient, and disrespectful. All of the children are rude and insult one another. I didn't like some of the phrases they use. The children think absolutely nothing of lying and sneaking around. The dad. Has he had even a sentence or two in either book that could count as characterization? The mom. On the one hand, her children are always, always doing something they shouldn't be, and are very proud of the fact. But she seems to have only one tone: angry. The time travel also seemed even less realistic to me. I'm not sure how either girl managed to fool anyone in the Civil War era. (Rolling up your pants so they just see your T-shirt doesn't seem very a very authentic way of passing, even if you go the extra step and take off your glasses.)

© 2014 Magic in the Mix (2014) of Collection of Book Reviews
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A Tale of Two Cities (1854)

A Tale of Two Cities (1854)
A Tale of Two Cities (1854) - A Tale of Two Cities. Charles Dickens. 1854/2003. Bantam Classics. 382 pages. [Source: Bought]

I didn't love A Tale of Two Cities. Or should I say I didn't love it as much as I hoped I would OR even thought I would. A Tale of Two Cities is definitely a subject-driven novel. The focus, I would even say sole focus, is on the French Revolution. We meet individual characters within that setting, to make the French Revolution more personal, perhaps, but, in my opinion, Dickens characterization is not as strong in A Tale of Two Cities as it is in some of his other novels. That doesn't mean his characters are not memorable. In fact, I imagine that there are at least two or three characters in this one that are very memorable indeed. A Tale of Two Cities is also a very heavy novel thematically. It's just dark and oppressive. Dickens won't be bringing any smiles to readers in this one. Personally, I love it when Dickens makes me laugh!

The novel begins with a reunion. A daughter, Lucie Manette, learns that the father she has long presumed to be dead is, in fact, alive. His existence seems to be news to quite a few people. Lucie Manette and Mr. Jarvis Lorry travel to France from England to meet him and bring him back. The name of this section is "Recalled to Life." And it's a very fitting title, in my opinion. Lorry and Lucie never really learn the whole story, all the ugly details of the past. Seeing Lucie with her father reminded me--in a good way--of the relationship between Jean Valjean and Cosette.

The second book, "The Golden Thread," introduces readers to Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. These two men become very well known to Dr. Manette and his daughter. Both men love and admire her, as you would expect. But she can only love one of them, and, her heart belongs to Charles. Of course, this is a very simple summary!

The third book is "The Track of A Storm." Let's just say, Dickens can do bleakity-bleak. This book follows Charles Darnay into France during the early days of the French Revolution. I had a hard time reading this section, because I didn't want to experience it. Darnay is NOT alone in France. And he's far from forgotten. Dr. Manette and his daughter and granddaughter are there, for one, and so is Sydney Carton. Of course, there are others as well to round out the plot.

Throughout all three sections, readers have also followed a few people from France, mainly Monsieur Defarge and his not-so-lovely wife, Madame Defarge. I'm not sure I've ever hated a character more. I am sure that I have. Probably. Still, this book made me so very angry in places!!!

I won't talk about the ending. I won't. I don't want to. I probably don't even need to. A Tale of Two Cities left me needing a comfort read as a follow-up.

© 2014 A Tale of Two Cities (1854) of Collection of Book Reviews
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Reread #43 Grave Mercy

Reread #43 Grave Mercy - Grave Mercy. Robin LaFevers. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 560 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I have now read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers three times. (The first review; the second review.) It is a book that is a pleasure to reread. (Not every book is.) I enjoy Grave Mercy because it is intriguing and compelling.

It is set in Brittany in the late 1480s. You can read more about the time period in which this historical novel is set. One of the central characters is Anne of Brittany. Some might feel it is heavy on politics, but, I enjoyed the politics and the tension.

I wish the author had included more, at the very least more real names. For example, instead of "king of England" or "England's king" I wish she'd named him: Henry VII. There were places she could have been more specific, grounded the book more into history. I'd have LOVED an author's note. I'd have also loved an indication of which characters were historical people and which weren't. 

Grave Mercy is not your traditional historical romance. (Well, now that I think about it. If Philippa Gregory can have witches and curses in her Cousins' War series, and be considered "historical" romance, then Grave Mercy might rightly be included as well.) For those that love, love, love romance, I think there is plenty of it in Grave Mercy. I think that is one of its most satisfying features. For those that love fantasy and/or mythology, I think it has some appeal as well. The heroine, Ismae, is Death's daughter and his handmaiden. She lives in a convent, of sorts, dedicated to serving Death. She is a trained assassin. She kills those that her lord (Death) has marked for death.

One of her assignments brings her close to Duval, the half-brother of Anne of Brittany. They share a common goal: to protect Anne, to protect Brittany. But she's been taught--trained--to trust no one, to love no one. So this assignment will test her certainly!

The book has plenty of action, drama, mystery, and politics.
"Are you drunk?" I try to put as much scorn into my words as he did.
"No. Yes. Perhaps a little. Definitely not enough." The bleakness is back and he turns to stare into the flames.
I am torn between wanting to leave him to wallow in his despair and wanting to rush to his side and chase that look from his eyes. That I long to do this appalls me, sets panic fluttering against my ribs.
"I suggest you return to your room," Duval says, his gaze still fixed woodenly on the fire. "Unless you have come to practice your lessons of seduction on me?" His mouth twists in bitter amusement. "That could well entertain me till sunrise."
I jerk my head back as if I have been slapped. "No, milord. I had thought only to pray for your soul if Madame Hivern had seen fit to poison you. Nothing more." And with that, I turn and flee the room, then bolt the door against the disturbing glimpse of both his soul and mine. Whatever games are being played here, he is master at them, and I will do well to remember that. (155)
"What is my fair assassin so afraid of? I wonder."
"I'm not afraid."
Duval tilts his head to the side. "No?" He studies me a long moment, then rises out of his chair. I hold my breath as he crosses to my bed. "Are you afraid I will draw closer, perhaps?" His voice is pitched low, little more than a purr. My breath catches in my throat, trapped by something I long to call fear but that doesn't feel like fear at all. (174)
His smile flashes, quick and surprising in the darkness. "When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice. I bid you good night." (218)

© 2014 Reread #43 Grave Mercy of Collection of Book Reviews
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling - Summary: The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. (Picture from --summary from the back of the book)

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble beings, and someone--or something--starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects...Harry Potter himself.

My review: In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets we find Harry in his second year of school at Hogwarts, where his unique magical abilities have, once again, landed him in a heap of trouble. As the book progresses, and students start getting inexplicably attacked, Harry becomes the target of suspicion and even begins to question how well he truly knows himself. I had a blast reading this one with Curt! Not only is there a mysterious good vs. evil plot going, but there are enough side stories involving rogue bludgers, potions gone awry, and narcissistic teachers to keep even the most skeptical of readers interested.

While this book was a little bit darker than the first, with Harry starting to see some similarities between himself and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, it was still full of the sarcastic humor and undeniable wit that J.K. Rowling readers love. I found Ron’s petrifying fear of spiders to be both hysterical and endearing. I really felt for him—and I believe that it solidified my undying love for him as a character. I LOATHED Gilderoy Lockhart, Hogwart’s new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He was an (intentionally) annoying character, but I couldn’t help but be amused by his ability to mesmerize the adolescent female half of the book (and the male halfs subsequent disgust with it).

It is great to read this series again and (this time) pick up on Voldemort’s backstory and the foreshadowing of a far-distant romance between Harry and another character in the book. Each character that Rowling creates is so full of life and unique—with its own defining characteristics—so that they are easy to picture and astonishingly real. I can’t even tell you how attached I am to some of the returning characters—how alive they are to me—with their distinct personalities, speech patterns, and senses of humor—I feel like they are like close friends whose blogs I read daily but with whom I never actually have a conversation. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Hagrid, the entire Weasely clan, and even Snape, Draco, and the Durselys are great characters with depth that only seems to increase as the series goes on.

In short, this book was completely full of all the things that a good book should have: strong plot, humor, action, emotion, tension, fascinating and vivid characters, a unique setting, and a wee bit of romance (if you know where to look). We read it quite quickly and I am very excited to continue in the series.

My Rating: 5 magical stars! I still think this is a fairly young adult book (10-12). It wasn't too dark or scary, though there were a few tense moments (and an instance where a couple people were knocked out and locked in a cupboard--but they totally deserved it ;)

Sum it up in one phrase: Finally a sequel that can keep it's head up around the original! A strong continuation to a fabulous series.

@2014 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling Collection of Book Reviews
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Reread #18 A Teacher's Funeral

Reread #18 A Teacher's Funeral
Reread #18 A Teacher's Funeral - The Teacher's Funeral. Richard Peck. 2004. Penguin. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it. You know August. The corn is earring. The tomatoes are ripening on the vine. The clover's in full bloom. There's a little less evening now, and that's a warning. You want to live every day twice over because you'll be back in the jailhouse of school before the end of the month. Then our teacher, Miss Myrt Arbuckle, hauled off and died. It was like a miracle, though she must have been forty. You should have seen my kid brother's face. It looked like Lloyd was hearing the music of the spheres. Being ten that summer, he was even more willing to believe in miracles than I was. 

 The Teacher's Funeral is my favorite, favorite, favorite Richard Peck novel. It is one of my favorite historical fiction books. I loved the humor. I loved the writing--the narration. One humorous incident after another, just more and more to love. I also loved the characters. I loved Russell, the narrator. I loved his sister, Tansy. I loved their Dad who was oh-so-wise. I loved Charlie, Russell's best friend, and it was fun to see Glenn Tarbox as well. I was cheering for him through the book! But one of my FAVORITE, FAVORITE characters, and probably secretly the reason I ADORE the book so very, very much is LITTLE BRITCHES (aka Beulah). 

This historical fiction novel is set in 1904. Most of the action occurs in a one room school house. The teacher is Russell's OLDER sister. Russell had been hoping--dreaming really--that since their teacher literally died a day or two before school was to start, that there would be NO MORE SCHOOL. He was dreaming of FREEDOM. What he got, of course, is his sister for a teacher. A sister who could see through him, who knew him backwards and forwards, and could tell when he was TROUBLE. He can do pranks, sure enough, but she always knows it was HIM and she punishes him. 

This one has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. And there is a lovely audio book edition of it as well.

 My first review October 2006. My second review March 2011

Favorite quotes:

This was the night me and Lloyd always went to the crick and camped out. It was a sacred part of our year. After the Case Special came through, we always spent that night at the crick, and hung on till morning, no matter what. It was how we kissed the summer goodbye before the darkness of learning fell about us. (13)
"Who died?" I inquired.
"Take a guess," Charlie said. "Go ahead."
"Somebody we know?"
"You can believe that."
"Somebody old or young?"
"Old," Charlie said, "as the hills."
Lloyd was looking back and forth between us, clutching J.W. He was on the hook again, and I was getting there.
"Old as Old Man Lichtenberger?"
"Nobody's that old," Charlie said.
"Man or woman?"
"That'd be tellin' too much."
"Somebody we like?"
"Not hardly," Charlie said.
"Somebody who's been feeling poorly late?" I was wracking my brains.
Charlie shrugged his big shoulders. "She must of felt pretty poorly tonight. She died."
"So it's a woman!"
"More or less," Charlie said.
The truth burst over me. "You don't mean Miss Myrt Arbuckle!" (24)

Nobody would miss Miss Myrt, so Preacher Parr got them to miss the good old days when the winters were worse and the kids were better. At a funeral you want to miss something. (39)

When Pearl came back, she had a grip on the little kid who didn't want to be anywhere near here. Her bonnet hung by its strings. Her dinner pail scraped the floor. She kept setting her bare heels. "Turn me loose," she squawked. "I don't wanna, and I'm not gonna!"
Pearl pushed her toward Tansy and resumed her seat.
Tansy pulled the small girl's skirttails free of her drawers and settled her skirts for her. But it was too late. Forever more, she was known as "Little Britches." Even unto the distant day of her wedding. Besides, come to find out her real name was Beulah.
"Who are you?" Tansy asked with an arm around her.
"I ain't sayin'," said Little Britches. "I ain't stayin'."
"Then whisper who you are in my ear before you go."
Little Britches whispered. It would turn out that she was a Bradley. They were a family who hadn't had anybody in school for some years. Little Britches was an afterthought. "I'm goin' on home now." She wiggled free of Tansy. "Pleased to meetcha."
"Well, you can go home at noon, Tansy told her. "Till then just wait up there at my desk. You me be teacher." (80-1)

"Tansy, how come the female sex think they know more than the male sex?"
"Because we do. What's the capital of Delaware?"
"I don't know."
"Know by tomorrow," Tansy warned. "I'm the teacher, and I won't have dumb brothers." (107)

I thought we'd need a block and tackle to lift her. But getting Aunt Fanny Hamline out of the ditch became one of Tansy's most famous days of teaching. It was a lesson in engineering too. It should have been studied at Purdue University. (127)

© 2014 Reread #18 A Teacher's Funeral of Collection of Book Reviews
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An Autobiography Agatha Christie

An Autobiography Agatha Christie
An Autobiography Agatha Christie - An Autobiography. Agatha Christie. 1977/1996. Berkley. 635 pages. [Source: Bought]

Agatha Christie's autobiography has been on my tbr pile for years now. I have looked forward to reading it for so long! I must admit the length had me a little intimidated. But once I started reading this one, I found myself completely absorbed in it. It is truly a fascinating read cover to cover. I think this one could prove appealing to a variety of readers.

Do you love history? I found Agatha Christie's Autobiography to be fascinating. This book is rich in details. Readers learn in great detail about her family and her growing up years. What Christie is describing is a way of life, and the way she saw the world around her. Her thoughts on her parents, grandparents, siblings, the family servants--the cook and the maids and nannies. You get a real sense of what it was to be a child (and teen) growing up in England in the 1890s and 1900s. She was "out" (ready to date) a year or two (or even three) before World War I began.

Are you interested in World War I? in World War II? Christie details what life was like during the war years. She was a nurse for a great part of World War I. She also assisted in dispensing drugs. She fell in love and got married during this time. During World War II she again did her part in the war effort. I believe volunteering in a hospital. She was in and around London during the War. She recalls how she rarely (if ever) took shelter during the raids because she was afraid of being buried alive under all the rubble. She had a grown daughter by that point. A daughter who fell in love, got married, and had a child during this time.
England was at war. It had come. I can hardly express the difference between our feelings then and now. Now we might be horrified, perhaps surprised, but not really astonished that war should come, because we are all conscious that war does come; that it has come in the past and that, at any moment, it might come again. But in 1914 there had been no war for--how long? Fifty years--more? True, there had been the "Great Boer War," and skirmishes on the Northwest frontier, but those had not been wars involving one's own country--they had been large army exercises, as it were; the maintenance of power in far places. This was different--we were at war with Germany. (257)
Are you interested in archaeology? in world-traveling? She spends a good deal of time recalling her travels around the world. She accompanied her first husband on an extended trip--covering several continents. (She left her (quite young) daughter with her mother and sister.) After her divorce--he fell in love with another woman and blamed her for it--she traveled on her own. On one of her trips to the Middle East, she met the man who would become her second husband. He was an archaeologist. While she did not stay with him the duration of all of his digs, she accompanied him on some, and visited on others. Readers learn that Christie LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to travel.

Are you a rehab addict? Christie loved looking at houses, buying houses in need of repair, fixing them up, renting them out, and selling them. She owned many properties at various points in her life. I believe the book said she owned eight during World War II. The book talks about her remodeling and redesigning houses.

Are you interested in writing, in her writing life? You'll find plenty to delight you within her autobiography. She talks about different sides of her writing life. Her novels. Her mystery novels. Her plays. Her short stories. Her poems. She talks about her mistakes and successes. Readers learn about which books she liked best and which book she really, really hated!
It was while I was working in the dispensary that I first conceived the idea of writing a detective story. (289)
People never stop writing to me nowadays to suggest that Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot should meet--but why should they? I am sure the would not enjoy it at all. Hercule Poirot, the complete egoist, would not like being taught his business by an elderly spinster lady. He was a professional sleuth, he would not be at home all in Miss Marple's world. No, they are both stars, and they are stars in their own right. (502)
Do you love to read? Christie shares her thoughts on her favorite writers and books!

I want to emphasize the fact that you do not have to love mysteries in order to find this autobiography of a mystery writer fascinating! I marked so many passages that I wanted to share with you. Too many to actually share. It would overwhelm any post. So just trust me, read this one!

I will choose a quote which happens to bring to mind a certain song from Frozen.
One of the first things that happens when you are attracted to a man and he is to you is that extraordinary illusion that you think exactly alike about everything, that you each say the things the other has been thinking. (228)

© 2014 An Autobiography Agatha Christie of Collection of Book Reviews
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Earth Awakens (2014)

Earth Awakens (2014)
Earth Awakens (2014) - Earth Awakens. Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. 2014. Tor. 400 pages. [Source: Library]

I enjoyed reading Earth Awakens the third in a new series by Orson Scott Card. At first, I had a hard time reconnecting to all the characters because it's been a year since the last book. There are many characters to keep up with after all. But by the time I was halfway through this one, I was hooked once more. I liked the characters. I didn't always like how they acted. But Card can write flawed characters that I actually like.

In this third book, all the characters are trying to fight the Formics. Some are working together officially to defeat the aliens. Others are more on their own with their own plan. For example, some characters are fighting them on earth; other characters are fighting them in space. But by the end of this one, all the characters stories have merged into one which is probably for the best.

Series books are always so difficult to review because to talk about plot reveals spoilers from the other books. But essentially I liked this one. Maybe not love, love, love but a good, solid like.

© 2014 Earth Awakens (2014) of Collection of Book Reviews
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The Lost Sun (2013)

The Lost Sun (2013) - The Lost Sun. (The United States of Asgard #1) Tess Gratton. 2013. Random House. 368 pages. [Source: Library]

My mom used to say that in the United States of Asgard, you can feel the moments when the threads of destiny knot together, to push you or pull you or crush you. But only if you're paying attention.

I found The Lost Sun to be an enjoyable read. I didn't love, love, love it. But all the same, I found it to be a quick and pleasant read for an afternoon. The hero of The Lost Sun is Soren Bearskin. He is "destined" to be a beserker just as his father was. His beserker legacy troubles him greatly. He does not want to give way to it, no matter if it's in his nature or written in his destiny. He does not see anything positive in it. Soren Bearskin falls for the new girl at school, Astrid Glyn. Astrid is a seer; her mother was a very, very famous seer. Early in the novel, something bizarre happens. Baldur the Beautiful, a god who was supposed to resurrect in the springtime, did not appear. He did not come back to life. He did not rejoin the gods. He's completely missing. Astrid and Soren team up to find him. Astrid's dreams and visions offer BIG clues to the pair. Together can they find him and set things right?

For readers who enjoy fantasy quests, The Lost Sun is definitely recommended. Astrid and Sun have a mystery to solve, and they go on a quest together. Along the way, they offer readers a look at a very different alternate vision of the U.S. 

© 2014 The Lost Sun (2013) of Collection of Book Reviews
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