Monday, June 1, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A beautiful, enchanting story of a Russian Heroine

The Book Dragon has read Vasilisa by M. L. Farb and gives it five roaring stars!
My review: This is a rich, beautiful story that feels like historical fiction set in medieval Russia with strong flavors of old fairytale magic and romance. I was familiar with Vasilisa from an old Baba Yaga story, but Farb's Vasilisa is a living, breathing, heroic young woman with whom I immediately felt a strong empathy. She is an inspiring fictional heroine! The plot was full of surprises and SO difficult to put aside the book when it was time to do mundane things, like eat or sleep! I was fully immersed in this magical old Russia with the author's wonderful characters. The extras at the back were fun, too, including questions suitable for book clubs (hint, hint). I highly recommend this book!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Exciting installment in a dinosaur dystopian series!

The Book Dragon has finished Corinna Turner's Panic! (unSPARKed #3) and gives it 5 roaring claws!
My review: The unSPARKed series is vivid, exciting, and suspenseful! If you like dinosaurs (or were obsessed as a child like I was), you will LOVE it! This installment continues with nail-biting action, danger, sadness, new friends, and of course, dinosaurs. My only niggle with this series is that each book (technically novella) ends with a cliffhanger, which I normally hate, but I forgive this author because the story is SO good and she is such an excellent writer! She's created a future world that is totally believable with characters I have come to love and worry about! I can't wait for the next installment....Recommended for dino lovers of all ages! (Unless you have a young child with tender sensibilities, though nothing is graphic.)

Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A clever, quirky guide to Prague

The Book Dragon has read Honest Guide Prague by Janek Rubeš & Honza Mikulka, and illustrated by Eliška Podzimková and gives it 4 claws!
My review: I've been following the Honest Guide YouTube videos for a long time now (since before my first trip to Prague in 2016) so when we returned to Prague for our third visit last month, I managed to purchase this book the day before the stores closed due to coronavirus. It's fun and quirky and artistically done! It definitely helps you think "out of the box" as far as looking for places to see and eat in Prague (which I hope to do next visit, since this one was very bad timing for exploring new places in Prague).

Monday, April 13, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A powerful pro-life story

The Book Dragon has read For Eden's Sake by T. M. Gaouette and gives it five claws!
My review: Though not my usual genre to read, this story grabbed me from the beginning as Isaac, a sympathetic young man, is caught up in circumstances that lead him to break a vow of purity until marriage, resulting in a pregnancy. The story is also partly told from Rebecca's point of view, and at first she is not a sympathetic character. The reader can feel Isaac's anguish as he tries valiantly to do the right thing and atone for his sin. This is a powerful pro-life story with realistic, flawed characters, and you'll be cheering for Isaac every step of the way! Recommended!

Note: This book is featured on the Catholic Teen Books site.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Fantastic fantasy adventure with dragons!

The Book Dragon has read Lea Doue's The Red Dragon Girl (third in the Firethorn Chronicles) and gives it a roaring five claws!
My review: Though books 1 & 2 of the Firethorn Chronicles were really good, this is by far my favorite in the series! So many dragons! So much adventure and suspense! I can't say enough good things about this book! It's not necessary to have read the first two to enjoy this installment, since each book stands alone, but The Red Dragon Girl will definitely make you fall in love with the world Doue has crafted. Princess Melantha is such a strong and sympathetic character, you'll be alternately rooting for her and biting your nails at the situations she falls into! A cast of well-rounded and mysterious secondary characters makes this an unpredictable and fun read. Highly recommended!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Heart-pounding suspense in this dystopian sequel!

The Book Dragon has read Corinna Turner's The Three Most Wanted, the sequel to I Am Margaret, and gives it a resounding five claws!
My review: Oh, my heart! I think this second book was even better than the first! This story had the three heroes from I Am Margaret (Margaret/Margo, Bane, and Jon) in mortal peril the entire time and I could not turn the pages fast enough. The escapees from the Facility that wanted to Dismantle them are fleeing across the EuroBloc to the Free Vatican State. The Power-That-Be are furious about Margo's book as well as the escape, hence their branding as The Three Most Wanted. In their flight across the Continent, the three encounter dangers in the wilderness, dangers from betrayal, and have so many harrowing encounters, I could hardly bear to pause in reading. Their situation even entered my nightly dreams! An amazing blend of dystopian suspense and faith. Highly recommend!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A fun fantasy mystery series for younger teens

The Book Dragon has read Saving Mount Rushmore by Andrea Jo Rodgers and gives it five claws!
My review: 4.5 stars for a fun, action-packed fantasy mystery story that middle school-aged children will enjoy as a mystery while they're learning a little American history along the way. I love that the story is unashamedly patriotic with some spiritual warfare thrown in. The Saint Michael the Archangel Academy enlists gifted children for "missions" to help thwart the bad guys, and each of the four on Team Liberty are great role models for young readers. I would have loved this book in junior high, when "Jonny Quest" was my favorite cartoon. Recommended!

Note: This book and its sequel can be found at Catholic Teen Books.