Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Christmas steampunk story

The Book Dragon says DON'T wait until Christmas to read this delightful novelette in H. L. Burke's Nyssa Glass series. He gives Nyssa Glass Clockwork Christmas five claws and wants to remind you that you can read it AGAIN when Christmas gets here. It's that good!
Here's my 5 star review: "When I first began to read this book, I thought it was just going to be a sweet Christmas story about some of my new favorite characters, similar to O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, but there was surprising depth and tension. In some places I laughed out loud and in others tears sprang to my eyes. If you like the Nyssa Glass series, you will LOVE this story. If you haven't read any of the other books yet, I highly recommend them! You can read this story without having read the others, but it will be even more satisfying to understand all the references. Nyssa and Ellis are two of the best-drawn fictional characters, so well done I no longer think of them as fictional."
Be sure to check out the rest of the series, which Book Dragon recommended here.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Literary Masterpiece of Historical Fiction

The Book Dragon highly recommends the award-winning The Shadow of the Hawk by K. S. Jones and gives it a roaring five claws!

My 5 star review: "Superb historical fiction; move over, John Steinbeck!

"This is a superb debut historical novel that reads like the finest of literary fiction. The details of the setting are richly drawn without distracting from the characters or plot and make you want to savor them, and yet the reader can't linger too long because the situation presses upon the characters with increasing urgency until you have to find out what happens to the narrator, Sooze, who is engaged to the wrong man because she wants to help her family, and to her family member who is falsely accused of murder. I feel like I've traveled back in time to 1932 Arkansas and experienced a poignant slice of a family's struggles to survive with dignity. I look forward to reading more from this author!"

Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Terrific Time Travel Trilogy

The Book Dragon recommends this award-winning, mind-bending time travel trilogy, The Call to Search Everywhen by Chess Desalls, and gives them an overall rating of 5 claws!

My 5 star review for Travel Glasses: "This is a tightly-written, compelling and suspenseful time travel story. Even though the unique concept stretched my brain at times, I was never "lost" as some travelers in this universe can become. TRAVEL GLASSES runs the gamut of emotion, from profound sadness and loneliness to nail-biting action and even some humor. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it didn't have a real ending; this is the first of a series, and I've already eagerly jumped into book 2. Highly recommended!"

My 5 star review for Insight Kindling: "This second installment in Desall's time travel series was quite different from the first story, but even though the reader is not chasing through time and space as often, there are plenty of interesting and mind-twisting events going on to keep heart and mind fully engaged. Many questions from book one are answered, not only about the mechanics of time travel but about the characters and their relationships. But just as many new questions pop up, leaving this reader breathlessly awaiting book three!" 

My 4 star review for Time for the Lost: "Having read the first two in this fascinating time travel series, I was anxious to finish the journey with Calla and Valcas. And the cover is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen! After a slow beginning, things became more interesting, and then I couldn't put the story down. I love the mind-bending concepts of time and the depth of the entire cast of characters. I especially liked the new guy and his very visual world. If you like time travel, you definitely need to read this trilogy, in order!" 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A Story That Will Touch Your Heart

Even though there are no dragons in this contemporary inspirational story, the Book Dragon highly recommends Carry Me Home by Valerie Howard and gives it 5 claws!
My 5 star review on Amazon: "I normally don't read "quiet" books like this (preferring epic fantasy) but the lovely cover and the blurb drew me in, since I unexpectedly became a caregiver for my crotchety 86-year-old father-in-law last year. I thought this book might give me insights, and it gave MUCH more. I ached for Amanda, for the path her life had taken, both through choices others made, and poor choices she made. I wanted so much for things to work out for her that it was difficult to put this book down! Her crotchety patient was so believable; in fact, every character, major and minor, was imminently believable! The writing is superb, and the story touches your heart and will remain there forever."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: YA fantasy shows the power of love!

The Book Dragon recommends this YA urban fantasy for teens and those who used to be teens and gives Magian High by Lia London 5 claws!
Here's my 5 star review of Magian High: "The "power of love" theme has been used many, many times in books, movies, songs, and plays, but this well-written, fast-moving, and honest modern-day fantasy takes the theme and makes universal application in a fresh, very satisfying way. It gives the reader hope that even when dealing with the worst kind of prejudice, one ordinary person who is willing to step out of his comfort zone can inspire others to stand together courageously and make a difference in their world."

Read more about this book and its wonderful author, the founder of Clean Indie Reads!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Exciting MG Fantasy Adventure With Heart

The Book Dragon recommends Ben the Dragonborn by Dianne Astle and the sequel, Ben and the Watcher of Zargon, and gives them 4.5 claws rounded up to 5!

Here's my 4 star review of Ben the Dragonborn: "I confess I wanted to read this book because I love dragons (and there are some cool ones; just be patient), but Ben's fear of water sucked me in from the beginning. The strong connection between the reader and Ben keeps one turning the pages, and even faster once he's sent to a water world where all his nightmares keep coming true. Wow, there are some creepy creatures and dangers everywhere Ben turns! This fantasy adventure story resonates with solid themes of friendship, overcoming prejudice, and finding inner strength in learning who you really are." 

Here's my 5 star review of Ben and the Watcher of Zargon: "I really liked the first book and was eager to read Ben's continuing adventures. This story is action-packed, and young readers will be on the edge of their seats as they follow Ben's journey with the girl he likes and a new young student. This time they travel to Zargon, one of the Guardian's Six Worlds and home of Ben's dragonborn mother. The setting was fascinating, and the danger spine-tingling. I'm giving this book 4.5 stars rounded up to five, only because there were a few places when I wished the plot wasn't moving quite so fast so the reader could take a breath and have more time to get to know the characters better. Recommended!"

Here's Dianne Astle with her books (and Ben the Dragonborn's new cover)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Imaginative Fairy Tale Re-Imagining

The Book Dragon recommends The Firethorn Crown, Lea Doue's fascinating fantasy re-imagining of the 12 Dancing Princesses (with dragons) and gives it 4.5 claws rounded up to 5!
Here's my review: "4.5 stars for an imaginative fantasy loosely based on the fairy tale "The 12 Dancing Princesses." The 12 sisters were wonderfully drawn, though it took a while for me to keep them straight. The setting feels real, and I love the dragons of all sizes, though we only "hear" about the big scary ones. The plot had as many twists and turns as the maze featured in the story, and once I neared the climax, I could NOT put this book down. If you like fairy tales, fantasy with suspense, romance, and dragons, I recommend this clean read for ages 12 and up!" 

The book is listed as #1 in the Firethorn Chronicles, and this reader is looking forward to the next one!