Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Witty alternate history fantasy

The Book Dragon has read Kyle Robert Shultz's Horseman, the first book in the Crockett and Crane series, and gives it 5 claws!

My review: 4.5 stars for a quirky, witty, and fun alternate history of the US, where magic and monsters are real. The setting is the Wild (very wild) West, and the main character is a part-time centaur on the cover who sells potions like an old-time traveling snake-oil peddler. I didn't like him at first, but kept reading because the story was so unusual. All the characters are memorable and easy to visualize, and my favorite is Julio. I don't want to give away any of the surprises, because that's the fun part of reading this book, but if you like quirky characters with witty banter, this book is for you! WARNING: This is the first in a series, so not a stand-alone. I personally get aggravated when a story doesn't have at least some kind of ending, but I know other readers enjoy reading "serials."

Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: Suspenseful and poignant sci fi sequel

The Book Dragon has read Nadia's Tears, Book 2 of Devya's Children by Julie C. Gilbert and gives it 5 claws!
My review: "This book continues the suspenseful story of Gifted children genetically enhanced by scientists who claim to have the motive of doing good in the world by these children. The head scientist, Dr. Devya, seems heartless to me and I definitely don't like the way he treats these children more as property than as individual human beings.

"One of the children, Nadia, has gone into a coma, and Jillian, who has escaped Devya's lab to live with her adopted family again, is enlisted to return to the lab(!) and help revive Nadia, if possible. In a parallel story that merges with Nadia's tale by the end, Jillian's babysitter Danielle is drawn into danger while trying to help a friend.

"Again, I'm glad the author chose to tell the story through journal entries, as it helps blunt the terror (but not the suspense) of children in grave peril, which would make it hard for this grandma to read. Since the reader is learning the story as the psychiatrist would learn it, it also makes the reader think about the story in a different way, imagining the psychological effect all of this would have upon the children.

"I recommend this story to anyone who likes to read thought-provoking and sometime mind-bending science fiction about important moral issues. I am anxious to continue the story of these remarkable children, and I only wish I could give each of them a hug. They all could use a lot of them!"

My favorite quote from the book, which really resonated with me as a cancer survivor affected at times by survivor guilt: "Living is the harder road, but it is by far the better one. Never be ashamed to survive."

Monday, June 3, 2019

Monday Review by the Book Dragon: A heartwarming story set on Sage Valley Ranch

The Book Dragon has read Bree Livingston's Inspired by the Creative Cowboy, Book 5 in the Sage Valley Ranch series and gives it 5 claws!
My review: "There wasn't as much action in this final installment of the Sage Valley Ranch series (compared with the other two I read), but on the strength of the two main characters, I'm giving it 4.5 stars. Summer's personality is like her name, yet she has many layers of depth and conflict and makes me want to give her a hug! Julian is not your typical artist, and has such a good heart, I was really rooting for him!

"Having all these books set in the same location is a great idea. It makes the locale and some of the people familiar, and makes this reader wish there was a real Sage Valley Ranch so she could visit!"

My favorite quote from the book (when Julian first meets Nanna, Summer's grandmother): "She had that Texas-grandma feel. The one where you knew you were safe and loved and never an inconvenience."