Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Review: Rags and Ruins

by Bob Dixon
Pages: 292
Date Finished: Sept 9, 2016

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

 

Synopsis:

Rags leads an idyllic life for a goblin child—he spends his days playing in the landfill with his gargoyle friend Ladin, going fishing with his father Hargo in the river, and developing his love of music. His parents love him intensely, and his mother Calin is fiercely protective of him. How could he ask for anything more as he lives an enchanted life on the reservation on the outskirts of the “civilized” world, surrounded by mystical creatures and magic? Little does Rags realize that he is not a goblin but instead a human who was abandoned shortly after his birth and left in the landfill to be raised by the goblins as a way to fulfill an ancient prophecy of good and evil, twin brothers separated at birth and reunited in the thirteenth year of their life, one to unleash an ancient evil, the other the only hope to stop it from happening. A powerful tale of magic, music, and danger, Rags and Ruins is sure to thrill readers of all ages with its mix of adventure, intrigue, and humor—and if it doesn’t, they’ll have to answer to a furious goblin mother.

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Review:

Rags and Ruins is a fantasy story that takes so much of what we think we know about fantasy tropes and turns them on their heads, in the best way possible.

Hargo, is a good-hearted, hard working goblin. Calin is a loving, protective mother goblin. Ladin is a fun loving, adventurous gargoyle. With the Man in the House to keep watch on him and the landfill where they and other “creatures of darkness” live. Rags is really lucky to have them all in his life. A boy never had it so good from so many “bad characters.”

The main story line is about a prophecy that Rags and a twin brother are destined to fulfill one day. Of course, as happens with most fantasy stories there is a magical council working behind the scenes to make sure that the “child of darkness” has as little training as possible and that the “child of light” as much as possible. Their plan is to stack the odds so that come the day of fulfillment evil will be easily overcome. But they are wrong… wrong about Rags, wrong about his brother, wrong about the true meaning of darkness and light, and wrong about themselves. (Telling you this is not a spoiler, you’ll see this coming from a mile away.)

Luckily Hargo and Calin have seen the truth of things and Rags’ love of music is no accident.

This isn’t rooting for the bad guys the way some dark fantasy and urban books have you rooting for the vampire with a soul, or the brooding bad guy. Rags and Ruins has a deep message about stereotypes but brings it out with a light touch.

Bob Dixon can weave a tale. Rags and Ruins is a masterpiece, a must read for fantasy fans.

Bottom Line:

I loved it! From the first page to the last, I thought this book was adorable and the characters truly likable. It’s hard for me to imagine that in 2016 I will like another book more than I liked Rags and Ruins. I think I have found my book of the year.

Purchase:
Amazon

Review: Blood of the Prophet

bloodprophetThe Midnight Sea and The Blood of the Prophet 
by Kat Ross
Pages: 326 and 337
Date Finished:  Aug 24, 2016 and Sep 04, 2016

LoBook Reviews - Loved Itved It

  • I received this book free from the Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest option.

Synopsis:

Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

Review:

I loved both of these books. Because I read them back-to-back so I’m going to review them as one here.

The Forth Element Series is a great example of a fantasy series that uses existing mythology to build its fantasy world, but does it in a really exciting new way. I don’t believe I’ve read another fantasy book set in the ancient empire of Persia, using some of the mythology of the area and weaving in the origins of Zoroastrianism. The setting alone is something to love!

I recently read the Greek play The Persians, and that perhaps was the perfect build up for a fantasy story set in the same empire. (Although the author does make note that the story is not an alternative history, it just borrows heavily from history.)

The stories center on Nazafareen, the The Midnight Sea starts out being a fish-out-of-water story about her leaving her nomadic tribe and coming to live in the palace of a Satrap while learning how to be a Water Dog (a warrior bonded to a deava, a being who can control the 3 elements of water, air and earth.) Each Water Dog is able through their bond to control the deava, so that they only use their powers when needed to fight demon called the Druj.

When the old deava’s break out of their prison Nazafareen, her bonded Darius, and their squad are sent after them turning the story into a fantasy quest that continues into Blood of the Prohpet. Things are not as they seem however and as the world around her begins to unravel Nazafereen experiences betrayal, love, loss, and finds in herself an inner magic she never imagined.

Between the two books there are lots of twists and turns and mysteries that lead into deeper mysteries as the lies that held the empire together unravel and enemies close in on every side.

Bottom Line:

It’s EPIC! I can’t wait to see what the next book brings. I love the rich and exotic world and characters. I am very excited to learn more about Bactra and the origins of the daevas. If you want a great original epic fantasy read pick up The Forth Element Series.

Purchase:

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#ReadABookDay and other Book’ish Holidays to remember

readittodaySeptember 6th is National Read A Book Day. It’s hard to keep up with all the different book’ish holiday’s. I did not know about this one, but luckily I have some author friends who posted about it on Facebook. Since there are so many day to celebrate books and reading I thought I’d create a list for all of us bloggers to reference.

Book’ish Holidays

1st Sat in February – Take Your Child to the Library Day

March 2ndRead Across America (Dr. Seuss Day)

1st Thursday in MarchWorld Book Day

March 25th – National Tolkien Reading Day

April – National Poetry Month

April 2nd – International Children’s Book Day

April 9-15th, 2017 – National Library Week

April 12thD.E.A.R Day (Drop Everything And Read/ Beverly Cleary’s Brithday)

May 1-7th, 2017Children’s Book Week

May 21st – National Readathon Day

May 25th – Towel Day

July 30th – Paperback Book Day

September Library Card Sign-up Month

September 6th – Read A Book Day

September 7th – Buy A Book Day

September 22nd – Hobbit Day

September 24 – 30th, 2017 – Banned Books Week

October 8 – 18th, 2017 – Teen Read Week

 

Oh and what am I reading on #readabookday? Rags and Ruin by Bob Dixon which I received from the great people at Ravenswood Publishing as an eARC.

If you love books and are on Pinterest check out my #WorldBookDay board:

Do you know of any Book’ish days that need to be added to my list? Leave a comment below.

Top Ten Tuesday #13 BONUS

Back to School 2

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.toptentuesday

August 30: Back To School Freebie — anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher.

This week topic was so good I had to come back to it. And reading all the other posts really was creativity fuel. So here is a bonus top ten back to school list.

Top Ten Book That Were Required Reading…

  1. The Odyssey – Because of a fluke I didn’t get the senior reading list until 2 weeks before the school year started. So I ended up having to read the Odyssey in 2 weeks because there was going to be a test on it the first day of senior AP English!
  2. The Heart of Darkness – I fully admit to being a fan of Joseph Conrad and the Heart of Darkness was only the tip of the iceberg. Due to the same fluke that caused me to get my reading list late I ended up taking 2 senior English classes and we covered this book in both.
  3. Hamlet – I ❤️ Hamlet. I’m so glad that we had to study this in high school. And I’m so glad that the Kenneth Branagh movie adaptation came out about the same time because it added another layer of depth to the my learning. (I also read Romeo and Juliette, Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth in high school.)
  4. The Canterbury Tales – Okay so we didn’t read the whole things, just the prologue, the Knights Tale and the Wife’s Tale. But more importantly we had to memorize the first 14 lines in Old English which has served me well to this day as I often quote it to give kids a taste of Old English when I do classroom visits as Queen Anne.
  5. A Tale of Two Cities – The opening page of this book blew me away. The character and setting in the book are both really rich and real. It got me interested in a part of history I had never considered before.
  6. The Joy Luck Club – I have always had an interest in China but probably would have never picked up an Amy Tan novel if not for it being on our reading list. I am not always a fan of contemporary literature or chick-lit, but I really enjoyed this book and have read a couple of her other books as an adult.
  7. Medea – Enter a lifetime love of Greek plays in 5,4,3,2,1. While the Odyssey is great it doesn’t have the same feel of plays like Medea, Electra or Prometheus Bound (my personal favorite.) One thing you learn in these plays is that Greek women probably invented revenge, and if they didn’t invent it they perfected it. DO NOT CROSS a Greek Woman.
  8. Elizabeth Barrett Browning – Okay not really a book, but thanks to reading EBB during a poetry unit in high school I found my favorite poet. Also as I studied her for a college project I found out that her first published work was a translation of Prometheus Bound which is how I came to read what has become my favorite Greek Play.
  9. Sign of the Beaver / Hatchet – Going back to Middle School on these two. Again a these stories opened up my world to new genres to read. I thought that adventure books like these were probably just for boys (although I had already read the Hardy Boys books.) However I got a real interest in the YA survival adventure genre after reading these (and Island of the Blue Dolphins.)
  10. The Forgotten Door – Also going back to Middle School. I vividly remember this book. It’s strange that it was a school book because it’s kind of a mystery, sci-fi, fantasy story. But I enjoyed the book and it obviously made a mark.

Book Blitz: The Lost Eye of the Serpent

The Lost Eyes of the Serpent
by Jeremy Phillips
(The Rose Delacroix Files, #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Meet A New Book

Welcome to my first book blitz (and to my newest book blog emoticon… “Meet A New Book.” He joins his brothers from my book rating scale.) I only recently joined Xpresso Book tours, and this is the first book that stood out enough for me to request to be a part of the Blitz.

The book has several things I enjoy, a Victoria setting, a retelling of a classic (with a twist- Sherlock Holmes is a women) and a good heroine.

It’s also interesting how book trends work because this month I had also put in for a First to Read copy of A Study In Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas. It seems like to the season for feminine Sherlock Holmes retellings.

Charlotte Holmes takes us on an adventure under the assumed name, Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

It may sound crazy, but Jonathan Delacroix is certain his sister Rose really is Sherlock Holmes…

Girls are not detectives. But in the summer of 1893, in the small western town of Hope Springs, Rose Delacroix is bound and determined to prove them all wrong. When the famous Emerald Serpent Jewels are stolen from the Delacroix family hotel and the blame lands solely on her older brother Bill, Rose recruits Jonathan as her Watson-like counterpart to solve the case.

Proving your brother innocent is difficult when the evidence keeps stacking up against him…

Before Rose and Jonathan can properly start their investigation, another robbery is committed. The rusty revolver purported to have once belonged to Wild Bill Hickok has been stolen from the general store and found hidden amongst her brother’s belongings. With Bill in jail, and the owner of the Serpent Jewels planning to sue the Delacroix hotel, Rose knows she has to find a lead, and soon.

A witness comes forward claiming they saw Bill steal the jewels, but Rose isn’t about to be bullied into ignoring the facts…

Rose and Jonathan must put their sleuthing skills to the test or witness their family fall to ruin due to…

…the lost eye of the serpent.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Download a free Rose Delacroix short story.

Bottom Line: 

I don’t know yet. The book sounds great, but since this is a promo blitz without a review copy I’m going to have to wait to find out how good it is. But for now it’s goes onto the TBR list.

Find out more about the author Jeremy Phillips.
Jeremy.Phillips.Author

GIVEAWAY!
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Top Ten Tuesday #12

I STILL Haven't Read Yet...toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

August 23: Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf (Or TBR) From Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven’t Read Yet…

Well seeing as how I started tracking and reviewing the books I read on MySpace in 2006, and then moving them to each new system… the “before I started blogging” clause is going to be ignored. 10 years is a looong time and I haven’t kept close track of my TBR shelf that whole time. So this list is just going to be of books I’ve had on the TBR for several years, one’s I’ve been meaning to get to but just haven’t managed to read yet.

I am participating in the 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge. I encourage you to take a look at that post. And maybe this will kick start me towards digging a little deeper into the TBR.

Top Ten Books I STILL Haven’t Read Yet…

In no particular order…

  1. The Borrowers – I remember the TV show from when I was a kid, so we picked up a couple of the books years ago at a thrift shop. I really have no excuse for not reading this book, except for I’m not sure where it’s at. I know we have it, but it escaped from the YA TBR shelf.
  2. The Kitchen Gods WifeI really enjoy Amy Tan, but somehow this book sunk to the bottom of the pile and has stayed there. One of those ones I know I’ll enjoy if I ever get around to it.
  3. Casino Royale (And the rest of the James Bond series) – My sister bought these for me, one at a time over a couple of years (of course she read each one, before sending them to me.) I feel bad because she sent me the WHOLE series and I’ve read one of them. 🙁
  4. The Forth Turning – I talk about this book ALL the time. If you ever mention anything about generations to me, I will bring up this book. It was a cornerstone of the curriculum when I did a church internship. But we only had excerpts. I keep telling myself I’ll read the whole thing one of these days. It’s really an important book and has a ton of good stuff in it. Maybe I should go get it off the shelf now…
  5. The Wizard of Oz – Yes, it’s true, I have not read the Wizard of Oz. And it’s been sitting on my shelf for a least 5 years. The only excuse I have is the other 200 or so books overflowing the TBR shelves.
  6. City of Illusions / Left Hand of Darkness – This time I actually have an excuse. I got these books before reading EarthSea, and well they have stayed on the shelf because EarthSea kinda ruined me on Le Guin (even though Lathe of Heaven was super fantastic and I still think about it every now and them.) I know that these are important sci-fi books that many TV shows, etc have been inspired by. I keep them around hoping I’ll feel like picking them up one day.
  7. Childhood’s End – Another important sci-fi classic that I just haven’t gotten around to. I think this one suffers from the same sort of fate that the Le Guin books do and that’s that I felt burned after reading the Rama series (my advice read Rendezvous with Rama, it’s a sure fire classic, and none of the rest.) I know the end of the series wasn’t written by Clarke, but still the let down of the Rama series was immense.
  8. Galaxies Like Grains of Sand – Another sci-fi classic that’s been on the back burner because of a different piece by the author. My husband and I both read The Long Dark Afternoon of Earth, and thought it was fantastic. So we sought out other Aldiss books. I wish I had read this before his short story collection, Super Toys Last All Summer Long (which the movie A.I. is based off of.) Unfortunately other than the title story the books is a bunch of veganism propaganda, which makes me afraid to read a book he wrote about 4 million years of man kinds future.
  9. A Princess of Mars – After reading Burroughs lesser known Venus series I meant to read the Mars Series, I actually loaded them all up on my kindle (it’s kind enough to remind me) in April, 2012. Until I was looking through my lists today, I had forgotten I had them. Oops! 😜
  10. King Solomon’s Mines – Let’s say ditto for this one, put it on the Kindle and then forgot about it. This despite the fact that my sister is a fan of H Rider Haggard I haven’t read any of his books.

 

I’m Going On Tour…

Xpresso Book Tours

 

I found out about Xpresso Book Tours via Functioning Insanity Reviews and betwixtthesepages, two book bloggers who I enjoy. Just this week I’ve been notified that I was chosen for not one, but two upcoming blog tours.

The first is Elemental Secrets by Elle Middaugh.

ESValerie Moore was a beautiful, headstrong girl with below-average social skills and above-average anxiety (including a flair for over-analyzing).

With her mother long deceased, and her father recently deployed, she ends up being sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. But, being a Navy brat had made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends certainly wasn’t her strongest suit. As if the life of a typical teen wasn’t hard enough.

But Valerie soon discovers she’s not a typical teenager. Not by a long shot.

SECRETS are revealed…

…About her family, about her newfound friends and relationships, and about her whole world… Things that have been kept from her for her entire life…

But the biggest secret of all is revealed when Valerie discovers that she has Elemental powers, and a chain of inexplicable and irrevocable events unleashes throughout the little town…

The second is actually a two book set! I’m so excited, two books! The Midnight Sea and it’s sequel Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross.

BloodOfTheProphetTourBanner

Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…

The Blood of the Prophets tour will be stopping by my blog on Sept 21st, and Elemental Secrets on Oct 20th. So stayed tuned to hear about these exciting books.

Have you done a book tour? I’d love to know some of your thoughts and maybe a hint or two for how to make them rock. Leave me a comment to let me know.

Top Ten Tuesday #6

Goodreads ratings

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

July 5:  Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

(An easy way to find this — go to Goodreads, your “read” list, at the top of your “read” list where it says settings you can add a column for # of ratings, then you can sort by that. If you aren’t a Goodreads user you can look up books you think are underrated and see what their # of reviews is on Goodreads? Or if that’s too hard you can spin it some other way!)

This idea really intrigued me,  and I had to go find out how I stacked up right away.  Turns out that picking this list is going to be harder than I thought, because the majority of the books I’ve read have less than 2000 ratings. A lot of really good books too. I guess that just means that my eclectic reading habits and good for finding underrated books.

I also turned it the other way around to see which books on my “read” list had the most ratings. The top 5 are: The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Divergent, Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl, and 1984.

(Listed in no particular order)

  1. The Try: Reclaiming the American Dream – This was an excellent motivational book. I got to listen to the author at an American Agri-Women convention and then he gave us all a copy of this book and the cowboy code of ethics. The Try is not the same  “try” or “trying”, it’s cowboy jargon for someone who has tenacity, who over comes the odds, who just won’t give up. That’s The Try and the book is about 12 people from different walks of life who have it and who will inspire you to have it too.
  2. Beyond The Soiled Curtain: Project Rescue’s Fight For The Victims Of The Sex Slave Industry – A book everyone who is interested in human rights should read. I couldn’t put it down, the story is so compelling and the work being done so important and the outcomes full of hope.
  3. Out of the Ruins (Golden Gate Chronicles #1), Beyond the Ashes (Golden Gate Chronicles #2) and Mistaken: First Impressions Are Never What They Seem – These are all novels by my friend Karen Barnett. I’m not usually into Christian Romance, but these books by Karen are an exception. Not only because she is a friend, but because they don’t have the same sappyness and unreal expectations of “Christian-ness”… so many of these romances are too concerned with being “Christian” that they don’t reflect real people/life. Karen’s books are solid historic fiction where romance is a part of life, but not the main pursuit.
  4. I Saw Three Ships – A Christmas classic. It’s short and sweet, and it a great story to read curled up in front of the fireplace on a cold Christmas Eve. If you haven’t read it yet make a point to read it this next Christmas season, you won’t be disappointed.
  5. A Name of Her Own – by Oregon author Jane Kirkpatrick, it tells the story of the Astor party that crossed over land after Lewis and Clark to establish a trading post in the Oregon territory that would one day become the city of Astoria. This historical retelling is very well done, and should be on your reading list if you have interest in Oregon history or adventure/survival stories. In fact, this was my book of the year pick for 2010.
  6. United States Bill of Rights – What!? Seriously the bill of Rights only has 1,056 ratings on Goodreads. I can’t believe this. You need to go rate the Bill of Rights right now. This should have tens of thousand of ratings not just slightly over one thousand. There was a reason that my philosophy professor had us read this and the Constitution, the fact that so few people have read the documents which are so important to our lives in America. It’s free on Kindle, so if you haven’t read it now you don’t have an excuse.
  7. The Seventh Tower (The Seventh Tower omnibus, #4-6) – I don’t know where the first omnibus ranked, but I was surprised to see this so low. I know that Garth Nix has a large following. I looked up the individual books and they do have higher amounts of ratings. This was a series I could not put down. I read it at a time when we didn’t have a lot of extra cash (finding the first books at a thrift store.) When I finished book 3, I rushed to Amazon to find the rest, and luckily they had a fairly cheap copy of this omnibus when worked out perfectly.
  8. Flying Blind (The Cooper Kids Adventures, #8) – The last, and best, of the Cooper Kids Adventures. This is an exciting young adult adventure story. I would recommend reading the rest of the series, but if you are going to read only one of them this should be the one. It grabs your attention and is a thrilling ride until the end.
  9. Prophet (Books of the Infinite, #1) – I’ve enjoyed this whole series. A very different fantasy story with Christian elements. I totally fell for the world building and Ela and her quest to follow the Infinite and to be his prophet.
  10. Dream Thief – This really should be at the #1 spot if I was ordering them by my personal favorites. I have read Dream Thief a ridiculous numbers of times (10+ at least.) It is my favorite novel by my favorite author (Stephen R Lawhead.) In fact just a few weeks ago I mentioned to my husband that I was thinking about reading it again.

Review: The Quest for Merlin

MTQFM(KINDLE)The Quest for Merlin (Magimakía Book 1)
by Rafael Lovato
Pages: 245
Date Finished: 6/15/16

Book Reviews- Liked it Alot Liked It A Lot

Early Reviewers

  • I received this book free from the LibraryThing members giveaways group in exchange for my honest option.

This was the first time I’ve received an eArc. I’ve been nervous about them because it’s not always in a format that I can read, and it’s been hit and miss with the email-to-Kindle. Luckily, I found a new tool where I can send books to the Kindle with a simple click from my PC. It worked great and I was able to read The Quest for Merlin on my Kindle without problems. (I really hate reading books on a computer screen, Kindle Paperwhite is really the way to go.)

MTQFMBANNER copy

The Quest for Merlin is a fantasy novel set in the modern day.  It has a very unique premise and mythology. The story is told through various characters, the main story following the decedents of Merlin, but also has a very interesting side story as told by the goblins. That’s right, goblins! I really enjoyed the GPoV (Goblin Point of View) chapters.

The book begins with a goblin and troll dropping off a stack of histories to the writer, even though he’s not named I can assume this character is Rafael Lovato the author of the novel. The goblin explains that it’s his job to translate them so the story of the Magimakia can be told to the world. Magimakia being a large magical battle between dimensions.

Each race seems to have it’s own dimension, with a magical energy signified by a special color (Angels – yellow, Humans – blue, Goblins – green and so on) and each race also has a magical specialty (for example Humans can open portals between dimensions.) Digging into this world is pretty interesting. It was unlike any other fantasy world I’ve seen in other books.

I wondered if the differences have to do with the author being Brazilian. One other foreign fantasy I read, the Russian The White Raven (Sword of the Northern Ancestors) was also very unique in its world building and mythology.

The chapters told in the point of view of Oliver, the teenage descendant of Merlin, are suppose to have been written by him in a history book of the Order of Mages and Witches. However, it really doesn’t seem like they were written after the fact by a probably older Oliver, because they are very much told in a teenage point of view (complete with annoying teen lingo and immaturity of thought.) In fact, at one point I wondered if the author had a bet going for how many pages he could have the main character think or say “Wicked.” That was the only real downside.

Bottom Line:

A fun and different fantasy novel. The twist at the end really caught me by surprise. I will be looking forward to the next book in this series. If you enjoy modern fantasy you’ll probably enjoy this book.

Review: Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness
by Timothy Caulfield
Pages: 272
Date Finished: 6/4/16

Book Reviews- Liked it Alot Liked It A Lot

Early Reviewers

  • I received this book free from the LibraryThing early reviewers group in exchange for my honest option.

LibraryThing picked the perfect book for me. I took to twitter as soon as I found out I’d been chosen to receive one. I had already been following the buzz about this book through various page I follow, like We Love GMOs and Vaccines.

 

The first part of the book is about the author experiencing the health and beauty routines that celebrities like Gwyneth endorse and sell. He tried a detox and a skin care routine, went to a spa, interviewed a plastic surgeon, and spent a year reading People magazine… seriously the whole thing, every issue, for a year (thanks for taking one for the team dude, because People magazine is hurl inducing for me.)

I have to admit that the first part of this book was 100% confirmation bias for me. Basically everything he said I could totally agree with. I flew through the first part, reading it very quickly. He sums it up very well:

“The bulk of health and beauty products and recommendations peddled by or through celebrities are either useless or harmful or both. They may also divert millions of individuals from engaging in the simple and evidence-based steps necessary to live in a health-promoting manner.” pg 208

The second part was much slower, and the reason the books get a “Liked It A Lot” instead of a “Loved It.” I just wasn’t as interested in his debunking of the quest for celebrity. He didn’t need to write four chapters on it to tell me the odds are pretty much impossible, and that life as a celebrity isn’t all its cracked up to be.

“Belief in celebrity success is built on a foundation of lies, illusions and empty exhortations of the reach-for-the-stars variety. The chances of making it celebrity big in any kind of celebrity-oriented career hovers near zero.” pg 208

Bottom Line:

The first part of this book is absolutely spot-on and if you are a science geek like me you’ll speed through it. The second part was interesting to me only because of the sociological implications. I don’t really want to become famous, and don’t know very many people who have that set as their goal so it didn’t have much of a personal impact. However, I know A TON of people who listen to celebrities on topics like diet, detox and vaccines.