Book Review: Ghosts

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I saw on quite a few blogs a while back, and I’ll admit, I was intrigued by it. My son also showed interest in this book, so we decided to get it in order to read it.

I didn’t really know what to expect with this one. I decided to go in as blind as possible, knowing only that it involved sisters and ghosts. I have to say, this was the first book that I have read that had a character with cystic fibrosis. I know very little about the disease, besides what the book told me, so it was kind of refreshing to get to see a character affected by it. I do feel that not enough books have characters who are affected by diseases and disabilities. This is also the first book that I have read that had the Day of The Dead as a part of the story. So those two aspects along made me enjoy it.

The sisters relationship reminded me a lot of the one I had with my sister. We fought at times, got along at others and were even inconvenienced by each others presence from time to time. All in all, it was a great representation of how siblings act around one another.

The art in this book was also very enjoyable. And the overall flow of the story was pretty good, a little slow at times, but not too bad.

One thing that I didn’t understand, and it wasn’t explained in the book, was why the ghosts were offered orange soda. I get that it is some sort of offering, but it seemed to be a key component to the Day of The Dead celebration, but there was no explanation as to why it was that particular item and not something else offered to the ghosts. Honestly, for someone who knows next to nothing about Day of the Dead, I was left wanting to know more about it and I do feel like there should have been a bit more information put in the book about it and cystic fibrosis as a whole. I understand you can only put so much in a book, especially one meant for middle grade kids, but I feel like it left me with more questions than it answered.

My son also read this one, and while he liked, he said he didn’t really understand the story completely.

Overall, this was a good book. I’d recommend it to other to read and I’m sure there are many people out there who would enjoy this one.


Book Review: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I first started reading this book, I thought that it might actually be a novelization of the Veronica Mars movie, because it felt too similar. This made me disappointed, because I wanted a new story, but I kept on reading and soon realized that this all occurs shortly after the movie, which made me happy.

This story definitely has the feel of the Veronica Mars series, which it should, after all, it’s written by Rob Thomas. I was glad to see that this series was continuing, even if it was in book form, because I have long enjoyed watching Veronica Mars.

I liked how the story unfolded, reintroducing characters I loved from the series, and some I didn’t. The mystery is well thought out and while I had some inkling as to who was behind it and what was happening, I was only partially right in the end.

Overall, I liked this book. I would definitely recommend it to fans of Veronica Mars if they haven’t read it yet. I do plan on eventually reading the sequel to this book.

Book Review: Smuggler’s Run

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been trying to make an effort to catch up on reading the new cannon Star Wars books lately. The series is still small, but I have yet to fall in love with the books, though perhaps in time and with the right authors and stories I will.

I figured that I can’t go wrong with a Han Solo story. Who doesn’t love that scruffy looking nerf herder? This story focuses on an event that occurs between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes back.

I thought that the story was pretty good. It had a decent flow to it and the portrayal of Han was pretty spot on. One aspect I liked was how it explained just how difficult it is to pilot the Millennium Falcon, and how it really relies on having a pilot and a co-pilot in order to properly get the ship to respond. I never really gave any thought before as to why Chewbacca was the co-pilot, I just figured he was there because he was Han’s friend.

The story had a decent amount of action scattered throughout, which I feel really helped me enjoy the book more. Without that, the book would have been a bit bland. Plus how can you have a mission to rescue people important to the Rebellion if there aren’t a few blaster fights and ship battles along the way.

One thing I find strange about this book, and all of the other “Journey to” books that I have read so far, is that the 99% of the events within the book happen sometime during the orignal trilogy, yet they are labeled as a Journey To: The Force Awakens. Okay, yes there tend to be small things that will be referenced in The Force Awakens that you will read about in the book, but I just feel like it’s sort of faulty advertising. If it was truly a Journey To The Force Awakens story, then it should help to fill in the thirty year gap between the original trilogy and the new movies, not focus on something that happened during the original trilogy.

Though this book is labeled as Young Adult, I really don’t feel like it falls into the category. I guess it was the easy way the story unfolded that puts it in that genre.

Overall, this book was okay. It wasn’t great but it held it’s own in a fledgling series that is trying to build itself up to what the Expanded Universe what was – though I feel like it will take quite some time to reach that caliber of books. It is a worthwhile read for Star Wars fans that want to absorb every bit of the new cannon, but honestly for the average person it can probably be skipped.

Book Review: The Incredible Journey

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Way back when, when I was a kid, I vaguely remember reading this book. I’m sure I would have stumbled upon it during a Scholastic Book Fair and bought it. The problem is, that was many, many years ago, and I honestly couldn’t remember the story. I know this story has also been turned into several different variations of movies, some of which I have seen more recently, but I wanted to read the original source. So as it would happen, this book was available to order through the Scholastic book order from my sons school, and thus I took the opportunity to get it so that him and I could read it.

Having remembered many of the details of the movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, I was expecting the story to be similar to that and it was, in a couple of ways. The essense of the story is still there, three beloved pets trying to make their way home, crossing vast wilderness and encountering various humans and wild creadures along the way, but that’s about where the similarities ended.

One thing I found pleasantly surprising was that the book is set in Northern Ontario, near Thunder Bay to be specific. Well that’s only a few hours away from where I live, so seeing those local areas mentioned, along with the description of those areas was a nice little bonus to this book. Getting to see the pets traverse these lands, but also struggle and triumph with the various obstacles in their way was really great. It’s also nice to see a book where the focus is on animals, and humans are merely an addition to the story.

Overall, I thought this was a good little book. I’m glad I revisited the story and got to see the original content. I have since passed the book on to my son and he really enjoyed it.

Book Review: Warcraft Legends Volume 3

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Much like the first two volumes, this one has four stories within.

One of those stories is a continuation of Trag Highmountain, which started in the first volume. I will admit, I haven’t been much of a fan of Trag’s story. I think my biggest problem is that the font used for this story is so awkward that it makes reading it next to impossible. It’s hard to really get into a story when it’s difficult to read what is being said. Sometimes, with graphic novels, you can figure out a good chunk of what is going on based upon the images, but that little bit of dialogue and descriptive text is also very important to the story. If I have to hold the book an inch from my face and squint in order to read the text, then it’s hard to get into, let along enjoy, the story.

The second story, Crusader’s Blood, was pretty enjoyable. I’m a big fan of the Undead race in the game, so any story that involves them tends to grab my attention. Throw in some Blood Elves and it’s even better. This story has quite a good arc to it, bringing things full circle and had very good art to go along with it.

The third story was I Got What Yule Need. Let’s just pretend this one didn’t happen. Goblins are just wrong. Moving on.

The final story, The Thrill Of The Hunt, was my probably my favorite, along with the second story. This is the story of Hemet Nesingwary. Anyone who has played World of Warcraft knows who this character is and the annoyance of his quests. However, this story goes beyond his love of the hunt and shows a different side of Nesingwary. Honestly, I never thought I would want to know more about Nesingwary until I started this story, and now I wish there was more.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. Some stories I liked more than others, but that is to be expected when several authors and artists are involved. It was a quick read and definitely something many World of Warcraft fans are bound to enjoy. I will be continuing on with this series to see what other stories happen in future volumes.

Book Review: Nimona

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Nimona is one of those books that I knew nothing about, but kept seeing it on so many blogs. It seemed like everyone loved this book and couldn’t stop recommending it. I’m normally leery of books that get too many recommendations, but I was also curious. So after months and months of debating on whether or not I should read this one, I decided to give it a chance.

I feel like I missed something. I liked the book, I really did. I just didn’t feel that love that everyone else seemed to feel when reading this book.

It was a quick read, and the characters were enjoyable enough. The story was…I don’t know, maybe this is where I only liked it and didn’t love it. This is really one of those ones that I can’t explain myself. Perhaps someone who did read this and love it can help me out here. Why did you love the book?

I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who haven’t read this book yet and will enjoyed it. Others may be like me and simply like it. I’m not sure if I would recommend it or not, but hey if you want to read it, do so, since you will never know if you will like, love or hate a book until you give it a try.

Book Review: Night of Cake & Puppets

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Often times, I don’t read novellas that are part of a book series. Either I forget that they exist or I just don’t have an overall interest in them. However, I knew that I wanted to read Night of Cake & Puppets. A few years ago, when I was actively reading the Daughter of Smoke & Bones series, I really wanted to read this one. In fact, I even bought the Kindle edition, since that was the only one available at the time. The problem was, I hate reading books on my Kindle, so I kept putting it off. Then finally the book was released in physical format and I had to get it.

I really wanted to love this book, because I loved the main books in this series. However, as I was reading this, I kept questioning things. Who the heck was Kaz? What the heck is going on? Who/what was Kishmish? While I was enjoying the story, I wasn’t fully understanding everything. Obviously the problem lied on my end. It had been too long since I had read the series can I could no longer remember who was who or anything that had happened up to this point.

So needless to say, while I liked the book, I didn’t love it. The story is a very quick read, and the illustrations scattered throughout definitely added something extra to the whole experience. I am glad that I finally read this one, even though it didn’t blow me away like I had hoped it would. I think to truly appreciate this book, I need to go back and reread the entire series, that way I will know all of the characters and events that led up to this point – which I plan to do at some point..