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This blog is managed by us two sisters, known to some as Ants and Epic. We're a pair of up-and-coming authors and avid readers. This blog is mainly full of honest, Christian book-reviews and an occasional update about our writing. We love hearing from you all so feel free to drop a comment anywhere to just say hi!
Also, got any book suggestions? Something you'd like to see reviewed? Leave the title in the comments and we'll try to get to it!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Review: The Overlord Protocol

 Otto Malpense and his friends thought their first year at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education was the most adventurous and exciting that they would ever encounter. They were dead wrong. 
 When Otto and Wing are allowed off campus to attend Wing's father's funeral, they have no idea it's a trap, all part of a lethal plan organized by Cypher, the most ruthless supervillain any of them have ever known. He intends to use them to retrieve the Overlord Protocol, a device that has the capacity to help him take over the world. But when things go terribly wrong, Otto will stop at nothing to hunt him down and make him pay. 
 With the help of Laura, Shelby, Raven, and his former nemesis, Dr. Nero, Otto must find a way to defeat an enemy that has overcome some of the planet's most infamous villains without even breaking a sweat. Because if he doesn't, the world as they know it will be changed forever.

Thoughts: This was a fun sequel and really good way to dive into the series. 
 The story begins with a plot, an attack, and the death of a character. And it just gets better from there! Everything is all topsy-turvy with loads of edge-of-your-seat moments. Even though I kinda guessed at what was happening overall, the surprise at the end still caught me unawares.
 The writing is really easy, despite having something of a heavy story to tell it keeps everything light and easy to read. These books are pretty quick to get through because of that but no less enjoyable.
 The characters are loads of fun. As I mentioned in a previous post, I liked them all more than Epic did so there is the chance that they may come off as boring or childish to some readers. It all depends on your type of characters, what kinds you can put up with and how often you like your Main to actually be right. But this cast appealed to me and even though I feel that the girls don't have much presence (or character) yet, I don't dislike them and really look forward to seeing them flesh out later.

Content: An occasional D***, it's been a few weeks since I read it but I think there was a C*** used at least once possibly twice. Lots of violence but not much in the way of blood and gore, it really balances on a PG to PG-13 line. All in all, a fairly clean read and fun for the whole family if the language is edited out!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Review: The Hero's Guide To Being An Outlaw

Summary: Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don't you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the thirteen kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered—and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects. Now they're on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names. Along the way, however, they discover that Briar's murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all thirteen kingdoms—a plot that will lead to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.

Thoughts: First off, my apologies for being absent for so long. Have I been reading? Yes. Have I been reviewing? Unfortunately no. Do I have a good excuse? Nope. Life got busy, I was tired, lazy and very wrapped up in a game and, well, one thing led to another and I abandoned our poor little blog. 
 But! No longer! I am back and here to dish out some major reviews! 
      And here we get to the part you all are really waiting for.
   Okay, I snubbed my nose at this series for so long because of the covers. They just looked like some over-hyped, Dreamworks-rip-off, full of crude humor and bad jokes. So it took me forever to get around to picking them up. But then someone recommended this very book (despite it being the last in the series) to me on Goodreads. And then I found them at the library. And I thought "Hey, it's free, why not? If I don't like it maybe my brothers will. Or at least I'll know I was right to avoid them."
 So I picked up the first one...and promptly fell in love.
 Quirky characters, hilariously ridiculous adventures, great writing; all woven together to create a truly fantastic series. And, once I knew what it was all about, I really started to love those weird covers. 
 The first two books were great reads and this, the final installment, is no exception. 
 The plot gets pretty tangled and twisted so that I had absolutely no idea what was going on in the beginning but this quickly gets folded out and all things are made clear by the end. It's full of surprises, plenty of laughs, and fun for everyone!
 The writing is great and easy to follow. Readers of just about any age will find it easy to understand, funny, and enjoyable.
 The characters (always my favorite part to write about) are the stars. From their bumbling mishaps to the moments when things accidentally go perfectly to those in between moments when nothing really happens, they are a delightful bunch. Old and new alike, they were fun to revisit, meet, and adventure with. 
 All in all, this was a great ending to an exciting series and I'm sorry to see it go!

Content: A bit of magic, fantasy violence, and SPOILER a ghost END SPOILER, but all in all a pretty clean read and highly suggested for any age looking for some side-splitting fun!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review: The Creeping Shadow

Summary: After leaving Lockwood & Co. at the end of The Hollow Boy, Lucy is a freelance operative, hiring herself out to agencies that value her ever-improving skills. One day she is pleasantly surprised by a visit from Lockwood, who tells her he needs a good Listener for a tough assignment. Penelope Fittes, the leader of the giant Fittes Agency wants them--and only them--to locate and remove the Source for the legendary Brixton Cannibal. They succeed in their very dangerous task, but tensions remain high between Lucy and the other agents. Even the skull in the jar talks to her like a jilted lover. What will it take to reunite the team? Black marketeers, an informant ghost, a Spirit Cape that transports the wearer, and mysteries involving Steve Rotwell and Penelope Fittes just may do the trick. But, in a shocking cliffhanger ending, the team learns that someone has been manipulating them all along. . . .

Thoughts: I'll just point out here that there are a few discrepancies in the summary up there in comparison with the actual book. But it's nothing too big.  
 This is the latest installment in the series Lockwood and Co. which has me and Epic very sad. So much happens in here! We need the next book! 
 The story follows the previous set up by having three different plot lines going at once. They start out separately but slowly weave together to create a mind blowing, action-packed, terrifying, tale of horror and perfection!
 The writing never fails to make me laugh. Some of the most frightening scenes have had me tearing up and choking on laughter because of the clever sentence structure and, best of all, the back and forth dialogue. 
 And of course, the characters are the best. Literally my favorite combination of people, they make this series truly great. I had a tough time getting started in this book simply because of where the last one had left all of the cast but as I got into I was unable to put it down!

Content: The usual amount of language for this series (D***, C***, etc). Lots of frightening scenes with ghosts. some violence and plenty of mentions of gore. Otherwise clean. 
 Not a suggested read for anyone who frightens easily or who hasn't read the previous three books but a highly recommended read for those wanting a mostly clean, character driven book that full of thrills!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Review: Arthur and the Forbidden City

 Summary: Arthur's backyard looked like an ordinary garden until he discovered the Minimoys and their vast world where fierce battles are fought, ferocious monsters are faced, and one evil wizard, Maltazard the Cursed, rules from his terrifying stronghold: Necropolis, the forbidden city. Now ten-year-old Arthur magically transformed into a Minimoy must help them find a way into this forbidden city in order to rescue Arthur's grandfather, recover a stolen treasure, and save the land of the Minimoys before it's too late. 

Thoughts: This is the sequel to the book Arthur and the Minimoys (which I have not read) that I found at a used bookstore. I really liked the movie, Arthur and the Invisibles as a kid and had always been curious about the series and so I went ahead and picked it up. 
 The story basically follows the second half of the movie. It's lighthearted and childish with a touch of darker plot lurking beneath. Having seen the movie countless times I admit I was a little bored. For once it was almost complete on target only with a little more humor mixed in. So the story was good and easy to follow without the first book so long as you at least have watched the movie. If not I do really suggest reading the prequel first.
 The characters were nice but a bit dry. They might have gotten lost in the translation (the book is originally written in French) but that didn't change the fact that they were hard to connect with. On the other hand this was a really small book so there wasn't a whole lot of time for major development or connection. Also, this might have been established better in the first book but the characters didn't feel strange or unfamiliar, just dry. They had a habit doing things without explanation and going from one mood to the next in the blink of an eye. That being said, I still did enjoy the story and I really think that younger kids would find this book amusing. Though I did mention darker undertones above, it's nothing a small reader would pick up on/be scared of.

Content: There is the fact that two ten-year-olds are considered married by a kiss but this is all that is considered appropriate and the two were hardly even supposed to touch again until several years had passed. Despite this, there are two kisses in the book. There is also a bit of violence and some dark, though not necessarily scary, plot points that are really only dark if you over think them like I do! ;)
 So, overall, a good kids book but without a lot of meat in the way of characters.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Review: Death Bringer

 Summary: The Necromancers no longer need Valkyrie to be their Death Bringer, and that’s a good thing.
  There’s just one catch. There’s a reason the Necromancers don’t need her any more. And that’s because they’ve found their Death Bringer already, the person who will dissolve the doors between life and death. 
  And that’s a very, very bad thing…

Thoughts: Well, you all probably know by now that I love this series so I'll save you the spew. 
 Writing, great and witty and always engaging. The dialogue is the best part of these books, the back and forth between characters is priceless. 
 Plot...okay, not my favorite book in the series for this. We finally get the culmination of Valkyrie's love triangle and that in and of itself is something I normally dislike (I'm not really much for complicated romances). This one was especially harsh in the way it affected (or didn't affect) characters and I actually didn't like Valkyrie for it. But this part mostly blows over in the first half of the book, leaving the second half full of engaging action, plot, mystery and humor. And I really liked the ending. 
 Characters are, as usual, the best part of this story. Fletcher especially goes through some developments that really brought out his character and made me like him even more! And of course the relationship between Skulduggery and Valkyrie is always fun.

Content: This series gets darker with each book and this one is no exception. There is excessive amounts of violence and gore ranging in scenarios like zombie attacks to a simple but brutal fight to an all out magical/super-powered battle. There's the usual language (H***, D***, and C***). And then a scene that included a forced kiss and threatened to push too far but it was brief and quickly turned into a brawl. All in all, definitely for an older audience but still a good installment into the series.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Review: Who's Body

Summary: The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath.

Thoughts: I've been dying for some real good detective mysteries recently and found this little gem in my Lost Phone-Kindle Files. 
 The writing was great, classic. Full of sharp wit and deduction it easily draws the reader in. 
 The mystery was well thought out and absolutely boggling for awhile but it never dragged. And the end was truly climatic!
 I was really impressed with characters. Very few mysteries ever bother to make their great and brilliant detective truly human but Lord Percy ran up against fear and moral concerns as much as he did thrills and excitement. And his relationship with the policeman, Parker, who was his companion in the case was great. Too often the police are portrayed  as bumbling fools without a clue as to what's going on despite all their training while the amateur detective soars past them on the logical train of events. Here, Parker is very nearly Percy's wit and also has training and skills to rival his companion's. It was refreshing and interesting.

Content: A bit of language, mostly just D***. Violence and gore, it's a murder mystery after all and when the full tale comes out...I'll just say that it wasn't pleasant.  Some inappropriate implications but little was said for sure and nothing actually happened within the story. All in all though, a fun mystery for all fans of detectives and mind-stretching mysteries! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: H.I.V.E. Higher Institute of Villainous Education

 Otto Malpense may only be thirteen years old, but so far he has managed to run the orphanage where he lives, and he has come up with a plan clever enough to trick the most powerful man in the country. He is the perfect candidate to become the world's next supervillain.
 That is why he ends up at H.I.V.E., handpicked to become a member of the incoming class. The students have been kidnapped and brought to a secluded island inside a seemingly active volcano, where the school has resided for decades. All the kids are elite; they are the most athletic, the most technically advanced, and the smartest in the country. Inside the cavernous marble rooms, floodlit hangars, and steel doors, the students are enrolled in Villainy Studies and Stealth and Evasion 101. But what Otto soon comes to realize is that this is a six-year program, and leaving is not an option.
 With the help of his new friends: an athletic martial-arts expert; a world-famous, beautiful diamond thief; and a spunky computer genius -- the only other people who seem to want to leave -- can Otto achieve what has never been done before and break out of H.I.V.E.?

Thoughts: This book was a thing of disagreement. Epic had many other more fascinating books on her plate when she read it and found it rather boring. Not to mention we had been hoping it would be something resembling Artemis Fowl. It wasn't Artemis at all and she found it boring.
 I, on the other hand, was just finishing up Magyk (which had really bored me) and was expecting this one to be little different in terms of enjoyment. I loved it.
 And with that note out of the way (and since I'm the one writing the post) I get to tell all reasons why I love it! 
  Let's start with the writing. It's really great, seamlessly moving from one point of view to the next, and carrying the story through from point to point.
 The plot was really interesting and fairly unique. I've read of stories where the characters going to the school expect or even want to become villains  or where they discover their drive to become a hero. But not here. In H.I.V.E. the kids don't want to be villains, despite their past exploits, and they'renot looking to save the world (yet, this could always come up later). They just want out. 
 And that bring me to the characters. I loved them all! The girls, Laura and Shelby come off a little flat at first but I think this is because they aren't given a lot of page time to develop much. Otto and Wing on the other hand really made my day. They've got stories and mysteries. Reading this book felt like I was just tapping into a , possibly, great opening for some really fantastic characters!

Contnt: Language was the biggest problem. D*** and B****ing were both used, the latter appearing only once but the other popping up a bit more often. There was also some crude humor: a person is made to moon an audience over TV. There's also violence and a possibility of superpowers/magic (though I doubt it will ever be termed as magic. Probably a more scientific explanation will be used). Though this was left open as a continuing mystery so I'm unsure if that will develop into anything or not.This aside, it was a really fun read for even preteens and older though I would hesitate to give it to a younger reader because of the language.