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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!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book Review: The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha


Summary: In the busy village square, Lukas is drawn to a magician called Battisto the Magnificent, who promiese adventure to anyone who will pay for it. Anxious for excitement, Lukas spends a silver coin and volunteers to take part in Battisto's magic. He is plunged into a tub of water and finds himself washed ashore in a new land of palaces and hidden treasure.
  To his astonishment, Lukas is hailed King of Abadan by those who find him. But his life in the palace is endangered by rivals who threaten to overthrow him. Running for his life, Lukas takes off with the court astrologer, a hot-tempered slave girl, and a poet. Not in his wildest dreams could Lukas have imagined this strange turn of events. And the adventure is just beginning...

Thoughts: I've always loved Alexander's tales. They carry a fairy-tale like charm but allow you to connect with and love the characters too. This book was no different. 
 The cast was wonderful. Full of character and growth they pulled you in and wouldn't let go till the end!
 The story itself was fun. It was rifled with politics, attempted assassinations, war and peace, always keeps you guessing what's at the bottom of it all.
  The writing was great, carrying that fable feeling throughout the story so you can almost believe you're lost in a dream until the final chapter.

 Content: A few instances of D***, some war violence and a brief mention of some slave girls being immodestly dressed. Really though, it's mostly clean and a fun read for almost any age.
 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Book Review: Carlota

 
Summary: Raised to take the place of her dead brother, Carlota de Zubaran can do anything that Carlos could have done. She races her stallion through the California lowlands, dives into shark-infested waters searching for gold, and fights in the battles that rage between the Mexicans and the Americans. At sixteen, she is fearless--and that pleases her father very much.Yet while Carlota throughly enjoys her freedom, she wants to be more than her father's "son." She wants to be herself, brave and courageous but free to show feelings of tenderness and compassion as well. Her father thinks such feelings are shameful, so Carlota must defy him. That will be the most difficult battle of all.

Thoughts: This was a good historical read. Sweet and simple it gave a short but detailed picture of life on a California ranch before American conquest.There wasn't much to the plot itself but it was an interesting peek into this time in history.
 The cast was interesting but under developed due to the short size of the book. 
 The writing was good and managed to convey the culture fairly well.

Content: A bit of mild war violence and some swearing in Spanish. Otherwise an overall clean book for just about any age.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review: A Plague of Bogles


 Summary: Jem Barbary spent most of his early life picking pockets for a wily old crook named Sarah Pickles—until she betrayed him. Now Jem wants revenge, but first he needs a new job. Luckily Alfred the bogler, the man who kills the child-eating monsters that hide in the shadows of Victorian London, needs a new apprentice. As more and more orphans disappear under mysterious circumstances, Alfred, Jem, and Birdie find themselves waging an underground war in a city where science clashes with superstition and monsters lurk in every alley.

Thoughts: Sequel to How to Catch a Bogle, this was a really good continuation of the series!
 There are three children in this series, Birdie, Jem and Ned; the first book is told from Birdie's perspective. This book is told mostly from Jem's. This took a little adjusting from me going from a little girl's perspective to a young boys threw a different light on the events and shifted the perspective of the plot a bit, this story isn't just about hunting down bogles. Despite that, or maybe because of it, this was a book unique from the first, while a continuation it held it's own story and kept my interest just as much as the first!
 The cast was all fun and interesting and full of life. Even the characters you didn't like were life like enough to always keep you guessing. 
 The writing is really good, I'm still very impressed with the way accents are carried through the page. Catherine Jinks does a fantastic job of capturing a London from times past and filling it with dark and mysterious secrets.

Content: A D*** or two, mostly from adults. A few scary scenes with the bogles and a bit of violence. There's also the topic that bogles eat young children and this is a little disturbing but rarely is the point pushed. It's just an obvious fact. 
 All in all, a good read for most ages as long as they aren't too easily scared!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Book Review: The King's Fifth



Summary: In this deeply affecting novel Scott O’Dell envelops the reader in the heroic world of the conquistadors—a world that is at once somber and many-colored. Though they may have been ruthless, these steel-helmeted young men of Spain lived their lives on the very edge of eternity with style and uncommon courage.

Thoughts: Scott O'Dell is a good writer, he really works you into a historical time period with masterful ease. His writing is easy to follow and his books are usually short enough to be quick reads.
 Unfortunately, like with most of his books, it's usually difficult for me to connect in any way with his withdrawn characters. I actually enjoyed most of the cast in this book and, even though they didn't make a lasting impression, liked the story nonetheless.
 The plot was unique and gripping, all about the Spanish adventurers, gold, Indians, and danger. A really good read for the historical setting alone.

Content: Violence, the Spanish are depicted as treating the Indians brutally in this book there are many bloody fights though nothing is explained graphically. A few instances of D*** but most of the cursing is in Spanish. 
All in all a nice and quick historical read for most ages.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review: How To Catch A Bogle



Summary: If ever a chill entered her soul, or the hope suddenly drained from her heart, she knew a bogle was to blame. Birdie McAdam, a ten-year-old orphan, is tougher than she looks. She's proud of her job as apprentice to Alfred the Bogler, a man who catches monsters for a living. Birdie lures the bogles out of their lairs with her sweet songs, and Alfred kills them before they kill her. On the mean streets of Victorian England, hunting bogles is actually less dangerous work than mudlarking for scraps along the vile river Thames. (See glossary!) Or so it seems—until the orphans of London start to disappear . . .

Thoughts: This was such a cute story! A little spooky sometimes but really adorable! 
 The cast was creative and fun and the setting was so real. A life-like London only infested with mysterious, dark creatures. 
 The plot was really good, it moves at a good paces, each chapter starting as it's own little story and full of excitement and development but as you reach the end things start to come together in a complex twist you probably weren't expecting!
 The writing is fun and Jinks does a fabulous job of conveying accents and noise. And even though things can get spooky they're never overwhelmingly scary. 
 There's also a really neat book trailer here if you're interested.

Content: Like I said, things can get a bit scary sometimes. There are monsters that eat children and while this is never actually shown it is made quite clear. A mention of D*** once or twice. Otherwise a fairly clean read for just about any age!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Review: The Road To Damietta


 Summary: A beautiful retelling of a high-spirited young man's transformation into Saint Francis of Assisi, told through the eyes of the girl who loved him with all her heart . . .

Thoughts: While not a big fan of Scott O'Dell I always seem to grab his books whenever I see them, I don't know why but he's one of the very few historical authors whose works I read consistently. while I enjoyed the historical setting and the interesting ways of life presented with the different cultures scattered through the book. 
 The cast was hard to relate to. The main character was especially difficult to understand, she was entirely caught up with herself and her own daydreams and was unable to look past these for anyone else's sake. 
 The writing voice is O'Dell greatest strength. He really manages to carry you through and keep you reading even when you don't connect at all with he story; it's a little mesmerizing. 

Content: There's violence from a war and, while not graphic, is given in enough detail to be seen as gruesome. The main leads both strip in public in one seen, they are not together but she follows his example which was meaningless because he was making a point alone. Same girl belly dances at another point. There's a short time when the main girl is on a ship full of harlots but she's in hiding most of the time and the talk she hears never describes anything. There's a story told of a naked woman waiting for a man in bed (he doesn't join her) and then same man stripping and laying on fire to make a point. 
 All in all this might be an interesting read if you're looking into the life of Saint Francis of Assisi or looking to expand your Scott O'Dell collection.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Booke Review: The Orphan Fleet


 Summary: "The Orphan Fleet" is terrific adventure fantasy -- a non-stop tale of action and strange magic on a wind-swept mountain top where abandoned children have forged a free community, servicing far-traveling airships on sturdy wooden platforms. Here masked heroes with names like Golden Sam and The Sparrow are the ultimate celebrities -- and the mysterious Count leaves shivers of terror wherever he treads. When that community is threatened by an admiral who demands the return of his prized daughter, it triggers a terrible war fought in the air, on the ground, and in the old abandoned scaffolding circling the mountain ... a war where Golden Sam may prove himself a true hero after all, and the Count has a terrible role to play." 

Thoughts: This was a really interesting little book. I really liked the characters and their relationships and the world had a neat setting to it. The plot held my attention and the writing style was engaging. 
 My only problem with it all was the way everything was written, each scene ran into the next and while things were described nothing was ever really explained. I had so many questions that weren't answered and there so many things that I didn't understand. Some of it was clear by the time I finished and I'm hoping more will be explained in the sequels. 

Content: C***, D***, and a few other words of this level are sprinkled throughout but sparingly. There's some bloody violence and a creepy monster. There is a girl who was married and she believes her husband is dead at one point and kisses someone else though it's later shown that the husband wasn't actually dead yet, due to the circumstances there are mixed views on this. 
 All in all probably not for young children though some middle-graders might enjoy it and older readers who enjoy adventure, airships, and mysterious cultures.