free Bio

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!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Summary: Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.

Thoughts: Believe it or not, this was my first time picking up a Harry Potter book. I'm not really sure why. I've seen the first two or three movies but I'm only just now getting to read the series. So, despite you all probably all already knowing about it, let me give you a fresh perspective...
Fantastic! Filled with characters I couldn't help falling in love with immediately I was sucked in from chapter one!
 The plot moves with great pacing, never too fast, never too slow, setting up a brand new world with grace and charm and a hint of darkness.
 The writing really grabbed me, it's been a little while since I read something from England and, I have to say, it reads like a classic with a more lively plot! I loved sinking into that feel that is nostalgia and childhood for me. 
So yeah, I loved it! It was a great, magical, read and filled with just about everything I love in a book! 

Content: While a few of the scenes are a bit spooky, few children will have a problem with it. There is also plenty of magic, light and dark. Overall, a great read for anyone of any age!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Book Review: Gregor and Code of Claw

Summary: Everyone in the Underland has been taking great pains to keep the new prophecy, The Prophecy of Time, from Gregor. Gregor knew from the beginning that it must say something awful, but he never imagined just how awful: The prophecy calls for the warrior's death.

Thoughts: Few books have ever made me cry. Redwall, on occasion, made me sob a little but most tears are wrung from me through visual media, aka film (especially anime). And I have to admit, I like books that make me feel. Ones that make me more than just happy, excited, or anxious. Ones that make me feel fear, and pain, and sorrow. It's not just the mark of a good book, but also a great author. Now I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but I've never read The Hunger Games and (for now at least) don't have much interest in it. But I am well aware of it's wide audience which is always a credit to an author. Even so, I like reading firsts, the beginning series, and see how they were when they began. Amazing. Mind blowing. Fantastic. Awful. This is Gregor the Overlander. It made me feel more then any other book I've ever read and I cried, hard, when it ended. 
 If you've taken my advice and read the previous books you'll know that the Underland is now ravaged by war and we see it all through the eyes of a gentle 12 year old boy who has already been pushed to a maturity past his years. He's been the provider and backbone of his family and trusted guardian of the Underland, and now he is faced with choices and decisions he should never have to make. It's awful. But the way he is supported, guided, even protected, by many of the characters is amazing to watch. Nothing is taken for granted and there is always hope if you look for it. This is officially one of my all time favorite series now and if there's anyway i could possibly convince you to read them I'd do it because they are well worth every minute and cent. 

Content: By far the darkest of the series. Blood, gore, death, and despair are around every single corner and this is not something I'd ever call a children's book. Even so, it an amazing read and suggested to anyone who can stomach nearly accurate descriptions of war.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Book Review: Gregor and the Mark of Secret

Summary: For generations, rats have run the mice out of whatever lands they've claimed, keeping them constantly on the move. But now the mice are disappearing and the young queen Luxa is determined to find out why.
 Gregor and Boots join Luxa on a simple fact-finding mission. But when the true fate of the mice is revealed, it is something far more sinister than they had imagined -- and it points the way to the final prophecy Gregor has yet to fulfill. His abilities are put to the test in this suspenseful, action-packed penultimate installment of Suzanne Collins's thrilling Underland Chronicles.

Thoughts: Thought the last book was getting dark? Nuh-uh. Not compared to this one that is. The plot plunges into the depths of emotional turmoil and trouble and leaps clear of the children's section! Is it bad? Absolutely not! It was a fantastic, wild ride, that never stops or slows down. From laughter to tears and back again with memorably fantastic characters! 
 As well written as the first three, it holds the reader spellbound and terrified until the very last page! The character development moves swiftly and drastically and the plot winds and twists like a snake through the secrets and deeper meanings behind each word! You never know what that minuscule observation or tiny little slip-up is going to impact an entire world in this book!

Content: Lots of death that, while not necessarily gory, is dark and very disturbing. honestly not recommended for kids! Otherwise a clean and great read!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Review: Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods

Summary: With two prophecies fulfilled, Gregor is now focused on the Prophecy of Blood, which calls for Gregor and Boots to return to the Underland to help ward off a plague. But this time, his mother refuses to let him go . . . unless she is allowed to travel with them.
  When they arrive in the subterranean city, the plague is spreading -- and it claims one of Gregor's closest companions. Only then does Gregor start to understand how the illness plays with the fate of all warm-blooded creatures. But how can he help combat it?

Thoughts: And we're back! I've finally found the last three books recently and tore through them so here is #3! 
 Fantastic! Even after months in between it was easy to dive right back into the Underland and follow along with the story. Characters, old and new, are introduced and I was reminded of how much I love this series! Fabulous writing, amazing development, and a mind blowing plot that will have you either laughing or crying and always on the edge of your seat! 
 The story itself gets a bit darker than its predecessors and moves along swiftly until it begins to skip out of the children's genre all together. Even so, a fantastic and honestly deep read for anyone!

Content: Like I said, it gets darker than the first two very easily with mature themes of war, violence and death. Children might find many of the descriptions of fights disturbing or frightening. Otherwise, perfectly clean!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book Review: Stunned

Summary: Roya desperately wishes she was above ground, on a sunny patio, watching the lake lap up on the shore. Instead, she finds herself trapped with the Lucidites. Her brother is mysteriously wasting away, and at every turn she finds a new betrayal. Just when she thinks she’s finally escaping the Institute, a new danger unveils itself. A secret society of Dream Travelers has declared war on the Lucidites by abducting a head official. It’s up to Roya to figure out who’s behind it and how to save everyone she cares about most. More action packed than its predecessor, Stunned is captivating and will leave audiences squirming from the tension and also begging for more.

Thoughts: This was an amazing sequel! If the action was great in the first book it was even better in the second! And the villains were chilling, actually developed and cunning beings who moved with their own vendettas. It was great!
 And then, of course, the plot. Progressing, unraveling, and winding yet again, weaving through a fantastic tale!
 The characters moved forward as well, casting off old fears, developing new ones but also taking on strength in the face of greater adversary! I especially loved the way Roya stepped up during the climax (though that's all I'm going to mention, you'll have to read it if you want to know).
The love definitely still there and it's every bit as painful and confusing as you'd imagine but I am very eager to see how it will turn out.
And I'm just going to repeat myself here but, I really loved the villains in here! No, they were not likable at all, but they were villainous which is exactly what this sequel needed!

Content: Ok, unfortunately this one steps up from the first. It starts with some passionate kissing, then there are hands kind of going all over. One of the guys ends up in bed with the girl though both remain fully clothed. Also aside from the previous couple, another character admits to being homosexual. And the language is similar to the others, including things like D*** and C**p even a few F***'s. So, definitely  not for kids. Teens and mature audiences with a love for adventure will still love it though!

Book Review: Streams to the River, River to the Sea

Summary: Sacagawea, a Shashone Indian, guided and interpreted for explorers Lewis and Clarke as they traveled up the Mississippi, but she had adventures long before that one, like the time she was captured by the Minnetarees, and taken away from her family and everything that she knew and loved....

Thoughts: I've always loved the story of Sacagawea! One of my favorite American heroines I was pretty excited to read this story knowing O'Dell would be hard put to find tragedy here. While the history and writing were still great, I wasn't very fond of the characters. I understand that O'Dell was trying to give Sacagawea a more girly appearance to the reader, I didn't find some of it very believable. Over all though, still a good story!

Content: Sacagawea is a thirteen/fourteen year old girl when she is married to her husband and has her son. While this is not elaborated on and considered a normal part of the Indian's culture, some readers may find this uncomfortable. Otherwise a clean read.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt By Day

 Summary: Tom Barton and his Uncle Jack help William Tyndale smuggle newly translated Bibles into England. Hunted and hated by many, a fugitive in several countries, this humble man's pen changed the course of history.

Thoughts: Despite having never mentioned this before, I have a weird fascination with Scott O'Dell's works. I've read (and still own) over half of his books and never truly liked any of them. Don't get me wrong, the writing is nice. The setting is wonderful. And the history is alluring, real, and palpable. The thing is (because this is a historical work odds are high you know how certain characters story's go, but this may be a SPOILER to some) he almost always picks or writes tales that end tragically. The Hawk That Dare Not hunt By Day was not, I'm sorry to say, one of his few exceptions. On the other side, I found I actually enjoyed this story more than any of the others. I liked the characters (real and fictional) and the way everything wove into place. The ending broke my heart but, overall, this was a great story, truly capturing the kind, humble, spirit of the man who gave us the first English Bible.

Content: Death from plague and  SPOILER Tyndale's execution in the end. Neither is very detailed. Overall, a clean read!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Online Book Club

So, yes, I haven't been on here in awhile and I apologize but first I was taking a bit of a break after last years reading marathon and, secondly, I found this awesome sight

Jam packed full of real, honest, reviews for thousands of books it's a great way to find your next read! I joined as a reviewer and am happily working my way through their program to the point where I can be paid. That's right, paid to read books, free books i might add.

Why on earth would I be getting paid to read a free book you might ask? Simple, reviews are the best and most effective way to make someone want to read a book, legitimate reviewers especially make people feel safe or interested in a story. I know many authors and they all say the same thing 'please write a review, good or bad, just please write one!' And that's what this site is, a great place to find fantastic reviews. So the authors there are willing to pay a small bit for the assistance and we can actually relax in a book knowing it's not just time spent enjoyably but also usefully! While I don't think you can earn enough to quit your job and live off this one site as a reviewer, it's a nice little extra income and, lets face it, the people who are interested are really just there for the chance to read great books and tell the world about them!

To authors out there, this is a fantastic place to get your book reviewed! With a warm and encouraging community that's there for you, plus plenty of people who will really want to read your book, it's a fantastic way to get the word out about your story! 

So, needless to say, I'm pretty happy with this arrangement overall and while I've been a little slow over there too, i'm getting real-life stuff in order so as to dive in headfirst and give it my all. Anyone else interested in visiting? Joining? Submitting a book? Reviewing? Then check it out!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Book Review: Awoken

 Summary: Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights. 
 In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.
 And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.
 Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?

Thoughts: Ok, so remember Keeper of the Lost Cities? Basically, the same plot: a secret society, a special girl who's misunderstood, a group of kids with special've probably heard it before right?  
Maybe; you just haven't heard it like Awoken. 
I was honestly not expecting much when I picked up the book but it was free and had a nice cover so I thought 'why not?' This is usually a hit-and-miss tactic for me (usually a miss) but I was pleasantly surprised this time. This book was amazing! Characters who had believable character traits, beliefs, and reactions to their past, present and future. A plot that held together and carried through well. And great writing to top it all off!
But, I've got to be honest, it was the characters that really grabbed and held me. I'm a big sucker for tight knit groups and a focus on broken people finding healing in those around them. Awoken held everything I could have hoped for (plus some...but I won't tell you because it's a spoiler) and I had a tough time stopping myself whenever I had to put it down. Needless to say, it kept me captivated the entire time. 
Now, two things that might be seen as a problem: 
1. yes there is a love triangle which I wasn't crazy about. Because of the other books I've read in this genre I was expecting the plot to eventually take a step back from this but it didn't, it never did. Sarah Noffke sees her characters as people who need to grow, learn, and focus and don't have time to ignore the end of the world to settle their own problems. And this was greatly appreciated (plus I actually did like both guys more or less). 
2. The villain. After all the build up we get, the amazing development of the characters, the training and hard work, some may find the villain to be a little disappointing, stereotypical even. I know I did. But as the book went on I realized, he was just 'The Villain'. In other words, he was just the goal, the end, the means. The book itself wasn't about him, it wasn't about the battle or about the end of the world. It was about the characters, the people who were facing him and who were going to stop him. Where they came from, was important. What they wanted was important. What they were going to do was important. Who they were fighting, was not important. It really hit pretty deep and, to be honest made me enjoy the story even more. This is not to say the ending was anticlimactic or disappointing, quite the contrary. 

Content: Nothing sexual though SPOILER a kissing scene does get a little intense. There is a fair amount of profanity and swearing in this book, from c*** to sh** and a few others in between, but all around the same level. There is also a homosexual couple, whether you have a problem with this or not, this should not deter you from the book as they were clean and very pleasant characters.
Overall, a great read for it's intended age audience and highly recommended if the content doesn't bother you.

(Wow, this is one of the longest posts I've written in awhile...also, second post of the month, yay! I'm very sorry for not writing in so long but I am definitely coming back and reading a lot more which means more posts! Though I might not be rereading much as much as I hoped due to the way my new books just keep piling up...)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book Review: Defy + Givaways

I am so happy to be able to share with you all the third release in The Blades of Acktar Series! And so, with out further ado...

Summary: The war for Acktar has begun.
With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades.
Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected.
Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands.
War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?
Acktar rests on one hope:
The Leader is ready.

Thoughts: Third in the series, peaking with an intense climax, and full of...well, everything, Defy most certainly didn't disappoint!
 The plot moves quickly, often leaving me wondering how there were so many chapters left when so much had already happened, but never lagged. Character development that had already begun moved to new heights and others just began the journey, all fantastically done! Also, there's a bit of a surprise in here!
 Not to mention I always appreciate stories that truly express faith, which is the very core of this series!
 While this book is definitely not a stand alone, it is a great continuation that left me at the edge of my seat so many times! And the ending was wonderful, especially when compared to Deny's cliffhanger!

Content: There are some fairly brutal descriptions of violence, but only to the extent of emphasis without excessiveness. Otherwise, a clean read for all ages!

About the Author:
 Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.

 And don't forget to check out the Facebook Party! With giveaways, a guest author, and a live character chat, it's sure to be a blast!

 If you missed the first two books, now's the chance to snatch them up with this great giveaway on Goodreads! Dare and Deny

Also, stop by all the other awesome blogs on the tour:
May 26
May 27
May 30
May 31 – Release Day!
June 1
June 2
June 3