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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!

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.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review: Magyk

 Summary: The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?

Thoughts:  This was a cute, simple story about a lost child, mistaken identities and magic. 
 The plot was good, a mash and mix of well used fantasy elements combined with quirky twists, turns and people.
 The characters were fun and easy to read. They didn't quite jump out of the page but they lead through the story well and things were kept from getting confusing.
 The writing was good and clean though sometimes lacked descriptions as to who was doing what exactly which lead to momentary confusion as I tried to sort things out. All in all it was a good story if a little boring. While reading it I could get in and really enjoy it but once I paused I had a hard time picking it back up again (part of the reason I haven't been posting in awhile). 

Content: Magic. Some violence. Otherwise a clean read for all ages and I really think a younger audience (between 6 and 12) would really enjoy this one!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book Review: King of the Trees

 Summary: What do an old wooden box, a jeweled pendant and some mysterious, green-garbed strangers share in common? When Rolin son of Gannon sets out to solve this riddle, his adventures take him worlds beyond the walls of his little log cabin in the mountains. With the help of some grumpy griffins and a long-lost prophecy, Rolin and his friends battle a fiendish foe and his underworld army; deadly snake-trees; a dragon, and other mythological creatures. On their perilous quest for the fabled Isle of Luralin and the Tree of Life, they must trust the King with their very lives. In the end, they learn that "The greatest help oft comes in harm's disguise to those with trusting hearts and open eyes."

Thoughts:  First off, sorry for being absent for so long. I honestly meant to get this post out three weeks ago but life got in the way. So anyways, here we are! 
 I've actually reread this book this year, it's a bit of a Superbowl tradition for me. I don't understand the first thing about football so I enjoy the snacks and the hype and read this book every year. I'm still trying to see if I can read it all in one day. In the three years I've been doing this i have gotten close but never succeeded.
 This is a great story that was one of the first few Indie Christian books I had ever read. The plot kept me entertained, the characters had me falling in love and the writing had me in awe. It's not spectacular or anything, in fact, half it's charm are in some of it's cheesier moments. But it's a great read, full of all the elements I've ever loved about fantasy all wrapped up in a Christian story. 
 Now, on a side note, I have to say I don't recommend the rest of the series. Something of a downward spiral takes place after this first book and the cheesiness grows unbearable until the last book which was just plain bad. I don't plan on doing full reviews of the rest of the series at any point in the near future so I'll let this suffice that this is the best of the bunch, it's the first and it wraps up wonderfully so it's not absolutely necessary to keep reading. Of course, I won't stop you if you do. My warning is there to beheaded or ignored at your own discretion.

Content: A bit of violence but otherwise a clean read for all ages and highly recommended!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Book Review: The Hero's Guide To Storming the Castle

 Summary: Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You remember them, don't you? They're the Princes Charming, who finally got some credit after they stepped out of the shadows of their princesses--Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose--to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms. 
 But alas, such fame and recognition only last so long. And when the princes discover that an object of great power might fall into any number of wrong hands, they are going to have to once again band together to stop it from happening--even if no one will ever know it was they who did it. 

Thoughts: This is one of the funniest series's I've ever read, hands down probably number one on the list. Brilliant characters are the real catch here. I love them all. Even the villains are wonderful. Some are typical-plain-ol'-villains.  And some are unique and layered. And, of course, there are the bumbling heroes that are the real stars of this book. I love this cast and their development had me spinning on my head by the end wondering where all this was going.
  The plot was great! So many twists and unbelievable topsy-turvy turns it was ridiculous and wonderful!
 And the writing is always great. I can't emphasize enough how hilarious this book was and it's all due to the brilliant wording that never ruins the moment but carries everything through smoothly. From the humor to the action to even the more tender moments, everything moves with a great flow.

Content: A little bit of rude humor. Some violence and non-bloody deaths. Otherwise, a clean and fun read for all ages!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Book Review: A Time To Die

 Summary: How would you live if you knew the day you'd die?
 Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. 
 In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall -- her people's death sentence. 
 What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

Thoughts: This is a book I've had sitting on my To-Read shelf for way too long. I've been following the author for over a year on her blog and newsletters and I knew I really needed to read her books and so, at long last, I've started!
 First off, A Time To Die has some fabulous writing. Emotional pulls and ups and downs all make for a wild ride.
 And then the plot, very unique and captivating. Never a pause in the action and suspense. We're kept biting our nails and shaking our heads through the every end.
 And the characters...well, I'll admit, I had a hard time connecting with Parvin. We just process things differently. But I really loved the majority of the cast I and understood even Parvin's motivations.

 Content: Violence. Death. Otherwise a clean read and great for all dystopian fans looking for some Christian influence in the genre!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

Summary: Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
  Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

Thoughts: This is the the debut book of the author who is responsible for one the most heartwarming books I've ever read My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry. Ove was no different. 
 Filled to bursting with human emotion and trials, you can't help but love all of the quirky cast as they come in and integrate  themselves into the story. I laughed and I got teary-eyed, especially over the halves of the book that included Ove's past. 
  The writing really carries the reader through and weaves them into the tale as it unfolds unhurriedly yet without ever losing the reader's attention.
 And the story heartbreaking and fabulous. it is the extraordinary life of a man.

Content: There's a lot of bad words. I mean, a lot. If you can think it, it was probably in here. There's mention of domestic violence, death, a SPOILER homosexual relationship END SPOILER and attempted suicide. Nothing except the language is really offensive, it's just the things seen in the course of a man's life. All in all, a really great read for mature readers who want a moving story.