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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, November 29, 2017

Book: Review: The League of Seven

 Summary: Young Archie Dent knows there really are monster in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten -- but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn.
 When his parents and the rest of The Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.

Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! From the very beginning the cast sparked with life! They weren't amazing or incredible, they didn't leap off the page or suck you in; they beckoned with hidden potential and a swirl of mystery and by the time you get any answers you're hooked!
 Aside from the fantastic cast, the plot kept twisting and turning and keeping you guessing and rarely slowed down for more than a breath before rolling full speed ahead again! The steampunk versus electricity is an interesting aspect that keeps you guessing and adds to the extensive world building. 
 The writing was really good. Most of the story is told through the eyes of the three children, the oldest of which is fourteen and the mos prominent is eleven. While the voice isn't inspiring or awing, they feel real and you understand when they're scared, hurt, or excited. You really learn to feel for the characters.

Content: A bit of fantasy violence, some mention of blood. Some magical properties such as the Mangleborn and they're abilities that resemble those of a Greek myth. The monsters could be frightening to sensitive or really young children.
 All in all, a pretty clean book for most middle grade readers and older.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Book Review: Silas Marner

Summary: Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love, the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his loom. . . and his gold. Silas hoards a treasure that kills his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired foundling child. Where she came from, who her parents were, and who really stole the gold are the secrets that permeate this moving tale of guilt and innocence. A moral allegory of the redemptive power of love, it is also a finely drawn picture of early nineteenth-century England "in the days when spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses," and of a simple way of life that was soon to disappear.

Thoughts: This was a sweet and endearing tale of love and family. The cast was complex for such a small book and I was surprised by the twists of plot and story that wove deep into each person's life. There are stories within stories here. The book drags a bit in the beginning but is enjoyable once it gets going, creating a sweet and simple atmosphere of a time gone by. 

 Content: A use of D*** or H*** on occasion. A man secretly marries a woman and has a child with her but proceeds to court another woman during this time. 
 All in all, clean for most ages and a good, heartwarming, classic! 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: Talking To Dragons


Summary: Always be polite to dragons! 
 That's what Daystar's mother taught him...and it's a very wise lesson--one that might just help him after his mom hands him a magic sword and kicks him out of the house. Especially because his house sits on the edge of the Enchanted Forest and his mother is Queen Cimorene.
 But the tricky part is figuring out what he's supposed to do with the magic sword. Where is he supposed to go? And why does everyone he meets seem to know who he is? 
 It's going to take a particularly hotheaded fire-witch, a very verbose lizard, and a badly behaved baby dragon to help him figure it all out. 
 And those good manners certainly won't hurt!

Thoughts: It's taken me forever but I have finally finished this series and what a cute ending this was!  
 Revisiting characters and meeting new ones is always fun but I really enjoy seeing old characters through the new one's eyes, it's almost like getting another opinion. This was well done here, especially because I actually really liked the new cast, they stood up to the old one well and didn't disappoint.
 The whole story was sweet and set just like an old fairy-tale with a bit of more modern humor, making it light yet classical.  

Content: Magic and a little fairy-tale violence with battles and dragons. Otherwise a clean read for all ages!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Review: Wanted

  The first time I saw him, I had no idea he was created in a lab.
 I'd been living on the streets for around eight months before I lost count. It wasn't easy, but it was still preferable to what I had to deal with at home. In all that time, unable to trust anyone, I had been alone (I knew from experience that people always failed you). Then one day, while out searching for food, I stumbled upon this mangy dog being attacked.
 It wasn't a big deal to help him, but then he ended up saving my life which is when I realized there was something special about him: Muttface wasn't a normal dog - he was crazy intelligent. I'm talking Mensa levels. And he wasn’t an accident either, having recently escaped from a mysterious lab.
 We were just getting to know each other when things took a bloody turn.
 The vet, Sully, a troubled guy who had recently lost his wife to cancer, did what he could and I guess that would've been the end of our story if we hadn't been attacked by a gang of mercenaries who destroyed Sully's clinic and seemed intent on doing the same to us.
 So now here we were, the three of us. On the run across the country against a powerful enemy. Who were they and what did they want with us?
  Through the danger, terror, and pain, one thing was becoming clear to me: I had finally found the family I had always wanted and I would do anything to keep them safe...
 Even if it meant risking my own life.

 Did you love how awesome Katniss was? How, despite being so scared, she risked her life to save her loved ones?
 Did you root for Eleven, who was tortured then hunted for her special abilities?
 How about Ellie and Joel or Logan and Laura - did you love their relationship?
 Do you like characters who feel so real, that they leap off the page?
 What about gripping page-turners filled with action and thrills?
 If you love all this and more, and you're looking for an original story, one that will make you both laugh and cry, then you should try Wanted.
**Free to read if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription**
**This book is a clean read.**

Thoughts: That summary was completely Amazon's (or the blurb writer's) words, not mine. While I do believe that a younger audience will enjoy this book more than a mature one there are a few things to be cautious about. I'll list them in the contents below. For now, thoughts on the story...
 The plot is exactly what the summary claims it is, a lone teenage girl, a scientifically-made genius dog, and a vet are on the run from and evil corporation. The story gets kudos for trying to make the villain original, he has a backstory and is as real as anyone else, but the whole thing comes off a little cheesy and clique. Not really a bad thing if you're in the mood for a fluffy, feel-good story.
 The characters are good though, again, feel-good cheesy and a little predicable. But everything's well done, none of it is bad or even annoying, it could almost be a Hallmark movie if not for the needles and guns.
 All in all, a cute and light read, suitable for most ages.

Content: A few D***s and H***s were used and there were gun fights that were intense but non-descriptive in cases of gore and blood. Mild descriptions of surgery that could unsettle anyone who dislikes blood. Otherwise a clean read for most ages but I can't say all due to the language. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Book Review: Dying of The Light

 Summary: The FINAL shocking, heart-wrenching book in the jaw-droppingly stupendous Skulduggery Pleasant series 
 Valkyrie. Darquesse. Stephanie. The world ain’t big enough for the three of them. The end will come… 
 The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder.
 And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals… and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection.
 The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive…

Thoughts: Now, I know the summary claims that this is the final book and that was the original intention but Landy has just released another this past year of 2017 and it looks like more are on the way so, fans, don't panic!
 Anyways this really was an amazing, heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, book. Once it started rolling it didn't stop till the end and kept you guessing the whole time. And the end just left me breathless. The entire thing was an emotional marathon.
 The characters, new, returning, old, familiar, loved, hated; everyone gets things wrapped up but not everything's tied up the way I'd have liked. Even so, it makes a great almost-ending to one of my favorite series!

Content: Language is the number one problem with these books B****, H***, D***, and there might have been a use or two of F***. Then there's the violence; brutal, bloody and unfettered, people are literal beaten to death. There are at least two scenes where women were known to be naked and in front of people, neither situation was sexual or detailed but they clearly didn't have anything on and it was uncomfortable to say the least. 
  All in all, this is not a kids book, don't let the listing fool you. This is a series for mature readers meaning young adults or older. For those good at skimming through scenes and with strong stomachs, but this is also one of the funniest and most amazing series' I've ever read with an amazing dynamic and relationship. Worth the read for those who ca handle the content.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: Ereth's Birthday

 Summary: Erethizon Dorsatum—better known as Ereth, the self-centered, foul-tempered old porcupine—is having a birthday. And he fully expects his best friend Poppy, a deer mouse, to help him celebrate in a grand manner. But Poppy has gone off somewhere with her husband, Rye, and it appears she has forgotten all about it. "Belching Beavers," says Ereth, "I am not angry!" (Though, perhaps he is—and more than just a little.)
      Ereth knows his special occasion deserves a special treat—even if he has to get it for himself. And what treat could be more special than tasty salt? But the nearest salt is located deep in the forest, in a cabin occupied by fur hunters, who have set out traps to capture the Dimwood Forest animals. In one of the traps, Ereth finds Leaper the Fox—who, with her dying breath, begs the prickly porcupine to take care of her three boisterous young kits, Tumble, Nimble, and Flip. "Jellied walrus warts!" Ereth exclaims, but reluctantly agrees.
    Certainly this day is not going as he planned—and it's only just the beginning! Not only does Ereth suddenly have a rambunctious new family to take care of, but he's being stalked by Marty the Fisher, the one creature in Dimwood Forest who can do him harm. And Bounder, the father of the three little foxes, remembers all too well the nose full of quills he got a while back from the grumpy old animal who now fancies himself the leader of the den. He too sets out to show Ereth who's boss. Throw in an unexpected snowstorm, and all in all, it adds up to one birthday Ereth the porcupine is never going to forget, not even if he lives to be a hundred and twenty-two!

Summary: Though this is the third book in a series it stands on it's own just fine and I was able to fully enjoy the story without ever having picked up one of the other books.  
 The story of a grumpy old man, or hedgehog, having to raise three wild children creates a heart warming setting already. Add in a dash of adventure, cunning, bravery and tragedy and you have a book that will leave you wanting more! The cast was great! Each character uniquely crafted whether villain or hero or even a minor character, each one was well developed for their role and made an enjoayble read. 
 The writing carries you through and transitions well. You're really able to feel and love each character despite the shortness of the book. I managed to read the whole thing in a day and it left me wanting more!

Content: The only language here is all made up (see Summary for an example). There's a bit of woodland violence from animals hunting other animals to hunters and traps. 
  All in all its a clean read reminiscent of Redwall or Watership Down but children of all ages can enjoy this read!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: A Mortal Song


Summary: Heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother's last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents' true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world's natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.
 As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she's ever known.

 Review: I really loved this book! The writing weaves us through a world of magic and tragedy as seen through the eyes of a seventeen year old girl. The pain she felt and the real struggles Sora goes through when finally experiencing her human nature were believable and drew me in easily. The cast was really well written and enjoyable, even when a love triangle started. 
The ending great too, open to a myriad of possibilities but finishing up with closure and tying off all loose ends. A standalone novel unrelated to a series, it was a wonderful finish to an enchanting book!

Content:There might have been a few uses of D*** or H***, I can't remember for sure so it might be entirely clean but this is the worst it would get. There's a few kissing scenes. A fair amount of violence and, though items are said to be drenched in blood, the story never gets very gory. Creatures such as ogres, ghosts and the Japanese creatures kami and kitsune are all used along with forms of magic.
All in all it was a pretty clean read though I'd suggest it for at least preteen or above due to the ghosts and romance.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

I'm back! Finally found the formula to make time, one of the key ingredients being apple cider, and am sprinkling you all with the concoction! I've been reading tons so I have tons of blogging to catch up on but I promise not to spam you all this time! So, here goes...

Summary: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Review: While, personally, it doesn't quite stand up there with Harry Potter, Percy Jackson was an interesting take on mixing mythology with the modern age. I really loved the way the author intertwined actual Greek stories in the book while still keeping things mostly kid friendly. 
 The cast is lots of fun, a bunch of aspiring heroes out to save the world from some of the oldest story villains ever. One thing I really appreciated in this book was that Percy Jackson has many mild disorders: adhd, dyslexia, I think a few more are mentioned as well. My younger brother who struggles with dyslexia loves having a hero who is strong but struggles with something as basic as reading, just like him. So that aspect of the character was a huge plus for me. The friendships and relations throughout the story develop nicely if a little generically but all in all create a wonderful opening to a promising series. 

Content: Some violence from vicious fictional creatures to an actual fight with a bit of blood. The whole premise is children born from unmarried couples though this isn't talked about openly and doesn't present itself as an obvious issue. Mentions are made of married goddesses dating other gods, again this is delved into too deeply and derives from the original mythology so it's not a blatant issue but still a common one.  
 All in all it's written to be appropriate for most ages and is a great way to learn some of these ancient stories!