The Mansion Twins: A Book Review

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Author: Rose M. Channing

Publisher: Createspace

Published on: July 23rd 2014

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Ellie and Savannah Senka, fourteen year old twins, ran away from their unhappy homes, thinking they’d return after a brief adventure. Together, they journey to another world. The new world is full of magic, but though it was once beautiful, it is damaged, unbalanced, and dangerous after a terrible storm. Ellie and Savannah may be the only ones with the power to restore the world to its original state, for the magic of twins is rare and powerful. The girls are welcomed into a grand mansion, the safest place in the aftermath of the storm. There, they learn who they are, and what they have to do. To restore the world, they must travel through the mansion to the center of magic and reset the balance. They discover their own magical abilities, find joy and friendship in the mansion’s family, and face the dangers of the storm’s left-behind magic. The journey to the center of magic is full of twists and turns, magic and excitement. Ellie and Savannah support each other to overcome obstacles along the way, knowing the whole world is depending on them.

Note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

A different world? Storm-created beings? Monsters? Quests? Totally up my alley! I have to say that I enjoyed reading this novel. I got totally hooked into this other world that I instinctively switch off from reality for a while. This book is engaging along with the characters who are just lovable and fun to read.

Speaking of the characters, the protagonists in this novel are twins—Ellie and Savannah Senka.  So we’re having the chosen two! Because why not?

So, they once live in a world of magic but then a storm ravaged that world, brought chaos into the whole kingdom and now there is no balance. During the storm, the Senka twins escaped and then they grew up into this world with no magic. But a prophecy about twins resetting the balance back in the center of magic brought the Senka twins home. Personally I think that the premise is interestingly unique. First we have a storm so strong it destroyed the balance of the magical world, disrupted the current of magic and created magical beings. The storm-created beings got me intrigued. I mean it is so freakishly awesome yet disturbing at the same time. Although I was just looking for more details about the storm. Everything about it and the events right after was still unclear and I get that its part of the storytelling. So maybe on the sequel. Right?

Also can I just mention how fascinated I am with the so-called “Glow” which serves as the kind of magic people are all capable of having aside from special gifts such as levitation or healing. The Glow is something that is natural for the magic folks, it can be used for fighting, illumination and even for dancing! How awesome and fancy is that?

Like any other fantasy novels, of course we have an adventure for the protagonists and here, it is to go to the center of magic to reset the balance. The events that transpired before finding the center of magic is so exhilarating. To give you a heads up, everything occurs inside an enormous mansion, which I guess is obvious from the title alone so I don’t know why I’m giving a heads up. Anyways, OH. MY. GOSH. The mansion is yet another fictional world I’d like to take a tour on. Every time they get into yet another part of the mansion, it just makes me read even more. Every opened doors, every transporter mirrors and every fighting scene with some storm-created beings were all enthralling I forgot the reason for needing sleep. So I guess I’m making it clear how fascinating this book is.

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Now aside from the premise, I also admire the characters in this book. Though there might be a lot of names to actually take account of, those who are of need in the story got the right exposure. I like the idea of having a queen in a child form because it makes it even more magical. What I like about the queen is her relationship with the twins, it was all pure love, care and guidance.  And the twins see her as a friend and at the same time a queen who would face the enemy herself to protect her people. And not just that, the relationship that exist between everyone inside the mansion is what I admired the most. It’s a familial love that I find as comforting and magical as it should be.

But of course, we should always have a villain. As witty and anger-driven as any other villain in any other fictional worlds. However, I find his background story still lacking. And in my honest opinion, I just think that his character as a villain doesn’t have much of an impact. I mean, he is powerful, deceptive and brutal (that last thing he did broke my heart) but I think that maybe those traits still needs development. And there was a twist to his character and which I guessed but it was well played. That part, I just have to commend.

So in totality, I really enjoyed this book a lot. I have sacrificed sleep just so I could get to the end of the Senka Twins’ journey. I hope there is more to this world.

My Rating:

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Check Author (Rose M. Channing)

Website: https://www.mycrossworldsjourney.com

Email: chickadee24@comcast.net

Twitter: RoseMChanning

Add book on: Goodreads

Available on: Amazon

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Clean Break: ARC Review

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Author: Abby Vegas

Expected Publication: May 16th 2016

Genre: Chick Lit, New Adult Fiction, Crime novel

Synposis (via Goodreads):

Lane Haviland can’t seem to catch a break. She’s dead broke, barely functioning as an adult, and completely alone in New York City. Her so-called “apartment” is a six-by-nine cell in a Brooklyn basement. And her new boss hasn’t ever met a personal or professional boundary she can’t bulldoze through.

Still, Lane’s determined to at least attempt to claw her way back to respectability. But she can’t seem to get her mysterious handyman, Viktor, out of her apartment – or her headspace. Maybe that’s a good thing: Viktor’s easy on the eyes, and that deep-voiced Russian accent is beyond sexy. But as he and Lane grow closer, he can no longer hide his connections with a dangerous criminal underworld – where secrets can be deadly.

Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

Clean Break talks about a young woman fighting her way back into life. To be honest, the first few pages was hard to get into because it all sounded too cliché for me. But after spending nights with Lane Haviland and her adventures I realized that I’m already hooked. I guess it’s the authenticity of the characters that got me engaged with the whole story. What I’m trying to say is that the author managed to give the truthfulness of how things actually happen in real life and how a person would naturally react to such things.

Now, that brings me to the characters in this story. First of course is our protagonist, Lane Haviland. Before everything went south, Lane had everything in her life-a wonderful family, money and love. But, it’s not life if everything seems to go by your way right? So life happened.

Now that part sounded cliche know, but hear me out. An accident happened to Lane’s family that got her messed up real bad. But one thing I admire about her character is the urge in her to live even though grief claws its way back into her life. I personally enjoyed reading about her character because first: all her references (ex. Dolores Umbridge hem-hem) were about the things I love,

second: she can be so real, funny and logical if need be. I admire her growth and independence as a woman.

But of course, there should be a man. For those who know, romance genres are not really up my alley but I read some as long as it’s not in its pure state. I can’t handle them in the pure state.

Now this book, thankfully, is diluted. I was actually hooked with the budding romance between Lane Haviland and his Russian man Viktor. Why? Because again, it was just the right amount, there was mystery in it and it was carefully told.  And nope there is no love triangle in this one. THANK GOODNESS! Yes there is a third man, Detective Jarrett but I disliked him as much as Lane does so he really doesn’t count. I have an extremely negative feeling towards the man.

Maybe again that is why I connect with Lane, she kinda thinks the way I do, with respect to the events in the story of course.

With regards to the writing and the plot, you’d be expecting secrets, mysteries and plot twists! Totally got the plot twist way ahead of schedule 😀 Anyways, this novel is an amalgam of genres to be honest. There is humor, a little action, mystery, a touch of romance if you’d ask and a walk through life. The life of Lane Haviland is surprisingly interesting, hilariously fascinating in some ways yet honest if need be.

So to my lovely readers, you should definitely check this out when it’s out in the market! 🙂

My Rating:


 

Check author (Abby Vegas):

Twitter: AwkwardCeleb

Add book on: Goodreads

Kafka on the Shore: A Book Review

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Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Books

Published on: January 26th 2005  (first published 2002)

Genre: Magical Realism, Cultural

Synopsis(via Goodreads):

Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Review:

There are books that could make you cry, laugh or even fall in love.

Then there are books that would go deep into the core of your being and stir your consciousness. Books that provokes you to critically challenge once again your pre-constructed thoughts and thereby opening up your mind into the ambiguities of existence. In my honest opinion, Kafka on the Shore is that kind of book. Haruki Murakami’s writing makes me dive deep into the realms of make believe and yet at the same time exposes the realities of life. Of all the thought-provoking books I’ve read, this one probably brought chaos into my mind in the most beautiful way possible.

For the characters: Kafka, the fifteen year old protagonist, is weird like most of HM’s character. But this boy interests me in ways I couldn’t fathom and it is hard to put into words since I’m trying my best not to spoil it for you. However, the way he perceive things allows me to ponder my thoughts carefully.  The fears he’s trying to fight along with the independence and strength he manages to hold on to amazes me in a way that it makes you see life in the most pragmatic point of view.

Another character I’d like to talk about is Oshima—the assistant librarian who was a friend and a brother to Kafka.  Gosh, I fell in love with his brain.

I am certain that there is an intricate process on how his brain works to make sure it coincides with the workings of his mouth. I wish I could be as erudite as him. Let me share to you a very much on point line of him:

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And the last character who deserves a mention is my favourite of all—Mr. Nakata. Nakata describes himself as dumb due to an incident that occurred during the war. But there are things that only he is capable of, which makes him rather more special. I extremely adore his character and I guess I’ve learned the most from him. You know those mantras we live for today like forget about the past, live in the moment or worry about tomorrow when tomorrow is here? Well, that is exactly how Mr. Nakata lives his life and to be honest it is the most carefree living I have ever read/imagined. He is a very interesting and amazing character. I’d love to spend a day with him and be worry free!

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With regards to the plot, Haruki Murakami introduces us to the concept of a metaphysical reality. How the existence of some things are different from what humans perceive it to be. In my opinion, this book aims to make humans become open-minded and critical. Honestly, there are times when I read and I actually have to put the book down for awhile to gather my thoughts and understand the lines.

The struggle is real but I enjoyed it so much.

Kafka on the Shore is an important book. And I will most certainly recommend it you my lovely readers!

My rating: 


Have a nice day and God bless you all :*

Chaos Company: A Book Review

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Author: Christopher Slayton

Published on: March 8, 2015

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

The highly effective team of genetically enhanced soldiers code-named Chaos Company has returned to the United States to be commended for their bravery. While on leave the team finds themselves at odds with the highly dangerous mercenary Liam King, who has been contracted to assassinate President Jennifer Grey. Chaos Company thwarts Liam’s attack, but at the cost of their team leader’s life.
With their leader killed the team looks to Corporal Desmond Striker to guide them in a hunt for Liam. During their hunt the team will find themselves in the cross-hairs of a private military company and have their abilities pushed to their limits. Before Chaos Company finally comes to blows with Liam they will discover that their greatest threat is a leader within their own country.

Note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

Chaos Company is the first book of the author. I’m ecstatic to have been considered to do a review on this book. So I owe it to him to write an honest review about it.

First with the writing. It was really action-packed! Trust me when I say that you don’t get to have the luxury to sit back and relax.  The fighting scenes occur one after the other and it literally took my breath away.

However, there was just too much technical terms for the high-powered guns, armoured vehicles and the fight scene that kind of lost me along the way. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think this one is perfect to be adapted into a movie. The way it was written is already as good as a screenplay! And just one more thing though, there’s still minor errors on the writing that scratched me bit.

Then we have the characters.  Chaos Company is actually the name of the group of genetically mutated soldiers. Definitely some squad goals OMG!

The team is being commanded by Lieutenant Tyler Young who I don’t really have much to say HAHA. Then her sister Anna Young who has the capability to turn her skin into this dangerously sharp orange scales.  The way she reacted with what happened to Ty is expected but I admire how it’s not the typical I’m-gonna-go-crazy-and-do-irrational-stuff-and-get-killed-in-the-process kind of way in seeking revenge.She saw what happened, she’s gonna make the bad guy pay for it but she’s gotta plan it so well so she gets the revenge she deserves! You don’t get to mess with her.

Then there’s a Cameron who’s the biggest and strongest man in the team. Imagine the hulk! And then a Vincent Lockhart who has the capability to stick into anything like a lizard does to wall and can elicit electromagnetic pulse and shut down any electrical device within his range. It’s like he’s the king of all electricians! And we have the medic of the group, Kiyoko Hinori who can heal anything by her touch except a broken heart </3 HAHA no really her hands could heal you as much as it can kill you. Honestly, it’s the dream to have miraculously healing hands for my chosen career. I could save thousands of lives. She’s my hero in this squad. And of course, Desmond Striker! I don’t know if you are familiar with Dragon Balls but Desmond has a hand cannon! 

His character had the most development I think. You know that moment you get when you guessed the plot twist before it was revealed in the story? Well I just had that moment and boy Desmond is the best freak there is! Then we have the villain, Liam King. I think I have felt all levels of annoyance and anger there is towards a fictional character. Boy, he is just so hard to kill.

And of course the plot! The premise of this novel is the one that enticed me into reading it. This novel fed the inner sci-fi geek within me. Medical breakthroughs? Genetically upgraded soldiers? Adrenaline-worthy fight scenes? Definitely my cup of tea!

Imagine The Expendables meets X-men! It all starts with a scientist formulating a serum capable of genetically transforming soldiers into the most bad-ass defenders of the country. Then there comes a threat to the highest official of the country and then baaaaam! Chaos begins! I really like how action-packed this novel is. But in my opinion, there was just a high level of focus on the fighting scenes and the technicality of it that it almost covered up the real story. Like maybe with regards to the creation of the serum, for me it was introduced lightly and then action begins already. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the fight scenes it’s just that I was looking for more focus on the background of the problem before fighting scenes occur.

Rating:


Check Author at: Twitter

Add book on: Goodreads

Available at: Amazon


So there it is! I really did enjoy reading Chaos Company. I’d definitely recommend it especially if you love science fiction and hardcore fighting scenes.

Hope you are having a wonderful time today where ever you are and God bless! :*

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Book Thief: A Book Review

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Author: Markus Zusak

Publisher: Knopf Books

Published on: March 14, 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

It’s just a small story really, about among other things:

a girl,

some words,

an accordionist,

some fanatical Germans,

a Jewish fist-fighter,

and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

Review:

Historical fiction is one of the genres that made me fall deeply in love with reading. The Book  Thief is probably now my favorite book of the said genre. Honestly, it’s the first book that I’ve finished this year due to my self-diagnosed reading slump.

And I must say, what a way to start my reading for 2016. So here’s my thoughts:

First with the writing. You know when you read or hear someone speak about something and you just see it? Like the words literally painted a picture for you to see? We all get that a lot when reading right? Now, that is exactly what I felt the whole time about the writing. It was totally engaging. The words alone stole my heart.

Now with the characters. To have death as the narrator is interestingly captivating! In my opinion it gave the story an additional depth. It’s actually one of the reasons why I love this book. Then we have our protagonist, Liesel Meminger. I get why death is particularly drawn to this girl. For me Liesel is somewhat the child in all of us. The way words captivated her soul and heart. The way books offered her solace and joy.

She was an interesting character to read. Her relationship with the other characters showed how strong-willed she is. I just have to mention how deeply moved I am with the bond she has for her Papa and Rudy. It was both happy and sad.

And of course the plot. Probably the most emotional I’ve ever been in my lifetime of reading.

This book is poignant, brutally honest yet tragically beautiful. I know that I don’t have much to say about Nazi Germany but I live in the Philippines and once in our history we were also ruled by a dictator. I’m fortunate to have not experienced the brutality, the loss of freedom and the oppression that happened during the reign of these dictators. However, the truth survives in the words of the people who were there. And words are passed on through pen and paper. And just like this book, it may not show us exactly what happened but it somehow manages to show us a glimpse of what it was like during those times. I have to say that this book maybe fiction but there is truth behind every story. This book allows the reader not to be blind about certain things. Also it reminds us how powerful words can be and just like what this book says, words will always be an integral part of one’s soul.

I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars in Goodreads


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? Just comment it down below.

Have a wonderful day ahead and God bless you always! :*