October Book Reviews! Part 1 @Jinlobify @joygerken @WordDreams @Virgilante


Viral Blues (The Hat #2)

by C.S. Boyack

I read and loved “The Hat,” so I was sure I’d be entertained in “Viral Blues.” This is an action-filled story of an unlikely group being thrown together to stop a plot to spread illness and death.  It had a superhero feel with an apocalyptic-supernatural scenario and a lot of humor. The talking hat provided for much of that humor. I enjoyed the hat’s relationship with Lizzie and their band, but there were characters I enjoyed getting to know from previous books that I haven’t read. This includes a man who turns into a mist, a tough guy, and a robot, all adding their flavor to this wonderful mix of personalities. Each one had a different approach, but they found a way to work together. It wasn’t necessary to have read the past books, but after reading this story, I’ll be reading them. I highly recommend this humorous, thrilling ride!

Strawberry Moon

by Joy M. Lilley

Sixteen-year-old Maisie and her family move from the U.K. to France for her father’s work. I loved where they lived, the culture, and the countryside surrounding their community. It drew me into that part of the book. The house they move into is run down with part of the roof missing. The family makes the best of it, but tragedy strikes when her brother disappears. The story moved at a faster pace after Maisie’s brother went missing. Although there was a mystery, I found the aftermath of that event more dominate for Maisie and her family. Maisie seemed rather mature for her age, but she was strong-willed and as confused as a teenager would be. I rooted for her but didn’t fully connect with her until halfway through. I liked some subjects covered, including alcoholism and drinking and driving. “Strawberry Moon” crossed the line once, at least for me as a YA read, along with a reaction that I wished had more reflection on Maisie’s part. Still, this story held my interest until the last page. I’m hoping there’s a second book to resolve all those unanswered questions.


The Quest for Home (Book 2 of Crossroads trilogy)

by Jacqui Murray

This is the second book of the Crossroads trilogy, and it picks up right where “Survival of the Fittest” left off. I loved the first book and couldn’t wait to continue the journey. Xhosa continues her quest to get her people to safety. Although I loved Xhosa’s strength and interactions with her people, it’s the wolf that held my heart. The journey in this prehistory world is fast-paced and full of danger. The details drew me into their world without weighing down the action. There is the perspective through the group that broke off from Xhosa’s people which added to the depth of this narrative. The characters all struggled to survive with sustenance, shelter, and the quest for control which is not much different than modern times. I’m enthralled with prehistoric fiction and this series. I can’t wait for book three. I highly recommend “The Quest for Home” and the rest of the Crossroads books!


Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies

by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

This is an interesting book of Igbo Mythology that follows a young boy, Osondu and his mother, Gloria, after death. There are different journeys and lessons they learn in the afterlife. The first part focuses more on the son and the second part of the story his mother as they interact with other souls and gods along the way. I found it easier to connect with the mother’s journey than Osondu. I especially loved the places Gloria’s adventures took her to. Some parts left me thinking and wondering about our souls and my own beliefs about what is coming. I found it fascinating reading this perspective from Nigerian Igbo Myths and appreciated all the details that went into it. If you are a fan of myths and legends, you should enjoy this.


1. Forgive my silence on social media this week, our power, along with 800,000  customers, was shut down for fire safety in Northern California. It lasted three days here. Luckily, we have a generator that powers our well, fridge, microwave, and outlets in the bedroom for my husband’s sleep apnea machine. We haven’t used this new generator since we got it a few years ago for more than a couple of hours. This purchase followed spending a week without water or power eight years ago after an early snowstorm. So this outage was like a five-star hotel for me. The downside? We only had two cans of gas. Unfortunately, all but one local station was closed. My husband spent a long time in line one night. Then the following evening, he made the trek to another town much further away but had open stations. Usually, we can get supplies locally when we are powerless, but they shut everyone down. This weekend, lots of food is being thrown away, but thankfully no fires here.  I’m sure I’ll be talking about this more, but right now I’m happy to enjoy all the amenities that modern living offers, including having our landline back and the internet. The world becomes very distant when you are cut off from it. I worry this has become our new normal and it will happen again. Sending prayers to Southern California where the fires rage.

2. I will be on a short vacation with my daughter on Thursday through Sunday. My time online will be limited, but I will share a picture or two:)

3. There will be two special edition blogs this week. Don’t miss out.

4. Next week will be part 2 of my reviews. All the short stories.

Embrace your inner child with a book this fall! D. L. Finn

42 thoughts on “October Book Reviews! Part 1 @Jinlobify @joygerken @WordDreams @Virgilante”

    1. We lived here a long time enjoying, for the most part, how the lights going out brought us together as a family. Now the generator was a necessity and I don’t enjoy that part of poweroutages anymore in the empty nest and less energy:) Virtual Blues sure was an entertaining read! Happy reading.

  1. I’ve been hearing about the forced shutdown. I know Staci was affected too. I can’t imagine being that many days without power. We hav generator, too, but like you said, you need enough gas to power it. I’m thankful you and your husband are safe and things are gradually returning to normal. Wildfires seem to be getting worse each year.

    You shared some excellent reviews. I read The Hat and really enjoyed the offbeat humor and imaginative plot. Jacqui’s book is on my list to read and I read Legend of the Walking Dead when I was a member of RRBC (you know me and mythology, LOL). Strawberry Moon sounds good too, plus I love the cover and the title!

    1. It’s been an experience here, Mae. It brought good out in many, but on the other side it drew out a really ugly side in the rest. I was glad no one got shot at the gas station over gas, but sad to hear a PGE worker was shot. They are only trying to support their families and don’t make the corporate decisions. The enemy doesn’t have to attack us just shut down our power. Yes, having a generator is a necessity for us now. Some have ones that power their whole house, but so pricey. I may make a bigger effort to have more canned and dry foods available. Changes need to be made in the future because this isn’t a good answer, but I’ll take safe over fires for now. I saw Staci was out, too. I didn’t realize she was in Northern CA, too.

      I do know you enjoy mythology and love when it finds its way i to your stories;) I know you will enoy Jacqui’s book. The cover drew me into Strawberry Moon. Thanks, Mae!

      1. OMG! People should draw together in circumstances like this, not turn on each other. I hope that PGE worker was okay.

        Our generator is not a whole house generator but it is enough to get us by in the winter when snow and ice storms can take power down for extended periods, I also have an emergency kit in our basement for when tornados come. Weather has gotten so severe, these things feel like necessities now.

    2. The PGE worker is okay. I worded that wrong the bullets hit his utility truck next to him, but still not their fault. Yes, the weather has changed and all we can do is prepare for it. Our company, though, has let the tree trimming go and left up aging equipment so its a bad combination when the dry winds kick up this time of year and many people have losts their lives because of this. Glad you are prepared, too. I keep saying we are living interesting times.

  2. Bet you’re glad you made the decision to get a generator! Is there a way to tie in with solar panels, thereby avoiding the gas issue?
    I have a couple of these books on my reading list- great reviews!

    1. Hi Jacquie:) We had an old solar system that only heated our water, but was limited. It didn’t work for us and no one would work on it so we gave up and went to another source. We will look into solar again for whole house once we replace our roof. We had a temporary fix after carpenter ants paid it a visit and took the old heavy panels down. I’m sure solar will be very popular now and generators.

      I’m sure you will enjoy the books on your TBR list!

  3. So glad you are okay. I’ve heard about the forced power shutdowns and the wildfires. So sad.

    Great reviews. I’ve read and enjoyed Viral Blues. Need to check out some of the other books.

    1. Thank you, Joan. These shutdowns are only a band aid right now. Hopefully this will finally be addressed property. As long as we all stay safe even in the darkness it can be tolerated by all.

      Virual Blues was a fun read and now I want to read the stories the charcters came from that I haven’t.

    1. I hope you get more readers today, Jacqui! It was a week and not like other outages we’ve dealt with before. I really felt for the businesses that didn’t have generators. The food that had to be thrown away and money lost can’t be replaced. I kept thinking about people living in apartments, too. Even if they had ice chests it was close to impossible to get ice. We were one of the lucky ones and I’m grateful for no fires around us, but there are still fires.

    1. I did, Craig. Now I want to go back and read the stories I haven’t to learn more about the characters. Great idea to put them all together!
      I hope study rains come soon, but we are ready now after purchasing more gas cans. But this needs to be resolved permanently.

  4. I have both Craig’s and Jacquie’s books on my to read list, and they all sound like good reads. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Denise. And I’m glad you’re safe from the fires and people’s reactions to the measures. Hugs your way x

    1. I’m a big fan of prehistoric fiction now. I like to wonder how difficult it would be to live in that time. Thank you, Sandra. I hope the muse is treating you well:)

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Denise! Having read “The Hat,” I am anxious to read “Viral Blues,” and your review prompted me to rush it up!

    1. Thanks, Jan. I enjoyed it and now need to read some of the older stories that the characters came from.

    1. I enjoy doing the same thing. It narrows down what I read. I’m really looking forward to this break, thanks:)

    1. Thanks. I read too much now to do a single post for each book. Plus, I think this way provides options:)

  6. Dear Denise, I’ve been concerned about you. Those fires are so frightening. I’m glad you at least have the generator.
    What an exciting reading month you’ve had! Thanks for these reviews. Stay safe. Hugs on the wing!

    1. Thank you, Teagan. I appreciate your concern. It is scary. To think so many fires and loss of life is due to our power lines and equipment is hard to process. It seems to be that perfect storm of mismanagement, and the new normal for weather. We are very lucky to have a generator, although gas for it is expensive. We can have water, food and run my husbands CPAP so can’t complain. Just hope we stay fire free from other sources. Especially tonight.

      It was a great reading month. I keep roaring through my TBR list. Lots of hugs right back.

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