by Wendy Scott
“Tiger House” is a fantasy set in a world after the emperor dies. Takagi is the daughter who has now lost position and power after losing her father. She sets into motion a plan to get her power back. I kept looking for something to sympathize with her, but I didn’t find that only a perfect villain. Jairus is a farm boy who is kidnapped from his world to take part in the games that will determine who is the leader in this cruel society. Everything is stripped away from him, and they force him to fight. When the game ends, he survives at Takagi’s pleasure. It is here I see him grow, while Takagi continues her ruthless push forward. Although there were a couple of things I would have liked better explained, I found the world beautifully described and the characters full of depth. The story was fast-paced, and many twists kept me on the edge of my seat. This was an action-filled dark fantasy read that ended one chapter and opened another. I look forward to reading what happens to Jairus next. Four-Stars.
“The Green Door” is a YA fantasy that focuses on the lives of two teens in their last year of high school. Meg works at a record store to make ends meet at home, while her best friend, Brek, is preparing for college. They find a flyer about a game, and the two teens try it. The first step is to choose a door that is based on the money awarded if they complete the task. The action starts the moment they open the door. I enjoyed what was behind the entrance and the unknown world’s storyline that included magic. I liked the friendship between Meg and Brek and how protective they were of each other. Then enters someone from their school, and it sets up a romantic triangle. There are a couple of adult scenes in this story; otherwise, this would be an enjoyable read for younger readers too. The story is a quest with some moral decisions. The book ends at a place where some questions were answered, but others were left unanswered for the next book — which I will be reading. Four-Stars.
by Robert Fear
“Summer of ‘77” is a slice into Mr. Fear’s life when he was 21 years old. After taking a vacation to Ibiza, Spain, Fred, his nickname, went back the next year to stay six months. He walked away from his job and girlfriend and found a place to live and work. I loved being back in the 70s, it was such a different time. I could imagine being on the island and walking through the streets with Fred. There was hard work involved, but also a lot of partying and enjoying female company. This is a journey of a young man who was determined to explore more than his corner of the world. I not only loved seeing this through his eyes but being able to read the letters he received from back home. I felt that gave a balanced perspective. This was a page-turning read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Five-Stars.
by Marcia Meara
“Wake-Robin Ridge” is centered on a house in the Blue Ridge mountains. The story was told through two different timelines almost fifty years apart. The storyline set in the 60s pulled me right in as it focused on an abused wife, Ruthie. Her emotions felt very real in the situation she found herself in. She was the strongest character for me and her husband, a true villain. Sarah was in the second timeline in the 2010s, who moved to the Blue Ridge mountains to write a book. She immediately met her neighbor, Mac. They sparked a friendship, and she learned about him slowly. That storyline was more thoughtful. I loved the setting and could easily imagine creating a book at Sarah’s cabin, then taking a break and walking to the creek. This was an entertaining read with some paranormal mixed in that I appreciated. I will be reading more of this series. Four-Stars
I read “Brother Love” over several weeks on Ms. Geneviene’s blog and enjoyed it. I was happy to see it released and read it as a book. I appreciated it just as much the second time around. My favorite character was the magpie, Jinx, and his insights. Although Birdie, the town outcast, is a second close, because of what others perceived her mother to have done and where she lives near. The humor and setting drew me into the story that was set in the south in the 50s. I could see myself at the town revival as people went forward to get healed. I loved the magic woven into a story that otherwise felt very real. I recommend this novella for all fantasy readers who appreciate a unique tale as I do. Five-Stars
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!
Embrace your inner child by reading a good book and embracing each soul you meet! D. L. Finn