Monday, January 15, 2018

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Michael Vey, Hunt for Jade Dragon by Richard Paul Evans, a book review

Michael Vey, Hunt for Jade Dragon by Richard Paul Evans continues the story begun in Michael Vey, Prisoner of Cell 25. This is the fourth installment of the series, which is forecast to end with the seventh book. (Out this past Fall 2017.)

Michael Vey is an electric human. His genes were messed with, along with a few others his age, when he was a baby. He is the most powerful of all the electric kids. Additionally, he has the widest array of abilities and new ones seem to appear regularly.

In this installment of Michael Vey's story, he and the electroclan (the other electric kids that work with Vey against Hatch and the electric kids who work for Hatch) are set to save a severely autistic child who may have information Hatch, Michael's primary nemesis, wants. Hatch captures the child early, so the electroclan must enter the den of the beast once again.

My girls and I really enjoyed this next step in the Michael Vey saga. My girls recommend it to anyone. I recommend it to any mature 10 year old and older to adult.

Have you read Michael Vey, Hunt for Jade Dragon by Richard Paul Evans? What did you think about it?

Monday, January 8, 2018

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Michael Vey, Battle of the Ampere by Richard Paul Evans, a book review

Michael Vey, Battle of the Ampere by Richard Paul Evans continues Michael's story begun in Prisoner of Cell 25 and continued in Rise of the Elgen. In this, the third installment of Vey's story, all of his friends end up awaiting trial for their supposed terrorist activities which resulted as they succeeded in freeing Vey's mom.

Michael is sheltered by natives and hunted by the Elgen who have convinced the Peruvian army that he is a vile terrorist and has done the damage to their electric grid, which resulted in loss of life and electricity to many.

He must free his friends and somehow manage to stop Hatch, who has gained control of the Ampere, the ship that acts as the headquarters for the Elgen.

This book does a good job of keeping the reader in a state of tension, excitedly reading to find out how things are going to turn out for Michael. We were not disappointed. Unless, of course, wishing the story didn't end where it did is disappointed….

My daughters and I really enjoyed this book. We recommend it highly to any mature reader who is 10 years old and older.

Have you read Michael Vey, Battle of the Ampere by Richard Paul Evans? What did you think of it?

Monday, January 1, 2018

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Michael Vey, Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans, a book review

Michael Vey, Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans continues the story of Michael Vey, Prisoner of Cell 25. He is a kid with unusual abilities because his genetics were messed with… along with a few other kids his age. Michael Vey continues his effort to free his mother from the Elgen.

In so doing, he and his friends learn more about the Elgen's rise to power and their plan to 'restructure' the world. Along the way, Michael learns more about his electric powers, as do the others in the electroclan.

This is an interesting story. My daughters and I thoroughly enjoy it. The writing is very easy to read and it is a story in which it is all too easy to get lost (read: forget chores and just read all day). Thankfully it's not too long, so it's only one day down, rather than multiple.

My daughters and I recommend it to any 10 and older readers. It might be a little too intense for immature 10 year old and younger children, even if they are advanced readers.

Have you read Michael Vey, Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans? What did you think about it?

Monday, December 25, 2017

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An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle, a book review

An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle is another great story to finish the series started in A Wrinkle in Time. This is the fifth and final book in the series.

I'm not entirely sure what the title means as it pertains to the story. I have my own ideas, of course, but the Bishop in the story said the phrase and I didn't really understand his meaning.

This is another great story about time travel. I like the way L'Engle handles time, again, though I'm not entirely sure if the main characters return only moments after they've left or much later. That isn't clarified in the ending of the story.

In this story, Meg's daughter travels back in time with another couple people from her own time. One of whom is seriously unwell in body and mind. I think, in large part, the story is really about him and that, though not stated overtly, he is much like Charles Wallace in A Wind in the Door. It's really interesting that the twins, Charles Wallace, and Meg are all absent in form, though not in spirit.

My eldest daughter has yet to read this one, but I'm sure she will love it because her reactions to the previous five have been in line with my own and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I (and probably we) highly recommend this book to all readers.


Have you read An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle? What did you think of it?

Monday, December 18, 2017

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Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle, a book review

Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle is the fourth in the series of books about the same family.  It's not exactly what I've become used to in a series, but it is a version of a series.

Many Waters is an interesting potential story and/or retelling of the story pertaining to Noah and the ark. The twins, the normal two, accidentally travel back in time and experience the months preceding the onset of the baptism of the earth. I particularly enjoyed what happened to the daughter who the twins met, but never read about in the Bible.

My eldest daughter really liked this book. She mentioned in particular that it starts right in the middle of the action and moves forward continuously. She also said that it felt like it could be her right there in the story. I agree. We both highly recommend this book to all readers.


Have you read Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle? What did you think of it?

Monday, December 11, 2017

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A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle, a book review

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle is the third book in the five part series which begins with A Wrinkle in Time. In this installment, Charles Wallace and Meg again team up to save the future of earth. Meg is strangely less present in some ways, but just as present and necessary in others.

I love that L'Engle has written these stories in such a way as to illustrate some otherwise confusing scientific theories and ideas. Time and space travel being the primary focus of all five of the books. I especially appreciate that time is extremely relative.

In this book, Charles Wallace visits a time very much like what his niece will experience in the final book in the series. And the way that it all ties together is really interesting.

My eldest daughter really enjoyed this story. My second daughter will read it in due time and I'm pretty sure she will enjoy it. My eldest and I highly recommend this one as well as the two before it.


Have you read A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle? What did you think of it?

Monday, December 4, 2017

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A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle, a book review

A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle is the second book in a five part series which started with A Wrinkle in Time. In this book, Meg's youngest brother (with whom she traveled through time and space in the first book becomes deathly ill and Meg embarks on a voyage into the interior to save him and the universe… and in so doing this story again illustrated truths from the Mandelbrot Set without once mentioning it overtly.

A wonderful story that reiterates, via an enjoyable adventure story, the truth that we are all one. Even the smallest part is integrally important to the whole. This is a precious truth an illustrated beautifully in this story!

My eldest daughter (12) loves this book. When she read it, it seemed akin to a very thirsty one drinking fresh spring water! My second daughter (10) looks forward to reading it. My first and I highly recommend it to all readers.


Have you read A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle? What did you think of it?

Monday, November 27, 2017

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, a book review

A Winkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle could easily be considered a modern day youth classic. L'Engle was awarded the John Newberry Medal which honors distinguished contributions to American literature for youth. This definitely fulfills that description.

A girl and her little brother travel through space and time to resolve some problems that without positive resolution would result in the end of agency on earth and life on earth as we know it. This novel touches on the truths of The Mandelbrot Set and illustrates them beautifully without mentioning to Set at all.

I particularly like that the truth of difficulty in maintaining faith is portrayed. My eldest daughter (12) has read and loved it. My 10 year old daughter has begun and is excited to finish reading it. The eldest son of dear friends of ours wanted my children to read it and offered to let me borrow his set when I wasn't sure because it had been so many years since I read this particular book. I'm pretty sure I wasn't able to read the rest of the series, but now have read/reread them thanks to this friend. They are definitely worth the time spent reading (and later thinking about) them!

This book, A Wrinkle in Time, is a very interesting read and the first book in a series of very interesting reads! My girls and I highly recommend them and would love to hear what you think of them!


Have you read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle? What did you think of it?

Monday, November 20, 2017

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The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien, a book review

The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien was a really terrific close to The Lord of the Rings. I particularly like that this book (which appears in three bound volumes) in truth is one book rather than three. One way I could see that clearly is that there is not much, if any, reminding you of the previous occurrences throughout the course of the current volume.

In this volume, Aragorn comes into his own. It was interesting to me that he was so reticent to enter the city after a major battle, but when he actually enters, it makes a great deal more sense to me. I guess it relates more to guys and “territory” that maybe I just don't care all that much about? Regardless, I like the way his part in the story ends up.

I wasn't quite as happy with Frodo's end. I guess I feel like he took the lame way out, in a way.

Sam, Merry, and Pippin ended up pretty okay. I love how Sam's story is tied up.

I dislike that we know so little of what happens with Gimli and Legolas after the fellowship's dissolution. I would have liked to know a little more about how they part, I guess. And whether or not they have friend-get-togethers periodically.

My two eldest daughters (13 and 10) have thoroughly enjoyed this book and series. They may have enjoyed it even more than me. I could be wrong about that, I suppose, but by their effusive complimentary and adoring remarks, I think they loved it.

One difficulty I have with the whole story is how very limited a part women play in the whole of it. I guess, since it's basically about war, that makes sense since the author is male. But I don't have to like it, even though I understand that most men don't/can't/won't make room for women in such stories.

All said, though, I did enjoy the book in three volumes. Now, I'm curious to see the more modern live-action movies by the same names. Not sure when I'll make time for that… we'll see.

Have you read The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkein? What did you think of it? How did you like the ending for each of the main characters?

Okay, so maybe my book reviews have been pretty lame. And I'm not suggesting that this one was really much better, but I have begun to think that I want to beef them up a bit. So… maybe soon they'll be a bit better. Not promising anything, ya hear? I am, afterall, a writer second to mother… and with six children to look after and “manage,” well, I end up in basic survival mode more often than I like to admit.

Monday, November 13, 2017

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The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien, a book review

The Two Towers, the second bound part of The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien continues to follow Frodo on his journey to dispose of the ring that rules them all.

I do like this book, even though I thought I wouldn't based on my experience with the very old animated movie version of it, because it is easy to enter the tale and imagine the world of Middle Earth. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are pretty well established characters by the end of The Fellowship of the Ring. As a result, getting into the story, as it were, is very easy to do.

As I read, I wondered how many guys identify more with Frodo or Sam. I cannot really imagine any identifying with Gollum, though I certainly could be wrong. For me, I enjoyed reading more reading as an observer, rather than sort of 'being' one of the characters.

Because I haven't seen the live-action movie version of this book and it's been decades since I saw the cartoon, I have few visual interferences. I definitely prefer to read books before seeing their movie version because the movie in my head is way better than anything I've yet seen on the screen.


Have you read The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien? What did you think of it?