Dying Thoughts by Joey Paul

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Dying Thoughts is a young adult mystery at its heart, but Joey Paul has made it so much more. It is a funny and entertaining story of young Tara’s ‘gift’, though she doesn’t consider it one. The first person narrative is neatly done and takes us on this journey in a sixteen year old’s shoes remarkably well. Tara’s introspective conversations are witty and does not grate (I’ve found that if not done well, it can ruin a book for you. It has ruined quite a few books for me.) But Joey has done a great job. Tara herself is very endearing and her relationship with her father seems very real. The mystery itself serves as a backdrop to Tara’s journey of self discovery, but is suspenseful and keeps you turning pages.

I think this book serves as a great introduction to Tara’s gift and how she realizes that she could be in a position to help people. I see there are more books about Tara Leverton’s adventures. I look forward to reading them. Five stars, Joey Paul!

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Gran-sdur: The Games

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Review for Gran-sdur:The Games – I forgot how much I loved these characters! The start of the book was a bit slow, but that helped ease me back into the Pha-Yal world nicely. I definitely got a lot more of a feel for Mr Harris as a person this time too, which was a pleasant surprise. Suffice to say he’s actually become one of my favourite characters. As it was before, the team of five kids each bought their own elements to the story, and rounded it out nicely – although I was glad to see some competition challenging those bonds at times. I loved all their reactions, apart from when they grumbled about Mr Harris, and making them participate in the games was a great, adrenaline fuelling addition. Very clever of the author. Oooooh boy, but I can’t wait to see what happens next.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OZAEYTY

Scepter by Scott Collins

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Scepter is set in a fantastical land, but one you can relate to. Two young boys who’ve lost their parents to the realm have incredible powers that are both fascinating and useful. When the time comes for the older brother to be taken away, the younger decides to fight. It is a coming of age story for these two boys, who have lived in seclusion all their lives, hidden from the evil king who rules them. They soon make friends with youngsters as scared, as confused and who are trying to be as brave as them.

Scott L. Collins has made their journey in this book an exciting and fast paced tale, filled with mythical creatures, enchanting fairies and ugly goblins. The children are learning to adapt and growing stronger and braver through the story, brave enough to start attacking the king’s men. I feel the start of a quest here, which I hope to read about in the second book. A riveting read! I love fantasy and this one kept me up all night.

A lovely review for Circle of Five by Steve Lebel (Free right now for Mother’s Day)

Circle of Five (Pha Yul, #1)

Circle of Five, Book 1 of the Pha-yul trilogy is FREE for Mother’s Day. You can pick it up at http://amzn.to/OPW6I6

Here is one of the wonderful reviews for Circle of Five by Steve Lebel, award winning author of Universe Builders.

As the story opens, we are introduced to five different kids: Sebastian, the spoiled rich kid, Ryan, the school jock, Maya, daughter of a divorced doctor parents living with her mom, and Cassie and Sam, brother and sister in a dysfunctional family. They have little in common except the detention they share because of arriving late to school one day. In the days that follow, they puzzle through the mystery of what happened during that hour of detention.

The author, Jan Raymond, has a gift for description, easily creating vivid images of the children, the scenes, and even the family dynamics each child faced at home. She clearly understands students, their doubts and fears, and all the teenage angst that comes with that age. It was fun to watch the children come together as they trained under the demanding regimen of their mentor. I was as delighted as any of the kids when their powers began to emerge and to blossom.

Not just a story of emerging powers, it is a story of children whose training and hard work matures them and makes them better people. As they learn to use, control and strengthen their powers, the plot twists and turns through surprising directions as they discover themselves in a larger web of intrigue in which they face real life and death struggles where they must use their powers to survive. A fascinating story where each child, with his/her own unique personality and ability, has a critical role to play.

I loved the book and I am looking forward to the next book to see what happens next. Five stars!

Check out the other reviews at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20801439-circle-of-five?ac=1

Initiation Rayna Noire

Pagan Eyes: Initiation

This is the second book on Pagan culture that I’m reading, so it’s not a new topic. And since I’m already familiar with the Wiccan culture, I was able to appreciate the research that has gone into this book, about the present and the past. To be historically and culturally accurate while spinning a fantastic tale is indeed a work of art. Initiation is a fascinating read, well embellished and nicely crafted.

I like the subtle personality differences between Leah and Arabella and how Leah has to change to cope with the past and all that it brings. This is the first book in this series and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. A great read!

Gran-sdur: The Games by Jan Raymond

Yup, my second book. It’s time for another review of mine. This a favorite written by one of my favorite authors, Christoph Fischer.

“Gran-sdur: The Games” by Jan Raymond is the second book in her magical and beautiful Pha-yul trilogy. This book follows the well established circle of five youngsters from volume one to new adventures and more training of their superhuman skills. The series reminds me in some moments of Enid Blyton’s charm with its wonderful sense of adventure and the likeable and well drawn characters. Only, our heroes are part alien and have powers such as tele-porting and they have a man who trains them to master their powers.
As the title suggests, this instalment concerns a competition which is held at Pha-Yul. What starts out almost like a summer camp for teenagers turns into something more serious. The group of five have all quite different and well drawn family backgrounds. Then there are the individual friendships and some courting which brilliantly come into play in the changing group dynamics and character development. Mastering the games together and overcoming their issues at the same time is the dual challenge.

This is a great second book that can build easily on the solid ground work of its predecessor. Apart from the action and adventure there is a lot of emotional wisdom in the book that makes watching those youngsters and following their progress such a rewarding reading experience. Thoughtful and with some great messages about being your best this should be popular with young readers and their parents.

Highly recommended.