Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Tuesday Book Review

Four-star review for Can I Get There By Candlelight?

 A lovely time travel story for middle grade students and up, this tells the adventures of a young girl, Gail, who’s living in an old carriage house with her parents while their new house is being built. One day she rides out on her horse Candy, short for Candlelight, through the woods and eventually comes out on the lawn of a mansion of a house where she’s greeted by Hilary, the lonely resident of the house, whose parents and siblings are in Europe for the summer. Little by little, Gail suspects she’s gone back in time to when the area was covered with mansions and girls had tea parties in summerhouses. This book was published in 1980 and it shows in little and big things, including the absence of any electronics. Could it have happened today?Four-star review for Can I Get There By Candlelight?


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Tuesday Book Review


Five-star review of Grand Ellipse by Paula Volsky

This book was surprisingly enjoyable to read. I thought it would be like Around the World in Eighty Days, but it was so much more. In a fantasy world, a self-styled adept has created a form of fire that is green and responds to his mental commands. The rulers other nations in the world all want this potential military weapon, but the king who sponsors the adept claims neutrality. The king is portrayed as a man who has whims and when he does he follows them whole-heartedly. His latest is to sponsor a contest, the Grand Ellipse, in which contestants from many nations follow a prescribed route through many countries. The government of Vonahr sends two entrants, a woman they hope will win and then get the ear of the King to offer a substantial sum for the so-called Sentient Fire, and a man to make sure she wins. The series of experiences are mostly followed through the eyes of this woman, Luzelle Devaire, and many are much more dangerous than anything Phineas Fogg ever encountered. Along the way she, the other contestants, and the reader learn about the atrocities the nation of Grewzia are willing to inflict on the peoples of the lands they’ve recently conquered or otherwise made part of their imperium. The political angle of the story brings to mind the land grabs by Germany during WWII, but also more recent events.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tuesday book reviews on Wednesday

Four-star review of Exiles by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders

 In a earthquake-ravaged future Los Angeles, twins Crystal and Jade were plucked as orphans to become students at a special school on a mountain top by billionaire Damon Yates. This story takes place years later when Crys has been adopted by Yates, and Jade left the confines of the academy to lead a group of exiles, others who once attended the school and left for various reasons. Crys has panic attacks whenever she sees her sister—or looks in a mirror. Then a fellow ‘academy’ sibling of Crys’ and one of the exiles turn up dead. A fast-moving, page turner with lots of good characters. It took a while to get used to the reference of a disgraced researcher as they and their, but Hema was an intriguing character as was Poppy, a former wife of Damon’s and mother of his third son.  This is the first in at least a duology written by twins about twins. It’s an interesting post-apocalyptic story, interesting enough that I want to read the sequel when it is published in 2023.