Paranormal/Supernatural

Book Review: The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter
Author: 
Morton, Kate
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

This story centers around an impassioned artist and his dreams, a mysterious murder, an enchanting English manor and all that went on their throughout its many years, a ghost that stands outside of time witness to it all, a vanished girl, an archivist and her discovery of a priceless artifacts, and how what went on there all those years ago effects who she is today.

In the past, the 1860’s to be exact, this story begins with a talented artist Edward Radcliffe and a group of artists that spend a summer at the house of his dreams Birchwood Manor. But shortly after arriving a mysterious murder is committed, a priceless artifact disappears and one of the women vanishes. A hundred years later in the present an archivist, named Elodie, finds a satchel which contains an unrelated photograph and a sketchbook that contains a drawing of Birchwood Manor. As she digs deeper into the mystery she is pulled into a story that has her questioning her past and who she truly is. This beautiful atmospheric mystery spans the length of time, and is told by the many voices and people all living within and around the Manor’s walls.

Before I go any further, first, let me say this. Kate Morton is the master of atmospheric beautiful Gothic mysteries and I am a big fan of hers and have loved every one of her past books. Her intricate and deeply rooted stories her beautiful prose, and her enchanting settings are the reasons why she is simply one of the best in her genre. That being said, this work, was a bit of a disappointment. While all the elements of what I love about Kate Morton’s books were there; an intricate story steeped in history, an old vast English manor with a secret or two to hide within its walls, old families with long pedigrees, a family mystery, an enchanting setting, this book fell short for me mainly because of its intricacy and complexity. I also believe the ending was a bit weak. I really wanted to love it, I just couldn’t.

Morton, I believe, really attempted to tell a challenging story, but simply had to many voices trying to tell it. While I like a good dual timeline novel, this one, with at least four voices and timelines was simply too much. There were times that, because of how she bounced around among the numerous timelines, when I got completely lost in which timeline I was following. This combined with how many characters and voices there were throughout the novel, made the story overall a whole lot less enjoyable. I’ll admit, this story took me a good while to get through and I do recommend, if reading this, keeping a list of who everyone is and which timeline goes where. It’s definitely a book you have to think through. That being said the story itself was beautiful and it makes me wonder, if it wouldn’t be better as an audio book where each of the voices are sounded out. Overall a 2.5-3 star read for me. However, if you are a Kate Morton fan and if you love atmospheric Gothic mysteries, I couldn’t count this one out, I would still give this one a go, just maybe as an audio book. Place your copy on hold today!

Thank you to Netgalley, Atria books, and Simon and Schuster for a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer's Name: 
Tawnie

Book Review: This Savage Song

This Savage Song
Author: 
Victoria Schwab
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

"Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw, shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly, smile and bite and drink you dry. Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal, sing you a song and steal your soul. Monsters, monsters, big and small, they're gonna come and eat you all." This poem/song describes the monsters that inhabit the city of Verity in this futuristic, distopian world. "This Savage Song" is an excellent book for readers who love a good mystery and slight thriller. In a world gone completely rotten, monsters have risen up from people's sins. The two main characters, Kate Harker and August Flynn are on opposite sides of a war where no one truly wins. Kate wants to be as ruthless as her tyrannical father, while August just wants to be human, when he's really not. A study of humanity and one's willingness to survive, Victoria Schwab's "This Savage Song" is sure to engage any reader.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

It is a good book. I like it because the characters are funny and it has a sense of wonder. The main character is Harry. He starts out living under his uncles stairs then soon learns that he is a wizard. He then is sent to Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry where he makes new friends and learns magic. He then learns that the sorcerer’s stone is in the school and someone is trying to steal it. That is why I believe that book is good. I would recommend it if you are looking for a fantasy.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan H.

Book Review: The Heart Forger

The Heart Forger
Author: 
Chupeco, Rin
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Heart Forger is the second book in the Bone Witch series. This book is my favorite one so far. This fallows the story of Tea and her companions trying to find the Heart Forger after he goes missing. I would recommend this book only after you read the first book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ashlyn H

Book Review: The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch
Author: 
Chupeco, Rin
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

The Bone Witch is a book based on the stir of a girl who has dark magic. When she discovers her powers she learn she has to defend her home from the monsters who want to destroy it. I would highly recommend this book to people who like fantasy books. I did enjoy reading it but the trilogy is not quite complete just keep that in mind when you read this book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ashlyn H

Breaking Dawn: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Author: 
Meyer, Stephanie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book was great, I loved it! How would it feel to be a newborn vampire if
you weren't like Bella? No super self-control and changed only for the
purpose to destroy? Destroy others like you, to be the puppet, the pawn, to
be expendable? Bree was just an average girl, she was one of the dregs of
society. she was nobody special. but then Riley showed up. he took her to
'her'. After she was changed she joined the others, newborns like her as they
reek havoc on Seattle they learn what the where created for. Bree and Deigo
find out, only she survives, what will happen to her now?

Reviewer's Name: 
Anneka S.

Book Review: Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn
Author: 
Meyer, Stephanie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This was one of the best books this year. It is full of action and twists that you never saw coming. As Edward and Bella find their love for one another they prepare to be married, they are happy. But the Volttri have something deadly in store as they find the Cullen's, and Bella as her newborn self, guilty of a crime that they never committed. as new joy and new danger lurk just around the corner how will they escape the false Rath of the Voltti? How will they do it without loosing anyone that they love?

Reviewer's Name: 
Anneka S.

Book Review: Eclipse

Eclipse
Author: 
Meyer, Stephanie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is one of the best books that I have read all year, it was awesome! As Bella, Alice, and Edward leave Italy on the promise the they will change Bella, Victoria grows ever more vigilant. Edward now knows better than to leave Bella anymore, so he stays. Something has begun in Seattle, mass murder that the police have no way of explaining. Bella and the Cullen's come up with idea after idea, and they finely find out who is behind it and why, newly changed vampires are raiding the city, stalking the citizens, and mass murdering. Only one person wants to kill Bella and the Cullen's that much, Victoria. As the fight begins what will it take to stay alive? how far will Victoria get?

Reviewer's Name: 
Anneka S.

Book Review: Monster

Monster
Author: 
Peretti, Frank
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

One of the challenges of the Christian author is being able to craft stories and characters that share their beliefs, but without being too heavy-handed about it. In Frank Peretti’s Monster, the author mostly succeeds, providing characters that can easily be identified as Christian, but also exhibiting the traits of normal humans instead of straight-up caricatures. The main plot of this book was only tangentially related to an argument against evolution, so that was also a plus. Still, the way the book was put together, it was clear where the author’s bias was.

While some people might not appreciate the Christian undertones in this thriller, my qualms with it are more structural. Following a few different characters after a woman is abducted by an unnatural beast, the mystery of the disappearances and killings unravels to reveal a semi-plausible explanation. Unfortunately, the man and wife pair that are introduced at the start of the book are more annoying than likable. Ergo, when I followed the woman’s ordeal in captivity, I could not sympathize with her plight because her actions and reactions were so off-putting at first.

In the end, Monster is still a passable—if perhaps boilerplate—thriller. I did appreciate the realistic explanation for the fantastical elements of the story. I also found it somewhat refreshing to show a character who opposed the common scientific view of evolution just because everyone else thought it was true. For an audiobook, the author’s narration was filled with just the right amount of emphasis, which is to be expected. However, with so many short scenes and quick cuts between them, his reading could have stood to have a little bit longer pauses between sections in order to give the listener a better sense that the scene was changing from one character to another.

A passable thriller with semi-subtle Christian undertones, I give Monster 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin

Book Review: New Moon

New Moon
Author: 
Meyer, Stephanie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

New moon was one of the best books that I have read this year! As Edward and Bella fall in love with one another and his family becomes her friends they believe that they will never be separated. In an unexpected turn of events brings the Cullen family a need to leave the dreary small town Forks and move on, without Bella. Bella is at first shocked that they are leaving but as the shock fades she is ripped apart. finely after months, hard months Bella finds a friend, Jacob. Bella found a haven in Jacob that she could not find in anyone else. as time wheres on Alice (Edward's sister) sees Bella, lifeless in one of her visions. Alice ventures to Forks to find Bella alive and perfectly well. Edward, thinking Bella is dead, then ventures to Italy, to the Volterra group like the Cullen's, but thirsty for human blood. As Alice and Bella find him the Volterra let them walk away on the one condition that Bella is reborn. how will this madness end?
7th grade reviewer

Reviewer's Name: 
Anneka S.

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