Ruby by V. C. Andrews

Ruby (Landry, #1)Ruby by V.C. Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to say that I’ve read this book before, or started reading and not finished. If you’ve never read V.C. Andrews, they all sort of follow a theme (at least the ones I have read ie Flowers in the Attic), which is family secrets and drama.

Ruby has a bit of family drama, but it doesn’t completely unfold until the end of the book. She’s a little girl growing up in the bayou with her Grandma. Her mother is deceased, father unknown, and Grandfather is estranged. By the end of the book she has found out her family secrets (more siblings) the reasons her Grandma kicked her Grandpa out, and who her father is.

Its dated in the past, so she couldn’t just take a DNA test and find out everything, and it’s set in the backwoods of Louisiana, so they’re a bit behind even further (no phones). It takes her awhile to acclimate to her new situation, but there is a bit of a happy ending (as much as there can be).

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Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

Shadowmagic (Shadowmagic, #1)Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where do I start with this book? Some of the descriptions call it a modern Lord of the Rings, but I guess I don’t really follow that.

Basically, a teenage boy finds out one day that his parents are alive, but they’re from Tir na Nog, the magical Celtic forest of myth, but it’s real, more real than the Real World. And everyone wants him dead. EVERYONE. Family, strangers, friends. It’s almost a running gag.

There’s also a couple different types of magic, and of course his mother is banished for using Shadowmagic, the kind that everyone is scared of. Throw in some usurping and underhanded family members, a smattering of mythical races, and tree lore and there you have it, the setting for a trilogy.

It leaves an interesting idea for the next book at the end, and I will say that I am interested in seeing where that might lead…

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The Throwback Thursday Three

Time for another Throwback Thursday Three! This time it’s the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy from Nora Roberts! I know this looks decidedly similar to my Series Reviews, but this is different in that I’m not reviewing these books as a series, just as a series of posts, enjoy!

This entire series was recommended to me by my wonderful Godmother, who is also my aunt on my mom’s side. She reads a bit, but mostly travels, and while traveling together and reading on planes, she suggested “the witch series” to me.

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts Each book focuses on one of the cousins O’Dwyer: a brother and sister from the UK and a cousin from the States. The Stateside cousin is up first, and of course they’re all witches thanks to Grandma.

Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts The male cousin is up next and in all the books the featured cousin finds their true love, but they also do battle with an ancient evil that their ancestors also fought.

Blood Magick by Nora Roberts The female cousin is last because of her on-again, off-again relationship with her lover. It also is the final confrontation with evil, and the end of series.

I really should reread this series, I’d almost forgotten about it since I read so much. But it really was very good, and Nora Roberts certainly knows her genre.

Keep reading little book worms!

Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

Scary Mary (Scary Mary, #1)Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Again, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this book, but it appears to be a young adult version of Ghost Hunters. Mary lives with her fortune teller grandmother and is clairaudient. Which means she can hear and talk to ghosts. Which includes dead dogs.

So…what happens when I new boy turns up at high school? Well, a lot happens actually, except Mary actually likes the new boy, something that doesn’t happen very often because she’s the school freak because of the ghost thing.

Well, it sounds like an interesting series, but like a lot of ebooks this wasn’t very long for a novel, and while it was the first in the series (and therefore free) I’m not completely sure the author hooked me. This is part of the reason I’m not a huge fan of ebook series.

That’s not to say it’s a bad book! It’s not, it was fun to read and I really liked Grandma and Chowder! It’s free so read it to find out!

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The Horse Mistress: Book 1 by R.A. Steffan

The Horse Mistress: Book 1 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #1)The Horse Mistress: Book 1 by R.A. Steffan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really was not sure what to expect when I found this ebook on Amazon and started reading it, but it turned out way better than I ever thought it would. It actually follows an idea I’ve had, to a point.

This is a fantasy ebook, set in a different time and place, and as such the naming conventions are different and not my favorite it terms of trying to sound things out in my head as I’m reading along. This also reads more like a short story than a full novel. That’s all the bad things I have to say about it.

I enjoyed the idea of the plot, the camaraderie between the three main characters, and the differences in the societies that we were introduced to. I will admit that the relationship between the three characters changes drastically throughout the ebook, but I rather liked it.

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House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House RulesHouse Rules by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having never read Jodi Picoult, but having seen ‘Mys Sister’s Keeper’ in theater as my only basis, and then informed that I need to read that book… I read this book. It was going around my work place and offered to me to read.

My co-worker that started this book through the work place reads quite a bit of Jodi Picoult and the co-worker I got the book from afterwards does too, and told me that Picoult writes about controversial topics, and from watching the movie and reading this book I have to agree.

It’s not the center of the plot, but whether or not to vaccinate your child does come in discussion. I also like how the book is written from each person’s point of view and changes throughout the story. Jacob has Aperger’s and really loves criminal forensics, this of course gets him into trouble, leading to a court trial, and lots of information on how Jacob’s diagnosis is important to the case.

I was mad at the ending(?), because it ended, but it wasn’t really an ending. But, having said that, books that elicit strong emotions from me, are often the best kinds of books.

View all my reviews

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Series Review: Oz Series by L. Frank Baum

wizardofoz

If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I finally finished reading all 15 of L. Frank Baum’s Oz series. Yes, there are 14 books that continue the story of Dorothy and her friends in the land of Oz. You can read them all as ebooks separately for free (or get the Kindle collection for 99 cents).  Or (as above) you can scour Barnes & Nobles for the three collective books. Now, onto some reviews (this gets long so be warned!).

The First Five Novels:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Book One) is the story we all know and love, thanks to the classic movie made in 1939. Its still one of my favorites, and introduces all the major characters. The movie follows the book pretty closely, so if you’ve never read the book but have seen the movie, you’ll be able to follow along without any problems.

In The Marvelous Land of Oz (Book Two) we meet some new characters that reappear throughout the series, most notably the Sawhorse and Jack Pumpkinhead. It’s another adventure through Munchkinland against Mombi, but more notable is General Jinjur and her all female army. We also finally meet the dethrowned leader of Oz, but in a most peculiar manner (this is a reason this is my second favorite Oz book).

Ozma of Oz is the third book, where we come upon the Nome King for the first time. Unfortunately he makes trouble for many citizens in Oz and does so reoccurringly for quite a few more books.

Book four, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, is a bit of a filler book. The author wanted to write a book for his fans and so included many of their suggestions in this book. Its a new adventure for Dorothy and the Wizard, they meet many new characters, but none of them return in any of the next books.

In The Road to Oz (Book Five) we meet more new characters as Dorothy travels through more of Oz. The Shaggy Man, Button Bright, and Polychrome (another favorite) are introduced, and all of them return in future books. We also have a return to Baum’s original writing style.

Novels Six Through Ten:

In The Emerald City of Oz (Book Six) Dorothy brings both her Aunt and Uncle over into Oz, where they can live there happily ever after. Dorothy always finds trouble and ends up lost, while the Nome King returns to wreck some havoc on the citizen of Oz. I liked that Dorothy finally brought her relatives to live with her, and that is an important plot point in the series.

Book Seven: The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Book Seven) obviously introduces us to a new character, but Ojo is the star character(?). However, the Patchwork Girl and another new character (the Glass Cat) are the ones who return for another adventure. By this point, Baum is introducing new characters in each book, forgetting some along the way, something I don’t care for.

More friends arrive in Book Eight, Tik-Tok of Oz, and the return of the Shaggy Man who wishes to rescue his brother from, you know who, the Nome King. At least Dorothy and Ozma have a new playmate from Oklahoma (Betsy Bobbin, who returns in further books).

The Scarecrow of Oz (Book Nine) helps newly arrived friends from another Baum series, which makes this book a crossover (though I’ve never read that series). I’ve never read that series, but it makes this book very similar to Book Seven, and Book Four, and maybe some others.

I have a blog post review of Book Ten: Rinkitink in Oz , so I won’t go over it too much here, but it’s almost a stand alone book in this series.

Novels Eleven Through Fifteen:

I have blog post reviews of the last five novels, so I’ll sum this all up quickly. In Book Eleven Ozma is kidnapped and everyone (nearly) comes to her rescue, in  Book Tweleve, the Tin Woodman finally remembers his Munchkin sweetheart, Book Thirteen is Ozma’s party and final end to the Nome King, and in Book Fourteen Dorothy is kidnapped and then rescued. Book Fifteen is a short story collection that fills in some holes from the series. Below are links to reviews I’ve already done:

Overall Thoughts:

Most of you will be quite happy just to read the first book and leave it as such. After all the first book is the most popular having been made into movies on several occasions (The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, Tin Man, etc) and therefore the most well known.

Some will want to know what happened next, and boy, is there a next. Fourteen books of next even. If you are a serious Oz fan that you might not be disappointed, but do be aware that the books repeat storylines, have enough characters that you’ll need a chart to keep track of them all (hey, there’s a thought), and become a bit predictable and anticlimactic after awhile.

Having said all that, I’ll probably read through this series again (and make that chart!).