blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: How To Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s Monday and today is my spot on the book tour for How To Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson. Thank you to Poppy Stimpson for having me on this tour.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Onto the review!

How To Be Brave Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book was reminiscent of so many books that I read throughout my childhood, books like the Naughtiest Girl at School, Malory Towers, books with boarding schools as the setting. They were some of my favourites, there is something very intriguing about a boarding school and everything that goes on there, so I was especially excited to get to read this book. I loved that this story let the reader see some of the Mother, Elizabeth’s, story before focusing on the daughter Calla and her experience at the school. I loved that the duck (it will make sense if you read the book) was a thread that the author used to link all the stories together. This book is filled with fun, friendship and adventure that kept me hooked from beginning to end.

How To Be Brave Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The characters in this book are well written and interesting. I found myself wanting them to succeed with their plans. I liked that this book was written in third person because it helped me to view the whole scene as well as the characters. I felt that this was one of the reasons I became so recruited to the characters.

How To Be Brave Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I didn’t enjoy this part of the book as much, I still enjoyed it but this book has footnotes on some of the pages and for me I found this difficult to navigate but that is only my opinion, otherwise they add humour and I can see how they would help the reader understand some parts of the story. I also felt the pacing was a little fast for my reading style.

How To Be Brave Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a fun, quick read full of heart and with a focus on family and friendships that I really enjoyed.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Calla North and her mother Elizabeth live a quiet but happy life together. Elizabeth happens to be the world’s leading expert on ducks—but unfortunately, being an expert on ducks doesn’t always pay the bills (no pun intended).

When Elizabeth is offered a well-paid research trip to the Amazon, it’s an opportunity too good to miss. But while her mother’s off exploring, Calla winds up at boarding school. No adventures are likely to find her there—or so she thinks.

Then Calla receives the terrible news that her mother’s plane has gone missing. Can Calla, her friends, and a motley crew of nuns defeat an evil new headmistress and find Elizabeth before it’s too late?

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Secrets of the Stars by Maria Kuzniar

Happy Saturday Bookish people! Today is my stop on the book tour for Secrets of the Stars by Maria Kuzniar, the second book in the Ship of Shadows series. Thank you to Puffin Books and Random T Tours for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Secrets of the Stars Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was an interesting and engaging adventure to faraway ports and across treacherous seas. The first chapter hooked me immediately, and not just because they were dressed in masquerade costumes although I did love imagining that scene. The worldbuilding was beautifully detailed and sensory so it was easy for me to become caught up in the adventures with the crew. I found the beginning was a little slow in pacing for my personal taste but once the action got started I raced through the book to find out how it was going to end.

Secrets of the Stars Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One of the parts of this book that I really enjoyed was that the crew of the Ship of Shadows is an all girl crew, it presented a lovely dynamic to the story. The characters really brought out the themes of friendship and loyalty that are being developed throughout this story. The protagonist is someone you feel the need to root for as different events happen to her and this increased my enjoyment of the book Also, the shadows (I’m counting them as characters) on the Ship of Shadows are pretty cool.

Secrets of the Stars Writing and dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I said above, the beginning was a little slow for me but once the pacing picked up I couldn’t really fault any of the writing in this book.

Secrets of the Stars Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a well written and engaging novel that had me rooting for the characters from beginning to end, and it may have even persuaded me to pick up the next in the series when it comes out.

Blurb/Synopsis:

THE SECOND THRILLING ADVENTURE FOR ALEJA AND THE CREW OF THE LEGENDARY SHIP OF SHADOWS

Excitement and wonder are in store for the pirates as they continue to their epic quest across the world. But time is running out, and as their quarry grows closer, so the perils of the sea grow ever greater . . .

Praise for The Ship of Shadows:

“A feast for the imagination . . . an enthralling adventure.” – Abi Elphinstone, author of Sky Song

“This swashbuckling tale has it all – storms in jars, magic kraken bells, lost cities and a truly unique pirate ship. I loved it.” – Alex Bell, author of The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club

“Thrilling, exciting and intriguing and I can’t wait for the next instalment!” Rhiannon, Waterstones bookseller

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for me to put up another book review! The book I will be reviewing today is my second book of June and I ended up reading it on the car journey to and from Bristol. During the trip I also learned that my friend, and a lot of people actually, can’t read while in a car, which was interesting information.

As usual in this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Hatmakers Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First I will say, I am not a huge Middle Grade reader. I actually picked up this book because I’d seen the author in the TV show The Tudors and I was curious about what she might have written. The plot is beautifully intricate, it captivated me from the very first page. There is themes of family, friendship and loyalty sprinkled throughout this book like the magic that is used by the characters themselves.

This book has elements of the fantastical, a little bit of theatre and plenty of hat making to keep all readers entertained. The beginning part of the book sets up the world and the characters excellently, it felt like I was living in that world with them. Then the second part of the book the pacing really picks up – there’s so much happening in this story that I had to just let myself go along with the story rather than try to figure out every twist and turn. I enjoyed doing this.

The Hatmakers Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It was very interesting for me to see this book through the eyes of Cordelia, the main protagonist, who is a child. It made me think back to when I was a child and all the wonder that the world seemed to hold. Cordelia was my favourite character in the book because she was very complex and had many layers to her story throughout. Also, one of my favourite parts of this book was her friendship with Goose, the son of the bootmakers, with which the hatmaker family doesn’t get along. It added an intriguing dynamic to this friendship.

the other characters in the story are all very well developed with their own stories and attitudes, the book has a particular focus on the hatmaker family but I still felt that the other maker families stood out in their own ways and had a role to play in the plot.

The Hatmakers Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I haven’t got much to say for this category. I thought it was written very well, it was clear and the writing style complimented the plot and the pacing. However, because I’m not used to reading this age of book it took me a while to get used to it. That is just my own opinion.

The Hatmakers Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m giving this book four stars overall because I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, especially the character of Cordelia. I got completely drawn in to the world and the magic and the mystery that needed to be solved. I will definitely be buying the next book in the series when it comes out.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Blitz

The Fifth Cycle Blitz

 

 

Otherworldly Adventures #1

 

Middle-Grade Fantasy

Date Published: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Magic Cat Books

FREE for a Limited Time! 

An ancient Irish goddess appears to thirteen-year-old Colin Caulfield and delivers a fateful warning. Later that night, his sister is almost kidnapped by goblins. His world is rocked even further when his mother and a family friend reveal that he is the reincarnation of Ireland’s greatest hero, CuChulainn, and destined to help the Irish gods return to their seat of power.

First, he needs to be properly trained, and there is no one better for that job than Scathach, the woman who trained the original CuChulainn. He arrives on her island, Alba, in the Otherworld, and joins her host of trainees. There, he meets Breccan and Alaynna, who become two of his best friends. He also meets Niall, who is somewhat hostile to him at first, but then agrees to help train him.

Colin faces a number of threats and challenges while on Alba, some of which are tied to a dark force that wants to stop him from fulfilling his destiny. Unfortunately, Colin’s greatest enemy just might be himself as a deep-seated personal issue triggers a warp-spasm, a type of berserker rage that the original CuChulainn suffered from as well. With the help of his friends, Colin must learn to control the warp-spasms if he is to become the hero both Earth and the Otherworld need him to be.

He had better hurry though, because the dark force that wants to stop Colin, that found him on Earth and tried to use his sister to get to him, discover he is on Alba, and who knows how far they are willing to go to stop Colin this time.


About the Author

It is widely believed that the man known as Dan O’Mahony was raised in a library by a pack of wild fantasy novels that accepted him as one of their own.

Dan currently resides near Chandler, Arizona but spends most of his time exploring new worlds and associating with unique characters. When not engaging in fulfilling flights of fancy, he teaches elementary and junior high students, hoping to inspire within them a love of reading and writing (The trick is to get them while they are young.).

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Twitter: @DanOAuthor

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