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Heather Pearson "Heather" (Ontario Canada)
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The Lost Prince (Fiction - Middle Grade)
The Lost Prince (Fiction - Middle Grade)
Price: CDN$ 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars your kids won`t be able to put it down, July 26 2015
I loved this book. Adventure, swashbuckling, and a mysterious island. All the best of pirate lore along with young Dean Seaborne, a pirate spy. Wait a minute, a pirate spy. My first thought was, what the heck is a pirate spy. Simply put, it`s a pirate who spies on other pirates.

Dean has been a pirate for as long as he can remember, and that`s not all that long considering that he`s only thirteen. He doesn`t like how he`s forced to live, but can`t imagine a way out. His newest job is to infiltrate the crew of the Reckless, which is captained by Gentleman Jim Harper and to find out why that ship`s profits as so low. During it`s short voyage, he learns far more than he could have imagined. What he learns changes his life.

This is where the mysterious island with the golden trees enters the story. Oh wait, I can`t tell you any more, don`t want to spoil the surprises.

For all his life, Dean has been told what to do and now he is placed in difficult situations where he has to make important choices. This is the chance for him to choose what kind of man he will grow up to be, a cut throat pirate, or will he follow in the steps of Gentleman Jim.

I totally enjoyed this book. It was a refreshing take on the usual ruthless pirate story. It had all the action and adventure that I expected, yet it also had surprising twists and turns.

This book would appeal to pre-teens both male and female. Dean and Princess Waverly are good role models, though for different reasons. Parents beware, if you give this book to your child, be prepared for him or her to want to read it straight through in one sitting and then start all over again.

Named of the Dragon
Named of the Dragon
Price: CDN$ 7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle story that builds to a crescendo, July 24 2015
Prior to reading this book, I had never pondered the relationship between an author and her or his agent. In Named of the Dragon, literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw travels to Wales with her client, author Bridget Cooper. They are set to spend the Christmas holidays with Bridget's boyfriend, also an author.

Lyn is is much in need of a quiet holiday as she is yet grieving the loss of her child Justine several years earlier. After arriving at the rural farm, she is upset to find that a young baby is staying in the adjoining house.

This story starts at a gentle pace and slowly builds to a crescendo. The detailed descriptions of the sweeping landscape helped lull me into a false sense of safety. I began to second guess who was behind sneaky mis-behaviour. Was it Lyn's fanciful imagination or was there truly an other worldly intervention attempting to guide Lyn.

I really enjoyed the play off between the three authors in the story, Bridget, her boyfriend James and Gareth,the secretive playwright. It really highlighted for me that authors come from all walks of life and that they are often nothing like the persons they create in their works of fiction.

This is not a high action drama, rather a novel that you read while curled up in a quilt with a cup of tea and time to savour and enjoy the relationships while they develop.

The Summer of Dead Toys: A Thriller
The Summer of Dead Toys: A Thriller
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent police procedural, July 23 2015
I was only a few chapters in to this book when I knew that one story wasn't going to be enough about Inspector Hector Salgado. Author Antonio Hill has created a character that I want to read about again and again.

The Inspector has just returned from a month long enforced vacation to his homeland of Argentina when he was asked to unofficially investigate a suicide. At first, he goes through the motions of this new case, but can't let go of the human trafficking one that got him in such trouble. Hector is a good investigator, he knows not to accept things at face value, but to collect and listen to the evidence. Fortunate for him and for the dead man, Leira Castro is assigned as his new partner and she is brilliant at her job. Together, they uncover of a web of deceit reaching back years.

I loved this novel, it kept me interested, on the edge of my seat for the entire story. It combined great characters, a city that is foreign to me and a plot that I couldn't anticipated. It is an excellent example of a classic police procedural where good solid police work and investigation find the clues/leads and follow them through to their actual conclusion of a solved crime.

Inspector Hector Salgado returns in The Good Suicides and then in The Hiroshima Lovers (yet to be translated to english).

Shattering Glass
Shattering Glass
by Gail Giles
Edition: Audio CD
6 used & new from CDN$ 7.96

4.0 out of 5 stars a devastating but compelling read, July 19 2015
This review is from: Shattering Glass (Audio CD)
What could cause four seemingly normal teens to violently kill one of their classmates. Author Gail Giles Gives us the ending in the first lines of tihs story then slowly tells us how this disaster unfolded.

Simon Glass was the school nerd, the butt of jokes and was picked on just for being alive. Rob Hayes is new to the school yet quickly claimed the spot of most popular boy. It came as a great surprise to Rob's friends, when he decided to befriend Simon with the goal to make him popular. Why did he do this, was he being sincere in his concern for Simon, or did he have some ulterior motive.

In every high school there are boys like Rob, Young, Bob, Coop, and Simon. Decent kids who graduate and continue on to become responsible adults. In this school, something happened, something wrong and disturbing.

I listened to the audio book version two times. The first, I was stunned by the events, questioning how this could happen. The next time I listened to it, fully knowing what was to occur, I paid more attention to the reactions of the boys during the events. I liked even better the second time. While I did enjoy the audio book as read by Scott Brick, I did experience some confusion. At the beginning of the chapters, there are short passages/quotes by some of the other students at the school. I found it hard to know when it was Young, the narrator speaking or one of their class mates.

This is a story that grabs you and won't let go, It makes you pay attention even when you want to walk away. I could sense that they boys were heading toward something wrong, I didn't know what and I couldn't do anything to stop it. Shattering Glass contains a powerful message. It's not an easy read, but well worth the emotional toll it might take on it's readers.

By Terry Hayes I Am Pilgrim [Paperback]
By Terry Hayes I Am Pilgrim [Paperback]
by Terry Hayes
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 15.52

4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and twisted plot, July 17 2015
Most of us would give up. How do you possibly investigate a terror threat when there seem to be no clues to the perpetrators. Ramon, not his real name, isn't stumped for long, he is after all a member of one of the United States most secret intelligence organizations.

The day had started in a more normal manor, helping his friend, homicide lieutenant Ben Bradley, investigate a grisly murder. Now Ramon is pulled from retirement to find an unknown terrorist. As the story continues, we learn about his background and why he is the perfect man for the job. We are introduced to the man dubbed the Saracen that Ramon must find.

I enjoyed Ramon's back story. His is a fascinating one that I never even imagined could exist. How close this fictional agent is to real life I'll never know. As for the Saracen, I was uncomfortable reading his story. Step by step, the author twisted his life and re-made him as the ultimate terrorist. I hurried reading through his story so I could get back to Ramon's.

I am Pilgrim is a well thought out story and it keep me on edge switching back and forth between Ramon and Saracen. The only problem I had was the over use of foreshadowing. When used sparingly, it can be a very effective devise, when over used, it falls flat and in this book it even got laughable. At one point it was used twice on one page. If you can over look this, it's a book well worth reading.

Tunnels
Tunnels
by Roderick Gordon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.26
85 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Took me by Surprise, July 17 2015
This review is from: Tunnels (Mass Market Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book It came to me as a surprise. For the past two years, my nephew has been urging me to read it when I kept passing it by. Finally, he put his foot down and told me a I was missing out on a great story and it turns out he was correct.

The story starts in a hole deep in the ground, somewhere under London, where Dr. Burrows and his son will are digging for the unknown or the forgotten. A few days later, Dr. Burrows goes missing and Will sets out along with his friend Chester to find him. This search leads them to places they could never have imagined.

This book made me want to burrow under a couple of quilt, sit in a dark room with a light shining over my shoulder just enough so I could read the words on the page. I could then imagine being in the same tunnels along with Will and Chester. When the vivid descriptions of the tunnels became oppressive, I had to go outside into the sunshine for a couple of breaths of fresh air.

All the while Dr. Burrows and his son are digging around, his daughter, Will's younger sister, Rebecca is trying to keep the family functional. His mother is a wreck, rarely moving from in front of the television and seeming detached from her family.

Through out the story, we get a good feel for Will and Rebecca. They are both strong characters, children who've had to grow up quickly. Chester is Will's voice of reason. He is a perfect sidekick, almost always willing to try something new, though he knows when to pull Will back.

The tunnels came alive for me. I could imagine the dim lighting, the dust covering surface and the wonder of what they were seeing. At times I wanted to be with the boys and at others I was thankful to be in the sunshine.

This book series should appeal to pre-teens and early teens. It would be a good choice for parents to read with their younger children.

The Flood
The Flood
Price: CDN$ 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, July 9 2015
This review is from: The Flood (Kindle Edition)
A gritty, no-sugar coating look at the break down of society after a cataclysmic event. The Atlantic coastal cities were to be inundated by a record setting tsunami. Approximately 2000 people were evacuated on the cruise ship Festival of the Waves, along with it's paying passengers and staff. While they easily survived the tsunami's wrath, it was the successive waves of inhumanity that were their undoing.

Wow. I loved this book. I felt it was a realistic portrayal of the various possibilities of such a disaster. There was a mixture of the good, the bad and the very bad outcomes.

This story was carried by the differing leaders that emerged. One had a common sense, take charge approach, another a totalitarian grip on his followers, and a third found religion. Change any one of the leaders and the story could have been very different. As I was reading, I couldn't help think of some of the news coverage I have seen of natural disasters. The majority of the survivors have no idea what to do and they wait for someone else to take charge, to tell them what to do, and then complain when they don't think enough is being done for them personally. Mr. Sachs got this perfect.

At Winter's End
At Winter's End
by Robert Silverberg
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

4.0 out of 5 stars a different look at evolutiion, July 7 2015
This review is from: At Winter's End (Hardcover)
The earth was doomed. Devastation was going to fall from the sky for thousands of years and life on earth could not continue in it's present forms. Of the six type of sentient being, four knew they would not survive, one decided to take their chance on the surface and the sixth moved far underground. After 700 000 years, the death stars were gone and it was time to venture forth out onto the renewed surface.

The story is carried by several main characters. Koshmar had long hoped that she would lead her people from their long shelter. By maintaining their long standing traditions she sought to fulfil the prophecies that had long sustained her. I didn't really like this character, but then again, leaders aren't always meant to be loved when their job is to lead.

Thaggoran was the old man of the tribe, the chronicler, who died soon after they emerged. The loss of so much of the tribe's history opened the people up to new choices and opportunities. Hresh was but a boy when he took up the role of the new chronicler. His character added so much to the story as he had to re-create his job within their new life on the surface. It was interesting to watch Hresh grow up and develop into a powerful man.

Finally, there is Torlyri, the offering woman. While underground, her job was to maintain the peoples link to their prior surface life. Once they emerge from their cocoon, her role mostly becomes obsolete but she realises that customs bring comfort to the people. This led her to go it alone and define new ones.

There is a struggle between old and new. The people have to learn from their past and incorporate that which is helpful. but let go of the rest and use this information to forge their future. The people seemed to respond in a realistic way to these challenges which made for good reading.

I was pulled into the day to day events of this tribe. I explored and learned with them. I felt their anguish when they lost members and celebrated when new ones were born. It takes a master story teller to make me feel for such imagined characters. I enjoyed every minute of this book.

The story of the people continues in The Queen of Springtime, also published under the title The New Springtime.

In the Land of the Long White Cloud (In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga Book 1)
In the Land of the Long White Cloud (In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 6.47

4.0 out of 5 stars A sweeping tale, long but good., July 6 2015
Women didn't have a lot of choice in the direction of their lives in mid nineteenth century England. Helen Davenport was working as a tutor when a notice in her church bulletin led her to accept a marriage proposal to an unknown sheep farmer in New Zealand. Gwyneira Silkham's future was determined when her father lost a hand of cards to a self proclaimed sheep baron also from the Christchurch area of New Zealand. These women's lives were tied together from the time they set foot on the ship that transported them to their new homes.

Marrying a gentleman in a newly settled English colony had seemed exciting and romantic to both ladies. It was only after they left the ship that they realised how little they were prepared for the hardships of living in such a new colony. Distances between farms was huge, communication was as fast as a horse could travel. Both women had to chose whether to embrace their Maori neighbours and learn their language, about their culture and beliefs or to follow their husbands lead and treat them at best as hired help.

I feel that Gwyn and Helen reacted very much as women of that time period. Once they arrived in New Zealand, they had little choice but to accept their circumstances and make the best of them. We spend a lot of time with Gwyn, her husband Lucas and Helen and learn lots about them. We see the three of them learn and grown from the situations they find them selves in. .

I have an affection for anything kiwi and this book was no exception. I read it compulsively. I loved the glowing descriptions of the breath taking country side as well as the gritty ones of the towns and roads. Of course, you can't tell a story of this time period of New Zealand without talking about sheep. They are central to this tale. Yes, there are sheep and all that goes with them, but it doesn't overwhelm the entire story. Author Sarah Lark has a good balance between the storyline of the people and the sheep talk and tied them together well.

While reading this book, I did feel a distance between the author and the tale. It seemed that it was a story written by someone who had never been to New Zealand and that she was only imagining what it would be like to stand on it's soil, to view a flock of sheep on a hill, or to crest a peak and view the land unfolding below her. Whether author Sarah Lark has visited Christchurch or this connection was lost due to the work of the translator D. W. Lovett, it was still a captivating read which I very much enjoyed.

The story continues in Song of the Spirits and then in Call of the Kiwi.

Sarah Lark is a pen name of Christiane Gohl. She also publishes under Ricarda Jordan and Elisabeth Rotenberg.

Dying for a Living (A Jesse Sullivan Novel Book 1)
Dying for a Living (A Jesse Sullivan Novel Book 1)
Price: CDN$ 0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars creepy and fascinating at the same time, June 26 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First it was surrogate birth mothers, and now it's Necronites, surrogates for death. Jesse Sullivan is one of these, at the moment of another person's death, she can re-focus his or her life energy, keeping him or her alive while she 'takes' the death. After her body heals from the death injuries, her brain re-boots and she is once again alive. Every one needs a job, and Jesse is well equipped for this one.

Not every one is happy with the Necronites, specially the church. It is possible there are connected with the questionable events surrounding Jesse's latest job.

I found this a creepy and fascinating idea that someone else could take my death. I could have finished it in one sitting except for family obligations.

It's hard to know in this story who is dead, who should be dead and who could become undead. This makes for great plot twist possibilities.

Brinkley, her handler, Ally, her assistant, and her boyfriend Lane are great additions to the story line. They are very different from each other and help to bring out the various sides of Jesse's personalities.

I look forward to reading more of Jesse's story in Dying by the Hour and then in Dying for Her.

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