Brooks Olbrys’s Into the Lead-The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob 3

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Olbrys for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Blue Ocean Bob seems to be getting the hang of being a marine scientist. Good thing too, as his mentor–Mary Marine–has been summoned away to another island. Will Bob be able to step fully into the role he has chosen? Or will he have to accept Xena’s doubts about his career path?

Story Telling: Mr. Olbrys does include inspirational advice in this late picture book.

Artwork: Mr. Keele has an engaging technique with these illustrations.

Likes: Mr. Olbrys proves that you don’t have to sugar-coat the advice you give to children. They can handle the truth, especially if that truth is engineered to help them to achieve their dreams.

Bob has the help of the whole island, showing that there isn’t anything wrong with asking for help.

Dislikes: Xena may mean it for the best, but she needs to let it go. Bob is determined enough to be a marine scientist, that no amount of grousing will change his mind.

Favorite Character: It would have to be Doc. Poor Doc.

Favorite Quote: “When you doubt that you’re able or fit or prepared, remember your purpose and just do it scared.”

Favorite Scene: It was a fun trip when Bob got some unexpected help with his dolphin problem.

Conclusion: This was a fun and encouraging story. Enjoy it with your dreamer. Though, I’m not so sure that I would have handled Andy in the same manner.

Dean Koontz’s Lost Souls-Frankenstein 4

Overview: And it only gets better. Erika Swedenborg, formerly Erika Five, has just had the shock of her life. She just saw a dead man walking. Victor Frankenstein died in New Orleans, Louisiana, so how is he still walking around in Rainbow Falls, Montana? And why? One thing is for certain. It’s time to call in the re-enforcements. Luckily for all involved, er most of time anyway, Deucalion has also started having suspicions that Victor has returned. Will killing him twice end his reign of terror? Or is this Victor Frankenstein worse than the original?

Story Telling: Once again, we’ve gotten a science-fiction tale, complete with robots this time.

Likes: Oh, how cute. Erika got flirted with. Even cuter? She’s not even aware of it.

Jocko has become the world’s greatest hacker. I call it cheating. He uses all four limbs.

Carson needs help. Her mommy instincts are getting in the way of her nerve. It was kind of cute when she used her instincts to get information out of the editor.

Dislikes: I just thought that the original Victor Frankenstein was egotistical. I was wrong. His clone is much worse. But, you have to give him credit. He is dedicated enough to soprano-ize himself. Poor deluded idiot.

The Builders are gross. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Oh, I had a problem with how Carson and Michael dealt with Chrissy. I don’t know how to handle that situation, but there had to be a better way than lying.

Nummy’s Grandmama didn’t do him any favors. Yes, according to the world, Nummy was incapable of thinking clearly, but that doesn’t make him stupid. Everyone can learn. Nummy can have some responsibility. It’s my belief, I guess. Everyone is a genius in his or her field, and an idiot in another’s field.

Favorite Character: So many of the townspeople had good hearts. Also Erika has proven herself to be a good mother.

Favorite Quote: Deucalion would make a wonderful mystic. ““Like life everywhere,” Deucalion replied. “Meaningful from top to bottom, but mysterious in every direction.””

Favorite Scene: This one is a little tricky. Mainly because there were two…chapters. And you get the best effect by reading the whole chapter.

The first one was when Erika returns home with the Jim James Bakery cinnamon rolls. To put it mildly, it’s Jocko’s antics that make the chapter.

The second is when the Builders tried to crash The Riders in the Sky Church Social. Tried being the operative word. That’s all you’re getting. Just remember, this is small town Montana. The only thing worse for the Builders would have been small town Texas.

Conclusion: This one kind of ended on a cliffhanger. But I liked it. Come on book five.

Dean Koontz’s Dead and Alive-Frankenstein 3

Overview: A storm is threatening New Orleans, and it’s not the one being brewed by Mother Nature. Well, she does help. Victor Helios doesn’t seem to see that his creations are inherently flawed. Deucalion and his all too human partners, Carson and Michael, are determined to put an end to the madman once and for all.

Story Telling: You cannot have a book about a mad scientist without it being a science-fiction novel. Yes, there’s a lot of action, but Victor makes it science-fiction.

Likes: Erika Five and Jocko were great. Victor may have hated love, but both of them were able to prove Jesus’ point of the greatest love of all.

Michael and Carson still have a fun relationship.

There are some nifty surprises in Victor’s landfill.

Dislikes: There for a bit, I was sure that Victor was going to drown when the hurricane hit. He is so full of himself, that he forgot one key of creation. The created cannot be more than the creator. It just doesn’t happen that way.

Some of Bucky and Janet’s scenes seemed to be too much for my tastes.

Favorite Character: Other than Deucalion, it would be Jocko and Erika.

Favorite Quote: We have two, again. First, from Erika Five: “And if the universe was not, as Victor said, a meaningless chaos, if it were possible for anything to be sacred, surely humble items, worn by martyred innocents, were hallowed and might provide her friend not only with a disguise but also with protection of a higher kind.”

And the second from Jocko: “Jocko could know what it’s like to have a mother. And you could know what it’s like to be one. It would be a little family, but still a family.

Favorite Scene: It was perfect when Erika and Jocko were surrounded by the lightning.

Conclusion: This was a terrific story. You can’t say that he middle book of the series fell flat. Onto the fourth book.

Carole P. Roman’s Rocket-Bye

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Let’s join our protagonists as they take off through the solar system.

Story Telling: Well, this is another picture book. It seems to be aimed for bedtime.

Artwork: It’s another charming set of illustrations. These should keep all the space-cadets attention.

Likes: The artwork seems to draw the words into the background at times. And this can show the order of the planets.

Favorite Quote: “The crazy quilt of a universe is spread before our eyes.”

Conclusion: While this book might be aimed at boys, it’s a fun little bedtime story for both genders. Enjoy it with your would-be astronauts.

Carole P. Roman’s Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: The narrator’s girls have a major dilemma. There are so many interesting jobs out there, but do they have to give up being a princess to have one?

Story Telling: We get a picture book this time.

Artwork: The illustrations are quite charming, and help with the dress-up feel of the book.

Likes: The message in this book was both a good one, and came about as a natural piece of the story.

Favorite Quote: “Don’t let anybody limit your dreams.”

Conclusion: It’s great to run across the idea that you don’t have to give up your femininity in order to be successful. This is something more girls should know. Enjoy.

Janice Peacock’s High Strung-A Glass Bead Mystery 1

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jax O’Connell has a new life in Seattle, thanks to the kindness of her late aunt. Now during the ‘Jewelry Makers of Washington League’ extravaganza, a freak accident, followed by a murder, hits. Such bad luck can happen at any time really. But why would the police suspect Tessa Ricci of murdering someone she was helping?

Story Telling: So, we have a new crafter’s cozy mystery.

Likes: Tessa has an interesting way of handling her children.

And Val was willing to help her friends, even if that help was what they were expecting.

Dislikes: Once again, the glass work seemed to bog down the story. Maybe it was just me, but the time spent describing the crafting elements just seemed to drown out the mystery.

Also, I had a hard time feeling for these characters, probably why I noticed the crafting elements so much. The strongest that I felt was how rude Marta was for bringing her basset hound to the bead extravaganza. Sneaking pets anywhere tends to be a bad idea, and inconsiderate.

Favorite Character: It would be Tessa.

Favorite Quote: Aunt Rita did good for Jax. “My only stipulation is this: You must live in my house and find your creative passion.” Of course she could have just gone with passion, in my opinion.

Favorite Scene: The way that Tessa handled her daughters during a clean up session was pretty good.

Conclusion: This is a decent story. You might enjoy it more if you like cozy mysteries and beading.

Dean Koontz and Ed Gorman’s City of Night-Frankenstein 2

Overview: It’s been less that twenty-four hours since the events of “Prodigal Son.” Detectives O’Connor and Maddison are all-in, so to speak, when it concerns stopping Victor Helios. Along with Deucalion, they are trying to figure out where Helios’s main base of operations is located. The only question is if Helios will find them before they are ready for him?

Story Telling: We are continuing with the Frankenstein story. So, there’s monsters of both the created and human varieties.

Likes: Deucalion has managed to find a way to control his temper. It’s a very unique way. I don’t think that those boys liked it very much.

Lulana, Evangeline, and Moses are doing the best they can for their community, and their boss.

We meet Erika Five, and she seems to be smarter than the rest. Could she be Frankenstein’s doom?

Dislikes: Benny and Cindi were nuts, and only one of them could see it. And that was only partially.

Helios isn’t just cruel, as I had thought from the beginning, he is blind to his mistakes and sins.

Favorite Character: I think I’ll go with Deucalion.

Favorite Quote: “Nevertheless, what will come will come, and each of us must face it in his own way, with as much courage as he can….”

Favorite Scene: Well, we have the one where we see Deucalion’s form of anger management. Or when he gets Arnie to safety. Or the time that Deucalion spends comforting the replaced Pastor Kenny. That one was kind of sweet.

Conclusion: This one was pretty good. Though, the ending was kind of weird. What was the purpose of introducing that last couple?

Steve Altier’s Blast Off! With Gabby and Maddox-Gabby and Maddox 2


Overview: Gabby and Maddox are setting out on their newest adventure. This time, they are part of the “Children’s Astronaut Program.” What will this mission hold in store for them? And will they make it home after a mechanical malfunction?

Story Telling: We have a middle grade adventure with a splash of science-fiction.

Artwork: We get a few black-and-white sketches to go along with the story.

Likes: Gabby and Maddox kept their cool pretty well. And the aliens weren’t so frightening.

Dislikes: It’s not really a problem with the story, but with your humble reviewer. I had a hard time with the idea of two children, under the age of ten, going into space…alone.

Favorite Character: I guess it would be Maddox.

Favorite Quote: Just like a child. “It’s too early to get up, what are your doing?”

Favorite Scene: The pancake breakfast was pretty cool.

Conclusion: A middle-grader will definitely enjoy this one. Enjoy it with yours.

Eric Jay Cash’s A Sunny Day-Cave Kiddos 1

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Cash for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: We get to follow four cave children as they learn a new word.

Story Telling: This is an early reader book, as in ‘learn-to read’ book.

Artwork: We get comic book-like drawings, complete with the speech bubbles.

Likes: This is an interesting way to teach a child to read. Mr. Cash takes the word of the book down to it’s basic sounds and then brings it all together.

Dislikes: “Kiddos”? Really? We aren’t goats. Oh well, he’s the author.

Favorite Part: I enjoyed it when the cave children finally got the word out.

Conclusion: It’s an interesting way to get your children to recognize and learn new words. Enjoy it with you cave children.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived in…Egypt!

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It’s travel time again. This time we’re heading to the home of the Nile, pyramids, and the pharaohs of old.

Story Telling: This is a cultural as well as a travel book.

Artwork Ms. Wierenga has a nice watercolor style. Quite attractive, perfect for catching the eyes of the chosen audience.

Likes: We still get the basic words and the pronunciation key.

Dislikes: Are there no simple dishes in Egypt?

Conclusion: This is an interesting series, thought I find it more suited to the older children.