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

review.

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.

Nan McAdam’s The Secret Key of Mim-Charlie Kadabra Last of the Magicians 2

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

Overview: Trouble is brewing in Mim again. Charlie is having a hard time finding his family and friends. They seemed to have disappeared from the face of Mim. During a Haroon council, Charlie learns of the Key of Mim. Will finding the Key restore Charlie’s family and friends? Or is there more to this story? And is there any ally left to help?

Story Telling: Well, this is still a middle-grade fantasy, complete with magic.

Likes: We get to see Santa? At least the Storm King is still devoted to his family.

Dislikes: This book seemed to be too much. There was just too much weight and responsibility for a ten-year-old boy. Charlie had to worry about his family, friends, and his own life. The last one was because, apparently, Charlie’s powers are inherited through his staff.

Also, when it cam to Fen’s prejudices we seemed to get a lecture. Allow me to offer Tolkien’s rebuke concerning old wives’ tales or other passed down knowledge. “But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know.”-The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 8 Farewell to Lorien.

Also it is heavily implied that bad people and/or things were made that way by circumstances and other people. In all due respect, that idea is a bunch of bull. I’ve heard of people who have lived through some horrific conditions, and they turned out to be some of the best people in the world. Likewise, some of the luckiest people, can turn out to be some of the biggest monsters.

Favorite Character: I’ll go with Charlie’s Grandfather.

Favorite Quote: Sorry guys, not this time.

Favorite Scene: The Christmas Village was fun.

Conclusion: This book didn’t live up to the promise of “The Secret of Mim.” Perhaps it is a question of tastes, but I doubt it.

Cheryl Hollon’s Shards of Murder-A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery 2

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

Overview: Savannah Webb is in the process of settling into her late father’s position as the owner of Webb’s Glass Shop. Part of her inherited duties is judging the Spinnaker Arts Festival. Unfortunately, the Best of Show winner disappears before the awards ceremony. Good thing that Savannah found her while walking Rooney. The bad news is that now Savannah is a person-of-interest at best, and a suspect at the worst. Can she save herself from a potential conviction? Or will she have a bigger problem than she ever imagine?

Story Telling: Ms. Hollon has given us a fun cozy mystery. And, thankfully, we don’t get tied down in the romantic elements that are so popular in this genre.

Likes: I admit it. Humor tends to be a miss with me. The jokes, or lighter scenes, resonated with me this time. It made the book more enjoyable.

Edward is cool. He is the ultimate old-fashioned guy with a fun twist. And he brings some interesting snacks to the gang.

Jacob is an interesting guy. Add to that the devotion that Mrs. Underwood shows to him, it’s a great addition to the story. Mrs. Underwood even found booties for Suzy, Jacob’s service dog.

Rooney is a fun addition as well is Amanda’s attitude.

Dislikes: There were only two things that I didn’t care for in this book. For starters, the first lesson in Savannah’s glass shop got a little too in-depth for my tastes.

And secondly, Megan Loyola is not what I would call a great artist. Great art is uplifting. It brings hope into the world, not just beauty. And it leaves the world better off because it came into being. Megan’s art left a trail of destruction everywhere she went.

Favorite Character: It has to be Edward.

Favorite Quote: We have a couple. This response from Amanda is our first. “ Yep, it’s my thing. How soon do you want to start?”

And here’s one from Savannah. “Rooney tore a hunk of material from the attacker’s pants. I had to touch it to get it away from Rooney, so that scrap should have the attacker’s DNA along with mine and Rooney’s, of course. Do you need a DNA sample from Rooney?”

Favorite Scene: Rooney’s agility meet was fun. Especially the after effects. Or we could go with the get-together with the gang and Edward’s parents.

Conclusion: This is a fun book. It kind of reminds me of a more mature Scooby-Doo gang, albeit with less emphasis on the supernatural. Enjoy it.