Carole P. Roman’s Captain No Beard-An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life 1

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

Overview: Let’s meet the crew of the Flying Dragon. There’s Fribbett, Linus, Mondo, and Hallie. Let’s not forgetthe most important crew-member, Captain No Beard. What will they do today?

Story Telling: Well, this is the first look in the Captain No Beard series.

Artwork: The images are definitely eye-catching. It seems to be water color like.

Likes: Hallie and Captain No Beard have a great relationship.

Favorite Character: Hallie really did a good job as a first mate.

Favorite Quote: “Good first mates know all the answers, remember.”

Favorite Scene: It was both fun and cute when the ‘mermaid’ brought the cookies up.

Conclusion: This was a terrific story. Have fun with your ‘mateys.’

Michael Phillip Cash’s The History Major

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

Overview: Amanda Green isn’t having the best morning. Really, it started with the fight she had with her boyfriend last night. Now, she seems to have a new room-mate, a new schedule, and a weird teacher of a course she wouldn’t be caught dead in. Why is she taking history? Why hasn’t Patrick called her? And who is that odd black-clad individual who keeps showing up? Maybe, she shouldn’t drink anymore?

Story Telling: I do believe this novella straddles the line between science-fiction and fantasy.

Likes: Amanda had a good relationship with her grandmother.

Patrick tried to bring the better woman out in Amanda’s personality. Too bad she didn’t seem to see that.

Dislikes: Danielle was a real brat. Oh boo-hoo, somebody didn’t acknowledge ‘her highness.’ She might be for a surprise. Life doesn’t work that way.

Structurally, I think this book should have had a few more chapters to tie up some loose ends. Or, Mr. Cash could have used a newspaper-like epilogue.

Favorite Character: It’s a toss-up between Nana and Patrick.

Favorite Quote: Patrick tried to warn Amanda. “I don’t like who you are when you’re with them.”

Favorite Scene: The ‘hide-and-seek’ game between Amanda and Nana was cute.

Conclusion: This book was very interesting, but it is a ‘niche’ book, so to speak. It will not be for everyone, especially the crowd that’s obsessed with ‘writing’ rules. I had fun with it.

Jon Maas’s Flare

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

Overview: Something has happened to cause a break-down of societal norms. A massive solar flare is passing the Earth. Now, the daylight is enough to permanently end your worries. Four survivors are heading to ‘The Salvation.’ Will they make it? Or will they run into other, less safety oriented survivors?

Story Telling: From the superheroes we got post-apocalyptic. This time we only have two points-of-view.

Likes: We are shown the lengths people will go to in order to survive.

Dislikes: I opened this book quite aware of the social justice themes that were in “Spanners.” I guess I was hoping those ideas wouldn’t be in his latest novel. Alas, I was wrong.

This time we had a multi-front attack on Christianity. We have a group of Satanists who want the world to burn. There’s the atheist who claims that Christianity has a habit of “deny, persecute, and claim” in regards to science. As an aside Galileo or Newton, I’m not sure which but one of them had been arrested for the crime of mocking the pope. That’s what got the guy in trouble, not science.

Then, we have ‘The Salvation’ Not only did these people deny entry to their haven, which isn’t in itself bad. It was the reasons behind the denials. A genetic defect go people condemned. If you had a heart, and not a doctor, you were condemned. And, I believe, if you were Christian you were condemned. This left families being split apart. And this group had the gall to call their leaders by the names of angels, according to Jewish mythology. (I have yet to find these names in the Bible.)

Favorite Character: This is the only favorite that I have. Brother Colm believed so much in “The Salvation” that he lead people there, knowing that he had been denied entry.

Conclusion: This book was too gory, sexualized, and depressing, for my tastes. If you like post-apocalyptic novels, and can ignore the social justice ideas, you might like it.

Jon Maas’s Spanners-The Fountain of Youth

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

Overview: Humanity has a secret society living amongst them. Spanners have odd life-spans and peculiarities. Some get stuck in a certain age-range. Some devolve of a sort. Some are human, some are animal. Now, they are about to start a war over a Spanner who isn’t even sure of her powers.

Story Telling: We get another view of the super-hero genre. This one has quite a few point-of-view characters.

Likes: Adam and Mayfly are fighting for a good cause.

Phoe had a good relationship with her brothers.

Dislikes: This is not an easy book to read. For starters, our main antagonist is a real person. Not inspired by, but an actual person. Juan Ponce de Leon may have made a few mistakes during his time as a conquistador, but his portrayal here seemed like Mr. Maas was judging the man‘s heart. Not only was de Leon shown to be cruel, his argument of the natives killing each other was used as a symptom of his insanity. This is the problem inherent with using real and historical people in your writing. If you like the individual, you run the risk of canonizing him or her. Or demonizing the individual, if your feelings aren’t so positive.

Along that line, we seemed to run into a situation of ‘white people being bad, unless they are working to save the indigenous populations.’ Don’t get me wrong, people should help each other. I just don’t buy into the idea of ‘institutionalized racism.’ It helps on one to claim that people somehow strive to keep minorities down and out. In my opinion, this thinking does everyone in society a disservice.

Favorites: I don’t have any this time around.

Conclusion: This book has a promising premise. The social justice themes ruined the book for me. It’s time people grow up. The only thing holding people back is themselves.

Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In…Italy!

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

Overview: Let’s learn about the country that is famous for pasta, wine, the Coliseum, and the current seat of power for the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Story Telling: We have and educational book here. I would advise this one for eight-year-olds.

Artwork: The illustrations are still cute and more realistic than cartoon-ish.

Likes: Some of the information is fascinating.

Mrs. Roman still keeps her pronunciation keys with these travel-inspired books.

Dislikes: I get that most children can pronounce spaghetti, but does that mean that we have to pick the Italian words based on their difficulties?

Favorite Character and Quote: It’s difficult to find these in educational works of this size. The spoiling effect can be stumbled upon too easily. This time, I’m taking a pass.

Favorite Scene: I liked the emphasis on family in this one.

Conclusion: This book has fascinating information. But it is one of the more complicated additions to the series. Be ready for some questions when you share this one with your ‘travelers.’