Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Poppy and the Lost Lagoon by Matt Kindt

Poppy and her guardian are going back to Ramses looking for their next adventure.  They're riding a magic carpet and it doesn't like Colt.  The feeling is mutual.  They make it there even if Colt gets dropped and tripped.  Now to find out what their next adventure will be!

Dark Horse Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this graphic novel for review (thank you).  It will be published June 21st.

Colt was a good friend of her grandfather's and he was sent to be her guardian and make sure she comes to no harm.  Poppy just loves adventures, so Colt has his job cut out for him.  

The skull gives them a riddle about an exotic fish that they need to locate.  Colt has a good idea where to go, even if he's not welcome there.  Since they get run out of the building, Poppy has the feeling he's been there before.  When she finds out why, she puts together another piece of the riddle and they head in another direction. There are huge sea creatures, all kinds of exotic fish and amphibians, and dangerous situations for Poppy and Cole to overcome.

The illustrations by Brian Hurrt are eye openers that make you realize just how big that octupus is amongst other animals.

Why not take a little journey with Poppy and see if you can solve the puzzles she does?  She's a smart kid! 

Princess DisGrace: A Royal Disaster by Lou Kuenzler

Grace is sent to the Princess Academy by her father, the King of a very small province on the edges of civilization.  She makes an awkward appearance at the boat dock by rolling in after she tripped.  She's wearing a Yak coat and looks like a monster.  No, it's just Grace...

Random House Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 21st.

Grace reminded me of me.  I was a tom boy and always got in trouble for not acting lady-like.  I liked to hang upside down one on the monkey bars.  Since I refused to stop, they made me wear shorts under my skirt instead of nice white panties.  I was also required to stop climbing over the chain link fence to get foul balls.  And it was all because I was born a girl.

Grace doesn't have an invitation to the academy, doesn't have the required clothing and can't even curtsy right.  Her cousin has all that down and thinks she's God's gift to the academy.  She hates Grace.

The first test is whether she can attract a unicorn.  Everyone easily gets one but it looks like Grace is out of luck.  Then a scruffy unicorn with longer hair shows up and adopts Grace.  They're two of a kind:  A bit unkept and improper, but they both know how to have fun.
When her cousin is picked to be the golden princess for the tournament, no one is surprised.  But she goes too far by slapping another girl and lying about it, so she loses her role.  The head of the school then assigns that honor to Grace which just inflames the cousin.

Poor Grace is doing the best she can but things don't work like they should.  At least she doesn't think so.  It actually all turns out like it should and her papa, the King, is very very proud of her.  So is the school and her unicorn.

This was a fun tale to read.  I'm ready to read the next book already.  Princess Grace is a kick!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rum Luck by Ryan Aldred

Ben was getting married right up until the moment he found his fiance in bed with a clown.  The only thing the clown had on was a painted face.  That was enough to make Ben take off.  His buddy talked him into going to Costa Rica so he'd be a long way from his troubles.  It sounded like a good idea until he woke up in a Costa Rican prison cell...

Five Star Publications and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 22nd.

He's in jail because he's accused of murder.  He can't remember the night before but he's sure he didn't murder anyone.  He did get stinkin' drunk but why would he beat the bar owner to death?  It's even stranger than that; he bought the bar that night.  Why would he do that???

It's a good thing he's got Miguel with him.  The first thing he did was call Victoria, a Toronto lawyer who is a good friend of Ben's.  Ben will need friends before this is all sorted out.

It seems the bar owner was doing some underhanded little things there on the beach.  The police were watching him and one detective had a personal interest in the case.  He turns into a problem for Ben because he thinks Ben is guilty.

Ben and Miguel both find things about themselves before the end of the story.  They each have more skills and fortitude than they thought.  Everybody is becoming a partner with Ben in his business venture.  And Victoria might be more than a friend, who knows?

There's lot of action, some very humorous moments, and this would make a great movie.  I enjoyed the read and will be looking for more from this author.

Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch

This is a light, fanciful story about a family of ravens.  They have one egg that is different colored and when it hatches, there's a little pink girl in it...

Annick Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

Her raven parents don't care what she looks like or that she can't caw well and she can't fly.  She tries.  She even tries to grow feathers.  Her dad finds her some clothes so she won't freeze to death.  The other birds and animals have things to say about her but her parents ignore them.

Her siblings grow and leave the nest for their own lives but Rosie is still there.  When it's time for the birds to migrate, they come up with a unique way to get Rosie in the air.  

This is a sweet tale with lovely illustrations and it would make a great bedtime story.  Let your child fly away into their dreams after reading about Rosie.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

We Are Death: DCI Jericho Book Two by Douglas Lindsay

Jericho knew there was still someone out there from his last case.  The people who paid with their lives weren't smart enough to have masterminded the tarot cards and the designs on them.  But who it is, he doesn't know.  He just waits.  And, as he waits, he watches his job slip away from him...

Blasted Heath and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published June 15th.

I enjoyed this story more than the first one.  It's an unusual plot and Jericho ends up traveling internationally but it was much like a cat and mouse interaction.  No matter how much the mouse runs and twists and turns and hides, the cat usually gets them.  In this case, Jericho is more the mouse than the cat.

He finally tells his partner about the final tarot card he found in his hospital room seven months before.  He thought it signaled the end of the trouble but he's rethinking that now.  The recent murders of some mountain climbers has drawn police attention and the chief gives it to him as his last case.  She's being reassigned; he's being laid off and can reapply.  He knows he won't be hired again.  Such is life.

As they begin their research, they find the last mountain they climbed is cursed.  You can go close but you don't go to the summit.  This batch of five climbers did, and now they are dying.  Four Japanese did the same thing and they are all dead.  Some deaths appear accidental but were they?  Who cares about that mountain top?

As they trip from country to country and deal with miscellaneous police departments, they learn there is an old organization that has secrets they don't want divulged.  There's an assassin on the job with a killer directing him.  Jericho doesn't live a quiet life.  Many of his new acquaintances die.  And there's a real shocker of an ending.  It was something I didn't see coming.  Neither did Jericho.  I can guess what he's going to do in the next story now... 

We Are The Hanged Man: DCI Jericho Book One by Douglas Lindsay

DCI Jericho is practically permanently depressed.  His wife disappeared years ago now and he never could find her.  He's lost without her and feels guilty.  He also sees her and can talk to her now and then, so either she's a ghost or he's a mental case.  Or maybe both of those are true.

Blasted Heath and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

Mr. Lindsay writes an interesting story.  He makes his characters with faults, no one is without sin, but they persevere on the murders they are trying to solve and are diligent about results.  Not necessarily how you get there though.  They can be a bit unorthodox in pursuit.

Besides being depressed and in a police station that is out of the way and not very busy, Jericho just tries to stay to himself.  Unfortunately, his female chief decides he'd be a perfect cop to put on a British reality TV show.  He just has to show the contestants how to use police procedures to solve a case.  They really have no cases for TV until the murder shows up...

Jericho gets lots of mail but when the Hanged Man tarot card comes in, he wonders if it's supposed to be a message.  It is...

Tarot cards pile up, murders continue, and one of the contestants from the TV show goes missing.  Is she really missing or is it a TV gimmick to increase ratings?  If that isn't enough to concern him, the TV producers are spreading comments about him to garner interest in the show.  It certainly gets the interest of the chief.

It's the past come back to haunt Jericho but someone in the present is helping the killer.  I think Jericho is going to have more problems in the future.  Luckily I have the next book in the series to read.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Jeff Madison and the Curse of Drakwood Forest (Book 2) by Bernice Fischer

Jeff runs into his friend, Rhed, and Phoebe out in the woods.  He was going home until monsters he'd seen before cut him off and tried to capture him.  He tells the others to run but they aren't moving fast enough to escape.  Then a warrior shows up to defend them...

Fischer Self Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.  Pick up the first one if you haven't read it yet.  I hadn't and this book reads well as a stand alone.

When the warrior says that they need to return to Drakmere get the cure to keep Rhed from turning into a tree.  He was changed on their last visit.  Jeff is a dreamer and can make dreams reality.  He brings a door to where they are and jumps through.  Rhed follows.  When the warrior yells because he's angry they didn't listen, Phoebe jumps through too. Rhed is stiffening up, Phoebe has no idea what she's facing, and the witch is after Jeff.  There's danger all the way around.

With three witches, warriors, dragons, all kinds of monsters and the walking dead, there's plenty to worry about.  When Phoebe doesn't listen to Jeff and goes in a cave, the dormant witch there is planning to eat her to become young again.  So Phoebe has one witch after her and Jeff has another after him.

The story is action packed, has humorous moments, and keeps your attention to the end.  This book is over but the story hasn't ended.  The witch is still after Jeff.  This was a very good read.