Fireborne – Rosaria Munda

FireborneFrom the publisher, “Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet. But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city. With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves…or step up to be the champion her city needs. 

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.”

This extremely well written political fantasy offers a study of regimes.  When one regime is overthrown, will the next one be any better?  Is the new government really for the people or is it creating a whole new set of class struggles?  The characters of Annie and Lee are fantastic.  Annie begins rather timid, lacking confidence and we see her grow into leadership.  Lee begins with royal confidence, despite witnessing his family slaughtered.  As his beliefs falter due to conflicts between lineage and the present, we see his confidence diminish.  Engaging, thought provoking, true characters – all of them, this book has it all! AND DRAGONS! I am eager to read more from this author.  Highly recommend!

eGalley review                                            Publication date 10.15.19

Posted in fantasy, highly recommend, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Voyage of the Frostheart – Jamie Littler

Voyage of the Frostheartr, “In a snow-covered land where monsters rule the icy tundra, only song weavers hold the power to control these vicious giants. But for centuries song weavers have been the subject of suspicion—how can those who hold so much power be trusted?

 

Ever since his parents were lost on a pathfinding expedition, Ash has spent his life as an outcast. As a budding song weaver, his village marked him as a potential threat, even though all he wants to do is protect them. Eager to find his place in the world, he and his cantankerous yeti caretaker seek passage on the Frostheart: a ship-like sleigh whose mission is to explore faraway lands. There he meets a fast-talking, spunky navigator, a walrus captain with a peg leg who runs a tight sleigh, and a mysterious traveler who encourages him to hone his song. But can Ash’s song weaving save the Frostheart from the monsters hiding under the ice? Or will his untamed powers put his newfound friends in jeopardy? 

Chockfull of heart and humor, as well as Jamie Littler’s irresistable illustrations, the journey of the Frostheart will win over readers and gatekeepers looking for a rich, gateway fantasy read.

As an adventure story for the elementary age kiddos, this was a bit plodding.  The story seemed overly long in the village before he is exiled.  Once they boarded the Frostheart, the story picked up with the action of plenty of near misses.  I don’t know how kids will react to the continual passages regarding Ash’s training and learning to “sing”.  Best character is the yeti guardian.

eGalley review                                                                Publication date 11.5.19

Posted in adventure, Uncategorized

Shine! – J.J. Grabenstein and Chris Grabenstein

ShineFrom the publisher, ““Who do you want to be?” asks Mr. Van Deusen. “And not when you grow up. Right here, right now.” 

Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper’s hero—astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse—but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she’s just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad’s new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn’t fit in. 

Bursting with humor, heart, science, possibilities, and big questions, Shine! is a story about finding your place in the universe—a story about figuring out who you are and who you want to be.

This quick read is made for middle schoolers.  Piper’s father is the new choir director at an elite school so Piper has to leave her friends and start over at this school full of snobby kids.  But not all the students are haughty.  She quickly finds a group of supportive friends, each with their own interests.  Her interest is science and her specialty is kindness.  Piper is a good all-around kid who enjoys science. While she may not have the musical abilities of her parents, her kindness shines through.  Nice read.

eGalley review                                                                Publication date 11.5.19

Posted in realistic fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History – Kassia St. Clair

Golden ThreadWe take cloth for granted. It has just always been there. Cotton, silk, wool, linen, have been with us forever, nothing special. But this book shows how fabric has shaped our civilizations, has allowed us to go to extreme places, to do extreme things. This wonderful story takes us from a cave in the republic of Georgia where traces of the oldest fibers known to have been used by humans were found, (fibers more than 30,000 years old), to the fabric used in space suits. We travel around the world to China where an empress makes the first silk, to Egypt, where linen was filled with magic, to the Vikings, whose ships had sails made of wool. We meet makers of lace and weavers of wool, athletes and astronauts. I love fabrics, so I enjoyed this book very much. But if you are a person who doesn’t know the difference between velvet and denim, and really don’t care, you might enjoy the book a little bit.

eGalley review                                         Publication date 11.12.19

Posted in adult, history, nonfiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Conversations With RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty and Law – Jeffrey Rosen

Conversations with RBGJeffrey Rosen is a law professor at George Washington University and a legal writer. He first met Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when he was a young law clerk. They discovered a mutual love of opera, and began a friendship that has lasted more than twenty years. These thirteen recorded conversations began in 1990 and continue into the present. They talk about landmark cases, the Bill of Rights and equal protection, her view of Row v Wade, her bouts with cancer and her fitness exercises, the other Supreme Court justices and just about everything important to her. I know less than nothing about the law and the workings of the courts, yet I found the discussions of cases and how they are resolved very interesting, and I loved tiny glimpses of her personal life. If you want a fist glimpse into the workings of a great mind, you will enjoy this book. If you have followed her career for years, you will find nothing new, but may find it interesting to hear her own words.

eGalley review                                                           Publication date 11.5.19

Posted in adult, biography, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

The Way I Heard It: True Tales for the Curious Mind with a Short Attention – Mike Rowe

The Way I Heard ItPart autobiography, part biography, this is a collection of stories from a master storyteller.  As I read, I heard hear his rich baritone telling the stories with the unique cadence of his voice.  Each short chapter focuses on a life-changing moment in time for famous person, not revealing the person until the end.  He then ties their story with something in his own life.  An enjoyable, quick read, this book is perfect for short trips, for shared bookshelves in hostels, resorts, waiting rooms, etc.

 

 

 

eGalley review                                                Publication date 10.15.19

Posted in biography, history, humor, Uncategorized | Tagged

To The Land of Long Lost Friends: No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (20) – Alexander McCall Smith

To the Land of Long Lost FriendsOh My! It was so nice to be back in Botswana, feeling the hot dry wind blowing in from the Kalahari, appreciating the lacy shade of an acacia tree, and listening to the musings of Mma Ramotswe. When she happens to meet up with old friends from her childhood, naturally she feels she must try to help with their problems. Charlie is still working as an apprentice detective and seems to finally be growing up, to be actually helping. Mma Makutsi and Charlie are getting along a bit better and Mma Potokwane is again bribing Mma Ramotswe with fruit cake. That pretty much sums up the plot. If you are looking for an intriguing mystery, murder, grand theft, don’t even think about reading this book. BUT if you are in the mood for a gentle story with thoughtful, lovable, characters, this one’s for you. It would be a bit helpful if you had read the preceding books, but that is not absolutely necessary.

eGalley review                                                                Publication date 10.22.19

Posted in adult, fiction, gentle reader, Uncategorized | Tagged ,