Review: The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave


The Secret of Sinbad's Cave by Brydie Walker Bain

3 stars

Read from 14-17 May, 2017

Synopsis: Nat Sheppard’s world is turned upside down on the first day of the school holidays by the discovery of a secret room containing cave maps with clues to an ancient treasure. But Nat and her friends soon discover they’re not the only ones chasing the jewels. Professional treasure hunters are on the trail – and they’re prepared to eliminate anyone in their way.

Bookish Things: 249 pages. The cover is a little obscure. I don’t hate it, but I don’t really like it either. Book 1 of The Natnat Adventures.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $4.04.

My Review: 

Adventure, magic and general mayhem follow Nat, her brother Jack, little sister Kathleen, and their crew of friends.

Aimed at a younger audience, this YA story still delivers for adults. If you can look past the youthful protagonist and simpler plot and tone, you’ll find a rich cultural adventure that highlights some of New Zealand’s heritage and caving fun.

As the kids search for Sinbad’s treasure they meet enemies, magical creatures, and make a range of new friends. Couple this with some fantastic caving adventures, and characters making logical choices and possessing sound thought processes and you’ve got yourself a winner.

I’d have liked a bit more explanation of the magical elements of the story, they added a nice touch, but felt a little glossed over. For someone who hasn’t been to NZ, I feel a little more information would have made it truly shine. Though there is a glossary of terms at the end, I didn’t feel that was enough.

My favorite character was Pi, his cute antics were a delightful pace changer. It was also nice to see an animal companion that wasn’t a cat or dog.

The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave is a little outside my reading preferences, but I still enjoyed this playful romp through the NZ countryside.

I noticed no errors as I was reading, but the copy I got had atrocious formatting on the kindle, with sentences and paragraphs breaking mid sentence. Also, chapters did not start on a new page.

I would definitely recommend this for young readers.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

Review: The Veil


The Veil by Megan Chance

3 stars

Read from

Synopsis: Great stones crack and split. Storms will tell and the world is changed…

Seventeen-year-old Grace has found the archdruid who can teach her to use her power as the veleda—the priestess prophesied to save Ireland. But nothing is as it should be. The archdruid is a dangerous fairy, and Grace can’t learn the spells, no matter how hard she tries. Something is wrong…but what?

Meanwhile, gentleman Patrick Devlin and warrior Diarmid Ua Duibhne both struggle with their love for Grace, their duty to their warring brotherhoods, and their support of Ireland. And New York City is in chaos with protests, immigrant gangs, and police crackdowns. The only hope for the future is the ancient ritual, just weeks away, in which Diarmid must take the life of the girl he loves.

Secrets, legends, and prophecies collide in an explosive finale that will save the world—or destroy it. Continue reading

Review: Bloodrealms


Bloodrealms by Aurora Whittet

3 stars

Read from April 6-8, 2017

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny? Continue reading

Review: The Shadows


Read from February 23rd – March 1, 2017

Synopsis: Grace Knox is about to turn seventeen, and the world of Victorian New York society should be opening to her—a time of dances and parties and boys vying for her heart and her hand. Instead, Grace’s world is closing in: the family business is gone; her brother is drinking and gambling away whatever is left; her widowed mother cannot cope; and her grandmother is slipping into madness. And now Grace is having disturbing dreams of ancient battles.

Grace’s only hope is to marry Patrick Devlin and let his fortune save them all. But she isn’t sure she loves Patrick, and she doesn’t share his passion to free Ireland from British rule. Why look to Ireland when there is so much poverty and despair here?

Then Grace meets Diarmid, an Irish stableboy. Being with him means losing everything. But the secrets and mystery surrounding him are too compelling to ignore. Soon Grace is drawn into his world of legend and heroes, magic and prophecy—the world of her dreams—where her own choice between faith and fear holds the greatest power of all. Continue reading

Review: The Mansion’s Twins


TheMansion'sTwins3 stars

Read from February 7th-15th, 2017.

Synopsis: Ellie and Savannah Senka, fourteen year old twins, ran away from their unhappy homes, thinking they’d return after a brief adventure. Together, they journey to another world. The new world is full of magic, but though it was once beautiful, it is damaged, unbalanced, and dangerous after a terrible storm. Ellie and Savannah may be the only ones with the power to restore the world to its original state, for the magic of twins is rare and powerful. The girls are welcomed into a grand mansion, the safest place in the aftermath of the storm. There, they learn who they are, and what they have to do. To restore the world, they must travel through the mansion to the center of magic and reset the balance. They discover their own magical abilities, find joy and friendship in the mansion’s family, and face the dangers of the storm’s left-behind magic. The journey to the center of magic is full of twists and turns, magic and excitement. Ellie and Savannah support each other to overcome obstacles along the way, knowing the whole world is depending on them. Continue reading

2016 Reviews completed!


excitedbaby

I’m finally caught up to 2017 reviews… and it’s only July!

In 2016, I read 50 books.

2016books

Of those 50, I only rated two books 5 stars. Happily they were both Australian women writers! Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat and The Orchid Nursery by Louise Katz.

The rest of the break down went like this:

  • I rated 16 of the books 4/5.
  • 23 of them 3/5.
  • 7 books got 2/5 stars.
  • I rated one book 1/5.
  • I couldn’t finish one book.

How did you go in 2016? Are you trying to challenge yourself with a reading challenge this year?

Stay tuned for my 2017 reviews coming soon.