Book battle: Against the odds

Both of our contenders want more out of life than what society or their families want for them.  They will achieve their goals in any way they can.  But which book tells a better story ?

Today’s battle is:

Spirit’s Princess by Esther Friesner


Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer


First up: Spirit’s Princessprincess

Set in ancient Japan, before there was a written language, Himiko, tries to find her own path in life.  Himiko’s father is the chieftain for the Matsu clan and the family would like nothing better than to have a dutiful and obedient daughter.  Himiko wants more out of life.

Next: Bloody Jack

bloody jack

Jack Farber is a cabin boy aboard the H.M.S. Dolphin.  Tired of living on the streets of London with a gang of orphaned children begging for money to buy food, a life at sea is just the change needed.  Seeing the world and having adventures is a dream come true, but hiding your secrets can be stressful.  Jack is a girl named Mary.


Both books start slowly, so have patience, the action picks up in the middle.  The reason for the slow start maybe because both books are begins of series (Bloody Jack has 10 books currently and Spirit has one more book).  Spirit’s Princess didn’t grab me it was ok.  The overall story is interesting but the author does take her time to set up the story for the next book.  I also didn’t like the way Spirit’s Princess ended, it was abrupt and at a critical moment in the story (angry me).

Bloody Jack gave me the feeling that I was reading a diary and I could see Jack’s growth as she learned more about the world and herself.  I also enjoyed the way the dialogue changed as she switched locations.  On the streets of 18th century London she speaks like a Dickens character (“the girl what stole me clothes “), after becoming a ship’s boy she takes on the language of a sailor, and as she becomes more educated, words and phrases change.

Any:/ Rule Breaker The Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell

Just 1 book in a series of 12

Book 12 in a series

This is a rule breaker because it is not YA – it is an Adult Book.  The plot of the story is a troubled policewoman who solves a murder that is tied to an earlier crime that was committed by some HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS years ago.

The blurb on the jack sounded interesting and it WAS a fairly good story.  However, it also promised that “Mallory” (the policewoman) was the successor to Lisbeth Salander, Stig Larrson’s hero.  She isn’t.

The first part of the story was fast paced, but once you figured out “who did it” the story should have ended.  Instead, it dragged on with unnecessary scenes featuring an earlier suspect that nobody cared about.  Maybe the author thought readers were still unable to solve the clues that had already been given?  Anyway, I plowed through the last part unwilling to miss a possible plot twist, but there wasn’t any.

In the end, I feel like I devoted more time to reading this book than it was worth.  Part of it is my own fault because I didn’t realize that this book was the 12th book in a “Mallory” series  starring the same detective until well into the story.  The fact that the story was able to be read as a “stand alone” book is a credit to the author.  Not everyone can do this.

What I don’t understand is the appeal this policewoman has on readers to generate the clamor for twelve books (or more) about her.

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Who’s Your Hero?

The new Captain America movie came out lst week and I know that I’m going to have to take my son to see it. He has watched the first movie more times than I could possibly count. It got me thinking- who’s your favorite superhero?

Any:/ Sci-Fi Advisory Neptune’s Tears by Susan Waggoner

SciFi by Susan Waggoner

SciFi by Susan Waggoner


Well, who wouldn’t just love a story about a future Earth where aliens have landed and a young girl who falls in love with one of them?  I read the first 3/4′s of the book rapidly.  I was really enjoying it until I suddenly noticed that there weren’t enough pages left in the book to successfully tie up all the storylines.  Which means either you are going to get a really lame ending or the author is going to deliberately leave you hanging because she intends to write a sequel.

Guess which one this was.  Wrong! Evidently, this is part 1 of a new series.  Darn!

I’m sure it is partly my age [don't ask] but, I am sick and tired of series books!  I want a story with a great plot, interesting characters and amazing dialogue.  I want to be fully involved with the tale, but when I close the book, I want it to be OVER.

I don’t want to wait until the next book comes out to find out what happens!  Usually, I have forgotten the subtler points in the previous book by then and am, therefore, compelled to re-read it before tackling the new book.  I’m old.  I don’t have that kind of time to devote to one author anymore.  Especially not if I want to have time enough to read everything else out there before I clock out!

There. That’s my rant.

Please know, however, that this was indeed a great story.  Though the “alien” is not quite as alien as I would have wished, it is worth reading.  That is, if you don’t mind waiting for the next installment.  Go ahead.  You young folks still have plenty of time to spare.



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Unleashed by Nancy Holder


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan



Unspoken and Unleashed are both treats from the paranormal fantasy genre.  Unspoken is a delicious little adventure on the other side of the pond where a mysterious family with a deep dark secret has returned to the manor and brought death and fear along for the ride. Unleashed is woodsy story about an orphan sent to live with the grandfather she never really knew in a forest with dark dangerous secrets of its own. Both books keep you guessing as to their supernatural boogies.


Following the proud tradition of other supernatural teen titles, these books both feature hot guys and character-defining situations. But, let’s get down to which one is for you.

1. Do you like…

a) scary moments

b) quirky moments

2. Would you prefer…

a) no friends

b) imaginary friends

3. Can you handle…

a) hair-raising fight for your life scenes

b) hair-raising death scenes

4. Do you prefer…

a) athletic main characters

b) nosy main characters

5. Do you like…

a) stories based in America

b) stories based in the United Kingdom
You decide the winner on this Teen Book Battle… count your a’s and b’s. If you have more a’s Unleashed is the book for you. If you have more b’s try Unspoken instead.


Six Word Summary Showdown ~ Daughter of Smoke and Bone


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Hopes ~ Wings   Worlds Collide    Forbidden Love



Battle Royale: Pixies by Sean Patrick O’Reilly

Mom's Choice Award

Sean Patrick O’Reilly

This was not your usual “edgy” graphic novel.  There were no dark themes, no colorful language and the art was unexceptional. Instead, it read and looked like a Saturday morning cartoon.  The plot was simple and you knew well in advance that there would be a happy ending.  Appropriate, I suppose, for children and younger teens.  Not bad, it’s just that with an Irish name like Sean Patrick O’Reilly I was expecting a bit more from the author on the subject of little people.





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