Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes, I like to take a break from reading heavy books and switch it up with something lighter. I find that books aimed for little kids are just adorable in the way they portray the classic good-vs-evil story with a whole host of cute characters; they can definitely be appealing if you want something light-hearted. With that, let me start my review:

Warren the 13th comes from a long line of hotel owners. He is the sole bellhop, waiter, valet, and groundskeeper for his family’s ancient hotel. Once, it was a glorious place that was always booming but now it’s more of a shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and musty rooms. However, the hotel has a secret: it just might be the home for a magical object called the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren make sense of all of the clues to find the treasure before his evil Aunt Annaconda does?

What a cute book! Warren is such an adorable character, and he is the sweetest kid you will ever read about! The story reminded me a little of¬†The Wolves Chronicles by Joan Aiken (which I’m still in the process of reading) because of its wackiness and weird plot twists. The ebook ARC version that I read had some illustrations in it but they were not always in the best format; I think the final completed version of this book has made the illustrations a lot clearer so that will be another element that kids will enjoy. This is definitely a story I can see middle schoolers enjoying because it’s got great elements, great pictures, and a great theme!

Happy reading ~

Blood Divine by Greg Howard

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

YAY VAMPIRES!!!! As usual, I got super excited when I read the blurb for this novel. Vampires and witches and biblical connections… it’s got everything I’ve ever wanted all rolled into one. And if you haven’t already noticed, I read a lot of fantasy/paranormal/science fiction stories! So here is my review:

Cooper Causey has spent his entire life trying to stay away from his hometown in South Carolina, with its demons and supernatural forces. As it is, it’s all he can do to control his own powers that resides deep within him. But when his grandmother leaves a panicked voicemail to Cooper, he knows he must return. And when he does, it is only to discover that his childhood home is empty – his grandmother is now missing. As Cooper searches for her, he uncovers the truth behind his peculiar ancestry and finds himself a pawn in the middle of an ancient war between two supernatural forces. And the only way to protect those he loves is to embrace his own dark powers and choose the “right” side in this epic battle.

This novel has received a great deal of positive reviews, which, frankly, I’m quite surprised by. It isn’t that this novel is terrible … but I didn’t think it was very good either. The story was fast-paced…. a bit too fast-paced, in my opinion. Things were happening so quickly and not enough of a background was being established. There was just a very simple summary of the existence of these two supernatural races; I felt that there could have been more detail, more discovery about the origins and just a little bit more time for the reader to digest all of the connections. While it was still interesting, the origin seemed too simplistic for me to enjoy.

The main character was funny and foolhardy and definitely in love with his childhood friend. I didn’t mind any of those things. What I did mind was the constant reference to these powers that he apparently has had since he was a child, which he has kept hidden. There were very brief mentions of how it manifested in his childhood, and throughout the entire story, any mention of his abilities made me feel like I was missing out on some crucial detail that everyone else seemed to know.

I love reading about different characters. But there is such a thing as too many characters, especially when they are all thrown into the mix helter-skelter. With every forward movement in the story, there were other characters being introduced. And because of the fast pace and the barrage of new personas, I felt like I didn’t really get a deeper look into each character. Maybe that’s what the author wanted, maybe it was meant to just be taken at face value with nothing deeper going on, but I prefer my characters to have more to them than just what meets the eye.

Overall, this novel overwhelmed me with its rapid pace and its cast of characters. It underwhelmed me with its lack of depth in origin stories and its simplistic and stereotypical plot twists. If you are looking for a quick supernatural story with lots of action, then check this novel out. But if it is depth you want, then look somewhere else.

Happy reading ~

 

 

The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney

This is a novel I received as an advance¬†copy from NetGalley in exchange for writing an honest review. The one thing I love about these opportunities to read pre-release novels is that when I get the eBook version, I completely forget what the novel is about and have no way of checking to see what the synopsis is unless I go and sign into my account on the website… which I never do because it is tedious and I am extremely lazy! I say this is a good thing because when I start reading the novel, I have no expectations about it or preconceived notions on where the story will go. And it truly feels like I am embarking on this wonderful literary journey that could literally take me anywhere! So let me describe what this journey was all about:

Anna Francis is a young Greek refugee who lives in England with her father and her doll, Penelope. Although she is quite young, she can still remember remnants of her life in Greece, with her mother and brother and all of the fantastic tales of Homer. But now, she must leave it all behind and can talk to no one about her past, especially her father. All day she spends inside her house, with its dusty rooms and attic full of old memories. When she goes exploring one day, she sees a terrible crime being committed – and is spotted by one of the people involved, a young boy named Luca with yellow eyes. It comes as a surprise when she sees him again more often and forms a sort of hesitant friendship with him. Anna could never have predicted that this friendship would be the beginning of the end of life as she knew it.

When this novel first began, I was confused as to what was going on. A fair bit of the beginning consisted of Anna just describing her world and how sad she was. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if that was all the story was going to be about. But suddenly, the story took flight and went into the realm of fantasy and mythology, which I never expected. I grew to like the character of Anna and found myself engrossed in her adventures. The one thing I found both intriguing and maddening was how this novel seemed to just barely graze the surface of what was really happening and I really hope this means the author is considering writing a sequel. This was a truly lovely novel that stretches the imagination with its fantasy elements and makes you feel a sense of camaraderie with the main characters. It is set to be released on May 10th, which is just a few days away, so keep an eye out for it!

Happy reading