Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Review: Lady Dragon, Tela Du

I'm participating in the blog tour for Lady Dragon, Tela Du, the second book in the Rizkaland Legends series. I'm reviewing the book. I'm really tired right now, so I don't know what else I need to say about this, other than here's a cool picture!

And an author bio: Kendra E. Ardnek is a home-school graduate who picked up a pen at an early age and never put it down. The eldest of four, she makes her home in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her parents, younger siblings, giant herd of giraffes, and honor guard of nutcrackers.

And the author herself: 

 And the book cover. Because why not?

Recommended for: Ages 12-Adult

Kendra's content advisory:
"Romance: Pretty strong since I'm dealing with a married couple, but doesn't go past minimally-described kissing and sharing a bed.
Violence: Mild fantasy sort. I can't write gore to save my life.
Magic: Fairly strong. You can read a full description of how I use magic in this series here."

Two girls with one face
Two girls with twisted fate
One in purple, one in red
One shall speak the other’s death
Who shall win their final war?
Lady Dragon or Tela Du?

Amber, the Lady Dragon, has been promised a fifty-year reign over Rizkaland and nothing can stop her from claiming it. But when you've lived six thousand years, fifty is such a pitiful number. Only one person can keep her from making this reign permanent - the Tela Du, a girl who shall share Amber's face.

The last thing Petra wants is a magical world interrupting her plans for a normal life, let alone an ultimate battle against the Lady Dragon with only one prophesied survivor. She has her childhood best friend, Reuben, at her side, but she's not sure if he's more of a help or a hindrance right now. Though she'd much prefer to just return home and forget about this whole crazy affair, things change when she discovers that the world has surprising connections to her own family - including her sister who disappeared without a trace two years before. Still, Rizkaland can't possibly expect her to risk her very life, can it?

I totally called most of the plot twists. The book still kept me up, though, way past when I should have gone to bed. But I had to finish it so I could focus on my review of Reversal Zone. (At least, that's what I told myself.) At any rate, Kendra has entered my roster of evil authors.

Writing: 4.75/5
Kendra's writing style is very fitting for her personality. Really fun, yet somehow serious, too. It was really well-written. The only drawback was the many typos. Some of them were fixed, but I didn't mark all of them, so not all of them got fixed. Oh, well. Most of the time I could figure out what she meant, so it wasn't really that much of a drawback.

Setting: 5/5
Of course, a lot of the world had already been set up in the first book, so there wasn't as much ground for Kendra to cover, but the world-building she did was very well-done. The settings were interesting, fun, yet serious, and the descriptions were well-done.

Plot: 5/5
So twisty and turny. Oh, my goodness, I'm not even sure I even understand everything that went on. It was very intriguing and kept me up reading, as I said, really late. It's just so...I don't know how to describe it, especially without giving something away. You just have to read the book.

Character Development: 5/5
Okay, so you know the author's doing a good job when you heartily wish for the bad guy's reformation even though there seems to be absolutely no way she will survive. Just all of the characters...but this category is even more spoilery than the last one. So I'll just talk about Reuben and Petra. They're both awesome and cool and I love their relationship. It's so close. I like Ashley, too. Amber and's complicated. Really complicated. I won't even try to talk about anyone else.

This is such a good book. You totally have to read it. Although you have to read Water Princess, Fire Prince first. Which, by the way, is free from the 19th to the 23rd. That includes today, so go get it and start reading, if you haven't read it already. And go here to buy Lady Dragon, Tela Du on kindle and paperback.

Other links:
Add it to Goodreads:
Go to Kendra's blog:
Kendra's website:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Book Review: Silas Marner

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Rating: PG

Recommended for: Ages 15 and up (interest level)

Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love, the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his loom. . . and his gold. Silas hoards a treasure that kills his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired founding child. Where she came from, who her parents were, and who really stole the gold are the secrets that permeate this moving tale of guilt and innocence. A moral allegory of the redemptive power of love, it is also a finely drawn picture of early nineteenth-century England in the days when spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses, and of a simple way of life that was soon to disappear.

When I read this book for school I didn't really know what it was about or what to expect. The descriptions don't really tell what the story is about, so I waited for more than half the book for the child to come into the story. I really liked it and there were some times where I wanted to keep reading.

Technical: 4/5

It did not have as much wordiness as many classics do and it was easy to find the story within the book. There was one chapter that was boring for a good portion of it, but it was the only chapter like that. They were not the easiest characters to connect to, but you could still feel for them. It did jump to some backstory and then several years later, but the timeline was easy to keep track of.

Setting: 4/5

The story is set in the town of Raveloe, where the people do not really like strangers. Silas is from a city but I don't remember it ever being named. There was nothing that seemed to be out of place in the setting and the setting worked well for the story.

Plot: 4.5/ 5

It does not have the most unique plot, but it is done in an interesting way. A good portion of the story follows Godfrey, who is the son of the Squire. Godfrey is being threatened by his brother with blackmail. Godfrey causes himself trouble by trying to live two lives and to keep others from knowing about a secret marriage. From the reader's point of view, there is not much mystery as to where the child came from.

Characters: 5/5

The characters are flawed. Silas becomes obsessed with his money after he has lost everything else. Godfrey tries to avoid dishonor and focuses on what he wants then and not thinking of how he might regret it later. There are other characters too, one in particular having a lot of problems. The characters grow in the story and they are different at the end than how they were at the beginning of the story. There was one thing that I'm a little confused on how it came about, since one character involved was opposed to the matter and then it skips and the thing has then happened.

This book has a mostly happy ending, though some things are left unanswered in the characters' lives but it was mostly concluded. I would recommend this book especially if you like classics.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Book Review: Firmament: Reversal Zone

I'm participating in the blog tour for J. Grace Pennington's new book Reversal Zone, part of her Firmament series. Obviously, I'm reviewing the book. But first, read more about the book below.

J. Grace Pennington has published four science fiction novels. They each have a unique bent to them, but this one is very different. Each book is a standalone, but as with any series, you get more of the story if you read them all in order. In Reversal Zone, the main character, Andi Lloyd, becomes the only one who can save the ship and crew. Can she do it in time?

About the Book

Nothing is as it should be.

After weeks of boredom, Andi is excited when the Surveyor is called upon to rescue a freighter that mysteriously vanished in uncharted space.  Excitement quickly turns to unease when the ship encounters an unknown phenomenon—a cloud that appears not to exist.  But with the freighter's crew in danger, the Surveyor has no choice but to venture into unknown territory.

As soon as they enter the cloud, its unstable effects wreak havoc on the ship.  They're flying blind.  Every piece of equipment is malfunctioning.  And every member of the crew is unable to think straight or act like themselves—except Andi.

Now she's expected to guide them through the predicament with no previous command experience and no one to turn to for support.  And with each passing hour, it becomes clear that if they don't escape the cloud soon—they won't escape it at all.

Recommended For: Ages 13 to Adult (interest level)

Rating: PG

If you like sleep, then this book isn't for you. However, if you are perfectly willing to stay up all hours of the night to finish this book, then you must read this book. Because it is amazing.

Rightly is Grace called "The Sleep-Stealer." I stayed up way later than I should have reading this book. But being incredibly tired the next day was totally worth it.

Writing: 5/5
I read another really good book for a different blog tour before writing this review (perhaps not the most brilliant plan?) so I might forget something, but I don't remember any flaws in the writing. The story was clear and concise, the wording well-put, and I don't remember any typos. It moved the story along brilliantly and kept the focus where it should have (Crash! Why did he have to-but spoilers). 

Setting: 5/5
This story is set entirely on the Surveyor. Same good old ship we know from the previous books. Well-described, perfect setting for the story.

Plot: 5/5
*Incoherent screaming* SPOILERS Andi's going to die. The radialloy isn't working any more because she's so brave and saved them all and now she's going to die and it's awful. And CRASH HOW COULD HE DO SUCH A HORRIBLE THING? I get why, but EVERYBODY ALMOST DIED! Is being a responsible and reliable human being really worth that? And August was so mean to Andi, how could he? The captain was really that lazy? HOW COULD AUGUST BE SO DARN SNAPPISH TO ANDI? END SPOILERS Okay, I'm good now. Man, what a plot. I did see both of the major plot twists coming, but the second one was still really heartbreaking. The plot was all twisty and turny and exciting and kept me up reading too late.

Character Development: 5/5
Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. The amount of work it took to invert the personalities of all the characters and make it seem Andi, of course, was great. The Doctor was pretty good when he was himself, August, too (when he was himself), and Crash...well, you're just going to have to read the book. The other characters were good, too, down to Spock-ish Guilders, but I much prefer when they're being their normal selves. Granted, I think the book would have been much improved by Elasson, but I think I'm going to have to wait a few more books before he comes back in. (How could Grace be so cruel and make us wait so long?) In short? Characters: Brilliant. But I need more Elasson.

This book is amazing. You have to go buy it right now HERE! and read it as soon as possible. If you haven't entered the Firmament series yet, you must do so. You can buy the first book HERE! or enter the giveaway below for a chance to win them for free. And the series needs more Elasson. Just saying.

Another link to buy Firmament: Reversal Zone:

About the Author

J. Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk, and writing them down since age five.  Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits.  When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading good books, playing movie soundtracks on the piano, and looking up at the stars.

You can find out more about her writing at


Grace is generously offering three prizes. A signed copy of each of her three previous novels in the series. They are each standalone stories, but they are also connected. If you would like to read more about them, you can read about them here: Radialloy, In His Image, Machiavellian.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out this form.

You can find the rest of the blog tour below. Go check it all out!

Friday, October 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Introduction
The Destiny of One-Guest Post
Rebekah Lyn Books-Author Interview

Saturday, October 8
Shout outs-Guest Post
Shire Reviews-Book Review

Sunday, October 9

Monday, October 10
Rachel Rossano's Words-Excerpt and Guest Post
In the Bookcase-Excerpt and Book Review

Tuesday, October 11
The Overactive Imagination-Excerpt and Guest Post

Wednesday, October 12
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Movie Review: The Emperor's New Groove

The Emperor's New Groove

Recommended For: All Ages

Rating: G

In this animated comedy from the folks at Disney, the vain and cocky Emperor Kuzco is a very busy man. Besides maintaining his "groove", and firing his suspicious administrator, Yzma; he's also planning to build a new water park just for himself for his birthday. However, this means destroying one of the villages in his kingdom. Meanwhile, Yzma is hatching a plan to get revenge and usurp the throne. But, in a botched assassination courtesy of Yzma's right-hand man, Kronk, Kuzco is magically transformed into a llama. Now, Kuzco finds himself the property of Pacha, a lowly llama herder whose home is ground zero for the water park. Upon discovering the llama's true self, Pacha offers to help resolve the Emperor's problem and regain his throne, only if he promises to move his water park.

Last Thursday I got a bad cold, so I spent two days mostly sleeping and watching TV. This movie was going off of Netflix, which we have now gotten rid of, so I decided to watch it. It was so cute and funny! It didn't quite have the feel of most Disney movies, but it was hilarious and awesome!

Technical: 5/5
Do you really need to wonder? It's Disney; they always do a good job. They have great animation and actors and everything else! The dialogue is hilarious. It's quite a funny movie, filled with entertainment, fun, and a little bit of satire.

Setting: 5/5
Just a normal fantasy country... Seriously, though. Jungles, hills, large palaces, llamas, restaurants that serve bugs, squirrels and panthers... I'm not sure if it's supposed to be in a specific place, but it is a very vibrant setting that is the perfect backdrop for the story.

Plot: 5/5
Fun, imaginative, and completely hilarious. If you can't tell, this movie had me in stitches! Kuzco's narration of the entire plot is fabulous. A bit conceited and self-obsessed, but that's just Kuzco! I don't know what else to say about the plot without giving stuff away, so I'll leave it at that.

Character Development: 5/5
Wow. Just... The characters in here? Wow. Kuzco was hilarious and sarcastic and conceited and his character arc was just amazing. Kronk is...Kronk. I like Kronk, even though he is stupid. Yzma...I just love how the entire plot was borne because she was lazy and wanted to save on postage. And Pacha. He was amazing, and made even more amazing by the fact that he was voiced by John Goodman, better known as James P. Sullivan.

I love Sully, so that made it even better.

Basically, this is a hilarious, fun movie that everyone should see at least once.