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Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category

Imago Chronicles Book Four: The Tears of God

by L.T. Suzuki

copyright 2003 by L.T. Suzuki available from http://web.me.com/imagobooks

 

The imagination of Lorna Suzuki is a rich and complex place and nowhere is this made more apparent than in her stellar novel The Tears of God. The Tears of God is the fourth installment in the fantastic Imago Chronicles.

The land of Imago is a wondrous place where brave warriors and knights still fight to preserve their people and keep them free of any evil that threatens to harm them. Imago is people with humans, elves, knights, kings, princes, princesses and all the wonderful things you love to see in fantasy. It is also full of great evil that threatens the lives and loves of the characters you have come to care intensely about.

In The Tears of God Nayla finds herself battling evil in a new form, but this time it’s more personal than it’s ever been before and she must not fail or cost would be unimaginable. The Order is gathered together once again to confront an unknown enemy, or is it really an enemy from the past? Could it be one they thought they had vanquished?

Imago Chronicles Book Four: The Tears of God is the best of the Imago novels to date. Suzuki’s storytelling skills exceed all expectations and the story sets you in the middle of heart-stopping action from the outset. Suzuki handles multiple points of view with ease, always placing you where the story is the most intense. The pace is relentless in this addition to Imago Chronicles.

I highly recommend The Tears of God. It is a wonderful fantasy in the old tradition where the fates of not only individuals, but kingdoms, and entire lands are all at risk. The stakes are high, the action pounds through the pages like a herd of stampeding cattle and all you can do is get out-of-the-way and keep reading till the final climax. I highly recommend Imago Chronicles Book Four: The Tears of God. The Tears of God can absolutely be read as a stand-alone novel. There is no need to have read the previous novels in order to understand it, any backstory that is necessary is provided within the novel itself.  

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A Cure for Chaos

By Alan Tucker

Copyright 2011 by Alan Tucker, published by MAD Design, Inc paperback $14.99 from Amazon or Barnes and Noble ISBN 978-0982686430, eBook from Smashwords $3.99 ISBN 978-0-9826864-2-3

A Cure for Chaos is Alan Tucker’s much anticipated sequel to A Measure of Disorder the premier book in Tucker’s Mother-Earth series. A Cure for Chaos reacquaints us with beloved characters from A Measure of Disorder including Jenni Kershaw, now a freshman who still wants nothing more than to be an ordinary teen and who finds herself being forced into situations that repeatedly require her to rise above the ordinary into the extraordinary.

A Cure for Chaos takes you across America and into Mother, a world beyond ours where beings from our fairy tales and mythologies come to vivid life, offering a unique glance into a world that offers a chance to experience what life could be like if all these things were real.

Jenni Kershaw, one of our heroes/heroines finds her kind, helpful, giving nature keeps landing her in difficult and often dangerous situations. Newcomers to Mother find themselves undergoing transformations and Jenni makes an unforeseen sacrifice.

A Cure for Chaos offers Tucker’s unique and fantastical perspective to children, teens and adults alike in a wonderful world where dreams can come true and where they can be magical things. It is a visit to the best places in the human spirit, where good prevails and uniqueness is celebrated. It’s a stellar trip into the world of imagination and a voyage you will never want to return from. I can’t wait till the third volume comes out!

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Abby: Finding More Than Gold

By Sharon Poppen

copyright 2010 by Sharon Poppen

published by Awe-Struck Publishing, an imprint of Mundania Press, LLC

6470 Glenway Avenue #109, Cincinnati, OH 45211, ISBN 978-1-58749-731-5

Abby: Finding More Than Gold is one of those young adult books that’s a pleasure to read, regardless of your age. It follows the dreams and adventures of a young Irish girl, Abby Barron, from her home in Chicago across the Great Plains of America and finally into the Yukon, where like so many others she pursues her dream of striking it rich with a big gold find.

Abby, a girl not yet eighteen, sets her mind upon fulfilling the dream she and her cousin Liam had of going to the Yukon to find gold, along the way Abby discovers many new and exciting things about herself and the people around her. Abby will never be the innocent ‘colleen’ who set out from Chicago a short time before.

Reading Abby: Finding More Than Gold leaves you longing for a sequel to the book, but according to author Sharon Poppen a sequel, if there is one, is quite a way in the future as she is currently under contract for other projects related to her book, After the War, Before the Peace. Still, you’ll want to know more of the fate of Abby, the Finleys and the rest of the family and friends from Abby: Finding More Than Gold.

Poppen does an excellent job with characterization and voice, although there is a touch of stereotype in the characters, it is not enough to detract from the story. Generally speaking there is a rich canvas of characters, action and story that fully and logically moves from beginning to conclusion with just enough tension to keep you eagerly turning pages.

What follows is an excerpt from early in the book:

“Abby took a deep breath and entered the darkened interior. The lobby was surprisingly clean and welcoming. She walked atop a faded Oriental rug runner, passing several divans and overstuffed chairs on her way to the hotel desk. A man wearing a green-shaded visor looked up from a newspaper and smiled broadly.

“Well, well, little lady.” His leering smile heightened Abby’s anxiety.

She laid the newspaper on the desk and pointed to the ad. “May I see Mr. Finley, please?”

He waved toward a room off to his left. “I believe I saw him come back a bit ago. Try the dining room. He may be having his lunch.”

Abby looked in the direction he pointed. “Can you tell me what he looks like?”

The clerk stepped from behind the desk and motioned for her to follow him. He led her to a room just off the hotel lobby. The room was bathed in the warmth of the January sun. At four of the eight or nine small tables, covered with white tablecloths and surrounded by four chairs each, sat lone male diners. The room was bright and stark in contrast to the dark of the lobby. The white walls were devoid of decoration. Only two potted ferns brought any color into the room.

The clerk pointed to a man who was sitting with his back to her at a table by the window. “That’s him.” He returned to his desk to talk with another woman. Abby noticed that the newcomer wa an unnatural blonde and was wearing far too much make-up. Her silk, red dress was inappropriately garish for this time of afternoon, or anytime actually. Abby watched the clerk and the woman exchange suggestive smiles before the blonde headed toward the stairs.

“Seat yourself girlie.” A chubby man wearing a greasy apron barked at her as he headed toward Mr. Finley with a bowl of soup and a pile of crackers.

Abby gripped the newspaper tightly and attempted to follow the waiter, but found her feet stuck to the floor. They refused to budge. Her terrified mind admonished her to turn and go home. She took two steps back. The newspaper fell from her hand.”

Just what happens to Abby from this point on is both a wonderful and terrible story of pain, hope and new beginnings. Abby: Finding More Than Gold is a joy to read regardless of your age.

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Witch & Wizard: The Gift

By James Patterson and Ned Rust

Copyright 2010 by James Patterson, published by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, ISBN 978-0-316-03625-2

Witch & Wizard: The Gift is the second installment in James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard series. I loved the first book in the series, Witch & Wizard. I thought the story was great and the characters were wonderful. I’m not as enthused about Witch & Wizard: The Gift. The cast of characters remains essentially unchanged, but they digress from the form they had in the previous book. Also, this book doesn’t, in fact, pick up from the same spot the where the previous book ended. It’s rather confusing.

I liked the combination of Patterson and Charbonnet in Witch & Wizard. I don’t think the combination of James Patterson and Ned Rust in Witch & Wizard: The Gift works as well. The story really diverges from the direction it seemed to be heading in the first book. Maybe Patterson wanted to change directions but the story ended up losing some of its character and ability to be related to. Instead of being a sequel it feels like a different story that just happens to have the same characters as another story. Little remains to bind it to the first book other than the names of the people in it.

I don’t want you to get me wrong; I still feel Witch & Wizard: The Gift is worth reading. It still carries on the story of Whit and Wisty, just not in ways you would have foreseen, but maybe that’s not all bad. The story doesn’t allow you to settle in a comfortable rut and say, “Oh yes, well this is absolutely what this story is about and this is what is going to happen.” There’s no point where you’ll find yourself saying that. But if you’ve read both books you’ll probably like the first better.

After reading Witch & Wizard: The Gift I’m still curious about what is going to happen to Whit and Wisty, but I don’t know if it’s a strong enough desire to make me read the next book in the series, especially if it’s another Patterson/Rust collaboration.

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Kissed by an Angel

By Elizabeth Chandler

Copyright 1995 (all three volumes) by Dennis Weiss Associates and Mary Clair Helldorfer

Produced by Alloy Entertainment, 151 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001

Published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 $9.99

Kissed by an Angel is a trilogy, bound together, consisting of the novels Kissed by an Angel, The Power of Love and Soulmates.It is aimed at a middle grade and young adult audience. I found Kissed by an Angel to be a fascinating book. It had all the love and gentleness of first love, a murder mystery and tons of suspense.

Kissed by an Angel contains no obscenity or gratuitous sex. It is wholesome, yet thoroughly enjoyable. I felt that Kissed by an Angel provided the best qualities of good reading. There is a wonderful building of tension through each book up to its concluding pages

There is a tendency in the entirety of the complete volume to lose pace at the transition between the books of the trilogy. This is necessary so the reader has the basics of events that led up to the new book. I personally don’t consider any of the books in the trilogy as stand-alone books. I’m also not sure if they were marketed as stand-alone books. Their current marketing of the three books as one bound trilogy works very well.

What follows is a passage from the trilogy, Kissed by an Angel

Will gave her a smile, but it was more with his eyes, which were deep brown, than with his mouth. His lips turned up slightly at just one corner of his mouth.

He was not easy to figure out, thought Ivy.

“O’Leary” said Eric when the owner had passed by, “have you got the hots for Pat, or what?”

“Likes those older women,” Gregory teased. “One at UCLA, one doing Europe instead of college…”

“You’re kidding,” said Suzanne, obviously impressed.

Will glanced up. “We’re friends,” he said, and continued sketching. “And I work next door at the photo lab.”

That was news to Ivy. None of Will’s friends had real jobs.

“Will did that portrait of Pat,” Gregory told the girls.

It was tacked up on the wall, a piece of cheap paper worked over with wax crayons. But it was Pat all right, with her straight, soft hair and hazel eyes and generous mouth – he had found her beauty.

“You’re really good,” said Ivy.

Will’s eyes flicked up and held hers for a second, then he continued his drawing. For the life if her she didn’t know if he was trying to be coo; or if he was just shy,

“You know, Will,” said Beth, “Ivy keeps wondering if you’re really cool or just shy.”

“Beth!” said Ivy. “Where did that come from?”

“Well, haven’t you wondered it? Oh, well, maybe it was Suzanne. Maybe it was me. I don’t know, ‘ivy, my mind’s a muddle. I’ve had a headache since I left your house. I think I need caffeine.”

“Gregory laughed. “That chocolate pizza should do the job.”

“For the record,” Will said to Beth, “I’m not really cool.”

“Give me a break,” Gregory said.

Ivy sat back in her chair and glanced at her watch. Well, it had been eight whole minutes that she had thought about other people. Eight whole minutes without imagining what it would have been like if Tristan had been sitting beside her. That was progress.”

Kissed by an Angel is full of love, heartache, mystery and suspense. It is everything you would want your teenager to read. As an adult I found it extremely entertaining. It had me so caught up in its story that I couldn’t wait to read it each day. I highly recommend it, especially for teens and tweens.

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