blogging, Books, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Uncategorized

The Truth Seeker

“Women are turning up dead, and Lisa O’Malley has a habit of walking into crime scenes, curious. She’s a forensic pathologist, and mysteries are her domain. U.S. Marshal Quinn Diamond has found loving her is easier than keeping her safe. Lisa’s found the killer, and now she’s missing too.”

The Truth Seeker, by Dee Henderson is the third book in the O’Malley series. I know I am changing things up by doing a review of the third book first, but this one is my favorite in the series and I wanted to start with it. Henderson’s series are inspirational religious books. She is very good at writing fiction that makes one think about things in a unique way. They way she tells each of the stories in this series is different from the other yet the same.

Lisa O’Malley struggles with the resurrection of Christ, and Quinn Diamond is falling in love with Lisa, while investigating the murder of his father that happened over twenty years ago. Together they put pieces together, of the murders in Chicago. The way Henderson writes this story is not sappy and unrealistic, it is realistic, and at the same time still not boring. She brings across the point of the investigations, and the terms that go along with that. She uses detail to such a point that the reader can clearly see the picture of what is happing in ones mind eye.

The reason this book is one of my favorites is that reason, the vividness of the descriptions and feelings of the characters. It feels as though the reader is experiencing everything with the O’Malley’s. I recommend this book and the rest in its series to anyone who is looking for a mystery and a romance as well as a laugh. Dee Henderson knows how to write mysteries and romance while still throwing in a laugh.

blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology

The Red Pyramid

“Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe – a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.”

I have already wrote some about mythology, so it should come as no surprise that I am writing again about mythology. Egyptian mythology holds a place in me. I love it because of the history that is steeped in the mythos itself. With that explanation out of the way I will get to Rick Riordan, he writes all types of mythologies and blends them together. He has written about Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse Mythology, and he does it wonderfully. This book in particular is about Egyptian Mythology.

Carter and Sadie Kane are siblings, but they spend the majority of their time away from each other, Sadie living with their Grandparents in England and Carter Traveling with their Father. Their mother has passed away. When their father disappears Carter and Sadie are swept up on an adventure that takes them all over the place. Riordan does something different with this series than he did with his Greek Mythology ones, where in those the heroes are descendant of the Greek Gods themselves, Carter and Sadie are simple magicians, they are not related to the ancient Gods of Egypt, though they do have the Blood of the Pharaohs in them which allows them to do many remarkable things on their journey.

Riordan also does well to not make the parents compete idiots and unlikeable. He makes them real parents and acting the way a parent would, the same goes with the Uncle. Riordan is able to play with the story and make it his own version of the mythos. Because mythos have many different versions of each story they are easy to play with and make it different but still the same story. Another thing he does is pull in the stories that he has written previously. At one point it is mentioned, “Manhattan has other problems. Other gods. It’s best we stay separate.”

Riordan has fun with his writing, he plays around and makes it fun while still being able to tell a story, a good one and not one that is bland and predictable. This book and the others in the series have made me laugh and I have been able to share it with my sister and she loves it as well. it makes a connection to my sister that gives us another thing in a long list of things to speak about and laugh about. Riordan has made work of these Mythos and told a brilliant story out of it.

blogging, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Uncategorized

Two Princesses of Bamarre

“Twelve-year-old Addie admires her older sister Meryl, who aspires to rid the kingdom of Bamarre of gryphons, specters, and ogres. Addie, on the other hand, is fearful even of spiders and depends on Meryl for courage and protection. Waving her sword Bloodbiter, the older girl declaims in the garden from the heroic epic of Drualt to a thrilled audience of Addie, their governess, and the young sorcerer Rhys.

But when Meryl falls ill with the dreaded Gray Death, Addie must gather her courage and set off alone on a quest to find the cure and save her beloved sister. Addie takes the seven-league boots and magic spyglass left to her by her mother and the enchanted tablecloth and cloak given to her by Rhys – along with a shy declaration of his love. She prevails in encounters with tricky specters (spiders too) and outwits a wickedly personable dragon in adventures touched with romance and a bittersweet ending.”

I Love this book! My sister introduced me to this book, and I have read it multiple times. It stars Meryl the Princess who wants to save her kingdom, her little sister Addie, on the other hand does not, she is content to watch as her sister plays at saving the kingdom. I love Addie, her personality is something I related to as a kid, she is not very courageous in the beginning, she is scared of almost everything, but when it comes down to it she bucks up her courage and leaves to save her sister. Family means everything to her.

Gail Carson Levine is a great author I have read many of her books and love them, I get drawn into them every time I read them, regardless if it is the tenth time or the first time I read it. The way that she developed Addie’s personality and lets her find her way while still staying true to the base of who Addie is, created a princess who has the courage to go out and find a seemingly impossible cure for a sickness that threatens her sister. Throughout her journey Addie grows as a Princess and a person, she gains the courage she needed but still contains the vulnerability she had at the beginning of the adventure.

One thing I love about this book is that reason, Addie, Meryl and Rhys are characters one can relate to and are not out there so relatable that they’re fantastical story cannot seem unreal, that it should not happen to them or that something is off about it. It is the perfect mix of Fictional, and reality. The reality is that we all face hard things in our life and while people will let us down and we face things in life that we may think we cannot handle but we do, and do with courage. Though I cannot speak for Levine and why she wrote the book and what she wanted readers to take away from it, but what I get from the book is that no matter where in life one goes, family and friends are always looking out for you.

Addie, Meryl and Rhys, are imperfect characters, that do not try to pretend that they are perfect, they know that they have faults, they accept that, they embrace it and when doing that it helps them get to their end goals in the adventure and they are able to get through it all. I love this book and strongly recommend it to any reader not matter their age! It is a timeless tale that is longing to be enjoyed by people for years to come. As my Favorite quote from the book states “Step Follows Step, Hope follows Courage, set your face toward Danger, Set your Heart on Victory”

Angels, Books, Cassandra Clare, Fantasy, Fiction, Infernal Devices, Shadowhunter

Clockwork Angel

“In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…”

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare is the first book in the series, Infernal Devices, which serves as a prologue to the series, Mortal Interments. I love this series of books. They dynamics between the characters is wonderful. The stubbornness of Will and Jem and Tessa. The series focuses on Tessa, her coming to England from America. Will and Jem are Shadowhunters, a race of beings that are not human, or mundane, they have angel blood in them. Their purpose in life is to hunt downworlders, who are killing humans. There are many varieties of downworlders mentioned throughout the book, each having their own uniqueness. There are the obvious, vampires and werewolves, as well as some that are not well known.

Shadowhunters operate from what is called the Institute, a home for shadowhunters, this is where they train and learn. The People who run this Institute are Henry and Charlotte Branwell. Other Shadowhunters in the institute, besides Jem (James Carstairs) and Will (William Herondale), are Jesamine Lovelace, and later Gaberiel and Gideon Lightwood and Cecily Herondale (Will’s Sister), Tessa Also comes to stay at the Institute.

One of the best features of the series is that of the Friendships, mostly between Will and Jem. The two will do anything for one another. Will Chose Jem to be his Perabati, is partner, friend even though Jem is slowly dying. They are willing to stick with one another no matter what.

Tessa Shows up and things get interesting. Will and Henry save Tess from the Black sisters. two women who work for a man called the Magister, who wants Tess for the power she has, to transform into another person. the Magister has created clockwork people who act as his army.

Throughout the series Those who reside in the Institute show great loyalty to each other, even when they are betrayed by one of their own. though Tessa is different from the Shadowhunters she is still welcomed by them. a bond is created between these shadowhunters that last generations, and is shown in the series Mortal Interments.

Cassandra Clare is able to show the time period of the Victorian Era, and yet input some modern ideas because of the type of story that she wrote. This is done in a way that both showcases the Victorian Era and still stays true to what it was like in the time. this is shown when Tessa fists meets the Shadowhunters and throughout the series as she begins to let go of some of the etiquette that she was taught and trade them for the shadowhunter ways.

I Love this series. it is one of my favorite period pieces. I highly encourage reading this series it is very well written and tells a wonderful story.

Books, Fiction, Greek, Mythology

The Goddess Test

“Every girl who has taken the test has died. Now it’s Kate’s turn. It’s always been just Kate and her mom – and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld – and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests. Kate is sure he’s crazy – until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess. If she fails…”

I first read The Goddess Test in 2014. At the time I was reading anything I could that had to do with Greek Mythology and these books stuck out to me in a way that I loved. No matter how many times I reread these books I always find myself engrossed in the story that is being told. The way the story is told, how things are kept hidden in the beginning and then the way they are reviled was something that I loved.

I had the adventure right alongside Kate, Henry, Calliope, Ava. I found myself wanting to know more just as Kate did. From she found out what was going on and who Henry was, to when she was being tested and learning about what was going on around her. As Kate was doing what she could to not only save Henry, Ava and those around her she grew as a character, and the others around her did as well.

This series of books is a fresh take on Greek myths. It takes the story of Persephone and casts it aside to create a new story one where Hades (Henry) can be a good guy and not someone who is most often cast as the villain simply because of what his job is, taking care of the dead. Yet at the same time it keeps the story true to what we know about the Greek myths. Each of the God and Goddesses are there, just painted in a different way, some are obvious, others are not.

The series doesn’t take the villain and punish them and then are done, the villain does not accept that they have lost and keep trying them no matter what, they keep trying. It’s not an “oh I lost better give up now” they have the villain fulfill the punishment given and then they are off, recruiting help to get back at the heroes of the story. It also shows conflict between family and how hard it can be to help a family member who has given up and does not want to try anymore.

In the end the heroes still win, as with most books. But each character is given an opportunity to help or hinder Kate and Henry. Ava shows how far she would go to save her loved one when he is taken but the villain. Even if it means betraying the others in her family, though in the end she does go back and help Kate and Henry.

This book took the Greek Myths and shook them up turned them around and gave a wonderful story that makes the reader wish things like this happened in the real world, but at the same time gives an opportunity to visit the world of Kate and Henry and Greek Myths anytime they want just by opening the book and reading their story. Though it is fiction it a story and the characters come alive in the minds of the reader.

Books, Christian Fiction, Fiction

Dreamhouse Kings by Robert Liparulo

“When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land. But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into–as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house. They soon discover there’s something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school. Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places–in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen’s dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.”

I was introduced to this series of books by a good friend of mine last year. I am always on the lookout for good books and this is one of her favorites, so when she found out I loved to read she immediately suggested this series to me and loaned me the first book, “House of Dark Shadows” I read the first book within a matter of hours and then bought the books for myself so I could read them at my own pace without having to make sure she was around so I Could get the next book. during this time two other friends of ours were also reading the books, so in a way we were experiencing these books together.

One of the things I Enjoyed about the first book is that it starts off with a bang, it throws the reader right in, to what you don’t really know, but it is a mystery to solve right along side the Kings. Another aspect of the books that I loved is the realness of the family itself. when the reader first meets the Kings they are in a car moving from Las Angeles, California to Pinedale, California, and the scene that is played out in the car is one that many families have had while riding in a car for hours with siblings. Victoria (Toria) is annoying Alexander (Xander) with her bear that records things, making it record and repeat everything Xander says, causing him to get more upset than he already is. The Parents are shown as real people, not a child’s version of how they see their parents acting but as a real person.

Liparulo does something with his books that is reflects the value of family and how they would do anything for one another, but also shows how families can have traditions among themselves that goes back generations. what the Kings’ tradition is has to do with what they name their children. since their last name is King they name their children after great rulers in history, Alexander, David (after King David in the Bible), and Victoria (After Queen Victoria of England). another thing that is mentioned early on is church. they mention that even though they have just moved they will still find a church to go to on Sunday morning. This says to me that even though things may be crazy at the moment there is something that will never change that is a constant, God.

I don’t want to give away what happens in the later books, so I will not say to much more. The King family represents a dynamic that I think is being lost in today’s society. Family that will stick with one another, no matter what happens, kids who respect their  parents, even if they don’t always show it. To me the overall message of these books is that with your family and friends and most importantly God, you can get through anything that is sent your way. So if you need a good Mystery book to read, I Highly recommend Dreamhouse Kings By Robert Liparulo.

Books, Fiction, Uncategorized

Why Reading Brings Joy

Reading. A lot of people think it is just words on a paper, trees that have been cut down to form books. These words on a page do so much more than just site there on the page to be read for a class assignment. There are books out there that teach someone something new, and I am not just talking about the textbooks that college students spend hundreds of dollars on every semester, I am talking about the books that tell a fictional story. one that may be completely made up, one that has no bases in the ‘real world’. these fictitious books come from a persons mind, someone who dreams of a world where almost anything can happen.

Reading is an escape from reality. what ever reality you want to escape from. there is no rule that says what kind of reality you have to be in to have the want  to escape from. Escaping from a reality where you feel trapped because you don’t know how to tell people that care about you that you cannot do something at the moment or you don’t want to do something. reading and words help express feelings and bring out emotions that may other wise be hard to get out. words on a page are so much more than just that.

One of my favorite others, I say one because I have many, C.S. Lewis says this about reading, “Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like a night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”. Reading brings people together. I can and will talk for hours about books with anyone who will listen. In fact one of the best was to get me to talk is to ask about books.

I Cannot express how much reading can do for a person. sometimes it can be easier to connect with a character in a book than it can be to connect to a real person, and through that fictional character you can begin to better express yourself to those around you. I Personally have have trouble connecting with people, so one way that I, (with my mother’s hep) have found to help that is to read, through that I am able to recognize different things. I also make a point to read all sorts of genre, and styles of books, this gives me something to talk about with people who read. When a day had been particularly rough and I want to be alone but not alone I am able to pick up my book, no matter what it is and know that I can loose myself in that world for hours and feel better when I close the book and return to reality.

Anyone who knows me knows that I will always have a book on me, books give me a sense of security, knowing that I have something to read, makes me happy. I am always looking for a good book to read. I Love taking suggestions for books to read and will add them to my ever growing list. an example of this is, a girl who lives down the hall from me told me about a book series, “Splintered” by A.G. Howard, a different take on Alice in Wonderland. I ended up buying the first book in the series, I really enjoyed it.

Books connect people to those around them in a way that will transcend time, through reading one can feel connected to the past when they read a piece that was written in or is set in another time period. As the Tenth Doctor said, “Books! people never really stop loving books. 52st century. By now you’ve got holovids, direct-to-brain downloads, fiction mist. But you need the smell. The smell of books, Donna. Deep breath!”

So go read a book today they are a cheap way to have and adventure without, danger and without leaving your couch!


blogging, Books, Uncategorized

The Purpose of this Blog

Hi! My Name is Elle and I Have decided to start a blog about books! I have a passion for books. they are one of my favorite things. I always have a book with me and am almost always reading. I Have decided to do this because I want to share what I Think about books. I am not just talking about a certain kind of book either, I am talking about all kinds of books. before I Start that i am going to tell you a little about myself. I Am a senior in college (I graduate in May) with a Bachelor’s Degree in History (Liberal Arts, Non-Teaching). I Have 4 Siblings (2 of whom are married) I am second youngest. other than reading I cross stitch, and dabble in writing, and knitting. i love to Geocache with my family, and go on motorcycle rides. some of the books I have read include: Dreamhouse Kings by Robert Liparulo, Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne, Infernal Devices and Mortal Insterments by Cassandra Clare. Left Behind (Kids and Adults) By Jerry Jenkins and Tim LeHaye. There are many many more that i have read and love. i have close to four hundred books in my personal library, which is growing all the time! one thing i love to do is tell people about books and help them find a new book or series to love, so by starting this blog i hope to accomplish just that. I plan to update once a week or so with a new book each time. there is a possibility of spoilers so beware. some posts may be longer than others and some books will be ones that i have had to read for a class. i can post a list of all the books i own if requested to do so. if you have any suggestions for me i will gladly accept them! that is all for now!