Royal Cleaner #5: Family Review

Family (The Royal Cleaner, #5)

Mina and Caroline have just given birth to their twins, and they are dealing with having new magical babies. While they are just starting to take time off, Demons get through the wards of their house. Mina also has to deal with her ex-husband Arjen coming back into the picture, claiming that Caroline’s presence has made Mina an unfit mother for Diya. Mina is trying to work with Caroline on her powers, but Caroline still hasn’t gotten over the death of her twin many years ago. In order to move forward, Caroline and Mina are going to have to face and reconcile with their pasts.

I was happy to see Caroline and Mina get somewhat of a break in this novel. I was so excited that they got to have twins, and they are such good parents. The Demons did come eventually, but you got to see the two also focus on rebuilding their family life after the crazy events of the past few books. I am also happy that Arjen is back into the picture even though he wasn’t there before, just so that Diya doesn’t feel abandoned. It also allowed Mina to see that she didn’t handle everything perfectly, which was an interesting twist on the way I thought the “deadbeat dad” route I thought the story would take.

The story moved smoothly and I immediately remembered who the characters were even though I haven’t read a book from this series since April. It was a little on the shorter side but that made it perfect to read while commuting. I was able to put the book down and pick it back up again at any time without feeling confused.

I can’t say much more about the story without spoiling anything, but I was absolutely hooked again by the time I finished reading this novel and immediately went to pick up the next book in this series. I honestly think that the Royal Cleaner arc might be my favorite Freya Snow spinoff. I can’t wait to talk about the next two in this series!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new adult fantasy/romance novel with LGBT+ main characters.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

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The Dyno Dinosaur Family Presents: Waves of Kindness Review

The Dyno Dinosaur Family Presents: Waves of Kindness

This picture book shows children the power of kindness. Sister Dyno wants to be able to spread kindness to others, but she doesn’t know how. She thinks that she is too young to be able to make a difference in the world. Mother Dyno shows Sister Dyno that every little action she does can make a difference in the world and make people happier. These waves of kindness spread from person to person until everyone is happy.

I loved this metaphor in this book and I think it could be useful for both children and adults. The illustrations were colorful and bright, and the story was educational for readers of all ages. I definitely think that you could use this book to teach your child about kindness and spreading generosity to others. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a picture book about family, kindness, and happiness.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books.

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Shadow Eyes #2: Luminous Spirits Review

Luminous Spirits (Shadow Eyes, #2)
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Luminous Spirits is the second book in the Shadow Eyes trilogy by Dusty Crabtree. Iris is finally coming into her powers and has started to go on more difficult missions with Gregory, Patrick, and Kyra to save people from the shadows that prey on them. But her best friend Lexi is being completely left out of the picture. She isn’t a light warrior and can’t go on the missions for safety reasons, but Iris is now spending all of her free time training. Soon, the shadows start to come for Lexi, and Iris has to figure out how to save her best friend. Her relationship with Patrick is also hurting because of a new girl named Lila that won’t leave him alone, and her ex Josh has come back into the picture and reminds Iris of how things could have been.

I am loving this trilogy so far! Iris has truly blossomed since the last installment of this series and has finally started to become a full-fledge light warrior, but she is still learning some important things. For example, she has to learn how to tell shadows apart in order to figure out how much strength will be needed to remove it, or if it can be removed at all. Some shadows are so strong that they have already started to kill their human hosts, but most can be removed before they get to that point. The shadow description in this trilogy has been done so well, as the shadows aren’t simply random “villain” encounters. The shadows have voices, the shadows can speak to their hosts, and Iris has to intercept them. I felt as though the shadows were real as I read this, and felt as if I wanted to be a light warrior to save people from the shadows that plague them.

The only thing that I didn’t like in this novel was how quickly Iris seemed to jump to conclusions. She seemed pretty indecisive about her relationship, but the minute her boyfriend does something totally out of character for him, she is willing to believe the worst. This could just be my bias against love triangles coming out, but I don’t see a love triangle in the near future for this series. This book focuses mostly on Patrick though, which made me glad.

My two absolute favorite parts about this book were learning about Patrick’s past and the side story with Iris’ best friend Lexi. Patrick wasn’t always a light warrior, and he starts to tell Iris more about his past self in this book. I am a little confused as to the timeline with all of this, but I understood what was happening when he was telling his stories. A lot of new characters were introduced this way, and I enjoyed learning about the new people in this world. It also really touched me to have Lexi not be forgotten, and for Iris to realize how she was hurting her friend. In most books where a kid gets powers and leaves their friends behind, the friends either turn out to be evil, secretly have powers too, or just “don’t understand” so it is reasonable that they are forgotten. Lexi tried to be a good friend, but she kept getting pushed to the side, making her an easier target for the shadows that latch onto sad emotions.

This was an amazing installment in this trilogy! I would recommend the Shadow Eyes Trilogy to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy or urban fantasy series.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 books.

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Exo Review

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Earth has been collaborating with powerful aliens and living with them for a century (after the war). Donovan’s father is the Prime Liason with the combined alien-human government, and Donovan himself is an Exo, a human that has erze cells implanted in him since he was 5 years old. This process is called the “Hardening” because it gives him an alien exoskeleton that he can retract, and allows for him to self-regenerate if injured. His mother left when he was five years old, so it has just been him, his dad, his alien advisor, and his teammates for most of his upbringing.

Donovan and his best friend Jet found a young boy on a playground, and after making small talk with him and gaining his trust he reveals that his uncle has stacks of papers from Max. Max is a writer of many pamphlets for the insurgent group that the SecPac army must control. They hate the idea of aliens controlling any part of Earth, think that the Exos are disgusting hybrids, and are trying to get the humans in the regular society to rise up and take back Earth for humans. Donovan and Jet have to confront the man alone as the reinforcements are across town, but they think that they can handle it. However, they were set up, shooters are places on the roof of the houses on the street, and Donovan and Jet are attacked as they try to escape and wait for the reinforceemnts. Jet escapes, but Donovan is taken as a hostage for the insurgent group.

This book is made interesting by having a 17 year old main character that is a part of the army. He is told by the people he is surrounded by that he is to be on the side of the aliens and that the insurgents are only trying to destroy their society. However, the more time he spends with the insurgents, the more he reconsiders some thoughts about his society. In his time alone, he also thinks about how painful the Hardening process was, and how many people simply brushed off the fact that it was basically torture to a five year old and that some did not even survive the ordeal.

He also comes to terms with what actually determines if a person is human or not. The people who belong to the Sapience insurgent group think that he isn’t fully human because of his alien DNA, but he believes that the exoskeleton does not affect his brain, only his body. It brings up an amazing argument that continues throughout the book, and in the reader’s minds as well.

I truly enjoyed this amazing ride of a book. Although it was a bit slow in the beginning, it definitely picked up speed until I felt as if I flew through the middle and the end.  It had some romance but nothing over the top and nothing that interfered with the plot. It was unique, showing a world with humans divided on whether or not to accept aliens, and human alien hybrids being accepted in most society but rejected by the “insurgents”. I hope to read more by this author soon.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Inquisition Review (Slight Spoilers)

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For those wondering about the slight spoilers, this is because the first 80-100 pages focus on something that is NOT the main plot line, but if I tell the outcome of it I will technically be spoiling part of the book. However, if I don’t tell the outcome and leave it there, I am not even delving into the main conflict of the story. I will give a warning before I say anything past that point, but there will be none of my opinions there and the review will be short.

Ignatius and Fletcher have been in prison ever since he was arrested for attempted murder of Didric in the previous book. He has been reading the summoner’s old book in his prison and practicing his spells with Ignatius but he hasn’t been able to do much else from his cell. He doesn’t even know how or where his father was. Didric is revealed to have gained summoner powers from the time that Ignatius burnt him trying to protect Fletcher, however his face has become extremely scarred and will never look normal again. Arcturus helps him by tearing down the false witness of Didric and his friends in front of the court, and Fletcher is declared innocent. However, as he prepares himself to go free after a year in prison, Othello is taken into custody and Fletcher is accused of treason for the attack on the soldiers that ambushed the dwarf meeting the year before.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

 

 

 

King Harold is revealed to not be in control of his own kingdom, but instead the face for the real person in control, his father whom the civilians hated until he “gave the throne” to his son. King Harold begs Fletcher to plead guilty so that a race war doesn’t start when the execute Othello, so he does so. Then, the man who worked for the Raleighs when they were attacked by orcs says that he hid the fact that he saw an owl flying away with some type of baby basket in its talons during the attack. The attack happened on the same day that Fletcher’s father found him outside the town hall. He is tested whether or not he is a Raleigh by being injected with Manticore Poison, which the elves save him from after he suffers for a few hours proving himself to be a Raleigh. Finally, the main story begins!

Fletcher and his friends from the academy are put on a multi-racial mission to save a long-lost Lady, Rufus’ mother, who has been proven by a spy to have been kept alive in the orc caves. There are scrying stones that have been sent to the villages so the common villagers can watch the teams. This means that if the teammates are racist to each other it could cause fighting in the villages. Fletcher has the team with the elf, and two of the dwarves, but is worried about the other teams not playing fair and trying to incriminate his friends.

This series is always amazing, yet difficult to review. It’s very action-packed and almost always has a main story and a mini story, the mini that lasts quite a few pages but MUST be spoiled in order to review the main. Every singe time you read a chapter, something new is revealed and/or begins. New and even more creative monsters are shown on both the good and evil/orc side of the story, and also information is revealed about the inner workings of the hidden orc world.

Fletcher grows a lot in this book as he is forced to protect the integrity of himself and his friends as basically their whole world watches them try to save this woman. His relationship with the elf girl Sylva grows slowly, but it is not the annoying focus of the entire book. Everyone knew that the racism of their world had deep roots, but it wasn’t until this book showed how bad it was. They were all working towards a common cause, and were on tape, but the teams still didn’t stop bickering with each other. Fletcher’s team rose above their immaturity however and helped to lead this mission onwards.

This book ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, so I am impatiently waiting for the next book/end to the trilogy to come out in the next few days.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Inkheart Review

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Mo and Meggie are a father-daughter bookworm team. Mo runs a business where he binds collector’s books, and Meggie goes with him on his jobs throughout the world as she reads her way through her own mini collection of books. Everything seems to be normal until one night a strange visitor named Dustfinger arrives. He takes her father into a private room, and as Meggie spies on the conversation, she overhears that a man named Capricorn wants a book that Mo has. The next day Mo takes Meggie and Dustfinger to the south, to Meggie’s aunt Elinor and her book collection. Dustfinger is an interesting person to Meggie, and he has a horned ferret-like pet and is a fire-eater.

While spending time with her book-addicted Aunt Elinor, Meggie sees Mo give a strange book called Inkheart to the aunt. That night, men come and take Mo and the book away, but it is revealed that Elinor secretly switched the books against Mo’s wishes so she could secretly read it. They must all go to Capricorn’s village with the real Inkheart and hope that Mo is alive and well so they can all go home. This sets them on an adventure filled with a host of interesting characters and magical book-reading.

This book took me longer than average to finish because it is a 500-page book! Some parts of the story took me awhile to finish simply because they weren’t as action-packed as others, but if you can get past a few dry spells the book is definitely worth your time. It is all about the magic that books can bring, and I can easily see this becoming a classic in the future. It has all the things that make a great adventure story, unique characters, unique story, and a lot of description and action. I will be reading the rest of the Inkheart series, and I recommend this to anyone who has the time/patience to read a 500-page amazing story.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Novice Review

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This book was an amazing ride in a unique fantasy world.

The book begins with the main character, Fletcher, going into the woods to hunt for a deer to sell. When he gets back to the gate, his enemy Didric has closed the gates early and refuses to let him back into the city. He cheats Fletcher out of the head of his deer and then reveals that he wasn’t even supposed to be on the watch and that the real watchman will let Fletcher inside the city in a few minutes. This sets the scene for the next day when Fletcher and his adoptive father Berdon who owns a blacksmiths shop go to the town where there are going to be traders there who will buy the weapons.

While in the town, a soldier has a stand full of souvenirs from the front lines such as orc’s teeth. He starts to tell a story from the front lines where he raves about his whole unit dying, and him taking the book of the summoner. Didric says that he is a fool and that it is illegal for him to have a summoner’s book when he is not a summoner, but Fletcher believes him. After he teams up with the soldier during a bar brawl, the soldier entrusts him with the book. He takes it out to a graveyard trying to summon something although he was never tested for summoning ability. Surprisingly, he is able to summon some sort of lizard-like thing. When he is attacked in the graveyard by Didric and his friends, the lizard thing protects him and allows him to get away, however Didric is gravely injured. Policemen come to his house, but Berdon gives him his 16th birthday gifts and buys him time to get away. As soon as he leaves the only town he’s ever known, his adventure truly starts.

Thinking about how this book began on Wattpad makes me want to go and read more books on there. I was thinking that this book could go one way or another, it could either be like the finisher or it could be like Heartless. It turned out to be more like Heartless. I loved every second of it, it was not cliche in any way, and the story was full of surprises. I would recommend this to anyone searching to read something new and unique.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper

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When I picked up this book, I did not really know what to expect. I felt like I had heard of it before, but I didn’t remember where. I never remembered even seeing it before. Then I actually picked it up and read it, and I fell in love with it instantly.

Emily and her parents are on the way to pick up her brother. Her father loses control of the car on a cliff, and they fall off. Emily and her mother are able to escape from the car, but her father is trapped inside and falls with the car off the second mini-cliff. Two years later, Emily, Navin, and her mother must move because they can no longer afford their old house. Her mother had an eccentric great-grandfather who had a mansion, and now it is up to the three of them to make it livable again. However, during their cleaning spree, Emily finds a statue that has a hand imprint, and when she places her hand on it she finds a strange amulet. She puts it on, not thinking much of it, but then that night her mother hears strange noises from the basement. All of the sudden the three are plunged into an adventure they could have never predicted.

I personally loved this story, and plan to read the rest of the series, not simply because of the beautiful artwork and the unique characters, but because of the tight-knit family. I love the strength of the mother as she helps her kids move into a new house after the untimely death of the father, love the strength of the girl as she helps her brother and mother although having to witness losing her father in such a horrible fashion, and I can’t wait to see how they grow throughout the series. The story is a rather quick read, I finished it in less than an hour, but it was by no means boring. I hope that you try out this graphic novel series and enjoy it as much as I did.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Cruel Crown Review

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The book Cruel Crown is a combination of the prequels Queen’s song and Steel Scars, showing the backstory of Queen Coriane and Captain Farley.

Queen Coriane lived with her cousin who was old and miserable, her brother Julian, and her best friend Sara Skonos. The Queenstrial for Tiberias the Sixth approaches, and she doubts that she would be chosen, as she has not even been practicing her singing skill. She fears the house of Merandus, especially their daughter Elera, because of their mind reading skills, but she is more fearful of how her cousin Jessamine will react if she does not get married soon. This story is sad, but it is interesting to learn about the backstory of Cal’s mother.

Steel Scars is about when Farley was working with the Scarlet Guard and occurs right before Mare falls onto the electric barrier in Red Queen. I loved the way it focuses on the less harsh side of Farley, tells some of the events of Red Queen through Farley’s eyes such as Mare’s meeting with her when she offered to help Kilorn, however I wish that there had been more information about her family prior to the Scarlet Guard.

Although this book is technically two short prequels and only lasts about 150 pages without the excerpt from Glass sword, it revealed many things that were simply glanced over in the novels, such as the relationship of Julian and Sara Skonos. It allows for a deeper look into the hearts of the two key characters, and I am glad that I read it before King’s Cage. It is best if it is read before Glass Sword however, as most of the things that it “reveals” were revealed in Glass Sword.

Overall Rating: 5/5

The Luxe Review

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This story takes place in Manhattan of 1800. Elizabeth is dead from falling into the river, but this is her story. Elizabeth is a good girl who has never stepped one toe out of line. Since her father’s death, she has been pushed to get married by her mother. Several boys have proposed but she has not accepted any of them.

Penelope is a happy girl who enjoys partying all the time. She has been secretly dating another partying boy named Henry and hopes to be engaged to him soon.

Diane is the younger sister of Elizabeth. She is glad that she won’t be forced into marriage with anyone, but she wants to find the love of her life. She has kissed several people but every time she does so she feels none of the “electricity” or “tingles” that everyone says that someone in love should feel.

Lina is a maid for Elizabeth who wants to court Will, a stable boy, but something is stopping him from returning her affections. She will stop at nothing to figure out why he isn’t loving her the way that she loves him.

Henry is a partying boy who loves to simply have a good time and has no plans on settling down anytime soon. However, when his father wants to run for government office, he forces his son into quitting his partying ways and settling down in order to improve his public image.

These 4 teens try to navigate their world of high society secrets and lies. Is Elizabeth as innocent as she seems? Does Henry want to be married to anyone at all? Will Lina discover who is stealing her beloved’s attention? Will Diana find her true love?

Although this review is short, this book completely drew me in. In fact, there are so many revealed secrets in this book that if I gave any more information away, I would literally be spoiling parts of the story. I enjoy historical fiction that includes kings and queens. The men and women in this high society area of Manhattan were the kings and queens of their time. Their lives seemed carefree to the public, and they were so famous that all their parties, weddings, and other life events would be posted in the newspapers. However secretly, their families suffered with many of the same problems that affected the poor. I would recommend this book to anyone, it was a suspenseful ride from beginning to end.

Overall Rating: 5/5