Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill – Book Review

Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill by Glenn Somodi is one of the cutest and most exciting books I have read this year. The story follows Olly as his family moves to Oak Hill in Littleton, Massachusetts, after his grandfather’s violent and unfortunate death. Upon arrival at Littleton, Olly discovers the Spores. These tiny and adorable mushroom-like people have lived in the area for centuries and in several other locations in the country with similar names. With their mutual home at risk, Olly and the Spores band together to find ways to keep Oak Hill from becoming a mall as money-hungry people grab at the land in the small town.

Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill read a classic adolescent adventure. The story is told from the point of view of the main character Olly, a fifteen-year-old boy living in the US. Being a social outcast looking for a way to fit in with a new town and school during the years he starts high school is undoubtedly a character any awkward teen (or former awkward teen) can get behind. This awkwardness makes Olly a particularly easy-to-love character. More so as his internal monologue is remarkably realistic. Through Olly, we also meet other characters who remain equally natural in their flaws and awkwardness.

As this story takes place in a tiny town in Massachusetts centered around mythical mushroom creatures, you may wonder how well the author describes the fictional aspects alongside the factual elements. Well, Glenn Somodi’s underground Spore world is described in vivid detail. The author gives us everything from the little clothing that the spore sometimes wears, including a pair of adorable little overalls on my new favorite character, to detailed descrip[tions about the tunnels and trees the Spores live under. We are even given an elaborate ceremony about how these adorable little people reproduce.

The Spores will live in my mind for a long time. I am looking forward to the rest of their adventures. More of Olly and his family, too, but mostly more Spores, please! They are just so darn cute!

On a semi related note I love the little pictures and treats the author sent along with the book!

Usually, this would be a book review, but due to some timing issues with the book, I am instead showcasing where you can purchase this book. Soon I will have a copy and follow up with a book review. However, here are some things that can entertain you regarding The Beginning of Arrogance in the mean time!

First of all you can buy this book pretty much everywhere.




You can also check out Goodreads reviews here! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61405844-beginning-of-arrogance

Gathering of the Four – Book Review

Gathering of the Four by A.E. Bennet is book one of the Serrulata Saga, not counting the prequel Yours and Mine that covers how a couple of characters met. Gathering of the Four follows Leora of Mae, Roland Shallowbrook, Aurora Verte, and Leopold as they struggle to deal with being outcasts in The Realm and try to survive long enough to bring justice to a cruel and powerful sovereign. While the four come from very different living situations, they must work together and cope with the secrets that tie some closer than one would expect. The book is filled with exciting turns, making it difficult to put it down.

The first thing I want to address about Gathering of the Four is that it does contain scenes of abuse and sexual situations. So if you are uncomfortable with either of these, this is probably not the sort of book for you. The scenes of abuse and implied abuse explain the situations characters are in or have lived through. As for the sexual problems, they are delightfully steamy but not exceptionally detailed. However, the apparent affection between the feelings involved makes reading them enjoyable. These situations are few and far between, but they are common enough to make a note of.

Another thing I want to discuss is world-building. When you first pick up Gathering of the Four, you might think this is another fantasy series, and it certainly does have fantasy aspects. However, as I read, I was delighted to find out that there are some problematic dystopian situations, and this book does, in fact, take place on our very own Earth. I will not go into further details on the subject in order not to ruin any twists in the book, but the world that A.E. Bennett has created is one of the most exciting I have read about in some time.

I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

Armadas in the Mist – Audiobook Review

Armadas in the Mist is the last novel in Christian Klaver’s Empire of the House of Thorns series. Justice, her extended family, friends, and her crew continue their war against Faerie. From the start of this book, we enter the story’s climax. Plots and loose ends are pulled together in this book, giving each character and plot a satisfying conclusion. Though not the expected conclusion, this final book is all the more exciting to read as you have no idea where it is going.

Now, as this story has been told mainly in the first person for three books, we knew from the start that the main character would survive. However, the state in which she survives and those around her are entirely up in the air. The conclusions of most of the characters are well-suited and comfortable, though I found the placement of one of Justice’s brothers to come off as a bit odd. However, the rest of the cast had a good finale, and it was worth getting invested in the plots of each character.

I listened to this book in audiobook format like the first two, and once again, Fiona Hardingham gives us a fantastic performance and narration. Character voices and reactions remain spot-on for the age and personality of each character. Over Armada’s in the Mist and the rest of Klaver’s Empire of the House of Thorns series is worth reading or listening to. I will be revisiting this series at some point. It is going on my vacation playlist!

Justice at Sea – Audiobook Review

In Justice at Sea, the second book in Christian Klaver’s Empire of the House of Thorns series, we are again thrown into the complicated life of Justice and her siblings. This book picks up shortly after the first book. This second novel shows more development in both story and the characters. Justice and her siblings are growing up both emotionally and physically in some cases. Her sister has the most apparent changes as she takes on her role as a magician. However, this is just one noticeable change in what happens to the Kasric siblings as they work through a war-torn and highly complex family life. Some changes are for the best, others quite sad.

As exciting as the first book in the series and just as well written, in Justice at Sea, we spend a bit more time in Faerie and learn more about the world that has been created. This fantastic world is much more varied and has more creatures and wonders than was hinted at in the first story. This keeps the world feeling vibrant and alive. The newer characters we are introduced to in this book are as colorful as they have been in the first. Christain Klaver certainly has a knack for creating exciting characters. Some even react in ways one may not expect. I did not see the ending of this book coming.

As with the first book, I once again listened to the audiobook version of this young adult novel, and once again, Fiona Hardingham presents us with fantastic acting and narration. The characters continue to be spot, and the voices fit well. Once again, this is a must-read. Though if you enjoyed the first one, you’d want to inhale this one as quickly as you can anyway.

Shadows Over London – Audiobook Review

Shadows Over London is the first book in the Empire of the House of Thorns series by Christian Klaver. This first novel introduces Justice Kasric and her family as they are violently torn from their pleasant lives in Victorian London and tossed into a paranormal war against the Faerie. As if finding out her family is attached to supernatural creatures is not enough, Justice still has to cope with internal family struggles, sibling rivalry, and a mother who downright dislikes her. These are all painfully relatable issues for anyone who is, or was ever, a teenager.

Shadows Over London, like many books in the young adult genre, follows a teenager through the trials of life and the even greater conflicts they find themselves buried. Christain Klaver does a fantastic job of balancing the complications of being a sixteen-year-old girl with the epic war story that builds up around Justice. She and all the characters of this novel are realistic in their behavior and actions, making them solid and believable characters with personalities. The world that our author has built is also fantastic. While Victorian London is well documented, the bits and pieces of Faerie, the fictional side of the war in this series, are creative and colorful and have a delicate balance of common myths and original creations.

As I was given a copy of the audiobook of Shadows Over London to listen, I will take a moment to cover that aspect. Fiona Hardingham’s reading is spectacular. A talented narrator Fiona Hardingham gives us a well spoked and brilliantly acted narration. Each character has a voice that fits perfectly. The narrator’s voice and accent are spot-on for the characters and locations of this novel. In short, I can’t find a single complaint about Shadows Over London and suggest you pick it up.

The False Prophet – Book Review

The False Prophet by J.M. Hart is the fifth book in her Chronicles of the Supernatural series. This exciting novel, picking up right after book four, Separated by Evil, follows the characters, Jade and Casey, as they travel back to the US and, with the assistance of some of Jade’s native friends who she got close to in a previous book, try to get as many people as they can to a sacred site to prepare for the end of the world. The two go through various physical and emotional complications. Dealing with loss, particularly during an apocalypse, more so when you are still a teenager is difficult.

As this is the fifth book in the series, you can tell J.M. Hart has grasped the characters she has created. They remain in the same vein as in previous books though they also have further development. After five books, how much further can characters develop? Well, you will be amazed! Jade comes into her own in this novel, and Casey manages to at least cope with the difficulties he has been facing. The story of this novel is as exciting as the previous ones. The high-stakes feeling remains in most of the actions of the characters. The story itself remains compelling, and you are on the edge of your seat, wondering what will become of the survivors. Will they get to ascend?

Like the rest of J.M. Hart’s work, this book is worth picking up. However, I can not wait till the last book comes out!

Miles and the Soldier – Book Review

Miles and the Soldier second full length novel in The Acre Seires. It picks up directly on the end of Juno and the Lady and follows Miles, a character introduced in the first book as he tries to achieve his life’s dreams while also learning to deal with the disabilities that have resulted from the injuries he sustained in the first book.

By the time Miles and the Soldier even starts, the young man has gone through some serious emotional chances since his introduction in the first book. His near death experiences and his interactions with the very capable women of Faireacre have made him a much more understanding fellow. Sadly he is still young and selfish in certain ways, putting his wishes before those of the people around him.

Beyond Miles himself we are introduced to new characters as well as seeing the return of the previous books characters. The Soldier mentioned in the title is a particularly interesting one, leading Miles through a new adventure as well as helping him cope with his disability.

While I could go on about this book for hours, it so far being my favorite in The Acre Series, I feel as though my opinion could barely hold a candle to G.J. Kemp’s work. This second full length novel is and exciting read that displays more of the author’s amazingly created world. I hope we get more to Acre world, as there seems to be so many locations within it that have only been briefly touched.

This is a much read for all fantasy fans. This whole series is!

Juno and the Lady – Book Review

Juno and the Lady by G.J Kemp is the first novel in The Acre Series by G.J. Kemp. This first book follows young Juno as she goes from a young orphan living in a finishing school where they teach girls to be good little wives, to a fire elemental power wielding warrior. Along the way she befriends a fiery (literally) feline, various sewer dwellers, and men who would have once been her enemies.

The Story of Juno and the Lady is a colorful one. We are not only given the main story of the evil Lady’s attempt to control the town of Fairacre, but we are also allowed to see the complications surrounding this town and apparently every city in the known world. Woman are secondhand at best, trained in schools for men to pick their perfect wives. I always find that any book touching subjects of gender inequality are either great at it, or lacking. In the case of Juno and the Lady, the issue is addressed well.

The characters of the book are well written which is often hard to manage when you have a cast of so many, despite the handful of characters who make their appearances throughout this novel, they each remain their own person, with their own personality and moods. They changes they go through feel real, and there is plenty of character progression, even beyond the main character Juno’s self-discovery.

I suggest Juno and the Lady to any fan of fantasy. I am looking forward to the rest of this series. I want to read more about the characters and the world of The Acre Series.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book – Book Review

Have you ever wandered through your local library, or scrolled through its websites pages aimlessly hoping to find a book that catches your eye? Maybe some random treasure you never would have picked up if you were in a bookstore and certainly nothing you would have ordered online? Well, I did just that and it surprised me to find Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book. 

Now I know what you are thinking. Is this some kind of sequel attempt in literary form? We all know about the many dreadful direct to home video sequels Disney has provided us. However, no, this is not a sequel, it is an additional story happening in the middle of the original tale.

After being introduced to the Beast’s extensive library, Bell stumbles in to an enchanted book. This book soon has the young woman tied up in an endless battle between Love and Death, finding her trapped. An exciting tale that we certainly know has a happy ending, as we know how Disney’s original story ends. However, despite this absolute fact, that does not keep this novel from being an interesting read.

I picked up the audiobook version from the local library’s website and it was spectacular. I really suggest you give it a listen.

I would suggest this novel to Disney fans, as well as fans of YA novels. This read is a bit advanced for younger children and some of the concepts are a bit dark, but it is certainly an enjoyable tale.

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