Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wizard's Key - Mitch Reinhardt

                Wizard’s Key is the first book in an exciting new young adult series called the Dark Wolf Saga. I’m always on the lookout for things that will entice non-readers to want to pick a book up and I think this book will do the job.
                The story centers around three teens: Jane, a popular and inquisitive young lady; Geoff, small for his age and very intelligent but bullied; and Sawyer, popular and a jock who bullies Geoff. Geoff’s father deals with interesting old artifacts and when Geoff finds a strange key he ends up falling through an archway, dragging Sawyer and Jane with him. They fall into a strange and magical land where river trolls and ogres hunt humans and a mysterious elven druid named Ariel rules over the forest. Ariel believes there is something special about the three teenagers and tries to help them, albeit grudgingly, and teach them some of the ways of the new land, including magic. Unfortunately, there is also a huge werewolf after them who also knows that there is something different about the kids.
                I loved this book and found it to be an easy and entertaining read. The characters are well written and the three teenagers in particular are realistic and credible. Often, teens aren’t written as they really are and are often portrayed as either too childish or too adult-like. Teenage readers will pick up on any glitches in a teenage character quicker than anyone and in this case, I think they will be satisfied with how believable Jane, Geoff and Sawyer are written. The magical world created by Mr. Reinhardt is excellent and as you read along, it is easy to picture the story unfold and imagine in your head the beautiful unicorn, the stinking orcs, and all of the other creatures. Both genders will enjoy this book because there is a little bit of everything thrown into the mix. There’s action, adventure, mystery, magic and humour. It’s the type of book that I can really see being made into a movie.
                Mr. Reinhardt did an excellent job with writing Wizard’s Key and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.  I read this book in digital form and it formatted to my ereader perfectly. The cover is great and pertains to the story well.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Password Book - Jason McDonald

                The Password Book is the type of book that everyone who uses technology on daily basis should have in their library. In this day and age almost everyone has been affected by internet scams or hacks in some way. As Mr. McDonald points out in the book, it doesn’t have to be directly through a device in your house, it can be through an outside business that has access to one or more of your passwords and/or accounts. I have had a recent experience where a company I dealt with had their client list of passwords stolen and some things were then stolen from me via this hack. Not only did it end up costing me money, it cost the company a lot of money because they had to pay everyone back. This book is key in helping people recognize a scam and try to nip it in the bud before it goes too far.
                Mr. McDonald seems quite passionate about this topic and strives to help everyone manage their passwords and tech life with as few problems as possible. He starts the book by covering how various email scams may occur, how scammers will use your information and email contacts to lure you or your family and friends in, and how to prevent this from happening. He then teaches the reader how to create strong passwords and I love the system that he uses. It’s one that I will definitely be employing.  Mr. McDonald also writes step by step instructions of how to make sure you are as secure as possible on social media sites. At the back of the book he provides a place to keep track of all of your passwords. My favourite part of the book was the appendix which listed some scam resources. It provides a list of websites which will provide more information about all of the hundreds, if not thousands, of scams that now appear on the internet.
The whole book is written in a very easy to read format that is perfect for teenagers to seniors. This is also the updated version of the book so it’s perfect to apply the information to your current social media sites, browsers, and so on.
Mr. McDonald is doing a service to the community by writing this book and trying to raise awareness about scammers. I will definitely be providing both of my senior parents with their own copies. I loved the cover; it’s quite eye catching, and the digital format I read the book on worked perfectly. This is a very well written and excellent book!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Mid-Life Crisis Diaries - Geraldine Solon

                Mid-Life Crisis Diaries is a book destined to be on a list for best beach reads. It is the type of book you read while sipping from a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice). It is written in the entertaining and fun style that many of Ms. Solon’s books are known for.
                Marsha is the Love Guru and ready to renew her vows to her husband of twenty-five years on national TV. Her husband, however, has other plans and leaves her high and dry, alone and dishevelled, until she runs into her old nemesis, Dr. Lee, a sex therapist. Dr. Lee gives Marsha a makeover and convinces her to take part in an experiment about having a mid-life crisis. Marsha will go and stay for a month in a beautiful tropical location where she will spend time with a pre-selected much younger man named Andre. The idea is to see what will happen between two people at different stages in their lives when they spend time together without any worries and live carefree.
                Ms. Solon always develops some of the best multi-dimensional characters in her books and Mid-Life Crisis Diaries is no exception. Marsha is very relatable to women of a similar age and her inability to completely let go and be adventurous rings true for so many of us. The feelings of confusion she has throughout the book in regards to her husband and what he’s done is what makes the reader really care about having Marsha find happiness. The chemistry between Marsha and Andre almost jumps off the page and the slow burn of their blossoming friendship makes for fantastic reading. I love the fact that Ms. Solon manages to create this romance and make it seem steamy without any blatant sexual description.  Another thing I love about this book is the setting. A tropical paradise is written in such detail that it feels like you are there, smelling the food, feeling the sun, and seeing the sights. It’s a place designed for romance.
                Mid-Life Crisis Diaries is truly a book that is a guilty pleasure and one that I’m not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed. The cover is quirky and catches your attention. I read this in digital form and it formatted well.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tiffany - Rob Kelley

                Let me start by saying don’t judge this book by its cover or its title. Although the young lady on the cover is attractive, when I first was looking for something to read, at first glance I passed this book over because it looked like some vapid romance novel which is not what I was looking for at all. The book is actually a small town cozy mystery, my favourite type of mystery, but you wouldn’t know that with just a quick look. Those things aside, it’s quite a good little whodunit. The body appears right at the start which is how I like it. No long introductions or lengthy character development before the murder, just two mischievous boys and their remote control car providing a unique way to discover a body. The character development comes throughout the book and, although it’s not particularly in-depth, it’s still quite well done.
                A man is dead and his wife is missing and when she is found she doesn’t remember anything. The sheriff isn’t particularly likeable and may even be a bit crooked. Tiffany’s lawyer, Jack, is a young man who may be in over his head and has to work with a retired sheriff who doesn’t seem to have much faith in young Jack. There’s a plethora of suspects and every time I thought I had it all figured out, somebody else would enter the pool of maybe murderers.
                I absolutely loved the setting that Mr. Kelley created in this book and, having lived in a small town most of my life, it was easy to see similarities in how things are done. The characters are well written and the style of writing is nice and easy. This is the type of book I would take on vacation to enjoy, no deep thinking required, just a fun mystery to solve. The one thing in the book I would add is a bit more about life in the town and the personal lives of characters. It would add a bit more atmosphere to the book. It’s not a big problem in the book but it would be nice to see how the characters interact in their everyday lives a bit more. Otherwise, this is a fun and enjoyable book that is worth picking up to read.
                I read this book on my ereader and it formatted well.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Ethereal Entanglements - Lee French

                Ethereal Entanglements is the third novel in the Spirit Knights series written by Lee French. This book continues the story of brand new teenage knight, Clare, and her mentor knight, Justin. In the past two novels, Clare has discovered a bit about her past and why she has been chosen to be a spirit knight. Justin has been trying to teach her but various evils keep getting in the way, just as they do in this current book.
                Before starting this book, it is necessary to have read the previous two books in the series. Unlike a lot of other series, you can’t pick this book up and find out enough about the previous story to continue along. There is no information as to what has happened before in the other books and the reader is dropped right into the story where book two left off. It may also help to read the books close together because, for me, I read them a fair amount apart and completely forgot what was happening in the story. Since there is no information given about the other books, it does become fairly confusing as to some of the story specifics.
                Ethereal Entanglements is geared towards young adults and perhaps pre-teen readers who are a bit stronger with their reading skills. As in the previous books, Ms. French has carried on with the fantastic fantasy world of the Spirit Knights and she has created strong characters that represent both the good and evil in the world. Clare is a well written teenage girl who has had a lot of heart break in the past and is searching for a way to fit in and belong to a family. She’s well rounded and realistically written in regard to the emotions of a girl her age. The other characters are just as fleshed out, including the newly discovered evil who I won’t mention so has not to give anything away.
I love Ms. French’s style of writing and believe that this series will appeal to young readers who have an interest in a fantasy world full of knights, witches, and dragons. The ending was sad but as there is another book to come in the series I’m hoping for a happier resolution to the situation. This series is entertaining and full of action as well as being fairly easy to read for young adults. I look forward to reading the fourth and final instalment in the Spirit Knight series.
                I read this on my ereader and it formatted well. I love the beautiful cover and it definitely draws the eye.