‘Waking the Dragon’ is a fun and exciting adventure story for kids, revolving around a group of dogs who work undercover as dog rescuers in an organization that is the kid-friendly canine equivalent of CSI.
The story is written with good humour that kids will enjoy, and a plot that will keep them guessing. The characters are engaging and likeable — even the cats, who harbour less-than-honourable intentions!
One aspect of this book that I really appreciated is the Australian element that appears in both the settings and the storyline. In a world full of books set in America or major world cities, it’s very refreshing to find a kids’ book set in one of my favorite regional Australian cities. This is great for Australian kids, but should also add interest for readers from other countries in which Australia is a source of interest and fascination.
Waking The Dragon is Book 10 in theAstro’s Adventures series by Susan Day. This book – in fact, this series of books – would make a great addition to any school or local library, and would be a wonderful choice for both individual and family reading at home.
‘Absence of Colour’ is an engaging and intriguing tale of escaping the past and searching for identity and justice.
The band of characters in this book are quite well developed, and the reader is drawn into a strong feeling of empathy with Conny, Frankie and Twig in particular. The villain is well-drawn and distinctly odious: there are times when his actions do make the reader uncomfortable and quite angry. This sets the action of the story in motion: each of the main characters and a number of the minor characters must work together to achieve justice and to reclaim that which has been taken from them.
The book brings some resolution to the conflicts faced by Twig and Conny, along with a sense of relief in the immediate circumstances, but the reader is also very aware that there are still questions and problems that remain unsolved. In this way, the reader is strongly motivated to read the second book in the series – ‘The Colour of Evil’. The title itself is both enticing and ominous, leaving the reader intrigued and eager to know more.
I’ve given this book a good solid 4 stars.
You can find Absence of Colour Book 1, and the rest of the series, on Susan Wee’s Amazon page.
Missy Sheldrake’s wonderful magic continues in this second book of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series.
‘Call of Sunteri’ has multiple narrators whose stories and perspectives blend seamlessly to tell the tale of the Sunteri fae and their struggle to survive, alongside the continued story of Azaeli Hammerfel and her companions as they seek truth and justice in the face of the powers of evil.
So vivid and compelling is the storytelling that the reader is fully engaged in the action as it unfolds, with a strong sensation of being confronted with questions about personal integrity and the nature of truth alongside the characters. There are some absolute heart-in-your-throat moments, and some that fill the reader with dread.
The ability to conjure such powerful effects on the reader is a true sign of masterful writing.
‘Call of Sunteri’ delivers action, magic and quest by the bucketload in this book. I can’t wait to finish reading the whole magnificent series.
What a ripping yarn! I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of the man who fell into bad company. It’s a story that explores the contrasts between guilt and innocence, and between conscience and volition in a world populated by pirates, privateers, and settlers in the New World.
The characters were well developed, especially the main character, Matthew Blackwell. The author does an excellent job of evoking sympathy for Matthew, William and Stephan, and of crafting the hardhearted world in which they live.
5 stars, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum for this rollicking pirate story.
Beautifully written, ‘Reclamation’ is a series of stories that function as parts of a whole. From beginning to end, the reader is entranced by the storytelling and the imagery used to achieve it.
Frediani has embedded mysticism and beauty so skilfully in these stories that even concepts of corruption, degradation and justice are explored in ways that deepen the reader’s understanding of the reclamation and redemption that occur throughout these tales.
A very mysterious and poignant element of this book is that the setting could be anywhere. It’s not bound to a specific location or people group. Instead, the story is unified by the mystical elements that add so much depth and vibrancy to the story.
The reader is drawn into the stories and the places where they take place. The imagery was rich and powerful, creating vivid pictures of characters, scenes and landscapes as each story played out, almost like a film playing on a virtual screen in my mind.
Holy moly. I started this book with absolutely no idea what was going to happen to me as I read it. Now that I have finished it, I find that I am completely and utterly in love with the characters and places that I encountered in this magical, mystical fantasy tale that has woven its tendrils around my heart.
It’s taking most of my will-power to write a review before I pick up the second book. And that’s not the worst of it. I have work to do. And there are other things I have committed to read. Drat you, Missy Sheldrake! Because of you, I am in the clutches of a bona-fide “I don’t want to adult, I want to stay in the world of the book” dilemma. It’s a very good thing for us both that there are sequels!
The first book in the “Keepers of the Wellspring” series, ‘Call of Kythshire’ is completely enchanting. It has been on my TBR list for a while, looking completely innocent and unassuming while sitting on the shelf, but as soon as I opened it, my fate was sealed.
Missy Sheldrake began to work her magic on me from the first chapter, drawing me in until I was fully invested in the journey that my imagination and emotions were being taken on. It’s a beautifully crafted quest through faraway lands that become very real and much closer to our own world as one reads, accompanied by some of the most feisty and determined yet loveable characters I have ever met. I travelled with them, stood by them as they faced challenges from others who sought to misuse their powers, and encouraged them to conquer their differences and internal conflicts to overcome them. I’m not even sure I would have made all the same decisions, but then I remember Rian’s words: ” “Who are we to decide who’s worth saving and who’s worth punishing? What would you have done in such a desperate situation? Can you honestly say that you wouldn’t do everything in your power to help the ones you love?” and I know he is right.
Reader, beware. You will get hooked, and there will be absolutely nothing you can do about it. Except read the next in the series, that is.
Big News! As it turns out, and completely unknown to me until I had already written this review, book #4 comes out on Friday, March 3! On that day, the first three ebooks of this series will be ABSOLUTELY FREE on Amazon! It’s true!
There’s also a short story, ‘Snowberry Blossom’, that fits between books 2 and 3 of the tetralogy.
You can see for yourself on Missy Sheldrake’s own blog, which you should probably follow because you’re probably going to end up being a huge fan, just like me.