Book Review: Fairy Keeper by Amy Bearce

May 21, 2017 | Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Fiction | By

Fairy Keeper (World of Aluvia, #1)Fairy Keeper by Amy Bearce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Fairy Keeper is a good story. It tells the tale of a young teenager, Sierra Quinn, who has a special connection with the fairies of her world. Her cruel father has her collect the nectar the fairies make to use in poisons and highly addictive potions. When Sierra discovers a problem with her fairies, it threatens her father’s business and puts her beloved little sister in danger. Sierra, accompanied by one of her father’s enforcers, undertakes a quest to find a solution. As is usual in stories such as this, other companions join in the journey, creating an interesting mix of personalities that play nicely off of each other.

One problem I ran into is that there are times where Sierra will sort of get “stuck” thinking about a certain topic and even if her thoughts on the matter were gradually evolving, the author would reiterate them frequently enough that they’d become overly repetitious. While the point may be to show that she’s preoccupied with the topic, the point could have been made with fewer repetitions.

Aside from that, though, the book is enjoyable. The characters develop nicely and in ways that feel realistic. There are some nice twists and turns to the plot and the book gives you a complete story. There’s certainly plenty of room for further adventures with Sierra and her friends in the world of Aluvia (and there are two more books in the series, “Mer Charmer” and the forthcoming “Dragon Redeemer,” but you’re not left hanging at the end, something else I appreciated.

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Book Review: Shadows of the Archworld by Monica Leonelle

May 16, 2017 | Posted in Angels and Demons, Book Reviews, Urban Fantasy | By

Shadow of the Archworld (Hallows & Nephilim: Waters Dark and Deep #3)Shadow of the Archworld by Monica Leonelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third book in a series (“Waters Deep and Dark”) that keeps getting better as it progresses, and this time, I found myself reading the entire book in a single sitting. Ms. Leonelle fills in some of the blanks about her world, and the different plotlines are coalescing into solid threads as it becomes clearer who are allies, who are adversaries, and who’s willing to play both sides against each other – barring any unforeseen plot twists, of course.

The twists and character changes in this installment have been nicely set up by the previous books, though a couple of times I found myself having to go back to one of the earlier novels to refresh my memory of what had happened there.

I have to admit that after reading the first book, I was a bit dubious about the series, but there was enough that I enjoyed and a strong glimmer of promise that made me want to continue. I’m really glad I did.

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Comments on the New York Times’ Open Letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

May 11, 2017 | Posted in National Security, Politics, Russia, Trump, Trump-Russia Scandal | By

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The New York Times Editorial Board has written an open letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the daunting task he faces now that James Comey has been fired and Mr. Trump has muddied the investigative waters that much further. I wanted to add my own voice to the chorus in hopes that if enough people speak up, it might help with fortifying the courage it will take to see this done right,

First, an excerpt from the NYT Editorial Board’s letter:

Given your own reputation for probity, you must be troubled as well by the broader pattern of this president’s behavior, including his contempt for ethical standards of past presidents. He has mixed his business interests with his public responsibilities. He has boasted that conflict-of-interest laws do not apply to him as president. And from the moment he took office, Mr. Trump has shown a despot’s willingness to invent his own version of the truth and to weaponize the federal government to confirm that version, to serve his ego and to pursue vendettas large and small.

When Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million votes, for instance, he created a Voter Fraud Task Force to back up his claim that the margin resulted from noncitizens voting illegally (the task force has done nothing to date). When there was no evidence for his claim that President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, Mr. Trump demanded that members of Congress put their work aside in order to dig up “facts” to support it.

Firing Mr. Comey — who, in addition to leading the Russia investigation, infuriated Mr. Trump by refusing to give any credence to his wiretapping accusation — is only the latest and most stunning example. The White House can’t even get its own story straight about why Mr. Trump took this extraordinary step.

My comments:

This is an excellent letter, and I can only pray to the gods of Justice that Mr. Rosenstein will take his responsibility seriously and serve the country with dignity and honor.

It is just as important for the country to know if, as Mr. Trump insists, there is nothing to be found in any communications, business relations or other ties with Russia that are illegal or inappropriate, as it is to learn if there are. Finding the truth, whatever it may be, is the only way for the nation as a whole to have confidence that our government is working on our behalf and not the behalf of a nation that has long been hostile to us and our democratic aims.

Mr. Trump does no one – least of all himself – any favors by constantly trying to block investigations, distract people with accusations for which he can offer no support, shifting blame to others who clearly bear no responsibility or any of the other disruptive tactics he’s used. Mr. Rosenstein must find a way to neutralize Mr. Trump’s interference, and the best and most fair way would be to bring in an independent investigator and provide him or her with whatever support or resources are needed to finally answer the very valid and important questions that have been raised by the actions taken and attempts to explain those actions made by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff and administration .

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Book Review: Hunters of the Mortals by Monica Leonelle

May 1, 2017 | Posted in Angels and Demons, Book Reviews, Urban Fantasy | By

Hunters of the Mortals (Hallows & Nephilim: Waters Dark and Deep #2)Hunters of the Mortals by Monica Leonelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Monica Leonelle continues to build Archworld in this second installment of her “Waters Deep and Dark” series.This book marks a distinct improvement over the first volume as it avoids the somewhat confusing chronology and overly-quick acceptance of revelations that most people would need a while to assimilate.

The story itself continues to be quite interesting and I’m definitely curious to find out what happens next. I enjoyed getting to know the characters better, and the heroes are people I enjoy spending time with. My only serious complaint is that we were introduced to another faction – the Trinities – but there was no real explanation of who they are or what their purpose is, something I look forward to finding out in the next book.

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