Book Review: Unfathomable Chance

*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are always my own!*

Hey guys!!! So it is just a short way into 2017 and I’ve already completed two books. I feel pretty successful! This book was weird, but not a bad weird. I really enjoyed it overall! Now, let’s get onto the review!

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Number of stars: 4.5/5

Synopsis:

“When Diana woke up on her 23rd birthday she thought it was going to be a normal day. She thought of donuts, coffee, and laughter. She did not think she was going to become the center in a galactic race to win her heart. None too pleased with the prospect of alien races descending on Earth to try and woo her, Diana does the only reasonable thing she can; she runs. Now she has to try and find a way to get rid of the blasted bracelet that is the cause of all the recent craziness in her life. The problem is this isn’t an ordinary bracelet; it contains the Heart of the Cosmos. Furthermore the Cosmos chose her for a reason and it isn’t keen on letting her go until she finishes what it started over ten years ago. Something tried to destroy it and now Diana isn’t just worried about her heart, she is worried about her life.”

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Non-Spoilery Review:

This book is like a mixture between Narnia, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Star Wars. At first, I didn’t enjoy the similarities, but the plot was so imaginative but I quickly started to enjoy the read. It was pretty fast paced, and felt a bit rushed at times, but I think I prefer this over a book going too slow.

Diana is bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders…in the form of a bracelet. People are expecting so much out of her and she is simply trying to grasp everything that is happening in her life. She meets lots of aliens, including some attractive ones. These aliens praise and fear her.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The ending made me ridiculously happy for some reason, and I LIVE for happy endings!

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Spoilery Review:

So, Diana is the Bearer of the Cosmos. What does this mean? It means she is, essentially, supposed to be the queen of the universe. Universe as in a lot of planets and such. Sounds pretty stressful if you ask me.

The oddest part is that Diana is completely human. AND she accepts everything relatively quickly. She quickly makes friends with all of the aliens and she gains many followers while she travels through the universe.

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She meets everything from a talking cat to a Jar Jar Binks-like character. The talking cat, Kal Zed, is like her guide throughout the whole situation. He helps her to understand what all needs to happen in order for her to become queen of the universe: she has to choose a husband.

Diana quickly decides that she doesn’t really want this life. She finds her way to the Cosmos to ask a question: “Why me?” The Cosmos makes a deal with her: if you figure out what REALLY happened to the previous queen. Word on the street was that the queen killed herself, but the Cosmos believes there was more to it than that.

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A special thing about the bracelet that the bearer wears is that it protects the wearer. However, if the wearer isn’t aware of danger, it can’t protect them. Diana figures out that the previous queen would have done ANYTHING for her sons. She manages to find out that Hamyl, the king’s son, was the cause of the previous queen’s death.

The best part of this entire book was the end. Diana does NOT become queen of the universe. She goes back to her normal life. Then, Dimar, the attractive alien figure in the book, comes to Diana. Their lives weren’t going to work out because of how different they are, but they would make it work. Such a romantic ending!!

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I’m sorry this review is so short. I finished this book a few days ago and a lot has happened since. Life is just getting crazier! If you guys enjoy fantasy, I recommend this book. It was a really fun, quick read!!

-Jamie

Book Review: Saffire

*I received this book for review from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are my own.*

Hello friends! I have a book review for you today!! I feel like I haven’t read much at all recently (well, I haven’t), but I finally finished this book. I hope you are all doing well transitioning back into school and work after the holidays!

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Number of Stars: 4/5

Non-Spoilery Review:

I was very back and forth with this book. Before starting it, I was in quite the reading slump and was worried that this book would not help with that, but it kind of did. It had some moments of suspense that drew me in and made me want to know more, but it also had moments where I was simply bored. There would be times where there would be a lot of description and it didn’t hold my interest as well.

I did like the main character in this book, James Holt. He was sarcastic in every situation and it added great comical relief. His relationship with Miskimon (an inspector) was so entertaining throughout the entire book! I found James Holt’s relationship with Saffire (a child who lost her mother) endearing because he quickly became attached to her.

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James Holt is asked to look as if he is trying to find more information out about what happened to Saffire’s mother. They did find a letter from her mother, but Saffire doesn’t believe what it says. Shortly after starting his search, he starts to face dangers. Dangers that could easily kill him. (ohhhhh don’t you wanna read it now??)

This book takes place during Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency. The Panama Canal is being dug and mysterious things keep happening, but nobody knows who is causing all of the problems.

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Spoilery Review:

I must say, this book surprised me. The “bad guy” wasn’t who I thought it’d be. Frankly, this book didn’t really feel like a full-fledged mystery until the very end. I never guessed that Raquel’s fiancé would be the man that he turned out to be. (Raquel is Saffire’s older half sister; James Holt and Raquel do have a small romance throughout the book.)

When Amador (Raquel’s fiancé) is first brought into the book, I thought he was just a snobby, prissy, fat man (no insult intended here…okay, maybe a little). That was exactly like I pictured him. I also didn’t see him as a smart individual. He proved me wrong.

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Amador was the cause of literally EVERYTHING in this book. He was responsible for Saffire’s mother’s death. He was responsible for the accidents during the building of the canal (he caused deaths of numerous people by paying them to tamper with miscellaneous objects). He was responsible for the torture James Holt had to endure for his investigation. So, as you can see, Amador ended up being pretty sly.

One of the most notable moments from this book was when James Holt was tortured. I took it as he got electrocuted and I felt legit fear for him during the scene. Another notable scene was the amazing, but unsatisfying ending. Amador holds James Holt at gunpoint, but also kills Saffire’s father. I say that the ending was unsatisfying because I still have questions.

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I am just assuming that Raquel and James Holt end up getting married because that is the direction in which they seemed to be moving. The ending just felt very rushed. I would have liked some more conclusion. It felt as if the book reached its climax, then immediately ended. However, the overall story line was still very well thought out and presented.

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I hope you all enjoyed this review! What have you been reading? Have you ever read a book by Sigmund Brouwer?

-Jamie

Book Review: Shadow of the Storm

*I received this book in return for an honest review. Thank you Bethany House for sending me this amazing book!!*

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a fantastic day! Today, I am bringing you a book review for a book I received from Bethany Publishing House. This is the second book in the Out From Egypt series by Connilyn Cossette. You can find my review for the first book, Counted With the Stars, here.

Number of stars: 5

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Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“In the Depth of the Storm’s Shadow, Only Truth Can Light Her Way

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira’s gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is?”

 

Non-Spoilery Review:

This series leaves me speechless! Okay, who are we kidding…I always have plenty to say after finishing a good book!

These books are beautiful both inside and out! Just look at these covers!!

I am so happy I discovered this series. They are exactly what I love about reading. The romance is endearing and brings me happiness, the writing is slightly more advanced, and there are always questions that need to be answered.

The characters in these books are simply incredible. Shira, one of the women we follow, does become annoying at times with how unsure she is about herself, but it is so realistic. Self-doubt at that age always occurs and can’t be avoided. Her huge heart and bravery make up for all of her downfalls; she would do anything to protect the ones she loves.

Dvorah reminds me of Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl at times. Even though some of her actions are awful, I cannot help loving her character. In ways, she is very much like Shira…everything she does is for her son.

The plot grabs your attention from page one. Quickly, tension is felt in the camp and Connilyn leaves you dying to know what will happen next. These books are a quick read for this very reason! Sitting at around 300 pages, I can usually finish them within a week (I only spend a short amount of time reading every day).

 

Spoilery Review:

These books are simply amazing. Shira, the primary main character in Shadow of the Storm (there are two main characters, Dvorah and Shira), is discovering a gift in the early parts of this book—midwifery. Along the way, she meets Dvorah. Dvorah’s husband is killed when the tribes within the camp fight. Many of the individuals in the camp had been worshipping idols, a sin against Yahweh.

Shira and Dvorah are forced to work together while being apprentices to Reva; however, there comes a time when Shira and Dvorah must help a woman have her baby without Reva’s helping hand. A complication occurs where Shira must shift the baby inside her mother in order for the baby to come safely out of the womb. Everything seems fine until blood starts pooring out of the mother. The mother dies shortly after, but the baby survives.

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Shira, in distress, runs outside the tent. She is horrified about the events that had just occurred, thinking she is the reason for the woman’s death. The father comes up to Shira and she is presented with another problem. He is the man who she had shared a secret kiss with by the stream; she had been expecting him to ask her brother for her hand in marriage.

Before the woman had died, she had made Shira promise to take care of her baby. Since Shira is barren, she quickly takes to the child and becomes attached. In the meantime, Dvorah is plotting to marry Ayal (the father to the motherless child). However, Ayal only has eyes for Shira.

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When Dvorah’s husband was killed, she was forced to move in with her brother-in-law and his many wives. The biggest problem: Dvorah has a young son. She wants to get her son out of that situation, and is willing to do anything to achieve that. Ayal looked like an easy way out, but her efforts were in vain.

Ayal works to gain Shira’s trust and soon she is more than happy to marry him.

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Dvorah is plotting during all of these events. She herself had grown attached to the motherless child; she was the one who had to feed her. Her brother-in-law and many of his friends were planning a revolt. During this revolt, she planned to take back the child.

When the revolt occurs, Dvorah does manage to take the child. In the process, she leaves her brother- in-law to do who knows what to Shira. Shira fights vigorously and others come to her aid before anything can happen, but her concern is the child that Dvorah took.

At the end, a huge storm occurs, catching many of the outer camps on fire. This is where they find Dvorah and the child. They are both found alive.

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These books have so much in them that I feel like I can’t touch on nearly enough! Obviously, this means that you should all go read them!! You will not be disappointed! Have any of you read these? What other biblical fiction books can you recommend to me? What have you been reading (and loving) lately?

-Jamie

Book Review: Counted With the Stars

 

Guys. Guys….GUYS!!!!! This. Book. It was perfection. I loved this book. I loved EVERYTHING about it. The beautiful cover, the way it felt, the beautiful words that were written inside.

This book is biblical fiction. I’ve never read this genre before, but you better bet that I’ll be reading more of it in the future. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I really enjoyed every bit of this book.

Number of Stars: 5 (Can I say 10??)

 

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?”

 

Non-Spoilery Review:

In this book, you meet Kiya. She is used to fine riches and being taken care of by slaves…..until she herself becomes a slave. Adjusting to her new life is hard, but necessary. Along the journey, she becomes friends with a fellow slave who opens her up to an entirely new world.

Kiya starts to question everything she has ever believed in when things start happening in Egypt. Weird things. Things that shouldn’t ever happen.

This book kept me interested constantly. There was never a time where I felt bored with Kiya’s story. I kept wanting to pick up the book and read; I never wanted the story the end. I was left in tears at the end. Not sad tears, but happy ones. The ending was beyond perfect.

 

Spoilery Review:

Ughhh…still reeling from this one. It was just TOO good. Well, okay, not really. No book is ever too good. But anyway…

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So Kiya’s father is in debt. What does he do to fix his problem? He sells Kiya. What kind of father sells his own daughter?? He sells her to Shefu, a family friend and business partner. Kiya is given the task of tending to Shefu’s wife, Tekurah. Saying that Tekurah is a handful is an understatement.

A friendship starts to bud between Kiya and another slave, Shira (a Hebrew girl), when Shira takes the blame for one of Kiya’s mistakes. Shira is demoted to working in the kitchen, while Kiya continues to tend to Tekurah. When Kiya manages to finally thank Shira for what she did, she doesn’t expect her world to start changing. Shira starts to tell her about Mosheh and her God. Slowly, Kiya starts to question her own beliefs.

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When plagues start to hit Egypt, Kiya has no reason but to start doubting Pharoah and her gods. The Nile turns to blood, frogs cover Egypt, and locusts eat all of the plants (just to name a few). Mosheh is the cause of it all. He tells Pharaoh about what will happen if he doesn’t let the Hebrews go and be free.

The Hebrews are worked harder at first, but soon, the Egyptians start to fear the Hebrews. The Hebrews are let go when every firstborn son in Egypt is killed, as Mosheh predicted.

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The journey to freedom isn’t easy for the Hebrews and everyone else who decided to join (this included Kiya, her brother, and her mother). Hunger, thirst, and other dangers wait for them in the desert.

Kiya and her family receive a warm welcome from Shira’s family. The only one who doesn’t seem to give Kiya a warm welcome is Eben, Shira’s brother. Little did Kiya know, Eben was struggling with more than just hatred for Egyptians. He watched his father get whipped to death and he blamed every Egyptian for it; however, he was falling in love with Kiya.

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After days and days of travel through the desert, some of the people among the group traveling with Hebrews start disappearing. The men in the group had been training for any possible battle that might occur. They had to apply those skills when the Amalekites attack. It was a bloody battle, but the Hebrews are victiorious with the help of Mosheh.

Mosheh had saved the Hebrews during all of the times when it seemed like one more step would kill them. Miracle after miracle occurred. Prayer and faith were all the Hebrews needed.

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Before the battle between the Hebrews and the Amalekites, Kiya’s mother is murdered by some of the Amalekites. When Kiya finds her mother’s body, she is overcome by grief and doesn’t see the men who come up behind her. One of the men take her back to the Amalekite camp to have her be his. When the battle occurs, Eben manages to come save Kiya.

Then the truth finally comes out. Eben tells Kiya how he feels and gives her the love and care that she needs and wants. They planned to get married and it makes for an amazing ending to a great book.

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I really can’t write a long enough review to give this book justice. So much happened and there were constant plot twists, so I tried to touch on some of them in my review. I hope you enjoyed!

This book had a lot of information from the book of Exodus from the Bible. I feel like I learned so much from this book and can’t wait to read Connilyn Cossette’s next book, Shadow of the storm. Have any of you read biblical fiction? What are your thoughts?

-Jamie

 

Review: The Flip

*I received this book for an honest review. Opinions are always my own!*

Hello! I have another review for you guys today! Hopefully you are all having a great week and continue to have a great week. Enjoy my review of The Flip!

Number of Stars: 4

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Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads):

“Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants’ junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?”

Non-Spoilery Review:

I really enjoyed this book!! This book definitely felt appropriate for this month, considering it is almost Halloween! When I first read the synopsis for this book, I really wanted to know HOW scary this book would be. It was kind of spooky, but not so spooky that I couldn’t read it at night. That’s the only time I really read.

The entire storyline and plot was really good and I kept wanting to read more to see what would happen. The only thing I didn’t love was the fact that there were a few scenes where intimacy occurred (you know what I mean). It wasn’t super detailed so it was still a very good book overall, but those parts made me a little uncomfortable.

I really enjoyed reading about Julie and Brad because they are house flippers. I have always been curious about how house flipping works and this book gave a little insight, which I found super interesting!

Spoilery Review:

Julie and Brad are house flippers, and they just bought a big, old, Victorian house. A very creepy, big, old, Victorian house.

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Julie has a full time job, while Brad works on the houses that they are going to sell. As Brad starts to fix up their Victorian house, weird things start happening: he hears voices, randomly loses his breath, and sees weird forms on the walls. This all puts him in an awful mood, which causes many fights between him and his wife, Julie.

Turns out that there are ghosts in the house—Gerald and Tessa—and one of them is trying to seduce Brad. Tessa starts causing weird things to happen to Brad and Gerald is constantly trying to get her to leave Brad alone.

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Then one day, Julie’s boss tries to get intimate with her, which she refuses. She quits her job, disgusted, and heads home. While she is taking a shower, Tessa comes and manages to start a fire in the house. Julie barely gets out alive. Brad comes to get her and brings her back to their Victorian house to take care of her.

They both start working on the house together and Tessa continues trying to affect their relationship, but doesn’t succeed.

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Julie and brad call in a lady that can talk to ghosts and watches Tessa and Gerald find peace and leave. Tessa had lived in the house and was always fawning over different guys, while Gerald was in love with her and was waiting for her to return his love. Right before they leave, Tessa realizes that it was always Gerald. It was a great ending for two couples in love!

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Thanks for reading this review!! I hope you all enjoyed. Have any of you ever heard of this author? Have you ever read one of his books? What have you been reading lately?

-Jamie

Book Review: The Goddess


*I received this book for free and may be receiving compensation for my review, but all opinions expressed are completely my own!*

Today, I’m bringing you another book review! Yay!!! I’ll be reviewing The Goddess by H. W. Vivian. Recently, I reviewed he first book in this trilogy, War of Rain, which I gave 5 stars. You can read the review here! These books are great in the fact that you don’t have to read the first book to understand the second. New characters are introduced in The Goddess.

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You can purchase The Goddess here.

Number of Stars: 4.5 (I’m so easy to please haha)

Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

“Sixteen year-old Clara and her two brothers have a secret – one that could destroy their commune if anyone found out. When a race of people, thought to be long-extinct, appears outside their home, their secret is exposed. In the same day, a strange woman “spills” out of the computer that powers the commune, and claims to be the Goddess that they all worship, incarnated into flesh and blood to warn of an approaching war. Clara’s world is soon turned upside-down as the woman’s prediction is fulfilled, causing her to question everything she’s ever known about her life and beliefs.”

Non-Spoilery Part:

The Goddess is another dystopian book in H. W. Vivian’s series, War of Rain. There are some very intriguing technologies that are presented and the book takes place in a commune that is controlled by Lindeen, their Goddess.

Each communer has a task to complete every day in the commune. These tasks range from disposing waste to being a farmer. We get to follow Clara, a waste disposer.

At the beginning, it is a tad confusing to really understand what some of the characters are talking about, but everything gets explained at a good pace. Just like the first book in this series, I became most into this book when part two started. Part one had some semi-boring parts, but the action really started right before part two. Actually, it got emotional at that part and I realized how attached I had gotten to the characters!

There is a small amount of romance in this book, but not as much as there was in War of Rain. H. W. Vivian came up with such a creative world in this book, though! Some of the things that happened were so cool to think about.

Spoilery Part:

So Clara is a communer. She disposes Lindeen’s (their Goddess) waste about once a week because it is her duty. Lindeen’s waste includes broken mother boards and other types of broken electronics. Why? Because Lindeen is a computer. Yeah, it was weird for me too (in a cool way).

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Clara disposes the waste with her blood-brother, Desmond, and Phoenix, her commune-brother. Everyone in the commune has a blood-family, and everyone else is supposed to be commune-siblings. Everybody takes care of everybody, basically.

When Clara, Desmond, and Phoenix go to dispose of the waste one week, Desmond is driving for the first time. Side note: these people start driving around nine years of age. NINE! That is just crazy! They dispose the waste wayyyyy up north, near the Ice Clan, their allies. However, there is a wall that is NOT supposed to be crossed. Well, Desmond gets curious and decides to go around the wall, and obviously, Clara and Phoenix must follow.

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When they are disposing of the waste, they are entranced by the crystals that surround the Ice Clan’s home. They start to dispose of the waste and Clara trips and falls on the pile of waste. A spark appears, and the crystals previous luster is just….gone. The Ice Clan gets mad and attacks, but the three manage to escape.

They go back to the commune, and think things will just get better, but they don’t. Soon after, the Ice Clan comes to attack the commune. Silas, the commune’s sarcastic and childish protector, asks Lindeen for help. The Expellant (the commune’s protection that was always talked about, but never actually used…it’s a huge metal creature that is very deadly) bursts out of the ground and kills a bunch of the members of the Ice Clan.

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The Ice Clan flees, and everyone now knows about Clara, Desmond, and Phoenix’s mistake. This is when the book gets pretty emotional. Lindeen comes out of the computer in a bunch of interesting liquid. The three are in the room when it happens because they are being scolded by the Presider, the only communer who can communicate with Lindeen.

Electricity happens and electricity + liquid isn’t a good mix, as we all know. Desmond doesn’t make it out alive. That about killed me. Clara takes it so hard and I just couldn’t handle it. I felt so bad for her. They had recently lost their blood-parents because of a plague.

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When Lindeen comes out of the computer, Clara doesn’t believe that she is the Goddess. She things that Lindeen took Desmond from her and hates her for it. Many people eventually start to question Lindeen’s identity as well.

Then, the Earth Purists come with the Barbarians (this is the only time where something from War of Rain is mentioned in the entire book as far as I can remember) to attack the commune. When they come, they give the communers a timeline of when the war will begin.

Clara and Phoenix take it upon themselves to go get the Ice Clan back as their allies. They do succeed after a few days of righting their original wrong, and the Ice Clan head’s back to the commune with them.

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The war results in many many many deaths (these books are kind of gruesome at times, but not overly so), but the communers and Ice Clan are victorious, with the help of the expellent. There was a time when it seemed like they weren’t going to win, but in the end, things ended on the right note.

That was a summary with so much left out. These books are jam packed with action and important information about the past of the dystopian world, especially in parts two and three. Part one is usually mainly full of an introduction to the setting and the characters, which is much needed.

I hope you enjoyed the review! Let me know if you decide to read one of H. W. Vivian’s books! She is such a great writer and I definitely want to support her and encourage you all to do the same. Have a great day everyone, and thanks for reading!!

-Jamie

Coloring Book Review: Pop Manga Coloring Book

 

I did receive this book at no cost, but all opinions are my own!       

Guys!!! I’m so excited to show you this coloring book that I received from Blogging For Books. Y’all should join that if you haven’t already. This coloring book is probably my favorite of the ones I own. I haven’t gotten a chance to color in it yet (so sad, I know), but it is so beautiful.

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One of the things I love about this coloring book is the fact that you can color the entire thing!! The cover, the back cover, the dust cover (both the inside AND the outside…like, what??). So exciting, yet kinda scary. I just don’t wanna ruin its beauty!

Now, instead of sitting here and gushing about this coloring book for the next who knows how long, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves! I wanted to give you all a peak of what the inside of this beautiful coloring book looks like

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You can find more by Camilla d’Errico here. (http://camilladerrico.com/) She is such an incredible artist! That is very clear to see from the Pop Manga coloring book I received.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

-Jamie