The Miserable Mill

To Beatrice-

My love flew like a butterfly

Until death swooped down like a bat

As the poet Emma Montana McElroy said:

“That’s the end of that.”

The Miserable Mill was written by Lemony Snicket as the fourth installment to A Series of Unfortunate Events. This book also marks the end of the first season which, if you haven’t watched it yet, you definitely should go check it out.

My mom bought me the first three of these books to see if I liked the series when I was young. I really liked them but I just never got around to buying the rest of the series because there was just so much else to read. It was only until the Netflix original series came out and I watched the first season that I realized I needed to get the rest of these books pronto. This book actually marks the first installment that I watched the show before I read the book, instead of the other way around.

If you have read the first three books, seen the first six episodes, or have been keeping up with my reviews you are already well-acquainted with what’s going to go down in this book but let me recap just in case: 1. The Baudelaires are apprehensive about meeting their new guardian. 2. Said guardian might either be caring or evil but we all know that none of them will ever measure up to Uncle Monty. 3. Count Olaf finds them 4. Count Olaf is wearing a new disguise that hides his unibrow and the tattoo of an eye on his ankle. He fools everyone except for the Baudelaire orphans 5. Something happens which makes the guardian unable or refuse to care for the children. 6. Somewhat sad ending. This book is no different in these six respects from the other three.

This book is one of my favorites in this series and I would definitely recommend it to absolutely everyone.

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The Wide Window

For Beatrice-

I would much prefer it if you were alive and well.

The Wide Window was written by Lemony Snicket and published by HarperCollins publishers in 2000.

Onto book 3! Have I mentioned that I love this series?

This book starts with Mr. Poe leaving Violet, Klaus, and Sunny alone on Damocles Dock because “the banking day has already begun.” The three children are to catch a taxi to their Aunt Josephine’s house. The three children are understandably worried, because of the fiasco their last two guardians were, and more than a little apprehensive about meeting their new guardian by themselves, not that Mr. Poe would be of any help if he were to join them. It turns out that they have nothing to worry about, at least for the time being. Their Aunt Josephine is a timid woman who is scared of absolutely everything but this does not make her a bad guardian. What makes her a bad guardian in the end is that she lets her fear control her actions and she does not protect the Baudelaire’s. But I really shouldn’t tell you anymore or you won’t read the book. The last thing I’ll tell you is something you should already know, Count Olaf does show up and its in a new disguise with a new dastardly plan for getting the Baudelaire’s fortune. What is this new plan you ask? Read the book and find out!

The Reptile Room

For Beatrice-

My love for you shall live forever

You, however, did not. 

This is the second book in A Series of Unfortunate Events a book series written by Lemony Snicket.

The sad story of the Baudelaires continues in this installment. This is definitely my favorite out of the earlier books probably because Uncle Monty is the most competent of all of their guardians. If the Baudelaires had stayed with him they would’ve lived a happy life. Sadly, as you probably already know, this was not so. Count Olaf shows up again with a new plan to steal the Baudelaire’s fortune. The adults are oblivious as always and as a result, someone dies. It is up to the three Baudelaires to destroy Count Olaf’s disguise and figure out his plan.

I loved this book. If you liked the first book at all, trust me, you’ll love this one. It’s as witty as the second one but instead of being completely full of sadness, there is a short part at the beginning where the Baudelaires are happy.

The Bad Beginning

For Beatrice-

Darling, Dearest, Dead. 

This is book 1 from A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I reaaaaaaaaaally love this series. I think it’s very witty and written at a higher level than most children’s books today. Also, there’s a phenomenal Netflix Original Series that everyone should watch.

Now, I want to start off by saying that if you’re looking for a happy book then you’ve come to the wrong place “There is no happy beginning, no happy ending, and very few happy things happen in the middle.” The Baudelaires lives are filled with strife and woe.

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny have just been informed that they’re parents have died in a terrible fire by Mr. Poe, the banker from Mulctuary Money Management. They are sent to live with “their closest living relative” (quote from the tv show not the books) Neil Patrick Harris… ahem… I mean Count Olaf. Neil… I mean Count Olaf is a terrible person who has his eyes set on the Baudelaire fortune. Can the Baudelaire’s find out his dastardly plan when all the grownups are idiots? Will they slip through the grasp of Harris, I mean, Count Olaf? Read (or watch) and find out.

The Elves of Cintra

Agh guys it’s been over a month since I posted I’m so sorry! I’ll try to do better.

The Elves of Cintra was written by Terry Brooks and published by Del Rey Books in 2007.

Continuing the story that was introduced in Armageddon’s Children we now focus on the elves. Hence, the title.

This book opens on Logan and the street kids right after Hawk and Tessa are thrown from the walls. Logan feels like he failed in his mission and now he has nothing else to do except get the rest of the Ghosts to safety. They start making plans immediately but they are almost to late. The once-men come and it’s only Logan’s quick thinking that gets all of them away in time. Well, almost all of them. Spoilers!

Kirisin and Erisha are still searching the Elven histories for mentions of the lodenstone. Culph, the librarian, is helping them at much risk to himself. This book focuses on their journey, from this library, to the lodenstone, and back again. Angel Perez is told by the Lady of the Word to leave the children that she rescued from the compounds with Helen and to join Kirisin. Angel provides support and protection from the demons that are trying to foil them.

I’m just going to say it. This book was not as good as the last one. It’s a purely personal thing though you might actually like this book better. I just feel that I am more invested in the lives of the Ghosts and because of that I find their story more interesting to read. Overall, this book was a good book and a worthy sequel to Armageddon’s Children. 

 

Armageddon’s Children

Armageddon’s Children was written by Terry Brooks and published by Orbit in 2006.

Brooks writes about a post-apocalyptic world where the last humans are holed up in compounds. Street kids and freaks roam the streets. Everyone’s worst fear is that one day the once men will appear.

Hawk is the leader of a group of street kids called the ghosts. They were called this because the haunted the ruins of their parents world. Hawk has a vision. He says that he will lead the ghosts into the promised land. Then, he will give them all new names, better names. But they have to stay alive until then.

Logan Tom is a knight of the word. Maybe the last. He doesn’t know. All he does know is that the Lady of the Word is telling him to find the gypsy morph, Nest Freemark’s son. The gypsy morph will know how to save humanity. Once, long ago, Knights of the word dreamed of what would happen if they didn’t fulfill their quest. That isn’t so anymore. That terrible future has come to pass. They’re living it. Now, dreams of their past haunt them.

Angel Perez is another Knight of the Word. Like Logan, she too believes that she is all alone. She goes ahead of the once men and tries to save the compounds. Most people don’t believe her stories of the once men. They believe they are safe within the compounds. Only the mothers and children who believe her make it out alive. On one of her escapes, she makes the mistake of running afoul of a demon called Delloreen. For the safety of the mothers and the children, she leaves them with a new quest from the Lady of the Word.

Kirisin is one of the Chosen. What are the Chosen? A group of teenage elves chosen to serve the Ellcrys a tree that keeps the Forbidding intact. What is the Forbidding? A treaty that keeps the most dangerous demons safely locked away. The Ellcrys tells Kirisin that she is in danger and that he needs to encase her in the Black Lodenstone and take her to a place where she will be safe. Kirisin has the unpleasant job of convincing the Elven king that this is a good idea.

I liked this book. It is probably my favorite Terry Brooks book that I’ve read yet. My only problem with this book is that the four storylines get a tad confusing and like with all fantasy books that have multiple storylines you only really care about one of them.

 

More than Meets the Eye

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

More than Meets the Eye was written by Karen Witemeyer and published by Bethany House in 2018.

Four-year-old Evangeline Pearson, Evie for short, is desperately hoping that she and her older brother, Hamilton get adopted at this next stop or they will be sent back to New York where she and her brother will get separated and sent off to different families. There are only two other kids on the train. A sickly boy named Seth who hadn’t been claimed because he wasn’t fit for farm work and a boy named Zach who threatened to kill any families who showed the least bit of interest in him in their sleep. Now you may be wondering, what is so wrong with Evie that she hasn’t gotten adopted yet? her eyes are two different colors. Nowadays that doesn’t seem like too big a problem but back then everyone thought she was a witch. No one’s going to adopt a witch. Hamilton, Evie, Zach, and Seth, have no luck getting adopted at the last town so the train turns around and starts heading for London. Suddenly the train flips over. Hamilton saves Zach by pushing him out of the way of the falling debris but ends up getting fatally hurt himself. He makes Zach promise to take care of Evie before breathing his last breath. Zach, Seth, and Evie run away during the pandemonium of the overturned train. No one notices them leaving. They become a new family changing their last name to Hamilton in honor of his sacrifice.

Fastforward 15 years to present day. The Hamiltons are a happy family. Zach works odd jobs to pay the bills while Evie and Seth take care of the house. in the mornings, Evie likes to go for romps with her pig, Hezekiah, Hezzy for short. On one of these romps she meets a charming man with whom she builds a friendship. Little does she know that this man has come here for the express purpose of revenge against Zach.

I really liked this book. It is by far my favorite book that Bethany House has sent me. I would honestly recommend this book to just about anyone it was that good. I liked all the mystery in it and how at least one character is always in danger so you always have someone to worry about.

Lone Witness

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Lone Witness was written by Rachel Dylan and published by Bethany House Publishers in 2018.

Sophie Dawson was just out getting a snack when out of nowhere a man tries to rob the gas station. He kills two people as he makes his escape leaving Sophie as the lone witness. The plot thickens as it is revealed that the perpetrator is the younger brother of Juan Wade the head of Atlanta’s biggest gang. Fearing for her safety, Sophie’s father hires Cooper Knight to protect her. Sophie and Cooper soon become fast friends but both wonder if they could be something more.

I enjoyed this book. I like that most of what I just mentioned above is not even the biggest plotline in the book. The book seems to have hundreds of plotlines but each one is fully fleshed out and it never feels like you’re just reading filler. All the loose ends are neatly tied up and the book leaves you feeling satisfied instead of looking to see when the sequel will come out. All in all I would recommend this book.

First Impressions

Before I get into this review I want to say I’m sorry for not posting for over a month I’m going to try to be more active.

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

First Impressions  was written by Debra White Smith and published by Bethany House in 2018.

I’m gonna switch things around a bit this time and start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. The whole book was well-written and at no point did it feel like I had read this same storyline before in a hundred other books. This book was completely original. It had plenty of plot twists to keep the reader on his toes yet it did not feel disjointed. I would definitely recommend this book.

First Impressions is a contemporary Pride and Prejudice retelling. Smith somehow manages to intertwine aspects from the original book while not making keeping you feeling like you’re reading something new. The play was a masterful touch as it helps to show the parallels between the original book and this one and it shows which characters are supposed to be the counterparts of the original ones.

Eddi, Elizabeth Bennet, is the main character of this book. She is a lawyer in London, Texas who is constantly suspicious of Dave Davidson, Mr. Darcy. When Dave warns her about Rick Wallace, Mr. Wickham, Eddi ignores him and even pays to send Rick to Hawaii with her reckless younger sister Linda, Lydia Bennet, so that he can keep an eye on her. Will Eddi realize that Rick is bad news in time to save her younger sister?

A Most Noble Heir

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

A Most Noble Heir was written by Susan Anne Mason and published by Bethany House in 2018.

Nolan Price is a mere stable-boy at Stainsby Hall until his adopted mother’s death reveals some troubling facts about his parentage. Suddenly, all his plans for the future are nonexistent as his “new” father, an earl no less, tries to tutor him in the ways of the nobility.

I enjoyed this book. I liked all the plot twists and it was never boring. The only reason I’m hesitant to recommend this book is because I don’t feel like there was ever any building action, a climax, or falling action. The book just kind of stayed on the same level the whole time. Nevertheless, it was a good book, and I would recommend it to teenagers looking for something to read that doesn’t require too much thought.