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.

Winning His Spurs

I hated this book. While I don’t like Historical Fiction as a rule G. A. Henty takes it to a whole other level with trying to make everything as historically accurate as possible. There comes a point where there’s not enough fiction in it and you’re basically just reading history. There’s so much empty space in this book that you never get truly invested in the story and you honestly don’t care what’s going to happen to the main characters. I realize that this is a short review and I didn’t introduce the characters or give a synopsis but honestly this book isn’t worth that.

Angel Fire East

Angel Fire East was written by Terry Brooks and published by Del Rey Books in 1999.

The next installation of this series ranks right under A Knight of the Word. While parts of it were fun and entertaining I found the book on the whole to be a little too heavy for my tastes.

In this third installation of The Word and The Void trilogy we return to Hopewell where 29-year-old Nest Freemark lives alone in her grandparents old house. She thinks that she’s spending Christmas all alone but a demon informs her that that is not so, he expects that John Ross should be paying her a visit in the future. When she comes home from church she sees a figure sitting on her backsteps. It’s not John Ross but Bennett Scott and her daughter, Harper. Nest welcomes them into her home and invites them to stay through the holidays.

Late that night there is a knock at the door. Nest opens it to see John Ross and a little boy she doesn’t recognize. John introduces the boy as a gypsy morph and explains that he is the reason all of those demons are in Hopewell. Both sides want to try and unlock the power of the gypsy morph and they feel like Nest might be the key.

I enjoyed this book. Like I said before, it ranks under the previous book in this trilogy but it’s still a solid book.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

One of Shakespeare’s better known plays, this book does not rank very high on my list of his work. I much prefer A Comedy of Errors or Tempest. Nevertheless this is still a good book and is worth the read. Some of you might be thinking about going and picking up a picture book like I told you to do with Beowulf but I’m going to tell you to do the very opposite here. In my opinion, Shakespeare is always better when read in its original form. Some of you might also be thinking that instead of reading this book for school or something that you could just watch the movie instead. After all, it’s basically the book word for word isn’t it? What’s the harm? I’m here to tell you that the movie is not very good and that they added a lot of stuff in that wasn’t in the book just to waste your time. The only good part was when the actors performed their play at the end. Again I will say that Shakespeare is always better when read in its original form.

With that being said I will get into my actual review. I assume most of you know the basic story so I won’t go into too much detail now. Basically, Hermia and Lysander are in love but Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena is in love with Demetrius but Demetrius doesn’t love her back King Oberon and Queen Titania are fighting over a little kid. Hermia and Lysander decide to elope. Hermia tells Helena and Helena tells Demetrius. Demetrius follows Hermia and Helena  follows him so eventually all of them are in the wood where Oberon and Titania live. All kinds of shenanigans and tomfoolery ensue.

Even though it might have sounded as if I really hate this book at the beginning I do actually like it quite a bit Shakespeare has just done much better work, in my opinion. I think this is definitely a must-read for any Shakespeare fan.


Okay, I’m just going to start out by saying that I love the story of Beowulf. But don’t waste your money on buying the full book. Since Beowulf was an epic poem and meant to be told over the span of a few days/weeks/months half of the story is repeating what happened before so that the audience can remember kind of like “previously on so and so TV show”. Instead, I would buy a kids version where everything is concise and plus, you get pictures.

I’d also like to say that J. R. R. Tolkien was a huge fan of Beowulf and basically plagiarized the whole dragon part of Beowulf  in his book The Hobbit. It’s literally the same story just fleshed out a bit more and not so repetitive. I would recommend reading Beowulf for any Hobbit and LotR fans because it’s interesting to see where Tolkien got his ideas from. Vice versa, I would recommend Tolkien books to anyone who likes Beowulf.

Now into the actual review part. Basically the Danes are being haunted by this monster, Grindel. Beowulf comes and saves them all and kills the monster. For a little while all is well but they forgot about Grindel’s mother and she takes revenge on them for killing her son. Beowulf kills her too. Then a dragon comes up out of nowhere and starts to wreak havoc. Beowulf defeats the dragon but dies in the process.

Again, I would just like to say to not read the full version read a kid’s version and after your done reading that go pick up The Hobbit.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood was written by Howard Pyle and published in 1985 by Signet Classics.

I enjoyed this book but it got a little predictable towards the end.  Basically Robin and his friends decide to go and see what kind of trouble they could get into, end up getting drubbed, and the person who beat them up decides to join their band. Nevertheless, it was a fun read and I probably would recommend it.

Most everyone knows the story of Robin Hood so I won’t bother going into too much detail but basically Robin Hood lives with his band of outlaws, the merry men, in Sherwood Forest and they steal from the rich (most notably the Sheriff of Nottingham) and give to the poor.

This was an okay book it could’ve been a little shorter and personally I think the Disney movie is more enjoyable so instead of buying this book go watch that.


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

Keturah was written by Lisa T. Bergren and published by Bethany House in 2018.

After getting out of an abusive marriage Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson faces another tragedy when she gets word of her father’s death. She begins to despair when she looks over the accounts and sees that her family is deeply in debt. It seems like the only solution is to set sail for Nevis and try to run the plantation with the help of her two sisters. Her cousin tries to dissuade her as the West Indies can be a dangerous place for three unmarried women. He begs Keturah to take Gray, her childhood friend, as an escort. Keturah, proud woman that she is, refuses. Little does she know that much more than danger awaits her on Nevis.

I thought this book was extremely okay. I was hooked from the beginning but my attention began to wain as the book dragged on and got more samey. I would say read this at your own risk.

A Knight of the Word

A Knight of the Word was written by Terry Brooks and published by Del Rey Books in 1998.

We return to the story of John Ross and Nest Freemark but their lives are completely different. Nest is in college and John Ross no longer considers himself a knight of the Word. If you are looking for another book about Nest in her friends this is not the book for you. Nest has been moved from the main character spot to an important supporting character and the only person from her group of friends in the previous story that makes an appearance is Robert and his part is barely a cameo.

At the beginning of this book Nest is pondering over whether or not she should sell her house in Hopewell. With both of her grandparents dead and Nest spending most of her time at college she doesn’t know whether it is worth it or not to keep the house. She doesn’t even know if she plans to move back to Hopewell after college.

Meanwhile, John Ross, after a traumatic failure, has resigned from being a Knight of the Word. He will not head the people the Lady sends to tell him that it’s not his choice to decide whether or not he is still a knight or not. He refuses to believe that right now he is easy prey for demons and that he will easily be turned by the Void. That is why the Lady sends Nest to see if she can change his mind and get him to resume his position as a Knight.

As you can probably tell, I wasn’t happy that this story focused mostly on John Ross and not Nest. I think that Nest is a much more interesting character than John is and that John does better in the supporting character role. I think this is a good book as a stand-alone but as a sequel it disappoints.

Running With the Demon

Running With the Demon was written by Terry Brooks and published by Del Ray Books in 1997.

Nest Freemark is a 14 year old girl who at first glance might seem completely average. You would be very wrong in your assumption. She’s best friends with a sylvan named Pick and is very familiar with the magic side of the park that Pick is caretaker of. Some of that magic lives inside her too. She can make people lose complete control of themselves with just a thought. It scares he though and her grandmother warns her to never use it unless it is a life or death situation. She never needs to use it anyway since she has Wraith, a huge dog who sometimes seems like a ghost, to protect her from the feeders, creatures who serve the Void and feed off of the bad feelings and actions of people. When something mysterious and possibly terrible about her family history is revealed to her by the ghosts of the Sinissippi and John Ross appears in town saying that he knew her mother Nest struggles to come to terms with her family history.

I enjoyed this book. I think it is much better than the original Shannara trilogy and worth the read. Would recommend to fans of Lord of the Rings and people who don’t get dissuaded from books due to overly long descriptions of every little thing.