Mini Reviews Volume 2

Sometimes I have some reviews to post but they’re not quite long enough to warrant a single post, so I collate them into mini review posts like this one! This is PART 2 of this series. Enjoy 🙂


DISCLAIMER: I received free copies of both of these books in return for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.


The Adventures of WilhelmThe Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter


Young Wilhelm leaves home and travels the world. He not only discovers the value of different cultures and the importance of family and friendship, but he also overcomes obstacles with courage and cleverness. He returns home with deep respect for all creatures on this earth and a new sense of rat identity and purpose. (Goodreads.)

While I do often enjoy middle grade books, I tend to prefer middle grade books which are written in a less… simplistic fashion. By simplistic I do not mean that the writing in this book was bad because it certainly wasn’t, but the story was very obviously trying to communicate lessons through the story. And it did so by blatantly having the characters teach other characters the lessons which the author wants the reader to take from the book. This, to me, doesn’t feel like middle grade writing for 9-12 year olds, but more like older children’s fiction (5-8 years range).

I feel like books have the impact they do on people because they allow people to learn lessons more “naturally” by experiencing the emotions the book portrays. Anyone can tell you something, but only by really experiencing and understanding it can you fully believe it, which is where this story fell short.

Not only did it not have the impact it should, but the writing style left me feeling a little bit irritated and a lot like I was being either patronised or reading allowed to a younger sibling or child I was babysitting… except I was reading to myself during my lunch break at work.

That being said, if the writing style doesn’t bother you, the premise of the book is actually quite good and very thought-provoking. Although the writing style put me off enough that I could not finish the book, the actual plot of the book was fascinating and made me have some deep philosophical conversations with myself.

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As I did not finish this book, I can not give it a rating as per my rating policy.

 

WindswornWindsworn by Derek Alan Siddoway


When Eva discovers a young thief hiding in her woodshed with a stolen gryphon egg, the shy, timid girl is forced to leave everything she’s ever known to become Windsworn — elite warriors who ride fierce gryphons into battle…  (Goodreads.)”

Windsworn was comfortable to read. It was a good, familiar fantasy story, with some interesting world features, but generally fairly typical and familiar topics. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means the world wasn’t amazing but the book did use the familiar concepts well. It was fun and easy to read, perfect if you just want to relax for a little bit!

3 stacks of 3 books, 3/5 rating
This means I liked the book but it wasn’t anything particularly special! Check out my rating policy for more details.

So that was it!

Do you want to go and read either of these books now?

Happy reading, Keira x.

“Start, Just Start” | Interview With Sir Richard Alexander, Author of A Dance With Demons

Hello everyone! If you read my “Mini Reviews Vol. 1” post a couple of weeks back, you’ll have seen me review the book A Dance With Demons by Sir Richard Alexander. Today I’m bringing you an interview straight from the author, so I hope you enjoy!


INTRODUCE YOURSELF


I’m Alexander, from the wi town of Grantsville, Utah. As for what I do, I’m a writer and a life coach.


If you had to explain who you are to someone in one sentence, what would you say?


I’m the whole pie, not just a slice, because though I am definitely a fantasy buff, I enjoy far more than just reading and writing.


What/who is your hero?


Samwise_Gamgee_profileSamwise Gamgee (Sam Wise the Brave). I really look up to him, because he is so loyal, is so good, even when treated poorly. He really has many traits that I really like, but his loyalty is definitely something that sticks out to me. I want to be a friend like that. I want to be a friend a friend would want to have. A true friend.


How did you become an author? 


It’s interesting that I became an author because I didn’t even learn to read until I was about 8 and didn’t enjoy reading until I was around 12. Things changed when I came across a fantasy book. When I came across the fantasy genre, I was hooked and from there on out, I always wanted to be an author. It was my dream and the only career I wanted, that hasn’t changed since I was a young boy.

Being able to create my own world is such an exciting thing! I’m in charge of an entire world! Even if no one ever read my work, I would still write.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?


The advice could be applied to anything. It is a secret that was imparted to me some time ago. This secret is a trait that all successful people, writer or otherwise, share in this world. It’s not the most common trait like some you hear about, but it is shared by literally ever single success. When you hear it, you might want to pass it off, but it is very powerful, so don’t. The advice I was given, was: “Start, just start…” it is so obvious and so simply, but there is not one single successful man, or woman in this world that is not a starter. So, if you are dwelling on something and trying to plan everything out before the fact, you may never end up getting it done. I simply would give the same advice to anyone who has dreams in writing, or anything else. “Just start.”


If you had to summarise your book A Dance with Demons in three words, what would they be?


Good against Evil, or, A Heroic tale.


What is one thing you learned whilst writing this book?


Perfectionism_0I realized that perfectionism will stop you from completing anything if you let it. there were so many times that I was tempted to just go back and change things constantly and was tempted to think that it would never be good enough. But I realized that if I kept feeling like it had to be literally perfect, before I finished and published the book, then it would still be sitting on my computer. So to summarize, you are always going to feel that you want it to be perfect, but I realized I couldn’t let that hold me back.


Why or how did you decide to write this book?


I have been writing since I was about 12 and always wanted to write a book. I looked at the things I had written and never felt like any of it was good enough. I really did want to be published though, it was one of my life dreams after all. Unfortunately that is exactly what if felt like, just a dream.

After some time, I came across some self-help material and my idea of dreams being only things to wish for, was shattered. The self-improvement realm taught me that dreams shouldn’t just be dreams, but that you can make them a reality. When I came to this new way of thinking, I decided that I was going to write something that was going to mean something, a book of good against evil. So I began writing, and made the choice before I even put the first word down that this book was going to be the one I published, even if it was crap. I really decided to write this book, simply because I found out that dreams didn’t just have to be dreams and that gave me the motivation to move forward.


If people take one thing away from your book, what would you hope it would be?


That anyone can write a book. If someone like me, who couldn’t read until 8 and didn’t like it thereafter until I was 12, could write a book, then there is no reason anyone can’t.


Who would you recommend your book to and who would you caution against it (e.g. trigger warnings)?


Anyone who likes an adventure of good against evil, an adventure packed with action, underworld creatures, and characters that push forward despite all of the hardship. I would caution people against it that really don’t enjoy action packed stories and young children, because there are some scary creatures in this book. Over all however, I would recommend it to most people though, because I have had people in their 60s read it and enjoy it, as well as people in their teens.


Finally, where can people buy your book?


You can buy it on Amazon either in kindle format or a physical copy.


And that’s it for this post! I hope you enjoyed and talk to you again soon ❤

DISCLAIMER: THE CONTENT OF THE AUTHOR’S ANSWERS HAVE NOT BEEN EDITED EXCEPT FOR FORMATTING AND DO NOT REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF ANYONE EXCEPT THE AUTHOR.

Mini Reviews Volume 1

Sometimes I have some reviews to post but they’re not quite long enough to warrant a single post, so I collate them into mini review posts like this one! Enjoy 🙂


DISCLAIMER: I received free copies of both of these books in return for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.


Sarah's GhostSarah’s Ghost by Ben Kavaliro

SARAH’S GHOST is a supernatural thriller that will make you laugh, cry, and reel in shock. It contains terrifying suspense and multiple twists. (Goodreads.)

I struggled with connecting to the characters in this book or with feeling sympathy towards them. I found myself being unusually apathetic towards major events, simply because characters are perhaps the most important aspect in determining whether I enjoy a book and I could neither connect or enjoy the characters in this book. Perhaps they are simply too far removed from my reality or my interests, but whatever the case, I could not get in to this book because of that. I found some of the humour crude and many of the issues dealt with in the first 40% to be outside of my interest.

That being said, the writing style is engaging and for those who are more invested in the supernatural or plot aspects of the book may well have enjoyed this book, especially in the latter half which I did not read.

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As I did not finish this book, I can not give it a rating as per my rating policy.

A Dance With DemonsA Dance With Demons by Sir Richard Alexander

Two neighbouring nations have never been at peace, but become even less so now. One summons evil creatures to fight for them and the other bolsters their militia with their own people. (Goodreads.)

A Dance With Demons was fun. It wasn’t particularly revolutionary, world-changing or otherwise mind-blowingly brilliant, but it was a good, fun read which made me look forward to reading some more of the fun fantasy stuff that I have sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read when I particularly need saving from boredom.

Although at points the romances were a bit too awkward for my tastes, some of the friendships were pretty good although they could do with filling out and developing (perhaps in the next instalment?) and the personality of some of the side characters in particular was both amusing and engaging. (I particularly enjoyed Shen’s blunt logic and Rick’s sweet optimism.)

The plot really carried this book for me and it was decently fast paced, making this book an ideal boredom reliever!

2 stacks of 3 books (2/5 rating)
I wavered between a two and a three for this one, so it’s more like a 2.5, but seeing as I don’t do half ratings for books we’re rounding down because I like to be harsh! This just means I liked the book, except for a few aspects. Check out my rating policy for more details.

So that was it!

Do you want to go and read either of these books now?

Happy reading, Keira x.