Category Archives: Science Fiction/Fantasy

The Eye Dancers

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What happens when you start dreaming about a girl with haunting blue eyes?  Or your friends are dreaming the same dream?  In The Eye Dancers, we read about a group of boys that are taken out of their reality into one where they are trying to solve the mystery of the blue eyed girl.  Readers find themselves questioning where exactly the boys were taken to.  Are they in a parallel universe?  Are they all dreaming the same dream?

The book causes readers to question what reality really is, and understand that hope can come even in the most dangerous of times.  We explore areas such as quantum mechanics, and learn some history along the way.

The book constantly had me questioning what was going on.  It make me laugh at parts, cringe in terror, and shake my head in puzzlement.

For a great young adult science fiction/fantasy read, I would highly recommend checking out The Eye Dancers.  I give it five stars.

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Sesla…The Enchanted Planet Book Review

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit another planet and solve crimes?  Would you be interested in a science fiction novel involving private investigators?

Sesla…The Enchanted Planet, written by J.A. Ireland, takes you to the planet of Sesla.  We see qualities that make this exciting planet unique, including the sport of Mesnuk, the sea doxer, and genetic engineering in the Qashlet Lab.  We are also introduced to areas such as the desert territories and the wet lands.  The natives of this planet, or coteries, are separated by which area of Sesla they live in, as well as their prestige and occupation.  The Coteries of Sesla interact with each other in cities, newspapers, and the media.  One type of Coterie, the detective, solves crimes on Sesla.

In Sesla…The Enchanted Planet, Detective Maxx Zeqster is hired to investigate the disappearance of one coterie, Leqtus Kin.  However, the local media and police department believes that he cannot effectively solve the case.  He soon discovers that his explorations take him deeper into the relations between the Coteries than he previously knew.  Along the way, the reader questions what is actually going on with this foreign planet.

I found this book to be an interesting read because I don’t normally read a lot of science fiction.  I loved the fact that crime solving was brought into the novel.  I would have never imagined teaming science fiction with private investigators.  That proved to be quite enjoyable.

I found that the character of Detective Maxx Zeqster evolved dramatically throughout the novel.  We are introduced to Detective Zeqster when he is at the lowest point of his career.  Through the process of his investigation, his self-confidence deflates, then begins to soar.

Finally, my most favorite part of the book was the sea doxer.  Because I have a heavy background in science, I found the story of the sea doxer evolution, as well as doxer fever, to be quite intriguing.

Overall, Sesla…The Enchanted Planet, is a great read.  I loved learning about Sesla, the newspapers and media, and the different issues facing the Coteries.  Detective Maxx Zeqster’s character changed dramatically through the story.  I would highly recommend the novel if you would like to read science fiction with a crime solving twist.

Sesla…The Enchanted Planet is now available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle PC for $.99.  Amazon Prime members with a Kindle ca also borrow it from the Kindle Lending Library for free.  You can read J.A Ireland’s blog at at Detective Maxx Zeqster’s Creepy Crawly Amazing Adventures.

Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

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Books of the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

Books of the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

This series is called the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel; however, it isn’t really about Nicholas Flame.  It’s the journey of twins Sophie and Josh Newman.  If someone wanted to learn more about Flamel, this really wouldn’t be the series to do it.

While I was reading the series, I found more and more that the books seemed to get a little repetitive.   It was the continuous whether we should trust Nicholas Flamel, with the twins getting further and further apart as they learned more magic.  Granted, each book was a different quest, but it still revolved around the same question.

Throughout the books, more and more characters were introduced as being immortal, including William Shakespeare and Niccolo Machiavelli.  With the advent of The Bard, the series became more and more strange.  Billy the Kid and Quetzalcoatl are also featured.

The Alchemyst was a riveting start to the series.  There was lots of action in this, and Josh wasn’t constantly second guessing whether to trust Flamel (at least not as much as the other books).  Sophie and Josh were still together.  They were at the same level in their magical learning.

The Sorceress was my favorite because I loved reading about Perenelle Flamel being trapped on Alcatraz and how she escaped.  That plot really captured my attention.  The entire time, I was wondering just who this Perry Flamel really was.  How could she escape the sphinx, plus all the creatures trapped on Alcatraz.  Quite the exhilarating read.

The Necromancer was probably the weakest book in the series, one reason being that the necromancer element wasn’t introduced until the last 100 pages of the book.  Until then, it was almost filler.  I wouldn’t quite go that far, but it did seem to be repetitive.

The Warlock was a step above The Necromancer, but it was hard to keep the plot of this book straight.  The characters were so spread out from each other, and sometimes you didn’t even know who two of the characters were.  That was just my opinion.  Perhaps I should reread it before I read the last book of the series.

And then, of course, there is the element where Josh is trying to figure out who to trust:  John Dee, Machiavelli, or Flamel.  That happened throughout the entire series.  Finally he made his choice in The Warlock, despite what his twin sister Sophie tells him.

Overall, this was an exciting series in the beginning, but it did seem to drag later on, particularly in The Necromancer.  The Warlock was better, except I didn’t really understand what was going on in one of the plots of the story.

I will be anxious to read The Enchantress, where the final battle for Danu Talis will begin.

The Alchemyst Book Review

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The Alchemyst Book Cover

The Alchemyst Book Cover

In The Alchemyst, Dr. John Dee plans to steal the Book of Abraham the Mage from the alchemist, Nicholas Flamel and destroy the world.  Twins Sophie and John Newman just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, so they become involved in a struggle that has encompassed legend for thousands of years.  However, they could be the only ones that can stop John Dee.

Michael Scott weaves legendary creatures and people together to create an exciting read.  I was surprised to find that many people didn’t enjoy the book.  However, I found it to be very fun.  It was quick-paced, unlike some books out there.  It grabbed my attention instantly, and there was a great deal of character development in the book.

I would have to say that if you want to read the book to find out more about Nicholas Flamel, you might be disappointed.  This book isn’t supposed to teach you about Flamel.  Flamel is a large character in the book, and you do learn parts of his story, but most of the action in the book revolves around Sophie and John.

I would also say that the pacing seems a little off.  If this struggle took thousands of years, the twins seem to be getting involved in it rather quickly.  However, if it took ten years for them to get into it, we would then say that the book moved way too slow.  I guess I’d rather it move fast than slow.  This didn’t deter from my enjoyment of the book.

Other than that, I really liked the book.  I liked that John seemed to be more hesitant than Sophie about Flamel, and that there was some conflict brewing between the twins.  This book grabbed my attention quickly, and I found myself wishing that I could read more of the series immediately.  When that happens, I know that I really enjoyed the book.  I rate it 5 stars.

Septimus Heap: Fyre Review

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Fyre Book Cover

Fyre Book Cover

***This review does contain a few spoilers***

Fyre is the last book in the Septimus Heap series.  It ties the entire series together, and brings back most, if not all, of the characters from the previous six books.

In the book, the remains of the darke domain, the Two-Faced Ring, must be destroyed.  This task brings Septimus to both Magyk and Physik, and causes him to question where he will reside in this world.  He works with both Marcellus Pye and Marcia to eliminate the threat posed to the castle.

In regards to how I thought this book fared to the rest of the series, I didn’t like it as much as Darke, Syren, or Queste.  About halfway through the book, I thought that it was running a little long.  It seemed to drag just a little in the middle, and I sometimes didn’t understand what was going on in the book.  Perhaps reading it a second time will help.

I was also a little disappointed with the ending.  It seemed to end in a weird place.  What happened with Septimus?  Did he become an ExtraOrdinary Wizard?  The book leaves off with him finishing the adventure for this book, but I thought that he would also complete his training.  That was a little puzzling to me.

However, there were parts to the book I greatly enjoyed.  I’m glad that Septimus met Hotep-Ra, and that the dragon boat was finally healed.  Angie Sage also weaved together magic and alchemy, finally bringing the two together.  Alchemy is no longer a taboo in the castle.  Even Marcia seems to be okay with it…at least temporarily.

I was also pleased that Jenna finally met the ghost of her mother, although I wouldn’t say that her mother was an entirely pleasant person.  She seemed so…formal.  Yes, she was a queen, but still.  She was talking to her daughter.  Really, the queen never gave Jenna any help or direction at all.  That was a little irritating.

Finally, I was ecstatic when Jenna finally became Queen.  I thought that was a fine culmination to her story through the series, particularly when Jenna and Beetle became a couple.

Overall, I did enjoy reading the book.  However, there were parts that I thought were missing, and I think the book was a little long.  It’s not my favorite book of the series.  I thought I would enjoy it more, since I love some of the other books in the series so much, that that’s all right.  Maybe I’ll like it more the second time.  I rate it three stars.

Book Review: Skrymers Glove

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Skrymer's Glove Book Cover

Skrymer’s Glove Book Cover

Skrymer’s Glove is the first science fiction novel I have read in a long time.  I found this to be an interested read.  The books heavily based on theories of space (black holes for example) and time travel.  I had to reread many parts to understand the story.  I thought the plot was intriguing (I find reading about black holes fascinating).  I liked having to guess whether Loki was a traitor, and what was going on with the mission.

There was also an interesting point brought up about the differences between science and magic, especially in the context of the village.  That could lead to some philosophical debates.

In the book, a type of alien species called the Yetten are interested in the Fyrkat device, possibly because of its transportation abilities.  The Asers and Vanes created a defensive alliance together against the Yettens despite their bad history.  This fails when the Yettens kidnap Tjalfe and Roskva.

Simulated View of a Black Hole in front of  the Large Magellanic Cloud

Simulated View of a Black Hole

Thor and his comrades, including Sif and Freya, attempt a rescue mission to Skrymer’s Glove, a paradoxical cluster of five black holes where their combined gravity exceeds the fabric of reality, to rescue the children.  The supernovas that created the black hole do and don’t collide.  This is impossible, but yet, it happens anyway.  Therefore, Skrymers Glove is a paradoxical black hole.  To complete the rescue mission, Thor and his comrades have to go into this black hole separately.  If they make one wrong move, it could kill them.

To top it all off, there is a traitor in their midst.  When the team attempted to transport the children to safety away from the Yetten, they failed because someone tampered with the transport system.  Who did this?  Could it be Loki, who is Thor’s brother but also a Yetten?  Or is it someone else?

Will Thor and his comrades save the children from the Letten?  Who is the traitor in their midst?  What will happen with the Fyrkat device?  Find out in Skrymer’s Glove, available on Amazon.  I would give it 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

The Wizard of Oz

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Wizard of Oz Book Cover

Wizard of Oz Book Cover

L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was published in 1900.  At the time, this was probably a landmark book because it probably would have been one of the few books that was written for children and incorporated fantasy elements.  At the same time, it probably garnered a lot of controversy because of these fantasy elements.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are transported to the land of Oz in their house by a cyclone.  Dorothy’s house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East.  In order to get back home to Kansas, she must journey to the Emerald City.  Dorothy gets the late Wicked Witch’s silver slippers, and the Witch of the North kisses Dorothy upon her forehead.  Dorothy then begins the journey to Emerald City.

Along the way, she meets the scarecrow, the tin man, and the cowardly lion.  The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion each have their own story to share, and they all wish for something that they are apparently lacking in their lives.  The Scarecrow wishes for brains, the Tin Man a heart, and the Cowardly Lion courage.  The trio has to battle many adversaries on their way to the City, including the Kalidahs and a field of poppies.

Golden Cap

Golden Cap

Once there, Dorothy asks the great Oz for a way home, and the others ask for what they wish.  However, their success is postponed because Oz wants them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.  He will not give them anything until they do.  So off they go to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.  This witch obviously doesn’t want to be killed.  She sends lots of things for Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion to deal with.  The Wicked Witch is unsuccessful in killing any of them, so she sends the flying monkeys after them using the Golden Cap.  However, the monkeys cannot kill Dorothy.  She bears the silver slippers, and she was kissed by the Witch of the North.  Therefore, the monkeys carry her to the Wicked Witch of the West.  The Wicked Witch of the West holds them captive until Dorothy melts her with water.  Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion set off for the Emerald City after having killed the witch, but not until Dorothy takes the magical Golden Cap.

Flying Monkeys

Flying Monkeys

The Winged Monkeys carry them to Oz because of the Golden Cap.  There, they ask Oz for their reward.  However, they discover that the “great” Oz is nothing more than a humbug who pretends to be all powerful so everyone else will think that he is a wizard.

Oz still gives them something that symbolizes what they desire.  He gives the Scarecrow pins and needles in his head to represent brains.  The Tin Man gets a small metal heart in his chest.  Finally, the Cowardly Lion drinks a potion that “gives” him courage.

Oz happened to be from Kansas also, and he came to the land using a balloon, so he agreed to take Dorothy with him back to Kansas.  He was leaving the Scarecrow in charge.  However, a mishap led Dorothy stranded and unable to go home.

Will Dorothy find her way back to Kansas?  What new adventures will Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion have?  You’ll have to read it in the Wizard of Oz.

Wizard of Oz Movie Poster

Wizard of Oz Movie Poster

I would say that the movie seemed to add a lot of scenes that weren’t in the book, such as the thing with Mrs. Gulch.  The movie also deleted a lot of scenes that were in the book, such as China country and the Kalidahs.  I’m not sure why this was done because both the book and movie seem to have the same amount of content.  It’s just different.  The movie really changed part of the plot from the original Wizard of Oz.  My theory is that the book was changed to be more of Dorothy’s dream.  In the movie, the mean Mrs. Gulch changes into the Wicked Witch of the West, and Dorothy kills her.  In the book, Dorothy wondered if the land of Oz was all a dream.  Perhaps Mrs. Gulch was added in the movie to make the plot seem more good vs. evil, and to show that Dorothy was dreaming up the land to defeat the wicked old lady in Kansas.  That seems like a big stretch though.

Because of the huge differences in the book and movie, I would recommend reading the book.  You should also check out a book/movie comparison of the Wizard of Oz at Jill’s Cabana Stories.  This blog provides many more details in regards to the differences between the book and the movie.  I give it 4 stars.