Friday, May 27, 2011


by Angie Sage

I have really enjoyed the Septimus Heap series.  Septimus is the seventh son of a seventh son in a line of wizards.  In Magyck, the first in the series, Septimus is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead.  That same night the boy's father comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born baby girl.  The following books reveal who this baby girl is and what happens to Septimus and, eventually, the adventures they share together.

As with the five earlier books, there are sinister forces at work in Darke. One of the characters has been Banished and Septimus must enter the Darke in hopes of retrieving him.  The Darke Domaine finds a way to enter the Castle and eventually engulfs it.  And a threatening Darke dragon is on the loose.

The covers of the books in this series are fun and creative, too - each cover looks like a locked book.  This picture shows the books in the correct order.  I haven't read them in order and I feel like I've been able to follow along quite well, but it would probably be best to read them order.  
I applaud Angie Sage for the wonderful, magical world she has populated with quirky, lovable characters.  Even thought the books are written for a 9 to 14 year old audience they held the interest of this 60 year old.  I enjoyed the writing, the suspense, the humor, the setting and, most of all, the characters.

Warner Bros. is working on a movie of the first book which I look forward to with great anticipation.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kiss Her, Kill Her

by Lisa Dewar

My goodness but I'm so far behind on writing my reviews.  I'm still reading, albeit not as much, but I'm not keeping a record of what I've read.  I sent a stack of books off to my daughter a couple of months ago, all books that I had read but not recorded.  I did make a list but now I've lost my list.  A word of advise - Don't take up other time-consuming hobbies that interfere with reading and blogging.  Once you do there will be no turning back!  Last winter I started quilting and this summer I started doing genealogy.  Both fun, interesting and addictive.  Now that the temps have cooled down I'm back to quilting.

At one point last winter I read a review copy of Kiss Her, Kill Her by Lisa Dewar.  It was very interesting and took an unexpected turn early in the book.  Here's the write-up from the back of the book:
New York City has a monster on the loose and his name is Tarryn Cooper Love.
No one had given a second glance to the handsome taxi driver, but in reality he had been molded to be a killer since early childhood. His mother, who valued a juicy murder above all else, had taught him well. Just one more trophy and he is set to reach his goal, surpassing his mother's idol, the infamous Ted Bundy.
When a beautiful young woman gets into his cab flashing a wad of cash, he thinks he's hit the jackpot. As she starts confessing her plans for ending her own life he decides to listen to her story, hoping to charm her back from the brink of death, to heighten his game.
What he discovers is a twisted tale that has taken her from the hardened streets of LA to the upper crust of New York...a story that might even rival his own.
Tarryn has to decide within the space of 24 hours, if he should kill her or save her - and perhaps save himself in the process
 The rating on GoodReads for this book was 4 stars.  I would only give it 3 stars because it didn't really have the intensity that made me want to keep reading.  I didn't like either character, although I did sympathize with both of them.  I think I suspected a direction the book was going to go (something I don't usually do because I tend to just float along through a book without thinking too much) and the book didn't take that direction.  That could have resulted in a good, surprising twist but it didn't.  Instead the book just plodded on, sharing the back stories of the 2 main characters.  That was interesting, but I kept waiting for some conflict to develop and it didn't.

I do hope Lisa Dewar will continue to write.  She does have talent and I would be interested in reading future novels.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dolce di Love

by Sarah-Kate Lynch

Let me first share the write-up on the back cover of the book:
Corporate star Lily Turner abandons the boardrooms of Manhattan for the steep streets of Montevedova when she discovers her "perfect" husband, Daniel, has another family tucked away in the hills of Tuscany.  Once there, her plight attracts the attention of the Secret League of widowed Darners, an all-but-invisible army pulling strings behind the scenes to create happy endings.  Soon, founding members Violetta and Luciana are scheming to mend Lily's broken heart--and to enlist her help for their struggling pasticceria.

The part of that write up that urged me to read this book was the League of Widowed Darners.  I had recently watched Return to Me which featured the most delightful group of four old men that I fell in love with so I thought the idea of old women helping Lily with her love life would be every bit as delightful.

The old ladies didn't capture my heart in quite the same way but they were indeed a fun part of the book.  The love story with its' unexpected twists and turns was the real highlight of the book.  Lily faced several large scale obstructions to her future happiness and here chances for ever getting things resolved with Daniel but she also met a handsome, attentive man that could help her forget Daniel and his other family.

The girl should have just stayed at home in New York and left that cheating Daniel to his other family and left things alone, but she felt so compelled to find out what and why Daniel had betrayed her so badly.  Without her compulsion to face the problem this story would not have happened.

Very fun read, great for summer, for the beach, vacation, or plane ride and highly recommended to the romantic in us all.