Finding Lady Enderly: A Net Galley Review

I love a good mystery with a bit of humor and romance. This wonderful story had all three and was one of the most creatively written novels I’ve had the privilege to read. The author was new to me and I enjoyed this so much I am already exploring some of her other works. 

The basic premise is a bit of a Cinderella story. A poor young lady is given the opportunity to live a life of opulence for a time as she pretends to be someone she is not. The enticing presentation of a solicitor, who guarantees there is no harm nor illegal act, is too much for her adventurous curiosity. Since she learned of the death at sea of the young man she loved, she has been looking for a way to escape her life and this seems to be the opportunity. Soon, however, she realizes there must be something awry in spite of all the fine promises of the solicitor. 

Two things struck me as I read this novel. The first was the way in which the author presented the story. Current trends lead novelists to write in 3rd person limited fashion with usually two lead characters (one male and one female) giving us insight into their perspectives, but not from the personal perspective of I. In this novel there was a shift in perspective, but one used 1st person (the heroine) and one used 3rd person limited (the hero). I was initially surprised by this style but ended up absolutely loving it! It kept the writing fresh and alive and my attention was completely held from page one. 

The second was the setting. I loved that the mansion our heroine arrives at is actually a abbey which was once used by monks. Its history and beauty shone through the author’s pen and made me want to live there myself! Not because of the opulence, but rather because of the meaningful spiritual context. 

Finally, I loved the complex plot and unexpected twists throughout the narrative. I was continually surprised and ready to learn what would happen next. 

I highly, highly recommend this novel! I can’t wait to read more by the author.
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World: A Bryan Davis Novel Review

Last spring we attended our state’s homeschool convention and I met some wonderful publishers and authors! One of those authors was Bryan Davis. I was already familiar with Davis’ writing because he hosted a writers conference for homeschoolers at our church several years back. My kids were pretty young then and I don’t think they were even school age yet, but this author who took the time to teach and mentor young aspiring authors was suddenly on my radar! He is already well known for his fantasy series including Dragons in our Midst, Oracles of Fire and many others.

In Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World the reader is transported into the mind of Eddie Hertz, a 12-year-old inventor. Eddie may not be very big, but he is brilliant and has created a wide range of gadgets to help him fight against evil in his city. The city may already have a hero, but he is certain there is enough evil for him to join in the fight! Eddie’s younger sister also joins his team and helps him along the way in this fun, edge-of-your-seat novel.

My daughter, Rose, is 13 and devoured this book! She is an avid reader anyway, but has very discerning taste when it comes to fiction. She asked me if there were more novels by the author she could read, a sure sign it is a winner!

Personally, I love several things about this artfully crafted novel. The idea that kids can be used in a mighty way is very biblical. The Scriptures are full of young boys and girls who did great things. We teach our children truth from Scripture, but I want their entertainment to reflect these truths as well. This novel in particular values heroic attributes which are echos of Scripture.

In addition to reminding kids they can do great things, there are also themes of forgiveness, hope, family togetherness, and good vs. evil. Super heroes and villains are very popular right now in our culture. I’m beyond thrilled to give my girls the chance to read a story that is just as wholesome as it is inspiring. I highly recommend this to your entire family!

Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author, Bryan Davis, in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own. 

The Oprhan’s Wish: A BookLook Blogger Review

Melanie Dickerson has done it again! I completely adored this adaptation of Aladdin from page one. Dickerson’s fairy tale renderings to justice to our love for the classics while removing the mystical instead replacing it with characters who develop and grow in their faith. Aladdin, a young orphan, is rescued from a life of forced crime in the Holy Land and raised by a kind man of God who offers him a new opportunity. Once in Germany, Aladdin finds new purpose in life and discovers his many talents. As this favored young boy grows, so does his friendship with Lady Kirstyn. Intrigue, peril, and mystery flow throughout this tale and will leave you captivated from start to finish!

I love that Aladdin was the central figure for this tale. Lady Kirstyn is definitely important, but the shift to telling his story at the start is perfect for our times. We sadly live in a world where human trafficking is a common practice and children around the world are stuck in situations not of their choosing. This novel, although taking place in the 1400s, reminded me of the need to pray and support those who are rescuing these children. 

One of the things I adore about this author’s writings is I never feel as if she is trying to teach me a biblical message, yet I’m always left with that. She is a masterful storyteller and if you have not yet read her other fairy tale adaptations you need to do so! They are excellent summer reading. Make sure you have plenty of blocked time to read. You won’t want to put it down! 
Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer: A TOS Review Crew Review

Peggy Consolver Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}Novels are always one of our favorite things to review! Rose in particular loves historical and biblical fiction. She was quite anxious to start reading Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer from Peggy Miracle Consolver – Author.  Set during the time when Joshua led the Israelites to victory in Canaan, this novel has captured my daughters imagination. She has been reading 2 chapters a day and I keep catching her picking it up during other times! We love living history books and this fits beautifull right into that genre. While it is fictional, the historical information is abundant and extremely accurate. Don’t worry though, this is in no way a history text! The author has the ability to weave the historical facts surrounding her setting into the story so that it blends beautifully. So in addition to being a very enjoyable read, your children will be learning at the same time!    

 This is one of Rose’s favorite spots to read. Our Puppy Penny loves to cuddle with her while she reads on the beanbag chair! She had just started the book here. After reading the first couple of chapters she was already eager to read more. It is so important for authors to grab their audiences within the first few pages and she does this well!

 I would say this would be ideal for middle grades on up through high school, and even adults if you enjoy this genre! It is not a book for a struggling reader. All three of my daughters are reading several grade levels ahead. Rose is reading on a 10th/11th grade level and finding resources for her which are age appropriate and still engaging her at a level that will meet her ability can often be a challenge. This beautifully written book is completely safe and perfect for her as a pre-teen. A wonderful study guide is also available to use! In it are videos, deeper historical information, maps, and more. This resource would allow this to be a wonderful unit study for your family or a co-op setting.        I could go on and on about this novel, but I’d also like to let you hear from Rose and her perspective of what she liked.

“I like this book tells the side of the story of the Canaanites, not just the Hebrews. They are the main characters of the story. There are a lot of books which tells the side of the story of God’s people and it is good to read it from the Canaanites perspective. I also like all of the history in it. It is well researched and makes a better story if it sticks to the facts that are true. I know it is a fiction book, but I like the history.” Digging deeper into the history of God’s Word through literature is an amazing adventure! Here is a message from the author about why she chose to write this novel.  



 Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates had to say!

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

A Plague of Unicorns: A BookLook Blogger Review

I remember getting the list of books I would read for my adolescent literature class in college and anxiously perusing the list of authors. I recognized most of the names, but Jane Yolen was one I had never read. After the one required book by Yolen I was soon checking out one after the other from the library knowing each would be an excellent read. I was over-the-moon excited when I saw her name appear with an opportunity to read another of her novels!

My oldest daughter, Rose who is 9, read this as part of her school work, but I can honestly say I know it didn’t feel like school when she read it! More than once I caught her taking the book away from the schoolroom to read just one more chapter as she couldn’t wait to get to the end!

The reading level was probably at 3rd-4th grade and while Rose’s ability is a few grades above that, she thoroughly enjoyed the story and quality of writing. I had planned for her to read this over the course of two weeks but I was pushing it to make her stretch it throughout the week!

When I asked her what her favorite part was she told me she liked how they made up a plan to get rid of the unicorns. She really liked the adventure aspects of of this story. She really enjoys fantasy and I liked how the unicorns were given a different role than most stories. Instead of being a good thing in this land, the unicorns are actually like a plague which must be overcome. This coming-of-age story will delight all ages is a great introduction to the genre of fantasy.

I highly recommend this book and Rose has already loaned it out to her cousin to read with a glowing review!

Disclosure:  I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.