Fated Loss by Claudia Caren

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YA, Fantasy

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Fated Loss is the story of Rose Kristal, whose life is turned upside down at the age of 14, when her royal family is attacked by an evil witch, Ash. The story starts on Rose’s—who, along with her younger sister Skylar, is living with her grandparents—16th birthday. Having no memory of her life till the past year, Rose is mystified to find strange things happening to her, like accidentally bursting a bottle of water and drenching herself in one second and then finding herself dry in the next second. She later discovers that she is a royal faery, who is also the ”Saviour” of all the other faerys and the faery land called Astella. So she and Skylar go to Astella to learn about their powers to try to save the faery land. When Ash discovers Roes’s plan, she tries to thwart her at every turn. But, Rose is determined to save the faerys, and along with Skylar and her new friends, Ariel and Logan, she sets out on a thrilling journey. She does succeed in her mission—somewhat—but in the end there is a major twist in the plot.

I liked this story, it was totally interesting and action-packed. At times, I felt like I was reading a video game, what with all the fights and thrills in it. But there were a few editorial issues in it and in some places, the story was too rushed. It was a good read, overall, though.

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River Rising by John A. Heldt

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Time Travel, Adventure

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River rising is a story of five siblings who travel back in time—to the 1880s, to be precise—in search of their parents who went to Sedona for a getaway, but never returned. Adam, the eldest of the siblings, receives information that their parents have been dabbling in the art of time travel, and after processing this shocking news, the siblings all decide to travel back in time to find their parents. So, they set out on an exciting, mysterious and totally adventurous journey where they have to learn to ride horses and send telegrams. The best part in the story is the moment when they have to return to their own time.

Wow, just wow! This is a fascinating story filled with suspense that had me captivated till the end.  The author has created an adventure like no other. I loved the characters, the story, the history lessons and everything else in between! The book ends in a cliffhanger that has me eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

The UncommonDetectives by Mahijit Bhatt

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Fiction

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The Uncommon Detectives is a story about detectives, set in London. The author–a budding talent–has used animals in place of humans in the story. The book is about a gang of three thieves, who are cats, and a detective agency who wants to catch them. This agency is a unique one, with a wolfhound as the leader.

The author has an amazing imagination. I really enjoyed this immersive story.

 

 

Mutiny at Primrose High by Meghasi Bhatt

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Fiction

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Mutiny at Primrose High is about Mahima and the struggles she faces at the school she teaches in—Primrose High. A new principal has been appointed at the school, who is a bitter woman. Initially, she just makes a few changes in the rules, which is fine by all the teachers, after all new boss means new rules, right? But slowly, she starts getting on the teachers’ nerves by issuing ridiculous mandates and generally making the teacher’s life hell in her quest for maintaining “discipline”. So, fed up with her, the teachers, led by Mahima, stand up against her to get her to leave the school. Through severe perseverance, and some sly tactics, they succeed in their quest. But you have got to cut the principal some slack though. She is a single woman who supports her mother too, and now has to try to make ends meet until she finds another job.

Meghasi Bhatt has done a wonderful job of portraying the struggles faced by teachers—or any junior, as a matter of fact—if your boss is against you. The teachers have so many other things to do besides teaching, and if the principal s against them, its makes their jobs really difficult. There were some punctuation mistakes in the book, which is not something that will bother most, but I like my books to be error free. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading this.

The Son of Alpha by Raleigh Daniels Jr

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Science Fiction

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The Son of Alpha is the first instalment in The Legend of the Sky-Titans series. It is about two orphaned siblings, Michael and Nya, who live as sharecroppers in post-apocalyptic America.

During a visit to the market, Michael and Nya come across a wounded boy, Thames, and they take the boy to their house to care for him. Thames’ wounds heal overnight, leaving the siblings mystified. Michael—who is also Nya’s guardian—decides to send Nya and Thames to school. But, then, Nya is kidnapped by NeoMen (humanoid dinosaurs) and Michael has to save her—along with the rest of mankind— using his father’s Badge of Alpha, which can transform him into therianthropic god. He gets help from several unlikely people on his quest.

This is usually not the kind of story I would go for at first glance, but I am happy that I got a chance to read it—I got a review copy of this book from the author. This was an entertaining book, perfect as a lazy afternoon read. I liked the exciting adventure, the tension, and the interesting characters. But, this book—at least the edition that I got—needs a thorough editing/proofreading. There are quite a lot of grammatical and language issues, along with some formatting mistakes.

 

The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep

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Historical Fiction

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The Innkeeper’s Daughter is set in Dover, England in 1808. It is about Johanna Langley, a 25-year-old girl who manages a crumbling inn to support her family, and Alexander (Alex) Moore, an undercover detective staying at Johanna’s inn under the alias Alexander Morton.

Alex is staying at Blue Hedge Inn—Johanna’s inn—in Dover where he is on a mission to catch a gang of smugglers. There is a dearth of customers at the inn and Johanna is struggling to keep it afloat. Alex has been ordered to court Vicount Coburn’s daughter, Lousia, to get close to the Viscount, who is a suspect. But Alex is attracted to Johanna and is always there for the Langley family when there is a problem—paying off debtors when there is a shortfall, motivating Thomas, Johanna’s 10-year-old brother, when he has an accident and is bed-ridden—though Johanna is proud and doesn’t appreciate his help. Alex also manages to earn the good graces of Viscount Coburn—a painful process which involves a stay in the gaols—and as a result, gets the information he needs to catch the smugglers. There are so many other twists in the plot that cannot be included in this review without spoiling the entire story, but I can tell you this: Griep has crafted the perfect action-packed ending to such an exciting story.

This is the first book that I have read by Michelle Griep and I absolutely love it. I love Johanna, she is a strong and independent girl and stands strong in the face of adversity, and Alex is the perfect counterpart to Johanna. The story is fast-paced with a totally captivating plot and well-developed characters. If you like a historical romance filled with suspense and intrigue then this is definitely the book for you!

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

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Historical Fiction

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This is the second instalment in The Tales of Ivy Hills. Set in 1820 England, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage continues where the previous book left off. Rachel is a resident of  Ivy Cottage, which is the home of Misses Groove. She is determined to pay for her  stay by earning on her own. In a meeting at Ladies Tea and Knitting Society, someone suggests that Rachel open a circulating library; it will give her an income and put to use the vast collection of books left to her by her father. She sets out to opening her library and gets generous donations of books from the townspeople. In the process, she finds two hidden mysteries and starts finding clues to solve them. She also needs to decide upon Nicholas Ashford’s proposal of marriage.

Jane Bell is a widow who runs an inn, The Bell, left to her by her late husband. Gabriel, Jane, Mercy and Rachel were childhood friends, but they drifted apart due to circumstances. Now that Jane and Gabriel have started reconnecting, she misses their previous friendship.

Mercy Groove has her heart sent on opening a charity school but her lack of funds stand in the way. Her parents, on the other hand, want her to get married and live a normal, staid lifestyle. I’m quite intrigued by how Mercy’s story unfolds–for which I shall I have to wait for the next instalment.

This was quite a delightful read. Though not as fast-paced as the first part, the book had its own twists that held me captivated. The characters are well-developed and Klassen has portrayed them wonderfully. Most of the major characters got their happy ending, but some still have an ongoing story which makes me quite eager for the third part of the series. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend you read the first part to enjoy it more.