Book Review: The Prince of Whales

The Prince of Whales by R.L. Fisher
The Prince of Whales
by R.L. Fisher

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Toby is a whale who sings in his sleep. His pod complains that he keeps them up all night, and they worry that his singing will attract human whaling ships. Toby has a vision of a spiritual realm, and sets out on a quest to find his true voice. He is threatened by the evil Dream Eater, a spirit who is sucking the life out of sea creatures. Only Toby’s true voice will be powerful enough to save them from the Dream Eater and the human hunters.

I was intrigued by the idea of using music as a way of communicating spiritual and natural truths. There are some really beautiful and emotional scenes as Toby searches for meaning in his singing and discovers his true voice. There’s a lovely message about being courageous and genuine, and I loved seeing Toby going on this internal journey. Continue reading

Book Review: Horns and Wrinkles

Horns and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson
Horns and Wrinkles
by Joseph Helgerson (Author),Nicoletta Ceccoli (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Claire lives along a stretch of the Mississippi river where magic is still alive, where trolls sit under bridges, and blue-winged fairies weave spells. When her cousin Duke bullies her, his nose begins to grow into a rhinoceros horn, and Claire is misled into a bargain with river trolls to cure him.

The world-building and magic system are quite imaginative and fanciful.
I liked the twisty plot and the odd characters.
The writing style is good, painting a vivid picture of freakish creatures and bizarre magic.

However, the book is much too long. The plot drags on and on with long scenes and lengthy dialogue that take forever to get to the point. I got bored with it, and then something new would finally happen and it would spark my interest again, and then it would drag on and on again, and I got bored again until the next new plot point finally got going.

Book Review: Falcon and the Charles Street Witch

Falcon and the Charles Street Witch by Luli Gray
Falcon and the Charles Street Witch
by Luli Gray

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Falcon’s little brother, Toody, falls out of an airplane and Falcon jumps out to save him. She is wafted along in a warm air current to land safely in New York City in the hidden garden of a witch. However, Toody is lost, and Falcon sets out on a mission to find him. She will need the help of her friend, the young dragon named Egg, and the help of a dragon who is extremely old and has lost his fire.

This book was all over the place. The plot meanders around with random magic and odd characters, all jumbled in a chaotic storyline. The characters are good, but lackluster. They have a lot of funny dialogue, but not much substance or depth. I didn’t really like how the modern world and the magic world interacted in this book. It didn’t make sense to me, so the setting felt disjointed.

Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this book. Maybe I couldn’t enjoy it because it’s the second book in the series and I haven’t read the first book.

Book Review: The Magic Half

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
The Magic Half
by Annie Barrows

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Miri is the only single child in a family of twins. When she is whisked back in time, she meets a girl from 1935 named Molly, and the two embark on a mission to save Molly from her abusive aunt and cousins. But the magic that allowed Miri to travel through time is unpredictable, and it will take a special perspective for Molly and Miri to unravel the mysteries of time before it’s too late.

I liked the plot and the adorable characters! Miri is so relatable and sweet, and Molly is quite brave in the face of her terrible relatives.
The plot is not amazingly mind-blowing, but it kept my interest and I liked the interesting magic system that allowed Miri to travel through time. Continue reading

Book Review: A Bag of Moonshine

A Bag Of Moonshine by Alan Garner
A Bag Of Moonshine
by Alan Garner

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved this collection of fairy tales, rewritten from the folklore of England and Wales. The author has an uncanny ability to mimic the story-telling style of old folk tales, with whimsy and ingenuity.

The black and white illustrations add to the ghoulish atmosphere of the tales, and they are true to the art style I see in so many old fairy tale books from the late 1800s.

The enchantment of these stories lies in the excellent word-craft, and the weird and eccentric characters who populate the world of magic and mayhem. Full of changlings, witches, ogres who spin gold, and the clever youngest brother named Jack, these stories captivate the reader with the magnetic words and witty narrative style.

Book Review: Princess Nevermore

Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan
Princess Nevermore
by Dian Curtis Regan 

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


In her magic underground kingdom, Princess Quinn has always longed to visit the Outer Earth and gazes up through the bottom of a wishing pool to see ordinary non-magical people just out of reach. When a magic spell sends her to the Outer Earth, she must learn to fit in with the modern world of cars and airplanes, and determine who she can trust with her secret. The Wizard Melikar is working night and day to bring her home, but Princess Quinn is having too much fun in the Outer Earth and questions whether she ever wants to return to her kingdom underground.

I liked the basic plot of this story, and the characters are fairly good with some depth and development. It’s not amazing, but it kept me entertained. The writing is engaging and fairly imaginative, and I liked the clear and tidy style of the narrative. The characters aren’t particularly deep or complex, but they are amusing for awhile.
There is also insta-love that I found annoying, but it IS a fairy tale, so I sort of expected that. Continue reading

Book Review: The Monster’s Ring

The Monster's Ring by Bruce Coville
The Monster’s Ring 
by Bruce CovilleKatherine Coville (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Russell visits the Magic Shop and gets a magic ring that turns him into a monster, and uses it to help him stand up to the bully in his school. But the Monster Ring makes Russell feel wild and feral, and not just when he’s wearing it! He starts howling at the moon at odd times, he terrifies his classmates during their Halloween party, and he growls at the school principal. Can Russell keep his wildness under control before he becomes a monster for good?

This story is fast-paced and has good development. Russell goes through such a transformation, not as a monster, but as a character. He starts out as this frightened, timid little boy, and discovers that power and strength are not about having big muscles and fangs. He learns how to express himself better, and his life changes because of his courageous honesty with his family and friends. I really loved the character development and the story arc!

The story is also funny, with crazy scenarios and magical shenanigans that made me laugh!

Book Review: The Griffin’s Feather

The Griffin's Feather by Cornelia Funke
The Griffin’s Feather 
by Cornelia Funke (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Firedrake is back! Along with dragon rider, Ben, and the incorrigible Scottish brownie, Sorrel, the whole gang is off on an adventure, with new friends and some new enemies too. They are trying to acquire a rare griffin feather, the only magical way to save a nest of baby Pegasus eggs. Ben worries that this adventure might be too dangerous for Firedrake, since the griffins have a history of warfare with the dragons. It will take fierce courage and loyalty to bring them through this magical adventure together!

I love this author’s writing! The plot is imaginative, full of dry humor and magic. There are wild and wondrous settings all over the world, full of fascinating creatures, both mythical and real.

The main characters (Firedrake, Ben, Sorrell, Twigleg, and Barnabas Greenbloom) are magnificently written, with backstories, deep motivations and fears, and hidden longings that push them forward in the story, shaping their decisions and interactions with others.

Continue reading