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!

Scary Book Reviews

I read two scary books for Halloween! Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil by Nancy Atherton

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Book Review: Frankenstein

Frankenstein
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is nothing like any of the movies, and very different from what I expected it to be. The parts that are usually the iconic moments – the “alive!” birth of the monster, the final fatal confrontation of the creator and his monster, etc… – these were brushed over in two sentences, and other scenes were described in detail, drawn out, and dwelt on. I liked the direction the story took!

I loved the over-the-top gothic drama; it was actually so ornate and dramatic that it became funny at times! The style reminded me of Ann Radcliffe’s gothic romance mysteries. Continue reading

Book Review: Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil

Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil
Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil by Nancy Atherton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With rain crashing down, as her range rover climbs a steep embankment on the Northumberland moors, Lori Shepherd is beginning to doubt the wisdom of her decision to evaluate a book collection at Wyrdhurst Hall. The grim, neo-gothic hall that greets her is full of surprises: including a charming, secretive stranger and tales of haunted love. It will take all of Lori’s paranormal experience to solve the puzzle and restore peace to a family haunted by its past. – Good Reads

This is the perfect fluffy book for a chilly autumn evening! Curling up with a cup of tea and a hilarious ghost mystery just before Halloween- it doesn’t get any better than that! I like ghost stories when the spirits are friendly, like Aunt Dimity and her ghostly cohorts. Continue reading