Book Review: The Lantern’s Ember

The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck
The Lantern’s Ember
by Colleen Houck 

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Ember is a young witch with a great deal of untapped power. Jack is a supernatural being, who keeps his soul in a pumpkin lantern and guards the crossroads to a magical realm. Jack is determined to stop Ember from crossing to the OtherWorld where her power could be stolen from her, but he has a hard time guarding his heart against her sweet charms.

There were so many things that I loved about this book, and a few things that annoyed me.

First, the world-building and magic systems are wonderfully imaginative and interesting. I was entranced with the magical setting and the witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, goblins, and succubi that populate the OtherWorld. They each have particular powers and traits that were fascinating to discover as they are explained through the plot. I also really loved the steampunk feeling of the world, and how automatons and clockworks are integrated with magic power. Continue reading

Book Review: Cybele’s Secret

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier
Cybele’s Secret (Wildwood, #2) 
by Juliet Marillier

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Paula travels with her merchant father to Istanbul, hoping to acquire a religious artifact of rare and precious value. There is fierce competition for the artifact, and unscrupulous merchants will use violence to get their hands on it. Paula’s father hires a bodyguard, Stoyan, to keep his daughter safe on the dangerous streets. Paula befriends a wayward pirate captain, Duarte, hoping to get information from him about the artifact. The powers from the Other Kingdom send Paula on a quest, to retrieve the artifact, to unravel the riddles surrounding its history, and to learn from her perilous voyage the meaning of love and friendship.

My heart is too full! I can barely think, my mind is still reeling with all the complex details of the story. I have cried and laughed and clutched the book with white knuckles. What a journey! My heart just went on a rollercoaster ride, and I am still gasping for breath. Continue reading

Kitty Hawk Series Review

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Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost
Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the R.M.S. Titanic
Kitty hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces

Graphic Novel Review: Thornhill

Thornhill by Pam Smy
Thornhill 
by Pam Smy

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This graphic novel follows two girls, Mary, an orphan in 1982, and Ella, a lonely girl who lives next door to the orphanage 20 years later. Mary writes in her journal about her life at the orphanage, and the terrible bullying she suffers from another of the orphan girls. 20 years later, Ella explores around the broken-down dilapidated orphanage, and sees a mysterious ghostly figure in a window.

This book was heart-breaking and disturbing and unutterably sad. The bullying at the orphanage is terrible, and poor Mary is so depressed and frightened. The black and white illustrations are beautiful and haunting.  Continue reading