ARC Review: Viper’s Daughter (Michelle Paver)

51638604._SX318_SY475_Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Zephyr
Publication Date: April 2nd 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 238

Blurb from Goodreads:

A boy. A wolf. The legend lives on.

Viper’s Daughter is the seventh book in the award-winning series that began with Wolf Brother, selling over 3 million copies in 36 territories. Like them it can be read as a standalone story.

For two summers Torak and Renn have been living in the Forest with their faithful pack-brother, Wolf. But their happiness is shattered when Renn realizes Torak is in danger – and she’s the threat.

When she mysteriously disappears, Torak and Wolf brave the Far North to find her. At the mercy of the Sea Mother and haunted by ravenous ice bears, their quest leads them to the Edge of the World. There they must face an enemy more evil than any they’ve encountered.

Viper’s Daughter plunges you back into the Stone-Age world of Torak, Renn and Wolf: a world of demons, Hidden People and exhilarating adventure which has entranced millions of readers.


RATING

2 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I didn’t know where to start about this book. While reading, I just lost my whole interest to read this. Firstly, Viper’s Daughter was the seventh book of the series called Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Therefore, I couldn’t understand anything about the characters and plot line from this book. Even though the book said that it could be read as a standalone, it was hard for me to comprehend and follow the flow of this story. 

I ditched this book last November because I couldn’t force myself to continue reading something that I couldn’t understand at all. However, I tried to continue and understand the remaining of the chapters because I wouldn’t want to miss this moment to read and review this. But, nothing of the book’s content changed my initial perspective towards this book. If I have read the previous books in the series before, there would be a chance that I would probably enjoy Viper’s Daughter better. The only thing that I could comment was the writing. The writing was okay and understandable, suitable for middle grade and adult audiences.

2020 has not been my best reading year so I am hoping to read more quality reads for the remaining months.

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Sabrina

ARC Review: The Vanishing Trick (Jenni Spangler)

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Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Publication Date: April 30th 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 294

Blurb from Goodreads:

Step into a world of secrets, folklore and illusions, where nothing is as it seems and magic is at play…

Madame Augustina Pinchbeck, travels the country conjuring the spirits of dearly departed loved ones… for a price. Whilst her ability to contact ghosts is a game of smoke and mirrors, there is real magic behind her tricks too – if you know where to look.

Through a magical trade, she persuades children to part with precious objects, promising to use her powers to help them. But Pinchbeck is a deceiver, instead turning their items into enchanted Cabinets that bind the children to her and into which she can vanish and summon them at will.

When Pinchbeck captures orphan Leander, events are set into motion that see him and his new friends Charlotte and Felix, in a race against time to break Pinchbeck’s spell, before one of them vanishes forever…


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW

Middle grade books are always easy to read and comprehend! The Vanishing Trick is one of them.

Once I read the first sentence of the book, I could tell that the story was interesting. The three main characters, Leander, Charlotte and Felix were very distinct from one another as they both have different background.

I truly appreciate that there were three POV in the story as some books tend to have only one POV and that made the story to be two-dimensional. The children were tricked by Pinchbeck because they thought she was their savior and she would give them shelter and food in exchange of their behavior. It was sad that these kids were cheated by the villain because all children pretty much rely on adult for emotional connection to live.

The Vanishing Trick revolved around bravery and friendship. It was admirable that they risked their lives to protect one another in order to defeat Pinchbeck.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me the ARC for The Vanishing Trick in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

 

ARC Review: The Highland Falcon Thief (M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman)

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Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 30th 2020
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 238

Blurb from Goodreads:

Harrison Beck is reluctantly joining his travel-writer Uncle Nat for the last journey of the royal train, The Highland Falcon. But as the train makes its way to Scotland, a priceless brooch goes missing, and things suddenly get a lot more interesting. As suspicions and accusations run high among the passengers, Harrison begins to investigate and uncovers a few surprises along the way. Can he solve the mystery of the jewel thief and catch the culprit before they reach the end of the line?


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

The Highland Falcon Thief is the first book of the Adventures on Trains’ series.

This was such a fun read! I didn’t have enough luck with middle grade stories so far this year, so reading The Highland Falcon Thief was such a surprise for me. I read this just within hours, just to tell how enjoyable this book was.

I went into this book with such low expectations because middle grade stories could be a little be repetitive and predictive, but this totally caught me off guard. The Highland Falcon Thief didn’t disappoint me at all.

The story was so interesting that it glued me to the book. I was pretty much hooked from the first page. I always have some kind of fascination towards train and mysteries, and I was glad that this book offered us that.

I just love everything from the book, from the likable characters to its technical explanations on trains and the history behind it. I also love the relationship between Harrison and his uncle, Nat in this book where they were up for more action and adventure. It was also cool to read about his uncle’s job as a journalist who traveled around the world just to write books. Such a dream job. I love Lenny’s addition in this book and how it changed Harrison’s perspective towards life, that life is more than just playing video games, as he was an avid gamer before.

My favorite aspect from the book was the mystery part where the book kept us guessing from the start, about who was the prime suspect of the theft. Honestly, I couldn’t guess it from the start because the book kept on changing our view towards the characters thus I had a really hard time to pick the culprit behind the robbery. The closure was very unpredictable and I was impressed by the fact that these two children were able to unravel the mystery.

Although the book was written by two authors, M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, I couldn’t even tell the difference between their writing style. It shows how they have taken the effort to merge their writing styles and systems together in order to write the book perfectly, without making each other’s writer distinct from one another.

I am excited to see what the next book will offer us. I expect that the next adventure to be outside England, as hinted at the last page of the book.

All in all, one of the best middle grade books so far this year.

Special thanks to Pansing Books for sending me The Highland Falcon Thief in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

ARC Review: Tiger Heart (Penny Chrimes)

48464386._SY475_Genre: Children
Publisher:
Orion Children’s Books
Expected Publication Date: January 9th 2020
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 240

Blurb from Goodreads:

One magical friendship. One roaring adventure.

The magical tale of a bold young chimney sweep and a remarkable tiger, a dangerously hypnotic ruby and a mystical land found across an ocean and through a storm. Perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink and Stars and Pax.

Fly never meant to end up in a cage with a man-eating tiger. And though she’s no princess, when the tiger bows to her, she can’t help vowing to free him and return him home.

But the bird-filled jungles and cloud-topped mountains of the tiger’s homeland are an ocean away. And not everyone wants the tiger to return.

With dark and dangerous forces working against them, will Fly be able to fulfil her promises, keep them both alive and – just maybe – become the queen her tiger knows her to be?


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I’ve read Tiger Heart in just two days and this premise is quite interesting.

It is a lovely story about an adventure of a young girl, Fly and a tiger called Tiger. I like both of them as a character, Fly is a brave young girl and she strives to do the right thing, even when her father doesn’t. Tiger, on the other hand is a faithful friend to Fly who does anything to keep Fly safe.

I admire Fly because of her strength and courage to send these animals back to their original habitat. Even when she is abused by her master, Black Bill, she portrays such kindness towards the other animals and she does not intend any harm towards the animals at all.

The whole time I read this book I feel so compelled to continue this story because I enjoy the magical and adventure feel that the book has. I am always excited to read what Fly and her friends can offer to us. However, I have to admit that the last chapter ends a bit abruptly and I wish that the characters such as Fly’s dad and uncle’s characterization are well-fleshed out.

Overall, Tiger Heart is quite an enjoyable book for middle grade lovers to read.

Special thanks to Pansing Books for sending me Tiger Hearts in exchange of an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: Tunnel of Bones (Victoria Schwab)

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.


RATING

4 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

I am so excited to know that there will be a second book in this Cassidy Blake series. I love reading middle grade books and if there is a pinch of paranormal inside of the story, I would be definitely sold!

Here’s my review for City of Ghosts. 

This time around, Cassidy is on a mission to hunt down ghost stories in Paris, France, where it is known to be a heaven of fashion and a scene of love among tourists. However, we do not know that underneath Paris, there is a creepy catacomb that places millions of dead bodies turned into a tunnel of bones.

Paris plays a wonderful backdrop to this ghost story. I love reading about the scenery, people, food and most importantly about the places. Cassidy and her family travel to many landmarks in Paris to explore the history of the place and ghost stories behind it and it is so interesting to see how the stories unravel. I love the juxtaposition on how Victoria can turn this fashion city into such a haunted place that is so terrifying to even visit.

I also love Cassidy’s friendship with her ghost friend, Jacob. Their friendship are honestly hashtag goals because they are always be there for each other. Even though they are very different in terms of personality, but the difference makes the relationship even stronger.

I cannot wait to see what city Victoria is going to write about in the next book and I know that it will not disappoint us all.

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Sabrina

 

Review: The Good Thieves (Katherine Rundell)

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Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Book
Publication Date: June 13th 2019
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 336

Blurb from Goodreads:

When the letters first arrived from her beloved grandfather—the shaking, green-inked letters, full of bewildered anger at the loss of his ancestral home and the priceless jewels within it—Vita and her mother took the next boat to New York. And now that she’s here, Vita has only one goal: To break into Hudson Hall and steal back what the sinister Basil Sowotore took from her family.

But to do so, she needs a plan, a weapon, and faith in the pickpockets, trapeze-artists, and animal-tamers she has met along the way. With her troupe behind her, Vita attempts the most daring heist the city has ever seen. But will she succeed?


RATING

3 STARS

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

The Good Thieves is a story about a young girl who would do anything in her power to right the wrongs, with her supportive friends to support her along the journey.

This story delves into the complexity of the society when the powerful rich exploits the poor and what happens when the youngsters take part in sorting the problem. I find myself very inspired by Vita’s courage to help her grandfather in taking back his property from the evil millionaire. This is not something an average kid can do.

Some parts of the story are dull and boring, I am not sure because of the writing or I was just uninterested with it. Fortunately after reading about 100 pages long, I can slowly follow the pace of the story as the author introduces new characters and challenges faced by them. I wish that the author can write better in terms of characterization and character development because for example, Vita has so much potential to be a very endearing character but in this book, she is just mediocre. I love her spirit to selflessly help others, but that’s not enough. That does not mean I don’t appreciate the characters. They truly inspire me to be bold and brave in facing adventures.

I may not love this book, but I am glad to read any of Katherine’s masterpieces in the future.

Thank you Pansing Books for sending me a copy of The Good Thieves in exchange for an honest review.

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Sabrina

Review: Not My Fault (Cath Howe)

 

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Genre: Children
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Publication Date: May 2nd 2019
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing Books
Page Count: 268

Blurb from Goodreads:

Maya and Rose won’t talk to each other.

Even though they are sisters.

Not since the accident.

Maya is running wild, and Rose doesn’t know what to do.

Now Maya and Rose have to go away together on a week-long school journey. But will the trip – and a life-threatening adventure – fix their relationship… or break it for good?

A beautiful story of family, forgiveness, and finding out who you are, from the author of the highly-acclaimed Ella on the Outside.


RATING

3 STARS!

HERE’S MY REVIEW!

Not My Fault follows two sisters who go for a one-week trip and trying to fix their relationship after a life threatening event.

I love to read stories of family and forgiveness because it is very relatable. Sometimes it is not easy to forgive and forget the ones who have wronged us. We may feel that they are the ones who do the damage in the relationship, but we must remember that they are always two sides in a story. We must be rational in judging the situation and never take sides.

I like the theme of the story, but I don’t like the story line and characters. Maya is a rebel who doesn’t care about people around her and Rose doesn’t know how to approach Maya since the accident. Their attitude tires me and makes me want to end the story even faster. Their parents are also out of picture, since most of time they are away from home to attend the school trip. So, the book lacks some parents-daughter moments to compliment the story. I understand the author wants Maya and Rose to figure out ways to fix their relationship but the reconciliation moment is too rushed that there is nothing special behind it.

Special thanks to Pansing Books for providing me a copy of Not My Fault.

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Sabrina