Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Whenever I’m in the mood for a feel-good book that leaves me feeling happy, I turn to Jessica Day George. She is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favorite authors. She has a simplistic writing style that gives her books the “fairy tale” feeling that I so enjoy, and I love the sweetness of her stories. Having devoured her Dragon Slippers series, I was especially happy to find the first two books in this series available as a Kindle online deal.
The story did not disappoint. I always love new twists on old fairy tales, and this one was just as charming as her other books have been. I’ll confess that it took me about a chapter or so to really become immersed in the storyline, but once I got past that I was thoroughly delighted throughout the rest of it.
Because I always tend to love the villain, I really enjoyed the King Under Stone and his sons, but I also enjoyed seeing part of the story from Galen’s point of view. All in all, I look forward to the sequel.
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A very sweet, lovable story that I very much enjoyed. Creel’s interactions with the dragons simply reminded me of why I love those tales to begin with. (And why I want to befriend a dragon of my very own.) The simplicity of the writing style added to its charm. I labeled it as YA, but it’s one of those that could transcend to middle grade as well.
It was strange, actually, for the story had many similarities to my own book, Prince of Light. (Which may account for why I enjoyed it so much. It was along the lines of something I would write.) It felt a bit rushed toward the end, something I’m usually guilty of in my writing, and I wished that Creel would have recognized a few things earlier.
Minor quibbles, really. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. LOVED it. Set in the not-so-distant future, World War III has finally arrived, and instead of destroying planet Earth, the human race has found a way to make war without human sacrifice.
Or so they think.
The planet has been separated into different governmental factions that control the earth’s remaining natural resources, and they’re at odds against one other. The whole world is literally fighting, but the battles now take place in space or on other planets. War is still war, however. Tom, a fourteen-year-old gamer genius, is stuck finding money and random hotel rooms wherever he can with his gambler father until the day that the government notices his incredible reflexes and quick thinking. Now that wars are fought with machinery light-years away, they need the best of the best to control those androids and ships. And that’s just the first couple of chapters.
I couldn’t put this book down, it was such a thrill ride. It reminded me a little of a cross between Ready Player One and the Artemis Fowl series, probably more for the teen crowd than tween. Loved the protagonist, loved the premise of the story. It was fun to watch as Tom learned how to be in the military, futuristic-style, and discovered what it was like to make real friends, complete with typical embarrassing teenage moments.
An excellent read and a major page-turner. In fact, I may have a new favorite YA author to add to my Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer list. Looking forward to reading the rest of this series!