Children Of The Fleet By Orson Scott Card | A Book Review

Title: Children of the Fleet

Author: Orson Scott Card

Genre: Science Fiction

About the book: It’s a standalone in the Ender’s Game series, but it involves new characters. I received a copy of the novel from Raincoast.

First impressions: I read Ender’s Game in high school, and I’ve been meaning to check out Card’s other works. So I was looking forward to seeing where he would go with this story. I liked the beginning and getting to know Dabeet Ochoa.

Summary: Dabeet is incredibly smart, but he thinks he can’t attend Fleet School because he lacks the connections to get in. But then Colonel Graff visits and interviews him. Dabeet then gets sent into space where he learns how to become a good leader.

Characters: I appreciate the diversity of the children who are of different races and ethnicities. In my opinion, Dabeet is a dynamic, well-developed character. He isn’t the most likeable, but I had fun seeing him deal with his shortcomings. Dabeet is more book smart than anything, which I can relate to.

Quote:

“There is no curiosity without hope, and there is no hope without disappointment.”

Conflict: It’s a coming of age story where the main character has to deal with his flaws in order to save the school from outside danger.

Writing: Card writes in the third person point of view, but readers also get a glimpse into Dabeet’s thoughts. I think I would’ve liked a distinction between the two. Something as simple as italicizing his inner monologue would’ve helped for greater clarity.

The writing provides detailed descriptions of what’s going on. That said, some words and concepts kind of went over my head.

Also, the chapters aren’t too long, but a few felt longer than I expected. Some chapters starts off with dialogue between two people. At first, the book doesn’t reveal much about the parties doing the talking. Later, readers find out their identities. I found myself liking the somewhat cryptic conversations by the end.

I wish Card included more action and less description or just less telling with more showing. He doesn’t spend a lot of time world building, however. To be fair, the world has been established in previous novels already.

Final thoughts: At times, the book felt more educational than entertaining, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I enjoyed the ending the most. It was exciting. I got the closure I needed, and I’m not left with too many unanswered questions.

You don’t have to read all the other books to understand Children of the Fleet. Nevertheless, knowing the history of the wars doesn’t hurt.

I think this particular novel wouldn’t appeal to everybody, but if you’re a fan of sci-fi in space, you might like it.

The book is supposed to be a standalone in a popular series, so kudos to Card for telling a complicated story about children.


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Deadly Proof By Rachel Dylan | A Book Review

Title: Deadly Proof

Author: Rachel Dylan

Genre: Romantic Suspense

About the book: It’s the first in the Atlanta Justice series. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: I felt excited to read something right up my alley. I found the beginning got off to an interesting start. Not knowing what would happen next kept me engaged.

Summary: Kate, a lawyer, and Landon, a private investigator, take on a case against a pharmaceutical company. The two slowly begin to fall for each other. Meanwhile, the company doesn’t want to go to trial, so certain individuals take extreme measures measures to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Characters: There weren’t too many people to keep up with but just enough to have a nice group with various motivations. I’m all for character development, which the author does well. Even though some of the central characters perpetuate certain tropes, Dylan creates individuals you can root for and against.

Quote:

“…people did their best work when they were motivated and valued.”

Conflict: Many of the events, even the betrayals, didn’t take me entirely by surprise. I enjoyed the plot involving drugs made by a pharmaceutical company. That’s a new and different narrative for me, so I looked forward in seeing where it would go.

Writing: There are some clichés in the dialogue as well as the description. I also feel the language is more telling than showing.

The romantic scenes between Kate and Landon didn’t appeal to me. I noted a ton of physical contact and touch. The two are good characters on their own, but together their relationship seemed somewhat forced or at the very least, too coincidental. I liked the other friendships though.

I enjoyed learning about laws and reading the legal jargon. This might not appeal to everyone however. Nevertheless, the writing is easy enough to get through.

Dylan also references faith and God throughout the text. That might not be your thing, but maybe it is.

Final thoughts: The mystery pulled me in all the way through to the end, which wraps things up.

If romantic suspense sounds like your type of book, Deadly Proof is definitely worth looking into.

I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read the novel one day.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

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The Whistler By John Grisham | A Book Review

Title: The Whistler

Author: John Grisham

Genre: Legal Thriller

About the book: It’s a series. There’s a prequel.

First impressions: I finally got around to reading one of Grisham’s novels. The first hundred pages or so seemed like a slow buildup with a lot of backstory. Fortunately, the pace picked up afterwards.

Summary: Someone blows the whistle on a judge. Lacy Stoltz and her team investigate. They eventually uncover the ugly truth.

Characters: I didn’t care for many of the characters even the good ones. I’m not sure why. I guess I would’ve liked more reason to cheer for someone.

Quote:

“You just can’t trust anybody these days.”

Conflict: Bad guys versus good guys. There weren’t many surprises.

Writing: There was a lot more telling than showing in my opinion. Many events were stated or summarized. The dialogue was okay. Not super sharp but not dull either. I didn’t mind the descriptions.

Final thoughts: The ending ties many of the loose ends together. As I almost always do, I still have unanswered questions.

Even though I have an interest in law, the legal stuff didn’t engage me as much as I thought it would.

While the story was entertaining, it wasn’t thrilling. There was maybe one moment I didn’t see coming. But everything else follows the traditional arc of a typical thriller.

I didn’t love this particular novel, but I might still check out some of Grisham’s other works.

The Whistler didn’t meet my high expectation. It missed the mark overall. Nothing is bad but not really great either. That said, you might enjoy the story more than me.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase using them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Echoes In Death By J.D. Robb | A Book Review

Title: Echoes in Death

Author: J.D. Robb

Genre: Thriller

About the book: It’s the 44th book in Robb’s series that follows a police lieutenant named Eve Dallas. Trigger warnings for just about everything.

First impressions: I wasn’t expecting the futuristic elements, so I felt pleasantly surprised at the advanced technology even if I needed time to wrap my head around it all.

Summary: Someone goes around committing crimes. It’s up to Eve Dallas and her team to catch the individual responsible.

Characters: Female investigators? That’s what I live for. Eve is likeable and relatable.

You don’t need to have read the previous 40 something novels to understand this one. There are some references to events that happened in the past though. I’m not sure if it’s just me or there were a ton of different characters and so it wasn’t easy to keep track of all of them.

I’m proud to say I suspected the perpetrator when Robb first introduced him. Maybe I’m getting better at reading these whodunit stories. But I didn’t see everything coming. There’s a reason why I’m not a detective and probably never will be.

Quote:

“Could death be a kind of freedom?”

Conflict: Lots of messed up problems between people.

Writing: Tough read content wise but the writing is easy enough to follow.

Final thoughts: Any adults looking for a thrilling novel set sometime in 2061 might enjoy themselves, but beware the mature themes.

I’m interested to read more of Robb’s work, especially other books in the series. I feel like I got a basic, surface level introduction to a few of the main characters, but as is always the case, I want more. I’d like to go deeper and delve into Eve’s backstory.

Despite suspecting the criminal early on, I still felt drawn in enough to turn the pages thanks to curiosity.

I think my only gripe is that everything came out so quickly at the end, it almost wasn’t natural or realistic to me. I understand the need to put a bow on things and tie loose ends, but certain characters revealed everything they did at once.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I think I expected Echoes in Death would be a lighter, easier read, but in some ways, it was not.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you read J.D. Robb? Will you?

I’m also realizing just how many coincidences there are in the book. How convenient a cop runs into a victim of a crime.

Anyhow, the book is worth checking out if it sounds like a story you’d enjoy.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreadsto keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

You can buy the novel at Book Depository. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

The Promise Of Dawn By Lauraine Snelling | A Book Review

Title: The Promise of Dawn

Author: Lauraine Snelling

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the book: It is the first in a series called Under the Northern Lights. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

First impressions: I read the blurb, thinking it would be a different yet interesting story. I found the Norwegian phrases pretty simple to understand based on the context even though I wasn’t expecting the other language at all.

Summary: A family travels from Norway to Minnesota. They work hard to build a new life in another country, which isn’t easy.

Characters: The story revolves around the Carlson family, which are a likeable bunch. Gerd and Einar, the uncle and aunt, are not, but that changes as the book progresses. I enjoyed the various family dynamics and interactions.

Because Einar is not the nicest man, to say the least, I anticipated some kind of backstory or at least a reason as to why he’s so mean. Unfortunately, I never got any answers.

Quote:

“Gratitude was valuable.”

Conflict: Both the uncle and aunt have high expectations. The mother, Signe, begins to lose her faith in God as a lot of things go wrong for her family in America.

More exciting events happened at the beginning and near the end, which left the middle feeling somewhat dull and flat at times.

Writing: It’s descriptive. Most of the Norwegian happens in dialogue or internal monologues. I think there were some minor errors and sentences that could’ve been written better.

I guess my only real gripe is that not a lot happens. I also feel some characters didn’t have much agency. Reading about the family’s day to day life got repetitive. Even some of the words or phrases were used often. Perhaps the book would’ve benefited if several parts were cut, and it was a shorter novel.

Final thoughts: Even though The Promise of Dawn isn’t what I normally gravitate towards picking up, I learned a lot while reading it. The story is set in the early twentieth century.

I recommend it if you’re interested in historical books with a particular focus on families.

Overall, it was a nice departure from what I have been reading recently and will likely continue to read. If you thought thrillers, you thought right. While I don’t mind historical fiction, I find them a bit tougher to relate to as the characters face problems so dissimilar from my own.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

You can buy the book on Amazon or Book Depository. Those are my affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

The Importance Of Timing In Reading

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, especially when it comes to books.

Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, I’m hesitant to read a popular novel. For a few main reasons.

I don’t want people to hype up a book for me only for it to disappoint because of high expectations.

I also feel odd when I’m in the minority. Either I love a book that people generally don’t like or I dislike a novel everyone seems to adore. In that case, I tend to feel like I’m missing something. As if I didn’t get the essence of the story.

It’s easy to look at reviews or seek out other readers’ opinions nowadays. Thanks Internet.

It’s also easy to form a bias before reading something because of what someone else says. That’s why I typically avoid reading book reviews before I begin. I don’t mind looking at reviews after I’ve finished a novel.

Often times I find others are able to say what I want to say more eloquently than I ever could. Or better yet, reviewers are able to specify an issue or ten they had with a book that I did too.

When I decide whether or not I want to buy a particular book, I don’t usually read reviews. I’ll read the synopsis or summary. Maybe the back cover or the first page.

I want to form my own opinion without the influence of anyone else, even if I trust him or her.

Going back to popular books, there are a number of reasons why I haven’t read Harry Potter. And some days I wonder if I ever will. The whole being let down is part of it. As well as the prospect I may not love this series as much as my friends.

I’m a huge believer that timing matters. When exactly you read a certain book can change your entire perception of it. I know there are books I appreciate better now than when I read them five, six years ago. Even five, six months make a huge difference.

Same goes for books I’ve read recently. I feel I would have enjoyed them more had I read some earlier in my life like in elementary or high school.

Regardless, reading really is remarkable. So don’t let anything or anyone stop you from enjoying a good book at any time in your life.

American Assassin By Vince Flynn | A Book Review

Title: American Assassin

Author: Vince Flynn

Genre: Thriller

About the book: It’s the first novel in a series which follows a young man named Mitch Rapp.

First impressions: I saw so many ads for the film. Then when I learned that it was based on a novel by Vince Flynn, I picked up the book. I had high hopes. Even from the get-go, the story didn’t disappoint. I especially enjoyed the humour.

Summary: Rapp, a college athlete, trains for months to become an assassin. Afterwards, he leaves a trial of bodies behind him. His goal is to stop terrorist attacks in the Middle East, and Mitch takes extreme measures to do so.

Characters: Rapp is an interesting and intelligent character. I didn’t expect Flynn to go into too much depth about human motivations and the psychology behind why people are who they are because of their past experiences. But to my surprise, he did.

As much as I’m fond of a larger cast of characters, I found myself needing time to learn everyone’s names, so I could distinguish who was who. It didn’t help that there were a couple of obvious mistakes where the name written referenced the wrong character. What’s more, a few people had fake names, which compounded the problem further.

Also, I generally like some description of physical appearance because I want to picture the characters, even the secondary ones, better. But at least the main ones are developed.

Quote:

“If you’re not busy living, you’re dying.”

Conflict: Rapp loses his girlfriend in a terrorist attack, but then he becomes a killing machine.

Writing: Overall, Flynn tells a well-paced story. Even though the edition I read was 464 pages long, I personally felt the story progressed at a nice pace.

Some of the language, specifically certain insults seemed dated to me. Or at least different from what I’m familiar with.

The story is told in third person point of view and alternates between multiple characters, which provides more insight into people’s motives.

Final thoughts: The ending left me wanting more, so it’s a good thing Rapp’s story continues. Regardless I would’ve liked closure. I’m kind of a broken record at this point. But I do care for the characters enough to want to know more about what happens to them.

The one thing I didn’t like was the romantic subplot. It happened so fast, and I felt as though it had little bearing on the rest of the story until the end.

I’d recommend American Assassin to anyone looking for a fun thriller. I’m a huge fan of thrillers, so I had a blast reading Flynn’s novel. I’m not sure if I’ll ever watch the film, but a part of me wants to because I’m curious to see how certain events in the book are depicted on screen.


If you haven’t already, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading when I remember to update my status.

You can buy the book on Amazon or Book Depository. Those are my affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

A Q&A About Reading Habits

Lately, I’ve been wondering about my reading habits, which led to the creation of this post.

What’s your policy on finishing books?

I try to finish every book I start regardless of whether I love it or not. As a kid I abandoned stories more easily, but I’ve gotten better at sticking with something if I start. It helps that I pick up books I want to read now.

How often do you read?

Daily.

How much do you read?

As of right now, I strive to finish 50 pages every day.

When do you read?

Mornings because I prefer reading in natural light. Sometimes I’ll have one reading session in the morning and another in the afternoon. If I’m busy during the day, I settle for evenings or nights.

Do you read one book or multiple books at a time?

One book at a time. If I have to read more than one, that’s fine. I tend to do so when I’m in school. I’ll read a book for class and read something else for fun. Way back when, I used to read a fiction and nonfiction book simultaneously. But my nonfiction game has been nonexistent nowadays.

Is there anything you do before or after reading a book?

I wash my hands prior to and update my GoodReads status if I remember. Key word there is remember. Sometimes I forget because I’m old and getting older with each passing second.

Now I’m curious about other people’s reading habits.

Why I Love Baseball And Books

I don’t love many things. I could spend an entire day telling you everything I dislike or despise But I know this for a fact: I love baseball and books. Why, you may ask. I’ll attempt to explain as eloquently as I can.

I need variety, variation. I’m not someone who enjoys monotony or repetition.

Thankfully, no game is the same. No book exactly like another. Even after all these years, I still see plays and stories I’ve never seen before.

Variety goes hand in hand with discovery. I’m a fan of discovering new things. That’s why learning is one of my favourite activities. Books and baseball have been great teachers. I’m lucky to be a student of both. Sometimes the best life lessons aren’t the ones on the page or on the field either. You learn the most when you least expect to.

They allow me to disconnect. When I’m in the middle of a book or ball game, I want to be so immersed in the experience that I’m not thinking about checking my phone. I want to be in the moment. Besides, I can always connect to wifi after I finish reading or watching.

I enjoy cheering for someone. Sticking with a character or a player through thick and thin. Being in a person’s corner from beginning to end. Come what may, come hell or high water. In a way, they become your friends.

There’s something special in not knowing. You don’t know what will happen. Maybe your two favourite characters fall in love. Perhaps your team makes it to the post-season. I’ve come to embrace the strange, scary but also beautiful and lovely feeling of not knowing. After all, that book, that game might just be the best thing to ever happen to you.

Pick One: Book Characters

While writing my Pick One: Book Series blog post, I was inspired to pit fictional characters against each other. Enjoy!

Peeta or Gale? Hunger Games 

They’re both cool characters. Younger Herminia just thought Gale was cooler.

Edward or Jacob? Twilight 

Probably Jacob. I’m old, but I believe younger me was a bigger fan of the latter.

Dorian or Chaol? Throne of Glass

I liked Chaol’s character and his relationship with Celaena.

Rhysand or Tamlin? A Court of Thorns and Roses

Rhysand. He was more interesting to me even in the first book.

Darrow or Sevro? Red Rising

Darrow is amazing, but Sevro is somehow even more amazing. But I love them to pieces.

Minho or Newt? The Maze Runner

Minho in the books, Newt in the movies. So much got lost in the film adaptations. It’s such a shame.

Brenda or Theresa? The Maze Runner

Theresa in both the books and movies. She had greater depth to her character.

John or Robert Puller? John Puller

Robert. I’ve said this before, and I’m going to say it again: I love the older brother’s brain. I need a series that exclusively follows him everywhere.

Safiya or Iseult? The Witchlands

Iseult. She helped me remember the word, homeostasis, which I coincidentally learned in my biotechnology class. That’s enough to win me over. I have low expectations, okay.

Clary or Isabelle? The Mortal Instruments

Isabelle all the way. She’s one of the few characters I grew fonder of.

This was such a struggle to write. I hope you appreciate my suffering.