Ballistic – Book Review

The Palladium Wars Book 2 by Marco Kloos
Published on: May 26, 2020

One thing is certain – Marko Kloos knows how to write a sci fi story. Just like in the first book in the series he once again leaves us on another cliff hanger. I can even hear his evil, maniacal laughter as he types the ending. He builds and builds the story and just when it is ramping up to its climax he ends it and just leaves you hanging. Sigh. I seriously wasn’t ready for the story to end.

Ballistic begins a few months after the events of the first book and once again we follow the stories of Aden, Dunstan, Idina, and Solvieg. Aden and his crew mates agree to transport an item – no questions asked. But Aden is smart and starts asking questions. Dunstan and his crew answer the distress call of a completely destroyed ship, but also answers another call from a familiar ship. Idina and her Gretian police partner investigate a man with an unauthorized weapon that leads to unattended consequences. While Solvieg starts exerting a little independence from her father and receives an opportunity to visit the planet Acheron for the first time.

Even though I really enjoyed everyone’s story in Aftershocks, I couldn’t quite get into Idina’s storyline as much as the others. In Ballistic, my appreciation toward this character grew quite a bit – while Aden’s story will always feel like the main one and Dunstan is my personal favorite, I found Idina’s story much more engaging and followed her and Dahl’s police investigative work very closely. I also loved how Solvieg started making strides to becoming her own woman against her father wishes. Anything she does to irritate her father and break away from his control I am definitely for.

I enjoy the world Marko Kloos has created in this series. The characters, the societies, the planets – All the worlds have their own style and personalities and in Ballistic we get to take a closer look at them than in the first book. Here we get to see how the planet’s society has adapted to the planet’s atmosphere.

Overall, if you love space opera and military science fiction then this is definitely a science fiction book to recommend.

Tuesdays at the Castle – Book Review

Castle Glower #1 By: Jessica Day George
Published On: October 25, 2011

Oh! Who wouldn’t want to live in a magical castle, especially one that rearranges its floor plan or creates new rooms whenever it gets bored. Need a slide to get you from one room to another quickly? Castle Glower is for you, especially if the day is Tuesday.

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The Stray – Picture Book Review

Story and Illustrations By: Molly Ruttan
Published On: May 19, 2020

In The Stray, a family is out for a walk when a spaceship crashes nearby. There amongst the rubble is ‘the stray’. He’s a cross between a slug, a dog, a frog and maybe a few other things. One thing is for certain: he is a cutie! They decide to take him home and give him the name Grub. They give him lots of love and make him part of the family. They even try to teach him a few tricks, but soon they realize that perhaps he has a home somewhere else that he misses.

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Debt of Honor – Book Review

The Embers of War Book 1 by: Christopher G. Nuttall
Published on: May 19, 2020

Debt of Honor is the first book in the Embers of War series by Christopher G. Nuttall featuring Admiral Kat Falcone – the main character from the Angel in the Whirlwind series. This author and his space fleet/galactic empire books are new to me, but the real world is a little overwhelming at the moment so problems in a whole other universe that is completely unrelated to anything here on Earth was the perfect choice when needing to find a new book to relax with.

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An Unequal Defense – Book Review

David Adams #2
By: Chad Zunker
Pages: 247
Published On: May 19, 2020

What a delightful read to run across. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a conspiracy thriller and boy have I missed them. I had almost forgotten how fun they can be and how sucked in I can get as pages furiously fly by as I get caught up in all the twists and turns. This is also my first novel to read by Chad Zunker.

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The Raven: A Modern Retelling – Book Review

By: Elise Wallace
Illustrated By: Linda Silvestri
Published On: October 15, 2019

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

– The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

My memory of first learning about Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven is sketchy. What I do remember are two things: 1) The poem was rather spooky to me. After all, it has a raven saying over and over again one single word -“Nevermore.” Yes, I think it is safe to say that a raven tapping at your chamber door definitely falls into the creepy category. Yet the use of this raven also enhances the overall otherworldly and melancholy atmosphere the poem presents. At the time, I suspect I found it spookier because I didn’t think raven’s could talk at all. Now that I am older and wiser I know that raven’s can speak even better than parrots since they can mimic the pitch of a woman’s voice vs a man’s. There are many examples on Youtube of talking ravens that are quite fun to listen to.

The second memory is that no matter how much time my teacher took explaining either the themes within it or allegorical parts or whatever else scholars say something is in order to make a story or poem sound important, the poem still never made 100% sense. Apparently, I must not be alone in this.

In The Raven: A Modern Retelling, the authors set out on a quest to help younger children understand the poem’s meaning. The story opens with Heath arriving at his new house. It’s an old house built in the 1800s and he definitely doesn’t like it. His family has moved across the country away from his old school and friend Lenore. He’s sad about leaving behind his friend, when he begins to have dreams about a raven outside his window saying “Nevermore!”.

Although the original poem by Edgar Allan Poe still has some sections to it that can be a little more difficult to follow, I found the retelling to be a decent introduction to the poem as it shows a main character going into a slow madness as he becomes more and more distraught about all these changes that are out of his control. Using an example of a young boy moving away and leaving friends is something just about all of us can understand. The good news is that this book is for younger middle-grade age kids, so there is a happy-ish ending.

The Raven is actually really short at only 32 pages and contains a few colorful pictures. Also included in the story are some book club questions to help guide the discussion surrounding the main points or themes of the story, such as asking them how the tone changes throughout the book or about the raven.

Description:

“Heath and his family have moved from the West Coast to New York. It’s a total culture shock. Everything feels wrong: the cold weather, the new house, even his dreams. But the worst part of the move is Heath is away from his best friend Lenore”–