Although the story is a bit repetitive, I did enjoy this book. The story is about Jack, who is more than human. He has lived for more than five hundred years and experiences periods of black-outs during which he is being controlled by some outside malevolent force. This force uses him and others to wreck havoc throughout the world and all through different times in history.
As he is searching for who or what he is, he meets a young girl and her mother and bonds with them wishing to protect them against this force.
As I (and others) have previously mentioned, there are some problems with the book, but (as also stated) this guy is a first time writer and only twenty years old. It was a quick and fun read and I wish Kyle good luck with his writing career.
Tales from Brookgreen Gardens is a wonderful collection of stories from South Carolina as told by two women who run a museum/shop. Brookgreen Gardens is located in the South Carolina Lowlands and used to be a collection of Rice Plantations, but now, as I previously mentioned, a museum which the author used to visit with one of the workers, Cousin Corrie. Cousin Corrie worked alongside Genevieve Chandler, both of this ladies would tell tales to those who visited the shop.
The book contains about eight different stories that cover a wide period of history. The first one, the Mistress of Brookgreen is set just before the war of Independence and concerns the Brookgreen Rice Plantation and Rachel Moore Allston Flagg, the woman who becomes the Mistress of Brookgreen. This tale contains a nice mix of historical characters, such as the George Washington, General Cornwallis, amongst others who interact with the mistress.
The remaining chapters contain stories relating to disappearing rice, ghosts of a heartbroken Lady-in-white, ghosts of ships, folk tales, and so on. All told this collection of stories creates a very interesting picture of life in South Carolina and I heartily recommend it to everybody!(less)
Dawn of Spears by JF Perez Jimenez is an epic fantasy with a difference – it is a short story. It is about an uprising on the Island of Avertaria; an island made up of five different kingdoms. Orobar, King of Tantros is trying to take over the rest of the kingdoms through war and alliances to become the Emperor of Avertaria. King Orobar has already invaded Durtan and is trying to force Duriel, the daughter of the King of Durtan into marrying him. This would help secure Orobar’s attempt to become the Emperor. However, in effort to raise an alliance with the King of Brost and an army to fight against Orobar and his forces, the King of Durtan has sent three of his knights to meet with the King of Brost.
Wow, that was complicated! This short story is certainly epic and told by both the knight, Goldenor and the King of Durtan’s daughter, Duriel. It is split into four parts; two narrated by Goldenor and two by Duriel. It is almost as if they are giving the versions of the events to an inquest or something. With the exception of the last part, each part ends with a cliff hanger where we are uncertain of that if our heroes will see the light of the next day. It is an exciting story that builds the drama up and the stakes are raised as the story goes on. Will Goldenor and Duriel defeat King Orobar in his quest to become the Emperor of Avertaria? You will have to read to find out!
I just finished Evan Burl and the Falling. It was a fun read, but at times, definitely confusing. Evan Burl is a boy who discovers that he will turn bad because he possesses magical abilities. Early on in the book, Evan steals a book from his uncle so that Evan can write stories for one of the girls he watches over. However, there is a letter in the front pages of the book that says Evan will turn evil in just under a year. As I mentioned earlier, this is because Evan possesses magical abilities. Most of the story seems to have this fact set in stone - Evan will turn evil.
Unfortunately for Evan, he is raised by his uncle who for all counts doesn't particularly like him - but that might be because of what happens to the uncle's son while he is with Evan. The uncle, himself, is not a really likable character and as the story progresses, he becomes less and less likable. This is also compounded by the fact that the uncle hires two men to oversee Evan and the Fallings,a group of girls who fall from the sky and seem to be immortal, who are also not very nice and are abusive to Evan and the girls. The Uncle runs a operation out of where they live using machines called Clangers. Also, there are a few other characters in the story who are after Evan and want to either have him killed or use his ability for their own good. Everybody seems to have it in for poor Evan!
What I liked about the book was how each chapter was told by one of the main characters. Evan would speak, then there are chapters with Cevo - a man who also has magical abilities, but falls on the side of being a bad guy, Henri - one of the Fallings that Evan is specially close with, and so on. This format really does help build up the tension. The chapters would end on a cliffhanger and then pick up/start with another character. The book switched between these characters. But, this also led to the confusion for me.
At one point in the book, we are not sure if someone that Evan sees and speaks to him is really there or just a figment of Evan's imagination. We find out later on that Sapience, the magical ability that Evan possesses can send the practitioner insane - is this what would make Evan go evil/bad? I don't know, the different narrators may have confused me along the way with some of the plot twists towards the end - some of these plot twists are really cool. I will definitely have to re-read this ebook. Evan Burl and the Falling is a unique story and I would definitely like to know what happens next to these characters!
In Kitsune-Tsuki, Tsurugu no Kiyomori has been hired by the daimyou, Naka no Yoritomo, to protect his new bride from a Kitsune, a fox spirit. In Japanese folktales, a Kitsune like the coyote spirit in Native American myths; the fox spirit is a mischievous or a trickster. At the beginning of the story, Tsurugu appears to be a skeptic when dealing with the peasants in the story. The peasants are superstitious and beat a young girl who they believe is possessed by a fox spirit. This is one of a few red-herrings within the tale. Twists abound, the mystery deepens; is there really a kitsune plaguing the the daimyou’s household? Will Tsurugu and his partner find the Kitsune?
I really enjoyed this story. It is full of interesting characters and is set in an interesting country. I haven’t read a lot of stories set in Japan; therefore, I was not familiar with the Japanese terms and titles used in the story. As another reviewer has suggested, I would definitely recommend locating a good source to find the correct definitions of the terms such as daimyou. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for further stories written by the author, Laura Baugh.