Mary Ann Dennis
Mom and Grandma first, writer, aspiring author, and media reviewer.
"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all." ~Henry David Thoreau
Where to find Mary Ann Dennis online
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Smashwords book reviews by Mary Ann Dennis
- The Key of Kilenya
on Oct. 27, 2011
First off, I love the book cover. I've always had a fascination for keys, especially antique keys. I have a collection, so that all by itself grabbed my attention.
Second, I enjoyed the journal entries--a very unique way of providing the back story. I found myself caring as much about the characters in the journal entires as I did for the main characters.
Third, the action begins from about page two and never lets up. In fact, I had a hard time keeping up. I felt a lot like the main character, learning on the run.
When two of the largest, and darkest of wolves chase fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark into the forest behind his home, he leaves this world and enters the forest of another world.
With vivid descriptions, the author paints a new world of sights, sounds, smells and lots of new terrors. Jacob learns of new races of beings, and creatures, and the properties of this world while being hunted, or is he being driven?
He has to learn quickly of his own abilities--abilities he never knew he had. He has to reach deep within himself and push himself harder than he ever has before. He learns to care for others and he has to make hard choices.
The end of the book leaves some unanswered questions as the adventure continues in the next book of the series. I was a little surprised by the reaction of Jacob's parents. If he were my son, I wouldn't have taken that information so lightly.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
- The Ember Gods (Kilenya Series, 2)
on Jan. 05, 2012
The Ember Gods by Andrea Pearson
Book #2 in The Key of Kilenya Series
At the end of book one, fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark returns from Eklaron. He frustrated the evil plans of the Lorkin and returns the Key of Kilenya to its rightful owners, but for some reason, the key only works for Jacob.
When he escaped the Lorkin, he had to leave his friend, Aloren behind in order to save another friend, Akeno, who is seriously wounded. Jacob is haunted by this decision and vows to return for Aloren.
The Ember Gods begins with the beginning of a new school year for Jacob. He now has to balance the demands of high school, trying out for the basketball team, friends and family, and the responsibility he feels to the Makalo and the world of Eklaron being pulled between both worlds.
Jacob learns patience and obedience the hard way (don't we all?), and learns the consequences of not listening to the adults who care for him, and his inner voice. If he had listened he not only would've saved himself and his brother, Matt some severe consequences, but he would've had more information and more protection that would've made his mission go much easier. Isn't that what we all do? We strain against obedience only to find out our lives didn't have to be so difficult if we'd have only listened. Jacob learns more about himself and his new-found abilities and learns to trust the wisdom of others.
There are several things I liked about this book: first, I really liked the development of the relationship between Jacob and his older brother, and I look forward to finding out more. Second, I enjoyed the pacing of this book more than the first. I was able to keep up with the new information. Third, there are a couple of surprises that made total sense and explained some of my questions from book one, while leaving a couple of questions for book three, August Fortress, to answer. Fourth, the action is never-ending in both worlds. Fifth, the journal entries become everything. I wonder if Mr. Coolidge turns out to be a problem in book three. He knows too much.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for a fun read and life lessons taught. I'm looking forward to August Fortress.
on April 04, 2012
Promises is a middle grade to YA story about a young girl who makes promises to herself.
Eleven-year-old Hattie Adair has a problem speaking up for herself. She is painfully shy and her family expects probably the hardest thing for a timid girl to do--they leave their home and friends in Orderville and move to the smaller town of Tropic, Utah near Bryce's Canyon.
They move into a less-than-adequate home. As the family works on making their new home more comfortable, Hattie finds things that belong to the young girl who used to live there, someone she feels a great bond to, their lives are connected. Hattie promises herself that she will find this other girl and return her belongings, no matter what. This is the very reason Hattie's family was meant to move to this house.
Hattie has made other promises to herself--promises to stand up for herself and speak up, which at the beginning she finds it easier to give in than speak up. Every time she does, another mistake is made, and they are hard lessons to learn.
In this process of learning, Hattie does make a few friends. She learns that her family can be her best friends. She learns to speak up for herself by speaking up for others.
Fate, or the hand of the Lord, moves Hattie one more time. She is so resistant to another move, but I think the Lord knew Hattie was the one who could and would truly make a difference in the life of that other young girl, Mae. When Hattie does find Mae, their lives become complicated. It builds to a suspenseful climax.
I enjoyed this story and the descriptions of Bryce's National Canyon. I felt as if I was there seeing it for the first time. I'll have to make the trip again someday.
I wasn't ready for the story to end. I would like to know more about these people, like an epilogue, or maybe there will be a book two?