“Enchantment” by Orson Scott Card is a fun read that tells the Russian version of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty with a modern day twist. Ivan the main character and hero of the book stumbles upon a clearing in the Carpathian forest in modern day Ukraine, and sets in motion the fairy tale he has heard of but never believed in.
On a raised pedestal surrounded by fallen leaves, he sees the resting form of a beautiful woman. He is a child at the time and it is fascinating, eerie and frightening all at the same time. When something stirs in the leaves he takes off running back to the safety of Cousin Marek’s farm. Years pass but he doesn’t forget even as he tries to convince himself it was just his childish imagination gone wild. As an adult he finds himself compelled to return and finds it exactly as it was the first time. And he is drawn into the enchantment.
“Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke is an extremely fun story about a man named Mortimer who has an unusual gift. When he reads out loud he can bring a book to life. Characters and items from books come out. The down side to this gift is that he can not control who or what comes out and usually something from his world, the real world gets sucked into the book at the same time. Mortimer has a daughter named Meggie who has grown up without her mother because when she was only three years old her father read the book “Inkheart” out loud and her mother was pulled into the book and several evil villains came into the real world in her place. Mortimer could not figure out a way to save his wife and from the time she vanished has not read a book aloud to his daughter. As his story unfolds he learns that not reading aloud isn’t enough to protect his daughter from the villains of “Inkheart”.
****This was a very fun read, it does have a lot of pages so it might not be a quick read, but it is worth the time in my opinion. This is book one of three books. The second book is “Inkspell” and the third is “Inkdeath“. The first book was made into a movie with Eliza Bennett playing Meggie and Brendan Fraser playing Mortimer.
All three books are available in a box set on Amazon.
“The King in the Window” by Adam Gopnik is a childhood adventure story, that has a similar feel to the Chronicles of Narnia. The story is about an american boy who is living in Paris. On the night of epiphany Oliver unwittingly becomes a king and stumbles into an age old battle fought by the window wraiths. To win the battle and save both worlds, Oliver must defeat the Master of the Mirrors, the One with None.
This is a clever book and is a clean and easy read that can be enjoyed by anyone old enough to be interested in reading it. There is a bit of dizzy logic that I had to just shrug and say “okay” to because I can’t say I could sort it out for someone else who wanted me to sum up the solution that Oliver comes up with in the end. It was a fun book though!
“Shadow of the Moon” by Rachel Hawthorne is the fourth book in the Dark Guardian series. The last of the four books (unless we’re lucky and the author puts out some more!). Written from Hayden’s perspective, a character that we really haven’t heard about. Some new elements come into play as well. Hayden ran away, knowing that there are some things she won’t be able to escape from and the rest she can deal with. She is hoping that the Dark Guardians won’t find her because they will most definitely make her go back to Wolford.
Hayden has empathic abilities that she doesn’t know how to control, so they control her. When she is around other Shifters she can feel their emotions. She doesn’t know their exact thoughts but there are often times when that really doesn’t matter because the feelings are more intense than the words would be. It is so overwhelming for her that the only relief she can find is to be away from her kind all together. Being around “statics” those who don’t shift, makes it possible for her to feel only her own emotions and that is one of the reasons she ran away. But along comes Daniel who is a Shifter but seems somehow immune to her abilities, and she isn’t sure if thats good or bad and if she can trust him.
******This was my favorite book of the series. I liked that the story got more intricate and got infused with some new plot lines. There’s the extra abilities beyond regular wolf stuff, a new enemy called the “harvester”, another variety of shape shifter, and another romance. All of these additions to the world of the Dark Guardian series makes me think there could be more to come. Although I do wish she would have introduced some of it earlier, I’m glad they’re here now as it makes the series more compelling.
“Dark of the Moon” by Rachel Hawthorne is book 3 in the Dark Guardian series. Written from Brittany’s perspective, this book brings some more action. Brittany knows what she wants and she just might want it more than anyone else she knows. She is ready for the change, ready to take her place among the Dark Guardians. But something goes wrong and everything she has worked for and wanted with every fiber of her being is suddenly unattainable.
Bio-Chrome has been a threat to the Shifters since book one and that comes to a head in book three. Brittany is tough. And she is going to need her stubborn resolve to take on Bio-Chrome, whether she has any other special abilities or not.
****The next book, “Shadow of the Moon”, throws in some new elements that make me think/hope that there will be more books to come. There are so many more characters for Rachel Hawthorne to introduce us to and a lot of layers she could add so I hope she continues to do that.
“Full Moon” by Rachel Hawthorne is book 2 in the Dark Guardian series. The first book was written from Kayla’s perspective and this book is written from Lindsey’s perspective. Lindsey is Kayla’s closest friend, but they’ve only known each other for a year. Although Kayla and Lindsey confided pretty much everything to each other throughout the year after they met, there was a little something that Lindsey left out. Of course she wasn’t permitted to tell her yet and how do you really slip it into conversation naturally. ”Did I ever tell you that I am going to be able to shift back and forth between wolf and human this summer?”
Lindsey’s life is a bit complicated. Her soul mate has been selected for her by her parents and up until very recently she was okay with that. But she is going to have to make the decision very soon and it could very well become a life or death decision for more than one person.
****A good follow up to book 1. I enjoyed having the switch from Kayla’s perspective to Lindsey’s. And each of the four books in the series switches like that. This book pushes right into book 3 because Lindsey has been friends with Brittany her whole life and Lindsey’s choices are driving a wedge between them. Book 3 entitled “Dark of the Moon” is from Brittany’s perspective.
“Moonlight” by Rachel Hawthorne is book 1 in the Dark Guardian series about shape-shifters. These shifters change into werewolves. This book follows a girl named Kayla who is spending the summer as a wilderness guide in a national forest. The same forest where her parents were killed when she was five years old. She has come to work there because she loves the outdoors and wants to try to face her fears and work through the issues that stemmed from the traumatic experience she had as a child.
Kayla learns a little about hard work and a lot about trust, courage and destiny.
******If you are a Jacob fan, you will enjoy reading about the perks of being a wolf, including greater strength, heightened senses, and incredible healing. If you don’t know what being a Jacob fan is then where on earth have you been for the last several years? READ the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer! I definitely liked this book and was excited to read book 2 Full Moon. These books aren’t too long and the story keeps moving, Rachel Hawthorne does a good job at creating a world that you want to stay in.
“Ice” by Sarah Beth Durst is a modern version and twist on the fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I had never heard of that fairy tale before reading this book. But wow…it makes for a really good read.
The main character is Cassie who is about to turn eighteen and she lives in a research center in Alaska with her father and other researchers. Cassie is strong willed and independent and she has a clear vision of what she wants to make of her life. It has been said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. There is a lot more to Cassie’s history than she realizes and her father thought that by keeping the truth from her he could protect her. Cassie is drawn into a world or a reality within the world, and life as she knows it will never be the same. She is faced with the difficult choice and risk of letting go of the future she imagined for herself for one that might be greater than anything she could have ever imagined.
******I LOVED this book! It is a magical, beautiful tale of love, sacrifice, honor and hope. It was so fun to read and it was over too soon!
“Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer is the culmination of all the drama, romance, suspense and excitement that has filled the Twilight series.
As “Eclipse” was wrapping up Bella came to realize how deeply her heart had been divided. She agonized over it. Alice watched her struggling and said “I’m so sorry you have to choose between two good things.” But as “Breaking Dawn” begins Bella has made her choice and she faces the consequences.
Bella has what she wants most and is willing to sacrifice many other things to ensure the future she is counting on. But through an event that Bella never even dreamed possible she has to rethink what she is willing to live or die for.
In this book Bella breaks free of her more fragile self and really comes into her own. She finds she possesses more power than she could have imagined and she is finally able to feel like she is as amazing as the unbelievable world she is part of.
****I flew through the other books because I was so immersed in the story I didn’t want to put it down. I would squeeze in a couple minutes of reading throughout the day when I could and then after my kids were in bed I would dive into the book for a bigger chunk of time. But knowing that this book was the last one in the series made me want to read it slower to make it last longer.****
What I love about this book: Stephenie Meyer explores the dynamics of every kind of relationship and makes the experience identifiable. This book was full of action and met all requirements for a grand finale in my opinion. Again, like with the other books in the series, I didn’t expect the new developments in the plot and I was happy to see that Stephenie hadn’t run out of ways to put me on the edge of my seat. ”Breaking Dawn” is a great end to a really fun series.
The only problem? I still want more!
“Eclipse” by Stephenie Meyer is the third book in the Twilight series. It begins with Bella grounded because of the choices she made at the end of “New Moon“. Bella had taken off with no explanation and was gone for several days, leaving her father Charlie worried sick. Jacob Black solidified her grounding by informing Charlie of her other reckless behavior. Charlie decides to un-ground her with the condition that she balance out the time she spends with Edward by spending time with other friends.
Bella agonizes over her love for Edward and her pain for Jacob and while this is a major theme of this whole book there’s also a lot more going on than just that. ”Eclipse” is packed full of action. There’s tension between the Cullens and the Quileutes. There’s a vampire bent on revenge. There’s innocent people dying in Seattle. There’s danger on every side and Bella finds herself in the middle of it all.
What I love about this book: When I read it I could just see how a movie could be made out of it because of the suspense, drama and action. I like that Stephenie Meyer keeps the plot twisting and moving, anything could happen. I also like the fact that she hasn’t simplified love for her main character because in real life the pieces of our own puzzles don’t always fit where we think they should either.