Book Review: A Touch of Mistletoe

Book Title: A Touch of Mistletoe
Editor: Megan Derr

“It turned out M.C. didn’t really do Christmas the way An-An’s family did, with presents and cookies. Instead, there was a lot more mayhem and death.”
From Ad Meliora in A Touch of Mistletoe edited by Megan Derr
Final Verdict: A great collection of winter holiday themed stories that make for a fun way to take a break no matter the time of year.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: The Vagrant

Book Title: The Vagrant
Author: Peter Newman

“In answer, the Vagrant raises his blade. At its hilt, silvered wings unfurl.
An eye opens.”

The Vagrant by Peter Newman

Final Verdict: An amazing and complex journey with amazing characters that I am already planning to re-read!

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: The Splendor Falls

Book Title: The Splendor Falls
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore

“She was the only creature in the world who would really care if something happened to me, even if it was only because I was the bringer of kibble.”
Sylvie in The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Final Verdict: A paranormal romance lacking enough “paranormal” and a “romance” to make a great book.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

See the end of the review for HIDDEN CONTENT about the ending of The Splendor Falls.


Random News: Harry Potter Beyond the Books

Hello Lovely Readers,

Thank you for sticking with us through the break. As most of you will have heard this past week JK Rowling released a new short story/article about what has happened after the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The original article is supposedly written by Rita Skeeter, so it has her usual snark to the reporting of information, and was posted on Pottermore. However, as not everyone has an account here is a link where you can read the article in full. Or if you are too busy to read the whole thing, Buzzfeed has an article that points out some of the most relevant information from the short story, and you can read that here.
While many fans celebrated this new information and new additions to the cannon from the books others have not been as happy. An article that talks about some people who aren’t as happy can be found here. I have to say I am very split on the new story. I am always happy to read new things that Rowling write, however, I really dislike all the information that comes after the Battle of Hogwarts. As I have talked about with several of my friends, Rowling has refused to allow the fans to take any ownership of the story after it is over. As I have mentioned previously I have a lot of problems with the Epilogue, because it limits my interpretations of the story and what happens later, and I am not the only one. So for anyone who is like me, I read the story, thought it was neat, but it will not factor into my idea of what happened after the last battle!
There was also a really great article that reminded me that no matter how fans reacted to Rowling’s new stories there is something in the story that has reached out to so many of us. A young girl who just lost her whole family and was injured herself by a crazy gun man, has drawn from Dumbledor’s quote about, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” You can read about her remarkable recovery and spirit here.
So what about you guys, what did you think of this new story? How do you feel about Rowling still dictating how the story goes after the last book?

Until next time,

High Arts: A Midsummer Night’s Dream- In British Sign Language

Title: A Midsummer Night’s Dream- In British Sign Language
Performed by: Deafinitely Theatre
Written by: William Shakespeare
Where: The Globe Theatre, England
When: 3 June 2014

“Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Final Verdict: A unique experience that is great for those open minded people, regardless of whether you can understand British Sign Language or not!

For the full review of this performance, click the title.

Movie Review: Maleficent (2014)

Movie Title: Maleficent (2014)
Director: Robert Stromberg

“Princess Aurora: “All the other fairies fly, why don’t you?”
Maleficent: “I had wings once, and they were strong. But they were stolen from me.
Maleficent (2014)

Final Verdict: A brilliant reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (1959) that is nostalgic because of the nods toward the original, but with new modern twists that update the tale for modern times.

For the full review of this movie and the movie trailer, click the movie title.

We have now added the link to our secret content for Maleficent that you can access through the Maleficent review. In the secret post we discuss our thoughts on the ending and other spoilers!

Book Review: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)

Book Title: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)
Author: Ruth Warburton

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself.
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Final Verdict: A dark and unsettling story that doesn’t exactly deliver what the blurb on the jacket cover implies.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: Dangerous Dreams

Book Title: Dangerous Dream
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The rest of us had to make our own destiny.
Lena and I knew that better than anyone. Ridley and Link, they still had to learn it the hard way.
I guess that’s sort of where this whole story begins.
Ethan from Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Final Verdict: Not bad, but not nearly enough to tempt me back to this series.

For the full review, click the book title.

Book Review: Dark Shadows: Year One

Book Title: Dark Shadows: Year One
Author: Guiu Vilanova and Marc Andreyko

“I can’t believe that it has come to this. Although I had longed for this day to declare my undying love in front of God, in front ofmy family and friends, bonding out souls for all eternity. I just never expected this day to be with…you.”
Barnabas in Dark Shadows: Year One by Guiu Vilanova and Marc Andreyko

Final Verdict: Interesting to read, but probably not enough to draw you in if you weren’t already interested in Dark Shadows.

For the full review, click the name of the book.

Book Review: Swords, Sorcery, & Sundry

Book Title: Swords, Sorcery, & Sundry
Author: Mina MacLeod

“Sylvain watches Niklas reveal the pastries, watches how Ashe leans back and doesn’t mind in the least. They’ve met such a short time ago, and yet here they are: the very best and closest of friends. Walls are dropped, boundaries are gone…Sylvain doesn’t want this to end. The prospect of leaving these two makes his heart twist painfully.”
Swords, Sorcery, & Sundry by Mina MacLeod

Final Verdict: A fun read for summer travels, which breaks many of the overused conventions in YA novels, and reminds you what good friends are! An added bonus is that it is just the start of a series.

For the full review, click the name of the book.