Category Archives: fantasy

THE HUNTED – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

The Hunted - Jeff Wheeler
The Hunted – Jeff Wheeler
TitleThe Hunted
AuthorJeff Wheeler
Publisher47North (September 20, 2022)
FormatKindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages317
GenreHistorical Fantasy / Coming of Age Fantasy
/ Folklore
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/13154203504X / 978-1542035040

AUTHOR

Jeff Wheeler is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He majored in History at the San Jose State University. He worked at Intel while attending college but retired early to write full time. Learn all about Jeff, his books, and his new projects on his website here.

SYNOPSIS

The Hunted is the second installment of the Dawning of Muirwood series.

In the first book, The Druid, Eilean is a young woman who was raised at Tintern Abbey. She and a few others were chosen to travel to the swampy Bearden Buir and help establish the new Abbey: Muirwood. There, she is tasked with looking after the Druid Mordaunt; a prisoner within the abbey accused of heresy.

Slowly, Eilean learns from Mordaunt how to speak in different tongues, read different languages and how to control her hidden powers. The more she learns the more her eyes open to the injustice of his imprisonment.

In this installment of the Dawning of Muirwoord, Mordaunt tasks Eilean with recovering a sacred tome, translating it and delivering it to another Aldermaston. This tome is prized by the High Seer and the Aldermaston of Muirwood who will stop at nothing to obtain it. When Eilean leaves on her quest, she is hunted by Captain Hoel an inquisitor and loyal to the High Seer. He has been tasked with recovering the tome. The two play a cat and mouse game across the lands and through many dangers. Utilizing the power of the Medium, both characters duel throughout the chase. Will Eilean succeed or will Captain Hoel?

CONCLUSION

Jeff Wheeler has quickly become one of my favorite fantasy authors. This installment is in keeping with his exceptional story telling talents. As with his other books, the intrigue, mystery, suspense and fear is palatable. The constant “what comes next” kept me reading the first two books which I completed in just a couple of days. I can’t wait for book three, The Betrayed, to be released in February, 2023.

The story is well rounded and thought out, whilst the characters are both dynamic and compelling. The entire plot throughout the series is exceptional, and Jeff does a great job bringing the story to life in technocolor detail.

I really loved this book and the entire series so far. If you like fantasy, then you will love this series. Check out Jeff Wheelers other books; you will not be disappointed!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Jeff Wheeler, 47North, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review The Hunted.

OTHER WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR

  • Poisoners Enemy - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Poisoners Revenge - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Maids War - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Queens Poisoner - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Thiefs Daughter - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Kings Traitor - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Hollow Crown - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Silent Shield - Jeff Wheeler
  • Forsaken Throne - Jeff Wheeler
  • Knights Ransom - Jeff Wheeler
  • Warriors Ransom - Jeff Wheeler
  • Ladys Ransom - Jeff Wheeler
  • Fates Ranson - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Wretched of Muirwood - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Blight of Muirwood - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Scourge of Muirwood - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Lost Abbey - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Banished of Muirwood - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Ciphers of Muirwood - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Void of Muirwood - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Druid - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Hunted - Jeff Wheeler
  • Storm Glass - Jeff Wheeler
  • Mirror Gate - Jeff Wheeler
  • Iron Garland - Jeff Wheeler
  • Prism Cloud - Jeff Wheeler
  • Broken Veil - Jeff Wheeler
  • Thew Killing Fog - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Buried World - Jeff Wheeler
  • The Immortal Words - Jeff Wheeler
  • Fireblood - Jeff Wheeler
  • Dryad-Born - Jeff Wheeler
  • Poisonwell - Jeff Wheeler
  • Landmoor - Jeff Wheeler
  • Silverkin - Jeff Wheeler
Knights Ransom - Jeff Wheeler

KNIGHT’S RANSOM – Review

Knight’s Ransom is a truly awesome book! It is full of Knightly Honor, sword play, jousting, loyalty, and betrayal. It has plenty of suspense, thrills, intrigue, and action. Written to please the fantasy reader, Knight’s Ransom has just the right amount of history mixed with magic and fantasy.

Keep reading
Warriors Ransom - Jeff Wheeler

WARRIOR’S RANSOM – Review

Another incredible book from Jeff Wheeler. I heartily recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fantasy. If you like Knights, chivalry, ancient kingdoms, intrigue, betrayal, suspense and massive battles, then is the book for you.

Keep reading

THE KILLING FOG – Review

The Killing Fog is the first in The Grave Kingdom series. Magic, mystery, intrigue and betrayal are all included in this fantasy. Bingmei must use all her wit, skill, and abilities to stay ahead of the ancient entity determined to capture and kill her. With the help of her friends and colleges, she embarks on a mission of survival.

Keep reading

THE BURIED WORLD – REVIEW

This book continues Bingmei’s quest for survival. With the help of her friends, she continues a mission to evade the evil she unwittingly released in the first book. She has many adventures, experiences great loss and witnesses more unspeakable horrors.

Keep reading

THE CROOKED DOOR – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

The Crooked Door - Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester
The Crooked Door – Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester
TitleThe Crooked Door
AuthorsBrad McLelland & Louis Sylvester
PublisherHenry Holt and Co. (BYR) (April 11, 2023)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Pages320
GenreChildren’s Spine-Chilling Horror /
Children’s Action & Adventure Books (Books)
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131250124387 / 978-1250124388

AUTHORS

Brad McLelland was born and raised in Arkansas and spent several years working as a crime journalist in the South. In 2011, he obtained his MFA in creative writing from Oklahoma State University, where he met his writing partner, Louis. A part-time drummer and singer, Brad lives in Oklahoma with his wife, his stepdaughter, a mini Aussie who gives hugs, and a chubby cat who begs for ham. He is also the co-author of the Legends of the Lost Causes series.

Louis Sylvester is a professor at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. He and his wife spend their free time playing tabletop games from his collection of over a thousand card and board games. Louis enjoys watching Western films and reading fantasy novels. He has two dogs that go wild when they hear the word treats. He is also the co-author of the Legends of the Lost Causes series.

Excerpt taken from The Crooked Door.

SYNOPSIS

Thirteen year old Ginny and her family are moving to a new state and a new town. They are forced to take a detour off the main highway when their troubles begin. Bernard, their crusty old pick-up truck, breaks down just outside of picturesque Pottsville. It is a story book town; clean, no traffic, happy people, with kids playing and riding their bikes in the streets.

While the local mechanic takes a look at Bernard, Ginny is taken away by some of the local kids for a tour of the town. Toy stores, ice cream shops, and bike shops are everywhere but there is something disturbing about the town. The lack of cars on the streets, the aged dress of the locals and the distant looks on their faces give Ginny a bad vibe. When the kids take her into the Town Hall basement, she really gets spooked. There, in the middle of the floor is a crooked door. She’s told to knock twice, donate some blood and the thing most dear to her and she will receive a wish. Her wish comes true but what is the price?

After Ginny gets back to the hotel, things really get spooky. The town at night transforms into something twisted with demonic creatures roaming the streets. Her parents are no where to be found, and Ginny is frantic. She learns that picturesque Pottsville is really a dimensional realm for twisted fairies and creatures of the night. The creatures demand sacrifice and Ginny’s parents are next on the menu. No one can escape Pottsville; everyone that tries to leave always end up back where they started.

Will Ginny find her parents in time? Can they escape Pottsville? Can she avoid the creatures of the night and the ghouls that are tracking her? Can she save her family and the kids of Pottsville?

CONCLUSION

The Crooked Door is a slow starter; about half-way the book took off and I couldn’t put it down once things got going. Reminiscent of Stephen King, it has just the right creepy feel to it. As I read the book, it reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life,” featuring Bill Mumy. It also has a “Children of the Corn” vibe throughout the story, and it even takes a little from “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. A really good combination of horror and creepy.

Although the first half of the book was slow and the story and characters weren’t fully developed, the second half more than made up for it. In the second half the characters really come to life and the suspense is palatable. You can feel the fear and anxiety in the prose. The authors take the reader on a fantastic but scary journey filled with suspense and excitement. The horror seen through a young desperate girls eyes trying to save her family and escape demonic beings is an intense and adrenalin fueled journey.

Suitable for all ages, I highly recommend sticking with the book once you start it. You will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed The Crooked Door.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

ACKNLOWLEDGEMNTS

I would like to thank Brad McLelland & Louis Sylvester, Henry Holt and Co. and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review The Crooked Door.

OTHER WORKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Frances and the Monster – review

Frances and the Monster is for children aged 8-12 years old, but will appeal to most ages. It is a high paced thriller with a bit of horror; especially at the end. The prose is appropriate for anyone 8 or older, while the plot is both interesting and engaging. This story is entertaining throughout with a dynamic plot twist at the end.

Keep reading

THE LOST WONDERLAND DIARIES – REVIEW

Something terrible is happening in Wonderland. The characters are being turned into monsters! Celia, Tyrus and Sylvan must navigate a variety of hazards, puzzles and monsters not only to get home but to stop whatever is happening in Wonderland.

Keep reading

SECRETS OF THE LOOKING GLASS – REVIEW

Celia and Tyrus are at it again! Secrets of the Looking Glass is another exceptional book. It is a world full of imagination and imagery filled with suspense, thrills, charismatic characters, and a hefty dose of conflict and tension.

Keep reading

PEOPLE OF THE SUN – REVIEW

People of the Sun is the third book in The Eye of Ra series. Sarah and John are a time traveling duo determined to correct the time line. In this installment, they travel to Mexico in the year 1519 to prevent the death of Hernán Cortés. What follows is an adventure that sees Sarah and John almost becoming human sacrifices, battling for their very lives and having to make some hard decisions about whether or not to change history.

Keep reading

SECRETS OF THE LOOKING GLASS – REVIEW

Litercurious.com

Audio & Book Review Site. Why watch when you can read?

The Lost Wonderland Diaries Vol. 2 - Secrets of the Looking Glass
 J. Scott Savage Children's Fiction Children's Fantasy & Magic Book
Secrets of the Looking Glass
J. S. Savage
TitleSecrets of the Looking Glass: Volume 2 (The Lost
Wonderland Diaries)
AuthorJ. Scott Savage
PublisherShadow Mountain (September 13, 2022)
FormatHardcover
Pages368 pages
GenreChildren’s Fantasy & Magic Books
LanguageEnglish
ISBN10/131639930442 / 978-1639930449

AUTHOR

Author J. Scott Savage is the author of 19 published novels. He has been a teacher and presenter at writing conferences for adults and youth, and has developed Common Core-aligned projects for elementary school writing curricula. He has presented at more than 3000 schools across the country, inspiring students to read,

write, embrace their own creativity, and change the world. He is represented by Michael Bourret of Dystal, Goderich, and Bourret.

Scott is the author of The Lost Wonderland Diaries, which is the Juvenile Fiction Bronze Medalist for the 2020 Foreword Magazine Indie Book of the Year.

Scott lives in Utah with his wife of 34 years, Jennifer. He has four amazing children, and nine perfect grandchildren. He enjoys reading, watching movies, camping, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Excerpt taken from J. Scott Savage website.

SYNOPSIS

The Secrets of the Looking Glass is the second installment of The Lost Wonderland Diaries series. In this episode our protagonists, Celia Lofton and Tyrus Weller, are tricked by the Bandersnatch and part of their id’s are stolen. Celia has all of her logic taken and Tyrus loses his imagination to mirror images of themselves. The Bandersnatch whisks the two doppelgängers through the looking glass into another dimension.

Celia and Tyrus follow their mirror images and the Bandersnatch through the mirror and find themselves in a strange and conflicted world. In order to become whole once again, they have to convince their other halves to rejoin with them. What follows is an adventure across another dimension, a war between the White and Red Queens, a trip across the uncharted seas and a journey through dangerous mystical lands.

Celia and Tyrus have to overcome a continuous array of obstacles in the search for their other halves. Not only must they pursue their doppelgängers, but they have to keep themselves and their images alive long enough to reunite. Can they do it? Read the book to find out.

CONCLUSION

Secrets of the Looking Glass is another exceptional book in this series. The author has outdone himself once again in this installment. He has created another world full of imagination and imagery. He filled that world with suspense, thrills, charismatic characters, and a hefty dose of conflict and tension. The plot is well thought out and proceeds along an established, yet exciting pathway. Along the way there are several side plots that have to come together in order to not only save the characters but to also save the Looking Glass world.

If you have not read any books in this series, I strongly recommend that you do. The Lost Wonderland Dairies (Book 1) is a masterpiece in itself. These books will appeal to all reading ages. WARNING! Once you start reading it is very difficult to stop.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank J. Scott Savage, Shadow Mountain and NetGalley for affording us the opportunity to read and review Secrets of the Looking Glass: Volume 2 (The Lost Wonderland Diaries)

OTHER PUBLICATIONS BY THIS AUTHOR

PREVIOUS POSTS

Warriors Ransom - Jeff Wheeler

WARRIOR’S RANSOM – Review

Another incredible book from Jeff Wheeler. I heartily recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fantasy. If you like Knights, chivalry, ancient kingdoms, intrigue, betrayal, suspense and massive battles, then is the book for you.

Keep reading

The Eye of RA – Review

The Eye of Ra is the introduction into the series. It is an entertaining and exciting historical science fiction story. It is recommended for children 8-12 years of age, but I believe people of all ages will be entranced by this series. If you like science fiction, time travel, ancient history, travel and adventure; then you will enjoy this book.

Keep reading

Sol Invictus – Review

Sol Invictus is an action-packed adventure into ancient Roman times. Mixed with a little history and a lot of imagination this book has it all for a young reader.

A children’s historical fiction of exploration in an ancient civilization.

Keep reading
Knights Ransom - Jeff Wheeler

KNIGHT’S RANSOM – Review

Knight’s Ransom is a truly awesome book! It is full of Knightly Honor, sword play, jousting, loyalty, and betrayal. It has plenty of suspense, thrills, intrigue, and action. Written to please the fantasy reader, Knight’s Ransom has just the right amount of history mixed with magic and fantasy.

Keep reading

THE LOST WONDERLAND DIARIES – REVIEW

Something terrible is happening in Wonderland. The characters are being turned into monsters! Celia, Tyrus and Sylvan must navigate a variety of hazards, puzzles and monsters not only to get home but to stop whatever is happening in Wonderland.

Keep reading

A Dragon Named Egg – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleA Dragon Named Egg
AuthorHeidi Howarth
IllustratorDaniel Howarth
PublisherWindmill Books (December 15, 2020)
FormatLibrary Binding, Paperback
Pages32 pages
GenreChildren’s Dragon, Unicorn & Mythical Stories,
Children’s Self-Esteem Books,
Children’s Family Life Books
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131499486448 / 978-1499486445

AUTHOR

Heidi Howarth lives in Devon in the UK with her husband and two children. She writes picture books for children and my husband illustrates them. They have in excess of 100 titles available and enjoy a worldwide readership.

ILLUSTRATOR

Daniel Howarth started drawing from a very early age and went on to study Art at college and then university. He graduated with a degree in illustration in 1994 and started creating his own range of greetings cards with his wife, whom he met at university.

Daniel works from his studio in Exeter and enjoys the wealth of inspiration and imagination that comes from living deep in the Devon countryside with his wife and two children.

Excerpt taken from Little Tiger.

SYNOPSIS

Egg is different from all other dragons. The only dragon ever born from a cracked egg; he is the runt of the litter. He doesn’t possess any of the special abilities of other dragons. He feels like an outcast. He is self-conscious and a little depressed. He just wants to fit in and be like everyone else.

Will Egg ever fit in with the other dragons? Will he ever find his niche in life? Read the story to find out.

CONCLUSION

Written for children 4 to 7 years old, A Dragon Named Egg is a moral and ethical tale. Egg not only entertains but also delivers a life lesson. Age appropriate, picturesque and short, this book is perfect for a quick bedtime story.

Daniel is a wonderful illustrator and his art brings this tale to life. Egg is just the cutest little dragon! I immensely enjoyed looking at the artwork and how it synergizes with the story. I found myself going back through the book time and time again just to enjoy the pictures. The illustrations are breathtaking!

I whole-heartedly recommend A Dragon Named Egg. It is a wonderful, short bedtime book for all children.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Heidi and Daniel Howarth, NetGalley and Windmill Books for affording me the opportunity to review A Dragon Named Egg.

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

WARRIOR’S RANSOM – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Warrior's Ransom, Jeff Wheeler
Warrior’s Ransom written by Jeff Wheeler
TitleWarrior’s Ransom – The First Argentines
AuthorJeff Wheeler
Publisher47North (May 18, 2021)
FormatKindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages411
GenreHistorical Fantasy, Coming of Age Fantasy,
Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Books)
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/131542027381 / 978-1542027380

Currently Warrior’s Ransom is Free-to-Read on Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR

Jeff Wheeler is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He majored in History at the San Jose State University. He worked at Intel while attending college but retired early to write full time. Learn all about Jeff, his books, and his new projects on his website here.

SYNOPSIS

Warrior’s Ransom starts where Knight’s Ransom ended. Sir Marshall Barton, A.KA. Ransom, is on a pilgrimage to the “Chandleer Oasis.” There he hopes to discover some answers about his extraordinary abilities. He wants to find out if he is genuinely “Fountain Blessed.”

Ransom discovers that not only is he “Fountain Blessed,” but he has been chosen to defend the Argentine line. The Lady of the Fountain presents him with a scabbard with immense restorative powers to aid him in his quest.

Once Ransom arrives back in Kingfountain, he is quickly put in the service of King Devon the Elder. What follows are more deceit, rebellion, war, intrigue, battles, death, and love. How will Ransom fare? Read the story and find out!

CONCLUSION

Warrior’s Ransom is another fantastic tale. In book two, we resume Ransom’s journey as a Knight and Lord. The story is brilliantly concocted with plenty of loyalty, action, suspense, intrigue, love and betrayal.

Once again Jeff Wheeler has done a great job of mixing fantasy with history. He’s taken some historical events and employed them as a backdrop to design this world in which Ransom lives. The picture he depicts is so effectively presented that I can visualize the scenery in my mind without any issues. The castles, the battles and the environment are all described in exquisite detail.

Another incredible book from Jeff Wheeler. I heartily recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fantasy. If you like Knights, chivalry, ancient kingdoms, intrigue, betrayal, fantasy, suspense and massive battles, then is the book for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

OUR OTHER REVIEWS OF BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Knights Ransom - Jeff Wheeler

KNIGHT’S RANSOM – Review

Knight’s Ransom is a truly awesome book! It is full of Knightly Honor, sword play, jousting, loyalty, and betrayal. It has plenty of suspense, thrills, intrigue, and action. Written to please the fantasy reader, Knight’s Ransom has just the right amount of history mixed with magic and fantasy.

Keep reading

THE KILLING FOG – Review

The Killing Fog is the first in The Grave Kingdom series. Magic, mystery, intrigue and betrayal are all included in this fantasy. Bingmei must use all her wit, skill, and abilities to stay ahead of the ancient entity determined to capture and kill her. With the help of her friends and colleges, she embarks on a mission of survival.

Keep reading

THE BURIED WORLD – REVIEW

This book continues Bingmei’s quest for survival. With the help of her friends, she continues a mission to evade the evil she unwittingly released in the first book. She has many adventures, experiences great loss and witnesses more unspeakable horrors.

Keep reading

KNIGHT’S RANSOM – Review

Litercurious Book review

Knight’s Ransom Jeff Wheeler
Knight’s Ransom written by Jeff Wheeler
TitleKnight’s Ransom – The First Argentines
AuthorJeff Wheeler
Publisher47North (January 26, 2021)
FormatKindle, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
Pages431
Genre Historical Fantasy, Coming of Age Fantasy,
Sword & Sorcery Fantasy (Books)
LanguageEnglish
ISBN 10/13154202529X / 978-1542025294

Currently Knight’s Ransom is Free-to-Read on Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR

Jeff Wheeler is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He majored in History at the San Jose State University. He worked at Intel while attending college but retired early to write full time. Learn all about Jeff, his books, and his new projects on his website here.

SYNOPSIS

Knight’s Ransom is a fantasy book in the times of ancient knights, magic, and multiple kingdoms. The main character, Marshall Barton, is just a boy when he was taken as a hostage to ensure his fathers loyalty to the King. Claire, another hostage, nicknamed him Ransom just to annoy him, but the name stuck.

Ransom’s father disobeys the King, thus he is destined to be hung in front of his father’s Keep. The King, however, has a change of heart and takes Ransom into his household. When the King dies, Ransom is left to his own devices. He returns home only to be turned away by his own father.

What follows is a journey of hardship, pain, loyalty, honor and ambition for Ransom. He trains to be a Knight, and he becomes one of the best in all the Kingdom’s. He is “Fountain Blessed,” a term used for those who have a certain gift or “power,” with the innate ability to sense danger and the uncanny capability to fight.

The new King charges Ransom to look after his eldest son. Ransom is quickly intertwined in royal espionage, intrigue, political maneuvering and life-or-death battles. What follows is a tale for the ages.

CONCLUSION

Knight’s Ransom is a truly awesome book! I had trouble putting it down. It is full of Knightly Honor, sword play, jousting, loyalty and betrayal. This book has plenty of suspense, thrills, intrigue and action.

Written to please the fantasy reader, Knight’s Ransom has just the right amount of history mixed with magic and fantasy. The world that Jeff creates is described in a way that brings it to life in the reader’s mind.

I evaluate a book by the way it effects me. If I can see the world that a book creates in my mind, and keep thinking of it long after I put it down; then it is a very good book. I’ve already stared book two; Warriors Ransom.

I definitely recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical fantasy revolving around knights, chivalry, kingdoms and massive battles.

Jeff Wheeler is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His Grave Kingdom series was spectacular and now the First Argentines series is even better.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

OUR OTHER REVIEWS OF BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

THE KILLING FOG – Review

The Killing Fog is the first in The Grave Kingdom series. Magic, mystery, intrigue and betrayal are all included in this fantasy. Bingmei must use all her wit, skill, and abilities to stay ahead of the ancient entity determined to capture and kill her. With the help of her friends and colleges, she embarks on a mission of survival.

Keep reading

THE BURIED WORLD – REVIEW

This book continues Bingmei’s quest for survival. With the help of her friends, she continues a mission to evade the evil she unwittingly released in the first book. She has many adventures, experiences great loss and witnesses more unspeakable horrors.

Keep reading

MAD ABOUT MEATLOAF – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Mad About Meatloaf by Maureen Fergus Children's Fiction Book Review
Mad About Meatloaf by Maureen Fergus Children’s Fiction Book Review
TitleMad About Meatloaf (Weenie Featuring
Frank and Beans Book #1)
AuthorMaureen Fergus
Illustrator Alexander Bye
PublisherTundra Books (October 12, 2021)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
Pages56
GenreChildren’s Fiction, Children’s Dog Books,
Children’s Cat Books, Children’s Guinea Pig Books
Language English
ASIN #B08SWF6D32

AUTHOR

Maureen Fergus, is an established children’s book writer with eleven other book collaborations to her name.

SYNOPSIS

Mad About Meatloaf is written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Alexandre Bye. This is a comic book style adventure of a dachshund dog named Weenie. Weenie shares his life with his owner Bob and Bob’s other two pets; a rotund cat named Frank and a highly intellectual guinea pig called Beans. As the title suggests, Weenie is obsessed with eating meatloaf so much that he keeps getting into trouble in his quest to obtain the ever elusive meat treat. When Weenie wants meatloaf the fun begins.

Weenie eats Bob’s meatloaf. Bob gets mad. Weenie tries to replace Bob’s meatloaf. The search for meatloaf takes the trio to the Mini-Mart and the forest where all kinds of hilarity takes place.

Who knew just how much trouble a dog, a cat, and a guinea pig could get into? Never before have a trio of pets caused so much trouble for their owner.

CONCLUSION

In Mad About Meatloaf, Maureen Fergus has created the perfect combination of a small cast of characters that work together to create havoc. The comic book style suits the tale and it quickly engages the reader into the surreal world of Weenie, Frank and Beans. Humorous throughout, expertly illustrated, exquisite in its colorful presentation, Mad About Meatloaf is the perfect gift for any young child. Every aspect of the book is child appropriate and the captivating story is sure to find favor with both children and adults. Highly recommended read. I can’t wait to review book number 2.

The illustrator, Alexandra Bye, has created a beautiful colorful world for Weenie and friends to inhabit. The stories are easy to follow and are engaging, entertaining, and above all amusing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank Maureen Fergus, Netgalley, and Tundra Books for affording me the opportunity to review Mad About Meatloaf.

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

NOS4A2 – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleNOS4A2
AuthorJoe Hill
PublisherWilliam Morrow & Company (October 31, 2013)
FormatPaperback
GenreHorror
Page720
LanguageEnglish
ASIN #B00QQ198Z0

“An inscape, a world of thought. In a world made of thought—in an inscape—every idea is a fact. Emotions are as real as gravity. Dreams are as powerful as history. Creative people, like writers, and Henry Rollins, spend a lot of their time hanging out in their thought-world. S-s-strong creatives, though, can use a knife to cut the stitches between the two worlds, can bring them together. Your bike. My tiles. Those are our knives.”

Joe Hill, NOS4A2 (October 31, 2013). Ch. The Librarian, Loc. 1417-1427

AUTHOR

See our Authors Spotlight here.

SYNOPSIS

NOS4A2 is a horror novel written by Joe Hill. It is every horror aficionados dream. The central characters are Vic McQueen, an intuitive wild child with a penchant for two wheels, an infinite curiosity, a need for speed, and a special skill. Charlie Manx a sinister otherworldly psychic vampire. Bing is a sociopath with a dark past and darker future. Margret Leigh is a librarian with unique talents. Louis Carmody is a friend to Vic and father to their child. In addition are McQueen’s dysfunctional extended family.

When the story begins Vic lives with her parents in Haverhill, Massachusetts, not far from Lake Winnipesaukee; a favorite family getaway. 

Victoria McQueen – AKA Vic or The Brat

NOS4A2 is a standout in every way as a horror product. Set in contemporary times. The key character, Vic McQueen, is an 8-year-old child living in Haverhill with her dysfunctional mother and father who are in a combative relationship. Vic is a wild-child with an extraordinary gift. She is an exceptional artist, but that is not her only trait. She soon discovers her other talent, a symbiotic relationship between her and her bicycle; her ‘knife’ (a psychic tool that can act as a portal via the Shorter Way over a psychic bridge to anywhere she wants to go). Together they can traverse the ethereal plane.  

Hill’s novel steers us through the life of Vic from her days as a child, her teenage years and struggles, to her maturation. A life altering event; a clash with Charlie Manx, leads Vic on a personal and dramatic course that defines her life thereafter.

Charles Talent Manx – AKA Charlie Manx

Charles Talent Manx is the principal evil protagonist. He is a filicidal psychopath and mass killer. He has a distinctive overbite, ancient appearance, dresses strangely, and drives a vehicle from another era; a Rolls Royce Wraith. The Wraith is more than just a car, it is part of his Manx-scape, his inner-verse, it is his “knife.” The automobile is implicated in Manx’s unhealthy interest in children. He seemingly spirits them away in his Rolls Royce to his inscape, which he calls Christmasland. In an accident of synchronicity, Vic McQueen and Manx cross paths; from there the game is afoot. 

Bing Partridge

Bing Partridge is a rotund, bespectacled man from Sugarcreek, PA. Bing was tried and convicted of parricide for both of his parents. He is a sexual deviant and fascinated with using sevoflurane (Gingerbread scented gas). Sevoflurane is one of the volatile gases that includes: halothane, isoflurane, and desflurane. Partridge employs the gas as an anesthetic to render his victims insensible. He utilizes a military gas mask, given to him by his father when he was a child, to prevent himself from suffering the analgesic affects.

Bing is Manx’s most recent assistant; there have been many over the years. Bing has a fascination for Christmas, gas masks, and mature adult women; although his interests range too much lower age groups. He is dull, has a complex range of paraphilias and appears to suffer from an insufficiency of intellect with elements of psychopathy, and sociological illness. Cunning like a fox and yet barely able to operate in society, Bing shares Manx’s abnormal love of Christmas and Christmasland. Bing can, and will, do anything to attain Christmasland with its promise of eternal life surrounded by gingerbread and all the accoutrements, including access to children.

Ms. Margret Leigh – AKA Maggie

Ms. Margret Leigh is a scrabble maven with a special bag and a spluttering stammer. Maggie has a sapphic nature and works as a librarian in a small town. She is fascinated with scrabble. Maggie has her own “knife,” involving the use of her scrabble bag. She can retrieve messages that aid her in seeing future events.

Louis Carmody – AKA Lou Carmody

Lou is Vic’s significant other and father to Bruce Wayne McQueen. He is an all-around nice guy, dedicated father, and part-time hero.  

CONCLUSION

Joe Hill could be the best contemporary horror writer of our time. 

NOS4A2 is a strong tale, perfectly paced, and totally engrossing. It has a stupendous narrative, is skillfully written with superior character definition, and has a compelling chronology. It is a mythos all its own and I would not be surprised if it becomes a timeless favorite of many horror story lovers. 

NOS4A2 is replete with numerous literary Easter-eggs. He doffs his hat throughout the book to his illustrious literary family and references locations from their works. A reference to Shawshank is just one example. Notable locations: The House of Sleep, The Shorter Way, Manx The Sleigh House, the Graveyard of What Might Be.

I have seen the television show featuring a screenplay adapted from the book. My recommendation is that you should forget the show and read the book. The written form is far superior and elaborates much more than the TV version. There is simply no comparison between the two experiences. 

I have already identified my next Joe Hill book and decided on his award-winning number one best seller Heart-Shaped Box. What will your next Joe Hill novel be?

Take a look below where I have provided a read-for-free link to four of his works on KindleUnlimited. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

Other books by this author are included on his Author’s Spotlight here. There is a range of his works that are currently free-to-read on KindleUnlimited – as of 1 July, 2020. Select the image below to view:

THE BURIED WORLD – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Buried World
AuthorJeff Wheeler
Publisher47North (June 23, 2020)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Paperback
Pages335
LanguageEnglish
AudienceBroad Appeal for Fantasy Readers
ASIN B07WNTX91Y

AUTHOR

This is the second book in The Grave Kingdom series. To read my review on the first book, The Killing Fog and to learn more about the author click here.

SYNOPSIS

This book continues Bingmei’s quest for survival. With the help of her friends, she continues a mission to evade the evil she unwittingly released in the first book. She has many adventures, experiences great loss and witnesses more unspeakable horrors.

This second installment in the series continues the battle between good and evil, but evil gets a counterpart. Now Bingmei and her followers not only have to evade one ancient evil entity, but two! Not just the entities themselves but the monsters they unleash from the “Grave Kingdom.” With their combined power they can control not only the living world, but the dimension of the dead as well.

Bingmei knows she is the only chance for the world to be rid of these evil entities and so do they. They will stop at nothing to kill her and continue their reign of terror for a thousand years to come. They will devour anyone who attempts to help Bingmei in their bid to capture or kill her. Bingmei must protect not only herself, but her friends. However, slowly she realizes it may not be possible to do both. She agonizes between protecting her friends and fulfilling her duty.

As they flee across the countryside, Bingmei and her little band of warriors and friends face off against an overwhelming foe. Battling not only their enemies but nature itself. From seemingly endless armies to magical beasts, they fight for survival and freedom.

Will she fulfill her duty? Will she protect her friends? Will she even survive? I guess we will find out in the next installment. What a cliffhanger!

CONCLUSION

The Buried World follows up on Jeff Wheeler’s The Killing Fog. This installment does not have as many epic battles as the first, but it has much more suspense. There are epic battles with magical creatures and objects; but there are many more moments where the suspense was too great to put the book down. I had to keep reading to see if Bingmei would escape, save a friend, or invoke some magic that would save the world.

Exceptionally written, Jeff has brought the characters to life and the environment into vivid detail. Each character has been constructed in such detail that the reader can not only see them in their mind, but envision them as actual living beings. He does a fantastic job of describing the environment. From the detailed palaces to the: monsters, the magic, the animals, the plains, or even the water; the reader feels as if they are there alongside Bingmei and her friends on this saga.  

I genuinely enjoyed this second book in The Grave Kingdom series and I cannot wait for the next one to be released on 22 September, 2020: The Immortal Worlds.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

MORE BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

(These books are free to read or listen too with Kindle Unlimited)

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE – FREE TO READ ON KINDLEUNLIMITED JUNE 2020

Litercurious Book Review

Why not visit our Read For Free link to see all the wonderful children’s books. Simply click on the image above to see all the goodies this month on KindleUnlimited.