My family think I spent too much time reading last weekend. But they were watching football (soccer) and I was enjoying myself. Not that I don't like soccer too, but reading on my kindle when soccer's on TV reminds me of those long-gone days of youth, back when I could do two, three, four things at once without thinking it odd. Reading, watching soccer, and trying to carry on an intelligible conversation... I'm not sure I can still do that but I tried every once in a while, when there was a dubious referee decision, when the ball flew just outside the goal... I'll leave it to the guys to decide how well I succeeded. Meanwhile, here are the books I read, and the words just flew by, straight into goal, assisted by good coffee. It was a fine weekend.
Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore is the first of her faerie tales of the white forest novels and it's a great introduction to a beautifully imagined world for middle grade readers. If the guys can get past the fact that there are fairies with wings, this might be just as good a series for them as for the girls. Teen Brigitta watches her friends wings change, indicating their destined tasks in life. But how much is destiny and how much just the consequence of free-will? When the forest suddenly changes while Brigitta's babysitting her sister, a new destiny unfolds involving maps and quests, good and evil, and the possibility that stories told in history might not quite represent the truth. Enjoy a 3-star well-balanced coffee with this thoroughly enjoyable and captivating tale.
And then, read the sequel. The Ruins of Noe is a slightly older, darker tale and a very fitting continuation of Brigitta's life. Now struggling with her apparent destiny as an elder, she and her great mentor Ondelle set off to save the world again, this time searching for the mystical Ancients whose care for the White Forest seems to be waning. Wild fairies, lack of trust, war and politics combine to make this a fascinating tale with wise lessons in honor and self-worth. Enjoy a 4-star coffee this time as the story grows more complex.
On Dark Shores, the Lady, by J.A. Clement is another fantasy tale, this time set in a medieval world where the evil moneylender Copeland controls everything that happens in the small port of Scarlock. Nereia the thief strives to save her younger sister from the whorehouse, and Copeland sends ex-boxer Blakey to bring them back. I was thoroughly enjoying this tale when it suddenly ended, so now I have to wait for book 2. Enjoy some 4-star rich complex coffee but keep a pot on hand to drown your sorrows when the story doesn't end.
Next on my reading list was another fantasy, Sela by Jackie Gamber. I read an earlier book, Redheart by Jackie Gamber, a year ago and learned of some wondrous Leland Dragons. Like Danika Dinsmore, Jackie Gamber is creating a great series of standalone novels set in her mysterious world, and in Sela we meet the girl who thinks she's a dragon, or is it the other way around. Kidnapped, terrorized, and desperate to get back to her Leland home, Sela strives to make the best of whoever she is and finally learns to be all she can be. Enjoy this elegant complex tale with a 4-star elegant complex cup of coffee.
All this, plus, Sela is available as a free kindle download Wednesday and Thursday (18th and 19th). DON'T MISS IT! And I'll have another blogpost about it on Friday 20th.
Finally, I've just read a thoroughly enjoyable science fiction story, the Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski. Think Lord of the Flies for the computer generation, this was one I really couldn't put down, even when I'd guessed where it might be going. Enjoy with a 5-star bold intense coffee. Then watch soccer and enjoy innocence.