Allure of the Gypsies (Legends of Windemere Book 3) by Charles E. Yallowitz

Cover by Jason PedersenBlurb

 

Reeling from broken trust and a battered spirit, Luke leads his surviving friends to the town of Haven where his past will catch up with him.

While Luke faces his family and the woman he abandoned at the altar, his enemies have recruited a deadly ally. Kalam the vampire marches on Haven with an army of undead that will leave a hero at death’s door. To revive the fallen warrior, Luke and Nyx must plunge into the mountain lair of Kalam and steal his spellbook. Exhausted and lost within enemy territory, the pair are going to need the help of a gypsy girl named Sari who may be more trouble than her new friends expected.

Against a strong and experienced adversary, what will Luke and Nyx need to claim victory on the charred battlefield?

My Perspective

Allure of the Gypsies follows Luke, Nyx and Aedyn as they make their way to Luke’s home town of Haven, which he left in disgrace a year earlier. However there is more waiting for him at home than he bargained for.

The story follows pretty much straight on from where it left off in Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Apart from old favourites Luke, Nyx and Aedyn, we are introduced to a new character, Sari. I honestly found it extremely hard to like Sari. I found her to be a bit of an idiot however I’m not sure if that’s just an act so we will see. I really enjoyed the Lich and Trinity in this book and the banter between them.

I enjoyed the adventure and storyline of this book immensely however i felt that it was a bit all over the place. It didn’t flow as well as the previous two and sort of rambled a bit towards the end before ending very abruptly. I also felt there was a lot of unnecessary dialogue that could have been scrapped to make the book tighter and more interesting. I also found that there wasn’t a lot of mystery or twists and turns. Even though i enjoyed reading the book, i didn’t really keep me guessing or on my toes.

I really enjoyed the action scenes and even wished there was a bit more action – there seemed to be less in this book than the other two.

Overall this book was an enjoyable read however i felt it fell a bit flat and almost felt like simply a filler book to tie up some loose ends, introduce a crucial new character and get to the beginning of the next book. If you’re interested in an enjoyable fantasy series then i would definitely recommend Legends of Windemere however you really need to start with the first book in the series, Beginning Of A Hero.

These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach

These Foolish Things by Deborah MoggachBlurb

Enticed by advertisements for a luxury retirement home in India, a group of strangers leave England to begin a new life.

On arrival, however, they discover the palace is a shell of its former self, the staff are more than a little eccentric and the days of the Raj appear to be long gone.

But, as they soon discover, life and love can begin again, even in the most unexpected circumstances.

My Perspective

These Foolish Things is about a retirement home that is set up in India for those living in Britain. Instead of wiling away the rest of their years in some dreary place in the UK, instead they could be enjoying the best that has India has to offer – and for a fraction of the cost. The story follows a few different characters and their different perspectives on the place.

When i found out that the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, was based on a book, i really wanted to read it. It only took me around five years!

I really enjoyed the story. It was well written, interesting and flowed at a nice, even pace. Although i had watched the movie and knew the basic premise, the book is quite different with more characters and different story lines. There were a few similarities however not enough that you knew the story or how it would end. I can see why they changed what they did for the movie (too many characters in a movie can make it hard to follow).

The characters were really well developed. They were diverse and you couldn’t help but love most of them even if they weren’t lovable! I love reading books where it’s written from the perspective of a few different characters as i find it really lends a depth to the story and makes it that much more interesting.

There wasn’t really any sex per se in the book however there were a few sexual references that were quite blunt and descriptive. I actually found some of it was a bit out of place and i didn’t really understand the relevance or need for it.

Overall this was a really enjoyable read that was fresh and different to a lot of what’s out there. I would definitely recommend it.

Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker

Rewrite Redemption by J.H. WalkerBlurb

She’s sixteen. He’s seventeen. They don’t know each other…at least not yet.

She has a secret and her whole life revolves around keeping it. Every few months and with little warning, she simply disappears, pulled into the past for hours or even days. She’s terrified it will happen in front of someone, changing her life forever. So far, the only witnesses have been her parents, and that didn’t end well. She has no control over it and no idea why it happens to her.

She wants answers.

He has answers—at least he understands what’s going on. He has a secret, too. He’s part of an organization that goes back in time to rewrite reality. But he also has a problem. He broke the organization’s number-one rule by altering his own timeline. As punishment, he’s been blocked from time travel, which is most unfortunate. Because the changes he made to his timeline, accidentally resulted in disaster for his family. A disaster he’s now prevented from repairing. No one can travel beneath the organization’s radar except a Shadow. But they’re rare, so rare he’s never even met one.

Then he moves to her town.

My Perspective

This is the twentieth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker at Ramblings In The Skye. You can read their thoughts on the book here.

Rewrite Redemption is mainly about A.J., a sixteen year old girl who is able to travel back in time. However not by her own will, it happens randomly and not always at the best of times. Struggling to survive high school without her secret becoming known, A.J. hides behind dark glasses and a large hoodie, her only friends being Lex and iPod. However one day that all changes when a new boy moves into town, he too having her ability.

I really enjoyed this book. The premise of time travel has always interested me so i like to read books that explore it. This was a completely different take on it, which i appreciated it and it reminded me slightly of the ISOs in Tron: Legacy.

A.J. is easy to like and root for. My heart really went out to her because of what happened with her parents and you really want everything to work out for her. Lex and iPod were great best friends and you couldn’t help but like them too. Constantine on the other hand had me in two different minds. He was a great guy who was easy to like however he also annoyed me and i didn’t like everything about him and his attitude. However in a way it was good because it meant he wasn’t perfect.

Obviously as the premise of the book is time travel, you kind of get the obvious that everything is probably going to work out well because they can just go back in time and “fix” things. However the journey on how and what the end result will be was not what i expected. I had some inklings about things however didn’t know if the author was going to go there or not and I’m really glad that they did.

As it is a young adults book, there is teenage romance throughout, which didn’t have me rolling my eyes as much as i thought. It was very present however i enjoyed it more than i thought i would. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of eye rolling, corny moments – however the story was interesting enough that it was able to carry them without it losing my attention.

The explanations and science behind everything was a little far fetched however explained it quite well and was to some extent plausible. Obviously you have to suspend some belief when it comes to time travel however this was a good example of it not being ridiculously impossible.

I did find that some of the book may have been a bit unnecessary. I found that the story got a bit bogged down by the amount of inner dialogue. I felt it would have been a bit more interesting had some of that been trimmed down and that it would have flowed a bit faster.

Overall it was a really enjoyable book that i would definitely recommend if you like young adult science fiction.

Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

Planet of the Apes by Pierre BoulleBlurb

In the not-too-distant future, three astronauts land on what appears to be a planet just like Earth, with lush forests, a temperate climate, and breathable air. But while it appears to be a paradise, nothing is what it seems.

They soon discover the terrifying truth: On this world humans are savage beasts, and apes rule as their civilized masters. In an ironic novel of nonstop action and breathless intrigue, one man struggles to unlock the secret of a terrifying civilization, all the while wondering: Will he become the savior of the human race, or the final witness to its damnation? In a shocking climax that rivals that of the original movie, Boulle delivers the answer in a masterpiece of adventure, satire, and suspense.

My Perspective

This is the nineteenth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle from Bradley at The Recommenders. Unfortunately you can’t read his thoughts on the book as the post seems to have been deleted.

Planet of the Apes is the story of three astronauts who land on a far off habited planet. Much to their horror, it is a planet where the roles of apes and humans seem to have been reversed.

Oh my! What a horrifying read! Wonderfully horrifying! I couldn’t put it down.

I don’t know if i can say i enjoyed this book. It was SO interesting and fantastically written yet the thought of what had happened was so horrifying that enjoyment is not what i got out of it.

The main character, Ulysse, is easy to like and relate to. He is well learned with a lot of knowledge, which definitely helps him in his situation. He presents his story as very factual although he does express his thoughts and emotions, he just doesn’t let them get in the way of recounting his experience. It was easy to like Zira and her fiance, Cornelius, and of course Nova, however some of the other characters you couldn’t really warm to…

This book gives SO much thought to the way we treat apes and animal rights. It doesn’t preach to you at all, nor give a solid opinion on for or against. It simply gives you a way to think about it in such a tangible way. Almost too tangible.

I would have liked if there had been a lot more explanation on the history. It seemed a bit quick and skimmed over compared to the rest of the book.

Overall this book was a great read. It was well written, thought provoking, exciting, and horrifying. I almost screeched when i read the end. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a story outside the “norm”.

French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley by Linda Kovic-Skow

French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley by Linda Kovic-SkowBlurb

In the summer of 1979, twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic contracts to become an au pair for an aristocratic French family in the Loire Valley. To secure the position, she pretends to speak the language, fully aware her deception will be discovered once she arrives at her destination.

Based on the author’s diary, French Illusions captures Linda’s fascinating and often challenging real life story inside and outside the Chateau de Montclair. Her compelling story details her challenges and triumphs as she tries to adjust to her new life with Madame and Monsieur Dubois and their children. Join Linda on her unforgettable adventure of discovery and romance in an extraordinary part of the world.

My Perspective

This is the eighteenth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley by Linda Kovic-Skow from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

This book is the memoir of Linda Kovic-Skow’s time as an American au pair in France.

Although i was curious to read this book, i had my hesitations on whether i would like it because of the deception that gives her the opportunity to be an au pair. I wondered how this would be received not only at the beginning but for the duration of her stay. Although i understood why she did it in the first place, i was disappointed in how she handled herself from that point onwards.

I found it really hard to like Linda. I found her to be a bit of a selfish, spoiled brat. I thought her expectations were way off and her attitude wasn’t in the right place. I couldn’t relate to her and so because of all that, i couldn’t sympathise with her situation. Obviously i felt that Madame was out of line, however so was Linda. The rest of the family and acquaintances were in their parts likeable and not.

The romantic aspects in the book had my eyes rolling in my head. I couldn’t believe that this was actually a true story. Without trying to be rude, it read like a tween’s fantasy diary.

What kept me reading then? The descriptions of the French countryside, the French food, the French architecture. Basically the French parts of the story were a wonderful read.

By the end of the book i did feel truly sorry for Linda and the way she was treated – it was completely wrong. However it didn’t reconcile her to myself.

Overall i was quite disappointed in this book and would only recommend it if you like stories along the line of a teenage summer romance with A LOT of challenges in it.

Cairo Jim and the Sunken Sarcophagus of Sekheret by Geoffrey McSkimming

Cairo Jim and the Sunken Sarcophagus of Sekheret by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

When the manicured evil genius, Captain Neptune F. Bone, disappears in the Red Sea while diving for a lost sarcophagus, that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet, Cairo Jim, is called in to try and help find him in the dark and watery depths.

But when Jim, Doris the macaw and Brenda the Wonder Camel take the plunge, little do they know that what they are about to find will become one of the most flabbergasting discoveries in the history of archaeology!

My Perspective

Cairo Jim and the Sunken Sarcophagus of Sekheret follows the trio as they embark on a rescue mission to find Captain Neptune Bone and solve the mystery of the message left in his fez. However what they unearth is far beyond their wildest expectations.

I really liked this story because it was a different setting to the usual – it was set underwater! The inventiveness of the author was really quite good and i loved the different creative ideas he put forward to explain all manner of things.

As usual Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda are your lovable trio. However there was quite a twist with ol’ Captain Neptune Bone and Desdemona. I think it worked quite well and there were moments where you couldn’t stand Bone (as usual) as well as other moments where you felt quite lovely when they all worked together for their common good.

Like the previous Cairo Jim novel that i reviewed, this one wasn’t as silly per se, however it was really interesting and had a bit of a depth so i quite liked it. It was still very much a funny Cairo Jim novel for children however it was slightly more mature.

Although the main premise of the story might be obvious to the more mature reader, all of the other smaller parts are not at all and keep you guessing.

Overall it was an enjoyable read and definitely one of the more interesting Cairo Jim novels.

Cairo Jim Amidst The Petticoats of Artemis by Geoffrey McSkimming

Cairo Jim Amidst The Petticoats of Artemis by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

A Turkish Tale of Treachery

In the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus, an astonishing relic has been unearthed!

What connection to the bygone goddess Artemis does this relic hold? What astonishing powers could be unleashed if it were to fall into the wrong, evil and manicured hands?

Cairo Jim-that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet-and his friends Doris the Macaw and Brenda the Wonder Camel find themselves faced with the greatest threat to nature itself!

My Perspective

Cairo Jim Amidst The Petticoats of Artemis follows the trio as they hunt down Neptune Bone and Desdemona, who have discovered the Petticoat of Artemis and are searching for the buckle and the belt. Once all three have been found, there is no telling what Bone will do with the power that it will give him.

I didn’t find this story as silly as the other Cairo Jim books that i have read. It was still silly, just not ridiculously so. It would still greatly appeal to children, it was just toned down a bit.

Again Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda are all lovable, as Neptune Bone and Desdemona are not. There was a new character added to the mix who i wasn’t sure i wanted to become a regular…they were a lovely person, it just created a possible angle that i would rather not have happen.

The story was interesting and funny however not as mysterious or cryptic. The outcome of the story was easily guessed.

Overall it was an enjoyable read however i felt it fell a bit flat compared to the other Cairo Jim novels.