A World of Wonder by Brent A. Ford and Lucy McCullough Hazlehurst is an educational combination of photographs and poetry, designed to be enjoyed by parents and children together. Giving the latter an interest in the world and to act as a starting point for appreciating its wonders. It consists of 41 high-quality, color images of nature and natural phenomena across the globe, each paired with a relevant, short poem – some newly written for the book, and some classics. The interactive copy has links to further information related to each photo.
The first thing that struck me was the quality of the photos, which are expertly-framed, beautiful shots of a range of animals, scenery, and weather across the globe, as well as views from beyond the upper atmosphere. As an adult, I still wonder at many of them, so it must be magical for a child. They evoke multiple emotions – some are dramatic, some cute, some calm – but all are of a suitable nature for young children, as should be expected.
The accompanying poems are apt for the stated age range of 3-8, and grade level K-2; they’re short, accessible and fun to read aloud. Some are humorous, while many are more instructive about the habits of animals or natural processes. They match well with the photos, and explore different aspects of life on Earth.
The combined variety of photos and poems are ideal for promoting conversation of all kinds between parents and children; it’s easy to tell that the authors have experience in education. Not just parents, but teachers could certainly get a lot of use out of this book, too.
It’s not particularly long, and because it’s designed to be picked up and put down, it seems perfect for different attention spans and available periods of time. It could be used at bedtime, or for car journeys.
The amazing choice of photographs enables you to revisit this book many times, so parents can ask different questions to highlight different points and to introduce more complex ideas as their child grows. This flexibility of use would is a huge draw for parents. It would be ideal for guessing games – trying to remember the photo from the poem, or even the poem from the photo. Budding artists could get some great inspiration from it, and it could be a very useful starting point for crafting projects or for guided research about animal habits and habitat.
I appreciate the authors’ aims and the work that they have put into the book in order to achieve them. A World of Wonder truly delivers on the wonder that it promises.
Pages: 88 | ASIN: B072LJWBSZ
Tags: a world of wonder, activity book, adventure, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, animal, art, artist, author, book, book review, books, brent a ford, children, cute, dramatic, earth, ebook, ebooks, emotion, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, game, goodreads, habit, habitat, image, inspiration, interactive, kids, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, Lucy McCullough Hazlehurst, natural, nature, parent, parents, photo, picture, planet, poem, poetry, publishing, reading, review, reviews, scenery, short stories, stories, teacher, weather, writing, young children
Breaking Magic is the fifth book in the Legacy of Androva series. This emotional story takes place in the world of Imbera. The inhabitants are on an island and divided into two classes, the Opta and the Exta. The Opta are the ruling class, old, never aging, living a life of luxury. The Exta are the workers, made to work, sorted into units and worked to the bone until the age of eighteen when they are gathered by the Opta for nefarious purposes. For two thousand years, this has gone on. It is only when Cal starts remembering things that the world takes a dangerous turn.
In Breaking Magic, the story focuses on Callex who is a worker, in the lowest of the units, repairing roads and buildings, cleaning, and other hard labor. He cannot read or write, but he is physically strong. All the Exta’s are paired with an older child. Things start going astray in Imbera when Cal picks up his new little brother and discovers Benedar is a thinker, not a worker like him.
With the help of his friends Cal soon learns that everyone is genetically engineered to contain certain traits to make society function. When otherworlders appear in Imbera they learn of magic and spells and start to uncover their own pasts and hidden locked away parts of themselves. But with this new revelation comes a price and they must discover how to save their world.
Alex Vick creates a dramatic novel by expanding on Cal’s story in the Legacy of Androva series. Cal’s character slowly develops through the story, each new layer being pulled back as the story progresses, leaving you with a fascinating character in the end. The bond that is formed within the circle of friends brings the reader in and makes them a part of the group. You are on the edge of your seat waiting for the next clue so you can help Cal and his friends uncover the next missing piece of their world. Like the Exta’s, the reader learns more with each passing event. It’s all brought together with a compelling narrative that makes it difficult to put the book down. Breaking Magic is an entertaining and drawing novel for both young adult and adult readers, it will captivate you and give you hope for society. It shows that just because things are one way, doesn’t mean things can’t change, and just because your told your one thing, doesn’t mean you’re sentenced to always be that thing. Breaking Magic is a novel of hope and overcoming inner struggles and is a fantastic read.
Pages: 330 | ASIN: B071H5ZWDQ
Tags: action, adventure, alex vick, amazon, amazon books, androva, author, book, book review, books, breaking magic, city of glass, coming of age, divergent, drama, dramatic, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, goodreads, hunger games, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, love, magic, mystery, novel, occult, paranormal, paranormal book, publishing, review, reviews, romance, sci fi, science ficiton, science fiction, science fiction book review, stories, supernatural, teen, teen fantasy, teen fiction, thriller, urban fantasy, writing, YA, ya fantasy, young adult
Cleansed follows the life and adventures of a young man as his destiny is unwittingly grafted to a battle among a triumvirate of otherworldly gods. What made you write a story about this topic? Anything pulled from your life experiences?
The story is part of an overall arc revolving around the idea of how the gods, or anyone in high places of power, affect the lives or normal people, and how people can think they know what’s going on, but, in truth, they’ve no idea.
I felt that the characters in this story, especially the main character Dirge, were well developed. What morals and guiding principles did you use to create your characters?
Well, as the world is set in a time where the god of Chaos is in complete control, I felt Dirge’s moral base would be that of the god of Order who is at war with Chaos. I modeled those beliefs generally after the Judea/Christian faiths. Personally, I find them far too harsh, but I felt they fit the setting quite well.
I felt that the story flowed naturally. What was one thing that happened organically in the story that you did not plan, but was happy to find?
I would say Dirge’s constant internal struggle. I’d initially planned on the story to be much shorter and simpler, but as I wrote the various confits became more evident and dynamic. Plus I found out that there was far more to the story than I’d first thought.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will that be available?
Next I’m working on a story that is being released in two volumes and they follow Cleansed. It’s tilted Chaos Reigns. The first is Volume 1: The Hand of God, and the second will be Volume 2: The Tower of Time. The first is nearly complete and I expect it to be our sometime next year.
When Chaos orchestrates the mass slaughter he calls The Cleansing, men and Gods alike turn to stand up against him. With the God of Chaos, the God of Death, and the God of Order clashing, their followers must face off in an epic, bloody struggle.
Dirge, an apprentice to the Brotherhood of Assassins and follower of Death, is approached by The Prophet of the forgotten God of Order. Suddenly, he finds himself at odds with all that he knows and all that will be.
Three Gods. One man – torn between what is right and what is wrong and what he’s destined to do.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adult fiction, adventure, amazon, amazon books, author, author interview, books, chaos, cleansed, dark fantasy, drama, dramatic, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book, fantasy book review, fiction, fighting, god, goodreads, gs scott, horror, interview, kindle, literature, magic, mystery, novel, publishing, reading, review, reviews, stories, suspense, the true tree chronicles, thriller, urban fantasy, war, writing
This novel is set in present day Dallas, Texas. It follows several characters dealing with a wide range of conflicts, all of which are expertly presented and developed. The story opens with Howard in a panic, leaving the reader to wonder what shady deal has gone wrong. Then, we get to meet Billy, the secretly homosexual Councilman and his crush. Quickly, Billy becomes desperate to keep his night life a secret and has to deal with some mean, motivated men to keep it that way. He calls Howard, lies about the situation, and the two try to deal with it while both playing their cards very close to their chests. When money gets involved, things go awry, the two men scramble even more to clean up their tracks.
This novel is supremely written, and the dramatic irony is set up perfectly. The reader is given just enough information about each of the characters to understand how much trouble they are actually causing for themselves. The pages turn quickly, and the reader can’t help but wait for all of the paths to cross. When they do, the action picks up, and the characters struggle to deal with the consequences.
Where this novel really shines is in the development of its characters. Lynch has crafted a diverse group of individuals, and each of them has an agenda that is logical and meaningful. Allison and her dream of becoming a lawyer while trying to support her brother and his ill son was one of the most gripping plots of the story. She makes a couple of decisions that may not seem logical to readers, but the decisions fit when someone is put into an illogical situation, as she is.
The pacing of the novel is superb, as well. Every chapter holds a new twist to the story, or a new goal for the characters to accomplish, and there is little downtime between the events. Readers will be excited to see how the characters react to each other, how they make their decisions, and how those decisions factor into the big picture.
If there was one downfall for the novel, it is that it can be a little predictable. This is difficult to judge, though. If one were to read and just enjoy, then the story carries itself very well through the pages. However, if one pauses and considers the events and the characters, it becomes quite easy to see what is going to happen in the following pages. No spoilers here, though.
Overall, the story is great. It is a fun, fast-paced read full of action, suspense, and angry people in Texas. The plot is twisting, logical, and exciting. The characters are believable, regular people, and any reader will quickly care about some of them, and hate the others. I hope that Mr. Lynch continues to write and publish his works, because he has done well in this attempt.
Pages: 352 | ASIN: B01G2IGCJ6
Tags: action, amazon, amazon books, author, book, book review, books, councilman, crime, dramatic, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fast, fiction, fighting, fun, greg lynch, irony, kindle, literature, money, mystery, novel, plain brown wrapper, politics, publishing, reading, review, reviews, stories, suspense, texas, thriller, urban fantasy, writing