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The Chronicles of the Virago: Book II The Apprentus

The Apprentus, Michael Bialys’ second installment in The Chronicles of the Virago series, finds Mackenna Gold, the chosen Virago, as she trains in China to protect twin-gift Emi and Noah from evil forces that seek to endanger them.

The characters in this book are fresh and highly imaginative. Fluffy, Mackenna’s talking worm sidekick, adds wit and humor to the text. Tai-Pan, Mackenna’s trainer, has an interesting link to a familiar children’s book character. Finally, Mackenna herself is a young girl who plays the traditional hero. She is determined, resourceful, and has utmost respect for the responsibility that has been placed in her hands. She is the type of character who the reader genuinely wants to see succeed.

The fast-paced plot makes it hard to put down. The book is organized into chapters that are short, digestible, and filled with relevant action that moves the story along. Movement from scene to scene is natural. The role of Natasi is revealed incrementally, only revealing what is necessary at any given time.

This book, and arguably the series itself, is a solid read for young adult readers because of the values it promotes. Tai-Pan symbolizes the need to fight fairly and without contempt, even when fighting against those who have done wrong. Samuel and Stephen, Mackenna’s school friends, prove that even the greatest of heroes can’t do it alone and that everyone has something to contribute. Finally, Mackenna reinforces the nobility that comes with protecting loved ones, upholding commitments with passion, and, above all, the power of never giving up when met with adversity.

However, the proofreading errors detract from the reading experience. There are spelling errors and editing issues scattered throughout the text. Otherwise this a truly stellar, high-quality read. The Chronicles of the Virago: Book II The Apprentus has an engaging and action-packed plot, the characters are likable, and the text teaches ethics that are appropriate for a young adult fantasy readers.

Pages: 252 | ASIN: B07LC1QHHV

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The Touring Pro: A Person of Interest

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The Touring Pro: A Person of Interest by Frederick L Malphurs is a crime and investigation novel following the life of a golf Player, Mickey.  A young and resilient golf player, Mickey finds himself in the middle of an investigation following the murder of his caddy, Dexter. Mickey’s quiet life is disrupted the moment two detectives, Detective Sergeant Samuel Diaz and Detective Bruce Bunnell knock on his door.  Mickey’s life is about to change forever and life as he knows it takes an unexpected turn.

Frederick L. Malphurs has done an impressive job in creating vivid imagery of the events in theis riveting book. Every detail, every emotion, and every sentiment is captured clearly with the right choice of words and the readers cannot help but feel as if they are in the same room with the characters. Although the novel is a crime and investigative narrative, the language used is not limited to that kind of setting.

The first chapters of the book are a bit slow as the reader is presented with back and forth questioning of the two detectives.  There is not much action or plot development to keep the readers hooked. But don’t let this deter you as the author dives into the character’s backstories so that the rest of the book moves at a much faster pace.

I loved how Mickey’s story made me question most of the things we do on daily basis. At the end of the book, the readers have a whole new perspective. So many emotions are explored in this book; joy, sadness, fear, anxiety, anger, all delivered with a dash of humor and intrigue.

The Touring Pro: A Person of Interest is an engaging whodunit’ type of story that is held up by interesting characters and pushed forward by a compelling mystery.

Pages: 797


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