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Voyage Of Pearl Of The Seas

Voyage of Pearl of the Seas by [Ruth Finnegan]

Voyage of Pearl of the Seas is an enchanting novel about two characters, Kate and Chris. The plot of this fantastic novel follows these two endearing character’s who travel on a ship that they built for an exciting adventure. On this adventure, they learn make sacrifices, gain wisdom, and develop a deep bond between them. This novel is a prequel to Ruth Finnegan’s award-winning Black Inked Pearl, however it was made after and the former and explores different themes and ideas. Voyage of Pearl of the Seas is a short novel but it still explores deep issues that we can all relate to.

Ruth Finnegan has created a unique novel with Voyage of Pearl of the Seas. The story excels above others in many aspects. It is written in a style reminiscent to that of poetry than a standard novel which is beautifully eloquent in most areas.

I enjoyed following Kate and Chris, and their dog, on a wondrous adventure. Both Kate and Chris are well thought-out characters, but the real beauty is in how they evolve throughout the story. We get a sense of who they are and why certain actions were taken, though they are kids and sometimes children’s actions, to adults, can be frustrating. The themes this novel explores are deep and sometimes dark, like abuse and abandonment. While not exploring both to the same degree, Voyage of Pearl of the Seas may not be as robust in the themes of abuse but it succeeds in  themes of abandonment. Finnegan explores abandonment expertly and I, as a reader, felt that this was where the novel was at its best. It skillfully displays a person’s feelings of despair and anxiety when they have been left behind by everyone they love. This is something everyone has gone through yet only few novels can portray effectively.

Ruth Finnegan has undoubtedly created a beautiful story and where it succeeds, it excels greatly. Voyage of Pearl of the Seas is an intriguing YA fantasy adventure story.

Pages: 134 | ASIN: B079GPQMG1

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The Court Of Outcasts

In her latest book, Allison Rose takes us through a roller-coaster of emotions finalizing in a hopeful yet uncertain ending. The Court of Outcasts is a contemporary fantasy novel filled with treachery, betrayal, and a twist of unexpected loyalty. While it begins with the main characters; Nola and Kelty, trying to adjust to their new normal, they are yet to realize how much weirder things could get.

With the introduction of a new foe, everything goes haywire as old enemies become new friends in the pursuit of a common good. Nola, though she looks like an ordinary teenager realizes that she is far from it. Torn between her mundane high school existence and the allure of the mystical faerie world, she embarks on a journey that will eventually force her to choose one of the worlds.

On the other hand, Kelty faces trials of her own. Battling with the uncertainties of her love life and the painful reality that she may never go back home, she has to make difficult decisions about who to trust amid chaos.

While the book does inspire a sense of awe and curiosity, it can be a little hard to follow if you haven’t read the previous book. For instance, the use of mystical language like ara can take a while to wrap your head around. However, the author goes through great lengths to explain foreign concepts in simple terms. She uses a lot of descriptive language to not only explain the woodsy setting of the book but also the emotional and psychological states of the characters.

This book gives you a clear description of both the physical and personality traits of each of the characters. The story begins with gentle explanations and hints about things to come. Yet, little can prepare you for the great plot twists ahead. The story seems to intensify from page to page until it reaches a breathtaking climax. As a reader, I am yet to get the resolution I need and have ended up with great fantasies about what is to happen next.

This is a great motivation to read the sequel if there will be one. Allison has done a phenomenal  job in capturing the emotions between characters and tension in scenes, although more could be done in developing the story of supporting characters like Sayra and Lark. Another aspect that is yet to be fully explored is the romance between Nola and her love interest.

However, I do appreciate that the author could be saving this for the next book. Apart from what is on the surface, there are serious and compelling themes that subtly color the narrative. The ones that truly stand out are the importance of family and sense of belonging and perseverance through dark times. These are themes that I and many others can relate to, and it kept me devouring pages.

Pages: 246 | ASIN: B0851VPMPX

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An Imperfect Hero

Holly S Ruddock Author Interview

Holly S Ruddock Author Interview

The Warrior Arises follows a young fairy who must survive a world suddenly turned on its head and face world-changing challenges. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

My story is allegorical. I was inspired by C.S. Lewis and John Bunyan for a genre. But I was also inspired by my four military children and our life as a family who serves our country. I wanted to create parable-like circumstances that the reader could relate to—showing real-life situations in a fairytale setting—raising awareness of our world problems, such as bullying, fear, drug addiction, or human trafficking. I intended to introduce the gospel subtly to those who may not know a loving father. Beathra represents Jesus, and the fire seed our connection to him. The Whisper is the Holy Spirit, and the Great Ghost warrior in the Sky is Father God.

I wanted to create a character similar to that of David and Esther, where others may have been overlooked and viewed as insignificant. Still, God hid great gifts in a very common or dismissed individuals.

Ruby is a unique and intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

Ruby is based on me and my childhood. Many of the stories are real, like the bullying, harassment, social anxiety, and even the cruel teacher and practical jokes. It took me years to understand my quirky personality and appreciate it as a gift. I wanted the reader to relate to Ruby’s struggles of academics and social settings. As Ruby faces challenges, she has learned to hear the voice of Beathra and The Whisper and follow their leading. This connection was to display that God is always trying to speak to us; we just need to learn to listen. As for Rubys development: I hoped to show her grow in confidence and self-acceptance. I wanted to show an imperfect hero who makes mistakes, struggles with anxiety or fear, and must grow into her identity and destiny. Many of us feel like a square peg or displaced. As Ruby grows in confidence and strength, hopefully, the readers are encouraged to do the same, and they are inspired to view themselves as rare, rather weird.

I enjoyed the world you’ve created in this book. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating your world?

As with most allegorical tales, I have hidden meanings throughout the story. Hope is the theme, and the enemy of hope is fear and despair. I show how the enemy targets our minds to focus on our biggest fears or insecurities, creating doubt or distrust in our Heavenly Father. The wild gidgies who live in the mountains are those who have run away from their call or fellowship with other believers. They lost heart and now hide from conflict, protecting themselves from future pain. Skawlterrin, of course, is the devil’s playground, luring the rejected, hopeless or desperate soul and offering false hope, a place to belong, and lying about acceptance. The Darphea wilderness is the journey those take running away. Havengothy is a land created to flourish, and for giddies to serve, love, and be loved. But Neeradima is bent on corrupting a world that is full of hope and purpose. The overall theme is to show that sometimes, what tries to destroy us, just might be where we are called to bring change. Ruby losing Sebastian propels her into her purpose, and Lewis and Trixie being tricked by the enemy catapulted them into their destiny.

This is book one in your Light Of Beathra series. What can readers expect in book two?

I actually wrote book two first but felt I need to give a back story to the characters. Book Two is where it really picks up. I want the reader to grow up with the characters. I was careful to keep too much horror from a young reader, but in book two, we will see more of Skawlterrin and evil. We will see a lot more of the liath, Stain. Billick will be a significant presence in Ruby’s life. We will follow Jo and Kody’s recovery from war, and watch Rubys struggle to join the Skyforce. There are character developments with Mr. Ryster, and we will also be introduced to the water gidgies. Kody gets married, and Jo changes careers due to his injuries he sustained. Ruby lives on her own and unknowingly begins to develop into a weapon for the King. We also see more of C.J and Callie and the Hyperion Lions and other marvelous and magical creatures.

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The Warrior Arises: a tale of an unlikely hero (The Light Of Beathra Book 1) by [Holly Sue Ruddock]

Heroes rise from the most unlikely places. For, what others might view as unusual or irrelevant, just might be the surprising weapons needed to defeat an enemy.

If Ruby existed in today’s world, she would possibly be labeled with learning disabilities and perhaps a slight case of social anxiety. She is unusual in many ways. With radiant pink wings and unruly hair, Ruby stands out. But never in the way she wanted to. It is the peculiarity that draws attention to her; from her vivid imagination to her misunderstood sense of humor; Ruby is a rare fairy indeed.

But even in a mysterious world where all is strange and unusual, different isn’t always celebrated.

The story begins at the end of Ruby’s senior year and takes you through an eighteen-month journey. Ruby attends Havengothy Gardening University with her best friends, Sebastian and Ellie. It is during her years of school that Ruby develops a stubbornness to overcome. She was bullied for her poor grades and her wild hair. And if that wasn’t enough, she was a bit of a klutz. But Ruby never let the bullies get the best of her. With the help of her best friends, Ruby was able to pull off some epic pranks of retaliation, usually ending with detention, but the crime was always worth the punishment.

After finding a book in one of her professor’s offices, her real adventures begin. The book documented magical charms that were once used by the caretaker of the garden, Neeradima. Neeradima was a forest spirit that lived in Havengothy long ago. But envy darkened her heart. Exiled for betraying her land, Neeradima had one goal; To destroy the two ruling spirits of her former home. But the only way to hurt them was to wound or distort their beloved creation.

Her servants cunningly lure the victims away from their safe garden. Targeting the lonely, unhappy, or unusual; manipulating them to question their king and his goodness. And then, the evil servants would offer a solution to end the misery of their victims; a new life. They only needed to sacrifice one thing.

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The Call of Magic

The Call of Magic (The Fool's Journey Book 1) by [A.R. C.]

Emma Lie is already an above-average person, working her way tirelessly to earn herself a scholarship to Harvard, while still finding the time to work 15-20 hours a week at her local coffee shop. But when she discovers what she thinks is a rash on her arm in the shape of a ‘6’ she finds out that her very specific life plan will take a detour.

A run-in with a very handsome mystery man at the coffee shop she works at, who she later finds out is Thies and has the same mark as her, will change her life forever. Emma has been invited to the Institut Le Blanc where she will learn magic and become part of a magical army. But just as she is about to deny her contract and leave this craziness behind, she is pulled through a portal and lands unwillingly at the school.

If you’re looking for a book that is as adventurous as it is fast-paced then you should read The Call of Magic. The thing I loved best about this book is the way it is written. Even though Emma has just graduated from high school, it is not written how some young adult books are. Some authors tend to take the teenager’s way of speaking to a level that is annoying to read, but this book is not at all this way. Which allows it to be read by adults as well as young adults.

As a fan of the Harry Potter series, I found this to be like a college version of it, so if you enjoy Harry Potter as well then you will find this series to be just as engaging. Add in some serious girl power and Emma will take you on a magical ride. Her tough and loyal attitude makes her a great role model to look up to as well. Even though she went through some hard times, she was able to better herself and has always kept a spark of magic alive inside her, no matter how deep down.

While reading you will find yourself fighting alongside Emma, feeling all her frustration, the magic that courses through her veins, and the fight to save her mother, who is now in danger. Don’t think you have to be a lover of the fantasy genre either, this book will appeal to all who love a page-turning, suspense-filled story!

Pages: 370 | ASIN: B088DMGFLJ

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Pushing Back

 

 

 

Pushing Back by Jim Hartsell is an introspective coming-of-age novel that tackles the challenges of a broken family and growing up in the rural South through the eyes of its sympathetic protagonist, Boone Hammond. Though the central themes of the novel are heavy, Hartsell masterfully balances the sometimes-painful topics of the novel with poetically beautiful prose that will whisk you away to Boone’s world. Pushing Back is different from many of the top sellers you will see advertised in bookshops in that it embraces the slower pace of its plot, which is reflected in the drawling prose. Sometimes we all need a break from the unstoppable onslaught of reality and deserve an escape to a beautiful literary world, right? If you are looking for a thoughtful novel that will likely force you to consider your own prejudices and misconceptions, then I highly recommend Pushing Back.

Pushing Back is one of those beautiful, engrossing novels that sucks you in with the first page and, before you know it, you are several chapters in and it is way past your bedtime. The novel is told from the first-person perspective of Boone Hammond, whose namesake is humorously not the Daniel Boone of whom you’re thinking. A junior in high school, Boone lives in rural Tennessee with his parents and young sister, all of whom are dealing with the loss of his younger brother several years previously. Boone’s family is dealing with struggles that will be familiar to many readers, regardless of whether they hail from the American South or elsewhere: domestic abuse, poverty, alcohol dependency, and depression. Though he finds himself making his way through this formative time of his life largely on his own, Boone forms a deep relationship with his nearby elderly neighbor and charmingly begins to experience the heart-racing delights and pitfalls of teenage romance.

While some sections felt repetitive at times Hartsell writes in an incredibly elegant way, and the paragraphs often feel reminiscent of poetry. This is especially true in the passages where Boone is experiencing the natural beauties of Tennessee. I also enjoyed the raw emotion that Hartsell fills the novel with, in describing Boone’s emotions and those of his abusive father, as well as those Boone’s romantic interest, Nancy. The emotions of loss and love can sometimes be hard to read, especially as they come from the perspective of a young man who is growing up alone, but readers will undoubtedly appreciate the honesty and sensitivity with which Hartsell tackles these pains, as they think about their own experiences with change and pain.

In spite of the challenges facing Boone, Pushing Back is a hopeful novel: hopeful for the future awaiting Boone, acknowledging the room he has to grow to become a better person, and littered with charming moments that are bound to make you smile. The feelings coursing through the pages of Pushing Back are universal to humanity.

Pages: 328 | ASIN: B01FAVY0AY

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The Master’s Garden

The Master's Garden: An Allegory of Abiding in the Vine by [Rose Noland]

Young Violet is going through her own list of troubling times. She should be carefree and living a life of no worries, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for her. Luckily, Violet’s grandmother, Roselyn, has the answer. Roselyn, an avid gardener, knows exactly how to help Violet come to some important conclusions about her spiritual life, and she knows how to do it without pressuring Violet or making her feel the stress of decision-making. Once Roselyn begins telling her story, Violet is lost in a world of fantasy that takes her on her own journey of self-discovery.

The Master’s Garden: An Allegory of Abiding in the Vine, by Rose Noland, describes the relationship between God and his children in terms of the most beautiful metaphor of a gardener and the host of plants to which he tends with love and care. Noland’s characters are relatable and offer readers a multidimensional look into understanding God’s love and the patience we all must show while coming to the understanding that we are not perfect and were never meant to be.

Noland has created a cast of characters, talking plants, that, without question, convey the message she wants to provide her readers. She uses the story-within-a-story method to create an image for both her readers and for her character, Violet. It is through Violet’s eyes that readers watch the changing New Dawn discover herself and come to understand her purpose and the reasons for her trials and tribulations. Noland says to her readers what many are not able to convey. Her story is a truly wonderful metaphor for God’s love and will reach readers who are unable to see this message playing out in their own lives.

Violet, always eager to hear the stories her Grandmother has to tell, cannot help but be entranced by the story of the Master Gardener. I was especially taken with the way the author describes the purposes given each flower and plant and how their actions impact others either directly or indirectly. Violet is able to learn so much about herself from the story, but we, as readers, are just as taken with Roselyn’s tale of trust and growth.

I have never enjoyed being preached to outright about how much I should trust and believe throughout my hardships. That’s just a difficult thing for many of us to do–to listen and believe. Noland, however, teaches a very hard lesson in a way that is both easy to read and easy to believe and apply to our own lives. I highly recommend The Master’s Garden: An Allegory of Abiding in the Vine to any fan of inspirational readings or those who are looking for a book to renew their own beliefs. Rose Noland’s book is a comfortable walk of faith in uncertain times and is a wonderful tool for guiding young people in their own faith.

Pages: 95 | ASIN: B0887NJNFY

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Voyage Of Pearl Of The Seas

Voyage Of Pearl Of The Seas is a magnificent fairy tale adventure of a girl and her two best friends who vow to travel the world in their boat. They’re determined to stick together and be the heroes of their adventure and go on a voyage together. I found this admirable in the sense that they stay by each other no matter the storm and through thick and thin, they will even fly together if they have to. This story takes the reader travel through time to enjoy the creative form of ancient poetry and literature borrowed from the renowned Shakespeare. Ruth Finnegan in her book Voyage of Pearl of the Seas smoothly harmonizes the essence of adventure, innocence and growth. Chris and Kate are two friends with different backgrounds who are joined by a deep friendship and together with their charming dog vow to be together in their adventure through the seas to create memories. Kate isn’t good with classwork but Chris doesn’t make her feel like the other mates do, and in her eyes he’s different.

Ruth Finnegan has created a work of art. She has an imagination that I have only rarely seen in fantasy novels. The integration of poetry and ancient reference is perfect for lovers of Shakespeare and lyrical literature. It’s mature for a children’s book but it will help expand imaginations. The style, ideas and story is magical. I loved the happy ending with gifts from the King and Queen, how sweet.

I thought that the story was a little hard to follow at first, but as you read more and more it all comes together and you get to understand the beauty of this adventurous book. The illustrations within Voyage Of Pearl Of The Seas were fascinating. My favorite is the tree with all the wild animals in it, the connection between children and animals is clearly described, we should be like little children, happy to help, ready to learn and joyous no matter the challenges they are facing. Like the classical folktale story of “The Little Hen”, the hen planted the seeds all by herself, while the dog, the cat and the duck couldn’t work with her, but came time to eat bread when they all want to enjoy it, the lesson is to teach children to be hardworking and persistent and respect everything around them. Voyage of Pearl of the Seas by Ruth Finnegan ends in a similar concept, hard work, respect and persistence.

Pages: 134 | ASIN: B079GPQMG1

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Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest

Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest by [Wayne Gerard Trotman]

Kaya lived the life of an ordinary 14 year old, dealing with family, school, bullies, and crushes. Until one day, after an unexplained fever, increasingly odd things began to happen. Suddenly it seemed like there was very little in Kaya’s life that was ordinary, especially after a near death experience on a school field trip. As the months passed, he was inundated with information and experiences straight out of science fiction, and with every new discovery came a new danger until Kaya had to learn how to protect himself and those that he loved, even as he questioned who he could trust. Nothing would ever be ordinary again.

This is the story for “Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest” by Wayne Gerard Trotman. Set against the rich cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago, “Kaya Abaniah” weaves a tale that goes from zero to a hundred pretty darn quick and also keeps a solid narrative as it does so. Trotman describes the scenery vividly, making the depictions of local flora and fauna come to life, as well as incorporating various pieces of native folklore and legends. For Kaya, life in his small hometown of Coconut Grove was enriched by that nature and the stories of supernatural happenings. A personal experience with Papa Bois, the so called Father of the Forest and protector of all living things, opens the door for Kaya to an understanding that life is so much bigger than he ever could have imagined. Before long, multi-generational feuds, murder, witches, time travel, and multiple alien races are all things he is suddenly forced to understand and contend with. Even with everything going on, the book tends to flow very smoothly, and as the reader learns along with Kaya, new twists and turns continue to reveal themselves, very nearly to the end.

“Kaya Abaniah” is a cleverly written coming of age story, steeped in a science fiction skin. Even as Kaya begins to absorb lifetimes worth of knowledge, it is mentioned multiple times that his age prevents him from using his new skills with complete restraint. As a result, he is restricted from using them fully. Kaya struggles with uncertainty, lack of confidence, and bouts of elation much like any other early teen, but his struggle to come to terms with his identity is something much more unique. His emotional growth, as seen through his own eyes, invests the reader in his fate very early on.

It gets wild in the very best way, although at times the plot thickens to the point of being just a tad convoluted. The twists were well written and managed to be complete surprises, and overall it was a fantastic piece of science fiction.

Pages: 481 | ASIN: B00T1DFTL2

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