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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Balance of July, 2016

During the month of July, 2016, I reviewed the following:

Books:
- "Arena 2" by Morgan Rice. Read my review.
- "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 46-48" by Werner Stejskal. Read my review.
- "Love, Life and Logic" by Uday Mukerji. Read my review.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book "Love, Life and Logic" by Uday Mukerji

About the Book: Set in Central Europe, Singapore, and in India, debut, multicultural novel Love, Life, and Logic captures the struggle of a young man against the seemingly unnamed, unknown, anonymous power of the universe.
The story develops as he scrambles for his answers. Is our life and death an end in itself, or do they have a much deeper implication in a gigantic universal process? Is each human life also someway connected to the chain of events unfolding every day in front of our eyes? We all have different thumbprints; but why? Are we all a part of big numbers game, or does each one of us really matter?
We admit it or not, we’re all bothered by these questions. Here’s one man’s journey through love and life. Is marriage an end of the road for love? Do all marriages come with an expiration date?
It’s the search and the road leading to his final realization that makes this book insightful and thought-provoking.

About the Author:Uday Mukerji left his creative director’s job in advertising to pursue a writing career in 2009. He was born in India, and had worked in Singapore for nearly twenty years. His narrative voice comes from his strong personal beliefs. He is greatly influenced by Indian philosophy of life, and in this book, he also offers us a peek at that. But he is still having a tough time coping with his many unanswered questions, which he intends to follow through, and share with us in coming days.

My Review: This is a very well written book describing the conflicts of a young man questioning himself about the meaning of life. The author did a superb job describing all psychological  aspects of his conflict. 
Plot is simple to follow: the young man, after leaving his wife and two children starts traveling. He gets involved in another relationship with a lady and after leaving her with no explanation, he finds by chance an old professor that gives him advises. He has high consideration for this professor and he tries to make sense of everything that is happening in his life.
This is a very deep book, that will make you think about your own life and start questioning if you are taking the correct turns when situations arise and you hit crossroads or decision points. Do you ever look back and think if your decision was the correct one?
I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who appreciate a well written novel that will make you think about your own life. You will not be disappointed.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book "Oliver and Jumpy - Stories 46-48" by Werner Stejskal

About the Book:Oliver is an elegant tuxedo cat, who is full of himself. As a matter of fact he says: “I love myself!”, quite often. Naughty, isn’t he? But his best friend Jumpy, a kangaroo lady, is aware that he has a soft heart and will always want to help others. The great thing is Jumpy’s pouch, which Oliver loves to ride in! He calls her his kangaroo taxi! These little bedtime stories with their lovely illustrations are great for small kids. A parent can read the text and tell the child in his own words. These animal stories have sufficient text to keep early readers happy and provide some educational value. Love you all! Meow!
Story 46: Saving Fairyland – The queen of fairyland aks Oliver to help them against the magician.
Story 47: Cat King – Oliver becomes a king for a short while, and even gets married.
Story 48: Gnomes – Oliver's oak tree receives surprise visitors.

About the Author: Born in Vienna, Austria, Werner is now living in the paradise of Perth, Australia with his wife, two married children and three grandchildren. He worked many years in the printing industry and later for the United Nations in Vienna. His wife had been a pen-friend, whom Werner visited in Hong Kong and finally got married to. After an eventful life, now retired, he began to write children's stories, had them illustrated through Odesk, narrated them himself for YouTube and finally published the ebooks on most platforms. Werner's dream is to see "Oliver and Jumpy" animated as a TV series.
There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them quite violent. This made Werner decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia he watched the movie Magic on Belle Island with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired Werner as well and the first stories with his two characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance. Some very capable illustrators have helped to create this picture book series.

My Review: This book is part of a series called Oliver and Jumpy. This particular volume has stories 46 - Saving Fairyland, 47 - Cat King, and 48 - The Bee Gnomes. It is an excellent gift for parents with children under 8 as suggested by the author. The book is beautifully illustrated by Maycee Ann Reyes and that is a very important plus, as its main audience will rely on the images to follow the stories, as many will not have reached the age to start reading by themselves. In "Saving Fairyland", Oliver receives the visit of the fairy queen, asking for help to rescue her land against a powerful magician. In the "Cat King", Oliver, Jumpy and Joey are exploring Ghost castle and Oliver is taken as the king by the locals until an allergic reaction changes everything. Finally in "The Bee Gnomes", Oliver is surprised by his room being cleaned every morning. And trying to solve the mystery, he found out that bee gnomes are responsible for the cleaning of his room, because they need to ask him a favor: they need his help to save their tree. All stories are very sweet and even touching and the characters are always showing good behavior. No violence, nothing too scary or too exciting, it will keep your toddler entertained (but not excited) during that critical bedtime period. They will love the stories and soon enough Oliver and Jumpy will be in their hearts forever.
In my kindle fire the story was presented in landscape orientation. No option to have it in portrait orientation, but this is far away from being a problem. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book "Arena 2" by Morgan Rice

About the Book: Having just escaped from the treacherous island that was once Manhattan, Brooke, Ben, Logan, Bree and Rose make their way up the Hudson river in their stolen boat, low on fuel, low on food, and desperately needing shelter from the cold. On their tails are the slaverunners, who will stop at nothing until they capture them and bring them back.
As they make their way upriver in this post-apocalyptic, action-packed thriller, on their way to try to find the mythical city in Canada, they will need to use all their ingenuity and survival skills to stay alive. Along the way they will encounter crazed survivors, roving gangs of predators, cannibals, wild animals, a desolate wasteland, and an unstoppable blizzard. They sustain injuries, get sick, and the Hudson freezes over as they do their best to salvage what they can and avoid the slaverunners’ pursuit. They find a small island and think they have found respite—until events don’t go their way. It is not until they board a mysterious train to nowhere that they find that things can always get worse.
Along the way, Brooke’s feelings for Logan intensify, as do her feelings for Ben. Torn between these two boys, caught between their jealousy, she is unsure how she feels—until events choose for her.
As they find themselves thrown back into an arena, they are shocked to discover that Arena Two is even worse. Thrown into a barbaric fighting stage, equipped with weapons, pitted against other teenagers—and against themselves—Brooke and the others will be forced to choose what’s important, and to make the most difficult sacrifices of their lives. Because in Arena Two, no one survives. Ever.

About the Author: Morgan Rice is the #1 bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the epic fantasy series THE SORCERER’S RING, comprising seventeen books; of the #1 bestselling series THE VAMPIRE JOURNALS, comprising twelve books; of the new vampire series VAMPIRE, FALLEN; of the #1 bestselling series THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY, a post-apocalyptic thriller comprising three books; of the #1 bestselling epic fantasy series KINGS AND SORCERERS, comprising six books; of the new epic fantasy series THE WAY OF STEEL; and of the new epic fantasy series OF CROWNS AND GLORY. Morgan’s books are available in audio and print editions, and translations are available in over 25 languages.
Morgan's newest releases are ONLY THE WORTHY (THE WAY OF STEEL--BOOK #1) , the debut of a new epic fantasy series, SLAVE, WARRIOR, QUEEN (OF CROWNS AND GLORY--BOOK #1), the debut of another fantasy series, and ARENA 3, the conclusion of the Survival Trilogy.
TURNED (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals), ARENA ONE (Book #1 of the Survival Trilogy), A QUEST OF HEROES (Book #1 in the Sorcerer's Ring) and RISE OF THE DRAGONS (Kings and Sorcerers--Book #1) are each available as a free download on Amazon! BEFORE DAWN (Vampire Fallen--Book #1) and ONLY THE WORTHY (The Way of Steel--Book #1) are available as a free download via KU.
Morgan loves to hear from you, so please feel free to visit www.morganricebooks.com to join the email list, receive 4 free books, receive free giveaways, download the free app, get the latest exclusive news, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and stay in touch! As always, if any of you are suffering from any hardship, email me at morgan@morganricebooks.com and I will be happy to send you a free book!

My Review: What a thriller! This is the second book of this trilogy and the level on excitement increases dramatically. Our heroine faces new challenges after escaping from Manhattan with Logan, Ben, Bree, Rose (and Penelope). Being followed closely by the slaverunners and trying to survive in the cold weather, after some adventures in a island on Hudson River they embark in a train heading North. Captured again, they are conducted to a new Arena, where they face dangers beyond of what they can imagine. But this time they count with the help of a young lady (Flo) and her brother (Charlie) and although reticent at the beginning, they ended up forming a team that defies all odds and survives the first day of fighting all together. But what comes next is even worse and after the second day it is a miracle that they are still hanging there. 
The author managed to bring into this story more characters and situations that will keep you hooked from the very first page until the end and you will want more and more. Savor each turn of page, because it is really worth it!
I recommend this book to the permanent library of all readers that enjoy a well written thriller, You will not be disappointed. I can hardly wait to start reading the third and last book of this trilogy.

If you read this review, feel free to leave a comment.