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 Review Of The Day
 The Call of Magic
 

The Call of Magic (The Fool's Journey Book 1)

By: A.R.C.
Publisher: Quick and Animus LLC
Publication Date: June 2020
ISBN: 979-8-6424-5281-3
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 19, 2020

Describing this as a “good book” would be a monumental understatement. It would be like describing the 1953 Chevy Corvette as being an “okay car.” Reading this can only be categorized as a memorable event!

Emma Lie is our star, who we meet inside the local high school where a bully named Jimmy Haynes is harming an overweight, meek, young man named Michael Morton. Jimmy has just received a black eye in front of his football playing posse for his troubles. But the black eye didn’t come from his victim; he was just pummeled by the 115-pound Emma Lie. Now, Emma has already graduated from these hallowed halls and is on her way to the super-intelligent Harvard University. However, because of her actions, she could lose her entire scholarship and be arrested now that she’s 18. Jimmy is also in dire trouble. After all...can he hit a girl? If he doesn’t, this “leader of the pack” will fall from grace in front of his own gang. Thankfully, before he can slap Emma, Coach Ranshaw jumps in and sends them to the office.

Emma sits in front of Principal Jeminick (a former Marine) and tells him that what she did was right. He, either not wanting to get involved or actually really liking Emma for being tough, lets her leave and offers her some good advice: “Find yourself friends in life worthy of your loyalty.” It’s good advice, but words she tends to ignore. You see, Emma had a lot of friends at one point in time, yet closed herself off a while back and threw herself into a more serious role. Placing her nose-in-a-book, she has big dreams that include one day sitting in the Oval Office and running America.

Michael drops her off at home. Here Emma lives with a mother she loves who’s an amazing artist, and holds anger for a father who left them long ago. Almost running into a tall man with Asian features that seems to have come out of nowhere, Emma feels a bit uneasy as she avoids him and runs into the house to begin packing up her room in order to get ready for going to Harvard in a week.

She also must head to work at the local boutique coffee shop, Bella Lita, where she is once again surprised when the Asian man appears out of nowhere. But it’s a different stranger who captures her focus. Although trying to stay away from this stunning stranger, Emma ends up sitting down with him and discovers his name is Thies, he is also 18, a German on vacation, whose own over-the-top goal in life is to “save the world.” Thies also has something in common with Emma: they both have an odd rash on their arm, a spot that burns at times and turns red.

Time moves forward quickly and Emma meets up again with Thies and his “colleague” – a Brazilian man named Murilo who visited Emma’s house and met her mother. They tell her of an offer. They have come to recruit Emma to be a new addition at their school, a place called Institut Le Blanc. If she accepts their offer, Emma will receive a salary (which she tells them to triple in order to see if they’re lying), as well as a full scholarship. Here, however, she will not be on the road to a political future anymore; she will, instead, be taught...magic. Seems the rash she and Thies have are the mark given to carriers of magic. Emma was chosen for this, but she must sign a document and come with them before the clock ticks down and the offer is rescinded. 

Before she can do anything, however, a gunshot rings out and Emma wakes up injured in a room filled with strangers. Her mother has been abducted, Murilo is in critical condition, Thies remains by her side, and a woman in white known as the High Priestess is about to alter her future. This place is called The Citadel, where she’ll not only meet new friends, but dive into a world Emma never thought was possible. Lies are told, battles are won, Emma’s heart will be broken, and a choice between staying alone or being part of a team that truly fights for one another must be made. 

There’s so much to say...so many characters to introduce...and so many storylines to share, that it’s impossible to do so in a review. Just know, you’ll end up being a fast fan of this mysterious author with a great deal to share.

Quill says: A perfect escape. Enjoy this remarkable “event”!

NOTE: When it comes to publishing dates, the author states: “This is a series told in two parts. Every month, a new book will be released. Every week, stories will be released on the company’s website (https://www.quickandanimus.com/ARC). They complement each other; knowledge from one will shed light on the other...and free, daily, important inclusions to this universe are available, as told by Fate.” Which can be read on the website at all times.

For more information on The Call of Magic (The Fool's Journey Book 1) please visit the publisher's website at: www.quickandanimus.com/ARC

 

Author Feathered Quill Book Reviews  Added On Fri May 22nd,2020
Rating (0)  Category Fantasy
 
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 Latest Reviews
 Black Hole Radio: Bilaluna
 
Black Hole Radio: Bilaluna
By: Ann Birdgenaw
Illustrated by: E.M. Roberts
Publisher: DartFrog Books
ISBN: 978-1-953910-50-9
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: August 29, 2021
Best friends and space explorers Hawk and Matt are off on another adventure, this time with a new friend, Celeste, in the second book in the Black Hole Radio series, Black Hole Radio: Bilaluna.
As book two begins, Hawk and Matt have just returned from their amazing adventure from book one where they got sucked into a wormhole thanks to an old radio in Hawk’s garage. Was it a dream or was it real? Regardless, it’s soon time for school and the two boys once again find themselves sitting in Mrs. Bupkiss’ class. Unfortunately, she decides to call on Matt to see if he’s done his homework. Amazingly, he’s able to answer every question correctly, thanks to Hawk giving him all the answers via ESP. Apparently their last adventure wasn’t a dream.
After class, Hawk notices the new girl, Celeste, standing by herself. The teacher said Celeste has Asperger Syndrome, and while Hawk doesn’t know what that means, he tells the reader that Mrs. Bupkiss says Celeste may be shy and not like to make eye contact. Since Hawk gets picked on for being too “geeky,” he feels he can relate to Celeste. Soon they’re talking and before long, Hawk is inviting her to his house to check out their very cool science club.
Celeste is the perfect new science club member – her parents are both astronomers and she too, loves science “stuff.” But at the first meeting, Celeste hears a strange beep, beep, beep, beep, and needs to find out what’s causing the noise. Of course, Hawk and Matt know that it’s the radio. Yes...that radio - the radio that sucks people into a wormhole and sends them far, far away.
The three friends are soon transported to a bug planet, with all sorts of cool bugs. Thanks to Hawk and Matt’s ability to use ESP, they’re able to communicate with the bugs. BUG-203, a “Bipedal Unibodied Golem,” tells the travelers that they “…are on moon Bilaluna, orbiting planet Poo-ponic.” The bugs welcome Hawk, Matt, and Celeste, and give them a ride in their moon buggy, heading to the bug colony. The three earthlings, however, notice that the terrain appears dead. The few areas where they find trees, they discover that the bugs are destroying them to create power to produce nectar that the bugs need to survive. Celeste has to use her knowledge of insects, as well as environmental issues, to try and help the bugs save their moon. Will she and her new friends be able to convince the bugs to use the humans’ knowledge to save Bilaluna? And if so, will what they propose work?
Black Hole Radio: Bilaluna is the second book in the Black Hole Radio series and like the first book, this one is quite imaginative. The author has found her stride in this book, where the writing is tighter, and the story moves quicker than it did in the first book. The resolution to the bugs’ problems with their moon requires an understanding of environmental issues such as what bugs contribute to the Earth’s health, which Celeste happily shares with the bugs, and thus, the reader. Another nice touch is that while the first book was narrated by Hawk, this time Celeste takes “the reins,” and narrates most of the story. The reader gets a look at what it’s like to have Asperger Syndrome, the struggles Celeste faces, as well as all the awesome things she contributes. It’s a great way to build empathy toward those who might be different.
Quill says: Space, bugs, wormholes, and saving a moon environment all figure prominently into Black Hole Radio: Bilaluna. If you have young readers (ages 9-12) who like stories with wild and crazy adventures, check out the Black Hole Radio series.
For more information on Black Hole Radio: Bilaluna, please visit the author's Goodreads page at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21269547.Ann_Birdgenaw
Author Feathered Quill Book Reviews  Added On Tue Aug 31st,2021
Rating (0)  Category YA/Teen
 The Abalone Ukulele
 
The Abalone Ukulele: A Tale of Far Eastern Intrigue
By: R. L. Crossland
Publisher: New Academia Publishing
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
ISBN:978-1-7359378-1-6
Reviewed by: Skyler Boudreau
Date August 29, 2021
The Abalone Ukulele is, at its heart, a true love letter to both Asian culture and the naval experiences of sailors. A novel of naval intrigue taking place across several years and locations, Author R. L. Crossland’s intimate knowledge of sailing and various Asian cultures is on full display in his latest project.
The Abalone Ukulele is a story containing many different plotlines. The overarching story is about Yi, a young Korean tribute bearer attempting to reclaim the treasure he lost while delivering it to China. This treasure was lost due to an unforeseen attack on the transport group by the Japanese. It soon spirals into a political nightmare and Yi decides that he must somehow earn this treasure back. He takes a few less than honorable roads along the way and crosses paths with the kinds of unsavory figures we might imagine in a crime thriller.
Several other plotlines follow the activities of different naval officers as Yi continues to try and collect this lost money. These other characters do ultimately tie into Yi’s story at the very end, but throughout the majority of the novel, it’s difficult to see the connection. With that seeming lack of connection comes confusion as to why they were included as the reader follows them throughout their own stories. These other adventures are not nearly as interesting as Yi’s, but they do take up substantially more page time.
The Abalone Ukulele has as many narrators as it does plotlines. As with the plotlines, Yi is by far the most intriguing. He is at the heart of this redemption quest, striving to recover the treasure he lost. All of the narrators keep the audience relatively distant, and Yi is not an exception. While he doesn’t invite readers into his head, he does show a lot of dedication to his quest and is someone that the audience is easily able to root for. His story is the one that draws the reader in and keeps them engaged. The other characters are equally distant from the reader, but do not offer the compelling qualities that Yi does.
Author R. L. Crossland is certainly a very capable and knowledgeable writer. His understanding of different Asian cultures bleed through every paragraph and his passion for this project is evident. This passion brings a unique flavor to the text that invites the reader to dive headfirst into a new environment that they may not be familiar with. Crossland is also very knowledgeable when it comes to military movement and maneuver thanks to his thirty-five years of service as a U. S. Navy SEAL. He provides a lot of information on these two subjects in long paragraphs and while the information is interesting, it’s thrust on readers very quickly. These information dumps play a big part in why the secondary plotlines are so slowly paced and difficult to get through.
The Abalone Ukulele has a lot going for it. It’s a welcoming novel for a reader familiar with Asian cultures and naval groups, but a bit difficult for a reader unfamiliar with those subjects. It’s a novel written for a very specific audience, and that’s okay. Between Yi’s quest to retrieve the lost fortune and the wealth of knowledge Crossland provides, that audience will no doubt greatly enjoy this novel.
Quill says: Crossland’s target audience will be thrilled with his dedication to detail!
For more information on The Abalone Ukulele: A Tale of Far Eastern Intrigue please visit the website: www.dreadnaughts-bluejackets.com
Author Feathered Quill Book Reviews  Added On Tue Aug 31st,2021
Rating (0)  Category Historical Fiction
 Black Hole Radio
 
Black Hole Radio
By: Ann Birdgenaw
Illustrated by: E.M. Roberts
Publisher: DartFrog Books
ISBN: 978-1-953910-48-6
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: August 23, 2021
Debut author Ann Birdgenaw introduces young readers to a varied cast of characters in the first book in her outer-space adventure series, Black Hole Radio.
Hawk is a fifth-grade student who is a bit of a space nerd. His best friend Matt shares his love of all things cosmologically related, including their favorite t.v. show, Star Trekkers. Unfortunately, the school bullies think that wanting to learn about exploring the universe makes Hawk and Matt “super cosmo-nerds.” The best friends better be careful or the bullies will come after them.
Hawk really misses his Grandpa Ray who died not long ago. Fortunately, he has his buddy Matt, their secret space club, secret handshake, and club ring to help distract him from his sorrow. After school the two friends head to Hawk’s house to watch Star Trekkers. Their secret club meets at the clubhouse, which is actually the old tool shed behind the garage.
While watching their favorite show, the boys hear an odd sound. Beep, beep, beep, beep. What could it be? Hawk and Matt search for the origin of the noise and soon discover an old radio in a box in the garage. The radio’s alarm is going off so Matt simply turns off the alarm. But…that doesn’t stop the beeping. So then Matt takes the batteries out. And when that doesn’t work, they start getting worried. But then things get really crazy when a gravitational force starts to pull them toward the radio...and beyond.
Hawk and Matt are transported to an alien planet where they are attacked by some odd alien drones. After the drone encounter, the boys meet Yxzyurchmung, or Mung for short. Mung explains that the drones were sent from their enemies the Boogernauties, and that he and his people are grateful for what Hawk and Matt did to vanquish the Booger-Bully drones. They would also like the boys to help them get rid of the Booger-Bullies once and for all. But all Hawk and Matt want is to find a way to get back home.
In the author’s note at the end of Black Hole Radio, author Ann Birdgenaw, an elementary school librarian, tells of always wanting to try her hand at writing her own story. When a strange beeping sound occasionally called out from her garage, and it took all summer to locate the radio that was making the noise, the idea for Black Hole Radio was born. Birdgenaw has created a fun adventure series that includes aliens, zombies, ESP, hoover-scooters and even a wormhole. The story is told by Hawk and young readers will undoubtedly relate to both him and Matt. They are fun characters and it’s clear that the author spends her time in a school library because the “lingo” is spot on. The best part, perhaps, is that Grandpa Ray, who Hawk misses terribly, plays a role in the final resolution to the boys’ dilemma. At the back of the book is a glossary of space and science terms to help all “space nerds” better understand the terminology. Overall, this is a solid start to a new series and is a great way to get kids who love all things “space,” to dig in and start reading.
Quill says: Get ready for an outer space adventure that sends best friends Hawk and Matt on a crazy ride through all sorts of bizarre alien encounters that will have young readers, particularly those intrigued by space travel, itching to get their hands on the next book, Black Hole Radio – Bilaluna.
For more information on Black Hole Radio, please visit the author's Goodreads page at: www.goodreads.com/author/Ann_Birdgenaw
Author Feathered Quill Book Reviews  Added On Wed Aug 25th,2021
Rating (0)  Category YA/Teen
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