Posts from the ‘Goodreads Book Reviews’ Category

Future Reviews

Future book reviews will be posted at I will be consolidating my four blogs into one. Thanks for reading!


A Review: To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis

foreverIn To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by Andra Watkins #ToLiveForeverbook, things are not always as they seem.  Nine-year old Emmaline Cagney has been caught in a divorce and custody battle between her parents.  She adores her Daddy, but she ends up with her Mother instead.  Her Mother is not a nice person.  Her Mother is cold and unfeeling and is determined to sell her daughter to the highest bidder.  Her Mother made my skin crawl. The story gets interesting when Emmaline runs for her life and runs away.

I confess that I did not know a lot about Meriwether Lewis other than that he was half of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  I never knew there was controversy surrounding his death and no one knew if it was murder or suicide. I assumed he’d died of old age (sorry – I’m a Northerner). In Andra Watkins’ book, Meriwether Lewis becomes Emmaline’s friend.  Merry has been caught somewhere between life and death, and he must save someone to be set free. Together Em and Merry go on the run through several states.  Who can they trust?  Evil seems to be everywhere.  The bad guy in the story is evil and creepy, and nothing seems to stop him.

Andra is one of my online friends (I follow her blog daily).  She asked me to read her book and give an honest review. If I picked this book up in a bookstore, I’m not sure if I would have read it or not.  I found myself caught up in the story.  I liked Merry’s character a lot.  About 2/3 of the way through the book I read someone else’s online review that gave the ending away.  I wish I hadn’t read that spoiler, but I kept on until the end.  Andra did a good job of building a suspenseful story, and she made me care what happened to the characters.  I’m not sure why I didn’t connect as well to Em’s character.  I got annoyed with her at times.  I understand Andra is working on a follow-up story that takes place two years later.  I will definitely read that one, too.  Maybe with some maturity to her character, I will like Em better.  I do recommend this book to others.  Give it a try!

Also check out Andra’s blog (  She’s walking the 444 mile Natchez Trace (15 miles per day) – following the route that Merry and Em took in the book.  Go, Andra! #ToLiveForeverbook

A Review: Watership Down

watershipGoodreads Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Here’s another for my “will not finish” pile.  I understood Watership Down was a story that Richard Adams made up for his children.  Unless his children were much older than I pictured, I think 75% of what I have read so far would have terrified small children. I had never read it before, and I thought I’d give it a try.  I am a little less than halfway through the book, and I think I’m done.

I was hoping for something a little more light-hearted and whimsical. I know reality isn’t that way, but I don’t need to read about rabbits dying, fighting each other or being run over by cars.  The book could still have been written for adults with less gruesome/disturbing details. But then I always enjoyed “animal” books like Winnie the Pooh so there must be something wrong with me!

A Review: The Good Thief

renGoodreads rating: 1 out of 5 stars

I didn’t care for The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti.  I made it to page 50 where they steal the horse, and that was enough for me.  I didn’t like any of the characters.  It’s obvious that the long-lost brother who claims Ren from the orphanage is a liar and a con artist.  I also didn’t care much for Ren.  There was a lot of potential there, but it didn’t pan out.  I was reading this book for a book club through my public library and got my copy from the library. I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on it!

A Review: Shadow of Night: A Novel

SONGoodreads rating:  4 out of 5 stars

In Shadow of Night: A Novel, Deborah Harkness’s second installment in the All Souls Trilogy, we meet up again with Matthew and Diana.  Matthew is a vampire, and Diana is a time-walking witch.  Matthew and Diana have married and broken one of the main rules of the covenant that governs witches, vampires and daemons.  This book picks up where the first book left off – they have traveled to the past to find a witch to help Diana learn more about witchcraft.

In the past they (unfortunately, in my opinion) encounter many historical figures.  When they reach the past, Matthew’s character also changes for the worst.  Matthew is part of the School of Night.  He’s known as the Shadow, one of Queen Elizabeth’s spies.  When they initially encountered the members of the School of Night, this book lost me.  These characters were not likeable, and I don’t feel they added anything to the story line.  They were forgettable and in many instances obnoxious.  Christopher Marlowe, in particular, was horrible.  The Matthew from the first book would have beat the crap out of him or killed him.  The Matthew in this second book seems to turn a blind eye.  He forgives him all the vicious remarks he makes about Diana and doesn’t even seem to realize that this ridiculous character is plotting violence against her.

I had to put the book down several times.  I bought it in hardcover when it first came out in July, 2012.  I couldn’t wait to continue on with the story that was begun in A Discovery of Witches.  I read ADOW twice.  I tried to read SON when it first came out but could not get into the characters in the School of Night or even past the pages where they were introduced.  I finally purchased a second copy of this book on my Kindle on Christmas day and made myself soldier on past the parts with the ridiculous School of Night characters.  Once I got free of those pages, the book began to grab my interest and other characters (not real historical people) were introduced.  That was when the book got a lot better. Deborah Harkness does a great job with characters and details when they are fictional people. I’ve never been wild about authors throwing real people into novels and making them part of the story.  Maybe it’s just me, but it doesn’t ring true for me.

In the end, I would say that I enjoyed this book.  It just took me a while to get through parts of it.  I look forward to the final book in the trilogy.