Saturday, August 31, 2019

Arrg-ust Date Night Series Review of Saved by Pirates by G. Bailey

I have been trying to figure out a way to share all these books I read with you but still include other non-review posts on the blog.  One method I have come up with was to share the reviews for an entire series (or pair) of books in one post.  I will do my absolute best to keep spoilers out of these posts in case you plan to read the books, but there is a slight chance that even the synopsis of a book can give away the result of the previous book. So if you don't want to know anything at all about the later books in a series that might giveaway something in the first book STOP READING NOW!

I came across this series on Kindle Unlimited when looking for some pirate books, it looked like a fun, short romance series, just what I was looking for. 

 Synopsis: "Seven towns. Seven seas. The seven council. The seven words every person lives by. 
The sea is lost, pirates are death. 
Cassandra should have been killed at birth, like all the other children who have powers like her. 
The changed ones. 
The ones who started the war, lost the seas and killed millions with their gifts. 
Lucky for Cassandra, her father is on the council. One of the seven rulers of her large town and has kept her hidden her entire life. 
When she is seen for the first time, she has no choice but to run and the only place she can go is to the sea. 
To the pirates and a certain death. 
At least that is what she thinks. When she meets six handsome pirates and they take her on board their ship, she learns about a whole new world. 
If only she can protect her heart when they all desire to own it. 
This is a reverse harem trilogy."

My Review: I saw this one available on Kindle Unlimited and thought it would be perfect for my pirate month. I didn't realize that this was the first in the series but luckily the rest of the books were available as well. I also did not realize that this was more of an YA/NA crossover book as opposed the the adult reverse harem book I was expecting. I did really enjoy the unique world that is being built in this story, I am looking forward to learning more as the series continues. I did however feel like it was a little rushed and I didn't really get to know the characters all that well. I couldn't tell you who was who of the pirates or what makes them unique. The story line was a little slow to build, especially considering how short this book is, but it did get really exciting near the end and it has made me want to continue with the series.

My Rating: This has a really interesting world and magic system, even though the writing isn't great, I am still really intrigued.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and Stump Wag.


 Synopsis: "Can love save you from pain? 

Cassandra’s life has never been simple because of her mark, but for a second she believed she had everything, she had her pirates. When she is kidnapped and ripped away from everything she loves, she has no choice but to fight to survive. Cassandra is taken to the King, and secrets she never could have expected come out. 
When the King does something impossible and pain is all that is left, will her pirates be able to save her? 
Will the Sea God, who whispers promises, be able to help her? "

My Review: After reading the first book I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Originally I had expected an adult fantasy romance with reverse harem, but the first book was super clean and read really young. This one took a leap off the deep end, the steam went from just on the stove to a full boil by halfway through this one. With that said, the romance was a bit awkward and out of place, it was disjointed at weird times when focus should have been on the more life threatening matters at hand. While I am still intrigued by the world and magic system, I did find this book to be under developed and a little lackluster. I will continue with the series since there is only one more full length book.

My Rating: I am still really intrigued by the world and magic system, but the interactions between the characters and lack of connection with the characters is a little disappointing. I give it a rating of Two Paws.


Synopsis: "Love. Death. Power. When all these words are marked on Cassandra’s soul, can she really save anyone? 

Cassandra has finally escaped the king, only to find herself in the middle of the rebels and a war that she is meant to be the leader of. When the changed ones of the mountains go to war, Cassandra and her pirates have to travel across the seas to the mermaids who are the only ones that can help. 
But what is the price of the mermaid’s help? 

War is whispered, much like the Sea god whispers to Cassandra, but no one speaks the ending. Can death be the only winner? "

My Review: As with the previous books in this series, I really like the world that has been created and the magic system; however, the story is very disjointed. I also found that I didn't connect with a single character, we didn't get to know them very well and were constantly hopping between the pirates so didn't get time to really find what distinguishes each of them. The story was so start and stop because of the awkward romantic interludes at times when there were urgent matters to attend. I also found it rather unbelievable that the naive and sheltered girl can suddenly step into a leadership role, she is also suddenly able to seduce with confidence and ease. The supposed twists and surprises were rather predictable. All in all, if some of the romance had been left out and we just stuck with a strictly fantasy story I would have enjoyed this so much more, that or it needed a whole lot more fleshing out to allow for the romance.

My Rating: I am so disappointed, I really hoped that as the series went on and the books got a little longer the characters would be more developed and the story would get more intricate, but it didn't.  Also it became very predictable, and the ending was left very open to connect to a companion series. I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.


Full Series Review: I am so bummed with this series, it had such potential but it really seemed like the author was trying to appeal to a wide audience but in reality needed to pick a genre and audience.  The writing was clearly for a YA audience and it would have worked at first, if it had remained clean it could have been but it devolved into a clear adult book but with the same writing.  Also, if it had been more focused on the fantasy elements and plot development it could have been great but the awkward character interactions really broke up the story, and not in a good way.  If they were going for a romance, then more time needed to be spent developing the characters and smoothing their interactions.  I can only give this series a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Arrg-ust Bedtime Story: The Pirate Queen by Emily Arnold McCully

Read for: Children's Challenge

Synopsis: "Grania O'Malley was born with the mark of a sailor and the light of the sea in her eye. As she grew, tales of her courage and heroic deeds traveled across Ireland. But when she came up against a ruthless governor, even fearless Grania was stymied. So she turns to a woman more powerful than she in this heart-stopping tale that's as big as the Irish Sea. "McCully writes with great flair and her sweeping watercolors capitalize on the historical drama"

My Review: I was so excited to discover a lady pirate book at the library so of course had to read it of my pirate month. The illustration style is very dark and with a watercolor style that lends to the dark story. Come to find out it is actually a historical story and she did fight for her people throughout her life both on the sea and off the sea. This was an interesting story that makes you want to dive deeper into this amazing little known woman.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this focus on a female pirate in history. Though this book may not be for all children as it is not fiction and it isn't as exciting as many of the picture books out there, it is still a great book.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Arrg-ust Review of Star Wars: Pirate's Price by Lou Anders

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis:  "All-new adventures starring Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Hondo Ohnaka aboard the Millennium Falcon!

Hello, my friends! It is I, Hondo Ohnaka, greatest pirate in the galaxy, hero of the Rebellion, and if you believe that Obi-Wan Kenobii guy, a villain, too. But what did he know? 

I am here to tell you stories of that most amazing ship, the Millennium Falcon, including my very first time on board and a few occasions when I actually flew the Falcon myself! And I did a great job of it, too. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! 

Oh, there might be a familiar Wookie in the stories. And that Han Solo guy. He had a way of popping up. And some other people you may know. And some you may not. 

So hang on tight, because this adventure is traveling at lightspeed and it's going to be a wild ride!"

My Review: I am really enjoying this telling of legendary tales and this time we get three stories involving the Falcon. I really enjoyed Hondo's narration of the story, a bit unreliable but still so much fun. We also get the crew we all know and love of Han and Chewie. I like how the stories take place in vastly different time periods in the saga, from post clone wars to after the Last Jedi, but it is done in such a way that it doesn't give away too much. As far as I know this is the second book in this series and I don't see any others available but I really hope we get more in this style of older characters telling stories in a cantina.

My Rating: I had so much fun reading this book and what better book to have during my pirate month!  These were fun and while written for a younger audience, any fan would enjoy this one. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Arrg-ust Review of Carmen Sandiego: Clue by Clue by Catherine Hapka

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "Crack the code with Carmen Sandiego! In this original story, a special clue-decoding wheel built into the front cover allows readers to hunt for long-lost pirate's treasure alongside the world's greatest thief. Inspired by the Netflix animated series.

Carmen Sandiego and crew are off on a thrilling treasure hunt in this original story inspired by the Netflix animated series. When the secrets of a centuries' old treasure map are uncovered, it's up to Carmen to puzzle out the pirate's code and track down a long lost treasure. From the cobblestone streets of London to a sunken city in the Caribbean, Carmen must stay one step ahead on a trail of clues in order to beat her nemeses to the buried treasure! Using the book's special built-in decoder, readers can help Carmen unlock the map's clues--and make sure this pirate's booty finally makes its way into the right hands."

My Review: When I saw this at the bookstore the other day, I knew we had to get it! Not only is it a new Carmen Sandiego book but it is also interactive with a decoder to use throughout the story. It was even better because it fits in perfectly with my pirate month as we follow Carmen Sandiego and her friends on a hunt for lost pirate treasure. It is a pretty easy read, perfect for those kids who are starting out in chapter books, though it does contain some more difficult words. This was quite the adventure as Carmen has to solve many codes and follow the clues to the treasure. There are codes to be cracked in the book but it is written so if you don't want to stop reading, the answer is revealed when you turn the page. At the end of the book there are more codes to crack with the decoder, but also a new cifer is introduced and even more codes to crack. There is also a lot of facts and history about both the Tower in London, Tortuga and pirates. We even get a recipe to try out! All in all this is a fun packed book.

My Rating: I had a lot of fun with this book and after reading it think that Munchkin will enjoy it as well, so I will be passing this one along to him.  There is so much fun and action in this book as well as the interactive element that will keep even reluctant readers engaged in the story. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Arrg-ust Review of The Storyteller by Traci Chee

Read for Beat the Backlist

Synopsis: "Sefia is determined to keep Archer out of the Guard's clutches and their plans for war between the Five Kingdoms. The Book, the ancient, infinite codex of the past, present and future, tells of a prophecy that will plunge Kelanna in that bloody war, but it requires a boy—Archer—and Sefia will stop at nothing to ensure his safety. The Guard has already stolen her mother, her father, and her Aunt Nin. Sefia would sooner die than let them take anymore from her—especially the boy she loves.

But escaping the Guard and the Book's prophecy is no easy task. After all, what is written always comes to pass. As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard's will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart."

My Review: I absolutely loved the first two books in this series but have put off reading this one for nearly a year because I was not ready to let the characters go. I finally decided it was time but it was just as emotional if not a more emotional ride than I expected. It did take me a bit to get back into the world and recall where are the characters were in the world and what was happening. Luckily this book starts off a bit slow and builds steam as it goes. There is a lot of jumping all over the world in this one, so having the map really helps visualize the story. I knew this was going to be a hard book to finish, we were told there would be deaths right at the beginning of the story and as the end drew closer so did the favorite character deaths and boy did they hit hard! Chee really did an amazing job of drawing the reader right into the story, you became a part of it and that made it all the harder to say goodbye. Truly a great but bittersweet ending to this amazing series!

My Rating: I don't know why more people aren't raving about this series, it is so intricate and beautiful! I feel like I need to re-read the whole series again and see how all those tiny details weave into the story later.  And in case you are wondering, pirates figure into this series a lot though it isn't exactly advertised as a pirate book.  I give this a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Puppy Pirates: Stowaway by Erin Soderberg
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Give Me Back My Bones by Kim Noman

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Give Me Back My Bones
To Build a Fire
Book Charmer - DNF
Lando's Luck
Sticky Rice Caper
The Storyteller

Currently Reading:
Realm by Alexandrea Weis - Ebook - 11%
Save the Sea by G. Bailey- Ebook - 36%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
415:13 Hours Listened (22:12 listened this week)
23,397 Pages Read (534 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Snow Gypsy
Lost Boy
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Holy Sister
Dark Harmony
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
A New Hope
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
The Bride Test
Storm and Fury
Queen of Ruin
Kingdom of Exiles
The Thankful Unicorn
Star Wars: Pirate Price
Clue by Clue
Honeybees and Frenemies
The Sticky Rice Caper
Lando's Luck
Turning Darkness into Light
A Monster Calls
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over


Well last week was a bit of a rough reading week. We had a very long week last week, Munchkin had to come to work with me since camp is over and school has yet to start (he as to come all this week too) and the AC broke in our office during this last week heat wave. At home we were in the crunch to get ready for our annual summer party, which was a lot of fun but so exhausting. 

I was also doing so good with not buying a lot of books this month but of course Barnes and Noble had to have a 50% sale! I picked up quite a few new books but oh well, they were all books I would have ended up picking up before the end of the year anyway.  Book Outlet also had a big sale, but I used that mostly to pick up books for Munchkin and to have as gifts for his classmates birthdays that he will start getting invited to soon.

I am hoping now that the summer party is over, swim lessons are over and school and soccer are starting next week that maybe we can all get back to some what of a normal schedule and I can get back to reading a bunch of these new books!