Alex O’Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves~ review

DSC_0998

Alex O’Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves: A Fairy Tale Retold- by Regina Doman

CKTC: Curiosity Killed The Cat….

Alex O’Donnell, Mercy College’s resident swordfighter and ninja, is back! Coming home from college, he finds out that his dad has been at his computer antics again. Only this time, it’s pretty serious. Mr. O’Donnell has found a cyberthieves site. To get off the site, he had to enter a series of numbers. Now the O’Donnells have received well over a million dollars. Then the FBI gets involved and the thieves find out where the O’Donnells are and what they know about them. The O’Donnells and Alex’s girlfriend Kateri are now targets. Will Alex be able to protect his family? Or will the cyberthieves win in the end?

Of all the Fairy Tale Novels, Alex O’Donnell is more of a swashbuckling pirate story than a fairy tale. We have swordfighting, cyberthieves, computer hackers, the Samurai Cat, fans with sword blades, G.K. Chesterton, hotels and enough action-adventure for a movie! Alex makes me laugh just with some of the things he says. Kateri is an interesting character. If you’ve read Waking Rose, you’ll have already met her. Seeing her interact with the O’Donnells, whose lifestyle is very different from hers, certainly is amusing.

Mrs. Doman raises some good points about Internet use throughout the book. The Internet is a tool, but it is one that can be very easily abused. Alex O’Donnell is a good way to teach boys about some of the temptations on the Internet and to avoid them. This book is geared toward teenage boys, but all ages should enjoy it. The story is much more light-hearted than its predecessors, but there are a couple of issues that parents might want to know about. Read the Picky Parents Guide here.

So there you have it! All but one of Regina Doman’s Fairy Tale novels reviewed. I haven’t read the last book, Rapunzel Let Down yet and I’m not sure if I will. If I do, I’ll be sure to review it for you. 🙂 I’ll be working my way through Louis de Wohl’s novels next. Look out for those reviews over the next few weeks. De Wohl and Sherlock as well.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it? Comment below!

Advertisements

The Midnight Dancers~ review

DSC_0996

The Midnight Dancers: A Fairy Tale Retold– by Regina Doman

Splitting your life between light and night is a dangerous dance…

Rachel Durham is sick and tired of being good. 18, pretty, and bored out of her mind, Rachel is searching for some excitement. Maybe if she stretched the day into the night, she’d be able to have some fun, fun away from her overly strict, devout Christian father. Rachel drags her 11 sisters, half natural sisters, half stepsisters, into the nighttime revels. Her father grows worried about the girls and enlists the aid of Paul Fester: medic, soldier, juggler, ninja and swordsman. Will Paul figure out the girls’ dangerous secret before something terrible happens? Or will he drop them, like his juggling clubs, with no net beneath them?

I’m going to say it now: The Midnight Dancers is my least favorite of all the Fairy Tale Novels. It doesn’t have any of the characters from the first three novels that I loved so much. The story is darker, and I really didn’t like Rachel. She was so rebellious and headstrong, so determined to escape the confines of the day, she wasn’t even able to see how much danger she was putting herself and her sisters in.

I did enjoy the return of Paul Fester of Mercy College. He was in Waking Rose and is a great character. I liked how the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses was written in. The soldier who watches over the girls and the “magic” island. It was interesting to watch the Durhams, who are strict Christians, interact with Paul, a devout Catholic. It strayed away from what Mrs. Doman normally writes about but it was a fresh storyline.

The Midnight Dancers is a much darker book than the other Fairy Tale Novels. Mrs. Doman recommends it for teens of 16 and their parents. Of course, that is a personal judgement for parents to make. If you need some help deciding, here’s the Picky Parents Guide.

Do you think it’s easy to become bored with goodness? How do you overcome it? Comment below!

Waking Rose~ review

DSC_0995

Waking Rose: A Fairy Tale Retold- by Regina Doman

It seemed he could never redeem from such a steadfast spell his lady’s eyes…

Ever since Rose Brier was saved from Certain Death by the boy named Fish, she has hoped that Fish would be her knight in shinning armor. But Fish doesn’t feel like he is the hero type. He’s too wounded by his past to be the knight she wants him to be. He wants Rose to forget about him and move on with her life. Rose is attending Mercy College, the school her father and mother both went to. She makes new friends and is trying to forget Fish. What neither Fish or Rose expected was mortal danger from a secret in the Brier’s past. Now Fish has to save his lady from the danger she is in and maybe learn what it really means to be a hero.

Of all the Fairy Tale Novels, Waking Rose is probably my favorite. Rose and Fish are much more fleshed out and real than some of the other characters. I like how Mrs. Doman incorporates the tale of Sleeping Beauty into the story. Even the title is very fairy taleish! The supporting characters, especially the Cor boys, add to the story and make it funnier. Every time I read about Leroy’s antics, I go into hysterics!  The story is serious, light-hearted, and deals with real world problems.

I think that out of the whole tale, watching Fish become the hero and man he is meant to be is the best part. I know that it might seem old-fashioned, but I still believe in heroes, in knights in shinning armor. I think that all men, young and old, should strive to be chivalrous and respect women, no matter what. Old-fashioned, yes, but still applicable in today’s world.

Waking Rose is a wonderful book, but keeping in mind it was written for teens, there are some issues parents might like to know about before letting their kids read it. You’ll find the Picky Parents Guide here.

What is your favorite fairy tale? Share in the comments!

Black as Night~ review

DSC_0999

Black as Night: A Fairy Tale Retold– by Regina Doman

“Who is the fairest in the land” games don’t always end up so nicely…

Blanche Brier has always been a little different. With hair as black as night and skin as white as snow, she looks like she just stepped out of a fairy tale. Lately, though, she has been feeling like she is in danger, on the other side of the mirror, where everything is backwards. Running from an evil queen intent on her destruction, she takes refuge with a group of Franciscan friars. Calling herself Nora, she thinks she is safe. She doesn’t know her family is searching for her, or that things from her boyfriend Bear’s past will come careening her way. Will Blanche survive the wrath of the evil queen, or will she become just another pawn in the chess game?

I think Black as Night and Waking Rose (review coming soon) are my two favorites of the Fairy Tale Novels. The fairy tale in Black as Night is Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. There are also elements of Alice Through the Looking Glass and chess games. Color plays a huge part in the story: black, red, and white.

I love that the characters are fleshed out more in the book. Bear and Blanche are the most important characters, of course. Rose Brier and Bear’s brother Fish are more minor characters. The seven friars are, obviously, the seven dwarves. They are all so funny! For those who don’t know, friars are men who have vowed to live in poverty, chastity, and obedience within a community. They can be priests or laymen who aren’t ordained. I liked how the Huntsman is tied in.

I do think that you should read the books in order, so you understand who is who and what is referenced from the other books. My reviews are in the order that the books should be read. As with all Regina Doman’s books, there are some content issues since the books were written for teens and young adults. Find the Picky Parents Guide for Black as Night here.

Have you read Black as Night? What did you think? Comment below!

The Shadow of the Bear~ review

DSC_0997

The Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold– by Regina Doman

Blanche and Rose Brier live with their widowed mother in New York City. They live a quiet, simple life with their books and each other. Quiet that is shattered when a stranger shows up on their doorstep after saving Mrs. Brier’s life. Blanche, the elder sister, is frightened of him and wants him gone. Rose, the more adventurous one, is fascinated by the young man who calls himself Bear. Bear’s life hasn’t been easy, and he has some pretty dark secrets in his past. Will those secrets come back to haunt or even hurt Bear and the Briers?

I’m going to say it right now; I LOVE Regina Doman. I had the privilege of meeting her a few years ago, and she is an awesome, funny lady with a love of God and writing. The Shadow of the Bear is the first in the Fairy Tale Retold series. It’s a retelling of the tale of Snow White and Rose Red set in modern-day life. I love the book. Mrs. Doman ties theology, G.K. Chesterton, adventure, prose, elements of a fairy tale, and poetry all together the make a wonderful tale. There’s action and suspense for the boys, romance and true love for the girls. Win-win! 🙂

Of the two sisters, I think Blanche is my favorite. I relate more to her than to Rose. Bear has a bigger role in the story than his brother Fish. But don’t worry: Fish gets a book of his own! For being a short book, The Shadow of the Bear is intense. This book was written for teenagers, and as such, there are some content issues. For Mrs. Doman’s Picky Parent Guide, click here. There are spoilers, so read with caution! I love all of Regina Doman’s fairy tale novels, some more than others. I’ll be reviewing all the rest of them, except the newest one, over the next two weeks.

Have you read any of Mrs. Doman’s books? Which is your favorite? Tell me in the comments!

A Sister’s Hope~ review

DSC_0364

Sisters of Holmes County: Book Three- A Sister’s Hope by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Young Amish woman Martha Hostettler is bewildered and very worried about continuing attacks on her family. The attacks have varied between seemingly harmless pranks to real, life-threatening dangers. She is determined to find out who the culprit is before something even worse happens. Among the suspects is the man Martha has fallen in love with, Luke Friesen. Luke is determined to prove his innocence, not only to Martha, but also to Martha’s father, who is determined to keep them apart.

I really enjoyed this book. I literally could not put it down. A Sister’s Hope is the first book that’s kept me up till the wee hours of the morning (okay, 11:30) for a looong time. It was so gripping and page-turning. Yes, it’s the third book in the series, but I can’t complain. It was a free book from the library. Me + free books = happiness.

I was surprised by how much I liked the book. I’ve read a couple of Wanda E. Brunstetter’s books and wasn’t blown away. The writing in  A Sister’s Hope was so much better. The characters were engaging, much more than her other books. And don’t get me started on the mystery of who the attacker was! There’s no definite clues until almost the very end. I was shocked and a little horrified by the identity of the attacker. I’m glad everything turned out well in the end. All in all, I was very happy with this free book.

Have you read any of Wanda E. Brunstetter’s books? What did you think of them?

Guarded~ review

DSC_0347

Book Review 

Guarded by Kirsten Lasinski

Emily Blyton is a forty year old divorcee living alone in her hometown. All her life, she struggled with accepting herself and being loved, rejecting the idea that God could love her or that He even exists. She had a poor relationship with her critical father that contributed to a poor relationship with her daughter. Emily’s life changes when she learns she was adopted. Already struggling with self-worth, the news is crushing. Desperate to find out who she is, she takes a risk and leaves her home to find her family. What she finds changes her life for the better.

Guarded is a gripping read that sucks you in from the first page and keeps you turning the pages. Kirsten Lasiski’s descriptions are amazing and so detailed. It feels like you are really in Murray, Colorado. The story line is interesting but disjointed in many places. It seemed like there should’ve been more definition between a memory and the present. Throughout the story, there are many characters have been wounded by men who’ve abandoned them or rejected them. At times, that can be overwhelming and hard to read. It was intense and not quite what I was looking for. There were aspects of Guarded that I really enjoyed, but others I didn’t. I’m not a big fan of contemporary Christian fiction. I prefer historical fiction. If you read it, be prepared because you won’t want to put it down.

Have you read Guarded? What did you think of it?