Tag Archives: e-book

Ann Can’t Sleep by April Peter

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Ann Can’t Sleep by April Peter, picture e-book, 21 pages, published in 2017.

Ann is having trouble getting to sleep. A toy to cuddle will help, but which one is her perfect bed-time companion?

Ann Can’t Sleep is a lovely book, perfect to share with toddlers and preschoolers at bed-time. The rhyming language is soothing to read, with short, easy words forming a fun and engaging story.

The illustrations are bright and bold; perfectly appealing to young children. I really liked all of the pictures, but I especially liked the illustrations where Ann was active and having fun with her toys. Riding the donkey is my favourite. I did notice on the page when Ann picks out the plane to sleep with, the illustration below that shows her sleeping with the doll again, instead of the plane!

This e-book is let down by its typography. The words run together on every page, and at least once, letters actually overlay each other. As an adult, it is reasonably easy to correct such errors whilst reading, but for an early reader, this would be difficult for them to decipher.

Ann Can’t Sleep is suitable for children from birth through to early primary school, and is best shared aloud.

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

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Lost in the Woods by Dennis Mews

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Lost in the Woods by Dennis Mews, e-book, 189 pages, published in 2016.

Nadia Hamilton has just started at her new school, The Grange, when her class goes on a week long camping excursion in the wilds of Wales. Nadia doesn’t really want to be there, but she doesn’t yet know how exciting and stimulating the outdoors can be. Craig Wilson is a troubled teen on the run from the police and some dangerous criminals after he stole their car, which contained a mysterious package. He ends up in the woods nearby the school’s camping ground, where he needs to find shelter and food while he hides out, but he keeps running into Nadia.

The premise of the story was good, but I found the execution somewhat lacking. It didn’t flow smoothly as it jumped between the perspectives of Nadia, Craig and Nadia’s teacher, Mr Thomas, which I occasionally found confusing. For instance, I thought it was Nadia that went orienteering, became lost and then was “rescued” by Mr Thomas, but then later in the book, he thinks about Claudia being left alone in the woods by her parents and becoming lost. Maybe I just got mixed up, but in either case, why didn’t the child recognise Mr Thomas, when Nadia met him two days later when she started in her new class, or Claudia, as her own teacher? And there were a few other small things that weren’t quite right, like Nadia zipping up the tent up when they were actually sleeping in their wood shelters. I found the accumulation a little irritating, which lessened my enjoyment of the story.

Nadia was quite annoying; she kept breaking the rules, wandering off and generally being a pain in Mr Thomas’ side. She was also a bit whiney, and not very tolerant of others. I didn’t much like Craig either. He was a bit dim, and made some very bad choices. The teacher, Robin Thomas, I did like. He was a very experienced teacher trying to give his students the best education possible. He really took on a lot to have twenty, sixth graders in the woods for a week by himself. I would have thought for that age group it would have been more appropriate for more adults to accompany the kids on an excursion, especially one of that duration and location.

This was an okay read, it just didn’t quite do it for me. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I was still a child. I think I will ask my ten year old to read it and give me another perspective.

Lost in the Woods is suitable for upper primary and lower high school children. There was some death, violence and guns within the story.

 

*I received this book as a digital edition from the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

 

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I’ll Rescue You by M.T. Thomas

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I’ll Rescue You by M.T. Thomas, e-book novel, 189 pages, published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform in 2017.

Forty years previously a race of aliens tried and failed to conquer Earth. Since then humans have been studying the aliens’ technology, weaponry and anatomy in preparation for any further attacks. Belle is the product of one of the human’s experiments; she is half alien and half human. She is able to communicate with the aliens and listen in to their telepathic conversations. Apollo is one of the enemy aliens, come to earth as an assassin. After failing to terminate Bell’s life on his first attempt, he hatches a plan to draw her to him. However, he must work quickly before his alien colleagues drop in for a bloody confrontation.

Science fiction, romance and adventure collide in this somewhat off-beat novel. I’ll Rescue You was a quick and enjoyable read; it was funny and unique, with quirky and original characters. The plot was solid, the writing well structured and the characters detailed. I enjoyed the jaunt about the world, especially to the Paris Catacombs, and the burgeoning relationship between Belle and Apollo, though this was perhaps a little predictable.

I quite liked Apollo, despite his original mission, and his brethren. It was lovely reading his journey to self-enlightenment and empathy. For the first time in his long life, he was able to get to know himself, experience emotion and care for others, something quite apart from his previous alien life, which was cold and emotionless. I didn’t like Belle as much, though she was resourceful and kind. Belle’s human sister and bodyguard also featured a lot throughout the story. I liked seeing how events unfolded from both sides of the chase.

Although none of the characters are children or teenagers, this book is still suitable for upper primary and high school kids to read.

 

*I received this book as a digital edition from the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

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Googa Nark: A Great Adventure by Brian Moos

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Googa Nark Book CoverGooga Nark: A Great Adventure by Brian Moos, e-book, 139 pages, published in 2014.

It has been quite a number of years since I first fell into the world created by J.R.R. Tolkein, but as I began Googa Nark, that is what I was reminded of. The old man, Quibby, comes to tell our hero, Googa Nark, about a quest that he must undertake for the sake of the land and all the creatures in it. And he should set off with the group of companions waiting outside his house immediately. It made me think of reading by torchlight under the covers after bedtime as a child, where one can truly immerse themselves in a fantasy world, such as that of Googa Nark. Lands with strange names and features, odd creatures and plants, but not all that dissimilar to our own world really. There are forests and plains, valleys, mountains and streams, and across all of these, Googa Nark must venture to rescue the princess.

There are many strange words and names in this story, and the author has supplied a very handy glossary at the end of the story to help the reader remember what everything is. It was great to be able to click on the new word and be taken to the glossary and then be taken back to my place in the book. This is a benefit of e-books that I hadn’t much experienced before. I enjoyed so many of these unusual words, but I think there is something so perfect about the word “kanarful” that I might just have to work it into my everyday vocabulary! The only downsize to the bizarre names was my woeful pronunciation whilst reading aloud to my daughter.

The pace was quick, and the plot exciting. Everything flowed nicely as we followed Googa Nark along on his quest. I loved the way that the narrator inserted himself into the story, adding bits here and there. The advice to the kids reading the story was great, like getting parental permission for vine swinging, or not asking too many questions. This feature added to my enjoyment of the story, and made it more like being told the story rather than reading it.

The characters and landscapes were well described and easy to imagine. I liked most of the characters (except the bad ones, like the Booloorg Pirates). Googa Nark really is the perfect hero; strong, intelligent, brave, polite, loyal, modest… the list of compliments could go on for some time!  He wondered at the amazing things he encountered, and was grateful for all the help he acquired along the way, making some very good friends. I immediately took to the Crunzy Dragon, what a character! He is huge, hearty and peppers his speech with outbursts of “huh!”. He would be ferocious to anyone who did not know him, but to Googa Nark, he is gentle and protective. I think it would be most useful to be able to sneeze and make copies of myself, as Naabalaak Aak does! I would get so much more done 🙂 I also liked the way that 47 could multiply himself, he karnafuls (oh, I love that word!). What a world of fantastical creatures and incredible lands. I’d love to explore more of this world, and the creatures within more deeply.

Googa Nark is an engaging adventure through a wondrous world to save a princess. There are a handful of battle scenes, but nothing too graphic, and it uses appropriate language for children. Perfect for middle to upper primary school students to read for themselves, Googa Nark is also a wonderful tale to share with younger children. The story ended too soon though, but with a hint that there might be more adventures for Googa Nark to come!

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

 

Dragon’s Future by Kandi J Wyatt

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dragonsfuturecoverDragon’s Future by Kandi J Wyatt, young adult e-book, published by Booktrope Publishing, due for release 10th August 2015.

During their tenth winter, twins Ruskya and Duskya are chosen to become dragon riders. They leave their home to live in the dragon riders’ colony, learning to communicate, care for and ride their dragons. Fifteen years on, both twins have become talented riders under the guidance of their father-like mentor Glendyn. However, the dragon population is in danger. The younger dragons aren’t pairing up to mate, and the supply of eggs is dwindling. Without new hatchlings the future of the colony is uncertain. Suddenly a dragon rider from a different and hitherto unknown colony appears in the nearby village. Dragon attacks begin and innocent people are injured and killed. Ruskya must defend the colony and the village, with the help of his dragon, Wyeth, and his family and friends. The invaders are powerful and battle-ready, but what is it that they want?

The first in an exciting new series, Dragon’s Future is an enjoyable and intricate story full of magic and action. I love stories about dragons, I think they are fascinating creatures, especially the friendly ones! This book hit the spot, and I flew through it. It was engaging and entertaining, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

The characters had their back stories told slowly, with the past nicely balanced with the present, creating rich character profiles. I felt like I came to know them, especially Ruskya, Carryl and Kyn. Loyalty, trust, friendship and courage are all evident amongst the riders and villagers. They worked as a community to face the adversity that had befallen them, it took strength and sacrifice, but they rose to the challenge. The dragons also had such individual and appealing personalities, beyond just being the dragon attached to a certain rider. I enjoyed the way they communicate and bond with their riders. Alternatively, the turquoise rider was arrogant and power hungry, delighting in the pain of others, an excellent nemesis for Ruskya. Kyle was also highly dislikable, partly for his cruelty, and partly because I found him incredibly annoying and rather stupid.

At first I had trouble connecting the dragon with the right dragon rider, as the dragons’ names are all very similar. I soon worked it out though, I mostly kept getting Wylen and Wyden confused. I liked the names given to the dragons and the people, but as I really like the letter ‘y’, perhaps I am a little biased. The names of most of the characters contain the letter ‘y’, but it didn’t make them difficult to pronounce. I thought it gave the story a sense of community and tradition.

The landscape in which the story is set is well constructed, with vivid descriptions of the village, dragon colony and their surrounds, making it easy to step into this new world. The vast canyons, and sandy desert seemed like it should be inhospitable, but the people made it homely and welcoming. It is reminiscent of a time gone by, before technology, when communities were small and tight-knit, when magic was still possible. It is a great place to escape to.

A wonderfully complex fantasy, Dragon’s Future is suitable for upper primary school through to high school students. Many adults will also enjoy this story. Dragon’s Future is available for pre-order on Amazon right now, and will be released on the 10th August 2015, with its sequel coming later in the year.

 

*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.