Twinborn Chronicles

twinbonrchronciles1This is a loooooooooong story!

I downloaded the audio version of Twinborn Chronicles: Awakening Collection by J.S. Morin from Audible. The download included the first three books in the series – Firehurler, Ethersmith, and Sourcetheif. In total, the collection is 67 hours and 32 minutes! So, you understand why I say this is a loooooooong story. The narrator, Mikael Naramore, does a fabulous job with all the characters (and believe me, there are a lot of them).

The story is difficult to explain, so below is the description of the collection from Amazon:

Caught in plots between two worlds, his only hope is to awaken the link between them.

Kyrus had lived a quiet life as a scribe until his dreams begin seeping into his waking life. Fanciful tales of magic and battle turn out to be real. In his sleep, he witnesses the adventures of his twin. Kyrus is swept up in the intrigues of those who already know of this connection between worlds.

As his knowledge of the two worlds grows, so does his entanglement in the intrigues between them. Kyrus discovers friends, lovers, and adversaries among the twinborn. His knowledge of magic grows until he becomes a valuable pawn for masterminds of plots that threaten empires.

Kyrus must learn a deadly game against opponents who already know the rules. He must join forces with his twin to combat threats in both worlds. One misstep or misplaced trust and Kyrus could find himself dying…twice.

Twinborn Chronicles: Awakening Collection is a three-book collection chronicling the adventures of heroes who alter two worlds. For fans of epic fantasy who aren’t looking to start another unfinished series, the Twinborn Chronicles provides multiple new worlds to explore and all the closure you’ve long been denied.

©2012 J.S. Morin (P)2018 J.S. Morin

The general idea is that there are two worlds, and most people go through life never knowing of the existence of the other world. However, some individuals have “twins” living in the other world, and whenever one twin sleeps, instead of dreaming, he/she sees the daily life of their twin. Kyrus is one of these “twinborn” and soon finds himself on an adventure he never imagined. After all, he was just a scribe, but now, he is so much more!

The characters in the story are very well developed and complicated. Even the villains you have sympathy for, and for me, I wasn’t exactly sure whose side I was on. 🙂 My favorite aspect about the book was its uniqueness. The idea that people have “twins” living in another world made for an interesting dynamic, especially when the twins realized their connection and used it as a tool for spying, negotiating, and communicating with each other and their enemies.

As I said previously, this is a loooong story. I listened to the first two books and started the third. I got impatient and wanted to know what happened, so I skipped to the end and never actually completed the third book in its entirety. I think, had I downloaded and listened to each book individually instead of as a collection, I might have enjoyed it more and not been so impatient to finish it. But, overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others, with the disclaimer that it is long and thus requires some patience to complete.

P.S. It will be added to my “favorites” list.

Castle

Castle is an ABC television series that aired from 2009 – 2016. The series centers around Richard Castle, a famous novelist, as he accompanies the NYPD on their homicide investigations.

When we first meet Richard Castle, he is experiencing writer’s block and has killed off the main character in his profitable murder mysteries series – Derrick Storm. Unbeknownst to Castle, someone is killing people, using his stories for inspiration. Castle is interrogated by the police and ends up assisting them, much to the annoyance of Detective Kate Beckett, in their investigation.

In finding the murder suspect, Castle also finds the solution to his writer’s block – Kate Beckett. Inspired by her feisty personality, Castle decides to base his next series off of her.

With the permission of the New York mayor and despite Beckett’s objections, Castle tags along, accompanying Beckett and her team on their homicide investigations. Inevitably, Castle becomes an integral part of the NYPD, even if he does drive Beckett insane.

The show is full of humor, but does contain adult content. Castle is rated TV-14. Compared to some of the other mystery shows I’ve watched (like NCIS), there are more bedroom scenes and adult references. While they aren’t found in every episode, and you may go several episodes without any, they do occur more regularly than I would like. Consequently, if you have young teens you might want to watch the episodes beforehand before showing it to them.

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker

It amazes me how people can see the same movie and come out with drastically different opinions. Two of my friends really liked Rise of Skywalker; I, on the other hand, kept checking my watch to see when it would be over.

Personally, I found the movie to be slow and poorly scripted. As it is incredibly hard for me to support my opinion without giving away spoilers, you will just have to watch it and decide for yourself.

If you like it – GREAT!

If you don’t, I’m sorry you wasted $15 dollars and 2.5 hrs of your life.

My suggestion – wait until you can view it on Disney+ or get it from the library.

#riseofskywalker #fallofstarwars

Secrets of the Bloody Tower

GhostersSecrets of the Bloody Tower is the third book in the Ghosters series written by Diana Corbitt. This book finds Kerry, Theresa, and Joey in Kerry’s home country of England. What are they doing there? Visiting Kerry’s family of course! And ghost hunting!

While Theresa and Joey’s dad goes on a two-week book tour in England, Theresa and Joey are invited to stay with Kerry at her grandmother’s house. Unfortunately, an illness puts Kerry’s grandmother in the hospital, so the three kids are left to explore England alone. During their tour of the Tower of London, they meet the ghosts of two young boys who implore the trio to find their bones and give them a proper burial. Thus, Theresa, Joey, and Kerry traverse the streets of London in search of the missing bones, meeting many other ghosts and making important ghost hunting discoveries along the way.

My favorite character in this book is still Joey. I like how he is treated as a valuable member of the team despite having Asperger’s. I know I’ve said it before, but so often characters with special needs are relegated to the background, or their importance isn’t realized by other characters until the conclusion of the story. One thing I really like about Joey is his perseverance and courage. He knows certain things are difficult for him like making eye contact or being touched, but instead of avoiding those things, he works hard to push through the uncomfortable feelings he experiences when making eye contact or being touched.

While Joey is my favorite character, I still like the other characters as well. I find Theresa and Kerry to be respectful of the adults in their life and considerate of those around them. They eagerly pitch in and help Kerry’s aunt, who checks in on them periodically while Kerry’s grandmother is in the hospital. Like all children, Kerry, Theresa, and Joey aren’t perfect, but overall, they are good kids.

It may sound weird to talk about the behavior of the characters especially when it is not central to the story, but these little traits – being considerate, respectful, responsible, courageous, and imperfect – are what make these children a positive role model for young readers.

As with Ms. Corbitt’s other books, Secrets of the Bloody Tower is well written and interspersed with humor, mostly in Joey’s attempts to use common idioms. Some parents may want to know that this book delves a bit more into the spirit world with the trio attempting to hold a séance and visiting a Wican store to purchase an ovilus. It is by no means dark like the Harry Potter books, but some parents might not be comfortable with those references.

Overall, this is another solid book by Ms. Corbitt that is sure to be enjoyed by children (or adults) who enjoy ghost stories or a good scare.

*I was provided with Ghosters free of charge in exchange for my review of it. I received no monetary compensation, only the privilege and enjoyment that comes with reading a well-written story.

The Beginning, Book 1, Part 1

The Beginning BOok One.jpg

The Beginning, Book 1, Part 1 of the McKinnon Legends, by Ranay James tells the story of a duchess named Morgan Pembridge who escapes her abusive uncle. Disguised as a boy, she encounters a night named Nick McKinnon, and together they flee her uncle.

It is hard to give much more of a synopsis without giving away the plot, but I’m sure if I tell you that this feels more like a romance story than a time-travel story (which is what it claims to be), you can figure it out.

Honestly, I think this is one of the hardest reviews I’ve written. It’s very easy to write reviews when you obviously love something or obviously hate it. This book was sort of in the middle. The story was not strong, but was promising. I didn’t want to put it down . . . until the last 1.5 hours (I listened to the audio book). In that last 1.5 hours, I found myself rolling my eyes and saying “Oh, come on! We are really going to do this again?!” (Imagine a tone of sarcasm and exasperation as you read that sentence.)

It is hard to justify why I believe events in the story were unrealistic and drawn out without actually giving away spoilers. So, you will either have to trust me, or read the book yourself. 🙂

If you want a very thorough review, you can check out Hayat’s review on Goodreads. Please note, that my review is only of Part 1. Apparently, parts 1 & 2 were published as separate books but have since been combined into one book. Hayat’s review is of part 1 and 2.

Also, I will say this book is probably PG-15 for some sexual references. Not enough to warrant my “sensitive reader alert” but enough to caution parents about letting their teens read it. 

P.S. And no, if you are wondering, I will not continue to read this series.