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 Man Who Invented Christmas

ManWhoInventedChristmas

The Man Who Invented Christmas is a story about the origins of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol. With a cast of famous actors, this story is well acted, and if the content is to be believed, the origins of A Christmas Carol are interesting.

If nothing else, this movie sparked my curiosity about the life of Charles Dickens, and I hope to find a biography about him to find out if the origins of A Christmas Carol are truly the way the movie described it.

Michael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen

Rise of the Elgen.jpgMichael Vey 2: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans is the second book in the Michael Vey series. It is an engaging story and drew me in a lot faster than the first book, but it is rather violent for a children’s book series, and some of the violence even bothers me. I think it is mainly the fact that the children (not the main characters) are truly bad and don’t seem to have a conscience. I’m not used to that kind of callousness from teens. If you had a problem with The Hunger Games and the children killing children, you will have a problem with this book series. (Although, this book is much better written than The Hunger Games.)

I do want to point out that in this series, the “bad children” have been brainwashed by Dr. Hatch. They have been conditioned from a young age to believe they are superior to everyone because of their electric abilities and to see nothing wrong with taking lives. The good children – Michael Vey and the Electroclan – were not “broken” (that is the term used in the first book to refer to the process that Dr. Hatch puts the children through) by Dr. Hatch because they were older and had a formed conscience. As a result, these children rebelled against Dr. Hatch and joined Michael to form the Electroclan. So it is not that the “bad children” are intrinsically evil, it is how they were “raised” by the evil Dr. Hatch.

Anyway, the scenes with Dr. Hatch and his gang of bad children is too violent for me, and this is not a book series I am going to finish reading. It is one that I would cautiously recommend to people who don’t get quite drawn into the lives of the characters as much as I.

P.S. I do like that one bad kid in the first book had a chance of heart, and that there are signs in this book that a couple of the other “bad kids” are coming around. So I think there may be potential for some character’s to re-deem themselves, but since I’m not finishing the series, I won’t know.

The Tercentennial Baron

The Tercentennial Baron (The Bellirolt ChronThe Tercentennial Baronicles Book 1) by Will Damron is an entertaining book. It is not one of the best books I’ve read, and it is kind of slow. But it was clean and entertaining enough that I finished the book. It was actually kind of nice to have a book that I could read but put down when my responsibilities demanded it. So, from that aspect I appreciated it. It wasn’t a page-turner, but it did keep my interest.