Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

Age Group: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Publishing Date: November 2, 205 by Butterhorse Publishing


Summary: Prince Aliani and his brother Nahoa are sons of a king and basically, the book starts off with a late-night adventure of sorts, which turns into them accidentally awaking this big curse or spell. After that, they travel to King Lako's kingdom, which I forget the name of, but all you need to know is that their currency is pearls, and pearls are valuable. They need supplies, so they get helped by a store vendor. Later, they join their father and King for a meeting, which is when things start to get noticed. Like the fact that the alchemist for King Lako is using whale blubber from whales to power the lamps. Or princess Momi, who is extremely beautiful and a crazy surfer. But after King Lako wants his kingdom and Aliani's father's kingdom to merge, things start to get crazy. Like 1000 year old curses shaky. It's hard to explain without giving the whole book away, but I'll I'm putting out there is you're going to want to see what happens.

What I Liked: So before I write the things I liked, I feel it is important to put this one sentence disclaimer. I'm not really sure if it's a legality if I have to, but better be safe than sorry. So. *Ahem* DISCLAIMER: This book was sent to me for a discounted or free cost in exchange for my completely honest and unbiased review *exhales* Ok, moving on, one thing I really would like to point out is that I enjoyed the book very holistically. Meaning, I enjoyed the overall sense the book gave me. It was pretty satisfying to just read the book, although explaining what that means would be hard, so just take my word, overall the book was a good read. Another thing I'd like to point out is how Mitchell Charles incorporates this brotherly rivalry between Prince Aliani and Nahoa with princess Momi. The relationship, and the rivalry, oh, it was a symphony on paper.

What I didn't like: As this is unbiased, I can't rave about the book without stating some flaws I came about. For one thing, I don't know if it was me, but the start was just confusing, which was probably why the rising action and climax made no sense. I skimmed through the first half of the book because it made zero sense. I'm not sure why I didn't understand it but I didn't. That said, I understood enough to at lease follow along and thoroughly enjoy the ending. Another thing I'd like to mention is the incorporation of Hawaiian words. I did like learning some more vocabulary than aloha but it's like if  I replaced fifty terms and words in your favorite novel with the equivalent in Dutch or something similar but not quite English, just because that's where it took place. It got a little tedious to see the word "wa'a" think about it, and then comprehend they're talking about boats instead of just seeing the word boat and moving on. Also, this didn't bother me as much but THE EPILOGUE!!! Ah, I could rant about it so much, but I'm just going to saw it was way to short (ok so maybe it did bother me)

Final Thoughts: Overall it was good, but for the nitpicky reader I tend to be, a bit tedious. Once you get to the 100 page mark, it's one of the more exciting books out there, but WARNING: getting there isn't easy.

Rating on 'the scale': 8.0 out of ten.

I'd like to take the time to thank Mitchell Charles and his publisher to reach out to me and send me a copy of your book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I can't thank you enough.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Odyssey by Homer

(Just for those of you who are die hard fans of the YouTube channel but haven't seen my new video yet: I had some tech. difficulties and I have to re-edit it, so it will be out tomorrow. Anyways, enjoy this review on a classic story)

Age Group: YA
Genre: Mythology
Publishing Date: Well it was originally written around 750-650 BC and it really wasn't ever officially "published"

Summary: So to sum up a classic myth into a paragraph, Odysseus has washed up onto the shore and is now telling the story of his amazing quest. It started when he had to leave Ithica to go to Troy, to help win the war with the Trojan Horse. Then, he angers the gods, which cause him to have to take this incredibly long journey home. They go to all these stops where they meet some crazy gods. Such as the Lotus Eaters, who have addicting flowers that almost mess up Odysseus crew. Or giant, cannibal cyclops, which trap them in a cave which for some weird reason is full of cheese. If you don't like human eating cyclops, Odysseus also has to stop by the goddess of Circe and the land of the dead, which gets pretty crazy, especially when after that he has to float by sirens who's songs will hurt their crew AND THEN go by six-headed monsters who will eat six of their crew or go by Charybdis, who three times a day vomits her meal into a whirlpool, which sucks up and kills any human that sails by. Oh, and did I mention at every single island Odysseus gets in an affair...with everyone. This may be an old Greek myth, but make no mistake, this book is one for the ages.

What I Liked: Ok, so this may be slightly biased because I did have to read this for school. But that's something that I liked about this. These are the type of books teachers want you to read. These stories will get you brownie points with your teacher, and who doesn't love brownie points? This story also opened me up to mythology. See, if you know me, you know that there are two main genres I don't like: fantasy and mythology. But after reading this, I realized that mythology isn't all boring and lame, it actually gets really interesting. I mean this can easily compare to today's thrillers, and it was written more than two thousand years ago! I really did like the whole plot concept, especially because it stems from the main character involved in the Trojan Horse- a myth everybody knows. This "epic poem" is such a page turner, and while a lot of you would easily pick Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar (IT'S SO CLOSE TO COMING AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!) over The Odyssey, this is definitely a story you won't regret picking up.

What I didn't like: Ok, so greek mythology, for one thing, is definitely a different concept from a realistic fiction tale about a dog from Los Angelos. It has an interesting vibe which was, well, interesting but confusing at times. There were also a lot of high-greek influenced words, which, unless you are taking have taken greek, can get confusing to comprehend. And I'm going to be honest, there's a reason these are the types of books you see in school. Because the action comes once you read and more or less take a second to comprehend. It isn't a story that's going to say "The gun fired and Joe ran for his life" where the action is so blatant. You have to understand the situation, and then interpret it, before you get a real kick from it.

Rating on 'the scale': 8.4 out of ten

Why? Fun, and exciting read, but definitely wouldn't say this is an everyday type of story. If you like mythology and somehow haven't read this, this is your book! If you are new to mythology I would definitely suggest at least trying to read it. It's worth the trouble.


(This isn't the official cover (there are multiple variations of the story witht heir own covers) so I just picked the first one I saw.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (and a quick remembrance of 9/11)

So this review was written awhile ago, but it's being posted today, for MMGM. I'd just like to take a moment and remember about the people who tragically died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, including the numerous firefighters and other help risking their lives to save others. I'm hoping you're not completely teary-eyed right now, but I just really want to make sure that we never forget.


Genre: Horror
Age Group: MG
Publishing Date: August 29, 2013

Quote:
“It was one of those moments when a great Don't Care wave hits you, and you float off on it, head back, looking at the sky.”

Summary:
Fifty years ago, The Problem arose in London. Ghosts were everywhere. Agencies began to pop up, to rid the city of the problem. These days, there are many small agencies scattered throughout England. Lucy Carlyle is a young agent from Northern England who is looking for a job in London. After failing many interviews, she finds herself at Lockwood & Co., a small agency looking for another member. A few months after she joined, Lockwood and Co. falls on hard times after a case went wrong. They need to get a lot of money in not a lot of time, and they find themselves taking a job that involves them staying in one of the most haunted houses in England. Will they make it out alive?

What I Liked:
The characters in this book are awesome. First you have Lucy, a ghost hunter from North England, trying to get a job in London. Sensitive with Touch and Listening. Then you have Lockwood, a mysterious boy running his own agency. Charming? Yes. Sarcastic? Yes. Sensitive with Sight. Last but not least, George, the chubby researcher and experimenter. I’m not sure what he’s the most sensitive to, because he doesn’t go out into the field that much, and when he did, he took the temperature. He has Sight, though, which is common. They all have their strengths and flaws, backgrounds, and secrets. Together, they make an elite group of agents. They work for Lockwood & Co., an independent organization (no adult supervision).
The world that was made by Stroud was believable. It is a London that went on a different path. Instead of having a lot of the technology that we use today (that you’re viewing this post on!), London is full of The Problem (the Visitors, the supernatural). Ghosts, iron, lavender, and agents with rapiers are very common to see.
Another thing that I enjoyed was the way that the book was written. I don’t usually read horror novels, but this is one of my favorite books and series. The narrator (Lucy) was witty. She combined humor and horror in the book, and the end result was not disastrous, as it might have turned out.

What I Didn't Like:
In this book, although the case gets wrapped up pretty well, I have some other questions. They would spoil the book, so I won’t say them, but this book did leave me hanging, in more ways than one. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just the worst thing I could think of.
The other point that could be negative is that I don’t really know what genre it’s in. It is horror, so there is death and blood, but I think that it's MG. There was no romance.

Rating: 9.999...=10

Why?:
The author wrote this book very well, and I enjoyed it. It's one of my favorites, and is also in a genre which I don't read in very often, but I enjoyed it. I gobbled it up and was begging for more.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

The North Hollywood Detective Club by Mike Mains

Hey Guys!

Quick Post updating the YouTube channel (and this is also for MMGM) but anyways I have a couple new videos up!

First, I'm starting a new weekly update video which will always be out on Fridays or maybe Saturdays! You can watch the first one here:

Secondly, the review for the North Hollywood Detective Club is out! Go watch it! Comment what you think!


Again, thanks a lot to Mike Mains for sending me a copy of his book!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau

Age Group: Middle
Genre: Fantasy
Publishing Date: March 17, 2015 by Harry N Abrams

Summary: Runt Higgins is a werewolf at Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions(DCSM) a school for minions in training. Unlike most of the kids at the school, Runt has lived at the school since he was little, when his wolf pack dropped him off there. Now he is a third year, in the Junior Henchman Training Program, and feels like he is cursed. After a video went viral about how bad the school is, the school starts to go downhill. Most of the new monsters are not the brightest and one of the new students, Pismo, keeps on getting him in trouble. To make matters worse, the principal becomes delusional, there is an explosion, only 5 of the 27 students selected for the Junior Henchman training Program, and Runt keeps on getting in a lot of trouble, mostly because of Pismo. Now it is up to Runt to figure out who caused all the misfortune to the school, make it into the Program, and stop getting and trouble. Along the way he finds out a lot of information, but the worst one is, he may not be a werewolf after all.

What I Liked: The author, Shelia Grau, put an unoriginal idea and changed it. Lately, I have seen a lot of books about a school for evil or a school for heroes. What Grau did is she used that idea, but instead of doing a school for evil she did a school for evil henchman, who you don't think about very often. Another thing I like is that throughout most of the book everything did not go Runt's way. In most books everything goes the protagonist's way, but in this book it did not go his way at all, in fact, almost nothing went his way.

What I Didn't Like: While I liked the idea of a school for minions, it still used the idea of a school for heroes or supervillians, which is being very overused nowadays. I also didn't like how Grau immediately put Runt in the third class. I prefer it when they start off in the first class and go up, or at least put a little bit of background at the beginning.

Rating on 'the scale': 8.5 out of 10


Saturday, August 20, 2016

I NEED YOUR HELP

Hello Internet World!

So with school starting and whatnot (at least for me), I feel the need to make another attempt to get your opinion on things. Who knows why, but I always ask you guys for your input on what content should be made, but I get nothing. It's only during random points of the year when people are suddenly begging for something. So I made a strawpoll where you can vote as much as you want, and it'd help me get an ideal of what you guys like.

Oh, and there's another video up, if you wanted to check it out


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to not Growing Up by Tommy Greenwald

Genre: Realistic/Middle School Fiction
Age Group: Middle Grade (8-12)
Publishing Date: August 9th by Roaring Book Press:

Summary: The time has come for Charlie Joe to graduate middle school. On his birthday no less, which means that he calls the shots on any event that happens. You'd think it'd be the most fantastic day of his life right? Nope. Charlie Joe just doesn't want to grow up, and he gets this overwhelming sense of middle school sickness (kind of like homesickness but worse) where he just doesn't want to leave. As a result, he attempts to pull off as many different stunts and antics as he can. First at Jake's end of summer barbecue, then the WORLD (or at least all of Eastport). he defies rules, destroys books (and some feelings), and yet, everyone punishes him because a young MAN should not be acting like this, which angers Charlie Joe, for people treating him like the "man" he clearly isn't and doesn't want to be, and he will do what it takes to prove that he has not grown up yet.

What I Liked: So one specific thing I'd really like to point out are the little flashbacks that happen. These sorts of things explain in pretty good detail exactly how these inside things/jokes go down. Like why Charlie Joe hates reading, enough to pay Timmy McGibney is Ice Cream sandwiches. They're really enjoyable and funny, and unlike in other books, I did not feel as if they were tedious nor did I ever want to skip them. Speaking of humor, I found the whole book really funny and humorous, which you can always expect when you read a book from Tommy Greenwald.

What I didn't like: Other than the fact that it was the LAST FREAKIN BOOK WHYYYYYYY, my only complaint is that it seriously couldn't hurt for Charlie Joe and Katie to I don't know make some movement. Like it seemed as if they hadn't got any closer since they'd gotten together, and it kinda upset me but it wasn't as bad the fact that it was the LAST FREAKING BOOK.

Final Thoughts: Jeff Kinney, JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Stuart Gibbs, whoever, this series will give you a run for a money. No seriously. Stop laughing.

Rating on 'the scale': Hmm this is tough. 9.6 out of ten.

Why?: Funny? Check. Eloquent in capping off an amazing series? Check. People? Check. It's got the three things people, this book is amazing!