Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Gift of Charms (The Land Of Dragor #1) Review

The Gift of Charms (The Land Of Dragor #1)

Release Date in the UK: September 4, 2014

5 out of 5 Stars

Note: Please note that I received the ARC of The Gift of Charms from the author. I told her I would read the book and provide an honest review.

Although I am typically into reading Young Adult (YA) books, it’s always good to read other stories from different genres. The Gift of Charms is one of those books that you will want to get your hands on. Even though the book is said to be for 8-12 years old, the story can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Without giving any spoilers, The Gift of Charms is about a misfit dragon named Yoshiko. Yoshiko lives in a dragon community that is blocked and separated from the human world. While attending school, the young dragon learns the necessary techniques it takes to be a dragon in his community, such as breathing fire and flying. Yoshiko has a hard time learning these techniques and is often bullied for it. Although true, Yoshiko does not let bullying and the inability to partake in these techniques hinder him. He keeps practicing and practicing until he reaches perfection. Also, in this story, Yoshiko is a very special dragon. Without giving anything away, Yoshiko learns that he will play an important role in protecting his community.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. The author does a great job describing her characters and providing real emotional moments. She provides a fictional world that is developed through evolution, creation stories, and myths. By adding these ideas, the story is enriched with culture and a reason why dragons exist outside the human world. Furthermore, the people who read this story will fall in love with Yoshiko because he is willing to learn and strives for success. Also, the story is very unique. Typically, dragons are always bad guys or secondary characters in books Through this story, the reader gets to see how dragons live and how they have evolved throughout time in their secret community.

This book is a perfect story for children. It hits on several of the issues that children deal with every day, such as bullying and learning in school. First of all, Yoshiko has to deal with bullying throughout the book. He is made fun of for not being able to breathe fire or fly, but Yoshiko does not let that hinder him. Yoshiko learns from his mistakes and strives to get better at these techniques. He keeps practicing until he gets each technique right. From reading this story, children will learn that practice makes perfect and that bullying is an issue that should not be tolerated. Furthermore, I hope that each reader sees that being different is ok. Although you may be unique, you are still special and important to the world. 

In my final words, this book is one that you will want to pick up. I found myself wanting more and could not put the book down while reading. In all honesty, the book kind of reminded me of Harry Potter in some instances, especially the loathing relationship between the characters Yoshiko and Igorr. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read because there is something in the story for everyone. So go out there and buy this book. I promise you will enjoy Yoshiko’s dragon adventure. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Backward Compatible - Review

Backward Compatible

By: Sarah Daltry and Pete Clark

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Note: I received Backward Compatible from NetGalley. I have been asked to provide an honest review of the book.

I first saw Backward Compatible on the Goodreads website. I saw the cover and instantly fell in love. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a gaming story? I am not a gamer but I do appreciate a good novel about gaming. Let’s just say I was very excited when I was picked to read it from NetGalley.

Backward Compatible is a story about two gamers named Katie and George. The story begins with both gamers going to a midnight release of a game called Fatal Destiny X. The two characters wait in line for the store to open and are determined to beat out the crowds for the game. George and Katie happen to fight over the same game and start to develop a friendship over it during their winter breaks from college. As their friendship develops, so does a love interest. George and Katie both question their relationship throughout the book. They wonder if their friendship will cultivate into love and tend to question each other’s intentions.

The story might seem like a love story where two characters fall in love, but trust me there is way more to this story that meets the eye. The story is witty, sarcastic, funny, and mind blowing. The relationship between the main characters and their friends is inspirational. Although most of the players are “surprisingly” gamers, the story seems real. A group of people come together to not only play games, but a true friendship arises amongst the characters. Each character is unique but they all bring something to the table: comedy, arrogance, trust, love, and annoyance. I found myself laughing at several places throughout the books due to the awkward moments the characters put themselves in. These moments made the story more real. The dialogue only enhanced the story by making the reader feel like they were there with the characters. Although some of the text is sexualized, the authors tended to make the idea of “sex” funny. The best part of the story was that the authors did not need to add a sex scene to the narrative to enhance it.

Overall, the story was great. The best part of the story was the many “geekdom” references written into the novel. Some of the references that are mentioned include: Kirby, Game of Thrones, Mario, and Firefly. By adding these references, I became more interested and drawn to the characters' personalities.

The only part I did not enjoy was the ending. I guess the reason behind that is because I did not want the story to end.  I am crossing my fingers and hoping for a sequel. I would love to see more of Katie, George, and their friends.  Hopefully, the authors decide to write another story together.

In the end, I really enjoyed Backward Compatible. If you are a gamer, play WOW, or even watch The Guild, you will enjoy this story. So please pick up the story. It will be well worth it. You will find it…well…what’s the word? Awe yeah, “adorkable.”