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Sheila Deeth has commented on (315) products.

Olde School by Selah Janel
Olde School

Sheila Deeth, April 20, 2015

From toll bridge to troll bridge, from magic to television, and from “rags to riches” to the end of the Golden Age, it might be “a warm day in the Snow Queen’s castle” before this troll will let the banks cheat him with credit cards, but picking up Selah Janel’s Olde School will offer you a cool fun read presented in a nicely new “olde school” style of fairytale. The dialog is brisk, bright, and appropriately irreverent, descriptions are vividly imaginative and delightfully self-consistent, and action scenes alternate between hilarious and terrifying.

Olde School starts in a pleasingly modernized land of fairytale and troll. Characters blend contemporary archetypes with fable and charm, and all seems well up to an unmissably ridiculous fight scene. But dark deeds are afoot in the forest beyond the bridge, and some truly scary horrors lie in wait. When a “certified crone” is called to the hospital, it’s obvious there’s more than natural fairytale stuff going on here, and I would love to read more stories of this realm and Paddlelump’s ongoing quest.

Add a touch of mystery, a pinch of romance, and a healthy dose of unimagined power to modern-day fable, and you’ll get the picture. This novel is fun. Its characters are fun. And its world is just waiting for more.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy during the author’s blog tour. I just wish I’d had time to read it earlier.
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Olde School by Selah Janel
Olde School

Sheila Deeth, April 20, 2015

From toll bridge to troll bridge, from magic to television, and from “rags to riches” to the end of the Golden Age, it might be “a warm day in the Snow Queen’s castle” before this troll will let the banks cheat him with credit cards, but picking up Selah Janel’s Olde School will offer you a cool fun read presented in a nicely new “olde school” style of fairytale. The dialog is brisk, bright, and appropriately irreverent, descriptions are vividly imaginative and delightfully self-consistent, and action scenes alternate between hilarious and terrifying.

Olde School starts in a pleasingly modernized land of fairytale and troll. Characters blend contemporary archetypes with fable and charm, and all seems well up to an unmissably ridiculous fight scene. But dark deeds are afoot in the forest beyond the bridge, and some truly scary horrors lie in wait. When a “certified crone” is called to the hospital, it’s obvious there’s more than natural fairytale stuff going on here, and I would love to read more stories of this realm and Paddlelump’s ongoing quest.

Add a touch of mystery, a pinch of romance, and a healthy dose of unimagined power to modern-day fable, and you’ll get the picture. This novel is fun. Its characters are fun. And its world is just waiting for more.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy during the author’s blog tour. I just wish I’d had time to read it earlier.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Pharaoh's Daughter: A Treasures of the Nile Novel by Mesu Andrews
The Pharaoh's Daughter: A Treasures of the Nile Novel

Sheila Deeth, April 20, 2015

Pharaoh’s Daughter is a beautiful historical novel, set in ancient Egypt, telling of a time when war and politics were beginning to drive a thriving nation apart. Rich Egyptians live in gorgeous riverside villas. Favored slaves reside close by in well-ordered dorm-style long-houses. And the discarded poor eke out lives of misery. Poor Hebrew slaves suffer their short days in claypits and mines, while those of better fortune might run weaving mills or serve in a rich household. It’s all very convincing and well-researched, and it builds into an image of real people living dangerous lives at a very real historical time.

Enter the new young Pharaoh, guided by wisdom on one side and greed on the other. Gods might decree who will fight and who will die, and the Pharaoh might even be a god, but he’s also a man making foolish decisions, a child grown too soon, and a brother whose folly brings pain to his devoted sister -- daughter of the previous Pharaoh, and adoptive mother to a child she saves from the water.

Why would a rich man demand that male slaves be killed? Why would a rich woman adopt the child of a slave? Why would a boy brought up Egyptian return to his slave-bound roots? This novel offers intriguing and convincing answers, while creating a world of epic dimensions, and grounding it all in the human frailty of a girl who has seen too much death in her early years.

I loved meeting and recognizing familiar characters, Biblical and historical, in this tale, and I loved the sense of mystery generated by knowing only half of what’s to come. The author’s research is pleasingly convincing, and nicely laid out in a short author’s note at the end. I will eagerly await more of this series.

Disclosure: Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Gianna the Great by Becky Villareal

Sheila Deeth, April 13, 2015

Gianna the Great is narrated by a pleasing fourth grade girl who isn’t quite sure where she belongs. Maybe history club will help. But the mystery starts when history turns into genealogy. Now Gianna will learn of her mother’s Mexican heritage through computer records and photographs. Meanwhile readers are given a very natural introduction to Mexican phrases and foods.

My only complaint is that the book is far too short. I want to know more, and I’m sure Gianna does too. In fact I’m sure she will, but “that’s for another day...”

Short chapters lead to small revelations, and parents or teachers might find the book invaluable in encouraging young children to value the past. Young readers might well want more story though, and I hope there’ll be plenty more to come on the author's promised “another day...”

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
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Harbour Falls by S. R. Grey

Sheila Deeth, April 13, 2015

“Best-selling author of several novels” Maddy Fitch has returned to her hometown in northern Maine. Ostensibly dealing with a case of writers’ block, she’s really far more interested in solving an old murder case, where the chief suspect is Adam, a guy she had a crush on long years ago. It turns out Adam is just as handsome and enigmatic as ever, but does his secrecy hide shyness, pride, or guilt? And will Maddy survive falling in love?

The mystery is nicely hidden in this tale, but uninvestigated clues and frantic conclusions might frustrate some readers. Romance is well-hidden at times as well, with two characters who can’t seem to choose between being unable to keep their hands off each other, or being unable to speak a line of truth. Mixed signals and lack of communication abound with sweetly suggestive strawberries, maxed out credit cards, and long digressions into inner dialog because, well, Adam is really attractive and he really might be guilty. “[H]ere I am again, rehashing the facts,” muses Maddy. But where will they lead?

Harbour Falls is a long slow read, perfect for long evenings dreaming of a beautiful island with wild weather, wild passion, and wild plot.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy during the author’s blog tour and I offer my honest review.
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