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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors

Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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    Sherwood Nation

    Benjamin Parzybok 9781618730862


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moiraethefatesbookreview has commented on (170) products.

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #02) by Cassandra Clare
City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #02)

moiraethefatesbookreview, December 8, 2013

* Hardcover: 464 pages
* Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; First Edition edition (March 25, 2008)
* ISBN-10: 1416914293
* Author: Cassandra Clare
* Cover art: My least favorite of the series
* Obtained: My personal bookshelf
* Overall rating: ***** out of 5 stars

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go �" especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil �" and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings �" and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? (Synopsis provided by goodreads)

After the way book one ended, I was eager to read this one. It's been a while and I'm just now reviewing it.

I really like this series and I love the way Clare has formed her characters, she makes us care about them in a genuine way. Not all authors can accomplish this, when reading this book, I think of Jace and Clary as actual people, people I would love to sit down with and have a cup of coffee.

I love how Simon has developed as a character in this one and the way Jace changed from the first page of this book to the last. We got to learn a lot more about him then we have in the first book.

We get to see more of Magnus which is always a treat, his character is fabulous! This is such a great series and I'll be sad when it ends but I look forward to being able to re read it over and over.

If you have yet to read this series, you should, it's fastpace, fun and funny!
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Cinders & Sapphires (at Somerton) (At Somerton) by Leila Rasheed
Cinders & Sapphires (at Somerton) (At Somerton)

moiraethefatesbookreview, December 8, 2013

* Hardcover: 400 pages
* Publisher: Disney Press (January 22, 2013)
* ISBN-10: 1423171179
* Author: Leila Rasheed
* Cover art: I love it!
* Obtained: My personal bookshelf
* Overall rating:**** out of 5 stars

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews

One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name�"but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)

This has been on my shelf since it was released, I finally picked it up and read it. I enjoyed it a lot, for me the one thing that knocked it down from 5 stars to 4 is the fact that within the first 50 pages or so I had already guessed the big twist at the end. It was pretty easy to guess, but it was still a good twist.

The writing style was good, the characters were great and the dialog was well done. The interactions between characters didn't seem to be forced at anytime.

I am looking forward to book two in January, I'm interested to see where all the characters are going to go from where they are now. I do hope that we get to follow the character to India, I'd like to see the characters in a different setting to see how or if they would change in anyway.

I liked Ada, she was really cool a very headstrong woman in a time that frowned upon women being headstrong.

If you are a fan of Downton Abby or Wentworth Hall, I would recommend this book.

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Thinspo by Amy Ellis

moiraethefatesbookreview, November 25, 2013

* Paperback: 136 pages
* Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 22, 2012)
* ISBN-10: 148013161X
* Author : Amy Ellis
* Cover art: It makes a statement
* Overall rating *** out of 5 stars
* Obtained: My personal book shelf

Thinspo by Amy Ellis
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews

Jenni is an average teenage girl about to graduate from high school who keeps a blog about her struggles to get a boyfriend and arguments with her best friend, Carly. But Jenni's blog is a bit different. She's a pro-ana/pro-mia blogger documenting her struggles with her eating disorder, keeping track of her weight, calorie intake and what her parents made her eat. When her best friend Carly discovers her blog, things start to blow up, only getting worse as Jenni meets Dani, who also suffers from an eating disorder. Jenni's story is tragic and sarcastic rolled into blog format and told through her posts and text messages.(Synopsis provided by goodreads)

Okay, this is one of the shorter eating disorder books I have read. I do wish it was bigger then it was but it's not. It's just an okay book, it didn't knock my socks off, but I didn't hate it either. I think what bothered me most was the ending, it felt very rushed, it all got solved and fixed up way too easily for my tastes.
Jenni felt real though, which I liked. Her anger,hurt,frustration was all things that a friend of mine (may she rest in peace) felt reading the book, I felt like I was reading about my friend.

It's a fairly fast read, I read it in a few hours on a trip. I would say to borrow it from a library or a kindle exchange before you buy. I don't think I'll be reading it again.

Overall there are better books about eating disorders you can read. The one I'd recommend the most would be Wintergirls.
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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself by Bob Pflugfelder
Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself

moiraethefatesbookreview, November 5, 2013

* Series: Nick and Tesla's High Voltage Danger Lab (Book 1)
* Hardcover: 240 pages
* Publisher: Quirk Books (November 5, 2013)
* ISBN-10: 1594746486
* Author: Bob Pflugfelder & Steve Hockensmith
* Cover art: It's not my favorite
* Overall rating:*** out of 5 stars
* Obtained: From Quirk books in exchange for review

Nick and Tesla are bright 11-year-old siblings with a knack for science, electronics, and getting into trouble. When their parents mysteriously vanish, they’re sent to live with their Uncle Newt, a brilliant inventor who engineers top-secret gadgets for a classified government agency. It’s not long before Nick and Tesla are embarking on adventures of their own�"engineering all kinds of outrageous MacGyverish contraptions to save their skin: 9-volt burglar alarms, electromagnets, mobile tracking devices, and more. Readers are invited to join in the fun as each story contains instructions and blueprints for five different projects.

In Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab, we meet the characters and learn how to make everything from rocket launchers to soda-powered vehicles. Learning about science has never been so dangerous�"or so much fun! (Synopsis provided by goodreads)

This is a super quick read. I generally don't read a lot of middle grade, but this one sounded like fun.

It was fun, but I felt like it was missing something, though I'm not sure what was missing, but it did feel like there was ingredient left out.

It was a humorous book and I really enjoyed the characters. Tesla reminds me of a young girl I know very curious.

One thing that really stands out for me is how the reader can do the experiments right along with the characters in the book, of course an adult needs to be present to help the reader with the experiments.

I think a lot of young kids and some older ones would love to be able to be apart of the story in that way.

It's fun and educational though some kids may have too much fun reading it to realize they are also learning which gives the book an extra point.

If you have a child that loves science, you should pick them up a copy of this book.

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Hush by Eishes Chayil

moiraethefatesbookreview, November 5, 2013

* Paperback: 368 pages
* Publisher:Walker Childrens; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
* ISBN-10: 0802723322
* Author: Eishes Chayil
* Cover art: I really like it, I love the words across the face.
* Obtained: My personal library
* Overall rating: **** out of 5 stars

Hush by Eishes Chayil
Reviewed by Moirae the fates book reviews

nside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail�"and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.

A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality. (Synopsis provided by goodreads)

I went into this book not knowing what to expect. There are a lot of Yiddish words in the book, if you are unfamiliar with Yiddish, there is a glossary in the back. I live in an Orthodox community, but like a character in the book, I am not Jewish. I have helped some of the people in the community on Shabbos when they are not able to do certain things, such as reset clocks, turn off the oven, turn lights on and off. So I am familiar with a lot of the customs in the book but not all. I have heard a lot of the Yiddish terms in this book just living around those in the community that use them.
I do believe that the author is an Orthodox Jewish woman.

A lot of people are shocked with how the community views outsiders, being around it, I thought that the book seemed to dramatize it, I have felt unwelcome at times when I help the community when some of the members find out I am not Jewish they distance themselves, but I understand that, as I do not hold the same views and customs as they do. It could be that each community is a bit different I don't know.

The story it's self was a hard one. The topic of abuse and the type of abuse in this book is very difficult to handle.

The style of the story can throw some people off I believe. It goes back and forth with Gittel being 8 years old and Gittle being 18 and her going through the process of finding a husband. In her community it seems to be a type of arranged marriage.

My one big issue with the book is how it ends. I felt that it was too neat. Without giving anything away it felt like the issue the book dealt with was fix too easily.

If you want to "look into another world" this book may be for you.
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