Category: Sam’s Teen Reads Corner

We Are Mars – Review

About the Book:

We Are Mars: The Rubicon Saga – Part 1      By Cheryl Lawson

Publisher: Southernwood Technologies Inc.

Series: The Rubican Saga      Genre: SciFi Fantasy

Release Date: May 15, 2018

The year is 2128. 

For the people of Rubicon, Mars is Home – hostile and unforgiving – but still Home. When Rubicon is taken by surprise by an unexpected and deadly threat, it’s a race against time and a desperate fight to stay alive. 

Jax and Dana, Ridley and Chuck, Lenny and Maliyah all stand on opposite sides of a class divide, battling passions and tensions in equal measure. But can they work together to avert a disaster? Could the fundamental differences between them be the key to their survival, or to their destruction? 

To make matters worse, unsettling events on Earth put the entire Mars Mission at risk and Rubicon – with little choice left – declares its independence. The news of this is not welcomed by powerful politicians that devise dubious plans to shelve the settlement, once and for all. 

Mistakes are made, allegiances shift and lives hang in the balance. No one can be trusted as allies become enemies and the true nature of life on Mars is revealed – One wrong move, and it will be your last.

About the Author:

Cheryl Lawson lives in Kamloops, BC, Canada, with her husband and son. Cheryl grew up in South Africa, moving to Canada in 2006 when her son was just a year old. They settled in the lower mainland of BC, before moving, in 2017, to Kamloops. After a long career as a graphic designer, photographer and artist, Cheryl began pursuing writing, full-time, in 2014. She released her first non-fiction book in 2016. When she is not writing, Cheryl continues to pursue her passion for nature through her art and photography. Cheryl is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and a member of the Kamloops Arts Council. Her non-fiction book, a manifesto of her career as a creative professional, is entitled Authentic Creativity, How to Make the Most of Your Creative Intent, Strategy & Perspective. It is penned under her married name, Cheryl Bezuidenhout. We Are Mars is Cheryl’s first fiction novel.

Brian’s Review:

 As a person who would love to be a Mars Colonist, We Are Mars, is a great starter book for Cheryl.  The book moves pretty fast, and has enough entertainment to keep me interested. There are a few questions I have about some of the things that take place, but they aren’t hard to over look for the entertainment of the story.  Again for a first novel, the writing was pretty good and I am anxiously awaiting book two. Cheryl really hits home with her descriptions of life on Mars and the struggles that would come with it. The “Red Planet” never read so good, as far as I have read.  Recommend this book for anyone who looks at the stars and wonders.

Brian reviews Cheryl Lawson's debut science fiction novel "We Are Mars" on the Thrice Read Books blog

Sam’s Review: 

We are Mars by Cheryl Lawson was okay. It bounced from person to person, but it’s still worth reading. The book is a science fiction, for those who are wondering.

Mars has been claimed by the human race for science. However, the precious water from the dry planet has been poisoned, causing an outbreak that kills many. The heroes (and heroine) learn that they are not the only humans on Mars.

We are Mars is perfect for people who don’t mind sudden changes of point of view.  It was still good, though. I liked the characters, and the plot twists, though I don’t like the cliffhanger.

Sam adds her thoughts to the review blog for Cheryl Lawson's WE ARE MARS, book 1 in the Rubicon Saga, on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

Beyond the Wicked Willow – Review

Sam from Thrice Read Books reviews MJ Rocissono's YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

About the book:

Beyond the Wicked Willow by M.J. Rocissono

Teen Science Fiction/Fantasy

Published by Pandosia Entertainment September 7, 2017

342 pages in print format

FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when he thinks things are looking up, well…all heck breaks loose. It happens in home-ec class just moments after the girl of his dreams, Jenny Moran, invites him to the annual town carnival. Still dazed from the unexpected invite, Frankie accidentally plasters the face of school bully, Brick McDuddy, with a giant scoop of chocolate mousse. 
Embarrassed, and fuming mad, Brick plots to deliver his painful revenge at the carnival. When Frankie, and his pals, Sam, Beef, and Bookworm show up to meet Jenny, Brick and his nasty bootlickers, Harold “The Horrible” Dunson and Billy “Scat” Pile, chase them into the eerie tent of an old Gypsy fortuneteller named Mala. Trapped with nowhere to run, Frankie makes a pact with Mala not knowing that he and his pals would be swept through her crystal ball to Medieval Italy. Now, their only hope to return home rests in Frankie’s hands. He must kill the evil Italian witch, Il Strega Diavolo, and rescue Mala’s twin sister, Tsura. But, can Frankie find the courage to face the Strega?

About the Author:

M.J. ROCISSONO is a lifelong daydreamer, an inescapable habit that earned him plenty of D’s and F’s throughout elementary and high school. After “graduating,” he spent seven years traveling around the United States, Europe, and the Balkans where he studied various cultures and customs. After moving to Vermont, where he settled with his wife and three children, he studied writing and literature at Vermont College of The Union Institute and University. His passions are family, human rights, social justice, animal welfare, and climate change. You can contact him on Twitter at @mjrocissono or by email at mjrocissono@gmail.com.

Sam’s Review:

Beyond the Wicked Willow, by M. J. Rocissono, is a teen read. It was very good, and its genre was fantasy. Filled with courage and humor, this good for those who like time travel, dragons and, more.

Frankie and his three friends, Bookworm, the nerd of the group; Beef, the glutton; and Sam, the strong tomboy who’s got a crush on Bookworm, are in a bit of pickle. Running from jerk bullies at the fair, the four buddies take shelter in the fortune teller’s tent.

Mala, the fortune teller, sends the four of them to the past to save her twin sister. Along the way, Frankie learns that he’s the Witchslayer, the one destined to kill the Strega, and his tiny army is made with seven people, counting Frankie and his buds.

I enjoyed this book because of the magic, and the hilarious scenes. I didn’t like how there were some words that I didn’t understand, but that’s okay since I don’t speak Latin. Other than that, I enjoyed. This book is fascinating to read, and easy to understand.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews M.J. Rocissono's Teen/YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats here. [affiliate link]

Diary of a Snoopy Cat – Review

Thrice Read Books review blog post for RF Kristi's "Diary of a Snoopy Cat"

About the book:

Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi; Inca Cat Detective Series book 5

Upper Elementary/Middle Grade Mystery Fiction

Self-Published October 28, 2017 182 pages

Read the hilarious and breathtaking antics of Inca and her family of furry friends as recorded through the eyes of Inca a Siberian Kitty. Inca decides to start a Diary! A heart-pounding saga unfolds as she keeps the reader thrilled recording her detective exploits.

When Inca and family move to London from Paris, they make a whole new set of friends, including Monk, a Blue Russian cat and Terrence, a Golden Retriever who ably and bravely assists his world-famous detective owner, Solo. Inspired by the adventures of her new friends, Inca sets herself the task of becoming the world’s best cat detective and begins to keep a diary of her exploits.

When Monk arrives one evening, with news of a meeting to take place later that night, Inca is excited and can’t wait to attend. She is told of a perilous journey that must be undertaken by Solo and Terrence, who are to travel to the Himalayas, to search for the missing Raoul, a friend who had failed to return from an expedition.

The departure of Terrence means that Inca can take on her first proper job; the baffling incident of Mr. Finchley’s missing will. But does the young cat have what it takes to crack the case and save the tormented and ferocious Rottweiler – Boss? And can she do it without the help of the wily old Retriever?

About the author:

R.F. Kristi, the author of the Inca book series is a former professional of the United Nations Children’s Fund. She holds a doctorate in economic development and has travelled and lived in various countries of the globe. With a deep commitment to animal rescue efforts, Kristy has a keen interest and love for animals. She created the Inca Cat book series for younger readers up to age 8 or 12 and also animal lovers. Kristi currently resides in France. It is anticipated that the proceeds of the Inca Book Series will be donated to animal rescue efforts in developing countries.

She has always been fascinated with cats. The intelligence and allure of cats has always enchanted her and she has found them the best of companions. She often remembers reading a good detective story with her feline companions close by her side.

Sam’s Review:

Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi is a upper elementary book. Inca wants to be a world famous detective. Seems simple enough, right? I mean, as a cat, she’s agile, quick, and smart. All she needs now is a case. Luckily for her, a will goes missing and an evil man tries to claim what’s not his.

This was very fun to read and another fun and innocent break from teen reads. I love cats, so giving this book a try was a no-brainer. I enjoyed this book from start to finish because of the well defined characters, and the wonderful illustrations.

What I didn’t like about this book was how I couldn’t see the Rottweiler actually speaking. I mean, technically, none of them should have been talking, but this is a kid’s book. It’s allowed. I can imagine the rough voice, but not the growl at the end.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner and Thrice Read Books features children's book, Diary of a Snoopy Cat, by RF Kristi on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook formats from Kindle here. [affiliate link]

Healer – Review

About the book:

Healer by Susan Miura

YA Inspirational Fiction 

Vinspire Publishing January 31, 2018

258 pages

A young adult novel from Vinspire Publishing

Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli’s average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn’t something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji. Definitely not Kenji.

​Deep beneath Misty Morning’s tough façade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters…until Shilo prays for Tyler, and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.

Shilo can’t give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.

The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.

About the Author:

Susan loves to wander. Beaches, mountains, deserts, caves and canyons…it doesn’t matter, as long as she’s surrounded by God’s amazing creation. When wandering isn’t an option, she’s an author, travel presenter, public relations professional and photographer. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Susan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in journalism and a determination to become a reporter. From a newsroom in Berwyn, Illinois to a television station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her dream became a reality. Back in her home state, she works in public relations for a library and is a member of Willow Creek Community Church and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Susan is happily married and the mom of a daughter, son, stepdaughter, and one incredibly adorable Cleo cat.

Sam’s Review:

Filled with religion, and magic, Healer is a good book. The author is Susan Miura, so please show her some love by reading her books.

Shilo, an Italian Christian, has the Lord’s healing power. This means that she can heal anyone, so long as God wills it. The gift runs in the family, but it has to remain a secret. If anyone knows about the gift, oh boy, reporters, sick people, injured people seeking out help, etc., will not leave her or her family alone.

Susan Miura’s Healer is a true fantasy with magic and a bit of drama. Even though it’s religious, I’m okay with that because I try not to judge people on what they write and what they like. Honestly, I can’t find any dislikes about this book, so that’s that.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Susan Muira's new release, Healer, a YA Inspirational/Christian fiction novel on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

More Praise for Susan Miura’s Healer

Susan Miura’s thought-provoking novel, HEALER brought out longings in me I’ve had for years. How I’ve wanted to have the gift of healing during times when loved ones were suffering, but to no avail. However, Miura’s ever-present theme of “be careful what you wish for” is carefully balanced with the supreme mes- sage of what faithfulness, acceptance and love do to heal our wounds and bind up our hearts. It doesn’t take a special gift to exhibit those, but the resulting miracle is just as powerful. Beautifully rendered. – Lisa Samson, author of Women of Faith’s Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer, The Passion of Mary Margaret, and Summer of Hope.

Miura pens a unique and moving tale of a young woman’s extraordinary spiritual journey amidst all the tangles of being a teenager. Evocative in its possibilities and yet totally relatable, this is a book that will not only keep any reader turning the pages, but also stop and think “What if that happened to me?” — Allie Pleiter, award-winning author of over 25 inspirational nov- els.

Talented author Susan Miura has crafted an engaging young adult tale of the power of faith, love, family, and friends. I can’t wait to read more of what Shilo does next with her amazing gift. –A.J. Cattapan, award-winning author of Angelhood and Seven Riddles to Nowhere

Muira’s own gift of writing well crafted young adult suspense shines in this page turning story. Shilo’s strug- gle to learn what her gift means for herself and those around her parallels questions many have about their identity and purpose. This diverse, sympathetic cast deals with weighty situations in between soccer practice and normal life in a seamless, enjoyable story. – Amy Alessio, multipublished author, speaker, and librarian.

Jem of Skye – Review

Sam reviews George Wier's YA Science Fiction novel Jem of Skye on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Jem of Skye by George Wier

Book 1 in the Factions of Skye series     YA Science Fiction

Published by Flagstone Books January 18, 2018

226 pages in print

Jem is an orphan living in the floating city of Cirrus. As the dreaded Horn attack, Jem and his friends are scooped up in the adventure of a lifetime when the floating orphanage, Janus, is destroyed. Not only must Jem, Crowen, Kaetu, and a mec named Goat survive aboard a Horn capital ship, but they must find a way to save each other and all of Skye. In order to do so, Jem and his friends soon find themselves in the crosshairs of the two greatest fleets ever assembled, with a battle coming that may bring nightfall upon Earth forever. But there is hope in a well-kept secret buried beneath a mountain far below in the Land left devastated by the two-hundred year-old holocaust.

About the author:

George Wier is the author of the popular Bill Travis Mystery series, and a number of other standalone mysteries. He also writes science fiction and steampunk. 

The Bill Travis Mystery series has been hailed as a tour-de-force among modern mysteries. In this adrenaline-fueled series, George Wier throws all sorts of fantastic scenarios at his protagonist. The characters and situations are often quirky, but no less true to life, and the feel is such that the reader is present alongside Bill Travis as he struggles through one disaster after another.

In his own words: “I currently live in Austin with my lovely wife, Sallie, along with two cats and two dogs. I began writing in earnest in 1986, although I have been creatively writing far longer than that. I find that I have far more ideas than I could ever write down, and so I pick and choose only the best story ideas. I write what I, myself, like to read, and nothing more. I am always happy to talk to a reader and would dearly love to hear your comments. Please visit my website at www.georgewier.com. There you will find free short stories, anecdotes, and links to other books and writers. Thanks for reading!”

Sam’s Review:

Jem of Skye by George Wier is a science fiction book about a boy named Jem. His world is falling apart, though he doesn’t realize it. No one does. But when the dreaded Horn attack and he’s forced to take a Horn ship for his own, along with three friends, counting a mec by the name of Goat, he learns that the Horn isn’t the real enemy.

Fun filled, cute, and kind of funny, the list for the things that I liked about this book goes on. Jem and his girlfriend, Kaetu are very sweet together. Jax (the captain of a trading ship that played a HUGE role in the story) and Jem’s friend, Crowen, both can pilot a ship wonderfully.

However, it seemed like the book moved too fast for me. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

Sam reviews Jem of Skye by George Wier - YA science fiction novel - on the Thrice Read Books blog.

Buy the Book: 

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

The Window – Review

Thrice Read Books & Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews The Window by Amelia Brunskill - A YA Mystery Novel

About the Book:

The Window     by Amelisa Brunskill

YA Mystery/Suspense 

Published April 3, 2018 by Delacorte Press 

343 pages

Secrets have a way of getting out. . . .

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought. 

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.

About the Author:

Amelia Brunskill writes young adult novels and short stories. She is an unintentional killer of plants and a highly intentional eater of baked goods. She works as a librarian and she lives in Chicago. 

You can visit her at www.ameliabrunskill.com or follow her on twitter @ameliab.

Sam’s Review:

Drama. Mystery. School. Identical twins. Secrets. Murder. All of that and, more star in The Window by Amelia Brunskill. I would classify this as a murder mystery/suspense. Allow me to explain why.

Jess and Anna. Anna and Jess. That’s the way it’s been for all of Jess’s blissful life as Anna’s identical twin, despite them being so different. But, that is changing. And quickly. Jess knows there’s more to Anna’s death than the world let’s on, and she’s determined to uncover every, last secret, no matter what the cost is.

This book had me hooked to the very end, and left me wanting more. And the reason why I’m not putting in any mention of humor is because there wasn’t a whole lot. The end, as I said, left me wanting more, but it was also satisfying. In other words, I loved it!

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features Amelia Brunskill's YA Mystery/Suspense novel THE WINDOW on the Thrice Read Books review blog.

Buy This Book:

Thrice Read Books has one hardback copy of this book in our shop inventory. You can find it here.

You can also purchase this book in Kindle or Hardbound editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Fallen to Grace – Review

Sam reviews Fallen to Grace, a YA Metaphysical novel by A.J. Flowers on Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Thrice Read Books.

About the book:

Fallen to Grace by A.J. Flowers 

Book 1, Celestial Downfall series

YA Metaphysical/Visionary Fiction

Published by Amazon Digital Services, LLC November 30, 2016

281 pages

Angels have ruled for too long… it’ll take one of their own to stop them.

Azrael’s a wingless angel, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she’s the only one with a functioning conscience. Her bi-color eyes mark her as a moral hybrid, and when she breaks her enslavement to Manor Saffron by making a deal with a demon, she doesn’t expect to become Queen. She’ll have to survive her new royal magic, convince a legion of angels she’s worth fighting for, and find the breach in her Faustian deal, or risk a new master with horns. 

★★★★★Awards★★★★★ 
2018 Silver Chapter of Excellence Award 
2017 eFestival of Words Best Fantasy Finalist!

About the Author:

A.J. Flowers is a fantasy author, book blogger, and automotive engineer in Detroit. She loves her writing, her work, and above all, her faith and family. When not writing or designing, you can find her saving the world from annihilation on her favorite video games side-by-side with her Dutch husband and princess Blue Russian kitty named Mina. To follow AJ’s blog for new writing tips, head on over to https://ajflowers.wordpress.com

Sam’s Review:

A.J. Flower’s Fallen to Grace is a fantasy novel featuring angels and demons, but it isn’t a Christian/Fantasy novel. Instead of God, we have the Divine, which are pretty much the gods of all that is good. Being the first in a series, it ends on a cliffhanger.

Azreal is a Hybrid Windborn, which means that she is a fallen angel with a demon. Female Windborns are sold for, well, slavery. Azreal makes a deal with her demon to change her fate and set her free. And her fate goes from slave to Divine princess.

But her new position comes with danger, and she may not last long enough to become queen. Filled with interesting characters, and feelable emotions,  Fallen to Grace will have you hooked.

Sam's review of FALLEN TO GRACE, YA Metaphysical novel by AJ Flowers. Book 1 of the Celestial Downfall series - featured on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy this book: 

This book is available through Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audiobook editions here. [affiliate link]

Evercrossed – Review

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features YA Paranormal fiction, Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler

About the book:

Evercrossed (Kissed by an Angel, book 4) by Elizabeth Chandler

Published by Simon Pulse March 8, 2011

YA Romance, Fantasy and Supernatural 304 pages

It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends.

But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life. As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost.

But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her….

About the Author:

Elizabeth Chandler is a pseudonym for Mary Claire Helldorfer. She is the author of the Kissed by an Angel and Dark Secrets series. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sam’s Review:

Elizabeth Chandler has written an okay story, named Evercrossed, about angels, humans, and love. I wasn’t a fan of the book, but it was still good. The book is part of a series, and it isn’t the first.

Last summer, Ivy lost Tristan, the love of her life, to somebody trying to kill her. Now, on the her anniversary of her relationship with Tristan, she has to put up with guilt. But once again, she is in danger. And her new boyfriend, Will, or Tristan, may not be able to help her.

I didn’t really enjoy this book, because it wasn’t my type, like I thought it was. It didn’t hold my interest, which is a shame, because it was a very interesting concept. The characters were well developed, and the setting was well done.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner features Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler (Book 4 in the Kissed by an Angel series)

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has 1 paperback edition

This book is also available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and Audio CD MP3 editions from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Tribute – Review

Sam reviews Chris Knoblough's Middle Grade Horror novel TRIBUTE in this edition of the Thrice Read Books review blog

About the Book:

Tribute by Chris Knoblaugh (The Cleaners, book 1)

Middle Grade Horror/Latino Fiction 255 pages

Self-published through Amazon Digital Services, LLC April 13, 2018 

When twelve-year-old Miguel’s gang member Papa makes promises to Santa Muerte, someone in Miguel’s family loses a soul. The last time, it was Miguel’s gentle aunt. This time, the target is Miguel’s brother, Juan.

Santa Muerte, the skeletal patron saint of drug traffickers and murderers, always claims her fee.

The trouble is Miguel won’t let Juan’s spirit go. The resulting paranormal possession attracts demons, doppelgangers, and an ancient soul slayer from the depths of Hell — all of whom must be vanquished if Miguel is to live. 

Even with help, Miguel’s refusal to release Juan threatens the lives of those Miguel loves most. Miguel must choose to release his brother or lose yet another loved one, for the bargain was made with Santa Muerte and the price must be paid.

About the Author:

Chris Knoblaugh runs Dancing with Words Tutoring along with her husband, Mark Dooley. She currently teaches English at a middle school in south San Jose, California. Her interests have expanded to include self-publishing and blogging. Her blog, https://dancingwithwordstutoring.blogspot.com, is structured to help reluctant students learn to be comfortable with writing. She and her husband live in California with more books than necessary and two rescue kitties. Her much beleaguered daughter, Monica, holds her own in this raucous family.

Chris has a B.A.in English Literature with High College Honors, a B.S. in Biology, and an M.A. in Teaching with Reading Specialization. Her novels and stories incorporate myths, cryptids, regional traditions, and historical settings. She enjoys writing for her students and for her tutoring business. You can find her at her blog, at FaceBook, or at Twitter.

Happy hauntings!

Sam’s Review:

Welcome to the land of Tribute, AKA, a book about demons, possession, and a heck ton of danger and ghosts. Tribute was written by Chris Knoblaugh, and is about a Mexican-American family living in San Jose, California.

Miguel has lost his brother, Juan, and is bound determined to find his killer. But Juan hasn’t found his peace, and is stuck in purgatory. This makes him a ghost, and when Miguel ticks him off, he summons a ton of demons that put him and his loved ones in danger.

For me, this book was a trip to crazy town, with a whole bunch happening at once. Several times, I had to shake my head and go, “what? Just, what?” Please know that this book has swearing, and some violent moments, mainly about the demons. It was still interesting, though.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam faces Santa Muerte in Chris Knoblaugh's middle grade horror novel, TRIBUTE

Buy the Book:

 This book is available from Amazon in Kindle format only, here. [affiliate link]

Additional Information about this book:

 Ms. Knoblough was featured in her hometown newspaper about the same time she submitted her request for review. She talks more about her motivation behind writing and publishing Tribute. You can read the story here.

Reaper’s Return – Review

About the Book

Reaper’s Return, Ren Cummins (Chronicles of

Aesirium, book 1)

Young Adult Fantasy/Steampunk 302 pages

Self-published through CreateSpace March 10, 2011

What if Death wore a pretty black dress?

Everyone in Oldtown had heard talk of the Reapers. Even though nobody had seen one in years, everyone whispered the tales: flying from rooftop to rooftop, stealing the souls of the unwary, letting their undead beasts hunt through the streets for any member of the community too reckless or fearless to heed the nightly curfew … mysterious and terrifying, most feared to even mention them by name, lest they appear and gather your spirit away.

For 11-year-old Romany, her greatest fears were less about the mythological Reapers and more about surviving a miserable life inside of Oldtown’s solitary orphanage. Her stark white hair made her an obvious target for the bullies, and the cruel nickname of “Ratgirl” had followed her for years. But if Rom thought her troubles were behind her, being struck dead by a bolt of lightning would only open the door to an entire life of new ones.

First on the list? Finding out that she herself…is a Reaper.

Reaper’s Return is book one of the Chronicles of Aesirium, a YA Steampunk fantasy adventure series.

About the Author

Sam, Ren Cummins, & YA Author Kiri Callaghan at Westport's Pirate Daze, 2018

(Sam, Ren Cummins, and Kiri Callaghan at this year’s Pirate Daze in Westport, WA. Ren was kind enough to gift a signed copy of this book to Sam when we met him.)

Ren Cummins found his talent with storytelling in high school and has been writing ever since; either music or fiction. With a focus on creating kick-ass female characters in superhero stories for his child, Ren launched into the world of fantasy and sci-fi, where his love of philosophy and the bleeding edge of science returned him to tall tales that seemed fantastic but with an air of familiarity. 

He has authored over eight fantasy novels, beginning with The Chronicles of Aesirium and continuing on with the Tales of the Dead Man.

Ren continues his writing journey in Seattle, where he resides with his wife, their child and their two dogs.

More of this traveler’s journey can be found at www.renwritings.com

Sam’s Review

Introducing, a fun, and amazing book by the name of Reaper’s Return, filled with magic, and some themes of steampunk, which I love. Plus, it had talking animals! Alright!

Rom has a gift for handling animals. And, she’s dead. Kind of. She dies once, and then revives it all over, with the knowledge of what was going to happen. Then she learns that she is the Reaper, a entity that helps creatures move on to death.

But she is being hunted for her ability. It’s a really good thing that Rom has good friends.

I loved this book from beginning to cliffhanger end. That’s right, folks, it had a cliffhanger, sort of. But I loved this book. Rom, Kari, Cousins (gotta read it to find out how that name came to be.), and Mully are an amazing team, and work great together.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam reviews YA Fantasy REAPER'S RETURN by Ren Cummins.

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle (Kindle Unlimited, as well), paperback and audiobook formats from Amazon here. [affiliate link]