Tagged: Book Review

Catching Fire – Book Review

Brian & Sam review Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book 2) on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the book:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. (From Amazon.com product listing)

Brian’s Review:

Book 2 to the Hunger Games trilogy, and this book is no disappointment.  Collins continues to build on her great characters and entraps your mind with them.  Again I can say if you love the movies you’ll love the books.  This is a series you will not want to put down.  I don’t recommend trying to read these books one at a time, as while you wait for the next you’ll be chewing your nails.  Just better to get them all and enjoy them as one.

Thrice Read Books reviews of Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire (Hunger Games book 2), reviewed by Brian and Sam

Sam’s Review:

The second installment in the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins doesn’t disappoint this reader, being equally good as the first. The title is Catching Fire.

Katniss and Peeta have been chosen for the Games yet again, and they have possibly started an uprising. President Snow is after Katniss, which makes this a whole lot more fun. Not! I feel really bad for Katniss.

This book was extremely fun, just like the last one, but i was slightly confused in the beginning because it just launched right into the story. Don’t worry though, everything was explained over time, which is good.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audio CD and Audible here. [affiliate link]

The Hunger Games – Book Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games

About the book:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Contains Affiliate Link)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. 

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  If you haven’t heard of the Hunger Games, I have to wonder what rock you live under.  The books are excellent. If you have seen the movies but not read the books you are in for a treat.  The movies were great, the books are even better.  Learn to love the characters in a way the movies can’t do.  Great for upper Jr. High students and above.

Sam’s Review (Added 5-22-18):

The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is a dystopian novel made for young adult. It is large print and is 374 pages long. The link to this book on Thrice Read Books is in  the description below.

Katniss’s sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, a game where there can only be one surviving winner. In a desperate act to save her sister, Katniss volunteers to take her place. Together with the other tribute, Peeta, her, ugh, fake love interest, she is forced to face the hardest challenge she’s ever encountered.

I loved this book, and, in order to understand some of what went on a little better, I took breaks and imagined myself in her position. That and I have Hunger Games music. That makes the experience so much better.

In the dislike section, well, let’s just say that I didn’t find any, which is good ‘cause I’ve got two more books in the series. This’ll be fun!

Sam and Brian review The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (YA Dystopian Fiction) on Thrice Read Books blog

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has 1 paperback copy for sale here.

This book is available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audible and mass market paperback from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

The Mini-Atlas of Snakes of the World

Review by Sam Bradshaw; the book itself can be purchased here.

This is a very interesting book.  Not full of information you never wanted to know but comes with basic information for over 500 species of snakes.  Simple pictures to help you understand the snake with a great key to understanding the pictures. Great reference book or if you love snakes great to have for your collection.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Book Review

About the book:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Contains Affiliate Link)

The Industrialist

Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.

The Journalist

Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers’ past to uncover the truth behind the unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.

The girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.  (From back cover of book)

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  I highly recommend reading this book before you endeavor on seeing the film.  Filled with twists suspense action and all out making you cheer for the underdog, the Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo will have you cheering and fearing page after page.  Word of warning, once you open this book you will not want to stop reading until you have read all 3 books in the series.  If you love books, if you love words, you love justice, then you undoubtedly love this book.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this title from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook and mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

The Templars and the Grail – Book Review

About the book:

Who were the medieval Knights Templar?  How did they become so powerful and influential?  Why were they suddenly arrested and tortured in 1307?  What happened after their suppression?  And how does their memory live on today?

The powerful Knights Templar, famed monastic warriors of the Crusades, have long been shrouded in mystery.  They were believed to conduct mystical rites, guard various relics, and perhaps possess the lost treasures of Jerusalem.  They were also bankers to kings, trusted diplomats, skilled farmers, business scions, and navigators.  Drawing on both academic and local sources, this book provides a solidly researched, up-to-date academic history of the Order of the Temple, the Knights Templar (Part One), while also examining various theories about the Templars and their enduring mythos today (Part Two).

A vital contribution to medieval Templar history, 12th-14th century medieval religious studies, Crusades studies, Grail and related literature, and an analysis of modern-day interest in the medieval Order of the Temple (1119-1312).  Appendices include a comprehensive Chronology of Events (1118-1571), a list of Grand Masters,  information on major Templar sites, and illustrations featuring Rosslyn Chapel (Scotland) and its museum exhibition.

Brian’s Review:

 If you have ever heard of the Knight Templars, the holy grail, or even the crusades, then this book is right up your alley.  This work of nonfiction is master piece put together on the history of this great and powerful knights, from their rise to the their fall, and what may or may not have happened to them afterwards.  If history was taught the way this book was put together, kids in high school would be yearning for their history classes.  I can’t rave enough about this book

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a paperback edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Eat Pray Love – Book Review

About the book:

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Contains Affiliate Link)

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans. 

Jenn’s Review:

Admittedly, I saw the movie before reading the book. (I was beyond thrilled to discover that it was a book, and snatched it up when I found it) The book, by far, is the better time investment. Gilbert is an incredible, intense story teller, and this book has touched so many lives, in so many deep ways (my life included). It catalyzed the spiritual journey that I began about 6 years ago, and helped me to figure out that I did indeed need to answer some of the deeper questions that I’d put off for years. Utterly relate-able to any woman who has been through divorce, depression, yearning or longing of any kind, this is in my top 10 books that I want my daughter to read someday.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has one copy of this book in inventory. Buy it here.

You can also buy this book (10th Anniversary edition) from Amazon in paperback, kindle, hardcover, audible, or audio CD here. [affiliate link]

Bound to Blackwood – Book Review

About the book:

Would you surrender your soul for the love of the King?

Lena, a vampire and a Guardian of the Order, has been honour-bound to protect human souls all her life.  Acting first and thinking second is what’s saved her skin time and again in the war against the Fallen, but her disregard for orders soon catches up with her when her boss is seriously injured.  Forced to take responsibility for her actions, Lena is thrust into the path of her very own kryptonite; Thorn.  The raw power of his soul calls to her and his mere presence lights a fire within her that she cannot contain.        

With Vampire magic waning and the race in crisis, can either of them afford to ignore Nature’s call? If they do, the future of the race is in jeopardy. If they don’t, they will both lose the most precious part of themselves. Their souls. 

Jenn’s Review:

I gave this book 4 stars on the Amazon website. There is some sexual content, adult language and violence. A funny and engaging novel about a Vampire clan in an age where vampires are in decline; sly subplots to foreshadow coming stories, and a romp through the country side as a vampire king and his elite guard try to solve a centuries old mystery (spoiler alert: it is fairly easy to solve the mystery early on, if you’re watching for the clues, but it’s still fun to see how they get from mystery to solution).

Buy the book:

This book is available at Amazon in Kindle or paperback here. [affiliate link]

The Butterfly Garden – Book Review

About the book:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Jenn’s Review:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (contains affiliate link)

Okay, I am generally not one for psychological thrillers, but this one had me hooked from the go. “Maya” is one of several young women (girls? They’re all between 16 and 20, with one exception) who have been rescued from a serial abductor’s clutches, but she isn’t exactly forthcoming with the information the FBI needs to wrap up the investigation.

Instead, Maya takes readers, and her FBI interrogators, on a roundabout meander through the garden prison and the lives and deaths of her fellow “Butterflies” that have been her life for the last 2 years.

An amazingly spun tale of intrigue, broken lives, psychopaths and the deep inner strength that defines survivors of trauma. If you enjoy thrillers, don’t miss this wonderfully written story told in three parts.

**Warning: While most of the scenes are glossed over, there are a couple of dicey places that could trigger those with their own childhood sexual traumas, or those who are sensitive to violence.

Buy the book:

This book is available through Amazon as a Kindle, paperback, hardback, audio CD or MP3 CD here. [affiliate link]

Canticle – Book Review

About the Book:

Canticle by R.A. Salvatore (Contains Affiliate Link)

A classic adventure from the creator of Drizzt!

“High in the Snowflake Mountains sits the Edificant Library, a place of scholarly study for priests, bards, and others. Now from the hidden vaults beneath the library a devastating curse is unleashed, and a young cleric must battle the terrifying creatures set loose by a malevolent, consuming essence that’s been released, before his own brethren turn against him. Cadderly must put his studies to the test and enter the catacombs far below to save his brothers and himself.” (From Amazon.com Listing)

Brian’s Review:

This book flow nicely, and you meet some of the more fun characters in Salvatore’s earlier books.  You can easily start this book without any knowledge of Salvatore’s other books, even though some characters are the same.  This is Book of the Cleric Quintet series and not linked to the Drizzt books.

Buy the book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You may also buy this title at Amazon in Kindle, paperback, library binding, audiobook or mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

Incoherent Gods – Promo and Excerpt

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Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

About the Book

Incoherent Gods, Gabriele Russo (GODS, INC.)

Adult, Fantasy, 276 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC (November 13, 2018)

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Hercules, guardian of the Lemuria Zoo, has a big problem: the Zoo’s divine animals have been going crazy. To make things worse, Queen Louhi, the CEO of Gods Incorporated, has just arrived for her yearly visit… with a new fiancé in tow (along with his yenta-minded grandfather Jupiter). Of course, the fact that Hercules is desperately in love with her doesn’t help his plight in any way whatsoever.

His attempt to cover up the situation quickly blows up in his face and they finally realize the animals’ madness is caused by artificial means. Cue in the bodiless god Mimir, who reveals that the real target of the mind-altering poison is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if the Tree loses its cohesion, then so will the barriers between the worlds, crumbling the foundations of reality. Who in gods’ names could be crazy enough to want to do something like that?

About the Author

Gabriele Russo

 Gabriele Russo was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors. 

Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. 

That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.

She now lives with her husband in Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, teaching French and Creative Writing, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.SOCIAL MEDIAWebsiteFacebookTwitter

Excerpt (Reprinted with Author & Publisher permission)

MIND OVER MATTER (reprinted with special character)

IÞs eye!

The pain!

IÞ’d never felt such pain!

How was it even possible? No one knew about the eyes except IÞs guardians.

Had one of them betrayed the secret?

Told it to that presence felt earlier?

Had IÞ felt a presence earlier?

Yes. Yes, IÞ had. IÞ was… almost certain IÞ hadn’t imagined it. So, which guardian? Ratatosk?

Yggdrasil threw the squirrel off. Foolish squirrel, always squirreling around.

Someone pulled at the syringes.

Pain seared through the eye. Sap leaked out, life seeped out.

Nephtys! Why was she hurting IÞ?

And Loki and the Monkey, not doing anything.

Who did they all think they were anyway? As if they could just replace IÞs usual guardians…

Yggdrasil waved a few branches around, perhaps IÞ could hit Nephtys, even pierce her with a tendril.

Damn! She was getting away.

Too bad Loki had gotten off IÞs roots, IÞ could have swallowed him whole, and the Monkey too.

Now they were all standing out of reach, looking at IÞ. Always looking at IÞ.

What about the guardians on the other planes? Could they be complicit?

Yggdrasil lashed out at them, but they were too quick to get out of the way. IÞ barely managed to slash at Heidrun’s side, pierce one of Sinmora’s eyes and nick Pegasus’s wing.

They must have been warned! Proof!

All were involved, responsible for this suffering!

IÞ would exact vengeance!

Despite the atrocious pain, the idea of retaliation brought

Yggdrasil a measure of happiness.

They would pay dearly.

And the best way to get revenge was to die.

Blog Tour Stop at Thrice Read Books for the release of INCOHERENT GODS - Book 3 in the Gods, Inc. series by Gabriele Russo, published by Fiery Seas Publishing

Jupiter stood with the others, watching Yggdrasil trash about with dismay. He’d seen Louhi approach; he’d tried to yell a warning. Stupid cone of silence.

Ratatosk was crying with big strident sobs. He didn’t seem hurt; was he feeling the Tree’s pain? Nephtys, back to human form, was holding out her hands in front of her and whispering with her eyes closed.

Was she conjuring something? She became transparent and some kind of mossy substance slowly took form in her hands. She was getting something.

With a final drooping shrug, the Tree finally stopped shaking.

Nephtys, solid once more, opened her eyes. “It’s a poultice made from the moss growing on the far side of the moon. It freezes the pain and heals wounds.”

“That’s great,” said Loki. “But how do we get it on him?”

“I’ll go,” said the Monkey.

He took the stuff from Nephtys’s hands and disappeared.

Reappeared on the far side of the clearing. Disappeared again. Reappeared outside the dome, and disappeared… Jupiter was getting dizzy.

Loki took him by the shoulder. “He’s confusing the Tree. Don’t look at him. He’s fast and wily; he’ll get it done.”

And suddenly, there he was, at the eye, putting on the poultice. The Tree reacted, but not fast enough. The monkey ran back to them, easily evading the thrashing branches.

There was a sigh that seemed to come from everywhere at once. Ratatosk stopped crying.

“So that’s the pain taken care of,” said Jupiter, “but what about the madness?”

As if to answer his question, one of Yggdrasil’s limbs shriveled before their eyes and fell to the ground with a tearing noise.

Another one began to shrivel. Ratatosk hopped as close as possible and started to sing. It went slower this time, but the result was the same: a dead, ashen piece of wood crumbling to the ground. Ratatosk closed his tearful eyes and kept on singing.

Nephtys turned to Jupiter. “I think you better go tell Mimir to hurry up with that antidote.”

Buy the Book

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Related posts: 

Sam’s Review of Incompetent Gods

Sam’s Review of Inclement Gods

Author Interview with Gabriele Russo