Tagged: Sam’s Teen Read Corner

Warhorse – Review

About the Book

Warhorse, Michael Morpurgo

Children’s, Historical Fiction, 176 Pgs

Scholastic Press  September 1, 2010


In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey’s courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo, former Children’s Laureate of Britain, is the author of War Horse, called “Superb” by the New York Times Book Review, and now a major motion picture. His other prize-winning books include Kensuke’s Kingdom, Private Peaceful, and The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips. Michael lives in Devon, England, with his wife, Clare. Together, they founded the charity Farms for City Children, which gives children from urban areas an opportunity to spend a week working on a farm in the countryside. You can find out more about him and his books at michaelmorpurgo.org.

Sam’s Review

Now a major movie, War Horse by Michael Morpurgo has a strong message in favor of peace.  This is perfect for horse lovers and peaceful types.

Joey has gone through so much as a war horse. He lost Andy, his boy, he lost his fellow horse to WWI, and he is nothing like the thoroughbred he is. But through it all, he sticks to his hope of finding Andy, giving the soldiers on both sides hope.

I loved this book from start to finish, because I dislike war and fighting. It was well written, and well developed, and showed that there is hope for people in battle.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam reviews Michael Morpurgo's WARHORSE - children's historical/animal fiction

Buy the Book

 Thrice Read Books has one paperback edition in our inventory, in very good condition. You can buy it right here: 

This book is available in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audiobook,mass market paperback formats from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Darker Still – Review

Featured on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner: Sam reviews DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber, YA Gothic, Mystery and Suspense

About the Book:

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber

Teen/Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy

Sourcebooks Fire (original publisher) November 1, 2011

A lush gothic tale that begs for reading…I couldn’t put it down.” —New York Times bestselling author Sarah Maclean

I was obsessed.

It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen—everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable…utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting, and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked—bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. And unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

About the Author:

Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, artist and the award-winning, bestselling author of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels for adults and teens such as the Strangely Beautiful, Eterna Files and Magic Most Foul sagas. She grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories, graduating with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era from Miami University. She began her theatrical career with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and began adapting works of 19th Century literature for the stage. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in the genres of Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful series) hit Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer’s Best Award (Young Adult category) and other regional genre awards. The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess won the 2012 Prism Award (Best Fantasy). Books one and two are now available as STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL in a revised, author-preferred editions from Tor/Forge. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, hit the Kid’s/YA INDIE NEXT LIST as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association and a Scholastic Book Clubs “highly recommended” title. Leanna’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies such as Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal, “Too Fond”; a short story on Tor.com, “Charged” in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells and the Mammoth Book of Gaslight Romance. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy series THE ETERNA FILES, is now available from Tor/Forge. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been selected for multiple book club editions. Leanna is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She is proud to be a co-founder of the original Lady Jane’s Salon Reading Series in New York. Leanna was named the 2010 RWA NYC Chapter Author of the Year. A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. She loves nothing more than a good ghost story and a finely tailored corset, wandering graveyards and adventuring around New York City, where she also works as a ghost tour guide. Active on Twitter @leannarenee and Facebook.com/lrhieber, more information as well as free reads, author resources, links to her art and Etsy store and more can be found at leannareneehieber.com

Sam’s Review:

Ever wished that you could enter a painting? Ever hoped that the loved of your life had a soul that only you could set free? Natalie has all of these abilities and more in the book Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.

Natalie is mute, has ever since the trauma of losing her mom took her voice. Certain her lack of voice will chase away everyone, she finds an unexpected friend in Mrs. Smith, a widow whose interested in a painting that was made not long before the disappearance of Lord Denbury from England. And from this, Natalie finds herself unraveling a mystery far greater than she could have imagined.

Gothic, spooky, and tense, Darker Still had me into the story from the first page. Natalie is more than just a pretty face, and she earns her place as one of my lifetime heroes. I don’t think I can stress how much I loved this book, despite having a few “heated” moments.

In this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, Sam explores the world of DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber - YA Gothic, Paranomal, Mystery & Fantasy

Buy this Book:

 Thrice Read Books has one paperback copy of this book in very good condition, and you can buy it right here: 

Kindle more your type? Amazon has this book in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

The Cursed Girl – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Sam's Teen Reads Corner looks at Maria Vemisoglous' YA Paranormal novel, THE CURSED GIRL

About the Book

The Cursed Girl, Marie Vermisoglou

Teen/Young Adult, Fantasy, 574 Pages

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 1, 2018)

A boy. A girl. A curse. You can’t always get away.

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a witch who lived in Spain, in the year 1230. She met a boy named Jonathan who would become her whole world. Everything was normal until she was faced with challenges that will change her life forever.

As a healer, her job is to help people, but there are forces that will try to prevent that. There is a war coming and Eva and her friends must do everything they can to survive. Can they fight their way against the dark forces that are surrounding them?

Her wits and inner strength helped everyone who encircled her to survive but will she be able to survive herself?

Supernatural creatures, royal backstabbing and many more await you in this thrilling novel that will take your breath away.

About the Author

Maria Vermisoglou is a librarian who lives in Greece. She has been a booklover ever since she learned to read. Her vivid imagination helped her create the magic world of ‘The Cursed Girl. There is always a story in her head so if she doesn’t answer immediately, it just means the story took a strange turn. 
She recently won the second place of the First Annual Indie Awards as the Favourite New Female Author. 

She loves trips, books and walks with her friends. Not necessarily in that order. 
You can find more about her upcoming series at 

Website      Facebook page     Bookbub    Goodreads

Sam’s Review

Cursed Girl is an amazing historical fantasy about a witch changing the fate of humankind as we know it. Creative, fun, and humorous, filled with a sassy protagonist and danger, Cursed Girl will fill your fantasy needs. 

Eva is a healer and a witch. Running a medicine shop long before women had freedom and during the time that witches were hanged or burned at the stake, she keeps her heritage a closely guarded secret. But she must risk it all when she becomes friend with the princes of Spain, and hides them from their power-hungry uncle.

Torn between following her heart and letting herself fall in love with the heir to the throne, or following common sense for witches and denying her true feelings, witches do live hundreds of years longer than us, she wages an inner war, and an outer war at the same time. 

This book was amazing, up until the end, where it was mostly just a giant epilogue separated into chapters. There was no more excitement, and the book’s main plot, which was guarding the princes, had long since been resolved in the middle of the book. The second plot was still being resolved, but it could have easily been resolved in another book, so the for the second half of it, I was pretty bored.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner looks at Maria Vemisoglous' YA Paranormal novel, THE CURSED GIRL

Buy the Book

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

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

About the Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, Jennifer Donnelly

Young Adult Fantasy 350 Pages

Disney Press (January 31, 2017)

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again. The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book before she loses herself in it forever. 

About the Author

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eleven novels – Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose – and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She is a co-author of the Fatal Throne (out in May 2018), which explores the lives of King Henry VIII’s six wives, for which she wrote the part of Anna of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife. 

Jennifer grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History. 

Jennifer’s first novel, The Tea Rose, an epic historical novel set in London and New York in the late 19th century, was called “exquisite” by Booklist, “so much fun” by the Washington Post, a “guilty pleasure” by People and was named a Top Pick by the Romantic Times. The Rose trilogy continued with The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose.

Her second novel, A Northern Light, set in the Adirondacks of 1906, against the backdrop of an infamous murder, won the Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Borders Original Voices Award, and was named a Printz Honor book. Described as “rich and true” by The New York Times, the book was named to the Best Book lists of The Times (London), The Irish Times, The Financial Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and the School Library Journal. In 2015, TIME Magazine named it one of the 100 best young adult books of all time.

Revolution was named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and was nominated for a Carnegie Medal. The audio edition was awarded an Odyssey Honor for Excellence.

In 2014, Jennifer teamed up with Disney to launch the bestselling Waterfire Saga, an epic series about six mermaids on a quest to rid the world of an ancient evil. The first book in the series, Deep Blue, was released in May, 2014; the second, Rogue Wave, launched in January 2015; the third, Dark Tide, came out in October 2015; and the fourth, Sea Spell, was released in June 2016.

In November 2015, Jennifer released the historical novel These Shallow Graves, which received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly and Shelf Awareness, and was named a Junior Library Guild Selection. 

Jennifer worked with Disney again in 2017, when she released the NY Times bestselling “Lost in a Book,” an original novel set in the world of the blockbuster film, “Beauty and the Beast.” 

Jennifer lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Sam’s Review

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly is a Beauty and the Beast story, based off of Disney’s latest version of the well-loved classic. This is a great book for Disney fans.

Belle is still a captive and she has received the library, finding an enchanted book by the name of Nevermore. Poe much? She finds herself lost in the story, literally, but can she return back to the beast and her friends when she is tricked by Death herself?

I love Beauty and the Beast, I love books, and if it features magic, Love and Death, then count me in! Wagers, betrayal, and learning to see with your heart, Lost in a Book has you coming back for more.

Sam reviews BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: LOST IN A BOOK on the Thrice Read Books review blog. YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

Thrice Read Books has one hardcover copy in excellent condition. (In fact, it’s the same copy that Sam featured in her vlog). You can buy it here.

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, and MP3 CD editions. [affiliate link]

Dragon Lightning (Dragon Dreamer Book 2) – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, JS Burke's Dragon Dreamer - YA Fantasy

About the Book

The Dragon Lightning, J.S. Burke (Dragon Dreamer Book 2)

Young Adult,  Science Fiction, 264 Pages

Lind Press; 2 edition (October 10, 2016)

Drakor foresees the doom of dragons. 

Drakor seems like a normal young ice dragon with a talent for making lightning swords. But he alone feels the changing heart of his island Volcano. It destroyed his beloved sire. Now he foresees their doom, but none will listen. As he seeks proof, the Volcano shakes him off into the frozen sea. Arak was mocked as a worthless dreamer until he and Scree, a fearless undersea misfit, saved the dragons. Now dragons and octopi sail north in search of mythical ice dragons. They find Drakor and a terrifying reality. When Scree enters the abyss to check his volcano, she discovers everyone is in peril. Can this crew of unlikely friends save three realms?

“Dragon Lightning” is stand-alone book II of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: science fantasy adventure with dragons, an undersea world, and unlikely friendships. “Dragon Lightning” won the Pinnacle First Place Award for Best Science Fantasy and the IAN First Place Award for Best Science Fiction. It’s also an IAN Finalist for Best Fantasy and an IAN Finalist for Best Young Adult book. This upbeat novel is for readers age 9 and older. 

About the Author

J. S. Burke is the creator of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world. Burke has worked as an author, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. The author lives in Georgia with family and rescue pets. Burke loves chocolate and so do the dragons! 

The Dragon Dreamer series grew from years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. These stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak, a young dragon, is one Burke survived. This series of young adult books is for age 9 and older. “Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book” has original, hand-drawn snowflake mandalas inspired by the Dragon Dreamer series. 

Book Awards for “Dragon Lightning” by J. S. Burke:
*PINNACLE FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FANTASY
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FICTION 
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST YOUNG ADULT

Book Awards for “The Dragon Dreamer” by J. S. Burke:
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST FIRST NOVEL
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION
*IAN Finalist for BEST CHILDREN’S Show Less

Sam’s Review

The sequel to Dragon DreamerDragon Lightning is still filled with magic and plenty of dragons. Arak and his friends have found a wounded ice dragon, a creature of legend and a creature of stubborn pride, by the name of Drakor. Drakor is like Arak, he sees what is to come. And he needs the golden dragons’ help to save his kind.

Dragon Lightning was fun, but again, it was pretty slow at times, which is a bummer, because the story is good. However, we’re getting more and more characters, and it’s becoming a bit too much for me.

On this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner, JS Burke's Dragon Dreamer - YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

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

Related post: 

The Dragon Dreamer Book 1 in the Dragon Dreamer Series

The Dragon Dreamer – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Sam reviews JS Burke's THE DRAGON DREAMER on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner - YA Fantasy

About the Book

The Dragon Dreamer, J.S. Burke (Dragon Dreamer Book 1)

Young Adult,  Science Fiction, 253 Pages

Lind Press (April 23, 2014)

A dragon, an undersea misfit, and a dangerous dream. 

Bullied as a worthless dreamer, Arak flew far away on a quest . . . and crashed. A fearless shape-shifter octopus named Scree rescues him, and an unexpected friendship begins. Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. But a devastating illness strikes the clan. Then an undersea volcano erupts, which triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. How can Arak use his hidden talents and a dangerous dream to save the dragons? 

Dive into a new fantasy world! “The Dragon Dreamer” 
is a stand-alone book I of the Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with dragons and an undersea world. “The Dragon Dreamer” won IAN First Place for BestFirst Novel. It’s also an IAN Finalist for Best Science Fiction and for best fantasy Book. This series has real science with a fantasy take; the octopus abilities are the same as on Earth, though their life cycle differs. For young adults 9 to 99.

About the Author

J. S. Burke is the creator of the award-winning Dragon Dreamer series: Science Fantasy Adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world. Burke has worked as an author, artist, and marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. The author lives in Georgia with family and rescue pets. Burke loves chocolate and so do the dragons! 

The Dragon Dreamer series grew from years at sea, a fascination with the alien, intelligent octopuses, and a love of dragons. These stories blend imagination with real science and author experiences. The deadly sea storm that threatens Arak, a young dragon, is one Burke survived. This series of young adult books is for age 9 and older. “Fantasy Snowflakes Coloring Book” has original, hand-drawn snowflake mandalas inspired by the Dragon Dreamer series. 

Book Awards for “Dragon Lightning” by J. S. Burke:
*PINNACLE FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FANTASY
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST SCIENCE FICTION 
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST YOUNG ADULT

Book Awards for “The Dragon Dreamer” by J. S. Burke:
*IAN FIRST PLACE for BEST FIRST NOVEL
*IAN Finalist for BEST FANTASY
*IAN Finalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION
*IAN Finalist for BEST CHILDREN’S

Sam’s Review

Dragon Dreamer is amazing and incredible. Who knew that a story with octopi and dragons could be so good? This is highly recommended for fantasy lovers and sea lovers, so don’t hesitate. Try it!

Arak is a dragon with a special gift. He can see what is happening in other places. Scree is an octopus and a Healer. She’s brave and smart, and the only one daring enough to speak to squid and dragons, and ride sharks. Teamed up, they can make peace with different species, and learn that legends are more than stories, but that they are filled with truth and hope.

This book was impressive. Combining fire (the dragons) and the water (Scree and her pod), it creates a magical mixture of love and danger. What I didn’t like though was how it felt like a children’s book. It was slow at times, and then too fast at other times.

Sam reviews JS Burke's THE DRAGON DREAMER on this edition of Sam's Teen Reads Corner - YA Fantasy

Buy the Book

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

Incompetent Gods – Review

About the book:

In a dimension created by the ancient gods, most are now stuck working at Gods Incorporated. CEO Queen Louhi Pohjola, a mortal demigoddess turned vampire (on a diet), holds the planet in the palm of her hand and while she cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called a nice person, there’s worse lurking in her shadow.

Goblin, a bitter hybrid with childhood issues and shape-shifting abilities, has a grudge against the world. First on his to-do list is getting rid of the Queen and take her place by forcing the titan Ba’al to devour her.

As her friends and allies fall one-by-one into Goblin’s traps, the Queen’s fate seems inevitable. With no one left to fight, will Ba’al’s friends, a bunch of over-the-hill incompetent gods, be enough to stop Goblin from turning the world into hell?

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.

Sam’s Review:

So, this book takes place in a dimension where all the gods and goddesses from the pantheons, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, you name it, try to survive in the modern world. Of course, all of them are governed by the leader of Gods, Inc. (trust me, it may sound like a comedy, by it really wasn’t… Either that, or I have a different sense of humor that what this book was geared towards.).

The queen, who happens to be a vampire, is named Louhi. I think that I’m pronouncing it right. The book didn’t really come with pronunciations here.

Of course Goblin, the bad guy, wants what she has: the seat of power. He gets it, he controls the gods, in a way. So, yeah, he’ll need to kidnap some gods, torture them, send Louhi to our dimension. It won’t work, but still.

This book is definitely not a kids book. It has a lot of bad language in it, but it is very good. It gets four stars, and it does have a sequel that I’ll do later. If you’re wondering why it is at four stars, allow me to explain. I did not enjoy it like I thought that i would. Sorry.

The reason behind the rating is simple, I didn’t like the concept. Gods would go great together, I thought. They’d be fine, I thought. Yeah, that kind of moment. I did like that they brought in vampires though. Vampires rock.

Buy the book:

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

Other books in the series: 

Inclement Gods

Incoherent Gods

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]