Book Reviews

25 Jun

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

Today I’d like to share reviews of an eclectic group of books I’ve read lately. I’ve enjoyed reading since I was a child, and I have my favorite “go to” genres, but through the years, I’ve diversified my reading. I figured life as a whole has romance, horror, suspense, thrilling events . . . and reading different genres gives me insight into all aspects of life. With this knowledge, I can ground my fiction in reality and also add an extra layer to my stories.

PhotJo

My first review is of a children’s book titled Oskar’s Quest by Annika Perry. You can get a copy of it here.

BLURB:

Oskar is afraid of adventures. Yet one day he finds himself on a mysterious island which needs his help. Join Oskar on this unexpected and magnificent quest, where he finds not only courage but so much more. Perfect for ages 3 to 6.

MY REVIEW:

What a lovely picture book! This marvelous children’s book is filled with beautiful and colorful illustrations and is a riveting story. 

Oskar is an adorable little bird that was frequently afraid. The other birds often teased him calling him “Scaredy-bird.” One day, he got lost on his way home and landed on a beautiful flower on an enchanted island. The flower cried in sorrow because the island’s most exquisite songbird, Maya, had been kidnapped by an enormous, ominous cloud. Although Oskar felt fear, he decided he would rescue Maya, anyway. 

In the end, Oskar conquered his fears, rescued Maya, and befriended the scary cloud. I loved this sweet, compelling story, and the amazing illustrations added to my joy. 

I recommend this book to parents who want their kids to learn to triumph over their fears, feel for others, and make new friends.

I wrote the next review for Book 4 of author Yvette M. Calleiro‘s Chronicles of the Diasodz series. There are five books in the series and including this one I’ve read four of the five. I’ve enjoyed each book more than the last. You can check out all five books here.

BLURB:

Rafe has successfully rescued Sofia from his enemies and has brought her home. He is excited about Sofia meeting their father and joining the Raizyns in their fight against the Diasodz. Unfortunately, bringing Sofia home does not have the effect he had hoped for. In the process of trying to bring his family together, he may have discovered a reason to tear them apart.

When Sofia awakens, she discovers that her life has been uprooted once again, and this time she is in more danger than she has ever been. Sofia’s only focus is on finding a way to escape and get back to Ar’ch, but leaving Rafe becomes more difficult when she realizes that not everything is as it seems.

Damiana is furious when she learns that her daughter has been brought home. Her plans to use Sofia as a secret weapon within the Diasodz compound is destroyed with Rafe’s meddling. Despite the setback, Damiana knows that she still has the upper hand, but her control is tested when even more secrets are exposed.

Each of them believes that she/he knows who the true savior of their people is, but when the truth is revealed, how will they handle it? And whose side will the savior support? The stakes have never been higher for the Raizyns, and Damiana plans to make sure that the savior is on their side no matter what it takes.

MY REVIEW:

The One Revealedis the fourth installment of author Yvette M. Calleiro’s Chronicles of the Diasodz. I’ve read the last three books in the series and enjoyed them very much, but this book is my favorite so far. 

In this story, Rafe rescues his half-sister, Sophia, from the Diasodz. He thought he was doing something great only to find out that Sophia resented him for taking her away from the people she loved. Frustrated and confused, Rafe continued to try to convince his sister that she was where she ought to be—with her true family. Meanwhile, while Ar’ch and Angel search desperately for Sophia, Drake was changed by the love he has for his children and became more and more in opposition with the queen of the demons while Mel was trying all measures to save her mother from the diabolical Damiana. 

I enjoyed the narratives from both the Diasodz’s and Raizyns’s viewpoints. The character development was superb and revealed much about the main characters. There are many secrets, twists, and truths exposed. The book was filled with so much action and intrigue it was hard to put down. 

I would have gladly given this book a five-star rating, but there were too many typos to ignore, which surprised me because the other books in the series did not. That being said, it was still an engaging read, and my favorite book in the series so far. I can’t wait to read book five, The One Awakened.

The last book review I wrote was for a book by award-winning horror writer Ken Stark. This is the first book in his Zombie Apocalypse Series. I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy. You can check out his books here.

BLURB:

Blindness is just the beginning.
Once the virus strips away everything remotely human, all that’s left is a mindless, savage predator.

Finalist, Fiction Horror – 2018 International Book Awards
Bronze Medal, Fiction Horror – 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards
Official Selection: Horror – 2018 New Apple Summer E-Book Awards

From multi-award-winning, horror writer, Ken Stark, comes a pulse-pounding, post-apocalyptic zombie novel that will keep you pumped up until the very last page. For fans of World War Z, The Last of Us, and The Walking Dead. 

MY REVIEW:

I’m a huge fan of the horror genre. I especially enjoy character driven zombie stories like this one. 

The story begins with the main character, Hank Mason (aka Mace), on his flight home from what should have been a couple’s retreat, but instead, he was on his own. He had one too many scotches to get over being dumped and passed out. He woke up with a terrible headache and a sense that things were not right. The big guy in the seat next to him was sobbing, and many of the passengers were yelling and fighting. Eventually, he found out that sometime during the flight while he was asleep, everyone on the plane had lost their sight, including the flight attendants and pilots. 

When one of the flight attendants realized that he was the only person on the plane that wasn’t blind, she took him to the cockpit, and with direction from the blind pilots, he lands the plane safely. 

Mason was suffering from a terrible hangover and decides to sit at a bar at the airport terminal. From where he sat, he could see the passengers from his flight exhibiting some strange behavior. He watched the big guy who sat next to him on the flight bite someone trying to help him. Disgusted by what he had witnessed but not really thinking much about it, he goes home. 

When Mason arrives home, he continued drinking, deciding to vegetate at home for a few days. When he finally leaves his apartment—a week later—he finds the world in chaos. The city was overrun by crazed, flesh-eating creatures that were once regular people. These creatures were blind but had a heightened sense of hearing. 

When Mason tries to escape the city, he runs across a ten-year-old girl named Mackenzie. She was blind, and he watched her groping the walls of a building while moving as silently as a guppy with a group of crazies following a few feet behind. He knew it would not be long before she made a little more noise, and the monsters would hear her and attack. Mason couldn’t leave her behind and rescued her, taking her under his wing from that moment on, even knowing that she was blind and might soon turn into one of them. The little girl, whom he called Mack, was searching for her aunt. Mason didn’t think it was likely that her aunt had survived out in the open by herself but decided to delay his escape out of the city to look for the girl’s aunt at the hospital where she worked. Mack and Mace developed a strong bond very quickly. They helped each other as they navigated through the city. 

Ken Stark is an undeniably skillful writer, and I enjoyed the story. That being said, this was 200+ high-velocity pages of nonstop chase, fighting, near deaths, attacks . . . . It was at times exhausting for me. I could have used a little breather between some of the action, and more downtime where we could have seen Mace and Mackenzie’s relationship develop into what it became. Also, the last quarter of the book felt rushed. The ending left me wanting more, too. Despite these things, I did enjoy the book and look forward to reading more books by this author.

I recommend this book to fans of horror and zombies who enjoy a scary story that whizzes along. 

Thanks for the visit!

55 Responses to “Book Reviews”

  1. Pink Roses June 25, 2021 at 11:55 am #

    I enjoyed reading those review, Vashti, but I won’t be reading the zombie book anytime soon! I admire your courage.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q June 25, 2021 at 12:36 pm #

      Ha, ha! You remind me of my sister. She can’t stomach horror either. 😉 I’m happy you enjoyed the reviews. Thanks for stopping by and reading. 😀 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. D. Wallace Peach June 25, 2021 at 12:28 pm #

    Wonderful reviews, Vashti. I really enjoyed Oskar’s Quest, and totally agree with your review. Great review of Yvette’s #4, and Ken’s novel sounds so scary! The cover is terrifying. Congrats to all the authors!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q June 25, 2021 at 12:39 pm #

      Thank you, Diana! Oskar’s Quest is such a cute book. Ken’s book is everything a zombie story should be and terrifying is definitely part of it. 😉 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Annette Rochelle Aben June 25, 2021 at 12:38 pm #

    I can relate to Oskar. Thank you for introducing me to the book!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fantastic reviews Vashti…xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. olganm June 25, 2021 at 2:24 pm #

    I love horror, so you know which one I’ll be checking first, although love the illustrations of the first book as well. Thanks, Vashti!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 6:52 pm #

      I think you’ll enjoy Ken’s book, Olga.
      I loved the illustrations in Annika’s book. Thank you❣️

      Like

  6. D.L. Finn, Author June 25, 2021 at 2:45 pm #

    Great reviews, I added Stage 3 to my TBR list:) Oskars Quest sounds like a good book for my grandaughters! I loved all of The One Series!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 6:56 pm #

      Thank you❣️ That’s great Denise! I think you’ll enjoy Ken’s book. I’m sure your granddaughters will like Annika’s book. It’s so adorable! I’m enjoying Yvette’s series too.

      Like

  7. John W. Howell June 25, 2021 at 3:11 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your reviews, Vashti.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. robbiesinspiration June 25, 2021 at 3:39 pm #

    I have Oskar’s quest as a paperback too, Vashti. It looks very cute. Yvette’s book has a striking cover.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 7:05 pm #

      Oskar’s Quest is an adorable little book. Yvette’s series is highly entertaining.😀👍

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Bette A. Stevens June 25, 2021 at 4:00 pm #

    Great reviews, Vashti! I love Oskar’s quest and sent a copy to my great-grandgirl in NM. We read it together over Zoom… She loves it too! ❤ Kudos all around to these authors and their books. Sharing…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 7:09 pm #

      Thank you for sharing and for your lovely comment, Bette❣️ It’s so cute that you and your great granddaughter read together on Zoom! 👏😀💕

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Annika Perry June 25, 2021 at 4:06 pm #

    Vashti, wow! 😀 Thank you so much for this wonderful surprise review of ‘Oskar’s Quest’! I had no idea you were reading the book and bless, it means so much how you’ve enjoyed all the elements of the book! A fantastic start to the weekend for me and I’ll be beaming all the time! Also, it’s lovely you shared some of the illustrations from the book; it gives potential readers a feel for the images as well as the story.

    I love how you’ve been branching out with your reading and through your eclectic choices find that this expands and enriches your own writing. So true!

    Wishing you a fabulous weekend and Happy Reading & Writing! hugs xx ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 7:14 pm #

      Annika, it was such a pleasure to read your book. I loved the story and illustrations so much I felt compelled to share it all here. I’m happy it brought a smile to your face.
      🌸Have a fabulous weekend!🌸

      Liked by 1 person

  11. yvettemcalleiro June 25, 2021 at 7:08 pm #

    Great reviews, Vashti! Thanks for including The One Revealed. I’m wondering if you might have an older version of the book because I revised it last year. (Or maybe I uploaded the wrong version 😳). If you don’t mind, please send me a message on Twitter or Facebook and let me know when you purchased it so I can figure out what happened. I hate errors and want to make sure I get that fixed. Still, I’m so happy you enjoyed the story and can’t wait to read your thoughts on The One Awakened. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm #

      Hi, Yvette! I bought the ebook in 2018. So, I did read the older version.😬 I enjoyed the series so much that I’m planning on buying the paperback set to put them in my library. 😊📚

      Liked by 1 person

      • yvettemcalleiro June 29, 2021 at 8:48 pm #

        Oh, wow! I am humbly honored. Thank you, Vashti! They have been updated since 2018, so the print versions should be error-free. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q July 2, 2021 at 5:00 pm #

      Awesome! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jill Weatherholt June 25, 2021 at 7:29 pm #

    Great reviews, Vashti! I loved Annika’s book. I have it displayed on my coffee table. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  13. karenringalls June 26, 2021 at 6:44 am #

    Enjoyed reading the reviews, Vashti. I also loved Yvette’s series of books. I have not read the other ones so will check them out. Thank you for sharing your reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 7:39 pm #

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the reviews, Karen. I’m enjoying Yvette’s series very much. Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting.🥰

      Like

  14. Jan Sikes June 26, 2021 at 10:09 am #

    Great reviews, Vashti! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vashti Q June 26, 2021 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you, Jan❣️I enjoy sharing reviews of books I’ve enjoyed.

      Like

  15. Marje @ Kyrosmagica June 26, 2021 at 1:03 pm #

    So lovely and great range of reviews! Well done everyone! x

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Jacquie Biggar June 26, 2021 at 1:08 pm #

    You’re right, you DO enjoy a wide range of books! Wonderful reviews, Vashti, congrats to the authors.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. coldhandboyack June 26, 2021 at 6:47 pm #

    Great mix, and good for you. I like to mix things up, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Gwen M. Plano June 29, 2021 at 2:11 pm #

    Great reviews, Vashti. I’m always in awe of your inner courage when dealing with difficult or scary stories. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q June 29, 2021 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment, Gwen! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book reviews.♥️💯

      Like

  19. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more June 29, 2021 at 2:39 pm #

    Oh, i love horror, as long as i having it not present in real life. 😉 Thank you for the lovely reviews, Vashti! I hope you and yours are fine, and save! Have a beautiful rest of the week. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q June 29, 2021 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi, Michael! I’m happy you enjoyed the reviews. I’ve been a horror fan since I was a kid.😁 Thank you for stopping by, commenting and sharing❣️

      Liked by 1 person

      • OIKOS™- Art, Books & more June 29, 2021 at 5:49 pm #

        .😁 Me too, Vashti! Thank you as well, for your efforts on reviewing. I will try to make first steps in reviewing, when i have more vocables in mind. 😉 xx Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Miriam Hurdle June 29, 2021 at 4:52 pm #

    I enjoyed reading all three fabulous reviews, Vashti! I finished reading Oskar and loved it. I should be writing the review soon. I may have some of Yvette’s books on my Kindle but not sure if I have this one. I’m not a Zombie fan but I’m glad you enjoyed reading Ken’s book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q July 2, 2021 at 5:04 pm #

      I’m so happy you enjoyed Annika’s book, Miriam! I understand, zombies are not for everyone, my friend. Ha, ha. Thank you for your visit and fabulous comment! ❤

      Like

      • Miriam Hurdle July 2, 2021 at 10:46 pm #

        My husband is a zombie fan. He watched two nights of zombie movies when I went to visit my grandkids. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Q July 7, 2021 at 4:55 pm #

      Oh, that’s cool! Tell him to watch ‘World War Z’ if he hasn’t seen it yet. It’s a great movie starring Brad Pitt. 😉

      Like

    • Vashti Q July 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm #

      Let me know how you and your hubby like it. 😀

      Like

  21. Natalie Ducey July 1, 2021 at 9:42 am #

    Wonderful reviews to share, Vashti! Bravo to all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday June 29th 2021 – #Luck Suzanne Craig-Whytock, Book Reviews Vashti Quiroz-Vega, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine - June 29, 2021

    […] Head over to enjoy the reviews and find your next book to read: Book Reviews Vasti Quiroz-Vega […]

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