Kevin's Points of Interest
Unnatural Creatures, stories selected by Neil Gaiman
Mr. Gaiman has recently become one of my top favorite writers. I’ve recently read, enjoyed, and reviewed American Gods, Stardust and The Graveyard Book. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is currently in my kindle library, waiting to be read. So I snatched up this story collection as soon as I saw it on an eBook sale. I like unnatural creatures and I like Ga...
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Mockingbird by Walter Tevis
Mockingbird takes place a few hundred years in the future where highly advanced, humanoid robots have all but eliminated the entire human population. They have done so using specially formulated, widely available drugs plus new rules for society which encourage extreme privacy and individualism. Out of nowhere, one man innocently learns to read, something th...
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The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
I cannot recall the last time I powered through all three books of a series, one after the other, working magic, battling enemies, completing epic quests, all right along with the heroes. It’s a commitment, that’s for sure. And finishing this trilogy certainly felt like an accomplishment, though on a slightly lesser scale than saving the world like the c...
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Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
For me, Fuzzy Mud was a strange little book. It seems like a fantastic choice for teachers who are studying the environment, pollution, or the way any idea that is meant to help the world - can actually have a drastically negative impact. At the same time, the book also deals with relational themes like standing by your friends, doing the right thing even wh...
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The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
The Biggest Story endeavours to summarize the bible, with an emphasis on the failures and shortcomings of humanity and how God has always been there, all along, to pick us up and save us. There is a bit of nice uplifting joy towards the end when Jesus enters the world and the book does conclude with some happy images and very uplifting phrases, encouraging r...
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The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The illustrations in The Marvels are fabulous so the first 400 pages or so of artwork are absolutely mesmerizing. The "story in pictures" told during this section is brilliant. Characters come and go, time passes, events unfold, clues are dropped, and it's all cleverly revealed in these magnificent sketches. However, when the text part of the story began, I...
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The Fall of Princes by Robert Goolrick
The Fall of Princes surprised me a few times as I read it, which is always a pleasant thing. I went in looking for wild stories about the brash, excessive, exotic life of the super-rich Wall St. elite from back in the 80s. Much like the movies Boiler Room and Wolf of Wall St. The Fall of Princes did have a few such stories that painted the narrator's exper...
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Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Solid book, not outstanding for me but I enjoyed the writing and the characters. The main plot develops from an experiment undertaken by Eli and Victor wherein they try to determine if a near death experience can give a person special powers - thus making them an EO or ExtraOrdinary. The answer is yes, this can happen. However, this quickly brings up a more ...
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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I really like the three Neil Gaiman books I’ve read. This is one of his more popular books, but for me it ranks third. I recommend Stardust and then American Gods. Actually my favorite is American Gods but you have to be ready for that one because it's complicated, mature, long and intense. Back to the creative and unique The Graveyard Book. As you’d ex...
Review of Stardust
Review of American Gods
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Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Circus Mirandus is an outstanding novel and is a completely safe, appropriate read for it's middle grade target audience. Miss Beasley has achieved what we fellow writers all strive for: a wonderfully written, creative, unique, inspiring, moving book that parents can trust and kids can love. The story centers on Micah Tuttle, a young boy who has grown up id...
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The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater
I'm constantly amazed by the new, exciting, imaginative things writers are bringing to their pages these days. Reading as much as I do makes me think someday, things will all slowly become the same. But in books like The Raven Boys, I see they never will. As unique as snowflakes, each of our imaginations are wholly and completely different and I'm pleased th...
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The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This is an award-winning book that's hugely popular, written extremely well, and it tells a heartfelt and inspiring story. Basically, there is nothing to lose with this one, and plenty to gain. The style of the book is unique too since it reads sort of like a collection of journal entries rather than a series of short chapters. And when I say short, I mean s...
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Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
I think it may be quicker for me to review a sequel. I'll still write too much, as I always do, but I'll think of what I want to say faster than usual. So really, this is all going to be basically the same. Except I'll assume you've read Seraphina, which I really liked, and that you are already familiar with Ms. Hartman's writing, which I also really dig. So...
Here's my write-up on Seraphina
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Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
I decided I was reading too many fantasy/dragon/magic books and was in a bit of a rut. Luckily, I had just the guy loaded up on my Kindle app to get me out of that realm and into a place much more real...and dangerous. His name...Bond, James Bond! Casino Royale is the first ever Bond novel, published in 1953. Honestly, it was not at all what I expected. The...
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The Glass Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
I read The Glass Magician not necessarily because I really wanted to, but only because I had previously read The Paper Magician and I was really pulling for the series to get better. Unfortunately, for me, it didn't. I still really liked the magic system where the characters bond to one man-made material and then work their spells over just that one thing. ...
My thoughts on The Paper Magician
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The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Is it possible for a book to have too much realism? To try too hard to emulate real life? In The Thief, Miss Turner went to great lengths to paint a completely detailed picture of all the minutia in her plot. Unfortunately, this extreme focus on the small things often bogged it all down to a nearly unbearable point and I thought it tried too hard to be overl...
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The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
No matter what, books are always interesting. Could be interesting because they are bad, or because they are great. Or because they are strange, or wonderful, or powerful, or wholly unique. Perhaps because they are unexpected and challenging to finish. However they do it, books will always peck at our minds in one way or another. The Paper Magician affected...
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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Here's the best thing I can say about this fabulous book - I read The Night Circus on the kindle app on my iPad, mostly on the treadmill at the gym and several times I caught myself smiling while reading. Just lost in the story, smiling...while exercising! That doesn't happen very many times, but it happened often with this one. I believe this is because T...
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The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Magician's Elephant starts off nicely with momentum and intrigue, slows down a bit in the mostly melancholy middle, then has a fantastic happy ending. No worries though, since Miss DiCamillo's excellent writing skillfully carries the reader through it all. It's a fairly short read, a beautifully designed book and overall, a novel I definitely recommend...
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The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham
The Luck Uglies is excellent from cover to cover. First off, I dig books like this one that include a map of the imaginary world where the story takes place. This is such a nice extra touch that truly shows the writer's thoughtful creativity and that he wants to fully immerse us in the setting of his novel. And yes, I referred back to the map while readin...
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Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
Nightbird is a solid choice for middle grade readers, full of mystery, a bit of danger, a dash of adventure and most of all, a fun, interesting main character. Because of a deep secret and a witch’s curse that's haunted her family for years, young Twig begins her story feeling very lonely and isolated in her hometown of Sidwell, MA. But in one summer, wh...
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Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
I have to admit right here at the top that finishing reading this book, and then deciding what to write about it, was - unfortunately - quite a struggle for me.Seeker has many intriguing elements and it seemed like a story I would normally eat right up, but I never could connect with the characters or the plot. When I did finally finish it, I decided it wou...
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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Rich, beautiful writing in a uniquely created world full of compelling characters. This is how I think of Seraphina. It's not an action-packed book, but the people in the story and the writer's unique voice make it great. Don't worry though, there are some truly exciting parts in this novel, just not that many. One of the best is a pretty sweet mid-air fi...
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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Stardust was a wonderfully enjoyable book. I absolutely basked in its greatness. It certainly doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of Mr. Gaiman, because of his reputation, the articles I've read about him, and because of the two excellent books of his I've read. (I previously read, loved and reviewed American Gods.) So yes, I dug this book partly because I like hi...
My write-up on American Gods also by Neil Gaiman
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Paper Towns by John Green
I caught this book on a Kindle sale and since I’ve dug the other two of his I’ve read - “The Fault in our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska” - I figured this one would be good too. However, for was just so-so. There were parts that sprung up where I really liked it and I thought it was going to take off, but then it didn’t. And, strang...
My write-up on "Looking for Alaska"
My write-up on "The Fault in our Stars"
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