Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Countryside The Book of the Wise by J.T. Cope IV

Countryside: The Book of the WiseBook Description:
"You have a power within you, one that is within everyone...It's the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive...and the same power that has attracted your attention...I know it's all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real..." Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined. When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents' home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. Reachable only by a mysterious traveling tunnel and horse-drawn carriage, centaurs roam the landscape and shadowy wraiths slip among the trees. There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way. Luke's only hope is to find the book before they do, but to do so he'll need help from someone he never expected as the forces of evil come to bear on the magical world of Countryside.

My Thoughts:
Good young adult book.  Luke's life is normal, he isn't anything special...and yet he is.  Luke doesn't know it, but his father isn't from this land, but from one that he's tried to shield his family from.  As it becomes apparent that Luke is special, his father makes plans for the family.  His father goes to work off and the rest of the family goes to live with his grandparents in a strange new land.  This magical land is always in turmoil and Luke, it turns out, is the key to find a book that could change everything.
I really liked Luke.  He wasn't as active as I'd expected, but he was still a good character.  He is just a kid that thinks he is as normal as anyone, but then when strange things start happening his life forever changes.  The family interaction adds an extra layer to the dynamic of the story and I enjoyed it.  I would have liked some more description of the new world but I did like that there was always something going on, there really wasn't a lag in the story at all.
This was a 4/5 for me.  I think young boys (especially) will really enjoy this.

Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, February 2, 2015

To Save Her Child by Margaret Daley

Book Description:

In Search of Her Son

When a young boy goes missing from wilderness day camp, Alaskan search and rescue worker Josiah Witherspoon is on the case. The brooding ex-marine promises to find the child and return him to his worried mother. But he doesn't know that Ella Jackson has a secret past. One that could put them all in danger. When tensions mount, Ella needs to tell Josiah the truth—but she can't set aside her fears enough to trust him. Ella and Josiah are ready to risk their lives to save her son, but will they risk their hearts, as well?

Alaskan Search and Rescue: Risking their lives to save the day

My Thoughts:
This was a pretty good book.  Ella is the organizer of the Alaskan search and rescue.  She is integral in the operation, but when she gets a call that it is HER son that is missing, things change.  She and Josiah have never been friends but he doesn't hesitate to help when she tells him what is going on.  He and his search dog go to find her son.  As they investigate exactly what happened to her son and his friends, things get twisted and more convoluted.  The two of them grow closer and closer as they investigate and both try to move beyond their past.
I completely adored Ella's son!  He was the highlight of the book for me.  The relationship between Ella and Josiah was entertaining.  With each having their own past and issues that come from it, you knew there would be problems to work through.  The secondary characters were good, I especially enjoyed Josiah's sister and want to read a story about her hopefully in the future.  The k-9 elements will steal your heart and it makes me want to know how her son grows up and what he does.  Overall the story line was good.  It did get predictable at the end, but that didn't take away from the message of the book.
It was a 3/5 for me.  I would have liked less predictability but it was a good story.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.