Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Wielder Series by Franca Ogbonnaya

The Wielder Series by Franca Ogbonnaya is an exciting series of books set in a fantasy world populated with fascinating and diverse species. So far, there are two books, and a novella. I have read both books, The Novice Wielder and The Wielder Trials. The main character of both books is a young lady named Britea. The first story begins with her thinking she is an average teenager with nothing unusual or special about her, until she exhibits the ability to wield water.
Like in Avatar, there are four types of elements that can be controlled by wielders, air, water, fire, and earth. Some of the species I mentioned earlier are the Dyhaeri, a water-dwelling human like species, and the Alkynaia, sea-serpents who are intelligent. Oh, and did I mention there's an evil queen who drains the lives out of young wielders, in a sort of Elizabeth Bathory situation? While the series is only two books long at the moment (plus a novella) it promises to have more excitement in future books!
I've known Franca Ogbonnaya for quite a few years as an online friend. And when I found out she had gotten some of her books published I was so excited for her! She is a great writer (she even won a writing contest I had done a long time ago to celebrate the publication of one of my books) and I was glad that her books were published! The series is aimed at teens, but anyone who enjoys exciting adventures in fantastical lands would enjoy this fun series! The Novice Wielder was first published in 2018 and The Wielder Trials was first published in 2020.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Rikki Tikki Tavi directed by Chuck Jones

The movie Rikki Tikki Tavi, directed by Chuck Jones is, in my opinion, as delightful as the written story. The storyline is mostly the same. There are a few differences, however that I noticed. Not large enough to change the story as a whole, though. One small difference is that when Rikki Tikki is found after having crawled out of the river half choked, Teddy, his young human friend, and Teddy's mother Alice find him in the written story. In the animated movie, it is Teddy and his father who find him. Other than that, there are few other deviations between the movie and written story. The animation is fun, the colors are bright, and Rikki Tikki's characterization, including his expressions are well done, making him endearing to the audience, especially to children.
As in the written story, Nag and Nagaina, male and female cobras try to ambush Rikki, but he is saved by the warning of a pair of Taylor birds. Later, Rikki confronts and defeats Karait, another snake after Karait threatens Teddy. But Rikki still has Nag and Nagaina to deal with, and when Chuchundra, the muskrat fearfully warns Rikki that the two cobras are trying to get into the house, Rikki knows he doesnt have much time! The DVD version that I watched also had a bonus story, Yankee Doodle Cricket, which I thought was also well done. The animated version of Rikki Tikki Tavi, directed by Chuck Jones and based on the story by the same name by Rudyard Kipling was published in 1975.

Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling is a short story written primarily for children. The title character, Rikki Tikki Tavi, is a young mongoose who is washed away from his home by a flood. Though half choked, a British family that has come to India to live for an undetermined time in a bungalow nearby, find him and nurse him back to health. Rikki Tikki quickly makes friends with Teddy, the youngest member of the family, as well as Teddy's mother Alice, and Teddy's father (whose name we are not told) though Teddy is clearly Rikki Tikki's favorite.
The day after he is saved by the family, Rikki Tikki is exploring the garden, and encounters two agressive cobras, Nag, and Nagaina, a male and female cobra who try to ambush the young mongoose, but fail at killing Rikki when a pair of Taylor birds warn Rikki that one of the cobras is coming at him from behind. Later, when Rikki discovers Karait, a small, dusty brown snake threatening Rikki's beloved Teddy, the young mongoose goes on the defensive, and successfully defends his human friend. But Nag and Nagaina are still out there! Rikki Tikki Tavi is an enjoyable tale, especially for children. And it can get them excited to learn more about real life animals in India. Rikki Tikki Tavi was first published in 1894.

Pumpkin Roll by Josi Kilpack

I am starting to be a big fan of Sadie Hoffmiller! She is the main character in Pumpkin Roll, by Josi Kilpack, the 6th book in a 13 book series. There are few things Sadie enjoys more than baking. She does love sharing what she bakes, and being around her boyfriend, Pete.
It's Halloween time, and middle aged Sadie is in Boston helping her gentleman friend Pete look after his three rambunctious grandsons while his son and daughter in law are working to secure a new place to live. If she left things well enough alone, things would go smoothly for her. But good hearted Sadie can't help but stick her nose into other peoples' business--when she feels someone is in need of her help, anyway. And Mrs. Wapple, across the street, who is referred to as a "witch" by Pete's grandsons, is acting strangely. Not in a sinister way, that Sadie can see, but in a way that suggests to Sadie that Mrs. Wapple needs help. So what does Sadie do? Jump in with both feet, of course to try to get help for Mrs. Wapple. But when Mrs. Wapple's sister seems less than enthusiastic about helping, and then when an old frenemy of Sadie shows up wanting to help, things start getting more complicated. This was a fun book to listen to (I listened to the CDs) and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a cozy mystery. And I understand the print book has some of Sadie's recipes in it! Pumpkin Roll was published in 2011.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis is an exciting story about how the visits between Earth and Narnia first began. Diggory and Polly, a boy and girl who are friends accidentally stumble into Diggory's unscrupulous uncle's private attic room while they're trying to explore the crawl space of the row of town homes in which the two friends live. Diggory's Uncle Andrew, seizing the opportunity for an experiment, tricks Polly into touching one of the magic rings he has created, which compels Diggory to go after her to rescue her. Thus begins their adventure into the "wood between the worlds" and other places, including a frightening place where they meet someone wicked who makes an appearance in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The Magician's Nephew is an exciting story for children as well as adults who enjoy fantastical adventures in fantasy worlds. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys such stories.
The Magician's Nephew was first published in 1955.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

My Dearest Enemy by Jennifer Moore

My Dearest Enemy by Jennifer Moore is a sweet, and well-written love story that takes place during the war of 1812. Abigail Tidwell, a Canadian, finds a wounded American soldier in her barn, and feeling a moral obligation to help him, despite the fact that he is one of those "Cursed Americans" she uses her medical skills taught to her by her father to save his life. Thinking that is the end of her obligations to him, she is surprised to discover that he is worried about the men in his group from which he was separated during the battle where he was wounded, and needs her medical skills to help them as well. What follows is an exciting story that looks at the war of 1812 from both sides. It involves a smart, skilled heroine and a brave, valiant hero. And of course, a dastardly villain who is out to get them both. I enjoyed this story, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys clean, historical romance. My Dearest Enemy was published in 2018.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Lake Quilt Mystery by S.D. Brown

The Lake Quilt Mystery by S.D. Brown starts out with Kelsey and her mom headed to what they think will be a relaxing vacation at a mountain resort. Kelsey’s only complaint is that her best friend is in the hospital recovering from a burst appendix. But then things get more complicated when clues show Kelsey that there is more to this Lake resort than she first thought.
Sinister things. Using her ability to solve clues, Kelsey starts to piece together (ha ha, quilting pun) the fragmented parts of this mystery that will uncover a deeper, darker side to this resort. Will Kelsey solve the clues in time? Kids and adults who enjoy mysteries with clever young protagonists will enjoy this book! The Lake Quilt Mystery was first published in 2013.