May 24, 2020
The Roots Have Dug into My Heart is a touching horror and paranormal novella written by Peter Fugazzotto.
After a disastrous evening at a bar that ends in a creepy auditory hallucination seemingly coming from the tall marsh grasses, Jessie wakes up with a terrible hangover made worse by the fact that her daughter, Maya, is missing. Racked by guilt about her inability to watch over Maya, Jessie goes through the marsh in search of her daughter vowing to never neglect her again. Naturally, she is overjoyed when Maya is found, seemingly, shaken but relatively unharmed.
However, Jessie’s elation is short-lived as she senses something different with her daughter. Aside from the smell of the swamp that Jessie can’t seem to wash off Maya, her daughter becomes uncharacteristically quiet. Maya also seems to lose her appetite even for foods she normally loves.
Amidst her desperate need to be a better person and the best mother she can be, and the suspicion that there is something terribly wrong Maya, Jessie finds an unlikely ally. Armed only with very little information and unconditional love for her daughter, Jessie and her friend set out for the marsh to find out the truth once and for all.
This is a scary, suspenseful, and touching story about a bum of a woman who struggles to be the best version of herself. It depicts how someone overcomes her self-destructive tendencies for the most important person in her life. It portrays clarity in the middle of confusion and courage in the middle of fear. It displays the amount of determination needed to win the prize of redemption.
Though the story appears to be simply about an irresponsible mother who lost her child to paranormal entity, there is so much more than that. It tells of the difficulty of a person to rise above adversity with her only beacon of hope snatched away from her. It also shows the tendency to prejudge someone by the way he or she lives. Most importantly, the book features the multidimensionality of the world we live in and that things are not the way they seem.
This is a relatively enjoyable book. Relatively in that, some readers who are not into horror stories may not choose to read it. I, myself, am not a horror book enthusiast. As a reviewer, however, I find the book well written and easy to read. Jessie is very well depicted as a person who blames everything and everybody else for her unpleasant situation making her very relatable. Moreover, the author is able to maintain an eerie mood right from the beginning down to the last page. Finally, though I prefer a different ending to the story, I find the conclusion quite satisfactory.
May 20, 2020
Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria is a fantastical, an action-filled, an adventure-filled, and a magic-filled, young adult fiction, and the second book in The Elandrian Chronicles created by J.M. Bergen.
It’s summer vacation and Thomas Wildus and his friends Enrique and Akhil are doing what normal and ordinary boys do during vacation, having fun and hanging out, with girls. However, a mysterious message, a glimpse of a familiar, albeit frightening, face, and a visit from his mentors cut the summer fun short. Now, Thomas and his friends are back to the training room and preparing for a quest for a magical object and a confrontation with the ‘Sumerian’.
As magical as, as suspenseful as, and, probably, even more action-filled than the first book, this second installment introduces more characters both good and evil and presents more rigorous training, both physical and mental, for Thomas and Enrique. The author also offers surprising twists and unexpected turns of events that make the book even more interesting. Fighting and chasing scenes are depicted in vivid and minute detail and the conclusion is quite satisfying. However, I find some of the descriptions too gory and too violent for young readers.
Still, I enjoyed this book a lot and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
May 15, 2020
Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree is the fourth in the Madam Tulip Mystery Book Series created by David Ahern.
With the help of her now relatively-famous best friend, Bella, Irish American actress Derry O’Donnell dons her Madam Tulip persona as part of the grand birthday celebration of a famous pop singer. Up in the Dublin mountains, Derry finds herself amidst the members of a musical band, each with his or her own preoccupation. A pushy manager intent on keeping the band together, a high-strung singer visibly upset by the sudden disappearance of a beloved and revered friend, an anxious songwriter keeping something from fellow band members, and a charming sax player fascinated by Vikings.
Ever professional and discreet, Madam Tulip is privy to information pertinent to the future of the entire band, information that may explain the whereabouts of a missing shaman.
As exciting and as funny as the previous three books, Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree features the private lives of famous and very promising musicians. It depicts their lives behind the glitter and adoring fans, their pain, their fears, their insecurities. But most importantly, for me, the book portrays the humans inside the celebrities, their longing for love, belongingness, and acceptance.
The book is, as all the other books I have read by David Ahern, funny and lighthearted. It is, first and foremost, an easy read. It is exciting and suspenseful, with carefully and vividly described scenes. In addition to Derry, Bruce, Bella, Jacko and Vanessa, the author includes a variety of characters that the readers would easily relate with. Though the ending is not as conclusive as I wish, it is no doubt satisfying.