Book Reviews

My Thoughts on The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

My Thoughts on The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo


In short the novel was not what I expected.

To be honest, I did not know what to expect, but it was not this story.

But, to be honest the only experience I had with story of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” was the Disney cartoon with Tome Hulce, Demi Moore, and Jason Alexander.


I did not love Hunchback as much as I loved Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” but I did enjoy it.

The perspective of the Hunchback, the Priest Claude Frollo’s twisted love and devotion to Esmeralda, Phoebus’s feelings in regard to Esmeralda.  Esermeralda’s love for Phoebus.

It was all stirring, and engaging.

As with all Victor Hugo novels, Hunchback of Notre-Dame was not without its considerable amount of descriptions of Paris.  Some the descriptions helped me follow the story.  While some others only helped me get lost in the jumble of a town.


In the end, this book is yet another example of why I enjoy Classic Literature far more than any contemporary genre.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

My Thoughts on Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


A long time ago, I watched a couple movies set on the Disc World, “Color of Magic” about a tourist, who sells insurance back home, and “Hogsfather” about a holiday very similar to our Christmas in most respects.

Ever since then, “Color of Magic” has been on my reading list, and recently it finally reached the top.


I was not disappointed.


In fact, pending on what I think of some of the other books set on Disc World, Death may become a new favorite character of mine.


But enough about that, concerning Color of Magic.  The story follows the adventures of a tourist, who is viewing the world away from home for the first time with his eyes wide open, and enjoying the adventure without ever really realizing how much danger he stumbled into.

It was a delightful story with multiple twists and turns, and many close encounters with Death himself.


I enjoyed it a great deal, and look forward to the next book set in Disc World that reaches the top of my reading list.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

My Thoughts on Black Beauty by Anna Sewell


I admit that I only read “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell because it is one my daughters favorite books, and I thought it would be nice if I read it, and we could talk about it.

For everyone not familiar with the story, it is told from the point of view of horse, as he talks about his experiences in mid- to late-nineteenth century England.  He spent some time in the country as a riding horse, some time pulling carriages, some time in London as a cab horse, and eventually back on a country estate as a riding horse.

Some of his owners were kind and considerate to horses, some not so much.

Black Beauty was great story, well told, and fantastic character development.  But what I enjoyed the most from the whole experience was being able to sit down with my daughter and talk about one of her favorite books.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My Thoughts on “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky


I was drawn to read, or rather listen to the audio book of ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky for three reasons.

First, as a teenager my father gave me a small booklet titled “The Grand Inquisitor, as told in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.”  It was a very interesting read, and I wanted to learn about the book it came from.

Second, I spent some time living in Russia as a missionary for my church, and from that experience, I have a deep and abiding love of the Russian culture.

Third, The Brothers Karamazov is classic literature.

So, I was excited when the story finally made it to the top of my audio book list.  I loved it.  I loved learning about the difference personalities of the three brothers.  I was intrigued by the different religious points of view expressed in the story.  I loved seeing the brothers live their lives under the manipulative and selfish force of their father.

This is yet again another example why I love classic literature.  Over a hundred years ago, when this was published, novels had a different pace.  They did not flow like water from one major event to the next, but the authors took the time to explain every detail in personality and environment without dragging and foreshadowing the plot to point where the book is completely predictable.  Many contemporary readers do not enjoy the detailed descriptions of the landscape, and many would prefer less landscape and more plot or character development, but I thought a lot of the landscape descriptions helped define the plot or the characters, and I always find it refreshing in a classic title when the author can meld those components together well.

I admit that there were places in this book that I felt Dostoyevsky spent too much time describing the landscape, and maybe a couple places where the plot dragged a bit, but for the most part I enjoyed the read, and look forward to reading more work from him.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Mary Poppins Returns by PL Travers

My Thoughts on Mary Poppins Returns by PL Travers


As a child Mary Poppins was a favorite movie of mine.  I loved the songs, I loved Bert and all his fun jobs, and I still laugh at Uncle Albert having a tea party in the ceiling.

And of course:

“The first man says, I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.  The second chap says, Oh really, what’s the name of his other leg?”

I know that is the one that got the old man in charge of the bank to start laughing so hard he began to float.  But my favorite joke from the whole thing was “My neighbor got a knock on the door.  It was man, and he said, ‘I’m terribly sorry but I just ran over your cat, and I would like to replace it.’  And my neighbor replied, ‘That’s fine with me, but how are you at catching mice?'”

But here again, I am getting caught on movie adaptations and favorite lines from movies.  You know the ironic thing is this time I am not even talking about the movie that correlates with the book I am discussing, but rather the sequel to the book the movie is based on.

Let’s not start a conversation on the recent Disney film, “Mary Poppins Returns.”  Let it suffice to say that I was not as big a fan of that film as I was of “Mary Poppins” with Julie Andrews and my man Dick Van Dyke.  My wife and I started watching The Dick Van Dyke Show on Amazon Prime, and it was a hilarious show.  I’m sorry it only lasted 5 seasons.  But here I go all squirrel again.


Mary Poppins Returns.

It was fun story, but for the life of me I cannot figure out why Jane and Micheal loved Mary Poppins so much.  She was always harsh with them, often got angry at them for saying anything related to the magical experiences they had together.  I don’t get it.

Yes, magical things happened when she was around.  But she insisted they did not occur, and refused to admit anything unusual happened when she was around.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on The Triplet’s Curse – Hope’s Story by Marsha Black

My Thoughts on The Triplet’s Curse – Hope’s Story by Marsha Black


So Marsha Black is one of the many authors I have met on Social Media promoting her books, while I was promoting The United, The Realm of the Light Book 2.

And in one event we were both featured in, I had the good luck to be selected as the winner of an audio book copy of The Triplet’s Curse – Hope’s Story.

Hope, as the title implies, is one of three triplets.  On the day she turned sixteen, strange things began to occur to her, and no one knew what was going on, well no one except the new boy in town, Bryce.

I admit, when we first met Bryce, I was not a fan of his.  I did not trust him, but as the book progressed, and we learned more about Bryce, I grew to trust him.

This story was full of fun twists and turns, and it did a great job of showing that just because a girl is a triplet, does not mean that she has the same personality as her sisters, or that they just automatically get along because they have a triplet bond.


Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories

My Thoughts on Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories


I will come out and admit it.  I only listened to this book on Audible because my children love it so much.  So I thought I would give it a listen.

It was a great collection of stories.  Some about why animals are the way they are, some about learning life lessons, and others just for fun.

The stories were very imaginative, and well written.  And I do enjoy that I am able to talk to my kids about the stories.

Parents and grandparents of young children, this collection is perfect for some bed time reading, or just any time reading.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on the Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame

My Thoughts on the Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame


I remember watching the Walt Disney film, short, whatever it was, titled “The Reluctant Dragon.”  I enjoyed it.  As a kid, I thought it was hilarious!

So, when I saw this, I picked up and devoured it.  I loved the book.  As is often the case, the book was better than the movie.  Though, the movie stayed pretty close to the book now that I think back on it.

I loved the dragon, the knight, and the boy.  I especially loved the boy, trying to be the go-between for the dragon and his family, then the dragon and his village, and finally the dragon and the knight.

It was so much fun to read about a dragon who loved literature even more than I do!

And a knight who was kind, patient, and not interested at all in slaughtering a dragon for his own fame and pleasure.

Anyway, I enjoyed it, and I think all my children literature fans will too.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Metatron: The Angel Has Risen by Laurence St. John

My Thoughts on Metatron: The Angel Has Risen by Laurence St. John


I keep saying that I do not enjoy superhero books, but every time I read a superhero book written by one of my fellow Speculative Fiction Authors from Cosby Media Productions, I enjoy it a great deal. Granted, I have only read two, Bark by Daniel Peyton, and Metatron by Laurence St. John, but still.  I think it would stand to reason that if I disliked the genre as much as I claimed, then I would have not liked Metatron as much as I did.

Nor would I like super hero graphic novels, but I love them.  So I will have to look into that side of myself at some future time.

Anyway, enough about that.  Let’s talk literature, shall we?

Metatron by Laurence St. John.

This was a super hero origin story.  Plain and simple.  By way of origin stories go, this one was neither formulaic to the point of predictable at every turn, nor was it was so surprising I could not predict everything that happened.  It was well written, very enjoyable, and had a twist on the origin of Metatron’s powers that I did not see coming at first.

In a word, I enjoyed it.  It was not my favorite book I ever read, nor was it my favorite superhero book, I think that honor is still being held by ‘Bark’ by Dan Peyton, but Metatron was good superhero book. Very well written, very relatable characters.  The plot was engaging.

I am interested in continuing the series and reading the next installment.  It will just have to wait until I get some of my review requests read first.

Book Reviews

My Thoughts on Heartmender by V Romas Burton

My Thoughts on Heartmender by V Romas Burton



V. Romas Burton invited me to read and review Heartmender, and I am glad she did.  I thought Heartmender by V. Romas Burton was a good book.

It is a fantasy adventure about a young woman, Addie, who desires to save her brother from a fate worse than death.

When Addie entered Ophidian’s realm to navigate though the 7 choices to save her brother, I was reminded quite strongly of the 9 Circles of Hell as described in Dante’s Inferno.  Addie found strength, power, and an understanding of her self as she overcame each of the 7 choices of Ophidian’s realm.

After joining Addie on her adventure through the 7 Choices of Ophidian’s Realm the author reveals her true world building prowess.  Everything before that, Addie, and I as the reader, was focused solely on her adventure through the 7 choices to save her brother and her guide from Ophidian’s Realm.  After Addie survived the 7 Choices, my immediate thought “Now what?  The book’s not over yet.”  As Addie learned about the the next stage in her journey, I was ready to experience the next stage of her journey to bring healing and peace to her world.  But the book ended. leaving me anxious to continue the series.

Heartmender’s greatest strength is to set up Book 2, Heartbreaker.  I was interested in reading about Addie’s adventure through Ophidian’s 7 Choices, but now I am excited to read about Addie’s next adventure.

I have not had the privilege of reading Heartbreaker, yet, but I look forward to adding it to my long list of books to read.