tHe crooKed WorD

As of April 30, 2014 we will no longer be posting reviews on tHe crooKed WorD. Reading is like breathing for us - and discovering new books and authors has been a wonderful adventure - but the time has come for us to move on. Thank you for your support, for allowing us into your lives, and for letting us influence in some small way the contents of your bookshelves.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the QueenThe Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen
by Andrea Cefalo

Published June 1, 2012
280 pages

This book was provided to us by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Snow White was a pet name her mother had given her, but her mother’s dead now. Adelaide hates that name anyway. A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without Last Rites and the dead are dumped in a large pit outside of the city walls. Adelaide’s father is determined to obtain a funeral for his wife, but that requires bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. When Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, he pushes Adelaide to her breaking point, but if she seeks justice against the cruel priest, she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life.

* * *

I love all things fairytale, so I was excited when I was asked to review this. That being said, the title confused me a bit. In this version of the Snow White story, Snow is named Adelaide, and she's nothing near a princess. That's fine, not a bit deal, we're talking fairytale here. I expected her to find out about her royalty later in the book. She didn't. Okay, I got past that. The queen in the story, though, is Adelaide's mother, although the book starts with her funeral. Avenging the Queen is a bit of a misnomer.

Once I got past those obvious things, I did really enjoy the story. The setting is richly described, and the characters were interesting. I have to say, my favorite character is Ivo. Yep, he's the "prince"---or rather, the neighbor boy. He's the reason I'll be reading future books in this series.

I can't say this book is for everyone, but if you enjoy period books, stories loosely based on fairytales, and don't mind references to whorehouses and the people and activities within, it's worth a try!

3.5/5 stars

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay

The Lure of ShapinsayThe Lure of Shapinsay
by Krista Holle

260 pages
Published December 16, 2011

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

* * *

It took very little to convince me to read this book: just the knowledge that it took place in Scottland, and dealt with the folklore of the selkies.

Then I saw the cover. Uh-oh, what was I getting myself into? I tend to judge books by their covers, and this one was so not my type. But Ms. Holle assured me the romance was handled tastefully, and I plowed ahead.

Kait is a strong-willed, interesting character who doesn't exactly fit in on the Scottish island. She doesn't believe all the superstitions, she loves to swim in the ocean, and she's not interested in being married off to whatever random guy her twin brother chooses for her.

Overall, I felt the book was well written, intriguing, and gave my Scottish obsession a fix.

You really should check out the trailer for this book. It's one of the best ones I've seen! You can watch it here.

 4/5 stars

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Wow! What a fun, creative, completely original story! I loved it! The characters are unique and ready to jump off the pages. The plot is full of surprises in a setting that keeps you guessing. I hope there are more books coming!

5/5 stars

Monday, May 21, 2012

Power Within

Power Within (The Lazarus Children, #1)
by C. L. Causer

Published March 12, 2012

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Charlotte 'Charlie' Gordon wants nothing more, than to be a normal girl. But having a near death accident as a child, she finds out that she has powers. After accidentally electrocuting her sister and blowing up her mother's kitchen, she suppresses her powers for ten years. Unknowing that there are more people like her out there. A lot more.

That is until a secret group of them try and hunt her down because of her unusual abilities. Forcing her family into hiding, she goes on the run. Having to learn about her powers and her past, she meets many new friends along the way. But you can't run forever. She learns that someone has betrayed her to the very people she is running from.

* * *

This book is fast-paced, action-packed, and emotionally charged.

There are some great characters here! Charlie has spent most of her life hiding from her "problem" -- powers that cause destruction around her. After being attacked by members of the Institute, she finds other people with powers who help her learn to focus and control them.

Never a dull moment for Charlie as her live is upturned over and over.

The story deserves 5 stars, but I feel I have to lower it due to the need for editing.

3.5/5 stars