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.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tears of War

Tears of WarTears of War (Dragon's Call, #2)
by A. D. Trosper

1,456 pages
Published September 12, 2013

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

"Old things come again and new things surface."

Faced with a looming war, the riders have no choice but to leave the safety of Galdrilene and reach out to the nations for help. But the Shadow Riders are doing the same and not all nations are opposed to their rule.

New discoveries are made, old wounds are reopened and betrayal hides among welcoming smiles.

As one nation begins to unravel it's clear that some choices, even those made with the best of intentions, can have devastating consequences.

* * *

After reading the first book of Dragon's Call, perhaps my expectations were a bit high. While Tears of War was interesting I felt it didn't quite live up to Embers at Galdrilene.

One of the reasons for this is that, with the introduction of even more characters, it got hard to keep straight who was who. I found myself getting confused more often than not. Perhaps this could have been helped if there had been the customary summary at the start of the book that reminds readers what happened in the first book. However, I think a character glossary at the beginning of the book would have been ideal.

Now that I've gotten my big negative out of the way . . .

The characters in this series are very interesting, and it's fun to get to know them even better. There's clearly - just from the title - more of a war coming, and we get a great battle scene near the end of the book where we learn just how serious this is, and that no one is guaranteed to make it through to the end of the series.

Obviously, the rest of this world is going to have to learn of the good dragons, as a war between the black dragons and the colored ones will be loud and obvious. One village in particular befriends the colored dragons and their riders, and I enjoyed watching these people (especially the children) interact with them.

There's one "mystery" in this book that I wish had been resolved. One of the riders is kidnapped, and it's more than hinted that there's a traitor in the midst of the Dragon Riders. Now, to me it felt very glaringly obvious who this traitor is (although it's always possible I'm wrong!), but it didn't come to a head in this book. Hopefully in the next installment, that will be gotten out of the way quickly.

If you enjoy fantasy, or dragons, or magic, this would be a good book for you to check out!

4/5 stars

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Rory (The Ghosts of Palladino, #1)Rory (The Ghosts of Palladino, #1)
by Ciye Cho

344 Pages
Published August 10, 2013

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

Far beyond heaven, earth and hell is a city known as Palladino, a place ruled by ghosts and filled with demons, magic, and all sorts of darkly beautiful things. A city where no one can ever escape.

Eighteen-year-old Rory is a cake decorator who makes stunning confections. But no amount of frosting or miracles can save her when a demon kidnaps her—and carries her to Palladino. Here, Rory ends up in a deadly charm school where young women are forced to become companions for the Ghost Lords. And for her to survive, Rory must become everything that she isn’t: graceful, elegant... and perfect.

But nothing is what it seems in Palladino. Not the magic. Not the ghosts. And definitely not Martin Marius, the bizarre Ghost Lord-slash-inventor who is drawn to Rory. For amid a thousand machines and a hundred cats, Martin holds a secret that could change everything. A secret that could either free Rory... or destroy her.

* * *

As always, Mr. Cho's imagination shines brightly in this new series. As with his previous books, he takes us on a fascinating ride.

That said, I have to admit that while there are some really fantastic sections of this book, there are some that I could have done without. Although there are probably plenty of people who love the parts that felt to me as if they were dragging their feet.

One of the mysteries we're presented with at the start of the book - Rory's mother insisting Rory wasn't safe in the dark because of the monsters who come to spirit away young girls - was never explained. We have no idea exactly what her mother knew and how she knew it. I'm hopeful this will be resolved in the next book and is one of those tidbits meant to draw us on to the next chapter of the story.

This is a bit of a quirky read, and I mean that in the best way possible. And I really enjoyed the way Rory wasn't able to abandon who she was and fall in line with the other girls, it made her more realistic. Also, I loved the cake decorating talent!

3.5/5 stars

Monday, December 9, 2013

Moon Child

Moon Child (By Blood, #2)Moon Child (By Blood, #2)
by Tracy E. Banghart

Published February 18, 2013

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

Before Emma's adventures in Oxford, her best friend Diana came face-to-face with a killer...

Diana Calvert is so over high school. Who cares if Olivia hates her? And David needs to forget about having a crush on her STAT. Even Emma’s crazy fashion choices can’t keep Diana entertained. All she can hope for is a dance scholarship to a college as far away as possible from too-small, too-boring, too-nothing-ever-happens New Freedom, PA.

Then Diana meets Nicholas Woodhaven. He’s pale, angry…yet weirdly charming. The more time they spend together, the more she wonders who – or what – he really is. Because he isn’t anything like the other guys she knows. Not with the whole only-going-out-at-night thing. And living with his creepy aunt. And not going to school.

Just when Diana thinks she’s got Nicholas all figured out, people in her small, nothing-ever-happens town start dying. She has to wonder – can she trust him? And even more alarming – could she be next?

A murder mystery with a paranormal twist, Moon Child is best read under the covers with a flashlight...if you dare!

* * *

While this is the second book in the series, it's not necessary to have read the first book before this one! In fact, since this book falls chronologically before the first book, some people may prefer to read this one first.

I have to say, I really liked Diana. I enjoyed the fact that she had much more of a healthy, typical family than so many characters in books - I found it rather refreshing. I say typical, but really the family has enough quirks to keep them interesting. . . .

Now, from the blurb, I'm guessing you jumped to the vampire conclusion. Well, it had been a while since I'd read the blurb when I picked up the book, so I got to the part where things were leaning in that direction. My response: Seriously, another vampire book? But then there was a fun twist that made it more interesting, and kept it from falling into the way-overdone same-ness that so many books these days have.

That said, I'm not big into spoilers, so I'm not going to say much more. I will say this: while Moon Child isn't one of my all-time favorite books (that list is very hard to crack into), it was interesting, and there's a decent chance I'll read it again. Ms. Banghart is a great storyteller, which means she could probably write a good book with any theme. I'm interested to see what she does next!

3.5/5 stars