Ghosters by Diana Corbitt

GhostersI’ve never been one for ghost stories. (I don’t like to be scared.) But, I must say I enjoyed Ghosters* by Diana Corbitt. While Ghosters is geared for ages 9-12, I found myself frequently chuckling and wanting to know what happened in the end. (Honestly, I read about one-fourth of the book and then had to skip to the end to see what happened before I could go back finish reading it.)

There were two things I particularly liked about the book:

First, Joey, the main character’s brother, has Asperger’s. In Ghosters, Joey is treated like a real person. Whereas often times in movies or books, the person with disabilities is left on the sideline until the end when everybody realizes his worth and value, Joey plays a major role in the ghost hunt. His sister truly loves him and does not regard her brother’s presence on their ghost hunting adventures as an annoyance. It was nice to see value and dignity given to a character with disabilities from the start of the story instead of having to wait until the end for the person to receive the dignity and value they deserved from the other characters.

Second, Theresa (the main character) and Joey’s mother recently died; their father, in addition to the kids, are grieving. The loss of Theresa’s and Joey’s mother has created a rift between Theresa and her father. (Mini spoiler alert): It is ultimately, Theresa’s quest to find a ghost that helps her family heal. It is this fact in particular that I thought was clever. Who’d have thought that a little bit of ghost hunting could help a grieving family heal?

*I was provided with Ghosters free of charge in exchange for my review of it. I received no monetary compensation, only the privilege and enjoyment that comes with reading a well-written story, and this story is indeed well-written.

P.S. I will be adding this to my “Favotites” list for those children who enjoy ghost stories.

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Echoes of Fate by Philip C. Quaintrell

Echoes of Fate.jpgEchoes of Fate, a book series by Philip C. Quaintrell, is a very engrossing story. At first I wasn’t sure I would like it because the story follows many different lead characters, all with weird sounding names. I didn’t think I would be able to follow the many different story lines. However, it was not long before the stories intertwined, making it easier and much more enjoyable to follow.

My favorite aspect about this story is the path for redemption that two of the characters – Asher, the main character, and Galanor – are on. Each of these characters has had a tumultuous past. Whereas Asher has already turned from his old life as an assassin when you first meet him, Galanor is conflicted between duty, which calls him to perform unsavory actions, and his desire to be a good person. While you get to see Galanor in the before-and-after stages of his path to redemption, you meet Asher after he has turned away from the life of an assassin. However, trusting and friendship are two things foreign to Asher, and it is fun to watch his relationship with the characters develop as he struggles to live life as a better person while carrying the guilt of his past life.

Due to the content of this series, I would say it is rated R. There is intermittent use of the F-word and some fairly graphic violence (at least by my standards). However, it is the scenes in which the Darkakin torture/rape the queen of the elves that is primarily responsible for my rating the book as R. It is hard to describe these scenes; they are not graphic but there is enough description and allusions to what is going on that it is bothersome. While this did not stop me from reading the book (as you can easily skip those scenes), it does make me hesitant to recommend it to anyone but a mature audience.

Note: I continued reading the book despite the scenes with the Darkakin because I am enjoying (I’m on the last book) the path to redemption of Asher and Galanor. I also enjoy the internal struggle of the other characters who, after experiencing horrendous torture or loss, fight to retain their virtues and moral beliefs. The characters in this book experience very real, human emotions. You see them struggle to be the people they want to be despite the torture they’ve experienced or the losses they have endured. For that reason alone, the book is worth reading as you see that no matter how horrible life can get, you should always strive to be the better person, even if you don’t always succeed.

P.S. I will be adding this to my favorite books for adults.

The Memory Stone by Jeffrey Quyle

TheMemoryStone

I am currently enjoying the second book in the series The Memory Stone by Jeffrey Quyle. Clean and enjoyable, this story follows the many adventures of Theus as he endeavors to combat evil and make sense of his newly found unique talents and magical abilities.

There is an aspect of romance in this book; however, it is not a lustful “romance”. It is a romance truly born out of love and respect. That is one of the many reasons I like the book.

I also enjoy the book because a lot of the characters in the book are simply “good-people.” Many times in books and movies the protagonist is one of only a few good people; he/she faces insurmountable odds against many ill-meaning and questionable characters. However, in this book, many of the characters are truly good-people. And, with the hostility in our society these days, it is simply refreshing to read a book with so many good-people in it.

There is a strong chance this series will be added to my favorites list. However, I will have to wait and see how the series ends.

Manifest Destiny: The Lewis & Clark Musical Adventure (found on Amazon)

Manifest DestinyAirplanes meets Monty Python meets Studio C meets The Muppets meets music. 

This completely cheesy, yet amazingly CLEAN, musical adventure has no educational value whatsoever, but if you are in the right mood, it is hilarious!

Surprisingly, the actors all have musical talent and the melody’s are rather catchy.

This movie is going on my favorites list, simply for the sheer stupidity of the movie and the enjoyment that it brought to my sisters and I.

Dickensian (BBC / Amazon)

Dickensian

Dickensian is a BBC drama that only aired one season. Clever in the way it combines the lives of Charles Dickens many characters, this story tells of Inspector Bucket’s attempts to solve Jacob Marley’s murder. Unfortunately for Detective Bucket, everyone has a motive to kill Marley. The problem is finding out who truly is responsible.

This superbly cast drama may please Dickens fans. However, it should be noted that this is a serious drama, with little comedy, and in keeping with many of Dickens’ characters, it does not end well for every one. (In other words, this is not a “happily-ever-after” type show.)

I was unable to find what the TV show was rated. I would guess it is about TV-14. However, there were a couple scenes that made me a little uncomfortable. The main one of which is when Silas Wegg forces himself on Mrs. Gant. While they are clothed in the scene, it was disturbing enough for me that I ended up turning the show off. So I would advise people who are sensitive like me, against watching the show.

I did go on Wikipedia to find out who Joseph Marley’s killer was, and that is why I know the show does not end happily for everyone. So, if you are in the mood for a happily-ever-after show, look elsewhere.

I will reiterate that I was beyond impressed with the acting – Scrooge and Fagin being my two favorite characters, closely followed by Detective Bucket. I appreciate the show’s cleverness in how it combined many of Dickens’ books; however, this show is simply not for me.