Book Review: Max and the Spice Thieves (Secrets of the Twilight Djinn #1) by John Peragine

About the Book:

Max and the Spice Thieves

 

When his mother goes missing, Max Daybreaker’s world is turned upside down. Luckily, a crew of Spice Pirates, led by the mysterious Captain Cinn, help Max on his dangerous mission across the three seas.

Along the way, an unlikely alliance aids in his search—a teenage warrior queen, a three-eyed seer, and an assassin spy.

Their journey takes them through treacherous lands while facing shapeshifting bears, an ancient witch, harpies, and the nightmarish Djinn, who will stop at nothing to enslave the world.

With every new challenge, Max unlocks the secrets of his unsettling past. Powers awaken within, forcing him to question everything he knows.

Is Max who he thinks he is? Only time and destiny will tell…

 

 

My Thoughts:

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Crumblebee Books for providing me with a copy of this book.

Max and the Spice Thieves is a refreshing read in the Middle Grade fiction Genre!

The story follows Max as he meets a crew of Spice Pirates from the Saucy Pig while looking for his mother. There is something about Max that draws people to him and of course some of the people we meet along the way have either promised his mother or his father that they will protect him. As Max sets out on a perilous journey in search of his mother, the author introduces us to a myriad of interesting characters who only add more flavor to the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Max as he learns to take control and grow up. He learns to work with people and bring them together. We slowly come to know about his magic and as the story progresses, through twists and turns we come to know the truth behind the complete plot.

Throw in pirates, magic, Djinns and Snow Bears and we have a wonderful mix for this story. It is fast paced and well written, keeping both children and adults hooked onto it. This is one book that I will whole heartedly recommend and I cannot wait to read the next book! Max’s adventures are worth reading about!

Book Review: Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

I received a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

A tragic mystery blending sleuthing and spirituality

​An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved fifteen-year-old, who is determined to unravel the mystery of her brother Sam’s death. Though all evidence points to a suicide, her heart and intuition compel her to dig deeper. With help from her friend Julie, they retrace Sam’s steps, delve into his Inuit beliefs, and reconnect with their spiritual beliefs to uncover clues beyond material understanding.

Both tragic and heartwarming, this twisting novel draws you into Bean’s world as she struggles with grief, navigates high school dramas, and learns to open her heart in order to see the true nature of the people around her. Winter of the Wolf is about seeking the truth—no matter how painful—in order to see the full picture.

In this novel, environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler, brings together two important pieces of her life—the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Center—to tell an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages.

My Thoughts:

This book follows the life of Bean (yes, this is a very unusual name for a person and I was surprised with it. I thought it was a nickname.) as she navigates life post her brother’s death. We are given glimpses into the lives of the family members before Sam’s death and of course how they each cope after it. Being closer in age, Bean was very close to Sam, closer than she was to her two older brothers. Sam’s death somehow brings the family together with each person re-discovering and establishing bonds with each other.

Of course, there is some mystery surrounding the death and Bean, troubled as she is by all this, makes it a point to find out the truth . Bean believe that her brother did not commit suicide and if he did, they should have been able to see the signs. The story is quite tragic, filled with lots of grief and some moments of understanding and even happiness. In this myriad of emotions, the author seeks to bring about an awareness of different belief systems, people’s ideas and ideologies. This is an interesting aspect of the plot and was quite an eye opener.

I was a little put off by Bean’s attitude at times, but in retrospect, it was probably a reflection of her grief and coping mechanisms. The story is well-written though a little confusing at times, but it is definitely worth a read! I enjoyed the references to animals and how the author weaves the story around people’s belief systems without sounding like she is preaching. This book is well worth the read especially to admire the bonds of friendship and family that forms the backbone of the plot.