Monday, January 16, 2012

A Couple of Reviews to Start the Week!

I'd like to share with you a couple of books I've read recently. Fallon O'Reilly and the Ice Queen's Lair and Rock Bound. Enjoy.

Fallon O'Reilly and the Ice Queen's Lair by Debra K. Dunlap.

From GoodReads:

Magic lives in the Americas, too?

Land of the Midnight Sun. The Aurora Borealis. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Dog sleds. Mount Denali. 60 degrees below zero. Moose. Grizzly bears. Salmon. Gold nuggets. Blueberries. Bunny boots and duct tape.

To most people, the word "Alaska" evokes visions of a wild, mysterious land, but for Fallon O'Reilly, it means home. Growing up in a village hidden deep in the wilderness, she eagerly anticipates her first sojourn at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. Nothing dampens her enthusiasm; not the creepy bookseller, her sisters' nagging or the world's nastiest classmate.

However, when village inhabitants disappear, someone murders a student's pet and she suffers a near-fatal attack by a horrible, hairy creature, Fallon's curiosity draws her into a dark mystery. Can a twelve-year-old witch, together with her wheelchair-bound cousin and new found friend from Wyoming, uncover the identity of the evil behind the chilling events?

From the wind-swept tundra to the frozen peaks of Mount Denali, Fallon's struggle to protect the school and her fellow students encompasses a journey of far more breadth than she expected.

The Review:

I won the EBook in a contest.

How would you like to attend a school with brownies that don’t like to be seen by humans or with a ghost called six-toed Sam? What if you took flying lessons on a horse, and a mysterious Ice Queen seemed to be watching you? Sound intriguing? Add the discovery of a girl’s body, drained of blood, and a bully named Ophelia, and you enter the lives of three young characters determined to solve the mysteries surrounding them. And these are just for starters. You’ll also encounter more unusual happenings at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. So come on in and see what adventures await you.

Author Debra K. Dunlap’s novel for tween/teen readers is a fantasy story about Fallon O’Reilly, who, along with her cousin Ardis and friend Eddie, meet some weird creatures in their quest to get an education. The Alaskan setting with its snow and mountains is the perfect place for the story to unfold. From the opening scene with the birth of the babe “born with the mark,” to meeting the professors of their new school, to being attacked by an odd creature, the children’s experiences are anything but dull. The author takes the reader on a fantastic journey through unexplored places in the school as the kids learn more about the people and creatures inhabiting it.

A helpful glossary at the end of the book explains Latin words, Alaskan words, and others. Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair has many similarities to the Harry Potter books, but the Alaskan setting and the characters with their own unique personalities have a story to tell and they tell it very well. The book should appeal to fantasy lovers, young and old, and make a nice addition to school classrooms and libraries.


Rock Bound by Rochelle Weber

From GoodReads:

The future is a dangerous place for dreamers and idealists.
When a dictator takes over the United States, Annie Peterson attends a protest in Washington, DC, with her husband Paul, and US troops fire into the crowd killing him. Jake Johnsrud, a virtual stranger, risks his life to save Annie’s. They are among the survivors who are sentenced to slavery on the Moon for their “crimes”—Jake as a miner; Annie as a sex slave.
Jake fights increasing feelings of anger and jealousy as Annie struggles to perform her job, while she resists her increasing attraction to him. Along with their fellow inmates, they fight to survive on the lunar "rock" that is their prison

The Review:

Imagine the U. S. Constitution being repealed. Imagine going to Washington DC to protest to have the Constitution restored and have free elections, but soldiers fire on you and you’re soon under arrest, accused of treason. Sounds terrifying, right? Could it happen?

This is exactly what happens in Author Rochelle Weber’s novel, Rock Bound. The year is 2051. Annie Peterson and her husband Paul leave their baby boy with Annie’s mother in California and set off across the country to take part in the protest even though they realize chances are good they’ll be arrested. They cannot visualize the horror that awaits them, however. Many of the protesters are killed. Annie and others that survive are sent to the moon where they’ll be indentured for ten years to the Freezeland Mining Corporation as punishment. Even after completing their sentence they must pay their way back to Earth, which is highly unlikely. Now I’ve never thought much about what life on the moon would be like. The author, however, paints a vivid picture of the hardships and trials the prisoners face in their new world. They have to grow their own food. No supermarkets exist where they can shop for bread and milk. At first they eat a lot of A-Rats. When a second wave of prisoners arrives, Annie and the new friends she’s made learn that the people on Earth want their constitution restored so fighting is still going on and the supplies they need likely will not arrive. Add a meteor that causes damage and death to their group and you have a story with constant action that makes the reader wonder if they will survive in this new world. Will they ever return home to the families left behind? Or is the moon their forever home?

The author goes into great detail about what the characters must do to survive on the moon. It’s fascinating. How much of the facts are accurate I do not know, but Ms. Weber has written a story that held my attention. I think you will enjoy it, as well.

I won the paperback in a contest.


Happy Reading.


  1. Oh, dear, two more greats reads to add to my pile. These sounds great, Bev.

  2. I know, Darby. It just never ends. :) My closet overfloweth. If I live to be 100, I might get them all read.

  3. The Ice Queen's Lair sounsd great. I am a huge HP fan- so I think I would enjoy another book with similarities. I am hankering for some more HP- so I have added this to my list in hopes that it brings some magic into my reading. :) Thanks for sharing!


  4. Great, Jess. I hope you enjoy it. Yes, I'm ready for more HP too.