Day: March 10, 2013

Review: “The Phoenix Girls: The Conjuring Glass: Book 1” by Brian Knight

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The Phoenix Girls: The Conjuring Glass, by Brian Knight, is a tale of magic that will delight young readers. Penny Sinclair moves in with her grandmother, and has to make the transition from the big city to the small town. She becomes friends with the school outcast, Zoe, and the two set off in search of adventure. They find a magical grove near Penny’s new home, complete with a talking fox. While there’s a bit of violence in this story, it thankfully doesn’t go over the line.

It’s unusual for a male writer to be able to successfully get into the mind of a character of another gender, but in this case, Brian Knight has not only done it well, he’s done it with an adolescent – that species of homo sapiens that few adults comprehend. Written primarily for a young adult audience, it’s not a bad read for adults who still believe in magic.

I give The Conjuring Glass four stars, and look forward to Book 2.

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Review: “Poisoned Pawn: The Fall of the Altairan Empire, Book III” by Jaleta Clegg

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Dace is a merchant ship captain. She has a talent for getting into the most amazing fixes, and this interests the enigmatic Commander Lowell who heads a secretive organization and who wants to recruit her. She also has an unfortunate resemblance to the daughter of the head of a large trading syndicate who is the target of takeover from a ruthless criminal. Lowell assigns Major Clark to infiltrate Dace’s ship as a pilot to keep an eye on her and keep her safe.

Unfortunately, Clark falls for Jasyn, Dace’s partner, and in a moment of inattention allows Dace to be kidnapped. The action, pretty tense from the opening chapter, really goes into high gear as Lowell tries to locate and rescue Dace, and she tries to survive long enough for him to do just that.

A well-written story, although some of the technology is a bit far-fetched, with lots of adventure, romance (tastefully done) and humor. A few ends are still loose as the story closes – for instance, there’s Dace’s love interest left only partially resolved – but, given what we see of her personality as the story unfolds, that’s perhaps to be expected.

Jaleta Clegg’s Poisoned Pawn was a fun read. Unfortunately, even though I was able to get a copy of the Kindle e-Book version for review, I can’t find it on Amazon or LibraryThing, which is really too bad, because this is a book worth reading. I give it four stars.

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