Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo; Dice Tsutsumi

This story is a bit sci fi and all fantasy.  A young pig is the Dam Keeper now, since his father went into the unknown.  There is a fog that approaches the city and only their windmill can hold it back with the help of the dam.  He does what he learned.  But then the fog changes...

First Second Books and Net Galley let me read this graphic novel for review (thank you).  It will be published September 26th.

Pig is alone.  His mother died, his father went insane, and he has almost no friends at school.  Fox is nice to him but she's friends with Hippo who is not.  When Fox comes to visit and brings Hippo, he's not happy but he tries to be nice.  Suddenly the fog is moving when it shouldn't be and the dam breaches!  They run from the falling structures and find themselves outside the walls...

There is plenty of adventure, odd creatures, and another city there.  They just want to go home but they're not sure how to get there.  Perhaps someone in the city will help them.

This is the first in a series and it's interesting enough to keep me reading.  I want to know if Pig finds his father and how he, Fox, and Hippo survive.  Wouldn't you?

The Best Tailor in Pinbauê by Eymard Toledo

He loves to help his Uncle sew.  He can cut pieces, tack them, and do all kinds of odds and ends.  His Uncle tells him stories while he does it.  And they make such colorful clothes.  Everybody loves his work!  Then the factory comes to town...

Triangle Square and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 26th.

Once the factory has arrived, all his Uncle's business is from the factory.  He makes grey uniforms for them.  It's not much fun but it is a source of income.  Then the factory buys the uniforms from another company far away and gets them cheaper.  What are they to do?

The nephew comes up with an idea on how to improve sales and it works.  This is a sweet family story about a Brazilian family and how they adjusted to change.  The illustrations use paper to make almost 3-D graphics.  They even use some of the pretty material for the graphics.  The story is simple and the book is special.

Monday, August 21, 2017

An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry

Monk is facing an awful case.  Someone is killing Hungarian immigrants.  They are single or windowed males and they are being killed with great anger and in the same way each time.  Since he doesn't speak Hungarian, it makes the case even more difficult.  It's like they don't want to talk to him since he's police.  He has trouble picking up the nuances in their conversations, too.  There's fear on both sides in this neighborhood.

Ballantine and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 19th.

The Hungarian doctor helps with translation but for some reason, Monk distrusts him.  So does his partner.  Neither can put a finger on why.

There's another doctor that can speak Hungarian but he's damaged from the war he was in.  He loses his place when he enters his mind and the past events.  He can't sleep at night because of the nightmares.  And then people see him with blood on his clothes.  It was from a childbirth he assisted with but they think he's the killer. Charlotte is friends with the damaged doctor and she stands up for him.  But he's ready to give up.  Monk doesn't think he's guilty, but he could be.

This case is a tangled mess with wrongs from the past mixing with the present.  It has a surprise ending that I never imagined.  Watching Monk and Charlotte negotiate another tough case was a joy.  The deaths were awful but the teamwork was amazing.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

Karma found a falcon that had been raised by a human but was lost.  She saved it from death and then worked on training it.  She was very proud of it and used it at demonstrations on how the birds of prey are not as dangerous as they look.  Life was going well and she was hoping to train it to hunt for her when it suddenly injures her during a demonstration.  The worst part is that the previous owner has contacted the family and wants his bird back.  After the injury, her parents decide the bird's going back...

Charlesbridge and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 19th.

Karma is very upset but she knows she can't keep someone else's bird.  She has plans to plead for it when they get there.  Her father and little brother head out with her for the Canadian border.  It's a boring, long trip and she sleeps a bit on the way.  When they stop for gas and some munchies, she sees a young hitchhiker.  She asks her father to stop and pick him up.  He doesn't act like normal and her father soon stops and tells him they aren't going his way.  To make it real, he turns at the next road.  It should connect with the highway he wants.  Unfortunately, their van blows a tire and they end up upside down in the ditch.  Her father is pinned, her brother has to stay to care for him, so Karma sets out for the highway where she will be able to get help.

What do you do when you've run out of food and water, aren't sure where you are and just keep walking hoping to find the highway?  She's lucky enough to have her bird friend with her and then she meets up with the hitchhiker again.  I admire birds of prey and learned more about them in this read.

This is tale of survival and redemption both.  It's busy, heart-wrenching and all the children involved learn they can survive on their own.  Help is always welcome, though.  And friendships can last forever.

Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté

This graphic novel is unique.  It's the story of a park bench.  There are no words, only emotions on people's faces tell their story.  We see benches everywhere.  Do you see who sits on them?

Gallery 13 and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 19th.

I liked the simplicity of the story and was amazed to see how much could be conveyed by actions and expressions.  This is a tribute to the bench's life and I enjoyed reading it.

It starts with a young couple, still in grade school.  He's carving a heart in the bench saying he loves her.  One man sits on it and plays music trying to make some money.  An older couple comes and sits on it and shares a pastry dessert.  A homeless man tries to sleep on it but the cop keeps running off.  Love dies and love grows all on this bench.

Reading this story is like seeing a slice of life.  Most people don't slow down enough to do that but if you did, it'd be a lot like this.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Crows of Beara by Julie Christine Johnson

She has just gone through rehab for drinking and is working hard on not falling back into the same rut.  Then she does something stupid and her husband finds out about it.  It's the straw that broke the camel's back.  Their marriage is ending, she's moving out, and now her job is on the hook.  Will she be able to do this promotion or will she lose her job?  What happens is she finds her soul...

Ashland Creek Press and the author sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

The story is set along a windswept coast in Ireland.  You can feel the atmosphere, the wet and cold, and the mysticism of the land.  There's a lot of history here and some of it still talks to you.

Annie goes in believing it's just a standard promotion.  The proposed copper mines would bring jobs and better economy to the island.  But there's a conflict.  It's a nesting site for the Red-billed Chough, which is an endangered species.  It's like when they found the spotted owl in Washington forests.  Loggers want to log, and environmentalists wanted to save owls.  Nobody was completely happy.  This one looks like it's going to get the same results.

Annie starts out strong and does well with her presentation.  Then she finds out the company doesn't care about the birds, doesn't want to meet with public, and that they are hot trotting the permits through.  She's pretty sure they aren't meeting all the requirements.  Soon she's at odds with them.  She backs off to regroup.  She's not sure where she's going next or what she's going to do but she has found a new love.  They both have baggage and things to work through but love is there.  

You learn a bit about Ireland, a bit about corvids, and a bit about life in this story.  I could feel the call of Ireland and the mysticism of the isle.  Annie hasn't given up yet...

Friday, August 18, 2017

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

When Emmett is called to the principal's office, he can't figure out what he did wrong.  Why would he want to see him?  The office has other people in it and they tell him it's like he's won the lottery:  He's been chosen to go to space and mine nyxia on a world called Eden.  He doesn't know how he could win when he didn't apply but the amount of money they are offering ends any questions...

Crown Books for Young Readers and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 12th.

There are ten students going and they come from all over the world.  They wear a mask that translates all languages to the one you understand.  They all are poor or broken in some way.  And only eight of the two ten will be allowed to go to the planet.  It's competition all the way there.  The tests are difficult, change all the time and they have to learn how to fight each other, swim well, stay alive on the river in a boat and more.

This would make a really good movie.  There is plenty of action, lots of emotion and plenty of other worldly effects.

Once they complete the trip to the Tower, they find out there is another team up there.  Both have been trained.  The best of the best will get to go to Eden.

Injuries keep you from gaining points.  One girl even gets killed.  But they are all trying hard to win.  It doesn't take long until you realize the company is not telling them the whole truth.  Nyxia is like gold used to be but more powerful.  They want to control it.  However, I don't think they are too worried about any human losses.  This is the first book in the series and they are just getting ready to land.  The next book should be even more revealing.  I hope Emmett survives...