Sanguine Starscapes by Justin Bohardt

The perfect book for readers undecided between paranormal and space opera – Vampires in Space!  Justin Bohardt answers the question of how vampires would survive, and feed, in a future world in which man had departed for the stars.

While novella length, Sanguine Starscapes is actually a collection of short (dare I say it?) “bite”-sized stories, each describing a different possibility.  Bohardt’s creativity really shines with concepts like the Drake Formula and the idea of a “ship’s therasan, a brilliant and expensive combination of psychologist and escort.”

Half the tales are wickedly creative, the other half are just plain wicked. “Starvation” is particularly cringe-inducing.  A worthy read for any aficionado of vampire lit!

Ignoring a smattering of typos, this is great!

Heads Will Roll by Joanie Chevalier

I’ve been reading mostly children’s books lately (visiting the grandkids) so this was quite a shocker! The premise for this book is fascinating – “body” transplants, moving a patient’s head to a new, healthy body.  The ethical considerations are fascinating.  You have to wonder whether vain and shallow people would pursue such extreme measures to remedy non-medical issues like obesity and aging? And where WOULD all those bodies come from?

I think the author really pegged the likely public reactions as well, speaking through the main character of Dr. Farkis: “Every organization with an acronym, an abbreviation, or an initialism will be after us in mobs. Think witch trials.” She also did a wonderful job of portraying the father of the Japanese family featured throughout the book: “It wasn’t a secret that in Japan women ruled the households. Aiko was a company man and had been all his life. He’d always handed over his paychecks to his wife. He was a pussycat at home, but a lion at work…” If was this attention to detail on the surroundings, not just the plot, that really held my attention throughout.

Definitely recommended!

Wishing Whale by Francis Keene

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book. It’s one of the few I’ve seen that completely works on the Kindle format. Most times, you end up with illustrations that are too small or tiny text. This one transferred beautifully with full tablet-sized illustrations, engaging educational text, and brilliant colors.

Thumbs up from me and both grandkids!

 

Cats! (Discover Your World Series) by Michelle & Kurt Zimmerman

I read this book with my 6-year-old grandson, Liam. The photos are adorable! There was just enough text on each page to engage early readers without overwhelming them. And the facts were really fascinating. We’ve always had cats – going back decades now – but I had no idea that a cat can jump up to 5 times its height or that one third of all American households have a cat.

Liam and I give this book two thumbs up!

The Three Prankster Mice by John E Dorey

I read this book with my 6-year-old grandson. Or, I should say, we read it together, alternating pages.  Each page had just the perfect amount of text for an early reader. Short and sweet, but not dumbed down into nothing but “sight” words.

The story was cute and conveyed a lesson without being absolutist which is a flaw of too many children’s books. I really liked the horse’s ending comments, “Don’t say ever. There is fun that can be had from a good joke or even a friendly prank…. But Today little one, was a result of taking things too far…”

The illustrations were engaging – brilliant color and crisp characters but with an unexpected depth and texture to some of the elements, like the grass and the mice’s fur.

Most important to this review – My grandson asked if we could read it again. Highly recommend!

Vampire Love by Brigitta Moon

“Any mosquitoes in your room? Unsettling dreams? Sweet nothings in your ear?”

Questions you should probably ask yourself when checking in to a castle feared by locals, accessible only by miles of walking, and known only to outsiders drowning in grief and desperately trawling the Internet…

Vampire Love is a fun paranormal short by Brigitta Moon.  It starts slow, then builds. I found a few of the early descriptions slightly awkward, as if the author was still struggling to find her voice.  As she finds it, that early crawl quickly climbs to racing pace.

When the story picks up, it moves quickly and unexpectedly.  VERY unexpectedly.  Definitely worth the read.  [Just FYI – this is clearly intended for adults. Expect “adult” material. It’s related to the plot, and not grossly graphic but you should be aware that it’s there if you find that kind of thing objectionable…]

 

Language in the Blood by Angela Lockwood

An excellent introduction for a new style of vampire. I love the premise described by the title. As someone who has now butchered Spanish for 145 consecutive days with duo lingo, I have to admit that I read that section and thought -if only!

I enjoyed the back and forth of Cameron’s afterlife and look forward to the next installment. The European setting was nice although I always trip over the French references while reading. There were also a few really obscure words from time to time that even Wikipedia couldn’t puzzle out – sarnies? minging? Bint?

Overall though, a well written and engaging book.