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Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy) ~ 4.5-Books

June 11, 2013

Cover of “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness

Diana Bishop is a witch, and her new husband, Matthew Clairmont, is a vampire. Of course, they are much more than their labels. Diana is an accomplished historian who happens to possess the ability to spin time. With her abilities untested and unproven, she and her husband travel back to 1590 in search of help. What they expect and what they find are entirely different matters. The European witch trials are on the horizon, and the Elizabethan court is in full swing.

Diana and Matthew must deal with unexpected threats–and amazing surprises–before they can even hope to return to the twenty-first century.

This is the second novel in Deborah Harkness’s “All Souls Trilogy.” I came into this not having read A Discovery of Witches, although I now intend to. It can be difficult to come to series without having read the previous novels. There are debates among readers and authors as to whether books in series should be written so that new readers can join at any time, or whether the integrity of a series relies on reading the novels in order. While I am on the fence, I certainly appreciate when I can join a series somewhere other than the first novel. Such is the case here. Although I sense I am missing many subtle elements, I was seldom lost. Harkness’s writing brought me into her world, and I loved it.  Read more »

Constance Harding’s (Rather) Startling Year ~ 4-Books

March 15, 2013
Constance Harding’s (Rather) Startling Year Cover

Constance Harding’s (Rather) Startling Year

Constance Harding is a rather ordinary, proper Englishwoman of Surrey. On January 1, 2008, she started a blog. Her primary concerns: Why the Lithuanian housekeeper couldn’t keep her skimpy underwear properly stowed away rather than strewn about the house; finding a suitable girl for her son in his mid-twenties, seeing as he has not done so himself; wondering why her daughter must dress drastically and behave so improperly.

The blog runs precisely one year, and it chronicles the most eventful year Constance (don’t call her “Connie”!) has ever experienced. At the beginning, she is reminiscent of Hyacinth Bucket (“Bouquet”!) of the British comedy Keeping Up Appearances. Constance is quite formal and dependent on routine. As an outsider looking in, it’s easy to see the hints about what’s really going on behind her back, and that she’s quite oblivious. Or maybe that she’s so comfortable with life that these things just aren’t on her radar. Read more »

Scarlet: Book 2 of The Lunar Chronicles ~ 5 books

October 16, 2012

Title: Scarlet : The Lunar Chronicles

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: dystopian YA

Wow. Just wow.

If you read Cinder, the first in this series, you have to read Scarlet. It takes up where Cinder left off, but with new characters. Yes, we meet up with Cinder, but later on, after other things have happened.

Though I wasn’t totally enamored of the first book, I did enjoy it and this one took that much further. The twist on traditional fairy tales only adds to the unique flavor of the story.

In this one, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother has gone missing. It’s been several weeks and the police have written the case off. When Scarlet digs into her grandmother’s disappearance, she finds out some things that were kept hidden from her, like the danger she’s in for her own life. A street fighter named Wolf helps her out, though she’s not sure if she should trust him or not. Things get really heavy when they meet up with Cinder. And Prince Kai has some “heavy” duties to take care of too. Read more »

The Dragons of Ordinary Farm ~ 5-Books

September 19, 2012

Lucinda and Tyler are sent to an obscure relative’s farm for the summer. The go, fully expecting six weeks of hard labor feeding cattle and who knew what else. What they discovered was beyond belief. Dragons, unicorns, and a flying monkey named Zaza. Uncle Gideon insists on keeping deep secrets, but how can he expect two curious kids to not explore Ordinary Farm’s perfectly extraordinary contents?

The secrets go far, far deeper than the presence of mythological beasts and strange characters. While Lucinda and Tyler search for answers, outside forces plot to learn what happens at Ordinary Farm and use it to their own ends. Soon, the children discover that every answer comes at a price, and if they’re not careful, that price could be too high to pay.

Set in a California Valley, far removed from the busyness of 21st century life, this is a imaginative tale with enough punch to appeal to today’s young readers. From Tyler’s obsession with his “Game Boss” to Lucinda’s love for the mall, Williams and Beale have created a fresh pair of character to whom kids can easily relate. These kids also have the bigger issues that will endear them to today’s kids: Their parents are divorced, they vary on the popularity spectrum, and they’re very reliant on the availability of beloved technology. In other words: They’re ordinary kids. Read more »

Back into the Swing

September 18, 2012

It’s been a while since I had posts going up on a regular basis. The biggest difference is in the usability of the website. Between 2005 and 2009, WUAT was a PHP-run site with few special features. There was a lot of work to add even one review.

Today, I’m using the WordPress platform, which is a content management system (CMS), which is geek-speak for: “WordPress makes it easy.”

This post is mostly a short ramble so I can see if things are working properly with Facebook. If so, then the Wantz Upon a Time  Facebook Page will automatically show the feed. Also, people can now comment using their Facebook logins. We’ll see how that goes. 8^)

As the Tick loved to say: “SPOON!”


An Unquenchable Thirst: A Memoir ~ 3.5-Books

September 17, 2012

Mary Johnson realized a calling at a young age. She saw a photograph of Mother Theresa’s face on the cover of Time and  knew she was destined to join the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Theresa. Johnson joined the order, moving from her home in Texas to the Bronx, where she learned the ways of the order and sought deeper connections to her beliefs.

Throughout the next twenty years, Johnson, known as Sister Donata, strove to be the best nun she could be, all the while questioning every aspect of her life. Highly intelligent and predisposed to debate, it was a difficult journey. The life demands everything of its nuns: Obedience, charity, sacrificing love and ambition, and submitting to abusive behaviors and practices; all in the name of serving their husband, Jesus. Read more »