Shadow of the Storm: Book Review

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“There will be times when there is nothing you can do but survive, to place one foot after the other into the driving rain.” 
― Connilyn Cossette, Shadow of the Storm

Title:  Shadow of the Storm

Series: Out of Egypt Series

Author:  Connilyn Cossette

Publish Date:  October 18th, 2016

Reading Format:  Kindle Book

Goodreads Summary: 

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira’s gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

Review:

Connilynn Cossette has become a favorite author of mine over the past few years.  I love that she focuses on Biblical fiction, and her ability to tell a story about women from so long ago that can still feel relevant today.  I have enjoyed her Out of Egypt Series and have finally concluded it after unknowingly reading the books out of order.  (I accidentally read the 3rd book first before knowing it was the final book in the series. Oops!)

Shadow of the Storm is my favorite of the trilogy.  I found Shira’s story to be the most moving to me of the three, but that might have been because I felt like I was reading this book at the exact time I needed to.  You know what I mean?  Have you ever opened a book and knowing this is exactly what you needed for the mood or life moment you are in?  This was definitely it for me!

It had been almost two years since I read the 1st book, Counted with the Stars, in the fall of 2017.  I wasn’t sure if I would remember too much, but it wasn’t too hard to recall Shira and Kiya’s adventures from before.  In this book Shira is the main character this time around and it is set at the base of Mount Sinai, where the Hebrews resided for 1 year following their exodus from Egypt.  Having grown up hearing and reading the biblical stories of Moses and the Israelites exodus to the promise land, I always find Biblical fiction so fascinating.  It seems to feel in the blanks a bit about what daily life would have been like and give more detail to the bigger picture.

Much like the other 2 books, Shadow of the Storm is filled with a lot of action and drama with an overarching love story. The story lines can fill like they follow a specific pattern in each book, but each story feels different and unique without feeling like a been-there-done-that plot line.

If your looking for a historical fiction novel that isn’t set in World War II then I would suggest checking out this series.  As a fellow lover of historical fiction, reading a time period not set between 1936-1945 has helped me not to burnout in my reading life and enter into a book slump.

And as a trigger warning to some who may chose to read this, Shira does have a traumatic event in her past that makes her uncomfortable around men.  You may want to research further before deciding to read if you are sensitive to certain themes.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

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When Life Gets in the Way

So with the new year I haven’t been very active on my blog, and while I can give a laundry list of reasons why I’m going to first quickly apologize for my absence and promise to do better.  Also I may just copy this post for the future because I’m sure that I’ll more than likely go AWOL on occasion. As of right now I plan to post more regularly and have been reading as much as possible lately to insure that I have something to offer all of you who read my blog.

And speaking of my readers I wanted to say thanks!  I have over 30 followers for The Book of Meghan and I never imagined I would have a readership outside of myself and a few family members. So thank you for following and I hope you continue to do so.

Happy Reading,

Meghan

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

Title: Clockwork Angel

Series: The Infernal Devices Series

Author: Cassandra Clare

Format: Audio book

Publish date: August 31, 2010

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical

Publisher’s Summary:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

What I liked about Clockwork Angel:

I started to listen to Cassandra Clare’s other popular series The Mortal Instruments earlier this year. I’ve completed the first 3 or maybe 4 books, I don’t completely remember, but I enjoyed listening to them on my commute everyday to and from work. I decided to start The Infernal Devices series before completing the other series as I once read it was better to go in that order to understand the story better. So far with the first book I can say that I might like this better than The Mortal Instruments series. I find Tessa, Will, and Jem more interesting than Clary or Jace to be honest. It isn’t as though I hate the other characters in the other series its just I feel more invested in the Clockwork Angel’s characters more, especially Jem (He’s my favorite. Don’t tell the others).

I enjoyed the story line in the first book even though I figured out the twist before it was reveal, that still didn’t affect the way the story unfolded for me. And I liked the narrator too in this book, which is essential when listening to an audio book. I’ve quit listening to a few because the narration was awful or I didn’t like their voice. I do applaud the individuals that do audio books you have to be a good storyteller and voice each character in the the book. Considering the amount of characters in this one, I was impressed with how it was told.

Clockwork Angel also met my one major requirement for a book (besides grammar) which is that it was entertaining. I found myself reacting to the story and actually listening to it rather than busying myself with something else or my own thoughts that would have made me miss parts of it along the way. And trust me having my undivided attention during an audio book can be hard, though when driving I should be more focused on that (just a side note PSA).

What I didn’t like about Clockwork Angel:

I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book.

Overall thoughts:

It’s a great first book to series. I hooked me in and I’ve already started the second book Clockwork Prince. I liked the overall entertainment of the book and it didn’t have anything that made me not want to continue on with it or bother me along the way. I would recommend Clockwork Angel to any reader who loves the YA Fantasy genre. I think it’s pretty apparent its one of my favorite types of books to read.

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading,

Meghan

Book Review: Falling Kingdoms

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Title: Falling Kingdoms

Series: Falling Kingdoms

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Publisher: Razorbill

Publish Date: December 11th, 2012

Genre: Fantasy

Reading Format: Paperback

Summary:

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface. (Goodreads summary)

What I liked about Falling Kingdoms:

I loved the characters in this story and the way Falling Kingdoms is told.

Falling Kingdoms is written from the third person perspective of the 4 main characters of this book. Cleo in the beginning is a spoiled princess in the wealthiest land in Mytica, Auranos. She grows the most to me character wise and was admittedly my favorite out of the characters thus far. Cleo experiences a lot in the first book , so I can’t imagine what Morgan Rhodes, the author, might have in store for her over the course of the entire series but I can’t wait to find out.

Jonas comes from Paelsia and he is from the poorest kingdom in Mytica. I didn’t love him in the beginning but by the end I was all for Jonas. He represents the change that Palesia needs in order for the people there to experience positive change. Much like Cleo watching his character development over the series is going to be great to read I’m sure. Jonas’ potential was only just starting in book 1.

Magnus is the heir to the Limeros throne. His father is known as the King of blood and trust me King Gaius lives up to that reputation. Magnus is an interesting character, he has to live in the shadow of his father and battle some demons in Falling Kingdoms. He also has an interesting relationship with his adopted sister that really plays into whether or not Magnus will inherit this King of Blood reputation like his father.

Lastly, Princess Lucia is Magnus’ adopted sister. She discovers a lot about herself that essentially has been kept from her her entire life. Lucia learns that she posses something that Mytica hasn’t seen in a long time, which is magic. I will say she is probably my least favorite of the 4 but she is still interesting none the less. And the way she and what she can do is being used by her father will probably lead to even more destruction in the next books.

What I didn’t like about Falling Kingdoms:

I don’t really have any dislikes for Falling Kingdoms, it was better than I thought it was going to be.

Overall thoughts:

If you like high fantasy you should read this story. I can’t wait to start the next book, but I promised myself I’d take a break for the fantasy genre for a little bit. However I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to with this series

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading,

Meghan

My Reading Wish List

Like most people in the bookish community I have a long list of books I want to read but I also have a list of types of books I want to read. For example, in the summer I like mindless reads. I want something with romance where you know they get a happliy ever after and there isn’t too much in depth thinking while reading. So I’ve complied a list or 5 of the types of books I’m looking to read into the summer. And because I don’t have any titles in mind I though by sharing this list some of you might be able to give me a few suggestions.

1. A Feel Good Contemporary Novel

I’ve been reading a lot of young adult novels lately, especially fantasy and urban fantasy novels but I want to read a feel good contemporary novel that is out of the YA Genere. The only problem is I don’t know where to start or what author to go with. I don’t have any titles in mind and I get dizzy going through my goodreads to-read shelf. But here are my criteria for what I’m looking for. 1) Romance with a slow burn 2) Mild drama (I don’t want feel good all the way through) 3) But there must be a happy ending!

2.  A Must Read Historical Fiction

I love The Nighthingale by Kristen Hannah it is listed on my favorites read page for a reason. And a great example of must read historical fiction for me. Because when I read a historical novel I want to feel like I’m living in the era I’m reading about. The three things for this category I’m looking for is 1) Ancient History (I haven’t read whole lot in this era and I would love to explore it more) 2) Mild romance is fine but not required 3) Have Historical accuracy. I spent 3 years going after a history degree and I’m a self defined History geek, it drives me crazy when an author writes a historical novel with no research.

3.  Fantasy Series

I know I said I’ve been ready a lot of fantasy novels lately, but I want one not focused around a 16 or 17 year old main character. I do however love when the story has a strong female character. No damsel in distress for me. I know there are so many fantasy series out there and I also know some of you must have a favorite. Here’s what I’m looking for: 1) Great world building 2) Most books published (I have waiting for a new book *first world problems*) 3) Will cause a book hangover.

4.  A Memoir or Autobiography

I’m not a big nonfiction reader except for Christin living books. But I want to branch out of my comfort zone and something I’m looking to read is about a real life persons life. And I would let you know right now I’m an open book (no pun intended) with this genere. I will read about a political figure, actress, someone not famous, literally I will read about someone else’s life as long as it doesn’t bore me or is filled with useless detail.

5.  Cute Light Read

My last category on my list is a light read. Not a very long book, doesn’t require a lot of character building or character background.  I just started The Summer of Everything by Catherine Clark which is two of her books in one and I’m reading through these quickly and they are perfect for summer. I would love more authors that write books like this.

So let me know some of your suggestions because I would love to hear from you and explore new titles.

Happy Reading,

Meghan