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I am working hard on a novella of my own.  This is why I haven’t had as many books reviewed lately.  I’ve been focused on writing.  I have this really cool idea I’ve been kicking around in my head for 20 years.  Its time to focus and get it written. I will be using Get Kids to Read as a writing blog as well as a book review blog as I document my journey to become an author.  

The goal to Get Kids to Read now includes writing the types of books they will read.  I hope that kids like the book I’m writing.  I know book nerds will like it because it is all about the magic of reading.  

I reallly would like it to be a novella about 100 pages but I’m accepting that it will be as long as it needs to be to compmlertely tell the story.  If the story is told completely in 75 pages so be it.  I’m OK with it being a short story. 
I have another book idea that came to me in the car today.  So many ideas.  

Horizon Review

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HorizonHorizon by Tabitha Lord
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Horizon by Tabitha Lord is an excellent science fiction adventure from an author that knows how to craft an exciting story with characters that you will truly care about.
Caeli Crys has powers to heal with her mind. She is from a civilization where half the population have powers and the other half don’t. When the powerless side decide to attack and wipe out her people Caeli is cast into an adventure that will change everything. Especially when a strange ship crashes onto her planet that was supposed to be shielded and hidden from outsiders. Caeli is able to heal Derek and he convinces her to return to his ship. But there is just as much danger there as on her world and something is about to happen that will change everything.
Caeli and Derek are two of the strongest characters that I have met recently. The plot of Horizon does not seem cookie cutter but evolves from the situations that the characters have to deal with. Horizon will definitely appeal to fans of Star Trek as it had a strong Star Trek vibe but is firmly its own thing.
Horizon is definitely worth buying in paperback or Ebook.

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Lots of good books lately

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I have read lots of good books lately.  The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, Horizon by Tabitha Lord and Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes.  

Horizon was a really good book and is available on Amazon.  Check it out Its an Indie book but definitely worth reading.  I will be posting a full review soon.  

Book of Dust: A new story in the universe of His Dark Materials.

Queen of Hearts tells a different story in the universe of Wonderland.  Oakes paints an interesting picture of wonderland.

Star Wars: Episode IV.I  Heir to the Jedi

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Kevin Hearne wrote a novel that is considered cannon which takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.  Luke is all alone and trying to figure out how to train himself as a Jedi without having Ben or anyone else to help.  He does not know about Yoda yet and can barely use the force.  

In this novel he is escorting an asset that can break imperial codes.  The plot is simple but it does flesh out Luke quite a bit.  There are a few moments that are important in Lukes training that probably offer hints about Rey.  Luke has had no training and is not always successful at this point with the force.  It will take him quite a bit of practice before he will be able to summon his lightsaber in the ice cave on Hoth.  Something Rey could do instantly.  Hmmmmm.   

This book was good I rate it 3 1/2 stars.  

Shroud of Sorrow, Crawling Terror and American Gods

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Shroud of Sorrow

This Doctor Who novel with the 11th Doctor takes place on 11/23/63.  The day after JFK was assasinated and the first time Doctor Who aired on TV so it is an important date in Doctor Who lore and many adventures take place on this day.  A being called the Shroud is taking advantage of the world in mourning over the loss of one of the greatest Presidents the USA had.  

The Doctor is teamed with Clara and they investigate what the Shroud is and find a way to defeat it.  I gave this novel 4 stars because it was equal to a decent episode of DW.  The characters feel equal to their screen counterparts and are well constructed.  

If you liked DOctor Who Check out this book.  

The Crawlilng Terror by Mike Tucker

There has been an attack by a mysterious giant spider in the countryside in England.  It all connects to an experiment conducted during World War II.  It is up to Clara and the 12th Doctor to stop it.  This was another really good DW novel.  I gave it 4 stars because the characters felt authentic to the way they are written and performed on screen.  Creating characters on the page is a delicate thing and if the character feels off from how he/she is on screen it can ruin the book but Tucker does a good job capturing the characters as performed on the show.  

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This classic by Gaiman was really well done.  Before Percy Jackson and his clones the idea of ancient gods living and operating in modern society had never been done before.  Gaiman took the idea of the ancient gods and placed them in ithe present.  But they are losing power because people no longer worship them and worship things like Technology, Drugs, and money.  These ideas have become new gods.  There is about to be a showdown between the old and new gods.  

Gaiman never fails me, his books are always well written with magic and a little creepiness.  In some ways he reminds me of King in how he constructs his story.  King of course does more than just horror and like King Gaiman is able to combine multiple genres into a story that is throughly enjoyable.

4 Stars.

Ready Player One

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I finished this book yesterday and wow it was good.  The plot is about a dystopian world where everyone escapes into a VR simulation called the Oasis.  When the creator of the Oasis dies he leaves control of the Oasis to the winner of a giant Easter egg hunt.  

This novel is fantastic.  It has reference after reference to everything from Doctor Who to Back to the Future to Star Wars.  Without spoiling anything major I just have to say that I loved that the Firefly universe was adjacent to the Star Wars galaxy.  A nod to how Firefly was influenced by Star Wars.  

I have decided recently that my 5 star review must be reserved for those that truly blow me away.  Ready Player One blew me away.  The movie comes out in March.  While I naturally want everything from the book in the movie the book could refer to Back to the future and Ghostbusters and all these other IP.  The film will be limited by the IP that they can license.  

5 Star Review: The force is with Ready Player One.

Ghostly Echoes Jackaby III by WIlliam Ritter

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First, The Jackaby series is very much like Buffy plus Doctor who plus Sherlock Holmes.  He is funny smart and whimsical.  The series is about how he is a Seer.  He can see the supernatural all around us.  There is only ever one Seer at a time.  ( The supernatural elements plus this part of the plot is why I love it and why it screams similarity with Buffy.)

In this volume Jackaby and his assistant Abbigail are determined to solve the mystery surrounding his ghostly friend Jenny’s Death.  This series does not let you down.  It is  exciting and funny.  This book does have a bit of a Percy Jackson vibe to it but that only adds to what makes it great.  

I highly recommend Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter.  4 Stars.

Kingdom Keepers V Shell Game

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Ridley Pearson’s Kingdom Keepers series takes several ordinary kids and makes them hosts in the different Disney Parks.  They are tasked with defending the parks from the Overtakers.  The Overtakers are a group of disney villians who are trying to take over the parks and make them dark and evil.  

In volume 5, the Keepers are on a cruise from Florida to Castaway Cay and then on to Anaheim.  This series is incredible.  Its like having a Disney Vacation.  Who doesn’t love going to Disney.  While there were more secrets of the parks in the first couple volumes, Shell Game is non stop action and has a major cliff hanger.  

4 Stars This  is a great book.