A Smuggler’s Path by I.L. Cruz [Book Review]

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I was given a free copy of this book from the author. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: A Smuggler’s Path
Author: I.L. Cruz
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Series: Enchanted Isles, book 1
Publisher: Bosky Flame Press
Publication Date: July 24, 2018

Plot

Inez lives a double life in an attempt to bring magic back to all. For a young adult fantasy, this is something we’ve seen before. Magic gets the protagonist into trouble and they learn a lot about where they came from along the way.

Needless to say, A Smuggler’s Path is done in a unique way. Yes, the foundation is set, but there’s a lot more to it than that. I can’t say anything too much due to spoilers but I think the overall plot was well done.

It was complex and kept you engaged throughout.

Characters

There is a wonderful cast of characters. Inez herself is a strong, independent woman with a good head on her shoulders. It was fun to follow this story alongside her.

I enjoyed all the other characters as well but I will admit there were a lot of characters. There is a glossary of people in the book but I found myself having a hard time keeping track of who was who. (I also read this on my Kindle so it’s not like I could easily flip back and forth to the cast of characters and my page.)

Writing Style

A Smuggler’s Path is written in a beautiful, wonderfully crafted world. Having a cafe named Froth is a the coolest thing ever, in my opinion.

There were a lot of fun and unique places within this story and the author’s writing style and description was easy to follow along and painted a nice picture.

A Smuggler’s Path by I.L. Cruz

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

A Smuggler’s Path is a great read for fantasy fans. It’s familiar but unique enough to jump into a brand new world.

4.3

Favorite Quote

“I only run to evade being caught by someone chasing me – running for fun made no sense to me at all.”

I.L. Cruz, A Smuggler’s Path

About The Author

I.L. Cruz, Author | RachelPoli.com

I.L. Cruz wants to live in a world where words are chosen with care, shoes are as comfy as socks, and reading time is sacred.

She’s used her BA in international relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue.

When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much fanboy fare and reads until her eyes cross.

She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

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Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern [Book Review]

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I received a free ARC from the author. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree
Author: David Ahern
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Thriller

Series: Madam Tulip, book 4
Publisher: Malin Press
Publication Date: March 14, 2020

Plot

I was eager to jump back into this series again. It was refreshing to go on another adventure with Derry, also known as Madam Tulip.

While the plot of this was is unique from the others, there is a pattern with the books. Derry gets an acting job and something goes wrong and she finds herself deep inside a murder investigation. This isn’t a complaint. I think the overall structure of each book and therefore the series as a whole is well done.

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree has a lot of twist and turns within its pages. It keeps you guessing until the very end.

Characters

As always, this book has a great case of characters. Derry is a fun protagonist along with her friend Bruce and her parents popping in from time to time.

I even enjoyed the side characters and the antagonists in this one. They’re all unique from one another and from the books before it. The development is well done.

Writing Style

This book is written in the third person which is how I personally prefer mystery stories to be. The author’s writing is easy to follow along with a good amount of well-done descriptions and funny quips within the dialogue.

Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahern

Conclusion

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

I think this one was my favorite Madam Tulip book so far. The book is well-rounded in every aspect of writing a book, in my opinion. I would highly recommend this one.

5

Favorite Quote

The thing about issues is that as you get older, they become ever more dangerous.

David Ahern, Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree

About The Author

David Ahern, Author | RachelPoli.com

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland. He become a research psychologist in Scotland and the Netherlands, before inevitably his genes kicked in and he absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

After stints playing in great bands, all doomed to obscurity, and writing equally obscure plays, he took to novel-writing. He now creates the Madam Tulip mysteries, in part as a tribute to the way actors never give up dreaming, but mostly to make himself laugh and scratch his head. David Ahern loves pretending this is actual work.

David lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, a cat, a tame pheasant, a clan of badgers and a vegetable garden.

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Week One: A Noble’s Path By I.L. Cruz [Blog Tour]

Blog Tour Banner | A Noble's Path by I.L. Cruz | Blog Tour | Virtual Book Blog Tour | Book Blogger | Book Publicist | RachelPoli.com

The first week of I.L. Cruz’s blog tour for her second book in the Enchanted Isle’s series, A Noble’s Path, is already halfway over. I can’t believe we’re already a week into the tour with just a few stops left.

In case you missed any of the stops thus far, they’re listed below. Please be sure to stop by all the book bloggers’ websites and social media to give them some love. We appreciated all the help they’ve given in making this tour possible.

The book bloggers:

Blog Tour | A Noble's Path by I.L. Cruz | Blog Tour | Virtual Book Blog Tour | Book Blogger | Book Publicist | RachelPoli.com

About A Noble’s Path:

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

About I.L. Cruz

I.L. Cruz, Author | Blog Tour | Creative Writing | Self-Published Author | Writers | RachelPoli.comI.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

Website | Blog | Twitter

The rest of A Noble’s Path Blog Tour

There’s still another week left in the blog tour! There are still plenty of other book bloggers to check out. You can find the schedule below. Feel free to follow along the tour through the blogs or on Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule | A Noble's Path by I.L. Cruz | Blog Tour | Virtual Book Blog Tour | Book Blogger | Book Publicist | RachelPoli.com

Looking to set up a virtual blog tour for your book? I’m available to help. Take a look at my services here.

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I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 5
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 1, 2012

Summary – I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco — not only does he get to make some money to help his family, he’s free to explore the amazing, hilly city as it changes and grows with the new century. Horse-drawn carriages share the streets with shiny new automobiles, new businesses and families move in every day from everywhere, and anything seems possible.

But early one spring morning, everything changes. Leo’s world is shaken — literally — and he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first couple of books in the series and I’m going down the line.

Book Cover

The cover is “realistic” enough in the sense that shows the heart of what the story is about – right in the middle of the natural disaster.

Plot

Leo goes about his normal life, selling newspapers and occasionally getting beaten up by some local bullies. He treasures his father’s piece of real gold that was passed down from his father’s father.

Then the earthquake happens and the fire spreads. Leo and his friend stick together in order to survive and possibly get out of the city – but there’s really nowhere to go. The journey they go on for those few hours is a great one of determination and survival that no one should ever have to go through. It was an interesting read.

Characters

Leo and his friend Morris were great characters to read about through this tragedy. They even help the two bullies out when they were in trouble and even become friends with one of them. It was great character development for all of them throughout.

Writing Style

As always, this book was a quick and easy read. There was just enough information about the natural disaster, but it wasn’t thrown into your face.

I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This is another great, informative read. Even though it’s a big young, anyone can read it and get something out of it.

3.3

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Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission should you purchase anything from these links. It’s no extra cost to you and supports this blog. If you’d like to learn more about affiliate links on this website, please read my Privacy Policy. Thank you.
I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 4
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 1, 2011

Summary – I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941

History’s most terrifying moments are brought vividly to life in the action-packed fictional I SURVIVED series! Do you have what it takes to survive … the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke, and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first couple of books in the series and decided to continue them.

Book Cover

The cover says a lot of what the book is about and set it right at the climax of the story.

Plot

Danny and his mother move to Pearl City, Hawaii from New York City. She’s a nurse on the island and Danny isn’t too thrilled to be there. When she leaves for work, he’s torn with the idea of running away back to New York, but he doesn’t want to hurt his mother. Then the attacks happen.

Like the other books in this series, the plot is well-executed and the fictional character is always set up to be brave and help out in any way during the disaster. It was certainly an interesting read.

Characters

I liked all the characters in this one. Danny was a great protagonist and he was great with all the other characters. The supporting characters such as Mack and Mrs. Sudo were helpful and had a purpose throughout the story as well.

Writing Style

Like the rest of the series, this is a quick and easy read. There’s a lot of information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in this one, including facts, resources, and other information in the back of the book. It’s certainly a good read.

I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This was a great read and, in my opinion, the best so far in this series. It’s worth a read to learn more about this tragic event.

4.3

Favorite Quote

“You’d have to be crazy not to be scared, with what was happening in the world, with America at war with both Japan and Germany now.”

Lauren Tarshis, I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (I Survived 4)

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Book Review: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com