Recently I was approached by David Meredith to review his book and he kindly sent me a copy to read. The Reflections of Queen Snow White was released a while back on Amazon, in the Kindle store, and has many reviews already as an established book. Personally, I like to review new releases in order to get the word out about the book, in order to increase readership for the author. Unless it is a rare find or classic that needs to be read.
The book focuses on Snow Whites life on the eve of her only daughter’s wedding. Prince Charming has been dead for over a year and the Queen is in a state of deep depression, and cannot bring herself to be happy for her daughter or her kingdom. In a fit of loneliness and despair, the Queen wanders through the castle to find somewhere to be alone. She comes to a part of the castle, seldom used and climbs a staircase to an old storage room. There she finds her cruel step mother’s magic mirror.
The mirror offers the queen the chance to find out why she has not been able to move forward after Charming’s death. But can she trust it? Will she have the strength to face her own demons and truths? Will she finally be able to find her “happy ever after” again?
The book, which is written for Young Adults, has a good story line, and held my interest. Meredith is a good writer who uses rich, descriptive language to create his scenes. It was a quick read, and I think best suited for 12-14 if the sexual references were removed. Unfortunately, due to the sexual content I would put 14 as a minimum age for it but I do not think many over the age of 16 would be interested in the story. It has to appeal to the Disney crowd and that seems to be fading in many areas, and my own daughters as well.
I would rate the book at 3 stars out 5 due to the limited group the book is suited for, and the quickness of the read.
A couple weeks ago, I was asked to read and review Stone And A Hard Place by R.L. King on Twitter. I was looking for something fun and light to read and I enjoy the fantasy genre, so this seemed like a good choice.
The story revolves around the main character, Alastair Stone, who is a mage and college professor. A friend from England asks Stone to take on a young boy – who’s father was a mage and has died – as an apprentice. Meanwhile, a friend and colleague has asked him to check out his elderly aunt’s house because she is hearing voices and is getting negative feelings from the house.
Stone meets Ethan, who is 18, and tells him what being an apprentice will require. Ethan’s mother is seriously ill, and she wants someone to be there for Ethan once she is gone. Ethan agrees to Stone’s terms and is excited to learn magic. Ethan is not very popular, and rather awkward, and training to be a mage gives him hope that it will make him cooler.
Stone visits the Aunt’s house which is more like a mansion, and discovers there is a malignant force in the house. He makes it his goal to rid the house of this evil and protect his friends aunt. Meanwhile, Ethan gets involved with another group of young mages who are also interested in the house.
I won’t reveal more for fear of spoiling things. The book was a good read; similar to a beach read. It was an escape from reality without having to work hard. The author writes well, and uses a rich vocabulary, but lacks in creating a relationship between Ethan and Stone. The reader is given the impression that this master/apprentice relationship is a large part of the story. In truth, it isn’t. Reading it, I found myself wanting more from this story line and becoming frustrated when it never happened. I also felt like the ending was rushed. The author spends 98% of the book building up the conflict and only 2% resolving it. There were weak resolutions in the characters problems and I got the impression Stine was in a hurry to complete the book.
I would rate this book 3 out of 5 stars only because the story itself was good and the characters were interesting, even if their relationships with each other were weak.