Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Fantasy Voyage Of The Lanternfish by C.S. Boyack @virgilante

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Voyage Of The Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

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I really enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful adventure of pirates on the high seas, along the lines of the famous Treasure Island, but filled with marvelous creatures and unusual beings and people, in the manner of The Hobbit, and incorporating a splash of the science fiction innovation found in the Harry Potter series of books (which I loved). I enjoyed Voyage of the Laternfish more than either Treasure Island or The Hobbit because it also contained some humour and there is nothing like a bit of well written humour for great reading pleasure.

My favourite character was … the root monsters. They were the most fascinating creatures ever reduced to the written word by an amazing imagination. Of them all, Trubba (Trouble) was my favourite and I enjoyed reading about their antics and the theatrical performances they put on to entertain the crew.

When Dan and James are kidnapped, along with Dan’s sister and James’ fiance, Bonnie, this tale of adventure begins. The kidnapper incarcerates Bonnie in his castle to ensure that Dan and James fulfill their promises to help him invoke a war with a rival country. The kidnapper, however, vastly underestimates the determination and abilities of the pair and they escape, hell bent on starting the war on their own terms in order to rescue Bonnie.

Dan and James head towards a sea port, collecting other desperate and outcast people along the way. Their kindness towards others turns out to be a great benefit to them when Mal, an elderly cannibal from a large island in the South Seas who has been forced into slavery, and Fala, a young woman with no home and no protectors, become part of their team. At the seaport, the group meets the captain of a band of pirates looking for adventure and they decide to all work together to become the outstanding pirate crew of a small ship. Before long, the pirates have acquired themselves a much larger and more impressive ship and are gadding about the oceans having lots of adventures.

I thought the ideas and themes in this book were very clever and that it was well written and entertaining fantasy read.

Book description

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Arts #Mystery Rituals Of The Dead by @JSAauthor

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Rituals Of The Dead by Jennifer S Alderson

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In Rituals of the Dead, Zelda Richardson, an American art history student living and working in Amsterdam, is again drawn into a strange mystery. Her accidental involvement in the mystery has the potential to threaten her life and the lives of selected people around her.

Zelda is working as an interim at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua. When a number of sealed crates from the early 1960s are discovered and opened in a public forum, the personal diary of Nick Mayfield, a well-known American anthropologist who disappeared at that time, is discovered in one of the crates. The Tropenmuseum decides to photograph the diary before returning it to the Mayfield family. Zelda is tasked with assisting with the photography and also with translating the diary into Dutch.

The reader embarks on an exciting journey with Zelda as she slowly translates the diary and learns Nick’s story in the months running up to his disappearance. She becomes embroiled in a ring of criminality from the 1960s that reached between Papua and the Netherlands. Zelda’s discoveries are most unexpected and could shake the Amsterdam art world to its core.

I enjoy Jennifer S. Alderson’s writing and have read the previous novel in this series. The author has a very good working knowledge of the art world and the value and appeal of various art works. I enjoyed learning about Papua during the 1960s and finding out about the art works created by the Asmat people. The author weaves this interesting information into her story without making it cumbersome and the reader is drawn into Zelda’s world in a very realistic and natural way.

I enjoyed learning more about Zelda and seeing how her character developed in this third book in the series. I felt that the author did a good job of showing some growth in her maturity and ability to cope with adverse circumstances.

Book description

Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

Jennifer S. Alderson

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Eating Disorder #memoir Thin & I by Andrijka Keller

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Thin & I by Andrijka Keller 

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I have had a fair amount of experience with eating disorders in my life. Both bulimia and anorexia have impacted on my life in various ways from when I was a young teenager at school right up to the current point in my life.

I chose to read this book because I was very curious to read a first hand account of the experiences of a sufferer of bulimia. I have watched the struggle of sufferers from an external point of view and was keen to learn the other side of the story and try to understand what goes on in the mind of a person in the grip of this illness. I thought it would give me greater insight into the disorder and a better ability to cope with and understand it.

This fascinating book did not disappoint me. It did provide a very personal and detailed account of Andrijka experience. The how and why she developed this disorder are well explained. I liked the way Andrijka presented her disorder as a person, named ED, to who she was basically enslaved. She operated under ED’s instructions and found it extremely difficult to go against his viewpoint and thoughts.

The story is very comprehensive and takes the reader through the horrors of discovery, the writer’s experience in rehab trying to overcome her disorder and later, a much more traumatic experience in another facility.

What enthralled me the most was her thought process. It quickly became apparent to me that the greatest challenge faced by people on the outside is the sufferers massive determination not to get cured. Like all other mental illnesses I know of, the desire to be thin and to maintain the rituals of the illness overcome the sufferer’s rationality and desire to get better. The girls in the rehab collude to basically ensure that they don’t really get better. The effectively assist each other in remaining ill. This was a huge breakthrough for me in understanding a mental disorder. To effectively find a cure, you have to hit on an incentivisation that is so overwhelmingly important to the sufferer that they become determined to get better. That is the only way it seems. The sufferer has to do it themselves, outside people can only pray and encourage.

The book could benefit from a bit of editing and I was slightly disappointed in the ending which led me to believe that Andrijka’s cure could be undermined by the career path she chose. I don’t know how that has panned out for her.

A very powerful story.

Book description

When Andrijka (And-dree-kah) Keller was just 15 years old, she was diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder.

Her psychiatrist quickly prescribed her Prozac, to which she would eventually agree to. Shortly after, she was prescribed four more medications in hopes of ‘curing’ her. She believes it did the exact opposite.

Andrijka’s raw and edgy memoir takes the reader down a rabbit hole in a fast-paced, graphic, and darkly humorous depiction of recovery, self-acceptance, and what it means to be depressed as a modern teenager.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Dystopia Adventure The Yak Guy Project by @Virgilante

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack

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I have read a few of Craig Boyack’s books and I really enjoy his writing. I found this story particularly enjoyable.

The nameless hero of the story wakes up in the middle of a desert with a bullet in his head and no memory of what happened to him and how he got there. He is rescued by a talking Yak who is there to help him learn to become a useful part of society. Our unusual hero has lived a life of laziness and has spent his days sponging off his friends and anyone else who comes along.

Our hero sets off on an usual journey in a post apocalyptic world where war has destroyed the sophisticated and technologically advanced societies that lived there previously.  The hero meets a prototype, a human like creature that teaches him a lot about the art of survival such as identifying edible plants and other useful natural resources.  The prototypes salvage food and other recyclable materials from the remains of the destroyed cities, villages, aeroplanes and vehicles that scatter the country side. The prototype also teaches the hero the importance of reflection and thinking about what you want from life and how your individual actions impact on the natural world.

When the hero reaches a point in his emotional development where he is ready to re-join his own kind, the Yak reappears and they set off together to find one or other of the survivals who have formed themselves into rival groups. The hero still has lessons to learn about love, loyalty and teamwork.

I really enjoyed the hero and found his personal journey from a selfish and spoilt man-child to a reliable and resourceful man very interesting. The story was fast paced and entertaining and I enjoyed the fantasy world that the writer created.

I rated this book five out of five stars.

Book description

Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy Project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Amie: African Adventure by @LucindaEClarke #Africa

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Amie: African Adventure by Lucinda E Clarke

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I was slightly apprehensive about reading this book as I have traveled to a number of African countries for leisure and work purposes. I have also written a series of non-fiction publications about investment in Africa. I was worried that this book would not jell with my knowledge and experience of Africa. That turned out to be an unnecessary concern. Lucinda E Clarke has a sound knowledge of life for expatriates and the locals in certain war-torn, “least developed” African countries and does an excellent job of setting the scene for this story.

I enjoyed her balanced approach to describing the life styles of both the expatriate community and the locals and the detail that was provided about the schooling, hospitalisation, politics, corruption and difficulties with business dealings in this fictional country of Togodo. The descriptions of Aime and her husband’s visit to a game farm and the African countryside are beautiful and the author shares some interesting facts about survival in the bush.

The story of Aime’s adventure is fast paced and entertaining. My only criticism is that there were to many fortunate coincident and lucky breaks for Aime and her husband that were a bit unbelievable but this did not detract overly from a jolly good story.

I would recommend this book for people who like the idea of an entertaining adventure in a realistic African setting.

I rated this book four out of five stars.

Book description

Amie was just an average girl, living in her home town close to friends and family. She was happily married and she had her future all planned out. They would have two adorable children, while she made award winning programmes for television. Until the day her husband announced he was being sent to live and work in an African country she had never heard of. When she came to the notice of a Colonel in the Government, it made life very complicated, and from there things started to escalate from bad to worse. If Amie could have seen that one day she would be totally lost, fighting for her life, and enduring untold horrors, she would never have stepped foot on that plane.

About the author

Born in Dublin, matured in England, wanted to follow grandfather into Fleet Street, family not wildly enthusiastic – unfeminine, unreliable and dangerous. Went to dockland Liverpool – safe, respectable and pensionable. Returned south with teaching qualifications, extremely good at self defence. Went crofting in Scotland, bred Cairn Terriers among other things. Moved to Kenya with 7 week old daughter, abandoned in the bush. On to Libya, surviving riots, public hangings, imprisoned husband and eventual deportation. Queued with the unemployed millions in UK. Moved to Botswana – still teaching – opened and ran the worst riding school in the world,- with ‘How to…’ book in hand.
Moved south to South Africa taught for four years, then in 1986 became a full time freelance writer, for major corporations, UNESCO, UNICEF and the South African Broadcasting Corporation for both radio and television. Moving into video production in 1986, received over 20 awards, specializing in education, documentaries, municipal and government, one script for National Geographic.
Returned UK Jan 1994, back to SA before April elections.
Taught in 7 countries, including Britain, Kenya, France, Libya, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa. Also found time to breed animals for pet shops, write a newspaper column, publish two books, Heinneman & Macmillan, and work for several years as a radio announcer. Married with two daughters, a stepson and stepdaughter, moved to Spain in 2008. I now write a monthly column and have published two more books, a memoir and an adventure story set in Africa.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #YA The Staircase Of Fire by @benswoodard #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading The Staircase Of Fire by Ben Woodard

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The Staircase of Fire is an extraordinary book for children aged 12 upwards. The story is set in Shakertown, Kentucky in the 1920s and features a young orphan boy, Tom, who is being raised by his Uncle Davis on his farm. Tom is a tormented soul having been instrumental in the accidental death of his baby sister. He is plagued by guilt and bad dreams and has a lot of anger towards anybody who mentions his sister’s unfortunate death. In the manner typical of teenagers, some boys use this as a way of inciting Tom’s ire and he ends up in all sorts of altercations and feels very victimized. His own troubled state of mind makes it impossible for him to develop wholesome friendships and his budding relationship with the beautiful Helen is thwarted by his own insecurities and doubts.

Tom has developed a close friendship with a Negro woman, Rose, and her son, James. Despite her difficult circumstances, Rose has managed to gain knowledge and become fairly learned through reading books. James is also ambitious to better his position in life. Rose is determined to stand up for her right to vote in terms of the recently passed Nineteenth Amendment, but no stirrings of change in this direction have yet reached the rural farming community where they live. Rose stirs up a lot of trouble for her son and herself when she tries to register to vote. Her actions unleash the anger of the Ku Klux Klan who plan to drive Rose and James out of town. Tom unexpectedly becomes caught up in the Klan’s attempt at retribution.

The story of Rose and James and Tom’s involvement in their lives is a large part of the story but the underlying plot is Tom’s journey towards overcoming his personal demons and moving towards acceptance of his past and an ability to embrace the future. His interactions with people who really care about others and try to help them allows him to do the same and find forgiveness of his own actions and past and to find his own peace and love. As he seeks to remediate his personal hurts, Tom also walks the path of justice with Rose.

I enjoyed the way the author brought small pieces of poetic thought into the story.

I rated this book five out of five stars.

Book description

A quiet town in Kentucky explodes from a racial incident and fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is in the thick of it. Dealing with his past was bad enough, and now he’s witness to a horrific event leaving him devastated and afraid. Along with his cousin, Will, he searches for lost gold he believes can help him escape his town and its memories. But leaving has consequences, too. He will lose his friends and his new love. Tom finally realizes that he cannot escape himself and has to deal with his past. But to do so requires him to take a stand that could change his life … or end it.

About the author

A spellbinding storyteller of high adventure, Ben has walked the Great Wall of China, hiked in Tibet, and climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt. Everest. And recently learned to surf in Hawaii.
Ben is active in SCBWI and a member of a local children’s writing critique group. He is a former Marketing Manager for a major corporation and ran his own marketing consulting business. He started writing children’s stories in 2008 and has written picture books, middle grade and young adult. Stories of adventure and wonder. Stories that inspire and educate, and, most of all, entertain.
Ben lives in Kentucky with his wife Lynda.

Ben Woodard

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #nonfiction #memoir Watching The Daisies by @watchingthedai1

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Watching The Daisies by Brigid Gallagher

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Watching the Daisies is an extraordinary memoir of a woman’s life, starting with her childhood and moving step-by-step through her life to the present day.

I enjoyed learning about Brigid’s life growing up with her three siblings in Scotland and their wonderful holidays to visit relatives in Ireland. The devastating death of her Mother at a young age is very poignantly described in this book, together with the far-reaching impact of the loss of their Mother on the children and their Father. The descriptions of the scenery in Ireland are compelling and beautiful.

Brigid’s high school career paints a picture of an overachiever who finds herself ill-suited for her chosen career and takes the brave step of giving up her studies in favour of a path that is more suited to her personality and life needs. The background and detail around alternative medicine and the commitment and learning necessary to become an alternative healer are well described in the book and understandable to a novice. The areas of alternative medicine that Brigid becomes proficient in over years of study are colour healing, crystal and electro-crystal healing, reflexology, aromatherapy, nutritional medicine, counselling, spiritual healing, radionics, space clearing and Feng shui.

Brigid does well with identifying pivotal moments in her life, which all contribute to her becoming the woman she is at the current date. The anxiety and frustration of a failed marriage, early loss of a pregnancy and development of a chronic illness which is finally diagnosed as fibromyalgia and the impact on these events on her life and career are expressively conveyed. The reader is able to follow Brigid’s journey to find the best possible medical outcome for her symptoms and to celebrate her successes in researching more successful treatments and therapies.

There are also some interesting holiday experiences and interactions with other cultures and lifestyles and are depicted in the book. Brigid’s joys and happy moments are very relatable to the reader.

I rated this book four out of five stars.

Book description

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
Entering a new life of SLOW
Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being:

“First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

About the author

Brigid published her memoir “Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow” in November 2016.
She aims to inspire others on their self healing journey through her book and her blog.
Brigid was a natural medicines therapist for 20 years, and facilitated many classes for community projects and self help groups. She was an Open Studies and Summer Schools tutor for Stirling University from 1993 to 1999, and was also inspired to set up the Scottish School of Holistic Healing and a therapy centre and shop.
In 1999, she returned to the home of her ancestors in Donegal, Ireland but sadly succumbed to a mystery illness in 2003, which was eventually diagnosed as fibromyalgia.
Creative writing has played a key role in her self healing.
Brigid retrained in Organic Horticulture and taught this subject in schools until 2016.
She continues her passions for organic gardening and world travel, sharing many insights on her journeys to India, Bosnia, Morocco, Rome, Bali… in her memoir.

Brigid P. Gallagher

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #scifi #fantasy The Hat by C.S. Boyack @virgilante

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading The Hat by C.S. Boyack

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My review

The Hat by C.S. Boyack is such a great read. The main characters are a young girl, Lizzie St Laurent, a twenty-one-year-old college dropout whose grandmother has died and who has been left to fend for herself in a city far from home and the Hat. Lizzie is working a couple of jobs to pay the bills and keep a roof over her head. She also has a deal with the landlord whereby she keeps the garden tidy and trim in return for free utilities. Lizzie is struggling and when her uncle doesn’t want to give her a keepsake from her grandmother’s estate, she helps herself to one from the back of the removal van. Boy, does she make a good choice. She ends up acquiring a hat that can communicate with her, transform its shape, transfer her to a “safe house’ built by her grandfather and teach her how to play a musical instrument. What is even better is that the Hat is magically bound to Lizzie’s family and is there to assist her out of tight spots in life. When the baby of a friend of Lizzie’s is stolen, the Hat is right there by her side to help her rescue the babies form a band of ruthless kidnappers.

Along the way, Lizzie will have some fun experimenting with great fashion items and meeting some interesting musicians. The Hat is a fast-paced novella which will keep you turning the pages, giving you lots of laughs along the way.

I rated this book five stars out of five.

Book description

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT children’s #fiction Talon Come Fly With Me by @GigiSedlmayer

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Talon, Come Fly With Me by Gigi Smedlmayer

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Michael and I really loved this book. It is a story about a young girl, Matica, the daughter of a missionary living in a remote village in Peru. Matica suffers from a growing disability and is teased and ostracized by the local Indians as a result. Matica is lonely and she makes friends with a giant condor, Tamo, and his female partner, Tima. The condors are intelligent birds and are able to form a relationship with the little girl. My son, Michael, also suffers from a chronic condition and he was very sympathetic to Matica’s disability.

When Tamo and Tima’s egg is threatened to be stolen by poachers, Matica and her father must help them to save their egg and keep it safe until it hatches. The story conveys an excellent message about the danger to wildlife conservation programs posed by poachers and their unscrupulous methods. The poachers resort to shooting wildly at Tamo when he attempts to save his egg by attaching them.

The book provides some interesting insights into life for a Western family in the village of Pucara which is not at all sophisticated and is lacking in all technology and modern aids. It teaches children subtlety about persevering to overcome obstacles, acceptance of difference, respect for nature and wildlife and also about love and developing relationships with, and having respect for, other creatures.

Michael liked this book so much we already have the next book in the series. I would really recommend Talon, come fly with me to children aged 9 to 13 years old. My rating for this book is five out of five stars.

Book description

Nine year old Matica lives in a remote village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved to Peru when she was five with Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents. Because Matica is trapped in the body of a two year old, her growth handicap has caused her to be rejected by the local people and they would not accept her into their community or allow her to play with the children.

With patience and a sense of adventure Matica befriends a pair of condors. A strong bond and love develops between them.

Matica rescues the egg the condors, Tamo and Tima, are trying to protect from poachers and nurtures it to hatching. The egg hatches on her 10th birthday and she names the new fledging Talon.

Many adventures unfold, including her finally being accepted into the local community. And something totally unexpected…

This is the beginning of many incredible adventures with Talon and Matica. It is a story of hope, determination and love.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Robbie reviews #Autobiography Heaven’s Rage by @LSTateAuthor

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Heaven’s Rage by Leslie Tate

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My review

I reviewed Heaven’s Rage in my capacity as a member of Rosie’s Book Reviewers.

I am a great fan of both biographies and autobiographies of writers and have read quite a number of such books. I love books and reading so an opportunity to peek into the life and writing processes of an author is not something I pass on.

Leslie Tate’s book, Heaven’s Rage, is an insightful window into the mind of this interesting and complicated poet and writer. To me, this is a book about pain, both physical and emotional, endured, overcome and molded to the best advantage of the writer. It is a tale of personal triumph over the difficulties faced by the boy, teenager and man that were, and are, Leslie Tate as he follows his path to acceptance of himself, both in his own mind and in his interactions with the outside world.

I found the beautiful descriptions of Leslie’s journey of discovery and transition from a young boy, terrified of his thoughts, differences and uniqueness, into a man who is happily married and comfortable in his own skin to be very emotionally satisfying.

The style of this book reminds me of the ocean, continuously moving and shifting, changing colour and physical presence continuously. There are conversations, poems, extracts from other novels, reflections and memories which all merge and blend into a well penned story of a fascinating life.

This book is not a novel, or a light read, and is an excellent choice for people who are interested in reading about people and how they overcome obstacles and turn difficulties to their advantage. It is an intense read that absorbs you, body and soul, and you need to apply yourself to reading it in that capacity.

My rating for this book is five out of five stars.

Book description

HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage – William Blake

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