fantasy books

Alfred: The Boy Who Would be King by Ron Smorynski

alfred cover

Alfred is a typical eleven-year-old boy who spends most of his spare time playing video games on a second-hand computer he was gifted. He is an only child and lives with his mother whom he sees as beautiful and sometimes odd in the way she speaks and dresses. Alfred sees it as old fashioned. Alfred is drawn to books, as well as video games of medieval times, something which has his mother uneasy every time it’s brought up. He also sends his mother into a frenzy when he asked about his father, whom he has never seen or heard of.
One night, Alfred summons an old wizard by saying the name “Bedenwulf.” He believes this to be his father name. The old wizard appears to be out of sorts and has no memory of who he is or what he does yet he manages to transport Alfred into another world, a medieval one. There, they learn the old wizard’s name is Tirnalth, and they meet a faithless cleric, Verbogen.
In the fantasy land, Alfred encounters creatures such as werewolves and gargoyles. He is told that he might be the only surviving heir to rule the kingdom and that an evil witch has driven the entire kingdom into despair. Alfred is determined to fit into the role of King and save his people.
This book was basically advertised as something similar to Harry Potter so immediately it caught my interest. It’s a brilliant middle-grade story and reminded me of Rick Riordan at times. I laughed during this book so the author captures humor well but here’s my concerns about things that could’ve been done differently. Firstly, Alfred is eleven years old and I feel like there are times he sounds more like a preschooler with the excited clapping, and at other times, Alfred is sharing all this knowledge with people. Maybe rework the characteristics for an eleven-year-old boy and the story would work beautifully. With a little editing, this story is a gripping and exciting one for fans of J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan.

xo Kat

Current Reads and more on my TBR list

I am currently reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens as part of my childhood read-overs project. Another one I want to revisit soon is Moby Dick. I really want to experience these books as an adult to see how I feel about them after two decades or so.

In my earlier post, I talked about how Miss Peregrine’s dragged on for three weeks because it didn’t capture my attention so hopefully I get to cross one or two books off my May TBR list. Being stuck on one book for three weeks doesn’t help my yearly book challenge either. But I’m not a total failure quite yet…we still have some time.

  1. The Dark Artifices by Casandra Clare
  2. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Books 1 & 2
  3. Holiday Wishes – Nora Roberts
  4. Birthright – Nora Roberts

Please don’t judge my strange tastes in books. I love a good romance or contemporary as well 🙂

xo Coffee Doll

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

*Contains minor spoilers*

Another book yet unfinished. Roughly three weeks ago I started this book because I didn’t want to look at the movie before I read it. It put me to sleep quickly every night and I also drifted off the pages and into other thoughts throughout. Basically I forced myself to read this book and I almost made it to the end. I felt like three weeks was a long time to keep forcing myself to read it through so I closed up this reading project and started another one.

Firstly, the story didn’t entice me in any sort of way, nor did the characters. Right off the bat I didn’t like the main character, the one who narrates the entire book. The whole story felt like a lay up to another story, and it just wasn’t as gripping as I thought it would be. I must say I’m quite disappointed as this book has gotten so much hype around it and a Tim Burton movie. For that fact alone I wanted to really like it but it just didn’t hit with me.

To summarize the story, it’s about a sixteen year old rich kid who has just lost his grandfather. His grandfather supposedly introduced him to pictures of his childhood which Jacob didn’t think were real. After his grandfather’s death, he traveled to an island where his grandfather lived at a boarding school for answers. This decision was backed by his therapist(who I smelled as a rat from day one).

Upon reaching the island, he sees living proof that his grandfather was telling the truth about peculiar children, children with mutant-like capabilities including his grandfather’s teenage sweetheart.

I don’t want to spoil the entire story if you haven’t read this book, but it wasn’t in the least bit gripping to me. Despite my views on the story the author’s voice and writing style is amazing. I’d love to try something else by this author one day. It isn’t a bad book but I don’t think it’s YA. I get the sense that’s it leans towards more of an elementary age group.

This is just my view. We all won’t enjoy every book even though the mass population loves it. Drop me a line if you’ve read this book and why you liked it.

xo Coffee Doll

Most Liked Book Series Part 1

I have read these books at different ages and stages of my life. It has either impacted or remained with me as a most liked till this day. I will call this Part 1 because I cannot remember all the series I have read in this moment, also I don’t want to make this super long. I have labelled this as “most liked series” because I can’t really say favorite. I think if you have more than five favorites, it’s not really a favorite.

The Sweep Series (Cate Tiernan)

This series I believe have really broken me out into reading book series. I had read Harry Potter before this, but this one really made me want to read more series in this genre particularly. The subject of this series is Wicca. Growing up you may tend to misunderstand Wicca for what it is but reading can really open up a whole new world. The series follows Morgan Rowlands, a teenage girl who discovers that she is actually a born witch with powers and can perform magick. She learns the dos and don’ts as well as falling in love and fighting dark forces. I had found this book in my highschool library and there were only the first two. There was no way I could get the others, things weren’t as accessible as it is now. Years later, I found it in eBook format online and I read the rest of the 12 books. There are 14 all together and a 3rd person special edition I believe. I would say this is my favorite series of all time because it really opened up my love for reading about magic and witches, fantasy and horror.

The Demonata (Darren Shan)

This series follows three people from different times, Grubs Grady, Kernel Fleck and Bec Mcconn. It is made up of 10 books. The three main characters do eventually meet. A group of Mages called the Disciples accompanies them. The disciples travel through different Demon universes and the world trying to protect humans. The main demon in this series is Lord Loss who feeds off the sorrow of human beings. He has many minions that plays terrifying parts throughout the series. Their goal is to destroy the human universe. These books are so brutal and action packed from the start, I was a little bit surprised, in a good way. It’s a perfect mix of  horror and fantasy. I love the ending where the main characters take on a sort of intangible form to recreate the universe as it once was but with a better vision. 

House of Night (P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast)

I think there are twelve books and some novellas to go with this series. I have just read seven of these books. I started reading it a long time ago and life got busy. I have started to read the way I want to but I think with age, I didn’t necessarily lose interest, but there’s just so much that I prioritized before this series. I will be getting back to it soon though. It is still however one of my most liked series. A mixture of Vampires and Wicca. I didn’t read much books like this before so this was definitely ground breaking in this type of subject. The main character in this book is Zoey Redbird. She was marked and then she had to attend a vampire boarding school which functions at night of course, hence the name House of Night. Zoey is definitely not your damsel in distress and I liked that about her character. She is accepting of her fate and she isn’t scared or guilted about screwing up. I will probably do a better review once I have finished reading this series. 

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of my most liked series.

Happy Reading
XO Kat