Mini-reviews: The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma; Dark Magic by James Swain; Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh; Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

mapoftheskyTitle: The Map of the Sky
Author: Felix J. Palma
Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy borrowed from a friend
First line: Welcome, dear Reader, as you plunge valiantly into the thrilling pages of our melodrama, where you will find adventures that will test your spirit and possibly your sanity!

Goodreads blurb: A love story serves as backdrop for The Map of the Sky when New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry millionaire Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the extraterrestrial invasion featured in Wells’s War of the Worlds. What follows are three brilliantly interconnected plots to create a breathtaking tale of time travel and mystery, replete with cameos by a young Edgar Allan Poe, and Captain Shackleton and Charles Winslow from The Map of Time.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Map of Time when I read it last year, and Palma has completely outdone himself with this sequel. This book has just about everything you can imagine: romance, adventure, science fiction, literary references, etc. Definitely a page-turner and a complete delight to read.

darkmagicTitle: Dark Magic
Author: James Swain
Genre: Paranormal fiction
Publisher: AudioGO
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Stephen R. Thorne
Audiobook length: 10 hours and 49 minutes
First line: Visiting the spirit world was never easy.

Goodreads blurb: Peter Warlock is a magician with a dark secret. Every night, he amazes audiences at his private theater in New York, where he performs feats that boggle the imagination. But his day job is just a cover for his otherworldly pursuits: Peter is a member of an underground group of psychics who gaze into the future to help prevent crimes. No one, not even his live-in girlfriend, knows the truth about Peter—until the séance when he foresees an unspeakable act of violence that will devastate the city. As Peter and his friends rush to prevent tragedy, Peter discovers that a shadowy cult of evil psychics, the Order of Astrum, know all about his abilities. They are hunting him and his fellow psychics down, one by one, determined to silence them forever.

I am assuming that Dark Magic is the first in a new series. Peter Warlock is a great character, and I liked the premise of a warlock/psychic teaming up with an FBI agent. The secondary characters weren’t as fleshed out as they could be, but I’m hoping that will improve as the series goes on. Stephen Thorne did a fantastic job with the narration, too.

giftfromtheseaTitle: Gift From the Sea
Author: Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Genre: Non-fiction, essays
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library

I reread this after finishing Melanie Benjamin’s The Aviator’s Wife. I was surprised that I didn’t love it more than I did – but saw that my Goodreads rating from the first time I read it was only 3 stars. Morrow makes some good points, but the book seems to be missing an element of personal revelation. The essays seem a bit abstract and separated from who she was as a woman.

fallforanythingTitle: Fall for Anything
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA contemporary fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: My hands are dying.

Goodreads blurb: When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on…but are some questions better left unanswered?

I know that a lot of bloggers absolutely love Courtney Summers, but she doesn’t wow me the way she does others. I like her books, and am not sorry to have read them, but they aren’t the kind of books that I close with a sigh and want to pass on to everyone I know. This book about a girl dealing with her father’s suicide is especially dark and difficult to get through.

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8 Responses to Mini-reviews: The Map of the Sky by Felix J. Palma; Dark Magic by James Swain; Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh; Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

  1. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I’m listening to The Aviator’s Wife and have been itching to get A Gift From the Sea so I’m sorry to see you didn’t love it more.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – I would still recommend Gift from the Sea – it just wasn’t a “I love it!” type of book.

  2. irene says:

    I can understand you having a difficult time with some of the subject matters, I feel exactly the same. I’m sort of like that with time travel books, not sure I want to invest the time. But, I do see you enjoy The Map of the Sky, I may give that a try too.

  3. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks

    I tried to read Map of Time but just couldn’t get into it…I may try again. Dark magic sounds right up my alley though!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Melissa – Dark Magic grabs you right from the beginning, I promise!

  4. Ooo! I really want to read Map of Time. You make it sound so good! I am glad you liked Dark Magic. I did too. 🙂

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Wendy – I’m looking forward to the next one in the Dark Magic series.