A quick fantasy read with a solid moral underpinning.

The Wizard and the Fairy Princess

Galloway’s debut fantasy novella unveils a secret world replete with goblins, a fairy princess, an evil witch, and a magical wizard. 

Eric is a human who’s long been fascinated by the myths of fairies, and he eventually goes to England to investigate the legends. After interviewing some locals, he sets up a fairy feast in the Forbidden Forest. The fairies join him for drunken cavorting and then bring him back to their land. His arrival triggers a long-dormant prophecy about the downfall of the wicked witch queen. Angelica, a fairy princess who was bred and raised by unicorns, has been training as a warrior, waiting for the right time to lead her people to reclaim their land from the queen. The people believe that Eric is a legendary wizard who’s key to the witch’s destruction, so Angelica and her team later rescue him from a deadly trap. They train him, and soon Eric and Angelica are working out plans to take down the queen. With ingenuity, supreme sacrifice, and teamwork, they kill the queen’s most powerful ally, the Collector. With him gone, they can breach the castle and reclaim the land for the people. The character of Angelica is a brave warrior princess who will provide a great role model for young girls; she isn’t afraid to fight or sacrifice for the greater good when necessary. Eric’s sense of adventure, even when facing his own death, is uplifting, and his resilience after losing his ties to the human world will remind readers that life can be wonderful if one lets go of preconceived notions about what’s truly important. The way the entire community works together, even to the extent of sacrificing their own lives, makes a powerful statement about solidarity and what it takes to defeat oppression. The fantasy world is rich and lush, showcasing Galloway’s fantastic imagination, and the pacing moves quickly forward. There are times when the prose is clichéd or awkward (“Needless to say, the spontaneous celebrations started popping up all over the place”), but the story is well-paced enough to transcend these moments.

A quick fantasy read with a solid moral underpinning.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4931-7584-0

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2015

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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