A New Zealand–born author’s coming-of-age fairy tale for children features a bold heroine.

Being a princess might seem like every girl’s fantasy, but for Alice, that role comes with a price. Whether it involves being shut away from other children her age or meeting her obligations as part of the royal family, her life is often lonely and full of rules and limits. Rather than having a group of friends and playmates, Alice at first spends her days mostly with tutors and a lady-in-waiting. Luckily, she has caring parents who are able to provide her with royal luxuries and some freedom. As her small circle of friends widens, Alice discovers new things about herself, such as an ability to communicate without words and see ghosts. Her story traces her growth from an 8-year-old old girl to a top student at a university, where her magical powers help her keep up with her studies and rescue her friends from danger. The princess’s supernatural gifts set her apart as a heroine, and eventually it is not just her royal family that makes her famous, but her own ability to save the people around her from their crises. Under the auspices of Goddess Freya, the fairy who guides her, Alice is able to channel her magical abilities and learn to control her powers rather than have them control her, which enables her to grow in her independence and sense of self. Told through vignettes that serve as isolated episodes, this fairy tale is a sweetly rendered series of moments. Alice emerges as an atypical princess—brave and self sufficient—which makes this story edgier and fresher than the usual fairy tale. Young readers may especially enjoy its simple and straightforward language, which includes descriptions such as that her clothes “were feeling cold and sticky, almost as if she had wet herself.” Alice’s charming and intrepid antics are likely to please young and old alike. A whimsical novel about a young princess whose extrasensory powers help to save the people around her.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1493137718

Page Count: 244

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2014

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.



A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012


Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.


Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.

Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.

Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0980806601

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Marq Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2012

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