Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Night Voyage

The Night Voyage by Daria Song

Daria Song is one of the many talented artists contributing to the popular adult coloring book genre. Where Song stands out, however, is by weaving her artistic genius throughout the pages of an imaginative story.  Most of the story is not even written but beautifully "narrated" through the amazing pictures that Song has crafted.

While The Night Voyage is the third in a series, this book can be enjoyed (and illustrated) without having read or even seen the first two (but trust me, you'll want the others anyway). Feeling a little lonely in the absence of her parents, the heroine decides to embark on a world-wide mission of good will--how terrific is that?  I love that Song takes the opportunity to feature a self-less, compassionate little girl--quite a contrast to the normal rowdy, rude and uncouth protagonists of so much juvenile literature these days!

Each page is full of detail and wonder and so much creativity. This is the kind of coloring book that could last you several months if not several years depending on how often you color.  And actually, the book is a gem even if you leave it uncolored. The heartwarming story is worth reading and hopefully sharing with a young person in your life.  With so much to color on each page, you could easily pair up with a tween child or grandchild to color together.

And after reading the story, go back and play some "I Spy" because there are worlds within every page of Song's book.  Readers will find some architectural hints to some of the places visited.

Song's book is a masterpiece for any age. Young children will have difficulty staying in the intricate lines but they will adore the story.  I would reserve the coloring for ages 8 and up (depending on their coloring skill). Grab your copy and experience the magic of The Night Journey.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Night Voyage from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fifth Column by Mike Hollow

Fifth Column is the second book in Mike Hollow's series about the British crime fighter, Detective Inspector John Jago. The series is set in London in 1940 during the time known as the Blitz. While the city is preoccupied with blackouts and finding shelter during air raids, criminals aren't exactly on holiday. The Blitz provides the perfect cover for all manner of crime, and Jago is determined to bring criminals to justice.

With the war going on and so many young men enlisted, good help is unfortunately hard to find. Paired with a rather young and inexperienced sidekick, Peter Cradock, the Blitz Detective finds himself in the role of mentor as well as partner.  But Cradock does have a few shining moments where he helps the case along. Jago finds himself fighting not only crime, but the memories of his own battle experiences during the previous war. Being a very private man (and a bachelor), Jago pretty much keeps his past to himself. Catching glimpses of vulnerability makes the character more likable and realistic.

Readers will be drawn into the mystery while learning quite a bit about the time period and setting. British terms that may be unfamiliar are explained at the author's website. Hollow also provides some historical background about the setting for those unfamiliar with the specifics of WWII.  The mystery can be enjoyed with or without a knowledge of WWII and even by readers who may not have read the first in the series.

For additional information about Mike Hollow's books, or about the time period, visit his website, The Blitz Detective.  Author Hollow is currently working on the third book in the series to come out in 2017.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Fifth Column from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.