Review of Gib and the Gray Ghost by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Gib and the Gray Ghost

Companion to Gib Rides Home
By Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Star Rating: 
Genre: Young People/Young Adult Western
Number of Pages: 240Date Started: June 26, 2017
Date Finished: June 28, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)Gib and the gray ghost
Gib Whittaker is leaving the Lovell House Orphanage for the second time in his young life. He’s going back to live with the Thornton family, who are free to take him in again now that Mr. Thornton has died. Life has changed on the old ranch, and Gib can go to school. But he’s still doing all the chores in the barn and stable. He’s not exactly farmed-out labor anymore, but will he be adopted for real this time?

Luckily Gib has his beloved horses to care for, especially the beautiful thoroughbred, Black Silk. Then one day a strange horse gallops in out of a snowstorm, a handsome dapple-gray who has been severely whipped and starved. He’s frightened and dangerous. Gib knows he must find some way to save this magnificent horse — and in the attempt, he finds one place where he will always belong.

If you have or know of a young reader who loves horses, this book was definitely geared towards them. Gib faces some difficult challenges in this book, both with horses and with finding his own place in the world.There were some points where I thought the author should have spent a bit more time explaining horse terms, since I doubt the target audience will be switching to a dictionary to figure it out. Despite that, I quite enjoyed all the horses, and the talk of various bits and how to get them to behave. When Gib was giving Livy riding lessons, it would have been nice to have more context about what he told her to do.

All in all I quite enjoyed the story. It was a nice read without too many big words, something that I would recommend for elementary school kids, or preteens/teens that maybe aren’t into reading, but are into horses.

Author Biography: (From Wikipedia)
Zilpha Keatley Snyder was an American author of books for children and young adults. Three of Snyder’s works were named Newbery Honor books: The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid and The Witches of Worm.

Review of Veiled in Moonlight by C. J. Archer

Veiled in Moonlight

The Ministry of Curiosities Book 8
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance
Number of Pages: 320

Date Started: June 20, 2017
Date Finished: June 23, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)Veiled in Moonlight
When a young gentleman is murdered by a shape shifter, Charlie and Lincoln interrogate their contacts and uncover a plot with links to the royal family—and links to more than one member of the ministry’s committee. At the heart of the mystery is a sinister love triangle, corruption, lies, and treason. As they close in on their suspects, the dangers close in on them, and Lincoln’s protective instincts come to the fore, setting Charlie on edge. The last time he worried this much, he sent her away from her home and the people she loved…

This novel let us see more of many of our favourite characters, but in my opinion, never enough of Gus and Cook! (I was really rooting for Cook to walk her down the aisle– there’s still time!) Lady Vickers is slowly becoming more understood, and while Julia might finally be getting her just desserts… I don’t think she’s truly learned from her downfall.

There were plenty of times during this novel that I worried Lincoln might regress to the way he was before, might push Charlie away and call everything off. Realizing everything in your life has changed in a short time can’t be easy for someone who was as bottled up as Lincoln.Alice’s rabbit makes an appearance, so when a prophesy is told saying to beware of the queen, I thought it natural to assume they didn’t mean the current queen, though this will likely be resolved in the next novel.

This book read too fast, and while there were great spots of character and relationship development for Alice and Seth, I wish the novel had been longer. Anyone who has been following this series, like me, cannot wait for the wedding of Charlie and Lincoln! Of course, I think another wedding might not be out of the picture either between our Ministry friends.

C. J. Archer is such a great, wonderful person on top of being a great author.  She has a fan group on Facebook, CJ Archer’s Ministry of Fans, where people who like her books can talk about them, and Ms. Archer interacts with her fans frequently (which makes her even more endearing).  If you are like me and adore her books, join the group and chat with like minded individuals.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

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Review of Mistaken Identity by Norah McClintock

Mistaken Identity
By Norah McClintock

Star Rating: 
Genre: YA Mystery

Number of Pages: 192

Date Started: June 12, 2017
Date Finished: June 13, 2017

Synopsis: (From Back of Book)
Sixteen year old Zanny Dugan isn’t sure anymore. Terrible things are happening in her life — things like murder and suicide — and she can’t figure out why. Now it turns out her father isn’t who she thought he was. And if your father is a stranger, then who are you? Zanny’s dead set on finding the answer — even if it seems the whole world doesn’t want her to know the truth.

My goodness. This book was like all of McClintock’s books I’ve read thus far: amazing. There was mystery and plenty of twists and turns. While I didn’t trust Nick AT ALL because he was fishy, I fell for the detective’s story. I loved Everett Lloyd, he was awesome. So was the neighbor lady, as well as Edward.

Though Zanny didn’t know anything about her dad’s past, and she regretted not knowing him better, it seems more common than one would think. When growing up, especially during the teenage years, parents aren’t going to tell children every little detail about their lives, their interests, and certainly not about mischievous things that children may be inspired to recreate.

I’d definitely recommend this book.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Norah McClintock has won an unprecedented five Arthur Ellis Awards for Crime Fiction for Mistaken Identity, The Body in the Basement, Sins of the Father, Scared to Death and Break and Enter. McClintock has also been nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for her non-fiction title Body, Crime, Suspect; No Escape was nominated for the White Pine Award; and Hit and Run was nominated for the Red Maple Award in 2004.