Union of Damaron

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I will start off with a disclaimer…I actually know this author personally and we work together at my day job. He told me that he wrote a book and I offered to review it for him, hoping to give his book some exposure. I also told him it was going to be an honest review. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start the review.

Humans can be cruel, and that is a lesson that the young crow Kolie finds out very quickly. After having lost his parents in the bird massacre, he finds refuge with some other birds. However, even they look down on the little crow. When their refuge is threatened by a witch looking to use their blood to dethrone the current King, they have no other choice than to leave their home and find somewhere else to live. They here stories of the great bird Simurgh and the paradise where he lives. They decide to make the dangerous journey to try and find a safe place to live in peace.

Let’s start with the good points, the base of the story was really fun. It was a nice fantasy book where we got to see the characters grow and learn from their mistakes. The main character, Kolie, was truly the underdog in this book. He was put down by not only the humans and the other birds but also himself. He really grows through this book and learns to trust himself. All of the other birds grow and learn about themselves through the story as well. It was interesting to see the most shallow birds become more compassionate throughout the book.

This book also does an excellent job of touching on racism and bullying even within a refugee population. We also see how propaganda lies not only persist through the human but also the birds when it comes to the belief that crows were the reason for the diseases of man. This is also very true in the real world if you hear something enough you will start to believe it, no matter how ridiculous it is.

Now for the parts I didn’t like, the beginning and the end felt a little disjointed from the rest of the story. I understand the book is supposed to be a fairytale or a fable that the queen is telling this boy, however, it was just jarring. Had those parts been removed it would have worked better. Also, there are areas in this book that were a little wordy. Thet felt like they dragged on and didn’t add to the story. You can tell that this is his first book.

Overall, this book has an interesting concept and storyline. The writing style could be cleaned up, however, I believe that will come with time and practice. An author must write to get better at writing.

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Malice on the Menu (Sky High Pies Mysteries #22)

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Ryan isn’t particularly well liked in Crescent Creek, between being a gambler, adulterer and, apparently, a crook, it’s not a surprise. However, after he’s found dead in his shop, proteome start to wonder. Katie starts looking into the mess and tries to figure out what lead up to his death.

This mystery wasn’t very interesting, to be honest. I know that you don’t have to like the character, however, at least make it so the readers can tolerate him. There was a lot of evidence pointing towards one person as al the killer, but it just didn’t feel right. Maybe I just read too many novels with gangsters too know that you don’t kill the person owing you money.

I loved seeing Kate more active on the case this book. With Trent’s kind words, he got her into the case because the local police officer trusted her. I enjoyed how much she worked with the police officer. I also enjoyed how we got to explore a little of the neighbouring town in this book. It’s always fun to explore a new town with characters that we know.

Overall it was an ok book but not great.

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

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This book is different than the books that I normally read. It provides the science behind learning, and why mastering skills seem like an impossible task. They go through what has been proven to work as well as wrestling with the society’s misconceptions with what learning is supposed to look like. They give many anecdotes of people who have learnt to use the techniques in this book and have become successful learners.

This book is not prescriptive, so if you are looking for a step by step study guide this is not the book for you. The last chapter attempts to give the base of what the concepts would look like by giving examples of the people who have implemented this into their teaching and studying routines. This will obviously never work for every learner and you have to find your own way of incorporating the information from the book into your own lifestyle.

The book is aimed towards the layman making it very easy to understand and interesting. I am the type of person who wants to know more about the science behind the claims that they make. They do refer to studies and other books to link their findings to other people’s findings. This was nice by I wanted more information about the data of the studies mentioned in the book. If you listen to the audiobook, you can find all of this information on the book’s website. They give suggested reading that looks interesting if you want to follow up with more information.

This is not the self-help books that more people think of as a self-help book. However, if you are looking for more information on how to get the most out of learning this book is for you.

Murder on Sunset Trail (Sky High Pies Mysteries #21)

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Oliva calls Katie is a panic, one of her friends found a diary that not only implicated her friend Roxanne in a murder, but also Trent. The diary was obviously burned and gives information about a missing person from 5 years prior. Katie quickly brushes off the idea that Trent has anything to do with the murder, so she starts digging into the mystery to figure out what exactly happened. Soon, Katie is digging up the past that even the victim of the crime, at one point, wanted to keep hidden.

This was an interesting story, I have always been a fan of the stories that investigate cold cases and things that happened years before. This book taps into a cold case from 5 years prior and they get to delve into the people connected at that time. Not only do you see how each of the characters has grown, but also how they are interconnected. I really wanted to get more information about the family and friends of the victim, however, it was a little on the light side.

I feel like, at this point in the series, the character development has become stunted. I know that at some point in a series the characters can fall into a holding pattern, and this book has gotten there… books ago. If there isn’t going to be more character development on the main characters, maybe they should work on the secondary characters or even the victims.

It’s was a fun book, not my fav but not the worst either.


Cupcakes & Cobwebs (Sky High Pies Mystery #20)

The Twisted Ones (Five Nights at Freddy’s #2)

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Charlie has finally moved on from the incident that happened in Freddy’s pizzeria, or so she thought. Now a college student, she’s working hard on her engineering degree. However, when a mysterious body is found halfway between her university and her hometown, the chief of police reaches out to her. She is suddenly spiralled back into her past and trying to figure out who would have started the killing spree. However, Charlie is certain that something for her father’s past is on the loose.

This book was a little more of a mystery than the last book. It was really fun to see how Charlie has grown from the last book but somehow remain the same. Seeing Charlie’s college life was interesting because while she was away from home, she was still linked to it by her field study. It’s also nice to see her being a little like a detective in this book though it was a little weird that a police officer came to her. I will say though, her social growth has my stunted due to the issues in this book.

I did enjoy the background that was given in this book about Catherine’s father as well as William Afton, however, the cliffhanger kills me. Generally, I really hate cliffhangers, and this didn’t make it better. The next book is coming out soon so I really can’t wait to finish the series.

Cupcakes & Cobwebs (Sky High Pies Mystery #20)

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Cresent Creek’s own celebrate cupcake shop owner is on the up an up. With culinary camp around the corner and a book deal, Jane’s hard work is paying off. However, when Katie finds her dead in her own kitchen things start coming to light that maybe not everything is a rosy as it appeared on the outside. With multiple threats and the breaking of her storefront window the day before her death, it looks like someone had reason to kill her. Katie works hard to figure out who wanted her dead and for what reason, as she seemed to be loved by everyone.

We got to find out about people around Crescent Creek in this book. Due to the mystery being centred around an influencer in the cooking community in town. We got the full story behind the murder and what lead up to it. The history between the murderer and the murder victim was very interesting and was explained throughout the book.

I enjoyed seeing Katie working full force in this book. She felt more like a pi in this book than a baker. Though she was still at the bakery very often so it didn’t feel so disjointed. She does manage to figure out a lot about the murder victim even though they were friends before the incident.

I enjoyed the book.


Murder at Marigold Inn (Sky High Pies Mysteries #19)
Murder on Sunset Trail (Sky High Pies Mysteries #21)

A Killer Cover Up (Margot Durand #10)

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Margot just wants to plan her wedding to Adam in peace, however, one day she gets an e-mail about Julian’s death. With Adam out of town, she goes to the meeting alone only to find the body of the man she was going you meet. Together, Adam and Margot work together to try and figure out who wants to kill the reporter, and how it’s connected to Julian. Maybe Margot can finally lay this mystery to rest.

Yes!!!! I have been waiting for this story for the last 10 books. I always felt like there was more to Julian’s story than we were given, and now we know what happened. Until this book, Julian’s death seemed out of place and an arch that needed to be cleared up before Margot and Adam’s wedding. The mystery was a little obvious once the character was introduced, however, it was an interesting story that really pulled you in.

Margot and Adam’s relationship really expanded this book and they felt like the perfect pair. Julian’s past was blown wide open and the reader finally understands what happened in Margot’s past and how similar Adam and Julian truly are. Though Dexter was in the book he played a secondary role, it was nice to see bake Dexter completely on display.

This book was so fun and interesting like all the books in this series.


A Deadly Engagement (Margot Durand Mysteries #9)