Book Review: When Asia was the World by Stewart Gordon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Non-fiction / translated biographies

Age Recommended: 13 and up

It’s this time of year again… summer assignments. This book wasn’t as boring as I expected it to be, and I enjoyed reading the accounts of people who lived many centuries ago. However, the author could have done a better job linking the different chapters of the book to each other, as they were all independent stories, and the only thing similar about them was the fact that they all took place in Asia and were in consecutive time periods.

When asia was the world


This book focuses a lot on the change and continuities over time in the Asian world from 500 to 1500 CE. Some chapters discuss the evolution of religion as an ideology of empires, and others cover the political and social effects of religion.

My favorite chapter in this book is chapter eight, because while it discusses Islam, a sensitive topic in society today, it also clears up a lot of the mystery surrounding this religion and its way of thinking.

Here is an excerpt from my assignment that talks about the a possible reason for the decline of an empire.

The later destruction of the royal library (140) showed an almost Nazi-like hatred for things of the past, or things of other cultures. It displayed a very rapid decline in the levels of tolerance that rulers had for people of other cultures, or people from other world regions.
This decrease in tolerance also led to “whole regions permanently altered (141)” and the “end of Buddhist culture (141)” which was inevitably detrimental to Asia in the long run. It led to the failure of conquest because of the lack of belief in an ideology, followed by great wars that split kingdoms up even more.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this for people who like history.

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the “Riches of the “East”

Book Review: Dark Before Dawn by Monica McGurk (Book 3 of the Archangel Prophecies)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction

Age Recommended: 14 and up

This book was an ARC, courtesy of NetGalley. I have neither read nor reviewed the first two books in this series, but this book was still easy to follow.

Dark Before Dawn


Hope and Michael have been through it all. But another test is yet to come. Hope has the choice of either leaving her world to join Michael or making him abandon his work to come to her. Neither option is desirable, but a choice must be made.

Just when Hope thinks that she’s figured it all out, an old enemy of hers kidnaps her sister and her sister’s friend. Michael and other archangels must find these girls before harm comes to them, but is it already too late?

The girls could be anywhere, and from the terrible hints that their enemy is dropping, their time is coming to an end…

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: Dark Before Dawn: Book Three of the Archangel Prophecies

Book Review: Immortal Writers by Jill Bowers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy / Historical Fiction

Age Recommended: 13 and up

This book was an ARC, courtesy of NetGalley. This book was very well-written, but I don’t know how accurate the historical aspects of the book are.

Immortal Writers


Liz is an author who’s written some exceptional novels and is about to release one more. However, right after her boyfriend prematurely proposes to her, she is kidnapped. It turns out that the people who kidnapped her are immortal writers.

Liz becomes acquainted with Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, and many other famous writers. She soon learns that she can be immortal as well, but not before defeating the villain in the story that she wrote, along with his dragons. Liz finds out that the characters in her story have come to life as well.

When Liz meets the main character of her story, she begins to fall in love with him. Only after realizing what she’s up against, does Liz realize that defeating this villain is the only way that she’ll ever have a happy ending.

Will she be able to conquer the villain?

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: Immortal Writers (Immortal Writers Series Book 1)

Book Review: To Catch a Bad Guy by Marie Astor

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Mystery

Age Recommended: 15 and up

This book was well-written and I liked how the author made the story very intricate, but easy to understand. The ending was definitely an exciting one, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

To catch a bad guy


Janet’s friend Lisa has just gotten her a job at her office where Lisa is about to marry one of the owners of the company. Janet feels awkward taking advantage of Lisa, but Lisa waves her off after she makes Janet promise to be her bridesmaid.

Lisa sets Janet up with a few guys, but none of them come close to Dean, a man working in IT at her office. Janet begins to grow suspicious of the company and confides in Dean. Dean then proceeds to tell her that he is working undercover to expose the company’s illegal activity.

Janet is hurt at first, but then resolves to help him so that her friend Lisa won’t have to be involved in this. But the wedding is coming up, and time is running out.

Will Janet be able to find what she needs to expose the company before her friend gets dragged into this?

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: To Catch a Bad Guy (Janet Maple Series Book 1)

Next book: Catching the Bad Guy!

catching the bad guy

Book Review: Glimmer by Tricia Cerrone

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Supernatural Fiction

Age Recommended: 13 and up

This book was an ARC courtesy of NetGalley. I found the book engaging and feel that it has a fairly unique storyline.



Jocelyn’s memory has been erased. She’s been told that her parents and siblings are dead, that she is in a high-security military facility because she has cancer and her uncle Laurence is kind enough to help her get better. But when Jocelyn finds out that all of this is not true, and that she is given medicines so that she stays sick, she’s determined to uncover the truth.

Jocelyn discovers that she has very strong powers that could be a threat to everyone around her if used for evil. She wants to seek revenge against the people who are keeping her imprisoned in this facility, but first, she must escape. And that seems impossible.

Until she meets a boy who has different supernatural powers. He is willing to help her escape, but warns her that the price will be high.

Will she escape?

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: Glimmer (The Black Swan Files Book 1)

Book Review: Every Move by Ellie Marney

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Mystery

Age Recommended: 15 and up

I recently visited Australia during my summer holidays and my dad secretly arranged a meeting with one of my favorite authors, Ms. Ellie Marney, at a bookstore in Melbourne. SO YEAH, I JUST KIND OF MET HER!!

She was wonderful and gracious and spent about thirty minutes with me, discussing books, sharing author and book recommendations, and much more. She also SIGNED a copy of Every Move for me which I bought at the bookstore in Melbourne because for some reason, that book isn’t published in the United States yet 😐 This was definitely the highlight of my trip to Melbourne and I want to sincerely thank Ms. Marney again for her time!

This book was the third in the series, and it definitely DID NOT disappoint!

Every Move

The duo are back, and this time, it’s serious. Rachel is experiencing trauma from her past encounters with the murderer of Mycroft’s parents, and is having trouble sleeping. Mycroft won’t relax until he’s hunted this man down and gotten revenge. Both of them are at a precarious point in their relationship where anything could tear them apart.

When the murderer starts killing people who look like Rachel and Mycroft, just to make a point, it becomes evident that he’s coming for them. Protective measures are taken, but will they be enough?

When an attack occurs on one of the people Rachel loves, she’s not sure what to do. Only one thing is clear. This. Ends. Now.

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: Every Move (only used copies available in the US, unfortunately).


Book Review: Play Dead by Leslie O’Kane (An Allie Babcock Mystery)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction / Mystery

Age Recommended: 14 and up

This book was pretty funny, and I thought that it was a unique spin on the classic murder mystery. The ending was a little dark, but that was to be expected, given the nature of the book.

play dead


Allie Babcock is a dog therapist. She diagnoses their behavioral issues, and then works with the owners to address the issues. However, after airing on a radio show, Allie is told about a problem that even she can’t solve. A woman, Beth, who has recently adopted a dog, swears that the dog saw its owner being murdered.

When Allie meets the dog, she notices that the dog will bark at any man wearing a hat, which tells her that Beth may not be entirely wrong. She does some snooping and narrows down the list of suspects.

However, not long after this, Beth is murdered while taking care of the dog, and Allie knows that something is up. Someone wants that dog killed, and she needs to figure out why. Allie takes care of the dog, knowing that she is probably the next target.

Will Allie be able to figure out the mystery behind these murders, or will she be the next to go?

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: Play Dead by Leslie O’Kane (2014-03-19)

Also, I can’t wait to read the next book, Ruff Way To Go!!

ruff way to go