Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire by Dan Hanks

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*No Major Spoilers*

In post-war 1952, the good guys are supposed to have won. But not everything is as it seems when ex-Spitfire pilot Captain Samantha Moxley is dragged into a fight against the shadowy US government agency she used to work for. Now, with former Nazis and otherworldly monsters on her trail, Captain Moxley is forced into protecting her archaeologist sister in a race to retrieve two ancient keys that will unlock the secrets of a long-lost empire – to ensure a civilization-destroying weapon doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what will she have to sacrifice to save the world?


After my initial bad experience I had reading Fury From the Tomb, I was somewhat hesitant to jump into a similar themed novel; ancient artifact(s), adventurous trip around the globe, Indiana Jones-inspired death traps. However Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire is what Fury from the Tomb  should have been. So let’s dive into the adventures of Captain Samantha Moxley. 

I love the way the author makes the reader feel like this is just one of many crazy adventures for Captain Moxley. I wanted to hear more of her stories or join her on wacky quests around the globe whether it was during her time with a secret organization called The Nine, or after this story where she is trying to stop the Nine from becoming too powerful. 

Once the action starts, it rarely stops long enough to grow bored. From Captain Amanda Moxley getting shot down mid-air, to arriving in Egypt on the run from The Nine. Amanda and her entourage are on the run to keep two ancient artifacts out of the bad guys’ hands.

However, as much as I want to rave about this novel I do have one small negative. If you have been reading my reviews for awhile you can probably guess I’m about to talk about the plot twist. I saw this one coming a mile away. I won’t spoil what the plot twist was, but it’s my only complaint about Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire.

Overall, I enjoyed this globe-trotting adventure to save the world from evil. I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of adventures, Egyptology, and are a fan of The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw. I know I’m giving a light spoiler by the title, but trust me. If you want more adventure then check out The Atlantis Code or vice versa.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews

REVIEW: When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

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*No Major Spoilers*

Almost everyone in the small town of Splendor, Ohio, was affected when the local steel mill exploded. If you weren’t a casualty of the accident yourself, chances are a loved one was. That’s the case for seventeen-year-old Franny, who, five years after the explosion, still has to stand by and do nothing as her brother lies in a coma.

In the wake of the tragedy, Franny found solace in a group of friends whose experiences mirrored her own. The group calls themselves The Ordinary, and they spend their free time investigating local ghost stories and legends, filming their exploits for their small following of YouTube fans. It’s silly, it’s fun, and it keeps them from dwelling on the sadness that surrounds them.

Until one evening, when the strange and dangerous thing they film isn’t fiction–it’s a bright light, something massive hurdling toward them from the sky. And when it crashes and the teens go to investigate…everything changes.

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First off, I have to say that when I saw the cover of this novel at the library, I fell in love with this beautiful book cover. When I finished reading When the Sky Fell on Splendor, I can say that the story is just as beautiful as the cover.

“How many billions of things had to happen just right to give me this ordinary life.”

Emily Henry, When the Sky Fell on Splendor

I love how the characters were relatable and had depth. Franny and her brother Arthur grew up living in their older brother’s shadow. After the steel mill explosion and their brother Mark ends up in a coma, Franny’s mom and dad divorce and Franny and Arthur continue to live in the background of their depressed dad’s life.

We don’t get much from the other characters other than what is on the surface that Franny has observed. One of the key facets of their friend group is to not talk about emotional stuff. Even though some of the signs of the parents’ issues have clearly effected their kids in subtle ways.

Franny had grown close to one of the other boys in their group, and during an emotional moment he shared about how his mom’s doomsday prepping quickly spiraled into hoarding after the accident. He even took up a job at the local Walmart just so he could support his ailing mom and how he had become the sole breadwinner after his dad died in the accident.

I personally would’ve loved more insight on Sophia. I think she was left out when it came to emotional weight. She was the smartest one of the group and wasn’t an outcast like the others. She wanted to be a lawyer after a weekend with her grandmother watching Law and Order: SVU. She seemed to have a great relationship with her mom, and doesn’t understand why Franny started keeping her at arm’s length.

I read this book being compared to The Serpent King and Stranger Things as well as Super 8. I personally haven’t read or watched any of these, but they seem to have similar themes to When the Sky Fell on Splendor. So if you are familiar with any of these popular stories, I would recommend this novel for you.

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