Red Boots by Kate Willis

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Red Boots by Kate Willis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Maybe another time, Maggie.”

*Inward sigh.*

An old shopkeeper has a chance to bring joy to a young heart in Red Boots by author Kate Willis.

Get ready for a small helping of good old-fashioned Christmas warmth and cheer! There’s a touch of whimsy to this short story, with a pair of boots “listening to the voices” of the shop’s shoppers and “the cash register’s song” filling the atmosphere.

Sure, it can be easy for a pleasant tale as quick as this one to be all holiday schmaltz. But the ingredients of a little regret and a dash of sacrifice make this dessert more than a Christmas popcorn ball.

If you enjoy stories that can give you a Gift of the Magi kind of feeling, check out this little number.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Alex Irvine

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Phase Two: Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Alex Irvine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, still isn’t fully adjusted to the modern world. But that’s a small problem compared to the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised. As the agency begins to hunt Steve down as a fugitive, he’ll have to get to the bottom of an international conspiracy–and face a new, mysterious enemy in Captain America: The Winter Solider, adapted by Alex Irvine.

I’m still working through the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a mix of movies and books.

A key momentous event or two in this one didn’t catch me by surprise, due to some of my prior MCU knowledge. But my lack of surprise didn’t ruin the events, since the story is that good.

There’s real depth here, even pretty gut-wrenching at times. Steve isn’t following a straight line with easy answers, and neither are his allies–whoever they are. It’s interesting to see him trying to figure out what to do when the lines between friend and foe, folly and good sense begin to blur.

Out of all the MCU books I’ve read so far, this one most whetted my appetite for its related movie.

 

The Avengers by Alex Irvine

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Phase One: Marvel’s The Avengers by Alex Irvine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

With the help of his extraterrestrial army, Loki means to conquer and enslave planet Earth. It’ll take the superheroes gathered by Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., to thwart Loki’s plans. But Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye must discover something about themselves first in The Avengers, adapted by Alex Irvine.

So as not to break the chronological flow in my progress as I go back and watch some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, I’m reading certain books written from the screenplays. Doesn’t matter that the books are targeted at kids, since I do enjoy middle grade reads from time to time.

Having previously read Captain America: The First Avenger, also adapted by this author, I was ready for the flow, tone, and even the occasional corn in this book. It’s all fitting.

The story is good, meaningful fun, with parts that got me laughing and other parts where I felt for the characters. Sure, you can tell some of the content is toned down for young readers (I even would’ve liked a little of the language toned down a smidge more, though there’s no profanity), but this isn’t an oversimplified, pat-on-the-head adaptation. The adventure isn’t too complicated, but there’s still enough depth and intrigue to keep it interesting.

I guess, apart from The Incredibles, I didn’t imagine before this year how much heart and life-affirmation I might find in action/superhero stories. This one has got some great moments. And I’ll admit that seeing the Avengers eventually become, you know, The Avengers–yeah, that got me pumped.

 

Captain America: The First Avenger by Alex Irvine

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Phase One: Captain America: The First Avenger by Alex Irvine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

US Army recruiters repeatedly turn Steve Rogers away, deeming him unfit to fight for his country. But when the Strategic Scientific Reserve selects Steve to become a Super-Soldier, he’ll be in for a mission of heroic proportions in Captain America: The First Avenger, adapted by Alex Irvine.

Disclosure: I’m watching some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and didn’t want to break the flow in my lineup before getting my hands on the first Captain America flick. So I decided to read a book based on the screenplay for now.

It so happens to be a book targeted at kids. Doesn’t bother me, since I can do middle grade books now and then.

What did bother me was running into two instances of a little foul language. So what if those words are now allowed on 21st-century network TV? Can’t we give youngsters a tad more time to read books that are free of that stuff? Eeesh.

Besides that, though, I got a kick out of this read. A “never give up” type of story with exciting turns and plenty of action. It’s a bit choppy and head-hoppy in places but still easy to follow. Given the genre and reading level, I just smiled at some of the corn, and, yes–I certainly did do the sound effects aloud, when they came up. WHACK! WHAM! BLAM! The intriguing ending must be an after-Marvel-movie-credits kind of scene.

Steve’s heart, his determination, may be this book’s highest recommendation.