A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review of Misfortune Annie and the Voodoo Curse

Misfortune Annie and the Voodoo Curse‘At last, a western for teenagers! A brisk, exciting mix of gunslinging and voodoo magic. Very enjoyable.’ ~ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review, 19th Feb 2020

To be honest, you don’t see a lot of Westerns for teenagers. In fact, you don’t see a lot of Westerns for adults. Never mind books! A pity, I think. I grew up watching John Wayne doing his cowboy strut and Clint Eastwood killing the bad guys and never saying a word. So I very happily dived into this YA western from Janet Fogg and Dave Jackson.

First, let’s discuss the plot. In many ways, it’s not a very western sort of plot. The hero and her (sort of) partner must try to stop a voodoo sorcerer from getting his sticky claws on the idol of Necropolis. Trust me when I tell you, the idol of Necropolis is not good; not in the hands of an evil sorcerer anyway. What follows is a brisk adventure with plenty going on to keep a teenager interested. There’s a little comic play here and there and the authors work hard to offer exciting fights and a stimulating historical setting.

Thankfully, the authors seem to know who the reader is. Trust me, not all authors do. Me: Who’s the intended reader for the book? Author: I don’t know. Everybody? What do you think? Me: WHAT DO I THINK!? I’m not the author. Etc. Etc. But not so here. This is ALL good teenager stuff. A strong hero they can relate to and root for. A little comedy here and there to keep them turning the page. A lot happening but not full of blood and spilling guts. And, best of all, plenty of pace and a brisk writing style. Yes, perfect for teenagers!

So, can I recommend this book? You bet I can. Young adult, say 13 – 16, will get a kick out of this. It’s not deep. But it’s a lot of fun.


A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review


Editorial Review: Tales from the 359th Fighter Group

Tales final working version Feb 17 frontA fascinating insight into life as a fighter pilot during World War Two. Highly recommended.

This superb book looks at the ups and downs – pardon the pun – of life in the 359th Fighter Group during World War Two. Put together from wartime records, journals and reports from the time, it is a glimpse into a different world, a world at war where a young pilot never knew if this day would be his last.

There’s a lot going for this tiny bit of military history. For a start, it’s not just from the POV (point of view), of the author, but the POV of lots of ‘authors’; the authors being the men who battled in the sky over England, France and Germany. It’s not overly technical, and often the narrative is overly simple. But, of course, this reflects the men’s different writing ability.

I very much enjoyed the diversity of the book. The pilots were all very different with a different story to tell. Personally, I enjoyed the story of the pilot who escaped capture by sleeping under an apple tree. I also chuckled when I read a Major’s thoughts on East Anglia: When God created England He must have had a bad day when it came to East Anglia…a more desolate, barren, cold and damp, flat and uninviting terrain could never be devised.

All in all, this is a captivating read. It’s always fun to go back in time and to try to understand what it was like to live back then. A book of this nature helps you to do this. Sentimental, yes. Sad in parts, yes. As I’m guessing 99% of the authors of this book have now left us. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anybody interested in military history, in particular World War Two and the role of the fighter pilot.

~ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review