#Bookreviews – Dan Alatorre and Darlene Foster

Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music (Amanda Travels) by [Foster, Darlene]35908195

The Cheadles have had another great reading week. I listened to the audio book of Dan Alatorre’s Angel on her Shoulder and Michael and I read Amanda on the Danube by Darlene Foster.

An Angel on her Shoulder by Dan Alatorre

What Amazon says

A series of unexplainable tragedies surround a family and their young daughter as they seek to determine whether they are possessed, paranoid or collectively going insane. Meanwhile, forgotten clues from the father’s past may indicate forces are at work in ways more ominous than any of them could have imagined.

My review

I really enjoyed the audio book version of this story and thought the narrator had a very good voice and reading style.

The style of this book reminded me a bit of Stephen King’s book It where he goes back in time to the children’s childhoods for pieces of the story which help to explain how the events in the book all fit together in the end.

Alatorre’s main character, Doug, is an ordinary man with a good job and a lovely family. He adores his wife and small daughter and enjoys spending time with them and going on family holidays.

The story starts with an unexpected and nearly tragic incident in the parking lot at a wine farm which appears initially to be frightening, but not completely out of the ordinary; accidents and tragedies do happen in life.  When Doug starts to realise that this latest incident is another in a seeming series of similar events, he starts to wonder what is happening to his family. Is this normal or is there more to these near tragedies than meets the eye?

Doug sets out to investigate the matter and learn more about why these incidents are occurring.  His investigation leads him to a priest at his local Catholic Church and other interesting characters who delve into the world of spirituality and the occult. Something out there doesn’t like his attempted intervention though and is determined to step up its efforts to achieve its goals.

Very creepy and yet written with a sense of possibility that makes it all the more eerie, Dan Alatorre conveys his story in a way that really plays on the readers emotions and imagination.

I rated this book five out of five stars.

Purchase An Angel on her Shoulder

Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music by Darlene Foster

What Amazon says

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy. Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.

My review

Michael and I read this book together and we both enjoyed it immensely. It is my favourite of the three Amanda books we have read to date and we will definitely be reading more.

Amanda and her good friend, Leah, are on a boat cruise along the Danube and very much enjoying the good food and fascinating villages and towns that they stop at when they become embroiled in a new mystery. A young boy who plays the violin most beautifully asks Amanda to please take his violin on the boat with her and meet him in Vienna. Amanda agrees to the request and quickly comes to realise that the talented boy is not the only one who wants the violin. There are a few people, both on the cruise and elsewhere, that are determined to lay their hands on this instrument.

I really like Darlene Foster’s books as they have an interesting and face paced story but they also include a huge amount of fascinating information about the specific country in which each specific novel is set. We both learned a lot about the towns and villages in Germany, Austria and Hungary and the traditional foods, entertainment and some famous places of interest. There is a lot of research that goes into each of these books.

We rated this book five out of five stars.

Purchase Amanda on the Danube


55 thoughts on “#Bookreviews – Dan Alatorre and Darlene Foster

  1. I am so pleased you both enjoyed Amanda’s adventure down the Danube River. I wrote this book in the midst of moving to and settling in Spain. I really believe it kept me sane. I had fun writing it! Thanks so much for the review. xo

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Both books sound terrific, Robbie. I’m going to read Darlene’s books to my grandsons when they are a little older with longer attention spans, though my 6 yo grandson could probably handle them now. I’m sure he’d enjoy them and I know I will too! As for the adult novel, it sounds very good and since I’m a Stephen King fan, I’m sure I’d enjoy it. Thanks for the great reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Molly. A six year old is probably a bit to young for Amanda. I would say about eight is a good age for these books. Have you read Winnie the Witch your your grandchildren. They are such great books and the young kids love the illustrations and stories.

      Liked by 1 person

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