City of Islands
Then Mara finds the skeletons of strange hybrid creatures that haven’t existed in the city for ...more
Despite the beautiful worldbuilding and great premise, this wasn't as magical as I was hoping for.
Set in a city comprised of (you guessed it:) islands, we follow Mara, a young treasurediver searching the ocean floor for valuables. Instead she finds the skeletons of strange creatures, thought to be long forgotten, humming with magical powers. This sets her off to a new adventure, uncovering the secrets of her city, aswell as the strength that lies within herself.
The best thing abou ...more
A great-page-turning plot, inventive world ...more
I love books where the ma ...more
Mara is such a fun, curious, and daring main character who faces a complicated world filled with secrets. She not only navigates her way through this magically complex world, but she finds her voice and the inner strength in the best way possible. I was so impressed not only with the touching and thoroughly entertaining story-telling, but the important messaging woven into this tale. Highly, highly recommend!
This story was more that I thought it’d be and it made my heart happy. The world building and lore was interesting; Some aspects of the magic system were a bit confusing, but not to the point where I couldn’t follow the story. Yet it was the main character that captured my heart. Mara was such a relatable lead- ambition yet insecure, caring, smart- I felt her loneliness and her hunger to make a name for herself. I was strangely emotional, especially towards the en ...more
City of Islands is not written for someone my age. I would say it's more of the 3rd to 6th grade age group. I like to try out books for my kids, and lets face it, I love reading any type of genre. When I came home from the library, my 9 year old took the book and read it f ...more
However, after getting about 30% of the way through, I don’t feel like finishing it beyond this point.
It does seem like a good middle grade though, with islands and magic and mysterious bones. I would still recommend it for a younger reader.
The world building was nice and reminded me of Robin Hobb's Realms of the Elderlings, so it was nice but not outstanding for an adult reader (a kid would probably have been a little more impressed). The magic based on songs was a good idea and for once, I'd no problems reading the short parts dedicated to songs (in other books, I skip them... yes I'm looking at you boring 1st volume of Lord of the Rings). The various magical parts ...more
This book follows our main character Mara, who lives in a world made up of islands (an archipelago honestly) and is a diver who retrieves artifacts from the ocean floor and delivers them to a master. This world had an ancient society who has now been lost, so they're trying to find relics from that time. Mara ends up gaining favor with the master and sent on a quest under the sea and what she gets is a l ...more
A fathom is 6 feet. On Mara's first dive the author says it's only 4 or 5 fathoms which is 24 to 30 feet. At my best as a young adult I could free dive 25 feet with time to look around for a minute or s ...more
Orphaned as a child, twelve-year-old Mara works as a servant for the powerful Lady of the Tides by diving into the murky sea for ancient artifacts supposedly containing residual magic from the magical Founders who built their beautiful city thousands of years ago. While diving with her friend Izzy, Mara begins hearing songs reminiscent of the songs her mother used to sing to her, leading her to some strange bones that appear to be singing to her. Instead of her mistress being pleased with this d...more
What an incredible middle-grade fantasy. Wallace’s descriptions (and that amazing map) invite readers in and surround them in a world built unlike any other. Characters are well-developed, the story arch is spot on for MG fantasy readers, and the allegorical aspect - the things people will do for power - are so appropriate for our times without being heavy-handed. I’m so very hopeful that this one will b ...more
One of the best secondary-world fantasies I've read in a while, including those for adults. Definite ...more
This book is like reading a Disney story for the first time. Powerful characters and a stunning world blend to bring you a unique experience. There's plenty of action and adventure. Some younger children may be frightened by some scenes, but none of them are gory or brutal.
This is one of the most perfect young adult/older children's books that I've read. ...more
It had a pretty slow beginning, but it did start to pick up the pace towards the halfway point. I became more intrigued by the magic system, and it was a nice, quick read. I do wish the book had been a little longer to go a bit more in-depth about the magic and the overall setting, but for what it delivered it was a pretty good and light read.