In the last installment in Christina Bauer’s ‘Beholder’ series, Crowned, main character Elea is on a quest to find the one item that can destroy her nIn the last installment in Christina Bauer’s ‘Beholder’ series, Crowned, main character Elea is on a quest to find the one item that can destroy her nemesis, Viktor: the Sword of Theodora.
As the final battle draws closer, Elea discovers that her real enemies might be far more powerful than Viktor, and with enemies stalking her from both sides, the stakes are higher than ever before.
In this action-filled, intriguing fantasy story, with unique and complicated characters, and a rich fantasy setting, the core of the story is still romance; and what an epic romance it is. Elea and Rowan have a really strong connection that can’t be broken by anything, and an enormous amount of chemistry between them.
Fans of fantasy series simply can’t pass on the Beholder series – it’s a must read....more
Work of Art: An Intention of Flowers is an intriguing, unique book that is both mysterious and compelling to read. Joseph Arillo is drawing flowers on the pavement. That’s when Andy Hollis, the new art teacher of Santa Ana High School sees him for the first time. Curious about the flowers, and about why Joseph is drawing them, he searches for answers that might unravel both their lives.
Part character study, part a book about growth and personal development, partially about how art can inspire people and change them for the better, this book brings a lot of unique features to the table that make it an intriguing read. The characters were rounded and three-dimensional. I particularly felt intrigued by Tom, a world-renowned artist whose life is cloaked in mystery, and who set up an absurd test for his son, Joseph.
Anyway, if you like contemporary fiction and in particular, if you like art and have ever felt inspired by it, then I would recommend this book. It’s a compelling read about the journey of growing up and finding your true self.
Here is the giveaway code for during the tour for Work of Art: An Intention of Flowers. The giveaway is for 5 copies of the book....more
Wrong Side of the Rift is the second book in a series about Grape Merriweather, the main character. I didn’t read the first book, Welcome to Sortilege Falls, before picking up the sequel, but I could follow along just fine. Although I would recommend starting with the first book since you do probably miss some background story by starting with the sequel, it’s not necessary.
Anyway, on to the book itself. Grape knows magic and vampires are real, and that there’s a portal in her backyard that can transport her to another world. But not everything is magical and fun in Grape’s life. Her brother has been kidnapped, and if she wants to save him, she’ll have to find a way through the rift. But while doing so, she uncovers more secrets than she thought possible…and not just about the town, but her own family as well.
This book really kept me on the edge of my seat. The world-building was great, not too complex, but easy enough that you could just dive right in and adapt to the rules of Grape’s world. Grape is an interesting character, and I loved her sometimes quirky personality. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and had to finish this book in one sitting....more
Monsterland is a theme park filled with monsters – any monster lover’s dream come through. Zombies, vampires, werewolves, you name it, and the park has them. Wyatt Baldwin, high school student, movie buff and monster fan never expected to get invited to the grand opening of Monsterland. But then luck (or destiny, depending on how you look at it) intervenes and they get to visit Monsterland on the grand opening. What could possibly go wrong?
Monsterland focuses on monsters and families, and it basically reads like Jurassic Park, but with monsters. Of course you know something will go wrong the moment Wyatt steps through those doors, but still, it’s an engaging, surprising read. Wyatt and his brother have a new stepdad, so the family dynamics are slightly troublesome. They’re trying to make it work, which is admirable. The family dynamics play an important part of the book, and help sketch the personality of our main character.
The book is filled with adventure, fast-paced escapes, and great writing. A perfect read for horror fans – I didn’t find it that scary, but it was very entertaining nonetheless....more
Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail is an intriguing fantasy story that will appeal to both young adults and middle graders. For middle graders, the book is a bit long, but the character’s ages (they main characters are thirteen years old) are ideal for this age group.
Magdalena is a thirteen-year-old girl who feels like something is missing. Life is just too ordinary. Even though she has two best friends who mean the world to her, and they often go exploring together, she still feels bored sometimes. Then, one morning Magdalena and her friends Hubert and Gabriel, go explore the woods behind Hubert’s family barn. They discover things they never thought possible, like strange sacrificial drawings in a cave, a crooked trail, and chanting voices only Magdalena can hear.
Their friendship is pushed to the limits, and they each have to face some of their fears if they want to save their hometown, Lily Brooke. Witches, wizards and black magic… Magdalena will certainly never call life boring again.
The book had a slow start but after a few chapters, the pacing really picked up. The story is very imaginative, and as a reader, you can easily feel a connection toward the main characters. I didn’t expect a lot of the twists that happened, and I found the book very entertaining....more
In Our Start-Up, middle school student Nir Carmelli has a bright, innovative idea for a new product. Although he’s aware of the difficulties, Nir advances the idea by creating a start-up for his project. Along with Anna, a classmate of his who also gets involved in the project, the two young investors learn a great deal about the practicalities of starting a business and trying to launch a product.
There’s ups and downs, but what shines through the most is these youngster’s creativity and bravery as they face the challenges head-on.
This is a daring book for young entrepreneurs. It’s not just about business and start-ups, though, it’s also about growing up, about facing challenges, and about first loves. The story has useful lessons, but they’re tied in with humor and creativity. In that way, the book is never boring and doesn’t just read like a manual or guide, but like an actual story.
Recommended to middle schoolers and young adults, and basically to anyone who’s ever wanted his or her own start-up....more
Forget Me is an inspiring, beautiful story about Sabine, a budding poet who is intelligent and mature for her age… But is also painfully shy, and lacks the confidence to make friends and open up to others, and come out of her shell. Her mother pressures her to go the Hilltop Baptist Church, to a youth group, in the hope of making friends there. It has never really worked out, and Sabine struggles to find a home in this world. But when she decides she’s had enough and takes some drastic steps, it might turn out she’s not as forgettable as she always thought she was.
Reminiscent of 13 Reasons Why, this is a raw, emotional, heartbreaking tale of a teen struggling with low self-esteem and depression. It’s a tough book to read and an even tougher one to read, as the subject matter is quite sensitive and bleak, but the author does a phenomenal job crafting believable teenage characters, and making Sabine’s struggles feel real and honest.
Not a feel-good kind of book, but one that I can genuinely recommend to teens, even the ones struggling with depression or the same things the protagonist is struggling with. The writing is sincere and genuine, and you can feel the author’s genuine intentions to relay a message to the readers. There’s a lot of good intent, passion, and kindness in the writing of this book, despite the bleak narrative....more
The Unexpected lives up to its name by offering more than a few unexpected twists and turns. Anthony is a young man who sees his dream fulfilled by owning his own tech company. But then his company starts to fall down the drain thanks to Spencer, and Anthony much face many challenges to save his dream.
The chapters were short and to the point but the book flowed easily from one scene into the other. The writing was suitable for teens, not overly complicated or long, but the descriptions were detailed enough to bring the scenes to live. Anthony was an interesting main character, and it was intriguing to see him change and grow throughout the book.
In Stealing Liberty, Reed Paine is sent to a secret detention school for teens whose parents are nemeies of the state. Reed doesn’t expect to find friendship, and he certainly didn’t expect Riley Paca, a girl who has every reason to hate him, would become his friend. But when Reed and Riley find old books in the tunnels below the school, books that make them question everything they’ve been taught about this new world order and the government, they start to doubt if anything they’ve believed is actually true.
When the government decides to sell the Liberty Bell, Reed and his friends risk everything to steal it, and to take back their history and liberty.
This book was an amazing read, fast-paced, filled with amazing characters, and set in a dystopian world that isn’t too far-fetched but in fact seems like ours could easily transform into, which is a rather scary thought. The characters, in particular Reed, feel very realistic, and their emotions do too. They act and behave like real people, not just characters in a book.
The writing was phenomenal and really sucked me into the story. I can’t wait for the sequel....more
Rune has angel blood running through her veins. It’s a gift, or a curse depending on your point of view, from her halfling mother. Rune thinks she knows who she is, but she doesn’t know the secret side of her heritage until a kiss with a stranger completed a sacred ritual. Now she’s on the hunt to find others like her, and discover the truth about her past and who she truly is.
Rune is amazing, and I love how she’s not half angel (which you see quite often) but only one fourth angel, and her other heritage is equally as interesting. I don’t often read LGBT books for young adults, not by choice but because the majority of the books out there for the YA audience isn’t LGBT. I enjoyed reading this kind of book, in particular how while it features this theme it also has a solid background story and excellent worldbuilding.
I would recommend this book to all YA fans who also love fantasy....more
Narciso di Angelo is a sixteen-year-old boy living on the streets of Rome, and he thinks he’s the only one who can walk in another person’s dreams. He’s not. A dark, mysterious woman appears during one of his dreamwalks, and he’s narrowly rescued from her clutches by Project Somnus, a secret underground UN organisation recruiting and training children with his gifts.
He learns more about his ability and the meaning of home and family while training with Project Somnus, but a dark threat remains and he risks losing it all.
Dreamwalkers reads like X-Men meets Heroes, and it’s set in Rome and Italy, which I really liked considering it’s one of my favorite countries. I also enjoyed the plot, some of the plot twists I didn’t see coming at all. The writing is excellent and flows fluently, which is great for a YA book. From the moment you start reading, you’re right in the middle of the action, right alongside the characters.
I also liked the characters, in particular Narciso. He grows and changes a lot throughout the book, becoming more confident in his abilities and who he truly is; I found I like him better with each passing chapter.
This is a great read for young adults who enjoy fantasy books about people with special powers. The dreamwalking ability is unique and I enjoyed exploring Narciso’s special ability. Recommended to fans of YA fantasy....more
Blood Moon, the sequel to Blood Rain, is even more exciting than the first book in the series. The cover art really blends in well with the art on the first book too. I’ve grown to like Mercy even more throughout this book than I already did in the first, and the author does a phenomenal job expanding on the world she established back in book one.
Mercy is on a ship bound for the Ashen capital. Mercy, Mirilee and Erebus sneak ashore to go to a festival, but things go wrong lightning fast when they witness a public execution and Mercy is captured.
I really enjoy the dynamics and interactions between the characters, in particular Mercy, Mirilee and Erebus. Each of them will be forced to confront some inner demons along the way, and fight their own battles to grow stronger. I don’t want to give away too much of the story since it’s a sequel, but I was suprised by some of the plot twists, in a good way.
With the characters being older than in regular YA books, I would classify Black Dawn more as a new adult read – although it’s a clean read, so young adults can enjoy it too. New adults might find it easier to connect to the main characters, though.
Anyway, Black Dawn is the start of a brand new series, and it’s a promising start at that. Emory Fae leads a quiet, normal life – until two mysterious, handsome soldiers show up at her apartment. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from a different world, the war ridden world of Kiero. Emory is the long lost heir of the royal line of Kiero, and is thus thrown right in the middle of the conflict, as soon as she arrives there, and urged to reclaim her throne.
The story is told in different perspectives, which could be a struggle, but it’s not the case here. If anything, it adds more to the story to be able to see it from differnet perspectives. The characters are three-dimensional, well-developed, and they act realistically, in particular Emory. I also liked Memphis. He had a complex, mysterious personality and it wasn’t always easy to figure out why he did what he did, which made him intriguing.
The pacing is fast, and there’s never quite time to catch a breath, which is pretty much how the whole experience must feel like for Emory, so to have the reader experience something similar works rather well.
The world building was pretty solid, the writing was fluent, and overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to all fans of fantasy novels, and look forward to reading the second book in this series....more
In Operation Child Soldier, Aria’s life can hardly be compared to an ordinary life. Rather than having a regular, ordinary childhood, she grew up in the Military Training Academy for unwanted children. She’s a sharp shooter, excellent at hand to hand combat, and an extraordinary hacking. She’s spent her whole life training to become an Elite agent, but there’s a problem… Her life is based on a lie, and the more she digs for the truth, the more earth-shattering secrets and lies she uncovers.
Aria’s feelings are raw and brutal, and connecting with her is easy. Her pain is real, her feelings are real. The author did a wonderful job crafting her personality and making her appear realistic. She has a strong personality, she’s intelligent and brave, and once she puts her mind to something, she doesn’t give up.
The writing is good too, and the pacing is very fast. The descriptions tend to be short and to the point, but that works well for a fast-paced book like this one. Parts of the story were heart-breaking, parts of it made me smile, but overall, it was an intriguing rollercoaster ride. Recommended to all fans of YA books....more
A Daughter’s Curse is an intriguing fantasy novel, about Brisnay, a young woman who leads quite the miserable life, until she meets Nickolaus. He introduces her to a world where everything is possible, and to a love she never thought she could feel. But when she begins to hope about a better future, some shocking truths turn everything she thought she knew upside down.
Brisnay has to fight an enemy who is determined to destroy her. If she wants to be able to love freely, she’ll have to fight for it, and for everything she holds dear.
The plot never slows down. The world building was outstanding, and the author did a great job creating realistic, believable characters, in particular Brisnay. The plot had a lot of unexpected surprises and overall, this was an entertaining, intriguing read....more
Blood Rain was an intriguing, well-developed fantasy novel with a colorful, unique cast of characters. The savage Blood Wings have attacked her treetop village, and Mercy’s father, the chieftain, asks her to leave during the fight, and find the source of the storm that is raining blood upon them.
Mercy travels across the continent of Lacern where she must make allies to survive, and she has to befriend the most unlikely of sources, one of the Blood Wings who attacked her. But Mercy discovers secrets and lies accepted as truth during her journey, and the Blood Rain is only the beginning.
The world-building is solid, and the characters are amazing, in particular Mercy. She’s an easy to root for main character, and while she had several flaws, I loved her from the start. The cover art fits the story well.
Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop, and I can imagine it will be similar for a lot of people. This is a solid fantasy read, and I would recommend it to all fans of the genre....more
Solomon’s Bell is the second book in the Genie Chronicles series. Not having read the first book, I was confused at first – having the backstory definitely helps. However, a few chapters in, I had a good enough grasp of what was going on to enjoy the story. Ginn, our main character, is a genie, which is actually quite cool. To save her family, she transports herself and her friends to 16th century Prague.
I like historical stories, and Prague in the 16th century sounds pretty awesome. Not only that, but the fantasy spins add unique elements to the story. The Emperor of Prague and those closest to him are obsessed with magic, and to obtain magic, they’ve waved wars on the citizens of their city.
One of the main “villains” in this book is a golem. Golems aren’t often used in literature nowadays, although they’re very interesting, and so is their history and use in older stories. The connections between past and present worked really well, and I could easily feel a connection with Ginn and her friends....more
K My Name is Kendra is an emotional rollercoaster of a book, with a heart-breaking storyline and a heroine you can’t help but root for, and whose tragic circumstances make you want to hug her and not let go.
Kendra is a fifteen-year-old girl whose life spirals out of control due to the return of her runaway sister Meisha, and the visit of a young celebrity uncle with questionable motives. Kendra feels like a very realistic character, painfully honest in the way she thinks about herself and the people surrounding her, a little bit naive which is not unusual at that age, but most importantly, a lot stronger than she gives herself credit for.
The writing is captivating and easy to get lost in, and before long, I found myself part of Kendra’s world. I recognized a lot of my younger self in Kendra and the way she saw the world....more
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of the Lockwood & Co series. I devoured The Screaming Staircase, absolutely loved The Whispering Skull, and even gave another 5 star rating to The Dagger in the Desk, a novella set in between both books. For some reason, I completely missed the release of the third book, The Hollow Boy, and maybe that put me on the wrong track for this next book, but somehow I felt like The Creeping Shadow missed some of the magic the previous books had.
Before reading this book, I often compared the series in my mind to Harry Potter. Lockwood & Co is the best series I’ve read since Harry Potter, and although it deals with ghosts and is vastly different from the Harry Potter books, it had the same magical qualities I found only in those books – as if the characters are so awesome, the worldbuilding so amazing, that it somehow transcends the ordinary world and becomes something new entirely.
But I didn’t really feel that anymore when reading The Creeping Shadow. It’s still a pretty good book, but heck, I even skipped parts this time. It’s way too long and some parts are dragged out – like when, spoiler alert, Lucy and Lockwood go get her skull back but then fail, and when they have to figure out who took the skull in the first place. I was three steps ahead of Luce and Lockwood, and that scene just dragged on and on.
It takes a while before the story finds itself, but when Lucy and Lockwood team up again (they’ve split up, Lucy working as a freelancer for a while) and accept the Aldbury Castle case, the pacing picks up and the story regain some of that lost magic.
Lucy and Lockwood have some moments, but I wish there’d be more. Loyal fans have been waiting for Lucy and Lockwood to hoop up for ages (I know there’s no romance but give me freaking romance!) and if all we get are some sweet moments, then WE NEED MORE OF THEM. More, for God’s sake!
The story was okay. I mean, the author is very creative (I know that from the previous books) and we get some cool action scenes and some scary ghosts (The Creeping Shadow being hands-down the scariest one) but the whole conspiracy angle threw me off, and I didn’t like it as much as I liked the ghost-fighting scenes and the actual cases Lockwood, Lucy & Co worked.
Either way, moving on, the skull, a trash-talking ghost-inhabited skull Lucy keeps in her backpack and carries around with her most of the time, is AWESOME. He’s the best character in this entire series, outshining even Lockwood. The skull is hilarious and I even laughed out loud at some of his snappy comments.
Now, while I don’t think the book is as awesome and amazing as the first book, I still enjoyed it a great deal, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series which will, unfortunately, be the last Lockwood book...more
The Journey to Magmatic reminded me of a movie I’d seen when I was a kid, about scientists having to travel to the earth’s core. In this book, two kids, Tulip and Noonie, finds themselves beneath the earth’s surface on a field trip to an advanced scientific pod. Underground, they uncover th true source of earthquakes, a long-lost continent called Magmatic and mythical creatures they never knew existed.
This book is a delight for middle graders and young adults. The author has a vivid imagination, mixing myth and legend with science fiction-like mutant creatures, and combining technology and the legends of old in an exciting tale. Tulip and Noonie are two intriguing protagonists as well. They’re siblings, and their love and friendship is at the core of this book.
Young teens and middle graders will love this amazing adventure beneath the earth’s surface....more
The concept behind Lost Girls is ambitious, I’ll give the author that. The writing is all right. But the whole plot just isn’t very believable. I’ve read fantasy novels that are more believable than this one.
Rachel used to be a normal girl. She went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, worrying about geometry, and then she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised and missing a year of her life. And in that year, she’s somehow managed to become popular, she wears nothing but black, and she turned into the female version of Chuck Norris.
On top of that, she’s not the only girl who went missing last year, she’s just the only girl who came back… Desperate to unravel what happened to her, she goes on a quest to find out who she truly is, and the more she discovers, the more her memories return and her old life calls back to her.
So there are several things wrong with this book. Rachel starts out like a normal girl, then gets attack in a bathroom at school and goes all Chuck Norris meets The Karate Kid. Add to that the fact that unlike The Karate Kid she doesn’t really train all day, she magically seems to transform into a fighting machine. There’s some drug involved too, but a lot of folks are taking that drug and Rachel is just the baddest of them all.
The Rachel we meet at the start was a believable character, a typical teen, and I might even have liked her. But then she completely transforms into the queen bee, going out to raves, doing drugs, fighting, and it’s just… it’s meh. She’s not likeable. She’s not even believable. She keeps up her good grades while going out to raves every night? Yeah, right. She’s so mean everyone likes her? Hmm.
The secondary characters aren’t much better. None of them rise above their stereotypes, the sidekick girls, the angsty love interest. They’re all not really realistic, not believable, not likeable either.
Also, Rachel somehow turns out to be better than an FBI agent and an ex-marine (her Dad). Hmmmm. Right.
My number one thought while reading was “really? you really want me to believe this?” And that’s not good.
So, all in all, the writing was okay, but the characters were neither likeable nor realistic, and the plot was completely unrealistic....more
An interesting plot, definitely unique, and Emma makes an intriguing protagonist, the kind you can root for. However, sometimes the writing rambled on, and the book suffered from a few info-dumps, and repetitive scenes. ...more
The Whizbang Machine is an intriguing, mysterious YA novel about Jack Yale, a grandfather in the possession of a very special typewriter, and his granddaughter, Elizabeth. After years of running from the past, Jack heads home, bringing with him a typewriter intended to be a gift for his granddaughter, Elizabeth. But the typewriter is so much more than that – when she types, the machine spells out secrets from the past, and each secret must be revealed if Elizabeth wants to set history straight, and remove a curse that has been tormenting her family for centuries.
What I really liked about this book, was the focus on the relationship between Jack and Elizabeth – grandfather and granddaughter. This was one of the first YA books I read that focuses on this, and it’s an unique focus that made me like the book all that more. The mystery worked very well too, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Blending mystery, fantasy, and history, this is one of those timeless stories a reader won’t forget any time soon....more
In The Travelers, protagonist Dagny lives a dangerous life. Dagny and her family are always on the run, using magic to stay safe and “travel” from one body to another, in an attempt to escape the enemy who is always just one step behind them. But then Dagny meets Marc, and dares to imagine a future: a future where she’s no longer running, where she’s living a normal life.
When her enemies start closing in, Dagny starts to wonder if she can ever have a normal life…and if she can really trust the boy she’s fallen in love with.
The writing was excellent, and Dagny and her family behaved very realistically, almost like real people. I particularly liked Dagny, but all the characters had something to offer, and brought an unique perspective to the table. The story unfolded nicely, one clue at a time, and kept me thoroughly entertained until the end....more
In Living in the Shallows, 22-year-old student Aileen Foster thinks she has landed her dream job, as an interpreter for actors making a film in Japan. Quite frankly, it does sound like a dream job – especially when it turns out the actors are actually UK Crush, the hottest boyband around. But having been orphaned for most of her life, Aileen is not used to being around other people, to sharing space, emotions and feelings, to become a family, to love.
I do like the boy band storyline, even if it’s been done many times before, I’m still fond of it. Besides, it might not be an original idea, but author Tani Hanes gives it an original twist, and with relatable characters and some fun surprises, it does make an intriguing story.
Aileen’s journey of self discovery and learning to be brave and start living her life, rather than push aside her emotions, was the most interesting part about the book. The writing flowed well, and overall, this was an excellent read. While Aileen is technically a new adult, the book can be enjoyed by new adult and young adult readers alike....more
In Enlightenment, seventeen-year-old Thea wants nothing more than to be a normal teenager. She is anything but normal, though, as is revealed when she’s attacked by mysterious creatures she believed only existed in fairytales. Now she’s thrown into the realm of the Faey, where nothing is at it seems, darkness lurks around every corner, and she has no idea who to trust.
Oh my god, this book was amazing. Thea was awesome, just awesome. She had so much to learn, but instead of worrying, she just got right down to business. As usual in YA books, there’s a good deal of romance, and while the romance was a little fast for my tastes – I prefer the long, drawn-out build ups that can last for several books – I actually really liked the love interest and the chemistry he and Thea had in their scenes together. While all the characters were great, Thea and Isaac were my favorites. I particularly admired Thea’s courage and the great lengths she would go through to save her friends.
The world building was excellent. I want to know so much more about the world of the faey now, and I can’t wait to find out! The writing was wonderful, and I simply couldn’t put this book down. If you enjoy YA fantasy, I wholeheartedly recommend this book....more
The Fool’s Apprentice reminded me of Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy and The Fool Trilogy. The books are vastly different, but they both feature a fool as one of the primary characters. I loved Robin Hobb’s series, which I first read as a young child, so I was eager to read another book featuring a rather unconventional main character – the king’s fool.
So Denrikk has aspirations of becoming a knight. Unfortunately those dreams are ruined as he is chosen to be the king’s fool. He’s devastated, as he now believes he’ll never have a chance of winning princess Alendria’s heart. He reluctantly begins his training but soon learns that being the king’s fool means so much more than he thought it would be. When murder occurs within the castle walls and all evidence points toward Denrikk, he must utilize his new skills to prove his innocence.
I really liked Denrikk. His emotions were very realistic. I felt sorry for him at first, but loved seeing him grow and change as a character. The writing was very vivid, and the other managed to paint striking descriptions of the scenes in just a few sentences. I’ve grown fond of the world of Dragon’s Launch, and I hope Kelly Hess explores this world further in future books....more
I didn’t have very high expectations when I started Life as a Teenage Vampire. The plot sounded not that original, kind of like Twilight except the main character, Emery, was a male in love with another male – his best friend Connor. But, don’t be mistaken by the short synopsis. This book is very different, and it’s quite frankly, a whole lot better than your standard run-of-the-mill vampire story.
Emery never expected his senior year would go down like this. That he would become a vampire. That he’d fall in love with his best friend, Connor. That he’d get chased down by vampire hunters. The focus was more on the characters and their blossoming relationship than on the vampirism, but it did bring a nice touch. As Emery is transforming into another creature, he’s also transforming as a person – growing up, learning who he truly is. There’s a symbolism there, between the act of growing up, and the whole vampire angle, that I thought worked really well.
The characters were very realistic, especially Emery. Sometimes they’re a little immature, sometimes they’re surprisingly mature for their age, but they all sound very realistic, like typical teenagers. The story pulled me in, but the writing and characters made me fall in love....more
The Keys to the Sun remnids me of a fun mix of Scooby-Doo meets The Originals. The Originals because it features vampires, the supernatural, and New Orleans, and Scooby-Doo because the main characters are self-proclaimed sleuths who want to find a long lost pirate’s treasure. Three teens and aunt Ruby face off against the powers of good and evil, as the treasure turns out to be much more than they could’ve ever imagined.
So, I have to admit, I was kind of jealous. Lucas and Parker Chance get to stay in an awesome, ancient house, along with their new friend, Nicole Wells, and then they get to go treasure hunting. Isn’t that every kid’s dream? It sure was my dream when I grew up, to find a treasure, and then suddeny find myself on a quest to saving the world.
Either way, the story is imaginative and creative, and the author did a great job describing the characters and making them feel like realistic human beings. I also loved the explorations of the city, New Orleans, and the French Quarter in particular. I’ve always wanted to visit the city – and now I could, in my imagination, at least.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone who enjoys the supernatural, and everyone who’s ever wanted to go on a treasure hunt....more
When I was a child, I once read a fantasy book about airships. It was amazing, and for years afterward, I fantasized about a vast world where people could travel in airships, and cities existed in the clouds. The Sailweaver’s Son brought those memories back to me, and reminded me of that fantasy world I had once imagined – except this time around, it has some steampunk elements, and it’s called Etherium.
World building is one of the toughest aspects about writing fantasy novels. The sky is the limit, but if you provide no science as to why suddenly ships would be able to sail on the air, or why empires in the clouds exist, that will leave a void in your book. The author handles this well here – the reasons are explained without being too scientific. It’s kept simple and understandable, and gives the world, despite being a fantasy world, a certain sense of realism. The author also provided sufficient background on the history of Etherium without straying too far from the story.
Tak is an intriguing character. He’s accused of sabotage after an airship gets destroyed. If he wants to clear his name, Tak will need to visit the Gublins, ingenious creatures who dwell underground, find out how they’re involved in the air crash he got accused of, and what their ultimate plan is. Luckily, Tak isn’t alone on his journey, but it will force him to face who he truly is, and what choices he’s capable of making.
I liked Tak, but I also enjoyed the secondary characters, in particular Brieze. The writing was fluent, the story creative and imaginative, and I would definitely recommend this book to all middle graders, young adults, and even adults who enjoy fantasy fiction....more