Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review of Fate of the Tearling-Erika Johansen

Johansen's first book in the series, The Queen of the Tearling, was a fresh entry in the epic fantasy genre; the world she created was original and her characters well-developed.  Her second book, The Invasion of the Tearling, was as its title suggested: the horror of war as another kingdom invades; this novel was too warlike and gruesome for my taste, especially the torture scenes.  Her final book, The Fate of the Tearling, is less bloody and sends the reader back and forth through time.  Although at times I wished for a spreadsheet to keep all the characters from the past & present straight, I enjoyed this final book for its resolution to a complicated issue.  The ending is surprising but strangely satisfying.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for mature teens and adults

Review of Heartless-Marissa Meyer

I loved Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, a creative mix of science-fiction & fantasy, but didn't love her latest novel as much.  Her other series was a fresh take on classic fairy tales but in this book, she takes on Wonderland.  It tells the backstory of the Queen of Tarts, who never wanted to marry the king; she just wanted to open a bakery and be with the king's joker, the love of her life.  But there is political intrigue in the kingdom and finding out the truth may cost her her dream. Because Wonderland is already an established world, there wasn't as much room for Meyer to let her imagination soar. 3 Elves - Recommended for teens and adults

Friday, December 16, 2016

Review of What Light-Jay Asher

Because I loved his book Thirteen Reasons Why, I was excited when Asher's new book was published.  Unfortunately although it's a nice enough story, I felt like I was reading a script for a Hallmark holiday movie.  It was a light romance, without any huge conflicts or revelations.  Not a terrible book, but not a great one either.  2 Elves - Lightly recommended for fans of Hallmark movies

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review of Crooked Kingdom-Leigh Bardugo

I loved her novel, Six of Crows and this sequel is even better.  The world that Bardugo creates is very complex but these two books are more accessible than her previous trilogy, and the resolution more positive.  Her characters are complicated but so very likable.  The book is thrilling, with fascinating dialogue and gorgeous descriptions.  There is a steam-punk flavor to the story, along with capers, slavery and magic.  Fabulous!  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review of Because You'll Never Meet Me-Leah Thomas

Ollie and Moritz are best friends but they can never meet.  Ollie is deathly allergic to electricity and lives like a hermit in the woods of the Upper Peninsula.  Moritz must have a pacemaker and other electrical implants to be able to see and function; he lives in Germany.  Because they are both lonely, a doctor brings them together as pen pals and their friendship slowly grows.  But, Ollie and Moritz are linked by more than their handicaps as each encourages the other to stretch their boundaries.  Both teens are unusual and compelling; you find yourself rooting for them, hoping they'll manage to meet someday.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Monday, October 10, 2016

Review of Ink and Bone

I loved this novel, the first in the Great Library series.  Set in a world where ownership of books is forbidden, the great library controls all the books and the populace.  War is raging worldwide but the library only cares about defending the books and its power.  When Jess enters training to be a scholar for the library, secrets are discovered and he learns that the library values control over human life.  The characters in this novel, including Jess, are compelling and stay strong even when confronting danger.  I am anxiously awaiting the sequel!  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review of Harry Potter & the Cursed Child-Rowling/Tiffany/Thorne

Based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, this is a script from the new play rather than a novel.  Because it's a script, the reader must use their imagination to fill in the scenes but because of past visuals of the Potter world, I found it easy to supply scenery and details.  The story is a bit convoluted but always keeps your interest.  Harry's youngest son, Albus, tries to fix a problem caused by Potter's famous legacy and soon realizes that he's changed everything... and not for the better.  3 Elves - Recommended for readers young and old

Review of The Wrath & The Dawn-Renee Ahdieh

This reworking of the fable Shaherazhad, the debut novel introduces a terrorist king who is only a teen yet takes a bride each night & then murders them.  After the murder of a close friend, a young girl volunteers as a "bride" to the king & keeps him entranced with epic stories so she isn't murdered with the dawn.  She soon find more to this king than she expected and finds herself falling in love despite vowing revenge for her friend.  The sequel is out now and I look forward to reading it.  3 Elves - recommended for teens and adults

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review of Flamecaster-Cinda Williams Chima

I loved this author's Seven Realms series and in this novel, she brings back some characters from that series but also introduces many from the new generation.  And the new characters, especially Ash and Jenna, are wonderful!  You instantly care about them and root for them to overcome the ruthless king and his cronies.  This book is full of thrills, magic dark & light, complicated politics between the kingdoms and an ending that will have you crying for more.  I can't wait for the sequel to this epic fantasy, and I'm sure you'll feel the same.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Monday, June 6, 2016

Review of Me Before You-Jojo Moyes

Louisa has an ordinary life; she lives with her parents, works in a small restaurant and dates a man she's not too excited about.  When she loses her job, she is desperate to find work right away to help out her parents and is hired as a caregiver for a man who is a quadriplegic after an accident.  This man, Will, was extremely successful, traveled the world and participated in extreme sports before the accident and doesn't want to live now that he is confined to a wheelchair.  Louisa's job is to convince Will to live.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for adults and teens

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review of Mirrored by Alex Flinn

I loved this creative retelling of Snow White; I think I need to read some of this author's other adaptations of fairy tales.  The author takes all of elements of the classic fairy tale and turns them around in a delightful way.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Friday, April 29, 2016

Review of the Dark Days Club-Alison Goodman

Sorry it's been awhile between reviews but I'm on deadline for my third book, HEMLOCK.  I did have time to read a fun Regency romance/darke fantasy novel that is worth reading.  Lady Helen is preparing for her debut  at the royal court of George III in 1812 London.  The household is all atwitter preparing for the grand ball, but there are creatures in human form preying on citizens all over London.  Scandalous and mysterious Lord Carlston informs Lady Helen that she is one of eight souls who can fight this evil due to some inherited powers; Lord Carlston has this power and so did her dearly departed mother.  If she denies her true self, she will marry a duke and take her place in society but is that what she really wants?  The thrilling conclusion will leave you anticipating the sequel.  3 Elves - Recommended for teens and adults

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review of Salt to the Sea-Ruta Sepetys

A very disturbing book about a historical incident during World War II.  This novel follows four characters as they make their way onto the German ship, Wilhelm Gustloff, which is moored off the coast of Germany as Russian soldiers close in.  Only one character is German and the rest are Prussian, Polish and Lithuanian (nationalities not Aryan enough for the Germans). This novel was written for YA readers, but the scenes of death and rape are probably too graphic for all but the most mature teens; many of the scenes are still haunting me.  3 Elves - Recommended for mature readers only

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review of Everything Everything-Nicola Yoon

This debut novel about forbidden love was full of surprises.  Madeline is locked inside her house because she is allergic to the world outside.  Like the "Bubble Boy", everything is sanitized and safe, and her mom protects her from harm.  But when Olly moves in next door, Maddy suddenly feels trapped by the house and her illness.  I loved the characters, and the ending was not predictable.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Monday, February 15, 2016

Review of Rogue-Julie Kagawa

In this sequel to Talon, the author keeps us interested in the two dragons, Ember & Riley, and also the former dragon-killer human, Garret.  When we left off in the previous book, Garret has been captured by the St. George order for not only letting the two dragons escape but also keeping a fellow soldier from shooting them.  In a dangerous rescue, Etta & Riley save Garret from execution but breaking into St. George headquarters starts a hunt for the fugitives at the same time the organization, Talon, begins a deadly hunt for the rogue dragons.  A thrilling sequel that has us anticipating a third book.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review of Passenger-Alexandra Bracken

A violin prodigy begins her debut performance  in present-day New York when her whole world turns upside down.  She finds herself a passenger on a sailing ship in the Atlantic in the year 1776 and discovers that she is a time traveler.  I liked the characters Etta and Nicholas and the book is thrilling as they search for a hidden item that could change the future forever, but I found the rules of their time travels to be a bit too complicated.  Still, I would recommend it for teens and adults.  3 Elves - Recommended

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review of Truthwitch-Susan Dennard

In the first novel in the Witchland series, the world created by the author is full of various types of witches.There are Threadwitches, who can see the invisible ties and emotions of others, Bloodwitches, almost invincible for their tracking powers, Windwitches, Tidewitches, Firewitches and many more in this strange land.  But, the most powerful and desirable are the rare Truthwitches, who can tell if someone tells the truth.  Our heroine, Safi, is such a witch and that makes her hunted by the warring powers so they can control her unique gift.  With the help of a nomad Threadwitch and a prince, who is a Windwitch, she tries to escape her fate but also control her future.  Can't wait for the sequel to this thrilling ride!  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review of The Girl at Midnight-Melissa Grey

Echo, a human, lives below the NY subway system with a bird-like race of people called the Avicen.  A dragon-like race called the Drakharin have been threatening war for years and now the conflict has escalated. To save her world, Echo must go on a search for the firebird, a mythical entity who holds the promise of lasting peace between the two groups.  As Echo begins her quest, she is joined by some unlikely allies... allies who could change everything she believes in.  Echo is a strong, likable character along with many others in this debut novel.  I'm looking forward to the sequel which will come out this July.  4 Elves - Highly recommended for teens and adults