Sunday, October 21, 2018

Review: The Devil's Thief

The Devil's Thief The Devil's Thief by Lisa Maxwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Esta was raised with the knowledge that magic had rules, but when her parents are murdered, she discovers that what she was taught about magic was all a lie. Esta and Harte thought The Book of Mysteries would help them overcome the Order, but now that the power of the Book is inside Harte, they have a larger mission to complete. They need to bind this power, but in order to complete this task, they need to acquire the four elemental stones that are spread out far and wide. They quickly discover that Mageus have been living outside the Brink and that these Mageus are not willing to live in the shadows. The first stone is hidden in the St. Louis World’s Fair and these young Mageus must not only face their known enemies, but some new ones as well.

The Devil’s Thief is the second book in The Last Magician series. Maxwell takes the story she built in the first book and propels the characters into an epic tale. The Devil’s Thief is not a short book and readers need to be prepared to travel through time with these magic wielding characters. The adventure is far stretching and readers will definitely feel they got their reading time worth with this novel. The next book is still untitled without a release date. If this story is any reflection of what the future holds, readers can expect another large adventure with the next release.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Review: Dry

Dry Dry by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No one is happy with the water rationing and all of the rules that go along with it. That is until there is no more water in the taps. Now the quiet towns of Southern California are left to fend for themselves and there is a hurricane that is getting all of the media attention. FEMA has dropped the ball and relief is nowhere in sight. Neighbors are turning against neighbors and Alyssa’s parents haven’t returned from a water run. Alyssa is now faced with some survival questions she never thought she would face.

Dry is a stand-alone survivalist story that is all too possible. There is not a war or nuclear accident. There isn’t an alien invasion or unknown disease. It is a water shortage taken to an extreme. The Shustermans have crafted a story with several alternating voices which give the reader a chance to relate to one of the main characters. There is some violence (it is a survivalist story), but it isn’t gory and would be appropriate for middle school readers too. Dry may be about a serious issue, but it is still a fun read and should be considered for most reader’s TBR list.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Review: A Spark of Light

A Spark of Light A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is an average day at the Center. Women are there for a variety of reasons, one of which may be an abortion. Everyone’s life is turned upside down when a gunman enters the facility, opens fire and decides to take hostages. The local hostage negotiator quickly gets to the scene to assess the situation and soon discovers his 15-year old daughter is inside. He doesn’t know why Wren is there but he is fully invested in the outcome. Inside are also a nurse, a hurt woman, a doctor, a pro-life woman who is disguised as a patient, a person who was there for her own abortion and the gunman.

A Spark of Light is a realistic fiction story that will test reader’s opinions and give many people a variety of sides to consider. Picoult has chosen a writing style that takes some time to understand since the story slowly tells about events backward. I personally found this style distracting, but as a literary device, it was very successful. The action is intense; the story is not easy to read and will definitely give readers insight into a variety of viewpoints. A Spark of Light should not be picked up as a quick read but should be chosen with the foreknowledge that not everyone feels the same way as they do about a topic, especially abortion.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review: The Darkdeep

The Darkdeep The Darkdeep by Ally Condie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nico Holland did not voluntarily go over the edge of the cliff and into Still Cove, but his friends did. They wanted to rescue Nico after a bullying incident gone badly. What they don’t expect to find is a hidden island covered in mist. The island seems to be vacant even though the kids are getting strange feelings. They find a long unused houseboat and decide to explore. What they find piques their curiosity even more and they unwittingly go deeper into the unknown. Now, an ancient force is awake and it knows the darkest secrets of these children. What will they need to face in order to overcome the Darkdeep?

The Darkdeep is the first book in a new series with the same name. Condie and Reichs pair up to give readers a new adventure in a fantasy setting. Although it is not quite urban fantasy (since it takes place in a small town), it does take place in the modern era and is hard to name a specific genre. The protagonists are middle schoolers, yet I believe young adults and adult readers will still enjoy exploring the pages. It is a short read and will be quickly devoured by those who pick it up. The Darkdeep is a good read that should be considered for most fantasy reader’s TBR list.

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Review: Under My Skin

Under My Skin Under My Skin by Lisa Unger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is approaching the one year anniversary of Poppy’s husband’s murder. She continues to struggle with her grief and has been keeping a dream journal to try and understand them. There are several days after his death that she disappeared and she still can't remember anything about that time. The case is nowhere nearer to being solved and Poppy still struggles to understand that period in her life. She is now experiencing what she believes are hallucinations. Are Poppy’s nightmares really memories? Will she ever discover what happened to her husband?

Under My Skin is a psychological thriller that will keep readers turning the pages whenever they can. Unger has developed a protagonist that is pushing through her hardships while also attempting to understand the unexplainable. The book is of a moderate length; so many readers will find themselves finishing it over a long weekend. I felt the storyline was completely believable and wondered what I would do in a similar situation. Under My Skin should be added to every thriller fan’s TBR list.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Review: Shadow of The Fox

Shadow of The Fox Shadow of The Fox by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yumeko was left at the temple when she was a baby with just a note. The monks raised her to hide and control her kitsune side, but her ability to do magic works well with her need to cause mischief. When the temple is attacked and burned, she is given the task to escape with the temple’s greatest treasure. It is only a piece of an ancient scroll, but this scroll is full of power and must not get into the wrong hands. Kage Tatsumi has been tasked with getting the scroll and it must be fate that brings Yumeko and Kage together. Yumeko promises to help Kage with the hope that his presence will ensure her safety, but they are both keeping secrets and these very secrets might be each other’s downfall.

Shadow of the Fox is the first book in a new series with the same name. Kagawa has created a fantasy novel that has the potential to become a great epic fantasy. The world building is so complete that I found myself thinking about the characters and their story even when I had to pull myself away to do other tasks. The adventure is spread throughout the pages and the ending leaves enough of an open storyline that readers will definitely be looking for the next installment. The Shadow of the Fox should be added to all fantasy reader’s TBR list.

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Review: Give the Dark My Love

Give the Dark My Love Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nedra Brysstain has been given a scholarship to attend the Yugen Academy and she plans to learn as much about medicinal alchemy as she can in that year. Coming from a rural village, she doesn’t fit in with the other students, but she slowly builds a relationship with Greggori Astor. As the community begins to recognize that a deadly plague is pillaging the North, Nedra works harder with her advisor to learn even more then her level would require. Will Nedra be able to find a cure for the plague? How well will she walk the line between alchemy and necromancy?

Give the Dark My Love is the first book in a new fantasy series with the same title. Revis has created a new cast of characters that readers will want to learn more about and since the story is told in the alternating voices of Grey and Nedra, the information feels more complete and enjoyable. Although this first book has a clear ending, the story is nowhere near done and I believe most readers will be looking for the next volume when it is released. Give the Dark My Love should be added to every fantasy reader’s TBR list.

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