Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: The Girl with the Iron Touch

The Girl with the Iron Touch
The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finley Jayne and her friends have returned to London. The year is 1897, but it is an alternate Steampunk World. Emily has been kidnapped by automatons and has been told she must transplant the brain from her archenemy into the body of one of his creations. If she does not, he will ensure not only her death, but also the death of her friends. Emily’s troubles may be the largest, but her friends are also having issues. Griffin is being harassed by the Aether during his waking hours and in his dreams. Finley is still trying to learn to control her dark side and coming to terms with her relationships with Griffin and Jack Dandy. Sam won’t stop until Emily is found. He is searching all of London (above and below grounds) and will not rest until she is safely home.

Kady Cross continues the Steampunk Chronicles with a story that will make Finley Jayne fans proud. The Girl with the Iron Touch stands strong as its own story with only a touch here and there referencing earlier story lines. The larger story of book three is satisfactorily concluded with enough new questions to keep readers happily anticipating book four. Questions about relationships during the previous storylines are boldly addressed and characters deal with life altering choices that are still relevant today. I strongly recommend this book to steampunk fans and the series to those interested in exploring this genre.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: Dare You To

Dare You To
Dare You To by Katie McGarry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ryan never passes on a dare. His friends love to push the limits on length and scope of these challenges. The current venture is phone numbers. One person decides who the lucky (or unlucky) girl will be. After Ryan unsuccessfully attempts to get Beth’s phone number at a Taco Bell, it looks as if he must admit defeat. None of his usual charms help him in this quest as Beth gets in a car and rides away.

Beth is hard on Ryan because life is hard and she wants to survive. Her mother has a secret and if the truth got out her mom would be sent to jail. Beth will do anything to protect her mother. At first she thinks the only way to shield her is to admit to something that her mother did. What ends up happening is that she has to leave the little family and friends she has and move in with her uncle. If she doesn't, he will tell the police her mother’s secret and then her mom will go to jail.

Dare You To explores the lives of two different teens. Ryan is well off, but his father has his life planned for him. He has no say in what happens after high school. Beth has nothing of material value but has friends that love her and will do anything for her. Both are thrown together against their will. What starts out as a dare quickly moves into friendship and threatens to become so much more. Katie McGarry creates realistic characters with not so unfathomable life issues. Whether you are a teen in the throes of your own life issues or a reader who wants to escape into someone else’s story, Dare You To will be a welcome respite and diversion.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: The Emerald Ring

The Emerald Ring
The Emerald Ring by Dorine White

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ancient Egypt comes to small town Ohio when Sara Guadalupe Bogus finds an emerald ring in her grandmother’s attic. After the ring zaps her, she cannot remove it from her finger and she begins having strange dreams and nightmares. If this is not enough to cause Sarah to lose sleep, she is disturbed when a series of burglaries in her neighborhood hits her best friend’s house and she discovers that the emerald ring gives her the power to turn into an Egyptian cat.

The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra’s Legacy) is filed with magic, nightmares and assassins. The story is listed for children and tweens will enjoy the action and magic found within. The history of Rome and Egypt’s rocky relationship that ended with Cleopatra’s suicide is just one of the reasons I was pulled into the book. Fans of Cleopatra will find that this book is not about her, just her legacy as the subtitle tells. White did a wonderful job writing for this young demographic who want to read more challenging stories. Although this book will be read widely by tweens, it will not have much of a calling in the teen setting.

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