Tag Archives: 4 Stars

Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters #3) – Alethea Kontis

Dearest
Following Enchanted and Hero, this third installment of the Woodcutter sisters books is about Friday (the sweet, good, selfless and caring seamstress). Borrowing from fairy tales such as “The Wild Swans”, “The Goose Girl”, and “Peter Pan” this is a delightful mix of stories that allow Friday to shine. Continue reading

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The Job (Fox and O’Hare #3)

The Job

The third book by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, The Job continues the tales of con-man Nicholas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare as they take on the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. Continue reading

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A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

A Creature of Moonlight

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn was a book I picked up a while ago based on the cover. (Yes, I am often influenced by covers, much to my chagrin).

The woods come and go, but of late they have been coming more than going. Girls on the cusp of womanhood tend to disappear in the woods. Only Marni has secretly entered the woods and returned again.

Marni has grown up apart from the court but not a commoner.  Living in exile at the edge of the woods, Marni is the heir to the throne but her existence hinges on the battle of wills between her Grandfather and her Uncle. Things are changing, and Marni is growing up. The magical woods are creeping onward, swallowing the countryside in search of this half-human, half-dragon girl. Marni is faced with a choice of what she will become, and what birthright she will claim.

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The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice #1)

The Rangers Apprentice 1

I stumbled upon this series as I was looking for something to read that I could rent right away from the library.  What a lucky find!  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the series – I’m currently on book 10 and realized I haven’t posted about any of the books yet.   Suffice it to say that I am TOTALLY HOOKED on the series! I keep having to wait for the books to come off hold on the library (the first was free but since then I’ve had to wait for others) but it’s fully worth it!

Book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan

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Agatha H and the Airship City (Girl Genius novels #1)

Agatha H and the Airship City

I confess, I read this AGES ago and for some reason have not been able to bring myself to post about it. Continue reading

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Filed under Adventure, Fantasy, Steampunk

The Spiriglass Charade (Stoker & Holmes #2)

The Spiritglass Charade

After reading The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason, I was quite happy to delve into the second book in this series, The Spiritglass Charade.

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are on the case again, this time helping out the friend of the Princess. After the death of her mother and the disappearance (and presumed death) of her younger brother, Willa Aston has turned to spiritual mediums.  Fraud, murder, and manipulation abound, as Mina and Evaline try to track down what is going on and who is behind the move to discredit Willa’s mental state.  Throw in the re-emergence of vampires in London, a dash of potential love interests, and a hefty dose of steampunk and you have a fun fictional tale! Continue reading

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Filed under Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Steampunk, Young Adult Books

Steadfast (Elemental Masters #9)

Steadfast

I’m quite a fan of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series and just finished Steadfast.  Most of the other books are about Masters, but this book is about “regular” Elemental Magicians.  Continue reading

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Filed under Fantasy, Historical Fiction

The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colors of Madeleine #2)

The Cracks In the Kingdom

The Cracks in the Kingdom  by Jaclyn Moriarty is the second book in the Colors of Madeleine series.  I read the first book, A Corner of White, ages ago and I was super excited to find out the second was out.  I’m a little late on the draw – I guess it was released in March.  Better late then never, right?

Elliot Baranski is still determined to find his father – especially now that it seems that Abel was working for the Loyalists and not just running away with the physics teacher. Unfortunately for Elliot, he’s committed to helping Princess Ko find the rest of the royal family.  Ko’s under a strict deadline – she needs the King back in precisely three months to avoid a catastrophic war.  She pulls together the Royal Youth Alliance – which includes Elliot, a boy from Old Quaint, a girl from the Jagged Edge, and her best friend the Stable boy.  Elliot’s value is clear -his contact in the World.

Enter Madeleine, a girl from Cambridge, England who still struggles with her absent father and recovered-but-still-odd mother and finding her place among friends.

Elliot and Madeleine continue their correspondence through the Crack, and must find a way to travel across worlds and rescue the royal family.

Some thoughts:

  • I’m glad I re-read A Corner of White  before delving into this one. It was good to brush up on the events of the first book. I loved it just as much the second time!
  • I love the developing relationship between Elliot and Madeleine.  You’re slowly getting to know each of them more and more. They still have flaws and personality, and are still growing which I just adore. Plus they are still very much teens.
  • This book felt much more about Elliot, and was very much driven by Princess Ko’s need to return her family.
  • There are lots of dips into Newton and random musings about physics and light and such.  I did feel like it tried a little too hard to make sense from a real-world perspective… and I admittedly glossed over those bits.
  • There’s plenty of action and suspense, particularly near the end.
  • You know that feeling when you are SO excited to read a book you can hardly stand it?  I’m feeling that way about getting my hands on the NEXT book! This book ended on a more suspenseful note – curse it!

I’m very happy to have picked this one up!  It was perhaps not AS good as the first, but I still really enjoyed it.

4/5

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making

Finally!!! I have had The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making  by Catherynne M. Valante on my to-read list for so long – for a while they had the audiobook available through the library but not the ebook. I just discovered that they did get the ebook after all – and I devoured it!

With a narrator who swoops in and out with comments on the story, this book is the tale of an intrepid little girl and her adventures in fairyland.

September is twelve years old.  She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and lives a dull, ordinary life.  Her father is off at war and her mother works as a machinist fixing engines. While September washes teacups (yet again) by the window in her kitchen, the Green Wind invites her on an adventure.  September jumps so quickly at the chance she leaves one of her shoes behind!

The Green Wind takes September to Fairyland, where September discovers there is much adventure but also many who need her help.  Before long, she encounters the Marquess, the fickle and cruel ruler of Fairyland.  September is coerced into retrieving a valuable item in order to save her new-found friends, a literary Wyvern and a mysterious blue boy named Saturday.

This was a charming read, with enough magic and adventure to satisfy.  The characters are delightful, especially A-through-L, the Wvyern.  The story suits and adventure, but dips into heartache, loss, and growth.  It’s whimsical and fancy, with lots of delicious vocabulary (e.g. widdershins).

I thought it was a delightful story and I am so glad there are more to follow!

4/5

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The Mark of the Dragonfly

The Mark Of The Dragonfly

The Mark of the Dragonfly  by Jaleigh Johnson was a random read for me – I was browsing the “available now” section of the library’s ebook collection under “young adult + fantasy” and I liked the look of the cover.

Piper is a scrapper – eking out her living by salvaging the remnants left over from the mysterious Meteor showers (that rain both meteors and strange goods). She supplements this meager living with her skills as a Machinist – she has learned to fix mechanics and her skills with machines put food on her table.

Piper’s life changes with one meteor shower.  Among the wreckage of a caravan, Piper finds a girl, Anna.  Anna can’t remember anything about her life but she wears the intricate Mark of the Dragonfly – a special tattoo that means that she is both from the Dragonfly Territories and under the protection of it’s king.

Piper decides to help this strange girl – even if it means leaving her home and everything (and everyone) she knows.

She and Anna must catch the 401 – a massive old train that weaves its way south, to the Dragonfly Territories.  Getting on (without a ticket) is just the first hurdle – and the start of a magical, dangerous, and life-changing adventure.

Piper is a great character.  She shows just enough change and growth, and just enough flaws to be realistic.  She’s stubborn (VERY stubborn), quick to anger, but a fierce protector of her friends and family.  She may be young but she’s a pretty strong character.

Anna is a mystery – a naive but brilliant girl whose memory seems to be returning in odd snatches.  She’s bubbly and friendly and super chatty – it’s no mystery why Piper feels so protective about her.

The three main characters from the train (Gee, Trimble and Jeyne) also add flavour and depth to the story.  I love the similarities between Gee and Piper – both so prickly on the outside but fiercely loyal and protective once they’ve claimed something as their own.  I would love to read more about the whole crew – I hope that more books are forthcoming.

This is probably more of a middle-grade / tween book than a teen / young adult book, but for it’s genre I thought it was a fantastic mix of steampunk, magic, and science fiction all rolled into one.  It’s a fast read and pretty light – but still enjoyable.  It moves fast but there’s enough background that it doesn’t just skip from action scene to action scene with no plot or glue to hold it together.

I’ll give it a 4/5 – quite a pleasant book to pick up and just what I was looking for!

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Filed under Fantasy, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Tween Fiction, Young Adult Books