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Showing posts from September, 2011

Deeply Devoted

Deeply Devoted is a historical romance novel written by Maggie Brendan, with Christian readers in mind.

It's 1887 and Catharine and her two sisters, Greta and Anna, are making a risky trip to Wyoming, leaving their home of Amsterdam, Holland behind for a fresh start. For these three lovely European ladies it's a both painful and hopeful change of pace - the memory of their recently deceased parents lingering in their hearts. They couldn't bring much with them, though Catharine made sure to keep her mother's set of Blue Willow china - even though there aren't many pieces left that are whole.

The only reason they've been able to make the trip to America is that Catharine is a mail-order bride. She's corresponded with Peter Andersen, a wheat farmer, for six months after reading his ad - and has agreed to marry him. But he doesn't know she's bringing two sisters with him. Nor does he know the anguished, and possibly shameful, past that she is hiding. If s…

Ravenwood

Ravenwood is a YA fantasy adventure from author Andrew Peters.

Ark, a fourteen-year-old apprentice to his plumber father, hears something he shouldn't hear.

Something that could get him killed.

Arborium, their huge, mile-high tree of a country, is being plotted against by Maw, a country of glass and steel and technology. Maw sees Arborium as a gigantic gold mine, as wood is now a natural resource even more precious than that very substance.

And the plot is coming from the inside. From those who are supposed to be the most trusted advisors to King Quercus.

It was just a terrible time to be fixing a pipe.

Next thing you know, Ark is running for his life - and trying to figure out how he can save his tree home before Maw comes with axes and evil intent!

A fight-or-flight opener throws us right into the action of this unique tree world of Arborium and immediately has an espionage/thriller tone. Andrew Peters doesn't waste much time!

The idea of an entire country living an enormou…

Guardian of the Dead

Guardian of the Dead is a YA horror/supernatural novel by Karen Healey.

Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Ellie is getting through boarding school one day at a time. Though she's never had a tough time making friends before, here she just can't seem to gel with any of the other girls. But she does have Kevin, one of the male students. And their close bond is unshakable.

But then a stunningly beautiful, mysterious, and in Ellie's opinion, creepy woman enters their life and seems unusually focused on Kevin. What's even stranger is the way Kevin acts when she's around.

Of course, maybe the way he acts around her is no more odd than how Ellie acts around Mark, a handsome, quiet guy that only goes to the school during the day. In fact, maybe she should be more worried about how after they interact in any way, Ellie feels a little fuzzy headed and when trying to remember what exactly happened in their encounter gets a terrible migraine and throws up.

Or maybe she should …

Rip Tide

Rip Tide is the sequel to the YA underwater thriller Dark Life, written by Kat Falls.

I recommend avoiding this review and reading Dark Life, if you haven't already. Otherwise, continue...

Fifteen-year-old Ty has lived his entire life in the ocean - a life choice made by his family to pioneer in the depths instead of make due in the fried Earth above. But this choice has led to some unintended consequences. Ty has an ability. So does his sister. And people don't like things they can't explain. Because of this, they tend to keep their talents quiet.

Yet despite the ocean being a dangerous place, Ty has never come across something as horrifying as he does one night as he's out with his friend Gemma (whom maybe he'd like to be more than friends). An entire township sunken - with people inside - apparently on purpose. Because how else would you explain it being chained to a downed airplane?

Before they know it, Ty and Gemma find themselves unraveling a mystery that has…

Veiled Rose

Veiled Rose is a grown-up fairy-tale appropriate for all ages by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Being as this book in the second in a fairy-tale/fantasy series called Tales of Goldstone Wood, I would recommend reading the first book (Heartless) first - though I personally didn't get the opportunity to do that and still found Veiled Rose to be easily read as a stand-alone novel.

Eleven-year-old Leo doesn't want to stay indoors watching his boring cousin read research novels - he wants to go out on adventures. After all, what's the point of having a summer in the country if you don't go out in the country? And the rumors of a monster in the woods is growing more rampant - so Leo sets off to hunt the monster with a beanpole.

But he doesn't find a monster. Instead, he finds a girl named Rose Red who is entirely covered in ragged veils. Not a tiny bit of her appearance shows. She lives in the forest with no one but her beloved nanny goat and her kind father. Leo isn't a bi…

The Sons of Liberty #2: Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes is the second book in a YA graphic novel series called The Sons of Liberty. It is written and created by Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos, with art by Steve Walker, and coloring done by Oren Kramek.

The makings of the Revolutionary War are beginning to fall into place. High taxes, tyranny, and a bunch of very unhappy Americans are starting to realize they want to be free of England's yoke. Amongst the many Philadelphia residents are Graham and Brody, escaped slaves for many years now. They've mostly kept their heads down and worked hard, avoiding getting involved in any of the debates and demonstrations.

But they don't just avoid these situations because of their previous lives as slaves, but because they have successfully hidden their powers for many years now - and they don't want to reveal them now. Yet things are getting violent on the streets, and they find they can't ignore how they can help. So, Graham and Brody don masks and use their abilitie…

Passion

Passion is the third novel in the Fallen series, an ambitious YA angel saga by Lauren Kate.

Again, this review will have inevitable spoilers for Fallen and Torment - don't read it unless you've already read the previous books in the series. You've been warned, bibliophiles!!!

After the breathless events at the conclusion of Torment, Luce is in a state of desperation. It seems that the cycle of losing her life will never end - though this time she won't come back. It would truly be the end. What's the point of it all? Why is Daniel cursed? Beyond his immeasurable attractiveness, why does she love him? How does it all end?

It is with all of these questions in her mind that Luce opened up an Announcer and stepped in. She was told repeatedly how dangerous that is, how she should be trained heavily before ever attempting such a thing - but in that moment she couldn't care less. What really mattered was to learn - to learn the secrets Daniel wouldn't tell her, to…

Torment

Torment is the second book in the YA supernatural series Fallen, written by best-selling author Lauren Kate.

You know the drill, bibliophiles. If you haven't read Fallen yet, the first book, then reading this review is only hurting your overall experience of Fallen. Make a wise choice and avoid it, if that is the case. Otherwise, you've been warned! :)

Luce is still reeling from the revelation that Daniel and many of her other Sword & Cross classmates are actually angels. But even that is easier to get over than the fact that apparently Luce has been reincarnated over and over again since the beginning of time, doomed to fall in love with Daniel, only to die suddenly and dramatically before she ever reaches eighteen.

But this time... this time it's different. She can see the Shadows that lurk like ominous prophecies. That's never happened before. She's also never before survived finding out what Daniel is, let alone so many passionate kisses.

Yet she is still i…

Fallen

Fallen is a YA supernatural novel by Lauren Kate.

I want to acknowledge the fact that a lot of you may have already read this book - I know I'm late to the game. But when Passion came out in June (the third book in the Fallen series) I found myself in a position to finally read these novels. Better late than never, right?

So, what is the basic, spoiler-free synopsis of the plot?

Luce, a seventeen-year-old honor student, is haunted by what happened to the first boy she had a real, serious crush on. Not only by the events that cost him his life, but by what she saw that night - the very same dark shadows that have continued to hover in the water and elsewhere for years, to the point that she knew she had to shut up about them - or else she'd be on anti-psychotics by now. They were there that night - before the fire.

Of course, she couldn't explain that to the police. It wouldn't help her case any to appear crazy on top of already being the only suspect in a possible arso…

Texas Gothic

Texas Gothic is a new YA paranormal by Rosemary Clement-Moore.

The Goodnight family is made up of almost entirely of witches. Not scary, broom-wielding, wart-infested witches but positive magic, helpful spells, and the occasional psychic or two. This is Amy Goodnight's upbringing. Only she learned early on that it is not everybody elses. And in order to protect her lovable, crazy, aloof but talented family, she tries to be the "normal" one. She's worked hard to try and give herself an ordinary life.

That's part of the reason why she was so ready to join her sister Phin in helping out her Aunt Hyacinth's farm while she took her first vacation in a long time. So, she's feeding the goats and washing the dogs and enjoying the plain-old-fashioned normal of it all. Except for, of course, long deceased Uncle Burt's gentle ghost continuing to be among them at the farm, the magical protections around the house, and Phin's paranormal experiments.

But then t…

Titanic: S.O.S.

S.O.S. is the third and final book in Gordon Korman's middle-grade Titanic trilogy.

This is the third book in a trilogy, book addicts! You must, I repeat, must read the first two books (Unsinkable and Collision Course) before you read this review. Otherwise you are just going to ruin all the twists! Sure, we know the Titanic sinks - but the surprises that are revealed about our characters, among other things, should not be spoiled!

But all of you that have read the first two books (which I hope are many of you, because this a great series), can rest assured that I won't spoil anything from S.O.S. itself - just a basic recap and my opinion.

Here goes:

The Titanic is sinking. No one wants to believe it, but the bow is almost imperceptibly starting to dip into the freezing Atlantic Ocean - and our four main characters are thrown into a race for survival.

Paddy is locked up below deck, having finally been caught as a stowaway. In one cell over are the very criminals that wish him dead…

Down the Mysterly River

Down the Mysterly River is a new middle-grade fantasy novel by Bill Willingham.

Max "the Wolf" prides himself on being an excellent young detective and highly aware of his surroundings as a lauded Boy Scout - but he has no idea where he is, and no memory how he got there. It's a forest - that's clear. But he doesn't remember being on a camping trip, and he can't hear any fellow Scouts.

Then Max meets a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and a feisty barn cat called McTavish the Monster, whom all have the ability of talking - and aren't the least bit surprised about it. The thing they find the most strange is that Max can understand them.

But they all share the same problem: they don't remember how they arrived in this wood.

And then when determined hunters, called Blue Cutters, begin to pursue them doggedly, carrying with them dangerous blue swords, they find themselves fighting to survive - or fighting to survive as they are. Because t…

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever.

Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. is Caissie St. Onge's first novel, and a YA one at that!

Jane Jones is a vampire - but she totally sucks at it. (Pun not intended.) First of all, she's not gorgeous and magnetic. She's not filthy rich and living in a magnificent mansion. She doesn't have a hot boyfriend. And she sure as hell can't drink blood.

That's right. Jane Jones is a glasses-wearing, average-looking, middle-class, blood-intolerant nerdy vampire. Awesome, right? Sooooo not. She got turned before she could fully, ahem, "grow" and she has no friends - she can't fit in with humans, and she can't fit in with the other high school vampires.

And she's set to continue this delightful life for, oh yeah, FOREVER.

But then all of a sudden the truly smoldering, extremely attractive vampire Timothy seems to be noticing her AND her American History paper partner Eli, who's geeky but sweet, seems to have a hard time talking to her - as though h…

Dael and the Painted People

Dael and the Painted People is the third book in the prehistoric YA series by Allan Richard Shickman.

This is a follow-up to Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure and Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country. So, if you haven't read these first two books, you should avoid reading this review for risk of inevitable spoilers. You've been warned! :)

Dael's anger and instability have driven to leave his people and the Beautiful Country. He has decided to find the crimson people he's seen before, a people who paint themselves red. He wants to find relief from his guilt - relinquish his anguish and give way to peace.

The mute girl from his people, Sparrow, whose heart had been broken by her unrequited love for Rydl, joined him. It was a dangerous choice, but she had always been an outsider among her people because of her lack of communication anyway - so why not?

The two try to make a fresh start among the painted people - only to find that trouble seems to follow Dael...

Since the firs…