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Showing posts from November, 2012


Fathomless is a YA modern fairytale retelling by Jackson Pearce.

I read Sweetly last year (read my review here) by Jackson Pearce, which was a retelling of Hansel and Gretel - and AWESOME. Though Fathomless is technically a stand-alone title, it has threads of continuity with Sweetly as well as with the author’s first fairytale retelling Sisters Red, which I haven’t gotten the chance to read yet but will be ASAP. Because of this thread of continuity I do recommend starting with Sisters Red, then Sweetly, and then getting to Fathomless.

But here’s some info on Fathomless:

Lo doesn’t remember who she is. Her name is one she’s chosen because she has no memory of her real one, or the life she had as a human. Before she was a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid… It’s all a hazy blur. One thing she does know is that she and her sister sea creatures are becoming something not beautiful… something monstrous.

Celia is a triplet. She and her sisters have only ever had each other, but she’s always f…

The Deadly Sister

The Deadly Sister is a YA mystery thriller by Eliot Schrefer.

Her entire life Abby Goodwin has covered for her younger sister Maya. Even after Maya stopped liking her, maybe even hating her. But Abby just couldn’t stop protecting her from broken curfews, failed classes, and the trouble caused by having druggy friends.

When Maya’s latest kinda-boyfriend shows up dead – murdered – Abby doesn’t know how much she can cover for her anymore.

But she’s going to try.

Abby attempts desperately to clear her sister’s name as the police close in on Maya. She figures the best way to prove her innocent is to prove someone else guilty.

Yet it’s harder than she thinks as she learns she can’t trust anyone… not even those she wants to.

The Deadly Sister was fraught with tension immediately. It doesn’t hesitate in jumping into the edgy drama of murder and whodunit questions, which I love.

Sadly, at some point I had accidentally seen a comment on The Deadly Sister that led me to believe I might know a BIG

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is a YA steampunk alternative-Victorian-era adventure novel, the second in The Steampunk Chronicles, by Kady Cross.

Yes, it’s the second book in a series. You know the drill! If you haven’t read The Girl in the Steel Corset first, then read that review here instead.


Alrighty then! Let’s go over a brief synopsis first:

When at the end of The Girl in the Steel Corset sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of misfits” watched as their American friend Jasper was hauled off by bounty hunters, they knew they weren’t going to take that lying down!

After all, this is Finley Jayne, the girl with Jekyll/Hyde complex that is working to combine her two natures into one – with shocking strength and happily violent tendencies, all for the greater good of course. There’s Griffin, the powerful and wealthy English duke that found her and his ability to manipulate the Aether. Emily, their Irish lass with an …

The Forsaken

The Forsaken is a YA dystopia written by Lisa M. Stasse.

It’s been six years since sixteen-year-old Alenna Shawcross became a ward of the government of the UNA, a new nation formed from what was left of the USA, Mexico and Canada. Six years since she watched her parents get ripped from their home, dragged away by government soldiers. She assumes they’re dead.

Relatively introverted and mostly unnoticed, Alenna has been getting by fine – doing well in school and so on. That’s why she knows, as the day approaches, that she’ll pass the government personality test designed to detect subversive, criminal tendencies that everybody has to undergo at the age of sixteen.

She’s wrong.

When Alenna wakes up on the Wheel, the mysterious island where all kids who fail the test are sent, she’s scared to death. She’s sure there’s been a mistake, as she’s never had a rebellious, violent thought in her life. And the thought that the island is stuffed full of those who do frightens her.

But when Alenna …

Taken by Storm

Taken by Storm is a remarkable YA werewolf novel, and the third in the exceptional Raised by Wolves series, written by the unparalleled Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Are my word choices making my opinion clear already?

Maybe that’s because I frickin’ LOVEDTaken by Storm just as much as Raised by Wolves and Trial by Fire!!! This is, in my humble, psychotically bibliophile opinion, by FAR the best werewolf series out there.

But, listen to me… I’m getting ahead of myself!

My synopsis will be meager, as I don’t want to give away next to anything about the plot – but even so, I encourage you to avoid this review if you haven’t read the first two books. The reviews of those titles are linked to their names above.

Now, for you fellow Raised by Wolves fans, let us continue…

Bryn is unique in many ways. She’s the alpha of the Cedar Ridge werewolf pack. The only alpha that is female. The only alpha that is young. The only alpha that is human.

This uniqueness makes her a target from the other pack alp…

The Shadow Queen: A Novel of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

The Shadow Queen is a novel of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor – a historical fiction by Rebecca Dean.

The name Wallis Simpson sounded faintly familiar to me – but I really had no idea who she was. Once I found out she was a twice-divorced, destitute socialite in the first half of the twentieth century – and that her love affair with Prince Edward caused him to abdicate his throne for her – I was certainly fascinated.

This is a novel of her life, essentially.

Sadly, my interest wasn’t fully satisfied with The Shadow Queen. Wallis’ story felt like it was being told to me, not like it was actually happening. I’m hoping you, my lovely followers, know what I mean by that.

I loved the background and character development we get a chance to see – what with starting the story when Wallis is very, very young – but more often than not I was left wondering if we were ever going to get to the portions of her life as an adult that are hinted at on the back cover. So many pages are spent on wha…

Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift is a middlegrade fantasy novel by Chris Westwood.

Twelve-year-old Ben Harvester has always cared about people. That’s why when one of his strolls through London’s Highgate Cemetary, which he finds soothing and his mother calls morose, brings him across an older man that seems to be having some difficulty, he stops to help.

The man is rather odd however. He calls himself Mr. October and tells Ben he’s sorry to hear about his Aunt. Ben doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Until he gets home and watches as his mom gets the call about her sister’s death. Then he’s fascinated.

Trying to find Mr. October is harder than he thought, though. But once he does, Ben realizes that there is more to London than first meets the eye. Mr. October actually works for a secret organization called the Ministry of Pandemonium – and he wants Ben to be his new recruit.

Among the amazement and awe, Ben also comes face to face with the dark side of his new extracurricular activities – and find…

The Queen's Lady

The Queen’s Lady is a YA-targeted Elizabethan romantic drama, and the second in The Lacey Chronicles, by Eve Edwards.

This is essentially a stand-alone romance, but to have the full background of the characters and not be spoiled about what happens in the first book I would personally recommend reading The Other Countess first. But it’s not as vital as a regular series. You can read my review of The Other Countesshere.

Lady Jane Rievaulx escaped the cruel clutches of her father when a kindly, wealthy older gentleman married her – with only friendship in mind – but now his death has left her vulnerable once more. As much as her deceased husband tried to secure her independence, his greedy sons are determined to take back her portion of the fortune.

Trying to put her trust in her late husband’s will and rise above it all, Jane begins service to the Queen at the Richmond Palace and is stunned, pleasantly, to find Master James Lacey there. He may not know the full reason Jane broke off he…

The Necromancer

The Necromancer is the fourth book in the YA fantasy adventure series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott.

I know that I am quite behind in jumping into this series, so I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you have already read this series. But if you’re like me and are late to the boat, I strongly recommend you read the first three books in the series – The Alchemyst, The Magician, and The Sorceress - before reading this review. You can click on each title to read the corresponding review.

Don’t you roll your eyes at me! I know it gets old – but you KNOW you don’t want to spoil the fun of reading it that first time, not having any idea of what will happen! So, resist temptation! Only read the following review of The Necromancer if, and only if, you’ve read the first three books!

Okay? Okay. Here goes…

The Necromancer, like all the other books in the series so far, picks up almost immediately after the last one ended. We find fifteen-year-old twins Sophie and Jos…

The Unfailing Light

The Unfailing Light is a YA historical fantasy and the second book in the Katerina Trilogy by Robin Bridges.

As is the case in any synopsis of a second book in a trilogy, this summary will contain possible spoilers to book one The Gathering Storm. I strongly suggest you avoid this review if you haven’t read The Gathering Storm yet (instead read my review of the first book here).

You have read The Gathering Storm? Well, then by all means read on about The Unfailing Light!

In St. Petersburg, Russia, 1889, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, finds she can no longer wish to be what she is not: normal. There are now those in both the Dark and Light courts that know her for her ability and Katerina cannot escape that, especially since she saved the life of the tsar.

But she’s not alone. Katerina has found that many in the royal circle possess supernatural abilities – though hers still tends to be one of the most feared. How can she really blame them? From experience, she knows that…

Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procrastinator

Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procrastinator is a YA mystery/humor contemporary fiction novel by Josh Berk.

Guy has always been great at doing nothing. And since his dad died, he’s gotten even better at it.

After all, as long as he has his sparkling wit and those one-line zingers (even if barely anyone seems to appreciate them), what else does he need?

But his best friend Anoop is determined to get Guy doing something. So, he gets Guy to join the Forensics Club with coaxing concerning hot girls being there. Especially one particularly hot girl: Raquel.

It works.

Yet neither on them figured that the awesome crime solving talents they begin to cultivate are going to have practical usage.

Until, that is, when a real crime scene shows up in what was supposed to be a staged one to gauge their forensics skills.

In fact, Guy’s life begins to bear resemblance to a daytime soap opera when secrets about his dad’s life become revealed and a break-in leaves him wondering what else he doesn’t know ab…

Always a Witch

Always a Witch is a YA magical urban fantasy, the sequel to Once a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough.

If you haven’t read Once a Witch, a stellar book, I strongly recommend that you do so before possibly spoiling some big plot points by reading the synopsis of Always a Witch!

Final warning… You can always read my review of Once a Witchhere instead...

Tamsin Greene is struggling with the new knowledge that she is indeed Talented. After spending her whole life feeling ordinary among a family of generations of Talented individuals, she had forced herself to accept her fate and embrace her “normal” life – that is, when she’s away from her family, where she had felt painfully out of place.

But now, since the conclusion of Once a Witch, Tamsin is facing not only her new abilities but also the uneasiness of those in her family that don’t particularly care for her Talent. Guess she’s doomed to be an outcast.

Plus, the knowledge that her grandmother’s prophecy says she’ll soon be forced to make a …

A Flight of Fancy

A Flight of Fancy is a Regency era historical romance, the second in the series Daughters of Bainbridge House, by Christian fiction author Laurie Alice Eakes.

Though I would recommend reading the first Daughters of Bainbridge House, A Necessary Deception (read my review here), first for continuity and background – this is one of the rather rare instances that very little is going to be spoiled by reading them out of order. So, the choice is yours on reading my review and summary of A Flight of Fancy before having read A Necessary Deception.

Cassandra Bainbridge does not consider herself a great beauty – certainly nothing like her sisters, especially when she is wearing her spectacles. She’s actually rather odd in comparison to other ladies. She has no strong interest in balls, but would much rather spend time reading and pursuing her scientific passion. And figuring out how to create the best balloon for flight!

Yet whenever she is near her betrothed, Geoffrey Giles Earl of Whittaker,…

Into the Storm

Into the Storm is the second novel in the children’s historical fiction two-parter Beyond the Western Sea by AVI.

If you read my review of Escape From Home on Wednesday (otherwise known as Halloween), you’ll know that I was definitely impressed and spellbound by the tale of three children desperate to get out of Liverpool and onto a ship to America. You also know that if you have the misfortune of not having read Escape From Home yet, the synopsis of Into the Storm will contain spoilers.

I would strongly suggest avoiding it. If you want to see what I thought, you could scroll to the bottom and read the last few paragraphs, which simply hold opinion. Just watching out for you, bibliophile!

After an arduous ordeal in Liverpool, Maura, Patrick and the kindly actor Mr. Drabble have boarded the Robert Peel to America. Laurence, worn and nearly unrecognizable now as a lord’s son, is hidden below decks as a stowaway – his life at the mercy of Patrick’s ability to go below and release him fro…