Wednesday, October 8, 2014


by Kami Garcia

One month after Kennedy's mother dies of a supposed heart attack, Kennedy is herself attacked by a vengeance ghost and nearly killed.

"Nearly killed" because just as her breath is being stolen away, two boys show up and get rid of the ghost.  They then whisk Kennedy away just as a demon destroys her home and everything she's ever known.

On the run from ghosts, a demon, and the police who've put out an Amber Alert on her, Kennedy must face a few facts about her own heritage and the world around her.

With the help of the twin brothers who rescued her, a young genius, and a snarky teen girl, Kennedy is on a quest to find a way to destroy the demon who killed her mom and with all the guardians and loved ones of her companions.

But the demon knows who they are now and they are running out of time to get him before he gets them.

Final thoughts: Looking at other reviews, most comments are that this is pretty much a Supernatural fanfic written by a respected YA author.  I don't know about all of that, but I do know that this book is full of a few hits and a whole lotta misses.  There are too many moments where things just happen suddenly and I found that I had to go back an reread paragraphs to see if I missed something.  Sometimes I had missed something, and I'll admit that.  Other times, it was the author who missed something and just made a sudden left turn with no warning.  I did like a few things and was pleasantly surprised at times, but it just wasn't consistent.

Rating: 2/5

Monday, October 6, 2014

Princess of Thorns

Princess of Thorns
by Stacey Jay

As a child, Aurora's kingdom is overrun by ogres who are set on consuming the souls of humans and taking over the world.  In order to protect her children, Aurora's mother bequeaths her fairy gifts upon her daughter as she dies.  Now an orphan, Aurora and her brother run to the fairies to grow and train.

Now ten years later, Aurora's brother has been captured by the ogres and she is running out of time to save him.  Unfortunately, she's can't do it on her own and she sometimes rushes into bad decisions, so she walks right into a trap.

Luckily for her, she's rescued by a prince on a quest for a princess.  Unluckily for her, he's actually looking for her because he needs to get married, and quickly.

In order to rescue her brother and stop the prophecy from coming true, Aurora must disguise herself as her own brother and keep her rescuer from suspecting anything.  That means lying to him, even when he earns the truth, and keeping her own feelings to herself in order to protect him.

Her only hope now is that she's not too late.

Final thoughts:  Interesting story that combines a few fairy tales into one.  This is not strictly a retelling of a fairy tale since it's Sleeping Beauty's daughter who is the main character, but it does have some nice moments.  We also see the eleventh prince from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans" and we get a few moments with Little Red Riding Hood.  The romance is a little odd mostly because of the way the two characters often seem to just anger each other and lie all the time, but it does make a bit of sense.  In the end, it's a cotton candy book that's mostly fluff, with no real depth, but still some fun nonetheless.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Song of the Quarkbeast

The Song of the Quarkbeast
by Jasper Fforde

Jennifer Strange is a foundling who is running Kazam Mystical Arts Management, one of two groups who manage the magic in the Ununited Kingdom. The Great Zambini, the mage in charge, has gone missing and will only pop back for a few minutes at a time, though never in the same place.  The competing magic company is led by one of the most dangerous mages of all time.  A bridge needs extreme repairs, which requires more mages than Kazam currently has.  And the king doesn't really like Jennifer at all.

Now Jennifer has to keep Kazam running, get the magic sorted and organized, find the Great Zambini, stop iMagic and the mage in charge, Blix, from taking control of all magic, repair a bridge, and avoid angering the king.

If only mages weren't turning to stone left and right.  If only the most powerful magic wielder around hadn't given up magic forever.  If only the Great Zambini would stop disappearing.  If only the bridge repair hadn't become a contest that would determine the fate of Kazam and all magic in the Ununited Kingdom.

Jennifer is the only person who can stop it from getting out of control... more than it already has.

Final thoughts: Cute read meant for young adult readers, but it may be a bit too clever for many.  Fforde's Thursday Next series was amazing and fun to read, but that one was rich with in-jokes and puns that only bibliophiles would truly understand.  This current book is much the same with all the cleverness and in-jokes that many might not catch or understand.  The story itself is a little roundabout with small items placed early on in the book that are not referred to again until near the end of the book and those items turn out to be key pieces of the puzzle; that kind of foreshadowing may go over the heads of some.  Overall, this is a cute read and a lot of fun if you get the jokes.

Rating: 4/5


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