Supernova (Amulet #8)…Review

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Title: Supernova (Amulet #8)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Scholastic/Graphix

Date of Publication: September 25, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Graphic Novel

Page Count: 224

For Goodreads Synopsis click here

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/C1swfOV_6zw

Last week my son bought Supernova at his school’s Scholastic book fair. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so excited to buy a new book. He’s read each book of the Amulet series at least ten times.

It’s been ten years since the first Amulet book, The Stonekeeper, was released and this newest release, Supernova, is an epic journey into space and a new planet called Typhon. This story has a fast-moving plot with reveals and surprises. There is a big focus on self-acceptance, personal growth, fear, courage, family, and changing tradition.

The artwork is breathtaking. I love the use of colour to portray emotion. The Amulet series is something you can read over, and over, and each time see something new.

The story is fantastic. I love the emotional development the main character Emily experiences.

If you haven’t read the Amulet series, it’s time to pick it up! It’s a very popular series, so it’s easy to find. There’s only one book left to be released! Eeeee! No release date listed on Goodreads yet. These books would make a great Christmas gift for any reader in your life.

About the author

Kazu Kibuishi (born 1978) is an American graphic novel author and illustrator. He is best known for being the creator and editor of the comic anthology Flight and for creating the webcomic Copper. He has also written (drawn) the Amulet series. The webcomic artist and noted critic Scott McCloud has said that some of Kazu Kibuishi’s work is so beautifully drawn that “it hurts my hands when I look at it”.

https://www.boltcityproductions.com/

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May Wrap Up [2018] #reading

I read 6 books in March:
2 Young Adult (Fantasy, Contemporary Romance)
2 Adult (Anthology/Fantasy, Mystery Crime Thriller)
2 Middle Grade (Fantasy Graphic Novels)

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I follow the Goodreads rating suggestions:
🌟= did not like it
🌟🌟= it was ok
🌟🌟🌟= liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟= really liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟= it was amazing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Title: Our Dark Duet

Author: Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Date Published: June 2017

Page Count: 510

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟 Our Dark Duet By Victoria Schwab #BookReview

 

 

 

32905900

Title: Some Of The Best From Tor.com

Author: Various

Publisher: Tor.com

Date Published: January 2017

Page Count: 667

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟  Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016 #BookReview #Free #KOBO

 

 

 

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Title: Find You In The Dark

Author: Nathan Ripley

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date Published: April 2018

Page Count: 352

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟  New Thriller by Canadian Author #Findyouinthedark #Netgalley

 

 

 

10537195

Title: The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: September 2011

Page Count: 219

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10537195-the-last-council

 

 

36373464

Title: From Twinkle With Love

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Date Published: May 2018

Page Count: 336

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟 New Teen Contemporary Romance #BookReview #Netgalley #FromTwinkleWithLove

 

 

13436384

 

Title: Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: September 2012

Page Count: 203

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2400981523?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016 #BookReview #Free #KOBO

πŸ““Β Some Of The Best From Tor.com is a collection of 25 stories, each with a beautifully illustrated cover, published in 2016. I stumbled upon this free KOBO ebook while searching for a book by Caighlan Smith, who has a short story in this anthology. Keep scrolling to see my rating for each story (P.S. quite a few were a 5 star read for me!)Β  πŸ“š 😌

32905900

 

Title: Some Of The Best From Tor.com 2016

Author:Β Anthology

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror

Publisher: Tor.com

Date published: January 2017

Page Count: 667

 

 

 

My Review

 

“Clover” By Charlie Jane Anders 🌟🌟

“The Art of Space Travel” By Nina Allan 🌟🌟🌟

“The Destroyer” By Tara Isabella Burton 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Traumphysik” By Monica Byrne 🌟

“The High Lonesome Frontier” By Rebecca Campbell 🌟🌟

“Lullaby for a Lost World” By Aliette De Bodard 🌟🌟

“A Dead DJinn in Cairo” By P. DJeli Clark 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Breaking Water” By Indrapramit Das 🌟🌟🌟

“Autobiography Of A Traitor And A Half-Savage” By Alix E. Harrow 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“The City Born Great” By N.K. Jemisin 🌟🌟

“Everything That Isn’t Winter” By Margaret Killjoy 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“The Weight Of Memories” By Cixin Liu 🌟

“The Maiden Thief” By Melissa Marr 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“The Caretakers” By David Nickle 🌟

“Your Orisons May Be Recorded” By Laurie Penny 🌟🌟🌟

“Meat + Drink” By Daniel Polansky 🌟

“The Three Lives Of Sonata James” By Lettie Prell 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“The Great Detective” By Delia Sherman 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Finnegan’s Field” By Angela Slatter 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“The Weather” By Caighlan Smith 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Terminal” By Lavie Tidhar 🌟🌟🌟

“Her Scales Shine Like Music” By Rajnar Vajra 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“La BeautΓ© Sans Vertu” By Genevieve Valentine 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“That Game We Played During The War” By Carrie Vaughn 🌟🌟🌟

“A Fist Of Permutations In Lightning and Wildflowers” By Alyssa Wong 🌟🌟

Places to get this book:
https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765391957

https://www.amazon.com/Some-Best-Tor-com-2016-Original-ebook/dp/B01MS8EZ9X

https://www.tor.com/2017/01/10/free-ebook-giveaway-of-some-of-the-best-of-tor-com-2016-edition/

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/some-of-the-best-from-tor-com-2016

Our Dark Duet By Victoria Schwab #BookReview

πŸ““Β Our Dark Duet is the conclusion to the Monsters of Verity duology. If you haven’t read This Savage Song, then be warned – spoilers ahead! πŸ“š 😌

32075662

 

Title: Our Dark Duet

Author:Β Victoria Schwab

Genre:Β Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Date published: June 2017

Page Count: 510

 

 

synopsis

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waitingβ€”one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?” Goodreads

 

My Review

Six months after Kate Harker left Verity, she is now a monster hunter living in Prosperity. She comes face to face with a new kind of monster. This shadow monster has Malchai red eyes and Corsai claws. It feeds on chaos and violence. The “Chaos Eater” leaves a piece of itself in her eye, giving her the ability to know where it’s heading. When Kate realizes that it’s heading to Verity she decides to go back and find August.

Our Dark Duet is a story about the moral gray area that lives between the dark and light. If we can see a guilty soul glow red, does that mean we get to end their life? Can people (or monsters) change?

 

Kate Harker is the daughter of Callum and Alice Harker. Kate is a stubborn, fearless fighter with a strong personality. She has strong feelings for August Flynn.

Callum Harker, who was the leader of North Verity. In This Savage Song, Kate shot him and August reaped his soul.

Sloan: a Malchai. He caused the car crash that killed Kate’s mother, Alice. Sloan was made when Callum committed a sin.

Henry Flynn: leader of FTF (Flynn Task Force). Married to Emily. Adoptive father to Ilsa, Leo, August, and Soro.

Ilsa Flynn: August’s sister, also the first Sunai. My favorite character. She is strong, but gentle. Graceful, yet deadly.

Leo Flynn: August’s brother, was also the second Sunai. August reaped Leo’s soul, and now August seems to be hearing Leo speak to him in his mind.

August Flynn: the third Sunai to be created. He met two other Sunai, Isla and Leo, after he was adopted by Henry and Emily Flynn.

Soro Flynn: the fourth Sunai created. Androgynous and prefers gender-neutral pronouns (is referred to as “they” in novel).

Alice, is a monster born when Kate committed a sin. Alice purposefully named herself after Kate’s dead mother. I particularly enjoyed Alice. She is ruthless, cunning, devious, and strong.

Our Dark Duet is filled with action, suspense. A very fast read for a book with over 500 pages. If you feel attached to any character, prepare to get your heart ripped out.

I didn’t like this book as much as This Savage Song. I can’t quite explain why, but I felt more connected to the characters while reading the first book. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it were from one perspective. The ending wasn’t quite enough. It didn’t resolve any of the big problems. It left me wanting more, and not in the good way.

In summary, this is a mediocre plot with great characters. If you read This Savage Song, then yes, go ahead and read this. You may end up feeling disappointed, but at least you get to let your mind wander to this fantastic world with interesting characters.

About the author.jpg

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.”

https://twitter.com/veschwab/

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Crooked Kingdom, the conclusion to the Six of Crows duology, is an epic Fantasy novel that has the magic ofΒ Harry Potter andΒ Sword of Truth, mixed with the friendships ofΒ The Lord of the Rings, the adventure of The Wheel of Time, and the sneaky, twisty plot of Game of Thrones. πŸ“š

Crooked Kingdom

 

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author:Β Leigh Bardugo

Genre:Β Young Adult Fantasy, LGBTQ

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date published: Sept 2016

Page Count: 546

 

 

synopsis

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.”

My Review

photography – READING UNDER THE RAIN

After hearing I didn’t need to read the Grisha Verse trilogy before reading Six of Crows, I decided to go ahead and give it a go. The first book of the duology, Six of Crows, was great, but Crooked Kingdom mashed together everything I love about all my favorite books.

Let’s start by talking about the beautiful cover, and unique red pages which clearly represent bloodshed and love. The maps at the beginning of the book help immerse the reader into this world. Crooked Kingdom is divided into six parts: Forsaken, A Killing Wind, Brick By Brick, The Unexpected Visitor, Kings & Queens, and Action & Echo.

Mohammed Arabey’s review of Crooked Kingdom

Angela Jones-CuΓ©llar on Twitter: "I'm so pumped for ...

Crooked Kingdom starts one month after Kaz Brekker and his crew left Djerholm. They have been back in Ketterdam, a city on Kerch island, for a week. Told with multiple perspectives, I enjoyed learning more about each character through another’s eyes.

The Six of Crows

Kaz Brekker, 17 year-old gang member of The Dregs, ruthless, resourceful, devious Leader of the Six of Crows, focused on getting revenge against Van Eck and Pekka Rollins. I love his witty sarcasm: “It was that or snap her neck and make it look like she fell down the stairs, Wylan. I think I showed remarkable restraint.”

 

 

 

 

 

Inej: 16-year-old tenacious, talented, and nicknamed the Wraith. She has a strong connection to her Suli heritage. To one of her captors, also a Suli, she said, “You are forsaken. As you have turned your back on me, so will they turn their backs on you.”

 

 

 

 

Jesper: 17-year-old carefree, comical, Grisha sharpshooter with a gambling addiction. Crooked Kingdom gives us Jesper’s heart-breaking story of losing his mother as a child. He moved to Kerch to study at University, but was drawn to the other part of town where he met Kaz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nina: 17-year-old confident, beautiful, Grisha Heartrender. In Six of Crows, Nina was able to make Wylan look like Kuwei by using jurda parem, an addictive drug that boosts a Grisha’s power. The withdrawal from the drug almost took her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthias: 18-year-old big, tough, former Grisha hunter, in love with Nina. She helped open his mind so he could better understand the good of Grisha abilities. He helped her through the jurda withdrawal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wylan: Van Eck’s 16-year-old son, illiterate, with exceptional demolition skills. His father tried to have him killed, he ran away and joined the Six of Crows.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Characters
Van Eck: powerful, Ketterdam mercher (Wylan’s father).

Pekka Rollins: leader of the Dime Lions (another gang in Ketterdam) who swindled Kaz and his brother Jordie when they were new to the city.

Kuwei: Grisha Inferni. His father helped to create jurda parem, a powerful drug that enhances Grisha power, and now that his father is dead everyone wants to know where Kuwei is so they can gain access to the recipe.

Colm Fahey: Jesper’s father, jurda farmer.

Throughout Six of Crows I struggled to care about Wylan. Crooked Kingdom gave me everything I needed to add him to my long list of favorite characters. We get to see just how horrible his father treated him and it broke my heart.

“The letters from his father continued to arrive, once, sometimes twice a week. Wylan didn’t know what to make of them. Were they threats? Taunts? He stashed them in a stack beneath his mattress, and sometimes at night he thought he could feel the ink bleeding through the pages, up through the mattress and into his heart like dark poison.”

I will also admit that I wasn’t a fan of Kaz after reading the first book. Crooked Kingdom unveiled a new Kaz that I fell for.

β€œHe was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. β€œWould you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
β€œI would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. β€œI would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out togetherβ€”knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Jesper + Wylan β™₯ I love how Bardugo wrote about the attraction between Jesper and Wylan. It’s always refreshing to see LGBTQ representation in popular Young Adult books.

My one and only complaint is that there was too much romance for me. Nina + Matthias, Wylan + Jesper, Inej + Kaz…did they really need to pair up romantically? However, they are a group of teenagers, so it is realistic for them to pair up I suppose.

Quotes

“Sometimes,” said Kaz, “a proper thief doesn’t just take. He leaves something behind.”

β€œWhen fear arrives, something is about to happen.” – Inej

Suspenseful, surprising, and filled with action, Crooked Kingdom weaves important topics such as race, freedom, and slavery within a story that will keep you thoroughly entertained and leave you heart-broken, but satisfied.

About the author.jpg

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

http://www.leighbardugo.com/index1.html

https://twitter.com/Lbardugo

Blue Lily, Lily Blue ⚘ (The Raven Cycle Book 3) #BookReview

πŸ““ Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book of “The Raven Cycle” series by Maggie Stiefvater, is Young Adult Fantasy with a sprinkle of paranormal and magic.Β  πŸ“š 😌

blue lily, lily blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Author:Β Maggie Stiefvater

Genre:Β YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Magic

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Date published: October 2014

Page Count: 391

 

 

synopsis

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.”

My Review

2,700+ Free Toploader music playlists | 8tracks internet radioThis series takes place in a fictional town, Henrietta, Virginia, on top of an ancient ley line, near a magical forest called Cabeswater. In the previous book, The Dream Thieves, Adam had given himself to the ley line, which helped to restore its power. Adam can now feel and hear Cabeswater, his friend Persephone is teaching him how to communicate withΒ the enchanted forest so he can learn how to repair the ley line, makingΒ the mysterious woods strong enough to help their friend Gansey wake the Raven King (Glendower).

THE RAVEN BOYS by itsnucleicacid on DeviantArt

Their friend Ronan is the Greywaren, the Dream Thief, able to bring objects and people back from his dreams. Blue can increase paranormal power. She’s recently discovered that not only can she amplify abilities, she can also block them from being able to use her power. Adam, Gansey, Ronan, and Blue receive help from Noah (ghost friend), Calla, Persephone, Mr. Gray, Dr. Roger Malory, and a few new characters, on their quest to find Blue’s mother, Maura and wake the Glendower.

“How ungrateful they’d become, how greedy for better wonders.”

Β I even enjoy the unlikable characters, like Greenmantle’s spoiled wife. I really hated her, but she man she’s hilarious.

Persephone ("the Raven Cycle" by Maggie Stiefvater) #art # ...

 

My favorite character throughout the series is Persephone, followed closely by Adam, Ronan, and Blue. I also enjoyed the new character Jesse Dittley quite a bit. He reminded me of Haggard from Harry Potter. Likewise, I appreciated another new character, Gwenllian, a crazy woman with raven black hair who claims to know Blue’s father Artemus.

 

I am incredibly interested to see what happens between Ronan and Adam.

“Queens and kings
Kings and queens
Blue lily, lily blue
Crowns and birds
Swords and things
Blue lily, lily blue”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is a driven by a suspenseful plot with fabulous characters. I found myself holding my breath, wanting to read “just one more chapter”, and yes…even shed a tear.

100+ ideas to try about The Raven Boys | Boys, Maggie ...

There isn’t much I disliked. I will say that I am not a Gansey fan. I find him annoying, and not worthy of being the “leader” of their group. I don’t see what Blue sees in him. I also have a problem with how all the characters accept the fact that Mr. Gray murdered people as a hitman, and yet, that doesn’t change the way they feel about him. I don’t get it. Shouldn’t they have a hard time trusting him? What has he done that made them believe he’s become a better person?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is an imaginative story about friendship that broke my heart. I can’t wait to read the last book of the series,Β The Raven King.

 

 

Whichwood (Furthermore #2) By Tahereh Mafi #BookReview #SpoilerFree

πŸ““ Whichwood, the sequel to Furthermore, is a Young Adult Fantasy novel about a thirteen year old girl named Laylee who is overwhelmed by her fated task of washing dead bodies before sending them on their journey to Otherwere. Alice and Oliver (two characters fromΒ Furthermore) come to help Laylee. πŸ“š 😌

Whichwoodcover

 

Title: Whichwood (Furthermore #2)

Author:Β  Tahereh Mafi

Genre:Β YA Fantasy

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Date published: November 2017

Page Count: 368

 

 

synopsis

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.” Goodreads

 

My Review

This dark and tragic story takes place during Winter in a magical city called Whichwood, a mystical place connected by rivers and canals. In Summer residents travel by boat, in Winter they travel by sleigh over ice. The city smells of cinnamon-mint, and all you can hear is music and laughter. A girl named Laylee Layla Fenjoon lives far from the city, unable to hear the melody or feel happiness, she takes her anger out on everyone around her, and must somehow learn how to forgive others and herself.

The main character from Furthermore, Alice, arrives in Whichwood so she can fulfill her task of helping Laylee. I can’t figure out why, but Alice drives me right up the wall. She’s incredibly self-centered and annoying. Oliver’s character was flat and almost completely unnecessary. Laylee’s neighbor, Benyamin, is my favorite character. He’s a thirteen year old boy who’s always covered in insects – and can CONTROL all insects by speaking with them.

If the dead aren’t washed by a mordeshoor within 90 days then their ghost could break away from their body’s location and “steal skins from the first persons they could find”. We are on day 87, 88, and 89 – this fact creates a fantastic feeling of necessity, tension, and excitement that help to make this book a page turner.

I love how we get lots of little details that enrich the five senses. The idea that every mordeshoor is “born with two skeletons: one they wore under their skin, and another they wore on their back” is an outstanding detail that is super creative and unique.

I do have a major beef with the marketing of this book. I don’t think this is a Middle Grade read. Here’s why:

1. LayleeΒ  has some very dark thoughts. “But even the strong and the wise and the ancient have faltered without compassion or companion, and while Baba had madness and Maman had nonsense, Laylee, in their absence, had locked hands with loneliness, darkness feeding darkness until all light was lost.” I know there are children who suffer from depression/anxiety (I was one), but I think there are many young readers who will find Laylee’s thoughts excessively dark.

2. There are some graphic details which I find more suitable for a Young Adult novel than a Middle Grade one. For example, when Laylee pulled the fingernails and toe nails off the dead bodies.

3. TV and movie ratings say that for children aged 7-12 the story can have bloodless violence. Yet, in Whichwood there most certainly is blood, and in fact the book says “a strange and bloody madness awaits”.Β  This story also has strange physical abnormalities, and self-reflection, which is more suitable for a Young Adult story.

Middle Grade is usually accepted as geared towards children aged 8-12 years old. I strongly feel thatΒ Whichwood is not fitting for a child that age. That being said, I REALLY liked this read and give it 4 stars.

Whichwood is a unique, dark tale about pain, depression, anxiety, but also about gratefulness, second chances, and compassion. I recommend this one to fantasy fans older than 15 years old.

About the author.jpg

She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where she drinks too much caffeine and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste.
When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts.” Goodreads

My favourite book and movie: The Last Unicorn ~ Spoiler-Free Book Review

The Last Unicorn (2008)

Title: The Last Unicorn

Author:Β  Peter S. Beagle

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy, Young Adult, Classic

Publisher: Penguin Roc

Date published: 40th Anniversary Edition published 2008. First published 1968.

Page Count: 294

 

 

synopsis

She was magical, beautiful beyond belief — and completely alone…

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”

Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom…” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29127.The_Last_Unicorn?ac=1&from_search=true

 

My Review

Two hunters who have failed to track down their prey are traveling through the unicorn’s forest. She overhears one hunter tell the other that this forest must be protected by the last unicorn. They decide to move on and the unicorn is left to wonder whether she truly is the last of her kind. She decides to leave her forest and find the other unicorns. On her journey she meets a talking butterfly who tells her about the Red Bull who chased all the other unicorns away.

“He was the color of blood, not the springing blood of the heart but the blood that stirs under an old wound that never really healed. A terrible light poured from him like sweat, and his roar started landslides flowing into one another. His horns were as pale as scars.” – Decribing the Red Bull

While sleeping the unicorn is captured by a witch named Mommy Fortuna who runs a traveling carnival of caged mythical creatures, including the evil Harpy, Celaeno. Mommy Fortuna tells the unicorn that the Red Bull belongs to King Haggard.

“…the Red Bull will know you when he sees you.” – Mommy Fortuna

Schmendrick, a magician who works for Mommy Fortuna, helps the unicorn escape. Molly Grue, a middle-aged woman, joins Schmendrick and the unicorn as they travel to the castle where King Haggard and his son Prince LΓ­r live.

 

The Last Unicorn, a third person narrative, is a story about how we are often our own worst enemy, and when we find ourselves in the most dire situation surrounded by evil we must let love show us to believe in ourselves and each other.

“You must never run from anything immortal. It attracts their attention.” – The Unicorn

There is a ton of story with breath-taking language smashed into this small book. I cannot name one character as my favourite. Schmendrick, Molly, King Haggard, Prince Lir, the Red Bull, are all extremely well-written characters with distinct and authentic personalities. The unicorn and Lady Amalthea are the same being, and yet feel like two completely different characters.

“The hero has to make a prophecy come true, and the villain is the one who has to stop him – though in another kind of story, it’s more often the other way around. And a hero has to be in trouble from the moment of his birth, or he’s not a real hero. It’s a great relief to find out about Prince LΓ­r. I’ve been waiting for this tale to turn up a leading man.” – Schmendrick the Magician

The Last Unicorn has been my favourite movie since I was a child. I cannot possibly count how many times I’ve watched it. For some reason, I’ve never read the book. I wonder that perhaps I was afraid the book would let me down, or I would realize my most treasured movie was a horrible adaptation. I’m happy to say the book took my breath away. I LOVE the movie, but the book is SO MUCH BETTER than the movie. I know I will be re-reading this book many, many times.

“‘Haggard, I would not be you for all the world,’ he declared. ‘You have let your doom in by the front door, though it will not depart that way.” – Mabruk (King Haggard’s magician)

READ THIS. Even if you don’t like fiction. Even if you don’t like fantasy. Even if you don’t like unicorns! πŸ™‚

 

About the author.jpg

Peter Beagle.jpgPeter S. Beagle

“Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of his other books (A Fine and Private Place and I See By My Outfit) are considered modern classics.”

 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer – Spoiler Free Book Review!

RenegadesRenegades (Renegades #1)

Published November 2017
552 pages
YA Sci-Fi Fantasy
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The author of The Lunar Chronicles has brought a brand new story about superheroes, villains, freedom, and power. The story takes place in Gatlon City – which reminded me of Batman’s city, Gotham. This world has prodigies – people with superpowers. The general public was not supportive of prodigies. Like many superhero stories, the prodigies are feared, unaccepted, and were hunted until Ace Anarchy decided that needed to change. He put together a group of prodigies, called the Anarchists, who tore the city apart. They destroyed government and law enforcement, thinking they were giving people freedom. The Age of Anarchy lasted for 20 years. Different gangs of prodigies were formed, and began fighting for control. In response, a band of superheroes called the Renegades formed, and worked together to stop the Anarchists.
Nova is a six-year-old girl, living with her mom, dad, and baby sister Evie in a small apartment. Nova has a gift, she can put people to sleep with one touch. Her father is also a prodigy who can “pull threads of energy out of the air” and sculpt objects with this energy. As Nova was watching her father making something new, she asked him what he was making. One evening, Nova’s family are killed by a man working for a villain gang. She managed to survive by putting the assailant to sleep. Nova’s father always told her that if anything bad happened the Renegades would come to save them. They let her down. Her Uncle Alec – also known as, Ace Anarchy, found her, raised her, and trained her to become Nightmare.
Ten years later, it’s the 9th anniversary of the The Day of Triumph, when the Renegades took on the Anarchists and won. To celebrate this day the city holds a Renegade Parade. Nightmare and her team of villains plan an attack at the parade to take out the Council, founding members of the Renegades. While at the parade Nova meets Adrian, also known as Sketch. He is also a prodigy, who can make his drawings come to life.
In the first couple of chapters there is a lot of action and we are introduced to a bunch of characters. Ingrid – The Detonator, Phobia, Honey – Queen Bee, Winston – The Puppeteer, Leroy – Cyanide, and Nova – Nightmare, are Anarchists. The Council are Hugh Everhart (Captain Chromium), Simon Westwood (The Dread Waren), Tamaya (Thunderbird), Evander (Blacklight), and Kasumi (Tsunami). At this parade we also meet more Renegades: Magpie, Red Assassin, Smokescreen, and the Sentinel. See what I mean? Way too many names! It would have been a lot better to have just their superhero/villain name, then introduce their real personas later on.
One cannot be brave who has no fear.
Because Nova wears a mask and a hood when she is Nightmare, the Renegades don’t know who she really is or what she looks like. She decides to compete at the Renegade Trials so she can become a Renegade and spy on them from the inside.
One of the most interesting Renegades is a boy named Max who lives in a glass room at Renegade Headquarters. There are so many questions I have about Max and I hope the next book gives me more about his story.
I also enjoyed the same-sex relationship between Captain Chromium and The Dread Waren, who adopted Adrian (Sketch) after his mother was killed. Adrian is convinced Nightmare knows who murdered his mother. He creates a secret alter-ego, the Sentinel, in an attempt to find Nightmare and hopefully get answers he’s been wanting for many years.
Even though there are info-dumps, and the first 100 pages are kind of confusing, I REALLY enjoyed this book and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. There are a lot of questions to be answered, and I’m extremely interested to see what becomes of these characters. I am also hoping that we meet more villains because we met a bunch of Renegades, but not very many villains. The story is a little longer than it needs to be. The middle part slows down quite a bit, and there is a lot that could have been cut. BUT! It’s a fun read and I LOVED it!
During the last 10 pages my jaw dropped further with each page. I did NOT see that coming and I LOVE it when an author can blindsided me like that. If you’re a fan of The Lunar Chronicles you’re gonna like Renegades. Highly recommend this one!

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower Book 3) By Stephen King #SpoilerFree #BookReview

The Waste LandsΒ The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)

By Stephen King, Illustrated By Ned Dameron

Published by Plume January 1992 (first published August 1991)

ISBN 0452267404

422 pages

 

The Waste Lands is an epic fantasy horror science fiction story with bad-ass gunslingers and sociopathic bad guys brought to you by Stephen King. King begins The Waste Lands novel with an “argument”, providing a quick summary of the first two books, along with some intriguing insights. The story then picks up “some months” after the ending of The Drawing of the Three, over 60 miles from the Western Sea in Mid-World.Β Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger, has drawn two companions into his world, Eddie and Susannah Dean, who have agreed to help him find the Dark Tower. Eddie was once the Prisoner. Susannah, the Lady of the Shadows, was once Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker. While Roland is training Susannah how to shoot she confesses that she knows there has been something wrong with him since the conflict on the beach. He claims that there is nothing wrong. While they are talking, Eddie is leaning against a tree whittling away at a piece of wood when they all hear an enormous crash in the woods.

Mir, parasite-infested, largest and oldest creature in the Great West Woods charges toward Eddie, who manages to scramble up the highest tree nearby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Roland’s shoulders Susannah successfully shoots the spinning rusty radar-dish on Mir’s head, which “kills” him. Roland tells them this enormous bear is one of the twelve Guardians. It is 2,000-3,000 years old and its real name is Shardik. The Great Old Ones created the twelve cyborg Guardians to stand watch at the twelve portals. The Thirteenth Portal, which rules all the worlds, is found at the Dark Tower. Roland explains that if they can find the portal Shardik was protecting they would be able to follow a straight line to the Dark Tower. As they journey to the portal Roland is slowly going more insane. He finally tells them the tale of his journey through the desert, under the mountains, and how he sacrificed Jake in order to catch up with the Man in Black. Roland has two memories of what happened at the Waystation – one where he met Jake, and one where he didn’t. Time travel is a bitch ain’t it? Roland throws the Man in Black’s jaw bone into the fire and Eddie watches it change and become a key. Eddie is convinced that he has to remember the exact shape of the key. After finding Shardik’s portal Roland, Eddie, and Susannah begin their journey traveling along one of the magnetic-type Beams which help to bind and hold this world together. Eddie is overwhelmed by an urge to cut a piece of tree next to them. He has no idea why, but he believes he is meant to carve this piece of wood, replicating the key he saw in the fire.

We then flip to Jake’s perspective. It’s May 31st, 1977. We get to learn more about Jake’s childhood, family, and school. Jake thinks he’s going mad. He hears voices in his head who insist Jake was hit and killed by a car on May 9. During the last ten days Jake has become fascinated by doors. He’s going about his days, attempting to pretend that he’s okay.

While in class he glances at the title of the final paper he has no memory writing, “My Understanding of Truth”. He continues searching for the door that will take him back to Roland’s world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Understanding of Truth

The gunslinger is the truth.
Roland is the truth.
The Prisoner is the truth.
The Lady of Shadows is the truth.
The Prisoner and the Lady are married. That is the truth.
The way station is the truth.
The Speaking Demon is the truth.

Roland let me die. That is the truth.
I still love him.
That is the truth.

When is a door not a door? When it’s a jar, and that is the truth.
Blaine is the truth.
Blaine is the truth.

You have to watch Blaine all the time, Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth.
I’m pretty sure that Blaine is dangerous, and that is the truth.

I want to go back and that is the truth.
I have to go back and that is the truth.

Choo-choo, and that is the truth.


 

It took me a long time to read The Waste Lands, but that was not because I wasn’t enjoying it. It’s definitely the most exciting book in the Dark Tower series so far. My favorite character is Oy, a billy-bumbler that Roland and his crew meet during their journey. Oy has black and gray striped fur and gold-ringed eyes. He’s intelligent and can mimic what he hears. I mean, it’s the perfect pet! I really want a billy-bumbler for Christmas. Maybe I could dye my cat’s fur to make him look like one.

King has an amazing ability to create characters who are unbelievable and yet they feel completely real. I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just say Roland’s crew meet some pretty interesting characters: a Demon, a group of old folks at the river crossing, Gasher, the Tick-Tock Man, and Blaine the Mono Rail. There are many beautiful illustrations throughout the book,Β  but they aren’t located in the right spots during the story. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but it did. The pace was extremely slow in between extremely intense moments. I find the romance between Eddie and Susannah slightly annoying at times and feel like it could have been left out. Maybe there IS a reason for their relationship, I guess I’ll find out as I keep reading the series. There are a lot of unanswered plot points in the first three books, and I’m really needing answers for at least a few. FYI – The Waste Lands ends on a BIG cliff hanger. It took King six years to publish the next book and I’m extremely grateful that I don’t have to wait six years before reading Wizard and Glass.

I recommend this one to anyone 16 years and older (sex, violence, swearing) who likes to leave their troubles behind and enter fantastical worlds, perhaps via Blaine the talking train πŸ˜‰