Book Series Review: Warren the 13th Trilogy

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Warren the 13th Trilogy

by Tania del Rio (Author),  Will Staehle (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

I loved this trilogy! The design is elaborate and the plot is mysterious. I loved the characters and the writing style. I flew right through the pages, and enjoyed the action in every chapter.

Warren is such a likable and interesting character! I really appreciated his curiosity, his resilience, and his love for the hotel. He feels connected to his parents and to his ancestors through their shared history in the hotel, and it gave the story a lot of depth to have that heritage. He finds clues that his father left behind for him, and that gives him the courage to face difficult circumstances.

There are so many great supporting characters, all unique and quirky and memorable.

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Book Review: Septimus Heap: Darke

Septimus Heap: Darke (#6)By Angie Sage

4 out of 5 stars

That stinking Merrin Meredith is back, threatening the Castle with the power of the Darke. Only Septimus, his dragon Spitfyre, and Princess Jenna can stop Merrin from covering the entire city in Darkeness.

I loved this book! The plot is full of action and magic and twists. I adore the characters, and I love how they grow and learn throughout the series. This book was particularly emotional for the Heap family as prodigal son, Simon, strives to win back his family’s love and trust.

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Book Review: The Skull of Truth

The Skull of Truth by Bruce Coville
The Skull of Truth
by Bruce Coville, Gary A. Lippincott (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars

Charlie is a liar. He meets the Skull of Truth and is cursed to always tell the truth, and his life changes in unexpected ways. Telling the truth gets him into a lot of trouble, and the curse begins to affect other people around him.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as some of the others in the Magic Shop series. I thought some of the plot points didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the story. There were some radical leftist political ideas that I didn’t agree with. I was surprised to find them in a children’s book.

I was pleased to find that the skull himself is not scary at all. He’s a humorous and silly character, and there’s nothing frightening or creepy about him other than the fact that he’s a skull. Continue reading

Book Review: Zeus the Mighty

Zeus the Mighty by Crispin Boyer
Zeus the Mighty: The Quest for the Golden Fleas
by Crispin Boyer

4 out of 5 stars

Zeus is a hamster who rules the kingdom of the pet store along with the other Olympian gods, Athena the cat, Demeter the cricket, Ares the dog, and Poseidon the puffer fish. These animals have mystic powers and find artifacts that help them in their adventures. When Poseidon questions Zeus’ ability to rule, Zeus goes on a quest to find the Golden Fleas (Fleece) to prove that he is worthy to be king of the gods.

I loved this funny book! The animals all have vivid personalities, and I loved their hilarious dialogue. It’s so clever how Greek mythology is woven into the pet store setting. Continue reading

Book Review: Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall

Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall by Rae Knightly
Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall (Alien Skill, #1)
by Rae Knightly (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars


Ben has no memory of when a “meteor” fell near his Grampa’s home while Ben was visiting there. There are government agents snooping around the crash site, and Ben’s Grampa is trying to keep Ben’s name out of it by hiding him away with his mother in the city. An alien named Mesmo is on the run from dangerous government agents, and tries to protect the innocent human witnesses from the “meteor” crash site. A mysterious shape-shifter tracks down Ben as a witness to the crash, and Ben and his mother are both in terrible danger.

I enjoyed the writing style in this book. It’s concise and clear, with a lot of emotional scenes between characters. The writer shows us the inner feelings of each character, and there is some powerful dialogue. The characters are deep and complex with authentic relationships. Continue reading

Comic Review: Green Lantern Legacy

Green Lantern by Minh Lê
Green Lantern: Legacy
by Minh Lê, Andie Tong (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars 

Tai discovers the power of the Green Lantern when his grandmother passes on her jade ring to him. With very little training from the other Green Lanterns, Tai tries to stop vandalism in his neighborhood. But there is an even bigger threat hiding right under his nose, and Tai will need his friends support while he learns to harness his new powers.

I loved this comic from start to finish!
Tai is such a deep and complex character. His close relationship with his family is at the heart of everything he does, and there is a huge emotional aspect to his story that really drew me in. Tai is Vietnamese-American, and his family heritage is important to him. I loved seeing the rich Vietnamese culture, and the traditions of kindness and generosity in his family. Continue reading

Comic Review: Zatanna and the House of Secrets

Zatanna & the House of Secrets by Matthew Cody
Zatanna & the House of Secrets
by Matthew Cody, Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars


Zatanna is just trying to survive middle school. She and her stage-magician Dad live in a mysterious house with an adorable pet rabbit, Pocus. Zatanna believes that her father’s magic tricks are just illusions, until one fateful day when she encounters real magic. She realizes that the house holds more secrets than she ever knew, and she must navigate trick stairs, cold dungeons, and enigmatic doors to escape the clutches of a wicked sorceress and save her father.

I loved this comic from start to finish! Zatanna is a wonderful character, and she has some good personal development and teen angst that packs an emotional punch. The plot is enchanting and mystic with lots of wonderful surprises and twists. I loved the magical elements in the House of Secrets, and especially the magical characters and creatures that Zatanna meets as she discovers a new world of wizardy and spells. Continue reading