by Colleen Houck
There were so many things that I loved about this book, and a few things that annoyed me.
First, the world-building and magic systems are wonderfully imaginative and interesting. I was entranced with the magical setting and the witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, goblins, and succubi that populate the OtherWorld. They each have particular powers and traits that were fascinating to discover as they are explained through the plot. I also really loved the steampunk feeling of the world, and how automatons and clockworks are integrated with magic power. Continue reading
Oh no, I forgot to include one of the books I read in September! It’s actually 35 books!!! I also read “The Monster’s Ring” by Bruce Coville. Here is the GoodReads review….
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! (I really hate the cover art, and made the mistake of judging the book by its cover.) I read it all in one sitting, because I could not put it down.
Ella is fiery and energetic. She longs to do courageous deeds and have close relationships with people, but the royal protocol is so restrictive that no one can have a meaningful conversation, much less actually connect with anyone or do anything of real consequence. I loved the way she beat her wings against those cage bars and finally escaped to build her own life. Continue reading
by Dian Curtis Regan
I liked the basic plot of this story, and the characters are fairly good with some depth and development. It’s not amazing, but it kept me entertained. The writing is engaging and fairly imaginative, and I liked the clear and tidy style of the narrative. The characters aren’t particularly deep or complex, but they are amusing for awhile.
There is also insta-love that I found annoying, but it IS a fairy tale, so I sort of expected that. Continue reading
by Rebecca Tingle
I really identified with Ælfwyn’s character, because she loves to read. She is shy, and is frightened to ride the large and powerful horse her mother gives her. For most of the book, she depends on other people to tell her what to do and where to go, but when it really matters, she makes her own decisions, discovering courage and resilience from deep inside.
I liked the writing style in this book. It really pulls you in to the story, painting a picture of Old England with a few settings, people, and events drawn from real history. I especially liked the scenes when Ælfwyn is on the road, singing her songs and telling stories from her books to entertain the common people. Continue reading
by Rafe Martin
This is a continuation of the fairy tale of the brothers who are transformed into swans and saved by their sister who weaves shirts of nettles to break the curse. One little brother’s shirt is unfinished, missing a sleeve, and that arm remains a swan’s wing.
I loved Ardwin’s character! He’s a very deep thinker, and he puzzles through many ideas about identity, instinct, belonging, love, and hate, and forgiveness. There are so many wonderful themes that he wrestles with, but he ultimately finds where he truly belongs.
The plot is wonderfully fantastical, full of wizards, enchantresses, talking animals, deep earth magic, and impossible plot twists that kept me guessing and wondering and perfectly in awe. Continue reading