Book Review

Book Review: Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4) by Shannon Messenger

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: MG Fantasy
Length: 672 pages
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sophie is ready to uncover the truth behind her telepathy in this adventure-filled fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.
Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she’s not alone.

Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets far bigger than anything they’d imagined.

But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly.

In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it.

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.

Long series always seem to have one book that’s eh, okay. And I think that’s Neverseen.

I liked the beginning and take-off into learning more about the Black Swan group. Though I feel like I still don’t know them well enough?? Or the group Neverseen? Everything is shrouded in mystery that feels drawn out (with 700 pages of reading).

Sophie is evolving and growing. She’s impulsive and a bit hot-headed. But I enjoy the counter balance of her actually feeling like a 14 year old without the dramatics that cause eye rolls. Sophie’s learning and I love a good character arc.

The middle was looooong. Going to a different school and a few other scenes didn’t seem necessary. They sort of pushed the plot, yet could have been left out and I would have been none the wiser. I liked the ending and the set-up for the next book. I think there’s a lot more going on then we’ve been led to believe at the moment and I’ll continue the series for now.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle grade fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, some near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Peterson

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: MG Fantasy
Length: 304 pages
Author: Andrew Peterson
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Release Date: March 18th, 2008
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Now in hardcover for the first time, featuring all-new illustrations! Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

A GOOD READ.

My rating may not convey it, but I did enjoy this book! It’s a good book (and great for a young audience, that I do plan to keep in mind for the future), it just wasn’t allllll for me. I was missing that last click to where I felt involved in the characters lives and the story I was reading.

I liked the way the story was introduced and getting to meet all of the characters. They’re charming and full to the brim with love for each other. It’s a sweet book filled with many silly things (the titles and descriptions for animals and such had me snorting). Alongside the silly was a much deeper context. Loss plays a big role as well as stepping into shoes you didn’t know you needed to fill.

While I might have been missing that last piece, I would definitely still recommend it to those looking for a more feel-good young audience fantasy. The new covers are gorgeous and the audio narration was well done too.

Overall audience notes:

  • MG Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slavery, threats of torture, kidnapping

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Book Review

Book Review: The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: MG/YA Fantasy
Length: 586 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare.

A CLIFF-FUELED CLIFFHANGER.

I’m still reeling over how things went down when this book ended. Makes you want to pick up the next ASAP [which I will be doing myself sooooooon]. I love how fast I can listen to these books on audio and how wrapped up in the story I find myself. This second series (following the Lightening Thief) has been more enjoyable for me. I think I like that the cast is a little bit older and many connections have been established that I’m now hooked onto their lives.

I love that Annabeth got to really have a huge plot line! I’ve always adored her snarky and brave character and this was no exception. Well, except for if you have a major fear of spiders, watch out. I shivered one too many times with those creepy crawlers running up and down walls.

Yet again, having a full point-of-view cast is perfect for the story telling style. I like the mix-up and getting different angles of the larger plot by following different characters. There’s not really one I love over another (well besides Percabeth of course), but in general, everyone plays the best roll they can.

Lots of action, some cute and sweet young love moments, and feeling like the walls are closing in on our heroes. Can’t wait to see what happens (and who survives!!) next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle-grade/Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical weaponry
  • Trigger/Content Warning: arachnophobia

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Book Review

Book Review: Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: MG Fantasy
Length: 548 pages
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 27th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Strange things are happening in Nevermoor…

Morrigan Crow faces her most dangerous challenge yet in her latest Wundrous adventure. The highly anticipated third book in the award-winning Nevermoor series from one of Australia’s bestselling and most loved authors.

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

But a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realises it’s up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she ever imagined.

MYSTERIOUSLY RELATABLE.

Well this was an odd book to read in 2021. A mysterious virus, wreaking havoc and throwing Morrigan’s world into turmoil. Morrigan goes through a lot of growth in this book and I loved that! I love seeing growth in characters and this fits middle-grade so well, and depicts a young teens life (+ a fantasy world) in a way for all audiences.

I love the morally greyness that happened with Squall as too. I think there’s much more to that story there and I liked getting many backgrounds on previous Wundersmiths. Lots of information was added to further expand this plot.

Some scenes did feel unnecessary and dragged on a bit. And I missed getting more of the 919 squad. Otherwise, another well written installment that I have loved listening to on audio. This world is fun and interesting. The characters are charming and I can’t wait for the next book!

Overall audience notes:

  • MG Fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Violence: magical altercations, animal attacks, pandemic

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