Book Reviews

Book Review: High Wizardry by Diane Duane


  High Wizardry by Diane Duane The third novel of seven (so far) in the Young Wizards series sends teen wizards Nita and Kit on a perilous adventure through outer space. This time, they are tracking Nita’s kid sister Dairine, who has just become an incredibly powerful novice wizard armed with a laptop computer and a beta-software version of the wizard’s manual. Bookish, computer geek Dairine’s dream is to fight Darth Vader (this book is set in ... Read More »

Book Review: Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane


  Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane This is the 1985 sequel to So You Want to Be a Wizard, and second in the Young Wizards sequence that (to date) runs seven books strong. And wow, what a powerful story! I hardly know where to begin! Some months after their first adventures as partner wizards, thirteen-year-old Nita Callahan and twelve-year-old Kit Rodriguez are on vacation with Nita’s parents and sister Dairine on a Southampton (Long Island, NY) beach when ... Read More »

Book Review: The Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane


  The Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane Currently seven books and almost twenty years strong, this series of sci fi-fantasy adventures proves that its author is too good to be wasted on Star Trek novelizations. Fans of Harry Potter, take note. Run, do not walk, to your library or bookstore, and borrow, buy, or order these terrific books! It should be astonishing if this series isn’t nearly as well known as the putative seven-book series by J.K. Rowling, and ... Read More »

Book Review: Farperoo (The Dark Inventions, Vol. 1) by Mark Lamb


I want to plunge right into praises for this book, for several reasons. First, and just to get it out there in public so no one can say I hid the facts from you, I didn’’t have to pay for this book. A kind and enthusiastic bookseller sent it to me all the way from the U.K. (Thanks, Nigel!) for me to review. Not to encourage or discourage any authors or publishers who are thinking ... Read More »

Book Review: The Riddle of the Gnome by P.W. Catanese


The Riddle of the Gnome by P.W. Catanese In the past I have exchanged a few notes with Paul Catanese, author of the “Further Tales” series of exciting sequels to well-known fairy tales. So it was an honor, but not a surprise, to get an “advance reviewer copy” of his latest book, The Riddle of the Gnome. This time, Catanese gives us the further tale of Rumpel-Stiltskin, the villainous yet (if this book is to be ... Read More »

Book Review: The Mirror’s Tale by P.W. Catanese


  The Mirror’s Tale by P.W. Catanese The fourth “Further Tales” adventure picks up the classic tale of Snow White over a century later. Among the lovely heroine’s descendants are twin brothers Bertram and William – one of them (no one is sure which) destined to become a baron someday – always in trouble, one leading and the other following – and finally, too much trouble for their parents to deal with any longer. Bert ... Read More »

Book Review: The Eye of the Warlock by P. W. Catanese


  The Eye of the Warlock by P. W. Catanese When Paul Catanese e-mailed me in response to my reviews of his first two “Further Tales,” I was flabbergasted. To be sure, it wasn’t the first time I had heard from an author whose books I reviewed. Nor was it the first time I was offered a sneak peek at a book that was about to be published. But it was the first time that ... Read More »

Book Review: The Hounds of the Mórrígan by Pat O’’Shea


The Book Trolley is all about the question, “What would be the perfect book to turn to after reading Harry Potter?” Answering that question becomes more and more complex as the Harry Potter series develops. Jenny Nimmo’s Children of the Red King series, for instance, is one possible answer – if you’re looking for something on the level of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone. This book by Pat O’’Shea, on the other hand, is the nearest thing to Order of the ... Read More »

Book Review: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett


This sequel to The Wee Free Men continues the adventures of Tiffany Aching, the young witch of Discworld’s chalk downs, and her determined escort of tiny, red-headed, blue men who love fighting, stealing, and the drink: the Nac Mac Feegle, also known as Pictsies. A couple of years have passed. Tiffany continues to make good cheese, visit the home of her deceased Granny (who was the witch of the downs before her), and squirm under the awkward ... Read More »

Book Review: Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors (Children of the Red King, Book Four) by Jenny Nimmo


As he begins his second year at Bloor’s Academy, Charlie finds himself floundering with confusion – like a first-year all over again! One of the reasons is that Manfred Bloor, late head boy, is back as a teaching assistant, and his equally nasty stooge, Asa Pike, has also returned (to repeat a year). Another reason has to do with the delicate balance among the handful of magically endowed students at Bloor’s, which has begun to ... Read More »