Book Review: “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness
Book Reviews / October 5, 2015

Entering the world of Patrick Ness’ warmhearted and tongue in cheek pastiche of young adult fiction is to find yourself in the midst of two stories, that of the Indie Kids whose days are numbered as they battle the mysterious Immortals, and of Mikey and his friends, who just want to graduate and get the heck out of dodge. What happens when the background actors in the superhero world get to lead the show? When “Hufflepuff student B, eating pie” is the central focus of the book. You get a brilliantly funny, stunningly intuitive story that explores an exposition of friendship and a narrative of muddling along as best you can. The trick is to do it before the high school explodes. Again.

Book Review: “The Accident Season” by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Book Reviews / July 1, 2015

BEWARE! This story will creep under your skin, make you fall in love, and won’t leave your thoughts. “The Accident Season” is a danger-laden trip through a family’s unspoken fears. With the sense that peril is around every corner, I was utterly gripped and had to keep reading even with a distinct sense of unease. Filled to the brim with secrets, hidden love, and dark pasts – you never quite know where you stand with Cara and her family. Not quite contemporary, not quite fantasy, this story tiptoes the borders of genre like a girl balancing on a slippery log over a fast-moving river.

Book Review: “The Tree of Water” by Elizabeth Haydon
Book Reviews / November 1, 2014

In the fourth book of The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, the young Nain explorer continues his journeys to find out all the magic in the world and report it to a good young king. He has already explored the thieves’ quarter of the city of Kingston, stopped a war between the dwarflike Nain and the elflike Lirin, and survived an encounter with Scarnag the dragon who represents earth-magic.

Book Review: “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith
Book Reviews / November 1, 2014

Robert Galbraith’s first novel enjoyed great financial and critical success even before he turned out to be J. K. Rowling, she of the Harry Potter series. The excitement of being a first-time author all over again seems to have spurred her imagination, bringing us this second Cormoran Strike mystery. I think it is as scintillating as the first installment, and if you’ll forgive the slight spoiler, I look forward to following what promises to be an ongoing series.

Book Review: “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire
Book Reviews / November 1, 2014

I’ve had plenty of opportunity to read this book since it came out in 1995. For one thing, I have owned a copy of it for some years. It isn’t that I wasn’t interested. It’s simply that I didn’t think the book needed any boosting from me. It’s a popular bestseller. Dozens of readers have recommended it to me. So what do I have to add except, “Ding, dong, I read it too”?

Book Review: “The Sleeper and the Spindle” by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
Book Reviews / October 13, 2014

[button color=”black” size=”big” link=”http://affiliates.abebooks.com/c/99844/77798/2029?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abebooks.com%2Fservlet%2FSearchResults%3Fisbn%3D9781408859643″ target=”blank” ]Purchase here[/button] A wish granted fairytale delight. Originally published as part of the Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales anthology, this beautiful fairytale by Neil Gaiman has now been sent out into the world on a quest of its own, to fight battles in book shops and seek its very own happily ever after. If you thought you knew the tale of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, think again. Gaiman puts a delightful spin on the stories in this artful reimagining. With breathtaking two tone illustration from Chris Riddell, including Golden embossed vines, jewels, skulls and weapons, the pictures truly draw the eye to each scene and makes the book a true piece of art which is a joy to behold. The Sleeper and the Spindle has line art as delicate and spiked as the roses which surround the sleeping castle, illustrations with sublime beauty and devilish detail. It demands to be soaked in, eyes wide and nose pressed to the page all the better to see it. Plus the story inside is as lovely as the physical book itself. The Queen, with her Snow White skin, ruby red lips and hair as…

Book Review: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
Book Reviews / August 17, 2014

The narrator never tells us his name. He never says exactly whose funeral brings him back to the town where he grew up. Until he arrives at the shore of the pond beyond the farmhouse at the end of the lane he used to live on, he doesn’t even know what has brought him back here. And then he remembers it all.

Book Review: “The Enchantress Returns” by Chris Colfer
Book Reviews / July 29, 2014

Collection spells are not just for debt collectors who want to put the hoodoo on a delinquent customer. In Chris Colfer’s “Land of Stories” series, they are the framework for a quest-like adventure through a magic world teeming with fairy tale heroes and villains. The first book, “The Wishing Spell”, was all about a shopping list of magical items that twins Alex and Conner Bailey needed to assemble in order to get home to the “Other World” (namely, ours). It could only ever be used one more time, and the Evil Queen from “Snow White” wanted to get there first. Now in their second visit to the Land of Stories, Alex and Conner are trying to complete one collection spell, while the Enchantress from “The Sleeping Beauty” races to finish another.

Book Review: “Elantris” by Brandon Sanderson
Book Reviews / July 19, 2014

I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson before, and I’m generally leery of thick fantasy novels that have the look of “Book One of a Punishingly Long Series.” Three things convinced me to give this book a try. First is the fact that, although it was his first published novel back in 2005, Sanderson hasn’t written any sequels to it… yet. I’m told he plans to, but so far all he has rolled out is a novella set in the same universe, titled “The Emperor’s Soul”, and a short e-book called “The Hope of Elantris”. It’s possible we may luck out, and this will be a standalone novel; that would be just about perfect. The second and deciding vote in favor of reading it is the fact that an audiobook, read by Jack Garrett for Recorded Books, was available at the public library. Third, and making it unanimous, is the list of other works by Brandon Sanderson, which includes a bunch of other stuff that I suddenly want to read.