Tag Archives: monsters

Book Review: Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney

Blood-Oranges

Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney Recommended Ages: 16+ Siobhan Quinn is a runaway, a junkie, and a tough chick, living by her wits in the streets of Providence, R.I. Things start to get really dark for her when she sees her girlfriend being eaten by a ghoul. She kills it, of course. Under the patronage of a flamboyant character whom she calls “Mean Mr. B,” she soon sets out on a career as a slayer ... Read More »

Exploring Animal Cruelty and Mistreatment in “Potter”

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It’s a well-known fact that throughout the "Potter" series we’re introduced to a number of different animals, both “Muggle” and magical, each of which are uniquely portrayed by Rowling in their own way. In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Rowling expressed that she typically liked to derive many of these creatures from folklore and mythology, and many, even the seemingly “normal” ones, exemplify magical properties (think owls delivering mail). Further, though, I think it’s important to recognize that a lot of the different creatures in the "Potter" series haven’t necessarily been given happy endings, or stories for that matter. Read More »

Review: Railsea by China Miéville

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Railsea by China Miéville Recommended Ages: 12+ I’m just going to come out and say this. It’s Moby-Dick, only without the boring bits. Well, no. What I just described would be an 80-page novelette. This is a full-size book, filled wall-to-wall with thrilling action, squirm-worthy tension, weird discoveries, and warm, appealing characters. Also, instead of water, the ocean in this version of Moby-Dick is a seemingly endless landmass filled with merging, splitting, tangling, and criss-crossing ... Read More »

Book Review: Empire of Bones by N. D. Wilson

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Empire of Bones by N. D. Wilson Recommended Ages: 12+ The third and final book of “The Ashtown Burials” features so many characters, doing so many things at once, in so many places, that even quite close to the end I couldn’t believe it was going to conclude the trilogy. I fully expected another cliffhanger, hooking us for a surprise fourth book, à la Brisingr. The good news—if you’ll pardon my relief—it really does end ... Read More »

Book Review: The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

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The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan Recommended Ages: 12+ In Book 2 of the “Kane Chronicles,” the Texas-based author of the “Tres Navarre” mysteries cleverly uses hilarious, romantic, magical, and thrill-packed entertainment to educate young adults about ancient Egyptian mythology. He’s very sneaky that way. But we’re not surprised, since he did the same thing with Greek mythology in the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series. Ditto Roman mythology in the “Heroes of Olympus” ... Read More »

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Recommended Ages: 13+ What happens when a filmmaker, vintage photograph collector, and author of a reference work on Sherlock Holmes decides to write a YA novel? What happens is this creepy, funny, weird fantasy involving monsters, time travel, and children with super powers, all accompanied by an atmospheric selection of black-and-white photos. Our narrator on this journey is sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman, a smart-mouthed rich kid from ... Read More »

Book Review: Pegasus by Robin McKinley

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Pegasus by Robin McKinley Recommended Ages: 12+ She has won the Newbery Medal (for The Hero and the Crown). She has won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (for Sunshine). She has entertained us with tales of vampires, fairies, dragons, and Robin Hood, as well as folk tales spruced up as novels. As the wife of Peter Dickinson, she dwells in a reactor-core of magic and beautiful storytelling that could reach critical mass at any time. All ... Read More »

Book Review: Seawitch by Kat Richardson

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Seawitch by Kat Richardson Recommended Ages: 14+ In the first six books of the Greywalker series, Seattle-based private eye Harper Blaine uses her unique abilities to interact with such paranormal beings as vampires, ghosts, poltergeists, necromancers, zombies, Chinese demons, Native American monsters, Egyptian gods, and Thames riverspawn. Her cases have taken her underground, into the ivory tower of academics, back in time (sort of), into the wilds of Twilight country, and back from the dead. ... Read More »

Book Review: The Drowned Vault by N. D. Wilson

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The Drowned Vault by N. D. Wilson Recommended Ages: 12+ In the second book of the Ashtown Burials, Order of St. Brendan journeymen Cyrus and Antigone Smith have survived the test that determined their right to seek shelter in the Order’s sanctuary at Ashtown, somewhere on the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan. But they have also earned the distrust and resentment of many other members of the order, by losing the Dragon’s Tooth. Now the ... Read More »

Book Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

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The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly Recommended Ages: 13+ The trail of “things to read after Harry Potter” has already led me past many books in which real-world characters get mixed up in the world where fairy tales and children’s stories are real. Off the top of my head, these include the work of authors Chris Colfer, Eoin Colfer, Ian Beck, Frank Beddor, Michael Buckley, Marissa Burt, Michael Ende, Lev Grossman, Tom Holt, ... Read More »