Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

TitleSix of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows Series | Book 1
Pages: 480
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 29, 2015)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The Grisha novel, Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardguo describes criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker’s perilous quest for wealth.

When Kaz Brekker, deadly criminal prodigy with a mysterious past in the city of Ketterdam is offered a chance to earn gold–a dangerous offer which might get him killed–he accepts. If he can break into the notorious Ice Court of Fjerda and retrieve a hostage harboring secret knowledge that could destroy the world, he will be showered with wealth.

In his quest for wealth, Kaz assembles a cunning group of six dangerous outcasts: Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan.

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series | Book 1
Pages: 382
Publisher: Quirk Books; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, blends black-and-white photographs with a haunting dark fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman lives a relatively ordinary life. But when his senile grandfather, Abraham Portman, calls him frantically for help and raves madly about someone coming to find him, his mundane life is shattered. At the sight of his grandfather’s murder, he beholds a terrifying monster, but even more terrifying: only he can see it.

Seeking answers, Jacob convinces his parents to let him travel to a Welsh island with an abandoned orphanage that might hold the keys to his grandfather’s past and his future.

When Jacob visits the orphanage, which was destroyed by a World War II bomb, he encounters a girl who can hold flames and an invisible boy. Through them, he is drawn into the world of the Peculiars: a group of people with Peculiar abilities who can never age as long as they’re in their time loop.

But there are wonders and dangers in the Peculiar world. Tentacled creatures called hollowgast prey on Peculiars when they can and the wights–hollowgasts who’ve preyed on enough Peculiars to regain a semblance of human life–are planning something new.

Can Jacob embrace his own powers while protecting his newfound Peculiar friends?

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Review: The Island of Doctor Libris by Chris Grabenstein

The novel, The Island of Doctor Libris, by Chris Grabenstein explores the mystery of the eccentric Doctor Libris’s library through Billy G.

Billy G.’s parents are divorced so he splits his time between his dad and mom. He’ll spend the summer with his mom . With his mom working on an important paper,hHe expects he’ll be bored out of his mind.

When Billy G. breaks his new iPhone, he’s forced to discover another means of entertainment. He finds it in Doctor Libris’s library. To his astonishment, he discovers that whenever he opens a book and reads aloud, he can hear the story being played out on an island whose purpose his unknown.

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Review: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

The book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein tells a story about twelve twelve-year olds and a library.

After smashing a window, Kyle Keeley is grounded, which means no electronics for a week. So when he learns of an opportunity to attend an exclusive lock-down in the new public  library that is full of advanced technology and games he’s very interested. In order to be counted among the twelve twelve-year olds who can attend the lock-down Kyle must write an essay, but the essays are due the day he finds out about the contest.

Kyle only writes one sentence before his teacher collects his unfinished essay: Balloons. There might be balloons. But through some small miracle Kyle’s essay is picked along with his two friends’ Akimi and Miguel.

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Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, is a fantasy book with a unique twist on the classic fairy tales by Brothers Grimm.

Sophie and Agatha live in Gavaldon, they’re best friends, but they couldn’t be more clashing from the inside out and in demeanor and personality.

Sophie; a fanatic worshipper of pink, dresses, beauty accessories, and all things girly, likes doing good deeds (or so she thinks). Her well-known desire centers around being kidnapped by the mysterious School Master that visits the village every year to kidnap children to take to the Schools of Good and Evil. At the schools, she envisions herself in pink at Good, excelling in school and at last graduating a fairy-tale princess with a handsome prince–happily ever after in a white castle.

On the other hand, Agatha is an outcast in society and is regarded as “the witch’s daughter” or “the freak”, she dresses in all black and is rarely friendly. She’s content with her life in a graveyard, with her mother and black cat, Reaper. Everyone in Gavadon avoided her or taunted her and even went to measures to make sure their children and pets avoid her. Hardly anybody likes her.

When the School Master strikes again that year, Sophie and Agatha find themselves the kidnapped children. Both expect that they know where they’ll go: pink with Good; black with Evil.

But when Agatha finds herself dropped into pink mist by the bony Stymph birds and Sophie discovers herself left in a swampy moat, their expectations are reversed. All Agatha wants is to go home. She despises her frilly, shallow classmates and tries at once to find Sophie.

Sophie has her hopes set on switching schools with Agatha. The dirty, unfashionable Nevers of Evil is not where she thinks she belongs. With classes like Uglification and Henchmen Training, she’s absolutely certain that she belongs among the gorgeous Ever girls and boys.

The moment Agatha finds a way to force her way onto Evil’s grounds, she begins to frantically search for Sophie wanting nothing, but to go home  and escape the horrible schools. Her pleas are thrown out the window with extreme disregard by Sophie however who immediately ignores Agatha’s idea and with force tries to make Agatha switch schools with her by changing uniforms.

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Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series | Book 1
Pages: 432 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 7, 2013)
Rating: 4.25 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The novel, Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas begins the saga of the eighteen-year old assassin, Celaena Sardothien.

Since she was apprehended in currently unknown circumstances, Celaena Sardothien has been slaving away in the salt mines of Endovier. In Endovier, she has endured savage conditions and has permanent scarring on her back to show for it.

After about a year, however, Chaol Westfall (Captain of the Guards) brings Celaena before Dorian Havilliard (Crown Prince of Adarlan). Dorian offers Celaena a proposition. If she fights in the Adarlan king’s competition to become his assassin as Dorian’s champion and wins, she will earn her freedom after four years of service.

At the castle in Rifthold, Celaena’s body recovers from its abuse and she accustoms to the luxuries of living in a palace. However, shortly before the competition’s first elimination trial, a contestant turns up dead and nearly indistinguishable.

Celaena finds herself fighting not only for her freedom, but for her survival too as the Champions’ (the contestants) deaths continue.

Will she be able to find and stop the mysterious killer and win the competition, all while concealing a deadly secret of her own?

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Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

nerdist.comTitle: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes series | Book 1
Pages: 464 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (February 9, 2016)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The novel, An Ember in the Ashes, intertwines the stories of Laia, Elias, and Helene.

Laia is a Scholar, a part of the Scholar Empire, which the Martial Empire conquered. She lives with her grandparents and her brother on the Empire’s back streets and does not challenge the Empire because those who do quickly meet death. But when her brother comes home with his mysterious notebook with a Mask (an Empire soldier) behind him, she must seek out the Resistance (the rebel group) to rescue him.

Elias is a Mask-in-training who is about to graduate from Blackcliff Military Academy. Despite being the son of the Commandant, a ruthless women who runs Blackcliff, he is different from the other Masks because he shows mercy to others. Before being selected for a daunting competition, Elias prepares to flee the Empire so he can be free. He knows that being a soldier means doing whatever the Empire asks of him.

Helene is Elias’s friend and fellow Mask-in-training. She is Blackcliff’s only female student in Elias’s year, but she is a skilled warrior. She will do anything to save Elias who she knows is reluctant to serve the Empire.

GoodReads Synopsis

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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Review: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

The thrilling second novel of the Inheritance Cycle, Eldest, by Christopher Paolini delivers magic, suspense, adventure within six-hundred sixty-eight delightful pages. Eldest is told in alternating perspectives between Eragon, Roran (Eragon’s cousin/adoptive older brother), and Nasuada (Ajihad’s daughter and new leader of the Varden.)

SPOILER ALERT: Proceed with caution if you have no read Eragon yet and would like to.

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