Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver

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*No Major Spoilers*

Cordelia Clay loves the work she and her father do together: saving and healing the remarkable creatures around Boston at the end of the nineteenth century. Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches, and Diggles, and Cordelia loves every one of them.

But their work must be kept secret—others aren’t welcoming to outsiders and immigrants, so what would the people of Boston do to the creatures they call “monsters”?

One morning, Cordelia awakens to discover that her father has disappeared—along with nearly all the monsters.

With only a handful of clues and a cryptic note to guide her, Cordelia must set off to find out what happened to her father, with the help of her new friend Gregory, Iggy the farting filch, a baby dragon, and a small zuppy (zombie puppy, that is).

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First off, I’d like to say, if you are a fan of the monsters and creatures in the Harry Potter universe, this theme gets expanded tenfold. Even though most monsters are only mentioned in passing, I feel this monster-filled world is just as fleshed out as in Harry Potter.

To imagine our world is filled with creatures that are only featured in mythology and fairy tales reminds me of the Pokemon video games, just without the animal abuse. The world feels so strange and alien since Cordelia was sheltered growing up in a house full of monsters.

One small nitpick I had early on was the similarities between the father and daughter’s names. I had to go back and reread sections because I got the two mixed up. Although to make up for it, I’m impressed at how the author gets us to bond with Cordelia and Cornelius and makes the disappearance more impactful without wasting our time.

As Cordelia’s search for her father and the monsters continues, I love all of the hijinx and misadventures the characters get into. In one case, Cordelia finds herself at a traveling circus that boasts a freak show of monsters. For Cordelia to think this circus as her monsters almost instantly, shows how young and somewhat immature she is.

I love the ending of this story, it wrapped everything up all nice and neat. Everyone learned from the struggles faced on the adventures shows through. Even Cornelius learns from his mistakes and moves on from the loss of his wife. So if you’re looking for a novel with a happy ending, you’ll find it here.

Although I know this is a children’s chapter book, I feel the issues discussed are appropriate for all ages. Friendship, racism, and growing up in a world that looks down upon the “lesser than”. Big issues discussed in appropriate ways.

I would recommend this for lovers of fantasy, monsters, and a coming of age story that’s worth the read. The Monsters of Cedar Street is a fun read for readers of all ages.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga

REVIEW: Delicious in Dungeon Vol. 1 by Ryoko Kui

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*No Major Spoilers*

When young adventurer Laios and his company are attacked and soundly thrashed by a dragon deep in a dungeon, the party loses all its money and provisions…and a member! They’re eager to go back and save her, but there is just one problem: If they set out with no food or coin to speak of, they’re sure to starve on the way! But Laios comes up with a brilliant idea: “Let’s eat the monsters!” Slimes, basilisks, and even dragons…none are safe from the appetites of these dungeon-crawling gourmands!

This manga caught my eye by the odd-sounding title. The theme of eating the monsters that are found in the dungeon is a unique idea. Most dungeon-crawlers are dependant on “standard” foods. Eating the monsters is unorthodox to most dungeon-crawler type scenarios.

My favorite character is Senshi, the dwarf. He joins the team at the beginning and teaches the group how to cook the monsters and how their diets affect their abilities to fight and travel. His unique perspective on the adventure is admirable and humorous.

My least favorite character is Marcille, the mage. She is against the whole idea of eating monsters and complains every step of the way. Even after Senshi proved to her time, and time again that eating monsters wasn’t a bad thing, she continued to complain throughout.

A unique touch I found in the story was whenever they cooked a dish, they would show the recipe and nutrition facts. I thought that was funny and added a nice touch to the story overall.

I would recommend this manga to lovers of dungeon-crawlers, monster lovers, and aspiring cooks alike. This is a unique take on the rehashed story of “going through the dungeon to save/do x,y, and z.

Buy on Amazon

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Dragon Consultant (Supernatural Consultant #1) by Mell Eight

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*No Spoilers*

Supernatural consultant Dane receives a call from the government about dealing with a couple of dragons that are making airplanes halt their flights. Dane goes to investigate the area, and things aren’t quite what they seem. Soon Dane’s alliance with the dragons will put his world in danger. Will Dane be able to help the dragons?

I enjoyed this book. It was different, there were all different kinds of supernatural creatures in this book! However, the main focus was on the dragons. I was wary of the fact that this is classified as an LGBT book. It only provided laughs and giggles because I’m immature in my sense of humor. So just be wary of that.

I enjoyed the wide range of characters, each felt unique and special. My favorite was Lumie! He’s adorable in the fact that he attaches himself to Dane’s leg, and travels with him wherever he goes. He even discovers his favorite candy is cinnamon bombs!

This was a nice and easy read, and I might continue reading this series. Whether for this blog, of for my own time.

I would recommend this book for fantasy lovers, LGBT, and if you’re looking for a quick and easy read.