Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Modo: Ember’s End by Arthur Slade

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*No Major Spoilers*

Based on the world of Arthur Slade’s Hunchback Assignments, Modo: Ember’s End follows the titular character on a new adventure. Modo has been trained by the British to be a secret agent and is about to find more action than he can handle in the wild-west town of Ember’s End.

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I was browsing the virtual library, and the cover of Modo: Ember’s End caught my eye. I thought it would make for a fun and entertaining read. Now that I’m finished reading the novel let’s look at this graphic novel.

First off, I am a fan of westerns with a sci-fi twist; steampunk. I have reviewed other novels of this subgenre, which you can check out here when you’re finished reading this review. Modo: Ember’s End makes it’s way to a family-friendly subgenre with plenty of western hijinks and adventure.

One nitpick I had was how Octavia was portrayed as a dumb brutish blonde. I am not familiar with the Hunchback Assignments series, so I don’t know if Octavia is a returning character or if she only appears in this spinoff. However, either way, it’s nothing major that takes away from this story.

Overall I had fun with the story. I loved the humor the author put into this story, and I think this graphic will be fun for the whole family. I’d recommend Modo: Ember’s End if you’re looking for a family-friendly western for all ages.

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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, Novels

REVIEW: The Spinner Prince (Pride Wars #1) by Matt Laney

lion *No Major Spoilers*

Prince Leo is next in line for the throne of Singara, a land ruled by super-evolved felines. Like every thirteen-year-old, Leo must prove his worth by hunting a deadly beast called a slaycon. But killing a slaycon is the least of Leo’s problems. The enemy beyond the Great Wall is rising up. Inside the wall, Singara is being torn apart by Leo’s rebellious cousin. Worst of all, Leo is a Spinner, cursed with a dangerous and forbidden power he can’t control.

The future of Singara is in Leo’s hands. Can he conceal his curse, claim the throne, and protect his realm? Or will he embrace his power and discover a far greater destiny . . . for himself and for his world?

I have been a fan of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter for a long time. The way she could personify the cats to make them believable characters was well done. Matt Laney has created believable and in-depth characters.

This novel is meant for middle grade-level readers, however, I found this book to be enjoyable for all ages. The characters are relatable and remind me of The Lion King movie in a sense. A young lion is to take over the throne, but a family member gets in the way…you know the rest.

However, this is not word for word like the movie. There are enough differences and variations to make this novel in its own uniqueness and story.

Being a Spinner in Leo’s world is highly forbidden. A Spinner is someone who tells fictitious stories. In a world, where only facts and nonfiction rules, you can see why this would be a problem.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel. The story is good, and it leaves just enough of a cliff-hanger to keep you interested in the series. I would recommend this novel for adult and children alike. A good book to share with the family.

I would also recommend this novel for lovers of the Warriors series as well as the Lion King movie.

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

ARC REVIEW: The High Climber of Dark Water Bay by Caroline Arden

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*Spoilers Ahead*

**Huge thanks to Turner Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this novel early**

  ***The High Climber of Dark Water Bay by Caroline Arden will be hitting your local bookshelves June 5, 2018, ***

This novel takes place in Seattle in the 1920’s. Times are hard after the war, and it’s no different for twelve-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzie” Parker. Her parents have died and now lives with her sister and her fiance and her newborn nephew.

As Lizzie’s sister’s fiance can’t find a job, Lizzie finds herself on a trip to Dark Water Bay. Her rich uncle has invested in the small logging camp and offered Lizzie to come and tutor her younger cousins for $100. Money that Lizzie’s family desperately needs.

As soon as she reaches Vancouver, things start to go wrong. Her uncle had left the camp months ago, and the owner of the logging camp is not as nice as he seems. How will Lizzie survive in the wilderness with no means to escape?

**Spoilers Ahead**

This book is classified as a book for children in middle school. However, I think it’s for more of the older middle schoolers. There are gambling and a few curse words mentioned in this book. So maybe a PG-13 rating.

I don’t read kids books that often, however, this one did not disappoint. This had me entertained and enthralled throughout. The action was good, and the descriptions of the scenery made me want to take a trip to Dark Water Bay and see the sights for myself.

Lizzie is a very relatable character. She comes from a prim and proper lifestyle and is thrust into a world where sweat and grease are the lifestyles. Seeing her change as the story went on felt practical. She is a dynamic character and changes throughout her adventure.

I loved the uniqueness of each logger. I especially loved Red. He was like a father-figure to Lizzie and gave her advice, and helped her overcome her challenges. All the loggers were more or less caring and supportive towards Lizzie as she discovered her place in the camp.

Overall this was a pretty good book. The characters were realistic and believable. The atmosphere was fantastic. This was an enjoyable read. I would recommend this for upper middle school and above.

Pre-Order it on Amazon (not sponsored)