Flyte by Angie Sage

flyte_angiesageThis sequel to the first book in the Septimus Heap series begins with a new foe that seems strangely familiar… ***SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST BOOK***  Boy 412, or Septimus Heap, as Aunt Zelda helped him to discover, is living a normal life as Marcia’s apprentice, or as normal as a wizard can get. Then one day, on a day that Marcia gives him to spend as he likes, he decides to visit Jenna in the Palace. Then suddenly Simon Heap appears and kidnaps Jenna! And, nobody will believe Septimus that Simon has kidnapped Jenna, making it difficult for him to do anything. How will he be able to get Jenna back? What does Simon want with her? That, until you read the book, is a secret that only the readers know.

I loved Flyte just as much as I loved Magyk. The escapades of Septimus and Jenna always are able to make me laugh, and those of a new(ish) character too, Beetle. Beetle is a worker at the Manuscriptorium, a place where they keep books and other things. He became friends with Septimus after they discovered their common interest in Magyk. Beetle is a bit weird, but that’s another reason that I like him. And, he has more in store for him in the five books to come (currently available in the library).

New character aside, there’s lots of other things that I like about Flyte. It has a lot more Magyk than in the first book, a big plus for me. It also links a lot of new stuff back to the first book, like a hidden room in the castle that might have something to do with Aunt Zelda’s cottage (hint, hint). I would give this book a 10 out of 10 because it’s an awesome book and because Angie Sage did a great job of bringing her characters back for a brand new adventure.

Flyte is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library

Dreamdark: Silksinger by Laini Taylor

silksinger_lainitaylorWarning: Contains spoilers if you haven’t read the first book.

In this sequel to Dreamdark: Blackbringer, Magpie, Talon, and the crows return. Magpie, now champion of the Magruwen, who is the Djinn King, sets out on a quest to find and wake the remaining five Djinn so that the Tapestry, which weaves the world and keeps it together, will not be lost forever. It also introduces the mysterious Hirik, and Whisper Silksinger, guardian of the Azazel, one of the very Djinn that Magpie is searching for. Together they must bring the Azazel to his temple before the demons catch them and destroy them all.

This sequel is just as good and maybe better than the first. It contains more action and many plot twists as well. To any who have read the first book, I would recommend this one. To those who have not, read the first book before considering this one, as much of the plot and characters contain elements from the first book and would confuse someone who did not have that information. This book contains slight violence, so I would not recommend this to anyone who is under the age of ten. I would rate this book a 10 out of 10, as it is just as good as the first. The only downside is that, for some reason the author left the series to start another and so even though this book leaves off at a point that implies that there will be other books, there aren’t any other books in the series. Dreamdark: Silksinger is a thrilling, enjoyable book that I would recommend to anyone in middle school or who likes fantasy.

Dreamdark: Silkbringer is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Public Library.

-Linna C.

Winterling by Sarah Prineas

winterling_sarahprineasWinterling was written by the same author of The Magic Thief, and it really lived up to my expectations. Winterling centers around a girl named Jennifer, “Fer” for short. She discovers the Way between her world and another after saving a boy named Rook from a pack of wolves. When she crosses the Way to return Rook to where he belongs, she discovers a strange power corrupting the land. She then sets out to find the cause and heal the land, before the evil Mor, the one corrupting the land, can finally achieve her goal: to rule a land that is hers and hers alone.

Winterling is fantastic. Prineas did just as good of a job on this book as The Magic Thief. It is of the fantasy genre, also similar to The Magic Thief. However, there are no spells in Winterling, only charms and oaths that bind two people by a promise. And, thankfully, Winterling is not the only book in its series. There are two others, Summerkin and Moonkind, each as thrilling as the first. These books are suitable for those in 4th grade and up. It contains slight violence, but laughs and magic as well. I would give this book 10 out of 10 stars, because it is a wonderful book that I really enjoyed.

-Linna C.

Winterling is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

daughtersmokebone_lainitaylorKarou seems to be an ordinary girl who goes to an art school and lives a normal life. Except for the fact that she draws monsters in her sketchbook. And aquamarine hair that grows straight out of her head. The thing is, those monsters in her sketchbook are real. Sweet Issa, the “snake goddess”, and Brimstone, the wishmonger, are only a few of these monsters, called chimaera, that she knows. And speaking of wishes, she gets them every year for her birthday, or when she runs errands for Brimstone, and uses them on things like her unnatural hair and the many languages she has in her collection. And her true life remains a secret to all, and everything goes fine for her. That is, until black, scorched handprints begin to appear on the doorways between Brimstone’s wish shop and the human world, and Karou knows she has to do something about them. But is it just too late?

I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I originally was going to read it at the recommendation of a friend, but when I found out that it was written by the same author who wrote Dreamdark: Blackbringer and Dreamdark: Silksinger, I wanted to read it even more. I admit I had my doubts because the author left her previous series mid-story to start this one, but once I started reading, it completely sucked me in. It didn’t let me down once, and I continued on to read the other two books in the trilogy, Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I would recommend this book to any teen, like my friend did for me, as although it has a little bit of violence, it is well worth your time. If you happen to see this book in a library or bookstore, pick it up, as it has a great read in store.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library.

Author Visit: Tui T. Sutherland

On Friday, November 7th, author Tui T. Sutherland paid a visit to the Mission Viejo Library. She has written many books under different pen names, and came to talk about them.

Probably the most well-known of all the series she has worked on are Warriors and Seekers, as she is part of the group writing under the Erin Hunter pen name, and for a longer time worked as their editor.

She also has written a series of her own, the Wings of Fire series. Wings of Fire stars five dragonets who are part of a special prophecy. So far, there are five books in the series, and a sixth, Moon Rising, which we got to hear a special preview of, is coming out in late December. It focuses on a dragonet named Moonwatcher, who inherited the power of prophecy, and has received a new prophecy that will change everything.

Tui has also written one book in the Spirit Animals series, Against the Tide. Spirit Animals is a unique series in that the authors receive a plotline and then can take it in whatever direction they like. Other authors that have written in the Spirit Animals series include Brandon Mull, Shannon Hale, and Marie Lu.

Another series of hers was written cooperatively with her sister, Kari Sutherland. The Menagerie is about a secret zoo in Wyoming that is discovered by a boy when six griffin cubs mysteriously escape. There are two other books in the series, Dragon on Trial, the second book, and Krakens and Lies, which is coming out in March 2015.

Many people love the books that Tui T. Sutherland writes, myself included. She has a certain way with writing that entrances you and absorbs you into her world. Many thanks that this amazing author was able to take time out of her day to visit all her fans and talk about her books.

-Linna C.,

Book Review: Magyk by Angie Sage

magyk_coverOne cold morning, Silas Heap, Ordinary wizard, finds a baby in the snow on his way home. Upon returning to the Ramblings, where he lives, he is confronted by ExtraOrdinary wizard Marcia Overstrand, who tells him to call the baby his own. Over the next ten years, Jenna, an orphan Princess whose mother was assassinated, is raised by the Heaps as their daughter in place of their “dead” seventh son. Until one day, when Marcia returns to take her to a safer place after hearing that a spy caught wind of Jenna’s existence, fearing that they may come to finish her off.

This book has become one of my personal favorites. I have great expectations for the rest of the books in the seven book series, being in the order from second to last, Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, Darke, and Fyre. There are many likeable characters, including but not limited to Jenna herself, Boy 412, Aunt Zelda, and the Boggart. One of the more interesting parts of the plotline is that one of the main characters doesn’t know who they really are until the very end of the book. I would recommend this book for people who are in fourth to eighth grade. It deals with a lot of Magyk (not a misspelling), is entertaining, and, at some times pretty amusing. I, being someone who enjoys fantasy novels, would give this book a ten out of ten and two thumbs up!

-Linna C., 8th grade

Book Review: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor

blackbringerMagpie Windwitch is the granddaughter of the West Wind, and also a demon hunter, just like her idol, Bellatrix, djinn champion. Magpie and her faithful clan of crows, led by one named Calypso, track down demons and seal them into bottles from which they can only be freed by one kind of creature: humans. They fish them out of the ocean and open them up, hoping to get three wishes, as one lucky human once got.

One day, Magpie comes across a very strange sight: a fishing boat, completely empty except for a few pairs of shoes. Magpie uses her “memory touch” on one of the pairs, hoping to find a clue as to what happened before their wearers disappeared. All she feels is hunger and darkness. Upon closer inspection, after the memory touch wears off, Magpie discovers a bottle used for sealing demons in the boat. With a shock, she realizes that the bottle was sealed by the Magruwen, king of djinn himself! She then heads to the Dreamdark, home of most faeries, to see if she can find any other clues to this puzzling incident.

This book is a book like no other, with charming characters and fearsome foes. It, like many other fantasy books, contains mythical creatures and a sort of afterlife, also known as the Moonlit Gardens, where all creatures go after they die. This is the reason why demons are bottled instead of killed, as not to disturb the peace there.

I would read it again and again without ever getting tired of it. 10 out of 10 is what this book deserves, being probably in the top ten that I have ever read.

-Linna C., 7th grade

Book Review: I Even Funnier, by James Patterson

i_even_funnierWARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t read I Funny, you may want to skip this for now…

In this sequel to I Funny, Jamie Grimm comes back with a bang.

After winning the competition for Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic in Long Island and in New York, next up is the competition in Boston. But before that, he still has to deal with Stevie Kosgrov, bully extraordinaire, and goes on a date with Gilda Gold to a movie theater. Joey Pierce and Jimmy Gaynor, Jamie’s best friends, come along as well. While at the theater, Gaynor treats all of them to popcorn, and lots of other things with cash that “his mother gave him.”

However, Kosgrov comes along and ruins everything, and Jamie and Pierce find out that Gaynor got the money from stealing out of people’s lockers. After all of this, Jamie goes to the competition in Boston. There, he gets trampled by one of his former idols and finds out that Judy, who came in second at the competition in New York, is back for round two. Does he win? Read more to find out!

I liked this book a lot, maybe even better than the first one! A few new characters are introduced, and as mentioned in my review of I Funny, there is a crossover for a few pages where Rafe Khatchadorian(Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and others) meets Jamie Grimm! Also, there are slightly more jokes than in the first volume, and there are better jokes as well. Overall I would give this a 9.5 out of 10- not perfect, but fantastic all the same.

-Linna C., 7th grade

Manga Review: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Vol. 1, by Hiroshi Shiibashi

yokai_clan1Rikuo Nura is an ordinary eight-year old, except for one thing. His grandfather is Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of all yokai (a Japanese kind of monster). So, he’s an average kid until night falls, and then he transforms and leads an army of yokai.

Since he’s the supreme commander’s grandson, many of the yokai in his clan expect him to take up the title of third supreme commander. However, there are others in the clan that aren’t so happy about him possibly becoming “the third,” especially Gagoze, a child-eating yokai.

The one day Rikuo doesn’t take the bus to school, Gagoze tries and fails to kill Rikuo by causing rocks to fall onto the school bus that normally took Rikuo to school. When Rikuo learns that his bus was hit by rocks, he transforms, and leads the main house of the Nura clan to rescue his friends. Once he gets there, and Gagoze realizes that he had failed to kill him, Gagoze decides just to kill all of Rikuo’s friends. However, Rikuo succeeds in rescuing his friends and defeating Gagoze. Then he declares that he will become the third.

Unfortunately, the daytime or human Rikuo has no intentions of becoming the third, and has no memories of when he transforms into his yokai form. Four years later, the Nura clan still cannot make the decision of naming twelve-year old Rikuo as the third, because he continues to live a human life. And all of this happened in just the first chapter!

I loved this manga series from the moment I picked it up and started reading. It contains two of my favorite things in a book: comedy and action. One part that I think is really funny is that one of the minor characters in the story is named Natto-Kozo, and for those that don’t know, “natto” means fermented soybeans. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a ten. Great storyline, fantastic art, everything about this series is awesome. I can’t wait until I get my hands on the rest of the books.

-Linna C., 7th grade

Book Review: The Shadow Throne, by Jennifer A. Nielsen

shadow_throneI was really excited for the release of the final book in the Ascendance trilogy. In it, Imogen is kidnapped AGAIN, King Vargan of Mendanwal (remember him?) launches an attack on Carthya, and ***spoiler alert*** Imogen dies.

I appreciated the fact that there was a lot of battle scenes, but, in a way, it was a bit of a let down, being of the action-adventure genre, and you’d expect a lot more of the “action” part. However, there is a little bit of romance in it as well, and that was one of the things that I didn’t really like about it; for others it may be just the thing that makes the book one of their favorites.

I had expected a lot more from the “thrilling” conclusion to the Ascendance trilogy, but if there’s nothing else to read, I say go for it. Who knows? It may be just the right thing for the reader. Appropriate for all ages, like the two books before it, it was good in some parts, and just meh in others. Overall, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it, but it’s an okay read. I would probably rate this a 7 out of 10, while the others before it were a lot better. In my opinion, after having great expectations for this book, I consider it to be a bit of a let-down.

-Linna C., 7th grade