Category Archives: young adult

Book Review: The Queen of the Dead: Silence by Michelle Sagara

DAW
289 pp.

The Queen of the Dead: Silence ended up giving me a lot of nostalgia for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even though Silence is almost nothing at all like Buffy the Vampire Slayer except for the entire “group of kids and one of them is extremely special with special powers,” thing. In this case, our main protagonist is a girl named Emma who is mourning the death of her boyfriend Nathan. She makes a habit of visiting his grave at night and one night she encounters Eric, a new student at her school and a very strange old woman. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Michelle Sagara, Review: Book, urban, young adult

Book Review: Emilie & the Hollow World, by Martha Wells

STRANGE CHEMISTRY
301 pp.

Martha Wells is one of my favorite writers. I enjoy her characters and worldbuilding, which tends toward fantasy of the magic-fueled technology variety. (There is really not enough of this kind of fantasy out there.) You will get airships, adventure and sorcery, and enjoy every minute of it. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Martha Wells, non-earth, Review: Book, steam punk, young adult

Book Review: The Demon’s Surrender, by Sarah Rees Brennan

Margaret K. McElderry Books
387 pp.

In The Demon’s Surrender, the point of view shifts to Sin. Up to this point, her entire life has revolved around the Market, and her family. She is currently in competition with Mae to win control of the Goblin Market. Since Mae is a “tourist,” Sin does not think Mae has what it takes to become the next leader. (Unfortunately, the current leader feels it is an even match, hence the competition.) Sin’s life is also greatly complicated by the escalating war between the Market and the magicians, her home life, her father, and the possibility of a romantic relationship with Alan Ryves. (With whom she was emphatically not interested in previously, so it is a surprise to both of them.) Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Review: Book, Sarah Rees Brennan, young adult

Book Review: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Dial
339 pp
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Five Flavors of Dumb combines a high school garage band that may or may not be good, with a would-be manager who is deaf in this slice-of-life young adult novel. Our Heroine is Piper, a high school senior who accepts a challenge to find a paying gig for the band “Dumb” within a month. (A band that somehow won a Battle of the Bands competition despite having only three songs, all covers to their name and not enough practice between them.) She accepts the challenge mostly because she needs the money; it seems that her parents decided to raid her college fund so they could pay for a cochlear implant for Piper’s baby sister Grace.   Continue reading

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Filed under book, book review, Review: Book, young adult

Book Review: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Square Fish
243 pp.

Nomansland is a YA post-apocalyptic novel. Our Heroine is a girl named Keller, who is a “Tracker” or warrior for a restrictive and extremely dysfunctional all-female community living on an isolated island. (The community has extremely strict rules of behavior and appearance that are harshly punished if disobeyed.) There are no men in the community, and Keller has been raised to view men as enemies, though the island has apparently never been attacked. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, book, book review, Review: Book, science fiction, young adult

Book Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Simon and Schuster
329 pp.

Fair warning: I did not much care for this book. It was more or less readable, but I had no feelings for any of the characters, who were basically cardboard figures being dragged along by the plot. I also found some of the writing to be very clunky, and flat out disagreed with several of the points the writer seemed to be fumbling toward. (My feelings for this book are nearly the same as my feelings for the The Stand, another apocalypse novel that I really do not like very much.) It has a very open and somewhat weak ending, and the last couple pages are not numbered for apparently atmospheric reasons.

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Filed under apocalyptic, book, fantasy, Jeyn Roberts, Review: Book, young adult

Book Review: Trickster’s Girl by Hilari Bell

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

281 pp.

This is not a book review. I was not able to finish the book or even get farther than three chapters.  This is because Trickster’s Girl is kind of awful. It is a “gee, why don’t I write a fantasy with a completely random non-specific hodge-podge of Native American mythology and then completely disrespect it via my heroine!” kind of book. It is a “why don’t I glom together a bunch of Native American belief systems then randomly throw in new agey ley lines!” kind of book. It is a “I have never heard of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland and therefore do not realize how badly I needed it!” kind of book. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, book, fantasy, Hilari Bell, near future, race/ethnicity issues, Review: Book, science fiction elements, young adult