Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: The Demon's Surrender

Title: The Demon's Surrender
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (June 14, 2011)
Rating: 8/10
Source: library

The Goblin Market has always been the center of Sin’s world. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin’s place is in danger. Thrown out of the Market she loves, Sin is thrown together with brothers Nick and Alan—whom she’s always despised.

Alan has been marked by a magician and is being tortured so that the magicians can get to Nick. As Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see him in a new light—but she and Mae are locked in a fierce rivalry over who will inherit the leadership of the Goblin Market, and a decisive battle with the Aventurine Circle is looming. Mae’s brother, Jamie, is holed up with the magicians, his loyalties in question. And Nick—well, who knows what a demon might do to save his brother? How far will Nick go to save Alan—and what will it cost them all? Find out in this gripping conclusion to the trilogy Scott Westerfeld says is “full of shimmery marvels and bountiful thunder.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 9/14

They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.

One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos’s brother, Charles.

Even as Silas eagerly explores his father’s town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house—something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father’s disappearance. When Silas’s search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history—and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father—no matter the cost.

This sounds very interesting! Out Nov. 15th.

'Waiting On' Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Horns and Wrinkles

by Joseph Helgerson
Recommended ages 8-12
Rating: 9/10 stars

After last week's review of a folksy tale gone sci-fi, this week we have pure, unadulterated whimsy. The folks of Blue Wing, Minnesota know that there is magic along their stretch of the Mississippi - but in general they try not to talk about it much when things go 'rivery.' When Claire's cousin, Duke, starts growing a rhino's horn instead of a nose, and his parents turn to stone, Claire is unable to resist trying to help. Filled to the brim with trolls (both river and rock), fairies, shooting stars and helpful muskrats, this tale is chock full of unique and hilarious creatures. I absolutely loved it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Spoiled

Title: Spoiled
Authors: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Publisher: Poppy; (June 1, 2011)
Rating: 7/10
Source: library

Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix has just discovered that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world-famous movie star and red-carpet regular. Intrigued (and a little terrified) by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Los Angeles and plunges headfirst into the deep of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her life couldn't get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous, spoiled half sister, who welcomes Molly to la-la land with a smothering dose "sisterly love"...but in this town, nothing is ever what it seems. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Don't Stop Now

Title: Don't Stop Now
Author: Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; (June 7, 2011)
Rating: 6/10
Source: library

On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.

Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 9/7

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

I loved this author's first novel, The Replacement, and this sounds amazing as well. Plus, the cover is very cool. Coming in November!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Girl Who Could Fly

Well, this was a very strange read. It starts off sounding reminiscent of "Because of Winn-Dixie", with a precocious young girl and a folksy accent. And then suddenly the girl is taken from her home to an underground school, and the tone turns very sci-fi. The mix of folksiness and sci-fi was a bit discombobulating - the writing was very good and I enjoyed the concept, but I didn't fall in love the way I'd hoped. The characters were charming but a bit superficial and glossed-over. It wasn't as in-depth as I prefer my science fiction, but it may be a good entry point for the younger generation. It apparently has a new cover for its paperback release, which I think will be more appealing to younger kids. Listed as grades 4-7, but I'd say more like grades 4-6.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Across the Great Barrier

Title: Across the Great Barrier
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 1, 2011)
Rating: 9/10
Source: library

Eff is an unlucky thirteenth child - her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful seventh son of a seventh son. And yet, Eff is the one who saved the day for the settlements west of the Great Barrier. Her unique ways of doing magic and seeing the world, and her fascination with the magical creatures and land in the Great Plains push Eff to work toward joining an expedition heading west. But things are changing on the frontier.

There are new professors of magic for Eff and Lan to learn to work with. There's tension between William and his father. And there are new threats on the frontier and at home. To help, Eff must travel beyond the Barrier, and come to terms with her magical abilities--and those of her brother, to stop the newest threat encroaching on the settlers.

With wit, magic, and a touch of good pioneer sense, Patricia C. Wrede weaves a fantastic tale of the very wild west.