Review: The Glass Sentence, by S. E. Grove (2014)

Wow, what a gorgeously creative book. It also managed to hit such an unlikely array of my book kinks it’s like S. E. Grove pulled them out of a hat and made a book just for me. Let’s see, we have here some steampunk, maps, time travel (sort of), Boston … Continue reading

Review: The Islands of Chaldea, by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones (2014)

This is Diana Wynne Jones’ last book, finished by her sister Ursula after Diana’s death. It was a light, pleasant, fairly generic fantasy: four islands, different from each other and always at war; children with mysterious destinies; magical beasts in the form of pets; a main character who has to … Continue reading

Review: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (2011)

The pitch: The Cirque des Reves, designed at the turn of the last century as the stage for a magical competition. The competitors, irrevocably bound to their fathers’ deadly game. The rest of the circus company and its patrons, caught up in a gorgeous creation they barely understand. The review: … Continue reading

Review: Chime, by Franny Billingsley (Mar. 2011)

Briony Larkin is a witch. Her stepmother told her so before she died, a death for which Briony feels responsible. Briony’s youthful temper and magic also caused her twin sister Rose to be developmentally disabled. Briony avoids the swamp and the Old Ones that call to her, sullenly cares for … Continue reading

Review: The Shattering, Karen Healey (Sept. 2011)

I wrote this review when I read the book back in the spring, but as I talk about some spoilers below, I wanted to wait until it comes out. Which is tomorrow! I think Karen Healey is one of the best current YA authors, period — up there with Melina … Continue reading

Review: Princess Ben (2008) and Wisdom’s Kiss (Sept. 2011), Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Ben (short for Benevolence), the only child of the King of Montagne’s younger brother, is an indulged wild child, raised well clear of palace life — until she becomes heir when her beloved parents and the King are all killed. Princess training and responsibility do not suit her, but with … Continue reading

Review: Ash, Malinda Lo (2009)

A lesbian retelling of Cinderella. The Cinderella components are all pretty straightforward at first: dead mother, wicked stepmother and stepsisters, dead father, drastic change in circumstances. The fairies, in this case, are British-style — otherworldly long-lived beings who trap humans when they wander to the wrong part of the forest … Continue reading

Review: Guardian of the Dead, by Karen Healey

5 out of 5! Deposited at boarding school while her parents travel the world, 17-year-old Ellie is grumpy and lonely, but safe. But then New Zealand is rocked by a series of murders in which the victims’ eyes are taken, and the trail is leading closer to Ellie’s school. Her … Continue reading