Review: Cleopatra’s Moon, by Vicky Alvear Shecter (Aug. 2011)

The pitch: Cleopatra Selene, daughter of the late Cleopatra and Marc Antony, has been cast out of Rome by Octavian and is sailing to meet her fate, a new husband she doesn’t know. Her beloved twin brother is dead; she is desperate to bury him in the Egyptian fashion, which … Continue reading

Review: Wentworth Hall, by Abby Grahame (May 2012)

This slight Downton Abbey knock-off takes place at Wentworth Hall, home of the Darlingtons, a down-on-their-luck noble family with nothing much left but their title. The book is full of the same sort of scandals that haunt the Granthams of Downton: illegitimate children, love between the classes, unfortunate matches with … 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 Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson (Sept. 2011)

Rory, a small-town Louisiana girl, is about to start her senior year of high school at a boarding school in London. Not just any school, though — this one is right in the middle of the legendary Jack the Ripper’s hunting grounds. When a copycat killer strikes, Rory’s school is … Continue reading