Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Middle Grade

The Last Gargoyle

Review:

Audience: Middle Grade
Format: Hardcover/Library Copy

My earliest memory is of a crib, a darkened room, and three shadows slipping through the doorway with bad intentions.
– first sentence

This is such a charming book with fun characters and an exciting story. The story includes Grotesques, Bone Masons, Netherkin, Shadow Men, and the Boneless King. It has danger, mystery, good & evil, and suspense. I really liked it.

Penhallow is a gargoyle but he wants you to call him a grotesque. He protects his building and his wards from evil. When he loses his two best friends and faces a new enemy, he feels completely alone, until Viola turns up on his roof.

I loved Penhallow and Viola’s relationship. They are cute together and she is stronger than she seems. I also enjoyed Penhallow’s way of looking at the world and talking. He calls college students, “practice adults”. Here is the definition from Penhallow’s glossary:

Practice Adults:
Nocturnal creatures who seem to serve no useful purpose other than to keep taverns and pizza delivery people in business.

I highly recommend this book to middle-grade readers who enjoy dark fantasy with a touch of humor.

I read this for Snakes and Ladders space #16. Genre: fantasy.

I’m also using it for the Goodreads HA a to z challenge. 🙂

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1855140/the-last-gargoyle

Posted in Adult, book games, Book Review, Booklikes, Fantasy

What the Night Knows – audiobook

Review:

What the Night Knows - Dean Koontz

Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook/Owned

What year these events transpired is of no consequence.
– first sentence

Overall, this book was just ok. The children were supposed to be brilliant, but never really talked to each other (or their parents) about the supernatural experiences they were having. The father, John Calvino was my favorite character in the book; he was deeply troubled and haunted by the murder of his parents and sisters (and his killing the murderer) that occurred many years ago. However, despite his supposedly close relationship with his wife, he never confided in her about his fears nor she in him about the weird things happening. If any of them had spoken to each other, the power of the “evil” would have been somewhat thwarted. Calvino is a police detective and somehow manages to reveal some of his suspicions to his boss and his partner, but not his wife (not until much later anyway). The time Koontz spent on the partner and his actions seems wasted as he didn’t end up playing as big a role as I thought he would.

The story had some holes and some of the descriptions were a bit overdone. But the end was interesting and the idea that one utterance could cause someone to be so haunted that they basically invited evil to follow them was interesting. The audio was well done and I enjoyed listening but I don’t really recommend this one.

I read this one for Snakes and Ladders:
9. Author’s last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1853446/what-the-night-knows-audiobook

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Grades 3-5, Sunshine State 2018-19

Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

Review:

Audience: Grades 1-5
Format: Hardcover – Library Copy

“What is it, Sassafras?” I crouched down and ruffled my cat’s fluffy fur.
– first sentence

This book is a fabulous early chapter book. Zoey and her cat Sassafras both love bugs and science and when Zoey discovers that her mom secretly takes care of magical creatures, she is eager to help. Zoey, a budding scientist, wears her thinking goggles on her head when she needs to concentrate. And when she finds a baby dragon, she uses the scientific method to determine how to help him.

So, not only is this book fun, but it also explains the scientific method (including a glossary at the end). It is much more meaningful than I thought it would be. With a strong female lead who happens to be African American, and all the science thrown in, it goes above and beyond what you expect from an early chapter book. The entire series is a must-have for any elementary library collection.

Highly recommended.

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1845790/zoey-sassafras-dragons-and-marshmallows

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror, Young Adult

Full Tilt

Review:

Full Tilt - Neal Shusterman

 

It began the night we died on the Kamikaze.

– First sentence

This is a great Creepy Carnival book. Blake, his brother Quinn, and their friends Russ & Maggie end up trapped in an otherworldly carnival. The only way out is if they can ride seven rides before dawn. But each ride taps into one of their biggest fears, and no one has ever escaped before…

I enjoyed this one. It was fast-paced and creepy with a satisfying ending. It doesn’t take long to get to the carnival part and I enjoyed watching Blake try to figure things out.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1794045/full-tilt

Posted in Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Fantasy, Grades 3-5

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood

Review:

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Upper Elementary/Middle School

The first time I tried my hand at magic, I grew roses out of my nose.

– First sentence

Red’s granny is sick (maybe dying) and she is determined to find a way to save her. She sets off on an adventure that brings understanding, knowledge, fear, excitement and even unexpected friendships.

Other books in this series include Rump, Jack, and Grump. They all come from the same world, but see it from different perspectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. I haven’t read Grump, but I’m sure it won’t disappoint. Red is a great character though a bit naive and sheltered. She learns a great deal during her adventure and grows into a stronger person.

Bottom line: A fresh take on the story of Red Riding Hood that will take you on an exciting adventure filled with danger and unexpected friendships.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1787726/red-the-true-story-of-red-riding-hood

Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Wings and Ruin

Review:

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas, Amanda Leigh Cobb

Audience – Young Adult

 

I loved this book. It was a fantastic end to the series. I highly recommend it. The narrator is different for this book, but she did an amazing job. There is less sex in this one than in the previous book (which was sort of a relief – it was a bit much in the last one but it did make sense in the context of the story).

After 64 hours in the world of Prythian, I am ready for something new. But I’m thrilled to have met Feyre & Rhysand and the rest of their family. This series is a must-read for fans of Maas, and of fantasy.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1781482/court-of-wings-and-ruin

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Mist & Fury – Audiobook

Review:

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Ikeda

Audience – Young Adult

Maybe I’d always been broken and dark inside.

– first sentence

Feyre is now High Fae, but she still has her human heart and she cannot forget all she did to save Tamlin and his court. She is depressed, but Tamlin is too busy trying to protect and save her to notice. She still has the deal with Rhysand, new powers that she doesn’t understand, and Prythian is still in danger.

I loved this book for so many reasons. Mass takes us on an emotional journey as Feyre learns to control and develop her powers and to respect herself and understand what she needs to be happy. She leaves a controlling relationship for herself, not for another guy.  She is an amazing character and so strong.

Again Mass makes us love the characters, despite or maybe because of their flaws. So many characters turned out to be different than I expected. The story is emotional, sexy, serious, sad sometimes and funny at others. I loved Rhys’s team and the way he respects and loves them. I loved Feyre’s strength and her gradual acceptance that she is worthwhile and deserving of happiness.

And then, the end. WOW – what a twist. I was so angry along with Feyre and so sad at what happened. And then after that crazy, unfortunate twist, Feyre made a decision that broke my heart…

And I’m immediately on to the next book.

P.S. This book was 23 hours, the next is 25 hours.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1773706/court-of-mist-fury-audiobook

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Thorns & Roses – audio

AGE: Young Adult

Review:

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Ikeda

The forest had become a labrynith of snow and ice.

first sentence

Feyre is a nineteen-year-old girl who supports her family by hunting. When she kills a wolf, she violates a centuries-old treaty. As punishment, she must live with Tamlin, a powerful, immortal faerie in the land of Prythian. Feyre goes from hating Tamlin to falling in love with him, but there is a darkness over the land and Feyre may be their only hope.

This is a robust story with unexpected twists and turns. Feyre taught herself how to hunt in order to keep her family alive. She is a powerful girl and definitely not a typical fairy tale heroine – who needs a strong male to save her. I loved Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and even Rhys and I hated Amarantha and her evil court. I loved the derisive tone the narrator gave to Feyre’s thoughts about certain characters and the emotion she infused into the story.

The end of this book was fabulous and I immediately started listening to book 2 (thank goodness for audible credits). The narrator did an excellent job, and I hope she continues with the next two books.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1773224/court-of-thorns-roses-audio

Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Graphic Novel

Review:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel - Cassandra Jean, Ransom Riggs

Love this graphic novel version of Peculiar Children – the story, the illustrations, the way it’s black & white in the “normal” world and turns to color in the “loop”. If you liked the original, you will surely enjoy this one. It even includes black & white photos found in the original book.

 

Original post:
readingismyescape.booklikes.com/post/1770048/miss-peregrine-s-home-for-peculiar-children-graphic-novel