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. 🙂
First, pets go missing, and then a child is killed. Twelve-year-old Penny and her friends hear the gossip about Caleb and they, like all the parents, think he is the killer. After all, he terrorized the town before he was sent away and now he is back.
The story was okay. The characters don’t have a lot of depth and Caleb is basically just a shadow of evil. The final reveal is a bit of a stretch. But it was a quick read with some twists and creepy moments. It’s aimed at middle-grade readers and I think that age group would enjoy it.
This is book one in The Library series, about a magical library that helps spirits whose stories have been disrupted by supernatural events. After Marcus finds the key that opens the door to the library, he is confronted by a creepy old lady who demands that he “Surrender the key.” Along with his friends, Lu and Theo, Marcus must fight an ancient enemy and protect the library.
I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job. The forward gave interesting information about the author and the other books in this series, complete with creepy laugh. The only slightly annoying part was when the narrator read for the librarian who has a Scottish accent. It was a bit distracting.
While this book was much shorter than what I’m used to, the length is perfect for young readers. I was a bit disappointed when it ended so soon. Middle-grade readers will want more of this scary, thrilling adventure. Some may find they want to leave the lights on after reading, but the story is worth it.
This book has also been released as Surrender the Key. There is one more book in the series so far (Black Moon Rising), and book 3, The Oracle of Doom, will be released in October of this year. After reading this book, I am interested in checking out other series by this author including The Pendragon series, and The Morpheus Road series.
Has anyone out there read either of those or something else by MacHale?
Recommended to: Readers in grades 5-8 who are looking for a scary adventure series.
This is an enchanting adventure that kids are sure to love. There is magic, talking animals, danger, friendship, and by the end Raffa realizes that choices (and people) are not always what they seem to be. The plot is unresolved at the end (which makes sense because this is a trilogy), but all three books are already released so it’s easy to continue with Raffa’s adventure.
Highly recommended to students in grades 4 and up, fans of fantasy, magic, and adventure.
I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job.
Some secrets are small — the size of a battery, or a button, or a scrap of paper. Other secrets are so big they can bury a man alive, or tear apart a family … or even destroy the world. Omega City was both.
Gillian’s dad is a historian who specializes in Cold War conspiracies and wrote a book about Aloysius Underberg, a brilliant Cold War engineer. But Dr. Underberg is missing and Gillian’s dad has been discredited. When Gillian is faced with an opportunity to solve Underberg’s greatest mystery and prove her dad right, she can’t resist. She enlists the help of her brother Eric, best friend Savannah, a NASA obsessed boy from school (Howard), and Howard’s brother Nate. Others are searching for Underberg’s secrets too, and they will stop at nothing to get them first.
This is an adventurous mystery with a strong female protagonist. Gillian’s team faces life-threatening situations, including nerve gas in an elevator, goons with guns, and scuba diving in unknown waters. I think middle-grade readers will enjoy this thrilling adventure. (for fans of Luck Uglies or City of Ember). Grades 5-8
Wow. I honestly did not expect to like this as much as I did. This book is scary, nail-biting, compassionate and somewhat realistic. But I am glad that my summer camp experiences were never this intense.
I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of death. There are a lot of crazy “rabid” animals. There are good kids and bad, brave kids and cowards, and there are a lot of slow revelations about the kids’ backgrounds.
This book is fantastic if you like a realistic story with a heavy dose of fright.
This is on the 2016-2017 Sunshine State Nomination list of books for grades 6-8. And it is good for those grades and above, but I will suggest to our elementary librarian that we leave it out of our collection. As I always say, you know your kids. This book is intense, but if you have a budding horror fan (as I was as a preteen), they will probably love it.
Book 2: The Inquisitor’s Mark, by Diane K. Salerni
Book 3: The Morrigan’s Curse, by Diane K. Salerni
I loved this series. Unknown to “normals,” there is an eighth day between Wednesday and Thursday called Grunsday. The people that know about this day are descended from King Arthur, Merlin and others from that time. Some of them are “transitioners” who are able to live in normal days as well as Grunsday. Some are “kin” and are stuck only living on Grunsday. Merlin created the eighth day to trap the kin and Merlin’s descendants are the ones keeping the magic of Grunsday alive. There are only two descendants of Merlin left and everyone wants to protect or control them.
That’s the idea, without giving too much away. Basically, if you like fantasy or adventure, read this series. I loved it!!
When Una Fairchild stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, she thinks nothing of opening the cover and diving in. But instead of paging through a regular novel, Una suddenly finds herself Written In to the land of Story — a world filled with Heroes and Villains and fairy tale characters.
But not everything in Story is as magical as it seems. Una must figure out why she has been Written In – and fast – before anyone else discovers her secret. Together with her new friend Peter and a talking cat named Sam, Una digs deep into Story’s shadowy past. She quickly realizes that she is tied to the world in ways she never could have imagined — and it might be up to her to save it.
Fabulous story, great characters – loved this!! Una is a terrific example of a strong female heroine.
Una finds an old book with the title: The Tale of Una Fairchild. She starts to read and next thing she knows, she is in the middle of the story. She is actually in the middle of an exam for students studying to be characters in a fairy tale. She meets Peter who is the hero-in-training and Snow, the Lady he is rescuing. Peter figures out Una has been Written In, which hasn’t happened since the Muses were defeated. But, why is Una here now and who wrote her in?? And what really happened to the Muses?
This story is full of adventure and excitement and twists and turns. If you like fairy tales or twists on fairy tales, this book is for you. It reminded me a bit of The Accidental Hero, which I loved too.
Grades 6 and up; anyone who likes fairy tales or fractured fairy tales!