on Jan 27, 2017
The Brontes have always been close. After all, nothing can unite four siblings like life in an 
isolated parsonage on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict,
 spartan upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering 
Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? 
As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives 
ebbing away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their 
characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.


Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

5 out of 5 Stars

Review: 

Worlds of Ink and Shadow is a beautiful, intricate adventure! 

I was so very curious about this novel because the premise is just too cool. The four Bronte siblings traveling to the fictional worlds they create...yes!

Perhaps my favorite part of this novel was the connections it made to the published works of the Bronte sisters. (I'm a huge Jane Eyre fan!) 

The Bronte siblings are bright and creative:

Branwell is the only son, and bears the pressure that comes with that. He enjoys escaping to Verdopolis and playing renowned thief with his criminal companions. He is stubborn, selfish, bold, and wicked. 

Charlotte is the Motherly figure, practical and serious. She keeps watch over he younger siblings and loves them dearly but within her heart she longs for romantic love as well. 

Emily is selfish, desperate and hopeful. She has fallen in love with one of the fictional characters and cares little for the real world. 

Anne is quiet, modest, humble, and brave. Though she feels invisible to her siblings, she is closest with Emily and is extremely resourceful when need be. 

The end of this adventure was heartbreaking and fulfilling, leaving the door to the future open to the talent of these great writers. 


on Jan 21, 2017
Willow Lamott's best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she's tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The monent their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton's mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he's a villian, a savior, or both.

Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.


Genre: Young Adult Mystery

5 out of 5 Stars

Review:

Gilt Hollow is a thrilling, suspenseful adventure! 

I was drawn to the intriguing premise of this novel, despite it not being my usual pick. The alternaing perspectives between Ashton and Willow keep the reader turning pages. 

Like all the characters of this story, Willow pops off the page. She stays by herself mostly with the exception of her best friend. The stress of her situation leads to panic attacks, that make her stand out even more. Because of standing up for Ashton's innocence, she has lost jobs and friends. Willow has a strong heart, and contiues to help Ashton even after she is threatened. I will say that Willows abrupt relationship with Brayden didn't really make sense and felt very random. 

Ashton is tormented by the betrayal of his friends, and the resulting abandonment by his parents. It;s sort of adorable when he gets jealous. He ultimately chooses protecting the people he loves instead of revenge. 

The town of Gilt Hollow is quirky, full of open-minded artistic sorts. I love how the author tied in elements of faith without this being a religious novel.

The mystery is so beautifully woven, like an intricate puzzle. You don't know who to trust. There are many layers that slowly reveal who the true murderer was. 
on Jan 9, 2017
After a near-death escape from the chilling heart of Markus King's Hawkspear society, becca Hatcher is finally safe at home in Toronto. But her battle isn't over, because Markus is till after the Bronze Codex—and he's not the only one. Unseen magical forces wage war in a faraway world called Mytica, and Becca may be the only one who can stop it.

Crys Hatcher is growing more protective of her little sister, even going so far as to keep a major, life-changing secrets from Becca that might put her in harm's way. But she has her work cut out for her: a chance encounter with Farrell Grayson puts Crys back in his sights—and and puts Farrell one step closer to cornering the Hatcher family and bringing them as prey to his master, Markus.

Little does anyone in Toronto know that behind the scenes in Mytica, Maddox's necromancy magic has begun to influence the magic in the codex—and the fate of everyone involved.




Genre: Young Adult Fantasy 

3 out of 5 Stars

Review:

I like this series, in fact unlike most reviewers I prefer this series to Falling Kingdoms. Which started out good but in my opinion has gone on far too long and needs to just end. Seriously. 

This book was alright, but it wasn't as good as the first, which I really loved. The author repeats plot lines over and over. And while book 1 had exciting mystery and secret elements. They weren't really any big reveals in this novel that the reader didn't already know. 

I enjoyed the unique cast of characters, even if some seemed really out of character. I'm enjoying Crystal much more than book #1. Her personality has really turned around, almost in an unbelievable way. Farrell is so desperate for affection, you feel so much sympathy for him despite his misdeeds. That being said he became very tedious in this book. He also went a little too evil for me personally. Also I found it weird that the author set up potential romance between Farrell and Crystal, and then took it nowhere in this book.  

Maddox is my favorite character. He is so earnest, and brave, fighting to control his power. He wants so much to be useful and protect the people he cares about. Becca is really sweet, sassy, and curious. In this second installment she is becoming more confident and taking control of situations.

The first half of the book is quite full of arguing and back and forth. Most of the main characters were  keeping secrets from Becca. Which was a waste of time because the reader as well as most of the characters already knew who Becca's parents really were. The last few chapters picked up a bit in pace, if only the whole novel could have been like that. 

Ultimately I'm glad to hear that this series will only be a trilogy. I'm looking forward to the end.




~Important Links~
Read my review of book #1


Thanks for reading! Check back next week for a review of a book I LOVED! :)
on Jan 2, 2017
In a land where those with magic are esteemed and revered, Janir guards a secret that would
send her to a headman's block at a word. As one of the reviled Argetallams, she
has the power to destroy enchantments and steal others' magic—an ability
that has caused bloodshed for generations. 

Raised as the illegitimate daughter of an influential lord, she was determined to turn her back
on her heritage, but when her power manifests, leaving a nobleman dead, she has no choice
but to flee her adoptive home. In exile with the help of a fearless young enchanter
and an elf sworn to protect her, she finds herself entangled in a quest to
hide an ancient artifact from the kingdom's enemies.

But they are not the only ones after the relic and soon their paths cross with a rival from Janir's distant childhood. With no hope of help or rescue, the fate of nations will depend on
a fifteen year old girl and her mastery of powers she doesn't understand.



Young Adult Fantasy

5 out of 5 Stars

Review: The Key of Amatahns by Elizabeth Wheatley is a spellbinding fantasy adventure! 

The story starts off with a prologue, a very good one. I know prologues aren't to everyones taste, but when it comes to fantasy I think they add so much to a story. I feel like they're necessary in a way.  Wheatley's prologue is executed to near perfection, at establishing the story and introducing her world before the main action begins. 

There is something very special about this story. For starters it is very well-written, especially considering how young the author was (only 15 when the first edition was published, I believe.). It reminds me of older fantasy stories, such as the Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. It has the same sort of quirky, realistic, indirect path of the quest. It doesn't just jump from confrontation to confrontation, there's some stopping, some snacking, and some treasured restful moments. An occasional interruption to the quest. There's a realness to that, that makes the quest more believable and gives the characters more depth. 

Janir was a captivating main character, very contemplative and thoughtful. She has very strong heart, despite all the trials of her life so far. Like most teenagers she is trying to figure out who she is, although in her case this is made more difficult by her circumstances. However, my favorite trait that she possessed is mercy. Janir has the opportunity to abandon someone who has hurt her numerous times, but she makes sure he makes it out of danger and speaks up against killing him.

Janir's friends and allies are no less engaging. Her best friend, an elf called Saoven, is cool just for the simple fact of being an elf (elves are automatically awesome). But he is a good friend, especially considering the negative view that most of his people have of Argetallam. Janir's most unlikely ally is Karile, who is...unique. Okay, so he can be really annoying, but after while he grows on you. And he is a loyal friend, even if he doesn't seem like it at first. Armandius, Janir's adopted father is everything a dad should be, kind, and compassionate, and supportive. I love how he treats Janir with as much consideration as he would his own daughter. 

Now onto the villains of our story. Janir's brother, Lucan is a jerk. A big jerk. And yet despite the awful things he does, the reader (and Janir) still feel sympathy for him. After all, having the Lord Argetallam as your role model is bound to screw anyone up. Speaking of the Lord Argetallam, grrr...I really, reaallly don't like him. Dude is straight up evil. 

Wheatley's world is so enthralling, I love all the details and the intricate history of the different lands and peoples. Also the creatures, like the Mazag, who are scary. Nothing worse than a creature that wants to have a conversation before it kills you. That being said they are very interesting and I hope to see more of them as the series continues. A favorite scene of mine was the market, reminiscent of Hellboy, with all sorts of various creatures and wares, I loved it! 

This story has plenty of magic, loyal friends, and exciting quests to captivate fantasy fans! (Especially if you like Eragon or Merlin!) 


~ Important Links ~
Read my review of book #2 (coming soon!) 


Happy New Year, runaway readers!
Make sure to check back here next Monday for a new book review! ^_^