Graceling

From  Alexus Haddad

Title:  Graceling

Author:  Kristin Cashore

Katsa is a Graced person which means she has a special ability. Her Uncle Randa had found that her ability is killing. Katsa finds a Lienid boy around her age, Po. He ends up being Graced with Mind Sensing and Fighting. Po wanted to save and find out who captured his grandfather. Katsa travels with Po to find out the truth. They end up falling in love and solve the problem with the Lienid Grandfather. 

Wolfsbane

From  Alexus H.

Title:  Wolfsbane

 Author:  Andrea Cremer

Calla wakes up in a sanctuary and the head of the Searchers is watching her. The Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. This is the sequel to Nightshade and a really great book.

Nightshade

From  Alexus Haddad

Title:  Nightshade

 Author:  Andrea Cremer

Calla Tor is part of a pack called the Nightshades. The pack usually protects the Keepers and in return, the Keepers will accommodate the wolf packs. Shay is a new kid in town and Calla was told by the Keepers to protect Shay. Calla ends up finding the truth about the Keepers with the help of Shay. On the night of her wedding, Calla runs away with Shay and leaves Ren at the altar. Ren confronts Calla and Calla begs him to not tell anyone what she will do, which is go against the Keepers. Searchers are people that are trying to help Shay because he is the “prophecy”. The Searchers knock Calla and Shay out and the book ends there.

The Night Circus

From  Donna Southard

Title:  The Night Circus

Author:  Erin Morgenstern

This is an interesting plot about the magical uses of the brain to create entertaining circus events twisted in a love story that is so intense that it moves to another plane or dimension of life.  The author includes a mystery competition between unknown adversaries which eventually turns into a love story.  The author uses a time frame that transitions between the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s. The setting primarily focuses on the features of the unique circus as it moves from country to country. I found the character descriptions to be entertaining.

Pariah

From  Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  Thomas Emson
Title:  Pariah
I was drawn to “Pariah” by Thomas Emson because the back cover mentioned Jack the Ripper, and by the time I realized that he was not the main focus, I was too far in to drop the book. A mix of fantasy, murder, and religious fiction, it was an odd read. Certain aspects reminded me of another unusual book, entitled Mister B. Gone, which was told from the Devil’s viewpoint. “Pariah” alternates between the year of 1888 and the year of 2011 in London, England. The year 1888 is when the Ripper was actually active among London’s prostitutes and the police were unable to definitively name and/or apprehend a suspect. This book has, as its base, reality, but a whole new motive for the murders is woven around the victims being seers (psychics). The seers are individuals who are both prey and predator. They see the evil coming and, as a result, are the prey of the evil. The evil, known as Jack, needs the evil in the hearts of man, to be reborn and to fuel his plan of world dominion. Without enough blood sacrifices, evil will not triumph and the balance will remain intact.

 

Matched

From Gina Scaglione
Title:  Matched
Author:  Ally Condie
This is the first book in a trilogy. It is very much like The Giver in that it is based on the concept of a “perfect” society. The difference is that this one has a female main character as well as a love triangle twist to make it perfect for female and older readers. I am already on the second book and living that one too. A must-read!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

From Leslie Rode
Title:  The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Author:  Brian Selznick
Great fantasy/mystery book to read….even aloud to your older children.  Great story about a 12 year old poor orphaned boy living in Paris who basically goes on a journey that invites him into the lives of interesting people, which changes his own life forever.  There are many beautiful, intricate pencil drawings that are essential to the story.  A real picture book for adults that can be shared with children 🙂

Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files

From Rosemarie Jerome
Author:  Jim Butcher
Cold Days:  A Novel of the Dresden Files
This is the 14th title in the series.  Harry is back and he is now the Winter Knight to Mab the Queen of Air and Darkness.  As the Winter Knight, he must do her bidding, so when she orders him to kill an immortal, her daughter Maeve, he sets out on his mission.  But in true Dresden fashion, following orders does not come easy so he gets involved in other pursuits.  He discovers a plot to destroy humanity which he must stop.  So he must save the world, kill an immortal and come to terms with his destiny all before Halloween night ends, no problem.  It wouldn’t be Harry if he didn’t multi-task. You’ve got to love the messes that he gets himself into, glad he’s back!