Thursday, November 14, 2019

Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning by William Joyce: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Since the guardians victory over the evil Pitch during Bright Night, most of them have settled into their public roles. However, Nightlight has become isolated from the other guardians as he transitions into Jackson Overland Frost or Jack Frost.

Jack's transformation has not been easy. He has keenly felt the force of evil as he transitioned to half human and half his former self. In order to stop the Nightmare King and bringing the Dark Ages to an end, Jack must tell the story of his past but will it be the end of him if does?

Those who have read every book in series may enjoy the long backstory but others may find it confusing and hard to follow. While Jack Frost's whimsical character is relatable and easy to connect with, his actions get lost in the storytelling.

Rating ★★★☆☆

Publishing Information

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Nov. 20, 2018)
Ages: 7-11
ISBN: 9781442430563

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Titans by Kate O'Hearn: Book Review

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

For the last fifteen years, the Titans and Olympians have learned to live in peace. The Olympians were resettled on Titus after the destruction of Olympus. When humans start arriving on Titus, it threatens to shatter the peace the Titans and Olympians have worked for.

To help ease tensions, the Titans and Olympians agree to open a shared school. Astraea and her best friend, Zephyr, manage to get detention on their first day after clashing with a centaur from Olympus. While serving detention in the nectar orchards they stumble on Jake, a human, who is one of many that have mysteriously shown up on Titus. Astraea and Zephyr enlist the help of the silver skinned friend, Tryn, to help Jake locate his missing sister. Together they uncover a plot to take down Titus and then move on to overtake the entire galaxy. It is up to these misfits to band together and try to stop the impending doom. Can they do alone or will they need to enlist help?

The climatic ending disappoints after such a carefully crafted story with interesting characters leaving the reader wondering why the story took so long only to end in such a rush. It leads to a must read of a second novel to find out the fate of the young heroes.


Publishing Information

Publisher:  Aladdin (July 9, 2019)
ISBN: 9781534417045
Ages: 8-12

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Book Review: Spy School British Invasion

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Thirteen-year-old Benjamin Ripley and his friends find themselves regrouping while stranded in Mexico trying to catch the leaders of SPYDER. The plan: To go rogue from the CIA and team up with the British M16. Operation Tiger Shark takes the spies to Britain in search of the elusive Mr. E. But first, their new found key leads them to a storage space under the British Museum. Unfortunately, a mishap during their library search ends up with damage to priceless British artifacts which puts Ben and his group at the top of British enemy list.

For a time, the group hides out in a secret room in the Tower Bridge until they break their way into the estate of the brilliant hacker, Orion, who helps them encrypt the information on a flash drive that gives them the coordinates of Mr. E's secret hideout. Erica's dad, Alexander, pilots Orion's helicopter as a back up plan while the rest of the crew, Erica, her mom, Catherine, Murray, Mike, Zoe and Ben set out through Britain to their final destination of Paris to bust the SPYDER spy ring.

The action never stops with the Spy School kids and grown ups. Be prepared for a wild ride through Britain and Paris as well as some double crossing antics. A fun addition to the Spy School Novels.


Publishing Information

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 30, 2019)
ISBN:  9781534424708
Ages 8-12

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Book Review: The Revenge of Magic by James Riley

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
A vacation day visit to Washington, DC by Fort Fitzgerald and his father ends tragically with his father's kidnapping by a monstrous creature who breaks through the earth. 

Fort struggles to make sense of his father's disappearance and vows to avenge his father's death. Six months later, a man named Dr. Opps shows up to his aunt's house and invites him to the Oppenheimer School to learn magic. Fort jumps at the chance with visions of Hogwarts running through his mind. He quickly discovers the school is a government run military school and nothing like Hogwarts with guards everywhere.

The school is full of secrets and Fort wants to solve the mysteries laid at his feet, like why everyone thinks he's trying to destroy the school and who the girl he sees when he sleeps that seems to take over his mind. The only problem is that Fort is given three days to master three spells in three days or he will be sent home. He learns it's nearly an impossible task but is he up to it? Will he be able to find out what's hiding within his new school before attacks? And what is with the books of magic discovered around the world next to bones of dragons? Who will have the power to use the magic and will Fort's friends, Jia, Rachel and Cyrus be able to help Fort?

While the idea of military magic academy is an intriguing take, the book lacks the magic of a strong protagonist that we see in the Harry Potter novels. Since the novel mentions Hogwarts, it's fair to compare the two and the reader will probably not connect as much to Fort as they do Harry. However, older middle grade readers who don't mind wading through the length of the novel, will find some fascinating tidbits of magical information.


Publishing Information

Publisher: Aladdin (March 5, 2019)
ISBN: 978148148577
Ages: 8-12
Pages: 416