The Burning Maze (Non-Spoiler Review)

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

unknown-3

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 1, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade, Mythology

Pages: 448

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally bought

2018 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor–and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles–somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .

My Thoughts:

I really did enjoy this read. I really found this book to be a super compelling read. I loved the character cameos that got we in this read and also just what happened to Apollo character and I really loving him as a lead character. I also also really liking how all the books in this series features different characters from the rirodan canon. I thought this book was a super fast pace read and found it to have really gut punch moments that really caught me off guard. I think rick really brought the emotions in this read and I am really am excited for book 4 this fall!

Advertisements

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow: Non-Spoiler Review!!

Nevermore  The Trials of Morgan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Unknown-13

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on October 31, 2017

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Pages: 480

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world–but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

My  Brief Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It was such a prefect middle grade adventure with a mix of fantasy and magic. I really was captivated by the world building and also the characters. I thought the “tasks” kept the plot to be super fast pace and engaging It was such a fun novel to read and hard to put down. I enjoyed the characters alot and loved the developing the “trio of characters that we met. The ending was a tad rushed but Overall, I really loved the book and hope to read book 2 soon!

My Extended Thoughts:

Plot: I thought the plot was super fast pace and so well crafted. I really enjoyed the plot and enjoyed how the”trials” acted as a nice way to structure the novel. It reminded me alot of harry potter book 4. I thought the ending of the book was a tad rushed but overall I really enjoyed the plot!

Characters: I really grew so invested into these characters. I really loved Morgan as a character and also the “trio”that developed throughout this novel. I also thought they characters were so well crafted and was invested in all the characters.

Mystery: I really enjoyed the mystery overall. I was suprised by it for sure and thought he ending was a bit of info dump at moments but really am excited for book 2!

Book 2! I hope to read it soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Middle Grade Saturday: Train to Impossible Places!!!

I have been reading a lot of middle grade reads recently and this is the next book on my TBR!!

Cover!!

Unknown-9

Summary!!!!!

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space.

But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first delivery―to the evil Lady Crepuscula.

Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice―with the fate of the entire Union at stake.

Author Information:

P. G. Bell is a native of south Wales, where he was raised on a diet of Greek mythology, ghost stories, and Doctor Who. He’s had all sorts of jobs over the years, from lifeguard to roller coaster operator, but has always wanted to write stories for a living. His dream comes true with the publication of the Train to Impossible Places series. He currently works as a library assistant for Cardiff University and lives in Wales with his wife, Anna, and their two children.

Book Information!!

Age Range: 10 – 14 years

Grade Level: 5 – 9

Lexile Measure: 750

Series: Train To Impossible Places (Book 1)

Let me know in the comments if this book is on your TBR!

Later book lovers!!

 

The Magic Misfits: The Second Story: Non-Spoiler Review!!

The Magic Misfits: The Second Story by  Neil Patrick Harris

Unknown-11

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 25, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade, Adventure story

Pages: 36

Format: ARC

Source: BEA

2018 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4  for a review.

Summary!!!

Growing up in an orphanage, Leila was bullied for being different. She turned her hardship into skill by becoming an escape artist–a valuable trait when belonging to a group of magical best friends. But when a famous psychic comes to town, Leila and her pals won’t be able to escape the big mystery heading their way. Whether chasing mad monkeys or banishing ghosts from haunted hotels, these six friends will do their best to keep Mineral Wells safe–but can they still protect themselves in the process?
Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets in this delightful new series. Whether you’re a long-time expert at illusion or simply a new fan of stage magic, hold onto your top hat!
…have more questions? I thought you might. Here’s some answers:
WHERE? A sleepy town in New England. Within the town is a magic shop, run by the friendly but mysterious Dante Vernon–the gang’s caped and top-hatted mentor.
WHO? Carter, who can make things vanish. Leila, who can escape from anything. Theo, who can make things levitate with the aid of his violin bow. Ridley, who can invent anything. And of course twins Olly and Izzy, who can make anyone laugh.
WHY? Because together, these six magical misfits will discover adventure, friendship, and the town’s long-hidden secrets.
(Psst. Hey, you! Yes, YOU! Congratulations on reading this far down. As a reward, I’ll let you in on a little secret… This book isn’t just a book. It’s a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover more than just a story–you’ll learn how to make your own magic!)

 

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be so much fun to read. I really enjoyed this book and loved the new character POV that we got to follow. I thought the mystery was a tad predictable at points but really loved again the focus on family and also found family and also on using magic as a art form. I also really loved the focus on friendship!This book just put a really big smile on my face. I really enjoyed reading it!

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden: Non-Spoiler Review!!

The Vanderbeekers and the hidden garden by Karina Van Glaser

Unknown-9.jpeg

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 25, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade  contemporary

Pages: 336

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally bought

2018 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Return to Harlem’s “wildly entertaining” family in this funny, heartwarming sequel. When catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbors, the Vanderbeeker children set out to build the best, most magical healing garden in Harlem—in spite of a locked fence, thistles and trash, and the conflicting plans of a wealthy real estate developer.

While Isa is off at sleepaway orchestra camp, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney are stuck at home in the brownstone with nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. But when catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbor, their sleepy summer transforms in an instant as the Vanderbeeker children band together to do what they do best: make a plan. They will create the most magical healing garden in all of Harlem.

In this companion to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, experience the warmth of a family and their community as they work together to bring a little more beauty and kindness to the world, one thwarted plan at a time.

My Thoughts:

I really loved this sequel novel. I loved seeing what new adventures this family went thought. I also enjoyed how again the parents were such a important part of this novel and it was a prefect slice of life novel for 2018 NYC. I loved the time line of this book and also the plot. I really thought it was a fast pace book and i loved seeing both new and old characters. I loved the summer adventure but also how it handled harder issues like older people getting sick but also a save the day plot, like in this first book. This book just put a smile on my face and I really liked it. I will def be checking out book 3!

Sanity & Tallulah: Non-Spolier Arc Review!!!

Sanity and Tallulah by Molly Brooks

Unknown-9

Published by  Disney Hyperion on October 23, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Graphic Novel

Pages: 240

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2018 challenge: N/A

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4  for a review.

Summary!!!

Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late? Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks.

My Brief Thoughts:

I really adored this read so much. I thought the art style and story was so well done. I loved the fun story but also the focus on science and using science for “harm” and “help”. I think the adorable cat in this will keep readers old and young alike turning the page. I loved the various storylines we got in this rather short lead and also loved the role of the parents in this book. I thought the book was so well crafted and def left me with a smile on my face! I think younger readers will be rooting for the young leads and anxious to read the end of this tale!

My Extended Thoughts!!

Characters: I thought these characters were so fun and I really loved the diversity of these two leads! I thought they were so well crafted and Just made the read a joy! I really enjoyed these characters! I am def hoping we get more adventures in the future!

Plot: I really enjoy this science fiction adventure and really found it to be both  fun tale but also focused on science topics that I think will keep kids tuning the page. I mean science and three headed cat come on! The plot made me fly through this book!

Design: I really enjoyed the art style and think it was such a fun design and made the story speed by!

If you pick this book up, let me know in the comments!

 

Arlo Fitch in the Valley of Fire (Non-Spolier review)!!

Arlo Finch in the Valley Of Fire  by John August

91RzU9GitoL.jpg

Published by  Roaring Brook Press on February 6, 2018

Genres:  Middle Grade, Adventure

Pages: 326

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally bought

2018 challenge: N/A

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.75 for a review.

Summary!!!

Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire is the first book in a spellbinding fantasy adventure series by screenwriter John August.

Some trails lead to magic. Some lead to danger.

As Arlo looked around, the walls of his room began to vanish, revealing a moonlit forest. Only his bed remained, and the frame of his window, through which he saw the girl. The world on her side of the glass was sparkling with silver and gold, like a palace made of autumn leaves.
She looked off to her right. Someone was coming. Her words came in an urgent whisper: “If I can see you, they can see you . . . Be careful, Arlo Finch.

Arlo Finch thought becoming a Ranger meant learning wilderness skills, like camping and knots. But upon arriving in the tiny town of Pine Mountain, Colorado, Arlo soon learns there’s so much more. His new friends Indra and Wu teach him how to harness the wild magic seeping in from the mysterious Long Woods—a parallel realm of wonder and danger.

First he must master the basics, including snaplights, thunderclaps and identifying supernatural creatures. But Arlo Finch is no ordinary Ranger, and this is no ordinary time. A dark and ancient force is sending threats into the real world . . . our world.

Through perilous adventures and close calls, Arlo is awakened to his unique destiny—but the obstacles he faces will test the foundations of the Ranger’s Vow: loyalty, bravery, kindness, and truth.

My Thoughts:

I found this book to be the prefect mix between adventure, magic and nature adventure. I feel in love with the worlds that was created. I really loved the main character and also the the trio characters that was created. I thought the concepts of the scouts was so fun to read but also a nice balance between fantasy and realistic elements. I thought the Arlo WAS such a fun lead and this book just made me smile. I thought it was super fast pace novel!! I really can’t wait for book 2.

 

 

Dragon Watch: Non-Spolier Review!!

Dragon Watch by Brandon Mull

61bmy953K8L._AC_UL320_SR216,320_

Published by Shadow Mountain March 14, 2017

Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Pages: 384

Format: Hardback

Source: Personally bought

2018 challenge: Beat the backlist challenge

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.5  for a review.

Summary!!!

In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies….

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

My Thoughts:

I really loving going back to this world! I just loved this seeing how these main characters have changed so much. I also loved the new setting but also the same sense of adventure. The book was such a fun read and just put a smile on my face. I read this book so fast and really need to read book 2. I also really loved how brandon created this new world and also expanded the old world. I really am loving the dynamics between seth and kendra and how they have changed so much. I def. enjoyed this book a lot and just wish I would have re-read the original series because I feel like I missed so many tiebacks to the first series but really found it to be a fun adventure story!

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden Non-Spoiler Review!!!

Small Spaces  by Katherine Arden

Unknown-4

Published by  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers  September 25, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery, Scary, October Read

Pages: 244

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2018 challenge: N/A

Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

I would give this book 3.5 for a review.

Summary!

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

My Brief Thoughts:

I really loved this middle grade adventure story. I liked how this standalone was so well crafted and such a fast pace read. It had the right balance between adventure, scares and friendship. I normally love books with a trio of characters and this book was no different. This book was def scary at points but very good for middle grade kids. I think this would make a great fall or October read. It also harder issues like grief, death and bullying in a very easy to understand way.

My Extended Thoughts:

Characters: These characters were just super fun to read from. This book was very short but the characters def made impressions on me. I also loved how much detail the side characters got and it def made the world building seem larger because of all the characters we got to know.

Scary??? This book def. has creepy and mysteries undertones. I would rec. this book for higher middle grade or as a read a loud for younger kids. I get scared easy and this book did not terrify me 🙂

Plot: I really enjoyed how this book was created and the present storyline and the past told through the dairy. I thought this made the book rather fast pace and it was rather hard to put down,

More books! I really want to check out her adult stuff!

 

 

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret (Non-Spoiler Review)

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit

Unknown-4

Published by Under the Stars on September 4, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade, Adventure

Pages: 208

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2018 challenge: N/A

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Adventure, danger, and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers.

Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world’s leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there’s more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

My Brief Thoughts:

I found this to super fun read. I thought it was much more realistic and science heavy version of 39 clues. This book def had a strong mix of adventure and mystery but also knowledge and history and science. I really loved the structure of this book and all the characters were just so much fun to read about. I really enjoyed the trio of characters that developed and am super excited to see how the ending and will effect the structure of the future books. I also loved how this book had so many pictures to accent the story. Readers who enjoyed 39 clues may like this if they looking for more of realistic story, should check it out! I am def going to read book 2