Book Reviews by Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural

Unravel Me book jacket
Mafi, Tahereh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Unravel Me" is an electrifying sequel that not only lives up to its predecessor but surpasses it in every aspect. Tahereh Mafi's writing is as intoxicating as ever, pulling readers into a world of chaos, romance, and inner turmoil. Juliette's journey of self-discovery continues to unfold with breathtaking intensity, as she grapples with her newfound powers and the weight of her past. The dynamic between Juliette and Warner sizzles with undeniable chemistry, adding layers of complexity to an already gripping narrative. Mafi masterfully explores themes of identity, love, and sacrifice, making every page a visceral experience that resonates long after the book is finished. The plot twists and turns with relentless momentum, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. "Unravel Me" is a triumph of young adult literature, a rollercoaster ride of emotions that leaves you eagerly anticipating the next installment!

Reviewer's Name: Caroline
Never a Hero book jacket
Len, Vanessa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Never a Hero" is the second book in the gripping series "Only a Monster"
that revolves around the life of the main character, Joan. The series follows Joan,
a monster, as she tries to find her way in a world where monsters roam around
without notice. This series is a perfect blend of romance, fantasy, adventure, and
drama, making it an ideal pick for readers of all ages.

The book begins with Joan's return to the Hunt house, where she and her
"family" face even more danger than before as the new villain, Eleanor, attempts
to change the timeline, just as Joan did in the past book. The book is a thrilling
ride, packed with numerous twists and turns, and features appearances from
several characters from the first book.

Readers who enjoyed the first book will undoubtedly be engrossed in the
sequel as the story builds upon the previous book's foundation. The author has
beautifully crafted the plot, and the characters' development is amazing. With
each page, the story progresses towards an intense climax as the fate of the
timeline hangs in the balance of Joan and her friends once again.
Overall, "Never a Hero" is a must-read for anyone who loves an engaging
and immersive story. Whether you are a fan of romance, fantasy, adventure, or
drama, this book has something for everyone. So, dive into this heart-wrenching
series and experience the thrill of this fantastic world full of monsters, heroes,
and adventure.

Reviewer's Name: Belle
Bone
Smith, Jeff
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Bone is one of those comics I’ve always been aware of but haven’t gotten around to reading until now. It’s interesting how the visual style of the titular characters evokes an older style of comics, while the other characters in the world feel more modern. The storytelling runs at a pretty fast pace that kept me turning the pages to see what happens next. There’s some pretty good humor here, as well as tense situations to keep it from becoming too silly. I can definitely see the appeal and why it’s been a notable comic since its origins in the early 1990s.

My only qualm with this book has to do with the main characters. The three “Bones” feel out of place in the fantasy realm, let alone our world. It also took me a while to distinguish visually between Fone Bone and Phoney Bone, which was only aided because this book mostly follows Fone. These characters are quite expressive for their simple design, which helps. I understand their simple white design would make producing the (originally black and white) comic easier, but they’re so jarring when everything else is so detailed.

It's funny how the Japanese isekai genre has picked up in recent years, only to have been solidly pre-dated by Bone. The concept of a group of people being transported/lost in an unfamiliar fantasy world is a huge genre today. The fantasy world-building Jeff Smith does in this first volume definitely holds to a lot of fantasy tropes while also taking humorous turns that make the world unique. I’m glad I picked up the colorized version of this first volume and I’ll definitely be reading the next volume when I get the chance.

A bold take on the isekai genre in an American style, I give Bone, Vol. 1 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Song of Susannah
King, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Six books into the Dark Tower series, and I'm glad that things are wrapping up. I felt Wolves of the Calla was only as good as it was because it was clearly a ripoff of The Magnificent Seven (1960). And with so many of the books in this series focusing on the men of the ka-tet, it was nice to get a book that mostly focused on Susannah's experiences. A lot of weird stuff happened in this book, but at least it laid the groundwork for the last entry in the series.

Perhaps the weirdest part of this book was its meta-narrative with Stephen King. I was a little surprised this fourth-wall-breaking move worked as well as it did. Then again, King clearly hinted that this was a possibility in the previous book in the series. Author self-inserts usually take the form of the main character living out the author's fantasies. However, literal author self-inserts are a little rarer. It also felt like King was trying to remind himself why he started on this Dark Tower series at all, which doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the reader.

I wasn't wild about the somewhat cliffhanger ending, but it didn't matter too much as I knew I could jump into The Dark Tower shortly after finishing this book. It's mostly frustrating because there are a lot of things that are cut short in this book that clearly will be resolved in the next. Song of Susannah gathered King's top ideas from his previous works, making it almost a "greatest hits" from his bibliography. That there's been some good action in books five and six of the series bodes well for the conclusion.

A meta setup for the last book of the Dark Tower series, I give Song of Susannah 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Rowling, J.K.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

I suggest the book to people, who want to enjoy an intriguing, fast paced novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone is the perfect book for those people.
This novel is the first of the seven famous Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. This book is about 11 year old Harry Potter, who receives a letter from Hogwarts, which is a school of witchcraft and wizardry.
This book is full of imagination like at one point, Harry Potter is asked to catch the golden ball, while he is flying on the broomstick. Then he stands up on the broomstick and tries to catch the golden ball unexpectedly he falls off from the broomstick and throws up the golden ball to winning the game for his team.
This book keeps you involved throughout the book.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a good book to spark joy and imagination for anyone, regardless of age.

Reviewer's Name: Teja S.
Harry Potter
Rowling, J.K.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

For people who want to enjoy an intriguing, fast-paced novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the perfect book to read. It keeps you involved throughout the book as most chapters have cliffhangers at the end. This novel is the first of the seven famous Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

The book is about 11-year-old Harry Potter, who receives a letter saying that he is invited to attend Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and wizardry. He then learns that a powerful wizard and his minions are after the sorcerer’s stone that will make this evil wizard immortal and undefeatable. Harry decides to go after the sorcerer’s stone before the wizard reaches it, but his loyal friends, Hermione and Ron don’t let Harry face this danger alone.

This book is full of fantasies and imagination like at one point, Harry Potter is asked to catch a flying golden ball while flying on his broomstick. Eventually Harry Potter stands on his broomstick and tries to reach for the ball, but he falls off the broomstick in a very tense moment. He unexpectedly throws up the golden ball winning the game for his team.

Harry Potter and a Sorcerer Stone is a good book to spark joy and imagination for anyone, regardless of age. But I would say it is most enjoyable for elementary school students, who can very well relate to the fantasy world. So I would say that it is a must-read for younger audiences, but it’s a good read in general.

Reviewer's Name: Igra
hp sorcerer
Rowling, J.K.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Harry Potter was an incredibly amusing read, with amiable characters that truly made the story stand out. This novel is a must-read for people of all ages. It has an air of mystery, is captivating, and provides entertainment. The book portrays real-world events in a fantasy world.
The characters, including the main character Harry Potter, are relatable and undergo character development while making mistakes. One of the great features of the novel is how each character has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and each one has a distinct way of feeling. For instance, Neville Longbottom is a shy boy, but his loyalty to his friends and his house team is unwavering.
Harry Potter is a book that can be enjoyed by all ages, as it accurately portrays the struggles that come with different stages of life. Even though Harry is a wizard, his teenage problems are relatable to those of a typical teenager. As a reader, you can judge the characters in the book based on the tone of the novel. Relationships are also a significant feature of this novel and are portrayed differently depending on the type of relationship. For example, the relationship between a sibling and a friend is distinct but can be differentiated only by the tone or mood portrayed accurately.
This book is an absolutely enchanting experience, overflowing with captivating magical creatures, spells, and enchantments that will undoubtedly keep readers completely engaged. The characters are exceptionally well-crafted and relatable, while the plot moves at a fast pace, leaving the reader on the edge of their seat.
The author's vivid and immersive writing style transports readers into the heart of the story, allowing them to experience it as if it were their own. At Hogwarts, Harry befriends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The trio works together to unravel the mystery surrounding the Sorcerer's Stone. In their quest to counter Voldemort's plan to use the stone to regain his body, Harry and his friends embark on a perilous adventure.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a timeless classic that continues to interest and entertain readers of all ages. It is a must-read for anyone who loves fantasy, adventure, and magic. I highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

Reviewer's Name: Sam
Dracula book jacket
Stoker, Bram
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, is a fictional account of a vampire hunt in Transylvania. Jonathan Harker, a lawyer, is sent by his boss to Castle Dracula to assist in a real estate transaction with a wealthy man named Count Dracula. However, he is soon not allowed out of the castle, and slowly he realizes the the Count is no ordinary man. Harker manages to escape and eventually teams up with a colleague to hunt down Count Dracula. I enjoyed the book, it was full of complex back stories that merged into one beautiful crescendo: the hunt of the Count. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to expand their vocabulary, as the book is rich with complex words and sentences. I would also recommend this book to avid readers; (as it is a classic) it should be ensured that to be a genuine reader one must read this famous work of art.

Reviewer's Name: Finn
Awards:
May Bird and the Ever After book jacket
Jodi Lynn Anderson
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

An amazing and intriguing story about a girl who has lived in a town where a total of 17 people go missing in the same woods, gets lost in these same woods and has an adventure of a lifetime. This girl’s name is May Ellen Bird and she is the social outcast of the town she lives in and the town over, where she goes to school. She's considered weird for always collecting random things and always talking to her cat, Somber Kitty. While exploring her basically abandoned town she finds a letter in the crumbled and destroyed little box of a post office with her name on it, yet it was from 1951. In this letter there is a map for a lake not far from her house, yet there shouldn’t be a lake as in Briery Swamp, West Virginia has been a drought for years. She goes to look for it and sets out on a quest to find it full or not full. She finds it and falls in, after climbing out to her dismay she is now able to see ghosts. For some odd reason she decides to go back to the lake, falls in again and gets pulled to the strange world of the Ever After, where the story really starts to unfold with twists and turns, ghosts, and other things most people would be terrified of seeing.
This book is definitely different from your regular fantasy book, as it ties in slight horror. I won’t lie when I had my suspicions about this book when I first read it, but they were infact wrong as this book sucked me in and captivated me with the depth and descriptive story. There is so much character development for all of the main characters and even the side characters as well, which is rare in most books, and there is so much description for every single little thing that you really get to know everything and everybody that you encounter throughout this book. I absolutely loved reading this book and I think many others would as well if you are looking for a slightly horrific book with adventure, friendship, and hardship along the way.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Margaret
Deep and Dark and Dangerous
Hahn, Mary Downing
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I really enjoyed this book while reading and after finishing it. This book was a combination of the two things I love most; mystery and thriller.
Mary Downing Hahn is a great author and I love reading her books and going down a spiral of questions. All of her books are clever, it’s like watching a movie without a screen! This is by far my favorite book by Mary Downing Hahn.
Ali is a thirteen year old girl who stumbles across a torn picture of her mother and aunt. Who’s the third person? This book is about Ali’s journey attempting to solve this mystery. I definitely recommend this for mystery lovers, horror lovers or both!
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Abigail
Mexican Gothic
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Mexican Gothic follows an interesting take on haunted houses and distant ancestry. The resilient main character, Noemi, travels to a small town to visit her newly-married cousin at a house called High Place out of concern for her cousin's illness. The longer she stays, though, the more she realizes that there is something more sinister going on than an isolated family. Unlike some reviews I saw, the pacing was engaging for me. It was broken into short chapters with a lot of action in the last hundred or so pages, which is how a lot of thrillers are organized. This helped me be motivated to read more when the story line was not quite my taste. It was cool, however, that Noemi was realistic in her thoughts and reactions. It made the story feel more genuine as the plot got crazier. This isn't something I would necessarily recommend, but it was still enjoyable.

Reviewer's Name: Maggie
City of Bones
Clare, Cassandra
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

City of Bones follows Clary Fray as she discovers a dangerous world that has been hidden in plain sight from her. Clary's mother gets violently kidnapped, and not to mention that she saw something that only she could see at the teen club Pandemonium, three strange teen warriors that were supposedly dispatching a demon when she saw them. Clary gets swooped up into their world with many questions; why is her mother gone, why can she see them, and most of all, what is the truth? She discovers a world with demons, warlocks, vampires, faeries, werewolves, and of course, the glorious(ish) shadowhunters that are all fighting invisible fights, especially with the rumor that an old shadowhunter enemy is rising up again. Come along on the ride with Clary as she brings her friend Simon along on the journey for answers and learns much more than she bargained for.
City of Bones has good world-building and is an excellent gateway into the Shadow world. It is definitely not the best book by Cassandra Clare but it was her first and an entrance to an entire universe. The book has many twists and not all are huge but they are there and bring you back into the book. It can seem like it was dragging on and like not much was happening but the twists bring your attention back in. The relationships between characters were well written and Magnus Bane needs no discussion (amazing character, would die for him). The action scenes are there and plentiful, they can get cluttered but let's be honest has anyone read a perfect action scene, they are hard to write. The action scene can cause you to lose focus and it can feel a little repetitive with the setting and what happens with the character but like I said there are twists that bring your focus back in. Overall it's a good book but not the best but still a vital read for understanding the Shadow world/ chronicles. This book is a worthwhile read and a great entrance to Cassandra Clare's work.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan
Intensity book jacket
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Intensity is the last installment of the Chronicles of Nick series. In this book, Nick's destiny is tested in ways he never thought could be possible. For one, he learns that he has a son in the future and that he's come to the past to ruin Nick's life and destroy him and the world. Then, he learns that his greatest enemies have somehow enslaved his future self and turned his friends against him. And worst of all, he learns that his mother's death is the catalyst for him losing his mind. At this point, Nick wants to give up. How can he fight against a son he has no knowledge of, enemies he can't see, or the fact that the most important person in his life is going to be gone sooner rather than later?

This book was different structurally than the rest of the books because it includes pictures of the characters and jumps between different points of view. At first, it's confusing to figure out how much time has passed from the events of the last book to what's happening in this book, but after a moment, the plot gets clearer and more interesting. This wasn't my favorite book in the series because there wasn't as much action and the end was very confusing and I felt, didn't fit with the theme. A lot of new characters were introduced, some of which were largely irrelevant and I felt were just added to try to make the plot more complex, but just made it more confusing.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
Invision book jacket
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Nick was born evil. As the most powerful demon to ever exist, every fiber in him was created to destroy, annihilate, and wreak havoc. It is his destiny to destroy the world and everyone he loves. But he is determined to thwart his destiny, and live his life as a somewhat normal person. When he's not being thrown against lockers by the school bully, he's battling demons and pushing the limits with the Fates of the Universe. Except for this time, with the help of his ancient demons friends and the Eye of Ananke, he can see the mishaps of the future...and knows that someone besides him is trying to change it. Now, he has to battle something far deadlier and treacherous than ever before...and he has no idea who or what it is.

This is the seventh book in the series, and once again it does not disappoint! I like how there is a mix of adventure, the supernatural, romance, and fantasy (and even some special appearances from Greek gods and goddesses!) and that the main character is relatable: he's in high school, trying to figure out who he is and what he stands for. The book also isn't a super long read, and once you start, it's hard to put it down!

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
The Dream Thieves
Stiefvater, Maggie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater is the second book in the Raven Cycle series, and it picks up after the events of The Raven Boys. It follows Blue and her raven boys as the ley line awakens, Ronan reveals he can take things out of his dreams, and Gansey continues his quest to find Glendower all while sinister people begin to make their way into Henrietta. I really liked this book and thought it was a great continuation of the series. I liked the way it explored Ronan as a character as well as Adam’s struggle with the ley line and himself. It expanded the world of the raven boys for the better, and it nicely set up the rest of the series (including future relationships). I recommend this for anyone who has read The Raven Boys, as well as anyone who is looking for a more relaxed fantasy series. In comparison to series like Throne of Glass or Six of Crows, the pacing is more relaxed, but it is still an intriguing and fun read with lovable characters and a good plotline.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
Hounded
Hearne, Kevin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Hounded is the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. The series follows Atticus O'Sullivan, the last druid on earth living in Tempe Arizona. Atticus draws his power from the earth and has many encounters with gods, deities, and monsters. The series is in 1st person, and Kevin Hearne's writing style shines through Atticus's wit and intelligence. The story is incredibly gripping, imaginative, and fresh. Every book maintains such a strong story and writing I never found difficulty imagining the scenes with great detail.

Reviewer's Name: Judah
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Gaiman, Neil
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Neil Gaiman's novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane gives an interesting perspective on the nature of childhood and the truth of reality. A folktalishly fantastical novel, this book follows a man as a he thinks back on his childhood and the magical and sometimes terrifying experiences he had as a kid. I at first found this book a little confusing because I didn't quite understand the time switch and whether or not it was meant to be serious or mystical. However, reading this book is very enjoyable as it gives very homely vibes and contains interesting mysteries to uncover. With an open ending that leaves the reader wanting, this is a great quick read for fans of Neil Gaiman or just general fiction enthusiasts.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 3
Gotouge, Koyoharu
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Volume 3 is a perfect introduction to the real world of the demon slayers. After Tanjiro faces off against two powerful demons, we meet Zenitsu, the second main protagonist. The lore of the demon race really starts to unfold in this volume, and seeing it be almost as fleshed out as that of the Demon Slayer Corps is very intriguing. As the exposition starts to pick up the pace towards the main plot, the action and drawing are beautiful. Again, I would recommend this volume to those continuing the series. This graphic novel is relatively light and easy to get invested in, so anyone could get into it!

Reviewer's Name: Steven
Cruel Prince
Black, Holly
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Cruel Prince was an amazing and extremely unique book that I absolutely loved. I fell in love with the characters, and while this book was a bit predictable, I loved it anyway. The world that this book took place in was completely magical, as was the plot and the characters. From a strong female lead, to a charming prince, these characters could not have been more perfect. The writing was very poetic, and only added to the magic of the story.
Reviewer grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Sage
From Blood and Ash
Armentrout, Jennifer L.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

JLA is always a great storyteller, but in this series, she particularly excels in the world-building aspect. So much detail, such rich storylines, such well-developed characters. It is great for fantasy lovers, but still accessible enough for those not accustomed to reading fantasy. I recommend this book to everyone I talk to!

Reviewer's Name: Erin S.