All Book Reviews by Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural

Clockwork Angel
Clare, Cassandra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Clockwork Angel follows Tessa Gray, a 16 year old girl from America, on her journey to England to meet her brother, where she is subsequently kidnapped by the Dark Sisters. This is her introduction to the Shadow World, a world where vampires, werewolves, warlocks, faeries, and Shadowhunters live just out of sight of mundanes, who are people without a magical background. It takes place in Victorian England, where Tessa meets a variety of interesting people. These people include the vampire Camille Belcourt, the warlock Magnus Bane, and many Shadowhunters such as Will and Jem. There are battles, escapes, and a pinch of romance. Recommended for ages 14 and up. I have read this book many times, and it is only the beginning of a much bigger universe.
Discovery lies behind every turn of the page. I love this book because of my connection with Tessa, whose love for books connects so deeply with my own.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Settare R
Wild Beauty
McLemore, Anna-Marie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book Wild Beauty is a vibrant tale of the cursed Nomeolvides women who are able to grow plants using magic. Their curse is that they are unable to leave their home at La Pradera without dying. This book is a wonderful exploration of love, family, life, and lies. Wild Beauty includes exploration into sexuality and the bonds we share with our family. Wild Beauty is one of the best books I've read in a long time because of it's depth and true dive into the human soul. This book is great for readers who want to pick up a book for a colourful story and not have it continued in a series (I personally have gotten tired of every book being a series).

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K.
Awards:
The Graveyard Book
Gaiman, Neil
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Nobody Owens (Bod for short) grows up in an ancient cemetery, raised by the spirits who reside there. As he becomes older, along with his school lessons and the special abilities given to him with the “freedom of the graveyard”, Bod must discover the secrets behind the death of his birth family, and the "Jacks of All Trades” (a dangerous secret society). Along the way Bod learns from various night creatures in addition to his extended family of ghosts, including ghouls, a witch, a werewolf, and a vampire. He must use all the knowledge that he acquires to fulfill his pivotal role in defeating the Jacks.

Reviewer's Name: Chris W.
Life and Death Twilight Reimagined
Meyer, Stephanie
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

In "Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined", the hit series Twilight is essentially gender-bent -- Bo, a human boy from Arizona, moves to the Washington town of Forks to live with his father. There, he meets Edythe, a vampire girl, and they fall in love. This book left me speechless, but not in a good way. The writing is atrocious; the dialogue was cliche and awkwardly phrased. The characters are flat and one-dimensional -- everyone simply changes genders and names (ex. Alice becomes Archie, Jasper becomes Jessamine). For reference, I also read the original Twilight book, just to see if it was as badly written as the reimagined one. I discovered that there were several lines from the original that were also in the reimagined version. It was as though she copied and pasted the same lines from her first book into this one. That seems to contradict the idea of a remake. For those who might be wondering if the reimagined book is any better than the original, the answer is no. But, if you enjoy a cheesy read like I do sometimes, then you may enjoy "Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined."

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
City of Ghosts
Schwab, Victoria
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Cassidy Blake is an unusual girl. She has been able to see ghosts since she nearly drowned a few years ago, befriending a young ghost boy named Jacob. When her parents start filming a television show about paranormal activity in Edinburgh, Scotland, she's dragged along and taken for an unexpected adventure. I absolutely adored this book! I'd heard great things about Victoria Schwab's writing, and I can say that "City of Ghosts" definitely lives up to the hype. It was witty, charming, gripping, and magical. Jacob and Cassidy's friendship is deep and meaningful. I also loved the setting of Edinburgh, which could be considered a character of its own. I have nothing negative to say about this amazing story -- except that it was over far sooner than I would've liked! Although this book is targeted more towards a middle-school audience, I think everyone who loves fantasy or paranormal books would love this one. You won't regret it.

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
City of Bones
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the first book of the Mortal Instruments series, "City of Bones," sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is thrown into a dark new world after her mother is kidnapped. She encounters the Shadowhunters, Nephilim warriors who fight evil in New York City, and joins them in a mission to save her mother and stop a great evil. This book was great. Although I had seen the movie adaptation prior to reading this book, it felt as though I were entering this world for the first time. Cassandra Clare does an excellent job pulling the reader into the story -- hooking them with an interesting, complex world and fantastic characters. The plot is fast-paced and incredibly gripping. If I had any criticism, it would be that the main character Clary wasn't necessarily the most likable protagonist. At times, she acted spitefully and (occasionally) unfairly. It was often difficult to root for her. But what saves this is the other characters, who were incredibly developed and likable
-- Simon being one of my favorites. I'm looking forward to reading all the other books in this series -- and would definitely recommend this to lovers of urban fantasy and folklore.

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
The Clockmaker's Daughter
Morton, Kate
2 stars = Meh
Review:

This story centers around an impassioned artist and his dreams, a mysterious murder, an enchanting English manor and all that went on their throughout its many years, a ghost that stands outside of time witness to it all, a vanished girl, an archivist and her discovery of a priceless artifacts, and how what went on there all those years ago effects who she is today.

In the past, the 1860’s to be exact, this story begins with a talented artist Edward Radcliffe and a group of artists that spend a summer at the house of his dreams Birchwood Manor. But shortly after arriving a mysterious murder is committed, a priceless artifact disappears and one of the women vanishes. A hundred years later in the present an archivist, named Elodie, finds a satchel which contains an unrelated photograph and a sketchbook that contains a drawing of Birchwood Manor. As she digs deeper into the mystery she is pulled into a story that has her questioning her past and who she truly is. This beautiful atmospheric mystery spans the length of time, and is told by the many voices and people all living within and around the Manor’s walls.

Before I go any further, first, let me say this. Kate Morton is the master of atmospheric beautiful Gothic mysteries and I am a big fan of hers and have loved every one of her past books. Her intricate and deeply rooted stories her beautiful prose, and her enchanting settings are the reasons why she is simply one of the best in her genre. That being said, this work, was a bit of a disappointment. While all the elements of what I love about Kate Morton’s books were there; an intricate story steeped in history, an old vast English manor with a secret or two to hide within its walls, old families with long pedigrees, a family mystery, an enchanting setting, this book fell short for me mainly because of its intricacy and complexity. I also believe the ending was a bit weak. I really wanted to love it, I just couldn’t.

Morton, I believe, really attempted to tell a challenging story, but simply had to many voices trying to tell it. While I like a good dual timeline novel, this one, with at least four voices and timelines was simply too much. There were times that, because of how she bounced around among the numerous timelines, when I got completely lost in which timeline I was following. This combined with how many characters and voices there were throughout the novel, made the story overall a whole lot less enjoyable. I’ll admit, this story took me a good while to get through and I do recommend, if reading this, keeping a list of who everyone is and which timeline goes where. It’s definitely a book you have to think through. That being said the story itself was beautiful and it makes me wonder, if it wouldn’t be better as an audio book where each of the voices are sounded out. Overall a 2.5-3 star read for me. However, if you are a Kate Morton fan and if you love atmospheric Gothic mysteries, I couldn’t count this one out, I would still give this one a go, just maybe as an audio book. Place your copy on hold today!

Thank you to Netgalley, Atria books, and Simon and Schuster for a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer's Name: Tawnie
This Savage Song
Victoria Schwab
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw, shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly, smile and bite and drink you dry. Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal, sing you a song and steal your soul. Monsters, monsters, big and small, they're gonna come and eat you all." This poem/song describes the monsters that inhabit the city of Verity in this futuristic, distopian world. "This Savage Song" is an excellent book for readers who love a good mystery and slight thriller. In a world gone completely rotten, monsters have risen up from people's sins. The two main characters, Kate Harker and August Flynn are on opposite sides of a war where no one truly wins. Kate wants to be as ruthless as her tyrannical father, while August just wants to be human, when he's really not. A study of humanity and one's willingness to survive, Victoria Schwab's "This Savage Song" is sure to engage any reader.

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

It is a good book. I like it because the characters are funny and it has a sense of wonder. The main character is Harry. He starts out living under his uncles stairs then soon learns that he is a wizard. He then is sent to Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry where he makes new friends and learns magic. He then learns that the sorcerer’s stone is in the school and someone is trying to steal it. That is why I believe that book is good. I would recommend it if you are looking for a fantasy.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan H.
The Heart Forger
Chupeco, Rin
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Heart Forger is the second book in the Bone Witch series. This book is my favorite one so far. This fallows the story of Tea and her companions trying to find the Heart Forger after he goes missing. I would recommend this book only after you read the first book.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
The Bone Witch
Chupeco, Rin
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Bone Witch is a book based on the stir of a girl who has dark magic. When she discovers her powers she learn she has to defend her home from the monsters who want to destroy it. I would highly recommend this book to people who like fantasy books. I did enjoy reading it but the trilogy is not quite complete just keep that in mind when you read this book.

Reviewer's Name: Ashlyn H
Awards:
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Meyer, Stephanie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was great, I loved it! How would it feel to be a newborn vampire if
you weren't like Bella? No super self-control and changed only for the
purpose to destroy? Destroy others like you, to be the puppet, the pawn, to
be expendable? Bree was just an average girl, she was one of the dregs of
society. she was nobody special. but then Riley showed up. he took her to
'her'. After she was changed she joined the others, newborns like her as they
reek havoc on Seattle they learn what the where created for. Bree and Deigo
find out, only she survives, what will happen to her now?

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Breaking Dawn
Meyer, Stephanie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This was one of the best books this year. It is full of action and twists that you never saw coming. As Edward and Bella find their love for one another they prepare to be married, they are happy. But the Volttri have something deadly in store as they find the Cullen's, and Bella as her newborn self, guilty of a crime that they never committed. as new joy and new danger lurk just around the corner how will they escape the false Rath of the Voltti? How will they do it without loosing anyone that they love?

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Awards:
Eclipse
Meyer, Stephanie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is one of the best books that I have read all year, it was awesome! As Bella, Alice, and Edward leave Italy on the promise the they will change Bella, Victoria grows ever more vigilant. Edward now knows better than to leave Bella anymore, so he stays. Something has begun in Seattle, mass murder that the police have no way of explaining. Bella and the Cullen's come up with idea after idea, and they finely find out who is behind it and why, newly changed vampires are raiding the city, stalking the citizens, and mass murdering. Only one person wants to kill Bella and the Cullen's that much, Victoria. As the fight begins what will it take to stay alive? how far will Victoria get?

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Monster
Peretti, Frank
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

One of the challenges of the Christian author is being able to craft stories and characters that share their beliefs, but without being too heavy-handed about it. In Frank Peretti’s Monster, the author mostly succeeds, providing characters that can easily be identified as Christian, but also exhibiting the traits of normal humans instead of straight-up caricatures. The main plot of this book was only tangentially related to an argument against evolution, so that was also a plus. Still, the way the book was put together, it was clear where the author’s bias was.

While some people might not appreciate the Christian undertones in this thriller, my qualms with it are more structural. Following a few different characters after a woman is abducted by an unnatural beast, the mystery of the disappearances and killings unravels to reveal a semi-plausible explanation. Unfortunately, the man and wife pair that are introduced at the start of the book are more annoying than likable. Ergo, when I followed the woman’s ordeal in captivity, I could not sympathize with her plight because her actions and reactions were so off-putting at first.

In the end, Monster is still a passable—if perhaps boilerplate—thriller. I did appreciate the realistic explanation for the fantastical elements of the story. I also found it somewhat refreshing to show a character who opposed the common scientific view of evolution just because everyone else thought it was true. For an audiobook, the author’s narration was filled with just the right amount of emphasis, which is to be expected. However, with so many short scenes and quick cuts between them, his reading could have stood to have a little bit longer pauses between sections in order to give the listener a better sense that the scene was changing from one character to another.

A passable thriller with semi-subtle Christian undertones, I give Monster 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin
New Moon
Meyer, Stephanie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

New moon was one of the best books that I have read this year! As Edward and Bella fall in love with one another and his family becomes her friends they believe that they will never be separated. In an unexpected turn of events brings the Cullen family a need to leave the dreary small town Forks and move on, without Bella. Bella is at first shocked that they are leaving but as the shock fades she is ripped apart. finely after months, hard months Bella finds a friend, Jacob. Bella found a haven in Jacob that she could not find in anyone else. as time wheres on Alice (Edward's sister) sees Bella, lifeless in one of her visions. Alice ventures to Forks to find Bella alive and perfectly well. Edward, thinking Bella is dead, then ventures to Italy, to the Volterra group like the Cullen's, but thirsty for human blood. As Alice and Bella find him the Volterra let them walk away on the one condition that Bella is reborn. how will this madness end?
7th grade reviewer

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Rowling, J.K.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows was a great book that I loved! In this book Harry, Ron, and Hermione all set of on a mission that Professor Dumbledore left Harry at the end of his 6th year at Hogwarts; to find and destroy the Horcrux's that Lord Voldermort has made to make himself immortal, or as close as he can get to it. As harry and his friends set out they discover that this will not be as easy as they had thought. As they find out how the Ministry of Magic has been infiltrated by he-who-must-not-be-named their mission just becomes more important. Can Harry and his friends do it and restore the magical community to the way it used to be?
7th grade

Reviewer's Name: Anneka S.
Twilight
Meyer, Stephanie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Twilight Was a great book! This book is about a girl named Bella who moves to the gloomy small town Forks, she just wants to go back to her mom and the sun. She has her first day of school ahead of her and dose not expect to find anything that she likes, but then she meets Edward Cullen. He and his siblings are strange. they seem different, even flawless. The moment Bella walks into her bio class and is forced to sit next tho Edward she knows that he dose not like her, or as she thinks. As Bella and Edward draw closer and she discovers his greatest secrete, a secrete that could kill her. Bella dose not know it but Edward begins to love her. how far will they go for love?
Grade 7 reviewer.

Reviewer's Name: Annek S.
Boys of Blur
Wilson, Nathan D.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Out of the putrid slime of a Florida swamp emerges a tale that is oozing with a sense of place. The reader feels as though a thin line of sweat is trickling down the side of his face while he bakes beneath a relentless Florida sun. As one reads, one can nearly feel the smoke blinding the eyes and burning the nostrils next to a blazing cane field, while cool mud squishes between the toes. Before too long, the reader finds that this obscure, out of the way place, a place he never gave any thought to, a place no one would ever think to visit…is a place he begins to love.

Any skilled author intuitively knows that the setting of a well-told story is so intimately woven into the legend itself, that to rip the tale out of its setting would unravel the very threads of the narrative itself. Can you imagine what would be left of To Kill a Mockingbird if it was removed from a 1930’s Alabama small town? Imagine the Tale of Two Cities not taking place in England and Paris during the French Revolution? Similarly, this glorious story is its place and the place is the story.

But the brilliance of a master storyteller is not only to nurture a sense of place, but to use this backdrop as the means to develop universal themes that speak to the deepest yearnings of all people in all places. This book adeptly portrays true fatherhood as not being a matter of mere biology, but of heart loyalties. One’s affections are moved to esteem the courage of a mother who saves her son from a cycle of violence. But most importantly, the book reminds the reader of the timeless need, in all corners of the earth, no matter how remote, how obscure, how removed—the universal need for a hero.
The true hero faces the danger head on, with no thought of his own skin, purely out of love and loyalty to the helpless who need him. He can arise from an unlikely place, from a checkered past, from outside the “in crowd.” This is the message the world will always long to hear; the message of Beowulf.

Reviewer's Name: Leslie Taylor
Dracula
Raven, Nicky
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is an adaptation to Bram Stoker’s novel, which was designed to make it an easier read for teens. The art is amazing, but the book did not hold my attention very well because the plot is slow to start. I recommend the age to be 13+ because of the word choice used. It is more of a teen/adult book. The book is in 3rd person which makes it easier to connect with the characters because you can get everyone’s perception of the story.
Beware Count Dracula!

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn S

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