Fantasy

Book Review: The Warded Man

The Warded Man
Author: 
Brett, Peter
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

***THIS BOOK WAS RECEIVED FROM THE PUBLISHER***

For anyone who thinks that fantasy is a childish genre, The Warded Man shows
that it can have very adult themes. While this adds an element of realism by
including sex and violence, it also means that the intended audience for this
book should be mature enough to be able to pay attention. Unfortunately, this
book takes a repetitive approach with its character arcs, almost as if
writing for children who need the point constantly driven home. In the end,
I’m mostly just disappointed at what this book could have been instead of
what it was.

I’m not sure if there’s a minimum page count/word count for fantasy
books, but The Warded Man seems to be an interesting novella, padded out with
tons of unnecessary backstory—or at least backstory that could be covered
in a relevant line or paragraph when needed. I did like the concept and the
magical system in this book. Heck, I thought the naming scheme for the minor
characters was also quite brilliant. I just can’t bring myself to suggest
that people slog through over 450 pages of story that could have easily been
covered in 150.

If you are interested in a somewhat original fantasy story, you can literally
pick up the book at the beginning of Part 3 and read to the end, and you
won’t miss much (if anything, you won't get some establishing details).
This was also exacerbated by the fact that at least one of these characters
didn’t have an interesting story until Part 3, so it was a bit annoying to
have to jump over to his story when I’d much rather read about the other
two characters. As it’s written right now, many of the characters’
motivations are repeatedly brought up in similar situations, so all the first
part of the book does is delay these three characters’ inevitable meeting.

A great concept for a novella with a ton of backstory tacked on the front, I
give The Warded Man 3.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel
Author: 
Clare, Cassandra
Rating: 
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

Book Review: The Hero of Ages

The Hero of Ages
Author: 
Sanderson, Brandon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Brandon Sanderson has done it again. The first two novels in this series were already amazing in their own right, but the finale novel of the trilogy is by far the best. The story has once again been improved, with Vin and the crew battling against a literal god, Ruin, who hears and sees everything they do or say. If they do not conquer over him, he will destroy the world. Aside from the main, overarching plot, there are also several smaller side plots that are all intriguing and exciting. Along the way there are several plot twists and epic moments that keep the reader guessing and hungry for more.

The ending of the novel is quite sad, but provides a satisfying conclusion to one of the best fantasy trilogies ever. I would recommend this to anyone who has read the first two novels.

Reviewer's Name: 
Peter C

Book Review: The Well of Ascension

Well of Ascension
Author: 
Sanderson, Brandon
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Where Mistborn told a tale of political intrigue, revolution and overthrowing a dictator, the second novel in the Mistborn series, The Well of Ascension, builds upon an already enthralling first book. This novel supplies the reader with a bigger, more intriguing, more grandiose story, more suspense, and more action than before. Brandon Sanderson has done an incredible job with fleshing out each character in a unique way, and creating an amazing story. The story itself follows Vin, Elend, and the rest of their crew as they attempt to find the Well of Ascension, which is said holds the power required to stop the world from being destroyed. The ending this book builds up to is truly unexpected, and was a brilliant plot twist by Sanderson. I would highly recommend this book if you have read Mistborn.

Reviewer's Name: 
Peter C

Book Review: At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness
Author: 
Lovecraft, H. P.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

H.P. Lovecraft is commonly known as one of the titans of horror, one of the pioneers of the genre who influenced people such as Stephen King, and has even inspired several video games, such as Bloodborne. At the Mountains of Madness is considered Lovecraft's magnum opus, his best work to date. It is a novella telling the story of a small group of geologists, aviators, and explorers who travel to Antarctica in search of unique rock specimens. While there, however, they encounter several horrors, including unearthing ancient specimens known as Old Ones, a decadent, purely weird city built by the Old Ones themselves, and even giant albino penguins. This novella is truly horrifying, as the suspense Lovecraft is able to build through usage of the setting is gripping. If one is looking to begin reading Lovecraft books, this one is a great entry point, as it introduces the reader to the Old Ones, the Necronomicon, and even Cthulhu himself. I would recommend to anyone who loves horror novels, or anyone who wants to read Lovecraft.

Reviewer's Name: 
Peter C

Book Review: As You Wish

As You Wish
Author: 
Sedoti, Chelsea
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

"As You Wish" of Chelsea Sedoti, an interesting story of fantasy and myth, shows that wants can shadow what is truly important. The way Sedoti wrote this story is both engaging and interesting. On the surface, it seems cliche and boring, but the pages hold so much depth and wonder it makes the book nearly impossible to put down. I love how this book makes you feel like you are walking and breathing with the characters written in ink. This book is interesting and makes you think. If you love parallel universes, mysteries, and wonder, then this book is for you!

Reviewer's Name: 
Siena G

Book Review: Foxheart

Foxheart
Author: 
Legrand, Claire Zollars
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In the middle grade adventure fantasy "Foxheart", a young girl and her pet dog Fox must venture out into a strange magical world to face the fearsome Wolf King, with the help of a grumpy old woman and a little boy named Sly Boots. This story was simply fantastic! Everything from the world-building to the character development was incredibly well-written. The beginning is a little slow, but once the action begins, it moves very quickly. The plot twists were completely unexpected and I was totally invested in the story.

The only negatives I may add is that some of the side-quests that were taken on the journey didn't seem particularly necessary. Some were vital to the plot, while others seemed to just sort of fill the time. Nevertheless, I was engrossed. While this book is actually geared towards middle-schoolers, I'm not sure I recommend it to someone younger than twelve, as it was pretty violent. But, if that's not a problem, then definitely pick up this amazing book ASAP!
-Grade 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Gillian P.

Book Review: Animal Farm

Animal Farm
Author: 
Orwell, George
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

"Animal Farm" by George Orwell is about a seemingly normal farm that turns against their farmer. The animals take over the farm with the help of their leaders who are pigs. After all the humans are gone from the farm they continue under the rule of the pigs and create a system of rules to follow as a guideline for their new life. Everything goes well until one of the pigs, Napoleon, uses the dogs he trained to remove the other leader, Snowball, from the animal farm. With Snowball gone Napoleon takes complete control of the farm. He alters the rules made by Snowball, abuses his power, and makes poor decisions that negatively affect the other animals. One of their rules/guidelines was that humans were evil and not to be associated with.

Napoleon breaks that rule many times starting with making a trade of wood with another farm run by a farmer. They get scammed from the exchange with the human, but that doesn't stop Napoleon from dealing with humans. He goes to the extent of not telling the fellow animals the truth and putting all pigs above everyone else. From there things get progressively worse until Napoleon eventually befriends the humans along with the other pigs. They become so much like the humans that it gets to the point that the pigs are basically humans.

I would recommend the book. "Animal Farm" is interesting and in my opinion is in a sense satire, so I really enjoyed it. I read this book because I was planning on reading 1984 by the same author for a BTS theory and wanted to read other books by George Orwell. I kind of could relate to some of the animals because when they disagreed with Napoleon they brought up good points, but no one listened to them. The ending is very surprising and the book isn't predictable.

Reviewer's Name: 
Oriana O.

Book Review: Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty
Author: 
McLemore, Anna-Marie
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: 
Levenseller, Tricia
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The book Daughter of the Pirate King is a thrilling story about a pirate princess who is captured by an enemy ship on a mission for her father. This story follows Alosa and her mission to retrieve part of the map to the island of the Sirens. I really enjoyed this book for it's humour and wit, along with the progressive plot that kept the story flowing. This book keeps you guessing for answers as it alludes to many things you might be able to figure out if you read between the lines. I appreciated the complexities of this book and cannot wait to read the sequel. I would highly suggest this book to readers who love action and humour.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Fantasy