Fantasy

Book Review: Black Butler vol. 3

Black Butler, vol. 3
Author: 
Toboso, Yana
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Black Butler is about a 13 year old boy who makes a deal to give his soul to a mysterious demon butler named Sebastion. Black Butler takes place in Victornian- Era London. The main protagonist Ciel is born into the wealthy Phantomhive family. He loses his family when his house is allegedly set on fire and he is kidnapped. When Ciel meets a demon named Sebastion, he agrees to make a deal to give Sebastion his soul when he dies, and in return, Sebastion will protect him. Ciel lives with Sebastion as his demon butler as a servant to protect him and one day have revenge for his family.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lynniah C.

Book Review: Naruto volume 53, The Birth Of Naruto

Naruto, Vol. 53, The Birth of Naruto
Author: 
Kishimoto, Masashi
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Volume 53 of Naruto stands out from a lot of other volumes. This book gives the reader a backstory of how the main protagonist Naruto, a strong ninja from the Hidden Leaf Village grew up, and where he came from. This book shows the reader details about Naruto’s past. This book has great and detailed illustrations that show the reader a lot of expressions. The art helps the reader understand how the characters feel and relate to them.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lynniah C.

Book Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows
Author: 
Bardugo, Leigh
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Six of Crows is a book about six individuals who have teamed together to complete a supposedly impossible and deadly heist, each with their own driving motivations and goals, but all aware of what's at stake: their lives. While the book is divided among six main characters, Bardugo does an excellent job at giving each a distinct story and voice. The book, along with its sequel, take place in a fictional world where some people, called Grisha, are born with powers. While the Grisha are not an obvious main topic of the book, the world building, fantastical powers, and underlying societal beliefs about them are all still there. Six of Crows has a perfect blend of fantasy and action with just enough suspense and romance to keep you on your toes and interested.

The six main characters are tasked with going to a land, foreign to most of them, to retrieve a doctor who knew the recipe for a drug that could amplify Grisha powers and control them. Unfortunately, the doctor is burried deep within a fortress of ice with more than one group after him. I would highly recommend this book, if not just for the plot, then for Bardugo's knowledge and craft of language and her ability to excellently build immersible worlds.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kathleen H.

Book Review: The Night Circus

The Night Circus
Author: 
Morgenstern, Erin
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Night Circus is the enthralling tale of a magical circus called Le Cirque does Rêves, which appears mysteriously and is open only at night. But there’s much more to the Circus of Dreams than meets the eye. The apprentices of two powerful magicians, bound to each other by fate and a deal made when they were children, must prove themselves. Soon the lives of everyone involved with the circus hang in the balance as the young magicians fight for victory—and love. Le Cirque de Rêves is a beautiful, enchanting, and intricate setting, each detail magically realistic. Morgenstern has
created an enthralling plot, with twists and turns and surprises waiting around each corner. This novel is perfect for anyone who enjoys a good fantasy or romance.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alexa H.

Book Reviews: The Obelisk Gate

The Obelisk Gate
Author: 
Jemisin, N. K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I’ll admit that reading The Fifth Season had a bit of a learning curve for
the Broken Earth series. Not only did I have to learn about the vastly
powerful magic system based on rocks (and other rock forms), but I had to get
used to a second-person point of view (POV). Jumping between timelines with
similar characters who had different names was a bit confusing, but I was
able to figure it out by the end. Fast forward to the sequel, The Obelisk
Gate, and most of my qualms with the first book were smoothed over or solved
outright.

One of the things I enjoyed about The Obelisk Gate was the increase in the
scale of the magic system. Including the moon in these calculations makes
perfect sense considering the nature of the orogeny magic. I also appreciated
how the story seemed to focus on a single POV, which made for a more intimate
experience as we followed only one or two individuals instead of four. Now
that I was used to the second-person writing style and the character it
described, it didn’t bother me as much as when I read The Fifth Season.

While The Fifth Season set up the world-building for this trilogy, The
Obelisk Gate’s only weakness is that it finally set up the climactic plot
for the third book. Sure, there was plenty of character development and
intriguing twists in the plot in The Obelisk Gate, but they all seemed to be
hinting at something much more significant that wouldn’t take place in this
book. I do appreciate an excellent three-act structure, so this slight
weakness can be seen as merely an artifact of the second book in a trilogy.
In fact, because it was more focused, I liked this book more than its
predecessor. After all, it’s a strong concept with solid execution.

A focusing and foreshadowing of the Broken Earth series, I give The Obelisk
Gate 4.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: The Black Key

Book Cover
Author: 
Ewing, Amy
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

It's been a few months since Violet and her friends escaped to the Farm.
Their plan to overthrow the royalty in the Jewel is coming together. However,
when Violet's sister's life is threatened, Violet is forced to go back to the
Jewel to rescue her. While in there, she discovers shocking secrets that
could both help her plan and put it in jeopardy. As the days to the attack
tick down, Violet must conjure up all her strength to ensure victory and
safety for all, even when her friends are torn away right in front of her
eyes.

If there's ever been a series I'd recommend, it's the Jewel trilogy. It's a
very quick read, and no matter how hard I try, there's not a single flaw I can
find. This book is no exception, and provides an action-packed, gripping
finale to the series. It also hit me with the saddest deaths in any media
I've yet to find (and I've endured Der Flohwalzer). However, this did present
a problem, as it happened right before the book's climactic final battle,
which made it hard for me to get sucked in. However, after taking a crying
break for two hours, my tears turned to unbridled rage against the royalty,
and I was able to get back into what I consider one of the best final battles
of all time. Overall, I highly recommend this book. Just make sure to have
some tissues ready.

Reviewer's Name: 
Naomi S.

Book Review: Breach

Breach
Author: 
Goodwater, W. L.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

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

It’s always interesting to see an alternate take on history where fantastical elements can help explain some mostly banal events and activities. In Breach, the reader is offered a glimpse into the top-secret realm of magicians in military espionage. Most of my knowledge of Cold War Berlin is based on pop culture representations, so there wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary here that would scream of historical inaccuracies. If anything, Breach almost felt like it could have been an extension of the Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts franchise with how well it integrated history and magic.

While there was perhaps a bit too much browbeating over women’s role in society during the Cold War, the pacing, twists, and characters were excellent. It was a little difficult to tell the timeframe of this book, but I assumed it was probably in an alternate 1950s, based on the context clues. Of course, with the pacing of a modern thriller, Breach seems to get away with fully explaining the details of many of its characters’ motivations. I was sucked into the story enough that I didn’t care too much, but it was a nagging that gnawed at the back of my mind as I read.

For a first book, author W.L. Goodwater certainly put forth an admirable effort. The way plot points are set up and revealed was very entertaining, even if some of the finer points of the plot seemed to be repetitive to make sure the reader understood them. There was a lot of thought put into the magic system in this book without spending tons of time in exposition going over how it works, which I appreciate. There was also some solid character growth for both major and minor characters throughout this book, which is yet another reason why I think people should read this book.

A thrilling alternate history fantasy adventure, I give Breach 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: The Shadows Between Us

Book Review: The Shadows Between Us
Author: 
Levenseller, Tricia
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Alessandra wants to channel her murderous rage into something more productive than, well, murder. So she aims to become the Queen (of course, she'll have to murder the King once she's married him, but that'll be the last one). As the second daughter of a minor royal, this doesn't seem like a super realistic goal, but...you haven't met Alessandra.

I'm a huge sucker for the love-him-then-kill-him trope, and it is awesomely used here. I was expecting this book to be more of a fantasy, but it's really a romance with fantastical trappings. And it is so sex positive! I have been describing it as Wuthering-Heights-only-it's-actually-fun-to-read, but the author describes it as a romance between two Slytherins, which is better. Even though the characters are objectively horrible, you'll find yourself rooting for them. It was a tad ridiculous in terms of how the characters talked and interacted with each other, but in the same kind of way as Daughter of the Pirate King, the author's other book that I've read, which I also enjoyed.

If you are looking for a fun, purely escapist romance, I would highly recommend this book. I read it in one sitting. 4 stars - I really liked it!

Thanks to Netgalley and Feiwel & Friends for the eARC which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Shadows Between Us is available now!

Reviewer's Name: 
Britt

Book Review: Sacrifice Box

Book Review: Sacrifice Box
Author: 
Stewart, Martin
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is about five friends who find a secret box. They put in objects of importance in this box and make three rules never return to the box at night, never visit it alone, and never take back your sacrifice. When someone breaks the rules how will these friends find their way back and what will they learn about each other? As the box tries to destroy them and the sacrifices come to life can Arkle, Lamb, Hadley, Sep, and Mack race against the clock to save the day? This is a book full of excitement and emotion. This thriller has hints of humor and lots of meaning. Many unexpected twists and nail-biting events will make this book impossible to put down. I sure
couldn't. This is by far my favorite book and I suggest it to every teen everywhere.

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenna B

Book Review: Alice in Zombieland

Book Review: Alice in Zombieland
Author: 
Showalter, Gena
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Alice Bell thought her father was crazy, at least until she saw the monsters herself. On her way home from her little sisters dance recital her life is turned upside down when she awakes on the side of the road barely conscious. They were in a car accident, and before she blacks out she vaguely sees a monster eating her father. "There is no way, zombies don’t exist" Alice thinks, but then she remembers the stories her dad used to tell her about them. She wakes up in the hospital with her grandparents standing next to her with sad looks on their face. She knew before they told her, her parents and sister were gone. She starts to see visions or images of zombies she can’t get them out of her head, so when she meets a bad boy named Cole at her new school she can’t help but think he knows more than he lets on about the monsters she sees. When it comes time to fight Alice and Cole must trust each other, but this fight is for Alice it's time to avenge her family. This was a book I couldn’t put down, I had to immediately pick up the next book in the series.

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S.

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