Paranormal/Supernatural

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.

Book Review: Three Mages and a Margarita

Three Mages and a Margarita
Author: 
Marie, Annette
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Pretty darn good! Light urban fantasy/paranormal with some romance, good pacing & character development, good grammar & proofreading (unlike this review), good action scenes. Really liked the reader for the audiobook. Not the depth of story of Briggs, Butcher, or Huff, but not just fluff waiting for the next romantic scene either. So glad our library is awesome and constantly offering new and interesting things.

Reviewer's Name: 
LJO

Book Review: Clarity

Book Cover
Author: 
Harrington, Kim
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Clarity, by author Kim Harrington, is a gripping mystery novel about a sixteen-year-old young woman named Clarity, or "Clary". A normal teenager on the outside, Clarity possesses a talent for seeing the stories in objects: merely touch one and she sees visions related to the owner and what circumstances the object has been in. When a murder occurs in the small seaside town in which Clary lives, she teams up with the police and must dig deep into her own talents and the town's secrets in order to solve the mystery.

I enjoyed this book. While the writing is more of a middle-school level, the themes are for older teenagers. Thus, I would recommend this book to any reader over sixteen. The book is not overly long, and I finished it in under a day.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rebecca D.
Awards: 

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: 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: The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
Author: 
Gaiman, Neil
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: Life and Death Twilight Reimagined

Life and Death Twilight Reimagined
Author: 
Meyer, Stephanie
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts
Author: 
Schwab, Victoria
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: City of Bones

Author: 
City of Bones
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter
Author: 
Morton, Kate
Rating: 
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

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