Paranormal/Supernatural

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

Book Review: This Savage Song

This Savage Song
Author: 
Victoria Schwab
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: The Heart Forger

The Heart Forger
Author: 
Chupeco, Rin
Rating: 
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

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