Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Paranormal/Supernatural

May Bird and the Ever After book jacket
Jodi Lynn Anderson
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

An amazing and intriguing story about a girl who has lived in a town where a total of 17 people go missing in the same woods, gets lost in these same woods and has an adventure of a lifetime. This girl’s name is May Ellen Bird and she is the social outcast of the town she lives in and the town over, where she goes to school. She's considered weird for always collecting random things and always talking to her cat, Somber Kitty. While exploring her basically abandoned town she finds a letter in the crumbled and destroyed little box of a post office with her name on it, yet it was from 1951. In this letter there is a map for a lake not far from her house, yet there shouldn’t be a lake as in Briery Swamp, West Virginia has been a drought for years. She goes to look for it and sets out on a quest to find it full or not full. She finds it and falls in, after climbing out to her dismay she is now able to see ghosts. For some odd reason she decides to go back to the lake, falls in again and gets pulled to the strange world of the Ever After, where the story really starts to unfold with twists and turns, ghosts, and other things most people would be terrified of seeing.
This book is definitely different from your regular fantasy book, as it ties in slight horror. I won’t lie when I had my suspicions about this book when I first read it, but they were infact wrong as this book sucked me in and captivated me with the depth and descriptive story. There is so much character development for all of the main characters and even the side characters as well, which is rare in most books, and there is so much description for every single little thing that you really get to know everything and everybody that you encounter throughout this book. I absolutely loved reading this book and I think many others would as well if you are looking for a slightly horrific book with adventure, friendship, and hardship along the way.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Margaret
Deep and Dark and Dangerous
Hahn, Mary Downing
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I really enjoyed this book while reading and after finishing it. This book was a combination of the two things I love most; mystery and thriller.
Mary Downing Hahn is a great author and I love reading her books and going down a spiral of questions. All of her books are clever, it’s like watching a movie without a screen! This is by far my favorite book by Mary Downing Hahn.
Ali is a thirteen year old girl who stumbles across a torn picture of her mother and aunt. Who’s the third person? This book is about Ali’s journey attempting to solve this mystery. I definitely recommend this for mystery lovers, horror lovers or both!
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Abigail
Mexican Gothic
Moreno-Garcia, Silvia
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Mexican Gothic follows an interesting take on haunted houses and distant ancestry. The resilient main character, Noemi, travels to a small town to visit her newly-married cousin at a house called High Place out of concern for her cousin's illness. The longer she stays, though, the more she realizes that there is something more sinister going on than an isolated family. Unlike some reviews I saw, the pacing was engaging for me. It was broken into short chapters with a lot of action in the last hundred or so pages, which is how a lot of thrillers are organized. This helped me be motivated to read more when the story line was not quite my taste. It was cool, however, that Noemi was realistic in her thoughts and reactions. It made the story feel more genuine as the plot got crazier. This isn't something I would necessarily recommend, but it was still enjoyable.

Reviewer's Name: Maggie
City of Bones
Clare, Cassandra
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

City of Bones follows Clary Fray as she discovers a dangerous world that has been hidden in plain sight from her. Clary's mother gets violently kidnapped, and not to mention that she saw something that only she could see at the teen club Pandemonium, three strange teen warriors that were supposedly dispatching a demon when she saw them. Clary gets swooped up into their world with many questions; why is her mother gone, why can she see them, and most of all, what is the truth? She discovers a world with demons, warlocks, vampires, faeries, werewolves, and of course, the glorious(ish) shadowhunters that are all fighting invisible fights, especially with the rumor that an old shadowhunter enemy is rising up again. Come along on the ride with Clary as she brings her friend Simon along on the journey for answers and learns much more than she bargained for.
City of Bones has good world-building and is an excellent gateway into the Shadow world. It is definitely not the best book by Cassandra Clare but it was her first and an entrance to an entire universe. The book has many twists and not all are huge but they are there and bring you back into the book. It can seem like it was dragging on and like not much was happening but the twists bring your attention back in. The relationships between characters were well written and Magnus Bane needs no discussion (amazing character, would die for him). The action scenes are there and plentiful, they can get cluttered but let's be honest has anyone read a perfect action scene, they are hard to write. The action scene can cause you to lose focus and it can feel a little repetitive with the setting and what happens with the character but like I said there are twists that bring your focus back in. Overall it's a good book but not the best but still a vital read for understanding the Shadow world/ chronicles. This book is a worthwhile read and a great entrance to Cassandra Clare's work.

Reviewer's Name: Jordan
Intensity book jacket
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Intensity is the last installment of the Chronicles of Nick series. In this book, Nick's destiny is tested in ways he never thought could be possible. For one, he learns that he has a son in the future and that he's come to the past to ruin Nick's life and destroy him and the world. Then, he learns that his greatest enemies have somehow enslaved his future self and turned his friends against him. And worst of all, he learns that his mother's death is the catalyst for him losing his mind. At this point, Nick wants to give up. How can he fight against a son he has no knowledge of, enemies he can't see, or the fact that the most important person in his life is going to be gone sooner rather than later?

This book was different structurally than the rest of the books because it includes pictures of the characters and jumps between different points of view. At first, it's confusing to figure out how much time has passed from the events of the last book to what's happening in this book, but after a moment, the plot gets clearer and more interesting. This wasn't my favorite book in the series because there wasn't as much action and the end was very confusing and I felt, didn't fit with the theme. A lot of new characters were introduced, some of which were largely irrelevant and I felt were just added to try to make the plot more complex, but just made it more confusing.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
Invision book jacket
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Nick was born evil. As the most powerful demon to ever exist, every fiber in him was created to destroy, annihilate, and wreak havoc. It is his destiny to destroy the world and everyone he loves. But he is determined to thwart his destiny, and live his life as a somewhat normal person. When he's not being thrown against lockers by the school bully, he's battling demons and pushing the limits with the Fates of the Universe. Except for this time, with the help of his ancient demons friends and the Eye of Ananke, he can see the mishaps of the future...and knows that someone besides him is trying to change it. Now, he has to battle something far deadlier and treacherous than ever before...and he has no idea who or what it is.

This is the seventh book in the series, and once again it does not disappoint! I like how there is a mix of adventure, the supernatural, romance, and fantasy (and even some special appearances from Greek gods and goddesses!) and that the main character is relatable: he's in high school, trying to figure out who he is and what he stands for. The book also isn't a super long read, and once you start, it's hard to put it down!

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
The Dream Thieves
Stiefvater, Maggie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater is the second book in the Raven Cycle series, and it picks up after the events of The Raven Boys. It follows Blue and her raven boys as the ley line awakens, Ronan reveals he can take things out of his dreams, and Gansey continues his quest to find Glendower all while sinister people begin to make their way into Henrietta. I really liked this book and thought it was a great continuation of the series. I liked the way it explored Ronan as a character as well as Adam’s struggle with the ley line and himself. It expanded the world of the raven boys for the better, and it nicely set up the rest of the series (including future relationships). I recommend this for anyone who has read The Raven Boys, as well as anyone who is looking for a more relaxed fantasy series. In comparison to series like Throne of Glass or Six of Crows, the pacing is more relaxed, but it is still an intriguing and fun read with lovable characters and a good plotline.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
Hounded
Hearne, Kevin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Hounded is the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. The series follows Atticus O'Sullivan, the last druid on earth living in Tempe Arizona. Atticus draws his power from the earth and has many encounters with gods, deities, and monsters. The series is in 1st person, and Kevin Hearne's writing style shines through Atticus's wit and intelligence. The story is incredibly gripping, imaginative, and fresh. Every book maintains such a strong story and writing I never found difficulty imagining the scenes with great detail.

Reviewer's Name: Judah
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Gaiman, Neil
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Neil Gaiman's novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane gives an interesting perspective on the nature of childhood and the truth of reality. A folktalishly fantastical novel, this book follows a man as a he thinks back on his childhood and the magical and sometimes terrifying experiences he had as a kid. I at first found this book a little confusing because I didn't quite understand the time switch and whether or not it was meant to be serious or mystical. However, reading this book is very enjoyable as it gives very homely vibes and contains interesting mysteries to uncover. With an open ending that leaves the reader wanting, this is a great quick read for fans of Neil Gaiman or just general fiction enthusiasts.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 3
Gotouge, Koyoharu
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Volume 3 is a perfect introduction to the real world of the demon slayers. After Tanjiro faces off against two powerful demons, we meet Zenitsu, the second main protagonist. The lore of the demon race really starts to unfold in this volume, and seeing it be almost as fleshed out as that of the Demon Slayer Corps is very intriguing. As the exposition starts to pick up the pace towards the main plot, the action and drawing are beautiful. Again, I would recommend this volume to those continuing the series. This graphic novel is relatively light and easy to get invested in, so anyone could get into it!

Reviewer's Name: Steven
Cruel Prince
Black, Holly
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Cruel Prince was an amazing and extremely unique book that I absolutely loved. I fell in love with the characters, and while this book was a bit predictable, I loved it anyway. The world that this book took place in was completely magical, as was the plot and the characters. From a strong female lead, to a charming prince, these characters could not have been more perfect. The writing was very poetic, and only added to the magic of the story.
Reviewer grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Sage
Clockwork Angel
Clare, Cassandra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare follows the protagonist Theresa (Tessa) Gray. She has just moved to London to live with her brother after her grandmother’s death. Upon arrival, two elderly ladies pick her up saying that her brother sent them. The ladies whose names are Mrs. Dark and Mrs. Black take Tessa back to their house. Tessa quickly finds out that her brother didn’t send them. They try to force her to change. Being from New York and the mundane realm, she has no idea what they want her to become. After about six weeks of being forced to change, a young Shadowhunter named William Herondale saves her from the ladies and takes her to a safe haven. From here on out, Tessa begins to learn of the Shadowhunter world and all it has to offer.

Clockwork Angel, being the first book in Cassandra Clare’s series, The Infernal Devices, does an amazing job of hooking the reader within the first few pages. The Infernal Devices is somewhat of a prequel series to the original series, The Mortal Instruments. Cassandra Clare creates a very interesting and thorough job of creating a plot that doesn’t give everything away too soon. The characters are also very believable and relatable. All in all, I would recommend reading The Mortal Instruments before The Infernal Devices because there are small details that will make the Clockwork Angel even more interesting and enjoyable.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie
City of Bones
Clare, Cassandra
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the book City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, just 16-year-old Clary Fray and her best friend Simon head out to the New York club called Pandemonium. While there, Clary witnesses a murder committed by three teenagers. But, the peculiar part of the murder is that the person dissolves into nothing. As the next few days progress, Clary Fray becomes thrown into the Shadowhunter world and all of their politics and problems.

Cassandra Clare really hooks her reader in the first few chapters of the book. Not only does she create funny and engaging characters, but she also mixes so many worlds and makes it all sensical and realistic. The New York City world also blends quickly with the Shadowhunters, werewolves, faeries, vampires, and warlocks. All in all, I would totally recommend this book, it’s highly enticing.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Riggs, Ransom
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of a teenage boy called Jacob, who, after witnessing his supposedly crazy grandfather die, is led by his last words to the island of Caernhome, where his grandfather grew
up in a foundling home. Jacob discovers that maybe his grandfather wasn't as crazy as everyone thought, and that all the stories he told about children with magical powers may actually have been true.
I did enjoy this book, but some of the characters felt a bit flat and the plot wasn't as good as it could have been. A large section in the middle, during what would be the "trials" in the "Hero's Journey," was mostly just Jacob playing around with the peculiars and not really doing much. The book was still an interesting read, though, with a creative premise, and I look forward to reading the sequels to see where the author takes them, and if he develops the characters
more.

Reviewer's Name: Elanor
Middlewest, Book One
Young, Skottie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

After Abel's mother left, he was forced to live alone with his toxic father. One night during a fight with his dad, Abel discovers that his father's anger issues correlate to a destructive power that he might have just inherited, so he runs away with his talking fox. The novel follows him as he travels through a dystopian land and meets many people, friends and foes, along the way. Although the story is fantastical, it explores very adult themes; Middlewest offers a raw coming of age story while diving into challenging family relations, as Abel attempts to find his own identity. This series addresses difficult problems that many people face through the lens of a magical world. Each aspect of the story is wonderfully done and cannot receive enough praise; the novel expertly tackles difficult human problems and inner turmoil. The art by Corona is also captivating and a fantastic visual of what Abel feels throughout the story. This graphic novel and the entire Middlewest series is genius and executed beautifully and should be at the top of everyone's must-read list. Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Julia
Ghost Story
Butcher, Jim
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

After Dresden becomes a ghost, he goes back to Chicago to help his friends. Dresden struggles to acclimate to being a ghost and being unable to directly help his friends. Although this book starts off slowly, it quickly picks up
to a climactic end. This book adds new depth to the supernatural world Jim Butcher has created and continues to tie past character into the story. This book adds a refreshing change to the series by mixing up the style of storytelling through Dresden's more passive role in the story. Although Butcher's style of adding a ticking time clock to every story feels quite repetitive, this book was still entertaining to read.

Reviewer's Name: Mark
Crave
Wolff, Tracy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Crave is about a girl who must move to a school where not everything is as it seems, after her parents die. This school is full of creatures. I absolutely loved this book. It is a very thick book that I had to finish in one day, that's how good it is. The characters are so fun and the whole book is interesting. There comes a time when it seems like it will get boring, but then come the plot twists that make it so much better. The romance between the main characters is amazing and always keeps you guessing. Overall this book is so good and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a teen romance/ supernatural book.

Reviewer's Name: Jana M.
Christine book cover
King, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I love Stephen King and cars, so when I found out there was a book by Stephen King about a car, I had to read it. The book “Christine” by Stephen King is about a couple of 17-year-olds and a '58 Plymouth Fury named Christine. When I first heard about this book, I thought it would just be about a car that went around and just killed people. However, it's more than that. I mean, yes, people do get run over by Christine, but there’s also ghosts and people getting possessed. Also, there’s a really cool car chase between the Fury and a Camaro, which I thought was awesome. Overall, I would highly recommend this book, and it’s a lot better than the movie plot-wise.

Reviewer's Name: Emani K.
Illusion
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Nick's life can't get any worse. Besides the fact that he's the son of a demon destined to destroy the world, he's also wanted by every supernatural being one can think of. This time, his soul has been separated from his body and thrown into a different dimension, and if Nick doesn't find a way to get back to his original realm and body, his army of demons are going to destroy the world...with or without him.

This book is the fifth book in an eight-book series, and honestly, it's my least favorite thus far. The plot is less fantastical and more mellow, and there's a lot of new characters that are introduced that makes it a little hard to follow. Otherwise, I still enjoyed it. As always, Nick is hilarious and as charismatic as a demon can get, and we get a glimpse into his more complicated relationships (his relationship with his father for example). I believe most importantly, the book showed Nick's more vulnerable side than the preceding books in the series. Now that he's inherited all his powers, I'm excited to see how life turns out in the Nick universe throughout the last three books!

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
Inferno
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Turning sixteen is not what Nick Gautier anticipated. The most wanted demon in the world, he's constantly in trouble; whether it's fighting off demons, dealing with a murderous girlfriend, or simply navigating high school, Nick's life is everything but normal. With his father dead, Nick thinks he's safe, but now there's a bigger problem: someone is hunting him down and trying to enslave him, and he has no clue who or what it is.

This book is part of a series and each one gets better and better! I like the elements of preternatural beings mixed with everyday life. Nick is very relatable (besides the part that he's half-demon), and he's hilarious as a character. Each chapter brings new surprises and will leave you wanting more.

I also really like how Nick has grown as a character throughout the series. While he's physically growing older, he's also mentally maturing, and you can see that through his decisions and choices.

Overall, this series isn't just entertaining: Nick teaches us about making selfless choices for those we love and that choosing good is always better than evil.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma