Tag Archives: children

Fantasy Book Review: The Rat Prince

The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder

Synopsis:
Before Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters moved into Lancastyr Manor, Cinderella was known as the Lady Rose de Lancastyr. Then her stepmother forced her to become a kitchen maid and renamed her. At first the rats of the manor figure Cinderella for a lack-wit and take pity on her by bringing her food and a special family heirloom. But when Cinderella’s stepmother finds a way to prevent her from attending the ball, the rats join forces to help her. The night of the ball is filled with magic and secrets–not least of all who Lady Rose will choose to be her Prince Charming.

Review:
Char is the Rat Prince, who looks after Cinderella and the household. You may know the story of Cinderella, but this is a fun new twist, both from Cinderella and Char’s point of views. This all-ages novel is a highly-enjoyable fairy tale. This clever take puts Cinderella’s rat friends as main characters and a surprising Prince Charming. There is plenty of humor, suspense, drama, and heart. This sweet and endearing story is not one I’ll soon forget.

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: STONE GIRL’S STORY

Courtesy of Clarion, I have an ARC copy of Stone Girl’s Story by Sarah Beth Durst for five (5) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends August 11. I’ll draw a name on August 12, and notify winners via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Cover Reveal and Giveaway: STONE GIRL’S STORY

Fantasy Book Review: The Princess and the Page

The Princess and the Page by Christina Farley

Synopsis:
A dark secret lurks in Keira’s family. She comes from a long line of Word Weavers, who bring their stories to life when they use a magical pen. But for generations Word Weavers have been hunted for their power. That’s why Keira is forbidden to write. When Keira discovers her grandma’s Word Weaver pen, and writes a story for the Girls’ World fairy-tale contest, she starts to wonder if anyone ever truly lives happily ever after. Inspired by the life and times of Gabrielle d’Estrées, a real French princess who lived during the 1500s, The Princess and the Page follows the mystical journey of a modern-day “royal” who goes from having a pen in her hand to wishing for the world at her fingertips.

Review:
Keira’s mother forbids her from writing – she dislikes all fiction. But Keira and her friend write a fairy tale anyway to enter a contest. But Keira’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Little does she know that when she uses her grandmother’s magical pen, what Keira writes has an effect on the reality.

The Princess and the Page is an enchanting children’s fantasy. Farley’s take on a historical princess makes for a captivating tale. This fast-paced adventure contains plenty of mystery and suspense and colorful characters. The Young fantasy fans will enjoy this fun and story with an exciting finale.

Fantasy Book Review: The Wells Bequest

The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman

Synopsis:
Leo never imagined that time travel might really be possible, or that the objects in H. G. Wells’ science fiction novels might actually exist. And when a miniature time machine appears in Leo’s bedroom, he has no idea who the tiny, beautiful girl is riding it. But in the few moments before it vanishes, returning to wherever—and whenever—it came from, he recognizes the other tiny rider: himself!

His search for the time machine, the girl, and his fate leads him to the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out objects instead of books. Hidden away in the Repository basement is the Wells Bequest, a secret collection of powerful objects straight out of classic science fiction novels: robots, rockets, submarines, a shrink ray—and one very famous time machine. And when Leo’s adventure of a lifetime suddenly turns deadly, he must attempt a journey to 1895 to warn real-life scientist Nikola Tesla about a dangerous invention. A race for time is on!

Review:
Leo comes from a family of geniuses. And though he feels like the odd one, Leo is a brilliant inventor. Researching for his science fair project, leads him to the mysterious New-York Circulating Material Repository. The Repository is a library of all sorts of objects instead of just books. (Think Warehouse 13 or The Librarian movies – but this place loans out its objects.) And a secret collection stores some of the most amazing items – right out of HG Wells’ science fiction novels.

This is a companion novel to The Grimm Legacy, not a direct sequel. So they don’t necessarily need to be read in order. While The Grimm Legacy obviously centered on Grimm fairy tales, The Wells Bequest blends science fiction, fantasy, and history in this fantastic adventure for all ages. From HG Wells’ time machine to Nikola Tesla’s death ray, Leo and Jaya have an action-packed, thrilling quest that brings them face-to-face with several historic characters. Full of suspense, mystery, time travel, humor, and a bit of young romance – this was a brilliant novel that was hard to put down.

Fantasy Book Review: Janitors

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

Synopsis:
Have you ever fallen asleep during math class? Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher? Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography? Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it’s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve-year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world?

Review:
Spencer is a relatable kid who wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t know who to trust and is repeatedly confronted by bullies. Daisy is a sweet and innocent girl who believes just about anything anyone tells her. I can appreciate when Daisy encourages Spencer to be honest, even in the face of danger. But her naiveté is a bit much at times. And the way the characters and setting is written seems to be geared towards a much younger than the age they’re supposed to be.

Janitors is a clever series with bizarre, pest-like creatures that are invisible to everyone save those who are tasked with fending them off. This fantasy for middle readers is fast-paced and full of adventure and mystery. With colorful characters, magical weapons, and plenty of surprises – Janitors is a fun, easy read for children with big imaginations.

Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: A Hero for WondLa

A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

Eva Nine and Rovender have been found by a human boy named Hailey, the other human Eva has ever seen. When Hailey takes them to New Attica, a human colony, Eva thinks she’s finally going home. But New Attica isn’t the utopia that it pretends to be. Eva soon learns that strict rules are in place, and the ruler of New Attica is keeping many secrets from the rest of the humans. Secrets he will do anything to protect.

Following Eva Nine’s adventures in The Search for WondLa, Eva has done a lot of maturing and has become a strong and confident young teenager. We come to find out that DiTerlizzi’s imaginative, futuristic world called Orbona is actually Earth many years in the future. Orbona is going through a rebirth of life with fantastic creatures and plant life. The imaginations of children and adults alike will find inspiration in the brilliant story of WondLa.

All of the wonder and adventure is back with a new fast-paced, heart-warming story of friendship, bravery, and forgiveness. Full of mystery, suspense, humor, and drama along with original creatures and complex characters – this series is sure to become a young reader classic. I fell in love with several of the characters, was completely caught up in the story, and was constantly amazed by the creative setting. DiTerlizzi’s numerous illustrations are once again incredibly beautiful and vivid – giving life to his imagination with the vibrant characters and alien landscapes. I highly recommend this science fiction/fairy tale-like series to readers of all ages. Don’t’ miss it.

Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Everyone knows the stories of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. But unfortunately, no one knows the names of their rescuers other than the name “Prince Charming.” Prince Frederic saved Ella (Cinderella) from her stepmother. But she longs for adventure, while Frederic is anything but brave and would rather stay home. Prince Gustav tried to save Rapunzel, though she ended up saving him, much to his disgrace. Prince Liam rescued Sleeping Beauty who turned out to be anything but beautiful on the inside. And Prince Duncan awoke Snow White with a kiss, and found a soul mate. The four princes have left their princesses for various reasons and meet up for the adventure of a lifetime when they discover that all their kingdoms’ bards have been kidnapped by an evil witch.

These well-known fairy tales take a dramatic turn at the end of each story, without the “Happily Ever After’s.” Healy’s versions of the Princes Charming are creative and humorous. The Princes each have their own set of problems stemming from rescuing the princesses and given the generic name “Prince Charming.” And despite their eccentricities, they each have strengths that they’ll need to rely on to take down the evil witch, a dragon, bandits, and more. The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is, well, charming. Each Prince Charming’s story is unique and compelling, so it’s easy to keep all of the characters straight. Full of adventure, magic, and laughs – this children’s fantasy will appeal to a wide audience of fairy tale fans. Don’t miss this one.

Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: Popular Clone

Popular Clone by M.E. Castle

Fisher Bas is a geeky boy, excelling in math and science. His parents are both genius inventors, so it runs in the family. But Fisher has his share of problems at school: bullies and getting up the nerve to talk to his crush the pretty and smart Veronica. His only friend at school is his science teacher. So Fishers decides to clone himself, sending his clone to school, while Fisher stays home to live the easy life. But his clone “Two” quickly becomes popular and causes major problems for the young genius. When the evil scientist Dr. X abducts Two, Fisher must face his fears and save the day using his intellect and ingenuity.

Popular Clone is a cute, fast-paced series debut with plenty of light-hearted humor and fun. Packed with clever and funny invention illustrations, that will amuse and inspire young inventors. This would make for a great children’s cartoon series as well. Fisher is a bright but awkward kid that many will relate to and sympathize with. The humor is slapstick and silly. And the characters are eccentric and larger than life. This was an enjoyable break from the more recent dramatic and dark novels I’ve been reading.