Young wizard-in-training Alex Taylor is asked to join a second adventure with some familiar friends and new. The kingdom of Norsland is threatened by war when the current king is challenged for the throne. The only way to prove the rightful heir to the throne is the Horn of Moran, which can only be used by the true king. But the horn has been lost. So, Alex and his small band of adventurers must journey through an enchanted forest and frozen wastelands, face a horde of goblins, and brave the mysterious guardians of the Tower of the Moon to find the legendary horn and prove the rightful heir.
The second novel in the Adventurers Wanted trilogy, The Horn of Moran follows Alex on another quest in a foreign land of magic and fantastic creatures. Friends from Alex’s previous adventure are joined by a couple new adventurers, Val being the most mysterious and a new elf friend who bonds quickly with Alex. Alex is a humble yet confident young man, growing in his magical powers and is always open to learning and doing the right thing. He is incredibly giving and honest. And while some of the characters the adventurers meet along the way are evil, the generous and selfless races of magical creatures put the human characters to shame. The morality of good versus evil is evident and wholesomeness makes for an easy recommendation for any young reader.
Though marketed for middle readers, the fun, fast-paced adventure will appeal to all ages – even adults. This quest-based fantasy is ripe with intriguing characters and an exciting, action-packed story. I enjoyed this installment just as much as the first. Mystery, suspense, magic, and light-hearted humor makes The Horn of Moran impossible to resist.
Greatshadow is the elemental dragon of fire, feared and hunted to no avail. But when Infidel’s friend dies suddenly, she decides to join the latest quest to destroy Greatshadow for the promise of the dragon’s horde. Infidel has to hide her identity in order to join the eclectic group of hired men and women who are constantly at odds. The Church of the Book has sanctioned this quest, confident that if they fail, then the end of the world will be near.
Told from the point of view of a recently deceased character, Maxey has created a unique and exciting fantasy world. As with his previous series, the setting is dark with plenty of action and violence. But this new series has a fun bite of humor throughout, from eccentric characters like a skunk man who repels with his body odor to Infidel’s crazy body armor.
This quest-based fantasy has strong characters, a fascinating world, plenty of humor and plenty of heart. With mystery, magic, and mayhem – there is never a dull moment in this well-paced adventure. As a fan of author Lawrence Watt-Evans, I couldn’t help but see similarities with the humor and spirit of his Ethshar series and Maxey’s Greatshadow. It was highly entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the next in the series, Hush, which is set to release in late June.
Clarity (Clare) Fern is a junior in high school, and unused to the attention she’s been getting now that everyone knows she has a psychic gift. By touching an object, Clare can sometimes see visions of people in the past who have touched it. Clare has two boys interested in her: Justin, her ex-boyfriend, and Gabriel, the new boy who seems to understand her. But when someone starts leaving her notes and flowers, it seems Clare has a secret admirer as well. But when a missing schoolmate shows up dead, Clare wonders if her secret admirer has sinister intentions.
Clare is a quiet and reserved girl, confused about her feelings for the young men in her life and worried about her brother’s stranger behavior at home. Clare comes from a family of psychics, both her mother and brother run a business taking full advantage of their gifts. This is a sequel to the series debut, Clarity. So, there are many references to the first novel that weren’t fully explained. I haven’t read Clarity yet, but Perception worked really well as a standalone story. I wasn’t lost at all, yet I’m intrigued enough to want to go back and read the first now.
Blending paranormal fantasy and murder mystery, Perception is a spine-tingling adventure that I couldn’t put down. Of course, being of the YA genre, there is a bit of romance and teenage angst, but the teen drama pales in comparison to the intensity of Clare’s creepy stalker. Full of suspense and plot twists, mystery readers of all ages should enjoy this exciting novel.
Former Confederate Civil War soldier, Captain John Carter has nothing left to fight for when he finds himself transported to a desert planet. Suddenly among a warrior tribe of four-armed aliens and a beautiful princess, Carter ends up in the middle of another war. But when faced with the chance of returning home to Earth, Carter may have found a cause worth fighting for in Princess Dejah and the people of Barsoom.
Taylor Kitsch stars as John Carter, the bitter and destitute man who cares for nothing but his found cave of gold. Kitsch has a young face and stoic countenance, perfect for the role of the ageless John Carter. He’s a believable fighter and a great straight man to plenty of humor. Princess Dejah is played by Lynn Collins, who has terrific chemistry with John Carter, and is just as strong and smart as her male counterparts (if not more). Mark Strong and Dominic West are fantastic villains, especially West as a surprisingly charming and attractive (though naïve) despot. And my favorite characters in the novel (Princess of Mars) as well as the film were the Tharns (the green-skinned, four-armed aliens), played by Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and Samantha Morton. Though CGI, the characters still brought depth, emotion, and humor and successfully brought Burroughs’ characters to life.
Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic Princess of Mars (published in 1917), John Carter is a surprising and exceptional retelling. I recently read Princess of Mars in anticipation for the film. And though the film doesn’t delve into the depth of the Tharns’ stories as I would have liked, it still captures the spirit of the novel. And the natives of Barsoom get an impressive technology upgrade, and the science is updated for the awe-factor in the film.
I had my reservations after seeing the official trailers. But I was happy to see that the screen writers and director Andrew Stanton knew what they were doing, even if the marketing was off. This fan was captivated from beginning to end and loved every minute of this epic adventure. Full of fascinating characters, life-like aliens, and advanced technology – science fiction fans will certainly enjoy John Carter. But the action-packed thrills, suspense, drama, romance, and incredible story will appeal to a wide range of new fans – of all ages. It’s heart-warming, inspirational, and highly entertaining. Don’t miss this one.