Book Review: Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase

 Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircaseby Jonathan Stroud

Synopsis:

A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren’t exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

Reviewed by Winston

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Steampunk, Alternate History, Ghost Murder Mystery

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

A young paranormal agent, fed up with her previous job, runs off to London to join an adult-less paranormal investigation agency. After a misfortune end to her first job with this new agency, which also uncovers a 50 year-old murder, she and her new team need to earn money–fast–to keep the Lockwood & Co. agency afloat.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

I had read other books by Jonathan Stroud, mainly the Bartimaeus Series, and loved them.

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

There were one or two bits of information that stretched the believably of the story, and the author left the reason ghosts started appearing a mystery. I hope he explains that in later books!

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed his other books, and anyone looking for a good, less violent, teen mystery.

~~~~~

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Book Review: Relic by Renee Collins

 Relic by Renee Collins

Relic 

by Renee Collins

Synopsis:

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive the best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Erica Donermeyer

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Historical Fantasy

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

Maggie and her sister, Ella, are in a traumatic event and move to the old west town of Burning Mesa. There she found unlikely friends. But when a mystery arises, Ella gets put in danger and Maggie will do anything to help her.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

I read the back of the book and it seemed interesting. Also the cover caught my eye.

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

I couldn’t figure out the time frame

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

Anyone can read this book because even from the point of view of a girl it’s really not biased to any type of person.

~~~~~

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Book Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

 Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdomsby Morgan Rhodes

Synopsis:

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.
Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.
Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Reviewed by Caitlin DeRoy

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Magic

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

A war between kingdoms leads to the destinies of Princess Cleo, Princess Lucia and Prince Magnus.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

Watched the seasons of Game Of Thrones and loved it, and when someone else told me that this was similar and that this was a series that you had to read.

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

I understand death is needed in most books, but not so much death that you feel sad. This book made me want to cry for fictional characters.

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

Everyone. Plain & simple. This book has everything a good story needs.

(Additional Note: Anyone who loves Game Of Thrones should read this book! It’s just as intense, but aimed at teens)

~~~~~

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Book Review: Darkest Minds by Alexandria Bracken

 Darkest Minds by Alexandria Bracken

Darkest Minds by Alexandria Bracken

Synopsis:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control. Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

Reviewed by Caitlin DeRoy

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Dystopia, Romance, Adventure, Action

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

A girl named Ruby runs away from home. On the run from the government, she meets a band of kids trying to find a way to stop the government from their evil plans.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

Romance always attracts me to a book and the thought of adventure on top of that got me really excited!

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

Some of the sentences didn’t make sense to me right away, something about the way they were written.

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

Anyone who likes Divergent by Veronica Roth

~~~~~

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Book Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

 Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Synopsis:

This thrilling historical suspense novel is the story of a budding magician who has spent her life playing sidekick to her faux-medium mother—and trying to hide the fact that she possesses magnificent powers.

As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so her mother claims—gifted illusionist Anna Van Housen easily navigates the underground world of magicians and mediums in 1920s New York, though the real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. But as Anna’s powers intensify, she experiences frightening visions that lead her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide.

Reviewed by Caitlin DeRoy

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Fantasy and Magic

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

The daughter of the famous Harry Houdini is trying to figure out what her visions mean and how to control her powers she inherited from her mother.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

The thought of a suspense + fantasy book made me want to read this book.

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

I didn’t like that the story was too predictable. I knew who the culprit was and what was going to happen next.

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

Anyone who likes predictable story lines and weak characters would love this book.

~~~~~

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Book Review: Inhuman by Kat Falls

 Inhuman by Kat Falls

Inhuman by Kat Falls

Synopsis:

Never let them tame you.

In the wake of a devastating biological disaster, the United States east of the Mississippi has been abandoned. Now called the Feral Zone, a reference to the virus that turned millions of people into bloodthirsty savages, the entire area is off-limits. The punishment for violating the border is death.

Lane McEvoy can’t imagine why anyone would risk it. She’s grown up in the shadow of the great wall separating east from west, and she’s curious about what’s on the other side – but not that curious. Life in the west is safe and comfortable . . . just how she likes it.

But Lane gets the shock of her life when she learns that someone close to her has crossed into the Feral Zone. And she has little choice but to follow. Lane travels east, completely unprepared for what she finds in the ruins of civilization . . . and afraid to learn whether her humanity will prove her greatest strength or a fatal weakness.

Reviewed by Caitlin DeRoy

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Dystopia and Fantasy

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

Lane McEvoy, heads out over the wall that seperates humans from the inhumans to search for her father who holds all the answer to her questions.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

Dystopia case in point.

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

The thinking of the main character didn’t appeal to me.

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

Any person who liked Divergent or Matched. Any distopia fan.

~~~~~

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Book Review: The Selection

 The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Synopsis:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

 

Reviewed by Caitlin DeRoy

1. How would you classify this book? (For example: mystery, romance, graphic novel, etc)

Drama, Dystopia, Romance

2. What is this book about? (No spoilers here please!)

This story is about a girl who leaves her family to be one out of 35 girls to be candidate for queen.

3. What convinced you to read this book?

I always look at the cover, and if I like it I read the synopsis. Sounded like a thrill when I read about a girl who leaves one environment and put into another, so I gave it a try and really enjoyed it.

4. Name one thing you didn’t like about this book. (No spoilers here, either.)

The different views of the relationships with the characters. I didn’t like that certain characters wouldn’t change their views no matter how much it would hurt others around them.

5. To whom would you recommend this book? Why?

I would recommend to anyone who loves a strong character. Kept me guessing and I couldn’t wait for more. It’s got a little of everything I would want in a book.

~~~~~

If you want more of The Selection, check out the official book trailer:

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