Friday, January 19, 2018

Me on The True Queen

Title: The True Queen
Author: Sarah Fine
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Now that Ansa knows she is the destined queen of Kupari, she is desperate to find a permanent home for her people, the Kriegere, in the Kupari lands. But as the small band of warriors crosses into the foreign territory, Ansa loses her fragile grip on her newly-acquired—and violent—fire and ice magic and puts everyone, including her love Thyra, in danger. Inside the walls of Kupari, Elli maintains the facade that she is the magical queen, with her secret—that she has no magic at all—on the brink of exposure every day. But as she tries to prepare the citizens to protect themselves from another invasion, unrest spreads as wielders like her beloved Oskar begin to lose control of their powers. As Kupari grows increasingly unstable, with the land literally crumbling beneath their feet, and a common enemy once again threatening everything, these two young women on a collision course with destiny must find a way to save the realm and their people from total destruction.

The True Queen is a conclusion, an ending for multiple journeys. It's a coming together of magic, of different people, and of danger. It's Elli and Ansa finally coming together, magic and balance reunited, but with the land tearing itself apart, they may not have long.

Ansa is on her way back to Kupari. The land of her birth, the land she was taken from. The land that's desperate for her to return as the Valtia, but she worries. Worries about her magic, about how to control it in order to keep her people and Thyra safe. Thyra has faith in her, but Ansa isn't so sure. Elli is struggling to keep things calm in Kupari, in a city that believes her to be their magical saviour when she isn't. When the ground starts moving, when fire and ice wielders begin to lose control, she's at a loss. She can only hope that the Valtia will come to them, will help restore the magic. But danger is always waiting for its time to strike.

What happens in this book are multiple struggles, for survival, for power, and for control. Both Ansa and Elli will do whatever it takes to keep the land whole, to keep everyone alive, to keep everyone they care about alive. But the land is making its demands. This was certainly a conclusion that didn't pull its punches, that made impossible demands of the characters. I don't know if it made me happy, but I do think it made sense in terms of the overall story. Hard choices have to be made.

(I borrowed a copy of this title from the library.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (362)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: The Reckless Rescue
Author: Adrienne Kress
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Random House imprint)

From Goodreads:

More mystery, more bravery, more danger, and one amazingly reckless rescue await in the second book in the Explorers series! The perfect read for fans of The Name of This Book Is a Secret and The Mysterious Benedict Society!

Reader! Your attention is greatly needed. We have left things unresolved! What began as your average story of a boy stumbling upon a pig in a teeny hat and a secret international explorers society has turned into an adventure of epic proportions.

* The bad news: The boy (Sebastian) has been kidnapped by a trio of troublesome thugs.
* The good news: His new friend Evie has promised to rescue him!
* The bad news: Sebastian has been taken halfway around the world.
* The good news: Evie has famous explorer and former Filipendulous Five member Catherine Lind at her side!
* The bad news: There's still the whole matter of Evie's grandfather (and the leader of the Filipendulous Five) somewhere out there in grave danger.
* The good news: Pursuing Sebastian will lead Evie and Catherine to another member of the Filipendulous Five, who might be able to help!

This missive is a call to action and an invitation to join in mystery, bravery, and danger. There will be new people to meet, new places to see, and some dancing along the way. And one amazingly reckless rescue.

I recently read the first book and was instantly hooked. I love middle grade series full of adventures and puzzles, they don't talk down to their young readers. So if you have middle grade readers looking for something new to read because they just finished books like The Mysterious Benedict Society or Chasing Vermeer, then give them these books.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Me on This Week's Book Week (291)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Reviews going up this week will feature  The True Queen by Sarah Fine (Friday). Sorry about the lack of Tuesday's review, everyone. Feeling sick then feeling weird means not a lot of reading done. :)

Lumberjanes: The Moon is Up by Mariko Tamaki & Brooklyn Allen (e-galley from Amulet Books through NetGalley)
The True Queen by Sarah Fine (borrowed from the library)
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada (borrowed from the library)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Me on The Door in the Alley

Title: The Door in the Alley
Author: Adrienne Kress
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Random House imprint)

Knock once if you can find it but only members are allowed inside. This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It's not the one you're thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.) This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and there is a girl looking for help that only uninquisitive boys can offer.

The Door in the Alley is humourous and exciting, a journey It's a curious mystery surrounding a secret society and their mission to explore, and a small group that was once cast out.

Sebastian is a very smart young man. He's studious, logical, and loves to have everything planned out. Because logic is the way to go. But then a little pig in a teeny hat wanders into his life and he discovers The Explorers Society. And it unnerves him in a way. It makes him want to know more, know what they explore and what lies beyond their front door. Even though it doesn't quite make sense to him. Logically. Evie is a lonely young girl. Orphaned because of a terrible accident, she's left without anyone to care about her, to love her and support her. She just wants somewhere to belong. One night, after a sudden attack and narrow escape, she's given a letter and sent to a place that might be able to help her. A place called The Explorers Society. It's there she's ignored, there she meets Sebastian, and there she learns she might still have family somewhere. And so the two of them join together to uncover their whereabouts, but they're not the only ones looking.

This was part adventure, part puzzle-solving, and part kids figuring out the world around them. I found myself laughing so much, at the introduction of the pig in the teeny hat, at so many things Sebastian discovers while tidying the inside of the Society building. It reminded me of books like Chasing Vermeer and The Shadow Cipher but faster paced and a little more light-hearted. I would definitely recommend this to those looking for adventurous middle grade books like the ones previously mentioned.

(I borrowed an e-book copy of this title from the library.)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (361)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Defy the Worlds
Author: Claudia Gray
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)

From Goodreads:

Noemi Vidal has returned to her planet, Genesis, as an outsider. Ostracized for refusing to sacrifice Abel, the galaxy's most advanced mechanical man, she dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people...if only she wasn't flying right into a trap.

Abel, now fully aware of his soul and captaining his own ship, never thought he'd get to see Noemi again, not when the entire universe stands between them. But when his creator, Burton Mansfield, delivers news of Noemi's capture, Abel must go to her, no matter the cost.

In a race against time, Abel and Noemi band together to stop Mansfield once and for all. The depraved scientist has engineered a way to achieve immortality, but that technology comes with perils of its own. Abel and Noemi are about to discover a secret that could save Genesis and Earth...or destroy them all.

I read Defy the Stars last year and love it. It was the right kind of deep space race against time sci-fi I was looking for. It was tense and complicated in the right places.