Tag Archives : young adult

A New View of an Old Favorite: A Review of Tortall: A Spy’s Guide


Tortall: A Spy’s Guide (2017) Written By: Tamora Pierce Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Pages: 320 pages (Hardcover) Series: Tortall Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers Why I Chose It: Anything by Tamora Pierce is an instabuy for me. I even dragged my husband and child to the bookstore at dinner time because two-day shipping wasn’t quick enough. The Premise:…

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An Extraordinary Hero: A Review of In Other Lands


In Other Lands (2017) Written by: Sarah Rees Brennan Genre: YA Fantasy Pages: 441 (Hardcover) Publisher: Small Beer Press Why I Chose It: It’s Sarah Rees Brennan and I’m a fan of her writing, though not of all of her books. My understanding from her blog is that this was a book she wrote and posted on the internet as…

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Cover Chic: Breaking with Stereotypes


When someone mentions fantasy book covers, inevitably a stereotypical image pops up. One of knights standing near dragons, perhaps a chain-mail bra-clad woman with him. Or at least, that’s what used to be the norm. As today’s standards of what’s “cool” and socially acceptable continue to shift, so do the covers of speculative fiction books. Fantasy, science fiction, and horror…

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A Vivid World of Blood and Magic: Labyrinth Lost


Labyrinth Lost (2016) Written by: Zoraida Córdova Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy Pages: 340 pages Series: Brooklyn Brujas, Book 1 Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Why I Chose This: I saw this cover while browsing my local bookstore and immediately fell in love. Magic, mayhem, a world of monsters and gods? I was sold straight away. The premise: The only way to get her family…

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The Descent of Clariel: A Review


Clariel (2014) Written By: Garth Nix Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Pages: 419 (Trade Paperback) Series: Old Kingdom (Book 4) Publisher: HaperCollins Why I Chose It: I read Sabriel, the first in the Old Kingdom series, back when I was a teenager, and it quickly became one of my favorites, full of unique magic, truly scary bad guys, and even a…

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Mining Hope: A Review of The Dragon’s Playlist


The Dragon’s Playlist (2017) Written by: Laura Bickle Genre: YA Fantasy Pages: 219 (Kindle) Publisher: Pronoun Why I Chose It: 100% truthfully? It was free. I’ve been enjoying Bickle’s Petra Dee books, but I wasn’t so sure about this one. Part of it is that after 30 plus years of fantasy reading, I have dragon fatigue. But in the end,…

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Beauty in the Desert: A Review of Island of Exiles


Island of Exiles (2017) Written by: Erica Cameron Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Pages: 400 (Trade Paperback) Series: Book One of The Ryogan Chronicles Publisher: Entangled Teen Why I Chose It: I heard this one described as the kind of young adult fantasy we really need in the market, with things like a strong female protagonist and great magic. Granted it…

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Teenage Wizards (Not THOSE Teenage Wizards) and Twisted Tropes: Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On


In 2013, Rainbow Rowell published Fangirl, a young adult novel with an interesting speculative twist.  The novel itself wasn’t speculative. It revolves around a set of twin sisters who grew up absolutely enthralled with Rowell’s answer to Harry Potter, Simon Snow.  The main focus of the novel is one twin, Cath. Cath isn’t ready to leave her days in the…

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Magic and Mayhem: A Review of Caraval by Stephanie Garber


Caraval (2017) Written by: Stephanie Garber Genre: Teen/Fantasy Pages: 407 (Hardcover) Publisher: Flatiron Books Why I Chose It: Caraval first enticed me with its cover, then more with the magical ticket on the back cover, and then finally with the description within the jacket. I like carnivals and games and magic, and I have two sisters. While the premise itself sounds…

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