Review | Lightfall: Shadow of the Bird

In the second installment of the award-winning, critically acclaimed Lightfall series, Bea and Cad continue their quest to stop Kest, the mythic bird who stole the sun. Perfect for middle grade fans of Amulet and Avatar the Last AirbenderLightfall: Shadow of the Bird is another breathtaking journey into the magical world of Irpa, where epic battles and powerful creatures abound.

After a battle that nearly cost them their lives, Bea and Cad awaken in the hidden settlement of the Arsai, mysterious creatures who can glimpse into the future. The Arsai’s vision paints a dire picture for their planet, as the bird Kest Ke Belenus–now awoken from a restless slumber–threatens to destroy all the Lights of Irpa. Desperate for a solution, Bea and Cad seek out the help of a water spirit known as Lorgon, whose ancient wisdom may help them find a way to take down Kest and save Irpa from utter destruction.

But when their time with Lorgon presents more questions than answers, Bea and Cad must decide what’s more important . . . stopping Kest or uncovering the truth.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was excited to see that the next volume in this series was out and had to grab it as quickly as I could. It was nice to return to the world I enjoyed in the last volume and to continue the story. I will say that in this one I didn’t love Cad as a character as much, he seemed so singularly focused that in most cases he was blinded by his one goal. I did enjoy the route of the story itself and the further information we are given about the world and what has happened in the past. I’m excited to see what happens going forward!

Happy reading!

Review | Cold Iron #1 by Andy Diggle

Celtic folklore and modern moxie collide as an ancient pact between worlds is broken. The sinister forces of Faerie have slipped their shackles, and the Black Dog walks abroad this night…

On the rural Isle of Man, aspiring singer-songwriter Kay Farragher dreams of escaping her humdrum life. But she’s about to get more than she bargained for – and some bargains are not to be trusted…

Cold Iron is supernatural thriller from Andy Diggle (Green Arrow: Year One, The Losers, Hellblazer) and Nick Brokenshire (Star Wars, Amelia Cole, The Once And Future Queen).

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was interested in checking out this series as soon as I saw it featured Celtic mythology. While it’s only a single issue right now, the introduction to the story did lay some foundation and definitely let to some intrigue and anticipation for the continuation of the story. It’s hard when it’s a single issue to really get enough of the story to hold interest, but I felt this one gave enough to at least get me wanting to continue and see what happens.

Happy reading!

Review | Season of the Bruja #1 by Aaron Duran

Althalia Cabrera might seem like any other witchy Portland hipster whiling away her days behind the counter of a freaky occult museum, but there’s more to her whole deal than a trendy pursuit of the craft. Althalia is a bruja by blood—the youngest in a long line of powerful magic users from a long-ago culture indigenous to Mexico. In her twenty years, Althalia has studied with her loving abuela by her side, supporting and mentoring her use of the family magic, and protecting her from the darkest parts of their practice’s history. But just as Althalia’s inner light and power begins to shine, the darkness of the past finds its way into her world and strikes a tragic blow, testing Althalia in ways she might not be prepared enough to survive.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought the premise of this series sounded interesting and the first installment was definitely a great start. We get introduced to what I think is the core group pretty quickly, but it’s more than just a fun and magical adventure. From the beginning there’s discussions of what has happened to the culture that Althalia and her abuela are a part of. The first installment ends on quite a cliffhanger and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Happy reading!

Review | Quizzes for Rebel Girls

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a . . . Rebel Girl! Are you:
A. Flying high in the sky like adventurous pilot Amelia Earhart?
B. Catching air like Olympic skateboarder Sky Brown?
C. Climbing your way into the clouds like mountaineer Junko Tabei?Quizzes for Rebel Girls is packed with 50+ quizzes guiding girls to discover the traits, strengths, and habits that make them unique. The quirky questions in this book will help curious readers explore their personalities, forecast their futures, and find common ground with extraordinary women who’ve come before. Colorful illustrations bring this book to life and make it extra fun to share with friends and family! 

This book is filled with playful quizzes like: 

  • Lights, Camera, or Action? 
  • What’s Your STEM Style?
  • Are You a Team Player? 
  • How Do You Use the Power of the Pen?
  • Hometown Hero or World Traveler? 
  • What Is Your Super Power? 

Quizzes for Rebel Girls is brought to you by the team behind the New York Times best-selling series Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. It can be perfectly paired with Questions for Rebel Girls, filled with silly, serious, and thought-provoking questions that introduce readers to extraordinary women throughout history and ask them to imagine themselves in similar scenarios. Girls love to explore their feelings, uncover their personality, and decode the world around them. Get exploring with Rebel Girls! 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As soon as I started reading this one I immediately thought of the quizzes in teen magazines and it immediately made the style of the book more fun. The quizzes run a pretty good range of subjects including different careers, personality types and some really fun ones thrown in like what kind of party you should throw. The usual bright and colorful scheme really lends itself to this installment, keeping things upbeat and fun, plus it wouldn’t be a Rebel Girls book without a healthy sprinkling of tidbits and facts about notable and inspiring figures tied into the quizzes.

Happy reading!

Review | Galatea by Madeline Miller

In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost…

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is my first foray into Madeline Miller’s writing and really the first of her works that I really wanted to pick up. I enjoyed her writing style overall and definitely was intrigued by her take on the Pygmalion story. I thought the personality and story she gave to Galatea was a great take and liked the story as a whole. I thought it was the perfect length for what it was and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a new spin on Greek myths and stories.

Happy reading!

Review | Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.

With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was not a hard book to get into as Mallory’s voice from the beginning is likeable and relatable. I really enjoy that not everything was revealed about her at the building, but her narration definitely laid a foundation for herself as a character and the place she’s in in her life. It does lay ground work for a suspicion that she may not be entirely reliable later on. The story itself was wonderfully creepy especially with the question of if there was something supernatural going on and the decades old murder mystery that might be tied to current events. This story was a great read and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy thriller.

Happy reading!

Review | This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book at first was very confusion. While I understand the choice to lay little to no foundation about the world, etc. – it made it harder for me to really be immersed in the story immediately. Once I realized what was going on and really got into the rhythm of the story I did really enjoy it. The constant back and forth between the main characters as well as their references to the different spots in time was really fun and fast paced once it got going. Overall I did really enjoy it, but the initial confusion was a little disconcerting.

Happy reading!

Review | Haunted Theaters by Barbara Smith

Some personalities simply won’t accept that final curtain call. Best-selling Ghost Stories author Barbara Smith has conjured up an entertaining collection of tales about spirits and unexplained phenomena that sometimes steal the spotlight in North America’s theaters.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have picked up a few books in this series of books about hauntings and some of them I have really enjoyed, but some of them like this one, have been a bit hard to get through. The stories and history included in this book were really interesting, especially considering it covered not only theaters in the U.S. but also in the U.K. and Canada, but the writing style was a bit dry and dense. It took me a while to finish this one just because it was so slow for me. There was nothing wrong with it, just the way it was written really made it slow.

Happy reading!

Review | My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic Vol 1

Welcome to Ponyville, home of Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and all your other favorite Ponies! Something’s not right in the town though, as some of the inhabitants are acting very, very strange! It’s up to the Mane Six to find the source of the weirdness before it’s too late! Collects issues #1–4 of the biggest hit comic of the year!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m a little hesitant about the new generation of My Little Pony as I grew up with the original generation of ponies, but lately I have picked up some of the graphic novels to see if I might warm up to the new characters and stories. I have so far enjoyed what I’ve read of the new series and so far the Friendship is Magic series is off to a promising start. The art style and character voices are very similar to what I’ve seen on the tv show, so I think that’s a good thing since they can sync up.

Happy reading!

Review | Gudetama: Adulting for the Lazy by Wook-Jin Clark

Gudetama: Adulting is inspired by the worldwide hit Sanrio character and animated series star!

Inspired by the worldwide hit Sanrio character and animated series star!

How do I get a job while still having enough time to party? I’m supposed to pay rent every month?! How am I supposed to live without my mom doing my laundry?

Adulting is tough. Thankfully, Gudetama is here to guide you on your path to growth!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I enjoyed this installment in the Gudetama series, but at this point it is starting to seem like the same thing over and over when you’ve read the previous issues. It is another round of Gudetama answering questions and giving advice, which sometimes results in surprising conclusions by those listening. There is a good amount of humor and some of the different characters tie into each other. If you enjoy Gudetama, then you will enjoy this one for sure.

Happy reading!