sullivan_ShadowboxerKrista’s mini book club review of Shadowboxer is the last part of our feature on the book, which includes an interview with Tricia Sullivan by Bec Stafford and other reviews by A. V. Mather and by Joelene Pynnonen.

Cover

I like the details in the artwork; it represents the story well and represents an urban feel.

Characters

A mixture of humans, animals, and spirits.

Favourite

Shea-  a reporter turned werepanther

Least Favourite

Mr. Richards, the celebrity known for his reclaiming of orphaned children.

Beginning

Jade has an anger problem and unwisely takes her anger out at the wrong place wrong time. Her actions send her to Thailand to a training camp to learn self control.

Storyline

Jade is a mixed martial arts fighter with a major anger problem. When she lets the anger get the best of her and she punches somebody, her coach decides to send her to a Thailand training camp. While there, she finds a mystical forest. During her time in Thailand she not only learns to adjust her attitude, but uncovers a conspiracy.

Ending

One of my favorite parts of the story, great imagery and exciting.

Thoughts

I found this tale to be very unique. I am not sure what I was thinking would come of the story, but I really enjoyed the mystic, fantasy feel. Shadowboxer was really well written:  scenes practically leapt off the pages: very visual and enchanting.

Quote

When my body wears out, my power will move to you.”

 



Valente_fell beneathJOIN our book club discussion on Goodreads

Bel:

Cover

I own the paperback of the book, and the cover art by Ana Juan reflects the story to a tee!

Characters

Though odd at times, in a rather Alice in Wonderland-esque way, each character seems to be well thought out and beautiful in their own right.

Favourite

A-Through-L… He’s special, and I love his desire to be a better Wyverary.

Least Favourite

Maud. Though misunderstood, I still dislike her.

Beginning

September, a 12 year old Omaha girl, is swept away to Fairyland.

Storyline

She is forced into service for the Marquess, and the impossible tasks she is set lead September on her great adventure through Fairyland.

Ending

Technically this story doesn’t end, as there is more fun to be had in Fairyland in further books.

Thoughts

I ended up listening to this book through Audible audio books, and it was far easier to hear Catherynne read to me than it was to read it myself. I felt like I was a child again, tucked up in bed and being read fantastical tales, which made little sense but held imperative lessons. This book reminded me so much of Alice in Wonderland, and yet it stands on its own two feet and takes us places Alice would never have dared to go.

Quote

“I can’t stop,” the shark rasped. “If I stop, I shall sink and die. That’s the way I’m made. I have to keep going always, and even when I get where I’m going, I’ll have to keep on. That’s living.” ~ The shark conversing with September.

 

Valente-girl audioKrista:

Cover

Takes me back to that childhood feeling of knowing you will find a great adventure within. Why is the dragon chained? Is the girl hiding the key on purpose? It represents the story very well and is intriguing.

Characters

So many characters! Imagine Alice in Wonderland. As September makes her way through fairyland she comes across various curious characters with unusual names and ways.

Favourite

I have to say that I could not place a favourite. I loved the majority of the characters and what they represented in the story.

Least Favourite

Marquess. I usually love me a villain, but there was absolutely nothing about this one that appealed to me.

Beginning

September, bored of washing dishes, is approached by The Green Wind and a Leopard whom she climbs upon and is taken to the border of Fairyland. In the closet, she must answer questions and go through customs. She nearly drowns upon her entry to Fairyland and comes across three witches who send her on her quest for a spoon.

Storyline

Fairyland has not been the same since the new Queen has taken the crown. September, along with her dragon and boy companion Saturday, goes on a quest to bring Fairyland back to its former glory.

Ending

Very much like our childhood books, this one ends with a peaceful goodnight. But it’s not the end of September’s adventures! There are more books to this series.

Thoughts

It was nice to end this year of book club with a very light, fun, and entertaining read. It has been to long since I have read a children’s fairytale and think that Catherynne M Valente did a magical job of whisking us away to a new and very curious world.

Quote

September sniffed and straightened up. She was not one to feel sorry for herself for long, “Mainly, I am going to Pandemonium, to stead the Spoon that belongs to the witch Goodbye, so that she can cook up the future again and not feel so sad.”

 

Valente_fell beneathLisa:

Cover:

At first look, the cover appears to be like a Middle Grade book: fun and interesting! But honestly, the cover doesn’t do this amazing story any justice! While this “could” be considered a Middle Grade book, it is so much than that!

Characters:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making had a strangely intriguing cast of characters! Going from a young girl named September, a marid named Saturday, a dragon named A-through-L, and so many more!

Favourite:

I think every character in this book was my favourite. No-one was boring, lame, or similar. Each character was odd, creative, and strange.

Least Favourite:

Not a single one!

Beginning:

I’ll admit that I didn’t really think I would get as involved in this book as I did. After quickly reading through the first twenty or so pages, I couldn’t believe everything that was happening, so I decided to start all over, just to make sure I caught it all. This is a pretty dense story!

Middle:

We are not only introduced to a strange fairy world, but also a lot of interesting characters. September faces a few bumps in the road, and has an amazing, mind-boggling journey!

End:

All I can say is that I do plan on picking up the rest of the books! If you want to know what happens at the end of this book…you’re going to have to read it for yourself! I promise you won’t regret doing so!

Overall:

The only thing I would change about this book, is that I wish I had more time to read it. So I could take my time and really enjoy every single aspect! There is a lot that happens, I recommend taking your time and savouring the story!

 

DISCUSSION POINTS

This book is about escaping your normal life for a little adventure. What fantasy world would you like to lose yourself in and why?

What was the most memorable scene/character in this story and what about it stuck with you?

 

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Krista McKeeth_2_tnKrista

 

Peacemaker-CRSunrise – Mike Mullen

The last book in the series, in which super volcano has erupted and society must reform. The series has been constant, dark and scary throughout.

 

Defy – Sara B. Larsen

A girl who has been in disguise as a boy; one of the prince’s highest guards. To be found out would be death. Warring kingdoms and magic. A lot of fun and humorous read.

 

Peacemaker – Marianne de Pierres

The future meets the old west. Set in Australia. Magic, mystery and a strong female lead. Very creative and recommended read.

 

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

A group of people believing the world is coming to an end wall themselves off in a compound and things begin to go wrong within.

 

Stolen Songbird – Danielle L. Jensen

Trolls! I loved how this story took place underground in tunnels. It was such a massive imaginative creation that I was blown away just trying to imagine the beauty and claustrophobic feelings of this city. Great characters and entertaining read.

 

boecker-witch hunterMost Anticipated

 

The Witch Hunter – Virginia Boecker 

“A YA fantasy debut where the magic and suspense of Graceling meets the political intrigue and unrest of Games of Thrones”-publisher Little Brown Books for Young Readers. I love books about witches and this one sounds very suspenseful and fun.

 

The Heir – Kiera Cass

I am a huge fan of the series and cannot wait for the newest in the series to come out.

 

The Cage – Megan Shepard

Five teenagers trapped in a HUMAN ZOO!?! Yes please.

 

Burning Kingdoms – Lauren DeStefano

Another author I am a big fan of and recommend any book by her. This is a sequel to Perfect Ruin. “On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge.” from author’s website.

 

The Stars Never Rise – Rachel Vincent

Another book by an author I love and will purchase anything she has written. She is an amazing storyteller. This is about soul consuming demons in a town where the number of souls are low.



weisman_rainRain of the Ghosts is the first in Greg Weisman’s series about an adventurous young girl, Rain Cacique, who discovers she has a mystery to solve, a mission to complete and, oh, yes, the ability to see ghosts.

Welcome to the Prospero Keys (or as the locals call them: the Ghost Keys), a beautiful chain of tropical islands on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. Rain Cacique is water-skiing with her two best friends Charlie and Miranda when Rain sees her father waiting for her at the dock. Sebastian Bohique, her maternal grandfather, has passed away. He was the only person who ever made Rain feel special. The only one who believed she could do something important with her life. The only thing she has left to remember him by is the armband he used to wear: two gold snakes intertwined, clasping each other’s tails in their mouths. Only the armband . . . and the gift it brings: Rain can see dead people. Starting with the Dark Man: a ghost determined to reveal the Ghost Keys’ hidden world of mystery and mysticism, intrigue and adventure.

Paperback, 240 pages

Published December 3rd 2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin

ISBN

1250029791 (ISBN13: 9781250029799)

 

Written for younger readers, Rain of Ghosts tells a story of family, friends, and history. Rain and her family live on a tropical island in the Prospero Keys where her family runs a lodge for vacationers. The community of actual island residents is small, and they all know each other and have jobs catering to the vacationers. Rain has always had dreams to leave the island and explore the world.

Sebastian Bohique, Rain’s grandfather and best friend, passes away early on in the story. This leaves Rain devastated and coincides with her new ability to see ghosts. A man renting a room at her house shows interest in an heirloom she has just inherited from her grandfather and it soon goes missing. Together with her best friends Charlie and Miranda, Rain must find the heirloom and find out why she can now see ghosts.

The ghosts all seem to be tied together somehow and they keep trying to tell her something that she cannot understand. With her friends, she does everything in her power to help, travelling all around and even off the island; it’s a dangerous and wild adventure.

Rain learns a lot about herself and her grandfather in her search for answers. The writing is gripping and really makes you feel like part of the story. What I enjoyed most about this story is what Rain finds at the end of the story: a hidden secret treasure (of sorts) and I can’t wait to read the next book to see where she’ll go next.

I recommend this story. I enjoyed it and it was like having an adventurous vacation. This book had great characters and setting. I admired Rain and I think you will too.

 



weatherly_angelburnAngels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible. Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch.

But what if their potent magnetism isn’t what it seems?
Willow knows she’s different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars.
Willow has a gift. She can look into people’s futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from.

Until she meets Alex…
Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow’s secret and is on a mission to stop her.
The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible.
In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

Willow uses her powers to read people’s futures and earn a little money. She is doing a reading on a classmate when she sees the image of an angel feeding. It’s not long before the angel himself is knocking on Willow’s door to see what she is all about. When Alex also shows up in her life, things begin to change fast. She is stuck between two sides, and it’s only thanks to Alex that she lives long enough to find out about herself.

Willow is a strong, independent character. She is intelligent and has a ‘do what needs to be done’ persona, rather than the typical damsel in distress. This mostly comes from having to take care of herself and learning to do things on her own from a young age. The writing keeps a constant pace as Alex and Willow do a lot of travelling and road trips to hide and find answers. They are always cautious of each other as well; Alex was hired to kill Willow but he can sense there is something different about her.

What I loved about this story is the fact that the angels are the villains. They come to Earth to feed on the energy and life force of people; this is something that can be done all at once, or a little at a time, causing different side effects. When they feed off a human, that human believes they have seen an angel and that the church is the true church because they have seen it with their own eyes. So the church grows extremely fast and gains followers with every sighting (or feeding).

The strong lead character of Willow is admirable, and I loved her. The complete blind willingness of people who follow these angels, who are literally feeding off of them, is an intriguing storyline that kept me turning the pages. I really recommend this book. I still find myself thinking about it and I look forward to the rest of the series.



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