Abhorsen
Young Adult / December 29, 2016

Old Kingdom #3. Author: Garth Nix. Summary: Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions — Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget — have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how. To make matters worse, Sam’s best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone. Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer. Before it is too late… (Goodreads summary) My Thoughts: I really, really liked this book. Lovely, intriguing characters, some of the mystery finally cleared up, and a stunning ending. The ending was over shorter than I would have liked, but characteristic of his style and still delightful….

Rebel of the Sands
Young Adult / December 29, 2016

Rebel of the Sands #1. Author: Alwyn Hamilton. Summary: She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands. Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from. Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is. (Goodreads summary) My Thoughts: A fun, fast-paced fantasy read that felt just a little hollow. I think it wanted to be layered and deep, wanted to have that perfect turn of phrase and the…