Hunter #2. Author: Mercedes Lackey. Summary: Joy wants nothing more than to live and Hunt in Apex City without a target on her back. But a dangerous new mission assigned by her uncle, the city’s Prefect, may make that impossible. In addition to her new duties as one of the Elite, Joy is covertly running patrols in the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. With her large pack of magical hounds, she can fight the monsters ...

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Author: Jane Yolen. Summary: A lovely collection of dragon stories and poems, some fairy-tale, some original, and some verging on the eerie. Most illustrated beautifully. Content Review: Sexual content: A boy trades kisses with a girl so she’ll give him food. A hinted-at off-screen make out. Language: 2 d***, couple of made up terms. Violence: Everything is fairly non-graphic. A man is killed instantly by a dragon. Various animals killed by th...

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Author: Muriel Barbary. Summary: Renee is the concierge of a wealthy apartment house in the center of Paris. Witness to the lavish and disparate lives of the rich around her, she hides her true intelligence from them. Pretending to be addicted to television and looking no further than her own doorstep, she studies art, philosophy, music and Japanese culture in the privacy of her apartment. Paloma is an unusually thoughtful twelve-year old, who...

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Stormlight Archives #1. Author: Brandon Sanderson. Summary: Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated ...

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Author: Nicola Yoom. Summary: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair c...

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Heartstrikers #3. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: When Julius overthrew his mother and took control of his clan, he thought he was doing right by everyone. But sharing power isn’t part of any proper dragon’s vocabulary, and with one seat still open on the new ruling Council, all of Heartstriker is ready to do whatever it takes to get their claws on it, including killing the Nice Dragon who got them into this mess in the first place. To keep his...

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Talon #3. Author: Julie Kagawa. Summary: The price of freedom is everything. When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about he...

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Author: Wenda Mass. Summary: Mia Winchell appears to be a typical kid, but she’s keeping a big secret—sounds, numbers, and words have color for her. No one knows, and Mia wants to keep it that way. But when trouble at school finally forces Mia to reveal her secret, she must learn to accept herself and embrace her ability, called synesthesia, a mingling of the senses. My Thoughts: The parts about synesthesia itself were cool, although not...

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Castle Glower #4. Author: Jessica Day George. Summary: After the complex and convoluted castle history was worked out in the last book, Celie and her friends are back in the castle safe and sound. It’s not happily ever after quite yet, though – not when the Arkower wizard breaks out and is running around on the loose! Celie needs to stop him, save her friends, and prove to her parents that she’s level-headed and mature, all while dealing with ...

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Author: Sharon Shinn Summary: Coriel Halsing has been visiting Castle Auburn during the summer every year for most of her life – and throughout her childhood, it has formed happy memories and excitement to carry her through the quiet life in her small home the rest of the year. But as Coriel reaches marriageable age her own maturing understanding changes everything around her at the castle, though now she knows it has always been this way. My ...

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The Knights of Crystallia
Middle Grade / Juvenile / January 1, 2018

Alcatraz Vs. the Evil Librarians #3. Author: Brandon Sanderson. Summary: In this third Alcatraz adventure, Alcatraz Smedry has made it to the Free Kingdoms at last. Unfortunately, so have the evil Librarians–including his mother! Now Alcatraz has to find a traitor among the Knights of Crystallia, make up with his estranged father, and save one of the last bastions of the Free Kingdoms from the Evil Librarians. (Published Summar...

Howl’s Moving Castle
Middle Grade / Juvenile / December 31, 2017

Howl’s Moving Castle #1. Author: Dianne Wynn Jones. Summary: Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: t...

Wild Bird
Young Adult / December 29, 2017

Author: Wendelin Van Draanen. Summary: 3:47 a.m. That’s when they come for Wren Clemens. She’s hustled out of her house and into a waiting car, then a plane, and then taken on a forced march into the desert. This is what happens to kids who’ve gone so far off the rails, their parents don’t know what to do with them any more. This is wilderness therapy camp. The Wren who arrives in the Utah desert is angry and ...

2017 In Bullet Points
Outside the Reviews / December 24, 2017

2017 summed up in one bullet list of Important Events!   Took my first solo cross-country trip, plane flights and all, to see my best friend. Complete with very-nearly-missing a flight. Acquired a baby sister by nefarious means. Already feels like she’s been here forever! Got a pixie cut for the first time. Won my first short-story contest in June. Acquired my driver’s license: so I could drive to the library. Went t...

2018 Blogging Challenges
Outside the Reviews / December 21, 2017

Challenges, you say? ‘Tis the season to make unreasonable goals and take on a whole new pack of challenges. Ha, just kidding. I’m starting out small this year with just three blogging/reading challenges, all aimed at different aspects. First, there’s the awesome 2018 Discussion Challenge, hosted by It Starts at Midnight and Feed Your Fiction Addiction. The goal here is to do more “discussion” posts, inst...

Renegades
Young Adult / December 18, 2017

Renegades #1. Author: Marissa Meyer. Summary: Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice. The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies―humans with extraordinary abilities―who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew. Nova ...

Left Neglected
Adult / December 16, 2017

Author: Lisa Genova. Summary: Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on her left side, Sarah must retrain her mind ...

Jane, Unlimited
Young Adult / December 11, 2017

Author: Kristine Cashore. Summary: If you could change your story, would you? Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called T...

Guardian Angels and Other Monsters
Adult / December 7, 2017

Author: Daniel H. Wilson. This ARC was provided, in return for an unbiased review, by Netgalley. Summary: In “All Kinds of Proof,” a down-and-out drunk makes the unlikeliest of friends when he is hired to train a mail-carrying robot; in “Blood Memory,” a mother confronts the dangerous reality that her daughter will never assimilate in this world after she was the first child born through a teleportation device...

Top Books of 2017
Outside the Reviews / December 6, 2017

Alright, you know I can’t pick favorites. It just isn’t happening. But I did go through all the book-reviews from the last year, and pick out the top ones, sorted by age. So, here’s some of the books I loved most in 2017*. ~ Adult ~ The Scent of Water. A quiet, slow-paced story set in the countryside. Probably not the sort of thing I usually review, but maybe I should try to find more such stories – this one i...