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Tag Archives: fantasy

Dragon Captives

Title: Dragon Captives
Author: Lisa McMann
Series: Unwanteds Quests
Recommended for: 4th – 8th grade
Pages: 419 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION MCMANN, L. 

Synopsis: Identical twins Fifer and Thisbe Stowe have amazing yet uncontrollable magical abilities. They’re naturally more gifted than even their brother, Alex, the head mage of Artimé, could hope to be. But when they accidentally use their magic in the jungle of Artimé to strike down a beloved creature, Alex is furious, and threatens to lock them away until they can learn to control their power.
The threat is soon forgotten, though, when Hux, the ice blue dragon, comes to Artimé bearing the horrible news that his siblings have been enslaved by the notoriously evil Revinir, ruler of the dragon land.
Seeking a chance to right their wrong and escape their brother’s wrath, Thisbe, Fifer, and their friend Seth sneak away to rescue the dragons from grave peril. Will their untrained abilities be enough to save the dragons—and themselves—when they come face-to-face with the Revinir?

This is a spin off series from the original Unwanteds series.  If you wanted to begin with this one, enough information is revealed that you would be ok.  I would highly recommended that you read the other series while you wait for the next book in the series, you will enjoy it.  If you have read the series you will be able to see some old friends from the original series and see what has happened to them. This series was a fast read, with short chapters and a lot of action.  I felt that the main characters had growth and that they will continue to see more growth.  This book ended with some twists and a cliff hanger so we will have to see what comes next.  I am hoping that some of the unanswered questions from the first series will get answered. I will definitely be reading this series.  On a side note I listened to the audio of most of the first series, so I was unable to for this series because the old characters were just awful to me. Simber the huge cat/ tiger with wings voice was grating.  I understand that the series is now following the sisters, so they chose a female voice, but it was hard to adjust I gave up after listening to 3 disc.  I finished the book by reading, much more enjoyable.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Adventure, Juv

 

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The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great

Title: The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great
Author: Gerald Morris
Series: The Knights’ Tales
Recommended for: Third Graders and Up; Boys Who Like Adventure and Swordfights; Fantasy Fans
Pages: 92
Call Number/Link:  J MOR (To add Link highlight and click the chain up top.)

Synopsis:

“Many years ago, the storytellers say, the great King Arthur brought justice to England with the help of his gallant Knights of the Round Table. Of these worthy knights, there was never one so fearless, so chivalrous, so honorable, so…shiny as the dashing Sir Lancelot, who was quite good at defending the helpless and protecting the weak, just as long as he’d had his afternoon nap. Behold the very exciting and very funny adventures of Lancelot the Great, as only acclaimed Arthurian author Gerald Morris can tell them.” –Amazon

 

My Thoughts:

This series is a hilarious and well-done introduction to the Arthurian legends. Morris has obviously read (and better yet, likes!) Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, yet he also understands how children’s minds work, as well as what appeals to them. The stories of Sir Lancelot presented here feel fresh, funny, and accessable for third-graders, but do not compromise the integrity of the original tales. For instance, when he meets the Lady Elaine of Shalott, Sir Lancelot gets shot in the–well, we’re not told exactly where he’s shot, but he has to sit on a pillow when he rides, and the accompanying illustrations provide more clues. After sustaining this injury, however, Sir Lancelot is able to return (anonymously) to a tournament at court, where he saves the day in more ways than one. Thus, the beauty of the original story is intact, but the readers are sure to howl with laughter once they “get it”.

 
 

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Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle

 

Title: Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle
Author: N.D. Wilson
Series: Outlaws of Time
Recommended for: Tweens and up, especially those who’ve read Percy Jackson/Harry Potter and want more, but any who love action/adventure/fantasy/sci-fi, or are at least willing to try it. Also Firefly Fankids.
Pages: 329
Call Number/Link: J FIC WILSON

Synopsis: “Misfit twelve-year-old Sam Miracle’s life is made up of dreams, dreams where he’s a courageous, legendary hero instead of a foster kid with two bad arms that can barely move. Sometimes these dreams feel so real, they seem like forgotten memories. And sometimes they make him believe that his arms might come alive again. But Sam is about to discover that the world he knows and the world he imagines are separated by only one thing: time. And that separation is only an illusion. The laws of time can be bent and shifted by people with special magic that allows them to travel through the past, present, and future. But not all of these “time walkers” can be trusted. One is out to protect Sam so that he can accept his greatest destiny, and another is out to kill him so that a prophecy will never be fulfilled. However, it’s an adventurous girl named Glory and two peculiar snakes who show Sam the way through the dark paths of yesterday to help him make sure there will be a tomorrow for every last person on earth.” — Amazon.com

My Review:

Hold onto your hats! This book picked me up and spun me around and dropped me into a world of Old West gunfights; time travel; mysterious magic; and more until I didn’t quite know which way was up (in a good way). The adventures are exciting and the story is excellent. While there is a fair bit of violence, it is at the service of the story–that is, it is NOT violence for violence’s sake, and its costs and effects are clearly shown–and the story would probably not be a problem for an average reader.
Time travel, although a very tricky thing to write, is handled well here, too; I have no idea if it jives at all with the laws of physics, but I was able to follow the line of logic without too much trouble, and don’t think it would confuse readers who are used to fantasy or science fiction. As for the characters, the heroes and villains are all very well and clearly drawn without veering into stereotypes (although I think the author let himself have quite a lot of fun with the villains.) The ending, while fairly satisfying, requires a sequel. No ifs, ands, or buts about it; we have to know what happens next!

Highly recommended.

 

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Nobody Likes a Goblin

Title: Nobody Likes a Goblin
Author: Ben Hatke
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Ages 4-8
Pages: 36
Call Number/Link:  E Hakte, B (We don’t currently own it, but hopefully Janet will order it!)

Synopsis: Goblin, a cheerful little homebody, lives in a cosy, rat-infested dungeon, with his only friend, Skeleton. Every day, Goblin and Skeleton play with the treasure in their dungeon. But one day, a gang of “heroic” adventurers bursts in. These marauders trash the place, steal all the treasure, and make off with Skeleton—leaving Goblin all alone!

It’s up to Goblin to save the day. But first he’s going to have to leave the dungeon and find out how the rest of the world feels about goblins.

Review: This is a super cute book that I think kids will enjoy. I love that it was kind of a reverse-adventure. Usually the adventures are the heroes and the goblins/trolls are the bad guys, but this time it’s the opposite. Both the goblin and the troll were just minding their own business when the adventures come in and stole their items. And really all the goblin really cared about was his friend the skeleton! And while most of the world doesn’t like goblins, he find others along the way to help him in his quest to save Skeleton.

The illustrations are nice as well. If you’ve read Ben’s other works (Zita the Spacegirl) it’s on par with those.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in Funny, Picture Books, Uncategorized

 

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Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack

JacketTitle: Calamity Jack
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Nathan Hale illustrator.
Series: N/A but “sequel” to Rapunzel’s revenge
Recommended for: 4-8th Grade
Pages: 144
Call Number/Link:  GN J HAL
Synopsis: Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner, trickster, swindler…maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk. With help from Rapunzel (and her trusty braids), a pixie from Jack’s past, and a man with inventions from the future, they just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of good people…while catapulting themselves and readers into another fantastical adventure.
Review: This is a great book, a fine sequel to Rapunzel’s revenge. This features a coming of age tale of a trickster hero realizing his potential. The art is magnificent and invoked a strange mix of steampunk and classic fairy tale styling. Add to it an element of mystery–“Who are the ants?” and you have a rollicking tale that is sure to impress.

 

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Matched

matched

 

Title: Matched

Author: Allyson Braithwaite Condie

Series: Matched Trilogy

Recommended for: Grades Middle & High School

Pages: 512

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CONDIE

 

 

Synopsis:

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

Thoughts: I really love this book I think as one reviewer said that this is very similar to the giver but more beautiful people.  I would also compare it to The Selection series as well.  The fans of both these books would love this trilogy.  It is fast paced and I just whizzed through the books since there are so many twists. They are available as an eBook, audio book and book form.  I started reading as paper copy then I finished listening to the eBook since I could not obtain a paper copy.

 
 

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Ms. Rapscott’s Girls

Ms. Rapscott's Girls cover

 

Title:   Ms. Rapscott’s Girls
Author:   Elise Primavera
Series:   —
Recommended for:  students in grades 3-5
Pages:   262 p.
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION PRIMAVERA, E.

Rating:  ***

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“At Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents, Ms. Rapscott teaches her students How to Get Lost on Purpose, resulting in a series of fantastical adventures that makes each learn a little something about courage, strength, bravery, and teamwork”– Provided by publisher.

Comments:

One day, ordinary girls of extraordinarily busy (or neglectful, to be more frank) found themselves arriving at Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents via large cardboard boxes floating in the air.  This was their first sign that this was not an ordinary school.  Instead of using textbooks to learn academic subjects, they went on adventures to try to find the classmate whose box got lost on the way to the school.  Since the girls had been ignored most of their childhood, they needed to learn about basic things like wishbones, birthday cakes, thank you notes and the difference between tall kitchen bags and heavy duty trash bags.  My favorite part of the experience would have been getting to eat birthday cake regularly.

It’s a pleasant enough book, but it didn’t grab me.  I was able to put the book down after one chapter then not read it again for a week or two, when I read another chapter.  I had to force myself to finish it.  I gave it three stars instead of two, because I felt like I should have enjoyed it more.

I think girls would be more interested in this book than boys, since the teacher and students are all girls (except for the teacher’s two corgies).  There are some boys near the end of the book, but I think boys would have given up reading the book by then.

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

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