2.5 stars Annie’s father teaches her to write down all the bad things she does and feed the paper into a little hole in the floor of their house. After she drops the paper into the “sin eater” hole, her regrets and guilt go away and she feels better. Annie hears a mysterious skittering and chattering in the cellar, and the neighbors begin to report seeing rats around the neighborhood. Annie learns about her Litvanian heritage and the dark secrets of her family past.
3.5 out of 5 stars Clementine is a lab mouse. A genetic experiment has given her super-intelligence and she does her best to solve every maze and puzzle that the team of scientists give her. Clementine befriends a chimp named Rosie in one of the lab cages. When a scientist with a guilty conscience sets Clementine free, she begins a wild journey to prove her worth and hopefully save Rosie from the lab too. In the meantime, Clementine writes letters to Rosie (which are never written or posted) and tells Rosie all her adventures.
Lucy and Edmund are back in Narnia, this time accompanied by their annoying cousin, Eustace. The siblings join King Caspian again, this time on a quest to the Eastern edge of the world. They sail through rough seas, encounter sea monsters, chart magical islands, and fight battles. But the greatest adventure of all is what they find at the edge of the world.
This one is my favorite of all the Narnia books! It appeals to something deep inside me on many levels. The magical adventures, the spiritual themes, poor sad Eustace and his character development, the beautiful imagery, and the imaginative settings all resonate with me in special ways. There are so many sweet little moments that tug at your heart!
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are back in Narnia a year after their previous adventures. They find that Narnia has changed a great deal, and now the evil Telmarines are in power. The siblings go to war to help Prince Caspian reclaim his throne and restore the Old Narnian dwarves, fauns, and tree-people.
I love the themes of obedience and faith in this second book of the series. The siblings try to rely on their own wisdom and ignore Aslan’s instructions and they get into huge trouble. It is only when they follow Aslan and obey with faith that things start to go right again.
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy finds themselves stumbling through a magical wardrobe into the land of Narnia, where animals can talk and the White Witch uses her magic to make it always winter and never Christmas. The siblings must travel to find the Great Lion, Aslan, who is the only one with the power to defeat the White Witch.
This book is so near to my heart, not only because of the nostalgia since I read and reread it again and again as a child, but also for the deep spiritual themes of sacrifice and redemption that mirror Christ’s salvation of this poor sinner. I find myself relating closely with each of the siblings as they interact with Aslan and as their spiritual journeys with Him begin.
Loki has been banished from Asgard. Odin has given Loki the form of an 11-year-old human, and sent Thor, Heimdall, and Hyrrokkin (also in the form of humans) to keep an eye on him. Loki must learn to be good and keep a record of his good or bad deeds in a magical journal. In this second book of the series, Loki is trying to make some new friends, but he goes about it in all the wrong ways.
Loki has been banished from Asgard. Odin has given Loki the form of an 11-year-old human, and sent Thor, Heimdall, and Hyrrokkin (also in the form of humans) to keep an eye on him. Loki must learn to be good within a month’s time, or he will be punished for all eternity. Thor and Loki go to school together and must dodge the sneaky Frost Giants, while Loki tries all the wrong ways to be good.
At Princess Amy’s christening, one of the fairies grants her the gift of ordinariness. Compared to her beautiful royal sisters, Amy is plain and ordinary. All her sisters have long blonde hair and perfect complexions. Amy has short mousey brown hair and freckles on her nose. As Amy grows up the royal family is distressed, because no prince wants to marry an ordinary princess with freckles. Princess Amy must take her destiny into her own hands, and prove that you don’t have to be beautiful and perfect to find happiness.
3.5 stars Diane and Robin are thrown into another adventure in this second book in the series, when they befriend Jannel, the future ruler of a planet under quarantine. Jannel is a girl their own age, who comes aboard their spaceship for safety away from the virus that is threatening her planet. The girls try to help Jannel overcome her fears for her future, but they wind up in terrible trouble.
I liked the world-building for this new planet that we visit with Diane, Robin, and Jannel. I appreciated that there is a history of politics that has led to the current unrest on the planet, and the way the virus plays into that is really interesting. We also get to learn a little bit about the wild flora and fauna of the planet!
Seven is worried that when she is sorted into her witches coven she might not be in the same coven with her best friend. However, she never imagined that she would be a Spare, a witch without a coven at all. Seven and the other two Spares are set an impossible task to defeat a horrific Nightbeast. They must complete the task, or they will lose their magic forever, or worse, be turned into toads!
This book has everything I was looking for! There’s a great magic system and interesting world-building. I really liked that the witches’ world has a distant past that must be reckoned with. You really get a sense of the depth of the history behind their laws and the way their everyday lives are ordered.