Book Review: Hunters of the Lost City

Hunters of the Lost City by Kali Wallace

Hunters of the Lost City
by Kali Wallace (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Octavia has lived all her life within the walls of her city, the last refuge for humanity in a world that has been destroyed by war and plague. The only living things outside the walls were monsters. There was no human life left anywhere except in Octavia’s city…. or so she believed. Octavia meets a mysterious girl who claims to be from another city. Together they could destroy everything the town believes and bring healing to a society drowning in lies.

I loved this book so much! The adventure, the magic, the world building, the character growth; this book has it all! I got emotionally attached to the characters very quickly, and it was so wonderful to see how Octavia grows and heals and changes as the story progresses. There are so many big revelations and plot twists as Octavia learns just how deep the lies really go. Every time she discovers something new in her world, the reader discovers it along with her.

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Book Review: Cress Watercress

Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire

Cress Watercress
by Gregory Maguire, David Litchfield 

3 out of 5 stars

After her father dies, Cress and her family move to a basement apartment in an oak tree. Her mother struggles to pay the rent, and Cress is annoyed by the snooping neighbors. The landlord is a grumpy owl, and a large family of squirrels make a great deal of noise. But they all join together when danger is near.

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Book Review: A Dragon Used to Live Here

A Dragon Used to Live Here by Annette LeBlanc Cate

A Dragon Used to Live Here
by Annette LeBlanc Cate

5 out of 5 stars

Thomas and Emily are the children of a knight and lady. They live in a castle, take archery lessons, and learn courtly manners and knightly conduct. They meet Meg, a scribe, who used to know their mother when she was a child. Meg tells them stories about the dragon who used to live in the castle and how their mother became involved in a terrifying adventure. But is Meg telling the truth? Or is she just weaving a tall tale?

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Book Review: The Last Mapmaker

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

The Last Mapmaker
by Christina Soontornvat (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars

Sai pretends to be from a wealthy family in order to get an apprenticeship with a mapmaker. She hides that her father is a criminal, and uses her skills as a forger to help the mapmaker copy maps and documents. When the mapmaker goes on a sea voyage to explore new regions of the world, Sai is eager to leave her past behind and start a new life. There are tales of dragons and dangerous seas in the South, but the riches and rewards could be immense.

I loved this story! It’s so exciting as they travel further and further from Sai’s home, and the people on board the ship begin to divide into groups with very different goals. Both the adventure and the emotional journey have a lot of tension and suspense. There are so many great twists in the plot!

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Graphic Novel Review: The Orphan King

The Orphan King by Tyler Chin-Tanner

The Orphan King (The Orphan King, #1)
by Tyler Chin-Tanner, James Boyle (Illustrator), Andrew Dalhouse (Color Artist), Pete Carlsson (Letterer)

4 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel follows Prince Kaidan, who travels to a faraway island for combat training with his aunt. When he returns, he finds the kingdom in ruins and his parents dead or missing. With a price on his head, Kaidan can trust no one, and he is being hunted wherever he goes.

I loved the legendary tropes in this book! Kaidan is like a young King Arthur, and there is also a Robin Hood type character, but the story isn’t really a retelling of either of those stories. There are elements from those legends, but this story stands on its own. I can’t wait to read the next volume in the series!

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Book Review: The Monster in the Lake

The Monster in the Lake by Louie Stowell

The Monster in the Lake (The Dragon in the Library, #2)
by Louie Stowell, Davide Ortu (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Kit and her friends are flabbergasted by a recent surge of wild magic that is making random things happen. Kit’s magic spells are going haywire. Animals in the park are talking to humans, and something magical is bubbling up from the depths of the lake. This new adventure will take Kit all the way to Scotland to solve the mystery of the unpredictable wild magic.

I loved this book from start to finish! The characters, the plot, the world-building, the magic; everything is wonderful! The writing style is absolutely hilarious! There are so many cute bits of dialogue and funny scenes that had me laughing.

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Book Review: The Patron Thief of Bread

The Patron Thief of Bread by Lindsay Eagar

The Patron Thief of Bread
by Lindsay Eagar (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

Duck has always lived on the streets with a gang of urchins who call themselves the Crowns. They pick pockets and steal food to stay alive. Their leader, Gnat, comes up with the idea for one of them to masquerade as a baker’s apprentice to steal from the bakery, and Duck is chosen for the job. Duck uses forged apprenticeship papers to begin working at the bakery, and then passes stolen bread and coins to the rest of the street urchins. But the longer Duck works at the bakery, the more she begins to settle into her new life. The baker lady is kind to her, and they become a weird sort of family. Duck’s loyalties are divided. Will she choose the baker who loves her like a mother would, or her ragtag family of pickpockets?

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Book Review: Secrets of the Last Merfolk

Secrets of the Last Merfolk by Lindsay Littleson

Secrets of the Last Merfolk
by Lindsay Littleson (Goodreads Author)
2 out of 5 stars

Finn and Sage begin to wonder if there might be merfolk living in the ocean off the Scottish coast. They have been seeing strange sights in the water, and hearing a weird song that echoes off the cliffs. Sage begins to investigate in her kayak, but when Finn does a dangerous solo swim in the freezing waves, the two discover that the merfolk are more mysterious and strange than any legend they have ever heard. The merfolk are in danger from an old enemy, and they need help from the human children to save their little underwater colony.

The plot is incredibly slow. This could have been a short story, but it drags on and on. Once something finally does happen, it’s not that amazing. Finn and Sage are completely obsolete to the plans of the merfolk. They make a big deal about “helping”, but they never do anything that the merfolk couldn’t have just done themselves with less effort. A lot of fuss over nothing.

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