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: 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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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: The Captain’s Daughters

The Captain's Daughters by Doreen D. Berger

The Captain’s Daughters
by Doreen D. Berger (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Diane and Robin are kidnapped by an alien race to be sold as slaves on a far-away planet. Their father, a starship captain, is searching the galaxy for them, but he will have to travel farther than anyone thought possible in order to rescue his daughters. However, Diane and Robin are not sitting around waiting to be rescued. They take matters into their own hands, and try a daring escape.

I enjoyed this book! The plot is a fun adventure and has some interesting twists. There were a couple of times when lucky coincidences in the plot made it a little unbelievable. I feel like the plot could have been a bit tighter in a few places. But those were few and far between, so I still liked the story a lot!

The writing is really good! I immediately connected with the story and with the characters. The pacing is excellent, and the scenes have a lot of suspense. I laughed several times at some of the funny dialogue! Those girls are so sassy!

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Book Review: Danny Chung Sums It Up

Danny Chung Sums It Up by Maisie Chan

Danny Chung Sums It Up
by Maisie ChanNatelle Quek (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Danny Chung is dismayed when his Chinese grandmother moves into the family’s small apartment, and he has to share his bedroom with her! She only speaks a specific dialect of Chinese that Danny can’t understand, and she is always embarrassing Danny in front of his friends. Danny has a huge math project that he is supposed to be working on, but Danny hates math. His parents insist that he has to spend time with his grandmother while they are at work. Danny’s only refuge is in his drawings and sketches. Making comic sketches is the only thing Danny really cares about. Could there be a way to use his drawings to communicate with his grandmother?

This was such a sweet and heart-warming story! It was wonderful to see Danny’s character development. He gradually begins to understand, appreciate, and love his grandmother. Danny is such a complex and loveable character. He certainly has his flaws, but he is also willing to admit when he is wrong and do his best to make things right. He has such a good heart!

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Book Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono

Kiki’s Delivery Service
by Eiko KadonoEmily Balistrieri (Translator)
5 out of 5 stars

Kiki is a young witch who goes to live in a new town all by herself. She is only 13 years old, but must work as a witch as part of her coming-of-age ritual. She starts a delivery service, flying all around the town delivering parcels and helping her neighbors.

I loved this charming story! I have watched the Ghibli movie many times, and this book has the same enchantment! Other than the basic premise, the movie and book are quite different, but they have the same magical flavor.

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Book Review: Danny the Champion of the World

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny the Champion of the World
by Roald DahlQuentin Blake (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Danny and his father have a close relationship. They live in a caravan behind their gas station and car mechanic garage. Danny learns to be the youngest mechanic in history. One night he discovers that his father is keeping a delightful secret, and he needs Danny’s help.

This is my favorite Dahl book! The connection between father and son is so precious! I love the way that Danny describes his father and their simple life together living in their little caravan. Danny is such a clever and intelligent little boy with a good heart.

There is something so charming about Dahl’s writing style. Every time I read one of his books, I am swept away into a world of enchantment and hilarity. There are so many funny scenes in this book! I always laugh so hard each time I reread it.

Book Review: Magic or Not?

Magic or Not? by Edward Eager

Magic or Not? (Tales of Magic, #5)
by Edward EagerN.M. Bodecker (Illustrator), Quentin Blake (Cover Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
I loved rereading this children’s classic! When twins Laura and James move to the country, they find an old wishing well, and begin to test the magic waters with their wishes. The wishes seem to come true, but in such regular, mundane ways that the children can’t be sure… was it magic or not? The eccentric Lydia comes blasting into their adventures, and their neighbor Kip joins in the fun.

The wishing well definitely appears to be influencing their adventures, but only when they wish something good for others, never when they wish for themselves. So the four friends attempt a quest of good deeds, with mixed results when the disgustingly spoiled rich kid, Gordy, begins to tag along and pester them. Can the children accept the strange directions that the wishing well sends them, or will they draw the line at including the nasty Gordy in their group?

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