Book Review: Icefall

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

Icefall
by Matthew J. Kirby
4 out of 5 stars

Solveig and her siblings have been sent to a frozen fjord in the mountains where they will be safe during a Viking war between clans. The winter cold freezes the sea, preventing any ships from getting to them. However, there appears to be a traitor in their midst among the soldiers and servants, and they are trapped until the spring thaw can bring help.

I loved the thoughtful writing style in this book! The writing brings important details to the forefront, giving the characters depth and enhancing the setting without slowing down the pacing.

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Book Reviews: Masterminds Trilogy

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Masterminds (Masterminds, #1)
by Gordon Korman
3 out of 5 stars

The town of Serenity is not as serene as it seems. Eli and his friends begin to discover that their seemingly perfect town is hiding dark secrets.

I really liked the mystery in this book, and the gradual unravelling of the secrets that the townspeople are hiding. The adventure aspects of the story are exciting and kept my attention, but sometimes felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I was rolling my eyes a couple of times.

The characters are smart and emotional, and they all have such unique personalities. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them, and seeing how their flaws and strengths push the story forward. They each react in different ways when they discover what is really going on in the town, and I can’t wait to see what further character development they might have in the rest of the series.

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Book Review: Masterminds

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Masterminds (Masterminds, #1)
by Gordon Korman
3 out of 5 stars

The town of Serenity is not as serene as it seems. Eli and his friends begin to discover that their seemingly perfect town is hiding dark secrets.

I really liked the mystery in this book, and the gradual unravelling of the secrets that the townspeople are hiding. The adventure aspects of the story are exciting and kept my attention, but sometimes felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I was rolling my eyes a couple of times.

The characters are smart and emotional, and they all have such unique personalities. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them, and seeing how their flaws and strengths push the story forward. They each react in different ways when they discover what is really going on in the town, and I can’t wait to see what further character development they might have in the rest of the series.

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Book Review: Mothstorm

Mothstorm by Philip Reeve

Mothstorm (Larklight, #3)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars

A mysterious cloud is approaching the solar system from deep space, and of course only Arthur and Myrtle can solve the mystery and save the British Empire and the nine planets (along with some asteroids and dwarf planets). They are joined by our favorite old characters and a few new ones, as they travel between the planets to fight for Queen and country.

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

It’s wonderful to see how the entire trilogy is wrapped up beautifully in this last book. The plot comes together really well to solve problems and answer questions that have been hanging since the first book. I love how each thread of the story resolves into this great ending!

I am amazed at how imaginative this fantasy world is. The aliens and their strange cultures are all so intricate and well-formed, right down to the diseases, commerce, and vegetation of each planet. I love that it is set in a steam-punk 1850s British Empire full of space travel that has expanded to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s such an interesting solar system, and each planet has it’s own history and people who live there.

The writing style is very humorous with that sort of dry humor that I love. I was delighted at how some of the characters are doing their best to have good manners and polite modesty in the middle of their outlandish adventures. We may be about to be blown to smithereens by space pirates, but let us not forget proper courtesy and decorum. The whole book is hilarious!

The characters are really varied and interesting. They come from all sorts of backgrounds, and I loved the character development for so many of them. They change and grow and learn from one another.

Myrtle has some excellent development as she learns that she is stronger and more resourceful than she thought. She does NOT faint every time something dangerous happens, as a properly-educated young lady should do. Instead she begins to take little steps towards saving herself, instead of waiting for a hero to rescue her as a demure young lady should do. And through those little steps she moves on to bigger steps, until finally she gains enough confidence in her own abilities to have the courage to jump into the fray and save everyone.

I only wish there were more books in this series!

Comic Review: We Found a Monster

We Found a Monster by Kirk Scroggs

We Found a Monster
by Kirk Scroggs
4 out of 5 stars

Casey writes in his art journal to tell us the story of how monsters keep finding him! There’s a vampire in the attic, and gremlins in the basement. Frankenstein keeps recharging his brain batteries and making the electric bill go up. A huge cephalopod lives in the kiddie pool in the backyard. When a new girl arrives at school, Casey finds out that she is interested in monsters too. And there is a new pink monster in town.

I love the colorful art style! It really draws the reader into the story. The colors are so bright and fun. I love the funny expressions on the characters’ faces. Some of the sketches are just pencil drawings, and some are filled-in with color. It really looks like someone’s journal with text and illustrations thrown all over the page.

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Comic Review: Teen Titans Go! Roll with It

Teen Titans Go! Roll With It! by Heather Nuhfer

Teen Titans Go! Roll With It!
by Heather NuhferP.C. MorisseyAgnes GarbowskaSandy Jarrell
4 out of 5 stars

Robin has gathered the Teen Titans to play an exciting game of Basements and Basilisks. The friends just want to have fun, but Robin wants to force everyone to follow the rules and make the game difficult. Jinx puts them under a spell to stay in the game, and only Robin can save the day. That is… if he can let go of the rules.

I liked the comedy in this comic! Robin is always getting up to crazy hijinks and ruining everyone’s game experience with his insane determination to make the game impossibly difficult. He is always trying to prove that he is the fastest, smartest, biggest hero, and that is the perfect backdrop for some truly hilarious failures.

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Graphic Novel Review: The Inkberg Enigma

The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King

The Inkberg Enigma
by Jonathan King
4 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel centers on a bookish young man, Miro, who lives in a fishing village where his father works in a history museum. There are strange occurrences around the town, and the fishermen have secrets to hide. Miro’s new friend, Zia, takes a photograph of a fisherman who has been attacked at sea, the local fishermen warn Miro and Zia to stay away and keep quiet about what they saw. But of course, they begin to investigate the weird phenomena around town.

I loved this book! The characters, the interesting plot, and the world-building are all excellent.

I liked that Miro is a bookworm, and spends his life diving into books but never having any real adventures. Each of the characters has their own vivid personality and backstory.

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Book Review: Starcross

Starcross by Philip Reeve

Starcross (Larklight, #2)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Myrtle and Arthur are having adventures again! This time they are visiting a seaside hotel called Starcross located in the asteroid belt. There are mysterious disappearances and strange beings lurking around the hotel, and it’s up to Myrtle and Arthur and their friends to save the empire!

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

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Book Review: Borrowers Afield

The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton

The Borrowers Afield (The Borrowers #2)
by Mary NortonBeth Krush (Illustrator), Joe Krush (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

I love seeing how the Borrowers survive in the wild, fighting off insects, gathering nuts and berries, and finding shelter in an old boot. The plot in this book has so many interesting little twists and turns, as the Clock family meet Spiller, a Borrower who lives in the fields and hedges.

They are such funny characters with grit and determination. Pod is resourceful and serious, but cracks a joke now and then. Homily is fearful, but has a reserve of inner fortitude that comes up in a crisis. Arrietty is adorable and sweet, plucky and adventurous and playful. Spiller is mysterious and taciturn. I just love them all!

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Book Review: The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Perry is the adopted daughter of Lakti noble parents, but her real parents are Bamarre servants. Her true bloodline is kept a secret, because the Bamarre people are considered inferior and cowardly. The fairy Halina visits Perry and urges her to embrace her true heritage and free the Bamarre people from Lakti tyranny. With the help of a magic tablecloth, seven-league boots, and a perfect disguise, Perry plunges into espionage and rebellion. But can she ever escape her Lakti upbringing and be accepted by the Bamarre?

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