Review: The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 2) by Rachel Aaron

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 2)
Author: Rachel Aaron
Format: Digital ebook
Page Count: 464 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 15+

Summary: Eli Monpress is a brilliant thief who can charm any spirit into helping him which just so happens to make him a brilliant wizard as well. His next target has to be big – because how does one top kidnapping a king? Well he’s found just the thing with the Duke of Gaol’s famous “thief-proof” citadel. It is most definitely a trap, but one Eli can’t wait to break into and out of it anyway. Life isn’t worth living without challenges. Plus the Duke is hideously wealthy, which makes the heist even better and more alluring. As Eli is hunting for treasure and fame, Miranda is preparing to capture him and perhaps reclaim her spot in the Spirit Court.

Likes:

  • Eli is forced to rely on talent and not charm in this book, because the trap that was set neatly around our favorite thief was very magic sensitive. One flirtatious encounter and the whole city threatens to crush our trio from its bricks to its doors to its roads to its currency. It’s one big booby-trap waiting to spring!
  • It’s interesting to see how one wizard can control everything in a city because of his inherent need for control and what he’s willing to do to get it. The book’s message is clear—when someone has power and is abusing it, don’t give yourself into their hands because you become another tool they use to get someone else to follow orders.
  • I love the background story of Eli as it’s revealed, we’re left with whetted appetites to learn more, but Wow! Who knew his father was head hauncho of the Spirit Court? Or that Eli took his mentor’s last name as his own? I still want to know why exactly and how Eli lived with and then left the White Lady.
  • Favorite quote: “It’s probably an impostor,” he decided for the second time in as many hours. “Someone banking on my fame.” Josef chuckled. “Don’t you mean robbing on your infamy?”

Dislikes:

  • Nico’s story as a demonseed gets more spotlight. I figure it’s important, and it’s obvious the character speaks to the author, but I love me some Eli. Nico isn’t sympathetic to me yet despite the author’s attempts. She’s a ticking time-bomb. Can we just diffuse her? Please?
  • Josef doesn’t kill crazy swordsman. You know he’s coming back in the next book. Arg!

Buy: The Spirit Rebellion (The Legend of Eli Monpress)

Rating:4 Treasure Chests

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Review: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Format: Hardcover
# of pages: 288
Grade Reading Level: 7-10 Grade

Summary: Cammie Morgan goes to a school for geniuses (but really it’s a school for training spies). Cammie’s schedule is just like a regular kid’s – she has PE, sure it’s advance martial arts, but it’s still PE. One of her class assignments is to go to a carnival and find out what one of her teachers likes to drink with a funnel cake. There she meets Josh – which is both wonderful and terrible!

Why I Started the Book:

I started this book because it had an interesting premise. I like the idea of a teenage spy in training. It sounded very cool to me, sort of like Agent Cody Banks, but for girls.

Likes:

  • I like the training that they did and their class schedules. It actually seemed very spy-like, which was good. I was afraid that it would be kind of hokey.
  • I like the character Cami a lot. She wasn’t a valley girl or a drama queen which was refreshing. She was smart and capable.

Dislikes:

  • They had to mind-wipe Josh at the end which I hated!
  • The romance between Cami and Josh was kind of weird. Cami and her friends aren’t sure if Josh is trying to infiltrate the academy or if it’s “true love” so they investigate him. They even went through his trash … gross and weird!

Buy: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls)

Book Rating: I give this book3.5 Treasure Chests!

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Review: Spartan Frost (Mythos Academy, Book 4.5) by Jennifer Estep

spartan frostReviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Spartan Frost (Mythos Academy, Book 4.5)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Format: Ebook
Page Count:
Grade Reading Level: Ages 14+

Summary: What Logan Quinn is up to right after he leaves Mythos Academy. He deals with his angst over being possessed and almost killing Gwen.

Why I started this book:
Love the series and asked for the book as a Christmas present, which I got. Thanks, Mom!

Likes:

  • I enjoyed Logan’s point of view (POV) of what happened the day he almost killed Gwen in Crimson Frost (Book 4). His worry, guilt, and concern over hurting her and how he could potentially hurt her again is very sweet and tender. Logan truly cares for Gwen.
  • It’s a highly important novella in terms of defining what is going to happen between Gwen and Loki. I wonder if you will be able to figure it out as it is purposefully oblique. I only recognized it after reading Killer Frost (Book 6).
  • I am happy that Logan and his father, Linus, are working to repair their relationship. A boy needs his dad. A dad needs his son.
  • I like that Logan was as obsessed getting information about Gwen as she was about him. Poor Oliver stuck in-between those two! But Logan/Oliver should not have kept the information a one-way street. Gwen deserved to know more too!

Dislikes:

  • No Gwen! She’s present in Logan’s thoughts but not on page! Darn. I was hoping for that. A gypsy girl has got to knock some sense into a Spartan somehow, right?
  • Not long enough – should have brought us to the point where Logan meets up with Gwen in Midnight Frost (Book 5).

Favorite Quote: “Tell her I’m sorry. Again.”

Buy: Spartan Frost (Mythos Academy)

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests
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Review: The Spirit Eater (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 3) by Rachel Aaron

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: The Spirit Eater (The Legend of Eli Monpress, Book 3)
Author: Rachel Aaron
Format: Digital ebook
Page Count: 448 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 15+

Summary: It’s fashionable to be robbed by Eli now. It means you’ve got something worth stealing. Now with people randomly pledging money toward his capture, it’s clearly a time to lie low, a fact that hits home after an assassination attempt on Eli. Meanwhile Nico is struggling maintaining her fight with the demonseed, helping Eli and Josef require her unlocking memories she can’t quite grasp. When she does, would it be better if she hadn’t?

Likes:

  • Eli’s Home, is actually a small outlying village that he’s purchased. He gives the town folk most of the treasure he steals in exchange for asylum and position as mayor. They eat the best foods, furnish their houses with diamonds and gold furnishings, and wear rich fabrics. Life is great and they love Eli.
  • Oh ho! Look who is Eli’s mom. I wonder how he came to live with his dad and why she didn’t try to find Eli when he ran away.
  • The history of Josef and the sword known as “The Heart of War.”

Dislikes:

  • Pele is her father’s apprentice. Slorn is a Sharper. I get that she asks for help, but why doesn’t she insist on tagging along with the trio to save her dad?
  • Eli Monpress might be the hero of this series, but once again he’s pushed aside for Nico. This story focuses mostly on Nico’s past, how she became a demonseed, and of course when she becomes a fully formed demon things go to hell… again.

Last Minute Thoughts: Can’t wait to read the next two books in the series!

Buy: The Spirit Eater (The Legend of Eli Monpress)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Movie Review: The Last Airbender starring Dev Patel and Noah Ringer

by First Mate Keira

Title: The Last Airbender
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Run Time: 103 Minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: Based on the cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, this live-action movie launches viewers into a whole new fantasy world where different civilizations have control over the four elements: fire, earth, air, water. Each culture rules with one type of ‘bending’ – a term used to describe the manipulations they make with their element. The Avatar is the only person capable of bending with all four elements and bridge the divide between the physical and spiritual world. The start of the epic new series reveals that the Avatar has disappeared, abandoning the world, for the last 100 years…that is until a young inexperience waterbender manages to free him from his tomb of ice.

Why I watched this movie:

I have never seen the cartoon series. I knew of it from channel flipping, but I’ve never been a viewer of the original telling. The trailer looked good and I was interested in seeing Jackson Rathbone play a part that wasn’t a vampire.

Likes:

  • Jackson Rathbone was excellent as Sokka. He has the cutest smile and the brightest blue eyes. It was nice seeing him get more than a few lines.
  • Nicola Peltz as Katara… she was so cute. I hope to see more of her in the future.
  • Noah Ringer who played the Avatar (Aang) is an adorable kid and highly watchable. The pictures of him with hair are just too weird.
  • The visual effects were stunning! I really enjoyed them. It’s amazing how realistic things looked.

Dislikes:

  • A few places were confusing as I didn’t know the background to the story. I heard a lot of fans of the cartoon were upset with the movie and wished for things to be different… most notably that the cartoon series is Asian and there weren’t m/any cast.

Last minute thoughts: When’s the next movie?

Buy: The Last Airbender

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel

by First Mate Keira

Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Run Time: 109 minutes
Rated: PG

Summary: At the age of 10, a young boy finds himself unwillingly drawn into the world of magic with humiliating results. Fast forward ten years and the young man is once more drawn kicking and screaming into the fight between good sorcerers (Merlineans) and bad (Morganians) when two of Merlin’s protégé’s escape from an enchanted urn. Both are desperate to gain and keep control of a magical device known as the Grimhold, where deep at its heart is Morgana herself.

Why I watched this movie:

It looked good in the trailer… plus I like Nicolas Cage.

Likes:

  • Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) – an uptight sorcerer with a laidback appearance, Cage does not disappoint.
  • Horvath (Alfred Molina) – such a fun bad guy to watch. You can really dig his evilness.
  • Dave (Jay Baruchel) – he’s a fun nerd to watch. He’s lovingly a-dork-able.
  • Dave’s science project for his physics major – way cool that it makes noise and can be programmed to sound like music.
  • The homage to Fantasia and the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse.

Dislikes:

  • Parts are pretty hokey – terminology especially (Prime Merlinean) and some of the humor is a little too heavy handed. It’s definitely for a younger crowd despite the Easter eggs scattered for adults to catch.
  • The story seems to run out of steam by the end of the movie which is a bit of a letdown not to mention anti-climatic.

Buy: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

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