Review: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, Book 2) by Jenna Black

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, Book 2)
Author: Jenna Black
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 304 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 12 and up

Summary: Dana Hathaway came to Avalon to meet her father and find a new life. She did not expect to have her limited social schedule hijacked by a bodyguard. So much for dating hot magical prodigy Ethan. Then the Erlking and his pack of bespelled faery known as the Wild Hunt come to Avalon in pursuit of fresh prey. A treaty between the Erlking and the Queens of Faery limits his powers; he can’t hunt or kill unless attacked first or given permission by the Queens. Knowing that the Queens hate her and her faeriewalker gifts, Dana has to watch her back like never before…and then make a deal with the very devil to rescue Ethan from the Erlking’s grasp.

Why I started this book:

Reading the series.

Likes:

  • The Erlking – holy smokes. I am Team Erlking. Screw Ethan and Keane. I want two of the Erlking. I’d be the center of an Erlking sandwich if I could get away with it. He’s by far my favorite character in the series now. I can’t wait to see where his deal with Dana goes! Erlking = big predator cat. Dana = mouse. Let the toying begin!
  • I thought it was very smart to weasel a second favor out of the Erlking in exchange for what he wanted from the deal. Good job Dana!
  • Still love Dana’s inner voice.

Dislikes:

  • Dana is still unreasonable about her safety; pretty reckless too. Think of Dana as the girl who would run into the house with the serial killer just to catch a glimpse of him. Not too smart. Of course without these traits the Erlking couldn’t have made that deal with her, or at least not as easily. ;)

Last Minute Thoughts: Even better than Glimmerglass!

Buy: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests

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Review: Will Work for Prom Dress by Aimee Ferris

Reviewed by First Mate Keira

Title: Will Work for Prom Dress
Author: Aimee Ferris
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 272 pages
Grade Reading Level: Ages 12-16

Summary: Quigley Johnson and her best friend Anne Parisi have joined together to get jobs, buy dresses, find dates, and go to prom. It’s all part of the betterment plan. But playing a corpse or dressing as pickle aren’t exactly glamorous, that’s why when Anne’s designer mom offers them positions as models for fledgling designers they both jump on it. They like 2 young men there, but with two boys courting them at school it’s hard to know who to ask as their formal date.

Why I started this book:

Goodreads recommended it to me based on books in my TBR pile.

Likes:

  • How Quigley handles David throughout the book and especially at the end when his pranks are hurting others.
  • Poor Quigley goes through a lot of minor mortifications – face full of dressing as the corpse, having to dress as a pickle, etc. She gets through it all with aplomb.
  • I like how she gets her art focus and pursues it almost absently. Additionally I love how her anger at life gives her a great idea for a speech.

Toss up:

  • Anne is sort of a good friend. There are things she does well, like stick with Quigley through thick and thin, but then there’s a lot she does not. One of which is leaving Quigley behind while chasing after boys. She also gets into a scrape with the police for vandalism.

Dislikes:

  • Zander was really harsh at one point in the book and honestly I don’t feel Quigley should have gotten back together with him, despite his reasons. They could have been friends. I would have preferred that honestly.
  • This book was one I picked up and put down a bit, but once I pushed through the slow part it was smooth sailing.

Buy: Will Work for Prom Dress

Rating: 3 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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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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Review: Exile by Anne Ousterlund

by First Mate Keira

Title: Exile
Author: Anne Ousterlund
Format: Trade Paperback
Page Count: 304 pages
Grade Reading Level: Grades 7-12

Summary: Aurelia has exiled herself from the court in the last book, bearing her name, when she refused to marry the creepy king of a neighboring kingdom. She plans to tour the country of Tyralt (her soon-to-be kingdom) and visit the whole of it to get a feel for the people from every part. Almost immediately she suffers another assassination attempt. Who’s behind it this time? Can it be that her sister, Melony, has their father’s support now? Is there nobody she can trust? Well there’s one… Robert.

Why I started this book:

I was given a copy by the author.

Likes:

  • The growing relationship between Robert and Aurelia. It’s sweet and grounded with room to blossom.
  • Aurelia’s ability to charm those around her even when they’re hostile. A good quality for a leader.
  • The trip up the Gate… I mean the gauntlet. Very vivid imagery and sad too when they come to the wagon wedged into the rock.
  • The desert tribes sequence was one of my favorites. Loved it.

Dislikes:

  • The first assassination attempt in this book leads to a major melt down for Aurelia. Luckily it doesn’t last forever.
  • Aurelia’s real mother. Talk about a trying parent. That woman needs a kick in the rear and someone to shake some sense into her.
  • I got tired of the guilt both Robert and Aurelia visited time and again for doing what they had to do in order to survive the final confrontations in the previous book. A little was fine, even expected, but it dragged the story down and made it more somber.

Last Minute Thoughts: Robert takes a while to confess his love, but you’ll love it when he does. She too is pretty reserved until she isn’t. This can be at times very frustrating! I’m so glad he finally made a move and stood his ground not willing to be cowed because of her title. Who’s ready for the next book? I am! I want to know more about the new Heir of Vashone.

Buy: Exile

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

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Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

by First Mate Keira

Title: Eyes Like Stars [Théâtre Illuminata (Act 1)]
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Format: Trade paperback
Page Count: 384
Grade Reading Level: Grade 7+

Summary: Beatrice Shakespeare Smith lives inside a magic theater where all the players from all the plays ever written and performed come to life. Some are her friends, some are not, and some are indifferent. The same can be said of the adults who manage the theater productions and control the players. In life all Beatrice wants to find her parents (mom) and get this boy she likes to kiss her… that is until Management tries to force her to leave, then all she wants is to find a way to stay.

Why I started reading this book:

Saw the book cover at another blog and read the review. It looked good.

Likes:

  • Nate. He’s a random pirate from the Little Mermaid and wants to be Beatrice’s boyfriend. He’s sweet and cute and fun. Not a bad choice. Kind of like Jacob Black from the Twilight Series, but better. Too bad the Sea Witch claims him and won’t return him.
  • Ariel. He’s the mysterious boy, sort of the Edward Cullen. Is he good? Is he evil? All we know for certain is that he was once Beatrice’s friend until he was warned away by Management and that he’s terribly unhappy living inside the walls of the Théâtre Illuminata.
  • The three fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They’re good for a laugh and are clearly good friends to each other and to Beatrice.
  • The magical Théâtre Illuminata. What a great setting! Very cool idea.

Dislikes:

  • The play that supplants Beatrice’s Hamlet makeover at the end of the book. It was necessary but didn’t do much for me.
  • What happened to Beatrice’s mom and how Beatrice once figuring out who she is leaves the theater without bringing her mom along.

Last Minute Thoughts: Can’t wait for the next Act, Perchance to Dream.

Buy: Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests

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