Review: The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason

23565495In the third book of the Clockwork Scarab series, Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker are asked to become bodyguards for Lurelia, the princess of Betrovia, who is carrying a letter that has important information about the whereabouts of a chess queen that has been lost for centuries. Later on, when the princess is attacked and kidnapped, she reveals that someone has been blackmailing for the letter about the chess queen. As part of a scheme to find out more about the blackmailer and Pix’s shady dealings, Mina and Evaline go to a men’s club. Although the girls do not find Pix, they learn that he has been kidnapped and make plans to find him. The girls find Pix strapped to a chair connected to electricity by the Ankh from book one of the series. Will the girls save Pix and discover the secret of the chess queen? Or will they fall into the trap that a devious enemy set for them with the help of someone who they considered their friend?

I would recommend this book to readers interested in fantasy and who enjoy plot twists. Before reading this book, check out the Clockwork Scarab and Spiritglass Charade, Book 1 and 2 of the series.The book has paranormal elements such as time travel and vampires, and parts of romance. Though the book is filled with many plot twists as people who were thought to be friends reveal their true image, the ending of the book is perhaps the biggest plot twist of all as it goes against the entire story. However, the identity of their enemy from Book 1 is still not revealed, despite Mina’s firm conclusions.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

Review: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

24397041Hunter follows the story of Joyeaux Charmand, a girl who is sent from her home to a city called Apex to fight monsters in a futuristic world. Joy is a hunter, a person with magical powers that access the spirit world. Joy travels from her home to keep the city from finding the other hunters on the mountain. She discovers that hunters in the city are viewed as entertainment rather than protectors of the citizens. When her mentor gets killed in a territory that was meant for Joy, she is determined to figure out who would want to get her killed.

I would recommend Hunter to anyone who enjoys fantasy books without a lot of romance. This book is action packed with plot twists and monsters flying our of sewers at every turn. Joy is constantly on the move fighting monsters and defending herself against her rival hunters. There was never a moment when I felt like the book was moving at a slow pace. However, as a fan of romance novels, I would have liked to see her relationship with Josh better developed.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

Cassandra’s review of The Reader by Traci Chee

25064648“If anything could be a book, there was no telling what you could learn, if you knew what to look for. Smooth river stones spelled out across a mossy floor. Lines drawn in the sand. Or inscribed on the side of a fallen log, half-obscured by twigs and mulch: This is a book.” The Reader by Traci Chee begins with Sefia, who escapes to the forest with her aunt Nin after her father is viciously murdered. The two of them are able to survive in the wilderness together until Nin gets kidnapped. Suddenly on her own, Sefia will do anything in her power to rescue Nin. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object left behind by her parents, something she comes to realize is a book. Sefia slowly learns how to read, unearthing the Book’s secrets, which could explain the cause of all of her misfortune. With the help of legendary pirates and a boy-soldier, Sefia sets out on a dangerous adventure to rescue her aunt. Through the journey, she learns more about the world around her and the power she has to change it.

I loved The Reader!!! It took me a while to get into it (especially when the point of view switched from Sefia to Lon), but after I got through a slight reading slump, I breezed through the book. The characters are wonderful! Sefia is a tough girl with a strong moral conscience. I loved how there are multiple story lines that run through The Reader, which eventually intertwine in a plot twisting way. The balance between character development (the “slow” moments) and action was perfect. Also, it is hard to pinpoint an evil character, because you get an idea of how everyone is thinking [omniscient narration]. I would recommend The Reader to anyone who likes fantasy. (The Reader kind of reminds me of Six of Crows.) I can’t wait till the second book comes out!!

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Cassandra’s Review of The Young Elites by Marie Lu

20821111The Young Elites describes a world weakened by a deadly illness. Most people who got the illness perished, but many children, who survived, obtained strange scars. In the kingdom of Kenettra, the survivors are considered abominations (malfettos). A majority of the marked are innocent, but some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and they have come to be known as the Young Elites. This story is about the Young Elites and their struggle to bring justice to the malfettos.

I really enjoyed The Young Elites! The novel is told in three different perspectives, including both people in the Young Elites group and in the Inquisition Axis, a force that strives to hunt down the Young Elites. Though the characters are not very likable, I really loved the world building and plot line. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. Thankfully, The Young Elites is followed by two more wonderful novels: The Rose Society and The Midnight Star. This trilogy is a safe bet for high class fantasy.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Cassandra’s review of Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh

17196290“Chaos cannot claim everything, you know- there are always objects and points of stability in the worst of it.” Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh follows sixteen-year old Lark, who is sent on a mission to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec after foreseeing a Troth invasion through her power of Sight. Yet, Lark is not the only party that needs help. The kingdom of Tarnec has called her there for a far more dangerous task… Lark is chosen as Guardian of Life, who must recover a stolen amulet to keep the world in balance. With the help of her Complement, a beautiful white horse, and an awesome gnome, Lark is ready to soar into the Chaos.

I really enjoyed Lark Rising, because it has a fantastical Lord of the Rings feeling. Waugh uses beautiful imagery to set the stage for the novel. Although Lark can get annoying sometimes, she is able to blossom from an almost hermit to a true Guardian of Tarnec. Overall, I would recommend Lark Rising to anyone who wants a fantasy romance that is written in a non YA-like way. The Guardians of Tarnec deserves to have a third and fourth book published!!!

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Sai’s review of My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

22840421To generally start off, the genre of this book is romance. At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger suggested by the man who is at the right hand of Jane’s cousin, King Edward (the king must get someone ready for the throne because he is sick and about to die). However, there is also a conspiracy that people trying to rob him of his throne. Unfortunately, right after Jane’s marriage there are rumors in the country that the King is dead. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. Unless…

I would recommend this book to a person who is interested in revenge, adventure, and romance. I would recommend this book to someone who is willing to dedicate their time to read it thoroughly. Even though there are detailed details on very page, every page kept me going. I have finished this thick book in a matter of two days! It’s really good!

Sai rates this book 5/5

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

77493_originalA Court of Thorns and Roses is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It is set in the Faery world that is separated from the mortal worlds by a wall. The main character Feyre (Fey-ruh), a huntress whose family is struck by poverty kills a Faery wolf. Later, Tamlin, a High Fae returns for retribution. Feyre not only breaks the treaty between Faeries and the humans but she also kills Tamlin’s closest friend who happened to be in a wolf form. When she is taken to Tamlin’s mansion in the Faery world, her hate for Tamlin and his people changes when she finds herself in love with him. This is the first book of a Trilogy followed by A court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruins, which will be out in May.

I really like this book even though the main character is not as cool as Celaena from the Throne of Glass series (Maas’s other book series) I found myself liking the setting and Maas’s writing. Her character development is exceptional and her world building is phenomenal. The only negative thing about this book for some people is that it is very violent and does contain adult content. Other than that, anyone above the age of 15 can read it.

This reviewer gives this book a 5/5