Andrew’s review of Unnatural Creatures curated by Neil Gaiman

619h9e6j3elIn this book, Gaiman has assembled an amazing collection of some of his favorite short stories about the fantastical creatures of fantasy. From the mystic to the monstrous, the menagerie in these stories are intriguing, entertaining, and not the least bit unsettling– and all are written by amazing (if obscure) authors in illustrative ink.

Any lovers of fantasy or horror would certainly not go amiss in picking up this collection. These stories contain elements of both, and lovers of either genre will be captivated.

Andrew rates this book 4/5

Tags: fantasy, short stories, horror, thriller, magic, mythology

Andrew’s Review: The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

47587._sy475_In a fabulous fantasy realm, with wonderful wizards and dragons, a despotic Mr. Chesney forces the denizens to transform their lives, nations, and homes into something resembling a swords-and-sorcery Tabletop RPG or video game every year. Complete with Dark Lords with one unlikely weakness, armies that wait until the adventurers are in sight to begin fighting, and nations helpless until a small band of heroes come to save the day, the book chronicles the struggle of the inhabitants of the world to free themselves from Mr. Chesney and the parties of ‘adventuring’ tourists rampaging through their world.

This is a wonderful book, with an amazing premise. I highly recommend this book to any readers of fantasy, and any fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, or anything else with magic. Despite the high-fantasy vibe, the book is dark and grim, and gives a look at how the NPCs regard the so-called adventurers.

Andrew’s Rating: This book is worth a solid 5/5

Tags: fantasy, magic, humor, family, friendship, community

Helen’s review of The Speaker by Traci Chee

A1uItqEmXULSefia and Archer begin to free boys from impressors with the help of the Book. However, as Archer fights more, he begins to crave more blood, transforming himself from the boy Sefia once knew to a wild animal. Sefia continues to use the Book to learn more about her parents and to save Archer from his fate, but it’s sometimes hard to accept the truth, especially if what is written will come to pass.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved the previous book, The Reader. It’s full of fantasy, spells, and love, very much like The Reader. There are moments that break your heart, moments that make you relieved, and some that leave you hanging with questions. The Speaker gives Sefia and Archer an amazing character development much like the previous book, but the romance between them is so complex that it’s lovely. Archer is trying to be the boy Sefia wants, but his craving for blood is a hurdle for him. Sefia knows Archer’s fate from reading the Book, and she tries to beat it even though what is written will come to pass. The Speaker also introduces new characters and sheds light on old characters, but it still is as good as the previous book. The Speaker is truly a work of art in the world of fantasy.

Helen rates this book 5/5

Tags: adventure, suspense, relationships, romance, war, conflict, fantasy

 

Natalie’s Review of Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix

24737347A slightly magical girl disguises herself as a man in order to reclaim her magical emerald. She turns out to be more resourceful than the men around her believe her to be, but her affection for a man she meets hinders her successful recovery of the gem.

I recommend this book for people who enjoy historical fiction involving magic and a sweet romance. However, those who enjoy mystery might be disappointed by the book’s anticlimactic resolution that’s atypical of mystery novels.

Natalie rates this book 3.5/5

 

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

Alicia’s review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

8490112Karou, a girl with magical blue hair, is mysterious–she draws monsters and seemingly fantastical creatures, disappears on mysterious “errands”, and speaks many languages. She actually collects teeth and items for Brimstone, her father-like figure who is not what he claims to be. However, black hand prints are appearing around the world, including on Brimstone’s doorway. What is happening? Karou also does not know who she is; she has no memory of life before Brimstone. When Akiva sets his sights on Karou, they begin to unravel the mysteries surrounding the fantastical world. Who is Karou and why is she related to these creatures?

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and magical elements in a story. Laini Taylor has a way with words, and her writing is flowy and beautiful. Taylor is also very creative when coming up with these unique monsters and creatures.

Alicia rates this book 5/5

Aanand’s review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024Alina is a girl in love with a flirtatious boy named Mal. When she is forced away from him when she finds out she is a “Grisha” (wizard), and a very rare type of one, a Sun Summoner. When she arrives at the palace, the Darkling, a ruler of mages, is eager to welcome her. Over the course of her stay, she receives a teacher that warns her of the Darkling being an opponent of the kingdom, and being the creator of the evil the kingdom if facing, the Fold. Alina escapes the palace, and reunites with Mal…

I recommend this book to My Fellow Students, because it spreads messages about love and being a good friend that really resonated with me.

Aanand rates this book 5/5 stars