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

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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

 

Review: Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

41f0anc74bl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker are not as different as they seem. Although Mina possesses mind blowing powers of deduction and Evaline is constantly searching for new vampires to kill, both are committed to discovering the connection between the mysterious death of two girls and Egyptian scarabs even if it means putting their own lives at risk. As they reluctantly join forces to solve this mystery, both of them develop romantic interests in two extremely intriguing men. The plot of this story is filled with a few twists and can be interesting to the reader. I liked that the female characters had desirable traits such as courage, passion and even empathy. However, the ending did not reveal the true identity of the woman who had referred to herself as the Ankh and who had been highly involved with the mystery of the Egyptian Scarabs.

The Clockwork Scarab is the first in a series of four captivating books. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy mysteries with some elements of romance. Although some romance is involved, the mystery and the setting is the main focus of the novel. Details of Evaline’s encounters with a man named Pix and Mina’s encounters with Dylan are smoothly integrated into the plot of the story.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

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

Surya’s review of Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

love-and-gelatoThis book is about high school student Lina who makes an unexpected move to Italy, to live with the father she never met. All she wants to do is go back home to the US, but then she reads one of her mother’s journals, uncovering mysteries about her mother’s life in Italy and her father’s strange past. She and her friend Ren travel to the stunning city of Florence, and find the answers to her burning questions about her parents’ love – as well as exploring her own.

I would highly recommend this book to students grades 9 and above. It is a thrilling modern day love story, set in one of the most beautiful, romantic, and historic cities in the world. This novel was charming, exciting, and bittersweet – I couldn’t put it down! Every chapter leaves you wanting to read more. If you want an exhilarating novel where love is an escapade all on its own, then this book is definitely for you.

Surya rates this book 4/5