Following the events of I Hunt Killers, Jazz Dent, son of notorious serial killer Billy Dent, continues to look to prove himself. He’d also like to move to the next step with his girlfriend, Connie, but being the son of Billy Dent complicates things for Jazz. However, crime never sleeps, and there is a new serial killer stalking and murdering on the streets of New York. Thanks to his role in the Impressionist case, the NYPD taps Jazz to work on the case. Soon, Jazz is walking the bustling and unfamiliar streets to catch this new killer. Does Jazz have what it takes to catch this killer?
I greatly enjoyed I Hunt Killers and was just as impressed by Game. Lyga expertly portrays the gritty (and gory) details to suck you right into the story. The plot twists and turns, and you constantly question whether you fully understand what’s going on. There were several points where I thought I knew the answer, but Lyga quickly buried me in new information that made me doubt whether I had it right. The characters were great–Jazz had some great character development. As a reader, I liked seeing more of his vulnerability but thought Lyga also made you doubt him as well. Billy continues to be one of the most scarily written characters I’ve come across. Just like I Hunt Killers, one should exercise caution when giving this to younger teens, but older teens and adults alike will enjoy this new book by Barry Lyga. I’m looking forward to seeing where this series is going.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged barry lyga, mystery, new young adult fiction, serial killer, young adult | Leave a Comment »
The war between dragons and humans ended with a treaty between Goredd’s queen and dragonkind’s king, yet the fear and hatred are still strongly present. Seraphina Dombegh has a dangerous secret, yet her astonishing musical gifts shove her into the spotlight. When a member of the royal family is murdered in a draconian fashion, tensions become inflamed. As the anniversary of the treaty draws near, can Seraphina come to terms with herself and do what’s necessary to keep things in balance?
At first I had trouble getting into this book, but ultimately really enjoyed it. Things were a bit slow in the beginning, but all of a sudden, I was plowing through the pages at an astonishing rate. I was fascinated by Rachel Hartman’s world and her dragons and their struggles with humankind and emotions. I liked that these dragons, while very powerful creatures, also had a degree of fragility about them. Orma was one of my favorite characters in the book–both because of that struggle and his witticisms and bibliophilic tendencies. Seraphina is also a very strong character, whose shaky sense of self does not prevent her from strongly affecting the events and people around her. Her struggles remind me of those faced by Kristin Cashore’s characters, and I really liked the presence of a strong female character who had brains and wasn’t a fighter. If I had any complaints, other than a slow beginning, I would say that much of the supporting cast, while they did make me react, did not feel as developed as Seraphina and Orma to me. However, this did not affect my enjoyment of an overall interesting plot.
Fans of Kristin Cashore’s books will enjoy this one, and I recommend it to those who love dragon books as well. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged fantasy, kristin cashore, literature, rachel hartman, seraphina, strong female character, young adult, young adult fantasy and science fiction. | Leave a Comment »
Flora Fyrdraaca is sick of her life. Her mother–a general in the military–is never home, and Flora is forced to maintain Crackpot Hall–her family’s home–which is rapidly falling into disrepair because her mother banned the butler. One day, Flora takes a shortcut through her house and stumbles upon Valefor, the family butler. Her actions will plunge her and her friends into a grand adventure that none are really prepared for.
This was a really fun book! I really enjoyed Wilce’s world–which has a little magic, a splash of political intrigue, and interesting customs that she feeds the reader throughout the story. I enjoyed exploring the setting almost as much as I enjoyed the plot. Wilce has written a very tight plot that hints at things, but will not let you see its entirety. The narrator Flora is especially well constructed, and I like how well Wilce has developed her point of view, yet there are still enough details for the reader to make her own conclusions. I greatly enjoyed this book, although I think that sixth and seventh graders would especially like the series.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged coming of age, fantasy, flora segunda, neat setting, spunky girl, strong female characters, young adult | Leave a Comment »
Josie Moraine is a smart girl with big dreams: she works in a local bookstore and cleans a local brothel, but Josie wants to go to college and make something of herself, other than to follow in the footsteps of her prostitute mother. However, a murder in the Old Quarter tests all of Josie’s ties and beliefs and threatens to destroy all she holds dear.
This book was amazing! I read Sepety’s first book, Between Shades of Gray, and loved that, so I have been eagerly waiting for more books from her. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! Sepetys has created a great cast of character–I loved Jo and the entire supporting cast. Sepetys really brought everyone to life and allowed them to be defined by their actions rather than their position. I also loved how she managed to capture the flavor of the times–around 1950-and flair of New Orleans. Overall, this was a fantastic read, and I highly recommend it.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged historical fiction, new fiction, new orleans, ruta sepetys, young adult | Leave a Comment »
The setting is Barcelona, just after the Spanish Civil War. Daniel Sempere is ten years old when his father takes them to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There, Daniel picks Julian Carax The Shadow of the Wind. Daniel is enthralled with the tale, but, when he goes to find more books, he discovers that a mysterious individual has been destroying all copies of Carax’ books. Daniel instantly decides to protect his copy of The Shadow of the Wind and begins to investigate the mystery. His investigations lead him into a tangled web of murder, intrigue, and secrets.
This book was amazing! Carlos Ruiz Zafon does a superb job of weaving multiple story-lines together into a cohesive, action-packed unit. For me, one of the joys of reading this book was seeing these Julian and Daniel story-lines play off and affect one another. Another strength is the characters. Daniel, the supposed hero, is an extremely likable and active character, yet he is as much caught up in the situation as he influences it. Julian is also well done, as is several members of the supporting cast (Fermin is a favorite), and the villain is superbly creepy.
Zafion also has a great writing flair. He is able to create a mood of great terror, but his pen is able to produce great humor as well. There was more than one occasion while I giggled out loud. In short, this book is a bibliomystery of the first order, and I highly recommend it.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged Barcelona, bibliomystery, carlos ruis zafon, historical fiction, mystery, squeeful book | 2 Comments »
Following the death of her uncle Finn, fourteen year old June feels lost and adrift. She’s just a girl obsessed with the Middle Ages–she’s not like her older sister Greta, a smart and skilled actress and skilled manipulator. All June had was Finn, but he’s gone, a victim of the 80s AIDS epidemic. When June receives a note from a man who knew her uncle, June is hesitant. However, she overcomes her trepidation to meet with a man who needs her as much as she needs him. As their friendship develops, June uncovers family wounds and secrets, and things…get hairy.
Although this book is an Alex Award, it did not do as much for me as I would have expected. There were definitely things that I enjoyed: I really liked how the arc involving June’s relationship with Greta played out, as well as most of the family-related things. For anyone concerned about the relationship, it actually plays out fine and is not troublesome. My complaints originate from two things. The first is how much suspension of disbelief that I felt that Brunt expected from me. I know June is young, but I did not think a child in the 80s would be as naive or willing as she acts in the story. My other complaint is that the story is too dramatic. I know that story is supposed to have a lot of dramatic tension, but, for me, this one had too much to be really meaningful for me. I can’t point exactly to what strikes me as over-dramatic, but I will say that June did not strike me as a character who could generate that much and then solve it. Overall, I didn’t dislike the book, but it was not my absolute favorite.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged AIDS, alex award, coming of age, family, relationships, young adult | Leave a Comment »
Following the death of Dr. Thackery Lambshead, the remnants of a mysterious cabinet was uncovered. Within, investigators discovered a collection of strange and unusual objects. With that premises, several well-known writers–including China Mieville, Alan Moore, Holly Black, and Garth Nix–attempt to document and write accounts for these unusual objects.
I came across this collection during one of my many Internet browsing sessions, and I picked it up. It was not quite what I expected; I thought there would be more traditional short stories, but, nevertheless, I was quite pleased that I checked out this volume. I enjoyed the research report format of many of the stories and the illustrations that accompanied many of the stories. The design of the book really emphasized the premises and further engaged me in the stories. I also loved some of the concepts of the stories; Ted Chiang’s “Dacey Patent Automatic Nanny” , Tad William’s “A Short History of Dunkelblau’s Meistergarten”, and Charles Yu’s “The Book of Categories” were among my favorites. These stories mix science, faith, and human nature in ways that are captivating. Appealing to readers of science fiction and steampunk in particular, this collection should be enjoyed at a comfortable pace, with perhaps a mug of tea in hand.
Posted in Fiction | Tagged anthology, science fiction, short stories, steampunk | Leave a Comment »