Book Review

Book Review | MORTAL ENGINES, by Phillip Reeve

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Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles #1), by L. M. Montgomery

Publish Date: November 16, 2001 (audiobook recorded in October 31, 2017)
Published by: Scholastic Audio
Pages: 286 (approx. 8 hrs 50 min.)
Genre: YA Dystopian/YA Sci-Fi
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City of London chases one terrified little town across the wastelands. If it cannot overpower smaller, slower prey, the city will come to a standstill and risk being taken over by another. In the attack, Tom Natsworthy, Apprentice Historian to the London Museum, is flung from its speeding superstructure into the barren wasteland of Out-Country. His only companion is Hester Shaw, a murderous, scar-faced girl who does not particularly want Tom’s company. But if they are to make it back to London, before Stalkers or hungry cities get them first, they will need to help each other, and fast. If Hester is to be believed, London is planning something atrocious, and the future of the world could be at stake. Can they get back to London before it’s too late?


My Review:

So of course after seeing the trailer for the movie I kind of wanted to read this book. The summary didn’t interest me that much when I first read about it, but the trailer was interesting and made me curious. I was happy to discover it existed as an audiobook on Hoopla and so decided to give it a try. While it had some really good world-building, it took me a long time to really find much interest in the story and the characters, and even by the end I still wasn’t all that enamoured with it overall. Continue reading “Book Review | MORTAL ENGINES, by Phillip Reeve”

Book Review

Book Review | SMALL SPACES, by Katherine Arden

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Small Spacesby Katherine Arden

Publish Date: September 25, 2018
Published by: G.P. Putnam & Sons for Young Reader
Pages: 256
Genre: MG Paranormal
My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ (1 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.


My Review:

This is one of those books that I wish I had put down earlier on than I did, but because I kept thinking it might get better, I kept going. It helped that it was very short and a very quick read. But the story itself felt confusing and ungrounded, with characters that were only mildly interesting and a plot that just did not make a lot of sense. Continue reading “Book Review | SMALL SPACES, by Katherine Arden”

Book Review

Book Review | FOR A MUSE OF FIRE, by Heidi Heilig

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For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire #1), by Heidi Heilig

Publish Date: September 25, 2018
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 512
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★★ (4.75 out of 5 stars)

**I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader.

Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.


My Review:

Heidi Heilig continues to astound me. She is incredible, and deserves so much more readership than she seems to get. I fell in love with The Girl From Everywhere last year and when I discovered she was writing this beauty, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Besides the fact that Heidi was the one writing it, the premise of it – a shadow player who uses souls to control her puppets, mixed with the fear and unrest of a colonized country – had me invested almost immediately from the start. And Heidi did not disappoint. This book was a non-stop, breathtaking journey of rebellion, escape, and a girl searching for a cure for her illness (bipolar) while also making sense of the power she has over the dead and the ramifications of her actions to the people around her. Continue reading “Book Review | FOR A MUSE OF FIRE, by Heidi Heilig”