August 19, 2014
A Fantasy with magic and myth collide!

A fantasy where magic and myth collide!

Bog by Karen Krossing

229p.; c2014

published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Markham ON

 

The soft water colour like cover art is reminiscent of Maurice Sendek’s “Where the wild things are”. However that is where any similarity ends! Karen Krossing’s latest book is a refreshing imaginative and original story.

Bog , a charming irresistible cave troll, secure world crashes to a sudden halt as he witnesses his father turning to stone as they are being hunted by the dreaded disciples of the feared ‘Troll Hunter’.

 

Sunk in grief, Bog resolutely decides to leave behind the remnants of his family to embark on untroll-like quest — avenging his father. Beginning this journey alone, Bog is interrupted in his mission by surprises that impact him in many unforeseen ways.

Bog is a most  fascinating, yet complex character that the reader can sympathize with and enjoy how the author intertwines First Nations lore with other legends.

This is unquestionably a narrative that will captivate, entrance and transport a reader into the realm of magic and myth!

Highly recommended for grades 3; 4;  5

 

 


Awakenings by Canadian author Hally Willmott

October 26, 2013

This debut novel by Canadian author, Hally Willmott., took me by surprise! A teen fantasy with a mix of the supernatural quickly builds momentuem with the sudden and unexpected death of sixteen year old Jacey’s parents.

The story accelerates as Jacey and her older brother, Hudson, race to the hometown of their Aunt and their birth ‘ Nevaeh’ racing toward sanctuary. It is during this period of grief and flight, that Jacey experiences visitations from malevolent entities and visions in a mirror – an image of herself!
Jacey is plagued with more questions then answers….thus begins her journey of self discovery. Will she have the courage and determination to forge ahead and do what must be done or will the outside forces bend her to their will?

This exciting debut novel will certainly captivate teen readers!

Awakenings -- by Hally Willmott

Awakenings — by Hally Willmott


Shapeshifter By Holly Bennett

March 27, 2011

By author: Holly Bennett
ISBN: 9781554691586
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: April/01/2010
Pages: 256

I’ve always enjoyed the works of author Holly Bennett, and found that this new novel did not disappoint!

Shapeshifter…ummm…the word alone just intrigues the mind….and leads into a world of magic that is reminiscent of Celtic folklore and ancient tales. This is the heartbreaking turbulent story of a girl who  shape shifts into a deer in order to escape the relentless pursuit of a malevolent and yet powerful sorcerer.

Bennett has truly intertwined and captured the lore, mystic and magic of  Ireland and reached far back into the  human psyche where the lines were blurred between mortal and immortality. Sive is one of those ‘immortals’ who not only can ‘shapeshift’ but is gifted with a special unquie talent of ‘Song’.  Her ‘singing’ is not of the ordinary and it  is this gift that brings her to the attention of Far Doirche, a sorcerer who first tries to marry Sive. When this fails he begins an all out attempt to enthrall her to do his bidding. Surrounded by courageous family and friends, Sive manages to escape  for a time by slipping past the boundaries of her world and into the world of mortals. Here she finds temporary refuge by taking a mortal form and living within a protective circle that allows her to even become a mother. Her protective instincts have her sacrificing herself to Far Doirche’s enchantment and thus begins her agonizing psychological torment. Salvation arrives in the quise of her son, but have the anguish and distress of being in the sorcerer’s thrall prove to be to much?

  Bennet’s use of different perspectives in the narration of this well told fantasy tale, makes clever use of Irish lore, culture, geography and language.  What is also useful to readers at the end of the novel ,  is the  pronounciation guide in the names and places used, and another version of the legend of Sive.

Interest Level: strong Junior readers/ Intermediate/ Senior

Genre: Myths and legends; Magic; Fantasy

Who would love this book?  Any reader interested in the folktales, legends  of Ireland. 

Author Weblink:

http://www.hollybennett.net/


End of Days by Max Turner

March 27, 2011

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312592523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312592523
  • _____________________________________________________________

  • Turner’s runaway hit Nightrunner is followed by this action-packed sequel and enough of the first novel is intertwined and disclosed within these pages that this title can be read as a stand alone book.This book continues where the first left off, with Zach Thompson and his two friends, Charlie and Luna all trying to come to terms with being  vampires and all the changes and implications that this transformation has brought into their lives. After attending a rave-like dance, Zach and Charlie become part of an altercation and have to run for their lives. It is while they are on the run that they witness a strange wolf-like creature making short work of the vampire that was chasing them.  It is this mysterious creature that begins a systematic dismantling of the network of support that enables Charlie and others like him to survive, which throws the “underground” into chaos. As the turmoil around them increases , Zach and Charlie are forced to hide, and stumble upon an ancient prophecy that hints at the “End of Days”. Zach takes it upon himself to find out answers and with the help and courage of his friends begins on this path of good at a time when it seems only the ruthless can survive.I truly like the plotline of this story and found that the characters were well developed and that the relationship between Zach and Luna was also blooming.  The reaction of Charlie to his transformation into a vampire was also different…much more human in his anger, resentment and rebellion at being a vampire…just realizing what he has lost in becoming a vampire. This is an action-packed urban thriller that I think will appeal to young adult readers!
  • Reading  ability:  Grade 7,8, 9

    Genre: Supernatural urban-fantasy thriller

    Who would like this book?

    Readers of books like: The Darkest Powers series by Kelly Armstrong;  Deception by Lee Nichols;  Angel ( Maxium Ride 7 ) by James Patterson

    http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780312592523&m_type=6#widget


    Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

    November 25, 2010

    Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level: R

    Grade Level: 5 – 7

    Genre: Adventure

    Theme: Survival/Coming of Age

    Torak, a preadolescent boy, travels through the forest to fulfil a promise to his father to rid the forest of a demon-possessed bear.  He meets various challenges: human and personified, and slowly becomes aware of special gifts he has to help him.

    The characters, well-developed setting and a touch of magic in this book lead to a plot which grabbed me from the beginning.  I was unable to stop!  The grade 7 boys in the group loved the adventure and non-stop action.  I was able to guide excellent discussions about strength of character and connection with nature at an age-appropriate level.

    – 2004

    – ISBN # 1 84255 170 1, 234 pp


    The Fallen (and Leviathan) by Thomas E. Sniegoski

    August 5, 2010

    The stark simplicity of the black and white photo and the singular title is what captured my attention as I scanned the book racks looking for another interesting read….a quest for redemption and a mystery… to me this became an irresistable combination and a must have read!  I was NOT to be disappointed!!

    The Fallen 1 and Leviathan are the  first two books in a four- book series by author Thomas Sniegoski.

    Usually I am a little leary of books that have angels in the forefront….but this author truly surprised me !   The angels in these series of four books are like no angels that I had ever read about.   Angel mythology and prophecies…and very potent combination in my opinion!    

    As an onlooker you see how over time human vices such as jealousy, prejudice, indecision, anger impact upon the ‘Fallen Angels’ and this then sets the stage for conflict and possible resolution. 

    Orphaned since birth, Aaron Corbet has finely found a measure of security with the Stanleys and their autistic son Stevie.    Aaron has just turned 18 and is plagued by intense, vivid and often violent dreams — that upon waking leave him disturbed and shaking.  It is the power of these unsettling dreams that have Aaron begin to question  his sanity and he tries to dismiss the heavy foreboding feelings that begin to plague him.  He wants to confide in someone, like Vilma the cute girl in his class, but his fears keep him silent.  He copes by working at his after school job, the  West Lynn Veterinary Hospital and talking to Gabriel, his attention craving yellow retriever. Then two  mysterious strangers approach him, telling him that he has a destiny like no one else…. that he is the chosen one …  the one that was prophesied  millenia ago…that his role will be as a liaison between angels, mortals, and Powers both good and evil ….  it is not a destiny that he wants and he fights to remain a normal teenager! 

     Sniegoski skillfully keeps this wonderful  plot moving by sprinkling great action scenes throughout.  I was really connecting with Aaron and Gabe and definately ‘boooing’ Verchiel, the angel that put himself incharge of hunting Aaron down.  I am very glad that I had the the two-in-one version of the book — and am almost finished with the second two-in-one “ The Fallen 2 : Aerie and Reckoning “!   

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants  to read about angels in another light… so to speak!!

    Author Wedsitehttp://www.sniegoski.com/fallen/

    Added Reviews and discussions:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7171880-the-fallen-2


    The Black Book of Secrets by F.E.Higgins

    June 18, 2010

    Macmillan Children’s Books c2007;  288p

    isbn: 9781405089791

    Torment, fear, revulsion,suspense, mystery, action…all this within the first few pages of F.E. Higgins debut novel!

    The Black Book Of Secrets was shortlisted for the Bolton Children’s Book Award in 2008. It is the first book in  the series Tales from the Sinister City

    I have to agree with Eoin Colfer’s comment that this story does “grab at the reader with hooked talons!”  I don’t know of too many stories where in the first few opening pages we see the main character , in this instance a young lad named Ludlow Fitch , being strapped down in a dentist’s chair just as he is going to have his teeth extracted without the benefit of  any numbing drug! Ludlow fights off the Dentist and his gin-loving parents and escapes falling into their clutches by ‘catching’ a ride on a carriage into the country.  He jumps off at a remote town called Pagus Parvus and meets up with a  questionable stranger called Joe Zabbidou. Mystery and intrigue surrounds Joe and Ludlow suddenly finds himself with new occupation — an apprentice to this ‘pawnbroker of secrets’.  Now the transcriber of the ‘Black Book’  and of  the town people’s stories as they swap their secrets with Joe, for money, Ludlow is privy to many of the town peoples’ secrets. Listening in on these extremely private conversations, (at times almost feeling like a peeping Tom!) I became as intensely interested, just as Ludlow was, as to how the problem of the town bully would be solved!  This debut novel by Higgins had me glued in my seat until the last page!  Even though the majority of the time is spent with adult characters, does not detract from appealing to the young reader that enjoys a twist or two the macabre, bizarre and strange !!

    I definately will be looking forward to reading The Bone Magician and The Eyeball Collector!  Highly recommended!!!!

    Reading Level:  Grade 5,6,7

    Genre:  Mystery; Fantasy

    Authors Website: http://www.fehiggins.com/