A handful of Brooklyn teens must master their new-found ability to wield spirits like weapons in Daniel Jose Older’s Shadowhouse Fall, the highly anticipated sequel to his first YA novel Shadowshaper. I reviewed the audiobook of Shadowshaper, last May and was struck by Older’s ability to bring a new perspective into the often over-saturated genre of urban fantasy. Since the release of Shadowshaper, Older has published two ebook-only novellas, Ghost Girl in the Corner and Dead Light March, which take place between the events of Shadowshaper and its sequel. While not it’s not absolutely necessary to have read the novellas in order to understand what’s going on in Shadowhouse Fall, they do introduce and provide some backstory for a new character who plays a prominent role in the sequel. The novellas are currently $0.99 on Amazon. Shadowhouse Fall comes out tomorrow, September 12, and can be found at most major book retailers. Continue reading Shadowhouse Fall Review–A Shadowshaper Sequel
Recently, I’ve started playing a game with myself where I pick a book on my Goodreads “Want to Read” list that I don’t remember putting there, find the audiobook, and dive right in without reading any descriptions or summaries. This was how I stumbled upon the book Half Bad by Sally Green. Half Bad is the first book in a trilogy, and from the cover you can kind of get the idea that it’s a YA fantasy with a male protagonist, but that’s about all I knew going in. As it turned out, I think Half Bad may be one of the best books I’ve read so far this year! Continue reading Review of Half Bad–Is He a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?
Faeries and humans are at war in the newest series by young adult fantasy author Melissa Marr. If the author’s name sounds familiar to you, it may be because I’ve been raving about getting to cross swords with Melissa earlier this month at Glimmerdark. It might also be because Melissa Marr’s debut series Wicked Lovely was widely popular, and helped to push the niche genre of faery-based urban fantasy to the forefront. Now, Melissa Marr returns to faeries again, but with some striking differences from her earlier works. Seven Black Diamonds is the story of a fae sleeper cell sent to undermine the humans by hiding among them. Its sequel, One Blood Ruby, comes out later this month. Continue reading Review of Seven Black Diamonds—A Tale of Faery Terrorists
Alex hates being a bruja, but after she accidentally banishes her entire extended family to the underworld, learning to control her powers may be her only hope of getting them back. After hearing this premise, I knew that Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova would be just my kind of book. Back in October, I wrote about seeing Zoraida speak at the Boston Teen Author Festival, where she discussed the recent release of Labyrinth Lost and how her cultural upbringing influenced the novel, particularly in her portrayals of magic and death. After getting my copy signed, I added it to the top of my to-read pile and soon found that it more than lived up to my expectations. Continue reading Labyrinth Lost Review–A Bruja Bildungsroman
Teenage British ghostbusters… need I say more? I’ve been a fan of Jonathon Stroud’s writing since I picked up the first book of the Bartimaeus Trilogy many years ago and started laughing out loud in the bookstore. I was thrilled to discover that Stroud was back at it with a new series, this time about one of my favorite topics—ghosts!
The Screaming Staircase is the first book in Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. series. It takes place in a modern British setting in which history has been altered by the emergence of The Problem—several decades ago, the appearance of ghosts increased drastically and their deadly touch became a serious threat to society. To combat this threat, a number of ghost-hunting agencies emerged, employing psychically sensitive children and teenagers to investigate hauntings. Lockwood & Co. is one such agency, though unlike the others it employs no adult supervisors or managers, allowing the teens to fend for themselves. Continue reading The Screaming Staircase Review—Teenage British Ghostbusters
The murals are weeping. This is the first thing that tips Sierra off that something strange is going on in her Brooklyn neighborhood in Daniel José Older’s fantastic urban fantasy Shadowshaper. I’d been meaning to read this book since I first heard Older speak on a panel at Book Expo America last summer and its gorgeous cover kept staring at me from large, blown-up posters. I finally got a chance to listen to the audiobook, read by Anika Noni Rose, which I highly recommend! Continue reading Shadowshaper Review–Representation in Urban Fantasy