Category Archives: Fantasy

T*Witches: Dead Wrong

In the fourth installment of the teen witch series, Alex returns to her hometown in Montana to rescue her best bud from a bad decision and to confront her father.

Title: Dead Wrong
Author: H.B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 4
Publish Date: April 1, 2002
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description:

Alex and Cam return to Alex’s hometown in Montana to settle some scores. Numero Uno: Someone is trying to block Alex from being adopted by Cam’s family. Could it be Alex’s deadbeat stepdad? Numero Dos: Alex’s bud Evan is being blamed for a school death threat. When stepdad turns up Six Feet Under, the girls must power up for another battle with the forces of evil.


Kat Mandu says…

 

Dead Wrong takes us back to Crow Creek, Montana where spunky and punky Alex grew up. She and Cam have come on a mission to save Alex’s best bud, Evan. Not to mention deal with her dad, who is trying to gain custody of her.

Naturally, they find a lot more trouble than what they bargained for. Thantos and Fredo have been skulking around and now Alex’s dad is six feet under. Evan is tangled up with a group of jerky punks who are threatening to burn the local school to the ground. So the girls have got to get all their magic together and save the day.

There’s a lot of coincidental moments that get them out of trouble quite often I’m not exactly fond of, but also have learned to expect from this particular target age group. Again, my favorite part of the whole series is who the girls deal with real-life issues. It’s almost like the book was intended to be contemporary, dealing with issues you see more in real life… and then magic is thrown in for the twist.  Cam and Alex may be silly teenage girls, but they’re real enough that I’d want them to be my friends.

All in all, this is another great book in the series.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing, Sweep by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

 

Fire World by Chris D’Lacey

The war of good versus evil rages on in a different reality from the one we know.

Title: Fire World
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles #6
Publish Date: January 1, 2011
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionCan a fiery creature bring the dragons to a new world?

David Rain, Lucy, Zanna, and the Pennykettle dragons disappeared after destroying a trace of dark fire.

In a world between Earth and Ki:mera, called Co: pern:ica, lives a twelve-year-old boy named David. He and his friend Rosanna spend their days in the librarium, a museum for books, with the curator, Mr. Henry, and the mysterious firebirds that roam the upper levels.

When the two friends accidentally injure one of the firebirds, David and Rosanna find themselves on a remarkable and dangerous adventure. The evil Ix have taken over a firebird, turning it to the side of darkness. The birds have a secret, though: They know about the existence of dragons.

With the help of David and Rosanna, the firebirds must reach across the universe to call on the dragons for protection. But will the dragons arrive before the Ix destroy everything?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…

This installment of The Last Dragon Chronicles is set on another planet—or at least a different dimension—called Co:pern:ica. It is a tad confusing to suddenly be thrown into another world, especially one so similar. I was expecting David Rain and Zana and Lucy and got their characters… only not. It is difficult to explain, and I’m not even going to try.

I missed the dragons, but I loved the firebirds! The reminded me of phoenixes, except these were brightly jewel-colored. Dragons do not play much of a role in this book, and when they do you, are thrown into a whirlwind of confusion.

While this is an enjoyable story, it almost felt like the beginning of a new series and not the continuation of one. Fire World does not link to Dark Fire until much later in the book. For most of the novel, I felt like this was the way things were supposed to go on Earth. But there are a few surprises and a character or two that makes a reappearance (albeit as a similar character and not the actual character—again I am not doing the explanation any justice).

I have to say that this is my least favorite installment. I give it three firebirds.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you are a dragon lover, check out these other works!

The Universe Builders: Bernie & The Wizards

In Bernie’s world, everyone (including him) he knows are gods and goddesses capable of designing unique worlds for business, trade, and pleasure. Now he’s got to fix a “broken” one for his boss – and save the beings within the world before it’s destroyed. IF he can beat the bad guys inside.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

TitleBernie & The Wizards
Author: Steve LeBel
Series: The Universe Builders, Book 3
Publish Date: June 15, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author.

Publisher’s Description:

Gods vs. Wizards ~ an epic struggle for survival

Bernie fixes broken universes for a living. Unlike other gods, who tend to take a hell-fire-and-brimstone approach to problem-solving, Bernie prefers a more gentle approach.

Bernie’s job is to restore production on the planet Photox, but he soon discovers a world caught up in a civil war. With a hard-to-please boss breathing down his neck and a personal life in desperate need of relationship advice, Bernie’s chances of success are dwindling fast. The gods on Bernie’s world are no help. If he fails to restore production, they will destroy Photox’s entire population.

Bernie is desperate to keep this from happening, even if the murderous wizard causing all the problems is powerful enough to hurt a god…


Kat Mandu says…

 

This is actually really a unique concept in the world of fantasy. Not often do you get to hear from an actual god as a narrator. Sure, I’ve read demi-gods (cough, cough Percy Jackson for example) but none with as much power as Bernie has. The world-building is really nice; basically, you have all these gods in control of everything, who are also able to create their own worlds or pay someone else to do so. “Builders” bring these worlds to life and then you have people like Bernie who are able to fix things in the world.

Bernie’s assignment is to discover why a certain world – Photox – is not delivering a certain good to the god who purchased it (in this case, weird peppers). The more he investigates, the more involved he gets with figuring out what happened to the farming race within Photox. Turns out there’s some nasty bad guys rampaging and destroying the villages and killing the residents. Bernie teams up with a village and its temporary shamanic leader, Reva to stop the bad guys – only it’ll be harder than he thinks, because these marauders are powerful enough to strike back even against Bernie.

I really love that Bernie is a good guy at heart, confounded by the way other gods treat the sentient beings they create, carelessly destroying the world despite what’s within it. I also like that his friends sometimes oppose his views, and don’t just go along with whatever he says. Overall, he’s a great character to read, caring deeply for the evolved humans he works with and the technical details of his assignment.

Another thing I love about this is the clear amount of research that went into some of the technical details you read. The author has spent a lot of time reading about genetics and farming and geography, etc. and you can clearly see that as the story continues.

My one complaint is that some of said technical details seem to draw out the story, making it even longer than it already is. I don’t mind lengthy books at all, but some of the descriptions make the reading slow down quite a bit, so it was hard for me to sit down and read it for long amounts of time.

But besides that, I liked it, so it gets a four from me! 

Other recommendations…

You might try some other godly stories like: Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan, The Goddess War trilogy by Kendare Blake, and WebMage by Kelly McCullough.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

T*Witches: Seeing Is Deceiving

With Karsh kidnapped, and Ileana trying to rescue him and currently out of commission, the twins are on their own – and coming face to face with their evil, manipulative Uncle Thantos.

Title: T*Witches: Seeing Is Deceiving
Author: Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 3
Publish Date: December 2001
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Source: Purchased.

Publisher’s Description:

RAVE’N

Cam’s and Alex’s powers are getting in sync, and the twins can’t help themselves. They’re reading people’s minds, using magick on the soccer field. It’s bringing them closer together. But it’s forcing Cam and her bff, Beth, apart.

When Alex sneaks out to an all-night party, she suddenly finds Beth – and herself – in terrible danger. Thantos, the evil one who wants the twins eliminated, has taken Beth hostage. Must Alex sacrifice herself to save her sister and friend?


Kat Mandu says…

 

This one for me just worked out a lot better than the second one. Still has all the silliness and teen lingo of that particular time, but overall, more enjoyable and easier to get with. I’m still having a hard time figuring out all that’s happening with the bigger action scenes – like when Cam and Alex confront Thantos and Fredo at the rave, then things happen and then they’re magically “safe.” It is a younger book but I’m still thrown by the convenience of it all.

Also, you know it’s a kid’s book when THE FREAKING BAD GUY IS INVITED INTO THEIR BEDROOM FOR SNACKS AND “CHAT.” My goodness, these girls are super naive. How do the parents NOT wake up is what I want to know. Whether Shane redeemed himself or not, I’d still probably not let the former Thantos lackey anywhere near me.

I do like that the teens are still trying to figure out their place in the world. Cam, who has found a true partner in twin sister Alex, is neglecting former BFF Beth a little. Then she only makes it worse by trying to help and protect her. Cam desperately wants to meet her real mother, Miranda,

Alex on the other hand, is still struggling with where she fits in with the Barnes family, especially since Emily isn’t necessarily fond of her presence. And now her skeevy dad is filing for custody of her.

All in all, I’m still fond of these characters. I like the silly, I like the serious. Throw in a bit of magic and you’ve got me. Four stars altogether.

Our reviews in this series…

  • The Power of Two
  • Building A Mystery
  • Seeing Is Deceiving
  • Dead Wrong (All Coming Soon!)
  • Don’t Think Twice
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Kindred Spirits
  • The Witch Hunters
  • Split Decision
  • Destiny’s Twins

Other recommendations…
…you might try Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing, Sweep by Cate Tiernan, and Witches’ Key To Terror by Silver RavenWolf.

Dark Fire by Chris D’Lacey

The intensity of the series emerges as the Dragons cross the line from the middle-grade genre to a more serious, young adult tale. Familiar characters return to say hi again…while others leave us forever.

TitleDark Fire
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles, Book 5
Publish Date: April 1, 2001
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased by the reviewer.

Publisher’s Description:

With the Earth on the brink of recolonisation by dragons, David Rain is sent on an important mission: to seek out and destroy a trace of dark fire, the deadliest force in the universe. But with success could come a terrible price, the sacrifice of a beloved clay dragon. How much does the life of one small dragon count?


Luna Lovebooks says…

 

Unfortunately this review is going to be short and to the point. There isn’t much to say about this book that hasn’t previously been stated. This series has become increasingly young adult and less middle grade. I am not sure how I feel about this as what first drew me to the series years ago was the cute whimsy of the Pennykettle dragons and the shenanigans of Wayward Crescent.  There are several (often violent) deaths in this installment that I honestly did not see coming. The cliff hanger ending is killer, but also confusing as events happen very fast. The characters are still well written, even if the author pulled a kill everyone move. We shall see how this pans out in the next two books of the series.

Over all I give this one 4 fire tears.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

 

I’d suggest other dragon reads – Eragon by Christopher Paolini, How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.