Category Archives: Middle Grade

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.

The Fire Eternal by Chris D’Lacey

Fire. Snow. Darklings!

Title: The Fire Eternal
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles
Publish Date: September 6, 2007
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased by the reviewer

Publisher’s Description:

A new magic is stirring beneath the surface of the Earth….

Five years have passed since David Rain, now a bestselling author, disappeared mysteriously in the Arctic. And slowly the ice is changing, bears are starving, dragons are rising, the souls of the Inuit dead are haunting the skies. The spirit Gaia, goddess of the Earth, is restless, aching to bring down her might upon these changes. But all living things may suffer if she does.

As the weather grows wilder and the ice caps melt, all eyes turn from the north to David’s daughter, Alexa. She is the key to stopping Gaia…but can one girl save the world from the forces of evil, or will she disappear like her father?


Luna Lovebooks says…

 

Fire Eternal takes place five years after the events in Fire Star. Lucy is the only one who still believes that David is alive and enlists the help of a journalist to get the investigation rolling.  The events at Wayward Crescent are intermixed with expeditions of polar bears in the Artic. The introduction of modern IT dragons made the Crescent scenes/chapters loveable. But I was drawn in by the polar bears and the legends of the north.

This series has been cutesy and, for the most part, care free up until this installment. Here we get into slightly heavier material. We go from a cute middle grade read about dragons into a more adult science-fiction war novel. I feel the introduction of the IX and the time traveling elements will go over the heads of its target audience. I struggled trying to understand some of it and I am an adult!

I do have to say that Gwilliana has become my favorite bad/good guy. She is evil, but she is always doing things that contradict that. There were some surprising twists that I did not see coming!

I feel I have to give this novel 4 scales. 

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.

T*Witches: Building A Mystery by H.B. Gilmour

In T*Witches 2, the twins are learning how to deal with their newfound powers – and just in time, for there’s a couple new bad guys in town that are eager to see just how powerful they are…

TitleTwitches: Building A Mystery 
Authors: H.B. Gilmour & Randi Reisfeld
Series: Twitches, Book 2
Publish Date: September 1, 2001
Genre: MG/YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased.

Publisher’s Description:

The second book in the series that inspired the smash hit Disney Channel movie! Although Alex and Cam have exposed some secrets about their past, they still have a lot to learn. Then they meet dark and mysterious Cade. He looks hot, but he seems to have secrets of his own. Could he be connected to their past in some way? Can they hold back the evil that surrounds them?


Kat Mandu says…

 

In this short but sweet sequel, Cam and Alex are back and still learning the ropes.

Cam’s figuring out how to deal with her witchy powers in her own way, not to mention having to deal with the upset of her home life now that Alex is staying for good. Not that she’s too bummed, having someone she can share all her magickal secrets with is nice. Sassy Alex feels the same deep down, but she’s still grieving for her adoptive mother, Sara, and trying her best to figure out her place in this new world.

After Ileana delivers them a message that someone is trying to get to them, the girls have got to narrow down their list of bad guys and come together as sister witches to defeat whoever it is.

Okay, so this one is a little more cheesy and cliche. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad book by any means. It just meant that for me, it wasn’t a favorite. I guess it just seemed sillier to me than it needed to be, but I guess that’s the age they were going for. I just wasn’t fond of all that was happening, especially that very strange, very rushed ending. I know the general idea of what happened, I just don’t know why it had to happen that way and inconvenience the story for no reason at all.

Basically, there’s a lizard-demon thingy and this person wants to take Alex and Cam to their “real mother” and the girls tell him no, so he attacks. But in the process, Ileana comes to the rescue and they have a full conversation with each other in the middle of the battle and well… the whole scene is rather chaotic.

Other than that, it was just kind of goofy. Lots of teenager drama and phrases like “BRB” are often used. The text lingo was really popular when it came out, so I kinda see why it was used. Still doesn’t make it any less annoying.

I think what made this more powerful for me, was again, the characters. I mean, even at the end, Cam wants to meet her real mother while Alex could care less. Despite everything, these girls are very real to me than some of the other more serious YA/upper MG out there now. Either way, it gets a three from me. 

Our reviews in this series…

  • The Power Of Two
  • Building A Mystery
  • Seeing Is Deceiving (All Coming Soon!…)
  • Dead Wrong
  • 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.

Firestar by Chris D’Lacey

Things begin to heat up in the third installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles.

Title: Firestar
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles 
Publish Date: March 2007
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased.

Publisher’s Description:

There is a fire star coming, signaling a time of new beginnings. A time for dragons to rise again…

A research trip to the Arctic and a contract for a new book – life can’t get much better for David Rain. But as soon as David finds himself in the icy climes, he begins to write his legend of bears, dragons, and the mmysterious fire star. Soon he realizes that his tale is starting to mirror real life, and that an old enemy is on her way to meet him.

Can David thwart her terrible master plan? Or will his world be destroyed forever?


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: Readers get to travel all over the world from the comfort of their favorite reading chair in this novel. We go from the Artic to Scrubbly to Northern Scotland and back all within 400 some odd pages. But the best element of this series is the characters. Yes, David can be a bit immature at times, but the interaction between the humans and dragons and bears is amazing. I also found it a little amusing that in the belief system of this novel God is essentially a female dragon named Godith. I also didn’t see the tragedy that befalls one of the main characters coming!

Dislikes: There is a huge dry spell in the middle of the book but it is worth it to muddle through it. Some of the elements like alternate dimensions may be difficult for younger readers to understand.

I give this installment 4 flames due to the dry spell. 

 

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.

Icefire by Chris D’Lacey

The adventure picks up in this second installment of The Last Dragon Chronicles.

Title
: Icefire
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles #2
Publish Date: July 2007
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:

Secrets will be revealed when fire and ice collide…

In the exciting sequel to The Fire Within, David must uncover the truth behind the mysterious clay dragons. David’s quest is to discover the link between the fire of the last known dragon on Earth and the icy regions of the Arctic. It’s a journey that will change his life forever, a journey that will bring him to the very heart of the legend of dragons and the mysterious, ancient secret of the icefire… 

 


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: While The Fire Within was a great introductory book, Icefire is the perfect beginning to the meat of the series. Lucy makes her first dragon – a wishing dragon. David names him and so the dragon becomes his, and after making a bizarre wish, things get a little crazy. This novel is a quick moving story that never quits with the intensity of the story and interesting plot devices never waver. I like that we get a closer look at the dragons and their personalities. We also get introduced to a few new characters – Zanna and Aunty Gweneth – that are both quirky and scary respectively. The element that I loved the most about this novel though is the fact that it has so much to do with the Earth and how all things are connected.

Dislikes: While I understood the path this novel was taking, I can see where it would be confusing to some readers. David suddenly can communicate with dragons, a new love interest is thrust on to the scene, and there is visions/time travel/alternate dimensions that can muddle readers minds.

I may a little biased again in the rating of this novel, but I have to give it 5 snowflakes.

Other recommendations…

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik