Category Archives: Young Adult

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.

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.

T*Witches: The Power of Two by H.B. Gilmour

Cam and Alex are about to discover they’re twin witches separated at birth. When an incredibly well-planned coincidence ends up with them meeting for the first time, their lives will never be the same.

TitleT*Witches: The Power of Two
Author: H.B. Gilmour & Randi Reisfeld
Series: T*Witches, Book 1
Publish Date: June 1, 2001
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description:

Camryn Barnes: Smart, upbeat and popular, Cam is best of breed all around. Except for one bone-chilling secret. Cam sees things happening, before they happen. Very bad things.

Alexandra Fielding:  Spunky, Punky and Sarcastic, Alex is all about making it from day to day. Life’s tough, but Alex deals. Except for the weirdness. Alex hears things. The things people think, but haven’t said.

If ever they met…They could combine their powerful gifts and help people.
Maybe even save a life.

They could figure out who they really are, who their parents really are – or were. They could fall into very evil hands.

Guess what? They’re about to meet.


Kat Mandu says…

Like most of the other books written in the early 2000’s, this is kind of cheesy fantasy that really ruled the shelves back in the day when “Independent Readers” was a genre that really drew the line between upper-middle-grade and young adult. It has similar tones to Sweep by Cate Tiernan and Daughter of the Moon by Lynne Ewing. Books more innocent in tone compared to the darker books on the shelves today. I’ve been reading a lot of older books like this so it’s a nice change of pace.

I’ll also admit that I know this series was made into two movies featuring the Mowry twins. I never actually watched them. They seemed kind of goofy and by the time the movies came out, I was in a different phase where all the teen lingo that was popular didn’t appeal to me and I almost found it annoying.

However, the book series was always different to me. Rereading always reminds me that writing has a million – trillion – styles. Twitches have their own.

And I know what you’re thinking. Twin sisters meeting up for the first time and discovering they have these hidden powers and are meant to do good with it? Can we say cliche? Well, yeah. But I’m taking into account of when this was written and the trend of the day was twins with fantastic powers. I have a different feel for it that I can’t really describe. Maybe because it’s one of my favorite series from when I was growing up, so I have a slightly hypocritical fondness for it I can’t seem to explain.

But either way, I do like this series. I could never decide which particular twin was my favorite, though I love Alex’s powers a lot more than Camyrn’s. I really adore their silly, young characters and can somewhat to relate to them in a weird way. They make it real for me more than the plot obviously. Their interactions are fun, like when they bicker, or can be sad, like when they’re grieving or discovering they’re actually adopted.

So that being said, the first one gets a four from me. I’ll have reviews for the rest of the series coming soon, and I don’t think they get as high of ratings, but I still love Twitches. 

Our reviews in this series…

  • The Power Of Two
  • Building A Mystery (all coming soon)
  • Seeing Is Deceiving
  • 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.

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

The second installment in the Malediction trilogy has more action, intrigue, and magic than its prequel. Will Tristan figure out how to play the political mind games within Trollus before it’s too late? And can Cecile hunt down an immortal witch with the power to break the curse on her true love?

Title: Hidden  Huntress
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Publish Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Publisher: Angry Robot
Source: Purchased.

Publisher’s Description:

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…


Kat Mandu says…

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! Please do not read on if you haven’t read these books. You have been warned!!! 

This is one of those trilogies that once you read the second one or third one, questions readers may have had in the book before it seem to clear up and get answered. For me, sometimes when I was reading the first one, I was so distracted by all the action of a particular scene that I find I didn’t quite understand what was happening until it was either mentioned or “remembered” by a character in the next one. I think after reading Warrior Witch, I may understand more of the events that occurred in Hidden Huntress.

That being said, I wasn’t necessarily confused about anything. I really, really loved how much this book had in it – from Cecily learning blood magic and breaking Tristan from the curse, to Tristan making a play against his father that the practically psychic king didn’t see coming; and finally, to discovering the real identity of Genevieve – aka Anushka. There’s a lot going on here and despite the length of the book, it tends to move fast and keep you entertained.

Though I’m not dissing the romance genre here, I did like that romance wasn’t the main focus on this, mostly a side mission as both characters seemed to realize their greater purpose could be to work together, love together, win together. The characters aren’t so lovey-dovey, and at some points even question their purpose together. But for the most part, they have their own missions.

I wish the fight scene with the dragon had been longer. It seems strange to me that Tristan was able to take down an entire frost dragon without assistance, while everyone watched. Though I do picture him as a younger version of Luke Evans now. Mmm. Sexy. Anyway, I get that he’s powerful, I just find it strange that everyone kind of stood around. In a way, I suppose he might have been the only one to do any damage to it but when he was talking about preparing to fight the otherworldly creatures, that must mean humans stand some small chance? I don’t know. That whole scene kind of threw me for a loop.

I guess the thing that didn’t quite make this a five-star rating for me was the huge spoiler alert included near the very beginning. In it, readers are aware that Genevieve is drugging Cecile and questioning her about the trolls and this is just such a major hint that I knew who the bad guy was automatically. I know that some authors like readers to know ahead of time what their characters don’t but I wish the mystery would have remained in this particular book. It kind of just snuffed out that elegant mystery for me that I would have appreciated so much more.

Overall, my thoughts are kind of everywhere with this one, as it is fresh in my mind. But I really enjoyed reading this one more than the first one. 

Our reviews in this series…

  • Stolen Songbird
  • Hidden Huntress
  • Warrior Witch *coming soon*
  • The Broken Ones *coming soon*

Other recommendations…

If you enjoy young adult high fantasy with a little bit of romance and magic, I’d suggest other trilogies like Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha series, The Elemental trilogy by Sherry Thomas, and Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire & Thorns.