Review: Two Peas in a Pod (Whatever After #11)

Title: Two Peas in a Pod (Whatever After #11)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

I’ve landed — along with my brother, Jonah, and our dog, Prince — in the fairy tale of The Princess and the Pea! When I can’t fall asleep on top of a hundred mattresses, the kingdom decides I must be the princess they’re looking for. Talk about royal treatment — I’m suddenly being waited on hand and foot. Plus, I get unlimited ball gowns, sparkly jewelry, and ice cream. 
But can we find a REAL princess to run the kingdom?
Now we have to:
– Hold a princess contest
– Defeat an obnoxious prince
– Escape hungry alligators
– Make it back home 
There’s no time to snooze — may the best princess win!

Review:

I loved the story of The Princess and the Pea when I was a kid. Whenever I had trouble sleeping at night, I thought about this story. This was a great adaptation.

Abby becomes the princess in this story. She arrives with her brother to the castle, and ends up passing the “princess test” when she can’t sleep on the mattresses that are on top of the pea. However, Abby has to go home eventually so she can’t be their princess forever. She creates her own princess test to find an intelligent, strong, and brave girl to be the princess in her place.

As this series has progressed, the stories become more complex with larger casts of characters. I really like the way the characters have become more developed too. Abby learns life lessons in each book, such as teamwork, which was important to this story.

This was another great story in the Whatever After series!

What to read next:

Seeing Red (Whatever After #12) by Sarah Mlynowski

Have you read Two Peas in a Pod? What did you think of it?

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Review: Sparrowhawk

Title: Sparrowhawk
Author: Delilah S. Dawson, Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

After a young woman is kidnapped by an evil Faerie Queen and trapped in a far off realm, she must survive teen Victorian fairy fight club in order to get back home.

As the illegitimate daughter of a Naval Captain, Artemisia has never fit in with her father’s family, nor the high class world to which they belong. However, when she is targeted by the Faerie Queen and pulled into another realm, she has no choice but to fight her way back home, amongst evil fairies who want her head, and untrustworthy allies that claim solidarity but have ulterior motives. New York Times bestselling author Delilah S. Dawson (Ladycastle, Star Wars: Phasma) and illustrator Matias Basla (The Claw and Fang) present a gripping dark fantasy tale of a young woman claiming her time and her agency.

Review:

This graphic novel combined two of my favourite settings: Victorian England and the world of Faeries.

The main character, Art, is of mixed race. Her mother was a slave in a country that her father colonized. When he brought Art home with him, his wife treated her like a servant and made her be a lady’s maid to one of her daughters. Then one day, Art was pulled into a mirror and entered the world of Faeiries.

I really liked the way Art’s time in the world of Faeries reflected the way her mother’s country was colonized. She was told to kill the evil faeries, so she could gain power and take over. At first, she recognized that there wasn’t a good reason for killing the innocent faeries, but once she gained some power, she quickly forgot. This shows how wrong it was for powerful countries to invade weaker countries.

This was a great graphic novel!

Thank you BOOM! Studios for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Ladycastle by Delilah S. Dawson, Ashley A. Woods

Have you read Sparrowhawk? What did you think of it?

Review: Abby in Wonderland (Whatever After #10.5)

Title: Abby in Wonderland (Whatever After #10.5)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Down the rabbit hole . . . 

I’m spending the day with my best friends, Frankie and Robin, and — UGH — snobby Penny. I’m not expecting anything magical to happen, until Frankie falls into a mysterious hole behind Penny’s house . . . and we all wind up in the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

I’ve visited fairy tales before. But in Wonderland, everything is topsy-turvy. There are potions that make you grow, cakes that make you shrink, bossy caterpillars, and a horrible Queen of Hearts who wants to put us on trial.

Now we have to:
– Solve a riddle from the Cheshire cat 
– Attend a wacky tea party with the Mad Hatter
– Become BFFs with Alice
– And find Frankie

. . . Or we’ll be stuck in Wonderland for good!

This special edition is extra-long, extra-enchanting, and comes with puzzles, games, and a Q&A with the author!

Review:

This is the first special edition of the Whatever After series.

This story is different because Abby enters a story with her friends, instead of her brother. It’s also the first time she enters a story that isn’t a fairytale.

There were some other ways that this story was different from the other books in the series. The girls follow Alice’s adventure backwards. They don’t end up meeting Alice until the end. That part made sense for this plot, because Abby’s friends had to go on the journey along with Abby. It would have been very confusing to have five girls as main characters traveling through this adventure.

I really enjoyed this book. I hope there are other special editions in the future!

What to read next:

Two Peas in a Pod (Whatever After #11) by Sarah Mlynowski

Have you read Abby in Wonderland? What did you think of it?

Review: A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying

Title: A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Monster hunting isn’t for the faint of heart—the first in a brand-new middle-grade series by NYT bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong.

Twelve-year-old Rowan is next in line to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the rule is, the oldest child is next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her royal monster hunter aunt’s official sword and having tea with dignitaries with her mother, the queen. But a tragic event breaks up longstanding rules, and now Rowan finds herself in hunt of a dangerous gryphon.

Accompanied by a feisty and determined baby jackalope and a giant wolf that barely tolerates her, she sets off on a journey that will see her join forces with other unlikely allies: a boy who has ambitions of his own to hunt monsters, and a girl from a nearby clan with hidden motives for befriending Rowan. It will take all of Rowan’s skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this journey on track. The future of the kingdom depends on it.

Review:

This is a great adventure story!

I loved the character of Rowan. She is a strong girl who fought for what she believed in. Even though she was destined to become a queen, she wanted to be a monster hunter. She then had to prove that she was up to the job.

Some parts of this story were a little slow paced. There were long battles between Rowan and the monsters. She also met some monsters over and over again, but it was nice to be reminded of these different beasts.

I really enjoyed this middle grade story!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Changeling (The Oddmire #1) by William Ritter

The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark, Nick Eliopulos

Have you read A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying? What did you think of it?

Review: Changeling (The Oddmire #1)

Title: Changeling (The Oddmire #1)
Author: William Ritter
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Thomas Allen and Son (book distributor)
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.

Review:

This was an exciting adventure story that alters the fairytale of the changeling.

A changeling is a baby that has been switched by a fairy or goblin for one of their babies. However, in this story, when a goblin goes to switch the babies, he gets distracted and forgets which baby he brought. He ends up leaving both babies, so the family is left with both their baby and a changeling that looks identical to the baby.

On their thirteenth birthday, the twin boys, Tinn and Cole, go on an adventure into a magical part of the forest called the Oddmire to find out which one of them is the changeling and which one is the human. They meet magical creatures along the way, such as goblins and hinkypunks.

The boys’ mother was an important part of the story. She raised the boys on her own because her husband left soon after the changeling arrived. Often in children’s fantasy stories, the parents are absent or absent minded. I liked seeing a very involved parent, who was willing to risk her life to save her children.

I loved this story!

Thank you Thomas Allen and Son for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles #1) by Toni DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Have you read Changeling? What did you think of it?

Review: Titans (Titans #1)

Title: Titans (Titans #1)
Author: Kate O’Hearn
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A group of kids must stop invaders before they take over Titus—and the rest of the universe—in this first book in a brand-new series from bestselling Pegasus author Kate O’Hearn, who masterfully blends mystery and mythology together.

Fifteen years ago, Olympus was destroyed and the Olympians were resettled on Titus. Since then Earth has been declared a quarantined world. Neither Titans nor Olympians are allowed to visit and under no circumstances are humans allowed on Titus. The Titans and Olympians are keeping the peace. But the deep-seated mistrust still lingers, so when a human ends up on Titus, he could be the spark that reignites the war…

Astraea is a Titan, granddaughter of Hyperion, and now a reluctant student at the brand-new school, Arcadia. She just knows that it’s going to be awful, and that there is no way that Titans and Olympians will ever get along! At least she’s got her best friend, a winged-horse named Zephyr, to keep her company. Then the night before the first day of school, Astraea hears her parents discussing something terrifying: a human has been spotted on Titus. But that’s not possible. All routes to Earth via the Solar Stream have been closed—no one can travel between the two worlds…or can they?

When Astraea and Zephyr get detention on their first day—for fighting with a centaur—they’re sent to the orchards to harvest nectar. There they discover a human boy named Jake. How he got to Titus is a mystery to him and to them. They have to get him home before anyone else discovers him.

But what the trio uncovers is something much bigger than one human boy. It’s a scheme to take down the rulers of this world, conquer it, and then do the same across the galaxy. Can a group of kids stop the invaders? Or is Titus, like Olympus before it, doomed?

Review:

This book is an exciting start to a new series. It takes place after Kate O’Hearn’s series Pegasus. Some of the same characters are mentioned but it has a different storyline.

Titus is a planet filled with Titans and Olympians. They are the same familiar figures from Ancient Greece. I love stories about Ancient Greece, so I was excited to read this book.

The mix of ancient characters with space travel was interesting. It was a combination of ancient figures with futuristic abilities such as traveling to different planets.

I loved this adventure story. I’ll have to check out Kate O’Hearn’s other series next!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Flame of Olympus (Pegasus #1) by Kate O’Hearn

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

Have you read Titans? What did you think of it?

Review: The Wise and the Wicked

Title: The Wise and the Wicked
Author: Rebecca Podos
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.

Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope. 

Review:

This story reminded me of The Raven Cycle. Ruby’s family is a little like Blue’s family in that series. They both have some mystical powers. The women in Ruby’s family see their death when they get to a certain age. It’s called their Time. They had to flee their original home in Russia generations before because their family was being hunted by a man. This old battle was reopened in this story.

I liked this story but I found some parts confusing and unclear. There are some queer characters, which was great representation. One character was transgender. I thought that the character magically changed gender in some way, so it was only later that I realized they were living as a transgender person.

I also found the multiple generations of the family confusing. There hadn’t been that much time since the family moved from Russia, but they made it sound like it was many generations ago rather than two. A family tree could have helped me keep everything straight.

This is a good story.

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Love and Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford

Have you read The Wise and the Wicked? What did you think of it?