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Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce {4 Stars}

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce {4 Stars}

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (The Song of the Lioness, #1)
Published by Simon Pulse on January 1, 2005
Genres: Fantasy, MG, YA
Page Length: 274 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
Goodreads
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From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight.

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins - one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.

4 Stars

Strengths:
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The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan {5 Stars}

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan {5 Stars}

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on May 3, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG, YA
Page Length: 376 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go... an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb {Just Hatched}

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb (The Fitz and the Fool #1)
Published by Del Rey on August 12, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Page Length: 667 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown.

But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more…

On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing.

Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?

Suddenly Fitz's violent old life erupts into the peace of his new world, and nothing and no one is safe.

3 Stars

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The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox ARC {4 Stars}

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox ARC {4 Stars}

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox (The Librarians #2)
Published by Tor Books on April 25, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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For millennia, the Librarians have secretly protected the world by keeping watch over dangerous magical relics. Cataloging and safeguarding everything from Excalibur to Pandora’s Box, they stand between humanity and those who would use the relics for evil.

Stories can be powerful. In 1719, Elizabeth Goose of Boston Massachusetts published a collection of rhyming spells as a children's book, creating a spellbook of terrifying power. The Librarian of that age managed to dispose of all copies of the book except one, which remained in the possession of Elizabeth Goose and her family, temporarily averting any potential disaster.

However, strange things are happening, A window washer in San Diego who was blown off his elevated perch by a freak gust of wind, but miraculously survived by landing on a canopy over the building entrance. A woman in rural Pennsylvania who was attacked by mutant rodents without any eyes. And, a college professor in England who somehow found herself trapped inside a prize pumpkin at a local farmer’s market. Baird and her team of Librarians suspect that the magic of Mother Goose is again loose in the world, and with Fynn Carson AWOL once again, it is up to Cassandra, Ezekiel, and Stone to track down the missing spellbook before the true power of the rhymes can be unleashed.

4 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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The Width of the World by David Baldacci {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

This third book in the series has a dystopian feel, combining magical world-crossing fantasy with a hint of steampunk.  Fans of Vega Jane will welcome this next stage in her quest for answers, but it is definitely not a good start for those of us who have not followed the series up to this point.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE WIDTH OF THE WORLD from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Width of the World by David Baldacci {Just Hatched}

The Width of the World by David Baldacci (Vega Jane #3)on February 28, 2017
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 421 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Goodreads
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This is it. Vega Jane's time. She's been lied to her whole life, so she breaks away from Wormwood, the only home she's ever known, in search of the truth. She battles horrors to fight her way across the Quag with her best friend, Delph, and her mysterious canine, Harry Two. Against all odds, they survive unimaginable dangers and make it through.

And into a new world that's even worse. Not because deadly beasts roam the cobblestones, but because the people are enslaved but don't even know it. It's up to Vega, Delph, Harry Two and their new comrade, Petra, to take up the fight against a foe that's unrivaled in savagery and cunning. Not only is Vega's life and the lives of her friends on the line, but whether she triumphs or fails will determine whether a whole world survives.

3 Stars

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Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez ARC {5 Stars}

Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Moving Target #2)
Published by Scholastic Press on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 214 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The thrilling sequel to Moving Target! When a young girl can determine the destiny of the world, the wrong choice could lead to disaster . . .

Cassie Arroyo has found the long-lost Spear of Destiny -- only to have it stolen right out from under her!

In Return Fire, Cassie and Asher must regain the spear. This time, however, it's not enough just to find it: Cassie realizes that when she used the spear, she sent the world down a path that could eventually lead to serious trouble. Can she find a way to stop the terrible chain of events that she set into motion?

As she tries to reshape her own destiny, Cassie takes off on a breathless adventure across Italy, leading her to a forest outside Rome, a Caravaggio painting full of clues, and a villa by the sea. There, in the ultimate showdown, Cassie has to decide who she can truly trust. And when the chance to use the spear presents itself again, she has to figure out if she can even trust herself.

Kids will be clamoring for this sequel after finishing Moving Target, and this has even more thrills, riddles, and page-turning excitement!

5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of RETURN FIRE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Note: I received an advanced copy of THE EVIL WIZARD SMALLBONE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman {Just Hatched}

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman
Published by Candlewick Press on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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When twelve-year-old Nick runs away from his uncle’s in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore. He also meets its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either. It’s a good thing the bookstore takes Nick’s magical education in hand, because Smallbone’s nemesis—the Evil Wizard Fidelou—and his pack of shape-shifting bikers are howling at the borders. Smallbone might call himself evil, but compared to Fidelou, he’s practically a puppy. And he can’t handle Fidelou alone. Wildly funny and cozily heartfelt, Delia Sherman’s latest is an eccentric fantasy adventure featuring dueling wizards, enchanted animals, and one stray boy with a surprising knack for magic.

3 Stars

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Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {Just Hatched}

Just Hatched Book Feature

Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.

Note: I received an advanced copy of DEFENDER OF THE REALM from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler {Just Hatched}

Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler (Defender of the Realm #1)
Published by Scholastic Press on March 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 306 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

For hundreds of years the United Kingdom has been protected by a mysterious guardian known as the Defender. Part myth, part superhero, few truly believed the Defender existed . . . until now.

Alfie thinks he knows his destiny. As Prince Alfred, heir to the throne of Great Britain, he's fated to become the most disappointing king in the nation's history. Alfie longs for a way to prove himself, but little does he realize that with the throne of England comes an ancient secret. He who wears the crown must protect the country as the legendary hero -- the Defender of the Realm.

Hayley is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. She certainly never believed in the mysterious superhero, the Defender. Then, after witnessing a very public battle at the Tower of London, everything is different, and Hayley is left with no doubt. The Defender is real.

Two kids with two very different lives are about to get caught up in a centuries-long battle for the fate of a nation. Monsters and criminals, villains and dragons, together Hayley and Alfie must protect their home at all costs.

3 Stars

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One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews {4.5 Stars}

One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews {4.5 Stars}

One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)
Published by Author on December 20th 2016
Genres: Adult, Sci-fi
Page Length: 259 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
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Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage. But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson ARC {4.5 Stars}

Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson ARC {4.5 Stars}

Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson (Audacity Jones #2)
Published by Scholastic Press on January 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 176 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Purchases made support this blog

Audacity Jones and her best friend, Bimmy, are setting off from Miss Maisie's School for Wayward Girls on an extraordinary adventure! In the glittering city of New York, the girls meet Harry Houdini, the world's most famous magician, as he prepares a new spectacle: Houdini plans to make an elephant disappear from a crowded theater.

But Audacity and Bimmy discover a nefarious plot that puts Houdini's illusion in jeopardy. Who could be trying to sabotage the master magician? Audie will need all her smarts, the help of friends new and old, and even her best juggling skills to solve this mystery. Will she manage to save the show in time?

Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson brings readers a magical romp of a mystery that will delight and thrill to the very last page.

4.5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of AUDACITY JONES STEALS THE SHOW from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
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