Blog Tour: The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz

Book Cover

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Date of publication: October 1st, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Children’s Fiction

Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | B&N | WorldCat

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received: Publisher

Trigger Warnings: None


Goodreads Synopsis:

The new face of big evil is a little . . . small.

Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be. But everything changes the day the Dark Lord Elithor is cursed by a mysterious rival.

Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all?


Review:

I am always on the lookout for books that my 13-year-old can read. My son is a voracious reader and will read anything that I give him. So, when I saw The Dark Lord Clementine’s blurb, the book caught my interest. I thought to myself: “My son would like this, but I need to read the book first.” I am glad that I did because The Dark Lord Clementine was a great read!!

The Dark Lord Clementine is a story about a girl named Clementine. She lives in a dilapidated castle with her Dark Lord father. One day, Clementine notices her father is missing his nose. That is when she finds out that the Whittle Witch has cursed him. Clementine takes it upon herself to try and find a cure for the curse. She also tries to assume the Dark Lord duties that her father cannot do. With the Whittle Witch waiting to take over the castle, Clementine is running out of time. Can she save her father?

The plotline for The Dark Lord Clementine was evenly paced. The flow of the book was perfect. It wasn’t too fast or too slow. There was no lag in the book or dropped plotlines either, which I enjoyed.

I loved Clementine. She was a timid little girl at the beginning of the book. But as the book went on, I could see her character growth. By the end of the book, she became this confident young woman. I loved it!!

I did feel bad for Clementine. She didn’t have any friends. Well, human friends. She did have the nightmares and the black sheep for company. But other than that, nothing. She longed for friends, even if she wouldn’t admit it to herself. Hiding in the shadows and watching the villagers play said so much. So, when Sebastian and then Darka befriended her, I was happy. Clementine needed it.

I didn’t care for Darka at the beginning of the book. I wouldn’t say I liked that she befriended Clementine to gain favor and hunt in the woods around the castle. I didn’t particularly appreciate that she was hunting unicorns. But I liked that her story had more depth to it. When it was revealed, I started to pity her. But it was Darka’s actions at the end of the book that made me love her!!!

I loved the humor in the book. The Gricken is the most notable one. When Clementine was younger, she tried to turn a frog into a chicken. Unfortunately (and hilariously), the spell backfired, and she turned her family grimoire into it. If she wants to learn a spell, she has to wait for the Gricken to lay an egg. There is a hilarious scene where Clementine pleads with the Gricken to lay an egg. I laughed so hard; I had tears in my eyes.

The end of The Dark Lord Clementine was perfect. I am not going to get into it because of major spoilers. I will say that what Clementine did was brave. The way the book ended made me wonder if there was going to be a book 2.

Jesse, Jake & The Return of Antheia (Jesse and Jake: Book 2) by Ken John

Jesse, Jake & The Return of Antheia (Jesse & Jake Book 2) by [John, Ken]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: August 11th, 2019

Genre: Middle Grade

Series: Jesse Winkler

Jesse & The Thinkers—Book 1 (review here)

Jesse, Jake, & The Return of Antheia—Book 2

Where you can find Jesse, Jake & The Return of Antheia: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

In this second instalment of the book series, Jake has earned his way onto the title, and rightly so. Jesse and Jake continue on their journey to save Thinkland from Zar’s invasion.

Some may wonder why they have taken it upon themselves to go up against Zar? But if they sit back and watch him invade Thinkland, Earthland will be next.

Will bravery be enough to take on the mighty Zar? Or will they fall deeper into his web?

The plot thickens as we follow Jesse and Jake on their extraordinary journey into the unknown.


First Line:

“My god, Mysterious, what have they done to you?”

Jesse, Jake, & The Return of Antheia by Ken John

My Review:

I was looking forward to reading Jesse, Jake, & The Return of Antheia. I wanted to read more about the adventures of Jake, Jesse, and the friends that they meet along the way. I was not disappointed in this book.

The plotline for Jesse, Jake, & The Return of Antheia was medium paced. There were some sections that I felt could have been trimmed (Zenden’s time with Ajahn is one). But overall, it was well written.

The characters in Jesse, Jake, & The Return of Antheia were well written. I loved seeing Jake get more attention in this book. I felt that Jake got pushed to the background in the first book. So, it was nice to see Jake made a focal point in this book. I got a better feel for his character and the decisions that he made. What I didn’t understand, and hopefully it will be explained in the next book is why Zar was so focused on him.

Speaking of Zar, I was torn about how I felt about him. I went into this book, thinking one thing. But, I came out on the other side, wondering how bad he was. He did make several good points about Thinkland and its issues (the highlanders and the lowlanders). And the way he treated Jake raised all sorts of questions. His interactions with Abyzou was interesting also. Again, it raised more questions than answers and hopefully will be answered in the next book.

There were some adult themes that the author did try to bring to a middle-grade level. Abyzou’s daughter’s death was a huge one. The author did a great job of explaining of how she died. My heart broke for Abyzou. Her world was shattered when her daughter was killed. There is a surprising connection between Abyzou, her daughter, and a friend of Jesse and Jake. I didn’t get it until Jesse relived Huli jing’s worst memory. Then it all made sense to me.

The plotline involving Antheia was woven into the plotline of Jesse and Jake searching for Zar. The author did take me by surprise at who Antheia was. I had a “Wait a minute” moment and had to reread that paragraph.

The end of Jesse, Jake, and the Return of Antheia was exciting. While Antheia’s plotline was ended, the main plotline was not. Instead, more questions were raised. I hope that they will be answered in Book 3!!


I would give Jesse, Jake, & the Return of Antheia a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.

I would reread Jesse, Jake, & the Return of Antheia. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Jesse & The Thinkers (Jesse & Jake: Book 1) by Ken John

Jesse & The Thinkers (Jesse & Jake Book 1) by [John, Ken]

4 Stars

Publisher:

Date of publication: August 11th, 2019

Genre: Middle Grade

Where you can find Jesse & The Thinkers: Amazon | BookBub

Original Review

Book Synopsis:

Jesse Winkler is one of the few who dare to stand out. A ‘weirdo’, the children at the adventure playground call him, and not because of his red bow tie. Strange things always seem to happen when Jesse is around.

No one can quite figure out what ‘Brave Jake’, who happens to be the most popular kid in the playground, sees in ‘Weirdo Jesse’. But Jake always knew. He could just tell. One person’s weirdo is another person’s hero.

Jesse and Jake’s journey turns into a deadly situation when an enemy from another world unleashes a weapon designed to destroy the minds of The Thinkers and anybody who comes across it. They find themselves caught up in a battle that was not meant for them. Or was it?

Jesse and The Thinkers is an action-packed, compulsively readable adventure story, leaving you emotionally involved in the extraordinary characters we meet along the way.


First Line:

It was the summer holidays in the small town of Langley.

Jesse & The Thinkers by Ken John

My Review:

This type of review is a first for me. I have never, in all of the books that I have read, have done a 2nd review. But, when the author approached me to rereview Jesse & The Thinkers, I figured why not. I am glad that I did because Jesse & The Thinkers was just as good as I remembered.

I enjoyed reading Jesse & The Thinkers as much as I did the first time.
Which I didn’t expect. Jesse and Jake’s adventures in Thinkland was action-packed and engaging. The plotline was medium paced and exciting. That made for an enjoyable read.

I enjoyed reading Jesse & The Thinkers as much as I did the first time, which I didn’t expect. Jesse and Jake’s adventures in Thinkland was action-packed and engaging. The plotline was medium paced and exciting. That made for an enjoyable read.

The characters in Jesse & The Thinkers were well written and fleshed out. What I liked about Jesse and Jake is that they didn’t care what other people thought about them, Jesse especially.

Zar was an enigma. There wasn’t a lot said about him except he was an evil general, intent on taking over planets. His brainwave, which caused fear and mayhem, was interesting too. I can’t wait to see what his character ends up being like in book 2.

The end of Jesse & The Thinkers was exciting. There was no end to the plotlines. Instead, the author ended the book on a cliffhanger. The cliffhanger has me pumped to read book 2. I can’t wait to see what Jesse and Jake run into in that book.


I would give Jesse & The Thinkers a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.

I would reread Jesse & The Thinkers. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Small Spaces (Small Spaces: Book 1) by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces by [Arden, Katherine]

3 Stars

Publisher: Penguin Group, Penguin Young Readers Group, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Date of publication: September 25th, 2018

Genre: Horror, Middle Grade

Series: Small Spaces

Small Spaces—Book 1

Dead Voices—Book 2 (expected publication: August 27th, 2019)

Where you can find Small Spaces: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.


First Line:

October in East Evansburg, and the last warm sun of the year, slanted red through the sugar maples.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

My Review:

When I saw that Katherine Arden wrote Small Spaces, I knew I had to read it. I was a massive fan of the Winternight Trilogy, and I had high expectations of Small Spaces. Unfortunately, it fell short for me.

Ollie is an eleven-year-old who suffered a tragic loss. Refusing to talk about what happened, Ollie shut herself from the world. Her only solace was reading. After defending a new student from bullies, Ollie goes to her secret reading area. There she meets a deranged woman about to throw a book in a stream. Stealing the book, Ollie reads a story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who loved her, and the smiling man. The next day, Ollie takes a field trip to Smoke Hollow, where she notices something strange about the scarecrows. When the bus breaks down on the way home, Ollie’s teacher goes back to the farm to get help. The bus driver warns Ollie and her friends to start running. Then he says, “Avoid large places, keep to small.” After that, her watch, the last physical thing her mother was wearing the day she died, spells out the word “Run.” That’s when the adventure begins. What will happen to Ollie and her friends? Who is the smiling man? How is he connected to what was happening to Ollie? And what exactly does the bus driver mean?

I thought Small Spaces storyline was fantastic. It was creepy enough for upper elementary/middle school-aged children.

I did like the characters, but I felt that there was not a lot of depth to them. Ollie was the loner with a tragic past, Brian was the jock who had a hidden side to him, and Coco was the new girl who was trying too hard to fit in. The author did try to make them more fleshed out. Brian quoting Alice in Wonderland did surprise me. As did Coco revealing that she used to rock climb before she moved to Evansburg. But other than that, I didn’t get a connection with them.

Revealing Ollie’s tragic past sooner would have been an asset to the book. I did guess at what happened early on in the book, but it took forever for it come out. I wanted to reach into the book and hug her.

I did have an issue with the formatting what reading Small Spaces. I would be reading a paragraph, and then random numbers would appear (example: running in the 1. woods). It made it hard for me to read the book and did take away from my enjoyment of it. It also affected my rating.

I also thought that paranormal/horror angle of the book was almost too understated for me. I am an adult and used to more scares. But, as I said above, this would be a perfect book for middle-grade kids. But for adults, no.

The end of the book left me feeling unfulfilled. While I liked what Ollie did, I was left wanting more. There is a book 2, which I would like to read.


I would give Small Spaces a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 13 read this book.

I would reread Small Spaces. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan

Look for Me Under the Rainbow: A Novella by [Jan, Bernard]

5 Stars

Publisher: Self Published

Date of publication: April 15th, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade

Where you can find Look For Me Under the Rainbow: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Sometimes all you need is a big heart and burning desire.

Danny, a curious harp seal pup, has soft white fur and black innocent eyes. Helen is an environmentalist and member of a young activist crew of the Rainbow Warriors. Their mission is to save animals.

As winter turns into spring, a new generation of seal pups comes to life. A few weeks later, the killing begins. Against a spectacular backdrop of ice and snow, Helen prepares to look horrific human cruelty in the face.

I do not doubt I have a big heart and burning desire, but is that enough for a person to become a Rainbow Warrior, or is there something better? Something only some of us manage to turn into what we have long missed—humanity.

In the race against time and clubs, will Helen save Danny before the hunt begins and the ice turns red?

Though written for younger readers, Look for Me Under the Rainbow will appeal to anyone who cherishes our beautiful planet and wishes to protect its treasures.

Buy this book by Bernard Jan, the author of A World Without Color, and experience another emotional journey.


First Line:

What is man, Mom?

Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Look for Me Under the Rainbow, it caught my interest. I wasn’t expecting the feelings that this book evoked. I felt everything from joy to horror to sadness.

I will admit, I went into Look for Me Under the Rainbow with a certain mindset. I thought that it was going to be a children’s book about a young seal pup named Danny and his adventures. Well, that isn’t the case. Instead, I got a book that showed exactly how hard a harp seal’s life is and the dangers they face.

Danny was a great main character. His curiosity and innocence were what I expected from a harp seal pup. The questions he asked were what I expected a child to ask. But, like all children, Danny disobeys his mother, and there are consequences.

The harp seal pups slaughter was horrifying. I had thought that clubbing them to death had ended. The other horrors that the author described (being skinned alive and left to die) made me sick to my stomach. I kept thinking to myself, “How is that humane??? They are babies!!!” I cannot believe that this is allowed. That is when my horror turned to outrage.

The author also showed what the seals went through if they survived the slaughter. Everything from natural enemies (killer whales and polar bears) to human-made hazards (oil spills to nets left floating in the ocean). It was heartbreaking.

I liked that the author showed that people are trying to do the right thing. The Rainbow Warriors and Helen tried to stop the slaughter. How they did it was smart. I wouldn’t have thought to do that!! But those activists are only a small handful of people. More people need to help.

Look for Me Under the Rainbow is a short book, actually a novella. Marketed towards children, I was a little iffy about the age range on this. I decided on Tween because I felt that the younger kids could be traumatized by the descriptions of the seal pup slaughter.

The end of Look for Me Under the Rainbow wasn’t a happy one. But it wasn’t a sad one either. It was an eye opening one.


I would give Look for Me Under the Rainbow a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.

I would reread Look for Me Under the Rainbow. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Sleep, Merel, Sleep by Silke Stein

Sleep, Merel, Sleep

4 Stars:

Publisher: Caper Books

Date of publication: June 7th, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Trigger Warning: Death of a loved one, Sick sibling

Where you can find Sleep, Merel, Sleep: Amazon 

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Who wants to be awake forever?

Life has changed for eight-year-old Merel. Since the birth of her sick baby brother, her parents seem to have forgotten she exists. But when she finds a tiny silver violin in her bedroom rug, things take a turn for the worse. 

Merel learns that her sleep has abandoned her and that she must embark on a perilous journey to recover it or stay awake forever. Together with her devoted toy sheep Roger, tired Merel sets out in search of Lullaby Grove. Before long, she finds herself haunted by a scary stranger. 

Follow Merel into a surreal world. Meet a sleepy king with an obsession for feathers and a transparent old man on a night train going nowhere. Discover why the moonfish cry, why you should never walk across the Great Yawns ― and if poor Merel can escape her pursuer, win back her sleep, and realize what matters most in her life.

My review: 

I have gotten away from reading middle-grade books. No real reason. I stopped requesting them on NetGalley. I rarely get an author request through my contact form/email. So, when the author contacted me to review Sleep, Merel, Sleep I almost declined. Then I read the blurb and my attention was caught. From what I read the blurb, I needed to read the book. I am glad that I decided to accept the request because Sleep, Merel, Sleep was a one of a kind middle grade book.

Merel’s Sleep went AWOL. He was tired of listening to her tantrums. He was tired of trying to get her to sleep. He was tired of watching her struggle to go to sleep. So he left. Merel learns that he left when she finds his violin on her rug. That finds sends her on a journey to find her Sleep in a place called Lullaby Grove. But, Merel is also stalked by a stranger. This stranger doesn’t want her to find her Sleep or Lullaby Grove. He has other reasons for keeping her from finding them and they aren’t great.

I will be the first one to admit that Merel was unlikable during the first few chapters of the book. She came across as a brat who went out of her way to make everyone around her miserable. I was prepared to not like her. But then, something happened. There was more to Merel’s story than what the author first shared. There was a significant amount of trauma that happened to Merel within a couple of months. My dislike of her started to go away while journeying to Lullaby Grove. By the time she was on the Sandman’s Beach, my dislike of her faded. I pitied her but I also realized that she was a strong child.

I liked how the author addressed the issues of death and having a sick sibling. Merel’s reactions to the turmoil going on in her life were what I would expect an 8-year-old to do. I also liked how the author chose to have Merel make peace with everything that happened to her. Even the scary things that happened to her was a way of making her accept and move on.

I did find parts of the book to be scary. Mainly, the scenes with the scary stranger. What he did to Merel at the end of the book shocked me. I wasn’t expecting it. It did make sense

The end of the book confused me at first. I had to reread the last chapter to understand. It confused me because Merel went from one situation to another without the reader knowing. Saying that I did like it because the author left if Merel completed her journey until the end.

What I liked about Sleep, Merel, Sleep:

A) Original storyline

B) Merel’s journey

C) Seeing Merel’s journey to accepting everything that happened to her.

What I disliked about Sleep, Merel, Sleep:

A) The stranger. I thought he was too scary at certain points in the book

B) The death of Merel’s grandfather and the premie birth of her brother back to back.

C) The end of the book. I got confused and had to reread the first few chapters.

I would give Sleep, Merel, Sleep a rating of Child. There are no sexual situations. There is very mild violence. There is no language. There are several scenes that could scare a younger child. Also, there are scenes describing a car accident and a premie in the hospital that could scare a child. While this book could be read by children under the age of 10, I would supervise them reading it.

There are trigger warnings in Sleep, Merel, Sleep. They are the death of a grandparent and a sick sibling. If you or your child is triggered by those then I suggest not reading the book.

I would recommend Sleep, Merel, Sleep to family and friends. I would make sure that they knew about the triggers. This is a book that I would reread.

I would like to thank Silke Stein for allowing me to read and review Sleep, Merel, Sleep.

All opinions stated in this review of Sleep, Merel, Sleep are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch (Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Book 1) by Vic Connor

Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch by [Connor, Vic]

5 Stars

Publisher: Helvetic House

Date of publication: December 7, 2014

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal

Number of pages: 284

POV: 1st person

Series: Diary of Anna the Girl Witch

Foundling Witch – Book 1

Wandering Witch – Book 2

Fighting Witch – Book 3

Where you can find Foundling Witch: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

What do you do when you discover you’re a witch… And that using your new powers destroys your soul a little each time? 

Set in the Swiss countryside, this story blends ancient folklore with a coming of age tale about a young witch on the brink of womanhood. 

Anna Sophia has always known she was different. She didn’t know just how different until now. 

On the eve of her 13th birthday — in the orphanage where she’s spent most of her childhood — Anna wonders about her past. She never knew her parents, doesn’t even know where she came from. All she has to go by is an unbelievable fairy tale her uncle used to tell: that she was found as a baby, tucked among a pack of bear cubs in the wilds of Russia. 

To make matters even more complex, Anna has discovered that she can see and do things that no one else can. So far, she’s kept her powers a secret, and they remain strange and frightening even to her. 

It’s only when Anna receives a letter from her mother — a mother she will never meet — that she discovers some of the truths about her past, and begins to uncover the possibilities in her future. As Anna continues to learn more about her secret abilities, she finds out that her neighbors are hiding something of their own: a plot to harm Anna and her friends. 

Can Anna Sophia use her newfound supernatural powers to stop them? Can she fight back, without endangering her own soul? And maybe, just maybe, is her own secret tied up with theirs? 

Through a story of otherworldly magic, Anna Sophia finds a sense of real-world belonging. With its cast of strong characters, an inventive setting, and engaging storyline, this fantasy adventure is a relevant novel for middle-grade children or young adults. 

Genre: middle grade / young adult adventure.

Trigger Warning: none

Continue reading “Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Foundling Witch (Diary of Anna the Girl Witch: Book 1) by Vic Connor”

7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner

7th Grade Revolution

Title: 7th Grade Revolution

Author: Liana Gardner

Publisher: Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Member’s Titles

Date of publication: October 24th, 2017

Genre: History, Middle Grade

Number of pages: 301

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find 7th Grade Revolution: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

WHEN UNEARTHING A NATIONAL TREASURE BECOMES A NATIONAL INCIDENT.

Inspired by True Events

Dennis Alexander: Washington Academy Middle School promises to be another in the long line of boring schools he has been expelled from. 

Rhonda Snodgrass: Although trained from childhood in survival tactics, she tries to stay off the radar of the “cool” kids who think she’s weird. 

7th grade turns out to be anything but normal when teachers announce the students’ bloodless revolution succeeded and they are now in charge. After conducting a secret-ballot vote on policy, the 7th graders emerge to find the school evacuated and the FBI lurking outside with the task of unearthing a treasure of national importance. 

The students’ mission is clear—discover the treasure before the FBI locks down the building. Dennis and Rhonda lead the revolt and must work together to follow century-old clues left by a crazy Revolutionary War buff. 

To stay one step ahead of the FBI, they must delve into history and amass an arsenal to defend their school … because this is WAR! 

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “7th Grade Revolution by Liana Gardner”

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. : Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co.:  The Screaming Staircase by [Stroud, Jonathan]

3 Stars

Publisher: Disney Book Group, Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: August 26th, 2014

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, paranormal

Number of pages: 401

POV: 1st person

Series: Lockwood & Co.

The Screaming Staircase – Book 1

The Dagger in the Desk – Book 1.5

The Whispering Skull – Book 2

The Hollow Boy – Book 3

The Creeping Shadow – Book 4

The Empty Grave – Book 5

Where you can find The Screaming Staircase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead, she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately, this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by specters, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humor and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

Trigger Warning: Suicide after the fact, Murder after the fact

Continue reading “The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. : Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud”

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: A Fiendish Arrangement (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Book 1) by Alexandra Bracken

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)

Title: The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publisher: Disney Book Group, Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: September 5th, 2017

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – Book 1

Where you can find The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type. 

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host. 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts, passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: A Fiendish Arrangement (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Book 1) by Alexandra Bracken”