Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Unique Wolf Shifter Story

I've been reading a lot of shifter fantasy lately.  The genre has strong cliches, no doubt.  So when I found the excellent and unusual Hidden Moon, by K.R. Thompson, I was not only immersed - I was impressed.

Set in our backyard, so to speak, the story takes place in the state of Virginia, but one where supernatural creatures roam along the Appalachian Trail.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan

Shadowmagic caught my eye yesterday. The blurb promised a funny fantasy adventure about a modern eighteen-year-old boy named Conor who thinks of himself as just an average guy (who just happens to have an eccentric father) until the day two warriors on horseback try to kill him.

From there, things just get stranger - from his abduction to Tir Nan Og to his new friends (a banshee and an imp) and a bunch of new relatives who want him dead.

It sounded so fun it went straight to the top of my To Be Read pile. In fact, I read it that very afternoon. Once I started reading, I was enthralled. So here I am, already writing my review.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is set in Seattle in a world in which the mythic and supernatural live side by side with normal people, though hidden in plain sight.

The story begins with Sam, fast food worker, college dropout, and rider of skateboards, on a typical night at work, when a chance encounter brings the supernatural world crashing into his.

The next thing he knows, an evil necromancer has identified Sam as a fellow necromancer and a rival.  The only problem is, Sam has no idea what he is or how to use his power.  So when the evil guy sends Sam's friend Brooke - beheaded, but as pretty and sassy as ever - to deliver a message to join him or suffer the consequences, Sam doesn't see much in the way of options.

Not until he finds himself locked in the guy's basement in a magical cage, with a pretty half-fey hound, half-werewolf girl.  With her help, the advice of a dead 10-year-old with a magical Blackberry, and his good friend Ramon rushing to the rescue, he might just make it out alive after all.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Books Like Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Best Mythic Fantasy Books for Ages 10 and Up

Percy Jackson 5-book boxed set
Available from Amazon
Rick Riordan's mythical, modern fantasy adventure stories are, without fail, entertaining reads.  But when you reach the end of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, what do you read next?

I have some suggestions.  I read a lot of fantasy myself, from the juvenile stacks to adult.  Lately I've been reading a lot looking for new series for my daughter, who is an eleven-year-old advanced reader with very particular tastes.

Here are my favorites - and hers - which are heroic fantasy adventures with a heavy dose of mythology.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers

Imagine a medieval world where nuns are trained as assassins.  Their loyalty to the throne is absolute as they work in the shadows to protect it.  Like our own medieval times, gods and saints seem very close, much a part of the daily lives of the people.  That is Robin LaFevers' Grave Mercy .

Our heroine, Ismae, is a teenage girl sold into marriage to a cruel man.  On her wedding day, she is rescued, and passed from one priest or midwife to another until she finally finds sanctuary in the monastery of her father, Mortain, the god of Death.  There, like other daughters of Death, she learns to use her god-given talents.  There, she is trained to kill; as the cover says, to be "the wolf" rather than "the sheep", in a world of men.

But as she is sent out into that world in her role as assassin, she begins to see that things might not be as black and white as they seemed at the monastery.  This leads her to explore her faith and her devotion to Mortain, leading her to a much more personal relationship with her god.  And when she finds the one man she's ever met worth loving, the command from the abbess to kill him gives Ismae a soul-wrenching choice:  trust her own understanding of her Father's will and risk losing the only sanctuary she's ever known, or do as she is told.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Heroes of Olympus : The Lost Hero

In The Lost Hero, we meet Jason, a teenage boy who wakes up on a bus during a field trip, holding hands with a girl he's not certain he's ever seen before.  His memory's gone, and only the coach chaperoning the trip seems to notice anything's wrong.

Before he is able to figure out much of anything, they're attacked.  The coach turns out to be not-human.  Neither is what attacks them.  Jason, the girl, and a funny sidekick are launched on an adventure to figure out what myth or monster wants them all dead.  Jason hopes they'll find his memory along the way.  But it gets worse.  It seems Mount Olympus is mysteriously closed, Percy Jackson is missing, and he's not the only one....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Last Apprentice Series, by Joseph Delaney

Revenge of the WitchAt the age of 13, one Thomas Ward becomes an apprentice Spook - a hunter of the supernatural - in a fantasy medieval realm not much unlike our own.  The series is dark. Our Spook's Apprentice pays a high price for his knowledge, faces true horrors, and gets little recognition or thanks.  And yet, this shiveringly creepy young adult series manages to be compelling.

As a fan of supernatural hunter stories in general, I found this series to be a delicious read. Fans all over the world agree, though they may call them The Spook's Apprentice, instead. With a brand new book releasing soon, and a movie in development, we can anticipate much more spine-chilling adventure.

Here is the Last Apprentice Series, in order, with my plot summaries and reviews: