Month: September 2015

Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones

When Cat and his big sister Gwyndolen, a witch, go to live with her teacher in a country mansion, Gwyndolen is sure that all will be dazzled by her power and she will fulfill her dream of ruling over others. But Jones does an exceptional job upending Gwyndolen’s (and our) assumptions about how a story like this will evolve. A surprise and a delight to read. For 14 and up.

Bloodfever, Karen Marie Moning

Book 2 picks up where the first Fever book left off, in the wake of a climactic battle with the forces of evil. In this journey, our heroine, MacKayla, walks the streets of Dublin to find a long-lost relic – even though what will happen if she finds it is unsure, and Mac knows she can’t trust the men who want her to find it for them. But this path my help her find her sister’s murderer, and vengeance drives Mac above all else. Dark urban fantasy for adults.

Hard Magic, by Larry Correia

Interesting film noir-style alternate fantasy that focuses on hard-bitten Actives, or magic-users. War hero, magic-user, and PI Jake Sullivan is tasked by the FBI to arrest a former flame. The world-building in this is so immersive and specific, and the perspective shifts so frequent, that it took me about 100 pages to follow along, pick up the slang, and roll with it. But once I did, it was a great ride.

Born at Midnight, by C. C. Hunter

When she’s shipped off to Shadow Falls camp, teen Kylie’s life is changed in an instant, and real life is beyond what she ever imagined. Despite adjusting to the idea of kids with powers (and what’s hers, anyway?), she finds encouragement from a cute boy and friendship from her cabin-mates. But why do they keep talking about closing the camp down, just as she’s finally finding her way? Fun read, for 16 and up.

Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins

I enjoyed this “school for the magically gifted” tale enough to continue reading the series. When teen witch Sophie is sent away, she finds her magic school to be a microcosm of her previous high schools: cliquey teens, cute guys, and her first real friend in her vampire roommate. If it weren’t for the kids who keep dying, it might all work out. For 16 and up.

The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley

This terrific debut novel combines supernaturals with a British spy story for a twisty mystery that propels you through the story. Our wonderful heroine, Myfanway (pronounced Miffany),awakens with amnesia and only a note in her pocket telling her who she is. Let’s just quote the first line of the book: “Dear You, The body you’re wearing used to be mine.” A rollicking good time, filled with people with unusual powers staffing Britian’s secret spy agency, follows. Highly recommended. This is not a YA book, but I think 16 and up would enjoy it.