Rhapsodic

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Rhapsodic

By:  Laura Thalassa
Published:  2016
# of pages: 
326
Series: 
The Bargainer (#1)
Challenges: 
A to Z

3Stars

Goodreads description:

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

My opinion:  I originally rated this 4 stars, but I changed it to 3 after thinking about it for awhile and starting the second book in the series, A Strange Hymn.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun read, but too many things didn’t make sense and there was too much repetition.  I can tell that when the author didn’t quite know what to do, she just had the main characters think loving or dirty or insecure or unsure thoughts.  I wish that there had been a little more action and real progress in the book.

The story follows Callie, who is a human, but a supernatural human.  She’s a siren and is able to glamour other humans and make them do whatever she wants them to do.  Her entire life changed as she found herself in trouble 8 years earlier.  She met the Bargainer, a Fae creature, and soon after that she went to a school for supernatural humans.  Now that she’s out of school, she puts her abilities to good use as a private investigator and tries to ignore the fact that she owes hundreds of favors to the mysterious Bargainer.  However, her life is once again disrupted as she becomes reacquainted with the Bargainer.  He says he needs her help so he must claim the favors she owes him.

This sounds like a really cool story, but like I said earlier, it’s mainly just Callie obsessing about the Bargainer.  At the end, the reader discovers that perhaps he didn’t really need her help and that explains why she didn’t ever really do anything the entire book.  Callie is a fun narrator so I’m disappointed that her physical appearance is always more appreciated than her wit and intellect.  If you don’t mind graphic sex scenes and want a fun read that doesn’t require much thought, I would recommend this, but otherwise I think there are books with similar plots that are more worth reading.

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars:  Fun narrative, but not enough substance or action.

Shattered Blue

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Shattered Blue

By:  Lauren Bird Horowitz
Published:  2015
# of pages:  336
Series:  The Light Trilogy (#1)
Challenges:  Full House (fantasy)

4Stars

Goodreads description: 

For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.

But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?

My opinion:  This book started out with some moments of deja vu.  I was taken right back to Twilight when Bella and Edward meet in a high school.  The male character, Callum, acts almost identically to Edward by seeming drawn to the female character (Noa) but also trying to initially avoid a relationship.  I was feeling a little disappointed at the similarity to the Twilight series and the teenage high school angst, but thankfully Shattered Blue picks up the pace and changes course just enough that I enjoyed the reading experience.  I’m actually surprised this book isn’t more popular.

The story is about Noa, a 16 year old high school student who isn’t new to her school, but is new to being a commuter student instead of a boarding student due to a family tragedy.  Noa feels lost as she returns to school after the tragedy and the only thing holding her together is her little sister Sasha.  However, she meets Callum and her life drastically changes.

Callum is from the Fae realm and has been banished to the humans’ realm.  The world he comes from is complicated and Callum also feels lost as he navigates a new world with new rules in addition to dealing with his own family’s tragedy.  Soon, Noa discovers that Callum isn’t the only Fae in town and their lives are further complicated as they face danger on several fronts.  Nothing is simple and Noa finds her confidence crumbling yet again as she works to discover the truth and save the lives of her friends and family.

I was impressed with the writing style and the poetic descriptions that felt natural instead of forced or out of place.  Sure, there are things I took issue with (Like seriously, why would you send kids to boarding school when you live within commuting distance!? If Noa’s family was that rich you’d think it would come up, but we are supposed to think that’s normal apparently.  End rant.)  The book is definitely geared towards young adults, but even adult fans of YA fantasy will enjoy this story.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Fun book with interesting story lines and characters, a little immature at times and some characters were slightly annoying.

 

Hiddensee

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Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

By: Gregory Maguire
Published: 2017
# of pages: 283
Quote:  “And now – now there was some truth to it, even if it was only the truth of a story that, once heard, becomes history.  You might forget a story, but you can never unhear a story.” -p. 140

4Stars

Goodreads description:

Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wickedand to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann—the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann’s mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s fairy tale ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults—a fascination with death and the afterlife—and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.

My opinion: Honestly, I haven’t been a fan of the other books I’ve read by Maguire, Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.  After seeing the description on Goodreads, I was intrigued by the concept of a Nutcracker story.  I haven’t ever seen a Nutcracker retelling so I decided to check this book out.  I’m glad I did because it was an interesting, mysterious story.

The novel follows Drosselmeier, the man who gives Klara the nutcracker in the traditional ballet.  The reader slowly gets to know Dirk Drosselmeier as he gets to know himself.  He grows from a cautious child without much personality into an older man with a great imagination and all kinds of thoughts and feelings.  The novel takes place in Germany and mentions fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers and also ties in Greek mythology.  It works really well except for the character who describes the Greek oracle who is unnecessarily poetic and reminded me of the dad in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

This would be a good book club read so there could be discussion after reading.  I recently saw a National Geographic article about fairy tales and how many of them have similar themes and structures throughout different historic periods and cultures.  I instantly thought of Hiddensee and how it ties Greek mythology into the Germanic fairy tales.  It’s a very interesting concept.  I also liked how Dirk grows from just Dirk, an abandoned child, into Godfather Drosselmeier, an influential man.


Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  
Interesting and unique story, thought provoking themes, but the reader doesn’t really grow fond of the characters.

Hunted

24485589Hunted

By:  Meagan Spooner
Published: 
2017
# of pages:  374

5Stars

Goodreads description:

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

My opinion:  I didn’t realize when I reserved this at my library that it’s another retelling of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.”  I just finished Wintersong a couple of weeks ago which is also a retelling, but is going to be a series while Hunted is a standalone novel.  It’s a good thing that’s my favorite fairy tale and I love reading different versions of it.

The story is about Yeva, nicknamed Beauty, the daughter of a hunter who lives in Russia.  Although Yeva loves hunting, she hasn’t been allowed to in years since her father wants her to become a respected member of the local society.  However, their lives are suddenly turned upside down and she once again finds the opportunity to use her bow and arrows.

I wasn’t able to immerse myself in the beginning of the book like I usually do because we were visiting distant family members I haven’t seen in 3 years for U.S. Thanksgiving.  So I wasn’t immediately drawn into the book, but by the end I was very impressed.  It was an incredibly well written book.  I couldn’t help but compare it to Wintersong and it came out on top.  However, it is quite different from Wintersong, so I can’t fairly compare them directly.

Things that were brought up at the end of the book were hinted at near the beginning of the book.  I love it when books are consistent from beginning to end and when it’s obvious the author had a clear plan from start to finish.  Nothing in this book seemed unnecessary, didn’t make sense, or contradicted itself.

I also enjoyed the main character of Yeva.  I didn’t relate to her that much since I’m not a hunter and don’t find the idea of hunting and what it entails enjoyable.  I also hate the cold and winter/snow played a large part in the story and seemed to symbolize freedom to Yeva while it would make me feel the opposite.  However, in spite of our differences I liked Yeva and understood why she made the decisions she made.

And finally, I appreciated the clean, good fairy tale story that Spooner gave her readers.  It makes me happy to have finally read a young adult fantasy that isn’t the first in a series.  It seems like I’m always waiting for the next novel in a series and this one wrapped up nicely.  It felt like the author wrote this for the pure enjoyment of it and that it wasn’t to make money or appeal to teens today, etc.  Perhaps her explanation in the note at the end of the book influenced my feelings about this, but I think my thought explains why the novel felt so well written and planned out.

Overall, this wasn’t SUPER amazing to me in spite of my review sounding like I was paid off to gush, so I don’t think it will go on my favorites list.  Maybe that was because I wasn’t able to spend much time reading it the first few days.  I think it’s worthy of gushing and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy and different versions of fairy tales.
Why I gave this book 5/5 stars:  Well, I’ve already said why in more detail that my reviews usually go into!

 

 

Wintersong

24763621Wintersong

By:  S. Jae-Jones
Published:  
2017
# of pages:  436
Series:  Wintersong (#1)
Challenge:

4Stars

Goodreads description:

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

My opinion:  This story follows Liesl (my sister’s nickname as a child so I love it!) as she shoulders much of her family’s burdens.  Her father is an alcoholic, her grandmother is perceived as senile, her mother is overworked, her brother Josef is a socially awkward musical prodigy, and her sister Kathe is super beautiful and outgoing.  Her brother’s talent and her sister’s beauty overshadow her own talent and appearance.  Interestingly, her sister feels ignored by Liesl and jealous of the attention Liesl pays their brother at the same time Liesl feels ignored and jealous of the attention her crush Hans pays Kathe.

But the year is coming to a close according to the old calendar and the border between the Underground where the Goblin King rules and the world Liesl lives in has grown thin.  Strange things begin to happen and Liesl soon finds herself playing a game with high stakes.

 I have mixed feelings about this book.  The first third grabbed my attention and I really enjoyed it, but the story took a sudden turn that didn’t quite make sense to me.  I won’t post spoilers so it’s hard to describe, but I feel like the first third of the book ended up being pointless since it had no bearing on the main character’s big decision.  I felt like the author had conflicting ideas on how the overall story was going to go and that she combined two different ideas into one story.

I liked the retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” and the old German fairy tale aspects.  I understand that Liesl’s feelings were mixed, but I wish that her relationship with the Goblin King had been a little more consistent.  It’s a “coming of age” story for Liesl, but I do wish she had displayed more confidence in herself throughout the novel instead of just at the end.

Overall, this is a fun read, especially if you love fairy tales and fantasy.  It’s nothing amazing, but it’s still worth reading!

 
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Fun read, unique settings, it’s a fairy tale!, but it could have been more consistent and made more sense if things had tied together a little better.

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

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The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

By:  Janet Fox
Published: 
2016
# of pages: 
388
Challenge: 
R.I.P.

3Stars

Goodreads description:

Something is not right at Rookskill Castle, a rundown Scottish manor shrouded in mystery. The castle is a temporary boarding school for children escaping the Blitz, but soon it’s clear there is something terribly wrong. There are clues hinting that a spy is in the house, and there are undeniable signs of a sinister magic. When the children in the castle’s temporary boarding school begin disappearing one by one, it’s a race against the clock for twelve-year-old Kat Bateson, her two younger siblings, and their new best friend.

My opinion:  This book’s title immediately intrigued me and is the reason why I added it to my TBR list last year!  I don’t typically read modern children’s literature, but I think it’s good to read some every once in awhile, especially since my oldest is 8 and will begin reading longer chapter books in the next couple of years.

This story follows a 12 year old girl named Kat who, along with her younger brother and sister, go to stay at a newly opened boarding school in Scotland to escape the Blitz of London in WWII.  The boarding school is located in an old keep owned by a distant relative of Kat’s family.  Kat has a practical and logical personality, but soon has a hard time understanding what exactly is happening in Rookskill Castle.  However, the safety of the students depends upon her figuring out what is going on.

I was pleased by the way the entire story was rounded out and came together.  I feel like a lot of children’s lit doesn’t always make sense and the “dots” don’t always connect.  Authors tend to jump around and even contradict the narrative in order to make the story move the way they want.  However, the sequence of events and the main character’s thought patterns were consistent in this book.  Of course, this is a children’s novel and it is still written as such.  I didn’t connect with the characters and wasn’t drawn into the story.  I don’t think the average adult reader would really love this book, but I think it would be a great read for kids.  It’s somewhat creepy, but not too suspenseful or complicated.

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars:  Well written and unique story, didn’t capture my attention as an adult.  I recommend for kids between the ages of 10 and 14.

Godsgrave

23264671 Godsgrave

By:  Jay Kristoff
Series:  The Nevernight Chronicle: Book 2
Published: 
2017
# of pages:  421
Challenge: 
Full House (Australian author), Monthly Motif (October)

4Stars

Goodreads description:

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

My opinion:  I read Nevernight a few months ago and really enjoyed the experience.  I’ve also read Illuminae and Gemina that Jay Kristoff wrote with Amie Kaufman.  Godsgrave is book 2 in The Nevernight Chronicle.  It’s a great book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as Nevernight.

The books follow Mia Corvere, a young woman with no family who trains to be an assassin for a group called the Red Church.  The first book follows Mia as she enters the Red Church’s training school.  The second book picks up a few months after the first as Mia continues her quest for revenge by entering the gladiator games in the city of Godsgrave.  These descriptions make these books sounds like young adult books…a school, games.  But there’s a lot of graphic sex throughout both novels and I wouldn’t consider them appropriate for readers in the younger YA age range.

But the sex is not what sticks with the reader.  Mia is young, but she’s mature for her age and while she is obsessed with her goal of revenge, she’s also considerate and thoughtful.  There’s a lot of violence as you can imagine, but it isn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be after reading the “warning” on the first page of Nevernight.

Overall, the main thing I was disappointed in with Godsgrave was the inconsistency in one of the characters.  He doesn’t play a large part, but he reveals something about Mia’s past that doesn’t fit with what he said about the same subject in earlier moments.  Mia discovers not everything about her past is the way she imagined it, something that happens to most of us at some time or another.  I just wish it had been revealed in a way that made more sense with what the character said earlier in the book.

Don’t let my hang up keep you from reading this series!  Both books have neat plot twists and a funnily sarcastic narrative.  I’m eager for the third book to be released (in 2018) to find out the answers to the many questions I have after reading the first two books.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Fast paced story that’s a worthy followup to the first book, plot twist I didn’t see coming, disappointing way of revealing Mia’s past.

 

The Eye of the World

The Eye of the World
By: Robert Jordan

Series: Wheel of Time

Published: 1990

# of pages: 814

Challenge: Ultimate Reading Challenge

Official description:

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

My opinion: With the exception of the flashback within a flashback (within a flashback?) chapters, this was a very well written novel that takes place in an amazingly well thought out fantasy world. It reminded me of Tolkien (Jordan claims he was inspired by Tolkien) and A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss. 

I enjoyed all of the characters, especially Rand and Perrin (and each of their thoughts about how the other was more comfortable with women!). I’m interested to see what happens with each of the characters in the following books, but especially Rand and Perrin.

And seriously, what about that last paragraph!? I feel like I could be content with waiting a long time to read the next book (which is what I usually do with long series with long individual books like A Song of Ice and Fire and Outlander, etc), but after reading the last paragraph I want to immediately jump into the next book to see what’s happening! However, it took me a L.O.N.G. time to get through The Eye of the World. I think it would have been slow going at times even if I was my normal reading obsessed self, but life hasn’t treated me so well this summer and it’s affected my reading habits. Right now I want to concentrate on my R.I.P. Challenge book choices which are shorter and suspenseful and will maybe pull me out of my reading slump! I was planning to start the next Wheel of Time book next year, but I’m thinking that maybe after October 31 and the R.I.P. Challenge, I’ll pick up book #2 to find out what happens next! 



Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Amazing fantasy world, I was interested in the characters, it was a little slow at times, but I kept wanting to continue.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.

Ashes on the Waves

Ashes on the Waves
By: Mary Lindsey

Challenge: RIP VIII

Published: 2013

# of pages: 373

Official description:

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.
With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, “Annabel Lee,” Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.


My opinion:  I think this will be included in my list of favorite books this year!  If you enjoy young adult fantasy, I highly recommend this.  It’s such a sweet love story and I love the parallel with Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee.”  I also looked forward to the beginning of each chapter, where there were excerpts from Poe’s works.

The only reason this isn’t 5 stars is because it did move a little slowly at times.  I wish the murder mystery had started up a little earlier in the novel.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Unique fantasy, sweet love story, likable characters, a little slow, and – in parts – a little “too young adult.”

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
By: Neil Gaiman

Challenge:  R.I.P. VII

Published:  2008

# of pages:  320

Quote:
“There were three of them there, then, and Amabella was introducing Bod and he was shaking hands and saying, ‘Charmed, I am sure,’ because he could greet people politely over nine hundred years of changing manners.”

“Really, he thought, if you couldn’t trust a poet to offer sensible advice, who could you trust?”

Official description: After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family . . . 
Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

My opinion:  It was weird going to the children’s section of the library to find this book.  I know that children’s literature includes kids in middle school, but it just seems weird that this is in the same genre as picture books.

When it comes to ages, I would let my 5th grader and older read this book.  It starts out with the murder of a boy’s family, which is pretty disturbing.  My heart ached thinking of the toddler boy wandering off on his own, even though it meant he was saved. I couldn’t help but think of my own little boys wandering out of the house at night.

The book isn’t all scary and intense though.  Most of it is pretty lighthearted, actually.  Bod is able to interact with all sorts of “people” from all sorts of time periods.  He learns to speak to adults and learn the truth about historic events from first hand sources.  I love how he was raised by everyone in a safe community, even if they were all ghosts.

The end of the book is definitely bittersweet.  Bod has so many adventures and meets so many people throughout the different chapters of the book.  The novel is a little disjointed at times, since some chapters almost seem like individual stories in themselves, but most of it ties together at the end.

I recommend this to children, young adults, and adults.  It isn’t scary, but the beginning is a little and there are intense parts.  It is supernatural, but it isn’t over the top or really serious.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Very unique story; interesting and likable characters; good “growing up” story about a boy who makes mistakes, but learns from them.

Other reviews:
Literary Musings
things mean a lot
Bold. Blue. Adventure.
Bookfoolery and Babble
You Can Never Have Too Many Books

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.