The Owl Service (Alan Garner)

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this book until now. I read it when I was little, and it scared me quite a lot at the time. Now that I am not as much of a scaredy cat I can see it for what it is: an impressive novel originally intended for a juvenile readership but, as these things tend to do, ended up being just as popular with adults. A remarkably subtle and complex fantasy that could also be classed as weird fiction for young adults. The style is fast-paced, sparse, and doesn’t patronize the reader with pages, or even paragraphs of scene-setting. (By the way– it may be bad luck to gaze at an owl. That’s why I chose such a bland cover above instead of the more striking ones featuring our nocturnal feathered friends. Don’t want to tempt fate…) [Read more…]

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The Amulet Of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1) (Jonathan Stroud)

This novel is set in a modern-day London that is ruled by Magicians. It is written from the perspective of a djinni (demon) and an undervalued magician’s apprentice. It’s tempting to compare the book to the Harry Potter series. Young boy. Magic. Sneaking around. Breaking the rules. Stern teachers. But the similarities really end there. What’s obvious is that Stroud can write about a complex world (and one I want to know more about) and making it interesting and funny. I’m used to slow beginnings in fantasy but this one started with a bang.
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Don’t Look Back (Jennifer Armentrout)

dont-look-backTwo teenage girls go missing for four days…until Samantha was found wandering in the streets. Everyone wants to know what happened but Samantha has no recollection of what’s happened. And now she is in a life that she doesn’t remember and she tries to pick up the pieces and find what really happened. So she has some issues. This is a nice read on a cool Halloween night. At forty six pages you should be able to finish it in one sitting. Male readers should probably avoid, but ladies on the young side, this could be right up your Strassa. [Read more…]

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Hamilton)

hunger-games-book-1Never been much of a dystopian reader myself and I thought this would be a good start. Well, I’d heard some really good things about this book, so I read it. Sadly, it’s not actually that good. I mean, the plot is fairly gripping and I did read it in one sitting. And I don’t mean to say that a book is bad if it isn’t all clever and knowing, but I just couldn’t connect enough. Maybe its because I am not a member of the target audience. [Read more…]

SWITCHED: 1 (THE TRYLLE TRILOGY) Amanda Hocking

SwitchedSo this is what teenagers read? I was expecting something thoroughly smutty but it is squeaky clean. What a relief. There is a very definite sense that this is the first in a trilogy. The basic plot is pretty simple, and usually used as a set-up to the main story, but somehow having it as a single book really worked. [Read more…]

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