I read quite a few books this month but one had such bad writing, I didn’t want to review it (and it’s a bestseller too). Anyway, I decided on a high fantasy book, my first ever free book received in exchange for a review, and a science fiction classic which has beautiful language.
Also, for the first time, I’m introducing a guest reviewer. My daughter, Jazzy, who is 9. I figured since I’m writing for young people, it would be good to have a young reviewer. She’s not quite at YA age but give it a few years. Hence, we’re starting off Jazzy’s Book Nook!
As always, if you read a great sci fi fantasy book, especially by a non-blockbuster author, let me know!
The Naming by Alison Croggon
The first in a 5-book series about Maerad, a slave with a gorgeous lyre and a power she doesn’t know she has. In this book, she begins the process of discovering who she really is – which means escaping slavery and travelling with Cadvan, a Bard of considerable magical talent who becomes her mentor. The text is heavy with world building scenery for those who like that kind of thing. Some violence in action scenes and flashbacks do mean it’s better for older YA. A strong fantasy story – I loved the characters.
The Way Home by Julian Barr
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. The Way Home is based on Virgil’s Aeneid and is a retelling of the story of Aeneas the Trojan. The difficulty with retellings of ancient classics is that I always expect the language to reflect the times—but both the text and dialogue in The Way Home are thoroughly modern. However, despite this disconnect for me, the writing is very good although the switches in POV mean you have to pay attention. I learned a lot about the rivalries of Greek gods and demigods! It’s a fun read for someone who wants a contemporary take on an old story.
Babel-17 by Samuel R Delany
A science fiction classic which I recently read. If you’re into the intricacies of language (which I am), this is both quirky and literary. It has an awesome main character in Rydra Wong, a celebrated poet conscripted to decode a strange language known as Babel-17. This occurs amidst a futuristic intergalactic war of humans and aliens. Destined for my reread shelf.
The Book of Answers (Ateban Cipher 2) by A.L. Tait
This book is about a boy named Gabe who left his home (the Abbey), to look after a special book. Now he is trying to keep it from a group of corrupt people and take it to Lucien at Hayden’s Mont. At the same time, he is helping some girls save their Pa. What I liked about the book is that it had many surprises. For example, he met someone from his past that he thought was dead. Another thing was how they found out how the King got so sick. I would recommend it to children who love adventure in books.
Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens
This book is about two girls named Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. Together they make up the Wells and Wong detective society. This is their first murder mystery and it is a very interesting one. One of their teachers, Miss Bell is found dead in the gym by Hazel Wong. When she goes back, the body isn’t there. There are two mysteries in one! The first is to find Miss Bell’s corpse and the second is working out who committed the murder. What I enjoyed about the book was how Daisy and Hazel are very cunning and sneaky. I would recommend this book to people who like reading about things that could happen in real life, but still has lots of adventure.