Posts Categorized: ya fantasy

The False Prince Review

23 Mar, 2017 by in fantasy, scholastic, ya fantasy Leave a comment

The False Prince Review

The False Prince

by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: Ascendance Trilogy #1
Published by Scholastic on April 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 355
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads

This book is chock-full of action, suspense, and humor! With twists and turns in the plot, I could hardly put it down. Each character had completely different strengths and weaknesses. Sage’s dry humor and sarcastic remarks kept the mood from becoming too foreboding. With Conner’s mysterious plan and Sage’s shadowy past, the reader has to continually guess what will happen next.

The False Prince is also a coming-of-age novel. Sage has to refine his character by decreasing his arrogance and leaving some things unsaid. He is my favorite character because he won’t give in to anyone and intelligently takes note of small details that ultimately save him. The suspense in the plot only resolves at the very end, so the reader has to keep reading to find out what happens. I would recommend this book to ages 12 and above or anyone that wants to be pulled into a complex story.

-Kaykay, 15


Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

15 Oct, 2014 by in ala, disney hyperion, R.C. Lewis, stitching snow, YA book reviews, ya fantasy 1 comment

I received this book for free from ALA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Stitching Snow

by R.C. Lewis
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 14th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Buy the BookGoodreads
Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival

Stitching Snow reminded me a lot of the Wondla Series by Tony DiTerlizzi. Take Snow White and mash it up with Star Wars like drones, add some cage fighting and you have a fresh take on an old fairy tale. Essie is living a quiet life repairing mining drones on planet Thanda when a ship crashes across the sky. The lone survivor is a mysterious and dangerous boy named Dane. Essie’s goal is to get him up and out of her life as soon as possible. The two work on repairing or “stitching” the code to get his mode of transportation back in the air. But as the plot unravels, we learn Dane is way more than meets the eye, much more than a traveling treasure hunter. He is a threat in more ways than one. Essie has major trust issues from her abuse in the past and any male is to be held at more than arms distance.

With slow building romance and plenty of action, Essie’s journey takes readers to several different planets. All the while she has sidekick dwarf drones Dimwit and Cusser by her side. There are dark villains, an evil step-mother and the potential inheritance of a royal throne. Overall, I really enjoyed R.C. Lewis debut. It took a while to understand the world and mindset of each character, but once rolling there is plenty going on! I also really like that this is a standalone. The techy, sci fi side isn’t normally my forte, but the complexity of Dane and Essie’s relationship kept me hooked. Kudos to Lewis for holding my interest and wrapping things up in a hopeful, romantic way.

Content: recommend for 16 and older because of two attempted rape scenes and heavy themes. No swearing. Moderate violence.

About the Author

RC-Headshot-1-SmallerR.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.

Her debut novel Stitching Snow is a sci-fi retelling of Snow White, releasing October 14th from Hyperion.


Blog Tour: Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel

10 Jun, 2014 by in bad luck girl, blog tour, Uncategorized, YA book reviews, ya fantasy 1 comment

I received this book for free from Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel

Bad Luck Girl

by Sarah Zettel
Series: The American Fairy, #1
Published by Random House on May 27th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Random House
Buy the BookGoodreads
Fans of Libba Bray's The Diviners will love the blend of fantasy and jazz-hot Chicago in this stylish series.

After rescuing her parents from the Seelie king at Hearst Castle, Callie is caught up in the war between the fairies of the Midnight Throne and the Sunlit Kingdoms. By accident, she discovers that fairies aren't the only magical creatures in the world. There's also Halfers, misfits that are half fairy and half other--laced with strange magic and big-city attitude. As the war heats up, Callie's world falls apart. And even though she's the child of prophecy, she doubts she can save the Halfers, her people, her family, and Jack, let alone herself. The fairies all say Callie is the Bad Luck Girl, and she's starting to believe them.

A strong example of diversity in YA, the American Fairy Trilogy introduces Callie LeRoux, a half-black teen who stars in this evocative story full of American history and fairy tales.

Praise for Bad Luck Girl:

"All the powers that be want to use Callie's magic to win the war for their side, and nobody cares what happens to Callie, Jack or the Halfers, raising the stakes to frighteningly high levels. Callie and Zettel bring this stellar trilogy to a satisfyingly sentimental conclusion." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"[Zettel's] strong characterizations, historical detail, and carefully constructed fantastic elements create a high-energy literary fusion that fans will devour." --SLJ

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the official blog tour for Bad Luck Girl. This is book three in the American Fairy trilogy, and having not read the first two, I jumped right in when offered a review copy. Faeries and historical fiction mixed? Yes, please! The book picks right up in the middle of Callie’s involvement in a war between the seelie and unseelie courts. By inadvertently killing a king’s daughter, she is once again in the thick of things. She, her family, and friend Jack are fleeing to Chicago in the midst of the depression. The action is literally non-stop. You will also get a firsthand look at what life was like in America in the 1930’s while reality and magic mingle together.

Bad Luck Girl is a great pick for younger readers because the main character’s voice is on the young end of the spectrum. I would highly recommend reading the first two in the series before picking up book three. While not impossible to catch the drift of the backstory, I think it would be much more enjoyable to really get to know all involved through the separate books. I loved the non-fiction elements blended with fantasy and the ethnic diversity of characters. Thanks so much to Random House for a fun fairy read!heather


About the Authorsrah_zettel

Sarah Zettel is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, spanning the full range of genre fiction. Her debut novel, Reclamation, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her second release, Fool’s War, was a 1997 New York Times Notable Book, and the American Library Association named Playing God one of the Best Books for Young Adults of 1999. Her novel Bitter Angels won the Philip K. Dick Award for best science fiction paperback in 2009. Her latest novel, Dust Girl, was named as one of the best young adult books of the year by both Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association. Zettel lives in Michigan with her husband, her rapidly growing son, and her cat, Buffy the Vermin Slayer.

Website *  Twitter  * Facebook * Goodreads


Seeds of Discovery Blog Tour

10 Jun, 2012 by in ya, ya fantasy 1 comment

We are happy to be today’s stop on the Seeds of Discovery Blog Tour hosted by Lightning Book Productions.
Seeds of Discovery
Dusk Gate Chronicles – Book One
by Breeana Puttroff
Paperback, 288 page (also available for Kindle)
Published April 2011
by Musefish Independent Press
ISBN 0983993017   
Source: Author
Rating 4 stars

Book Summary from Goodreads: Quinn Robbins’ life was everything she thought a teenager’s should be. She has good friends, a family that she loves, good grades, and an after-school job she enjoys. And, she’s just been asked out by Zander Cunningham, a popular football player and great guy. But one day when driving home after picking up her little sister from the baby-sitter’s, she nearly hits a boy who, after running blindly into the street, mysteriously disappears.
The mystery only deepens as she figures out who the boy is; William Rose, a reclusive, awkward boy from school who always has his nose in a pile of books.

 As she becomes more aware of his behavior it becomes more obvious how out of the ordinary William is and how hard he deliberately tries to blend into the background. This only intrigues her more and she finds herself working to find out more about him, and exactly where he keeps disappearing to. 

 On a whim one night she follows him and suddenly finds herself in a new world. One where William is a prince, literally, and she is treated like a princess. She also discovers that she is stuck; the gate back to her own world isn’t always open. 

Quinn finds herself smack in the middle of a modern-day fairy tale, on a course that will change her life forever
My Thoughts: Quinn is a fun character. She is a bit reserved, yet quite curious. She doesn’t quite buy into the social scene at her local high school, but she is a typical teenager in many other ways. When I began reading the book, I had a hard time figuring out how the cover image fit the story at all. It opens in a modern small town and follows Quinn as she is torn between a budding crush on her long time good friend, and her curiosity about William. I couldn’t see how a castle fit in to the story. 
Then all of a sudden, a burst of courage and an overwhelming sense of curiosity sent Quinn on an adventure in a modern fairy tale world of Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses. But this world, while beautiful and filled with wonderful people, is plagued by a mysterious illness that only seems to attack children, and rarely more than one child in the same family. 
 I really enjoyed reading this book. It is fun and clean. The characters are very likable and I found myself wondering more about them. I liked that the story shed a positive light on larger families. As a mom to five children I love to see the positive aspects of large families highlighted (The king and queen in this tale have 13 children!). 
I would definitely recommended this book, especially if you like a light fantasy read. I look forward to reading the next books in the series!
About the Author: Breeana Puttroff has loved making up stories since she could talk. For many years, her biggest audience for those stories was the fantastic students she had the privilege of teaching.
One summer afternoon, while she was picnicking in the beautiful mountains of her Colorado home with her little girl, Breeana saw an old, broken stone bridge, and she just knew there was a story inside. Six months later, the Dusk Gate Chronicles was born.
Breeana now runs a small business and writes full-time, and is a busy, single, homeschooling mom to her beautiful daughter.
Breeana holds a B.A. in English from the University of Northern Colorado, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and Literacy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA  
Find out more on her website/ blog/ twitter

Buy all three books:

Clean Read Review- The Shapeshifter’s Secret

29 May, 2012 by in ya fantasy 1 comment

The Shapeshifter’s Secret
by Heather Ostler
Paperback, 328 pages
Expected Publication Date June 12, 2012
by Cedar Fort
ISBN: 1462110339
Book Source: Netgalley
4 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: Julia is finally discovering what–not who–she is.

Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia’s used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia’s reactions become oddly vicious and angry—more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that will keep you guessing to the very last page.

Cathy’s Review: Julia’s a normal 16 year old girl, or so she thinks. Her dad is really overprotective and that makes her do crazy things like sneaking out of her window at night to go to her friend’s parties. That all changes when the new boy at school hears that she’s been sneaking out. Julia thinks that he told her dad, because right away her dad installs bars on the windows of her room. Julia gets so angry at her dad, and then she feels really weird, but she’s uncertain why and her dad doesn’t seem to want to explain anything to Julia. He also doesn’t want to tell her about her mom that she’s never known, so it’s all a big surprise to Julia when she learns that she’s basically royalty from another dimension, where she’s being hunted by a group called the Guild. To escape them she must learn how to defend herself as well as how to control her Shapeshifting into a werecat. 

This book was amazing! I loved Julia and I really loved the premise behind this story. What girl doesn’t want to figure out that they really are a princess that they all have dreamed about being as a little girl. The plot was fast moving and I really enjoyed the adventure. I liked that I was unable to guess which way the plot was going to go. I did kind of wish that Julia would choose the other guy, but maybe in a second book!

Content: clean

About the author: Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She majored in English at Utah Valley University, and soon began composing stories about masquerades, water nymphs, and shapeshifters. She and her husband, Kellen, reside in Highland, Utah with two remarkably pleasant pugs.

Find out more about author Heather Ostler: Goodreads/ Twitter/ Website

Ambush Review and Signed Swag Giveaway

06 Mar, 2012 by in obert skye, Shadow Mountain, ya fantasy 3 comments

Pillage, Book 3: Ambush
by Obert Skye
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 24, 2012
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609088913
Book Source: Publisher
4 stars
Summary: “What can happen on an innocent field trip to a museum? In the secure protection of a jail? OR on a simple bus ride? Plenty, if you are a member of the Pillage family and your name is Beck Phillips. No matter what strangeness is going on, Beck still manages to turn things on their head.
When Beck’s personality and behavior begins to change after he makes a fateful, life-altering decision involving–what else?–a dragon egg, there is no one around to stop him from fulfilling his family’s destiny set out in The Grim Knot. And as life in Kingsplot moves unwittingly toward the brink of another dragon disaster, Beck finds himself living a life of deception as he hides information from the people who love and care about him the most.”
Beck is trying to get back to normal after he, Wyatt, and his long-suffering girlfriend Kate drop the last egg in the manor where it, hopefully, can’t be reached again. Beck heads to a field trip with his class to the town museum. Beck is drawn to a Pillage statue. Under his feet, though, mushrooms start to grow and take over. Causing a very bad situation for Beck involving buses and water. When he finds himself in a police car, he says,
“I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. Sure, a lot of odd things had occurred since I had moved to Kingsplot. I had raised dragons, discovered my father, and destroyed a few things along the way, but this was the first time I had been arrested.” page 43
Beck is later asked to do something by his sick father. Should he do it? Even though he knows what will happen, and it could risk his relationship with Kate, Beck is tempted.
Mindy’s Review: 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this series. It’s a great ride! I love how the author writes Beck’s character. He’s a sarcastic little brat sometimes, but he always makes me smile. Beck always has something clever to say. He is written so well, each character is. There are some surprises with the dragon egg that I really liked, and a little twist too. I did want more from the dragon though, but it didn’t “ruin” the book for me. Very clever and creative series. Check out my earlier review of Pillage.
About the Author:  Obert Skye read his first book at age two. He wrote his first story at age four. And he was nearly trampled by a herd of water buffalo at age six. For a short time, he lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where he spent time as a candy-taster. Several years ago, Obert Skye says, he discovered the existence of Foo. Publishing his story as a fictional series was not Obert’s first choice. Nevertheless he is content that the “history” is being told. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting old maps, water polo, roller coasters.
Order the book from AMAZON / B & N / DESERET BOOK / SEAGULL BOOK
Find Obert Skye on Goodreads/ His site/ Twitter/ Facebook

                                                                                                                                           photo by Heather Zahn Gardner

The Giveaway: Heather from Fire and Ice had the chance to meet Obert at his Deseret Book signing last week. So, we are giving away a swag pack of an author signed bookmark and postcard! 

Simply comment below to enter.
Open internationally. Ends March  20, 2012.

Book Review- Between the Sea and Sky

08 Oct, 2011 by in ya fantasy 1 comment

Between the Sea and Sky
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Hardcover, 240 pages
Expected publication: October 25th 2011
by Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
ISBN 1599904349
Book source: BEA
4 stars

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren–the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn’t seen since childhood–a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

Esmerine and her sister Dosinia are mermaids of merchant class turned Sirens, but both girls long to know more of the life above sea on land. As a child Esmerine had a taste of other worlds with her winged friend Alandare who flew in to bring her books and taught her to read. As a young adult she hasn’t heard from him in years. When Esmerine’s sister disappears she knows she must use the skills she refined on land to find Dosinia and bring her back home. In the vein of Hans Christian Anderson comes a fantasy tale of three worlds colliding- earth, sea and sky. Three distinct races of people who rarely intermix must learn about each other.

I was torn because while I loved this book it felt like but a skeleton of what could have been extraordinary world building and I wanted much more. The other part of me savors the fact that it was short and old fashioned. I would recommend Between Sea and Sky to those seeking a childhood fairy tale with just the right amount of adventure and romance. Now that I’ve had a taste of Jaclyn Dolamore’s lush writing I am going to pick up Magic Under Glass. She’s a very talented young woman and I’ll be passing Between the Sea and Sky on to my daughters.

You might also like: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry, Forgive my Fins by Teralynn Childs and The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan.

Content: Clean. Brief talk of breasts (since they are mermaids) and an innocent kiss. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Enter to win your won copy of Between the Sea and Sky on Goodreads. Ends October 20, 2011.