Tag Archives: fantasy

Fevered Star

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse is the second book in the series Between Earth and Sky. The sequel to Black Sun, this novel will not disappoint fans of the first.

A wild fantasy series, complete with mysticism, magic, intrigue, romance, and family feuds. Fevered Star returns to The Merdian in the aftermath of events of the first novel. On the surface, it seems a classic case of good versus evil, light versus dark. But who is the good and who is the evil? With horrendous deeds on both sides, and a history of blood, war, and persecution, no one is blameless.

Will the sun rise over Tova again? Or will the darkness take hold and eclipse the sun eternally? Similar to the first book, this one does not give us a final ending. We see the resolution of some matters, but there is so much more of the story to be told.

I am dying to know if this is going to be a trilogy or a longer series. There’s certainly enough world-building and characters that I could see this extending for some time.

If you enjoy high fantasy and are looking for something new, and unique, I highly recommend starting with Black Sun, and then reading Fevered Star when it comes out later this year.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to Netgalley.com and Simon and Schuster for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

Under the Whispering Door Book Cover

Under the Whispering Door

I have been extremely fortunate to read some fantastic books lately. Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune is one of them. Although, once again, this is another book that is really hard to describe without giving away too much.

When our main character, Wallace, finds himself at his own funeral, he is quite confused. Enter Mei, the reaper. Her job is to escort him to the tea house to meet Hugo, the ferryman. Seems a bit bizarre, doesn’t it? Don’t worry; it’s worth it.

Despite being a novel about death, and what (may) happen after, the heart of this novel is about living. Wallace learns lessons in death about what he missed during his life and who he wants to be going forward. It’s a story of loss, love, courage, and finding yourself.

I found this to be a compelling read; it’s heartwarming, touching, and fantastical. If you don’t mind a bit of whimsy and supernatural in your books, I highly recommend this one.

After reading this and Klune’s earlier book The House in the Cerulean Sea, I’m wondering what he has against “management”. In both novels, management is depicted in a very negative light, almost as caricatures of a stereotypical bad manager/boss. It’s comical, but a little overdone. This is perhaps the only negative I have to say about either book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The House in the Cerulean Sea book cover, book review

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is one of my favorite books of the year so far. Complete with a wyvern, phoenix, sprites, gnomes, and other magical creatures, this novel is a delight.

Linus Baker is a lonely, 40-year-old man who lives with his grumpy cat and alongside an even grumpier neighbor. A long-time employee of the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he has a reputation for impartial, detailed reports. He’s been a caseworker for decades and has never wanted or asked for more.

Pushed beyond his comfort zone when he’s assigned to visit a mysterious, classified island full of magical children, Linus must adapt to the situation or risk failure.

His task? Evaluate the “orphanage,” the children, and the headmaster, Arthur. On the surface, this assignment from Extremely Upper Management is business as usual.

Other than the classified nature of the Island (and the children), this should be just like any other case. However, Linus finds it hard to maintain his detachment after getting to know Arthur and the children. He comes to learn that perhaps detachment is not something desirable when deciding the fates of children.

This is a story about acceptance, overcoming discrimination and prejudice, and the power of a single voice to make a difference.

Linus discovers that home is not just a place, it’s people, and he’s finally found his.

“I am but paper. Brittle and thin. I am held up to the sun, and it shines right through me. I get written on, and I can never be used again. These scratches are a history. They’re a story. They tell things for others to read, but they only see the words, and not what the words are written upon. I am but paper, and though there are many like me, none are exactly the same. I am parched parchment. I have lines. I have holes. Get me wet, and I melt. Light me on fire, and I burn. Take me in hardened hands, and I crumple. I tear. I am but paper. Brittle and thin.”

The House in the Cerulean Sea

I really cannot say enough good things about this book. The world could do with more compassion, empathy, and acceptance of others who are different.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
black wings beating

Black Wings Beating

This YA fantasy book by Alex London pairs falconry and mysticism for a fun, but ultimately unsatisfying adventure. Kylee and her brother Brysen are desperately trying to pay off their dead father’s debts to the Tamirs, the family that lords over the Six Villages. Brysen gets into some trouble, and Kylee is forced to help him get out of it.

With a forgotten language, opposing religious factions, and a strong female lead character—Kylee—this novel started with a lot of promise. It gets bogged down by the spelling of each character’s name; We have Kylee, Brysen, Nyall, Nyck, Vyvian, Yzzat, Dymian…. is there a law in the Six Villages that names must contain the letter Y? While this might be a minor or non-issue for some people, I found it to be very distracting.

Quite a bit of the plot is predictable. There are two big plot twists; one you can see coming from miles away and the other is sort of a let down given the obviousness of the other. I felt it dragged on for a long time, and then it had a bit of a cliff-hanger ending, where to find out how it ultimately ends, you need to read the next book. All in all, I don’t think I liked it enough to read the next book, so it gets 2.5 stars from me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.