Two magical books topped off our April reading, both earning starred reviews. The Golem and the Jinni is a mash-up of Jewish and Arab folklore, historical fiction and fantasy, new and old world sensibilities. Helene Wecker’s debut seems destined to be among the best of the year. The publisher has certainly gone all-out. The physical package is richly [...]
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. Roaring Brook Press. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: Always, there is an Eric and a Merle; a hare and a loss; and the island of Blessed. These are the constants. What changes in the seven stories of Midwinterblood is the time, starting in the future, 2073, and going back [...]
Scowler by Daniel Kraus. Delacorte Press, Random House. 2013. Review copy from publisher. The Plot: August, 1981. Changes are coming; Ry Burke, 19, knows this. The family farm is dying and he, his mother, Jo Beth, and his eleven year old sister Sarah, will have to leave. Sarah hunts the sky for changes of a [...]
I’ve been thinking about horror fiction lately. What are the secrets of its appeal? Why are teens so drawn to it? How can we know which adult horror novels will appeal to teens and which won’t? One of the reasons I’ve been thinking about this lately is because I enjoyed The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper [...]
Today we review three thrillingly original works of speculative fiction. Let’s start with a post-apocalyptic, dystopian debut novel. The Office of Mercy is being marketed as a Hunger Games readalike. (I’ve also seen comparisons to recent Alex Award winner, Pure). However, debut author Djanikian is more concerned with ethical questions than fast-paced action. The Alphas had good intentions [...]
Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye. Penguin Books. 2012. Personal copy. Vacation reads, a series of adult books reviewed before holidays for your vacation reading. The Plot: Christian has returned home, returned from the United States to Germany, to a place that is no longer the dark, small town [...]
R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, Vol. 1 & 2. 2 DVDs. approx. 2 hrs. ea. Shout!Factory. 2012. ISBN 978-1-60399-841-3/ ISBN 978-1-60399-842-0. $14.97 ea.
Gr 4-9–Each volume in “R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour” series, currently airing on The Hub TV Network, features five 20-minute episodes from the first season that combine creepy, spine-thrilling adventures with problems children face. In the two-part episode, “Really You,” in the first volume, a spoiled child learns a valuable lesson about love when her doll [...]