Book Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

mortalheartBook Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

The third book in His Fair Assassin series weaves Annith’s story and the other two stories together. Annith grows tired of waiting her turn to serve St. Mortain, so when she realizes that the Abbess never intends for her to leave on a mission, she takes matters into her own hands.

This has been an interesting trilogy for me because I have loved each book equally. Each book is based loosely on history, but full of action and great characters. I love the flaws and rough edges of these characters. While I did relate to some more than others, I think that each book has its own merits.

Quotes I liked:

Annith on tears: “Tears sting at my eyes and try to crowd their way up my throat.”

Annith on love: “It is all too easy to conjure up all the obstacles that face us, and it is tempting, oh so tempting, to tie his love to me for all eternity so that I am the final one he will ever love. But it is too close to what the abbess tried to do to me: to bind me so close to her that I could not love or live on my own, could not make my own choices. “No,” I say firmly. “I do not want a love if it must bind it to me in such a manner, for does not the very binding of it make it less like love?”

Recommended Grade: High School-Adult
Genre: Action Adventure/Historical
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: Book (arc)

Book Review: Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Shipwreck IslandBook Review: Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

When Sarah’s dad remarries, she doesn’t expect to be included on a family trip so soon. Not only does she have to get used to a new stepmother, but two new stepbrothers as well. When the trip doesn’t go as expected, they are forced to survive on an island they’ve named Shipwreck Island.

I am a huge S.A. Bodeen fan! This book caught my attention right away, but ended so suddenly it made me wonder if I had the entire arc. I know that this was the first installment in a new series, but the ending was very abrupt, so be prepared. If you ignore that though, the story is interesting and mysterious and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. You will like the characters and enjoy this Swiss Family Robinson meets Blue Beard style of a novel.

Quote: None that stuck out

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Action Adventure/Fantasy
Overall Opinion: Average with potential (curious about the next book)
Source: ebook from Netgalley

Book Review: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Book The Mark of the DragonflyReview: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Piper is great with machines. She has a natural way at fixing things that no one else can. That comes in handy when you live in a small down and have to scavenge for parts; or really scavenge for anything at all. When a storm brings young Anna into Piper’s life, she knows she must leave all that she’s ever known to save this girl she barely knows.

I really loved this book. It had a steampunk feel without getting bogged down in the whole Victorian theme. The characters were believable and while not always likeable, they were always relatable. Who doesn’t have their rough edges? I didn’t find the major plot twist a surprise, but most of my students have. Book wraps up nicely, but leaves room for a second book.

Quote (kind of a spoiler, so you might wait until reading the book)
“You mean that I can’t live without you-that I’ll stop working?” Anna sniffed and wiped her eyes, “I didn’t need Doloman to tell me that. You’re my sister. I don’t want to leave you, Piper, not ever.”

Recommended Ages: Grades 7 and up
Genre: Tough one. Kind of fantasy, dystopian, steampunkish, and action adventure
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: eBook from Netgalley

Book Review: The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen

ShadowThroneThe final book in The False Prince series is just as action packed as the first two books. Now a king, Jaron struggles to save Carthya from attack from all sides. Kidnapping, betrayal, and the death of someone very close to the king make this book impossible to put down.

I’ve really enjoyed this series. It has appeal for both boys and girls and it is quick paced. Some of the plot twists were predictable to me, but my students never saw them coming. Good for action adventure fans or anyone who likes that medieval time period.

Quote I loved between Mott and Jaron.

“Villains and plots and enemies are simple things to me. But friendships are complicated, and love is harder still. It has wounded me deeper than a sword ever could.”

“If you hurt deeply, then it mean you love deeply too. Love is a powerful thing, Jaron. In the end, love will help you win this war.”

Recommended Grades: 6 -10th Grade
Genre: Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: ebook from Netgalley

Book Review: The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of EmbersReeling from the loss of the king, Eliza must follow mysterious clues in an attempt to fulfill her destiny. Not sure who to trust, Eliza finds herself falling in love with someone she wouldn’t have expected.

This is book two in the Girl of Fire and Thorn series. I would definitely recommend reading this series in order. This book is action packed from beginning to end. Currently reading the much anticipated conclusion to this series.

Quote: “It’s nice to consider that God may not count imperfection as an obstacle to working out his will in the world.”

Recommended Ages: Grade 7 and up
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Overall Opinion:  Highly Recommended
Source: eBook

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Scorpio RacesThis is another alternating point of view story. Sean Kendrick is the four time winner of the Scorpio Races but although the purse for winning is large, he is unable to have what he really wants. Puck enters the races in a desperate attempt to keep her brother from leaving and raise enough money to keep her house. Circumstances draw the two competitors together as their stories weave together.

I have often heard this novel sold as the Hunger Games but on horseback. While the competition is brutal I think that sells this book way to short. This book is about longing, love, and racing against the odds but yes, there is a lot of dying.

Quotes I loved:

“I think that is the mercy of this island, actually, that it won’t give us our terrible memories for long, but lets us keep the good ones for as long as we want them.” –Puck

“It’s easy to convince men to love you, Puck. All you have to do is be a mountain they have to climb or a poem they don’t understand. Something that makes them feel strong or clever. It’s why they love the ocean.” -Peg

Recommended Ages: Grades 7 and up
Genre: Either fantasy or action adventure
Overall Opinion:  Highly recommended
Source: Audio Book and eBook (reader for Sean read waaaaayyy to slow).