Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bran Hambric The Fairfield Curse by Kaleb Nation


Six year old Bran Hambric was found inside a locked bank vault in the city of Dunce by bank manager Sewey with half a scrap of paper that stated only his name.  Under the finders keepers law of the city , Sewey and his family became his foster family.  Although, Bran doesn't remember any of his past, he still wonders about his mother and father.  At the age of fourteen, Bran comes face to face with a mysterious creature  that tries to kidnap him and drops half of a paper revealing a message from his mother.   Slowly,  Nation unfolds that Bran's mother was responsible for the creation of the Fairfield Curse and there are people out there that have been searching for Bran to complete what she started.  

I chose The Fairfield Curse after reading this on the back cover..."What if your mother was a criminal? What if her crime was magic? What if magic ran in the family?"  I was really intrigued by the idea that magic could be a crime.  Why would a mother become a criminal?  How would this affect Bran?   Add in that Bran now lives in a city where magic has been outlawed, so yeah so many questions that I wanted answered.   I knew there would be some mystery to solve and hoped to find a new and different take on magic.    I didn't anticipate that the mystery would take up such a large part of the story or that  the actual reasons behind the curse wouldn't unfold until over half the book was finished.  I also would have liked more about Bran's magical skills rather then have them be revealed inside books of magic or Missives of Magic that he finds inside a hidden library.  Because,  there are some really cool sounding magical abilities Netora the Physical, Comsar the Mental, Archon the Elemental, Illian the Illusional and Drimra the Mortal that I would have liked to explore more.   Overall, The Fairfield Curse has plenty of action and a mystery to solve, the recommended age range for the book is 9-12.  Others have made comparisons to Harry Potter, while I see the similarities there are still enough differences to make for an interesting read.     

Monday, December 2, 2013

Keeper Of The Lost Cities Exile by Shannon Messenger

Thank you to the lovely ladies at Literary Rambles 
for their signed ARC of EXILE for my review.  

From Goodreads "Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny--the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities--her life finally seems to be coming together. 

But Sophie's kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger. 

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever." 

I absolutely loved this second book in Shannon Messengers Keeper of the Lost Cities series, maybe even more then the first.  The story was so easy to get caught up in with plenty of mystery and some added danger with the cryptic messages from The Black Swan organization that made this one that much harder to put it down.  There were even some sad and tender moments between Sophie and her adoptive parents Grady and Edaline that brought me to tears. Loved it.  I liked the addition of Silveny the alicorn (unicorn with wings).  Bringing with her all the challenges of caring for and understanding their new link.   And Dex, Keefe and Fitz  were ever present as Sophie's friends and love interests making me really curious as to where things will go in Book 3. Sophie is just such a wonderful middle grade character.    A delightful, lovely story and I'm eagerly awaiting the next in the series.