Both of these excellent books come out today (Happy Bookday!) so I am doing a double review post.
Black Moon Rising (the Library Book #2)
by D. J. MacHale
Publication Date October 3, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
Marcus is an agent of the Library—a place that exists outside time, filled with stories that don’t have an ending. Mysteries that won’t be solved until Marcus and his friends step in to finish them. Before it’s too late.
An evil is plaguing a middle school in Massachusetts. Windows shatter for no reason. Bleachers collapse at a pep rally. Most of the students think they’re just having a string of bad luck, but Marcus and his friends suspect something a lot more sinister. Something like witchcraft. When the black moon rises, this story must come to an end . . . one way or another.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest reveiw.
Let’s talk covers for a minute. There has been a bit of ranting in the book world about publishers changing the look of a series cover mid-series. I also have had some issues with this lately and it appears to be happening even when the second book comes out, like this series. The cover I have here is the one that came on Netgalley, and I really love it. It matches the cover of the first book (which they also changed the name of?) but when you look on Goodreads and Amazon there is a totally different cover which I don’t like at all. I’m pretty sure that it is the cover I will be stuck with when it arrives in the mail tomorrow. I’m really hoping I will be surprised though and see this one. (Heavy sigh)
Cover issues aside, this second installment in this middle grade series is just as awesome as the first. There is just the right amount of scary, mixed in with suspense and action that will keep you on the edge of your seat if not hiding under your blankets at night. There are a couple of slow spots in the middle, but otherwise you will have trouble putting this book down.
Marcus continues to try to help finish the stories in the library with the help of his friends Theo and Lou. This one involves witches and spooky, scary things happening in a middle school far from where they live. It is also a little bit of a mystery with them needing to find out who is causing all of the trouble. I really enjoy the friendship between these three and how they always have each others backs. They are also quick thinkers and can get themselves out of a jam without adult help. They are also the type of kids that can earn the trust of other kids quickly, which they really need in this story.
I love the library in this series that is full of books that contain unfinished stories both from the past and the present. It is the library agents job to complete the story. The fact that the library is between dimensions allows the kids to travel from one place to another with out losing time in their own world. A little confusing at times but D.J. Machale makes it work, even when Marcus and his friends don’t completely understand it themselves.
A great scary story perfect for a cold October night. I don’t know how many books in the series there will ultimately be, but I am certainly hoping that there will be many many more to come.
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell
Publication Date October 3, 2017
Summary from NetGalley:
This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.
Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.
Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn’t, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he’s got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.
Xar doesn’t realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.
And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.
Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.
But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring …
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
I absolutely adore the How to Train Your Dragon series, so I was eager to snatch up this ARC and read it. I was not disappointed. Cressida Cowell has come up with a unique and wonderful story about two totally different kids who have been brought up as enemies but come to understand and like each other. Mix in some fairy tale creatures, snowcats, and witches and you have delightfully fun story. Plus there are Cressida’s distinctive drawings to help enhance the story and bring all of the characters to life.
Xar is a very interesting character. He can be very annoying at times, especially when he is boasting about how he is the chosen one. But he is clever and smart and really wants to make something of himself, even when he chooses to go about it in the wrong way. He has a delightful group of sprites, giants, snowcats and other creatures that are very loyal to him and follow him around helping him out of trouble. Caliburn, a raven that watches over and tries to advise Xar, was one of my favorite characters. He often was the voice of reason and seemed to always have an answer to all of Xar and others questions and issues.
Wish, the warrior princess, is a quirky young lady and not at all warrior like. She is kinds and curious, but also brave and willing to do what needs to get done. Wish’s character probably goes through the biggest change in the story and even though I was pretty sure about her big reveal towards the end there was still more to it than I thought there would be. Her mother Queen Sychorax (yes I spelled that correctly) is not a nice person for the most part. She doesn’t treat Wish very well but comes to appreciate her a bit more by the end of the story.
Bodkin, is Wish’s apprentice body guard and was a delightful addition to the cast. He spent a lot of his time telling everyone that they were doing the wrong thing and bad things would come of it. He is loyal to Wish although he doesn’t completely understand her. And even though he doesn’t like magic, by the end of the story I think he comes to appreciate it a bit more.
The plot is wonderful. There are lots of twists and turns and the ending was not something I was totally expecting. It is fast paced enough to make it exciting and hard to put down. There are some touching moments between the parents of both kids and Xar and Wish that are very nicely done. Although there is a definitive end to this story, there is still enough questions to make you want to pick up the next book to continue seeing what happens with Xar and Wish.