Welcome to the latest installment of my Review that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature. In a nod to Friday the 13th, I have quite a few spooky books on the list this week.
Children's and YA Titles
Court from Once Upon a Bookshelf intrigued me with the first sentence of her review of The Dream of the Stone by Christina Askounis, an older title, but one that I haven't seen before. Court said: "Let me start with saying that anyone who is a fan of Madeline L’Engle’s Time Quartet ought to read this book." She added, later in the review: "This was quite the engaging book. The characters were all fabulously developed, the plot was exciting, and it took me to places my imagination reveled in. I love good stories where the characters travel to new worlds, when the author can pull off creating a believable world that is so different than ours."
Clearly I am drawn in by reviews that compare new titles to old favorites. So when Sherry started a review of The Gollywhopper Games at Semicolon with: "I thought while reading it that this book was reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl or last year’s Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart", she got my attention. She further revealed that author Jody Feldman was inspired to write the book by a 10-year-old boy's quest for something like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And that was enough for me - I didn't even read the rest of the description in detail.
I've enjoyed the audio editions of the first two of Charlie Higson's Young James Bond series (Silverfin and Blood Fever). Therefore, I was pleased to learn from Camille at BookMoot that the third book in the series, Double or Die, is now available. Here's what Camille says about the audio versions of the first two books: "I was thrilled and happy to discover that SilverFin and Blood Fever were compelling and "didn't want to stop" listens for me. Nathaniel Parker (clicked on his website and shouted, "Oh, him! Inspector Lynley!) is an outstanding voice actor who shades each character with a distinct tone and cadence." Like Camille, I liked the second book better than the first, which makes me hopeful for the third.
Sheila Ruth wrote a review at Wands and Worlds during the 48-Hour Book Challenge that hooked me from the first paragraph. She said: "The year is 2047, and Zeyya lives in a tiny, roach-infested apartment with her parents. It's a horrible way to live, and not as nice as their previous home, but it's safer: Quarantine hasn't hit this area yet. Throughout the Greater East Coast Metropolis, people are taken away by the police, leaving only yellow Quarantine tape to indicate that they ever existed. Zeyya has never known anyone to return from Quarantine." The book is In the Company of Whispers, by Sallie Lowenstein. Sheila knows my taste pretty well, and she thinks that I'll like it, which is good enough for me.It won't be out until September.
I'm always on the lookout for engaging books for early readers. So this review of Araminta Spookie 1: My Haunted House at Krystel's Book Blog caught my eye. She said: "A fun fun fun start to the series! Araminta Spookie (isn't that a fantastic name?) lives in a haunted house, where she has a different bedroom for every day of the week, her uncle has a large tower to keep his many bats, and they both agree that their home is perfect." I'm also a fan of author Angie Sage's Magyk series, which made me even more likely to add this to my list.
Charlotte has started a new series at Charlotte's Library called Timeslip Tuesday. She explains: "A timeslip story is simply one in which characters pass from one time to another, either forward or backward, generally without a mechanical device such as a time machine." I do have a weakness for time travel books (although I tend to favor mechanical devices), so this is a feature I'll be sure to follow. Charlotte's first featured title is Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When, by Annette Laing. She says that it "throws three kids back in time from present day Snipesville, Georgia, into World War II England. Hannah, her brother Alex, and their friend Brandon are now war evacuees from London, struggling to figure out what is happening and why they have traveled through time. Then Brandon slips through time again to the England of World War I…and the mystery deepens."
There's no review for this last one, but Doret, TheHappyNappyBookseller, commented on my recent review of Steel Trapp to recommend Andy McNab and Robert Rigby's Traitor and sequels. I've read and enjoyed a couple of McNab's adult titles, but hadn't realized that he wrote young adult spy thrillers, too. My knowledge of his adult titles, and Doret's recommendation, are good enough for me to want to check this one out.
Leila wrote about the Harry Dresden books at Guys Lit Wire, starting with Storm Front: The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. "Harry Dresden has the voice of a hard-boiled detective AND he's a magic-user. His allies include Bob, a lecherous spirit housed in a human skull; Karrin Murphy, a super-tough homicide detective; Michael, a Knight of the Cross; a vampire named Thomas; and Ebenezar McCoy, a wizard who lives in Hogs Hollow, Missouri ... The books are smart, hilarious, action-packed and very hard to put down."