Cassandra prides herself on being ready for anything, but she’s not ready for the Symphony of Smells – a strange chest full of vials that once belonged to a magician, and that appears one day at her grandfathers’ antique shop. With her new friend Max-Ernest, Cass investigates the magician’s disappearance – and finds herself battling an ancient society, the Midnight Sun, that is seeking the key to immortality. Soon Cass and Max-Ernest join the benevolent Terces Society along with their new friend Yo-Yoji, but the plots of the Midnight Sun grow ever more diabolical, and the mysteries surrounding our heroes grow ever more complex.
Archive for 2 Cupcakes
Immortal Nastasya has been a party girl for over four centuries, numbing her feelings in an effort to forget the tragedies she’s seen – and caused – in an endless lifetime. But when she realizes the shallow callousness of her friends, she turns her back on them and seeks refuge at River’s Edge, a haven for immortals seeking to turn over a new leaf. There she struggles with her own fears and dark memories – not to mention her attraction to the handsomest, jerkiest immortal she’s ever met – and comes to terms with her birthright, her power, and herself.
I couldn’t discuss the biggest problem with the book without spoiling part of the end, so be warned: uncovered spoilers lie behind the cut.
Finbar Frame is pale, skinny, broody, and allergic to the sun – but it’s not until a vampire-novel-obsessed girl on the train mistakes him for a vampire that he decides to become one. Or at least pretend to become one. After all, girls dig vampires, right? But when his masquerade gets underway, sorting out who he really likes, who really likes him, and why – not to mention figuring out who he really is – gets a little more complicated.
Hello! Happy New Year!
By Frank Beddor [LibraryThing]
The day Princess Alyss Heart turns seven, exiled Queen Redd attacks and takes over Wonderland. Forced to flee for her life, Alyss falls through the Pool of Tears and lands in England in the 1850s. Abandoned and alone, she loses her magic. Meanwhile, Redd rules Wonderland with an iron fist, and only a small band of rebels resists her. Their only hope is that somehow, Alyss can be brought home to take back the country that is rightfully hers.
Pandora and her friends have collected Jealousy and Vanity, but now they must travel to the Atlas Mountains to collect Laziness. To make matters worse, Pandora is quickly separated from her friends, all of the heroes are quickly enslaved, and Hera has kidnapped Pandy’s beloved dog. Alone for real now, Pandora must use her wits to free herself and find Laziness, but that’s no easy task when the sky is, quite literally falling.
Starting time: 4:10 PM
Ending time: 6:25 PM
Title: Nightmare Academy #1: Monster Hunters
Author: Dean Lorey
Genre: Contemporary fantasy
Summary: Charlie has nightmares… And bad things happen. After a horrible thing comes out of his dreams and tries to kill his family, he’s recruited by the Nightmare Division, to be trained at their Academy, and learn how to control his powers. Because people like Charlie bring monsters into this world — but they can also stop them.
Thoughts: Bleh. This book tries too hard to be wacky and hip, and the two characters who were supposed to be funny were pretty much detestably sexist. (Hint: calling your female coworker “sweetheart” after she’s asked you not to is not funny and charming, it’s demeaning.) The book had a good premise, and once the action picked up the execution was fine, but it did nothing for me (except make me irritated).
(And now a note: because I’ve only got an hour and a half left, and the last book in my TBR pile definitely won’t fit into that time, I’m totally going to cheat and pick up an old favorite to skim… *g*)
Time Started: 11:30 pm
Time Finished: 12:40 am
Title: California Diaries: Dawn, Diary 1
Author: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Teen drama llama.
Summary: As Dawn moves from the middle school to the high school, she finds her world changing as her circle of friends shift to include some and exclude others.
Thoughts: The CA Diaries series was a Baby-sitters Club spinoff that featured Dawn and her California friends in a somewhat more adult setting, with eating disorders and drinking and words like “breast” and “gynecologist.” Shocking! I’ve been reading through all the BSC books, including spinoffs, here, but I’d never read a CA Diaries book before. It didn’t charm me. Dawn is pretty much horrible (and seems to have lost all of her interests and convictions from the BSC proper), all the girls treat each other like crap, and the scene where a 17-year-old ogles a 13-year-old’s bra-less breast through her wet t-shirt is way gross. The brightest spot was Dawn’s brother Jeff being a hilariously sullen little brat. I love that kid.
ETA: I am heading to bed now, because I have to be up for MoCCA Fest tomorrow, but when I return tomorrow afternoon, the reading and blogging shall recommence!
The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives, The Unusual Suspects, The Problem Child, and Once Upon a Crime
Jess and I decided that our co-written review for HP7 was so much fun, we wanted to do it again! And since this series was, at least in part, the inspiration to start this site, it seemed like a great series to co-review. So here we go!
Since their parents disappeared a year and a half ago, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm have been shuffled from foster home to foster home. That is, until their grandmother, a woman they thought was dead, comes out of the woodwork to claim them. Granny Relda tells them that they are descended from the famous Brothers Grimm – and what’s more, that all of the characters their ancestors wrote about are real, and living in the girls’ new home of Ferryport Landing. Soon Sabrina and Daphne are running from giants, eating dinner with the Big Bad Wolf, and matching wits with Puck, the Pied Piper, and Prince Charming. Granny Relda is eager to train the girls to follow in her footsteps as fairy tale detectives, but for Sabrina and Daphne there’s one mystery that’s the most important of all: can they rescue their parents from the fairy tale conspirators who kidnapped them – without falling into the bad guys’ clutches themselves?
When Nearra awoke in the woods, she couldn’t remember who she was. After an attack by goblins, nearly being eaten by a dragon, and almost getting run down by a minotaur, she collects a group of friends (a ranger, a warrior, a kinder adventurer, an elfin guide, and the minotaur) who help her on her quest to discover who she is. Her only hope is to find a mystical temple and ask the priests and priestesses there to heal her. But it’s a dangerous trip, and there are all kinds of evil folks chasing them, and one in their own group may be a traitor…
Arthur has lived underground with his grandfather his whole life, until one night, while foraging for food, he witnesses a sinister group of men on a cheese hunt – even though hunting wild cheeses has been outlawed for years. Soon Arthur finds himself wrapped up with the cheese hunters and their mysterious plan to destroy the city of Ratbridge. With the help of his fellow underground denizens, the clever boxtrolls and the shy cabbageheads, plus a ragtag crew of piratical humans, rats, and crows, Arthur must stop Snatcher and his fellow Cheese Guild members before they eliminate Ratbridge – and the peaceful creatures living beneath it – forever.