Archive for the ‘Portal Fantasy’ Category

The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls By Elise Primavera [LibraryThingAmazon]

Although Prudence Gumm, Franny Muggs, and Cat Lemonjello have all lived on the same street their whole lives, they don’t like each other at all. And when Ivy Diamond moves to town, it’s not long before none of them like her, either. But then they find themselves mixed up with a witch, a lot of ruby red slippers – and one silver one – a wizard in a hot air balloon, and magical and perilous secret country. To survive, they’ll have to work together, appreciate each other’s strengths, and look at almost everything from the other way around.

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The Eidolon Chronicles (The Secret Country and The Shadow World)

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Eidolon 1 By Jane Johnson [Series at LibrarythingSeries at Amazon]

Ben’s world is changed when a very demanding little cat named Iggy begs Ben to free him from the evil Mr Dodds’s Pet Emporium. Iggy, it seems, hails from the magical world of Eidolon, where Dodds – known in Eidolon as the Dodman, a terrifying monster with the head of a vicious dog – has been kidnapping magical creatures to sell as exotic pets in England. Worse, Ben’s own mother is Eidolon’s rightful queen, and as magic is siphoned from the land by the Dodman’s cruel trade, Ben’s mother grows steadily sicker. Her only hope – and Eidolon’s – is for her to return to Eidolon, stop the Dodman, and reclaim her birthright. But though Ben and his sisters are the prophesied saviors of Eidolon, can they really defeat the Dodman and the various monsters he has gathered against them?

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The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff #1: You Wish

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Ben PiffBy Jason Lethcoe [LibrarythingAmazon]

Ever since his parents died and he was dumped into the world’s most miserable orphanage, nothing’s gone right for Ben. So he never really thought his birthday wish for unlimited wishes would come true, but it did – and caused major problems by doing so. Now he has to team up with Thomas Candlewick, brand-new president of the Wishworks Factory, and lead a small army of fairies, leprechauns, and Jinn into battle. Because not only has Ben’s wish upset the delicate balance of children’s birthday wishes worldwide, it’s delivered the unstoppable power of endless wishes into the hands of the president of the dreadful Curseworks Factory, where it’s become a weapon that may just destroy all wishing…forever.

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The Underland Chronicles (all five books)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Gregor the OverlanderBy Suzanne Collins [Collins at LibraryThingCollins a Amazon]

Gregor is more or less an average kid growing up in New York City, though he does miss his father, who disappeared over two years ago…But everything changes one day when he and his toddler sister, Boots, fall down an airshaft from their building’s laundry room and land in a strange realm called the Underland, where giant creatures—cockroaches, rats, and bats, among others—can talk.

There are humans in the Underland, too, a colony that was led there by Bartholomew of Sandwich four hundred years ago. But it’s a hard life: resources are scarce, and the humans and rats are constantly at war. Gregor, of course, wants nothing to do with war or the strange civilization, but he discovers that his falling was foretold in a prophecy Sandwich wrote…and the prophecy also tells of a quest he must undertake to find his father, who has now been a prisoner of the rats for over two years.

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Dirty Magic

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Dirty Magic By Carol Hughes [LibrarythingAmazon]

When Joe follows the strange girl called Katherine who’s been sent to fetch him, he finds himself in a land torn apart by war, where the people live in fear of secret police and horrifying machines capable of immense destruction. With Katherine and a blind guide named Spider, Joe must make his way across the perilous no man’s land to the capital city in order to find his little sister, Hannah – for this is the land where sick children go, and Hannah is deathly ill. But as Joe finds himself awash in this land’s secret history and deceptive politics, two questions arise: Just who is behind this war, anyway? And is Hannah the one who needs saving – or is Joe?

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May Bird Among the Stars

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

May Bird Among the Stars By Jodi Lynn Anderson [LibrarythingAmazon]

Having finally come to terms with the fact that a great destiny awaits her somewhere in North Farm, the part of the Ever After (sort of a realm of the dead) that even most spirits avoid, May and her companions set out northwards hoping to find a way home. Unfortunately, the Bogeyman is still after them, and he’s got a few merciless minions sniffing around.

Worse yet, when May finally reaches the Lady of North Farm, she finds out that the only portal that can take her and her brave companion, Somber Kitty, home is located under the Bogey’s own bed. How can they possibly sneak in under his nose and get home without getting caught?

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Journey to the Blue Moon

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Journey to the Blue MoonBy Rebecca Rupp [LibraryThingAmazon]

Ever since he lost his grandfather’s pocket watch with its mysterious inscription, Choose time or lose time, Alex has been in what you might call a funk. Time seems to be racing past him too fast, and since it all ends eventually, he thinks, why even bother? That is, until a strange old woman tells him to look for his watch on the blue moon, where all lost things go.

Once Alex and his dog Zeke hitch a ride on a spaceship piloted by three-foot-tall moon rats, he teams up with Tetley, the runt of the moon rats, plus Miss Mumsley, a prim suffragette who has lost her heart, and Simon, an Elizabethan math nerd who has lost his way. From there he has three days to find his lost watch before the moon ceases to be blue and he’s trapped there indefinitely. The companions must navigate through weird allegorical locations like the Inn of Abandoned Plans, the Pointless Tower, and the Cave of Lost Tempers, while avoiding the Time Eaters, who do exactly what their name implies. Complicating things is Urd, youngest of the Norns (Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters, similar to the Greek Fates), who wants to steal everyone’s time to keep herself eternally youthful.

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May Bird and the Ever After

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

May Bird coverBy Jodi Lynn Anderson [LibrarythingAmazon]

May Bird and the Ever After is the story of socially awkward ten-year-old May Ellen Bird and her hairless cat, Somber Kitty. It’s just been May, her mother, and Somber Kitty for her whole life, and May just doesn’t fit in at school, no matter how hard she tries. Really, the only place she does fit in is the woods of Briery Swamp…Until she falls into a strange, hidden lake, and when she climbs out, she can see ghosts all over.

Strange things start to happen, culminating with May and Kitty falling through the lake into the bizarre Ever After, a land of ghosts, spirits, specters, goblins, ghouls, demons, and other assorted creepy evil types. The Ever After is a dangerous place, especially for cats and Live Ones, and despite having received a desperate plea for help, all May wants to do is get out—before the Bogeyman or Evil Bo Cleevil catch her and turn her into nothing.
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Old Review Roundup

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Before we get started, here, some older reviews I’ve done, relevant to this site:

The City of Ember and The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau. Five cupcakes, and a friggin’ cherry on top. (Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction)

Uglies, Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfeld. Four and a half cupcakes for Uglies, three and a half for the other two. (Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction)

Bruce Coville novels, including the My Teacher series, The A.I. Gang, The Dragonslayers, The Nina Tanleven Ghost Series, and The Magic Shop series. I’d say the average rating is about four cupcakes. (Genres: Aliens Among Us, Other, High Fantasy, Contemporary/Urban Fantasy, and Fairy Tale/Mythic)

Pendragon, books one and two, by D.J. MacHale. Two cupcakes. (Genre: Portal Fantasy.)

Meta talk about writing and books:

Fantasy Females (Of the Literary Variety), about the roles female characters play in fantasy.

Seriously, What is Wrong With Cinderella?, about Disney princesses, ideas about how to keep female characters dynamic, and a little bit of repeated review of Pendragon.