Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Forbidden Flats by Peggy Eddleman-4 stars

Eddleman, Peggy, Forbidden Flats. 5.22 hrs. (unabr.) Audible, Inc., 2014. 

After an earthquake hits White Rock, the town is hit with another possibly devastating blow. The gases from the Bomb’s Breath are lowering due to crack in the Earth’s wall. There is one possibility of saving the town, however. If Hope, a guide from outside White Rock, and her friends can bring back Seforium, they can close up the cracks. The only place the compound can be found is in Heaven’s Reach, a town across the Forbidden Flat and in the Rocky Mountains. To get it, they’ll try and trade some of their Ameiphus, a cure for infection and Shidell’s Sickness, to get it. But, they only have 21 days to bring it back before it’s too late. With dangers along the way, like bandits and more Bomb’s Breath, will the group be able to save White Rock?

Hope is a loveable, endearing main character whose optimism is infectious. The other characters are likable and the dynamic between them is heartwarming and engaging. The use of wits and bravery to save the day instead of braun is refreshing and helps draw the reader into Hope’s world. Narrator, Abigail Ravasch has a unique voice she brings to the characters’ personalities. Although her voice pitch changes in a few unexpected places, her fun narrative style complements this moderate-paced adventure. Despite not having quite as much action and peril as the first book, fans of the first Sky Jumpers will be delighted with this sequel and new readers to the series will be eager to go back and read the first. Recommended for most library collections.

Grades 5 to 9, 4 stars

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan-5 stars

Clare, Cassandra and Brennan, Sarah Rees, Bane Chronicles. 11 CDs. 13.08 hrs. (unbar.) Simon and Schuster Audio, 2014. $39.99. Audible.

Magnus Bane is many things; a warlock, a conniver, a gambler, a lover, and charismatic are but a few. Centuries old, Magnus longs to find true love and a purpose in life. Over the year, he’s made a few close friends, but a few powerful enemies as well.  His scandalous parties, monetary hijinks, fashionable lifestyle, and unique, semi-neutral position between downworlders and Shadowhunters often puts him in dangerous situations, some by choice. Somehow, however, he always manages to get out of them, but will there be one in which he doesn’t succeed?

A beloved character of Cassandra Clare’s novels, Bane is entertaining, likable, and a classic anti-hero. The stories about him are well-developed and engaging. The cast of narrators are befitting of a many-faceted character and easily bring Bane’s personality and world to life. Although readers who are fans of this series will not be disappointed, new readers to the series should be able to easily jump in. Their unique narrative styles easily navigate between romance, paranormal, mystery, and adventure and the necessary scene transitions. Recommended for any library collection. 
Grades 7 to 12,  5 stars.