There have been so many wonderful new picture books this fall, that we’ve been enthusiastically reviewing them. But don’t think we have forgotten the older readers. Like most of our adolescent friends, we are suckers for YA series, and there are some great additions this fall. Rick Riordan never gets old, and we devoured his latest (and last in the Heroes of Olympus Series). And Sarah Maas brings new adventures, characters, and revelations to her Throne of Glass series. And there are new series on the horizon. Just in time for the holidays. So without further ado, here are our latest updates:
The Heroes of Olympus, Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Despite the hard work of the heroes, both Roman and Greek, Earth Mother Gaea and her giants continue to rise. According to the prophecies, Gaea will rise when she sacrifices two demi-gods at the Feast of Spes in Athens. And if Gaea rises, it means the end of the world as we know it! The action in this novel focuses on Jason, Piper, and Leo. Lots of adventure, excitement, humorous dialogue, and twisting plots. Nico and Reyna are the long-term characters who change the most and come to accept themselves for who they are. In many a ways, a satisfying conclusion to the series, and a good read. And yet. . .we were disappointed not to hear more from Percy and Anabelle. They were enduring characters and deserved a bit more time devoted to their stories. It felt to us that Riordan has already moved on to his new Norse series. But don’t get us wrong, we are still devoted Riordan fans and look forward to the Norse adventures.
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah Maas
Calaena has survived and endured so much in her short life–and in this next installment in her journey, her trials continue. She travels to a far corner of the realm with new dangers, revelations about her past, fascinating new friends–and frightening enemies. Romance continues, as well as a fast-paced plot, and lots of twists and turns. The new characters are ingenious, with depth and complexity whether they are heroes or villains. Rowan is my favorite addition–a tough character that we come to understand more deeply as the novel progresses. The magic in this fantasy world is riveting and believable, though quite scary at times. We can’t wait for the next installment!
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
Ready for a dark and magical re-imaging of the Oz series? Amy Gumm is our new heroine. Like the famous Dorothy, she hails from Kansas and is whisked away to the magical Land of Oz. But wait! It’s not the Judy Garland world, but a land where the beloved characters we thought we knew are very very different–in fact, quite dark and twisted. Dorothy is actually a maniacal despot in this Oz, destroying the land with her crew of evil henchmen including the Scarecrow, Lion, and even Glinda. Roles are reversed as Amy joins a revolutionary group with the wicked witches (not so wicked after all, it turns out) that is training her to assassinate the evil Dorothy. A modern twist to a classic story. The writing is good, the action fast-paced, and the plot twists surprising. Time to dig into this new series so you’ll be ready for the second installment this coming spring (The Wicked Will Rise).
Coming in January! The latest in The Lunar Chronicles:
Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana’s Story by Marissa Meyer