Monday, January 1, 2007

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #3) - Rick Riordan

It can't get any better that a cool talking, funny pegasis and two new half-bloods who parentage is in question.  I miss Tyson in this book but I guess that he has his own work to do.

My Grade: B+


When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped.And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared -- a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

Age Range: 9-11

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #3) by Rick Riordan: Book Cover

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #2) - Rick Riordan

I really like the introduction of Tyson into this book.  It is so hard not to fall in love with her personality and how loving and trusting he is of Percy.  I was kind of annoyned with Anabeth for a while because of her treatment of Tyson but when things come to light you feel for her but wish that she could get over her past and accept Tyson for who he is.  I also love the sea ponies and the way they communicate to Percy about Tyson.  And all I can say about Grover is... Poor Grover!!!

My Grade: B+ (A for Tyson)


When Thalia’s tree is mysteriously poisoned, the magical borders of Camp Half-Blood begin to fail. Now Percy and his friends have just days to find the only magic item powerful to save the camp before it is overrun by monsters. The catch: they must sail into the Sea of Monsters to find it. Along the way, Percy must stage a daring rescue operation to save his old friend Grover, and he learns a terrible secret about his own family, which makes him question whether being the son of Poseidon is an honor or a curse.

Age Range: 9-11

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #2) by Rick Riordan: Book Cover

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1) - Rick Riordan

This book was a great start to this series; I like how Percy finds out who he is and how is works towards some sort of understanding of how is life has been different from those around him.  I also love the dedication and love he has towards his mom; willing to sacrifice for her.  I also Annabeth like and how she is the anchor that Percy needs at times.  Grover also helps keep the book going with his odd eating habits.

My Grade: B


Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
With cover art from the major motion picture, this first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

Age Range: 9-11
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #1) by Rick Riordan: Book Cover

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star - Brandon Mull

This is the second book in the Fablehaven series and I feel that Brandon has gotten a better feel for the characters and how people respond to them.  I really liked Seth in the first book but I enjoyed his character so much more in the second.  He is just a good kid that does stuff that turns out bad.  Kendra's character is so good that sometimes it is sickening but I just power thought the chapters that deal mainly with her.

My Grade: B

At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother Seth find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists -- a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper -- to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble?

Age Range: 8-12

Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven Series #2) by Brandon Mull: Book Cover

Fablehaven - Brandon Mull

I found I really enjoyed this book and the others in the series that soon followed.  The characters are so likable and you are drawn into the story.

My Grade: B

For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.
Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most. 

Age Range: 8-12 
Fablehaven (Fablehaven Series #1) by Brandon Mull: Book Cover

The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles Series #2)

This is the second of a three book series (at least I read somewhere that there were going to be three books in the series).  Carter and Sadie saved the world and they are at it again.  In this book the characters are becoming more defined and developing their personalities better.  I think the addition of the new characters was well thought out.  They added to the story instead of bogging it down.  I loved the old folks home, the way it was described I could picture it so well in my mind.

My grade: B+


Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.
And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.
To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished. 
First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?
Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.

Age Range: 9-11

The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles Series #2) by Rick Riordan: Book Cover

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles Series #1) - Rick Riordan

I love mythology and I loved reading the Percy Jackson series because (as I have already posted) I love magic and fantasy and stuff that could never really happen.  This series is about a brother and sister who lived with different family members until a catastrophe brought them together again.  I loved reading the book, but the Sadie character's voice in the audio book drove me up the wall.  (What is it with me not really liking the female characters of late?) I really like how Rick wrote Sadie in the book and he was able to write for a female amazingly even though he is male.  The book is like a lot of other books written for YA (young adults) at this time, where the young heros have to find out who they are and then save the world.  If you are looking for a series of books like that then this is for you.

My Grade: B-


Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Age Range: 9-11

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles Series #1) by Rick Riordan: Book Cover

The Candy Shop War - Brandon Mull

I love reading stories full of magic, adventure and just a little suspense.  Even though this book is written for a younger group, adults can still enjoy it.  It was fun to think back to when I was in fifth grade and imagine this happening to me.  That would have been so cool.  This is my sister-in-law's favorite book (at least it was when she was in 6th grade) and for her birthday I got an autographed copy for her.  She was so excited!!!  Brandon has found a way to tap into the adventurous nature of kids and teens that will help them learn to enjoy reading. 

My grade: B


Welcome to the Sweet Tooth Ice Cream and Candy Shoppe, where the confections are bit on the . . . unusual side. Rock candy that makes you weightless. Jawbreakers that make you unbreakable. Chocolate balls that make you a master of disguise. Four young friends—Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon—meet the grandmotherly Mrs. White, owner of the Sweet Tooth, and soon learn about the magical side effects of her candies. Then the ice cream truck driver, Mr. Stott, arrives with a few enchanted sweets of his own. The danger unfolds as the four youngsters discover that the magical strangers have all come to town in search of a legendary treasure—one that could be used for great evil if it fell into the wrong hands. The kids, now in over their heads, must try to retrieve the treasure first. And so, the war begins . . . 

Age Range: 8-12 (Barnes & Noble didn't have an age range for this book)

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull: Book Cover

Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison - Brandon Mull

This is my favorite book in this series!!!  I love Bracken and Seth in this book, Warren, Vanessa and the satyrs are great too.  I probably haven't talked enough about the satyrs in my other posts but these guys make the books so much more amazing.  I love how the characters have to jump all over the world and enlist the help of so many new people to save the world.  I know the series has ended but I keep hoping that Brandon had a few more adventures in store for Seth - That would be awesome!!!

My Grade: A


Since ancient times, the great demon prison Zzyzx has protected the world from the most dangerous servants of darkness, including Gorgrog, the Demon King. After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx is on the verge of recovering the five artifacts necessary to open the legendary prison. Facing the potential of a world-ending calamity, all friends of light must unite in a final effort to thwart the Sphinxs designs and find a safe home for the five artifacts. To this end, Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn will venture far beyond the walls of Fablehaven to strange and exotic magical preserves across the globe, where the end of every quest becomes the beginning of another. In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate struggle to control the keys to the demon prison. 

Age Range: 9-12

Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven Series #5) by Brandon Mull: Book Cover

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary - Brandon Mull

How does Brandon do it?  The books just keep getting better?  Once Brandon hit this point in the series he could do almost no wrong.  The characters are well developed and can function amazingly on their own.  The way he writes for different people and emotions in the story makes this series and especially this book a must read.  This is my second favorite book in this series, I know I probably sound like a weird fan but I could have used more Seth and Warren.

My grade: A-


Brace yourself for a shocking secret.
Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton’s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap — a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth?
The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next?

Age Range: 8-12

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven Series #4) by Brandon Mull: Book Cover

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague - Brandon Mull

This is the third installation of the Fablehaven serise and it just keep getting better.  In this book you really find out who the good and bad guys are (sort of) and how they work to accomplish their goals.  There are new characters introduced and they help the story keep flowing and full of excitement.  Kendra still drives me crazy but I just can't help liking Seth even more (silly boy).

My grade: B+


Very strange things are afoot at Fablehaven. Someone or something has released a plague that transforms beings of light into creatures of darkness. Seth discovers the problem early, but as the infectious disease spreads, it becomes clear that the preserve cannot hold out for long. In dire need of help, the Sorensons question where to turn. The Sphinx has always given sound advice -- but is he a traitor? Inside the Quiet Box, Vanessa might have information that could lead to a cure -- but can she be trusted?
Meanwhile, Kendra and members of the Knights of the Dawn must journey to a distant preserve and retrieve another hidden artifact. Will the Society of the Evening Star recover it first? Will the plague eclipse all light at Fablehaven? 

Age Range: 8-12

Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven Series #3) by Brandon Mull: Book Cover