Category Archives: fantasy

Green: The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker

Green

I was I interested in reading Ted Dekker’s Circle series after learning that it can be read with Green as either the first or last book of the series. I started with Green because it was listed as “book 0” (and more importantly it was immediately available at the library). It is a fantasy that pits good against evil and takes place in both present time and the future (possibly after 4036 based on the prologue).

I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed the book more with a different starting book or if I just didn’t like the book. I had trouble relating to the characters and their actions, this may be due to the ambitious premise of the book/series and relating actions in the other books. I’m not saying that the book wasn’t enjoyable at all; I enjoyed the connection between the timelines, the symbolism (I’m not literary enough to identify/understand it all, but it can be fun to think about), and some of the action. I will give the next book in the series (or maybe I should say the first book in the series) a chance because I still find the idea fascinating

 

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Andy Ashenfelter
Rating: Recommended with reservations
Challenge: Book with a color in the title

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish

A Dance of Cloaks

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish is the first book in the Shadowdance fantasy series. It primarily takes place in the city of Valdaren where there is a power struggle between the rich, the thieves’ guilds, and the king – each side has enough flaws that it is hard to sympathize with any of them. The plot is very complex with many (maybe too many) secondary and tertiary characters. The main character is Aaron Felhorn, the son of the Spider Thieves’ Guild leader; he is being groomed by his father to eventually lead all of the thieves’ guilds (despite the wishes of the other guilds).

Much of the “action” is in the scheming but there is also a significant amount of sneaking and fighting. Many of the characters are either incredibly skilled or cannon fodder, as such many fights are beat downs with little drama. Although it is a fantasy setting, there is limited use of magic (but significant when used).

Some would probably term the book “fast paced” due to the multiple characters, schemes, perspectives, and sub-plots; I thought it seemed more “jumpy”. I plan on reading the next book in the series because I’m curious what happens to the main character (and a couple of secondary characters), but I’m not sure if I will read the whole series.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Andy Ashenfelter
Rating: Recommended with Reservations
Challenge: Written by someone under 30

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Sea of Monsters

Rick Riordan packs a lot of adventure and shrewd humor into this compelling sequel to The Lightning Thief. The sass and charisma with which the demigod protagonists confront time sensitive challenges and battle among themselves make the storyline very engaging. A lot of the identity issues facing Percy Jackson will resonate with teens and young adults alike as they too struggle to find their place and purpose in society. The fast-moving plot has many twists and turns which made it hard to put the book down (which may explain why I read both this book and its equally exhilarating prequel in less than four days). The thrills I got from following Percy’s heroic adventures will keep me in a sunny mood all summer, and so I highly recommend this series to you.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Xuejie Kimball
Rating: Highly Recommended

 

Infernal Parade by Clive Barker

Infernal Parade

 

I found the dark fantasy novella Infernal Parade by Clive Barker in the “new releases” section of the Lexington Park Library. It is more of a collection of loosely tied together short stories rather than one story; it ends rather than concludes. I thought the stories/chapters ranged from OK to very good (I enjoyed “The Golem, Elijah” the most).

I recommend this book if (and only if) you are looking for a book of short stories.

 

Availability: COSMOS,
Review Submitted by: Andy Ashenfelter
Rating: Recommended with Reservations
Challenge: A book from the 2017

Little Nothing By Marisa Silver

Little Nothing

In her new novel, Little Nothing, Marisa Silver explores how changes to our physical bodies can impact circumstances, identities, and even memories. The book opens with the birth of Pavla to elderly parents so desperate for a child that they contracted the help of a witch to conceive. Born a dwarf, Pavla gradually earns the respect and love of her parents and neighbors. As a young teen, Pavla’s parents begin to worry about her future prospects and take her to an unscrupulous doctor that stretches her to “normal” size.

Pavla’s torture on the doctor’s stretching device is the first of many transformations in Little Nothing. Afterward, Pavla is of normal proportions, but she is no longer herself. She is a “wolf girl” with eerie yellow eyes, a snout, and a hairy face. Abandoned by her family, Pavla travels with the doctor and his assistant Danilo as a carnival attraction. After she is attacked, Pavla leaves the carnival and her growing romance with Danilo. The only one who recognizes (and loves) Pavla in all of her forms, Danilo spends much of the rest of the novel searching for her.

Silver relies on the dreamlike nature of fairy tales – including the use of fables, repetition, and vivid descriptions – to flesh out Pavla’s strange story. As she follows Pavla’s journey from a dwarf to wolf girl to wolf and finally to a prisoner who does not know her name, she explores the complexity of time, memory, and coincidence. The novel closes with the brief reunion of Danilo and Pavla and a final, ambiguous transformation. In all, I found Little Nothing to be a sometimes confusing, but haunting and beautiful book.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Kaitlyn Grigsby-Hall
Rating: Highly Recommend

Angel: Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson

Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel
I love James Patterson. This is the first young adult book of his that I have read. It was an and fun read. The book was fast paced with a good plot. I’m not into fantasy, but I can see the appeal to teenagers and fantasy lovers. These fantasy books are good to get young people interested in, and to keep them reading. I won’t be reading the other books in the series, it’s just not for me. But I am going to recommend the book for lovers of fantasy.

Availability: COSMOS
Review Submitted by: Shelley Clark
Rating: Recommended

The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

Paladin Prophecy

This YA trilogy focuses on Will West, and extraordinarily gifted athlete and scholar whose parents have always asked him to keep his gifts and abilities “under the radar.” As a 15-year old only child, Will has complied with their requests and maintained a close relationship with his parents as they have moved multiple times during his life. One morning, Will’s world changes drastically when representatives from “The Center,” an exclusive preparatory high school show up because he’s been careless with his parent’s instructions and scored off the charts on a national scholastic test. The adventure begins here as Will’s parents are attacked and Will flees to the refuge of The Center with the help of a stranger named Dave. Will realizes that there’s more to this world than just the people walking on it and begins dealing with creatures from the “Never Was” who can travel through time and space. At The Center, Will discovers that almost all of his suite-mates have special talents and abilities like his. They all become involved in uncovering a conspiracy known as The Knights of Charlemagne.

The story is entertaining, but it could have been better written with a few less loose ends. If you have a teen who enjoys Fantasy/Sci-Fi, this might be a series of interest. I am currently on the 2nd book in the series, but I have heard that the 3rd book does not conclude well and that you are left with many questions. It sounds like a series that won’t leave you feeling satisfied so that is why the rating is recommended with reservations.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Sandi Hauenstein
Rating:  Recommended with Reservations