Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling
3.5 stars.

I’ve been on a bit of a Neil Gaiman streak since reading Neverwhere, and I’m still bummed at myself for never reading him before. But I guess that gives me time to thoroughly enjoy his books now.

Tristran Thorn has never felt like he belongs in the village of Wall. When Victoria, the girl he loves, says she will give him whatever he desires if he fetches her the falling star they saw drop to theĀ other side of the stone wall that separates their world from the strange and magical land of Stormhold, Tristran doesn’t hesitate to agree. In order to prove his love, Tristran sets out on the journey of a lifetime, encountering hungry witches, bloodthirsty princes, and air pirates along the way, only to discover that his heritage is not as he thought it was and that maybe Victoria is not who he truly desires at all. Continue reading

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
4.5 stars.

“Richard was sitting in the dark, on a ledge, on the side of a storm drain, wondering what to do, wondering how much further out of his depth he could possibly get. His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching football on the telly on the weekends, for turning on a heater if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.”

This is my first time reading a Neil Gaiman book and all I can say is . . . WHAT IS MY PROBLEM? WHY HAVE I WAITED SO LONG? Continue reading

Hunted by Megan Spooner

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Hunted by Megan Spooner
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling, YA
4 stars.

I have not read as genuinely delightful of a fairy tale retelling in years. Hunted follows in the hallowed tradition of Robin McKinley and Juliet Marillier, and I was immediately swept into the nostalgia of Spooner’s enchanted world.

Yeva, the youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant, longs for the solitude and magic of the forest, where she is free from the confines of society and can hunt as she pleases. When her father falls into financial ruin and then madness, disappearing into the forest in search of a mysterious “cunning beast,” Yeva has no choice but to follow him. When she finds a beast of nightmares looming over her father’s body in the snow, she swears vengeance on the creature who killed her father and that has now taken her captive to complete some mysterious test. Continue reading

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

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The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke
Genre: Historical fiction, Fantasy, YA
3 stars.

“If the story was happy, you’d care less about that tiny little bit of freedom . . . We wouldn’t like the daylight if it wasn’t for the night. We wouldn’t notice the stars if not for the endless dark of night. All the story, like you said? That’s the important part. The sad parts are all about surviving. We are a people that survives. We endure. We will endure this too.” Continue reading

The Seventh Tower Series by Garth Nix

Middle Grade Monday is hosted by Shannon Messenger.

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The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, middle-grade
5 stars.

I cannot even BEGIN to describe how much of an impact this series has had on me. I read them for the first time when I was ten-years-old and reread them countless times in the following months. Everything I wrote between the ages of 10-12 followed some sort of theme from the Seventh Tower–whether it was bad-ass blonde warrior chicks, planets of ice, shadow magic, or mystic warrior cults (though that was also influenced by my excessive reading of the Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice novels). Even today I find my stories tinged with Garth Nix’s influence. Continue reading

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Historical Fantasy
5 stars.

“The circus arrives without warning.”

I have never read nor will ever read anything like this book. Morgenstern orchestrates a masterful mixing of genres whose wheres and the whys, much like the circus itself, are deliciously difficult to pin down. The deeply human longing for magic and wonder are piqued within the dream-like realm of Morgernstern’s prose, and I couldn’t help but be enchanted by it. Continue reading

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by VE Schwab

29939230Genre: Fantasy
4 stars.

I first discovered VE Schwab through her book The Archived, under her YA name Victoria Schwab, which I reviewed here. Her style was so reminiscent of Garth Nix, who had a huge influence on my childhood and my own writing, and was unlike anything I had read since I’d devoured his series’s as an enamored ten-year-old. I didn’t think Schwab could get any better, but, of course, she DID.

I breezed through A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows when I first discovered them back in October and instantly pre-ordered a signed copy of A Conjuring of Light which I have never done before. Continue reading