Category Archives: Fantasy

The Lost Conspiracy

The Lost Conspiracy

The Lost Conspiracy

Hathin lives in a village on Gullstruck, a primitive island. Her people, the Lace, smile all the time no matter what they are feeling, and decorate their teeth with jewels. They also worship the volcanoes on the island. The Lace are not trusted or liked by the other island villages.

Most of the people on the island are regular people, but a select few are known as “Lost.” The Lost can do something really incredible. They can send their senses away from their bodies. Meet one, named Raglan Skein:

It was a burnished, cloudless day with a tug-of-war wind, a fine day for flying. And so Raglan Skein left his body neatly laid out on his bed, its breath as slow as sea swell, and took to the sky.

He took only his sight and hearing with him….Like all Lost, he had been born with his senses loosely tethered to his body, like a hook on a fishing line. He could let them out, then reel them in and remember all the places his mind had visited meanwhile.

Hathin’s siter, Arilou, might be a Lost. Might. Arilou doesn’t speak anything other people can understand. She mumbles gibberish and Hathin translates. The trouble is, Hathin has been making stuff up – she doesn’t now what Arilou is saying either, if anything. Hathin has been pretending because having a Lost in their village is good for the Lace, it makes the other people on the island like them more. Things get tense when an inspector comes to verify Arilou’s talents. Just how is Hathin going to pass these tests?

Hathin is saved from even having to try when a mysterious illness strikes every single Lost, an illness that makes them instantly drop dead. All of them, at the exact same moment, wherever they are on the island. All of them, that is, except Arilou. So, does that make her a fake, or really, really special? Nobody has time to figure that out because the Lace village is blamed for the plague that hit the Lost and is burned to the ground. Hathin and Arilou flee for their lives and this is when the action and the mystery gets really, really interesting.

Why did all of the Lost die at the same time? If Arilou really IS a Lost, why did she survive? Who would benefit from having the Lost gone? Who would want to get rid of the entire Lace village and why? As the girls flee through the jungle they meet up with some surprising allies who each have stories to tell about the evil that is infecting the island. Evil that feeds on prejudice, intolerance and hate. Evil that will resort to anything, even murder, to set a plan in motion. The problem is, no one can put a face or a name to the evil. It’s like a master puppeteer is orchestrating the show but isn’t seen on stage…who is it? As Hathin and her allies work through theories and follow leads this invisibile evil becomes all the more terrifying. One of my favorite books of the year. Author: Francis Hardinge

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Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd, what a name. The poor kid. He’s unlucky too. His Dad is dead and his mother has re-married someone Odd doesn’t like (and the feeling is mutual). He’s lame because a tree fell on him and most people around him think he’s useless because of that. And to top if off, Spring won’t come. Odd’s town has had winter stretching on for days with no sign of better weather. One day Odd decides to head to a cabin of his father’s in the woods. He’s had it with the frustrations in his life and figures anywhere is better than where he’s at.

In the woods a fox leads Odd to a bear stuck in a tree. There is also an eagle circling over the bear. After freeing the bear Odd discovers that the three animals are traveling together. They are really the Norse gods Thor, Loki and Odin. A Frost Giant has trapped the gods in animal bodies and is also responsible for the winter weather in Odd’s village.

Odd decides that THIS is the something better he’s been searching for, an adventure.  He sets out to confront the trouble making Frost Giant and set things right. Author: Neil Gaiman

If you liked Odd and the funny, bickering Thor, Loki and Odin, read more about them:
D'Aulaires' book of Norse myths Thor's Wedding Day Islands of the Blessed ds and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse

Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse

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Peter and the Sword of Mercy

Peter and the Sword of Mercy

Peter and the Sword of Mercy

Peter and the Sword of Mercy is book four  in the Peter and the Starcatchers series, the high-flying, page turning, pirate adventure series that was written as a prequel to Peter Pan.  A prequel is a story that tells you about what happened before another story.  If you ever wondered how Peter came to the island, why he can fly, and why he can never grow up, the Peter and the Starcatchers series will answer those questions in funny, dramatic style.

In Peter and the Sword of Mercy, 20 years have passed since Peter and the orphan boys met Molly Aster and found out about starstuff and its magical properties. Peter stayed behind on the island but the other children returned to London. Molly is now married and the mother of three children, Wendy, Michael & John. James, one of the Lost Boys, has become a policeman and is working for Scotland Yard.

James appears at Molly’s house one night with a strange and frightning tale. James thinks that Prince Albert Edward, who is about to be crowned king of England, is being controlled by evil people who are after a secret stash of starstuff hidden somewhere underground in London.

Molly is alarmed at James’s fears and the two agree to meet to figure out what to do…except they both disappear. Luckily, Molly’s daughter Wendy eavesdropped on their conversation and is determined to save her mother. Wendy has heard the Peter Pan stories, could they possibly be real? If she could find Peter, could he help her save her mother? Wendy goes to the Lost Boys for help and begins an adventure that will take her straight into the struggle for control of the world’s supply of starstuff. Authors: Dave Barry & Ridley Scott Series: Peter and the Starcatchers

1: Peter and the Starcatchers on CD & Downloadable Audiobook
2: Peter and the Shadow Thieves on CD & Downloadable Audiobook
3: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon on CD & Downloadable Audiobook
4: Peter and the Sword of Mercy on CD & Downloadable Audiobook

There are several books that tell more about Peter Pan and his adventures with Captain Hook, Wendy & the Lost Boys. Try them all! And if you like this kind of high spirited, action packed writing, try Science Fair, also by Dave Barry.
Peter Pan in Scarlet Captain Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth Cave of the Dark Wind a Neverland Book Science Fair
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Bran Hambric The Farfield Curse

Bran Hambric The Farfield Curse

Bran Hambric The Farfield Curse

Bran Hambric doesn’t know a thing about himself. He was found at age 6 locked in a bank vault in the town of Dunce. He has no memory of anything before being discovered in the vault. He’s being raised by the Wilomas family, only because Mr. Wilomas worked at the bank and is forced to obey the “Finders Keepers Law.” If you find it, you have to keep it, even if “it” is a kid.

In Dunce, magic is outlawed. When Bran is confronted by a gangly creature that actually knows his name, he knows something is up – something about his past. Something that has to do with magic. Clues lead Bran to a magical library, a mysterious girl, a bank employee that is much more than she seems and a gnome. Yeah, a gnome: short guy, long beard, tall red hat shaped like a cone. Together the new friends set out to uncover Bran’s past and confront the Farfield curse.

An orphan kid living in a house where the family treats him badly. The kid finds out he’s magic.  A bad guy wants the kid dead. Oh, and there’s a curse involving the kid. Sound familiar? I know it does. There are an awful lot of Harry Potter similarities…but even so, Bran Hambric is a fun story anyway. I would call it fan fiction. Fan fiction is fiction created by the admirer of a certain story or that story’s characters. Kaleb didn’t plagiarize, he just took some ideas and built his own story around them. There are enough original ideas to keep the story interesting. AND, he’s a teenage author – not too shabby. He says that there are more Bran Hambric stories coming. It will be fun to see where he goes with Bran’s story and how his writing matures. Author: Kaleb Nation

More boys coming into their magical powers:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone The Magickeepers The Magic Thief The Amulet of Samarkand
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Spirits in the Park

Spirits in the Park

In Book 1: Gods of Manhattan, we found out that 13 year-old Rory can see impossible things…a cockroach riding a rat like a horse, American Indians, and lots of people who have been dead for two hundred years! Rory is a “Light,” one of the few mortals who can see the spirit world, the Gods of Manhattan, who live in his city. Rory can see and talk to the spirits of Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Walt Whitman and many more people from New York history.  He can also see the Munsee Indians whose spirits are trapped inside Central Park. To understand how Rory came to know he is a “Light” and understand how our world and the spirit world co-exist, I think it would be good if you started with book 1. There are a lot of characters to meet who all play important roles as the story moves along – a lot like all the characters in the Percy Jackson stories.

In Book 2:  Spirits in the Park, Rory, his little sister Bridget (aka “Malibu Death Barbie”), his dog, some teenage Spirit friends and a couple cockroach warriors take on some of the most powerful and sinister figures in New York history.  The kids and their cockroach warriors want to free the Munsee Indian spirits trapped in Central Park . When they find out that freeing the Indians could start a war between the Indians and the Gods of Manhattan, the kids need to get to the bottom of who trapped the Indians in the first place, and why. The answers are not at all what they expect. Can they free the Indians and prevent an all-out war at the same time? Author: Scott Mebus; Series: Gods of Manhattan

Series: The Gods of Manhattan
#1: The Gods of Manhattan
#2: Spirits in the Park
#3: The Sorcerer’s Secret

Like I said, you probably want to start with Book 1: Gods of Manhattan. Then, read the book Duel! It tells the story of the longstanding feud between Alexander Hamilton and Aarron Burr. Really, this is historically real…and the two guys appear in Spirits in the Park still hating each other. Knowing their real story will help you understand the conflict in Spirits in the Park. Plus, Duel! is a great book itself. Then, if you like the idea of a spirit world co-existing with ours, try The Night Tourist and of course, the all-time favorite, The Lightning Thief.
God's of Manhattan Duel The Night Tourist The Lightning Thief
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