Category Archives: Fantasy

The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand

The Amulet of Samarkand

Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice. He’s like the magician’s son…but not. His bedroom is in the attic. His food is brought to him in his room. He is provided for, but he isn’t nurtured or made to feel loved. He only sees the magician during his lessons. Nathaniel is lonely and the only way he knows to get the attention he desires is to do really well in his lessons, and that he does. He practices advanced magic on his own and becomes so good at it, he manages to steal an important magical object from a much older and more experienced magician.

He reminds me a lot of another wizard you know…but not the one you’re thinking. Nathaniel doesn’t remind me of Harry, he reminds me of Tom Riddle. Like Tom, Nathaniel is aloof, detached from people, brooding, only concentrating on his own abilities and obsessed with improving them. He seeks revenge for the wrongs he feels have been done to him.  But he has one thing Tom Riddle didn’t…Bartimeaus, a djinn (genie/demon) Nathanial has summoned to help him accomplish his magical goals. And this demon is up for whatever Nathaniel can dish out! He is funny, wise-cracking, irreverant and ready to put Nathanial in his place at any opportunity.  He is exactly what Nathaniel needs. Bartimeaus tries to warn Nathaniel that he is growing into a typical power-hungry magician, but Nathaniel doesn’t listen. Will Nathaniel ever turn away from his anger and bitterness? Will he make the choice Tom Riddle didn’t? Will he learn what love is? You have to read all three in this trilogy…and then you’ll find out!

If you liked Harry Potter, this adventure will give you another original magical world to enter. There are magical battles, back-stabbing, lying and cheating…plenty of traitors and double-crossers, but then there is also a mysterious pretty girl and also Bartimeaus.  Who says a demon can’t be lovable?

The Bartimeaus Trilogy
Book 1: The Amulet of Samarkand
Book 2: The Golem’s Eye
Book 3: Ptolemy’s Gate

Ptolemy’s Gate Web Comic Used With Permission:

ptolemy-web-comic

Print This Post Print This Post

Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper

Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper

The StonekeeperA car accident has left Emily and Navin without a father. In an effort to start fresh and ease financial pressure, the kids’ mom moves them all to a new city to a mysterious old house that has been in their family for many years. It is the home of their Great Grandpa Silas, a man who locked himself up in the house many years ago…and was never seen again. (Can you say haunted?)

Inside the house the kids find blueprints and interesting looking machines…robot looking machines. On their first night, with the power out and unusual noises coming from the basement, the kids’ mom ventures into the basement to find out what is making such a racket. “Ill be back quickly. I promise.” Huh. Famous last words.

When their mother does not return quickly, Navin and Emily follow her into the basement and are lead into a new world that includes a tentacled creature that his kidnapped their mom. To get her back, the kids team up with some of Great Grandpa Silas’s creations – the robots Miskit, Morrie and Cogsley. Annnd, they have at their disposal a house built by Grandpa Silas…a house that is in fact a transformer. It can transform into a giant robot and move on their command!

The Stonekeeper is the beginning of a great adventure story pitting good against evil – using their wits, relying on their new friends and learning how to use Grandpa Silas’s eccentric and imaginative mechanical creations is all part of the fun. Author: Kazu Kibuishi

#1 Amulet Book One: The Stonekeeper
#2 Amulet Book Two: The Stonekeeper’s Curse
#3 Amulet Book Three: The Cloud Searchers
#4 Amulet Book Four: The Last Council

Print This Post Print This Post

Fablehaven

Fablehaven

Fablehaven

Kendra and Seth think they are going to be bored spending time at their Grandparent’s estate while their parents go on a cruise. Once there, however, they discover their Grandmother is actually missing and that the estate is really a secret nature preserve for magical creatures – fairies, trolls, satyrs and more.  Grandpa and Grandma are the preserve’s caretakers. Some of the creatures on the preserve are nice…and some are not. There are rules and treaties that govern the preserve so that the creatures can all exist together peacefully. Some creatures follow the rules…and some don’t! The caretaker’s house is protected from even the evil creatures…except for certain nights, like Midsummers Eve, when the bad guys can roam free everywhere.

Kendra is careful and studious, always trying to think through situations before making a decision.  Seth is curious and spontaneous, acting before he thinks while he is caught up in the moment. On Midsummers Eve Seth makes a spontaneous, careless choice that leaves them all vulnerable to attack. If you liked Spiderwick Chronicles I think you’ll like this.  Fablehaven is a series that will eventually have five books.  I especially liked Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star, but I really enjoyed them all and am looking forward to book four. Author: Brandon Mull
 

#1: Fablehaven
#2: Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star
#3: Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague
#4: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

Print This Post Print This Post

Percy Jackson #4: The Battle of the Labyrinth

Percy Jackson #4: The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Book four in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is just as fast paced, exciting and funny as the first three. Percy, our favorite half human, half Greek God hero can’t seem to stay away from trouble, trouble always finds him. This time it’s evil demon cheerleaders. To stop them, Percy destroys yet another school. Will this kid ever graduate?

After the explosion, Percy flees to Camp Half-Blood in hopes of getting a grip on what the deal is with demon cheerleaders.  He finds out that the Titan Lord Kronos is assembling an army of monsters, demons and other nasties to overthrow the Gods.  Kronos’s plan is to attack Camp Half-Blood by entering through a giant underground maze that has an exit inside Camp Half-Blood.

Percy and his friends enter the maze in a crazy attempt to stop the invasion.  This maze is no ordinary maze.  Hidden entrances and exits exist all over the US…if you know where to find them.  And to top it off, the maze itself is alive! The passages in the maze move and change so that finding his way back out again is as much of a challenge to Percy as the monsters and demons inside it trying to kill him! He’s got his friends along; Annabeth, Grover & Tyson as well as Rachel, a mortal with monster vision, to help him find the way. Author: Rick Riordan

#1: Lightning Thief on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
#2: Sea of Monsters on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
#3: Titan’s Curse on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
#4: Battle of the Labyrinth on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
#5: Last Olympian on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook

Print This Post Print This Post

The Graveyard Book – Newbery Winner 2009

The Graveyard Book – Newbery Winner 2009

The Graveyard Book

“There was a hand in the darkness and it had a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately. The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.” And you know why the blade and handle are wet, even though the book doesn’t say. Scary. Really scary.

But one person escapes the house, a toddler who makes his way to the neighboring graveyard and is taken under the protection of the resident ghosts to keep him safe from the mysterious man with the knife. And that, this very unconventional family, not the knife, is the heart of the story.

At first, the ghosts in the graveyard have a discussion about whether or not it is OK to keep the baby and raise it in the confines of the graveyard. A childless ghost couple, Mr. and Mrs. Owens, agree to raise the baby as their own. But as one of the graveyard inhabitants points out, “It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. It will take a graveyard.” And so the group agrees to offer the little boy protection from the danger that lies outside the graveyard fence and raise him as their own, a living boy in a village of spirits, ghosts and ghouls.

The Graveyard Book is a really delicious story about what makes a family and how that family raises up a child to go out into the world and face the dangers there. This book was just named this morning as the 2009 Newbery Medal Winner. One of the links below is to a set of online videos of the author, Neil Gaiman, reading the whole book outloud. Yes, you can listen to the whole thing. Cool! Author: Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book Trailer Narrated by Neil Gaiman:

And here is a review of this book from Bethany, a reader of IMCPL’s Readers Connection:

A murderer goes after an entire family, but the youngest member — just a toddler — manages to slip away… and toddle into a nearby graveyard. There, the toddler becomes Nobody “Bod” Owens and is raised as a living boy among the dead. Bod is taught the secrets of the graveyard, how to Fade and frighten people, but he craves human companionship. As he grows up, it becomes clear that those who originally wanted to do Bod harm want to see the job finished.

This is another one of those books that shouldn’t be labeled as a kid’s book, becaus grown-ups really should read it too. Gaiman’s spooky riff on Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” is great storytelling, with a full cast of delightful characters. Bod’s struggle to figure out what it means to be human among a graveyard full of dead people from different times is poignant and surprising.

Print This Post Print This Post
1 15 16 17 18 19 20