Tag Archives: Fantasy

The Books of Elsewhere #2: Spellbound

The Books of Elsewhere #2: Spellbound


In The Books of Elsewhere #1: Shadows, Olive Dunwoody moved into an old Victorian mansion that looked as if nothing had been moved since the day the previous owner died many years before. And it hadn’t! The furniture, the clocks, the mirrors, the paintings on the walls – all were exactly the way they were the moment the former owner died…as well as the clothes and personal items neatly folded in the drawers.

When Olive found an old fashioned pair of glasses that allowed her to “fall” right into the paintings and walk around, even talk to people, her big adventure began. But now something terrible has happened. Olive has lost the glasses and the ability to fall into the paintings. Her friend Morton is stuck inside one of the paintings and Olive has vowed to help find a way to get him out. When she discovers an old grimoire, or spellbook, Olive is sure it holds the answer to traveling around the paintings without glasses (or the help of the talking cats: Harvey, Leopold & Horatio that came with the house and guard its many secrets).

The spellbook is powerful, more powerful even than Olive realizes. Is Olive using the book to help her friend? Or is the book using HER?! Olive needs all her smarts, the cats and a couple new friends to figure out the evil that lives in her house and save Morton before it is too late. This one is a little bit of the paintings in Harry Potter, a little bit of Coraline and a little bit of 100 Cupboards….and lot of creepy fun! Author: Jacqueline West Series: The Books of Elsewhere

If you like the idea of a house with secrets – a house with doorways to secret places you can actually go to – try these:
Shadows Coraline 100 Cupbaords The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
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Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry

Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry

Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry

Turned into a rat at the end of Emmy’s second adventure, Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls, Evil Miss Barmy is determined to make Emmy pay. That Miss Barmy is one self-absorbed lady, worse even, than Cruella DeVil. She’s so evil her snivelling, devoted sidekick Cheswick can’t figure out why she wants so much revenge on Emmy. But what Miss Barmy REALLY wants is to be human, and beautiful, again.

Miss Barmy steals Sissy, one of Emmy’s rat friends, because Sissy has the ability to make Miss Barmy Human again…in the same way that Raston Rat can turn humans into rats. 

With her human friends Ana and Joe, two elderly Aunts, her best rat friend Raston and an army of rats and bats, Emmy stages an improbable rescue. It’s improbable, but it’s the only plan they’ve got!

If you liked Emmy, Joe and Ratsy don’t miss their first two adventures. Ratsy makes whining fun! Talking rats is kind of a stretch and Miss Barmy is evil in a cartoon-like way…a lot like Cruella DeVil…but the real story is the friendship between Emmy, Joe, Ratsy and the other animals. Sometimes, you forget the characters are animals. 101 Dalmatians and Mrs. Frisby are two more animal books that imagine what a society of animals would be like.
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls 101 Dalmatians The Secret of Zoom
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The Warlock

The Warlock

The Warlock

The Warlock is book 5 in the series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. The series tells the story of twins Sophie and Josh who are caught up in a centuries old battle over an ancient book that is supposed to hold the secret of eternal life. Sophie and Josh are thought to be the twins of an ancient prophecy, so both sides of the battle want them. Their problem is figuring out which side is the “good” side. Is it Nicholas Flamel or his rival, John Dee?

I would start with the first one with these. I actually like them more with each book. I especially liked book 4, The Necromancer, because the tension between Sophie and Josh kept growing as they tried to figure out who to trust. In The Warlock, the twins are separated because they have decided to trust different people. Sophie has stuck by Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle, even though she isn’t 100% comfortable with them. Josh has sided with John Dee, and even though he would not want to admit it, he isn’t 100% sure of his choice either. What both kids DO know, is that it definitely doesn’t feel right to be apart.

If you have followed the whole series The Warlock explains a lot about why this epic battle started in the first place. The end is quite a jaw dropper – I can’t wait for the 6th and final book to find out what happens to Josh and Sophie…and all the humani on earth.

You would think it would be easy to choose sides on this but it isn’t! I really like the way the characters are so three dimensional – that means they have strengths and flaws both. If you were given the choice between two things and neither one seemed absolutely right…how would you choose? This is what Josh and Sophie are faced with.

Nicholas Flamel was probably a real person although his life is shrouded in mystery and legends have grown up around his story. Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel DID live in Paris in the 1300s. Both were alchemysts, were thought to be studying a mysterious book and were also thought to have figured out how to turn lead into gold & also the secret of eternal life. When Flamel died, belief that he had discovered the secret of eternal life also died…except for the story that a grave robber dug up his grave and found it empty. Hmm. Did he fake his death and is still around today? Truth or legend? You decide! It makes for a very good story though! You might remember that Nicholas Flamel is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone too. If you like that blending of historical bits and pieces into the story like J.K. Rowling does in the Harry Potter books, then I think you’ll like this series too. Author: Michael Scott

Book 1: The Alchemyst on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
Book 2: The Magician on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
Book 3: The Sorceress on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
Book 4: The Necromancer on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
Book 5: The Warlock on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudiobook
Book 6: The Enchantress (2012)

The Alchemyst The Magician The Sorceress The Necromancer
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Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes


From the author of the Fablehaven series comes another highly imaginative world full of unique characters and interesting plot twists. I like it when characters are smart – even the bad guys. I like it when things I can’t predict happen and they make perfect sense.

This books starts with a prologue that is a very gripping description of a warrior in a dungeon chained to a wall, suffering both physically and mentally. He is determined not to break and tell his captor what he wants to know.

The prince searched inside for hope or faith and found nothing. Perhaps he should accept the invevitable. He was unsure how much longer he could retain his sanity in this unspeakable place.

The prince raised his head. “I will never serve you. You have defeated me, but you will never own me.” He owed these words to those who had died for him. He owed the words to himself. To be destroyed was one thing. At least he had not surrendered.

“Very well, You were my finest adversary, this I acknowledge. But you will break here. You know this. You have my admiration, but not my pity.” Footsteps retreated, and a door clanged shut with the finality of a tomb.” (page 7)

Wow. That’s harsh. I finished reading the prologue and had to just sit there for a minute. Immediately you can tell that the stakes are high in this battle and that the bad guy is really, really bad. And he’s smart. And ruthless. It’s going to take some special people to defeat him. One of them is Jason, a kid probably a lot like you. He is pulled into a new world like Percy Jackson but has to find his way on his own. Author: Brandon Mull

If you like Jason’s battle in Beyonders you might like some of these books also about heroes who are drawn into epic battles in a world that is not there own:
100 Cupboards Happenstance Found Reckless The Alchemyst
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Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh

Theodosia and the Last PharoahTheodosia Throckmorton began her adventures in Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. She still spends her time skillfully removing curses from Ancient Egyptian artifacts in the museum where her parents work. She is also dedicated to keeping ancient magic secrets out of the hands of the Serpents of Chaos.

Theo’s mom and dad are still so obsessed with their work they can hardly think about anything else. They remain clueless to the dangers lurking right under their noses as well as the talent of their daughter that keeps all that danger at bay.

This time, Theodosia and her Mother are headed to Egypt on an archeological dig. Theo is also on a secret mission to return the Emerald Tablet to its rightful place in Egypt. The Tablet contains secret information that cannot, under any circumstances, be discovered by Theo’s arch enemies, the Serpents of Chaos. It’s a big burden, actually, to be the person responsible for making sure utter chaos doesn’t take over the world. Theo’s getting kind of tired of all the secrets she has to keep. She’s ready to return the Tablet and be done with it.

Theo’s simple plan gets all complicated when she befriends a boy in Egypt who is much, much more than he first appears. Now the bad guys want the Tablet as well as the boy. They kidnap Theo’s mother to force her to hand both of them over.

Luckily the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers still has Theo’s back, and so do some new friends in Egypt who are also dedicated to keeping ancient magic secrets away from the bad guys.

Secret societies, dark magic, evil curses, good friends and suspense…it’s all in there again! Theo is still smart, loyal, sensitive & brave. She truly worries that her mother thinks she is peculiar. She still gets testy when she feels her opinions are being dismissed because she is a kid, or a girl. (And who doesn’t hate that?!) Author:  R.L. LaFevers


Theodosia Throckmorton Series:

I missed Sticky Will and Theo’s brother Henry in this one. Both of them stayed home in London this time. I was hoping there would be a fifth book for the return of Sticky Will especially. I found in the FAQ section of Theodosia’s blog that there WILL be #5. Actually, R.L. says that there could even be MORE than five. Let’s hope so. She says that the title for #5 is Theodosia and the Flame of Sekhmet. It will come out sometime in 2012. Excellent.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh
Theo might be able to detect ancient curses but she isn’t the only girl with special powers. Emmy can shrink, Molly can hypnotize people and Gilda, well, Gilda sees dead people!
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop
If Ancient Egypt is what you like about Theodosia’s adventures, try some of these books about other kids who find themselves caught up in the adventure and mystery of that time and place:
The Red Pyramid The Akhenaten Adventure The Long Lost Map The Egypt Game

#1: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos on CD & Downloadable eBook
#2: Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris on CD
#3: Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus on CD
#4: Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh

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