Category Archives: Fantasy

The Goddess Test


Carter, Aimee. The Goddess Test. 1st ed. 1. Harlequin Teen, 2011. Print.

The Goddess Test

Written By: Aimee Carter

Reviewed By: Paulina Masley

Recommended Audience: High School

            The Goddess Test is a romantic sci-fi novel with a modern twist on Greek mythology. It will have you wanting to throw the book across the room while not being able to set it down at the same time. The way Aimee Carter explains the emotions of the characters, it feels like you’re actually experiencing the tale yourself.  She combines modern society and ancient Greek mythology so well, it will have you reconsidering your beliefs on what is real or not. All the plot twists and emotion will have your heart racing and melting.

            The story starts out in Eden, Michigan where Kate and her mother, who has cancer, moved. Her mother’s last wish was to return to the place she once grew up. Unfortunately for Kate, she had to start a new life at a new school where she met some peculiar students. She befriended a nerdy, yet thoughtful, boy named James and unintentionally got on Ava’s , who is the school’s most popular, bad side. One night, when Ava was supposed to take her to a party, Ava was actually playing a cruel prank on Kate and took her out to the woods. Right as Ava was about to leave Kate in the middle of the woods, she fell into a stream, cracked her head open and proceeded to drown. As Kate pulled Ava’s lifeless body out of the stream, a handsome yet eerie man that lived nearby told her that he would bring her friend back to life if she agreed to live with him for 6 months. Kate always felt something was odd and supernatural about him, but something about him made her decide to stay and be put to the test.

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Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades


Riordan, Rick. Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades. 4. Hyperion-Disney Books, 2013. 1072. eBook. ISBN: 978-0-141-33921-4

Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades

Written By: Rick Riordan

Reviewed By: Thomas Nguyen

Recommended Audience: Teenage Students

This is the 4th book of the Heroes of Olympus series. This first takes place in a specific part of the Underworld, Tartarus. Two teenagers named Annabeth and Percy were both sucked/dropped into this world. They have to try to find their way out of the world and to stop the Doors of Death. That is their main quest along with 6 other demigods and 1 satyr. These demigods are Hazel, daughter of Hades, Frank, son of Mars and descendant of Poseidon, Leo, son of Hephaestus, Jason, son of Jupiter, Nico, son of Hades, and Piper, daughter of Aphrodite. There are both Roman and Greeks names because there are two different camp of two different family lineage. There is Camp Half-Blood, which was the first to be brought up and found, and there is Camp Jupiter, which was brought up in the Heroes of Olympus series in the second book, Son of Neptune. Anyways, there is also the satyr named Coach Hedge.  These other 7 friends are on a ship named after the Argo. This is named the Argo II mainly because the captain of the ship (Leo) is the bestfriend of Jason Grace. On the ship’s journey to the mortal side of the Doors of Death, they run into A LOT of trouble. Monsters,  demons, even some minor gods. Luckily they all solved this and got through the journey safe and sound.

On the demigod side of the world, Annabeth and Percy are just barely managing through Tartarus. On their way to the Doors of Death, they found a old friend named Bob. ( real name is Iapetus but he got his memory washed away by the River of Lethe.) He had heard Percy cry out when he and Annabeth were in trouble. Oh, Bob’s job is being the janitor of the Underworld. Still very deadly with a broom. They journey through here with many chances of dying except for Bob, him being immortal and all.

This is a very comical book, alongside with a lot of action and scenes you can picture. Nothing in here is gore but it is vivid. I really encourage young readers, like myself, to read this. Actually, I recommend that whoever decides to read this to read the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus because these are all based of mythological beings, made up but inspiring character, and just plain, fun action. These series’ all show teamwork, courage, and the loyalty to never let a friend down. This shows a great sense of togetherness and suspense of what is to come around the corner. This book will definitely expands one’s mind, thoughts, and wisdom.

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The Fire Within

D’ Lacey, Chris. The Fire Within. great Britain: orchard books, 2001. 1-337. Print. ISBN: 0439672449

Title: The Fire Within

Author: Chris D’ Lacey

Reviewed by: Michael Spedden

Recommended Age group: 9- 13

The book is about a man named David Rain who moves in with Elizabeth Pennykettle and Lucy Pennykettle. Elizabeth is Davids landlord  and liz is her daughter. Elizabeth makes mysterious dragon out of clay. The dragons come to life and have magical powers. Elizabeth then gives David his own personal dragon. The dragons name is Gadzooks and he can write the future with his pad and pencil.

This inspires David to write stories of his own. David writes about two special squirrels at the library garden. The squirrels names are snigger and the nutbeast. When him and Gadzooks finish the story it has a very sad ending. David becomes very angry with his dragon Gadzooks because of the story. David then finds Gadzooks crying and very close to death. He then finds out that the dragons will die if they are not loved. David saves his dragon and unlocks the real power of the fire within.

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

the road

McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage Books, 2007. Print.

ISBN: 978-0-307-38789-9

The Road

Written by: Cormac McCarthy

Reviewed by: Matthew Messick

Recommended audience: Young Adult

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a story about a boy and his father walking down a seemingly endless road trying to head south to get to a warmer conditions in temperature because where they are it always rains and its deadly cold.  At first the story feels almost like a zombie novel and you expect mutations of humans or any other animal to attack the two.  However, what they find is actually much more disturbing. The sky is grey and ashes fall with the rain and there is nothing on the ravaged wastelands except a scaorched landscape that reminds you of a sense that nothing is moving and that life is pointless.  Because all animals and plants have been destroyed, many people survive by way of cannibalism.  Even still, the story is not what you might think.  It’s very much focused on the relationship between a father and a son, the sense of loss, and the feelings of hopelessness.  The horror of the novel is in these emotions, not in the external world. All the son and father have is a shopping cart to carry whatever loot they can scavenge as in canned food and clothing, a pistol to protect against possible road agents, and each other.

The story has many flash backs to the father’s wife also known as the son’s mother a little after the fate of the world was scorched in fire and how she was unable to come to gripes with  the reality of the end of the world.  They had many discussions around the idea of ending all 3 of their lives in order to avoid confronting reality.  She took one path and the father took another.  The story explored these deep emotions and made me ask, “how would I react?”

The father and son had no names in the book.  The book never describes exactly what happened to the world.  And their exact destination is really not a key aspect of the story.  There were lawless bandits that stalk the road, but this too was not what made the story.  It was simply an exploration of conflicting human emotions.

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by | December 20, 2013 · 6:36 am

The Fall of the Templar

The Fall of The Templar

Benz, Derek, and J.S. Lewis. The Fall of the Templar.Broadway, New York, NY: Orchard Books, 2008. Print.

ISBN – 13: 978-0-439-83776-7 | ISBN – 10: 0-439-83776-6

The Fall of the Templar

Written by: Derek Benz & J.S. Lewis

Reviewer: Shawn Nguyen

Recommendations: Elementary through High School. 5-12 Continue reading

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Blue Moon: The Immortals


Noel, Alyson. Blue Moon: The Immortals. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2009. Print.

ISBM: 978-0-312-53276-5

Blue Moon: The Immortals

Written By: Alyson Noel

Reviewed by: Samantha Zimmerle

Recommended Audience: Highschool


“Blue Moon”, written by Alyson Noel, is an exciting and thrilling novel that deals with immortals, super powers, witchery, lots of jealousy and many many secrets and twists. Blue moon is about a girl named Ever, who was an average girl, until the accident. She lost her mom, dad, and sister in a car crash. Throughout the rest of the novel, Ever struggles with survivors remorse, but that wasn’t all.  After the incident, Ever has amazing powers, she can read everyones mind, see what their life is just by touch, and when she looks at people, she sees a colored aura surrounding them, the color differing depending on her mood. Because of Ever’s ability to read minds and not being able to turn it off at will, she wears a hoodie, sunglasses and has earbuds in everyday. So, this makes her a joke to the popular kids and she has tremendous trouble making friends.

That all changes when Damen, a hot new guy, comes to school. Whenever he talks to her, everyones thoughts are tuned out and the only thing she can hear is his voice. Ever and Damen grow closer and closer and eventually become lovers. Throughout their relationship Damen reveals surprising things to Ever. Like the fact that Ever is an immortal, and he is the one who turned her. Damen teaches Ever everything she needs to know to survive as an immortal. Just as everything is starting to look good for Ever, tragedy strikes. Damen shows up one day and doesn’t remember Ever. She has to accomplish difficult tasks, talk to creepy twins, and deal with magic. But, even after all her hard work, she has to make a final decision, and if the wrong choice is made, it could cost her her boyfriend’s life.

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The Five People You Meet In Heaven


Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet In Heaven. New York: Hyperion, 2003. Print

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Written by: Mitch Albom
Reviewed by: Tiffany Truong
Recommended Audience: High school and above

In the book, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, we meet Eddie. Eddie is a grizzled veteran, who works at Ruby Pier, but isn’t very optimistic about it because he feels trapped in his job because of his deceased father who worked at Ruby Pier before him. As Ruby Pier changed throughout the years from old, classical rides, to more modern and daring, so has Eddie. As he used to be more lively and optimistic, to bitter and old. His days were a routine of work, loneliness, and regret. Even though he wasn’t the life of the party, we still see him making the kids at Ruby Pier as happy as can be. On his last day on Earth, a cable of a roller coaster had snapped and was about to fall over with a little girl below. Eddie quickly tried to save the little girl from the falling cart, but this led to his death.

When he awakens in the afterlife, he soon realizes that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden that it is perceived to be. He learns it is a place where you finally discover what your life meant by five different people. The people that he meets were either close relatives, friends, or even people he has never met before. Nevertheless, all the people he meets have changed his life in ways that he would’ve never understood. As he meets the five people, one by one, he discovers how they connected with his and how they shaped his life to where it is now. When meeting these people, he tries to understand the meaning of his life. Towards the end of the book, Eddie tries to seek the answer to his question. Was his life a heroic success or a devastating? He gets his answer from an unlikely source, but was as magical as heaven itself.

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Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventure In Wonderland. New York City: Barnes and Nobles Classics, 2004. 272-13. Print.

ISBN-10: 1-59308-015-8

Title: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.

Author: Lewis Carroll.

Name: Dana Nguyen.

Recommended Audience:  Young Teenagers

The main character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass was Alice.  In the book, Alice was a seven-year-old girl who had entered a world of magic and wonders.  Alice changed throughout the book because she first started off as an innocent girl who hasn’t known the real world yet.  Alice had to quickly adapt herself to the new environment.  Alice couldn’t help but grow up and Wonderland might be part of her own imagination because children want to remain young forever and not grow up.Alice’s innocence proved to be a disadvantage when she meets an enemy.  Alice is a living embodiment of youth because she is a living example of a child growing up into adulthood.  Alice had to quickly adapt to her surroundings to be able to survive in the “big kids” world.  She had fallen in a hole that changed her view for the better or worse?  Alice had to grow and give up her innocence along the way as a result.  Alice is constantly taking different sizes since the beginning of the book when she eats the “eat me” cookie and drinks a “drink me” bottle.  This connects to the idea that Alice is growing over time and her body changes with her.  As she gets older, her body will adjust to the age and Alice won’t be able to control this process because children will eventually have to grow up.

In Through the Looking-glass, Alice doesn’t grow as much but she changes her size through the chess pieces until she becomes a Queen. A major theme in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass was freedom.Whenever Alice grew larger, she would feel restricted because she is too large to move around.  Alice was young when the book started off so as she lost her innocence, she also grew older.  She had more freedom because there were no adults in Wonderland to restrict her from doing anything she wants.  Which means that she had to grow up as a result.  In addition, whenever Alice grows smaller, she feels vulnerable because she is tiny compared to her surroundings.  This compares to childhood because when a child grows up, he/she is required to live to their parent’s expectations which restricts them to do what they like.  Also, when a child was younger, he/she relied on their parents so they were weak against their surroundings.  Alice didn’t have to follow anybody’s orders because in Wonderland, everybody was relaxed and carefree. Wonderland was her escape from the outside world and she went through a mini adventure.  She discovered herself along the way and made friends with different creatures.  Along the way she meets a caterpillar who had opened up her eyes to a new perspective.

Chess served as a metaphor in Through the Looking-glass because Alice started off as a chess pawn which is the lowest ranking.  This could be similar to her age because she was seven in the book which shows that she was young and inexperienced.  Alice has to quickly become a queen because she can move in any squares or directions in the game.  This is similar to how adults can freely move without feeling restricted.  Alice has to become a queen to be able to win against the other queens.  As she finally reaches the last stage and become queen, there was a celebration to commemorate her being a queen.  The party is similar to a girl entering into womanhood when she reaches a certain age.

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Funke, Cornelia. Inkheart. 1st ed. 1. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2003. 1- 534. Print.



Written by: Cornelia Funke

Reviewed by: Kyle Bui

Recommended Audience: Young Adult and older

              Inkheart is a fantasy novel about a young girl named Meggie who lives with her father, Mortimer. Mortimer has a passion for books and also has a peculiar ability. The ability Mo posses caused something that Meggie will not remember for a long time. Meggie is only 12 years old and has a passion for books just like her father. Mortimer or Mo for short, is a “book doctor” that has constantly gone to places where ever a book is needed for repair. One night Meggie sees a dark shadowy figure in the rain through her window. This figure turns out to be an old friend of Mo’s, Dustfinger. To Meggie is someone who she knows nothing about but yet seems fairly familiar to her. Dustfinger tells Mo that someone is after him and that Mo needs to run.

             Mo decides to go up to his wife’s aunt’s house up in northern Italy. As he packs some of his belongings and tools for the trip, Meggie notices a book cover in brown paper that catches her attention. This leads her to ask Mo what book is that and if she could read it. Mo immediately says no leaving Meggie to wonder why did he say no so abruptly. When Meggie, Mo, Dustfinger arrive at the aunt’s house, Meggie discovers that her name is Elinor. This also lead to her discovery about the true reason for why they are there, for Elinor to hide the secret book. This starts a chain of events that will lead to the discovery of dark secrets that Mo has been hiding from Meggie. This book shows off mystery, fantasy, and adventure.

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Fire & Ash


Maberry, Johnathan. Fire & Ashe. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013. Print. ISBN: 978-1-4424-3992-4

Fire & Ash

Written By: Johnathon Maberry

Reviewed By: Andy Oliver

Recommended Audience: High School

Have you ever had to make decisions that depended on your life or someone else’s? This happens to Benny Imura on a daily basis. 14 years after the zombie infestation has struck earth, it is up to Benny and his friends, Nix, Chong, and Lilah to set things right in the world. This is the fourth book of the Rot & Ruin series. For a little recap that happens if the first three books, Benny and friends are from a small little haven from the death called “Mountainside”, located in the mountains of California. Benny, his older brother, Tom, Nix, Chong, and Lilah kill an evil man by the name of Charlie Pink-Eye, and destroy Gameland, a place where evil men throw innocent into pits to fight zombies to gamble. During this event, Tom is shot in the back and killed, although they succeed in destroying the place, the loss of one of the greatest men in the Rot & Ruin (What the world is now called) took a lot out of them. Benny and friends then set out on a journey of what Tom intended to take with them- to find where a jet came from. After the zombies started to attack, the military Nuked all the major cities, causing an EMP effect, disabling all and every electronics, yet there was that jet. While looking for the jet, they come across a cult of death worshipers who’s purpose is to kill every last of the living so that the zombies would rule the world as intended. By the skin of their teeth, they escape and find the jet in “Sanctuary”, which is located in Area 51, Arizona; but in the process, Chong was hit with a zombie flesh infected arrow and is on the verge of death. Benny, Nix, and Lilah now have to find these research notes by a scientist who is thought dead that might of found out the cure for the zombie plague.

When reading this book, you can actually feel as if you are there too. Johnathan Maberry does an excellent job with detail, character development, and of course, action sequences.  I’ve actually written to Johnathan, praising him of the book and how funny certain lines were. Well it turns out, he is great friends with the creator of the Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, and added some aspects from the comic/show into the book to make it clear that Benny Imura and Rick Grimes are actually from the same zombie apocalypse. Robert also did that same, but more discretely (I would of shown a quote from the e-mail but it appears that i must of accidentally deleted it). This book, and the whole series is mostly for teenager due to the mild language and descriptive gore, though I do recommend it to everyone over the age of 13. In closing, I highly recommend this book. It’s a great read and once you’re done, you’d be begging for the author to add more to the series (Which i did ask him in the e-mail, and he replied he’s working on it right now!)

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