“The Magic Thief” by Sarah Prineas, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo

When I checked out the e-book of this novel from my library, it had been a long time since I’d read a middle-grade novel, and I missed them. It was also around the time of the OWLs Magical Readathon, a Harry Potter-themed reading event, and I needed a book to satisfy my Herbology requirement — a book with a title that begins with M.

I’d never before heard of the Magic Thief series or its author, Sarah Prineas, but the synopsis and the cover made me think of the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage, so I knew I would enjoy reading it. And I did!

Genre:

MG Fantasy

Series:

Magic Thief, book 1

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“Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend

Yeahie!! I’m catching up on reviews. Here’s another novel I completed in May for Wyrd & Wonder, a month of reading nothing but fantasy.

I had Wundersmith out from the library at the time, so I read it for the event. It’s the second novel in the Nevermoor series and was even more enjoyable than the first book.

Genre:

Middle-grade Fantasy

Series:

Nevermoor, book 2

Pubbed:

October 2018

Goodreads summary:

Morrigan Crow may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And she is fast learning that not all magic is used for good.

Morrigan Crow has escaped her deadly fate and found a new home in the fantastical city of Nevermoor. She has also discovered that she has a strange and magical ability. But will her unique talent be a blessing or another curse?

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“Watch Hollow” by Gregory Funaro

Here’s another book that was recommended to me by Lilyn over on Sci-Fi & Scary. I read her review and decided to try the book myself. Now, I can’t wait to try the next book in this duology.

Genre:

Middle-grade Horror; Fantasy

Series:

Watch Hollow, book 1

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows.

When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in Watch Hollow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that’s too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the clock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to keep.

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“Behind the Canvas” by Alexander Vance

I forgot where I first heard of this book. It must have been on a booktube channel or while perusing Book Outlet for books to buy. It’s weird, but a few of the books on my Goodreads TBR were added because I saw them on Book Outlet but didn’t want to purchase them at the time. Basically, I was drawn to them because of the cover or, in this case, the title.

I love art and enjoy visiting art museums. I’ve often thought it would be cool to read a fantasy novel where the protagonist has to enter paintings and pictures; so when I saw the title of this book and read the synopsis, I got excited. It’s the type of story I’ve daydreamed about.

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Pubbed:

2016

Quick overview:

Behind the Canvas is a stand-alone middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl named Claudia Miravista who loves art but has no close friends. While on a fieldtrip to a local art museum in her hometown in Illinois, she notices a boy with bright blue eyes in a painting. But when she points him out to two of her classmates, she realizes he has disappeared.

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“Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend

Thinking Nevermoor was probably overhyped, I avoided reading it for as long as I could. But the book is mentioned so often by bloggers and booktubers I follow that I got curious. It wasn’t until I read the Captain’s review of it that I decided to give the book a try.

I placed the book on hold at my library, which had it on order, and was glad that I was first in line to receive it. I began reading as soon as I got it and was immediately sucked in. I enjoyed visiting Nevermoor.

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Series:

Nevermoor, book 1

Pubbed:

2017

Quick overview:

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl, Morrigan, who everyone believes is cursed because she was born on Eventide, an unlucky day to be born. Children born on this day are blamed for everything that goes wrong within their vicinity…or town. (Morrigan is blamed for every misfortune.) It’s also said that cursed children don’t live past age 11 because they die at midnight on their 11th birthday when the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow comes after them. (Morrigan dreads this.)

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“Comet Rising” by MarcyKate Connolly

Comet Rising is the second novel in the Shadow Weaver duology, a middle-grade fantasy story about a girl who can manipulate shadows. I read the first book, Shadow Weaver, last year and enjoyed it and was eager to read its sequel when I learned it was available.

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Series:

Shadow Weaver, book 2

Pubbed:

January 2019

Goodreads summary:

Something is very wrong with the sky…

Emmeline and Lucas are safe from Lady Aisling and her soldiers for the time being. The only thing that mars their peaceful life is Emmeline’s former shadow, Dar. Still shut in her cage, she constantly tries to manipulate Emmeline to set her free.

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Comics Roundup #27: Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet, bks. 1-4

I tried Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series for the first time back in 2015. I was introduced to him through the Harry Potter books because he’s the illustrator of my favorite editions — the 15th anniversary editions. I love the illustrations, the scenes Kibuishi chose to highlight, and his use of color to tap into the emotion and tone of a scene or to highlight certain things. This made me want to sample more of his work, so I tried The Stonekeeper, the first book in his popular middle-grade fantasy graphic novel series.

I wasn’t blown away by The Stonekeeper, but I was interested enough to want to return to the story and, finally, I have. Recently, I reread the first book and read books two, three, and four — The Stonekeeper’s Curse, The Cloud Searchers, and The Last Council, respectively. With each installment, my interest in the story grew until I read book four and was left wanting more since I don’t have the fifth book.


Amulet, bks. 1-4 by Kazu Kibuishi (illus.)

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Pubbed:

2008-2011

Series:

Amulet

The Stonekeeper (book 1)

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (book 2)

The Cloud Searchers (book 3)

The Last Council (book 4)

Quick summary:

Emily and her brother Navin move to their old family home with their mom after their father died in a car crash. While fixing up the house, which is in dire need of repair, Emily and Navin find a peculiar necklace that Emily takes a liking to. One night while sleeping, the family is woken by a noise that the kids’ mom investigates. She’s kidnapped and taken to a different world where Emily and Navin encounter queer creatures such as monsters, robots, and talking animals. There, the kids learn more about their family, Emily learns about the necklace she inherited, and they make new friends who help them to rescue their mother.

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“Shadow Weaver” by MarcyKate Connolly

This is the second book recommended to me by the blog Sci-Fi & Scary that I’ve read and liked. SciFi & Scary described this middle-grade novel as atmospheric and haunting, which made me curious and eager to read it since I’ve read only a few middle-grade books like that. I’m glad I gave this one a try and will also read the next book in its duology.

Goodreads summary:

Emmeline’s gift of controlling shadows has isolated her from the rest of the world, but she’s grown to be content, hidden away in her mansion with Dar, her own shadow, as her only company.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble’s mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

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“The Fog Diver” by Joel Ross

Goodreads summary:

A deadly white mist has cloaked the earth for hundreds of years. Humanity clings to the highest mountain peaks, where the wealthy Five Families rule over the teeming lower slopes and rambling junkyards. As the ruthless Lord Kodoc patrols the skies to enforce order, thirteen-year-old Chess and his crew scavenge in the Fog-shrouded ruins for anything they can sell to survive.

Hazel is the captain of their salvage raft: bold and daring. Swedish is the pilot: suspicious and strong. Bea is the mechanic: cheerful and brilliant. And Chess is the tetherboy: quiet and quick…and tougher than he looks. But Chess has a secret, one he’s kept hidden his whole life. One that Lord Kodoc is desperate to exploit for his own evil plans. And even as Chess unearths the crew’s biggest treasure ever, they are running out of time… (Goodreads)

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“Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye” by Tania del Rio, illus. by Will Staehle

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye
The ARC cover.

Quick summary:

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is an illustrated middle-grade novel about a 12-year-old orphan, Warren, who maintains his family’s hotel. The hotel fell into disrepair since Warren’s lazy uncle Rupert took over after Warren the 12th died. Despite its dilapidated state, Warren takes pride in the hotel and tries his hardest to improve its condition. But his attempts are thwarted by his evil Aunt Anaconda who rips the hotel apart as she searches for the All-Seeing Eye, rumored to be hidden somewhere in the hotel.

Soon the hotel is overrun with guests who are also interested in finding the All-Seeing Eye and it’s all Warren can do to keep the hotel together as the guests rip it apart in their search. Knowing that his aunt wants the All-Seeing Eye for nefarious means, Warren joins the search with his friends hoping to locate it before his aunt does.

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