Review: My Neighbor Totoro The Novel

My Neighbor Totoro: The Novel

Title: My Neighbor Totoro The Novel
Author: Tsugiko Kubo
Illustrator and Original Concept: Hayao Miyazaki
Translator: Jim Hubbert
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Publisher: Viz Media (7th November 2013)

The beloved animation classic by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro, is now a novel. This edition features original illustrations by Miyazaki himself, accompanying a story by veteran children’s author Tsugiko Kubo.

Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. Soon, in the woods behind the spooky old house, Satsuki and Mei discover a forest spirit named Totoro. When Mei goes missing, it’s up to Satsuki to find her sister, and she’ll need help from some new, and magical, friends.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO THE NOVEL by Tsugiko Kubo is literally what it says it is: the novel version of Hayao Miyazaki’s film of the same name. The book tells the story of eleven-year-old Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei. The sisters move with their father to the country so they can be closer to their mother, who is ill and resides in Shichikokuyama Hospital.

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Review: Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong (UK edition)

Title: Empire of Night (Age of Legends, 2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Atom (1st April 2015)


Moira and Ashyn have lost everything except each other. Betrayed, orphaned and kept under close guard at court, they are desperate to find help for the children of their village, kidnapped by a terrifying enemy.

But their quest is tangled in a much greater battle – for the fate of the empire itself. Torn apart by violence and intrigue, the sisters will learn a great deal about their powers and their potential. But they will also learn the heartbreak of betrayal and loss, as those they love reveal their dark secrets . . .

The second volume in the Age of Legends trilogy, Empire of Night is a breathtaking dark fantasy from international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

EMPIRE OF NIGHT by Kelley Armstrong is the second book in her Age of Legends trilogy. The book continues the tale of twins Moira and Ashyn – Keeper and Seeker. After the events of SEA OF SHADOWS (review) Moira and Ashyn are kept at court, but they long to know the fate of the children from their village. Both sisters feel trapped, and want to help the children but war is brewing.

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Review: Circles of Stone by Ian Johnstone

Circles of Stone by Ian Johnstone

Title: Circles of Stone (The Mirror Chronicles, 2)
Author: Ian Johnstone
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins (2nd July 2015)
Source: Publisher

Two halves of the same soul, forced to seperate again . . .

Two worlds that must be saved . . .

Sylas has made two monumental discoveries: his lost mother is alive, and he has found Naeo, his Glimmer – the other half of his soul living in the mirror world of the Other. As his magical powers grown, Sylas is desperate to return to his own world and find his mother. Naeo is also searching for her father, captured by the dark lord, Thoth, who is raising an army of unspeakable monstrosity.

As they are pursued by creatures of darkness, Sylas an Naeo must seperate to survive. But to defeat Thoth they will need to come together again . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

CIRCLES OF STONE by Ian Johnstone is the second book in his impressive series The Mirror Chronicles. The book continues the adventures of Sylas as he attempts to be reunited with his mother, and of Naeo who longs to be reunited with her father. Events set in motion in the previous book, THE BELL BETWEEN WORLDS (review), start to reach a head as Thoth begins to make his move.

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Review: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

Title: The Iron Ghost (The Copper Promise, 2)
Author: Jen Williams
Genre: Fantasy, Swords & Sorcery
Publisher: Headline (26th February 2015)
Source: Bookbridgr/the Publisher

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by acient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, getting ready to return, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

THE IRON GHOST by Jen Williams is the second book in The Copper Promise series. It continues the adventures of Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith – the Black Feather Three. When they decide to take a job returning a stolen artefact, things rapidly become more complicated.

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Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (UK edition)

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, 1)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: Alternate Universes, Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Titan Books (27 February 2015)

Kell is one of the last travellers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, without magic and ruled by the mad King George III. Red London – where magic is revered, and where Kell was raised alongside the heir to the empire. White London – where people fight to control the remaining magic and magic fights back. And once there was Black London . . .

Officially Kell is the Red traveller, carrying letters between the monarchs of each London. Unofficially he is a smuggler, a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences. His escape to Grey London leads to a run-in with Delilah, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations, who forces Kell to take her on a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and an adventure becomes a mission to save all the worlds.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is the first book in a new series by V. E. Schwab. It follows the stories of Kell, a magician who is powerful enough to travel between worlds, and Delilah, a thief who wants to see the world. Kell is delivering a letter from his home court when he is forced to flee to Grey London where his path crosses that of Delilah.

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Review: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy (UK edition)

Title: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle (The Hero’s Guide 2)
Author: Christopher Healy
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher: Harper Collins (4th July 2013)

The League of Princes are out to prove themselves true heroes, and stop their kingdoms from falling into the wrong hands.

Magical swords, man-eating eels, evil warlords?

All in a day’s work.

And it’s going to be a looooong day . . .

Rating: ** (2 stars)

THE HERO’S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE by Christopher Healy is the second book in the series. Things have gone downhill for our heroes (princes Liam, Frederic, Gustav, and Duncan) with the Bandit King getting his revenge, but the princes soon find themselves involved in another adventure.

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Review: My True Love Gave To Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins (UK edition)

Title: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Winter Romances
Editor: Stephanie Perkins
Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Short Story, Young Adult
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (9th October 2014)

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .

This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME is a collection of Young Adult short stories edited by Stephanie Perkins. All twelve of the short stories are set during the Christmas period. Each story varies in length, some of the stories read like a contemporary story, whilst others are more fantastic.

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