Book Review

Specials—Scott Westerfeld


Back cover text: Tally thought they were a rumor, but now she’s one of them. A Special. A super-amped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

But maybe being perfectly programmed with strength and focus isn’t better than anything she’s ever known. Tally still has memories of something else.

But it’s easy for her to tune that out—until she’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

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Book Review

Girl Genius: Agatha Awakens—Phil & Kaja Foglio

girl geniusCover flap text: The Industrial Revolution has become all-out war! Mad scientists gifted with “the Spark” unleash explosive experiments on a battle-scarred Europe! For generations, the powerful Heterodyne dynasty kept the peace, but the last of the Heterodynes disappeared more than twenty years ago. Since then, Baron Wulfenbach has tried to maintain order with his fleet of airships and his army of unstoppable (if not very bright) Jägermonsters.

At Transylvania Polygnostic University, Agathan Clay dreams of one day becoming a scientist, though her trouble concentrating dooms her to being a lowly minion at best. But when Agatha accidentally builds a rampaging war machine in her sleep, she grabs the attention of the Baron—as well as the Baron’s handsome young son, Gilgamesh.

Swept up to the Baron’s Airship City, Agatha finds herself surrounded by the greatest minds of her generation, as well as murderous plots, dashing heroes, and one imperial cat. Agatha may be the greatest genius to have ever lived, and the key to control of the continent, but first, she simply has to survive…

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Book Review

Oathbringer—Brandon Sanderson

oathbringerCover flap text: In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe whose numbers as are as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: the enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alekthar is too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together—and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past—even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

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Book Review

Name of the Wind—Patrick Rothfuss

person in black robes facing away standing in field with tree lakes and large hills in front of him

Back cover text: My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

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Play by Play

Play by Play: The Angel Wore Fangs—Sandra Hill [pt 13]

Lucky number 13 on October 31. This has to be a good sign. I can’t wait.

Okay, last time Zeb sent Andrea back to Philadelphia and kidnapped Cnut, then disappeared off to do something. Supposedly Cnut knows what it is, but us readers were not given enough information, although presumably he’s going to face Jasper. Time will tell. Celie is fine and also back in Philadelphia. Andrea went galavanting off to talk to Cnut’s siblings to rescue Cnut. He walked in the door. She fainted. Boom.

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Book Review

Turtles All the Way Down—John Green

orange swirl under black text on a cream background

Goodreads synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

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