Longbourn: Dragon Entail: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Maria Grace

This is the sequel to Book 1: Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon

In this story, Darcy thought his problems were over when Pemberley hatched and successfully imprinted on humans. But baby dragons prove far more difficult than any dragon lore prepared him for. Only Elizabeth Bennet’s notes offer him any help. Elizabeth, though, has problems of her own. After the Bennet family dragon sent Pemberley away, life at Longbourn was supposed to return to normal… or so they thought..

Dragons.. Dragons and more Dragons..

Misunderstandings got cleared up – Collins got threatened by quite a few dragons in “Longbourn: Dragon Entail”. I am so hoping that they follow through in the next book. Collins is still a massive pain in the arse – please let him get eaten.

Meanwhile, Pemberley is growing up, she’s even started throwing a couple of tantrums.

A great Jane Austen meets Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern.  A must read for fans of Pride and Prejudice and those who love alternate stories and retellings..

-Meredith

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Clean Sweep (Book 1 of Innkeeper Chronicles) by Ilona Andrews

Magic, Vampires, Werewolves, the Alpha-Strain, humans (who are completely in the dark about everything), The Innkeeper and The Inn…

On the outside, Dina Demille appears to be normal. She runs a Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast.

But Dina is different as she is the Innkeeper and has revived The Inn she has taken over.  The Inn was in hibernation/stasis for a very long time, until Dina came and woke up the Gertrude Hunt Inn. Her broom is a deadly weapon and The Inn is meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat…  And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….

Clean Sweep is book one in the Innkeeper Chronicles – I am really looking forward to the next books in the series.

Now that Gertrude Hunt Inn is open for business, let the fun begin!!

-Meredith

Jane Doe and the Cradle of all Worlds by Jeremy Lachlan

“Simple minds fear what is different…”

Indeed this is one unforgettable blockbuster adventure that is one of the best adventures I have read this year. I could really see this book being adapted to film!!!

Our protagonist is Jane Doe, a 14 year old girl who is burdened with a reputation she doesn’t understand, feared by residents of the island of Bluehaven for reasons she doesn’t know, denied basic right of education and was forced to live in a Basement and provide full time care for her ill father who appears to know more than he is letting on. One fateful day, a terrifying earthquake strikes the remote island of Bluehaven and Jane’s father disappears. Without warning or prep, Jane finds herself catapulted into a dangerous quest with the most unlikely of alliances – a pyromaniac, Violet and trickster, Hickory accompanying her to rescue her father who is lost and trapped between worlds – a space of shifting rooms, booby traps and secret gateways.

From the first page, right to the very end, this book was full of nothing but page turning, action packed adventure!! Something was always happening on every chapter – it was never a dull moment. What I also enjoyed were the mysteries that were within the underlying story. I also enjoyed the biggest mystery of all that did leave me gaping in the end who is Jane Doe? where did she come from? why is she here? why do people fear her? At only 14 years old how could all this happen to her? As a character, I admired that even though she was vulnerable, Jane still had the courage and determination to find the truth that will ultimately set her free during this life threatening quest. Throughout the book I read and loved how the plot had elements of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and to my delight, elements of my all time favourite TV show Grimm (yes Grimm – think keys).

I would recommend this readers from aged 10+ as some scenes may frighten younger readers. I would also recommend this book to those who, like me, read and loved Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. The action pace, the mystery, the intrigue, the magic and the wonder that holds you captive right to the very end that will leave you gaping and wanting to know more.. Yes this book just came out and I need the sequel sooner rather than later!!

Special thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for sending me a review copy of this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!
-Annie

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

We return to the sinister place of Caraval and this time, the only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win, so Scarlett’s sister, Donatella (Tella) dives into the legendary competition once again and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets… including her own sister’s. Caraval was always just a game, try not to get too swept away.. A game that requires courage and a level head to win however this time, it’s demanding for more and if Tella can’t meet bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything.. maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval may be destroyed forever…

I really enjoyed this book and loved the different perspective we follow.. In Caraval it was Scarlett and like with Caraval, I really dived into Legendary following Donatella’s journey.. I found this to be such an interesting continuation of the series that kept the greatest mystery of all alive but takes a new path in following Tella’s new challenges and new mysteries that kept me guessing to the very end. Scarlett was a great character however I felt Tella brought something unique to the table and made this adventure a series I am so invested in that by the time I read the ending I am sure there will be something else coming..

Many thx to Date a Book YA – Hachette Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book
-Annie

Pemberley: Mr Darcy’s Dragon by Maria Grace

For the Jane Austen fans: This is book 1 in Jane Austen’s Dragons Book series

Whilst England is overrun by dragons of all shapes and sizes, most people are blissfully unaware of them and the Pendragon Treaty that keeps the peace between human and dragon kind.  Only those born with preternatural hearing, like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are able to hear and converse with dragonkind…  Elizabeth shares a unique bond with dragons, stronger than anything Darcy has ever experienced…

Pride and Prejudice and Dragons.. what more can you ask for?

..Meanwhile.. a dragon egg gets stolen and ends up somewhere in Hertfordshire. Darcy and Elizabeth need to find the egg before it hatches. While they are searching, they can’t draw attention to what they are doing. Not all humans can hear dragons talk..

One of my favourites!!

-Meredith

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Nothing can prepare you for The Gauntlet…

A board game – made of wood, etched with exquisite images – a palace with domes and turrets, lattice-work windows that cast eerie shadows, a large spider—and at the very centre of its cover, in broad letters, is written: The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand.

Who remembers the classic Jumanji?? Well.. if you are like me and LOVE that movie (original and remake) then this is a book for you!!! The Gauntlet follows a trio of friends from New York City who find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children. It is more than just a game though. It is the most ancient, the most dangerous kind of magic as it holds worlds inside worlds and captures players to be prisoners. It is a race against the sands in the hour glass for this trio escape.

I thoroughly enjoyed this culturally infused fantasy story that may have been inspired by Jumanji and pitched as a Jumanji retelling but is definitely a unique story in its own right. Although the characters are children, I personally found the writing structure and language devices to be better suited to an older audience, say 12 years and up rather than 8 years and up. A fast paced, action packed story line that is a real page turner and full of adventure!!! It was great to see multiculturally diverse characters who become even better friends as they team up when having to face “The Gauntlet”. The Islamic representation was so accurate and it was fun to see a lead character was a hijabi girl!! Very easy to read and well written, I really enjoyed this and recommend it to anyone who wishes to roll the dice and seek a way to temporarily leave their world behind!!!

Publisher: Simon and Schuster – Salam Reads Subsidiary

-Annie

Kidz Korner Round Up: Some picture books you MUST read!!!

Here are some of the picture books we had the pleasure of reading and recommending to our youngest members, the following are recommended to readers aged 3 and up – also recommended for family reading time.. We hope you enjoy them!!!

“The Knight who said No” by Lucy Rowland & Kate Hindley

A sweet tale of being lonely and making friends. Realising what is missing and working out how to fix it and capture the missing link. Special thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

“Puffin the Architect” by Kimberly Andrews

This is such a cute story with beautiful animal characters, intriguing houses and amazing ideas for storage solutions and architectural design!!! Yes the interior designer is Puffin is an architect who always exceeds her clients’ expectations, that is, until she takes on the toughest clients ever – her own pufflings! So cleverly written, cute illustrations and a storyline that not only gives you interior décor tips but warms your heart. Special thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Annie

 


“Tropical Terry” by Jarvis

This is an acceptance story – to accept who you are and who others are. With friends who will always accept you and not fake it. Tropical Terry is one I will recommend to anyone who.. well.. ANYONE!! Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

“Ocean Emporium” by Susie Brooks and Dawn Cooper


This is a beautifully illustrated compilation of our wonderful marine life. Bringing out the creatures of the deep from hermit crabs to great white sharks to fish to octopus it’s just one visual feast of the sea and an ideal introduction for children to explore creatures of the sea and nature. Special thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont Publishers for sending me a review copy of this beautiful book.
-Annie

 

“Ping VS Pong” by Mauro Gatti

This book is about two beans wanting to be the best at table tennis. Ping and Pong learn a lot as they go through their story such as the nature of rivalry, importance of friendship, winning and most importantly good sportsmanship. Special thanks to Penguin Random House Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

Stay tuned for our next children’s books recommendations!!!