My daughter and I just listened to the first Septimus Heap book on CD. I don't normally like audio books because I get impatient at the slow pace. However, the narrator did a fantastic job with Ms. Sage's story.
I had once tried to read this book on my own, and eventually set it down. I only chose it because it was one of the few audio books in our library that my daughter was remotely interested in. But this is a perfect example of giving a book another chance. Sometimes, we are just not in the right mood or place for a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book the second time I tried it. It's a very epic-feeling book, with many characters and a rather omniscient point of view narrator, which you don't see very often these days. The plot has a good number of twists and turns and even though I think most readers will figure out one of the big secrets earlier, it made my daughter feel very in-the-know and part of a secret club when she realized what was going on before the characters in the story did.
I highly recommend to those who enjoy Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. This is another long series, but even if you only read book 1, it's well worth the time spent.
My daughter gave it five stars and she's pretty stingy with those. So check it out! And the cover is super cool and you'll understand why at the end. It has special meaning.
Summary from Goodreads:
"The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a new born girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?
The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart."
I imagine most of you are familiar with this series. It spawned a huge fandom and I finally read them all, just to see what the fuss was about. Let me tell you-- it's about some amazing writing and a Romeo and Juliet kind of romance that makes readers yearn for hope and peace. The thing is, it's also a great deal about war, especially in books 2 and 3. So if you are going into these thinking it will be Twilight, you are mistaken. The characters are far more interesting, but the focus really is not romance for most of this series, despite the way the series kicks off. Given that I like a good romance and am not so huge into war/battle stories, I struggled some with books 2 and 3, but the writing continued to be beautiful and the whole thing is very action-packed.
I do wish I had understood more of what was going on at the end of book 3, though.
Y'all, I don't even like scary books, but I loved this one. It's scary, but the kids are so smart and resourceful that I trusted them to make wise choices. It's creepy as all get-out-- don't read this alone on a stormy night-- but it's not gory. If you like getting goosebumps from your books, this is a good pick for you!
I really enjoyed the book and finished it in two days. (It took longer to update my Goodreads account, sorry!)
The only reason this book doesn’t get five stars is because I really found it hard to believe that this boy wouldn’t foresee some problems getting back together with his girlfriend—who has been living for five years without him and is engaged and will forever be five years older than him now. Yes, they were in love, and yes, he feels like it was yesterday, but it was like he wasn’t prepared at all for her shock. He seemed too smart for that. I also understand he thought if he ever came back, it’d be like 70 years later, and this was just too close and too far all at once. Brilliant premise. I’m just saying I found his insistence that she’d just immediately fall back in love with him was not very believable to me.
You can get a great sense of his voice through the blurb—snappy, funny, fast and brutally honest. Two thumbs up.
Read Hook's Revenge immediately! Fast, fun, and hilarious, this debut novel by Heidi Schulz will appeal to elementary age and middle school kids for sure, but also even older people to include adults, because of the dry wit and rather inappropriate comments of the old pirate narrator who dislikes children. (He's my favorite part.)
It's a brilliantly conceived novel, based on the world of Peter Pan. Jocelyn is Hook's daughter, and though she has never met him, she is determined to be a dangerous pirate one day, nevermind that everyone else wants her to conform and be a nice little lady at finishing school.
When she learns of her father's death from the fearsome crocodile, she seeks revenge on the giant creature in Neverland itself. But this turns out to be harder than she thought it would be.
Funny, but also touching without crossing into sappy, this is a book for everyone. Hook's Revenge has received outstanding reviews from all sorts of critics, to include School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist. Furthermore, Hook's Revenge was selected as one of the top 100 children's books of 2014 by the New York Public Library. This is a book that is well worth your time.
Amusingly, the game the girls are playing was intended for little girls, so it's full of pink, purple, unicorns, flowers and tea parties. The game, though, resents the changes Emily has been making to it, and is fighting back. The little cotton-candy pink sprites that spit glitter are my favorite.
The story is very clever, well-written, and fast-paced. If you enjoy gaming, you'll have fun seeing how the main characters use the gaming world to reach their goals.
It's a great fit for upper-middle grade, on up. It's listed for 10-14 as the main audience and the main character is 14. So if you are in 5th-9th grade, this book is written especially for you. Don't let the pink cover throw you-- it suits both boys and girls, especially anyone who is a gamer. (And we all know there's plenty of awesome girl gamers out there!)
What I liked most is that this is a story about the relationship between two sisters. There are no boyfriends who feature in this story, though a bad breakup does play a small role in the back story, but the story is not about him. This has no lovesick drama, no sparkling vampires. Instead, it's about a little sister and big sister coming to grips with who they are, both alone and in relation to each other. I enjoy a good romance, but it's really nice to see girls solving problems and interacting without a guy being the focus. (Such a storyline is so rare in fiction and movies that there's even a name for it. It's called the Bechdel Test, to see if two female characters --who are actually named-- speak in a story without talking about a male. A fabulous YA book that passes the test with flying colors is Code Name Verity, which I reviewed in my other blog here.)
At ANY rate, the big sister is a smart game designer engineer who learns that running away from her problems isn't the way to deal with them, and the younger sister learns that she can do more than she thought she could, too. Grace always thought of herself as the plain, boring one compared to her high-achieving, popular sister (can anyone relate?), but now her sister needs help and Grace rises to the occasion.
It's really just a lovely story, and a fun one to read. Two big thumbs up! Now I think I'll go find some of her other books and see if I enjoy those as much as this one!
Reviews (as shown on Amazon):
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