Review: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

3 stars: I liked it.

Obsidio cover (link to Goodreads)

So . . . I love this series. This one had more of what I love, including fun teen romance, lots of sci-fi mayhem, impossible odds, and sky-high stakes. AIDEN continues to be creepy and chaotic neutral. I liked that our beloved heroes of previous books get time on the page in this final book. But . . .

And I know I’m alone in this judging by the 4.56 star rating over on Goodreads . . .

I’m tired of AIDEN being the deus ex machina in each of these books. He’s just so powerful and so willing to do what it takes, regardless of the cost, that it takes some of the power to save the day away from our other protagonists. And in this book, it became more of a problem. I’m not sure how the authors would have solved the incredible problems without AIDEN, though.

Review: Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

4 stars: I really liked it.

The Raven Boys cover (link to Goodreads)

The fandom for this one is super devoted, and I can see why. It’s well written, mysterious, and full of colorful characters with weird names. Blue, the female main character, is a non-psychic in a family of psychics (reminds me of my friend Christine Amsden’s series a bit), but when she’s around, she enhances their abilities. She has been told she’ll one day kill her true love with a kiss. One day she sees a boy named Gansey  on a specific road at a specific time, meaning he will die in the next year. She doesn’t usually see anything, so the fact she does probably means either he’s her true love or she’ll kill him, which . . . yeah. Intriguing. When she meets Gansey in person and finds him insufferably arrogant, it turns into a fun enemies-to-lovers story with a deadly twist. Or so I thought.

Actually, Blue starts falling for a different kid in Gansey’s group of friends, and I really like that romance a lot, and I’m not sure how I feel about the whole love triangle with Gansey thing, and the intriguing vision at the beginning doesn’t pan out in this book, so that was kind of annoying, and maybe I’ll read more of these but maybe not.

Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

3 stars: I liked it.

Magonia cover (link to Goodreads)

A new member of my writing group read the first chapter of my second book and said it reminded her of Magonia, so of course I had to read it. And yeah, in terms of voice and style and all that, it was eerily like reading my own writing. At the same time, it needed help in terms of plot. Hm. Actually, so does my second book. So. 

The story is about a teenage girl who has severe difficulties breathing. Her lungs don’t work right or even look right, and no one knows why. She’ll probably die of it someday. Then she starts seeing a ship, like a sailing ship, in the sky. Meanwhile, she’s got a best friend who is becoming more than that. He’s delightful. Anyway, she turns out to be a Magonian (magical sky people) who’s been lost on Earth for years, and she has a Magical Destiny, and all that. And if she lives where she can breathe and be her best self, it means leaving New Adorable Boyfriend behind. At times the book dragged or felt directionless, but I did like the ending.

Review: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

3 stars: I liked it.

A Wrinkle in Time cover (link to Goodreads)

The thing is, middle grade has come a LONG way since I was a kid. The books that were the best there was back then often aren’t as good as the average book being published nowadays. There’s just so much excellent stuff being published in this century. I think Harry Potter changed the game permanently, in a good way. 

So yeah, this was good. But if you’re not giving your kids more recent MG, you’re doing them a disservice. (And no, I’m not talking about Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)