Review: Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

28554825Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Publication Date: September 15th 2016
Publisher: Holiday House
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale-Retelling

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BLURB:

Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut. Continue reading

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Review: The Devil’s Intern by Donna Hosie

20558767The Devil’s Intern by Donna Hosie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Thomas Allen & Son
Publication Date: August 31st 2014
Publisher: Holiday House
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Death, Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance, Humor

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BLURB:

“How did you die?”

It’s the most popular question in Hell, and Mitchell Johnson has been answering it ever since he was hit by a bus at age seventeen and inexplicably ended up in the Underworld. Now Mitchell is The Devil’s intern in Hell’s accounting office. Lately, he’s noticed a disturbing trend: the volume of new arrivals is straining Hell’s limited resources. Then Mitchell overhears his boss discussing plans to limit newcomers with a legendary time travel mechanism. With a device like that, Mitchell realizes, he could change history and prevent his own death.

Mitchell’s plot goes awry when his three closest friends—Alfarin, the Viking prince; Elinor, from 17th-century London; and Melissa, from 1960s San Francisco—insert themselves into his plans. It soon becomes clear that the fates of all four are entwined in dangerous and unpredictable ways. With unforgettable characters and a thrilling premise, this original novel is by turns funny, poignant, and thought-provoking. Continue reading