Entries Categorized as 'Advanced Readers'
Starting where Masters and Slayers left off, Third Starlighter continues the story of Adrian and Marcelle as they try to free the slaves from the dragon planet. Marcelle’s back on Major Four, the human planet, trying to raise an army to help Adrian. Meanwhile, Adrian has his hands full on the dragon planet with new discoveries and mysteries. It all adds up to one wild ride, so fasten your seatbelt!
You can’t get away from the fact that this book is great. I had a fantastic time reading it, getting to know the characters better, and having little aha moments everywhere as the story unfolded. Once I finished Third Starlighter, I roamed the house, muttering about plot points yet to be resolved and wondering out loud how Bryan Davis thinks he can wrap it all up in one more book. That is my only reservation here, and it’s probably unfounded. Do not miss this series.
Cora Crowder bumps into coworker Simon Derrick in a very odd bookstore. That night, she discovers a ticket to the Wizards’ Christmas Ball in a book she bought. Simon finds one too. What follows can only be called a lighthearted romance full of fun, twists, quirky characters, and a little magical matchmaking.
Having previously read Donita K. Paul’s fantasy books, I was very excited to see how this contemporary tale turned out. The result is nothing short of delightful. There are just enough hints of fantasy interwoven with the normality to keep things interesting, while the mystery of it all remains and keeps the book standing tippy-toed on solid ground. What we have here is a satisfying story with twists and important lessons aplenty, without either feeling contrived in the least. You can’t get much better than this.
Alastair Coldhollow, a man with a dreadful past of evil deeds, has become a follower of First One. He believes he is the Caller, a prophesied person who will call forth the also-prophesied Halfainin. But when everything lines up and nothing happens, Alastair is faced with doubt and struggles to maintain his faith while getting used to disappointment in the midst of an oncoming war.
That’s an oversimplified synopsis. This book has so much going on, it’s hard to boil it down. It explores some very compelling themes without quite coming to a conclusion, leaving the door open for answers in later books. Wayne Thomas Batson started writing fantasy worlds in his The Door Within series, and this huge world tops that handily. There’s much more depth and detail to drink in here, though I do wish he’d describe things a little bit more, and I also found myself begging for a map more than once. My one real gripe is that I found the description of some of the fighting to be a bit much, but overall I had a great time with this one and I can’t wait for more.
Adrian Masters is chosen by a secret society known as the Underground Gateway to find a portal to a dragon planet. According to legend, dragons from this planet captured and enslaved humans many years ago. Adrian believes the legend is true and will stop at nothing to free the slaves. Meanwhile, his friend Marcelle discovers a plot by the government to kill Adrian before he can complete his mission. Together, Adrian and Marcelle must thwart both dragons and humans if they plan to survive on the dragon planet.
Masters and Slayers is supposed to be a companion book to Bryan Davis’ earlier teen novel Starlighter. It succeeds smashingly in that respect, but goes deeper and stands on its own. Readers of both books will find connections everywhere. Those who have yet to experience Starlighter will enjoy a rich fantasy world peopled by many mysteriously deep characters. Regardless of category, both sets of readers will be sent frantically scrambling to Amazon.com to check the release date of the sequel.
Hitler’s invasion of Austria is sudden and complete, and the beautiful city of Vienna is transformed overnight. Everything has changed, just like in Berlin. And now those who refuse to shut their eyes to the truth fear that Czechoslovakia will be next. John Murphy continues his efforts to alert the world to the reality of the danger. Leah, separated from her husband, helps hide two little boys who are destined for destruction if found. Elisa, safe for the time being, struggles with feelings of uselessness. Then she’s given the opportunity to help the Jewish Underground like never before. But if she chooses this, she will have to turn her back on all of the people she cares about.
Prague Counterpoint picks up almost directly where Vienna Prelude leaves off, and it proceeds in much the same style—following multiple threads of story in different locations and with different characters, a technique that works well for giving the reader a broad picture of the many events that led to the war. I do think this second installment is better written than the previous book, which is a plus, but I also have to issue the same warning about it. There are some very cruel, painful scenes to read, and I would caution everyone to consider before trying this book. It’s a worthwhile read, but only if you’re certain you can handle the darker content.