A Shifting of Stars by Kathy Kimbray

The words you guys. The words. Yes, I know, you are thinking. “Uh, excuse me Jessie, books are literally made of words.” But these words describe places in such lyrical ways they roll around in my head painting vivid pictures. I was only on page two…  “Beside me, buildings cringe with moss. Walkways glisten with dirty puddles. Teetering balconies slouch from walls with garments strung between casements like cobwebs.” …and there I was, in love.

I’d like to think it’s more than personal preference that makes this setting of such a vivid scene so important. Thrown into a whirlwind of a fantasy world where the heroine is being marched away in chains by the end of the first chapter you’ve got to be able to get your bearings quickly.  And the beautiful descriptions make sure you do.

I hit the unveiling of the big plot point and found myself in an unexpected conundrum of not knowing whether to complain to the book (sometimes I talk to my books) that “Your characters “big news” is the same thing everyone says and does” or yelling “OH MY… You did what now?!?” which brought me right up to the end where I still was in a conundrum because I couldn’t decide if I was so mad the book ended because I just really wanted to know what happened next or that a reader should seriously and legitimately not be left hanging at such a point.

Would I recommend it? Fellow YA Fantasy readers I suggest you give this one a read and then call me so we can talk about that ending!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One by Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr

Having loved fantasy for many years I’m often startled by people who complain about books that dump them into a new world without explaining things. Personally, jumping headfirst into a new mysterious world is one of my favorite ways to start a book.  But the authors of The Magician’s Workshop understand that not everyone (particularly young readers) may enjoy such a thing.  So they start with a bit of a disclaimer as the preface, likening trying a new book to starting summer camp. It might seem scary and uncertain, and you might not know if you’ll like it but you should try it because chances are good you will love it!

Sadly, no doubt because Mom suggested she read it, it didn’t sway my daughter.

Which is too bad because, for a young girl who likes reading books with magic in them, I still think she’d like this one.

The Magician’s Workshop dumps you straight into a pile of characters living in their crazy island world where everyone can work magic. And as the characters go about life projecting magic images, flavors and smells, the authors slowly start to introduce some of the difficulties that come in such a fantastical world. What do you think? Would you bother eating real fruit if you could eat something that tasted like fruit instead?

Would I recommend it? For a magic loving pre-teen/teen audience these books could be just the ticket. And, although I have no credentials to back it up, (remember me? I’m a woman with three daughters) I think that boys would really like these books too.  Fair warning, as it says in the beginning, this is the first of a series of books that is more like a television series. Which is true, at the end there is no real conclusion or even a cliff hanger, just a fade out until you start the next book (which is okay because volume two is available on Amazon already!).

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This series starts with a young woman who was clearly caught up in all sorts of craziness. She has no family, blue hair, wicked fighting skills and delivers teeth to a bunch of chimeras on the other side of a magical door. Yet for some maddening reason knows nothing about anything.

I rolled my eyes.

Clueless protagonist, classic fantasy tale set up. Fine, it works, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

And then she meets the guy…He is of course super tall, super gorgeous, super mean looking, and, oh yes, an angel who’s in the process of trying to kill her. Of course he doesn’t because a thread of warm, fuzzy feeling pierces his cold, rotten heart once he gets a good look at her.

*cue eye rolling*


Perhaps it was that I am always a sucker for a fantasy/romance/young adult or perhaps it was that the clueless protagonist and the otherworldly gorgeous man thing just works.

Or perhaps it was that once we got into the story and the main character got clued in (Not how I expected either!) and we learn more of the back story, everything was just different enough from the norm that I was willing to leave my eye rolls behind and fall headlong into the tale.

Would I recommend it? I actually ran across this series on a list of YA books for people who don’t think they like YA. And I have to say, for a young adult book it’s not heavy on the young part. The main characters are more college age and … errr …. up (Nobody really counts how old when you are talking angels…or .. resurrected souls in chimera bodies, right?).  Angel ages aside, I would agree, young adult fandom is not required for this one.  There is even a pleasing and almost surprising amount of depth for a young adult, fantasy/romance read. You probably should like fantasy though, what with the multi-world thing and the angels and the resurrected chimera (which come in all sorts of animal/human configurations) and the magic and the wishing and all that. Give it a try, even if the first few chapters make you roll your eyes and scoff, give it a chance, it gets better.

Much better!

Hey did you know that not only do I love books but I love sharing books too!?! November’s Book at the Door giveaway is open- come and enter I’d love to send you a book too!!!