Damico, Gina. Croak.
20 March 2012, Graphia
Lex is a very violent high school girl, and when she gets kicked out of school yet again, her parents decide to send her to the boonies to live with her uncle Mort. It turns out that her recent violence is just her family heritage cropping up-- Mort lives in the town of Croak where everyone has something to do with death. Lex turns out to be a very talented Killer, and paired with the somewhat annoying but somewhat attractive Driggs, she helps people's souls to be released from their earthly bodies and moved to the next realm. Lex feels that she finally has found her place, although she misses her twin sister, but when there are irregularities cropping up with Killings, Lex is suspected. Can she continue her work even while under scrutiny, and when a family tragedy occurs? We'll find out when the next book, Scorch, comes out 25 September 2012.
Strengths: My students love murder mysteries, and this certainly has a decent amount of death and a bit of murder. It's treatly lightly but not cavalierly, and the Vladimir Tod crowd will take to it very readily. Even the covers are a bit alike.
Weaknesses: The book starts out with a lot of vulgarity, but then it lessens a bit. It's not bad, just a tiny bit more of a high school book. It is also available in paperback or prebind only, so I will have to think about this one.
Buckley, Michael. The Council of Mirrors. (The Sisters Grimm #9)
19 April 2012
Reviewed for YA Books Central.
Granny Relda's body has been kidnapped by Mirror, who is trying to use her to get out of Ferryport, which is a complete wreck. Sabrina and Daphne's parents are back with their traumaztized baby brother Basil. When the Wicked Queen comes back and puts the fragment of the other magic mirrors back together, they deliver a prophecy-- only the girls can save the Everafters. Sabrina puts together a coven, they gather their forces, and have to fight the evil Atticus. There are huge battles, lots of action, and every known character in this final addition to a well liked fantasy series.
Strengths: Again, the action and fighting run rampant through the book. This series has been popular in my library (for some reason I've only blogged two--The Usual Suspects (#2), Inside Story (#8)), especially now with all of the Grimm related television shows around. Buckley does a good job at working in a lot of characters and keeping the mythology consistent.
Weaknesses: There are a LOT of characters in this book, and I'm a bit confused why characters from Oz and other stories are included. I still don't like Puck, I still think the bindings are awful (the first book came out in 2005 and even though I tried to put a mylar cover on it, it's filthy and looks... chewed.), and I find that with any fantasy series of longer than five books, it's very difficult for me to keep track of all the previous story lines, although students who are interested enough to make it through all of the books don't seem to have this problem.