Thomson, Jamie. Dark Lord: School's Out (Fiend in Need in the UK)
4 February 2014, Walker Children's
E ARC from Netgalley.com
In the wake of Dark Lord: The Early Years, Dirk is dismayed to find that he hasn't been sent back to the Darklands, but Sooz has! He is stuck with Christopher back at the Purejoie's house, under the care of the malevolent nanny, Dumpsy Deary, aka The White Witch. While Dirk makes his plans to travel back home, reconfiguring a cell phone so he can communicate with Sooz, Sooz is doing her best to stay firm with all of Dirk's loyal minions. At first, they think she is just a little girl and are ready to destroy her, but when she shows them the ring that Dirk gave her, they figure she is his betrothed and make her the Moon Queen. She manages to have the Iron Tower repainted, and makes allies of everyone from Orcs to Paladins. She even advocates getting rid of slavery and paying humans to do work! Things go well until Hasdruban attacks and captures her; luckily, Dirk and Chris manage to make it back to the Darklands. Will Dirk revert to his evil ways? Will Sooz and Chris stay in the Darklands? More importantly, does Orc snot ever stain the floor?
Strengths: Lines like this "a big breakfast of bacon, pancakes, and maple syrup. Or as Dirk called it: "The crispy flesh of his slain enemies with pancakes made from the Dough of Doom, and covered in the sweet succulent syrupy blood of angels." (pages384-85, E ARC) Once again, this was a funny, convincing story of a typical fantasy Dark Lord sucked into our world, and a human sucked into a fantasy one. While not video gamed based at all, this would be a great read for students who have played too much Runescape.
Weaknesses: This got a little long, although it never became so complicated that I couldn't follow the story, for which I was grateful.
Kraatz, Jeremy. Villains Rising (The Cloak Society #2)
October 1st 2013
In this sequel to The Cloak Society, Alex and the remainder of the Junior Rangers are hiding out at Amp's house, but of course they are imperiled. They take in another kid with superpowers, Bug, and infiltrate the underground base of the Cloak society.
Then I lost the rest of the notes I took on the book, and by that time the book was already checked out again. The students really like this series, and I appreciate the gray area in which it exists. Not overly wild about the new cover (Ghost looks a bit odd), but this is a great series to add if your readers like Anderson's Sidekicked, Cody's Super, or books with a lot of action, adventure, and random super powers.