Thursday, September 22, 2016

Gears of Revolution (Mysteries of COVE #2)

Gears of Revolution (Mysteries of Cove, #2)Savage, J. Scott. Gears of Revolution (Mysteries of COVE #2)
September 20th 2016 by Shadow Mountain
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Trenton and Kallista are back after their adventures in Fires of Invention, and are traveling with Ladon the mechanical dragon in search of Kallista's father. They are shot down over Seattle, where they find a civilization that has managed to survive by worshipping the dragons, especially the emerald one that they have killed. This causes some problems on many fronts, but Leo Babbage has been to this community and worked with the dimber damber, Cochrane, who is in charge of the whipjacks. The Order of the Beasts is comprised of the more educated members of society-- they wear odd clothing and keep everyone in line. Kallista and Trenton need to repair Ladon and keep looking for Leo, but they manage to find a lot of things going on in Seattle. Eventually, they travel back to Cove and talk to the people there about helping Seattle, although they meet many objections. There are a lot more dragon attacks, some surprises about the loyalties of characters, and an ending that makes a third book likely. 

Disclaimer: I read this on vacation AND this is the sort of fantasy book that I always struggle to keep straight!

Strengths: This is definitely a fresh fantasy series. Yes, dragons are involved, but there is also a lot of fun mechanics, some research, and traveling in less-than-ideal circumstances. The first book would have been popular with my growing crowd of fantasy readers if it hadn't been lost for most of the year. (Luckily, it showed up in locker clean out.)

Weaknesses: I wasn't a fan of the dialect that Plucky spoke, or Cochrane's title (although it's not a made up thing just for this book-- dimber damber). 
What I really think: A lot of action and adventure as well as intrigue. Not my thing, but I have students who will love this. 

23922381Stroud, Jonathan. Creeping Shadow (Lockwood and Co. #4)
September 13th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Public Library Copy

I don't know why I love these so much, because I hate scary things, but it's such a good series. I just want to be the office manager and send Holly (who is actually portrayed very sympathetically) packing. This would be lovely, since I would be able to have my six cups of tea a day and no one would blink, since this is England, and tea might be the only thing to give us strength to endure the ghost infestations. 

I am very impressed by how Stroud is able to write from a female viewpoint. While Lucy seems a bit messier than I would imagine a young woman to be, he really hits all of her feelings about Holly, about having to come back to Lockwood & Co., and about dealing with Lockwood himself right on the nose. 

There's got to be a romance at some sort, and I do wonder what the group will do when they lose their powers to see ghosts. That might be why I enjoyed the inclusion of the over-the-hill ghostwise Kipps in the group. 

This is one of those rare books where there is enough ghost violence and gore for the younger set, but enough agency politics and interpersonal strife for the reset of us!

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