Sunday, October 22, 2017

Embers of Destruction and Paper Chains

Savage, J. Scott. Embers of Destruction (Mysteries of Cove #3)
September 26th 2017 by Shadow Mountain
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

After Fires of Invention and Gears of Revolution, Trenton and Kallista are back with their mechanical dragons that they are using to fight the real dragons that have infested the earth and are controlling and destroying humans. They've managed to soup up their machines with more fire power, which Angus thinks he can use to kill all of the dragons. When the group comes across the city of San Francisco emerging from the mist, they decide to land and explore, but it is another trap. They manage to escape and get a bit of a view of what's going on. Plucky thinks she sees a girl from Seattle working at one of the factories, and Kallista takes this to mean that her father Leo (who is missing again) is nearby. Sure enough, he has fashioned a ship that he can fly without being detected by the dragons, and the group makes more plans. Of course, Leo ends up in thrall to the monarch, a white dragon with violet eyes, and the group has to work to free him. When they come across a lab from before the time of the San Francisco earthquake in the early 1900s, they uncover interesting information about the genesis of the dragons. Will it be enough to deal with the present day ones and allow humans to once again rule earth?
Strengths: Tweens are saving the world, but it's nice to see parents around. There aren't a lot of books that include tinkering with machines, so that's a nice science/tech bonus. Lots of adventure, flying, shooting great big fire balls at dragons. The story is wrapped up nicely. Great covers.
Weaknesses: Personally, I got tired of killing dragons, and I wasn't entirely convinced things were calm at the end of the book. Also, if I were Kallista, I would have gotten tired of my father disappearing and would probably have given up on him!
What I really think: Very solid, Steampunkish fantasy adventure series. Three is a perfect number to develop the characters and wrap up the story line while still being interesting enough for students to read all of the books. It hurts my feelings a bit when I feel compelled to buy something like Diane Duane's book TEN of a series knowing that only two people will read it!

33913972Vickers, Elaine. Paper Chains
October 17th 2017 by HarperCollins

E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Katie was adopted from a Russian orphange at the age of two, and has struggled with health issues caused by a heart transplant at a young age. Her parents are overprotective and don't even want her to ice skate. Her next door neighbor and best friend, Ana, has been dealing with her own difficult issues. Her father, a hockey players, was traded to a team in another city and decided not to bring her family with him. Her younger brother Mikey also struggles with this, and her mother is so distraught that she doesn't get out of bed, has taken a leave of absence from work, and has called Ana's grandmother, Babushka, to stay and help out from before Christmas to the new year. While Ana doesn't like her grandmother at first, she slowly warms to her as her plans to bring her father back to the family fall through, and she struggles with her relationship with Katie. This is a realistic fiction book, even though I have it posted on a Tuesday!
Strengths: I liked the inclusion of the two families with Russian connections; there have been a few students over the years at my school who were adopted from Russia. The friend drama is true to life, the grandmother an interesting character, and Katie's family very supportive, even of Ana.
Weaknesses: Like Vickers' Like Magic, this is a sad, slow story. Also, it's bad enough when parents become catatonic after the death of the spouse; I'm surprised Babushka didn't slap Ana's mother.
What I really think: This has a beautifult cover, and I like the connection to Russian adoption, but it's a very slow book. Will pass on purchase unless I have money leftover at the end of the school year.
Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment