Tuesday, November 08, 2022

The Frost Fair and Worst Villain

Hastings, Natasha. The Frost Fair (The Miraculous Sweet Makers #1)
November 1, 2022 by HarperCollins 
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In London in the 1683, Thomasina is dealing with the Great Frost that has overtaken London. Her family runs a bakery and sweet shop, but ever since the death of her twin brother Arthur, her mother has been completely out of commission because of grief, and even her family barely acknowledges her existence. When a strange man, Inigo, appears to her and claims that is she goes to the Frost Fair with him four times and surrenders all of her memories of her brother to him, Thomasina thinks this is a solid plan, even when snowflakes start to appear on her skin, and she sees a number of creepy people with similar skin lurking in the area. Along with her new friend Anne, whose family runs an apothecary, she tries to sell medicinal sweets to improve the income of the shop. When she meets a boy her age who is a descendant of Inigo, she starts to realize that there is something very creepy and possibly nefarious about Inigo's attempts at taking her to the Frost Fair. Will she be able to save her mother... or herself? 
Strengths: This has a great cover, and an interesting setting. I was hoping that this would be similar to Hooper's fantastic 2003 At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. The idea of a sweet shop combining with an apothecary is great, and Thomasina and Anne are great characters. The book moved along quickly and was pretty scary at times. 
Weaknesses: The historic details of this seemed half a bubble off. Most women during that time would have lost at least one child; Thomasina's mother would not have had the luxury of not getting out of bed. As nice as it was to see Anne portrayed as a person of color, I'm not sure how historically accurate that is, either. Some of the language seemed too modern as well. 
What I really think: This was really more of a horror book than a history or fantasy novel, but I think I would have trouble convincing my students of this. Since this looks to be a series, I think I will pass for now. 

Bearce, Amy. The Worst Villain Ever
October 18, 2022 by Snowy Wings Publishing 
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

George Pruwell has always struggled to keep up with his family's legacy of evil, and it is a relief when he is finally admitted to the Academy of Villainy and Wrongdoing. His older brother, Alex, is the evil one in the family, and even though his mother is supportive, George always feels like he is just not evil enough. It's a rough transistion to school, even though he meets a boy, Sam, who tries to help him with some technology. Every time he tries to do something evil, George's kindhearted nature gets in his way. Will he ever be able to live up to his family's expectations of evil?

I knew there were a lot of supervillain books that had been published, but I didn't realize quite how many I had. Starting with Walden's 2008 H.I.V.E., I seem to have bought every super villain book to come out, including Fry's How to be a Supervillain, Kraatz's The Cloak Society,  Anderson's Sidekicked, Boniface's Ordinary Boy, Buckley's N.E.R.D.S, Moore's V is for Villain, Cody's Powerless, McCullough's School for Sidekicks, Bacon's Joshua Dread, Ferraiolo's Sidekicks, and finally Kupperberg's Supertown and Wallace's The Supervillain's Guide to Being a Fat Kid, both published in 2022. I love Bearce's work, but I think I might be okay on supervillain books for a bit. If you are not as well stocked, make sure that you purchase this one, especially for an elementary library!

No comments:

Post a Comment