Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (YA)

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The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman

21416690Summary (from http://www.goodreads.com):
The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

Review:

Oh my goodness! How wonderfully fun was this book?! Another recommendation from a fellow bibliophile, this was an addictive read.

Irene is a spunky, resourceful, professional spy who collects books for the mysterious Library. I enjoyed Irene’s asides (written in parenthesis) and the humour with which Cogman voices her. Kai, Irene’s apprentice, is powerful and enchanting and a trusted colleague. The interaction between Kai and Irene is, for a lack of a better word, fun to read.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. The mix of magic and mystery and adventure and a strong female lead has made this one of my favorite reads of this year (well, in the last two weeks!). I’m already on to the second book, The Masked Library (The Invisible Library #2)!

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Su19161852mmary (from http://www.goodreads.com):

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.
A season of endings has begun.
It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

Review:

This is my first time reading anything by N.K. Jemisin, and while I already owned the book, it was a recommendation from a friend (a true bibliophile) that I made me open the book and read it.

The premise of the story is what hooked me. It’s a brand new world where Orogenes are able to control the power of the earth (still volcanoes, cause earthquakes) and their power is harnessed and controlled by Guardians and the Fulcrum. It’s a world like nothing I have read before (and I’ve read a fair bit of fantasy).

Apart from the incredible world building by Jemisin, the characters are compelling, especially the female ones. They are strong in every sense of the word, but are also flawed and ambitious and caring and revolutionaries. The male characters are not too bad, either.

Overall, this is a wonderful addition to the fantasy canon and I can’t wait to start on the second book in the series, The Obelisk Gate!

Review: Sabriel (Abhorsen,#1) by Garth Nix (YA)

Sabriel_Book_CoverSummary (from http://www.goodreads.com):

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen trilogy, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

Review:

This is one of my favorite fantasy series, especially in the Young Adult (YA) genre. On the second reading, there was so much more I understood about the world of the Old Kingdom, Free Magic and the world of the Dead that I didn’t quite grasp in the first reading. Sabriel is a resourceful, intelligent, courageous young girl – a brilliant role model for young girls (and those young at heart).

The plot is full of suspense, murky characters, whose intentions are not clear (hence the rest of the series. But even then, it’s never clear whether they are clearly good or evil, which is brilliant!), and the world building – there are no words to express just how brilliant it is!

I can’t tell you how much enjoyed re-reading this novel! I’ll be reading it again and again, and highly recommend it!