Readers of the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend and the Starfell series by Dominique Valente will likely enjoy The Midnight Hour by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder. This fantastical tale features the young Emily Featherhaugh, whose mother’s idiosyncrasies turn Emily into a “human firework of foot-stamping rage” (2). Emily was shamed at school and accused of living like trash after helping her mother retrieve “important art materials” from the dumpster.  Even the City Council receives complaints that Maeve Connolly is a “crazy Irish art woman who makes noise at all hours” (2). But when her mom receives a special delivery– a heavy, khaki-colored envelope from a giant carryingRead More →

The adventures of the Legend Hunters continue in Book 2, Darkmouth: Worlds Explode by Irish author Shane Hegarty.  Not unlike the world of Artemis Fowl, predicaments and otherworldly creatures populate Darkmouth, where Finn the Defiant resides.  As a swarm of Legends was descending, Finn’s father pushed his twelve year old son to safety, and the gateway to the Infested Side closed, trapping the last Legend Hunter, Hugo the Great.  Now, Finn has fewer than 48 hours to find his dad who has been declared dead by the Council of 12. Although Finn is determined to rescue his father, the prophesy predicts his peril.  As theRead More →

A couple of weeks ago we saw “her“, the Spike Jonze film about the lonely man who develops romantic feelings for his artificially intelligent operating system.  I thought that one of the most fascinating aspects of the film was how the OS, who calls herself Samantha, grew from the basic program that Theodore bought into a complicated, dynamic, interesting, and fully-actualized “person.”  Questions of physicality aside, witnessing Samantha’s evolution beyond her original programming was like watching any human being discover, adapt, learn, and become who they are meant to be. As I was thinking about Samantha (and her relationship with her world and Theodore), myRead More →

Readers who like plots that revolve around danger and destiny and who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan will likely find Tera Lynn Childs’ trilogy riveting.  The major difference in the two text sets is the genders of the protagonists and the prominent roles played by mythological monsters—like the manticore, harpies, or Gegenees giant, rather than just gods and goddesses. The second book in Childs’ series, Sweet Shadows, which features Greer, Gretchen, and Grace—the Key Generation—tells the story of the shadow life of the triplet sisters and their mythological legacy.  The diversity of the three girls represents a Pythagorean balance—appropriate for this trinityRead More →