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Middle Grade, Review / July 21, 2014
Murder Most Unladylike by Robin StevensMurder Most Unladylike
Author: Robin Stevens
Series: Wells and Wong #1
Publisher: Corgi Childrens, Random House Children's Publishers
Date: June 2014
324 pages
Source: Review copy from author
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Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there's more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

If you put Nancy Drew in a boarding school, set it in the 1930s and sprinkle heavily with Sherlock references, bunbreaks and Cluedo, you’re getting close to describing the sheer charm that is Murder Most Unladylike. I absolutely adored Robin Stevens’ debut novel featuring the first case of the Wells & Wong Detective Society. As a warning, you will definitely want to read this book with a cup of tea and baked goods within arm’s reach.

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / September 6, 2012
Afterlife By Eric Kent EdstromAfterlife
Author: Eric Kent Edstrom
Series: The Undermountain Saga #2
Publisher: Self-published
Date: July 2012
272 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Genres: Science Fiction
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They think their adventures are behind them . . .
The six teens who were rescued from a mountainside in the Canadian Rockies are now famous. But only they know the true story-of what they discovered, what they survived-of Undermountain. Those secrets bind them together and pull them toward an ill-fated reunion.

. . . the war between tangoga and bigfeet still rages . . .
The tangoga boss GorVit searches for a lost technology, the terrible weapon of a vanished race. And he'll happily use Breyona as leverage to get Danny's help.

. . . the power of ultimate destruction hangs in the balance . . .
Thrust into the midst of war, and into the arms of a beautiful queen, Danny races on a collision course with destiny. And Breyona, still testing the limits of her amazing powers, must choose between what she desires and what is right.

. . . friendship, loyalty, and temptation . . .
One will give in. One will give up. One will give all.

So, back in February I read a rather unique bigfoot sci-fi novel that I thought was really great. That novel was Undermountain. And now… there’s a sequel, Afterlife *happy dance*…And after having now read Afterlife I can say with certainty that this SERIES is fantastic!!

I’ve got to be honest, when I heard there was a sequel, I did wonder what could possibly happen now to these kids that had discovered the existence of bigfoot, and escaped to tell the tale. I was a little worried. Turns out, there was NOTHING to worry about. Afterlife is just as great as Undermountain and just as unique.

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By: Alison
Review, Young Adult / February 12, 2012
Undermountain by Eric Kent EdstromUndermountain
Author: Eric Kent Edstrom
Series: The Undermountain Saga #1
Publisher: Self-published
Date: December 2011
354 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Genres: Science Fiction
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Undermountain is an innovative, clever and wildly imaginative adventure. Along the way, Edstrom turns the legend of bigfoot on it's head.

A group of troubled teens escape to the Canadian Rockies for a ten day excursion. All they take with them is their backpacks and their grizzled old mountaineer guide.

But when Danny and Breyona encounter a creature of legend—an eight foot tall beast they tag as "bigfoot"—the hike turns into a race for their lives.

Swept to the secret city of Undermountain, Danny, Breyona and their friends find themselves in the middle of a war—between their "bigfoot" captors and horrific creatures called "shriekers."

But more than their freedom is at stake. To escape, to survive, to save the Earth, Danny and Breyona must end the war ... and make sure neither side wins.

Wow. What a surprising read. I can honestly say that I was quite speechless when I finished reading this book. And in a good way. It has a very interesting storyline, great action, very well written characters and one hell of a journey!

It takes place in the Canadian Rockies where we have 6 kids and a grumpy old guide out on a 10 day hike. Needless to say it doesn’t take long before the hike turns into a nightmare, one filled with bigfeet and monsters and a huge underground civilisation (or Undermountain as it is properly named).

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By: Alison
Review, Young Adult / January 1, 2012
Starcrossed Perigee by Tracey Lee CampbellStarcrossed Perigee
Author: Tracey Lee Campbell
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date: May 2011
408 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Genres: Science Fiction
Goodreads

Aric Brennan is a whisperer - a perfectly engineered human/alien hybrid designed specifically to charm and seduce. When Lucy is stalked by his unearthly creators, she has no choice but to trust him to help her navigate a way through a horrifying reality - a reality filled with creatures which should really only exist in nightmares.

I had to wait a while before I wrote this review becuase although I truly enjoyed reading this book, I did have several issues with it that has taken me a while to put into words.

The story is about a girl called Lucy who lives with her Uncle on his farm. Her Uncle hires a new “farmhand” (I think that’s what its called) called Aric who seems to be able to read Lucy’s thoughts and is able to do other things humans shouldn’t be able to do. Needless to say he’s far from human. Before we know it, Lucy and Aric are on the run from aliens and other supernatural beings which shouldn’t exist and Lucy has to flee her old life with Aric to avoid being abducted.

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By: Alison
Review, Young Adult / December 26, 2011
Shadowmagic by John LenahanShadowmagic
Author: John Lenahan
Series: Shadowmagic #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: August 2009
288 pages
Source: Review copy from author
Genres: Fantasy
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Conor thought he was an average teenager. Okay, so his father only had one hand, spoke to him in ancient languages, and was a bit on the eccentric side, but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armor appear at his front door and try to kill him. Don't you hate when that happens? Join Conor as he grapples with typical teenage problems, like how to deal with a father's high expectations, how to survive in the world on your own, and how to woo a beautiful girl who wants you dead.

This is a very well rounded fantasy book.

Conor is a normal boy living a normal life, that is until he opens his front door one day and is taken hostage by 2 knights on horseback into the realm of The Land! From thereon he discovers that he was hidden in the real world when he was a baby to protect him from people in the Land who would kill him to fullfil a very old prophecy.

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By: Alison