Niklas is a good boy, he just happens to get into a bit of trouble, all in the name of fun. He lives with his Grandma Alma and uncle, since his mother, Erika died quite a few years ago rambling about being a Thornghost. He is mostly a happy boy, only saddened because his best friend Lin moved away, and because of the Nightmares. It turns out that his home and the world surrounding it are in danger, and he must travel to another world entirely with his new protector, a lynx named Secret, in order to save it. His mother’s last words hold the “key” to his success, and he must not fail.
Catherine Fisher left us off with the BIG reveal during the last two pages of Obsidian Mirror. It was cruel to make the readers wait almost an entire year to reunite with recluse Venn, fatherless Jake, Sarah from the future, enslaved Piers, trapped Gideon, tutor (or something else?) Wharton, Summer, the Shee, Janus, the wolf, the monkey (sorry–the marmoset), the seven cats, and of course, the Chronoptika, otherwise known as the Obsidian Mirror.
The Slanted Worlds, Fisher’s second book in this time journeying series, continues the battle for control of the Obsidian Mirror. Jake finds himself traveling 80 years back in time to 1940s London during the Blitz, forced to huddle in the Underground with bomb weary inhabitants, while searching for his father. There he is given a luggage tag by an old woman buried in the rubble who somehow knows his name.
In Michelle Zink‘s young adult historical fantasy/paranormal romance,A Temptation of Angels (watch the trailer below), protagonist Helen Cartwright has led a charming but ordinary upper class English life. Or so she thought. The sixteen year old has been raised by sociable parents who teach her how to fence and search for exits everywhere they go and often entertain guests in their home until late at night.
One such night, Helen’s mother wakes her up and tells her that she must escape at once through a hidden staircase at the back of her bedroom closet. She gives the girl firm, clear instructions to not look back – ever. Helen traverses an underground tunnel that leads her to the only people who can protect and guide her while her childhood home burns to the ground. She meets the Channing brothers for the first time and learns their fates are sealed.
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – lucky because this book is cover-to-cover enchantment. Cashore’s richly drawn characters, lush settings, and gorgeously detailed descriptions paint a vivid picture in the mind’s eye of Queen Bitterblue’s world, a world still healing eight years after the death of King Leck. This extended healing period is most definitely not due to the loss of a beloved king, though. Oh no. Quite the opposite, for King Leck was a mad sadist with the extraordinary Grace (that’s “˜superpower’ to us mortal geeks) to get deep inside people’s heads and make them do stuff. Bad stuff. We’re talking the most heinous, unforgivable crimes imaginable – and quite a few that would never pass through a sane mind even in its most depraved nanosecond. And he did these things purely for his own pleasure.