Review: The Quest for Justice

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in #GetKidstoRead, Children's, Fantasy, YA books
The Elementia Chronicles: The Quest for Justice Pages: 500
Format: Paperback
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three-half-stars

New players join the game Minecraft every day. But dark forces are at work on the Elementia server, and when Stan,Kat, and Charlie arrive on the scene, they quickly find themselves in peril The King has passed a law banishing all lower level players from the server by the next Proclamation Day. Anyone who tries to help the noobs will be silenced. With the natural forces of the game closing in and the King's deadline approaching, Stan, Kat, and Charlie must work together to unravel the mysteries of Elementia and lead the battle for Justice. ---From the back cover.

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The Quest for Justice is the first book in a series based on the video game Minecraft. First time author, Sean Fay Wolfe, is bridging the digital divide between book nerds and gamers. The story is about 3 new players on a Minecraft world called Elementia. Stan, Kat, and Charlie join the game at the worst possible time.
The King, has decided that new players benefit too much from the hard work of the experienced players and is trying to ban them from the world. He has changed the rules so that when they die in the game, they are banned. This creates a dangerous situation for our heroes, but the world is full of monsters like creepers and spiders that attack at night. When our heroes learn about the Kings plan they start on a quest to overthrow him and restore justice to the land.
Quest for Justice moved at a fast pace and was full of action and adventure. This is definitely a book that fans of the game will want to pick up. At times it did seem a little long (at 500 pages) but, the characters are very weak at the beginning of the story and need the page length to level up to a believable point and defeat the king.
Minecraft is very popular and this book will have a following. Libraries should get multiple copies because they won’t be able to keep it on the shelf.

three-half-stars

Beyonders 1

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in #GetKidstoRead, Children's, Fantasy, Retro Review

In light of Beyonders 3 being released I wanted to post my review of the first book in this trilogy.  For those that may have never heard of it.  It is definitely worth the read.  I read and wrote this review before this blog was started.

Beyonders by Brandon Mull is an excellent example of what happens when a book clicks on all cylinders. This book has everything, humor, adventure, magic and even the hints of romance. This is a top notch choice for children in grades 4 and up. Definitely a choice for the Harry Potter fan desperately looking for something new to read.
Jason is unhappy with his life. He does not seem to fit in at home. One day while working at the zoo he falls into a hippos mouth and winds up in a magical world. In a Narnia like transport, the hippo brought Jason to another world. This world is ruled by an evil wizard who can only be destroyed by uttering a very special very magical word in his presence. While at a very special library Jason reads one of the syllables of this magic word. He embarks on a quest to finish the world and destroy the evil wizard to find his only way home.
Along the way Brandon Mull introduces new creatures, and characters and fills the book with the kind of magic that the literary world has been lacking since both Fablehaven and Harry Potter ended.

Here there be Dragons

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Fantasy, Retro Review, YA books
This is an old book review from when I was getting my MLIS.  I thought some of my readers subscribers may not have read it and  might consider it worth reading.  

Here There be Dragons by James A Owen

I really enjoyed this book.  Its about three Oxford students in 1917 who come to be the guardians of a magical atlas.  There are references to many famous fantasy stories from King Arthur to Lord of the Rings.  I only gave it a 2 for popularity because depending on their frame of reference, teens may not get the references.  Especially, if they haven’t read stories by or about Narnia and Lord of the Rings.
I really enjoyed this book.  The premise of it is to explain that the authors of the greatest Fantasy Novels of the twentieth century were the guardians of an at las of magical lands.  The three friends go on a magical adventure that will become the inspiration for their novels.  Fans of Narnia and Tolkien will better appreciate this book.

Retro Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Children's, Fantasy, Harry Potter, Retro Review, YA books

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is getting a new cover and being re-released.  I thought I would write a retro review to honor the new cover art.  
Harry has no clue he is a wizard.  All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his Aunt and Uncle.  The Dursleys make Harry feel unwanted.  They make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs.  Then just before he turns 11, he receives an invitation inviting him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  When Harry arrives he discovers he is no ordinary wizard, and he has a destiny to fulfill.   Harry will make friends and enemies and confront the evil Lord Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed his parents. 
This book is and remains one of my all time favorites.  Rowling writes authentic characters and mixes the mystery, adventure and magic all together in a perfect way.  15 years after its first publication, this book still touches the hearts of readers.  I strongly encourage you to read it with your children and share the text as it originally appeared.  Relive Harry’s first year as it was in the book before the movie and share it.  Share this book with a child who is ready for it, so they can experience Harry’s adventures for the first time.