THE LAST HUNT

THE UNICORN CHRONICLES: BOOK IV

Continuing a series practice, this finale substantially tops the previous volume’s page count as Coville draws all his characters and plot lines together in a mighty cascade of short chapters to a climactic battle on the alternate world of Luster. Even readers new to the epic will have no trouble following along, though. The unicorns’ relentless killer, Beloved, has invaded Luster with an army of trained Hunters, creating so much havoc that the world teeters on the brink of destruction. Meanwhile, as her parents at last reunite and set out to search for her, young protagonist Cara learns the truth about her genetic heritage as she seeks to enlist a temperamental dragon in the unicorns’ cause. Audiences fond of tales festooned with words like “ensorcelled,” lines like “Halt! Who seeks to enter the Great Hall of Gnurflax, King of Delvharken?” and names like “Amalia Flickerfoot”—plus magical figures from a comically monkey-like pet and a gryphon with a tender ego to angels (thinly disguised as “Great Powers”), centaurs and, of course, shining, magnificent unicorns aplenty—will be swept along to the grand, hard-fought resolution. (cast list, map) (Fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-12807-0

Page Count: 624

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Solid, authentic basketball action with plenty of food for thought, colored with elements of fantasy.

TRAINING CAMP

From the Wizenard series , Vol. 1

A former NBA superstar is part of a writing duo that combines basketball and magic to tell the story of a struggling inner-city team.

Twelve-year-old Rain treasures the Fairwood Community Center and his team, the West Bottom Badgers. Although it is run-down, the walls hung with tattered banners, for Rain, the gym represents his best chance of becoming a success. The team owner, Freddy, has also brought in a new coach, professor Rolabi Wizenard, with a decidedly different way of running things. He seems to speak in riddles and use magic—the appearance of a tiger to assist in a drill, for example. As Rain contemplates life, he hears Rolabi in his head, challenging his fears and his thoughts about himself. Teammate Alfie, aka Twig, is from a comfortable suburban family, and some of the guys never let him forget it. Mercilessly teased, he has no one to confide in—but he might be the one to unlock the secret behind their new coach. The novel is unusual in structure and plot as readers experience the same incidents portrayed through different perspectives, each revealing another layer of the story. The end of training camp and the approach of actual games concludes the novel, leaving a cliffhanger for the next volume. Physical descriptions are limited, but most major characters are brown-skinned.

Solid, authentic basketball action with plenty of food for thought, colored with elements of fantasy. (Sports fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949520-01-9

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child...

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

A San Diego preteen learns that she’s an elf, with a place in magic school if she moves to the elves’ hidden realm.

Having felt like an outsider since a knock on the head at age 5 left her able to read minds, Sophie is thrilled when hunky teen stranger Fitz convinces her that she’s not human at all and transports her to the land of Lumenaria, where the ageless elves live. Taken in by a loving couple who run a sanctuary for extinct and mythical animals, Sophie quickly gathers friends and rivals at Foxfire, a distinctly Hogwarts-style school. She also uncovers both clues to her mysterious origins and hints that a rash of strangely hard-to-quench wildfires back on Earth are signs of some dark scheme at work. Though Messenger introduces several characters with inner conflicts and ambiguous agendas, Sophie herself is more simply drawn as a smart, radiant newcomer who unwillingly becomes the center of attention while developing what turn out to be uncommonly powerful magical abilities—reminiscent of the younger Harry Potter, though lacking that streak of mischievousness that rescues Harry from seeming a little too perfect. The author puts her through a kidnapping and several close brushes with death before leaving her poised, amid hints of a higher destiny and still-anonymous enemies, for sequels.

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child who, while overly fond of screaming, rises to every challenge. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4593-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more