Review: The Clackity by Lora Senf

The ClackityThe Clackity by Lora Senf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After a childhood tragedy, Evie Von Rathe moves to the town of Blight Harbor, the 7th-most haunted town in America, to live with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert.

When we meet Evie, she is a happy little girl, on the cusp of her summer holiday. She enjoys working at the local library with her Aunt’s best friend, Lily, and has a fantastic relationship with her Aunt Des. These things help her deal with the pain of her earlier trauma.

Additionally, Evie is quite interested in paranormal goings-on and the fact that this is her Aunt’s line of work excites her to no end. Frankly, I get it. Desdemona is intriguing.

One rule Des has always had is to not hang around the local abandoned slaughterhouse. Makes sense to me. Apparently, once upon a time, a local serial killer John Jeffrey Pope worked there. It’s not giving off good vibes.

When Evie discovers her Aunt is exploring the old slaughterhouse for work, she wants in on it and promptly follows Des there.

Over the course of their investigation into the slaughterhouse and it’s sordid history, Aunt Des disappears and shortly thereafter Evie meets the Clackity.

The Clackity tells Evie that Des has been transported into a dangerously magical other realm and only Evie has the power to save her.

It offers up a deal, saying if Evie retrieves the spirit of serial killer John Jeffery Pope for it, Aunt Des will be saved. The killer is also in this magical other realm, putting Aunt Des in terrible danger. The clock is ticking.

Even though it is quite clear that the Clackity isn’t something you want to be making any sort of a deal with, what choice does she have? That’s right, none.

Thus, Evie begins her dangerous quest to save Aunt Des, meeting challenges, obstacles and scary beings head on. Evie is one strong and determined little girl. We love to see it!

The Clackity is such a fun Middle Grade story; non-stop spooky goodness from beginning to end. It channeled heavy Neil Gaiman vibes for me and I was eating it up.

Quests are one of my favorite tropes and I would argue this fits the bill perfectly. Add in the level of eeriness carried throughout and you pretty much have a perfect story for me.

I loved how the quest was presented. There were different steps, or challenges, Evie had to pass before moving on to the next. It was simple and easy to understand, while also being ridiculously well-imagined and described.

This story absolutely filled my heart. I loved the characters, relationships, humor and horror-filled imagery so much. It’s incredibly dark and creepy, the perfect example of why I love this subgenre of Middle Grade with my whole being.

I definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a classic-feeling Spooky Middle Grade story. The Clackity is an absolute gem.

Thank you so very much to the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It was an true delight.

The Clackity releases this coming Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

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Review: Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by TolΓ‘ Okogwu

Onyeka and the Academy of the SunOnyeka and the Academy of the Sun by TọlÑ Okogwu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Onyeka is a twelve-year-old girl living in the U.K. with her Mom. They moved there from their native Nigeria when Onyeka was very young. In fact, she was so young she doesn’t remember anything about her life in Nigeria where they lived with her father.

All Onyeka knows is that when they moved to the U.K. it was just the two of them. Onyeka’s Mom keeps their past shrouded in mystery, preferring to ignore the topic rather than answering any of Onyeka’s questions.

This sounds sad and if she dwells on it, sometimes it does make Onyeka a little sad, but overall her and her Mom have a great relationship.

Her Mom is a strong woman who only wants the best for Onyeka. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but you can tell the two love each other fiercely even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye.

When our story begins Onyeka and her best friend, Cheyenne, are visiting the local public pool on a hot day. Even though Onyeka doesn’t adore swimming, for Cheyenne she’s willing to join in the fun.

However while they are both playing in the water something happens and Cheyenne ends up in distress. Onyeka, not a strong swimmer to begin with, cannot sit by while her best friend drowns. She has to help her, thus she learns the magic power of her hair.

Yes, you heard that right. The only thing saving Cheyenne and Onyeka that day was the power of Onyeka’s hair.

After the very public spectacle at the pool, Onyeka gets home to a Mom that is not happy. Through their heated discussion regarding the days events, Onyeka’s Mom reveals that Onyeka is a Solari, a child with special powers.

Before she can even wrap her mind around all this new information, Onyeka finds herself, along with her Mom, on a private jet being whisked off to Nigeria. Their destination is the Academy of the Sun, a school developed just for Solari.

Arriving at the School, Onyeka is overwhelmed by it all. She has to learn about this entire hidden world she knew nothing about before.

Crazier still is that she’s one of them and she’s powerful. Her hair, that has always been a nuisance to her and a frustration for her mother, is actually her greatest strength.

She just needs to learn to control it.

The Reader gets to go along with Onyeka as she learns all about the Solari, their history and challenges. She trains with other students, who although all Solari, have very different powers from one another.

It was a lot of fun to be in a magic school setting. There were a lot of interesting characters and Onyeka learned so much about herself from interacting with the others. She made some close friends and was able to really be herself for the first time.

I absolutely adored this story from the very first chapter. Getting to know Onyeka, she is such a special character, the kind who is easy to root for.

The story is action-packed, with a slight mystery-edge to it. I loved the themes explored, such as embracing the hidden power within yourself, letting your uniqueness shine and so much more!!!

I would definitely recommend this book to any Middle Grade Reader, particularly if you are looking for diverse, culture-filled, immersive OWN-voices stories.

You can’t go wrong with this absolute ray of sunshine. It filled my heart reading this.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Margaret K. McElderry Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I truly hope this isn’t the last story I get to read following this lovable protagonist. Onyeka has so much more room to grow and I want to be there for every moment of it!

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Review: Wretched Waterpark (Sinister Summer #1) by Kiersten White

Wretched Waterpark (Sinister Summer, #1)Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Sinister-Winterbottom twins, Theo and Alexander, along with their older sister Wil and her cell phone Rodrigo, are shocked and abhorred when their parents drop them off at their Aunt Saffronia’s house for the entire summer.

With nary an explanation, or actually even really a remembrance of how this strange turn of events came about, the siblings are left without a choice. They must stick together and make the best of it.

Truth be told, it’s a little uncomfortable. Aunt Saffronia isn’t exactly schooled in having children around. Why did their parents leave them with her?

Seriously, it’s like the woman just stepped off the pages of a gothic novel from another era…

Luckily, Aunt Saffronia offers them a chance to escape the house during the day by taking them to Fathoms of Fun, a nearby waterpark.

She buys them week-long passes and insist they return day after day from open until close.

Sure it sounds promising, all the water slides, wave pool, park food and a lazy river, but alas, that’s not quite what Fathoms of Fun is all about. From the moment they buy their passes the kids realize this is no ordinary park.

There’s barely anyone there. Instead of chilling in a cabana, it looks more like a mausoleum and even the rafts used to go down the water slides are shaped more like coffins than anything else. What the actual heck?

With Wil staring at her phone all day, per usual, Alexander and Theo are pretty much left to their own devices. They start to learn more about the park, including the fact that the owner disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

As each day goes by, the population at the park dwindles, both patrons and staff alike; increasingly sketchy things are happening around them constantly and the kids are on edge. Then Wil disappears and the fun is over.

Now the twins have to work together like never before to solve the mystery of the park and get their sister back!

Y’all, it’s official. I am in love with the Sinister-Winterbottom siblings. This was so, so much fun. A funny, thrilling, odd, quirky and engaging Middle Grade Mystery.

I loved the writing style, it definitely channeled A Series of Unfortunate Events for me. Additionally, I loved the gothic tones woven absolutely everywhere into this story. White did such a great job of keeping that aspect entertaining.

It was like the characters from Hotel Transylvania opened their very own waterpark.

Theo and Alexander were both such strong characters in very different ways. I liked that they supported each other as siblings. They knew they were different from one another, but that didn’t cause them to fight, or dislike the way the other did things or saw the world.

I found that to be quite refreshing. They loved each other so much and were able to work together seamlessly even in the face of grave danger.

I also enjoyed their older sister Wil a lot. Always staring at her phone, completely disconnected from what was going on around her, but when it counted, she wanted to be there for her family. For the most part.

The ending was so fun. I definitely get where the comp to Scooby-Doo came from after those final scenes. Delightful!

The end also left some questions unanswered. Really, I have a lot. I was super happy to read that there is actually a sequel to this, Vampiric Vacation, that may in fact be released later this year. I certainly hope so.

I need more Sinister-Winterbottom goodness!!

Thank you to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m in love with this series! Pure sinister fun!!

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Review: Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

WitchlingsWitchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading Ghost Squad in 2020 I knew I wanted more from Ortega. I had so much fun with that book.

The characters, the relationships, the humor, the heart; it was such a fantastically pure Middle Grade story. The perfect start for future Horror Readers like myself.

In Witchlings, Ortega is able to bring a classic feel to a modern Fantasy story.

Set in a magical town called Ravenskill, we follow 12-year old Seven Salazar, who on the night of her Black Moon Ceremony gets a result she wasn’t expecting.

For context purposes you can picture the Black Moon Ceremony as a kind of sorting hat process. Young witchlings are essentially sorted into covens based on their skills and abilities.

Seven and her best friend have always dreamed of being in the same coven. They want it so much that the girls actually begin to take it as a foregone conclusion.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works out and Seven ends up as a Spare. A witchling who doesn’t get placed into one of the five covens.

Spares, if we are being honest, are sort of looked down on by the whole town. It’s not the greatest fate and disappointing for Seven, but she’s not alone. Two other witchlings become Spares during that ceremony, Thorn and Valley.

Making matters worse, when the three witchlings try to seal their circle, forging their bond as sisters, it doesn’t work. Now they’ll be doomed to a life without magic, except there’s a catch and Seven knows it.

She invokes their right to perform an impossible task. If they are able to complete it, their coven will be sealed and they will be able to gain full power.

If they fail they risk being turned into toads. No pressure.

Thus the three witchlings, who initially believed they had nothing in common, learn to work together and rely on one another to accomplish their goals. Friendship truly is magic.

Witchlings is so engaging from the very start. Seven, as well as Thorn and Valley, are all very well fleshed out and super relatable.

I love how pure their friendship is and the evolution of their relationship is so natural. I am sure young readers will be able to see a bit of themselves in at least one of these main characters.

The witchlings uncover a bit of a mystery involving their town during the course of their impossible task and even in the face of dangerous odds, they forge ahead to reveal the truth.

I loved that bit of mystery and intrigue. It was surprising and fun. You can tell that Ortega poured her whole heart into this one and I would definitely recommend reading the Author’s Note at the end.

Hearing a bit of Ortega’s inspiration behind this story really helped me to appreciate all she brought to the page.

I cannot recommend this one highly enough to both Middle Grade Readers and Fantasy Readers in general. Additionally, the audiobook is superb.

I am super stoked for the sequel to this. Yes, there is one coming and I cannot wait!!!

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The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

The KeeperThe Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Moving from Texas to Oregon was a big transition for James and his younger sister, Ava. Making the move even more difficult is the fact that James is still grieving the loss of his beloved Grandmother.

Homesickness and grief are not necessarily a great recipe for success at their new home. Regardless, James is giving it his best. His parents are supportive and even though he hasn’t made any new friends yet, he always has Ava.

Much to the chagrin of their parents, the siblings are currently in the midst of a heated prank battle. Honestly, that’s what occupies most of their time these days.

So when the first spooky letter appears in his bedroom, James assumes Ava is playing a prank on him. Signed by The Watcher, the letter is creepy, but knowing his sister is behind it makes it easy to ignore.

But when the second sinister letter appears, again signed by The Watcher, Ava is with him and she seems just as shocked about it as James. He knows Ava’s not that good an actor.

It’s clear from the threatening nature of the letters that the siblings are in danger. Someone wants them out of their house and out of town, but no one believes them. They’ll need to figure this out on their own.

Diving into the history of their new town, James and Ava discover the charming ambiance may be covering up something much more terrifying.

I had a lot of fun reading The Keeper. I really enjoy Spooky Middle Grade stories and this one was the perfect blend of Horror and Mystery.

The family dynamics were so great. At first it seems James and Ava are always at each other, as many siblings are, but when it really counted they were there for each other 100%.

I also found the parents to be believable. These weren’t parents who disappeared into the background like in many children’s stories, but they also weren’t there to solve everything either; giving the kids supported independence.

Additionally, I enjoyed how McCall explored real-life topics in addition to the main, spooky storyline.

The incorporation of the family’s Mexican heritage, the grief they were experiencing after the loss of their family member, as well as the difficulties of moving and leaving friends behind. That was all so well done and really added to the depth of this story.

The truth behind the town was super sinister indeed and pretty scary, I’ll admit. It did move very quickly towards the end and I feel like I may have missed some of the finer details. Regardless, this is a lot of fun.

I loved the vibe McCall was able to create with this one and definitely recommend it to people who love a spooky, sinister, mysterious Middle Grade!

I would absolutely pick up more from this author. I hope she continues on this track. Very fun!!

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Review: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz vs. the Evil LibrariansAlcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians is an uproariously funny, action-packed Middle Grade Fantasy story. I had an absolute blast reading this and actually finished it in a day.

This is the first installment of a currently 5-book series, with a 6th-book set to be released this September. While this story originally published in 2007, it is now being rereleased with updated covers.

Prior to receiving a copy of this, I actually had no idea that Brandon Sanderson even had a Middle Grade series. As a big fan of MG-stories, I was super pumped to make this discovery!

This one starts off with a hilarious Author’s Note that definitely set the tone for the entire book. The author talks directly to the Reader and gets them ready for a rollicking, totally true tale.

Alcatraz Smedry, our main character, is an orphan, who on his 13th-birthday receives an inheritance from his parents; a bag of sand.

Just his luck that a bag of sand would be all his parents actually left him. You quickly learn Alcatraz doesn’t have the best luck and has taken the art of breaking things to a whole new level.

The bag of sand, which would seem a harmless possession, actually ends up getting stolen by a cult of evil librarians who are seeking to take over the world by spreading misinformation.

Through a mysterious and unexpected visitor, Alacatraz is filled in on what the bag of sand actually is and schooled on the truth about the world. Like how a cult of evil librarians can even exist without anyone knowing about it.

Alcatraz and his visitor then set out on a quest to retrieve the sands and stop the evil librarians from achieving their goals, pairing up with some allies along the way.

This story was such a delight. The humor never stopped. Everything about it was written with such snark. I really enjoyed Sanderson’s commitment to keeping that tone the entire way through.

It’s wild and chaotic, over-the-top and enchanting. A nonstop thrill ride of good humor. I cannot wait to continue on with this series. I would love to join Alcatraz on as many adventures as I can.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Starscape, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I look forward to picking up the rest of the books!!

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Review: Shinji Taskahashi and the Mark of the Coatl by Julie Kagawa

Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl (Fiction - Middle Grade)Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Julie Kagawa never fails to completely capture my attention with her stories. Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl is no exception. This Middle Grade Adventure story was an absolute blast to read!

When he was very young, Shinji Takahashi lost both of his parents in a devastating house fire. Since that time, he has lived with her Aunt Yui.

Aunt Yui and Shinji travel the world in their boat, The Good Tern, searching for rare treasures for her business. In a way, they’re real life treasure hunters. It’s an interesting life; Shinji can’t complain, even though he is a bit surly at times.

While in Africa, they visit the small village of Abenge. Shinji goes exploring while his Aunt does some work. She gives him a bit of cash, so he can pick out a treasure of his own.

In a dusty old shop, he comes across an idol that will change the course of his life. A magical object that binds itself to Shinji and tattoos the Mark of the Coatl on his arm.

Almost as soon as he has the object in his hot little hands, a pair of menacing men approach Shinji and try to get the object from him. When Shinji refuses, it looks like things may turn violent and Shinji decides to run for it.

He’s not sure what exactly he has, but obviously it’s valuable as heck because these dudes aren’t giving up.

Before he can even make sense of it, Shinji is captured and whisked away to an unknown location. Once there, he is able to befriend a girl named, Lucy. She fills him in a bit on the people behind his capture, the mysterious Hightower Corporation.

Lucy seems to be some sort of tech prodigy and Shinji likes her right away, but can he trust her?

It seems Lucy is an ally. She aids in his escape from Hightower and leads him to some people who she thinks will be able to help and protect him: The Society of Explorers and Adventurers, better known as SEA.

It seems the tattoo on Shinji’s arm, the Mark of the Coatl, is actually a curse of sorts. In order to break it, Shinji must return to the source of the magic’s power and return it.

A team from SEA is assembled, made up of Oliver Ocean, Maya Griffin, Professor Carrero and Zoe Kim, participating via her drone, to help Shinji and Lucy on their quest.

Along the way, the group faces many obstacles, both natural and magical. They’re forced to face human villains, as well as creatures of legends. It’s a wild ride!

This was such a easy story to get into. Kagawa is a gifted storyteller and this one drew me in from the very start.

I loved Shinji so much. He truly embodies all of the characteristics needed in a hero. Additionally, I loved learning more about the secret organization of SEA. Hardcore Disney fans will find some Easter Eggs in this one. That made it extra fun, but really this story can be enjoyed by anyone.

The intensity builds in a nice, steady pace throughout the story, all leading to an epic showdown in the temple of the Coatl.

There were some scenes where I was biting my nails, edge-of-my-seat, praying for my favorites. Kagawa did a fantastic job of incorporating various folklore from around the world into this, as well as providing a strong message on the importance of protecting the world’s cultural artifacts.

This ended in such a great spot for the continuation of the series. I have no idea how many books are slated to be included in this series, or even if there will be multiple authors contributing. Either way, I am in for the long haul.

Bring on more SEA!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was an excellent start to another fantastic Middle Grade series!!

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Review: Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Daughter of the DeepDaughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would you be shocked if I told you this was the first book I have ever read by the fabulous Rick Riordan?

Well, it’s true. I can’t believe it either, but it’s true.

Luckily for me, I picked the perfect book to start with. I mean, honestly, this book has it all. I loved it.

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a school for all things of the sea. Ana’s older brother, Dev, is also a student at the school.

Due to an accident taking her parent’s lives two years ago, Dev is all the family Ana has left. He means everything to her. They are very close.

The pinnacle of Ana’s freshman year is a weekend trial at sea; think of it as a very serious field trip.

Ana has no idea what lies in store for the weekend. She can only hope that she’ll be successful, but all of that goes out the window when the Freshman class witnesses a violent and tragic event. They’re lucky to be alive.

They learn a rival school, Land Institute, may be responsible, but why? What could possibly be behind such vicious animosity?

Ana and the rest of her classmates are now on their own. They need to figure this all out and somehow out smart and out last their enemies. Along the way, they learn a lot of school history and Ana learns some quite interesting things about her own heritage as well.

Daughter of the Deep is such an exciting, fast-paced and heart-warming story. I loved the connections to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, as well as the setting and overall vibe.

Riordan grabbed my attention from the very beginning and that never changed. I was completely engrossed in all that was evolving on the page.

I adored this cast of characters, how they grew to rely on one another and really became an excellent example of a found family. You want to be with them; one of the team.

Additionally, although the circumstances for our characters are quite serious, there was a great vein of humor running throughout this story. I found that aspect extremely engaging; it kept me focused.

I’m not sure what the plan is for this. If this will become a new series or not. I certainly hope it will be. I cannot imagine this being the last I read of these characters. They’re all so fantastic and there is so much more room for them to grow. I want more!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy of the audiobook to listen to. The narrator was terrific and I feel like audio is great format to take in this story.

Keeping my fingers crossed that this will not be the last we see of Ana and friends!!!

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Review: Star Wars The High Republic: Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland

Star Wars The High Republic: Mission to DisasterStar Wars The High Republic: Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Mission to Disaster is a Junior Star Wars novel set in the era of the High Republic. Releasing on March 1, 2022, this novel is part of the second wave of HR materials set to be published by Disney and LucasFilms Press.

The events in this novel follow those of the 2021-HR releases, but still 200-years prior to The Phantom Menace.

After the startling events of the Republic Fair, the galaxy has been put on alert. The Nihil are much more of a threat than the Jedi initially anticipated.

They’re cunning and calculated, seeming to have influence everywhere.

Kicking off this novel, I was quickly reunited with one of my favorite new characters from the HR releases, Avon Starros.

Avon, the daughter of a Senator, is gifted in science and invention. She’s currently stationed at Port Haileap, due to her mother’s wishes, but is finally getting the opportunity to research kyber crystals, so that’s a win.

Avon hopes to discover new ways to harness the power of the crystals in a way that will help everyone; think clean energy research. She finds herself in her lab on the day the spaceport comes under attack.

After receiving an alert call from Port Haileap, Jedi Vernestra Rwoh and her Padawan, Imri Cantaros, get sent to investigate.

Arriving to Avon’s lab, Vernestra and Imri are able to discover a survivor of the attack, but she tells them Avon is gone, perhaps captured by the Nihil!

Following clues discovered during their investigation, Vernestra and Imri find themselves on Dalna in the Outer Rim Territories; a known area of operation for the Nihil.

There they work with the government and people of Dalna to the best of their ability, to find Avon and any other children the Nihil may have captured. They face some difficulties there, as the people of Dalna aren’t too fond of the Jedis.

Avon, for her part, is in fact a hostage of the Nihil. Even worse, she is made to aid the Nihil’s version of an evil scientist, Dr. Mkampa, in assembling horrifying weapons.

It’s a race against time, as the Jedi try to help the people of Dalna and hopefully defeat the evil Nihil organization once and for all. Will they be able to rescue everyone before true disaster strikes?

I had such a great time reading this story. I actually listened to the audiobook and as is known with Star Wars audios, the production was magnificent. All of the sound effects really make you feel like you are part of the action!

I was excited to get another HR novel from Justina Ireland. She puts a lot of heart into her stories. The characters are so well developed. I loved being reunited with many characters from this era. I feel like I am really getting to know them.

Following the Great Disaster, the galaxy has become unstable and these young characters have had a lot to deal with. I feel like they’ve shown incredible growth in these stories, now rivaling the maturity level of the adults around them.

This was super fast-paced and exciting. There was never a dull moment. Additionally, I loved learning more about the mysterious Nihil. The full picture is really starting to become clear as far as they are concerned.

I’m really looking forward to continuing on with the High Republic era. This was a quick one, but don’t let the length of this novel fool you. There is a ton of stellar content packed in here!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney and LucasFilms Press, for providing me with the audiobook to listen to. It was such a treat!

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Review: Tiger Honor (Thousand Worlds #2) by Yoon Ha Lee

Tiger HonorTiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Tiger Honor is the second book in the Thousand Worlds series by veteran Sci-Fi writer, Yoon Ha Lee. This series is published through the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.

The first book, Dragon Pearl, was released in 2019 and was my favorite Middle Grade release of that year. At the time when I read it, I thought it was a standalone.

I was so happy when I heard the news that we would be getting more in this world; best described as a Space Opera inspired by Korean mythology.

In this installment we follow a young tiger spirit, Sebin, who dreams of joining the Thousand Worlds Space Forces just like their Uncle Hwan, who they greatly admire.

But on the day that Sebin’s acceptance letter arrives, another letter arrives as well and the news it brings is not good.

According to this letter, their Uncle Hwan abandoned his duty in search of the legendary Dragon Pearl and has thusly been branded a traitor. His current whereabouts are unknown.

As Sebin heads off to their orientation, they decide that no matter what, they’ll find the truth, hopefully clearing Uncle Hwan’s name and returning honor to their clan in the process.

As you may expect, however, things do not go as planned for sweet Sebin.

This story is full of action and a ton of heart. Sebin is such a cinnamon roll, who is easy to become attached to. The pace is super quick, and I’ll be honest, at times I found myself a little lost.

Even though that’s the case, it always came back around for me and I had a lot of fun reading it.

For me though, this wasn’t quite as enjoyable a story as the first book, in that it lacked a bit of the humor that I always felt when following, Min, the protagonist of Dragon Pearl.

Sebin, I would say, is more of an old soul, a bit more serious than Min was, and the narrative reflected that, making this story feel more mature than your average Middle Grade.

With this being said, Lee’s writing, as would be expected, is impressive. The complex mix of Sci-Fi with Mythological elements was so well done.

Additionally, the characters Lee develops are extremely likable. You root for them when you’re supposed to, you dislike them when you are supposed to and you certainly love them when you are supposed to. Chef’s kiss.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Audio and Rick Riordan Presents, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This one left off in a great place. This could be it, but I am really hoping for more in the Thousand Worlds. There are endless possibilities as to where this series could go!!

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