October Book Reviews
Expeditions Unpacked by Ed Stafford
Master of the Phantom Isle by Brandon Mull 5/5 Stars
I love all of Brandon Mull’s books but this story just seemed… extra funny and even more adventurous than usual. Seth has no memory of his identity and is with Ronodin in the Phantom Isle. Kendra and her friends travel from Wyrmroost to the Crescent Lagoon, both for protection and to help the fallen sanctuary of Crescent Lagoon. We’re introduced to new characters, like a giant, a new wizard, selkie, and mer folk. This book is an all-around good time. The characters are brave and interesting and the world-building is absolutely amazing- we learn about underwater colonies and more about the Under Realm. I can’t recommend this book or any in the Fablehaven/Dragonwatch series enough.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson 4/5 Stars
Merricat and Constance Blackwood, 18 and 28 respectively, live together on the family estate with their Uncle Julian. This is all that remains of the Blackwoods after they were poisoned some years ago. Constance was tried and acquitted of the murders and since coming home she has not left their house and immediate yard. This leaves Merricat to go into town twice a week for errands and groceries. The whole town ridicules her when she is there and we get a peek into her peculiar mind through her inner monologue. This is an intimate look into the lives of two troubled sisters; a great read for the Halloween season.
Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2) by Katherine Arden 5/5 Stars
Ollie, Coco, and Brian are back again for another scary adventure. In Small Spaces they had to fight their classmates who had been turned into scarecrows and this time they’re racing to unlock the secrets of a haunted lodge before sunrise. It takes a lot for a book to scare or creep me out and this one succeeded in ways other books haven’t since reading Goosebumps as a kid. I think it’s because Arden called on simple creepy effects, such as taxidermy animals coming to life or seeing a ghost world through a mirror. The only thing that I didn’t love is the POV would switch between Ollie and Coco sometimes from one paragraph to the next rather than waiting for a new chapter. Still, I really loved this book and highly recommend it for both kids and adults.