The Girl Who Could Silence The Wind

by Meg Medina (Walker Books) ISBN: 978 1 4063 4194 2

 

Magical realism is a genre unique to Latin America. Think Isabel Allende, Paulo Coelho, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

 

The Girl who could Silence the Wind is a wonderful example of magical realism for the young adult market—although adults will also revel in this enchanting tale of faith, sacrifice, courage and love.

 

Sonia Ocampo is just a village girl from a humble family in Tres Montes, living with her parents, her nosy aunt, Tia Neli and her handsome brother, Rafael. Except the village believe she is blessed with magical powers. For Sonia, it is more a curse. Isolated in the dusty mining village, she dreams of a better life. And then she gets the chance to work for a rich widow in the capital far away. But she learns that opportunity often leads to compromise, danger and hard life lessons.

 

Meg Medina has that rare gift for telling a story so vivid and real, you find yourself turning the pages as if held by a spell.  The ending will break your heart—but also fill you with hope and love.

 

Anthony Ehlers

5/5

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City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare (Walker Books) ISBN: 978-1-4063-0762-7

 

There is a dark side to New York, the city that never sleeps. The mundanes (otherwise known as humans) cannot see the supernaturals that roam the streets and fight in wars. The shadow masters are a group of supernaturals who have to clear the city of demons.

 

Fifteen-year-old Clary Clay witnesses a murder at the Pandemonium Club committed by three teenagers. The problem is she has no proof. The body has disappeared. Worse still, her friend Simon cannot see the murderers.

 

When Clary returns home, her house is ransacked and her mother is missing. When she is attacked by a demon, she knows she is in trouble. No-one can help her but the shadow masters. She meets Jace - arrogant and attractive with scars that are not only caused by the demons he has fought. He decides to help Clary find her mother. Fighting side by side, they discover they have a strong attraction. The problem is their love is forbidden.

 

I loved this book. The characters are believable, heroic and memorable. The plot is interesting and keeps the reader in suspense. The ending was unexpected. It has me panting for the next book – the second in the The Mortal Instruments series. Definitely a book to curl up with late at night.

 

Ulrike Hill

4/5

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A Monster Calls

by Patrick Ness (Walker Books) ISBN 978-1-4063-3651-1

 

Patrick Ness has created an emotional story of innocence and acceptance.

 

Ten-year-old Conor is struggling to come to terms with his mother’s cancer. One night a monster appears to him, but it is not the monster he is expecting. It is not the monster from his nightmare. The nightmare so terrible, he can’t talk about it.

 

As the monster continues to visit, he tells Conor three stories meant to hold clues to help Conor understand his pain. Instead the stories confuse and anger Conor as the monster tries to convey the complexity of our human emotions. Conor is taken on a powerful journey of acceptance. He is finally forced to face the real monster, the scariest monster of all – the truth.

 

This novel will have you wiping away the tears. The characters are close to home and the loneliness of this little boy is heart breaking. There is a child-like innocence and a gentle humour elegantly woven into this story that makes it endearing.

 

Though A Monster Calls is described as a children’s book, it is so timeless and touching I would recommend it for young and old. The simplicity is masterful. A lovely read.

 

Victoria Malakou

5/5

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Scorpia Rising

by Anthony Horowitz (Walker Books) ISBN 979-1-4063-1049-8

 

I was so sorry to learn that this was the last of the Alex Ryder books.  It certainly is fabulous and the story pulls you along page by page.  How the author manages to get his hero out of very tight spots is a tribute to his wonderful imagination. 

 

Alex is a spy who is fifteen years old and no longer wants to be part of a spy organisation but he is too valuable to be left alone to get on with school.  His skills are legendary

 

If you think this is a book only for the youth, think again.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the plot and the scorpions that strike, flooring you with their cleverness. Don't miss this book, it is worthwhile. 

 

A light read that you can get through in a day.  From England to Cairo the author writes so well about each country, you feel as if you have been there. Very enjoyable.

 

Dee Andrew

4/5

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