Continuing on from last week – let’s round up some more mini reviews for books I loved, but didn’t write full posts for! Let me know what you think about this new format I’m trying out, and comment if you’ve read any of these books!
Nevertell by Katharine Orton
Born in a Soviet prison camp, Lina has never seen the world outside until the night she escapes with her best friend, Bogdan. As the pair journey across a snowy wilderness, they are pursued by a vengeful sorceress and her pack of shadow wolves. The children will need every ounce of courage – and a whisper of magic – if they are to survive…
I picked this up as a whim on bogohp because I was drawn in by the pretty cover and the mention of ‘shadow wolves’ on the back cover. Nevertell ended up being nothing like I expected, but better than I’d hoped. Set in Soviet Russia, Lina was born and raised in a prison camp until she was drawn into an escape attempt. From there, she ends up on a wild chase through magical worlds to save her friends and family. Without delving into spoiler territory, Nevertell is a beautiful story about family real and found, and a surprisingly complex and developed concept of good, bad and morally grey. It was really well portrayed to be suitable for a child audience without losing the nuance of the message. An interesting and magical read with a hopeful twist.
Shuri by Nic Stone
For centuries, the Chieftain of Wakanda (the Black Panther) has gained his powers through the juices of the Heart-Shaped Herb. Much like Vibranium, the Heart-Shaped Herb is essential to the survival and prosperity of Wakanda. But something is wrong. The plants are dying. No matter what the people of Wakanda do, they can’t save them. And their supply is running short. It’s up to Shuri to travel from Wakanda in order to discover what is killing the Herb, and how she can save it, in the first volume of this all-new, original adventure.
Was there any chance I wouldn’t buy a Shuri book written by Nic Stone? Absolutely not. This is a middle grade aged novel focused on our beloved tech princess trying to save the magical plant that gives the Black Panther their powers. I really liked the way Shuri was developed. She wasn’t the hugely confident Shuri that we usually see, but that personality shone through in a way that was very authentically teenage. The potential was there, she just needed to grow into it. I loved that. The adventure was fun, with cameos from characters I was excited to see, and was a great development of a beloved character. Which is no less than I expected from the incredible Nic Stone.
Odd Spirits by S.T. Gibson
It takes a lot of commitment to make a marriage between a modern ceremonial magician and a chaos witch work, but when a malevolent entity takes up residence in Rhys and Moira’s home, their love will be pushed to the limits. Brewing up a solution is easier said than done when your magical styles are polar opposites; throw a psychic ex and a secret society in the mix, and things are bound to get messy.
I read Odd Spirits on a friend’s recommendation and I really loved it. The novella doesn’t take too long to read, but tells a beautiful story in its few pages. I love to read stories of established relationships and the idea of a chaotic witch and an orderly magician was too entertaining to scroll past. Odd Spirits to me felt like a beautiful tale about communication and compromise in relationships with the added bonus of a malicious spirit to spice things up. Highly recommended for reading on a quiet evening and restoring your faith in lasting love.