Guardians of the Edge: Last of the Portal Keys - Patti Larsen

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Guardians of the Edge: Last of the Portal Keys

Patti Larsen


Stealing the Prize

The artifact flared to life, the glow of it throwing so much heat through the room Aiden winced back. He caught a glimpse of his parent’s shocked faces as the glow enveloped them. As suddenly, the light vanished. He blinked, fighting to regain his night eyes as sparkles shifted and whorled across his vision, heart hammering suddenly so loud in his ears he couldn't hear past his own pulse. It only took seconds, but it seemed an eternity while he fought off the last of the afterimage and stared in disbelief.

The prize lay on the pedestal, the glass case resting on the floor beside it. Two black backpacks lay collapsed nearby. But his parents... they were nowhere to be seen.

Twelve-year-old master thief Aiden Trent has been trained by the best—his parents. It is rumored there is nothing they can’t steal. So when an easy job in an old museum comes up, they take it. Trouble is, the goal is no ordinary prize. In a flash of light, his parents disappear, leaving Aiden to uncover the secret behind the artifact while he flees from the man who hired them to steal it in the first place.


Patti Larsen takes us on another whirlwind adventure, this time with twelve-year-old master thief, Aiden. Aiden has been trained by his parents to not only steal remarkable prizes, but also to keep himself safe in the process. Luckily he hasn't forgotten a single lesson. When a job goes south and his parents disappear, leaving him with nothing but a bunch of questions and a mysterious cube, Aiden's forced to follow his training in ways he never imagined.

The book was so packed full of adventure, it practically stole my breath away. Aiden is a delightfully clever character who was never defeated, no matter what hardships were thrown at him. And boy does Larsen love to make her characters suffer. I'm so intrigued with the origin of the cube. I can't wait for the next book in the series to learn more.

A great read for both guys and girls who want an exciting story with just a touch of the paranormal.


Gaia's Secret - Barbara Kloss

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Gaia's Secret (A Pandoran Novel, Book #1)

Barbara Kloss

Eighteen-year old Daria Jones feels trapped in the cow-strewn suburbs of Fresno, California. And with a dad so overprotective he’s installed video and thermal surveillance down the street, she doesn’t get out much. Until the night he disappears. Following the trail of notes he left, Daria gathers three things: someone’s after her, her dad’s gone to another world on a cryptic mission, and the only one left to trust is her ex-best friend, Alex.

After a heart-wrenching break and three years of silence, Alex is the last person she wants to see. But the more she learns about her dad’s absence, the more she realizes she must go to that other world to find him. Even if it means trusting the guy she hates. She agrees to follow Alex through the nearest of seven portals—the heart of Yosemite National Park. But finding her dad in a magical world isn’t easy with a brigade of dark sorcerers chasing her trail.

Amidst a world of diabolical creatures, ancient magic, and bizarrely intuitive vegetation, Daria discovers the truth of her past. But unless she conquers the dark force that’s hunting her, Daria will never see her dad again. And if the dark force gets its way, the world as she knows it will never be the same.


This is the first time in a long while that I've felt such a strong connection to characters in a book. It brought me back to the first young adult fantasy books that I discovered as a teen and I loved every minute of the story. It caused distractions in the rest of my life causing it impossible to complete regular tasks such as cooking and cleaning until I finished reading the story.

Having said that, there were times when I was very frustrated with the writing. Kloss had a tendency to repeat words and phrases within small areas which detracted from the pure awesomeness of the story. I'm hopeful that this editing problem will be fixed in future books. Especially since I now need to purchase all of them in order to find out what happens next with Daria and Alex.

I'm so excited to have discovered this author and I can't wait to read more.


Frostbite - Richelle Mead

Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Novel (Book 2)

Richelle Mead


Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…
 It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if handto- hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks.... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…


Frostbite is the second book in the Vampire Academy series. While I picked up the first book because I was in a vampire craze for a short time, I chose to read this book much later because of how much I enjoyed reading the first.
If this is the first Vampire Academy book you’ve ever read, the prologue will help you understand what’s happened so far in the series. If you’ve read the first book and have any sort of memory of what happened, skip the prologue. Seriously, don’t waste your time. I nearly set the book right back down while reading the over explanatory and poorly written prologue. It was written from the point of view of the main character, but it was too forced and ended up sounding nothing like the rest of the book.
Happily, the rest of the book holds none of the same problems as the introduction and delivers a fast pace and engaging read. Physically, the main character, Rose, is almost perfect with an amazing body and drop dead good looks. She’s also stronger and faster than most other people. However, her mental state and her lack of social graces when dealing with people like her own mother—whom we get to meet in this book!—makes her character both believable and likable.
The relationships are definitely the strongest part of this series. While the hierarchy of vampires and the physical fighting are great, it’s the relationships Rose has with her best friend, mother, boyfriend(s) enemies and so on that makes me want to keep reading. Having a kickass main character doesn’t hurt either.
This book is highly recommended for people who love to read about relationships, want a bit of romance, and enjoy the supernatural.


Wide Awake Princess Review

Wide Awake Princess

E. D. Baker


Princess Annie is frustratingly (and luckily) resistant to magic. When her sister Gwen pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie stays awake. Now it's up to Annie to find a prince to kiss her sister and break the spell. But who is her sister's true love? And what about Annie's own happily-ever-after? Annie travels through a fairy tale land filled with characters both familiar and new in this original adventure from the beloved author of The Tales of the Frog Princess.


I picked this book up on a whim based entirely on it's cover. Although part of me really wanted to hate the style of illustration, I was drawn to it and knew instantly it was a book that I'd enjoy. The back blurb helped confirm that feeling when I read that it's a new take on an old fairy tale and there was going to be just a little romance and a whole lot of humour in there amongst all the action.

The story is one that most everyone knows, a princess is cursed at birth to prick her finger and sleep for a hundred years until she's woken by true love's first kiss. What you might not know is that the princess has a little sister, Annie, who happens to be completely  immune to all forms of magic, good and bad. When the spell is cast and the entire castle is put to sleep, it's up to Annie to find the right prince to break the spell.

Non stop action fills each page as we're thrown from one fairy tale to another with ease, including elements from tales such as The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, The Princess and the Pea and many others.

There was so many things happening to Annie and her companion for her journey, Liam, that I occasionally wished for more time to breath within each stop in Annie's journey. As it was, we barely get a chance to imagine each setting of the story before we're pushed forward to the next location and fairy tale.

The characters were mostly well developed despite the sometimes overwhelmingly large cast, but they were all outshone by the main character who's clever wit was very appealing.

This was a very amusing and entertaining read that contained everything that it promised; action, humour, romance and a strong heroine.