Review: The Circle by Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg


Title: The Circle (The Engelsfors Trilogy #1)
Author: Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release date: April 11th, 2011

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On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates–Vanessa, Linnea, Anna-Karin, Rebecka and Ida–arrive, compelled the same force. A mystical being takes over Ida’s body and tells them they are fated to fight an ancient evil that is hunting them. The park is a safe haven; the school, a place of danger. The six are wildly different and definitely not friends…but they are the Chosen Ones.

As the weeks pass, each girl discovers she has a unique magical ability. They begin exploring their powers, but they are not all firmly committed to their mission–to discover the truth about Elias’s death. Then a horrible tragedy strikes within the circle. Newly determined to fight the evil forces, they begin to learn magic from The Book of Patterns, an ancient work with a will of its own that reveals different things to different witches.

In this gripping first installment of the Engelsfors Trilogy, a parallel world emerges in which teenage dreams, insanely annoying parents, bullying, revenge, and love collide with flirtation, dangerous forces, and ancient magic. An international sensation with rights sold in 24 countries, The Circle is razor-sharp and remarkable from start to finish.


The Circle is an enjoyable easy read with a group of distinct main characters that happen to be Swedish teenage witches! Sadly, there isn’t much action or magic, but the little there is, I really liked. We spend a lot of time getting to know the lives of the girls and their growing relationship, which was very well done. I want to continue with the trilogy because I think there’s a lot of potential and the characters ended up captivating me.

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Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy
Release date: May 12th, 2015

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Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

This is such a heartwarming graphic novel. It’s full of humor, lovely art, and amazing characters. I especially enjoyed how it plays with predictable plots and tropes and turns them into something else. If you don’t read graphic novels, you can definitely start with this one if you are looking for a little fantasy, humor, great relationships, and cool plot. Continue reading “Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson”

Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell


Title: The Bone Clocks
Author: David Mitchell
Genre: Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Release date: September 2nd, 2014

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Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

The Bone Clocks is a journey spanning 60 decades all across the world. It is composed of several different stories that in the end come together as one. There are touches of fantasy and science fiction, but these aren’t the main focus of the novel – the characters and the theme of connection are. It was a very complex read and you have to pay attention to details, but it ultimately rewards you with a well crafted and bittersweet tale that stays with you.
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Review: The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater


Titles: The Raven Boys (⋆⋆⋆⋆) | The Dream Thieves (⋆⋆⋆⋆) | Blue Lily, Lily Blue (⋆⋆⋆⋆) | The Raven King (⋆⋆⋆)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release dates: September 18th, 2012 | September 17th, 2013 | October 21st, 2014 | April 26th, 2016

Description (Book #1):

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

The Raven Cycle is a slow burn adventure dripping with mystery, filled with magic, psychics, a lost king, and a cast of unique and complex characters that make you want to keep turning the pages. The world of mysteries set in present time Virginia is certainly intriguing, and though the plot holes throughout the novels take away some of its magic, the characters are intricate and enchanting enough to make this series work. 

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