Posted in about us, book review

Four Fun Fantasy Novels

books-6How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather, set in Salem, Massachusetts, brings the old Salem Witch Trials to life. Fifteen-year-old Samantha Mather has moved to Salem, into her father’s childhood home with her stepmother because her father is in a coma. It’s been 300 years after the Salem witch trials, but Samantha soon realizes that time doesn’t matter to the descendants of the original Salem witches. From the first day of school, she finds herself the target of eerie happenings, not to mention all too real glares and snubs from the kids in school known as “The Descendants,” who really, really resent her for being a descendant of Cotton Mather–you know, the one who almost single-handedly burnt their ancestors at the stake. Apparently, the sins of the fathers are taken very seriously in Salem, as is witchcraft. The only ally Samantha can count on is her new next door neighbor and his mother, which is good, because life at home also is getting creepy and Samantha starts to realize that ghosts and witches, complete with evil intentions, may be all too real. Can she trust the cute next door neighbor or is he part of the conspiracy?

Written with both humor and creepiness, How to Hang a Witch capably combines suspense, magic and horror. Samantha’s character is a likable blend of brains, awkwardness, grit and smarts. It appears to be a stand alone, but I certainly would love to see a sequel.

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books-1In The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, Irene is a professional spy for a shadowy organization that exists in multiple realities. That’s right, there is more than one world out there and when Irene gets sent on a mission, she never knows what reality she’ll end up in–or what type of enemy she’ll face. Some enemies are real monsters, others could be the person you trust most. Now, she and her new enigmatic but cute (not that she’s noticed…) assistant, Kai, have been sent to an alternate London reality. Their mission: retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: by the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that in this world supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something–secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself. Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option–because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself.

This book is so much fun. The characters are real, the world-building fantastic. Can’t wait for the sequel!

booksPaper and Fire by Rachel Caine, continues The Great Library dystopian/fantasy series (I love the trend of fantasy libraries!) with non-stop action and suspense. Jess Brightwell, demoted to a soldier in the Library’s army at the end of Ink and Bone, is determined to rescue his friend Thomas. He’s up against almost insurmountable odds though. He doesn’t know who to trust, the deadly automata seemed to be programmed to kill him, and the leaders of the Library definitely want him dead. Can he navigate his way through the maze of real danger and, if he succeeds, will he be saving his friend or bringing about the fall of civilization?

An excellent sequel to Ink and Bone, this is a great read for those who like action and suspense, perfect for fans of The Maze Runner series.

books-2Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley, finally released four years after the The Rook, is well worth the wait. (Well, not really–four years? Seriously? I had to pull out The Rook to remember the storyline. Anyway… ) Myfanwy Thomas, the hero in The Rook, plays a smaller role in this story as she tries to negotiate a tricky merger between the Grafters and the Brotherhood of the Checquy. The merger is tricky because the two groups hate each other, based on the fact that they tried to exterminate each other a hundred or so years ago. Not surprising that only a small section of each group realizes that the merger is the only way they will survive. As Myfanway tries to keep the merger moving, two new characters, Felicity Clements of the Brotherhood and Odette Leliefeld of the Grafters take over the main roles. Their jobs: 1) spy on each other and 2) save the world from really bad things.

Just as he did with The Rook, O’Malley combines suspense with humor and an assortment of odd and somewhat scary happenings in Stiletto. The book is a bit long but lots of fun; you definitely should read The Rook first so you’ll know what’s going on.

Watch the Trailer for The Rook Files!

There you have it, four fun fantasies for fall.

Submitted by Ms. Bing


Posted in book review

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alendar

booksDelia and her family have moved into a new house in Pennsylvania that the locals call Hysteria Hall. Very quickly, Delia learns one of the dark secrets of the Hall and realizes that her family is in grave danger. She has to find a way to save her sister, parents, and perhaps herself.

This book was really good. It showed how people who have passed may still linger on in ways that are not visible to us. I was not expecting the twist that came a little bit into the book. It was shocking but a clever way to continue the story. If you like reading about ghosts but don’t want to be scared, I would recommend this book to you.

Submitted by: Cathy D.

Genre: Horror

4 Stars!



Find The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall in the BEHS Catalog

Posted in book review

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne was really amazing but also freaky about how the events could downloadpossibly happen. The story takes place on a cruise ship. Most of the passengers are there to celebrate a brand new sweetener with great diet possibilities. But when the passengers ingest the sweetener, well, things start to go sour pretty quickly.

I liked how the story line switched between two people and showed them interacting from their different points of view. It drew me in immediately and held my interest all the way through. The twist that came from people taking the sweetener was unexpected and slightly freaky. It’s a great book that will intrigue and horrify anyone who picks it up.

Submitted by Cathy D.

Genre: Horror

Rating: 5 stars


Check out Sweet in the BEHS Library Catalog

READ a LETTER from the AUTHOR to the readers of Sweet!

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Violin by Anne Rice

Set in New Orleans, Violin follows Triana Becker, a recent widow. An ardent lover of classical music,

violinTriana copes with the loss of her husband the only way that she knows how: by listening to Beethoven. Even better, the ghost of one of Beethoven’s star pupils shows up on her doorstep to comfort her.

This book, published in 1998, is an excellent read for those familiar with Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and newcomers to her work alike.  The pervading sense of doom and melancholy is tangible, and the tension is delicious.

Bottom Line: Fraught with emotion, this compelling, sumptuous work of fiction earns a 4.5 out of five.

Find Violin in the BEHS Library

Submitted by Caroline C.

Posted in book review

The Diviners by Libba Bray

divinersNew York City in 1926–flappers, the mob, fast-talking scam artists, change in the air–what could be more exciting? Oh, how about demons, ghosts, premonitions and a fight against pure evil?

Eighteen-year old Evie O’Neill has always been able to “divine” things. All she has to do is hold an object to learn about its owner. Usually she hides her gift, but sometimes her mouth outruns her brain and this time it’s gotten her banished from her home town to go live with her uncle in New York. Evie’s not too upset about that. In fact, she’s so not upset that she’s going to make sure she keeps her mouth running until the train has left the station. No use taking chances.

But New York has a few surprises in store for Evie. Along with new friends, exciting things to do and places to see (most of which her uncle really doesn’t need to know about), there are a few unexpected events. There’s a con artist, more than one spirit, and a lot of unexplainable happenings. In fact, things are pos-i-tute-ly hopping. But, being a bit of a con artist herself, Evie jumps right in to take care of things, including rejuvenating her uncle’s dilapidated museum and finding a serial killer. Oh, did I mention the serial killer?

The Diviners is a genre bender–a fast-moving, fast-talking historical fiction novel that combines humor and horror with suspense and action. What a great combination!

Bottom Line:  Great book, fun read!

Find The Diviners in the BEHS Library.

Watch the Book Trailer!

Submitted by: Ms. Bing

Posted in book review

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The Beautiful Creatures movie comes out in February – grab the book now!

Ethan Ware lives a normal life in a normal small southern town — until Lena Duchannes appears. Lena literally is the girl of Ethan’s dreams. Not that that’s a good thing. For months now, Ethan has been having nightmares about saving an unknown girl. When she suddenly appears as the new girl at school, he knows his life is about to change. And we all know that change can be very scary.

Set in the lowcountry and written by local writers, Beautiful Creatures is a spooky, gothic thriller full of twists and turns. The upcoming movie will feature an amazing cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Emma Thompson.

Bottom line: Read it now, then read the sequel: Beautiful Darkness.

Submited by: Ms. Bing, BEHS Librarian

Find this book in the BEHS Library!