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Teen Advisory Board Member Sophia Reviews The Raven's Tale
The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters
The Raven's Tale, by Cat Winters, takes a modernized, ghoulish twist on the life of revered poet and short-story author Edgar Allan Poe, who is known for his macabre and blood-chilling writing.
After his mother dies when he is three years old, Edgar is taken in by John Allan and his wife, where he lives lamentably in a society that shuns the arts. Still, Edgar is consumed with his passion for writing, and longs for the day he will be sent to sent to the University of Virginia to escape his current life. Yet, leaving his town would mean leaving Elmira Royster, the woman he desperately wishes to marry. After a fight with his adoptive father, Edgar is confronted by his muse: a gruesome wraith he calls Lenore who threatens to disrupt the entirety of his life by revealing the darkness inside him.
This thrilling, new novel offers an entirely different perspective of Edgar Allan Poe by personifying his muse, which is further enhanced by Winters' dazzling writing and penchant for the dark and mysterious. By taking historically accurate elements of Poe's life and combining them with imagination, a novel perfect for lovers of horror, mystery, or Edgar Allan Poe emerges.
The Raven's Tale hits shelves April 16, 2019. Preorder your copy now!
- Written by By Ava and Amanda
Calling all Sherlockians (especially all you Johnlock shippers)! While waiting for Sherlock Season 5, read these six novels that remind us of our favorite episodes from Season 1 & 2 (hint: we favorite all of them. We don’t have many to choose from, anyway). Part II with Season 3 & 4 coming soon!
1. A Study In Pink with THE DUKE OF BANNERMAN PREP
Both with captivating secrets, developing relationships, and a fascinating plot, A Study In Pink and THE DUKE OF BANNERMAN PREP go hand in hand. Although they take place in different settings, they somehow both share a similar aura. Tanner McKay won against Bannerman Prep’s debate team and is invited with a scholarship—and a ticket out of his life being poor. Flashy and popular, the Duke rules the school with his extravagance. However, things are not as straight-forward as they seem, and there may be secrets which can lead to their downfall.
2.The Blind Banker with CARAVAL
A mysterious night circus, mysterious codes, an elusive mastermind… are we talking about The Blind Banker or CARAVAL? Both, actually. Follow Scarlett Dragna as she receives an invitation to a once-in-a-lifetime game. To win, the contestants have five days to find Scarlett’s sister, Tella, by following clues. But Scarlett fears the worst: if she doesn’t find Tella soon, her sister will be gone forever.
3. The Great Game with THE ECHO ROOM
A single text informs Sherlock that he must solve each puzzle before someone dies. Rett from THE ECHO ROOM wakes up in a dark room, then discovers a girl who says she’s named Bryn—but can he really trust her? They try escaping only to wake up in the same room with no recollection of what happened, but when they begin fitting the pieces together (shout out to Sherlock), they realize the room is not as safe as it seems—and they’re not alone…
4. A Scandal In Belgravia with POISON’S KISS
Isn’t it quite scandalous to kill with a single kiss? Marinda had been subjected to snake venom treatment - making her both immune and poisonous - and is a visha kanya, known as a poison maiden. She is an assassin who kills enemies of the country until they order her to kill Deven, someone who could never be who they say he is.
5. The Hounds of Baskerville with THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION
Sherlock and John go undercover at a secretive government lab in Baskerville, discovering cloned animals and countless experiments kept from the public’s eye. Matteo Alacrán breaks out of a cottage in the land of Opium, only to discover he is a clone, and his sole purpose in life is to provide organs for El Patrón, the lord of the drug for which the land is named. Matt escapes only to be imprisoned in a labor camp, where he meets other orphaned boys and finds himself the leader of a rebellion.
6. The Reichenbach Fall with THIS MORTAL COIL
Hacking and breaking in - with some of the UK’s greatest places or with genes? Either way, everyone is sure to love THIS MORTAL COIL, where Catrina can code genes, possible in a future where people are able to change their bodies. Dr. Lachlan Agatta, Cat’s father, is the only one who could save the world from a plague but was kidnapped by an organization called the Cartaxus. Cole, a Cartaxus soldier, brings news of her father’s death with the news that he had created a vaccine before he died. Cat needs to learn who she can trust—and how to survive in this changing world.
- Written by By Ava and Amanda
Welcome back, fellow Sherlockians! If you haven’t checked out the Part I to this blog post, click here. Unfortunately, we still await Season 5 (it *will come! Eventually!), and while we sit impatiently, all we can do is read books that remind us of each episode. So without further ado, here’s the list!
1. The Empty Hearse with MORTAL DANGER
Coming back after your presumed death isn’t an easy thing to do, but what are you to do when you need revenge? Instead of going back to save people like Sherlock, Edie wants revenge on the people who ruined her life. Before she was going to commit suicide, Kian comes granting her three wishes, with a catch. Going back to school she realizes things are more dangerous than they seem, and that all urban folk tales are real.
2. Sign of Three with SUITORS AND SABOTAGE
It’s quite mystifying when a problem arises in the face of two people you love, especially if it was for a special occasion. Despite the different time periods in the U.K, both of the plots contain class, stalkers, and a willingness to protect your loved ones. Imogene Chively finds herself in trouble when her father urges her to get married, bringing along a cast of suitors of which he approves of. At first, she finds herself hesitant of meeting Ernest Steeple, but after a while, grows fond of his younger brother Ben. It’s revealed that Ben is starting to be stalked during his stay, and they must find out who is doing it — or risk Ben’s death.
3. His Last Vow with RENEGADES
With John furious at him, Sherlock and John must defeat master blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen, though their mission is infinitely harder as Magnussen acts perfectly in the public eye. The RENEGADES are the prodigies blessed with powers led by Captain Chromium. Nova, able to put people to sleep with her touch, is sent to infiltrate the Renegades’ headquarters to put an end to their reign.
4. The Abominable Bride with MY PLAIN JANE
Set in the Victorian era, Sherlock and John must solve the mystery of the undead bride before someone else dies by her blade. In MY PLAIN JANE, orphaned Jane Eyre, writer Charlotte Bronte, and ghost hunter Alexander Blackwood are sent on a supernatural chase to solve a mysterious murder and perhaps uncover more than one buried secret.
5. Six Thatchers with THE ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON
As Johnlock delve deeper into Mary Watson’s backstory, they uncover secrets about her pasts she would rather keep hidden. When Lady Katherine’s father is brutally murdered in AGTLAT, Lady Katherine decides to take over her father’s mission: help plot the Queen Elizabeth the I’s murder. But when she is elected to do the murdering, she must go undercover as part of William Shakespeare’s newest play, which is set to be performed for the queen. Her plans complicate when she meets Toby, a spy sent from the queen.
6. Lying Detective with A MADNESS SO DISCREET
Going insane and having no one to confide in, or at the very least believe you? Both Sherlock and Grace can relate to this all too well. Her voice and her mind are locked away along with their family secrets when she is banished to the cellar. When a visiting doctor takes interest in her she vows to leave her troubled past behind, but what happens when the past catches up with you? This haunting thriller is a must-read for fans of YA.
- Written by By Ava, Amanda, and Alannah
The virtual-reality vibe has boosted in popularity ever since READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline became a bestseller. Strap in for six other reads that will take you to another world!
1. Warcross by Marie Lu
WARCROSS and READY PLAYER ONE have undeniable similarities, whether it’s the virtual-reality aspect, or the fact that both protagonists are competing in a billionaire’s tournaments. When Emika Chen, a world class hacker and bounty hunter of illegal bets, accidentally glitches herself into the Warcross Championships, she figures the maker of the Warcross virtual-reality game Hideo Tanaka will have her arrested. Instead, he gives her a mission: pose as a Warcross player to find the security problem. But soon she uncovers a dastardly plot that may doom the game and everyone playing it.
2. Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
The Otherworld was just supposed to be another virtual reality game. But soon Simon discovers it’s a lot more than that—it’s a new phase of reality. The game requires no screens. It relies on your senses: touch, smell, feel, taste, and hear. You can do whatever your heart desires, even if it’s taboo or illegal or things you’re just too scared to do in real life… but what happens when the Otherworld becomes your real life?
3. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Known to the world as one of the most popular books, it’s hard to find people these days who haven’t felt deja-vu at the name Ender’s Game. Both books have plenty of games, with those in READY PLAYER ONE being all virtual and those ENDER’S GAME being a combination of virtual and in reality. Sharing similar elements, although Ender’s situation while playing games was to train to fight the war on insects called “buggers,” fans of READY PLAYER ONE will sure to love this book!
4. Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
Written in 2010, this book was ahead of its time with its story of a huge multiplayer online game, compared to many games which have gone viral in the last years with the added benefit of having virtual reality. The game takes place in Omnitopia, and players are able to sense the world around them. Once billionaire Dev, the creator of this game, sets a new update more than what comes to the eye is revealed and this game may collapse the world, virtual and reality.
5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Expert criminal Kaz Brekker can’t believe it when a rich merchant offers him a job that could earn him all the wealth he’s ever dreamed of. The only catch is no one has ever broken into the Ice Court prison and come out alive. With a team of comrades—each promised a portion of the money as an incentive—Kaz sets off on a dangerous journey to complete the proposed heist. But will it end in glory or in death?
6. The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins
Perhaps one of the best-known YA books of today, Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular HUNGER GAMES trilogy and courageous heroine Katniss have been made into a series of movies and continue to entrance fans both on the page and the screen. Katniss is thrust into a game where children are chosen to kill one another in an arena. The last one standing is declared the victor. There’s just one problem: what happens when she starts falling for one of the other contestants?
Teen Advisory Board Member Amanda Reviews Enclave.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
When war and plague rule the land, the inhabitants of New York City must move underground into enclaves in order to survive. It’s no easy life, fighting for your survival and with the average life expectancy being in the 20s. With life underground and the knowledge of everything known before destroyed, new jobs and statuses have to be created. Classified into three main sectors, the hunters, the builders, and the breeders, the human race is simply surviving. Generations after moving underground, Deuce is born. On her 15th birthday, everything she has been working for is achieved as she finally becomes a huntress, trained to hunt down food and defend the enclave from the Freaks, or the mutated humans after the war. Being paired with Fade, a boy from the Topside, she finally sees the corruption and secrets the enclave had hidden for so long.
Dystopian is one of my favorite genres to read because of the world-building, and Enclave set up the tone perfectly. Deuce is caring, passionate, and strong, and won’t take nonsense from anyone. I loved her character and the way she grew up not during a traumatic post-apocalypse event, but instead generations after. Rather than waiting for some military official or such in a world where the average person doesn’t know how to fight, she grows up knowing that she trained for such a moment and that no one could take that from her.
On the flip side, Deuce isn’t without anxiety and flaws but learns how to deal with them in her own way. Many doubted her because her parents weren’t hunters and she didn’t have the experience in her blood. Although she has trained to fight in the tunnels, she has never been in such a situation where any step could be fatal. This creates human worries and stress about not being enough, something which many can relate to, huntress or not. Instead of some untouchable female heroine, Deuce realizes the flaws in her ambition and takes a step back.
Although there is certainly a lot of romance, the plot focuses the most on Deuce. However, where there is romance it’s sweet and caring in a unique way. The relationship between Deuce and Fade is slow and stilted, but they definitely care for each other. It’s a lot of waiting for the other to act first, capturing the essence of teenage love. It’s romantic, genuine, and angsty.
This book could honestly be perfect for any readers of YA, no matter what genre. Love, grief, history, future - it’s all here. Specifically, fans of Throne of Glass and And I Darken should totally give Enclave a try because of the similar elements they share.