Monday, January 19, 2015

Mystery books for young adults

This week I'm reviewing mystery books for Young Adults.  I was able to read some brand new ones (advance readers copies!) from Netgalley.  This week my website also went live-YAY!!!  In case you didn't know, it allows you to search for books based on title or level, but this one also lets you search by the skill you want to teach.  Here's the web address in case you're interested... 

On to the books...  So it was a big week for mysteries for me.  Nothing remotely mysterious here on the home front... I must be craving some danger...  Anyway, I got it in spades with the books I chose. The first one is the latest in a series about an English girl named Flavia DeLuce.  It's somewhat historical fiction although I never really figured out exactly when the stories take place, they are in the late Victorian period because Flavia pushes a lot of boundaries.  She is wonderful character who loves science and asking questions and finding out answers.  She uses the most amazing vocabulary (I had to look up a couple of them!) and ends up in the most amazing situations.  In the latest installment "As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust" by Alan Bradley, she is being sent to a boarding school in Canada where her mother went to school (she says she's being sent to exile but since I missed the last book, I'm not exactly sure what that's all about).  She takes a boat from England with two people who are acting as her guardians for the trip (and she can't stand) and arrives in Canada and then at the school in the middle of the night.  Flavia is trying to settle into her room (without lights because it's lights out) when another girl sneaks into her room to give her the low down on the school.  Their voices bring the matron and the other girl is so frightened of being caught, she climbs up the chimney to hide.  The matron comes into the room and as she and Flavia are talking, the other girl falls out of the chimney, along with a corpse.  It's a pretty thrilling beginning.  I think Flavia is hilarious in addition to being smart and clever.  I really liked this one.

The second one I read was also an advanced readers copy from NetGalley.  It's called "Inked" by Eric Smith.  It's about a kingdom where groups of people live in fear of each other because of magic.  They use tattoos to mark your passage into adulthood and the tattoos are magical.  They grow and change with the season and your mood or power.  I thought it was a really interesting premise and the characters undergo some very interesting changes and had some really cool powers.  They have some mighty battles and I think kids will like it a lot.  It certainly made me think about tattoos in a new way.  

The last one I read was only an excerpt... probably the first quarter of the book so it might be a bit unfair to review the whole book since I didn't read the whole thing, but that was all I got, so here goes.  This one was called Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson.  I thought it was a great premise... a necromancer has been in exile for the last 25 years (in this case, he's been in the Other Realm, which allows him to still exist and remember things, but doesn't inhabit a body.  His body on the other hand has continued to grow and change and experience things) but his return doesn't go quite as planned and he ends up in trouble again right away.  There is a very interesting cast of characters with very funny dialogue and there are tons of cultural references to the 1980s.  It reminded me a lot of Lish McBride's series that started with "Hold Me Closer Necromancer" which was also about a necromancer coming into his powers.  I think this one is definitely worth looking for.  

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