Tag Archives: MG Fantasy

Series Spotlight: The Balance Keepers by Lindsay Cummings

Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series has me going middle grade all the way.

firespillars of ponderaytraitor-of-belltroll

The Balance Keepers series by Lindsay Cummings

Review status: 3/3. The Fires of Calderon, The Pillars of Ponderay, The Traitor of Belltroll

All books are released, own in hardcover.

I wasn’t too sure how I would enjoy this series but I had an ARC of the first book so I gave it a try. And I absolutely fell in love with the friendship of the main three characters. It gave me Harry Potter vibes of the Golden trio. It had a lot of action and if there was an amusement park of this series, I would definitely want to go.

Favourite character: Leroy. I always have a thing for the nerdy underdog. And he grew so much through the three books.

Favourite book: The Fires of Calderon. It introduced the Core, gave us the growing friendship between Albert, Leroy, and Birdy, and showed us just how high the stakes were if they were to fail to maintain the balance of the world.

Status: Finished.

Author status: Semi-auto-buy. I do own all this author’s books and have enjoyed them but they haven’t been a need on release day, line up before the doors open kind of feeling.

Next up from Lindsay Cummings: Blood, Metal, Bone coming out in 2019, and the so far untitled sequel to Zenith, also coming in 2019.

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Weekly Reading Recap

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Was hoping to go to the movies this week but nothing is playing at the local theatre except action movies. Guess I’ll read instead.

Currently reading: Chaotic Good Comps14.indd

Finished reading: Spindle FireAru ShahMiles Away From YouSave the Date

Reviewed: Where I Live (Final Cover)

What I’m hoping to get to next week: Ash Princess34726469 to read

Aru ShahSave the Date to review

Books read it 2018: 42

Debut authors read for 2018: 15

Contemporary: 22

Fantasy: 13

Sci-Fi: 2

Dystopian: 3

Historical: 1

Misc: 1

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Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Script Edition – JK Rowling

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

5 stars

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of going back into the world of Harry Potter, especially when it involves new stories. This book and The Cursed Child proved that. The Cursed Child had me prepared for what reading a script style would be like so I found myself getting easily absorbed into the story.

It was a little different seeing the magical world from only adults’ POV. It was great to learn about the magical community in America and how differently they operate from The Ministry of Magic. My favourite part though, was getting to learn so much more about the magical creatures that were only touched on during the Harry Potter series.

The book worked as a great companion to the film. During the movie I was trying to absorb as much as possible but little details sometimes slip by so using the script book gave me a chance to pick up on them. In reverse, the script doesn’t fully show how wonderful awkward all the characters were but I was able to see it because of the movie. I would definitely recommend watching and reading of the book/movie combo.

 

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October Wrap-up/November TBR

How is it November already? Less than two months until Christmas? Where did the time go?

October Wrap-up:

sun-is-also-a-star The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon. 4/5 stars. Review. I really enjoyed this one. It was quick but still had a lot of depth.

black-key The Black Key – Amy Ewing. 3.5/5 stars. Review. A really good conclusion to the series.

the-fever-code The Fever Code – James Dashner. 4/5 stars. Review. This prequel answered a lot of questions and was a nice visit back to some beloved characters.

of-metal-and-wishes Of Metal and Wishes – Sarah Fine. 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed the mash-up of so many genres in this book, all tied together without feeling like it was trying too hard.

perilous-sea The Perilous Sea – Sherry Thomas. 3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed the interesting world and characters.

fate-of-flames Fate of Flames – Sarah Raughley. 3.5/5 stars. Review. I could have used some more world-building but this has the potential to be really good.

scythe Scythe – Neal Shusterman. 4/5 stars. Review. I love Neal Shusterman and this book just added to the reasons.

immortal-heights The Immortal Heights – Sherry Thomas. 4/5 stars. Really good conclusion to the series.

pushing-perfect Pushing Perfect – Michelle Falkoff. 3/5 stars. Review.  I liked the Breakfast Club/ How to Get Away with Murder vibe of the group but it ended up being a bit predictable.

the diabolic The Diabolic – SJ Kincaid. 4/5 stars. Review. SJ Kincaid has a way of sucking me into the story before I even start.

demons-covenant The Demon’s Covenant – Sarah Rees Brennan. 3.5/5 stars. It took me a little bit to get into this one, mostly because I waited so long in between. Once I was in, I was hooked.

demons-surrender The Demon’s Surrender – Sarah Rees Brennan. 4/5 stars. Great ending and great series all around. I love the humour infused with the darkness of the plot.

city of a thousand dolls City of A Thousand Dolls – Miriam Forster. 3/5 stars. Interesting world but it didn’t suck me in as much as I hoped it would.

empire-of-shadows Empire of Shadows – Miriam Forster. 3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed this companion a bit more than the first one but still had the same problem getting sucked into the story.

traitor-of-belltroll The Traitor of Belltroll – Lindsay Cummings. 4/5 stars. Review. I really enjoyed this whole series and this was a great ending.

firelight Firelight – Sophie Jordan. 3.5/5 stars. It took a while for me to get into this one but once I did, it was worth it. I’m excited for the rest of the series.

this adventure ends This Adventure Ends – Emma Mills. 4/5 stars. I fell in love with First & Then by this author and this book has landed her on my auto-buy list.

of-fire-and-stars Of Fire and Stars – Audrey Coulthurst. 3.5/5 stars. Review coming. I loved all the twists and the two main characters.

vanish Vanish – Sophie Jordan. 3.5/5 stars. This is beginning to really pick up. Sometimes the characters were getting on my nerves but nothing too bad.

November TBR:

a million worlds with yourosebloodevery-hidden-thinghidden-sophie

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Book Review: The Traitor of Belltroll by Lindsay Cummings

traitor-of-belltroll

The Traitor of Belltroll

Release date: November 22nd 2016

4 stars

The explosive conclusion to Lindsay Cummings’s epic fantasy adventure series about a magical world at the center of the earth. This action-packed, humorous story ends the series with a bang!
Albert and his Balance Keepers teammates have been called back to the Core for immediate action! There’s a serious Imbalance in the fantastical underground Realm of Belltroll, and without intervention everything from New York to Yellowstone above could be swallowed by earthquakes. It’s clear the mysterious traitor who caused last term’s chaos is at it again, and with a vengeance.
Albert’s super-magical Master Tile helped fix the Ponderay and Calderon Realms in previous terms, but now it seems the Tile may be more trouble than it’s worth. Because if it’s Albert’s Tile the traitor is after, there will have to be a battle sooner or later, and only one of them can win…

This was the final book in The Balance Keepers trilogy, and like the first two, it was packed with a lot of action, great moments of friendship between the main three characters, tension, mystery, and fun. I’ve really been enjoying this middle grade series and am sad to see it end. This one picked up not long after the second book ended and Albert, Birdie, and Leroy found themselves being called back to the Core again, this time for a problem in the third realm, Belltroll.

The first two books were tense but they seemed like practice for what was at stake in this one. Belltroll was the realm that held everything together and if Albert, Leroy, and Birdie couldn’t fix the imbalance, it would be the end. I loved seeing the characters grow through the whole series and how important their friendship was. It was so key to them being successful.

The action didn’t stop at any point in this finale. There was never a time when it felt like they were overreacting when they said it would be the end if they failed. I loved all the twists as they fought to figure out and fix the imbalance, and as they faced off over their theories over who was the traitor. Lindsay did a great job in not making it obvious and making me believe it could have been several people.

Overall, a great way to wrap up the series.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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