Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher

Cover Image Furies of Calderon

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon.” “Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat – return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine.” Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos – when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies – Amara will find Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury – one that could turn the tides of war.

***Ani’s Review***

I realized that I’ve been remiss in reviewing this series by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher. The Codex Alera begins with the Furies of Calderon. This is a story woven around Tavi, a teen that finds himself in the middle of a potential war. This introduction to the Calderon Valley is where we meet Tavi, a typical teenager who thinks he is more capable than his elders, and who also lands in a lot of trouble. I can’t really say enough how much I enjoyed this book and this series. Jim Butcher writes as if he’s been thinking about this world for a very long time. The characters are well developed, the world is full and rich, and there are plenty of obstacles for young Tavi from the Calderon Valley to overcome. A totally engrossing and entertaining read. The other books in the Codex Alera series (all featuring a growing Tavi) are just as gripping and thorough as The Furies of Calderon. Happy Reading!

In A World Just Right

In A World Just right

Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.

********************Ani’s Review***************

When I grabbed In A World Just Right,  I thought the synopsis was interesting but I was concerned because this is author Jen Brooks’ debut novel and at 400+ pages, it’s a commitment!  I was pleasantly surprised to find this story well written and very enjoyable. I felt the middle of the story to drag a little but it all worked and the end was very satisfying and went quickly. The story of Jonathan Aubrey and his body image holding him back from embracing real life is something that all teens can relate with as well as wanting to be in a place where you are accepted unconditionally. There is also an underlying theme of making the right choices for yourself and having that power over others.  This is a touching story with a hint of romance without being sappy.  I would highly recommend this book to fans of John Green. For mature middle readers on up.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

So here’s the deal, Angelfall by Susan Ee is one of my all time favorite Fantasy/Apocalypse/Adventure novels. The first time I read this book, I was so over the top about it that I started to question whether it was really that good. What do you do when you can’t trust your own opinion? Ask your friends! So I told my best friend, whose opinion on books I trust, to try it out and tell me if it’s as good as I thought it was. Guess what? She agreed!

So as Susan Ee’s new novel and, I think, last in the Penryn series, is coming out (see the countdown clock at the sidebar) I realized that I hadn’t reviewed this beauty or her 2nd novel in the series, World After, either. Whatever was I thinking??? In case you need more than just my glowing intro, here is my review on Angelfall by Susan Ee.

I kept seeing this (at that time, free) novel on Amazon with amazing reviews but did I really want to read about angels gone bad? I just didn’t think there’d be much to it. But a free book is too good to pass up so I downloaded it….and I couldn’t put it down!

Besides enjoying fantasy, another big draw for me was that Angelfall is set in the bay area. Penryn, the main character’s name is supposedly taken from a highway exit (though I couldn’t find it online). However, the character development starts right at the beginning with Penryn pushing her sister in her wheelchair (down El Camino Real) to safety and discussing her mother’s schizophrenia. What?! Wheelchair and mental illness? I remember feeling stunned that a cheap fantasy story, and YA to boot, would have some deep issues like these. This book has a unique storyline, is full of nonstop action, and with good writing on top of it all, how could I not like it? Plus, the hunky angels are just icing on the proverbial cake. Yes, I did just say that. So that is Angelfall. You’re welcome.

The second book is called World After. This part of Penryn’s story is much more chaotic than the first book but I suppose that’s what happens when the apocalypse occurs! I really don’t want to divulge anything but Penryn is again trying to save her sister and running all over the bay area in order to do just that. You get to know much more about the angels in this novel and what may or may be motivating them.

The down side to Angelfall is the cliffhanger ending. The upside…the 2nd book is already out so no waiting! It is also clean so teens can read it but due to the violence I wouldn’t recommend it for the tweens.


Seriously, I am asking for End of Days for Mother’s Day. No poems and flowers for me!!! Happy reading. You’ll thank me for this one…