Mini reviews – stunning sequels

Good morning everyone!

How are you all doing? I come to you bearing mini reviews of some brilliant sequels I’ve read recently. If you read my ‘October in Books’ post, you’ll see that I read a lot of sequels last month, so I thought this was the perfect time to write some more mini reviews!

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Pages and Co 3: Tilly and the Map of Stories – Anna James

“Strange things are happening. A man comes into Pages Co looking for a book… then suddenly can’t remember it. Tilly and her family feel like the world is changing – but can’t quite put their finger on why. Meanwhile, the Underwoods are expanding their control over bookwandering – and they still have their sights set on Tilly. Leaving the safety of the bookshop, Tilly heads to America to find the legendary Archivists and save bookwandering… … or at least, that’s the plan. Wandering in layers of story, Tilly and her friend Oskar come up against dangers they could never have expected, team up with an unexpectedly familiar face, and ultimately find themselves taking on the biggest threat to stories there has ever been – with only their courage and ingenuity to help them. As well as some of their dearest fictional friends…”

As a big, big fan of this series, I was so excited to read the third book and let me tell you, Anna James has done it again. I was EXCITED for this book after the end of book 2. The third book in this series has just made me glow with delight. This is full of love for stories, power of imagination and the determination of a young girl who believes in books. I love these books, and characters, so incredibly much. There’s famous literary faces in this that made me smile lots! I mean who doesn’t want to go to a wonderfully magical world of books with a few bookish items that might help you on your quest with their best friend?! I would love to go bookwandering with Tilly and Oskar, but I don’t know that I’d be as tolerant of the baddies as they are. I love love loved the new characters and I can’t wait to potentially see/hear/read more from them! These books continue to make my heart shine and I need more from this series.

Lu – Jason Reynolds

“Lu was born to be cocaptain of the Defenders. Well, actually, he was born albino, but that’s got nothing to do with being a track star. Lu has swagger, plus the talent to back it up, and with all that—not to mention the gold chains and diamond earrings—no one’s gonna outshine him. Lu knows he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Suddenly, there are hurdles in Lu’s way—literally and not-so-literally—and Lu needs to figure out, fast, what winning the gold really means.”

Long time readers of this blog will know that this series has been one of my favourites of recent times. I just can’t quite express how important and how incredible I think this series is. When the fourth book, Lu, slipped through my post box, I dumped everything else I was reading to read Lu and I didn’t regret it at all. I read this with a mixture of sadness and delight. I adore Lu. He’s brave; he’s kind; he’s compassionate. He’s afraid and he’s learning. I love what he did for Coach (who will forever be my favourite) and how he is with his family. This was being back with friends and learning with them. It was so lovely to see all of the crew again and see some new faces. I have adored this series and I’m so sad it’s over.

Frostheart 2: Escape from Aurora – Jamie Littler

“Ash and the rest of the Frostheart’s brave crew have finally arrived at the majestic stronghold of Aurora – and Ash’s mind is blown. It’s an extraordinary place – unlike anything he’s ever seen – and he can’t wait to solve the next clue that will lead him to his parents. But it’s quickly clear that even Aurora isn’t safe for Song Weavers. A fanatical Pathfinder captain has turned the city against Ash and his kind – and it’s not long before the Frostheart has to make another break for freedom. But when a vicious Wraith attack leaves Ash, Lunah, Rook and Tobu stranded on the ice, they will have to use all their strength and cunning to reach safety. But what they find is even more incredible!”

When I read Frostheart 2, I hadn’t been doing a lot of reading… but diving back into the world of these incredible characters and this wonderful setting was glorious escapism that I needed. Frostheart is an incredible book and I had high high hopes for this one. This is an ABSOLUTE ADVENTURE with friends through unknown lands, suspicion and old faces. It was so incredible being back in this ever so perilous land with these characters (I think Tobu will forever be my fave). This is a story filled with danger, friendship, family and trust. Plus, you can’t beat Jamie’s incredible illustrations (and I’ve got a glorious sprayed edges version which just fills my heart with joy!). As I read, I felt all of the emotions! There were genuine gasps and tears as I read (and even a swear). The ending did something to me that I can’t quite describe! I can’t wait for the next book… (poor Jamie had to put up with my DMs as I read because I WAS GOING THROUGH IT!!)

The Midnight Howl – Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder

“Emily must battle the greatest evil that has threatened The Midnight Hour. Can she keep its magic from leaking into the real world? Now that Emily knows that her blood ties her to The Midnight Hour, she feels more connected to this frozen pocket of time than ever. But not only does she have to come to terms with her new identity as a Pooka, her parents also had to go and have another baby. But when Emily begins to encounter strange happenings within The Midnight Hour, her worst fears are confirmed: there is a hole in the Hour and it is leaking magic. Whoever is going through it is making the tear worse and worse, posing a threat to the survival of the whole world. With Emily’s parents distracted with the new baby, it’s up to Emily to fix everything.”

I remember reading book 1 and being taken by the magic and the delight in the setting and character, so when I heard book 2 was coming out, I was desperate to get my hands on it. When it finally arrived, it whispered to me to be read… and when I started reading it, it brought me so much delight! This just oozes magic, charm, wit and adventure. Going back to the Midnight Hour and being back with these characters was such a great time! There’s so much action filled in this book that I didn’t want to put it down. What happens when there’s a big Hole that is zapping all the magic and a once-thought-dead enemy is coming back?! Well obviously it’s down to brilliant Emily (who’s battling against being unwelcome in her family clan, becoming a big sister and being grounded) to save the day!

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And that’s it for now! I am a big big fan of series books because I’m such a character lover. If you write me a character to fall in love with, and I do, then you write more for their story, I’m gonna read it and love it!

Another massive thank you to all of the publishers who sent me these books – these have ALL found homes in my classroom and my kids are adoring them! We are very very grateful!

Are you a fan of a series?
What’s your favourite series?
Do you prefer character or plot?

S x

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