Posted in 2022 Books, Book Reviews, Gateways 2022-23


Gateway Nominee for 2022-23 School Year

If you like the sea and all sorts of talk about the water, boats, storms, dredging, and sea trading, then you will like this book. It took me most of the the book to get into it. I get that with every fantasy book there is a lot of world building that takes place, and this book is no exception.

Fable, the main character, is alone on Jeval making her own way as a dredger. You know what a dredger is right, everyone does? No? Oh, me either. Had to look that one up. I’ve heard the word used as a cooking term, but apparently, as it is used in this book, it means a person who searches underwater for things. You learn early on that she doesn’t have many, if any, friends, and her whole purpose in life is to make enough money to get off Jeval and make it back to Saint. Her one ally, if you can even call him that, is West who consistently buys findings from dredging.

I have to admit, I was pretty bored with this book until about page 200 (of 353). I’m not too interested in sea-life, so all the world-building and back stories that are needed in a fantasy book were pretty uninteresting to me. This isn’t to say that the book was written poorly. It absolutely wasn’t. I was just not interested.

Now, after Fable reunites with this Saint guy, that’s when it picks up and gets interesting. I will read the follow up book Namesake because the book ended on a cliffhanger (of course), and now I do want to know what happens. I may even come back and read Fable again after I finish Namesake, because the beginning may make more sense to me. All in all I would recommend the book for my fantasy-loving students and friends.

Posted in Book Reviews

Inherit Midnight

During summer school, the students have to read silently for 25 minutes each class. So I am going to try to knock out some of the Gateway nominees from the last two years that I missed. I’m starting Inherit Midnight today (Thursday). I’ll be writing down my thoughts as I read this time. Maybe it’ll take me more than a day to get through it.

First stop: Chapter one left me with a lot of questions. I’ve pieced together that Avery is from a well-to-do family, and she is at some sort of boarding school. However, it makes it seems as if it’s more like a prison type school. Not sure yet. After the first chapter, I am not a big fan of the main character, Avery.

Second stop: Still not a huge Avery fan. Her parents are not a part of her life, so she has been raised by her grandmother. I’m at the start of the 5th chapter, and I still do not know why her family is so rich except for the fact they own a company.

Third stop: I think the point is to feel sorry for Avery and the fact that people in her family haven’t been kind to her. But, I’m not having those feelings. I’m sure I will like her by the end of the book, but she isn’t my favorite for sure.

Fourth stop: End of chapter 7 and it’s finally getting interesting. 64 pages in. I am constantly telling my students when they start a novel, you have to give it about 50 pages. A lot of them want to give up after the first chapter. Imagine if we all did that how many of our favorite books would we never have read?

Fifth stop: Okay, I’ll admit, this book has an interesting concept. Avery’s grandmother is the matriarch of a very well-to-do diamond company. She doesn’t think her children and grandchildren understand hard work and how privileged they are, so she sets them off on a series of tasks to prove they understand this and their heritage. Whoever wins the series of tasks gets control of the entire company. The ones that lose, or the ones that decide to quit, get a measly $100,000. I’m finally starting to have positive feelings for Avery, although I still don’t like her.

Sixth stop: pg. 166 – This family is a little crazy.

Seventh stop: pg. 204 – Okay, I’m hooked now. It took me half the book, but now I kind of want to make my students read the entire hour so that I can keep reading.

Eighth stop: pg 281 – I finally like Avery. Not in a complete warm-fuzzy type of way, but I can get behind her as the main character. There isn’t much left in the book, and I’m concerned that the author is going to try to tie up a bunch of loose ends too quickly to really develop them.

Ninth stop: pg 326 – This book, while the story is good, and it is keeping my interest, is really unbelievable.

Tenth stop: pg 356 – Last stop before I finish the book. I sort of saw this coming, but it’s been adventurous.

Finished. Okay, I will say overall the book is well-written, the story is interesting even if it is hard to fathom some of the things the family ends up doing. If you’ve read any YA book with a female lead character, you can probably predict most of what will happen. I will say that the last couple chapters did surprise me. On Goodreads I gave it a 4 out of 5 instead of a 3 simply because the ending wasn’t entirely predictable.

Oh, and I didn’t cry at all.