Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack

Last week Caramel reviewed Target Practice by Mike Maihack, the first book in the Cleopatra in Space series. Today he reviews the next book: The Thief and the Sword. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: Caramel, you are back to talk about another Cleopatra in Space book with us!

Caramel: Yes!

S: So tell us what happens in this book.

C: I can’r spoil.

S: Sure, but you can give us a couple clues about the general events that happen.

C: Okay. In The Thief and the Sword, Cleopatra is still in PYRAMID, Pharaoh Yasiro’s Research And Military Initiative of Defense. You need to boldface the initials of the words so readers can see that they make up the word PYRAMID.

S: Cool acronym! I like these kinds of acronyms; I remember you reviewed a book with a fun acronym before!

C: Yes, I reviewed N.E.R.D.S. and that too opened up, to mean “National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society”.

S: Well, I did not know the name of the institution Cleo was in before. So is this the special place Cleo is getting trained to save the galaxy?

C: Yes.

S: And who is Pharaoh Yasiro?

C: He is the person who saved a lot of the information they have to fight the bad people. And we never see him because I think he is dead, but we hear about Pharaoh Yosira, who is apparently Yasiro’s granddaughter.

S: Hmm, that is kind of complicated.

C: Yes, Yasiro and Yosira sound pretty similar but you get used to it.

S: I am sure I will.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack.

S: So tell me more about the thief and the sword.

C: Cleo recovered the Sword of Kebechet in the first book. And apparently it is a mythical artifact. And the bad people want to get it. They actually do get it because there is a thief named Antony…

S: Hmm, that is a name historically connected to Cleopatra. Anyways who are these bad people?

C: The main bad guy is Xaius Octavian.

S: Wait! Octavian is also a Roman name, like Antony. That is interesting…

C: Yes, hmm, maybe I will need to read up on Egyptian and Roman history. Anyways Octavian leads an army made up of a race called the Xerx. In the animated show these are robots. But in the book they are just a different species of aliens I think.

S: Oh, yes, you ended up watching the show!

C: Yes, I watched a couple episodes. It is a lot of fun. But it is very different from the books. And I like them both. They are both a lot of fun.

S: So I am guessing your first word to describe the book would be “fun”?

C: Yes. And I would say, “colorful” and “lots of action”.

S: Well, that last one is a little bit more than a single word, but okay. I see what you mean. Maybe this is a good place to wrap the review up. Do you think you will be reading the next book?

C: Yes! I’m trying to get my paws on a copy. But till then, maybe we can watch another episode of the TV show?

S: Hmm, we will see. What do you want to tell our readers as we close this up?

C: You know what I am going to say!

S: I think so!

C: I’ll say it anyways. Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to getting his paws on the next book in the series.
Caramel really enjoyed reading Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to getting his paws on the next book in the series.

Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter: A Magical Year – The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay

Marshmallow has been reviewing the illustrated editions of the Harry Potter books, and so far she reviewed  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, all written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay. While waiting for the fifth book to come out in the illustrated version, she came upon another gem: Harry Potter: A Magical Year – The Illustrations of Jim Kay, just hot off the press (publication date is October 2021). As she occasionally does, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter: A Magical Year - The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.
Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter: A Magical Year – The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.

Sprinkles:So Marshmallow, tell us a bit about this book.

Marshmallow: This is a book that has Harry Potter quotes for every day. Like the illustrated versions of the Harry Potter series that I have been reviewing for our blog, the drawings were created by Jim Kay. All of the pages are richly decorated with related images and backgrounds.

S: That sounds interesting! So every day, you could wonder what Harry or Hermione or some other person from Hogwarts might have been doing that day and the book would tell you?

M: Not quite. The quotes are placed on a date close to when they are supposed to have happened. But for example on the days before Harry’s birthday, there are several days where we get quotes from Harry’s birthday. But still, if you wanted to have some Harry Potter magic for each day of the year, this would work perfectly!

S: That sounds perfect for a Potterhead like yourself Marshmallow!

M: Yes, exactly.

S: So have you checked the entry for today?

M: Yep! Here is me looking precisely at that page!

Marshmallow is reading the entry for today, November 13, in Harry Potter: A Magical Year - The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay. The entry is a quote from Hermione Granger, taken from Chapter 19 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: "Why don't we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it's a bit cold, isn't it?"
Marshmallow is reading the entry for today, November 13, in Harry Potter: A Magical Year – The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay. The entry is a quote from Hermione Granger, taken from Chapter 19 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: “Why don’t we go and have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, it’s a bit cold, isn’t it?”

S: How about your on birthday? Did you check that out?

M: Yes, and it is kind of a sad one, so I won’t tell you about it.

S: Okay, I understand. And we don’t want to give away personal information here anyways…

Marshmallow is reading the pages corresponding to May 24, May 25, and May 26, in Harry Potter: A Magical Year - The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.
Marshmallow is reading the pages corresponding to May 24, May 25, and May 26, in Harry Potter: A Magical Year – The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.

S: So would you recommend this book to our readers?

M: Yes, of course. Especially people who like Harry Potter and his world will definitely enjoy this book. It is really pretty, the illustrations are amazing!

S: That is a ringing endorsement, especially coming from you!

M: Well, I always like Harry Potter-related stuff.

S: That’s true of course. So would you like to rate this book then? I think I know what the rating will be…

M: Yes, and I would rate it 100%. It is a beautiful book, especially for bunnies who like Harry Potter…

S: So then we are about ready to wrap up this review I think.

M: Yes!  I’ll again adapt Caramel’s famous closing line to myself and say: “Stay tuned for more amazing reviews from the book bunnies!”

Marshmallow really enjoyed reading and reviewing Harry Potter: A Magical Year - The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay, and is looking forward to reading more from this author-illustrator team, in particular the illustrated versions of the remaining Harry Potter books.
Marshmallow really enjoyed reading and reviewing Harry Potter: A Magical Year – The Illustrations of Jim Kay by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay, and is looking forward to reading more from this author-illustrator team, in particular the illustrated versions of the remaining Harry Potter books.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack

Recently Caramel discovered Cleopatra in Space, a series of graphic novels by Mike Maihack about the famed Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her futuristic adventures. Today he reviews the first book in the series: Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.
Caramel reviews Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: This book is about Cleopatra who goes to the future.

S: Wait, the Cleopatra?

C: Yes the famous Egyptian queen. She is not a queen yet though. She is young, fifteen years old. And she touches a tablet, the Ata tablet, which transfers her to the future.

S: What kind of future? Cleopatra lived about two thousand years ago. Does she come to our time?

C: No, she goes into the far future. There are ray guns and stuff in this future.

S: Hmm, sounds science fiction-y…

C: Yes. It is quite science-fiction-y. She is supposed to save the galaxy, there is a prophesy, and she alone is supposed to save the galaxy. But it is not clear what she will need to do to save the galaxy in this first book. She will have to recover a sword, I think, but she also has to go to school in this future. In her own words, she says,

“Light years from my home planet, millennia in the future, and a supposed savior of the galaxy, and I still have to go to school?!”

Cleopatra

S: Hmm, she does not like school?

C: Yeah. She has to learn a lot of things, and she does not seem to like most of her classes. She is taking Algebra, Biology, Literature, Alien Languages, and Target Practice. But she likes Target Practice; it is her favorite class.

S: So what is she training to use in Target Practice?

C: She is learning to use the ray guns.

S: Hmm, so there are some galactic wars coming up in her future, I suppose.

C: I think so. But the war part has not started yet.

Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.
Caramel is reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack.

S: Hmm, so it seems like this book is just right up your alley. You like graphic novels, and the book is quite science fiction-y and …

C: And there are space ships! And I like space ships! Hers is shaped like a sphinx.

S: That sounds cool. So tell me three words you’d use to describe this book.

C: Colorful, exciting, historical.

S: So do you learn anything historical from the book?

C: Not much. But Cleopatra is from ancient history and it is fun to see her learn about the far future.

S: And the illustrations are pretty colorful, I agree. I saw that there is a TV series about these books. Did you know about that?

C: Not until now! Can we put in a trailer here?

S: Yes let us do that:

Cleopatra in Space | Official Trailer | Peacock.

C: This looks cool! But I think Akila does not look anything like she does in the book. In the book she looks like a normal person. In the TV series, she looks weird, with pink hair and weird eyes and blue skin.

S: Maybe they wanted to make her look more alien?

C: Yes, she is an alien but in the book she looks like a normal human.

S: Hmm, so I am thinking you don’t want to watch the show?

C: No I did not say that! Maybe we can watch an episode or two. Maybe even tonight?

S: Hmm, we will see about that. What about the book series? Apparently there are five more books about Cleopatra in space.

C: Well, I checked out the second book from my school library already. I will definitely read that one.

S: Sounds like a plan. If you like it, you might even review it for our blog.

C: Yep.

S: So this is probably a good time to wrap things up. What do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to reading and reviewing the next book in the series.
Caramel loved reading Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, and is looking forward to reading and reviewing the next book in the series.

Marshmallow reviews The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Today Marshmallow reviews The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Marshmallow reviews The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
Marshmallow reviews The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like young adult novels with mystery, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): High-schooler Avery Kylie Grambs has recently discovered that she has been included in the will of Tobias Hawthorne, a rich philanthropist who recently died. However, Avery has no idea why she is in the will. She is not related to him, as far as she knows, and has, in fact, never seen him in her life.  She didn’t even know who he was until recently.

Eventually, she attends the reading of the will, which has been delayed until she can attend. Hawthorne’s two daughters and four grandsons are dismayed to learn that out of his forty-six point two billion dollars, they only receive a couple hundred thousand dollars each. Avery, on the other hand, receives the rest of his money, along with all of his possessions, including his house. The only term for this is that she must live in his house for a year. This clearly does not sit well with Hawthorne’s relatives, especially one of his daughters. Skye Hawthorne had hoped that her four sons would receive a majority of the money.

Now that everything is owned by Avery, the Hawthornes have different reactions. Nash Hawthorne, the eldest grandson of Tobias, doesn’t really show up too much. Grayson Hawthorne, the grandson that everyone thought would receive most of the inheritance, believes that Avery somehow conned Tobias into writing her into his will. Jameson, the second youngest, is intrigued by Avery. Xander, the youngest, doesn’t really have any grudges against Avery, as he never thought he was going to receive a large chunk of the money anyways. Skye, Tobias Hawthorne’s daughter and the mother of Nash, Grayson, Jameson, and Xander, is furious, and together with her sister Zara, she starts to try and figure out a way to “reclaim” the inheritance. 

With all this money at stake, the Hawthornes may resort to violence to sort out “the Avery issue”. But Jameson and Avery believe that she was selected for a reason. Tobias Hawthorne was very into puzzles, and Avery and Jameson believe that she is part of the last puzzle of Tobias Hawthorne. But even so, who are the players, and who will win?

Marshmallow is reading the beginning of Chapter 57 in The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
Marshmallow is reading the beginning of Chapter 57 in The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Marshmallow’s Review: I think that The Inheritance Games is a good book, but it is part of a series, which I did not know when I started reading. It was a surprise when I realized that the story would continue into a second book, which I have not read yet. So the mystery is not yet fully solved (even though we do figure out eventually why Avery was in the will).

The plot is very well thought out and thought-provoking. Also, the author and Tobias Hawthorne are very fond of word games, especially with names. (Cough, Avery, cough.)

The Inheritance Games has 370 pages, spilt into 91 short chapters. Avery is the narrator, and we meet each character through her eyes. Events unfold through her perspective as well, meaning that puzzles are only resolved when she figures things out. I was able to figure out some things ahead of time, but mostly the mystery kept me guessing.

In short, I found The Inheritance Games intriguing and very interesting. However, I believe that it is intended for older children, certainly a young adult novel. The plot is pretty complicated. And as the first book in a series, The Inheritance Games sets the scene really well for the second one to come. I’m looking forward to reading that,ys too.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%. 

Marshmallow rates The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 95%.