Category Archives: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Book Review: The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Knopf Children’s
TBP June 2nd, 2020
464 Pages

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) T years ohénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).

When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.- Goodreads

I dnf this book at 53%. I tried. I really did but this book is all over the place and I am surprised (I shouldn’t be) that an editor allowed the book to go to the presses in its current state.

Nina (Black Cat) joins the Thieves Guild after her father sells her sister.  But before she joins she is set to steal an item that no one. . . I mean no one has been able to steal. From that moment one she is considered the best thief there is. Here is the first red flag. How? All the author mentions is that her father took her out of assignments. She is nine. She is accepted into the guild with no information no story-line of any form of training. This is crazy because the author makes mention to Nina’s nine year old self on more than one occasion.  The author completely skips any form of build up with Nina’s career as a thief.

The second red flag is that she is able to pull off another big heist to save her adopted sister. At this point in the book, she has pretty much forgotten how to save her biological sister. She did attempt once to save her and almost got her behind handed to her but shockingly enough in the hard streets of Paris a random stranger takes pity on her and saves her from getting beat down.

The third red flag is the pace of the novel and the transitions. One moment Nina is 9 years old next she is 16 (I think. The author doesn’t exactly specify). I almost thought I was reading a different pov. The transition into older Nina aren’t good. The book moved too fast and due to that there was a lot of key details missing in the first half of the book.

I wanted to like this book, which is why I read to 53% because I was going to stop at 20%. There is good foundation but there are too many questions the author chooses not to answer. And also that whole troupe of a character just being amazing without any work is a lot of crap.

1 Pickle

Book Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Knopf Books for Young Readers TBP: March 28, 2017 416 Pages
Knopf Books for Young Readers
TBP: March 28, 2017
416 Pages

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is shunned in her society. Why? Because although born into a family that is part of the Luminate, powerful magic users, she does not have any ability to use magic. But when she breaks her sister’s spell, unintentionally, she is exiled to her family’s once powerful home, Hungary. 

Isolated from everything she has known, Anna, realizes that Hungary, although not in its former glory, is not what it seems and her “ability” to disable spells are valuable to those she least expect. Faced with a hard choice, Anna must decide if the world she has always known is better than a changed world. 

*Short Review*

Jumping right into this, I didn’t like this book. Anna was a selfish, snobby human being that expected people to do what she wanted although she regarded them like crap. She was a spoiled brat that lacked respect.

From the beginning, I couldn’t get into the book. Nothing about it really interested me and Anna’s personality didn’t help either. I did however, liked the scenery in the book and the details of the environment. But the story although focuses on the rich (in money and magic) and the poor (in magic (supposedly) and money, it took some time for me to feel the intensity between the two classes.  I understand that it has to build and there needs to be a huge point of tension but it didn’t feel real and if this was a on going thing, it didn’t begin until Anna was in Hungary.

I wanted to see the tension, see the divide before Anna’s exile. Yes, it happens fairly soon in the book but Anna stays in a bubble even when things are falling in her face. I just didn’t feel a connection with this book and not only did I try to read it once but I put it down and read it a second time.

Overall, this book wasn’t for me but that is not to say that someone else may not enjoy it.

1 Pickle