Tag Archives: Crown Books for Young Readers

Book Review: Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Crown Books for Young Readers
TBP Jan. 20th 2020
352 Pages

Everyone expected the king’s daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me.

It shouldn’t even be possible. I’m Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don’t even get names. Heck, dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.

But there’s no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don’t?- Goodreads

I liked this book. It was a good read. It kept me invested from beginning to end.

I loved the world building of the novel. But I wanted more of that world. It was very the rich is getting richer and abusing the poor while the poor is getting poorer and abusing each other. The divide was very clear, the picture of peasants and grayness was very visible and greatly appreciated that.

What caused me to give this book 3 Pickles (spoiler I know), was the Nameless that became Queen. She was good at being Nameless but when her title changed she didn’t know how to the play the game. This frustrated me because at several points she realizes that being royal is a game that needs to be played and instead of self-improving and getting hip to the game, she just didn’t and did more complaining as if she didn’t have the power to change things. It was a frustrating circle to read because she saw it and acknowledged it and then did nothing.

There was some character development but not enough for me to bump up my rating.

I wish the author added more about the magic, the history of the city and more history about the Nameless Queen. We find out information but it didn’t completely satisfying. Yes, there will always be questions especially if a book is a series. However, it would have been great to have more development on the world.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I am pretty it is a series, which the way it ended it made sense. But it didn’t need to be a series As previously mentioned,

3 Pickles 

Book Review: Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen

Crown Books for Young Readers
Published Sept. 17, 2019
384 Pages

Indira has been a character-in-waiting her entire life. So she can’t believe her luck when she’s finally chosen to travel to Fable and study at the renowned Protagonist Preparatory, a school known for producing the best heroes.

But Indira’s dreams of achieving hero status don’t exactly go as planned. A failed audition lands her in the school’s side-character track, and her best efforts to prove advisors–famous characters like Alice from Wonderland and Professor Darcy–wrong are constantly sabotaged. Indira is starting to feel like an evil antagonist might be to blame.

As the danger spreads, Indira discovers all of Fable is under siege. With her friends Maxi and Phoenix by her side, she pieces together clues that will reveal who is behind the dark magic threatening them all. But the more Indira uncovers, the more doubt she feels about her place in this world of stories. After all, can a side character really save the day? – Goodreads

I don’t say this lightly but this is the most creative book, I have read this year.

Indira isn’t even the main star of the novel (at least to em). It is everything in the background from the setting, the supporting characters and the plot. Indira is going to Fable, where she will train to become a hero, the protagonist of her own story. But a lot of stuff happens for her to get there.

While reading this book it is very clear to the reader that the author had a lot of fun with the setting and the people of Fable because that is where the focus is. This is not to say that Indira lacked qualities to keep the book going to make it worth while reading. But this book is long . . . extremely long. Like 60% of the book, the author just builds up the environment and gets you familiar with the characters that will be playing a part in the “action” for the lack of better term.

This book could have been cut in half and still would have been a fantastic read. By time anything actually happened,  not only did I breathe a sigh of relief but I also was ready to put the book down. I did but in a fairly short amount of time, picked it back up and keep reading because this world. . .  you want to live in it because you fall for the people that support Indira. You fall for the quirks and the book references in this novel.

This is not to say Indira isn’t a good character. She develops extremely well and I love how the author ties everything together from the beginning and the end.

The book as a whole comes together and I highly recommend this read to everyone. The only issue is the fact that it is so so very long.


4 Pickles

Book Review: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Crown Books for Young Readers
Published Sept. 12, 2017
384 Pages

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.


Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

I am not into science fiction. Therefore, my excitement for this book was fairly non-existence. I went into this not expecting anything other than probably a cliche love triangle.


I was so wrong. This book is freaking amazing. Like A. MAZE. ZING.

First off, the diversity within this book is great. To be able to show all types of people and not make them stereotypical was A+ for me. Emmett is like a long lost brother. I was able to relate to him as another Black person and the struggles him and his family emotional go through. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. Emmett’s family history is one of the most touching parts of this book. Also his vulnerability, his honesty, strength, his curiosity, his loyalty, his music choices, I can literally go on how much I love this boy and how much I am looking so forward to the man he becomes in this series.

Enough about Emmett (for now). Here is what I liked about the story, romance did not dominate this book. Was there some romance in it? Yes, towards the end and honestly I think it was in there to appease some masses because although it was great for how it went, it was not needed nor did I desire it in this book.

I was a sitting upright when I read this book. I was waiting for the world to end on this spaceship. And the worst happened and I was devastated. I look at the book and almost through my kindle across the room. But the issue regarding one of the turning points in this book was it didn’t exactly change a whole bunch. Emmett’s drive was renewed, yes, but overall nothing changed and that shocked me a bit.

But the author was able to keep the momentum going, keep me wanting to read what will happen next and when he introduces the other turning point it leads to a perfect book two. Was there some predictability? Yes, if you are paying attention then you will see it. Was the story overall creative? Yes, in the fact that it is in space and the Nyxia is extremely cool. But the story does touch upon what has been happening in real life for years. A country finding a resource in another country and proceeds to do whatever it take to get it. Sounds straight-out the history book to me. But overall I though this was quality writing that leads much to the imagination.

5 Pickles

Book Review: Nightborn (Thrones & Bones #2) by Lou Anders

Crown Books for Young Readers Published July 14, 2015 353 Pages
Crown Books for Young Readers
Published July 14, 2015
353 Pages

Karn Korlundsson has settled down since his adventures with Thianna. Life as a farmer and avid game player doesn’t require life threatening decisions. But when Thianna goes missing, Karn makes it his mission to find her.

Even if it means traveling to a distance city, deciphering the riddle of the horn and fighting elves.

If you have not read book one, here is my review.

Jumping right in, I enjoyed this book but compared to the first one, I didn’t feel the drive or intensity within the story. This book came across very laid back, even when fighting was happening. It didn’t feel like the end of the world. Where as in the first book, I was emotionally invested.

Also in the first book, it was more centered around both character equally but this book was all Karn and I don’t know if I like him. He came over cocky and a know it all. Even when he had his moments of doubt, he was just a bit demanding of things. He came off as a tool and it was completely different from who he was in the first book. Thianna didn’t change much and I was alright with that because she had a lot of growth in the first book.

I loved the fact that the author kept their relationship strictly platonic. It would really ruin the book if it turned into romance. They are good friends, best friends and that is the way it should stay.

Although I felt the story was laid bad, the pace was smooth. I didn’t feel as if the author was adding a bunch of fluff. Everything in the book fit. I loved how the book ended and how it leads to a book three. It was great. It didn’t feel short or out of place. The author knew what he was doing with the ending and I respect that.

I recommend this series for kids getting into fantasy and for adults wanting a break from the romance in YA. Overall,

3 Pickles