Secrets of the Crown

by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson

{ 2011 | HarperCollins | 384 pgs }

I read The Familiars at the end of last year, and it turned out to be much better than I expected. I found it purely by chance: I was trying to read one book per letter of the alphabet, by author’s last name, and was searching the Kindle store for an E author. I also needed J – so a book coauthored by Epstein and Jacobson was too hard to pass up.

Secrets of the Crown is book 2 in the Familiars series. (I don’t know if it will be a trilogy or continue past three books.) Since it’s been over a year since I read The Familiars, I had a little trouble remembering where the story left off. I suppose it’s a challenge for an author – how to catch readers up without spending too much time revisiting the previous parts of the story. I started reading Secrets of the Crown a few months ago, but it didn’t hold my attention for very long and I left it after a few chapters. On a long train ride, though, I was more than happy to pick it up again.

Overall, the story seemed less original than The Familiars. It was still enjoyable, but I don’t feel any urgency for the next book. I definitely recommend reading The Familiars – and, once the series is complete, I think you should read them all.

Buy Secrets of the Crown on Amazon

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Pathfinder

by Orson Scott Card

{ 2010 | Simon Pulse | 672 pgs }

Maybe my standards are too high, but I feel like every book should be amazing. If I put my time into reading, I want to be blown away. Or at least impressed. I was fortunate to read 2 books this year that amazed me: Beyonders and Pathfinder.

Only a few pages into Pathfinder, I could tell that it was the type of book I’d been waiting for. Very basically, it’s the story of Rigg, who can see the paths taken by living things, even long after the people or animals have gone or died. And it was absolutely fabulous. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read Ender’s Game or not (why on earth not?!), you simply must read Pathfinder.

Oh, and by the way, it’s To Be Continued. Just so you don’t expect a complete ending to the plot.

Buy Pathfinder on Amazon