Avicen and Drakharin have been warring for centuries for complete control of Earth. They are magical creatures that live among the humans hiding behind magic and sunglasses. Both species closely resemble humans unless you look closely and see the feathers or scales on their skin. In this world lives one human - Echo, a runaway and thief who lives at the New York Public Library. She was discovered and adopted by the Ala - one of the elders of the Avicen. Now the Ala sends her on a secret mission - to find the mythical Firebird and end the war. There is plenty of action, a whole lot of romance, a few too many coincidences and some twists you won't see coming. This is the first book in a planned trilogy. Overall, it is a great story (if you can get past the romance). Well plotted, interesting characters and enough twists to keep you guessing. Ages 12-up
Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fun adventure with a plucky heroine, scared sidekick, and their host of magical creature run-ins. Imagine arrogant unicorns, furballs that spontaneously burst into fire, scary grims, mean ducks and something called a hobgrackle and you have just scratched the surface of the imaginative creatures that appear throughout the story. Poor Pip has been banished to Cloverton after a fiasco at school involving show unicorns. She befriends Tomas, a boy who has allergies to his allergies and together they work to find out why Fuzzles are suddenly invading everyone's underwear drawers. Humourous, fun story with easy to like characters makes this is an easy one for middle graders to love.