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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Snarky, Spooky Series by Patti Larsen and Kate McMurry/Marie August


In compliance with this month's blogue theme, Poe browsed for Sweet and Scary samples. In vain, of course. Poe should have remembered that Snark is the preferred attitude indie ewriters take to just about any genre. Poe also confirmed that snarky YA stories rarely get really scary. Poe has had to make do with Spooky

These books are so light and lively that popcorn readers could probably gobble up all 23 before Hallowe'en. 

(The Hayle Coven Novels)

by Patti Larsen

Self-published, 2011
Poe thinks this is YA fantasy chick-lit

First sentence: I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. 

"Being part of a demon raising is way less exciting than it sounds." Indeed, MC Sydlynn Hayle is so detached from her witchy DNA that she doesn't even know how to magick the ceremonial candle smoke out of her eyes.

But Mom's the Coven leader, and Dad is Haralthazar, Demon Lord of the Seventh Plane of Demonicon. (Did you know that there are nice Demons? Dad is one.)  

Sydlynn's relationship with Mom is the very pattern of adolescent-girl rebellion--but instead of arguing over curfews or car-use, the conflict is about how soon Sydlynn can leave the Coven. 

Larsen's always stylish and entertaining. In this case, her set-up (while amusing) feels overlong. Only in chapter 4 do we learn that Sydlynn's refusal to develop her powers will literally destroy her mother.

The sample was long, but Poe stopped 10% into the story, judging the book plot-light and situation- and character-rich. 

If you prefer your fantasy on the light side, then the 20 titles of this series may entertain you some time. 

(Misdirected Magic Trilogy)

by Kate McMurry & Marie August

Self-published, 2011
Poe thinks this is light contemporary YA fantasy

First sentence: Isabel Lindley surreptitiously pressed the backlight button on her watch. 

The summoning spell wasn't even Isabel's idea. Her friend Tripp's the gal who dressed up like the Reaper and poured salt all over Izzy's bedroom floor. Yet somehow Izzy's the only one who can see and hear the entity who just dropped out of the ceiling.

In a neat twist on the typical summoning plotline, this ghost is no evil opportunist. He doesn't even know who he was, where (or when or how) he died. The flighty Tripp diagnoses sudden-death PTSD and then (perhaps bored by a haunting that leaves her out) she takes off without even sweeping up the salt on the floor. Now Izzy must cope with that, as well as the stressed-out ghost.   

The story features illustrations as light and pleasant as the writing. 

If you're ready for a nibble of reading-candy, then this series looks like a quick, light read. 

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