Author Archive: cassiusdotson

The Grimm Legacy By: Polly Shullman Reviewed By: Cassius Dotson

                                      The Grimm Legacy By: Polly Shulman


From the Book:

What if fairy-tale magic really existed? Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a lending library of objects-contemporary and historical, common and obscure, and secret too- for in the repository’s basement lies the Grimm collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brothers fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear, and before she knows it she and her fellow pages- handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron-are suddenly cought up in an exciting but dangerous adventure!


Imagine being able to work in a library full of magic. Wouldn’t it be exciting?

Alright now admit it we would love to work with magic. That idea is pursued in Polly Shulman’s novel The Grimm Legacy. The only one of it’s series is full of magical items that would blow your socks off!  There’s a catch though, this isn’t ordinary magic, it’s very dangerous and can tempt the mind into doing things it regularly wouldn’t do. While I enjoyed the entire book, I most enjoyed the theme’s, setting and character’s that it included.


I enjoyed the magical themes presented in the book, and think that if there’s fantasy lover’s out there that they would enjoy this novel. What does it mean when magic is stolen is the main question portrayed in the secret halls of Grimm Legacy. In this library everyone has there own stacks  to work on, but there’s a certain stack that everyone has access too if they have been trusted by the boss. The only way to get this trust is by taking a test. If you pass the test you get a key to this stack, which is always different. This key unlocks the doors to The Grimm Collection. The Grimm Collection holds all of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale magic. This magic can be dangerous, and can be nice, but it’s up to you. Borrow the magic… if you dare!





The setting was a second element that I really enjoyed in this novel. Like most fantasy books, the setting has lots of magic items and mystical creatures. The mystical world of this novel is a result of stolen Grimm Collection items, that are being sold for there magic. In this novel it touches on trust in each other and the importance of cooperation. One example is how Elizabeth, Aaron, Marc, and Anjali the protagonists go on an adventure to get the items back, and learn to cooperation and trust each other. This particular part of the novel could teach us a few things. For me as a reader I enjoyed the magical descriptions of this setting. The Magic Mirror on the Wall will be waiting to cooperate with you!


The third element of this novel that I most enjoyed was  the interactions between the characters. While the primary audience is young adult, the interactions are not dumbed down in anyway. There is positive and negative interactions with the characters. The scenes to were Elizabeth thinks Aaron doesn’t like her but truly does, or were Anjali uses Elizabeth as an excuse to see Marc. There is love in the air between all four characters, but sometimes they don’t show it. The characters then learn that sometimes the truth can hurt. Since the setting is very magical the characters have some magic of there own to share. The only way you can find this out though is if you take the challenge of borrowing the magic!


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and would like it if a second comes along. I recommend this book to any fantasy lovers out there.  This novel will keep you on the edge of your magic carpet. It looks like Elizabeth and her fellow pages have some adventures and experiences that our fantasy lovers would enjoy.  Through the strong theme, magical setting, and mystical characters, Polly Shulman’s  novel The Grimm Legacy is a winner!



Amber House By Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed Reviewed By: Cassius Dotson

Amber House By: Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed


From the book:


Sarah Parsons has never been to Amber house, the grand Maryland estate that’s been in her family for three centuries. She’s never wandered it’s hedge maze or explored it’s secret attics; she’s never danced in it’s ballroom or hunted for the diamonds said to be hidden in it’s walls. But all of that is about to change, as Sarah, her brother and there icy mother settle into Amber house, she finds herself drawn to both handsome Richard, who introduces her to the world of wealth and privilege, and puzzling Jackson, who dares her to find the diamonds. She discovers she can see visions of the mansions history—like her mother as a young girl, unimaginably warm and happy, or the cruel sea captain who lost the jewels long ago. Piece by piece, she uncovers the secrets of Amber house: it’s ancient crimes, and it’s fresh betrayals.


Who wouldn’t want to be able to see the past? Come on. Admit it. You know you want to be able to see the past of your ancestors. It’s not something an average human does but in Kelly Moore’s book Amber House, the first of the series, a young girl has this special gift. In this fantasy, it tells about three young adults and there frightening challenge with a house that can mentally speak with you. While I enjoyed the entire novel, I mostly enjoyed the theme, setting, and characters.


I enjoyed the mysterious theme presented in this book. What is it like to see the past is the central question presented in Amber House. In this novel a teenage girl stays in her deceased grandmothers house, and realizes some very interesting things about her past. Then the question becomes can she really see the past and interact with the visions? Certainly if someone had this gift in our world we most likely wouldn’t accept them. We would treat them bad and just flat out evil. In this book though Sarah isn’t made fun of, she’s accepted, because it’s a common thing in her family tree. This novel reminds me of a T.V. show called Ghost Whisperer. A woman can see and react with spirits. Like in Amber House Sarah can see but can she react?


The setting was the second element that I really enjoyed in this novel. Like most fantasy books, there’s always magical things happening.  While there isn’t much detail with the theme, there are many places it touches on the past, during the time of slavery and many other instances. One example is how Sarah see’s her ancestors beating and raping slaves. For me that would have been a harsh thing to see. For me I enjoyed the many mysterious settings. The mysterious settings remind me of how there’s always a surprise around the corner.



The third element of the novel that I enjoyed was thee reactions between the characters. There is always strong reactions between the characters. For example when Sarah and Richard spend time together they get drawn to each other  more and more. Or when she’s with Jackson always searching for the so called hidden diamonds. With the mysterious adventures going on in this book the characters are always up for the challenge. Which is another reason why I love the strong reactions between the characters.


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and will continue reading the series. I would like to know what happens to Sarah! I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. Sarah Parsons definitely has a great adventure on her hands! Through the exciting theme, unique setting and strong reactions with the characters, Kelly Moore’s book is a winner!

Matched By Ally Condie Reviewed By Cassius Dotson

Matched by: Ally Condie

From the book:

Cassia has always trusted the society’s choices. And when her best friend appears on the matching screen, cassia is certain he is the one… until she see’s another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now she is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one dares follow… between perfection and passion.

Who wouldn’t want to be controlled by a society? Right. Come on. You know you want all your decision’s made for you. It makes life easier, or does it. People are controlled like this in Ally Condie’s book Matched, the society will do anything in there power not to be over rulled. In this dystopian society, the novel tells a story of young adults who go on an adventure against the society. While I enjoyed the novel, I mostly enjoyed the themes, setting, and unique characters.

I enjoyed the interesting themes showed in the book, and I think that young adult’s would love this novel. What is it like to live in a society were everything is chosen for you, this is the question betrayed in Matched. In this world every person’s choices are made for them, to ensure everyone’s treated equally. Then you ask yourself, does everyone need to have there decisions made for them?and what does it mean when someone gets tired of there choices being made for them. Certainlly we don’t usually have these concepts in our world, we get to make our own choices. In this book though cassia is faced with her match getting confused between two guys, and the society is telling her who too choose.

This reminds me of princess diaries 2, the princess is being told what her choices are and that she’s stuck between two guys and her authorities want her with one when she wants the other. Like in the princess diaries 2, matched has an exciting twist on whether you should listen to your heart or the choices of others.

The setting was a second element that I enjoyed in this novel. Like any other dystopian novel, the setting is of the future, where everything has changed no one has there own rights. The exciting world of this novel ,is a result of how when some one gets to much power things can get out of hand. While there is not full development of the themes, there are many places where the novel touches on the idea’s of how no one has there speak of mind, and how those of the past knew nothing of there own opinions. One example is how cassia realizes from her grandfather that any thing is possible as lons as you believe anything is achievable. For myself as a reader I enjoyed the many exotic settings.

The third element of the novel that I enjoyed was the unique characters. While this novel is a dystopian it also has some romance mixed in. there is always strong reactions between the characters.  The scenes where Cassia is faced with Xander, and Ky together she can’t choose, she’s in love with them both. The reaction between these three characters, would be enjoyed for readers who like a great adventure, with some romance along the way. Cassia, and her two matches all know that she doesn’t know who to pick, so who will win her heart? We will never know until we read Ally Condies second book Crossed.

Overall I really enjoyed the novel, and will continue reading the series. I would love to find out who she really chooses. I recommend this book to all young adults who love a good adventure. Cassia is definitely going to be taking a big risk on who she should be with and whether she should listen to the society. Through the exotic theme, setting and unique characters Ally Condies book Matched is a winner.