Reviews written by Mark Buxton

115 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Ordering
June 26, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Using the ghostlight to bring peace to lost souls.

What worked: I always appreciate a great hook, and chapter one of this book describes the “murder” of a lighthouse keeper and his daughter in the early 1800’s. The plot jumps almost two centuries ahead as a mystery-adventure evolves with ghosts taking on major roles. Gabe is able...

June 22, 2022 (Updated: June 22, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Creativity is magic.

What worked: The existence of Ink is the foundation for this series. It’s a magical resource found under the earth, but its essence is creative energy. It enhances the innovative ideas of Inklings, those able to use it, so you can probably guess famous authors, artists, and inventors...

June 22, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
Close friends can heal raw emotions.

What worked: Miho’s determination to recover from a devastating breakup is the impetus behind the plot. She’s dumped by her “boyfriend” of two years when she learns he’s going to marry another girl he got pregnant. It’s amusing that he’s called Scumbucket for most of the plot. Miho...

June 17, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Be true to yourself

What worked: The author creates a world somewhere in the galaxy by blending familiar terms along with new vocabulary. Zero lives in the City of Children after all the adults disappear following the Great Flash. He’s a human teen who is used to interacting with creatures coming in...

June 16, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Young Adult Fiction
There’s power in working together.

What worked: The supernatural element of the plot is slowly sprinkled into the plot until it becomes a major conflict. Some characters have micropowers and they form a support group of micropotents to learn about their abilities. The unexpected twist is the powers are relatively useless but they...

June 14, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Trust the power within you.

What worked: The book features modern-day Indians living in Upper Michigan and the importance of preserving their heritage. Cady takes a 20-minute bus ride to attend an Indian school even though a public school is located only minutes from her home. Her father isn’t knowledgeable about their tribe’s...

June 13, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Embrace the Weird

What worked: The author presents a magical setting with creative ideas driving the plot. The Ravenfall Inn in Wick, Oregon, is run by a family of psychics, and humans visit for various reasons. Some are oblivious to the strange goings-on, others come for the mystical aura, and some...

June 08, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
All for fun, and fun for all!

What worked: It’s nice to see a young protagonist without any superpowers using his imagination to create games. His determination is evident as he continues to pursue new, fun ideas despite negative comments from his older brothers and sisters. He has dreams of becoming the world’s first “bajillionaire”...

June 05, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Listen to the voice of the earth.

What worked: Nora is a sixteen-year-old peasant girl with a rare talent for pulling energy from stones to concoct potions called revars. There are seven different kinds of stones holding unique powers, and the various kingdoms take extreme measures to ensure no one has all of them at...

June 03, 2022
Overall rating
 
3.5
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
You sometimes need to break something old to make something new.

What worked: In the opening pages, Jade learns that her best friend Phoebe has tried to commit suicide, so readers know this isn’t a light-hearted graphic novel. Jade’s unable to talk to Phoebe during her hospital stay, so the story focuses on Jade’s struggles to understand what’s happening....

June 03, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
Ending a curse through forgiveness.

What worked: People in the town of Westfield have been disappearing over the years, and no trace of them has ever been found. No one notices a pattern except for a teacher, Mr. Cotter, who witnesses his friend’s disappearance when he was younger. Charlie feels sadness too when...

June 02, 2022
Overall rating
 
3.8
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Middle Grade Fiction
Accept yourself as you are.

What worked: Presenting a young, unhappy superhero is a novel idea, as Pizazz finds the cons far outweigh the pros. Even her name isn’t as cool as her sister’s name of Red Dragon. Pizazz’s situation worsens when her parents decide to move, forcing her to adjust to a...

May 31, 2022
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Middle Grade Fiction
There must be a balance between pain and peace.

What worked: The premise of the story is ingenious, as the Mirrorwood’s Blight infects twelve-year-old Fable in a strange manner. She takes on the face of whomever she touches, although she’s learning to control it a little better. Most books might see this as an opportunity for a...

May 30, 2022
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Trouble in Time

What worked: The book presents an intriguing tale of time travel. Time Police have the responsibility of monitoring events and stepping in when disruptions occur. All of them were killed in the previous book except for CP and David, and CP is now determined to exact revenge against...

May 27, 2022
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Search for the good in an enemy.

What worked: Shad moved with his father to the United States from Lebanon, so the Arabic culture is a big part of the story. Shad lives with his grandma, his Teta, since his father, his Baba, died in a car accident. He stops by a local bakery daily...

115 results - showing 1 - 15
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