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Posted July 5, 2013
I received the ebook of The Conjuring Glass: Book One, The Phoenix Girls through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers and enjoyed reading it. It's a young adult/middle school level book about a young girl named Penny who, after her mother dies in a plane crash, ends up living with her Godmother Susan in a small town named Dogwood where a magical adventure awaits her. From a talking fox to a box of wands to a strange carnival House of Mirrors and a mysterious red-haired magician who hands out mirrors that show more than they should, Penny's days become a whirlwind of strange and wondrous things. But something evil is at work as well and children begin to go missing. Along with her new friend Zoe, Penny strives to master the magic and skills needed to face a creature from her nightmares and learn more about the Phoenix Girls and herself.
The book has a lot of suspense that keeps the reader turning the pages and wanting to learn more along with Penny and Zoe. Lots of mysteries and just enough hints about Penny's parentage to make the reader look forward to learning more in future books. The ideas are interesting and creative. I read a lot of fantasy, or all levels, and I liked that so many of the author's ideas were new and unique. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and would recommend this book to readers who enjoy series like Harry Potter and John Bellairs Johnny Dixon series, as well as other YA writers who like to combine a bit of scariness and mystery with their magical stories.
Posted June 24, 2013
I received this book from Library Thing early reviewers. The Conjuring Glass: Book One The Phoenix Girls is about a 13 year old girl named Penny Sinclair. Penny is an orphan who moves to be with her Godmother Susan in a small town called Dogwood. Penny thinks at first that Dogwood will be boring. She is wrong. She discovers a magical grove filled with secrets. She discovers a magical book that talks about the Phoenix girls. Penny finds a friend named Zoe who joins her in learning magic. When strange things like children disappearing happen in Dogwood the Phoenix Girls Zoe and Penny will have to fight with their new found magic.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very interesting novel and full of suspense. I like the fact that you don't find out about Penny Sinclair and her family secrets all at once. I am looking forward to the next book in "The Phoenix Girls" series.
Posted May 15, 2013
At some point everyone feels like an outsider. In Penny Sinclair's case she is a 13-year-old girl moving to a new town after the death of her mother. She has spent four months living in a group home and now is headed to the small town of Dogwood to live with her godmother Susan, who was best friends with Penny's mother.
As soon as Penny moves into her home she notices a fox that seems to always be watching her. She has already been having mysterious dreams and doesn't feel comfortable in her new surroundings. When she is outside one day the fox speaks to her, in fear she runs away but she can't escape her destiny.
What Penny doesn't know is that her mother once belonged to a group of witches called The Phoenix Girls and she is about to become one of them. The Phoenix Girls Book 1: The Conjuring Glass by Brian Knight is the first in a series from JournalStone Publishing that young horror fans will enjoy. In a secret grove behind her new home is a cave, wands, magic keys and a book on how to become proper witches.
Penny is not alone, she soon meets another girl who has just arrived in town named Zoe and the two of them start training to become witches. Their spells don't work half the time but they're determined to keep trying. Something wicked is coming to Dogwood in the form of a magician with a big secret. The children of Dogwood start to disappear one by one and Penny and Zoe may be the only ones that can help.
The Conjuring Glass is a story geared towards middle school children and has a couple of themes that all kids can relate to. One is trying to fit in with other kids. Penny and Zoe are both outcasts because they are new in town and both are adjusting to their new surroundings. They have each other though and work well as a team. They learn magic together and get help with bullies from the talking fox. As the story develops, the girls are left to their own devices to rescue the kidnapped kids.
Another theme that is in this book is abandonment and loneliness. When Penny comes to Dogwood she feels that she is alone in the world. She is dealing with the loss of her mother, but also wonders who her father was and what happened to him. Penny is obsessed with finding him and her obsession leads her and the whole town into danger. I really enjoyed how the mystery of Penny's father worked into the story.
While I did think that The Conjuring Glass was slow-moving at points, there was a lot to like about the book. All of the characters reminded me of kids that I once knew. I also think young readers will be able to relate to both Penny and Zoe. The setting and atmosphere were great and I liked the fate of the town's children lying in the hands of two young witches. My favorite part was when Penny stands up to a bully that was much bigger then she was. It showed that Penny was a tough character and I found myself rooting for her. I think most young kids will love the mystery in The Phoenix Girls: Book 1 The Conjuring Glass and they will appreciate the spooky parts also. I would love to see where the story of The Phoenix Girls goes in future installments.
Posted March 10, 2013
When I choose a book to read and review, I don't read excerpts, blurbs, or other reviews first. I want to go into the experience with a fresh and unjaded eye. Therefore, I've been surprised many times--sometimes pleasantly, sometimes not so pleasantly. The Conjuring Glass (The Phoenix Girls, #1) is one of those pleasant finds, a real hidden gem that I was fortunate enough to discover. Although the title had 'girls' in it, I expected the book to be Young Adult or New Adult. This wasn't the case. The story revolves around two young girls who are in junior high at a school that houses Kindergarten through high school. Penny and Zoe are thirteen-year-olds who are innocent by today's standards with no real thoughts or discussions of boys or makeup or clothes. That isn't important though. What is important is the excellent writing, non-stop action, exciting mysteries, and a bit of horror all wrapped up in an amazingly fast-paced and enjoyable read. Any age will enjoy this book with it's ageless and timeless small-town, circus-comes-to-town novel.
The premise of The Conjuring Glass is newly orphaned Penny moving back to her mother's small hometown to live with her mother's childhood friend, Susan. Penny and her mom had lived in an apartment in San Francisco, California until her mother's untimely death when Susan steps up to perform her godmotherly duties. Penny has never been told any details of her mother's life before Penny's birth or even anything about Penny's dad. She does, however, have one picture of her mom and dad when they were young and happy. Once Penny gets to Dogwood, Washington, strange things begin to happen to her. She begins to learn some very terrible secrets surrounding her mother's earlier life and the reasons why she left Dogwood. Luckily, Penny meets and befriends Zoe who is thrown into the same maelstrom of oddities and terror that Penny is. The girls must band together and work to save themselves and the other children of the town from a winged evil. Because of the secrets withheld from Penny by Susan and Penny's mom, though, Penny makes some bad decisions based on the photo of her mom and dad, a decision that could cost her her own life.
Author Brian Knight has created the first book of an exciting series that I am really looking forward to reading. This series focuses on adventure and magic rather then bullying and sex and peer pressure. It's a bit of a relief to read a story that is written purely for the sake of enjoyment. I appreciate books with a message or purpose as much as the next parent, but sometimes girls just wanna have fun!!
Posted March 8, 2013
“The Phoenix Girls Book 1 – The Conjuring Glass” by Brian Knight is the first episode in what could be the next big hit in a young adult fantasy series. His bio says Brian lives with his family and the voices in his head; I don’t know how much advice he gets from his family, but I hope he never stops listening to those voices in his head, because they are giving him some great advice. The publisher provided me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which follows. But my first honest comment is: I hope I have an opportunity to review Book 2 when it is ready!
This tale begins with Penny, an orphan, being delivered to the Dogwood home of her previously unknown godmother, Susan, from the San Francisco orphanage where she has resided since the death of her mother. Because there is another new girl in town, Zoe, she soon makes a friend. Thus begins a series of magical adventures beyond anything she ever could have imagined. As Penny and Zoe discover a secret grove on Susan’s property, they are drawn into a world of talking foxes, magic keys, and a hidden book with blank pages which will train them how to become proper “good” witches. Will this help them, or will it lead to disaster? How will they use their newly learned powers? To whom or what might their new powers draw unwanted attention?
Children from nearby towns have been disappearing at night, and the Sheriff literally doesn’t have a clue to help him find the children or their abductor. Then he receives an anonymous tip, which leads him to arrest a transient living in a camper, after finding some of the missing children’s possessions in that camper. Penny and Zoe know they’ve arrested the wrong man, but they cannot explain to the Sheriff HOW they know this, or Penny may find herself being shipped back to the orphanage in San Francisco, leaving Zoe to be the laughing stock of Dogwood. The girls use every opportunity to practice their magic, far more studiously than they do their schoolwork. Time will confirm the practice was advantageous as they confront evil from another reality and hope to rescue the missing children.
This book is very enchanting (no pun intended). Penny and Zoe interact exactly the way typical young teens would, lending further realism to their already faithfully developed characters. The author has realistically captured the attitudes and mannerisms of small town teens, small town politics, and small town gossips. This first episode of “The Phoenix Girls” is a charming introduction to the series, providing a new generation of fans with the adventures and misadventures of “The Phoenix Girls”. This is an ideal book for girls and boys from the pre-teen years to young adulthood. Highly recommended! I will be anxiously awaiting Book 2.
Posted March 8, 2013
This book was given to me in exchange for a review.
This is the first book of the Phoenix Girls, when all the adventure and magic begins.
Penny is an orphan that goes to live in Dogwood with her godmother. At first Penny is a little scared of being rejected because her mother kept things hidden from her and she didn't even know that she had a house and a godmother and then, strange things start to happen and Penny thinks she's seeing things, like a fox talking.
When going to town, Penny meets Zoe, another sort of outcast and they start to hang together but Penny feels like everybody she knows, knows more about her past then they tell her.
Penny discovers that Zoe sees the fox too and the two of them chase the fox in search of answers but they find much more than a simple answer: they're the Phoenix Girls and they are magic.
When they are learning the crafts, strange things start to happen in the Dogwood and kids start to disappear and fearing that the one being it is Penny estranged father, Penny and Zoe need all the magic to save the kids and Dogwood.
I adore it. It was a mix of horror (very smooth), mystery and magic. I felt sorry for Penny because she was in a rough spot but she gets to be part of something ancient and do magic! It definitely is a great read for kids (and everybody who likes magic). I want to read more about it.
Posted March 16, 2013
No text was provided for this review.