Stacks Image 125
Stacks Image 128
Stacks Image 131

REVIEWS



Stacks Image 109
Stacks Image 111



TITLE INFORMATION


FIFTH CHRONICLES OF ILLUMINATION
Frenemies
C.A. Pack
Manuscript (320 pp.)


BOOK REVIEW

This YA fantasy sequel finds sweetheart protagonists solving an ancient puzzle, unaware that a friend intends to betray their magical library. Recent high school graduates Johanna Charette and Jackson Roth are co-curators of the Library of Illumination. Theirs is one of a dozen libraries in the Illumini System that have magical properties, such as the contents of an open book literally springing to life. In their last epic adventure, the pair helped defeat interdimensional tyrant Nero 51. Now, Jackson is taking courses at Cranford University while Johanna teaches other members of the Roth clan how to run the library. Moving library fixtures one day, the curators find a wooden puzzle. With the help of Ryden Simmdry, Johanna’s father and overseer of the Libraries of Illumination, they open the puzzle and obtain a key. According to the oracle at the Library of Origination, the key unlocks the Re Transfigurator, “a device that transforms reality into something it is not.” Ryden then teaches Johanna a chant to focus her mind while telepathically scanning each dimension’s library for the device. And yet, perhaps these ancient artifacts have remained on separate worlds for a reason. Meanwhile, Jackson’s duplicitous friend Logan Elliott prepares to expose the Library of Illumination and jump-start his reporting career. Pack keeps her series fresh by following her grand prior installment with a back-to-basics adventure. Fans will be glad to reunite with characters like Pru Tellerence (Johanna’s mom) and revisit fanciful worlds such as Comedia and Mysteriose. The chemistry between Johanna and Jackson is playful but respectful. When she says, “Hold me as tightly as you can. I need full surface contact,” he replies, “Why can’t you ask me for that at home when we’re alone?” But Logan is grossly manipulative, particularly of Jackson’s sister, Ava. He parlays her crush on him into access to the library, and from there he abandons all journalistic
integrity for his internet program, The Elliott Report. The curators have plenty of experience battling exotic baddies—including Ailill Caomhánach, the first Master of the Libraries—but their next fight may be against public opinion.

This fantasy series installment maintains excitement through charming protagonists and ever evolving challenges.

EXCERPTING POLICIES

Please review Kirkus Media’s excerpting policies before publishing any portion of this review online or in print for any use. To learn about proper attribution and to ensure your use is in compliance with our guidelines, we invite you to visit http://www.kirkusreviews.com/indieexcerpts.




Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 2600 Via Fortuna Suite 130 Austin, TX 78746
indie@kirkusreviews.com


Stacks Image 93
Stacks Image 103



TITLE INFORMATION

FOURTH CHRONICLES OF ILLUMINATION
C. A. Pack Artiqua Press (312 pp.) April 3, 2018

BOOK REVIEW


This latest installment of a YA saga places teen Librarians in the ultimate battle against sinister forces.
Eighteen-year-old Johanna Charette and 17-year-old Jackson Roth are co-curators of the Library of Illumination, where characters from books come to life. Their workplace is part of an interdimensional system of 13 Libraries, currently under siege by the militant Nero 51 of the realm Terroria. The tentacled dictator has invaded the realms of Mysteriose, Romantica, and Juvenilia (among others) to bring every Library under his bland control. His plan includes forcing the citizenry of these worlds into work camps and kidnapping the curators. But when he captures Johanna, he also grabs Cameron Thorne, dean of English at Cranford University, and Ophelia, a white kitten. On Earth (Fantasia), Jackson hopes to contact Johanna by writing to her in her magical diary. He’s consumed with worry for her and skips out on the Exeter High senior prom, which darkens the fates of his girlfriend, Emily Brent, and his friends Logan Elliott and Cassie Turner. Meanwhile, the hu*bots of Adventura must prevent solar storms from destroying their planet. Later, Master Ryden Simmdry and Pru Tellerence, both deans of the Prime Realm, reveal a startling secret that may help Johanna survive the final battle with the time-hopping Nero 51. In this epic excursion across the Illuminated worlds, Pack (Third Chronicles of Illumination, 2017, etc.) chops her story into fine bits—sometimes a single paragraph long—to cover the action on all fronts. Even her sharpest fans may need to reference the character index in the novel’s rear—though Thor, God of Thunder and Buffalo Bill Cody should need no reintroduction. Amid this detailed, often hectic sci-fi narrative, the plot threads of Pack’s high schoolers remain the most compelling. The Terrorians’ fear of cats is hilarious, but the drama wrought by Logan’s obsession with becoming a successful news intern—and reporting the Library to the world—is exceptional. Longtime readers may miss the intimacy of earlier volumes but should brace themselves for the darkest, most rewarding installment yet.

The complexity deepens in this kaleidoscopic adventure series.


EXCERPTING POLICIES


Please review Kirkus Media’s excerpting policies before publishing any portion of this review online or in print for any use. To learn about proper attribution and to ensure your use is in compliance with our guidelines, we invite you to visit http://www.kirkusreviews.com/indieexcerpts.


Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744 indie@kirkusreviews.com



Image
Stacks Image 107



TITLE INFORMATION

THIRD CHRONICLES OF ILLUMINATION
Library of IlluminationBook Eight
C. A. Pack
Artiqua Press


BOOK REVIEW

In the latest volume of Pack’s (Becoming Johanna, 2016, etc.) YA fantasy series, curators Johanna and Jackson try to
stave off a Terrorian invasion of the interdimensional library system.

Books within the Library of Illumination come to life—literally. Eighteen-year-old Johanna Charette and her boyfriend, 17-year-old Jackson Roth, are co-curators of the library, which they recently learned is part of an interdimensional system of libraries connected through portals. One of the connected realms, Terroria, is home to the power-hungry Nero 51, who wants to storm the other realms—Romantica, Juvenilia, and Fantasia (Earth) among them—to destroy all the books and steal their knowledge. Thankfully, the overseers, who manage the libraries, have sealed the portals and trapped Nero 51 between realms. Unfortunately, the Terrorian is in contact with a shape-shifting Mysterian named Odyon, who covets the Book of Myrrdin (Merlin). If this weren’t trouble enough, Johanna and Jackson are continually working together in the library. Their relationship has grown fraught, and though Jackson wants to plan for their future together in college, his penchant for sarcasm eventually leads to a cooling-off period with Johanna. Meanwhile, the various realms prepare for a Terrorian attack. In this third volume of the series, Pack shows readers the various realms, all different from one another. Those on Juvenilia “live to age fifteen and are then reincarnated as three-year-olds,” while those on Adventura are hu*bots, beings who combine biological and technological components. We also learn about the Library of Origination on Lumina, where an oracular gemstone helps the overseers, as Master Ryden Simmdry puts it, “align…thoughts and remove distractions” so that the “way to resolve a particular problem soon becomes clear.” As Pack creatively animates the various realms, the relationship between her two protagonists maintains the novel’s bittersweet tone. Johanna and Jackson are beautifully believable, especially as they drift apart. Everything combusts in a cliffhanger finale.

Pack’s teen curators grow a bit wiser, and more lovable, in this latest volume.

EXCERPTING POLICIES

Please review Kirkus Media’s excerpting policies before publishing any portion of this review online or in print for any use. To learn about proper attribution and to ensure your use is in compliance with our guidelines, we invite you to visit http://www.kirkusreviews.com/indieexcerpts.


Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744
indie@kirkusreviews.com


Stacks Image 50
Stacks Image 51

Stacks Image 52
Stacks Image 53

Stacks Image 54
Stacks Image 55

Stacks Image 56

Stacks Image 57
Stacks Image 58

Stacks Image 59
Stacks Image 60

Stacks Image 61
Stacks Image 62
Stacks Image 63

Stacks Image 64
Stacks Image 65
Stacks Image 66
Stacks Image 67

Stacks Image 68
Stacks Image 69
Stacks Image 70

Stacks Image 71
Stacks Image 72

Stacks Image 73
Stacks Image 74
Stacks Image 75
Stacks Image 76
Stacks Image 77


Stacks Image 78
Stacks Image 79
Stacks Image 80

Stacks Image 81
Stacks Image 82

© 2008-2021 CAROL PACK Contact Me