Scheme by Jennifer Sommersby

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I loved the magical world that Jennifer Sommersby has created in this series! She does a great job of world-building, and this is a story that easily sucks you right into the environment.

The story picks up where Book 1, Sleight ends. It is time for the three AVRAKEDAVRA books to be destroyed. The journey is not nearly as easy as Genevieve and Henry would like though! They encounter new friends that they need to partner with to help them destroy the books. I really enjoyed these additional characters in the story. I thought that they were nice additions and offered a great expansion to the world-building.

Genevieve and Henry both realize that they have struggles to overcome, even though they are now heirs to the AVRAKEDAVRA gifts. I liked that there was this dangerous journey to destroy the books that created the outward, physical struggle for the main characters. At the same time, they were individually trying to understand and overcome their own internal concerns about family and relationships.

The characters are just as wonderful as they were in book one. I enjoyed the additional character growth that both Genevieve and Henry go through as the story progresses. Genevieve is excellent as delivering these lovely cutting comments and I loved each time she dished one out.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I liked the world and the characters. The plot was fun, and it was a nice follow-up to book 1.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Scheme for readers that like a magical fantasy. I would highly recommend that readers read book 1 in this series, Sleight, before jumping into this book. While there is a small reintroduction to the characters and the story at the beginning of Scheme, I think you would find the book much more enjoyable if you read the first book before starting this one. If you haven’t read book 1, I have a bit of a synopsis farther down in this review.

Where to Find This Book:

Scheme by Jennifer Sommersby is available at these sites.

Bookshop | Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | ibooks | Kobo | TBD

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The key to good is found in truth.

Genevieve may have left the circus behind in Oregon, but there is plenty of show still to come.

When she and Henry land in France, they are whisked away to Croix-Mare, the home of Henry’s grandfather, Nutesh, where they will prepare for a journey they never could’ve imagined. Now that they have all three AVRAKEDAVRA texts—Life, Death, and Memory—the books must be destroyed in the Undoing.

However, it’s not as simple as taking the books to their birthplace in Babylon and setting them alight. Genevieve and Henry must rely on unexpected allies as they embark on a harrowing global search to acquire pieces necessary to complete the Undoing. They’re offered cover and protection by La Vérité, the secret network of followers devoted to the message of the AVRAKEDAVRA, who, not surprisingly, are found under the big top—because no one does underground quite like the circus.

But loyalties among the magical community are fragile. Genevieve, still grieving the loss of her mother, now struggles to control the new AVRAKEDAVRA-bestowed gifts, and with mounting threats to her psyche and body, she clings mightily to the promise of a brighter future once this is over—if they can survive it. And Henry, broken by his father’s treachery but entranced by the heartwarming connection his family’s text has granted him, grapples with the fact that once they succeed in destroying the books, he’ll lose the only family he has left.

Together, our two young heirs will learn that when hope has abandoned us, the overwhelming love of friendship and family is all the magic we need.

Just the Facts:

Scheme by Jennifer Sommersby
Series: AVRA-K (Avrakedavra), Book 2
Page Count: 456 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony
Pub Date: April 21, 2020

Book 1 – Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby

Delia smiles at the shadow only she sees—
Something slams into her.
The lyra whirls like a half-dollar spinning on its edge.
My mother is thrown backward.
And she falls.

Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players Company, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love Geni never questions. In a world of performers who astonish and amaze on a daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.

Still reeling from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also adjusting to the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark and dangerous history. And suddenly Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to be able to see.

As the visions around her grow stronger, Geni isn’t sure who she can trust. Even worse, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.

Just the Facts:

Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby
Series: AVRA-K (Avrakedavra), Book 1
Page Count: 424 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony
Pub Date: April 24, 2018

Where to Find This Book:

Bookshop | Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | ibooks | Kobo | TBD

Really, though, who am I? How about a list?
We Virgos tend to like lists:

· Writer, copy/line editor Plumfield Editing

· I reside in the Great White North, though the webbed feet prove that I originate from Portland, Oregon. Last U.S. address was Los Angeles. No, I do not miss the traffic. (Although Vancouver is #2 in North America for Worst Traffic Ever.) I do miss California’s awesome beaches.

· I write under the pen name Eliza Gordon for non-YA titles — romantic comedies and Happily Ever Afters. (These books are NOT for kids. Mature themes, adult language, super-inappropriate jokes that will make you giggle. Well, I hope.)

· Member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)

· Member of the eight-person fiction cohort of the 2007 Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University

· Studied copy and substantive editing (2005-06) at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. As a writer, I have worked with and studied the practices of some of the best editors in the publishing industry. #luckyJenn

· Studied English, political science, and criminology via Washington State University

· I’m called Mom by three brilliant babies.

· I will never join the PTA or PAC, so please, don’t ask. I also don’t do candle, jewelry, or clothing parties. Thanks, though. I’m sure the finger sandwiches are delicious.

· I used to do all of my first-draft writing in the car, at night, in the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop. These days I write where it’s quietest — home, or my local coffee shop.

· I buy a lot of books. A LOT. No, seriously. I have a problem.

· I am a soundtrack/movie score JUNKIE. Hans Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat and Sonya Belousova and the Greyson-William brothers and Ramin Djawadi … and HARRY ESCOTT. *swoon* He followed me back on Twitter and I almost died. Almost. If you ever need movie score recommendations, I AM YOUR PERSON.

· I am obsessed with elephants and otters. I’d like to smooch one of each someday.

· Cat person. The household is ruled by an overweight tuxedo cat named Nuit and her very energetic little sister, Rosie Cotton (named after Samwise Gamgee’s wife from Lord of the Rings).

· I love coffee, Shakespeare (!!!), Joan of Arc, most things pastry, MOVIES (oh man I love movies so much), the Golden Rule, and bloody good writing.

· I am Team Superman all the way. I wear the same outfit every day: a Superman T-shirt and jeans, and I have a very cool Superman tattoo inspired by the artwork of comic book artist Jim Lee.

· I adore Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit — and I ship Kili + Tauriel forever, and I don’t care if Tauriel wasn’t in original Hobbit story. ❤ #Aragon #Thorin #Kili #Fili

· I now have five tattoos, including the Dwarvish script from Kili’s rune stone (from Desolation of Smaug). I waited until my 30s to get my first tattoo, just to be sure I wouldn’t regret it.

· Muses help me write — I have many. I love movie stars!

· I hate thunderstorms, paperwork, people lacking humility, lazy writers with a sense of entitlement, and going to the dentist. Oh, and bad drivers. THE BAD DRIVERS TURN ME INTO A RAGE STORM OF CALAMITOUS DOOM.

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I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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