Ancient, Strange, and Lovely by Susan Fletcher

As a kid, I loved Susan Fletcher’s “Dragon’s Milk” books, so I was pleased to see that she’d revisited the series in her newest novel.  The books tell complete stories and can be read in any order, but this one is definitely the last chronologically; it’s set in the near future, which means that in […]


The Indigo King by James Owen

Two Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, John and Jack–better known to history as Tolkien and Lewis–have just discovered a message in a medieval manuscript . . . signed by their friend Hugo Dyson. Then Hugo accidentally walks through a mystic doorway and apparently changes history. Suddenly England is a wasteland ruled by dark forces, and […]


Here, There Be Dragons by James Owen

It’s a dark and stormy night in 1917, and a kindly Oxford professor has just been murdered. Three young men–John, Jack, and Charles–all end up at professor’s home, where they meet a strange old man who tells them that they are destined to be the new caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica: an atlas of the […]


Evernight by Claudia Grey

Bianca’s parents have taken jobs teaching at Evernight Academy, a very rich and very exclusive boarding school that most teenagers couldn’t even hope to attend. They think it’s a great opportunity for her to come along with them. But she hates it–the campus is miles away from civilization, the buildings are old and creepy, and […]


Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Micah has been a compulsive liar all her life. Convincing her classmates that her father is a drug-dealer or her principal that she is a hermaphrodite is nothing to her. But when her secret boyfriend Zach is brutally murdered and all the school suspects her, Micah finally wants to stop lying. “I will tell you […]


News: A New Hope

Once again, Refracted Light has experienced an upgrade! Check out the sidebar for our new and expanded indexes of reviews, as well as our tagging system. Most importantly, it is now no longer necessary to register with the website to post comments, as we have new and hopefully superior spam-guarding software. (We would like to say a big “Do svidaniya, tovarisch!” to our charming Russian spammer, and a thankful “Ciao, bella!” to our Italian one. It’s been great, you’ve been great, we’ll always have Paris, but it’s time to move on. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.)


Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Astrid’s a normal American teenager who has two problems: one, her crazy mother is always talking about how unicorns were not only real, but evil, venomous monsters that killed multitudes until Astrid’s ancestors hunted them to extinction. And two, she’s been peer-pressured into dating a sleazy boy she doesn’t like. Then one night when Astrid’s […]


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games turns on a concept that’s so intriguing, it’s easy to forget how disturbing it is — which is quite an accomplishment, all things considered. In a futuristic dystopia, the government has created a means of suppression that’s half “Survivor”, half gladiator games, in which 24 contestants, chosen by lottery from the society’s […]


The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Becket

A fun idea gets a mediocre treatment in this fantasy-adventure-meets-19th-century-manners novel. The author sets his story — involving several central characters trying to stay one step ahead of the bad guys so that the bad guys can’t destroy the world — in a milieu which, he hopes, invokes the England of Austen and Bronte. Ivy, […]


Graceling by Kristin Cashore

This is definitely one of those “in a world where” books, and I liked the initial concept. Katsa lives in a world where a few people, known as Gracelings, are born with varied special powers or abilities. These Gracelings are recognized by their specially-colored eyes, and in most countries become the personal property of the […]