StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce VS. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kristen Miller
Judged by Fantasylover from A Fangirl's Mind and Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century
I'll admit I had quite an interest in seeing how this bracket turned out. I enjoyed once of Elizabeth Bunce's earlier books, and Kiki Strike is one of my favorite middle grade books (although the second one is better). So which one would come out on top?
Here's what Judge Kristen had to say about the winner:
"I absolutely fell in love with this book. The writing is fantastic and the author does a excellent job of drawing you into the story quickly and reveals a little of Digger's past slowly over the course of the book. The characters were unique and intriguing, especially the bad guys. I really remembered their names even if the characters were minor. The plot itself twisted and turned and really widened into this huge plot that made me glad to find out that this is a series."And Fantasylover adds:
"But on the whole, this book is fantastic and I don't know why it didn't become more popular. It has a great fantasy world-building that I adore, the writing is fantastic, there's a great sense of humor to it, it explores shades of gray, there are secrets and twists that I wasn't expecting as well as political intrigue and a sense that something big is coming."Which book are the talking about? The winner is...StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce! So I'll admit I was a tiny bit disappointed to see Kiki go, but I haven't read StarCrossed yet. If it's that good, I think it needs to go to the top of my TBR list.
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher VS. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Judged by Erika of Moonlight Book Reviews and Jessica from Nisaba Be Praised
This was another bracket I had my eye on. I recently finished Threads and Flames myself and really enjoyed it. And while I hadn't yet read Whale Talk, the judges from Round 1 who did read it highly praised its virtues. So which one did the judges pick?
Judge Erika had this to say:
"We decided on [the winner] for it had the most emotional intensity and a story we thought needed to be told. I actually cried during the novel and as we know that doesn't happen often. I wish it was required that everyone read this book!"And Judge Jessica adds:
"It's a bit unfortunate that Erika and I have similar tastes in books, really, because it meant that [one book] was an underdog from the start. Besides identifying more with [one book], however, I felt that [the other]...is a bit more well known. [The winner] needs more attention than it's received, and that's why we've chosen it to move on."
Both emotionally charged books, so which one was the one who came out on top. Perhaps you already guessed, but the winner is...Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner! My sentiments are pretty much the same about Threads and Flames, so I'm happy to see it move on. Sounds like Whale Talk was very good too, so maybe it's due for a resurrection in Round 4? We'll have to wait and see...
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce and Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner will both be moving on to Bracket 16 in Series 2, where they will go head to head with each other.
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer VS. Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman
Judged by Raspberry and Trackgeek of Two and A Half Booklovers
Have I mentioned how many of these brackets I was anxiously watching. Again, one of my favorite books (City of Masks) coming up against a book I've heard nothing but praises about. These two were pretty evenly matched. Two great adventure stories, one a historical fantasy, and one a historical... uh... historical. This bracket was also unique in our judging pairs, with the husband and wife from Two and A Half Booklovers teaming up to judge the two books. So which did they pick?
"It was incredibly difficult - as you can see, both books frequently got similar grades in each category. However, one was slightly better overall..."Sounds like a difficult choice! So which one slightly edged out over the other? The winner is...Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman!So I'm happy with the result, and then yet again, sad to see Bloody Jack go. Perhaps that's another book that will reappear later on...
If you'd like to see what final category made City of Masks land on top, make sure you click through to read the full post. And check out all the other judges' posts too. There's some great writings out there, and you might find a new favorite blog.
More decisions coming tomorrow!