StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce VS. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Judged by Ashley of Book Labyrinth
This had to be a hard bracket to judge, and I don't envy Ashley her job. Two very different books were matched up here, one a engaging historical novel and the other a unique fantasy with excellent world-building. But only one can make it out. Which one would it be?
Here's what Judge Ashley had to say about the process:
"This was a tough decision because the books are so different. An incredibly fun cat-burglar fantasy tale versus a heart wrenching historical. They’re so dissimilar that it’s tough to judge them against each other. When it came down to it I asked myself “Which book, of the two, would you say that people have to read?” The answer was clear."Would your clear answer be the same? It is if you picked the winner as...Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner! I have to say I'm happy for this book. As I mentioned in the announcement posts for the last series, I recently finished it and loved it. But I must say I'm disappointed to see StarCrossed go. But, don't count it out yet. We do have that Round 4 surprise coming up...
And so Threads and Flames moves on to Series 3, where it will meet Song of the Sparrow head on in Bracket 20.
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman VS. John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles
Judged by Mariah of A Reader's Adventure
Mariah is one of our returning judges this year, and we're so happy to have her back. She also had a interesting bracket to judge with a more lighter middle grade-ish time travel book (that I highly admire) pitched against a unique contemporary story. Even with her veteran judging experience, Judge Mariah had a hard time choosing:
"So as you can see this was a really hard decision, and ultimately came down to which book held more surprises throughout it, as well as which book kept me the most captivated."So which book was more surprising and captivating. In a surprising turn of events (for me at least) the winner is...Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman! I'm happy to see this one win another round, and I am also pleasantly surprised, since I didn't expect this book to go this far.
Stork by Wendy Delsol VS. The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
Judged by Stormi from Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and Cade from Braintasia Books
Our judges this round included a newcomer (Cade) and another veteran judge from last year (Stormi). Together they teamed up to judge a pair of evenly-matched fantasies. Just like last time, this was the bracket I was most nervous about, since The Hollow Kingdom easily fits in my Top 10 favorite books. But what would the judges think?
Judge Stormi had this to say about the process:
"So as I read these two books I had to go with the book that held the most appeal to me. The one that had a interesting storyline. I went with the one that held my attention and made me care more about the characters in the book. "Judge Cade added that they picked the winner:
"Because of its original concept, general readability, and totally awesome main character..."And which book made it out in one piece? The winner is...Stork by Wendy Delsol! So although I'm disappointed to see The Hollow Kingdom go, it sounds like I need to read Stork ASAP. :) Stork will move forward in the battle, heading up against City of Masks in Bracket 21 of the next series.
And as they say, that's all she wrote for Series 2. Don't forget to click through the links to read the full (and awesome) judges' posts. I only pull a tiny snippet of their thoughts for these roundups, so if this is all you're reading, you're missing half the fun! Series 3 judges are already underway with their judging, with decisions (hopefully) being made by Saturday. So keep an eye out for those in the coming week or so.
And if you're tired of being a spectator and want to have some say in the battle, definitely come back tomorrow to see the surprise twist in store. Oh, and check out the Reader's Choice Awards currently going on with our Goodreads group. More fun stuff coming your way with those in the next few weeks as well.
Viva la Book Battle!