October Releases

Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Review: Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Lizzy Speare #1) by Ally Malinenko

Author: Ally Malinenko
Series: Lizzy Speare
Number in Series: 1
Format: PDF
Release Date: September 10, 2012
Pages: 345
Publisher: Antenna Books
Genre: Middle Grade/Urban Fantasy

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Synopsis from Goodreads


…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)

Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters—in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.


     Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is a story about a smart girl named Lizzy. Lizzy is celebrating her birthday with her dad. Things are going very well until there is a knock at the door. That one knock will change Lizzy forever. Lizzy father has now disappeared and it is up to her and some out-of-this-world characters to rescue him. Lizzy Is a brilliant writer and even she couldn't have come up with something this big.

     What a wonderful read this was. I don't usually read a lot of Childrens'/Middle grade books, but I am happy at jumped at the opportunity to read this. The story was so full of adventure and thrills. I loved the amount of imagination Malinenko put into this story. It was brilliant. Our protagonist, Elizabeth Speare is your average twelve year old. But for a 12 year old, she was quite wise beyond her years and very strong. When her father goes missing, she doesn't care what she has to do to find him even if that means she has to travel to a different realm to find him. Her and her best friend Sammy are also kidnapped and together they find out some crazy things. Biggest one being that she is the last descendant of William Shakespeare.

     Now that may sound like amazing news being related to one of the world's greatest literary minds. But, sadly, Lizzy's lineage comes with a 400 year grudge. She is being stalked by a man named Dmitri Marlowe, last descendant of Christopher Marlowe, old friend-turned-enemy of Shakespeare's. Lizzy finds out through her muse, Jonathan, about Marlowe and what he wants. He believes that Shakespeare's fame and glory belongs to him and his family and he going to rectify that problem.

    I loved Lizzy and Sammy. They were quite the duo. Sammy always has Lizzy's back even when she is as stubborn as a mule. I loved all the characters in this book. They all such vast personalities and were a bit nutty, but it made me love them more. I especially loved Jonanthan, Lizzy's muse. He could be a bit much and there were times I wanted to hit him, but I loved how eccentric he was. There are times you do question whether he is a good guy or not though. I even enjoyed Marlowe. He was quite unpredictable. I won't lie, I did understand his frustration, well a little bit. There is definitely more we don't know yet. It must be really big because 400 years is a long time to hold onto a grudge. The man was just full of hate and pure old jealousy. But I can't wait to uncover what it is. 

     This is a great story for kids and adults alike. It takes all the great literary icons we love and gives them such a whimsical twist. I think this would be a great way for kids to learn about who they were. This book was fun and suspenseful. It kept me on my toes for sure. I loved the creativity in this book. Malinenko not only added a lot of mystery and backstory for Lizzy, but for Shakespeare and Marlowe as well. I can't wait to see where Malinenko takes this story especially given the ending. Definitely check this out.



*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2013!
BCC's Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Challenge 2013!


About Ally Malinenko

Ally Malinenko, a self-proclaimed Bardolator, took her first pilgrimage to Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 and hasn’t been the same since. Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb is her first children's book. Her poetry book, The Wanting Bone, was published by Six Gallery Press. She blogs at Ally lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

Follow Ally Malinenko here:
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1 comment:

  1. Great review Diana! I don't read many childrens/middle school aged books, but this one does sound like a great read. :-) I'll definitely have to keep my eye out for this one and check it out. :-D


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