Monday, May 9, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Nightshade City


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday  

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 


Nightshade City
by Hilary Wagner


Goodreads Blurb:

Lose yourself in NIGHTSHADE CITY, a fantasy adventure by a talented new novelist featuring a memorable cast of rats both heroic and villainous in an exciting tale of intrigue and adventure.Deep beneath Trillium City, a modern metropolis, lies the Catacombs, a kingdom of rats of extraordinary intelligence and ability. The once peaceful and democratic colony has become a harsh dictatorship ruled by the High Minister Kildeer and his henchman, Billycan, who runs the Kill Army and collects weekly Stipend from the terrified subjects. The two of them rule with iron fists. With most of the adult rats wiped out in Killdeer's Bloody Coup and the subsequent great flood, orphaned young male rats are forced into the army and the females into servitude or worse. But change is coming. . . .


Two orphan brothers, Vincent and Victor Nightshade, sons of a hero killed in the Bloody Coup, manage to escape from the Kill Army and meet up with Juniper Belancourt, leader of a rebel group seeking to overthrow their oppressors and restore peace and democracy in a new city. The brothers are quickly caught up in Juniper's cause: "We survive by cover of night. We live in the shadows, waiting for our redemption! Our name must symbolize our burning spirit. . . . Tonight and forever, we are Nightshade City!"

Juniper's plans are complicated by many factors. His lovely young niece Clover has been picked by Killdeer to be his next Chosen One, so the rebels and their allies the Earthworms must work fast to save her. Can the rebels locate their enemies' War Room? Can Juniper's former love, now holding a position in Killdeer's Ministry, be trusted? Will the rebels be able to execute their plans without the aid of a young Topsider (human)? And how will Vincent and Victor fare in battle will they honor their father's legacy of courage?

NIGHTSHADE CITY is rich with memorable characters: Vincent, who comes of age in this time of change; his worshipful younger brother, Victor; beautiful, intelligent Clover; Mother Gallo, a canny survivor who discovers her lost love only to risk losing him again; the charismatic Juniper, a kind and courageous leader whose vision carries the rebels into great danger; Killdeer, a decadent narcissist with surprising depth; and Billycan, a truly demented former lab rat, brilliant, vicious, and Juniper's sworn enemy.

This enthralling animal fantasy, in the classic tradition of Redwall and Watership Down, encompasses timeless themes of honor and loyalty, family ties and lost love, alliances and betrayals. Readers will respond enthusiastically to this surefire page-turner, set in a brilliantly imagined world filled with easy-to-root-for heroes and villains they'll love to hate.


This book is no stranger to most of you. Hilary is part of our blogging circle and her book has been widely celebrated. Even better, The White Assassin (the next in the series) is only 174 days away from its release! So if it's so recent, why is this my MMGM pick of the week?

My three kids have a great time waiting to see which book I'll choose each Monday, and my oldest has been adamant that I need to do an MMGM post on Nightshade City. Last week I was re-reading it (since I planned to surprise the kids with this post), and my 6 year old daughter asked if she could read it. Since books are addictive and I am the queen pusher, I immediately handed over my copy. She read it until bedtime, loving every page.

That's one of the things I love most about this book. My kids are in 1st, 3rd, and 8th grade. My students are in high school. I am an adult. We ALL loved this book! Hilary's characters rock!  Killdeer and Billycan = pure evil. Vincent and Victor and Clover = wonderful heroes. The whole book = Awesome!  

Nightshade City is destined to become a classic, like Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of Nimh


Sheri Larsen has an interview with MG Author Kari Lee Townsend about Samantha Granger today.

*** Others who can be counted on for a great MMGM review each week: ***
Happy Monday!
 

27 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great choice. I don't usually read stories about animals but I loved this one. Can't wait for the sequel.

Melissa said...

Sounds good! Seems really interesting. Thanks for sharing :)

salarsenッ said...

I love Hilary's book! Thanks for sharing such a fantastic review. I linked to you, today. :)

Laura Pauling said...

Just got this in the mail and can't wait to read it. Unfortunately it's going to have to wait in line though. :)

Old Kitty said...

This has been on my TBR list since forever!! I must now get it!! Yay!! Thanks for your fab review!! Take care x

Anne Payne said...

Thanks for the great review! When my oldest son was a toddler I made up a continuing story (orally recited of course) about a mouse named Frank who lived in our house. He grew up to love the Redwall books (collects them now), so I know he will want to read this one. I will be searching out how to get my hands on a copy :)

storyqueen said...

Hilary is such an inspiration! Love her!

Shelley

Hilary Wagner said...

Shannon, what a nice surprise to wakeup to! Thanks so much for having Nightshade City on your blog! Copy edits for Book II, The White Assassin, just got approved! The ARC is going to print! Yay! There is a lot to learn about Billycan in this book!!

I'm so glad you and your kids like the book. :) It's the best feeling ever to be able to share your writing with others and have them actually like it!!!!!

Thanks again!

xoxo -- Hilary

Deb said...

Thank you for this! I will definitely get this one!

p.s. MAJOR oversight in mailing your books out to you and your kids...they will be in the mail today (with an added book, ARC of TROUBLE TWISTERS by Garth Nix, or if you've got that one I can pick another....TITANIC by Gordon Kormon). So sorry about that!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds way cool.

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss shannon! i read miss hilarys book and i loved it! shes gonna send me a arc for the white assassin. i cant wait! :)
miss hilary rocks! rats rule!
...hugs from lenny

Barbara Watson said...

More than anything else you said about this book that makes me want to read it is: it's appeal to every age. And I agree; that's what classics are made of.

Candice said...

I was just going to say that I follow Hilary's blog, but you beat me to it!

Chris Phillips said...

The cover reminds me of Nimh (which I loved growing up.)

Shari said...

Thanks for the review. I want to go get it now. It sounds like one my boys would like.

Kelly said...

I also loved the book. I especially loved the imagery she created with her words. I could totally picture each rat and the surroundings.

Theresa Milstein said...

I've had this book on my list for ages, so how have I failed to buy it yet? I'm sorry, Hilary! I'll remedy this error soon.

Joanne Fritz said...

Loved this book and reviewed it a while back. Good choice, Shannon. That's great that all your kids read it and loved it.

Susanne Drazic said...

I haven't read this one yet. Plan to though. I've heard so many wonderful things about it.

Regina said...

Wonderful choice. Can't wait to read this one.

Jemi Fraser said...

Hilary is AWESOME!! I'm so glad so many people are enjoying her wonderful book!! :)

Michael G-G said...

This is definitely on my "to read" list, Shannon. It's wonderful that it can be read and enjoyed by such a wide range of ages. My kids are 8th, 2nd, and preschool, but the 2nd-grader reads much higher level (Percy Jackson etc.) This sounds right up his alley.

Count me in as your latest follower!

Michael

Solvang Sherrie said...

I haven't read this one but I keep hearing good things about it. With an 8yo girl and an 11 yo boy in my house, I love finding books that appeal to a wide range of readers.

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

YAY for block quoting!!

kathrynjankowski said...

So glad to see Hilary getting more praise. Her book is a great find!

bfav said...

I haven't read this yet but I'm excited to read it. Love Hillary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon and Hilary .. sounds like a fun read for all .. and the goodreads blurb drew me .. let alone your comment Shannon about the whole household being engrossed!

Congratulations and wishing you much success Hilary with this book and the new one .. cheers Hilary

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