Rated Reads


by N.M. Browne

Rated: Moderate

Rej’s and Donna’s lives couldn’t be more different. Rej is a comber, living a precarious life under the streets in semi-darkness. Donna is a scribe and an “oppidan,” sworn to a life of humility and deprivation in the land Above. But they have one critical thing in common, and when a murder in the combes brings Rej into the light, these two teens will soon be deep in a plot where dragons and poisons are real weapons, and it will be up to them to discover the secret of the Basilisk.

I picked this one up because I was interested in the idea of people living underground, and I think Browne did create an intriguing culture. The world itself is fairly well thought out, and I even like the general plot. But for some reason, this one just never grabbed me. I was never gripped enough to be dying to pick it up, and it took me way longer to read than it should have. I think sometimes I was annoyed by the formality of the dialogue and narration as well as the constant use of invented cuss words. I appreciated that things wrapped themselves up without needing a sequel (although I would’ve liked more), and the violence in the story made the tension more real, but I just wasn’t completely along for the ride this time. Maybe I wanted the relationship between Rej and Donna to be fleshed out more, because the fantastical ideas of the plot really were inventive.

You can’t win them all, I guess.

Rated: Moderate for language, violence and a not-graphic teen rape (in which the teen is drugged first)

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Basilisk
  • by N.M. Browne
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: