Reviews of 2 new Fantasy titles.

Fantasy isn't always about Dragons and wizards. Sometimes it's about a big old Victorian house that you never noticed before...until one day you feel compelled to walk up and knock on the door, or a phone call from a stranger who states that you are the only one who can prevent an otherwise certain death.

"The house at the end of Hope Street", by Menna Van Praag.
For over a hundred years the house has called out to women who were in crisis, and invited them in to stay for up to 99 days. While there the house helps them sort out their problems and hopefully come to a resolution to their problems. The help can take the form of the seemingly magical appearance of items that the women didn't even know they needed. In addition, the walls of the house are covered with photographs of the women who have stayed there in the past, which can speak to you when the circumstances are right. Some of the women in the photographs went on to become famous and respected in their various fields. But sometimes, its the seemingly unknown women who offer the most help. Currently along with the caretaker, there are 3 women staying at the house, all of whom have very different problems. The author doles out their stories piece by piece, enticing you to read further to uncover their secrets and wonder how the house can possibly help them. It is in a way like a modern-day fairy tale where the damsels in distress save themselves.

"Caller unknown", by Jennifer Brozek.
Karen Wilson is a 911 operator in the town of Kendrick. One day she receives a distress call on her personal phone, which displays the caller as "unknown". For some reason Karen picks up the call and hears a man's voice asking for her help. He says someone is going to die unless she intercedes. Of course, Karen can't help but check it out for herself. It turns out that beneath it's ordinary facade, the city of Kendrick teems with a magical presence. A number of competing factions vie for control and Karen has just stepped right into the middle of their war.
She thinks she can tell the good guys from the bad guys, but everyone seems to have a secret agenda that they decline to share. Can a non-magical outsider fix the town's rift or will she be swept away as the new regime takes over? It's clear that Karen will be back in subsequent sequels to continue her fight, so stay tuned!

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