The premise is intriguing, and financiers always make excellent bad guys, but quite frankly the necromancy is a bit confusing and probably unnecessaryThe premise is intriguing, and financiers always make excellent bad guys, but quite frankly the necromancy is a bit confusing and probably unnecessary. The rivalry and conflict between the scientists had more than enough potential....more
The Spiderwick Chronicles sat on my shelf for quite a while before I got around to reading them. Once I did, I realized that I was missing out on theThe Spiderwick Chronicles sat on my shelf for quite a while before I got around to reading them. Once I did, I realized that I was missing out on the magic and fun of Tony DeTerlizzi.
Today I read Kenny & the Dragon -- a heartwarming story about friendship with the time tested lessons of not judging someone until you actually get to know him or her and being true to yourself woven in nicely. There is adventure and the tiniest bit of romance, with some lovely literary references sprinkled in for good measure.
A wonderful book to read out loud to kids. Be sure to show them the drawings. With any luck, by the time they reach the end, they will want to be a bit more like Kenny....more
Fans of Tamora Pierce's Immortals series and Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles should enjoy The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Elisa is one of GodFans of Tamora Pierce's Immortals series and Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles should enjoy The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Elisa is one of God's chosen (and while the religion bears a certain resemblance to Christianity, it is unique to this story), marked by a gem called a godstone in her navel. The bearers of godstones are historically destined for great service, but as the younger, overweight, not as pretty sister, Elisa finds it hard to believe that she could be farther from such a destiny.
At sixteen, she is married off to the king of a neighboring land as part of an alliance. Even in this case, Elisa is unsure why she is chosen rather than her sister. After only a few steps outside of her sheltered life, however, Elisa begins to prove her mettle, and as her story progresses, she finds herself and her purpose. It is a wonderful evolution to watch.
And Elisa is not the only one who grows and changes. Her surrounding and supporting cast does as well. She learns about the ladies who have taken care of her all her life; strangers become allies; enemies become friends.
Yes, the story of the awkward girl who comes into her own and figures out that being different can be a grand and glorious thing has been told many times, but Carson tells it well and adds her own twists and unique angle. Besides, can awkward girls (of any age) ever read too many encouraging stories?...more
This book was one of my Readercon purchases, and it is my first visit to the realm of the short story in a while. It makes me want to pull out all ofThis book was one of my Readercon purchases, and it is my first visit to the realm of the short story in a while. It makes me want to pull out all of the other anthologies I have been meaning to read, especially those related to fairy tales. Perhaps even more dangerous is the list of reading recommendations at the end of the book and those contained within the author bios at the end of each story.
Some of the villains I recognized and others I did not, but I enjoyed each of their stories and perhaps learned a thing or two about perspective in the process.
My absolute favorite was the origin story for the witch living in the gingerbread house in Hansel & Gretel. There was no hint of villainy until the very end, and then suddenly everything came together in the way that elegant, brilliant short stories do....more
First off, if you have not read the author's previous "study" trilogy -- Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study -- do not, I repeat, do NOT read thFirst off, if you have not read the author's previous "study" trilogy -- Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study -- do not, I repeat, do NOT read this book. The references to past events and characters and relationships are so prevalent that I got the feeling that I was missing out on at least half of the story. Even so, it is an entertaining read, at least until the author throws in one too many plot twists about seventy-five pages from the end. It is as if she is worried about not having enough material for three books and feels the need to get all threads started in the first book so that you are almost obligated to read the next.
If you want to read an adventure story with a young female protagonist who doesn't think she has enough magic, check out books by Tamora Pierce. She does it far better....more
There are spoilers in here for those who have not read the books or seen any of the film productions.
30 January 2011 - So far so good. At first I wasThere are spoilers in here for those who have not read the books or seen any of the film productions.
30 January 2011 - So far so good. At first I was wary of this whole "reading order" idea, but as soon as I read The Magician's Nephew, which is about the creation of Narnia, I understood. (The religious themes and undertones which have always eluded me are much clearer as well.) I finished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe last night and am about to start The Horse and His Boy.
Now that I look at it, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe should probably be The Wardrobe, the Witch and the Lion as Lucy discovers the wardrobe first, then Edmund meets the witch, and only when they are all in Narnia do they (and the reader) meet Aslan the lion.
The first time I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was in second grade, and I remember the book being incredibly beautiful and magical and heartbreaking. I wanted to have tea with Lucy and Mr. Tumnus. I despised Edumund for his allegiance to the witch and wasn't nearly as willing to forgive him as his siblings were. And my heart broke when the witch killed Aslan. I remember seeing it all so clearly in my imagination.
This time around, however, I had to work harder to conjur the images. The story seemed so much simpler (not to mention shorter). I can't decide if it is a factor of growing up (or at least getting older) or a result of knowing the story fairly well already....more
I wish that this book (and probably the whole series, but I am only just about to start book two) had been around when I was ten or twelve or thirteenI wish that this book (and probably the whole series, but I am only just about to start book two) had been around when I was ten or twelve or thirteen.
A girl who can talk to and commune with horses and learns that she can talk to other creatures in the same way and comes into her own and gains a sense of self as she learns about her talent? I would have devoured the book at least as quickly as I did now, if not more so. It's one of those books that left me feeling all warm and fuzzy and good inside when I reached the last page. So satisfying.
Girls who love horses and creatures and magic and adventure should read this book....more
I had picked this book up and put it down several times in the store before I finally took it home and started reading, but I am so glad that I did.
ThI had picked this book up and put it down several times in the store before I finally took it home and started reading, but I am so glad that I did.
The book is shelved in the "young readers" section, but the story and the characters are complex and interesting enough to hold the attention of older kids (if they are willing to admit that they still like fairies and magic and enchanted places and adventure) and adults.
The storytelling is genuinely creative, and would be excellent read aloud material for parents to share.
In a word, captivating. I am now preparing to start book four....more
For some reason I thought that this book was separate from the epic Sword of Truth saga, and arguably it is in the sense the the primary characters inFor some reason I thought that this book was separate from the epic Sword of Truth saga, and arguably it is in the sense the the primary characters in the previous books play secondary, offstage roles for the majority of this installment.
Not having read the previous six, and not planning to read the subsequent four, I can't help wondering if this book is meant to be a sort of transition or intermission to give the author time to figure out what really comes next.
I'm not much for the epic fantasy sagas, and if this book is representative of the series as a whole or even the sub-genre, it is a good reminder of why.
It takes the author more than thirty pages to say that two characters escaped the palace. And it was not even a particularly hair-raising escape.
Lots of repetition and lots of words to say not very much made the book an easy, if somewhat tedious, read.
On the bright side, the ending (the last two chapters or so) was quite satisfying, mostly because so much happened and came together in such a short period of time, in comparison to the previous seven hundred pages.
I'm quite sure that it sets the stage nicely for the next book, but I have too much else to read to find out....more