After surviving a terrorist bombing, high school student Jane is no longer content to sit on the sidelines and sleepwalk through life. She and a small...moreAfter surviving a terrorist bombing, high school student Jane is no longer content to sit on the sidelines and sleepwalk through life. She and a small band of friends use art and love to try and wake up the small town where they live.(less)
For 500 years, the last remnants of humanity have been traveling aboard the starship Asherah, living their lives under the guidance of the Captain and...moreFor 500 years, the last remnants of humanity have been traveling aboard the starship Asherah, living their lives under the guidance of the Captain and the Council and passing on their traditions. Their destination is a tiny, distant planet they call Zehava, a planet that may or may not be inhabitable.
Terra is part of the last generation to come of age aboard the ancient spacecraft. Soon, the Asherah will reach Zehava and all the colonists will begin new lives on the planet’s surface, just as their ancestors intended when they abandoned Earth generations ago. Or at least, that’s what the Captain and the Council have told them.
But as Terra leaves her childhood behind her, she begins to see that the Council and the Captain may have other plans. Inadvertently, she witnesses the Captain’s guard murder a man in the bowels of the ship, and then cover it up.
Soon Terra has involved herself with a secret underground organization bent on overthrowing the Council, but their leadership remains shadowy and may be just as malevolent as the Council itself. First one probe, then another sent to take samples from the planet’s surface never return. The revolutionaries are convinced that the Council is suppressing the probe results, and soon they have given Terra a dangerous assignment, one that would require her to betray her friends. And herself.
Meet Tiffany Aching. She lives on a farm, her family are shepherds, and she knows how to make cheese. She has a lot of older sisters and one baby brot...moreMeet Tiffany Aching. She lives on a farm, her family are shepherds, and she knows how to make cheese. She has a lot of older sisters and one baby brother, who like baby brothers everywhere is always sticky, loud and kind of annoying. He is also, most annoying of all, her mother’s favorite.
So when her brother is stolen by a dark faery queen, Tiffany knows it’s up to her to go and take him back, whether she really wants him back or not. Someone has to do it, and she knows the duty is hers.
She’s not alone. With her are the Nac Mac Feegle (who call themselves wee free men), a horde of tiny blue kilt-wearing pictsies who drink and fight and steal and who yell things like, “Ach! I’ve kicked mesel in me ain heid!” and who have chosen Tiffany as their new – and temporary – leader. Which means they watch her and follow her around everywhere.
Why Tiffany? For one thing, when a monster inexplicably jumps out of the river Tiffany uses her brain – and a heavy frying pan – to subdue it. There’s also the matter of Tiffany’s grandmother, who the Nac Mac Feegle reverently called “the hag o’ the hills,” and who may or may not have had magic…
Tiffany has what her grandmother had: First Sight and Second Thoughts. This means she can see what’s really there, not just what she wants to see, and she’s able to think about the way she thinks. These are just the weapons she’ll need to defeat a queen and banish a faery realm.
And then there are the Feegle, who have their own special way with weapons… (less)
Really enjoying this series and these characters. I didn't find Alex's and his sisters' faith overwhelming because it wasn't presented in a preachy wa...moreReally enjoying this series and these characters. I didn't find Alex's and his sisters' faith overwhelming because it wasn't presented in a preachy way. It was actually a huge contrast to the way faith is shown in the first book, and it seemed much more genuine here.(less)
In a Victorian England where mechanical maids serve tea, where sky pirates rob well-to-do coaches and where a presentable curtsy and the latest fashio...moreIn a Victorian England where mechanical maids serve tea, where sky pirates rob well-to-do coaches and where a presentable curtsy and the latest fashions are considered a woman's best defense, there exists a different kind of school.
Sophronia's mother has reached her wits' end with her youngest daughter's unladylike shenanigans and has unceremoniously packed her off to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon learns that there is much more to this school than even her mother could have suspected.
Sophronia learns how to execute a proper curtsy but she also learns how to execute; there are lessons on poisoning, garotting, knife fighting (uncivilized, but necessary) and ballroom dance.
Here the students are graded as much on how covertly they can gather information and evade suspicion as they are on their appearance.
When Sophronia learns that one of the older girls, Monique, is harboring a secret - one that puts the entire school at risk - she takes it upon herself to find out exactly what it is and how it can be stopped.
She's up against difficult odds: Monique is better trained and appears to have the aid of not only a teacher but a squad of dangerous flywaymen. But Sophronia is determined not to be underestimated.
"I'm not certain I could do it." "Do what, dear?" "Kill someone in cold blood." Lady Linette's cornflower-blue eyes crinkled. "Ah, yes, but how do you know until you try?"(less)
Started reading this last night. I wasn't sure I should start a book about cancer during the darkest time of year, but I thought I'd give it a try, ma...moreStarted reading this last night. I wasn't sure I should start a book about cancer during the darkest time of year, but I thought I'd give it a try, maybe it wouldn't be too hard... nope. Can't do it, too many triggers. John Green's beautiful bestseller will have to wait until July, when the sun is long and warm.(less)