In this third book, Dina and her family are trying, once again, to regain the safety and security they once had. Without her gift, Dina believes she wIn this third book, Dina and her family are trying, once again, to regain the safety and security they once had. Without her gift, Dina believes she will finally have the life she always dreamed of, but when a mysterious and sinister-looking stranger appears, claiming to be Dina's father, the family is divided. When the truth is revealed, Dina must make a choice- either stand against injustice with her family, or join the side of evil.
This book was my favorite out of the quartet because it gave some real background for all of the characters, and provides Dina with some long-overdue answers. The introduction of Sezuan (the mysterious posessor of the Serpent Gift) added some new conflict to Dina's world. I found myself moved to tears near the end of this book. All in all, I felt that this book was a lot slower, and didn't have as much as action as the others in the series. But, by eliminating some (by no means ALL) of the action, Kaaberbol really lets us get to know these characters, which was hard to do with all the non-stop action prior to this point....more
I didn't have high expectations for this book. I assumed it would be another Harry Potter knockoff, like the Charlie Bone series. Instead, I discovereI didn't have high expectations for this book. I assumed it would be another Harry Potter knockoff, like the Charlie Bone series. Instead, I discovered an absolute gem. The story begins like many of its kind- young boy lives a tough life, young boy discovers a fantasy realm, young boy is sent on a quest. But what's really unique is how Gregor handles the situation. Unlike many novels of its type, Gregor doesn't really cry or moan about his fate. Instead, he reluctantly takes responsibility and assumes the role of legendary warrior in order to save the people of the Underland, and to find his way home.
Compared to a novel with a very similar plot (Tunnels), I found this book to be quite lighthearted and optimistic. This is probably due to the constant comic relief provided by Gregor's hyper younger sister, Boots. Like most children's fiction, I found the ending quite predictable, but there were a few surprises at the end.
In the sequel to Gregor the Overlander, we continue the story of Gregor, a boy who is able to visit another world below NYC. In his last adventure, GrIn the sequel to Gregor the Overlander, we continue the story of Gregor, a boy who is able to visit another world below NYC. In his last adventure, Gregor was able to fulfill a prophecy and become a legendary warrior, save his missing father, and return home. Although Gregor, Boots and his father (who had been held captive by giant rats for several years) have returned, his family is still struggling to survive. When his sister Boots goes missing, Gregor is once again pulled back into the Underland to save the day and fulfil yet another prophecy!
In this sequel, Collins had an opportunity to turn everything around, to make Gregor's life better, and different, but instead she chose the tough road- she made his life REAL. She didn't give him a happy-ever-after, and I really like that. In this sequel, the books begin to get darker, more serious. Again, Boots provides tons of comic relief, and Gregor's new relationship with the bat Ares is very interesting. I really like how, in the midst of everything, Gregor is able to stay true to his beliefs and morals. Although the books seem clear-cut and easy to predict, I love how Collins gives them a little twist, and a little dash of surprise. My second favorite of the series! ...more
This book, the fourth in the series, is quite unique in that it does not follow the pattern established by the three previous books. In the fourth novThis book, the fourth in the series, is quite unique in that it does not follow the pattern established by the three previous books. In the fourth novel, Gregor has begun to travel freely between the Over and Underlands. From the beginning, the tone of this book is much lighter- war has just been averted, and Gregor and those of the Underland are finally at ease, that is, until Luxa recieves an urgent plea for help from the very mice who rescued her in book three. Soon, Gregor and his friends are on a quest to aid the mice at whatever cost.
Just as I thought I had Collins' pattern down, she does something totally unexpected. At this point, the series takes a very dark turn, and Gregor begins to accept his role as The Warrior completely. I found it very interesting that, in this novel, the characters are not being motivated by a prophecy, but rather by their own consciences and ideals. I did feel that this book was a bit less enjoyable than the others because it was so heavy. I rated it a four instead of the "perfect score" I awarded the rest of the quintet because I feel this book is less its own story and more of an explaination and build-up for the conclusion of the series. I almost wish she had combined the fourth and fifth book, because they flow so seamlessly into each other, but I realize that that would have been almost unbearable for younger readers. Still, it is a superb book, and an excellent story and I highly recommend it!
Instead of beginning back in New York, a few months after the previous novel, the fifth, and final, book in The Underland Chronicles takes place almosInstead of beginning back in New York, a few months after the previous novel, the fifth, and final, book in The Underland Chronicles takes place almost immediately after Marks of Secret. After declaring war against the rats and their hitler-esque leader, The Bane, the Underlanders are preparing for the mighty war that Sandwich predicted. Gregor, Boots and the gang (joined by a surprise member of Gregor's family) rush to decode the Code of Claw according to the final prophecy. FIlled with nonstop action, Gregor and The Code of Claw is a wonderful and thought-provoking ending to the series.
I can honestly say that this book shook me. After spending so much time with Suzanne Collins' amazing characters, I was quite sad to see them go. I was perhaps more dissapointed that for most of them, there was no happily ever after, no perfect ending. Despite all they have done, Gregor and Luxa are still preteens at the end of this book, so their stories cannot have an ending. They have growing up to do, new struggles to face, and as much as I crave a happy ending, I do respect Collins for not slapping it on there, because to do so would cheapen the novels. I believe that his experience with the Underland has made Gregor into a perceptive young man who is able to see beyond the traditional presentation of right and wrong. Being in The Underland allows Gregor to think more critically, and to make his own decisions, instead of just blaming fate or a prophecy. I also believe that reading this book has helped me to challenge some of the things I once believed and to more thoroughly explore both sides of any issue.
I highly recommend this series to young readers and older readers alike because I think it is a well-written, thought provoking series. I hope that Suzanne Collins will at least consider continuing the Underland Chronicles (perhaps through a prequel or spin-off series, I'm not sure a sequel to Code of the Claw would be wise), or, at the very least, work on a new series that captures some of the elements that made this one outstanding.
After he dissapears into The Underland a second time, Gregor's mom refuses to let him visit or communicate with The Underlanders. Unfortunately, whenAfter he dissapears into The Underland a second time, Gregor's mom refuses to let him visit or communicate with The Underlanders. Unfortunately, when a deadly plague begins to attack the Warmbloods belowground, Gregor is (literally) forced to return to The Underland with his mother and sister, Boots, in tow. Gregor, Temp, Boots, and Ripred journey to an ancient jungle in search of the cure before time runs out.
This book is a bit different than the others. Due to the events in book 2 (The Prophecy of Bane), the group dynamic is significantly altered, and the government of Regalia seems on the brink of war. Still, what I liked best about this book, and the series in general is that Suzanne Collins doesn't present things as black or white. She depicts the grey area, and this is very prevalent in this book. I think she questions the definitions and stereotypes of the typical "good vs. evil" theme, which is very refreshing. I love that she is able to portray villains or "enemies" as real people, with families, dreams, and needs, instead of just faceless demons. In the third book she completely turns everything upside down, twists the plot, and makes Gregor question just whose side he's on.
I believe that through her books, Collins is encouraging people to think about war, hatred, and racism and to question stereotypes. And that's definately worth something. This series is a must-read!...more
In this new fantasy series, Patrick Carman, author of the popular The Land of Elyon series, creates a fantasy realm unlike any I have ever encounteredIn this new fantasy series, Patrick Carman, author of the popular The Land of Elyon series, creates a fantasy realm unlike any I have ever encountered. In this book, Carman tells the story of a three-tiered planet named Atherton which is on the brink of collapse. When Atherton begins to sink, it's up to Edgar (and a few friends) to discover how the world he knows came to be and how he can save it. Carman's rich characters and unique setting make this world just come alive. I would definately recommend this to any child (or adult) over the age of 9. And if you like it, be sure to read the sequel, Atherton: Rivers of Fire.
I absolutely adore books, and devour somewhere between four to nine books a week, every week. When I'm not reading, I'm working at the local library.I absolutely adore books, and devour somewhere between four to nine books a week, every week. When I'm not reading, I'm working at the local library. So when I say this is my absolute favorite book, that means that it is my favorite out of literally thousands of books of every genre, length and age. This book is absolutely stunning. At times, it's a comedy, at others, a love story, and sometimes its even a spiritual book (although not in the typical christian sense).
The dialogue, as is typical of Neil Gaiman, is brilliant, and the humor is positively outstanding, but that's not what hooked me. What got me is the characterization of the gods and the way that Gaiman portrays the struggle between old ways/nature and technology/progress. I can honestly say that I own two copies of this book and have read it, cover to cover, at least 12 times. And every time I read it, it's like I'm reading it for the first time. This book is so complicated, and dense, I simply can't summarize it for you. So please, read the summary!
Also, please be aware that this is not a book for the faint of heart! There is a fair share of realistic dialogue, often involving swearwords. There are also a few (somewhat graphic) sexual encounters, as well as a bit of violence, so I would NOT reccomend this book for impressionable individuals (i.e. kids under 16), or people who are easily offended! This book explores many pagan religions and mythologies, so if you're opposed to learning about foreign gods and religions this is NOT the book for you. Still, if you are willing to approach this book with an open mind, you will enjoy it thoroughly!
Would I recommend this book to a friend? Actually, I already have, six times, and each person who read it loved it (or at least, grudging admitted it was better than they expected :p). Give it a try!...more
I'd been meaning to start this series for years, but had accidentally picked up the thrilling Last Apprentice series, instead (I regret nothing!). AtI'd been meaning to start this series for years, but had accidentally picked up the thrilling Last Apprentice series, instead (I regret nothing!). At my friend's urging, I decided to look into the series, and started the first book last week.
Although I found the first book in the series enjoyable, I failed to see how the series had become so popular. It was a good story with great characters, but I honestly found the books slow and a bit boring (since I'm no tactician). Since it was lying around, I decided to give book 2 a try. I wasn't expecting much. Let's just say I started it at 2:30 AM and didn't put it down until I finished.
It occurs to me now that book 1 was so lackluster because it was merely an introduction. It's clear that Flanagan knows what he's doing and knows how to set up a good story. He's also a master at setting the right tone and for making sure that all characters get screentime.
Honestly, the only thing that disappoints me is the fact that I don't have the third book on hand!...more
I just poured my guts out about the first book, so I'm a bit drained. However, I will say that fans of The Lioness Quartet will enjoy the strong, deteI just poured my guts out about the first book, so I'm a bit drained. However, I will say that fans of The Lioness Quartet will enjoy the strong, determined Kel as she overcomes prejudice and sexism in order to protect the innocent, whether they be people, animals, or immortals.
As soon as I finished First Test, I had to run and get the sequel, which I devoured in about two hours. Although the format is a bit strange (the book takes place over the course of four years, instead of one like the first book) the romances that crop up over the course of the book, along with the introduction of Lalasa, made this my favorite, so far. ...more
**spoiler alert** I personally loved this book, because as far as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast goes, it sticks close to the original/traditiona**spoiler alert** I personally loved this book, because as far as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast goes, it sticks close to the original/traditional tale, while giving a little more backstory and detail. I found this book's Belle really likeable, and I loved that Dokey decided to give her sisters depth, instead of just making them the typical evil sisters- beautiful, vain and self-centered.
I loved The Beast in this book, and the way he dealt with Belle. He was, in my opinion, exactly what The Beast should be. He's gruff but somehow desperate, strong but still vulnerable. And of course, I really loved the fact that he was not a prince in disguise, just an unfortunate cursed hunter! I would say he is one of my favorite "Beasts".
However, I do think the book also has several flaws. My biggest complaint is that The Once Upon A Time series ALREADY DID Beauty and the Beast a few years ago. As much as I love "Belle", I feel that the series should explore more obscure fairy tales before recycling their earlier tales. As much as I hated "Spirited" (the first version of B&B), it did possess one quality that "Belle" lacked- originality!
Unlike basically any of the others in this series, I felt that "Belle" lacked the peculiar twist that has made these stories so fun. It was not set in a unique setting, or in a strange age, and the author didn't see any need to update or tweak the tale. For all intents and purposes, "Belle" is the typical retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Belle's woodcarving aside, the story is just another incarnation of Beauty and the Beast. Although that's not necessarily a bad thing, I've come to expect the "twist", and I was rather disappointed to find this story was like any other retelling.
My last complaint is one that applies to nearly all of the "Once Upon a Time" books. I personally felt that this book was a bit too heavy with the setup/introduction, and, as a consequence had a very rushed conclusion. I blame the publisher for forcing the authors to keep their tales under a rather tiny word count. There are, of course, benefits to petite novels, but in this case, I felt that cutting the length actually hurt the book. By making it so short, Belle didn't have much "screen time" with her Beast, which, to me, made it a little unbelievable when she realized she was madly in love with him. I could never see myself falling in love that quickly or that easily!
Still, I was pleased with the tale, despite it's flaws. It may not be inventive and new, but I think it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. It retells the classic tale from a slightly new perspective, for a young adult audience!
I can't wait for the next installment, starring Mulan!...more
I will admit that I didn't read the paper version of this book- I listened to the absolutely delightful full cast audio production instead.
Although II will admit that I didn't read the paper version of this book- I listened to the absolutely delightful full cast audio production instead.
Although I don't want to give too much away, I will say that I absolutely loved Shannon Hale's portrayal of a good, old fashioned fairy tale. In The Goose Girl, Hale manages to take a classic fairy tale and make it completely her own. The characters are great, and I just adore how Hale includes the same dark element that makes the "unedited" Grimm fairytales so intriguing. It's definately not for little kids!
It's been a few years since I read it, so my review is a bit spotty. I will say, though, that I look forward to rereading it very, very soon!...more
I've really liked this series. Although there are some weak/slow stories, I loved this story. It really got into the characters of the old ones, and hI've really liked this series. Although there are some weak/slow stories, I loved this story. It really got into the characters of the old ones, and helped show their relationship with Morpheus. Thus far, I had thought that the series was just so-so, but once it started to show us who Morpheus, Delerium and even Desire, really are. I was enthralled.
The relationship between Delirium and Dream is quite amusing and sweet, and that alone kept me turning pages....more