'A Certain Slant of Light' is a brilliantly written novel by Laura Whitcomb. It captures the heart and can really get your blood pumping. The plot is'A Certain Slant of Light' is a brilliantly written novel by Laura Whitcomb. It captures the heart and can really get your blood pumping. The plot is unique and enchanting....more
This has got to be one of my all-time favorite books. Will is such a free-spirited boy and Halt is that dominant, silent, intriguing teacher, father fThis has got to be one of my all-time favorite books. Will is such a free-spirited boy and Halt is that dominant, silent, intriguing teacher, father figure. It has amazing actions pieces, believable and appealing characters and brilliant descriptions and not to mention witty dialogue. This book is a perfect pick for any rainy day....more
Tamora Pierce has always been a favorite author of mine and I definitely see her as a source of inspiration for my own writing. Alanna: The First Adventure is a fantastic story, the first of many. This is my second time reading it and it never disappoints.
The story, in my opinion, is only as good as its main character, and Alanna is fantastic. She's charming with her wit and steel backbone. Sometimes, though, I think her pride results in several bruises and broken bones that otherwise could have been avoided. However, I am a big fan of her stubbornness and determination to stay true to the person she wants to become.
What captures me most, I think, is the world. So expansive and well painted. More than once, I have wished to be transported to Tortall. It is a world that I look to for inspiration when I'm working on my own world-building. It's intriguing and treacherous and beautiful, just like Alanna's story....more
In the second installment of the Song of the Lioness series, I enjoyed the heightened sense of adventure and suspense, as Alanna grows into a new stage of her life.
What I enjoyed most about In the Hand of the Goddess is the excellent maturation of Alanna's character. She deals with things that are new to her, and that are appropriate for her age, like romance and dresses. I love how Alanna struggles with these two identities she has, and my respect for her grew by how she handled this struggle.
The romance is more apparent in this one, because it covers Alanna's life between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, when romance would be on someone's mind. I am a fan of both romantic interests, even if I wince a bit at the love triangle. Still, having already read the book, I know how things turn out, so I'm interested in her thought process as she struggles to remember what kind of life she wants to lead....more
In The Woman Who Rides Like A Man (a wordy title for today's standards), Alanna is eighteen-years-old and has been granted her knight's shield. In this third installment, we follow her adventures in the Great Southern Desert of Tortall.
What strikes me most about The Woman Who Rides Like A Man is the masterful expansion of the world. Tamora Pierce doesn't keep Alanna cooped up in a castle in a city. Alanna, fitting for her character, travels. Of course, she finds trouble along the way, or it finds her, whichever.
Just like in In the Hand of the Goddess, Pierce excellently crafts a new stage in Alanna's life. The struggles that Alanna faces in her romantic life continue in their natural progression and test Alanna's heart. Also, her aptitude for leadership is made more apparent in this one, which I particularly liked seeing because I feel it's something today's fantasy is lacking.
I am also amazed at how much action is packed into so few pages. It keeps me pinned to the pages, captured in the story. I can't help but devour these books in one sitting....more
The only reason I gave this a four star is because the writing style caught me off guard at first and I had to scramble to get used to it. However, MeThe only reason I gave this a four star is because the writing style caught me off guard at first and I had to scramble to get used to it. However, Megan Shull is as capable as any author to paint the picture of the story in your head, which she does very well.
Amazing Grace is one of my favorites despite I can't fit it into any category other than 'gold-star,' 'read,' and 'realistic fiction'.
I thought it was a very touching novels, especially the ending....more
I absolutely adore -- flat out love, have a total obsession and admiration for -- hero stories. I love what they embody: the underdog, the average Joe fighting against a terrible evil, standing up against oppression and tyranny. It's such an ancient kind of story, and yet it's one that is modeled over and over again, and loved over and over again, because it's a tale that, no matter the circumstances, appeals to our humanity. It quickens the breath, stimulates the heart, rouses the emotions. If I have a go-to story, it's a hero's journey.
The Lightning Thief is the perfect kind of hero's journey to quench my thirst. It features a young but spirited main character, Percy, who, for Gods' sake, just wants a normal life. And yet, he's constantly getting into trouble: being thrown around every public and private school in Manhattan, leaving mysterious happenings in his wake. But he doesn't know how that stuff happens. He just wants to be a normal kid. If it was hard being normal before, try finding out you're the son of a god.
So here we have the prime candidate for a hero, now he just needs to be outfitted with a few things: two best friends for starters, a super smart (if slightly annoying) daughter of Athena and a nervous (if well meaning) guy who happens to be hiding goat hooves in his sneakers. But you can't just have a golden trio and not give them a place to call home. The answer to that: Camp Half-Blood, a place for people like Percy to not just be safe from the dangers of the outside world, but to thrive by learning how to harness their powers. Of course, that's if you know which god happened to pass along those "powers." Being claimed by your godly parent is great, unless it marks you as the most powerful demigod to exist.
If you do happen to be the most powerful demigod to exist, unfortunately that doesn't mean you get to kick your feet up on the beach with a colorful, umbrella-type drink. It means you're probably going on a quest, which you may not return from. This quest will contain all kinds of magical and otherworldly obstacles: an ancient lady with snakes for hair, a chihuahua that breathes fire and asks questions later, and maybe a god of war or two. There is no cashing in accumulated vacation time when you're a demigod out to stop an evil force more powerful than the gods themselves.
Percy's story begins with The Lightning Thief, which launches him on a epic journey that will test his resolve, his instincts, and his strength. Luckily, he isn't alone while he's off to battle evil. And while some of those newfound friends may really be enemies in disguise, he has finally found a place where he can be himself.
The Lightning Thief is my answer to the perfect hero's journey: massively entertaining, inspiring, and enjoyable, it is a story for all ages and one that I would recommend to anyone over and over again....more
When I first got this book, I wasn't too thrilled. I started reading it but the writing style distracted me. Maria V. Snyder uses shorter sentences thWhen I first got this book, I wasn't too thrilled. I started reading it but the writing style distracted me. Maria V. Snyder uses shorter sentences than I'm used to. Not horribly short but I'm used to, say, J.K. Rowling's good sized sentences. HOWEVER! There is some allure to this book that I can't explain. I kept reading it and finished it within a day. When I finished, I thought to myself, "This series is well on its way to becoming a favorite of mine."
It's just simply amazing; this idea. It's THE most original magic book I've read, with absolutely AMAZING descriptions. It paints the picture without getting to graphic during some scenes and that was totally fine with me. When it comes to sensitive topics, I hate it when authors go into fine detail.
The only thing I have to say, even though it isn't quite negative, is her use of language. Not swearing, even though there are swear words, but some of the "oldness" of it is lost on a few keys quotes, when it sounds more modern than you'd expect. Perhaps this is Maria V. Snyder's style. Perhaps this is what is acceptable in her world. Whatever it is, it doesn't detract from the reading unless you're a dork like me who picks up on that stuff.
I definitely recommend this book to all who are looking for a good romance and who want a fresh, original idea. And, consequently, for anyone who would enjoy a good "spy" novel....more
So I can tell it’s Cinda Williams Chima’s debut novel. I still loved it. This was published in 2006 and in the years since (having read her latest works The Demon King and The Exiled Queen) I can see the growth in her work. Comparing The Warrior Heir with say, The Exiled Queen, I can see how she’s settled into a certain style, but she still retains her signature humor, elegant prose, and talent for telling a really good story.
As always, I love some good old fashioned humor. I love authors like Cinda Williams Chima who have an incredible talent for comic timing. She’s really clever, I think.
"Well now, Jack," Hastings said from the sidelines. "I'm afraid you've been beheaded. Not a good start."
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 191
There was a mixed bag: there was beautiful prose and ingenious plot twists, but then again some of her characters came off as flat and cliché.
When I say ingenious plot twists, I wish I could cite the one I’m talking about, but then again, I am entirely dedicated to my Spoiler Free blogger status. But let me just say this: I loved how it caught me ever so slightly off guard, but I was still triumphant that I’d caught it when, finally, the twist was revealed and I was right. I love stories that make my parents yell at me from downstairs to be quiet. (Yeah, I’m pretty loud when I really get into a book.)
I really enjoyed the characters—especially Jack and Hastings and Ellen—and the world that Cinda Williams Chima put together here. Is it just me, or did she build her Seven Realms books (The Demon King and The Exiled Queen) off of this series? I thought I recognized some familiar markers from this book and it kind of had me thinking.
While Jack was a fun character, some of the others weren’t as fully-fleshed as I’d prefer. Like his best friends, Fitch and Will. For one thing, (maybe I was just being dense or wasn’t paying attention) but it took me a little while to work out that Fitch was also one of Jack’s best friends. He came off more as a “circumstantial” best friend—one of those bonds you develop after going through a tough situation.
Another one of the plot points that fell through for me was the whole deal with Leesha in the beginning. (But that’s all I’ll say on the issue—can’t say much more without being spoiler-y.)
There was one other thing I was kind of confused about: the point of view. It was mostly Jack’s, but it did switch between characters a few times, but I had a hard time sometimes distinguishing who was the narrator between scenes. That was just a minor thing, though.
Cinda Williams Chima’s started off well in regards to her plot: everything came together nicely and there wasn’t any unnecessary loose ends. (Remember this is a series.) And it was all glued together with her smooth writing style.
Overall, I can really see how Cinda Williams Chima developed the way she did. You should absolutely read this book if you’re like me and have only read her Seven Realms books so far.
"More and more, there were no revelations, but simply the uncovering of truths long known but dimly remembered. Everything had been written long ago. There was nothing truly new in the world, but only the slow, circular march of time that revealed the old things once again."
I felt nothing for the characters. There was no depth. At least if I hate a character, that says something for hSo I'll just jump right into it, yeah?
I felt nothing for the characters. There was no depth. At least if I hate a character, that says something for how they were portrayed. Yet with this...there was nothing given to me. Nothing to round out their characters. Most of the time, I felt disdain for Aislinn's character because when she was supposed to come off as fierce, she just seemed fake. Like a child playing grown-up.
The writing style. Ah. The writing did nothing to credit this story. It felt more like a retelling, giving no credit to these character's personal feelings. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing. Very short, to the point, and shallow. It seems that the popularity for this book runs entirely off of the idea. I could not feel any passion from the writing. None at all.
The end lost me. The climax should be the best part of the story. I was reading and going, "What?" Things were not explained well enough and again, there was no passion. It moved too fast. I felt no shock at the turn of events. I couldn't really bring myself to care what happened to the characters. When Aislinn gripped the staff, the outcome was poorly described. I was thinking, "So what?"
I suppose I will check out the sequel because for better or for worse, I am curious to know what will happen next. Though I am sorely tempted to drop the series. The epilogue really did it in. I was less than ten pages from the end and just wanted it to be over with. How the relationships turned out? Not at all to my liking and I cannot even summon the passion to drive that point home. That's how little I really got from the characters.
The summary really builds this story up and it doesn't deliver. I remember viewing this book as promising when I read the description. I love the cover, though. I love all of the covers. I doubt I'll ever buy this series (if I do, it'll be all in paperback because I am not spending all the money to purchase a hardcover edition). I prefer the Wondrous Strange series by Lesley Livingston or The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones. The writing was much better in those two series--the passion clearly coming through.
WARNING: To younger and/or more sensitive readers--there is mild language in this book, including the F-bomb being dropped a few times. It is not, however, as thick and extensive as Holly Black's "Valiant".
I do have a song that would go well with this book, though: "What Would It Be Like" by Lindsay Aline (she has a BEAUTIFUL voice). In describing Aislinn's despair and all that jazz.
The Host may not be my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the most respected books I've read. It took me a little while to get into it butThe Host may not be my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the most respected books I've read. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did, I was thinking about it all the time and I couldn't wait to continue reading it.
What I've always liked about Stephenie Meyer is her ability to be unique and original. She revolutionized vampires with her Twilight books and now, she's explored the deeper meaning of what it's like to be human.
What I don't understand is why this book is classified for adults. It's perfectly suitable for younger audiences. True to custom, Miss Meyer does not use heavy or excessive swear words. In fact, I can--barely--recall only one instance where a swear word was used. I applaud her ability to have a clean and appropriate sense for writing. She is a completely trustworthy author in a community where swearing and erotica in young adults books has become the thing.
The ending annoyed me to no end, but overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Usually, I think there’s an air of animosity towards a book that you are forced to read, but I found The Graveyard Book engaging, funny, heart-wrenching, and fraught with a misspent childhood and frightening imagination. This is my first Neil Gaiman novel. I will probably not pick up another book of his. I do not go for the nightmare-in-a-bottle kind of book.
Nobody Owens—or Bod, as he is affectionately called by the Graveyard inhabitants—was a great character. Like Harry Potter, he grows up far from the norm and doesn’t know much about the Other World, the one that lies outside the graveyard gates. He was honest, passionate and curious and totally awesome. I loved watching him grow through the book, but I wish the whole story had been him as a teenager. While I can imagine an eight-year-old clambering around under hills and through graves, my preference is for the teen story. So I loved how the book ended with him being a bit older.
This was a very character-appreciative book for me. The story didn’t make a lot of sense, and I couldn’t see much of a plot. This whole “prophecy”-like situation surrounding him wasn’t told very well. I think if Gaiman had focused entirely on the characters and left out any kind of plot-driven devices, the book would have been much more enjoyable. I realize it received the highest award for Children’s literature, but personally, I think it was written by an average writer and was a relatively average story.
Overall, Bod really made the book for me. That kid was awesome, and I loved his character to death (no pun intended). Y’all should pick it up just to say you did. You might realize just how much you love it....more
BAD: City of Bones, while outrageously funny, did not provide me with any sense of girl-empowerment. The main character, Clary, while possessing more oBAD: City of Bones, while outrageously funny, did not provide me with any sense of girl-empowerment. The main character, Clary, while possessing more of a smart mouth than Bella from the Twilight books, is just as much the damsel in distress. I noticed how she did just enough screaming in this book to annoy me.
There's also the HIGHLY TYPICAL best-friend-love complex. You've got a boy and girl who are best friends and it's where the guy is OBVIOUSLY in love with the girl and the girl is, of course, oblivious to this until everything blows over and she gets it thrown it into her face.
GOOD: This is a very funny book. I didn't notice anything off about the language--teenage slang-wise. The plot is unique enough. Oh! And it's a pretty good mystery with one plot twist that actually had me thrown--which does NOT happen often. Most of it was predictable but I'd read it just for that plot twist, 'cause it's really good.
The author starts it off interesting--enough to draw in the reader. But there's this whole bad-boy alluring thing going on, which is very predictable within itself when you thrown in the best guy friend and the amount of hormones that fly around during the ensuing fiasco.
Overall, I'd say give it a chance and get it out at the library. I stayed up REAL LATE reading this and I LOVE good long books. ...more
This book takes on a whole new meaning of "All the world's a stage". Fascinating and creative, I'm shocked this book hasn't garnered more attention. Think of a theater acting like a magical world all its own. Think of just the main character, who dies her hair Cobalt blue, exchanges swears with a pirate, and resists the urges of an air spirit while trying to save the world which she knows.
All enchanting stuff. Yet when I first started out (over a year ago), I wasn't very enchanted. I'd tried a couple times to start it and stopped reading it. This time, however, I wanted to read more. I was suddenly fascinated by what would happen to Bertie and I wanted to know more about the world of the Theatre. So I started where I'd left off before, about seventy pages in, and had a hard time putting it down!
Bertie's character was fantastic. The idea of an orphaned girl living in a magical theatre world could have really come off as childish and very middle grade, but Bertie's smart mouth and her romantic interests kept it on a YA level. Bertie was a classy girl and I loved her character. Though I hardly understand her taste for seductive air spirits. I'm going for Nate all the way.
The one thing I didn't get was the Theatre's place in time. Maybe it was mentioned and it went over my head, but the mention of limousines makes me think very modern. Also, I wasn't quite sure if the outside world knew that the Theatre was magical. Other than those two things, however, the story was wonderful.
It was a very enjoyable story—I can't wait to pick up the sequel, even though love triangles are the bane of my existence! I fell in love with the world, the excellent characters, and Bertie's story.
Just one thing about the covers though: I freaking love them. I want these made into posters so I can hang them on my wall. For real. BUT! They only feature THREE fairies! What the fudge? There are clearly FOUR. And this series oversight continues on EACH FLIPPING COVER. So all of them are fantastic, except for that grievous mistake. Jeepers....more
Okay. I have to get this out so I can feel better.
Shiver. Best freaking urban fantasy book ever.
Does it top Twilight? Hell yeah.
What truly strikes meOkay. I have to get this out so I can feel better.
Shiver. Best freaking urban fantasy book ever.
Does it top Twilight? Hell yeah.
What truly strikes me about this book is the main character: Grace. She isn't weepy and pathetic or weak like Bella. She's strong and she's FUNNY! This book seems like it truly could be real. The characters are realistic and I can relate to many of Grace's ways of thinking. (How many times that happens? Almost never.)
I recommend this to the many, many fans of Twilight because it's a romance to kill for. It's stronger, in my opinion, than the romance of Twilight between Bella and Edward. The bond between Grace and Sam is deeper and the sparks between them much, MUCH more believable!
I also recommend this to the many, many non-fans of Twilight. Grace is funny and interesting and strong and far from the pathetic, wimpy, predictable Bella. Sam is a typical special teen boy. His story and reactions ring true. He's not the infuriating we-can't-be-together-because-I'm-dangerous type. In fact, he doesn't say anything along those lines. Does he do anything to protect Grace? Of course he does. He's hopelessly in love with her.
Onto more technical praises: I love how this story alternates between Grace and Sam. I simply LOVE that.
I read this book in less than twenty-four hours. I haven't gotten a book this good in a long, long time. It's a fantastic romance. I might even reread this. (Again, that feeling RARELY happens. It's a mark of just how much I like a book that I want to reread it.)
Another thing. I would LOVE to have a fifteen-minute conversation with this author. She appears to be a really fun person.
This is a great break from vampires. GO WEREWOLVES!...more
Alright, so I know ya'll are starting to get sick of me say "Oh God this book was GOOD!" Ya'll are probably thinking I'm trippin'. But I'm as surprised as you are minus the complaints cause I'm on such a good-book streak...which just ended with this book, cause you know how once you read a good book, it's hard to read another book if it doesn't equal in awesomeness? Yeah, I got that. In spades. I didn't even bring a book with me to school today cause I was looking at my stack of books from the library going, "Oh yeah right. And you say I'm trippin'."
This was awesome, though. Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors and writers (notice how I say both. No, they are NOT the same thing. You can like an author and despise their writing--sometimes--but Maggie Stiefvater's just awesome all around--check out her song "The Golden Wood"...absolutely wonderful.) Now lemme tell you just why I thought it was awesome.
So yeah, it's another faerie story. I can see you now--"Oh GOD not ANOTHER one!" Yeah, I know. All the faerie stuff is crazy. It's getting almost as bad as the vampires. This one, while not absolutely dazzling and breath-taking like Maggie Stiefvater's "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series, still shows the amazing potential. If I'd followed Maggie Stiefvater from her debut, I would have commented on how much potential the book showed. (Even though it was riddled with grammar mistakes! Jeepers!)
It was a great romance. A little too fluffy and insubstantial in some places, it followed the flash romance course rather than building up trust and sparks over time. But it was the way Maggie Stiefvater presented it that caught my interest. First of all, she makes the hero weird. (THANK YOU!) Luke was a crazy son of a gun--very clever and witty, he had quirks that just made him feel natural and all the more appealing. (This, I believe, is a trait that I will identify immediately with Maggie Stiefvater. Her heroes are not earth-shatteringly beautiful and perfect. She gives them tortured souls and gives them a laundry list of character defects.)
A little note about Dee: Normally, I'd have given up on the book just because of the wimpy, Jello-kneed girl who fainted a lot and never stood up to people. But...gah! There was something about Dee that made it different. Sure, she fainted and got weak-kneed a lot, but I wouldn't call her wimpy. She was sharp and had a wonderful sense of humor. I actually really liked her, even if she won't ever classify as a favorite.
I loved the background info. I've been fascinated by all kinds of mythology (particularly Greek and Celtic) and I liked the little tidbits I got throughout the book. There were a few loose threads (which I guess there should be) that weren't tied off by the end but then again, there's a sequel. (WOOT!)
I love Maggie Stiefvater's sense of humor. Her conversations seem so real because they give the possibility of being crazy and random--just like we all are as teenagers. The conversations aren't forced and above all, they're freaking hilarious. ^_^
If you liked "Shiver," you'll enjoy Maggie Stiefvater's previous work....more
Maggie Stiefvater’s work has always been my outlet. Her gritty plots and edgy characters wrapped in humor make hers the books I go to when I need a good laugh to get some perspective back on life. Her ability to write great, believable romances is also a factor, which is why I love her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Having witnessed her tackling werewolves, it was fascinating to see her take on faeries, her debut topic.
Let’s start with my favorite subject in relation to Maggie Stiefvater: humor. Cause everyone who has ever read any of my reviews knows that I love to laugh. And I love books that make me laugh almost out of default. I managed to snag some of my favorite quotes from the book before I had to return it to the library. These stand merely as representatives to Maggie Stiefvater’s signature humor.
“Yes,” Sullivan said, standing up with his mostly empty bowl of rabbit food. “You’re fulfilling my ‘helping students who remind me of myself when I was young and stupid’ quota…Oh, and unless you need it to feel comfortable, you can leave your ego in your room; you won’t be needing it.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 56
It’s quotes like that that make me think that Maggie Stiefvater was monstrous when provoked in college.
I stopped stroking his hair and smacked his head instead, becoming visible so fast that my head pounded. “Wake up, maggot.”
James winced under my hand. Without opening his eyes, he said, “Nuala.”
I glared at him. “Otherwise known as the only female who will ever be in your bed, loser.”
He flopped his hands over his face. “God have mercy, my head feels like hell. Kill me now, evil creature, and put me out of my misery.”
I pressed a finger against his windpipe, just hard enough that he’d have to ask me for a hall pass to be able to swallow. “Don’t tempt me.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 104
Nuala slapped me, raising goose bumps. “Shut up!”
I covered my face with an arm and kept laughing. “God, woman, how’d you come up with that name? It sounds like a drunk guy asking if someone’s got leprosy.”
Nuala slapped my arm again. “Shut up. It’s distinctive. People would remember it. You know, they’d be, ‘Oh, Izzy Leopard did this film.’ ‘Oh yeah?’ ‘She’s brilliant.’”
”And a leper.”
Nuala’s expression was fierce. “I could kill you.”
”Oh, if I had a dime for every time someone’s told me that. Oh, if I had a dime for every time you’ve told me that.”
She took the popcorn bucket from me and set it on the seat on the other side of her. “I can’t believe I gave you popcorn. I should make you drink popcorn butter for mocking my director name.”
I grinned at her. “Truly, a fate worse than death.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 137
Long passages, yes, but if that doesn’t make you want to rush to the library/bookstore to get it, what will?
The largely enjoyable topic of humor aside, Maggie Stiefvater has a talent for romance. Usually, when you pick up a book, you know immediately who’s gonna go with who and, if the author is particularly green, then you know exactly how. Well, it states right in the synopsis that James has a specific interest in our faerie friend and considering how fierce Nuala is, we already know it has to be romantically explosive. Well, I’m not going to tell you if it was or wasn’t. All I will share on that subject is that it was satisfying.
James was a really awesome character, too, especially contrasted next to Nuala.
Another one of Maggie Stiefvater’s talents: raising the stakes. The choice James has to make at the end makes me want to start biting my fingernails (a habit I un-learned when I was eight.) I was glued to my chair, about read to flip to the end to figure out what happens (but I didn’t.) I was thinking that there is no way James could get out of that without losing something—or someone.
The most distinctive thing that the book left with me is the sense of atmosphere and the character impressions. I returned this book to the library several weeks ago (yes, and I know I fail epically for having taken so long to write this review) but I always thought that a book’s quality lay with how much you remembered after the fact. For this book, it was the clear and concise atmosphere that I could practically picture myself in. And I remember the impressions that the characters gave me. That kind of ethereal feeling that I get from all characters.
If you liked Ms. Stiefvater’s previous work Lament and haven’t gotten to this one yet, you should get to it! And if you haven’t picked up her faerie books, but loved her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, you should get to that too.
And also let it be known that this marks my 100th review. That is all....more
The only reason I'm giving this book a "B-" is because I liked the idea. But I can't say much more than that. Needless to say, I had a huge issue withThe only reason I'm giving this book a "B-" is because I liked the idea. But I can't say much more than that. Needless to say, I had a huge issue with this book.
The biggest part was the writing style. It was all telling, not showing. Kay's reactions weren't really described very well. It was written almost like a biography. It gets better at the end of the book, but I had to grit my teeth to get there. There was absolutely no way I could get into Kay's character. She seemed so...shallow. I really hate when shallow characters get to do all the cool stuff and they "miraculously" get all the good ideas. Just irks me.
Another thing was that the stakes were not drawn very clearly. I mean, all that would happen is that she would get thrown in jail? That's it? Oh yes, it's just so incredibly horrible! Is that really the best she could do?
This book just kinda flew over my head. And it's such a shame, too. I really wanted this book to be good because I love the topic of dragons, and after "Eragon," not a lot of people have touched the subject, just like no one has really touched the subject of wizard schools since "Harry Potter".
The ending was very rushed, too. And hokey. It would have worked better with a different writing style, say if Carrie Vaughn wrote with a more magical hand, then the ending would have appeared better. But the last few pages were really rough writing-wise. I couldn't get any sense of realism, of actually being there with the characters. This book could have been so much longer if Carrie Vaughn just put some depth into it.
I loved the cover, though. It was partly why I picked it up.
Teaser: She knew how to talk to at least one of them, if only she dared tell anyone. And if only she could be sure she and Artegal would see each other again.
As always, I still recommend that you give it a try. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean that you won't.
While very funny, Strange Angels contains too much language for my taste. I did read all of it and I liked it. The main character, Dru, is interestingWhile very funny, Strange Angels contains too much language for my taste. I did read all of it and I liked it. The main character, Dru, is interesting and funny but isn't a strong, iron-core heroine. I like the whole dynamic between Dru, Graves, and Christophe. The author does do a good job describing things but there isn't a lot of information on the "underground network" which every urban fantasy has. The world isn't very well developed so you're stuck in whatever situation the characters are. You can't expand because you don't have enough information; so it's rather constricting.
I do recommend it if you don't mind some heavy swearing. It's worth reading. I finished it in less than twenty four hours....more
A great new series to add to my favorites. I just gotta say this first: if you loved Mercy Thompson, you’ll love Faythe Sanders. I loved the attitude, humor and adventure in this story. (The fact that it was over 600 pages long didn’t hurt either.) I’ve never read anything about werecats before and it was a refreshing change from werewolves, though they share very similar mentalities. I’m so glad this book came so highly recommended from a trusted source, otherwise I never would have picked it up.
Talk about kickass. How come all the believable, tough heroines are in adult books? Somebody tries to write about a teenager who’s seasoned and tough and it comes off ALL wrong. Still, this was such a relief. Faythe was so cool and I loved reading through her eyes. It was easy for me to connect with her inner struggles since I too squirm under authority. Her external struggles just freaked me out but that was the intent and I commend Rachel Vincent for such incredible writing.
So it’s an adult book. I didn’t even realize that until I was over 200 pages in and slammed into the first sex scene. Still. This can be appropriate for the more “seasoned” young adults. For instance, if you’re a young adult who loves the Mercy Thompson series, you’ll be okay with this series. Seriously. It will be a new favorite.
The writing, the humor. God. I am SUCH a sucker for funny books. Both aspects are tied in with the very first line.
"The moment the door opened I knew an ass-kicking was inevitable. Whether I'd be giving it or receiving it was still a bit of a mystery."
The plot was fantastically put together. There were time when my rational brain was going, “Dude, there’s nothing going on,” but my irrational, literary-supported side was so engrossed in the story and the character interactions that I didn’t even care. Everything was funny and interesting, even if it seemed that nothing in particular was going on. As it is a series, I know that a lot of the seemingly pointless character interactions are really the foundations to the rest of the series.
In essence, you really need to read this book if you need a good dose of girl power. But if you’re a little squeamish when it comes to sex scenes (there are also scenes that include rape) then I suggest waiting a few years before picking this up. (Note: Meaning you WILL pick it up eventually…you’re just waiting until your mind is further corrupted by the world first…*wink*)...more
So you can tell by the grade that this wasn't the best novel I've ever read. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why I didn't like it. The main character, ASo you can tell by the grade that this wasn't the best novel I've ever read. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why I didn't like it. The main character, Aden, was pretty cool. Always cool and confident and all that. But it's almost like the book lacked focus. From the beginning, we should have some idea of the end game. I felt like I was just reading about the characters meandering along, getting attacked by witches and swimming in a pond. The ending didn't fulfill any hopes. It was quick. Too quick.
I did appreciate the little twist the author added about the identity of Mary Ann's mother, but the whole exchange (while it was character appropriate) seemed a little bit too much like "Ghost" to me.
The romances were not my thing, either. I cannot stand romances where one, or both, of the parties lose every sense of survival for themselves. I can understand being willing to die in their lover's place, but to dedicate every molecule of their being to someone else? It was very Twilight in that aspect. (This is relative. If you like romances like that, then this is a good book for ya. -_^)
The book alternates points of view between Aden and Mary Ann, which was interesting and which I enjoyed. There are always subtle misunderstandings represented there and I always found it amusing. And it did reveal the romance that Mary Ann had going for her as well as the background information about Aden.
This book didn't leave me with a good feeling in my stomach like I get when I finish a book I'll always remember. It just...didn't appeal to me. I did manage to finish it, but I'm taking it back to Borders and I most likely won't read the sequel.
I still recommend that you try it, cause despite my review, you could still really like it. So give it a shot, see what happens. :)
Okay, first off, the whole story, with the exception of a SMALL part near the end, is in Ethan's point of view. Weird, no? Usually stories like this aOkay, first off, the whole story, with the exception of a SMALL part near the end, is in Ethan's point of view. Weird, no? Usually stories like this are told in the GIRL'S point of view but the fact that it was in ETHAN'S was...actually sort of fascinating. For two female authors, they portrayed Ethan's character remarkably well.
I absolutely love good books that are good and LONG. If you're looking for something to hold you over for a few days, Beautiful Creatures is your book of choice. The mystery is well-developed and thorough.
The characters were enjoyable and the whole setup of the Gatlin town was intriguing. As the plot went on and when it came to the part where the story unfolds and you finally find out whodunnit, I was stunned by what was revealed--NOT something that happens very often, mind you. And at the end, I was like, "Oh god!" in anticipation. Also by the events, of which I cannot describe here. *wink*
Beautiful Creatures is now resting on my bookshelf, having bought it without reading it first! But I thought, this looks like a good book. And hey, I didn't bring it back to the bookstore, although two books had that unfortunate fate today.
Don't you just love the cover? I was fascinated with the font and I was constantly following the curves and where they met up.
I have deemed Hush, Hush as my #2 Highly Recommended Book for Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.
I must say the real strength of this novel comes from tI have deemed Hush, Hush as my #2 Highly Recommended Book for Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.
I must say the real strength of this novel comes from the author's superb ability for sarcasm and her building up of characters. For example, Patch. A real pain in the butt sometimes but Becca Fitzpatrick does a good job layering her characters. This makes them believable.
The only thing that I think this book needs improvement on is the building of suspense at the end. While the action sequence was pretty well done, there was something that lacked.
This is one of those novels where you don't have a lot of information but you've got a lot of creepy stuff going on. There aren't really a lot of clues, at least none that I saw.
One other thing that bugged me was that the main character, Nora, sure does a lot of running in this book. Not like cross country running, but a holy crap this is scary kind of run. She's not a true wimp though. Not like Bella. In fact, Nora is pissed off at Patch in the beginning. Even throughout the story she's resistant.
A truly good read.
I bought this book without reading it (something I've only done once before) and I was not disappointed. It's sitting on my desk beside me right now and I'm not planning on returning it anytime soon. It's definitely a keeper.
Definitely buy it or request it at your library. See for yourself. :)...more
My god! This was such an AWESOME book. It was such an adrenaline-pumping experience! I'm not even kidding. As I was reading, I could feel my heart beating faster and my breath speeding up...Oh man, John Flanagan really knows how to write! And the best part is, he does this every single one of his books. I hope he continues on with the Ranger's Apprentice books. He's already up to nine, but I love these characters so much and the whole setup--I hope he keeps going.
One thing I've noticed is that great books do not come from a few months of thinking. Oh no. This is the product of years. Why do you think books like the Lord of the Rings and Eragon are so good? Because the authors took their time. They were meticulous in their planning and paid attention to detail and the result was a world rich with believability and details that sustain the imagination. So think about the thought that went into this whole world to keep it going for nine books...Yeah. It's mind-boggling, isn't it? Not something put together in three months then called done.
Wow. There was this one moment in the middle of the book that just had me going--Oh crap. Just pause and catch your breath for a moment, Amelia! I was sitting in my chair, squealing, going, "Oh no! Oh no! Holy crap!" And then! (Oh yeah, it gets better.) At the end--if you've read John Flanagan, you know that the climaxes are always heart stopping--the end was fantastic! John Flanagan knows how to balance out "happily ever after" with reality. Most authors get flimsy and go SUPER easy on their characters. Whoa, not this dude! And that's what makes the characters so awesome to read about! They seem so real because they've suffered losses the same way we do and they live through them and change and mature.
For those who say nay--if you're going, meh, not my thing--think again! There is plenty of action in this book! And okay, so not that kind of action. There is romance but it isn't the center of the book. (If you've been looking for a break from the depths of drama you get from teenage romance novels, look no farther!) Tracking a band of murdering cutthroats across a barren desert? Planning to infiltrate a town to rescue your friends? Nearly dying attempting to rescue your horse? There is more than plenty of action to go around. (And I really had to choose carefully from the wide array of events so I don't give anything away.)
A note on the characters:
I think, above all, Will is still my favorite character. In many ways, he reminds me of Harry Potter--honorable heart, brave but unsure of himself before he finds his place; a natural leader and skilled at what he does.
But GOD! I freaking love Evanlyn's (Cassandra's) character! That girl really knows how it's done! Nowadays, you often expect the princess to be an independent figure, fighting for a place outside of the crown, but have you noticed how most times, the princess is still whiny and incapable? Not in this case! Cassandra knows a) how to use a weapon effectively; b) has a good sense of humor and wit; and c) can hold her own not only on the battlefield, but in delicate negotiations. What's there NOT to admire?
You know who would play a FANTASTIC Halt?! Jeremy Irons! He played Brom in Eragon and has a boatload of acting experience. He has this gruffy, serious by mysterious appearance that covers a soft heart--it would fit Halt perfectly! He doesn't fit ONE characteristic though: Halt's supposed to be a small figure, yes? Well, Jeremy Irons isn't small. :( But that is a mere technicality. If Ranger's Apprentice were to be made into a movie, Jeremy Irons NEEDS to be Halt. :)
If you're a fan of the previous books, you won't be disappointed with this new installment. It carries every aspect of John Flanagan's signature. The characters mature, are given new tests, discover new feelings, have new experiences. A purely fantastic adventure! I loved it!...more
The Ranger's Apprentice series has been apart of my life since I was, say, ten- or eleven-years-old. It's one of those series racked right up there with Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl in terms of staying with a person for their entire lives. Even though I picked it up so long ago, the story still captivates me. Starting a Ranger's Apprentice book is like settling down at a campfire with a bunch of friends you've known forever and sharing really good stories.
Really, once a person gets to book 8 in any series, they have a little more than a preconceived notion about how they're going to feel about the book, already having known the history of the characters and knowing how the given world works. So I was already going into this book knowing that it was going to be awesome. My only concern being that if anyone died, I was going to flip #%$!.
The one negative I have on John Flanagan is his writing style. There is way too much telling and very little tact involved. There's also this consistent habit of switching POVs without indication, the reader just knows that the only way a particular sentence makes sense is if it was told in another character's POV. But John Flanagan really makes up for this through his characters and story and world.
I flipping love Will, the main character. And Halt. And Horace. And Will's horse, Tug. This particular installment really focused on the three -- I mean four (sorry, Tug) -- of them. Even though Horace got [spoiler redacted].
I also liked how there was very little romance. That's not to say that all the rest of his stories are full of doe-eyed, sappy-lipped lovers. I was really attracted to the idea that all of that was over by the first few chapters and the ladies bid goodbye to their men with a "okay, honey, have a good time" and let the menfolk go off on their adventure.
And these are legit adventures. Since I grew up on a healthy diet of Harry Potter, I really grew up loving hero stories. And really, this is a hero's story since I've always considered Will to be the main character, and therefore the hero. The good thing about John Flanagan is, though, that he pokes at stereotypes, so all his main characters are heroes in their own way and they all get a bit of the hero's limelight throughout the series. For example, Horace was really the man in this one. By the end of it, given John Flanagan's talent for storytelling, I was left biting my nails and growling, "If he dies..." under my breath while mentally planning all the ways I'd get revenge for any of the character's deaths.
Ranger's Apprentice has always captured me, and this installment was no different. I'm gripped with a terrified anticipation to read the sequel, Halt's Peril because nothing good can come of a title like that.
If you haven't picked up this series, you should get on that. Sit back and indulge on a bit of a hero's journey....more
It took me six weeks to read this book. Why? Well, I realize what an obscene amount of time that is, and I fear it's only seconded by the years it'll take me to finish Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. The thing is, I've been with this series since I was twelve-years-old and there's only one. more. book. left. And then that's it for any new Ranger's Apprentice books. And while I can't honestly say John Flanagan blows me away with his writing style, the writing isn't the fun part of it. I didn't read nine Ranger's Apprentice novels over six years because of the writing. It was because of the characters. John Flanagan writes such lovable characters that they are the reason I keep coming back.
The thing about John Flanagan's writing style is that, while it's effective, it's pretty amateurish. Almost everything is told, not shown, and there's also an interesting phenomenon afoot: one line, the reader would be in Will's head and the next, it would be in Halt's. With no indication of switching POVs. He just writes his scenes in a kind of round robin style that is unique, if a bit disconcerting at times. Disconcerting in the way many nonconformist things tend to be. Meaning, it doesn't distract from the story -- I still kept up with the plot and it was exciting -- but I think that, along with the tell and no show dilemma, it loses the impact that it could've had if the writing had been brushed up a bit.
Despite this fact, the characters have been and always will be in my heart. I love how Will has grown so much from the scrawny, fifteen-year-old apprentice to a Ranger within his own right. (He's still scrawny, though.) There's still that connection that runs deep between him and Halt. Their relationship of surrogate father and son is so charming, and one that is seen in stark relief in this installment. Will and Halt aside, I am still a huge Horace fan. I love how the giant-like knight is still a huge goof and can joke around with the best of them, but knows when to knock off the humor. I also liked the reappearance of a few characters from the fifth and sixth books. Being able to craft such excellent characters is what makes John Flanagan such a good storyteller.
Because even with the debatable writing style, John Flanagan knows how to spin a good story. I loved how high the stakes were in this book, and how well they were built up and presented. I felt my fingers start to hurt from gripping the book too hard once or twice from the awesome suspense that had built up. Not only endangering the characters lives, but making it seem inevitable that one will die well before his time? I was on tenterhooks throughout most of the book.
Which, weirdly enough, is why it took me so long to read it. A bit switched around, I agree: usually, the more suspenseful a book is, the faster you want to read it. In this case, the fact that I only have one more Ranger's Apprentice novel after this kept me from burning through it. I read it in bits and pieces so I could spread it out as long as possible, shoving in other books before it on my reading queue so it would stay on my pile a little longer. I'm just as attached to these characters and this world as I am to JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. I remember how it felt to finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2007 and I'm not looking forward to an encore performance....more
Here's the thing about this book: I've owned it for years. (Upon reflection, I'm not sure how I came to own a copy.Originally posted on The Authoress.
Here's the thing about this book: I've owned it for years. (Upon reflection, I'm not sure how I came to own a copy.) I've tried over the years to read this book because I knew it had had a strong run on the fame strip. But I was bored with it. I couldn't get more than thirty pages in. But it was such a cool premise! Why wasn't it working for me? Well I wish I could go back in time because I would've put myself back several years and given my then-self a very swift kick in the pants.
Inkheart was a highly entertaining read, in the way that only good middle grade novels can be. It possessed a diverse cast of well-developed characters, an exciting plot (that did pick up, I swear), and a writing style that is distinctive and enchanting. And there was no romance to send everything to hell in a hand basket.
Meggie was a great main character: smart and inquisitive, but still a child and so had a sense of naiveté that did not, in any way, make her seem immature or childish. She had the never-ending imagination and patience that only a younger person could possess. I found myself instantly liking her. Every character in Inkheart was painted with the same care, so that each was distinctive and memorable.
The plot was exciting because of these well-developed characters. But I was shocked to see how violent and crass some of the more unsavory characters were. Quite honestly, I was expecting it to be more benign, with a lot of smoke-blowing rather than detailed threats that the reader knew the bad guys could and would carry out. But, as an older reader, these things only deepened my enjoyment of the story because it meant the author was pulling out all the stops.
Cornelia Funke didn't bog down the story by illuminating every word. Her style was enchanting, but not flowery, which gave it a charming flexibility, able to switch between a touching scene between father and daughter to the sinister, death-filled thoughts of the featured assassin.
All in all, Inkheart was a brilliant opening to what I am sure will be an even more brilliant series. Before I had even finished Inkheart I had gone out to my local bargain bookstore to pick up the sequel, Inkspell. For the lovers of the Artemis Fowl series, the Ranger's Apprentice series, or any series of the Percy Jackson universe, I say this is a good next series to delve into....more