My hopes were pretty high for this one. I mean, what reader has never wished they could become a character in their favorite story? However, this bookMy hopes were pretty high for this one. I mean, what reader has never wished they could become a character in their favorite story? However, this book was awful.
I liked Atreyu and Falkor, and I found there adventures interesting enough, but Bastian acted like a nasty, vindictive jerk for most of the story. (Why do authors always make their sympathetic protagonists do a complete 180 when they get any amount of power??) Having to follow an unlikable character through 300 pages of a story isn't the best way to attain the reader's favor.
Along with that, too much detail is given about every insignificant thing and creature in the story. I'm really not concerned to read a laundry list of Fantastica's strange creatures, but that's what happened each time a new creature was introduced. Let's get to the story and stop with the flowery prose, shall we?
And a minor annoyance: "But that is another story for another time." I hate being drawn out of the narrative by being addressed. This happened all too often, and was really grating on my nerves by the end of the story. They're not main characters, I know that their story isn't the one being told, so why do you have to keep reminding me of it? ...more
I loved the premise of the book: a thief entering works of literature and kidnapping the characters. However, the majority of the book was slow and loI loved the premise of the book: a thief entering works of literature and kidnapping the characters. However, the majority of the book was slow and long-winded, and there were very few parts where the main characters romped through the great works of literature. It took forever to get to the interesting parts, and by that time I was so annoyed that I couldn't even truly enjoy them. Overall, I think it was a great idea that was poorly executed. I have a few other Fforde books on my TBR shelf, but I am hesitant to pick any of them up after this disappointing read....more
Let me start by saying I have no idea how to classify this book. It's been touted both as a children's book and as a YA book, but I don't think eitherLet me start by saying I have no idea how to classify this book. It's been touted both as a children's book and as a YA book, but I don't think either really fit. I've taught upper-elementary school, and my husband has taught middle school, and neither of us could really imagine giving this to our students. The storyline was interesting, but I imagine many kids getting lost/bored while reading it, especially with regards to all of the philosophical bits. YA might be a better age, except that the main character is 11, and I can't see many teenagers wanting to read about a protagonist younger than them. So I'm pretending it's written for adults, and am reviewing it with that in mind.
Lyra is not the most likable character, although many of the adults in the story seem to find her annoying character traits endearing. I'm not seeing the appeal, so she grated on me at times, especially in the first half of the story.
There are some long passages of description that wore on me, and sometimes paragraphs of dialogue that felt forced (it usually happens when a character is explaining something to Lyra).
I wanted to know what Dust was earlier on in the story. I know, I'm an impatient reader, but I just got frustrated with never quite knowing what was going on.
With that said, the plot was interesting, and there were quite a few twists I didn't see coming. I liked many of the side characters that are introduced throughout the story. I've already started reading the next book in the series....more
**spoiler alert** I really did enjoy this book, and read through it in less than two days. (No small feat for a slow reader such as myself!) But there**spoiler alert** I really did enjoy this book, and read through it in less than two days. (No small feat for a slow reader such as myself!) But there are a number of issues I have with the book, most of which have to do with the ending.
I don't think there was a satisfying ending to Katsa and Po's story. In the final pages we learn that Po has been blinded, he is traveling alone to his home, Katsa is returning to face Randa again, and she is starting a self-defense training program for girls. The romance is then summed up with, "But don't worry, we'll meet again." Yuck. There are so many things left hanging that I was really dissatisfied. When I thought there was a sequel, the ending made sense, as I assumed the story would be continued. But now that I know this is not the case, the ending is really unsatisfying.
I had hoped that as Katsa grew and matured throughout the story, her views on marriage would also shift, allowing her to see it as something other than a confining, independence-crushing institution. This was not the case. She holds steady to her determination not to marry Po, despite her love for him. This bothered me, as by the she seemed to just be clinging to her fear of commitment rather than having any rational reasons not to marry him. ...more
Eh. This wasn't anything special. I finished it, but will not be reading the other two in the series.
None of the characters were likable, not even a lEh. This wasn't anything special. I finished it, but will not be reading the other two in the series.
None of the characters were likable, not even a little bit. They were a group of nasty, selfish, back-stabbing teen girls who Gemma desperately wants to be friends with. Um, why, exactly? And Gemma is so quick to forgive their bitchiness towards her as soon as they're willing to accept her as a friend. (Which they only do because she learns a secret about one of them.)
There were many unanswered questions. Most of the magic in the story is very vaguely described. Maybe it's going to be fleshed out in future novels, but I don't like finishing a book and still being confused about one of the major plot elements.
Also, it's written in the present tense, a writing style I've never enjoyed. ...more
Wow - I really loved this book. I've recently read a string of really mediocre, disappointing books, so I was holding my breath, hoping this one wouldWow - I really loved this book. I've recently read a string of really mediocre, disappointing books, so I was holding my breath, hoping this one would live up to my high expectations. Not only did it live up to them - it blew them out of the water.
Honestly, this book was wonderful. The plot was engaging, with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing (and reading!). Pair that with interesting characters, an emotional back story, and a bit of magic, and you have the makings of a page turner. (Not to mention the romance that begins between two of the characters...Happy sigh.)
I can't say enough about this book. Nothing in this review will come close to capturing what a great story it is. Stop reading this and run out to buy a copy. :O)
In the words of Ogden Nash: "I love this more than a duck can swim, and more than a grapefruit squirts."...more
I was hoping to like this more than I did. I like the premise of it - is the narrator going crazy, or are there really ghosts at Bly? However, the ghoI was hoping to like this more than I did. I like the premise of it - is the narrator going crazy, or are there really ghosts at Bly? However, the ghost sightings were minimal and there was no action to speak of. I get that this was intentional, but it just doesn't work for me. I finished it fairly quickly, but only because I kept thinking something more exciting was going to happen. I hated the ending; I can't remember the last time I came across such a horrible cliff-hanger. And, another thing that bothers me - what DID Miles say at school?!...more
Let me start by saying that I am not really a fan of Gaiman. I find much of his work a bit on the dark side, which isn't usually what I go for in my rLet me start by saying that I am not really a fan of Gaiman. I find much of his work a bit on the dark side, which isn't usually what I go for in my reading material. However, I actually enjoyed this one. I couldn't decide between 3 and 4 stars. I liked it, but I'm not sure how much, as it left me feeling a bit unsettled.
I was very creeped out by the beginning, when the family is stabbed to death in their sleep, but it grabbed my interest and kept me reading. Some readers have mentioned that they felt like they didn't really care about the main character, but I did not have that problem. I was rooting for him throughout the book. (And Silas, my other favorite character.)
One thing I liked in particular was the few full-page illustrations that were scattered throughout. I have not seen that it many books, and I think that oftentimes it can help add to the mood of the story, which it certainly did here.
It reminded me in parts of Harry Potter...boy's family killed, boy the only one to live, killer tries to hunt down boy, etc. There was even a prophecy that would not have come true had the killer not made it so. There were some heavy issues tackled, and I think Gaiman could have covered them with more sensitivity. ...more