Anyway, these continue the story of the dragon princess Shimmer and her human companion Thorn in their quest to restore Shimmer's lost ocean home. When Shimmer returns to the dragon High King for help, she discovers that her entire clan have been enslaved by him, and now she must save them all in addition to saving their home. Shimmer and Thorn pick up more companions along the way: the witch Civet, the human Indigo, and most wonderfully, the trickster Monkey, who narrates the last two books. I especially loved Monkey's narration, because he's funny and entertaining in his own right, but he also provides an outside POV on the books' key relationship, between Shimmer and Thorn.
All in all, although they skew a little younger than most of the children's and young adult books I read now, I really liked the series' blend of excellent characterization, great use of Chinese mythology, and fast-paced action. ...more
In 1920s Barcelona, David Martín is struggling to get by as a writer and longing to be noticed by the lovely Cristina, daughter of his mentor's chauffIn 1920s Barcelona, David Martín is struggling to get by as a writer and longing to be noticed by the lovely Cristina, daughter of his mentor's chauffeur. When David discovers that his true métier is for Gothic, sensational stories, he comes to the attention of the mysterious publisher Andreas Corelli, who offers him a fortune to write a shocking book which will be the keystone to a new religion. His involvement with Corelli, however, does not lead David to fame and fortune, but deeper and deeper into a maze of fantastical, dangerous events.
I loved Zafón's previous book, The Shadow of the Wind, to which this is a prequel of sorts, but alas, I was disappointed in The Angel's Game. I still love Zafón's very vivid, visual, almost Hitchcockian style -- I noticed myself visualizing scenes in detail more than I usually do -- and the use of books as keys to the story, and I appreciated the subtle links with The Shadow of the Wind. However, I did not love the characters; I found David selfish and Cristina nearly a non-entity. I don't require that a novel's characters be perfectly admirable, or they would be boring, but I do want them to have more depth and at least some likeability. (I did really like David's devoted friend Isabella, and had more of the book been about her, I would have liked it more.) The plot veers wildly about and finally devolves into an ending which simply baffled me. In the end, though the lush writing and tense action kept me reading to the end, I found The Angel's Game more style than substance. ...more
It is 1903, and Moon Shadow lives in China with his mother; a few months before Moon Shadow was born, his father, Windrider, left for America, the LanIt is 1903, and Moon Shadow lives in China with his mother; a few months before Moon Shadow was born, his father, Windrider, left for America, the Land of the Golden Mountain, to earn money which he sends back to his family in China. Now Windrider has sent for the eight-year-old Moon Shadow to join him. When Moon Shadow meets his father, he finds out Windrider's true dream, to fly, and slowly he grows to believe in Windrider's dream, even though it's keeping them from sending for Moon Shadow's mother. I wish Yep had explored that issue a little more, but overall, I liked the book's historical and cultural details very much and probably will read more of Yep's historical fiction (although I liked Dragon of the Lost Sea more)....more