I thought this was an excellent excellent final book. It was action packed and easy to read. It did leave me with several questions though. I'll leave...moreI thought this was an excellent excellent final book. It was action packed and easy to read. It did leave me with several questions though. I'll leave space because there will be spoilers. I'm going to do a more full review when I reread the whole series again in order. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Okay. What happened to the Dursleys? Who's headmaster of Hogwarts? Does Knightley become the permanent Minister of Magic? How did Neville get the sword? Was Dumbledore the "Master of Death" until he gave Harry the Invisibility Cloak, and if so, what does that really entail-I still don't get it-could he not die/could he have people around him not die/could he bring people back from the dead? And where was the person who gained their powers late in life that J.K. Rowling talked about? Who raised Lupin and Tonk's son, and was Victorie Bill and Fleur's daughter? I think I had another question but I can't think of it now. She said that she wasn't going to write anymore, so I wish that I hadn't been left with so many questions. I wish that she would write more, like what was happening in Hogwarts and with The Order of the Phoenix while Harry, Ron, and Hermione were doing their thing. And of course, Hogwarts the Next Generation with Al as the main character. :)(less)
I really liked this book! It's about a princess who is locked in a tower while princes from different areas come to compete. The first prince to slay...moreI really liked this book! It's about a princess who is locked in a tower while princes from different areas come to compete. The first prince to slay a dragon, banish a witch, defeat a troop of bandits, and retrieve the princess from the tower will win her hand in marriage. Sounds really traditional doesn't it? Well, in this story the princess retrieves HERSELF from the tower, because she wants to save the dragon, witch, and bandits from the princes. This was a really adventuresome fun read, and I found it remeniscent of some excellent books, namely Ella Enchanted (one of my favorite books), Patricia C. Wrede's Dragon series, and the wizard in this book reminded of Howl from Howl's Moving Castle.(less)
Please don't hold it against the book that it took me forever and a day to read. I was feeling sick, and wasn't much in a reading mood, but this book...morePlease don't hold it against the book that it took me forever and a day to read. I was feeling sick, and wasn't much in a reading mood, but this book was truly fantastic. I really liked the first book, and was looking forward to this one, a little worriedly. Imagine my surprise when I liked it better than the first book!
At the end of the first book, Kate has returned to the present, but Peter accidentally is left back in the 1700's when the villian of the book, the Tar Man, takes his place, and comes to the future.
In this book, the Tar Man quickly realizes that the present is ripe for thieving opportunities, and he becomes unstoppable when he discovers that time travelling has left him with a special talent that is every thief's dream.
Also, Kate and Peter's father secretly find where Kate's family has hidden the time machine, in the hopes that they can quickly go back to the 1700's, rescue Peter, and come back. But they quickly discover that, due to an incorrect setting, the Peter that they find is very different than the Peter that they left only a few days before, and now the time machine will not work, and the only man who has the knowledge to fix it for them is stuck on the wrong side of the french revolution.
As if that isn't bad enough, since Kate has time travelled numerous times, she seems to be becoming unglued from time, and there is no way to know how to help her.
The ending left me excited for the next book, the last in the trilogy, but I can't find any info about when it's coming out...shoot!(less)
Shannon Hale is climbing the ranks in becoming one of my favorite authors, and this book helped a great deal, by being an automatic add to my favorite...moreShannon Hale is climbing the ranks in becoming one of my favorite authors, and this book helped a great deal, by being an automatic add to my favorites shelf. I read it in 2 days, and absolutely loved it! She has perfected the craft of Grimm's fairy tale reduxes.
Dashti is a mucker, which means that she has grown up in the steppes of Mongolia, in a gher, and also has the power of healing through song.
When she is no longer able to live in the steppes, she goes to town, and quickly is hired and trained to be the maid to Lady Saren. Unluckily, Dashti pledges to do her lady's bidding the same day that Lady Saren's father decides the fitting punishment for turning down the proposal of Lord Khasar, and instead wanting to marry Khan Tegus, is to wall her up in a tower...for 7 years. Dashti hardly hesitates before she agrees to go into the tower with Lady Saren, because her Lady bids it.
The book takes the format of a diary that Dashti writes from the tower. She finds that Lady Saren is unexplainably terrified of Lord Khasar, and, when Khan Tegus comes to visit, Dashti is shocked to find Lady Saren bid her to talk to him through the tower in her place. Over their several nights of discussions, Dashti discovers that Khan Tegus is a wonderful person, and, despite her efforts not to, she falls in love with him. This leads to several problems, not the least of which is that Dashti and Lady Saren have hardly begun their seven years of captivity in the tower.
There is so much more to this story. It has everything that I look for in a good tale, including a believable sense of place, a unique and fully realized main character, adventure, romance, and more. It has the sadness that turned me off from The Goose Girl, but in this book, it fits into a more realistic and well-rounded world, rather than being overwhelmingly depressing. In the end, I found this more like Ella Enchanted, one of my most favorite books, than any of Gail Carson Levine's follow-ups. (less)
I really, really liked this book. It's about 4 misfits, each one has an undiscovered strong skill with one of the 4 elements. A mysterious man takes t...moreI really, really liked this book. It's about 4 misfits, each one has an undiscovered strong skill with one of the 4 elements. A mysterious man takes them to a school for magical people, and they all end up getting in fights in their dorms, and living in the same dorm together, just the four of them. This is the first in a series, and I felt like it was a great sign that the rest of the series is going to be as good.(less)
I really liked this book. It was a good follow up to the first one, and left me wanting to read the next book in the series. As for the plot: followin...moreI really liked this book. It was a good follow up to the first one, and left me wanting to read the next book in the series. As for the plot: following the earthquake in the last book, pirates try to attack the circle school, taking advantage of the lessened security. The four students find their magic is growing stronger, and that the link between them has grown as well, and want to help keep the pirates out. This book seemed similar to Harry Potter to me, in a way that the first book was not. The way that this book is different from Harry Potter, and one of the things I really like about this book, is that the four students, who were really strangers during the last book, and still are getting into fights as their personalities clash, are melding into 1 person in a way. They are becoming able to do each other's magical abilities, and they are having a mental connection as well. I think it's really interesting how these 4 are developing links with each other and some don't even want it. My one complaint is that JK Rowling has a skill with writing classroom scenes and making them interesting. Meanwhile, the 4 students in this book seemingly have taken very few lessons, probably because the author assumes that the reader would be bored with reading about them. I, for one, loved the classroom scenes in Harry Potter. My other small complaint is that the title of the books are deceiving. In the last one, as well as this one, all of the students shared the story equally. To call this book Tris's book, and the last book Sandry's isn't true. (less)
This book is a collection of Wrede's short fiction from over the years, and runs the gamut from modern fantasy, to traditional fantasy, to something s...moreThis book is a collection of Wrede's short fiction from over the years, and runs the gamut from modern fantasy, to traditional fantasy, to something set in her Dragons series world. I really liked about 5 of the 10 or so, and the rest were quite good too. At the end there's a recipe for chocolate cake that's in one of the stories, and her postscript, telling how she came up with the idea for each of the stories, which I found really interesting.(less)
I liked this book. It's the 1st in a trilogy. I learned what a Cutpurse and Tar Man are, which might come in handy...some day. The girl character crie...moreI liked this book. It's the 1st in a trilogy. I learned what a Cutpurse and Tar Man are, which might come in handy...some day. The girl character cries WAY too much, which is silly, especially given that the author is a woman. The other annoying thing is that the back of the book says "book 2, The Tar Man, coming Summer '07" so I checked and they renamed the series, and renamed book one is coming out in Fall, and renamed book 2 is coming out in Winter, so a MUCH longer wait than I was expecting.(less)
This was a good book. It's not an easy one to summarize. It has evil wizards, spells, curses, talking bears, and is just a good yarn. The plot got a b...moreThis was a good book. It's not an easy one to summarize. It has evil wizards, spells, curses, talking bears, and is just a good yarn. The plot got a bit confusing at spots, but overall, it was a quick good read.(less)
I thought this book was better in ways than the Studio Gibli movie. For one reason, she doesn't play mind games with boys in the book. In fact, she sa...moreI thought this book was better in ways than the Studio Gibli movie. For one reason, she doesn't play mind games with boys in the book. In fact, she says in the book that she doesn't understand the girls that DO play mind games, so it's interesting how they portrayed her in the movie. I also like how the book has each chapter as a month that she's in the town. It worked well. There was a chapter in the book, which I read before I saw the movie, that I thought would be really good in the movie, but it isn't in the movie, which I was surprised about. It's the chapter that takes place on New Year's Eve. There are definite differences between the movie and the book other than what I've mentioned, but you'll have to read for yourself. haha! Oh. It ends up this is a series, and there are at least 3 more after this one, but I can't find them. That stinks:((less)
This book had not one, but 2 finely tuned mysteries. I read somewhere that Rowling wants to write a mystery book for adults, and she definitely has th...moreThis book had not one, but 2 finely tuned mysteries. I read somewhere that Rowling wants to write a mystery book for adults, and she definitely has the skills to do it. Not only are you wondering about the dog/Lupin/Sirius Black situation, but you also are wondering how Hermione keeps appearing out of the blue. In the end, when it's all revealed, you realize the clues have been there all along (and especially during rereadings) which is exactly what you want to happen.
I had it all messed up my first time around, because I suspected Lupin of being the dog, which I thought was actually a wolf. Lupin actually rocks though, in this book, which makes it so disappointing when he randomly turns into Oscar the Grouch in the rest of the books because he's *mooning* (get it?) over that purple haired chick.
I love the time turner. Rowling's always pulling out different types of magic, so her world never gets stale. Time travel is notoriously difficult to write, without there being inconsistencies. My Mom still tells me how much the movie "Somewhere in Time" bugged her, because there's a pocket watch that doesn't make sense (he gives it to her in the past, she gives it to him in the present, repeat ad nauseam, but where did it originally come from?), and that movie's from 1980. I remember reading this book for the first time and thinking that it didn't quite all fit together...was Buckbeak killed the first time around...? but the movie did a really excellent job with the time travel element (but don't get me started on the random huge clocks that suddenly appeared everywhere on campus). I love how they did Buckbeak's "death," Hermione seeing herself, and also the howling, so it worked both times around in the movie.
Oh! And I love the beginning. Not the blowing up the aunt part, and the line about bitches and blood, thank you very much, but when he stays in an inn in town, eats ice cream everyday, and gets great help with his homework. Just goes to show that Rowling is in touch with what kids want, because isn't that every school kids fantasy--to get away from home, eat junk food, and find a source that will get you easy A's--all under Cornelius Fudge's okay, no less!
The Dementors are really creepy, and it's just another way to ratchet up the 'not totally kid friendly' factor, which is good she did that gradually. I loved the animagus idea, and how Harry's patronus is Prongs, and how he thinks he sees his Dad save him. And I can forgive the line, "I did it because I already knew I could, if that makes sense" line, because it almost, kind of, maybe does make sense.
I really don't see any reason for them not to have figured out a way to capture Pettigrew the 2nd time around. That always bugs me, and I was shouting at my car cd player "get him! get him this time!" when I listened to the audio book. But they didn't. Sigh.
My least favorite thing in the book (and following books--well, maybe not LEAST, but close) is the Divination lessons. Yawn! I really, REALLY wish that Harry and Ron had both dropped the class when Hermione did. And besides, then we would get to see what arithmancy is, because I don't think we ever do. I picture it being arithmetic (math in other words) like, but I guess I'll never know!
I also didn't like how Hermione and Ron fought so much about Scabbers and Crookshanks (neither of which are very appetizing names, by the way). I'm just not happy when the 3 of them aren't getting along. But I do take Ron's side. Hermione says in her cat's defense, "Cats attack rats. It's in their nature." True. But then why did you choose a cat for a pet, when you knew that it would have to be around Scabbers all the time, eh Hermione? A bit passive-aggressive, if you ask me! >P(less)
I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could. Think of a cross between Alice in Wonderland, Homer's Odysey, and the darkness of some of the Grimm's fai...moreI would give this book 3.5 stars if I could. Think of a cross between Alice in Wonderland, Homer's Odysey, and the darkness of some of the Grimm's fairytales. There was a quest and personal discovery journey, crossed with some freaky stuff going on. Really, I was amazed, at the end, how well everything tied together-that's how random the journey was.
I would echo the others, and say this is obviously more for the boys...in fact, thinking back on all the female characters in the book, they're either stereotypically or offensively portrayed. I would say the author has some woman issues!
The coolest, coolest part is the illustrations. Wonderfully done, and there's a TON of them. At least one every-other page! They illustrate very well what's going on, which is important in a book where 9 out of 10 creatures the author has made up.
Twig has grown up in the Deepwoods-think really scary, monsters you'd never want to run into woods-with the woodtrolls, but has never fit in. He doesn't look like them, and he doesn't have their obsession with sticking to the path. One day his dear mother admits to him that she found him in the forest when he was a baby, and he needs to leave because the SkyPirates are looking for him. She warns him to watch out for the Gloamglozer, the scariest of scary monsters, and sends him on his way. He goes on a journey into the woods, doesn't stick to the path, and quickly learns how smart the woodtrolls are for sticking to the path, because he goes from one bad situation to the next one.
Will he make it out alive?? Will he run into the Gloamglozer??? Will the SkyPirates get him????
Well, this is a series, (so I answered the first question-oops!) and I've heard the rest of the series is better, so I think I'll read book #2 and see how it goes! (less)
The magic and wizardry content in this book was just too strange. It's totally possible to write about things that are different from what we experien...moreThe magic and wizardry content in this book was just too strange. It's totally possible to write about things that are different from what we experience in this world, but to write them in a way that you understand what's going on. In this book, though she uses analogies that don't help make things any clearer. When I stopped reading, for example, the 2 young wizards are creating a thing to plug a hole in a thing to keep out a grey cloud that they somehow know wants to eat them (clearly I couldn't tell what was going on). The analogy she used to explain what the situation was like, paraphrased: "It was like a cement rose unfolding, or like being at a party where everyone wants to tell you their life story." I just was stumped by how those analogies work together, and also by how that was supposed to explain the situation.(less)
Quinn is a princess, in a magic-filled world which is below this one. The only thing connecting our world with hers is an enchanted wishing well. Quin...moreQuinn is a princess, in a magic-filled world which is below this one. The only thing connecting our world with hers is an enchanted wishing well. Quinn and her friend Cam have always wanted to travel to this world through the wishing well to see how things are, and one day they snatch the opportunity to do so. Things go wrong though, and Quinn travels through without Cam, and without knowing how to get back to her own world. Luckily, she is met by 2 teenagers, a boy and girl, and their grandfather. The grandfather is aware of the connected worlds, and takes her in. Quinn is shocked at how different this world is from the one she knows, but she comes to enjoy it, especially Adam, one of the teenagers she is living with. The only problems are a guy named Zack, who knows she can do magic with the help of an enchanted ring, and keeps stalking her, waiting for his chance to take the ring from her, and the fact that despite how much she loves this world, she has a destiny waiting for her in her own...if only she can get back to it.
I thought this would be more like the Disney movie Enchanted. They are very similar in plots, except that she is 16 in this book, and has to deal with high school. I quite liked it, but the book is starting to feel a bit dated, and until you figure out why, it seems like a crazy coincidence that the grandfather knows that she was going to come through the well when she did, and that was why I took a star off. (less)
I bought this book when I was getting my El Ed Certification. I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, which wasn't much of a problem,...moreI bought this book when I was getting my El Ed Certification. I haven't read any of the previous books in the series, which wasn't much of a problem, when reading this one, except for one thing. I couldn't figure why the school is called Dragon Slayer's Academy, when the dragon in the book is so nice. The plot is that there is going to be Parent's Day at the academy, which has all the student's worried, because surely nobody's parents could be more embarassing than their own? To add to that stress, they find out that they are going to be putting on a play for their parents, and nobody is happy with the role they were assigned. This series seems like Harry Potter for a younger reader, who would like Harry Potter better if it was less dark, and had more humor. It takes place in "ye olden days" and seems to be more intended for boys. (less)
Well, it was certainly wonderful to be back in the world of Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next again. I won't try to summarize the book, you just kind of...moreWell, it was certainly wonderful to be back in the world of Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next again. I won't try to summarize the book, you just kind of have to read it, but I will say that this book has just as much twists and turns and humor, and love for books, and nail biting close calls, and things you never could have seen coming as the previous...and what a cliff hanger ending! I hope the next book is out really soon! I only had 2 picky problems with it. The first was that it took a REALLY long time to get going. The first 1/3 of the book is Thursday showing her trainee Bookworld, (actually a way to refresh the readers memory if they hadn't read, or recently reread the past books) but I felt that it went on a little too long, and I started thinking, "okay! Let's get into it now! We're running out of book!" But once the book started rolling, it was a hold-on-tight roller coaster ride, especially the last 1/3! My other problem with it was that it was a bit repetitive. I swear the pre-chapter info blurbs were recycled from past books: some seemed mighty familiar! Also the descriptions of how HUGE everything was in Bookworld got a little redundant. It even says in the book, something like "since everything was on a large scale in Bookworld, it would be redundant to describe how huge each new thing was"...and then it did a few more times! Other than my 2 picky problems, it was fantastic to be back in Thursday Next's world, which is so one-of-a-kind, and is just everything that a reader loves to read rolled into one!(less)