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)
This was a hoot of a book. The main character was bumbling and unique, in fact all of the characters were unique. The book is about a new librarian, w...moreThis was a hoot of a book. The main character was bumbling and unique, in fact all of the characters were unique. The book is about a new librarian, who shows up in a small, close-knit town in Ireland, to run the book mobile, only to find that all 15,000 books have disapeared. He then has to get back all the books, but makes a huge mess of it. This is going to be a series, and I'm looking forward to the next one, but I'm worried that it's not going to be quite as funny, because I really got a kick out of his search for the books. (Did I just kinda give away the ending?)(less)
I felt like this book did The DaVinci code, but better. One reason it was better was because it took place during the time of DaVinci, which was cool....moreI felt like this book did The DaVinci code, but better. One reason it was better was because it took place during the time of DaVinci, which was cool. Another reason was that it had a more plausible tale to tell. Also, the book is more respectful to, and descriptive of, DaVinci's art than Dan Brown was. Here's the plot: An investigator for the Pope (think Vatican CIA) is sent to look for a person who calls himself the Soothsayer who sends them inside information on DaVinci, who is currently painting The Last Supper. The Vatican is interested to see what the Soothsayer knows, because they can't figure DaVinci out. Are his paintings an act of heresy or not? You start with those 2 mysteries, who is the Soothsayer, and are DaVinci's Catholic paintings really something else? As the story progresses, there are suddenly more mysteries: murders, and codes, etc. More people keep asking the Pope's investigator to help them with their mysteries, which can be confusing to keep straight at times, but of course, all tie up at the end into a nice bow, and show that all the mysteries are related. The solutions to all the mysteries are surprising enough to be worth the read. I liked the book's short chapters, one leaving questions answered in the next one, so you read on, and so it ended up being a hard one to put down. The first 20 or so pages, before the investigator gets to Milan, are slow going, but it gets better. There is one picky part that bothers me: the book takes place in -0 degree January, and it talks about a body, dead less than an hour, already decaying and smelling, and also they dig a grave for it. In that low of temperature, a body wouldn't smell so quickly, and you couldn't dig a hole big enough for a body, through frozen earth. I know that much from CSI, but these mistakes can be explained by the fact that the author is really a historian, first and foremost. As for the conclusion, what religion DaVinci was, I'm not sure I'm willing to go 100% with the author's theory, but as I said, it's more believable than The DaVinci code. As an engaging mystery story, I give it 4 stars.(less)
Didn't like how the book began. It throws you into things, crazy stuff happens, and you are really really lost for about 15 pages. I got the book used...moreDidn't like how the book began. It throws you into things, crazy stuff happens, and you are really really lost for about 15 pages. I got the book used, and checked to make sure that pages hadn't been ripped out. That's how abrupt the beginning is. If you can get past that, the book is actually a good read. It takes place in Seattle, which is a instant star bonus for me:) There's a bit of a romance for the main character, which is another star bonus, and the mystery is a good one, which is the rest of the stars. Want the plot? Okay. The private investigator is hired by 4 guys to find their long lost dream crushes, like a centerfold from a Playboy, or someone they passed on the street, but as he looks for these women, he finds that their life is in danger, and his is as well. There are enough twist and turns, and a bit of humor to make this an interesting read, just be prepared to say "huh?" a lot in the beginning. I would like to give this 3.5, but I erred on the side of generosity, and gave it a 4.(less)
This one had an interesting and exciting plot, but at times felt a little much.
This is another hard one to give a synopsis of without ruining! Take ca...moreThis one had an interesting and exciting plot, but at times felt a little much.
This is another hard one to give a synopsis of without ruining! Take caution if you don't want to be spoiled, but I will try to keep it innocent enough.
Reynard, although he goes by Reynie, has grown up in an orphanage (again with the parentless theme for me. I don't get it!) without friends, since he is very, very smart, and the other orphans are mean to him because of it. One day, he finds an ad in the newspaper asking for smart children to take a test, which will lead to exciting opportunities. Reynie jumps on the opportunity, sails through the tests, and ends up in a mysterious group with 3 other kids, equally as smart as he is. Ends up, there is a very important and dangerous mission planned for them. They will be lucky to not only have the mission be a success, but even to survive it...but if the mission is not a success, the whole world will suffer!
For the cons: if the synopsis felt a little overwrought, and dramatic to you, the book felt a bit like that to me too. There is a line between an adventurous story, and a soap opera, and that line got crossed too much for my tastes. It even falls for several of the soap opera cliches, but to discuss them would give away too much of the story. The other con is that I felt too old for the book at times. The kids would make discoveries, and say 'why didn't we think of that earlier? It's so obvious!' And I was thinking, well, yeah. I found it so obvious that I assumed you already realized it. A lot of their discoveries were anti-climactic for me. Perhaps for a younger reader, the surprises would be just that: surprising. Also, they send messages throughout the book, and most of the time, it just says, 'they sent the message' but, those would have been the perfect times to kind of sum up the important things that had happened, and also show to the reader what the CHARACTERS had thought was the important information. It felt like a good opportunity lost to me.
Overall, it's an adventurous, fast paced, yet intelligently puzzle-driven book (which can be hard to do), with interesting characters that you feel for, which, sadly, at times crosses the line into soap opera.(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)
This was an okay book. It's about a girl named Hero, named after a character from Much Ado About Nothing, who has moved to a new town again, and has to...moreThis was an okay book. It's about a girl named Hero, named after a character from Much Ado About Nothing, who has moved to a new town again, and has to go through the ordeal of starting at a new school. Because of her name, she finds it hard to make friends and fit in. Sure enough, the same thing happens again, but this time she doesn't mind as much, because the old lady who lives next door tells her about a diamond that might be hidden in the house Hero is living in. Suddenly there is more adventure in her life, and also a friend, the son of the police chief...but can she trust him with the secret of the diamond? The book was good until the end. I thought the mystery was solved way to easily, and I figured it out within the first 50 pages. Also, I think I'm getting too old and jaded for endings that are quite so sweet and coincidental.(less)
This was a playful and fun book, with a few flaws.
Sabrina and Daphne's parents disapear one day out of the blue, and the police can't find them. They...moreThis was a playful and fun book, with a few flaws.
Sabrina and Daphne's parents disapear one day out of the blue, and the police can't find them. They bounce from one horrible foster home to another, until an old lady comes forward claiming to be their Grandmother. This is weird, because their parents told them their Grandmother was dead. When they meet her, she tells them that they are descended from The Brother's Grimm, who wrote down true events that occured with real creatures. All of these creatures have now moved to America, and live in the town that they are now in. It is the Grimm's family job to keep these fairy tale creatures in line, which is a big job.
One thing that really bugged me was that the story is told through Sabrina's pov, and she spends the first 100 pages doubting everything and being a brat. I think the story would have been a lot more enjoyable if it had been told through Daphne's pov. She's a sweet girl, and it would have made it a much better story. There are also several flaws. The most glaring one is that the Grimm's, generations ago, bonded the fairy tale creatures to the one town, but the catch was that they bonded themselves there too. If the Grimm's can't leave that town, how did Sabrina and Daphne's father move to NYC, and how did they live there themselves? It's never explained. Another flaw is how many story creatures this town has. Okay, there are the Grimm creatures, and Hans Christian Anderson, and the Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland, and Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, but then later on in the story, King Arthur shows up. At some point the author has to draw a line, before it becomes every creature from every story, and not just fairy tale creatures.
Overall it was a fun, original, fractured take on the fairy tales. There were jokes that rewarded you for having read the fairy tales, and also from these creatures having to interact with the modern world. The kind of humor you would find in Jasper Fforde's stories, and that I particularly like. It also has a good plot, with a twist at the end that I really didn't expect, which I find very rarely in books on the junior side of the library. On top of that, it's a cute little book, with pages about the size of my hand:) It's a shame that the flaws were so glaring and detracted from an otherwise really cute book. There's a second in the series, and I'm definitely going to read it. I bet it will be a lot more enjoyable now that Sabrina is not doubting everything around her!(less)