By a fourth of the way through the book, I was ready to stop reading it. The first 250 or so pages of the 290 page book was filled to the brim with bi...moreBy a fourth of the way through the book, I was ready to stop reading it. The first 250 or so pages of the 290 page book was filled to the brim with bigotry, busybodies, legalism, and some self-righteous chick running around telling everyone "what God says to do."
At one point, the aforementioned self-righteous busybody told an eleven year-old, "If you know that you're doing God's work - then you're willing to do anything. I mean anything." Her idea of anything included prying into people's business and telling them what they can and cannot do.
The reader is supposed to dislike the character, but much of the main character's actions followed the same route. At one point I was wondering who the heck was writing the book and what in the world is her religious viewpoints?!
There is a happy ending, but it requires the tedious trudging through of a couple hundred pages of absolute distasteful reading. (less)
By the end of The Wizard Heir, I couldn't wait to start the final book in the trilogy. I had been completely pulled into Chima's world of wizards, sor...moreBy the end of The Wizard Heir, I couldn't wait to start the final book in the trilogy. I had been completely pulled into Chima's world of wizards, sorcerers, and enchanters, and was looking forward to all the pieces I had been collecting from the previous two books come together.
After this, the review reveals things that the reader should already know if he or she had read the previous two books. For that reason, I didn't check the spoiler box.
Since the previous two books were each from the perspective of Jack, the Warrior Heir, and Seph, the Wizard Heir, respectively, it came as no surprise to me that the Dragon Heir was focused on the world as Madison Moss saw it. In The Wizard Heir, Seph met Maddie while in the sanctuary of Trinity. They had an off-again, on-again relationship, courtesy of Madison.
So The Dragon Heir picks up where The Wizard Heir left off, naturally, and we're soon introduced to Maddie's problems and reasons why she avoids Seph so much. There's a lot happening, and it seems to take forever - especially because the reader knows what's going on already.
The stars of the previous books get pushed back quite a bit, focusing on Maddie and new characters from her life. We even leave Seph quite a bit, coming back to find him changed quite a bit. There's a small part to play for Seph's parents, Leander Hastings and Linda Downey, necessary, but through an odd set of circumstances. In my humble opinion, it seemed like an unusual and not very well-disguised plot device to get the people of Trinity (namely Seph) to do everything on their own.
In the end, the ancient legend that was introduced in the first book and questioned in the second is revealed in a really intriguing way. Chima did a brilliant job of bringing that aspect together, at least.
What bothered me was the characters themselves. Her characters are ever-dynamic, as teenagers are wont to be, but it seemed we missed a lot of Seph's change. The end came too soon - we spend a good 150 pages going back and forth between the final battle and Maddie's struggles, and then the end takes all of five pages. And the characters still weren't reconciled enough for the end of a series.
There's a random death that almost seemed like Chima didn't want to deal with the extra two pages she would have to think up if he stayed alive. From an implied sentence or two, Seph has gone back to "normal," but we never get to see it. Seph apparently goes to Maddie's town, a few hours away from Trinity, but aren't these kids in high school? In the middle of a semester? Trinity is close to being destroyed by the end of the battle - all the Anaweir are convinced they should leave, and do. What are the hundreds of people told when they come back to a burnt house?
After all that, it seems like it had a really bad ending. It didn't - it was okay, just unsatisfactory for me. Since this is Chima's first set of novels, I'm hoping to see improvement in her next series of books. She has an amazing imagination and great character development (usually), but I would have loved to see a more thought-out ending.
And a better editor. Please, please, Cinda, hire a better editor.(less)
This book was very well written and engaging. The plot was good, the characters were well thought out for the most part, and it really drew me into th...moreThis book was very well written and engaging. The plot was good, the characters were well thought out for the most part, and it really drew me into the story.
And now for criticism, because I do have a lot of it. There's a reason why this potentially five-star book is only three stars.
The fault lies mainly in the publisher, I think, as they should have at least run it by a decent copy editor. The story was about a 16 year-old named Joseph, nickname Seph, but his name was printed "Seth" a handful of times. Periods went missing from the ends of sentences. Quotation marks dropped out of dialogues. Hyphens were dividing words in places that goes against nature. There was at least one misspelled word between The Wizard Heir and The Warrior Heir, but I can't remember which one.
Maybe this bothers me more than it should, but I did study English for two years; the incorrect mechanics that should have been caught by just doing basic copy-editing disappointed me greatly.
The star-rating system is frustrating me. This is why:
The City of Ember was an imaginative, beautiful book. It was right up my alley: an alternate uni...moreThe star-rating system is frustrating me. This is why:
The City of Ember was an imaginative, beautiful book. It was right up my alley: an alternate universe kind of world, where the story focused more along the lines of "What if we all lived like this instead of how we live now? What would happen if..." and then the story progresses. I love those stories. This story was no different. Because of this, and the entirely likable characters, I wanted to give it five stars.
Unfortunately, I had some literary criticism for it that made me only want to give it four stars. On one hand, the first hundred pages seemed taken directly from The Giver by Lois Lowry. Though slightly different, the plot was similar: at twelve years of age, each student would receive their job assignment. Unlike The Giver, it was a random draw. The set up of the story was similar as well: it was a solitary town cut off from all the rest of the world, the children grew up learning from their history books that Ember is the only city, and past it stretches endless darkness. The Mayor is king, everyone looks and dresses the same, and people go without luxuries. In the end, the protagonists have to find their way out. Sounds more and more like Lowry's world, doesn't it?
So there was a lack of originality. There was some copy-catting. So do I rate it for it's literary merit (I'd say a three or four) or how much I loved the book?
I genuinely enjoyed this fun graphic novel. The drawing style is really sketchy, yet clean (just how I like it), and it's got a nice little story. Obv...moreI genuinely enjoyed this fun graphic novel. The drawing style is really sketchy, yet clean (just how I like it), and it's got a nice little story. Obviously, since it's a graphic novel, it's not a "hard reading" kind of book, yet it wasn't so silly as to be boring or uninteresting.
Re-gifters is the story of Dixie, a Korean martial arts black belt who has to get through high school, a crush, and a tournament. It's sorta your standard "girl likes boy, boy likes popular girl instead" thing, but it does have a happy ending. And I don't like girls who chase after boys, so you know the "happy ending" isn't Dixie with her crush. That wasn't a spoiler, was it?(less)
Like Gaiman's Coraline, it had the feeling of a Grimm fairy tale, this time even more so with the witches and unicorns and hobgoblins that lived in Fa...moreLike Gaiman's Coraline, it had the feeling of a Grimm fairy tale, this time even more so with the witches and unicorns and hobgoblins that lived in Faerie.
Stardust is a... sorry, I just got sidetracked and I don't remember what I was going to say. It's midnight, give me a break. :D
I liked the book. I loved the ending.
second read edit; July 15, 2011 Stardust is just as great the second time around as it was the first. (less)
As I was reading the book, the strange sentence structure (sometimes even grammatically incorrect) took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting a "newbie"...moreAs I was reading the book, the strange sentence structure (sometimes even grammatically incorrect) took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting a "newbie" book, but when I looked up the author, I learned that "The Warrior Heir" is her first book. And she didn't have a particularly good editor. It bothers me when people don't separate words with hyphens correctly. :D
As for content, it was a good story with a little too much fluff. It slowed down halfway through the book, and while it wasn't boring, per say, it could have been better. I did like the ending. It had a one or two unexpected twists and a few expected ones, but overall it was satisfactory.
So, all in all, it could have been better - especially the editing!!! - but for a first novel, it is a good read with an enjoyable plot.(less)
I think, maybe, I have fallen out of love with Paolini. Not completely, mind you, but the initial, oh-my-gosh-this-is-genius has gone. In its place is...moreI think, maybe, I have fallen out of love with Paolini. Not completely, mind you, but the initial, oh-my-gosh-this-is-genius has gone. In its place is a vague recollection of high expectations and questioning disappointment. It has been so long since the first book came out and I was hyped up about this Dragon and Rider duo. Since then, I've forgotten way too much about the world, how things work, the characters, etc. It kinda frustrated me, and I really didn't want to spend extra time reading the first two JUST to refresh my memory. My sister, who read the series more recently, proved helpful: "Hey Beth, who's this guy? What memory is he referencing here?" etc. Several of the places fell emotionally flat, which really saddened me (which is an emotion, so what the heck), and in one particular chapter, my least favorite (and why would I ever have a least favorite CHAPTER in a perfectly decent book?) read almost like a romance novel. It was bad. It was that bad.
But anyway, I do want to read the fourth (and hopefully final?) book, but I'm annoyed that there is, as of yet, no projected publishing date. Come on, Paolini, I know genius takes time, but we're pushing the genius bit and you're running out of time.(less)
The second book of the Inkheart series. Like the first, the language of the story is beautiful and intriguing. In this book, however, things take a mu...moreThe second book of the Inkheart series. Like the first, the language of the story is beautiful and intriguing. In this book, however, things take a much darker turn and things are rarely as happy as they are in Inkheart. There's much death, and a surprising amount of cursing for a "children's" novel (that's what section it was in at the bookstore), and I cried. The author does have an amazing ability to twist and turn the plot so I was always on edge. Unfortunately, this can get kinda confusing after the first four hundred pages if I'm not keeping up with reading regularly. That said, it's really mostly my fault for forgetting. Cornelia Funke does a good job with keeping up the flow of the story.
I can't wait to get the third one.
edit: I originally only gave it four stars mostly because it made me sad, but decided that not all books have to be happy. It really does merit five stars.(less)