**spoiler alert** What would you do if you found yourself living another life whenever your eyelids shut? Would you go insane? Kill yourself? Or just...more**spoiler alert** What would you do if you found yourself living another life whenever your eyelids shut? Would you go insane? Kill yourself? Or just deal with it. For Nolan he just tries to keep everyone around him happy. Everytime Nolan closes his eyelids he lives as Amara, a mute servant girl living in the Dit. Amera lives to protect the hidden and cursed princess Cilla. A protection that a dangerous and painful. Amara has no idea that everything she experiences Nolan experiences as well. Till now, when Nolan accidentally takes control and finds himself no longer an observer. The mages ministers are closing in fast to Amara and everything has just changed forever. Nolan's and Amara's lives will never be the same. This is a first read book and i was rather excited to get it. The premises sounded exciting and one I hadn't read before. I was, ironically, drawn in as soon as I started reading it. Nolan, a 17 year old boy who is an leg amputee and suffers from what everyone considers a rare form of epilepsy. He's not actually experiencing seizures. He is instead being drawn into the world of Dit. Seeing everything from a unaware girl named Amara. He's been this way since he was five. He sees himself as having no life outside of Amara's. And no way of letting her know that he's there. That every time she's in pain so is he. Till the day she blacks out and he takes control. Amara is a servant. At a young age she had her tongue cut out for servants do not speak. It was discovered later that she was actually a healing mage. A gift that would become a curse for her. This is because she must help protect the cursed princess Cilla. Everytime Cilla spills a drop of blood the curse actives. It's Amara's job to take the curse upon herself. With everyone wanting the princess dead it's hard to not have a love/hate relationship with Cilla. At least she has the fellow servant Maart with her. She has no idea that Nolan has been seeing through her eyes since she was young. That is till one day when he gains control over her body and they meet for the very first time. Otherbound is James Cameron's Avatar meets fantasy with a bit of Sailor Moon in it. Now the Avatar meets fantasy is easy enough reference to pick up. Nolan is essentially Jake Sully. Except instead of having his own body he has Amara. Coupled with a rather fast paced storyline it's a good read. You have no idea if Amara's and Cilla's escape is going to work. Are they finally going to find a way to break the curse? And is there other's like Nolan who journeys to their world as well. It all serves you to keep flipping the pages. Kinda of like you can't stop watching the Avatar movie. Now the Sailor Moon reference. Things got a bit Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune between Amara and Cilla in the middle of the book and onwards. And i'm not speaking the english version of the show/manga. I'm speaking the Japanese. The moment it happened my thoughts just turned into...they totally went into Uranus and Neptune mode. Each character matches up with the other perfectly. Does that make Nolan Jupiter than? Bound to watch everything? Interesting though. My only thing i wanted added to this book was for Noland and Amara to have a moment to meet face to face. Even if it was an magical moment, i wanted it to happen. Plus i was disappointed to see there is no sequel. I kinda of wanted to Nolan to have more adventures in Dit. Maybe he could have a full Jake Sully moment after all. Overall a very good read. 5 stars. (less)
**spoiler alert** I don't know what has kept me from reading this book before, but i'm glad i finally checked it out of the library. Wow! I can't wait...more**spoiler alert** I don't know what has kept me from reading this book before, but i'm glad i finally checked it out of the library. Wow! I can't wait to get my fingers on the next. Now I have to admit i had my reservations. Usually when i'm flipping through potential books and i see lines about how hot a guy is i'm like "Great another girl has a crush on hot guy. Course he's going to fall madly in love with her". I blame Twilight. It ruined so many YA books for me. Yet, the cover snippet had me intrigued. So i checked it out. Alina is no Bella. Mal is no Edward. And the Darkling is one sexy villain. The plot takes place in a country called Ravka that seems pretty based on mother Russia. The country is always at war with its neighbors and within itself in the "Shadow Fold". People are split up as peasants, nobility, and the magic wielding or more "Benders" Grisha. Alina and Mal are orphans from the peasant fold. At least thats how it appears to be for Alina. After a trip into the monster and darkness filled "Shadow Fold"; Alina has proven that she is Princess Celestia. Bringer of the Sun. I kid. I'm a My Little Pony withdrawal. Alina pretty much does with Celestia does though. Brings out the sun! This is the rarest of all Bender powers and makes her pretty much wanted by everyone. Alive or Dead depending on what country the feelings is coming from. Ravka and more specifically "The Darkling" wants her alive. And thus takes her to the seat of Ravka's power. And our story begins.... I might be in the minority here, but i was rooting for Alina and the Darkling to get together. Sure... he's evil. And manipulative. And power hungry. But he's sexy and he knows it. *does a dance*. I don't know. I felt more chemistry between Alina and the Darkling. I know the author wrote it so that Alina feels a pull to him. All Grisha do. But still. Mal and Alina were stale to me. They felt more like brother and sister. I was kinda of rotting for Mal to die at the end. Then Alina could pull off a Sailor Moon and defeat the darkness inside of him. Then she and the Darkling could live happily ever after. Perhaps next book....
Final rating. 5 stars. Another book i must get my own copy of. (less)
Hmm... Usually when i finish a book in one day it ends up in my absolute favorites section, but this one didn't quite make it. Perhaps it's the fact t...moreHmm... Usually when i finish a book in one day it ends up in my absolute favorites section, but this one didn't quite make it. Perhaps it's the fact that i'm a twenty five year old reading a book made for those half my age. Perhaps i set my hopes too high. I don't know. That is not to say the book is bad per say. It's a pretty solid four. Just not good enough to be a five and absolute favorite.
The book is basically the story of Alex stowe who on his thirteenth birthday was deemed "unwanted". See in the world of Quill a person is either Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Those who are deemed "unwanted" are sent to their death. Basically to possess a creative mind is to be unwanted. It would seem that Alex's fate was set except it wasn't really. Marcus Today aka The Death Farmer aka the great mage of Artime saves every being deemed unwanted by transporting him to his made up world of Artime. There all kinds of magically creatures live and the residents learn "Art" based magic. The thing is that Quill doesn't know about Artime and it must stay that way. Otherwise Quill's army would attack. And it does. Take in some evil twins, sometimes eye rolling names, and a kiddier friendly version of Harry Potter and you get this book.
In a way i think in some area the author was trying to hard. The cover reads "The Hunger Games met Harry Potter" and it really isn't. It may have some similar features, but it isn't comparable. It's miss-leading and perhaps raised my expectations way! too high. Some of the names are just plain dumb "Claire Morning" and i find myself rolling my eyes a bit. I think take ten years off my age and i would find this book fabulous. It's completely kids friendly and has no "black magic" per say. That is not to say it's Winnie the Pooh magic. More of Classic Disney magic. People die, things happen, but completely kid friendly.
Final rating. 4 stars. I was a bit bored with it at some times, but i'll come back for the next book.
Ok, i don't know what happened between the first book and second, but somehow the luster faded. Heavily. So much that it took me two months to finish...moreOk, i don't know what happened between the first book and second, but somehow the luster faded. Heavily. So much that it took me two months to finish this book because i could not keep interest. So much time has passed that i can't even think of anything to say except i hope the next book is better than this one. (less)
**spoiler alert** WOW! I was a bit doubtful about this book, but WOW. I jadored it! The idea for the ranger apprentice series isn't all that original...more**spoiler alert** WOW! I was a bit doubtful about this book, but WOW. I jadored it! The idea for the ranger apprentice series isn't all that original and it's certainly not without its problems. Still it left me wanting more. More likely i think because it brought a sense of wistfulness back to me. Mainly because it reminded me of the Jedi Apprentice series by Jude Watson. In fact i'm quite curious if the JA series did inspired John a bit. I know he said he wrote this book for his son, but it so reminded me of Jude Watson's work.
The story takes place in the kingdom of Aruluen. The make believe place is your typical action adventure kingdom with Knights, lords and ladies, and in addition "Rangers". Rangers are sort of like the Navy Seals/cost guard mixed with a bit of special forces/Jedi. So far it seems like they're a boys only club (No female has been mention as of late. Neither in the Knights or Rangers). Now Baron Arald, Lord of the Redmont Fief, has a special soft spot for orphans and takes them into his care. He then helps them get apprenticeships with the various tradesman, governmental offices, Knights, or sent to become farmers. Now Will has always been a bit "special" and after being tricked into committing a break in to see his skills he gets chosen as Ranger Halt's apprentice. So the story begins.....
Now as i said earlier the book isn't without its failing. Most of the failings fall from the fact it should have been longer. John spent such a long time setting up the story and characters that the main plot felt rushed. Not that i'm complaining really since i love the setting up of characters and stories, but i really wished it could have been longer. In face i don't really understand the title at all. It really should have been called "The KalKara Beasts" since the ruins were barely present. All in all very solid writing with a very solid characters. Made me really really want to read more. ^^
**spoiler alert** So i finally got to read this one! I pre-ordered it, but amazon took a week to ship it. It then took a few more days to get to me. S...more**spoiler alert** So i finally got to read this one! I pre-ordered it, but amazon took a week to ship it. It then took a few more days to get to me. So in the end i was left staring at my sister reading her copy she bought at wallmart wondering why i didn't do the same.
The wait was well worth it. Not only was the book extraordinarily good, but i do say Riordan seems to be getting better and better each story he puts out. When i heard that Riordan was making a sequel to the Percy Jackson series i was a bit weary. I wasn't sure how well it could be pulled off or how he would do it. It was sheer genius though the way he did. I thought he was going to make the Roman Gods/goddess different entities. Instead he made them the same "being", but with multiple personalities disorders.
We pick up in the stories a few months/year ( i forget) after "The Last Olympian" takes place. Jason wakes up on a bus not knowing who he is, where he is, or who this girl and boy sitting with him are. Not long he finds himself being attacked by Venti, finding out his couch is a fawn/satyr,he can apparently fly, and he's a demi-god. Jupiter/Zeus's son in fact. Jason gets called on by Hera/Juno to come save her and along with Piper and Leo he's off for the adventure.
As I said earlier this book was amazing and that Riordan's writing keeps getting better in better. In the Percy Jackson books i couldn't stand Annabeth. Still can't. I was so extremely glad that Piper isn't like her. Piper really reminds me a lot of Sailor Venus (cookies if you know who i'm talking about) minus the occasional ditziness that Minako had. She is strong, smart, and can pull her own weight. And she does so in a way that is not obnoxious like Annabeth. She has her failings, but she pulls through. She makes you really want to root for her. The thing is that i think she is going to become a new "Helen of Troy" because Riordan seems to be hinting at it. I think she would do good with Leo though. There is some subtle hints that them getting together might lead to something bigger. Plus Jason has a possible "Reyna".
Speaking of Jason; he's no Percy. I'm quite glad for it. I find it amazing how Riordan made him distantly roman compared to Percy's distinct Greekness. I quite liked his character and might even like him more than Percy. I think the best thing about Jason is that he never gets up. He knows something bad is going to happen, but he pulls through as well. Plus i think there is more to him than meets the eye. I'm a thinking that Hera might have given him more than just her sponsorship.
Leo, now this is how you write a third wheel in to the equation. He wasn't the stupid sidekick that Grover was. He was an equal. He had his own powers, abilities, and he was actually funny. Thing with him i think his wanting his mother back might tip him over to Gae's side. He's definitely the character you pay the most attention to his actions. Mainly because he is the one that is most able to be influences. Something I think Piper is going to have a major role in keeping him on the good side.
Side note..... Thaila is back and looks to become a bigger character! No Nico though. *sad face*. Also with the ending.....WHAT KIND OF ENDING IS THAT!!! I Have to wait a whole freaking year to read what happens! DAME YOU RIC RIORDAN!!! I haven't wanted to read the next book in a series so bad since Harry Potter. *Pouts* The new Kane Chronicles book better come out in the spring....
Final Rating: 5 stars, plus gold glitter, band stand, and fireworks. I loved everything. ^^
I'm a bit on the fence on this one. Not in the way whether it's a good book or not, but how i feel about it. The one thing i can say for certain is t...more I'm a bit on the fence on this one. Not in the way whether it's a good book or not, but how i feel about it. The one thing i can say for certain is that i liked the first book more. I literally could not put the first one down. The same could not be said about this one till Katniss got to the games again.
The whole first half of the book was quite depressing and a bit disturbing at times. I understand that Suzanne Collins was trying to represent a tyrannical government and she succeeded. Perhaps she succeeded a bit too much. When i go to pick up a YA book i look for a good time. Not something that gives me nightmares and disturbing thoughts for days. I really wasn't prepared for it. In some ways i think it crossed a line from being a YA book to an adult book.
That isn't to say i don't think the book was brilliantly crafted. I loved the expanded characters and the small rebellions that were going on. I loved Katniss the best when she stopped being self absorbed and was being kick ass and f-you to the Capital. I understand the girl is seventeen but there comes a time when she needs to stand on her own two feet and suck it up. She really appeared quite weak in spirit sometimes and always seemed to need to be told what to do. I hated how the other tributes had to make sure Peeta stayed alive so Katniss wouldn't fall apart. That really shouldn't have been the case. A good leader needs to face adversity and be willing stay strong in the face of loss. I really miss how she was more self-reliant in the first book. From what i heard about the next book Katniss is just going to keep on becoming a more and more pathetic heroine.
I will say Peeta grew on me some in this book. The only thing is that i still like Gale better. Peeta really has no place in the rebellion. There is no fire to him. While Gale is burning with it. He'd be more suited to stay with "the girl on fire" than the boy who can't even make it down a beach without needing to be saved.
I'm not sure when i will get my hands on the third book since i'm at the bottom of the pile at the library. I'm almost glad since it'll give me a reprieve to be able to digest things over a longer period of time.
Final rating: 4 1/2. Even with some disturbing elements it's better than half of the other YA books out there (cough twilight series sucks cough)(less)
**spoiler alert** Alright i'm big enough of a person to admit when i have been a bit unfair against this book. At first i was afraid to try it because...more**spoiler alert** Alright i'm big enough of a person to admit when i have been a bit unfair against this book. At first i was afraid to try it because it was being hyped so much and it had a bit "end of the world" theme. The last few times i jumped on the bandwagon of "OMG this book is so amazing" i found a book i'd loath for eternity and i one that i got bored with. The Hunger Games goes to show why you should always give a book a chance. It was the blog Reading Teen and Lori (the children's librarian at a local library) gushing that led me to renting this book. Now i want to buy this book. It was one of the best books i read in a long time.
There is something about The Hunger Games that you really can't turn away from. It's like watching a car wreak. You don't know why, but you want to read more and more. This feeling was intensified since i was determined to not look ahead of the book. Katniss is such a wonderful character and role model for young girls. She's strong, smart, and resourceful. An additional plus for me is that she is considered a "normal girl". You don't know how tired I am of reading about "pretty heroines". Normal/plain girls can be just as kick ass and Katniss shows this.
Peeta is another thing. He really reminded me of Yuki from the Fruits Basket manga. Strong in his own way, but weak as well. Not at all you're normal hero. It's something i have to give props to the author for letting the male lead sit back to the female for once. At this point though i'm not entirely sure how i feel about his character. He doesn't seem to mesh well with Katniss at the moment.
Regarding the plot.... OMG BRILLIANT! I really didn't think i'd like the whole new North American's civilization thing, but i did. I also loved how the author gives you tab-its, but then holds them from you. The last author who seemed to do this correctly was J.K.Rowling. Yes, i just admitted that Suzanne has a similarity to one of my favorite authors of all time. Simply brilliant. I also like how Suzanne wasn't afraid to "go there" as you might say. The killing of kids can be a bit taboo. Yet Suzanne pulled it off with just the right amount of class. I almost cried when poor Rue was killed. Then the emotional break down that Katniss started to have. It was all very realistic. Something i appreciated from the normal hero/heroine who goes through a major trauma and then goes bakes cookies while whistling a cheery tune. Things aren't happy dory. The Capital is doing something utterly cruel and it's showing on every page. The fact that Katniss refused to play the game and is starting a rebellion is very pleasing. ^^
In the end,I literally cannot wait to read this next book. I'm debating with myself if i just want to go ahead and buy the series or wait till i read the next book (someone-else has it out at the library)....
Excerpt: Is this new land a place where magics really happen?
From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second no...moreExcerpt: Is this new land a place where magics really happen?
From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.
In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....
We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes.But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty . . . and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?
Extreme beauty is an affliction
Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.
Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?
While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household--and the treacherous truth of her former life.
God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!
Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the most unexpected of places.
I'm a bit on the fence about this book. I liked the idea behind the retelling of the Cinderella story, but there is something about Gregory Maguire's version of it that doesn't do it for me. I do believe in this case Disney did the retelling of Cinderella better in "Cinderella 3". Ivy just didn't endear to me like Anastasia did. I also didn't like how it was being constantly shoved down your throat that she and Ruth were plain and ugly. Like it was some giant sin to be. I actually started getting annoyed at the author because of it. I mean ya, i get it. It's the "ugly stepsisters" story, but i think in some instances the author took it too far. I found myself barely finishing the book and only did to prove that i could. This is the second Gregory Maguire book that i didn't like so i believe it's safe to say i don't like his writing style. (less)
**spoiler alert** Excerpt: All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s...more**spoiler alert** Excerpt: All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.
While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.
Ok. I just finished the book. Daisy is sleeping on my legs all nice and comfy. Gum is starting to lose its flavor. And the only thing i can think of is "THAT IS IT?". WTF how anti-climatic. Seriously. The book didn't seem like an ending for a story. It was HP & Half Blood Prince waiting for Deathly Hallows. The ending really really sucked. No big battle between Percy and Kronus. No big revelation. Where's the big final heroics? Luke is the person the prophecy was talking about? Thought it had to deal with Percy or was Percy only involved with not killing the Ophiotaurus. I'm so disappointed with the ending.
Also, Why no good guy character die? I'm not talking about people we meet once or twice or was mentioned. I'm talking about repeated characters. Not one of those people died. Everytime one of these characters got seriously hurt some ambrosia or nectar was magically near by. You can't write a story involving a war or fights without killing someone important. J.K Rowling knew this. J.R.R. Tolkien knew this. Real sacrifices have got to be made to make a story good. I'm not talking ditsy Aphrodite girls either.
So all in all i was really rather disappointed in this book. Riordan fell flat trying to tell Luke's story (Hello Voldemort's story in HP 6. Complete with visions), feel flat on battle scenes, no humor, anti-climatic ending, and well some really pointless parts in the book. I did rather enjoy Clarisse killing the Drakon, but even that rang like a carbon copy of Neville rising up and killing Nagini in DH. I'm hoping if what i'm hearing is true that Riordan is going to continue the series that he'd give it a more fitting ending.
An heads up; this review is not going to be that long. Mostly because my reaction from it was "It was good". Period. I'm wreaking my brain right now t...moreAn heads up; this review is not going to be that long. Mostly because my reaction from it was "It was good". Period. I'm wreaking my brain right now to try to figure out what to say. Mostly i'm thinking is why are people singing it's praises to the high heavens. It was a good book, but nothing shattering.
In fact it reminded me a lot of Cynthia Voight "The Kingdom" series. In all honesty it could have come out of the same series. The difference being that i felt that Cynthia's characters and story flowed better. You wanted to read what happened next and you really cared about the characters. I didn't get that from Kirsten's book. I felt that in some instances she was trying too hard to write a character she didn't fully grasp. At times Katsa and Po felt really strained. I didn't get their relationship, nor their characterization. The only natural flowing character in the story seemed to be Bitterblue. It was no surprise then that her parts was read faster and with interest.
The story also didn't flow that well and a lot of major things happened at a "snap"! There was no real feeling of "i gotta know what happens next" or excitement. You merely turned the page to finish the book.
Final review: 3 stars. I really wish i could give half stars because i would give it a 3 1/2. It's a rather good debut novel and i'm actual curious to read her others. I just hope the characters and story flow better. (less)
I got this book right when it came out and it was wonderful! I had been waiting for it to come out ever since i heard about it. It was interesting to...moreI got this book right when it came out and it was wonderful! I had been waiting for it to come out ever since i heard about it. It was interesting to read the Batman/Superman beginning story as set in the 1950's. I definitely recommend this book to every Superman & Batman fan out there. (less)