Meghan Chase is used to being nothing special. Her father disappeared when she was six, and her family seems to forget she even lives with them someti...moreMeghan Chase is used to being nothing special. Her father disappeared when she was six, and her family seems to forget she even lives with them sometimes. At school its much of the same, her only friend being Robbie, a prankster who seems to be more and more protective of her of late. But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she is sure that will all change. Her cool crush will notice her and her mother will take her to get her license. Meghan is determined that this will be the most special birthday ever. It is; but not in the way she imagined. Meghan begins to see mysterious figures and things she knows can't be real, and when her little brother disappears, a vicious, other-wordly creature in his place, Meghan will find out how special she is. Guided by the faery Puck, Meghan will have to travel into the faery realm, filled with magic and danger, in order to retrieve her stolen little brother.
One thing I regret is that I didn't read A Midsummer Night's Dream first. I would rather go into this book with Shakespeare's characters in my head, then got into Shakespeare's play with Kagawa's characters in my head. Hopefully, that does not effect my enjoyment of the play, which I intend to read one day on my own terms, seeing as my school system failed to force me to read it under a restrictive classroom setting.
One positive thing I can say about this book is that it is entertaining and undemanding. Everything is imaginable and easy to follow, and the action flows at a steady pace. It covered some really well-worn territory, but it did so in a charming way. Most of it was pretty standard fey book fair, but there were a few ideas (the Iron Court, for instance), that I felt were original.
Meghan, while not necessarily stupid, was not the brightest bulb in the bunch. She was rash and oblivious at the same time. She didn't seem to do much. The whole thing was quite repetitive. She would follow someone somewhere, they would run into danger, something would save her, and then she would begin to follow someone else to somewhere else, they would once again run into danger, she would be saved one again and so on and so forth. She wasn't particularly great.
The two love interests (because I assume Puck shall become a love interest) are pretty bland. I know, ladies, Ash is supposed to make me weak at the knees, but at this point he is pretty "eeeehhhh". Is he supposed to be the "bad boy"? And what is Megan being all "I am his beloved!"? They made out a few times. I do not consider that love. Certainly not love I would be willing to risk my future on, because if Ash's mom finds out she is going to be pissssssssed.
Overall, my impression of this book can be summed up in one word: "solid". Is that weird? To call a book "solid"? But thats what is was. Dependable, safe, and consistent.
The only character that I liked enough to make remarks over is Grimalkin. There should be a requirement for every fantasy to have a snarky talking cat, if there isn't one already. I just love those furry grumps.
If I had to come up with one word for this book, it would be disjointed. I felt disjointed from the characters, disjointed from the plot, and the char...moreIf I had to come up with one word for this book, it would be disjointed. I felt disjointed from the characters, disjointed from the plot, and the characters and plot felt disjointed from each other.
I just didn't understand it. It wasn't that the book was complicated, it just didn't work. I did not connect to Mackie, the main character, on any level, and I couldn't comprehend his actions. Same with the other characters. I just didn't know what was up with them. Their feelings were up and down, they knew some information, but were ignorant at the same time. The relationship between the town of Gentry and the underworld was shady and vague, so it was hard for me to understand the motivations behind the characters. Besides that, Mackie was unremarkable, maybe even unlikable. I'm not very much into emo guys.
I wish I got more out of this book than I did. The blurb on the front from Maggie Steifvater describes it as an "eerie and beautiful story of ugly things. It should be read aloud after dark, at a whisper." That is a lovely blurb, enough to entice me to read the book. If only the book itself had as much finesse as that single sentence. In the end, however, while I appreciate The Replacement's attempt at originality, I found it to be a muddled mess.
A lush, idyllic fairytale. I love Juliet Marillier's uniqueness and distinct style. It's so refreshing in today's YA market. Jena is a strong heroine,...moreA lush, idyllic fairytale. I love Juliet Marillier's uniqueness and distinct style. It's so refreshing in today's YA market. Jena is a strong heroine, although I wished she acted more. The arguments between Cezar and Jena did become rather repetitive, and things seemed to happen to Jena, rather than her making things happen. I did love the setting though. It was vibrant and well-researched. It's easy to see that Marillier honestly cares about making the setting and details as realistic as possible. I loved the glossary and pronunciation-key in the back. I did feel that the overall concept was rather similar to her Sevenwaters books (which I adore....well, the first two anyway), but it was still pretty fresh.
And the cover is awesome. Once you know what happens in the book, its easy to see the different characters and scenes. (less)
My two friends have been raving about this book for days. They lent me a rather battered copy, at least by my tastes (I don't even like dog-earing). T...moreMy two friends have been raving about this book for days. They lent me a rather battered copy, at least by my tastes (I don't even like dog-earing). The premise sounds interesting, the reviews are mixed, and the title and cover looks like something out of a Kotex add. Here we go.......
All right. This book is about 15 year old Laurel, who discovers she's a faerie after a flower blooms out of her back (faeries are apparently plant people). Anyway, her old house is on some special land that trolls (aka the bad guys) want a hold of. So she has to stop them. But she is not alone in her adventures. She has her super-nice human friend David(who is in love with her) and her attractive faerie friend Tamani(who is also in love with her) to help her out.
Hey, it was okay. I thought the whole faerie mythology thing original. But that was probably the best part. The characters were a little cookie-cutterish, and Laurel was the perfect girl that everybody found likable. I guess one faerie power is to have insta-friends, because on the first day of school she already has a guy pining after her. (Guess what class they have together. Thats, right! Biology!) There is also a love triangle folks, between the sexy dangerous guy, and the cute dependable friend. I'm rooting for you, David! I thought Tamani was too big of a creep, and I never found Laurel's and his connection too palpable. Plus David deserves it, him being whipped and all.
The writing was pretty simple. It was a little too easy to read. More like middle-grade. Content-wise, the book is pretty clean. No swearing other than one s***, I believe. Some kissing, no real sex. Menstruation is mentioned, which might make guy-readers a little uncomfortable. But honestly, what guy would read this book?
Overall, the whole pick seemed like a set-up for a series. Just an introduction of the chracters and plot. Not all the loose ends are tied up either. I'll probably read the rest of the series, but I won't pay for the books.
On a side note, Miley Cyrus as Laurel? Yuck. I was thinking more like Anna Sophia Robb. Same look as Laurel and she can act. If Disney wants Miley in it so bad, she can be Chelsea and they can create a bigger part for her or something. (less)
Okay okay okay. When I first read this book, I loved it. I thought it was the best in the series (my bad, cycle), and that Paolini was truly visionary...moreOkay okay okay. When I first read this book, I loved it. I thought it was the best in the series (my bad, cycle), and that Paolini was truly visionary.
What the hell was I on?!
All the praise I had for this book has evaporated. It was a whole lotta bor.ing. My God, could it have been drawn on any longer? On average, there was like one page of plot for every seven pages of filler. Paolini tried to trick his reader's into being excited by throwing in random-ass action scenes. "Well, since the Varden is just sitting around and Eragan is having repetitive philosophical conversations, lets have Roran bash 200 heads in. And describe every single one!" Dear Lord, Paolini was trying to write this book in real time or something. I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW WHAT ERAGON HAD FOR BREAKFAST. I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW EVERY STEP IN MAKING A MYSTICAL SWORD. I DO NOT NEED ENDLESS DESCRIPTIONS OF PLACES WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN.
90% of this book was filler. And if you already know the 10% of plot beforehand, Brisingr is pretty much a snoozefest. But I guess I understand Paolini's reason for creating this brick though. It's clear he loves his world. Hey, it probably comforted him when he was busy not getting laid in high school. He just wants to share every bit of it, meanwhile showing off his developing writing skills. But it's important to know as a writer that details you find interesting might not be so for the readers. Sometimes, you just have to stick with the story, and suck it up. There's world building and there's being excessive.
I re-read Brisingr in preparation for Inheritance, which I have been waiting for a loooong time. But since I enjoyed Brisingr when it was fresh, chances are good I will enjoy Inheritance. I hope so, as it appears Paolini has saved all the plot for the last book. (less)