I'm sure many will be bound to disagree with me, but whatever.
For the first half of the book I was absolutely hooked to the book. The rest? Somewhat,...moreI'm sure many will be bound to disagree with me, but whatever.
For the first half of the book I was absolutely hooked to the book. The rest? Somewhat, but not nearly as much.
(view spoiler)[But when Violet and Jay's friendship turned so quickly into a romance, I was actually disappointed. It seemed to happen too easily (for me). Throughout the rest of the book - as they spend so much of their time ogling each other, whispering "I love you" over and over again, Jay's incredibly fierce protectiveness of her, and her inability to think straight whenever she sees/hears/is reminded of him - I was reminded more and more of the reasons I couldn't stand Twilight. Violet says that Jay's not perfect, but he sure as heck seems like the golden child to me, which made all of their "romantic" scenes pretty boring and sometimes just downright corny.
However, the mystery was still intriguing, and that's what kept me going till the end. And even if it did end on a cheesy note to me ("Everything was better than all right - it was perfect"), it was still a fun way to kill time overall. (hide spoiler)]
I admit I've read very few teen books, but pretty much those that I remember reading all treated the concept of fantasy-like budding teenage romances in more or less the same fashion, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised by what I found in The Body Finder. I suppose I was just hoping it would be a little different. I do plan on reading the sequel at some point, though, as I can't seem to resist knowing what mystery is coming next. :)
ALSO! I have a question for anyone who has read the book: (view spoiler)[Was anyone else confused by the scene from the killer's point of view when he was following Mackenzie Sherwin the night of the party and she smiled at him, teary-eyed and gratefully, before getting into his car? The next chapter has Violent storming away from Jay after he had demanded that she get in his car, and SHE is teary eyed. When he pulls up by her (which I wasn't expecting since I thought she was heading in the direction of the party and not on a walk in the night by herself, as it was described), she just gives in and goes into his car gratefully.
Now, as soon as it was mentioned that Violet was teary-eyed and walking by herself when a car pulled up to her, I immediately thought we were reliving the scene from the previous chapter. But then it was Jay that pulled up, which made me more confused since I thought it was implying that he was the killer or something. (Har har.) So their entire kissing scene was just a puddle of confusion for me, which is disappointing really since I think it was meant to be climactic.
Phew. Anyway. Anyone else? Or was it just me over-thinking? :) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I loved this series when I was 11 or so. The series went on hiatus for a few years while it changed publishers and all the books were rereleased one b...moreI loved this series when I was 11 or so. The series went on hiatus for a few years while it changed publishers and all the books were rereleased one by one - have you seen the old covers? *shudder* - so it's been many years since I've even thought about the books. However, now that the last two books have been published for the first time under the new company, I've decided to read the books again so that I can finally see how the series ends! (Thus completing my childhood. Yesss.)
Avalon: Web of Magic originally consisted of the first 6 books, the ones after that being Quest for Magic, as those books follow a bit of a different storyline. It might not faze new readers, though.
Having just reread this, I find myself wondering why I thought the book was so amazing in the first place. It's a bit cheesy, and the writing is not spectacular. Also, there are some typos which I hope have been fixed in the "revised" second edition books.
On the other hand, it's definitely a children's series, so a lot of that can be forgiven. It's a fun story that really emphasizes the importance of animals in the world and our relationship with them. It may say something on the back about how "friendship is everything," but I think the animal message is stressed a bit more.
Fun, quick read. A good fantasy series for the younger reader (I'd say ages 8+).(less)
All That Glitters is a truly apt title for this book, not just because of the friendship factor and the main themes, but also because everything that...moreAll That Glitters is a truly apt title for this book, not just because of the friendship factor and the main themes, but also because everything that has to do with Kara is just that - diamond-bright, rainbow, sparkling, and searing white heat that explodes in front of and within her whenever she's around magic. It gets a bit old, really.
That was really the only thing that stuck with me as I read this book for the second time in my life (the first being when I was a kid). However, other than the overabundance of the words "rainbow" and "sparkling," there is much more action in this book than the first, which was the only thing that kept me reading.
I'm not crazy about Kara, and (in my humble opinion) it seems as though the author favors her over the other two just a wee bit. I can't remember exactly what happened in later books, but it always bothered me that all of the magical beings (animals, Fairimentals, fairy people, etc.) loved her so much for what seemed like no good reason. (Also, is it just me, or are most of the books from her or Emily's POV?)
"The magic believes in her" is what is said repeatedly. Well, I hope this is only because Kara has begun to change as a person - from the shallow, stuck up young girl to a caring friend. If young girls reading this can see the character's transformation and learn from it, then that's great.
I just don't really like her that much, hahaha.
...And I'm reading too much into a kids book. Well, since I have to sit through all of these just to read the last two, getting my rambling thoughts out is some kind of relief.
Ahhhhh, yes. Finally, an Adriane story! What can I say? This one was so much more interesting to me than the last two, not only because Adriane is the...moreAhhhhh, yes. Finally, an Adriane story! What can I say? This one was so much more interesting to me than the last two, not only because Adriane is the best my favorite character, but because it takes place in the magical world of Aldenmor - and it's actually full of fantasy adventure.
Actually, I was a bit surprised with some of the violence in this book. Not that it's overwhelming for a kids book or anything, but it seemed more graphic than the last two. The story on the whole is a bit darker, but I think that it suits the character. She is the "Warrior," after all. ;)
Too bad the next Adriane book is six books away. SIX.
I hope... I REALLY hope Rachel Roberts is still planning on publishing that Shadow Warrior trilogy or whatever it's called. It's time Adriane got the spotlight here!(less)
Whereas the last book took place in the magical world of Aldenmor, The Secret of the Unicorn brings us back to Ravenswood and...moreAnd we're back to Emily!
Whereas the last book took place in the magical world of Aldenmor, The Secret of the Unicorn brings us back to Ravenswood and the girls' life at home. I loved Adriane's adventure in the other world, so most of this book was not quite as exciting for me.
Overall, it doesn't seem like that much happens until the last few chapters. Emily is searching for a creature in Ravenswood that seems to be wounded, but no one is sure if it's good or evil. This is where the creepiness factor comes in, and I was pleasantly surprised by this. It's nice to know that not all the creatures from the magical world are fairies and rainbow zebras; it makes things just a tad more believable.
Anyway, this is a cute Emily story with a good message. There's also a nice bit of storyline with Emily's mother, which even I could relate to when I was younger. My only quip is that the book doesn't really advance the plot (though neither does book 5), but, again, it's a children's series, so if the whole point of the book is to get a meaningful life lesson across, then so be it. At least it's still entertaining.(less)
The spotlight is now back on Kara as she prepares for a benefit concert for Ravenswood that she's proposed.
This is the book that really highlights Kar...moreThe spotlight is now back on Kara as she prepares for a benefit concert for Ravenswood that she's proposed.
This is the book that really highlights Kara's character flaws: she is selfish, greedy, and lies to all her friends for the sake of winning a singing contest that is apparently more important than helping the Fairmentals. Also, she's a thief who cuts class.
I'm sorry, but I just kind of thought that by now she would have improved instead of gotten worse as a person. I know she's only known Emily and Adriane for a short while, but her actions almost negate whatever she may have learned in previous books since they seem so immature.
Kara was always my least favorite, and this book helps me to remember why - regardless of the 'fact' that she learns from her mistakes by the end.
Also, as far as the main storyline goes, only ONE thing happens - at the end of the book - to actually further the plot. In effect, this was a lot like the last book in that little happened that was important to the story while a lot happened that was important to teaching morals.
Of the original six books, this would be my second-to-least favorite after All That Glitters.(less)
I definitely finished this about five months ago, so the details are pretty fuzzy right now, but I remember that this was a good one in the series. Tr...moreI definitely finished this about five months ago, so the details are pretty fuzzy right now, but I remember that this was a good one in the series. Trial by Fire ends the first arc of the series called Web of Magic (after this began the Quest for Magic series before the series changed publishers), which is fitting because the story changes after this book.
As far as I remember, this is the darkest book in the first arc, and that is what I like about it. Events finally build up to the mages' confrontation with the Dark Sorceress, and, like the blurb on the back cover warns, not everyone will make it out alive.
I would say that that little bit adds just enough realism to the story to make reading a children's fantasy series acceptable for someone my age. The adventure is still entertaining, though, and since much of it, if not most, takes place in the magical world instead of on Earth, the whole thing is just that more enjoyable.(less)
The first of the formerly-called Quest for Magic arc, this is the beginning of a new chapter in the Avalon series.
Song of the Unicorns is an Emily-cen...moreThe first of the formerly-called Quest for Magic arc, this is the beginning of a new chapter in the Avalon series.
Song of the Unicorns is an Emily-centered book that introduces the girls to new adventures and villains while revisiting old friends along the way.
What I like about this book is that we get some more background on the magical world in general - more creatures, "wild" magic, mage levels and such - and we are essentially left with the promise of more to come.
The girls now have to go on a "quest" to recover something lost from Avalon, hence the original arc title. I couldn't tell if this new adventure was just a way to continue the story, as the premise behind it didn't seem at all original, but I see that the characters are still growing. The series still has a message about friendship and the magic that comes with working together with and caring for animals, so I have no qualms with the series continuing for the reasons given in the book.
Also, just as I noted in the 4th book regarding Emily's storyline with her mom, I appreciate the story with her dad and stepmother in this book. It is a personal thing that I think some kids can relate to; I speak from experience.(less)