Like the first volume a gripping read. The middle sections are a bit of a torture for a reader wanting to get to the "happy end", but they're certainl...moreLike the first volume a gripping read. The middle sections are a bit of a torture for a reader wanting to get to the "happy end", but they're certainly manageable. I've first heard the books as an audiobook and didn't really sleep that night because the audiobook kept me awake until it was finished.(less)
It's a good read, although I find some of the subtext a bit distrubing, especially Bella's (in this volume very prominent) desire to become "a monster...moreIt's a good read, although I find some of the subtext a bit distrubing, especially Bella's (in this volume very prominent) desire to become "a monster", as she put it herself. All in all I like the novel, but those passages never fail to irritate me.(less)
If you've read the first three volumes you simply can't resist to read the last installment. So I read it. It was good, but not spectacular and certai...moreIf you've read the first three volumes you simply can't resist to read the last installment. So I read it. It was good, but not spectacular and certainly not as gripping as the first book in the series. Too many things, too long and occassionally even boring.(less)
I really enjoyed myself reading this book. The style reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams', but I found myself not as exasperated as I'm usually when re...moreI really enjoyed myself reading this book. The style reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams', but I found myself not as exasperated as I'm usually when reading too much of Adams.
Anansi Boys tells the story of "Fat Charlie", estranged with his father since his childhood, returns to his father's funeral. From an old neighbor he finds out that his father was a god and that he has a brother. Although Fat Charlie doesn't actually believe what the neighbor told him, he still makes contact with his brother on a whim. That's when his life begins to be turned upside down. His brother, who introduces himself as "Spider", actually comes to visit Charlie and causes mayhem. When he refuses to leave again, Charlie searches for other help to make his brother leave, which brings the catastrophe down on both of them.
Both Charlie and Spider are great characters. They start out being the exact opposite of each other, but during the course of the story they change and grow closer. They discover their bond as brothers and become more alike in character as well. It's fun watching this transformation, slowly. Actually you don't really see the transformation, you just notice how different they are at the end of the novel as opposed to the beginning. This subtle change is done wonderfully.
There's also a lot of silly, humorous scenes, which somehow don't sound artificial but utterly natural. And also, I liked the ending very much.
This is the first book by Neil Gaiman I read, but it will certainly not be the last.(less)
As an avid fan of Tamora Pierce's books for years now, I've eagerly awaited this newest publication and started it right off.
When I first started it I...moreAs an avid fan of Tamora Pierce's books for years now, I've eagerly awaited this newest publication and started it right off.
When I first started it I was all prepared to drop the rating to four stars at least. I have to confess that I needed a bit to get into it. This is the third and last part of a series (although all three books are stories on their own, all featuring the same heroine, it's not big story arc/plot), so I naturally compared this book with the last two, Terrier and Bloodhound. I loved both of them and always like to read or listen to the stories again. The best part about the series certainly are the characters. I loved the Goodwin/Tunstall bickering in the first book as much as Rosto, Aniki and Kora. Pounce is awesome, of course and Achoo is simply sweet. Goodwin without Tunstall still managed to make me love her as much in Bloodhound as in Terrier.
Now we get to Mastiff and meet Beka a few years after Bloodhound. Tunstall is her partner and Achoo still her scent hound. In the middle of the night they are called away from Corus on royal orders to investigate a raid on the Summer Palace and find a kidnap victim. Tunstall and Beka are accompanied by Pounce and Achoo, of course, as well as Tunstalls lover, Lady Knight Sabine of Macayhill and a mage called Farmer Cape. I noticed quickly that Tunstall without Goodwin misses some of the flair Tunstall and Goodwin or even Goodwin on her own have. I always missed some of the other characters I've come to know and like in the previous books. Also the setting is different. While the first two books were set in the city, this follows Beka and her companions while they track the raiders through the countryside. So it took me some time to get used to the book, the reason simply being that it is different. I also didn't have as much time as I would have liked to really plunge into it, so getting into it was a bit more different than usual.
Once I got accustomed to Beka's new companions and environment, I began to like it just as much as the previous books. Beka has grown up since we first met her in Terrier. She is an experienced handler now and works well with Achoo and Tunstall. She is still a heroine I like. Farmer as the new character deserves some mentioning as well. He is a great character. At first one doesn't know what to make of him, but I soon came to like him and his way.
Now here come some major spoilers, so don't read if you don't want your fun at the end spoiled: (view spoiler)[ 1st: TUNSTALL! I couldn't believe it. I mean. He was Beka's training dog and you have to admit that he and Goodwin always gave off the impression that they were above those Dogs who could be bought. Well, obviously not. Although the reason given for his betrayal is understandable at least, I still had troubles with really believing what I read. My mind has still trouble with catching up and I'm in a total state of denial. Well, that probably shows that nobody is above turning, if there's only the right inscentive. Still I am very sad that he couldn't have trusted his lover enough, because Lady Sabine obviously loved him as he was and to be honest, had his plan succeeded and she somehow learned of his, I am not so sure she would still had loved him.
2nd: The epilogue. While the diary entry in the beginning of Terrier was nice to introduce me to Beka's world, I felt that the epilogue at the end of Mastiff felt forced. The writing was inconsistent as well. It beginns as George's diary entry (George kept a diary?!) and suddenly it switches to third-person narrator and Pounce's point of view? I understand why that part was necessary, but couldn't it have been done a smoother way?
3rd: The last chapter in Beka's journal. I liked that very much. I actually had tears in my eyes when King Roger read the proclamation about slaves. That is the reason I like Tamora Pierce's books so much, they always move me. The uniform from Beka's sisters is also very sweet and I am really happy with Farmer becoming Beka's man. I am surprised to say that I really find that he suits her andn I can imagine them together way better than I ever could Rosto. I would have liked at least a short dialogue between Beka and Goodwin, perhaps when she learned of Tunstall's betrayal, but well, one can't have everything. (hide spoiler)]
To sum it up: I really liked Mastiff as much as the first books, once I got into it. It gripped me. It made me laugh. It surprised me. It made me fear for the heroine and her friends. It moved me to no end.
I will certainly listen to this as audiobook just as much as to every single other book written by Tamora Pierce and can't wait for Tamora Pierce's next book (Battle Magic, as of now due for publication sometime next year).["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm actually not quite sure yet what I think about 'Bitterblue', so this review is subject to change, when I have thought some more about it. This is...moreI'm actually not quite sure yet what I think about 'Bitterblue', so this review is subject to change, when I have thought some more about it. This is my opinion of it shortly after finishing the book.
Summary 'Bitterblue' is set eight years after Graceling and continues the story in several aspects. The then 10-year old Princess Bitterblue (after whom the book is named) is now Queen of Monsea. In the past years she has been kept in the dark about many things and now she begins more and more to ask questions and find out more about the past and herself. She leaves the castle at night to see her own city and befriends some of her subjects under a false identity. Those friends and soon also Bitterblue are in danger from an unknown enemy. Some other characters from Graceling also make an appearance in Bitterblue, among them Katsa, Po and Helda.
Review 'Bitterblue', like Graceling and Fire, tackles some serious questions. While both Katsa in Graceling and Fire in Fire have to find out how to use their powers wisely, Bitterblue has to learn how to rule a kingdom wisely and be a good queen. This is especially difficult because there are people who try to prevent a terrible past from being known. Bitterblue, on the other hand wants to know about the past and is convinced that her people can only begin to 'heal', if they know about the past. The fact that Bitterblue deals with this problem in a quite interesting way has raised my opinion of it in the end from three stars (which I intended to give it when I was about halfway/three quarters through with it) to four stars.
Bitterblue as a character is very aimiable. I liked her. She is insecure in her role as Queen in a believable way, trying to do the right thing but being overwhelmed with the imensity of it. Still, she does really try instead of just complaining. Also, I like that there is no obvious love interest for her and that the book is not centered about a lover. She does feel attrackted to somebody and there is some romance in Bitterblue, but I don't see it as the main theme.
Still, it seems to lack something. I loved Graceling when first reading it and I absolutely adore Fire and could listen to it over and over again. I like Bitterblue and will probably listen to the audiobook again, but somehow I don't feel the same intense love for it than for Graceling and Fire. It seems to lack some of the feeling and humour the first two books conveyed. This is why I first tended towards three stars: I liked it but not as much as the first two books, and it seemed only fair to me to compare it with them. However, the theme of the importance of knowledge of the past has given it another star, which takes it up to four (if we had half-stars I'd probably go with 3 1/2).
As I said in the beginning I might chance my mind on some aspects of this review once I got a chance to think about it some more or even have listened to the audiobook.(less)
I had heard a lot of good things about this book, but before I read (heard) it I had my reservations. From the description it just didn't seem like my...moreI had heard a lot of good things about this book, but before I read (heard) it I had my reservations. From the description it just didn't seem like my sort of story. However, I changed my mind once I began listening the the audiobook.
The books begins interesting, stays interesting and ends interesting. Katniss is a likable heroine and the background story is very intriguing. The actual plot is simply gripping. There were surprises at every turn; I would rate the Hunger Games certainly among those books that are unpredictable.
One of my greatest reserves against the book in the beginning was the very dominant violent theme, but I found that I liked how Collins handled that. (view spoiler)[Although she is part of the games and even comes out victor, Katniss doesn't resort to violence at every turn. She begins her games by seeking shelter and supplies, later teams up with Rue and was in the whole opposed to killing her fellow competitors. When she actually did kill or hurt somebody the reader could understand it and see the necessity/reason for it. (hide spoiler)]
After finishing the book I had to get the second volume. That might also be a small drawback for those who don't like books with cliffhangers. This book had some sort of cliffhanger, (view spoiler)[because even though Katniss and Peeta both survived and returned home to District 12 at the end, President Snow's threat still hangs over Katniss. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I can't say I liked this novel as much as the first two of the series. The first parts of the book are all right, I guess, but what really disappointe...moreI can't say I liked this novel as much as the first two of the series. The first parts of the book are all right, I guess, but what really disappointed me was the ending. It sort of felt hanging in the air with unexplained decisions and somehow it just felt like something put together in a matter of minutes. Quite important/heavy decisions and events just happened without giving the reader an explanation for it and I can't figure out the reason for one of Katniss' decisions near the end. She develops not into a round but a flat character.
There are aspects I like about the ending (the Evening Primrose bushes and Buttercup's return made me cry), but those can't help with the fact that there seems to be missing so much.
So while the book is all in all still a good read (I enjoyed it for the most part) I'm really disappointed by the ending.(less)
I loved Graceling and I'm desperately trying to find an even stronger word to express how much I liked Fire. In my opinion it is even better than Grac...moreI loved Graceling and I'm desperately trying to find an even stronger word to express how much I liked Fire. In my opinion it is even better than Graceling and Fire has quickly become one of my favorites.
Fire as a person is very believable with her struggles and the effort she puts into finding out who she is and what is the right way for her to do things, how to find her place in the world. I also very much like how her relationships grow, especially in King's City, and how deep those relationships are. Cashore's style of writing makes me want to laugh or cry along with the characters, which I think is a very high recommandation for a book.
This is one of the books I can read over and over again without getting tired of it. In addition to the hardcover edition I also own the audiobook, which is unabridged and wonderful. It fits the tone of the novel perfectly.(less)