I really enjoyed it. This book was my train reading for this week. It's easy to get back into it and follow the story even when people are discussing...moreI really enjoyed it. This book was my train reading for this week. It's easy to get back into it and follow the story even when people are discussing their plans for the weekend nearby.
In Stardust Neil Gaiman tells a fairy tale for adults. Young Tristran Thorn wants to win his beloved's heart. So he promises her to bring her back a star in return for anything he wants, even a kiss or her hand. So Tristran sets out and enters into the land of Faerie to search for his star. But he is not the only one searching for it. A witch wants the star for her heart and thereby to regain her youth. Brothers are searching for the star because it holds the power for one of them to rule over the kingdom after the death of their father. So even after Tristran finds the star - he is astonished to realize that the star is actually a girl - he still has to struggle to bring her home to his beloved. Besides the witch and the brothers he also has to fight against the star's obstinacy.
It's fun watching Tristran's adventures and his development. I really liked the star. She is a great character.
The writing didn't impress me as much as that in Anansi Boys, but it was still nice to read. Plot-wise it was nothing too special. As fairy tales go, it was actually quite predictable, but as I didn't expect great surprises, it was OK.(less)
Emma is working as an assistant in a big company. She is desperate for a promotion to be for once in her life successful and not always be second-best...moreEmma is working as an assistant in a big company. She is desperate for a promotion to be for once in her life successful and not always be second-best to her cousin Kerry. However, she makes a mess out of what she sees as her chance for a promotion. On her way home on the plane she tells a total stranger all her secrets. Of course the stranger doesn't stay a stranger for long and Emma is shocked when she realizes that he is an important person in the company in which Emma works.
This isn't a demanding book and actually you can predict most of what is going to happen. But it is an enjoyable quick read for in-between those more demanding books which take at least a week to read. I finished this in about two days.
Emma is a normal, "nothing-special" girl. She has a Barbie bedspread, isn't too honest about her clothes size and wants nothing more than to succeed in life. In this she was actually believable and likeable (I found Becky Bloomwood sometimes a bit extreme in Kinsella's Shopaholic books).
Of course a romance ensues during the book, Emma has to deal with the problems created by her boss knowing all of her secrets and I'll tell nobody a secret when I say that it all ends in a happy ending, but that's the purpose of such a book, isn't it?
The first I have to remark is that I found at least three typos in my edition (German from Diogenes Verlag, 1993). As always with such things they dis...moreThe first I have to remark is that I found at least three typos in my edition (German from Diogenes Verlag, 1993). As always with such things they disturbed my reading experience. Still I might overlook those with a very good book. I didn't overlook them in this novel.
The story itself would have been great if it was a standalone and not based on ''Emma''. In the context that the book is based on ''Emma'' and features a major character from that novel, I liked it well enough but not too much. Somehow it didn't match with my impressions from ''Emma''.
Read for itself the book probably would have gotten four stars. Jane is an amiable character and plotwise and in points of language I don't really have any remarks.(less)
I'm torn between a three and a four star rating on this. For now I'll give it four stars. In the first few pages I found the book rather "normal". App...moreI'm torn between a three and a four star rating on this. For now I'll give it four stars. In the first few pages I found the book rather "normal". Apparently normal girl sees mysterious guy, learns she has special powers and you know that normal girl and mysterious guy will end up together and squeeze in a bit world-saving in their free time. No surprises there.
Still I liked the story and couldn't put it down. Ellie is a likable girl and while she has her difficulties and fears she stands her (wo)man in a fight. All the same the fighting scenes were always nagging at me some. Considering both Ellie and Will were usually supposed to be in the fights, I got the distinct impression that one just stood around while the other did the work and some of the confrontations would have been over much quicker if there had been more teamwork.
Will. Not sure yet what to make of him but I suppose I like him. In spite of his being a bit too perfect (his protectiveness is also very cute).
I loved how this book had also "secondary relationships", meaning Ellie's relations with her parents and friends. For once the minor characters had some depth. I loved Kate, felt for Landon and liked Ellie's mum. I hope that the next books deal more with Ellie's father, because I would really like to see more depth in that department and perhaps even learn how he got the way he is.
The ending is satisfying even though this is the first book in a series. Although there is a small cliffhanger to keep one interested, it isn't too bad to make the waiting time for the next book unendurable. I'm pretty sure I'll read the next volume in the series once it comes out next year.(less)
Another vampire-human romance, but this time with an additional mystery.
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in a small town in Louisiana. She works as a w...moreAnother vampire-human romance, but this time with an additional mystery.
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in a small town in Louisiana. She works as a waitress, lives with her grandmother and has a tiny "disability" that she can read other people's thoughts. Her daily routine changes when the vampire Bill, vampires are openly recognized as citizens, comes into the bar where she works and Sookie saves his life. Besides the fact that she isn't certain if her attraction to Bill is a good thing, Sookie also has cause to worry because a murderer seems to be loose in her town and Sookie's boss seems to have a secret of his own.
The book is a leisurely read for in-between with its low page-count and the not too demanding writing style.
I couldn't really get a feeling for Sookie. You certainly get enough information to picture her appearance and life, but somehow I don't grasp her personality. And this goes for every character in the book. Let's take Bill. All we really get to know about him is that he is a vampire. Wow. The only trait that gets conveyed is his protectiveness for Sookie. That's all and somehow I don't find its enough. There should be more than his love interest. This has implications for their relationship as well. It stays flat and superficial all the way through. I though it both inexplicable and too fast. They see each other, meet a handful of times and there they go.
The mystery part of the book was more to my liking, although it was a bit predictable in the end (I had the murderer figured out before he was revealed, so Sookie seemed a bit stupid at the end not having thought of it, it being really a bit obvious).
All in all I enjoyed it, especially the mystery-twist (I can forgive a bit predictability) and will probably read the other books in the series as well, hoping (probably in vain) for a bit more depth.(less)
As always I love Stiefvater's writing style. It fits the corresponding situation perfectly. Sam's and Grace's relationship is still pure cuteness. And...moreAs always I love Stiefvater's writing style. It fits the corresponding situation perfectly. Sam's and Grace's relationship is still pure cuteness. And reading the passages where they are together gives one a warm, fuzzy feeling.
However, I was somehow even more amazed by the development of Isabel and Cole and their relationship. They've come a long way from the unlikeable characters of their first appearance to two characters I liked very much in the end. I even got the feeling that they were more the main characters than Sam and Grace in this volume. They usually were the source of the actions while Sam and Grace just sort of drifted along.
Officer Koenig pleasantly surprised me. I liked his involvement and how he found things out for himself. Let's you hope that there are still people out there with brains that can actually think.
Apart from those the rest of the secondary characters seemed a bit flat again. I would have liked a bit more depth for Shelby. Although she is of some importance, she stayed surprisingly flat for me throughout the books. The most shocking was Olivias role in the book. While I understand the reason for her fate and her importance for the plot, it seems to me like she was just a throw-away character. Considering she was one of Grace's two best friends in the beginning, I would have liked at least some more interaction with her (which would have profited the plot as well, I think), perhaps some wolf-scenes with her?
The plot is good and kept me reading. I'm surprised that I actually liked how it all wound up. The ending itself seemed a bit abrupt, bit that's OK, considering it fits into the rest. There's sadness in the ending. I liked the last line from Isabel very much.
All in all it was a solid, sweet reading with much feeling along the whole range from sad to angry and blissful happiness. Certainly recommendable for everyone who has read the first few books. (less)
Opal is certainly different than Yelena, but reading always about the same sort of person can get boring, so I don't mind. I actually quite like Opal....moreOpal is certainly different than Yelena, but reading always about the same sort of person can get boring, so I don't mind. I actually quite like Opal. She isn't as bold as Yelena. She has her own inner struggles and deals with things differently from Yelena. She really grows in this book and I'm curious to find out how much she develops in the other two books. I'm glad Yelena didn't take up too much screen time, after all this is Opal's story not hers.
The stormdancers are a great idea and Opal focuses her magic through glass in a very creative way. I'm sure she will reveal some other interesting aspects of her powers in the next books. Having the "focus" on another Master Magician this time, Zitora played a greater role and I liked seeing her in contrast to Irys.
I didn't like the love triangle too much, probably because that concept is way too popular at the moment. While it sort of worked for this book I hope that it is resolved in the next book and doesn't run through all three volumes of the series.(less)
Like with the other novels by Jane Austen I loved Persuasion. Upon finishing I had a huge smile plastered to my face and this feeling of perpetual hap...moreLike with the other novels by Jane Austen I loved Persuasion. Upon finishing I had a huge smile plastered to my face and this feeling of perpetual happiness that I generally get from finishing a Jane Austen novel.
Anne Elliot is a very likeable heroine and I enjoyed every page of her story.(less)
Ich weiß noch nicht so recht, was ich von dem Buch halten soll. Zweifellos ein Pluspunkt, dass es nicht so ganz ins Schema F/Klischee passt. Andererse...moreIch weiß noch nicht so recht, was ich von dem Buch halten soll. Zweifellos ein Pluspunkt, dass es nicht so ganz ins Schema F/Klischee passt. Andererseits war Vieles vorhersehbar, auch wenn das Ende dann tatsächlich noch eine kleine Überraschung parat hielt. Generell fand ich die Geschichte viel zu vorhersehbar (schon der Rückentext und der Prolog haben sehr viel verraten, der Rest war ziemlich offensichtlich). Die Sache mit Antonella/Lorenz ging mir irgendwie etwas zu schnell, da hätte man sich vielleicht etwas mehr Zeit lassen können um das aufzubauen. Generell wirkte das Buch etwas gehetzt auf mich und ein wirklicher Spannungsbogen hat sich trotz Krieg und Hexenjagd nicht aufgebaut (mich hat eher Interesse als wirkliche Spannung weiterlesen lassen).
Alles in allem wohl ganz OK, solange man nicht viel erwartet. Man kann es durchaus lesen und ich fand es sprachlich sehr angenehm. Trotz ernsten Themen eher kurzweilige Unterhaltung.(less)
Another contribution to the currently trendy dystopian setting. Beatrice lives in a city in which the inhabitants are divided into different factions...moreAnother contribution to the currently trendy dystopian setting. Beatrice lives in a city in which the inhabitants are divided into different factions according to their most prominent character trait. The factions are a result of former wars and the realization/assumption that the best way to prevent future warfare would be to concentrate on certain character traits. When they grow up the young members of the city have the choice to which faction they want to belong. A test on the day before their choice is supposed to help them with it. However, Beatrice's test is inconclusive. According to her test administrator, this is very dangerous for her and she should keep this a secret. Beatrice decides against staying in her old faction, which concentrates on selflessness and instead chooses the faction whose members are the bravest. She is now an initiate for that faction and has to be successfull in the initiation stage to become a full member. If she fails she risks to become "factionless" and as such an outcast from society.
The idea for the story is not groundbreackingly new, but well developed in this book. There wasn't really anything too surprising. Still I enjoyed reading (rather: listening, I have the audiobook) the book quite a lot. The pace of the book was adequate, without superfluous passages and filling material, just the essentials, which doesn't take the book its atmosphere. As far as main characters go, Beatrice (Tris), is well enough. Her actions are understandable. However, I was sometimes a bit annoyed by the repetition of "I was divergent/dauntless ...". The realization is OK, but it was repeated about five to ten times in the book (at least that's my retrospective feeling) and that slightly got on my nerves. Readers are not so dumb that they can't notice such things themselves or remember when it's stated once in the book.
All in all it was a well enough book, nothing too special but also not bad.(less)
In this instalment Claire returns to the past and to Jamie. Twenty years have passed since they last saw each other, but they don’t have any time to r...moreIn this instalment Claire returns to the past and to Jamie. Twenty years have passed since they last saw each other, but they don’t have any time to reacquaint each other. Trouble is right on their heels. With the last book in the series I had a bit of a struggle to get through it. This time I was finished in no time. Considering that I don’t have much attention left in the evenings when I can read for recreational purposes I take ages to finish big books. This way I never really get into the story. So audiobooks are always a great alternative in those cases. I can listen to those during my commute and finish even big books in an acceptable time frame. This was finished within two weeks (audiobook length over 40 hours). Read by Davina Porter, of whom I had already heard great things but never listened to her narration before. She really gives the book that certain thing I was missing in the previous two books. I was eager to listen on and always regretted the time when I actually arrived at university and had to stop listening. (less)