As soon as I opened this package and saw this fantastic cover, I knew that Blood Guard was a book for my 12 year old son, Damian. And I was right, he...moreAs soon as I opened this package and saw this fantastic cover, I knew that Blood Guard was a book for my 12 year old son, Damian. And I was right, he LOVED it! So much so that he’s already loaned it to his friend to read and he's recommended it to his middle school librarian as something he’d like to see on the NC Battle of the Books list next year. He was a little unsure about how to put together a review so I made him a kind of worksheet or template with questions for him to answer. He did a great job!
Also, Any book that can inspire THIS kind of enthusiastic reaction from my son deserves nothing less than a 5 star rating and the highest recommendation from me!
Blood Guard was wicked cool! It was full of action and adventure and plenty of surprises. The main characters were Ronan, Greta, and Dawkins. My favorite character was Dawkins because if you killed him, he would come back to life! How awesome is that? Ronan wants to become a Blood Guard so that he can help to protect the Pures but he has a hard time becoming part of that society. The Pures were special people who were super important to the world or could trigger major events.
The bad guys were trying to get rid of the Pures. They had this thing they could look through and tell if someone was Pure. The Blood Guards had something like that too so they knew who to protect. I was so mad at the bad guys but I can’t say why because it would be a spoiler.
I can’t think of any other books, TV shows, or movies that was anything like this. That’s one of the reasons I loved it so much, it wasn’t like anything else! The fantasy world is pretty much like our world but with a lot of things that our world don’t have. I wouldn’t want to live there but I wish I could have been there when the Blood Guard infiltrated the enemy base! I would have fought right beside them to protect the Pures!
I would definitely recommend Blood Guard to other people. This book was so good, I couldn’t put it down! I read it EVERYWHERE. I read it at home. I read it at school. I read it between classes while walking through the halls (and even ran into people or walls once or twice). I read it on the school bus, at breakfast and at lunch. I took this book with me everywhere I went until I finally finished it.
If I could say one thing to the author, I would say send me the next book already!! If I could say one thing to a parent thinking about buying this book I would say to get it. If your kid likes adventure and excitement, your kid will love Blood Guard! I keep trying to tell my mom to read it because I think she would like it too.(less)
Steelheart introduces the reader to a world torn apart by Epics, people who have somehow acquired super human powers. While each of the Epics' powers...moreSteelheart introduces the reader to a world torn apart by Epics, people who have somehow acquired super human powers. While each of the Epics' powers are different, one thing they share is their vicious and power hungry nature. The focus is on a city called Newcago, a city turned completely to steel by it's new ruler, Steelheart. Each of the Epics have very specific powers, each power having it's own weakness although some weaknesses are not readily apparent. Steelheart seems to be utterly invincible, but David, the boy whose father he killed, has seen him bleed, he knows where that scar on his cheek came from. David is determined to expose that weakness and avenge his father's brutal murder. To this end, he sets out to join forces with the Reckoners, a team of vigilantes who are the only ones fighting back against the Epics. David plans to use all of the extensive research he has done on the Epics surrounding Steelheart, and the information he alone knows about Steelheart himself, to end his violent reign. But he needs the help of the Reckoners to put this plan into action.
Brandon Sanderson can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. Ever since first reading his Mistborn series, I've been a fan of his writing. His intricate world building is among the best I've ever read. So when I found out that Steelheart would be available as an audiobook, I knew I had to have it before even knowing what it was about. I certainly was not disappointed. The detailed world building that I've come to expect from Sanderson was evident in this book as well as strong character development and brilliant dialog that made it easy for me to immerse myself in this story.
While Steelheart contained a ton of action and a fair amount of violence, it also had a lot of heart. Each character had a compelling back story, distinctive personality quirks, and their interaction with one another kept the story moving. I felt for David and his rage over the death of his father as well as his frustration at how almost everyone simply let the Epics do what they wanted without a fight.
Macleod Andrews did a fantastic job narrating this thrilling story. He brought an emotional depth to each of the characters, never once letting the characters blend into one another and without sounding over the top or affected. Each person was completely recognizable by tone, accent, and delivery. His performance in this narration was absolutely impeccable and added even more spirit to an already incredible story.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Steelheart, it is so far removed from what I normally read. However, being that it was written by Sanderson, I guess I can't be too surprised. I would highly recommend this audio experience to anyone who enjoys a well written story, exceptional world building, and authentic characters wrapped up in non-stop action with some completely unexpected twists and turns and an ending that you may not see coming. In other words, you should immediately grab this book because it is one of the best things I've read this year! (less)
Doll Bones is dark and whimsical, heartwarming and bittersweet, and so beautifully written that it will definitely find its way to my favorites shelf....moreDoll Bones is dark and whimsical, heartwarming and bittersweet, and so beautifully written that it will definitely find its way to my favorites shelf. Zach, Poppy, and Alice are on a quest to return the "queen" (creepy porcelain doll possibly made from murdered child bones) to her grave. This quest takes them across Pennsylvania and into Ohio and into some pretty scary situations. Throughout their adventure, the kids begin to explore their changing relationships with one another, with their parents, and within themselves. At the same time, they have to overcome many obstacles preventing them from completing their quest and returning the Doll Bones to it's proper grave.
I grabbed Doll Bones as soon as I saw that it was by Holly Black without even knowing what it was about but I was fairly certain I would enjoy it. And I was right. I Loved this story. The main characters are just 12 years old, at that in between age when they begin moving away from play and make believe and start focusing more on social expectations. I have a son that is 11 and so I could relate to this book so much as a mom watching as my son is going through these exact changes. Holly Black so perfectly captures the essence of this transition from child to adolescent while at the same time giving the reader a creepy adventure to enjoy.
I would highly recommend Doll Bones to readers of ALL ages. This is highly readable and exciting for younger readers and also has a depth and poignancy that older readers will appreciate. This is hands down my favorite read of 2013.(less)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a children's fairy tale made for adults. Like most of Neil Gaiman's books, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is so...moreThe Ocean at the End of the Lane is a children's fairy tale made for adults. Like most of Neil Gaiman's books, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is so quirky and surreal that it is difficult to summarize and review. Reading this was like drifting off into a dream, or a long forgotten childhood memory. The story begins when a middle-age adult wanders back to his childhood home and visits the farm where he recalls some unusual events taking place when he was very young. As he reminisces on these strange happenings, a rather eerie fairy tale unfolds for the reader.
I listened to this on audio which is always such a treat when Neil Gaiman is narrating his own stories. Gaiman so perfectly captures every nuance of expression and personality of his characters as well as creates an almost dreamlike atmosphere for the story itself. He is absolutely a master storyteller. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was quite short, not quite a novella but rather shorter than most novels, but it still managed to contain a complete and hypnotic story.
I would absolutely recommend this and every other book Neil Gaiman has written to anyone who enjoys an unusual and beautifully written fairy tale. (less)