Jodi Picoult's books are always a bit hit-and-miss with me (some have been great, others were utterly terrible) but this one was definitely one of the...moreJodi Picoult's books are always a bit hit-and-miss with me (some have been great, others were utterly terrible) but this one was definitely one of the good ones! I stayed up late into the night reading "The Storyteller" and ended up finishing it in two days. It was simply one of those books that I could not put down anymore once I had started reading.
I'm usually a big fan of Nicholas Sparks but this book just didn't do it for me. I liked Luke and Sophia's story for the most part, but I never connec...moreI'm usually a big fan of Nicholas Sparks but this book just didn't do it for me. I liked Luke and Sophia's story for the most part, but I never connected to Ira and Ruth. The final third of the book really dragged and I actually had to force myself to keep reading and that's never happened to me with any other novel by this author before.(less)
Das war mein erstes Buch von Nina Blazon, und ich bin wirklich beeindruckt! "Wolfszeit" ist ein spannend erzählter und atmosphärisch dichter Roman der...moreDas war mein erstes Buch von Nina Blazon, und ich bin wirklich beeindruckt! "Wolfszeit" ist ein spannend erzählter und atmosphärisch dichter Roman der auf der wahren Geschichte der "Bestie von Gevaudon" basiert welche im 18. Jahrhundert in einer französischen Provinz mehr als 100 Menschen getötet hat.
Erzählt wird die Geschichte überwiegend aus der Sicht des jungen Forschungsstudenten Thomas der gemeinsam mit einigen Gesandten des Königs in die Provinz Gevaudon reist um die mysteriösen Todesfälle zu untersuchen. In den Monaten die er dort verbringt begutachtet er Leichen, befragt Überlebende, und nimmt an Wachen und Jagden teil - alles in der Hoffnung dem geheimnisvollen Tier auf die Spur zu kommen. Eine der Überlebenden ist die junge Adelige Isabelle deren Familie ihre Verletzungen vor der Öffentlichkeit totschweigt. Thomas verliebt sich in Isabelle, nichtsahnend in welcher Gefahr sie sich immer noch befindet ...
Mir hat der Schreibstil von Nina Blazon sehr gut gefallen! Sie schreibt sehr flüssig und mitreissend, und dank ihrer tollen Beschreibungen habe ich mich direkt ins ländliche Frankreich des 18. Jahrhunderts versetzt gefühlt. Die Geschichte wird wirklich an keiner Stelle langweilig - im Gegenteil: Ich konnte das Buch gar nicht mehr aus der Hand legen, und habe es dann auch innerhalb von zwei Tagen komplett gelesen!
Im Laufe der Geschichte bringt die Autorin diverse Theorien hervor, und es gab einige Momente in denen ich mich gefragt habe in welche Richtung wohl ihre Auflösung gehen wird - natürlich oder übernatürlich. Dazu kommt auch dass ich wirklich bis kurz vor Schluss nicht wusste wer oder was tatsächlich für die Morde verantwortlich war - Frau Blazon schafft es sehr gut den Leser immer wieder auf andere Fährten zu lenken die auch alle plausibel klingen. Das Ende hat dem Roman einen runden und gut durchdachten Abschluss gegeben.
Für mich war "Wolfszeit" einer der besten und spannendsten Romane die ich in den letzten Jahren gelesen habe, und ich werde ganz sicher noch andere Bücher dieser Autorin lesen.(less)
I just finished reading “The Land Of Stories: The Enchantress Returns” and I still have a smile on my face! I really, really loved this book, and thor...moreI just finished reading “The Land Of Stories: The Enchantress Returns” and I still have a smile on my face! I really, really loved this book, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Following I’ll share my thoughts with you – there are a few *very* minor spoilers in this review, but nothing I would consider to be especially plot-relevant!
About the story:
It’s been a year since twins Alex and Conner Bailey were magically transported into the Land Of Stories and went on a quest to put together the Wishing Spell to find a way back to their own world. A year since they found out that they are children of both worlds, and that their grandmother is the one and only Fairy Godmother.
But adventure awaits the Bailey twins again when their mother is kidnapped and taken to the fairytale world by an evil enchantress who wants to rule over all the kingdoms – and more. Together they travel back to the Land Of Stories, where they soon find out that another quest is in order. Only this time, they’re not alone! They are joined by an unlikely quartet, and together this group must find a number of hard-to-collect items in hopes of putting together the Wand of Wonderment – the one thing that might help them defeat the enchantress and save the world!
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed the first book in the series, “The Wishing Spell”, and thought it was good – but I also felt that it still left room for improvement (as is often the case with books by first time authors). Naturally I was excited for the sequel, “The Enchantress Returns”, and the book did not disappoint! In fact, I have to admit I actually liked this one better than the first one … :o)
Chris Colfer has really taken leaps and bounds as an author. I mean, he was a good writer and storyteller to begin with, but I feel that his writing has still improved quite a bit since his first book (“The Enchantress Returns” is actually his third one, with the YA novel “Struck by Lightning: The Carson Philips Journal” – based on his own screenplay – being the second).
The story is more well-rounded, the pacing and plotting tighter, the writing itself smoother, there’s more depth to both story and characters, and he manages to effortlessly interweave various subplots and tie them all up neatly in the end. While I felt that the story was a bit slow in the beginning, it soon picked up pace and once Alex and Conner were back in the Land Of Stories there was not a dull moment to be found.
Chris Colfer’s vivid imagination and knack for drawing readers into his stories continues to amaze me! His writing is incredibly descriptive and imaginative, and just like with the first book, this one too felt like I was watching a movie in my head (and on that note I have to say that both TLOS books would make really awesome movies!).
He is good at writing scenes for Alex and Conner, but where he is really at his best is when writing his fairytale characters, and especially when creating their back stories. He takes these stories and characters we all know and adds a whole bunch of new layers (and a lot more depth) to them. And more than that – he makes them feel so real they seem to leap off the pages!
There is plenty of humor and witty banter in this book! Mother Goose – or should I say “Mother Booze”? – is hilarious, and I have to say I love Chris for basically forcing Red and Goldilocks to spend the majority of the story in close quarters – their constant open animosity makes for some of the book’s most funniest moments! In fact, those two might just be my favorite characters in the series … :o)
It is really good to see Chris continuously improve as a writer, and honestly? If the three novels he has published so far are any indication then we can expect some really big things from him in the future!
To sum this up, “The Enchantress Returns” is a wonderful and well-written book not just for children – or adults – who love fairytales and fantastical stories, but for anyone who enjoys reading about adventures full of magic, wit and humor. I really hope that there will be more books in the series because I’m definitely not ready to say goodbye to Alex, Conner, and all the fairytale characters yet!
About the audio book: I read the hardcover book first and then listened to it after that. I’m not generally a fan of audio books but Chris Colfer always narrates them himself – and that is an absolute treat! He always manages to give every character a unique voice of their own, and I found his narration to be funny, engaging and often endearing! (less)