While I don't think the Circle of Magic series is Tamora Pierce's strongest work, I really do find it refreshing how different it is from the various...moreWhile I don't think the Circle of Magic series is Tamora Pierce's strongest work, I really do find it refreshing how different it is from the various Tortal books (including Beka Cooper, though that series is also different from the other Tortal books).
I enjoy how the POV switches between four different characters so we get a sense of everything those characters go through, and I really like that even though the storyline of each book is focusing quite a bit on the title character, that character needs the help of all the others to get through their personal trials and do something fantastic.
The lack of romance is really nice and would make this series more appropriate for younger audiences, and that coupled with the inclusion of a main male character might appeal more for a boy than the Tortal books since those usually follow a girl from youth to coming of age to awesomeness in adulthood and all the romantic thoughts and feelings that would imply.
I think that the world and magical system of the Magic Circle books are intriguing enough on their own to make reading these books worth it, and on top of that, the children, their magical exploration, and how they grow as characters are equally as intriguing.(less)
It loses a star because I was a bit uncomfortable with how young Tamora starts up romance stuff with Kell. As in, people seeming to be attracted to he...moreIt loses a star because I was a bit uncomfortable with how young Tamora starts up romance stuff with Kell. As in, people seeming to be attracted to her. I guess in older times it was common, but it bothered me a bit anyway.
Also, why is this the first time in this universe that we heard of noble dudes raping servant women all the time? Why would noble dudes need to rape servant women when apparently there are all sorts of willing servant women who'd do it for a bit of extra money? Bleh.
But I love Kell's character and her strength and her determination. So there. Four stars.(less)
I actually found it kind of interesting that some of what these men went through and worried about before becoming primary caregiver echo worries that...moreI actually found it kind of interesting that some of what these men went through and worried about before becoming primary caregiver echo worries that I myself have. I don't have children yet and I'm always worrying I'll be a terrible, not-nurturing-mother. In fact, that combined with how much of a slob I am, I've always thought that my fiance would be a much better primary caregiver than I could ever be.
It was refreshing to read these (sometimes quite humorous) accounts of men that have made the transition into the stay-at-home-dad occupation, and it's reassuring to know that a fellow human being can successfully make that lifestyle change and sometimes even manage to do a bit of writing or other work on the side to help out with income, even if it takes a while to become established. Even though I'm female, because I'm working full time at the moment and because I've never been a "normal" (read: stereotypical) female, I feel like I can sympathize with these men who are trying so hard to do right by their children.
I think anyone, no matter the gender, who is about to leave the workforce to stay at home and care for the kids and house ought to read this book. Especially menfolk, of course. I think men need to know that it is okay to be nurturing.
As a side note, after reading Jeremy's essay about his father-in-law just not understanding Jeremy's decision to stay at home, I wonder if the reason it's so much easier for the newer generation of fathers to stay at home is because it wasn't until the 70s that women really started to attend college and get higher paying jobs en masse. Our parents and grandparents just didn't grow up in an era where they were used to seeing women be the breadwinners. Men didn't have a chance to stay at home and be nurturing because that was never an option for them. Women just didn't have a chance at higher paying jobs back then. Just a thought.
Also, as a second side note, some of these essays made me laugh out loud, and I'll be going back through the authors and queuing up some of their other books to give them a shot some time. :)(less)
Definitely the weakest book in the quartet. The romance in this series just didn't build as nicely as all the romantic relationships in the Alanna ser...moreDefinitely the weakest book in the quartet. The romance in this series just didn't build as nicely as all the romantic relationships in the Alanna series and I felt like it happened because it was supposed to and didn't really feel anything for the relationship. And for those of you who know me, you know I like to "ship" characters all over the place.
I felt like the journey scenes were kind of bleh, and Daine did most of her character growth in the other books so there wasn't anywhere left for her magic to go, and the most interesting parts of the book were the interactions with the immortals. Not the Gods or lesser Gods, though.
However, I'm glad I did decide to pick this book up from Audible when I couldn't rent it from the library because it ties up all the loose ends and does feel complete. It just didn't feel as satisfying to me as the awesomeness that was book 3.(less)
Really wish people would stop saying that the Hunger Games is just Battle Royal. Battle Royal had no real setting or setup.
Hunger Games is actually le...moreReally wish people would stop saying that the Hunger Games is just Battle Royal. Battle Royal had no real setting or setup.
Hunger Games is actually less about the children killing each other and more about just how far humanity has sunk. the Capital City is basically a new Rome, and the Hunger Games is a new Colosseum to entertain the masses. The children aren't allowed to say how horrible it is that they all have to die. They are forced to dress up and be beautiful for the camera and give speeches as if they were actors. If the children are doing well in the games or have a sympathetic "character", citizens are allowed to purchase "gifts" for them to help them out.
The whole thing is horrible, just horrible! And in later books, people start to rise up against the corrupt government and a civil war ensues.
The author's explanation of her inspiration for writing the books is enough to convince me that she hadn't ever seen Battle Royale (not everyone is a Jap-fan who has seen this movie, you guys).
Hunger Games is MORE than Battle Royal. It isn't just about picking random kids and making them kill each other (and IMO it's LESS random in this book than in Battle Royal, and in Hunger Games everyone knows it's coming as opposed to it just being a wtf moment). It is about WHY the games exist in the first place, how the games have corrupted high society, and what the oppressed are going to do about it.(less)
I was going to give this book two stars, but I decided it has enough redeeming qualities for me to say "I like it", which is what 3 stars is labeled a...moreI was going to give this book two stars, but I decided it has enough redeeming qualities for me to say "I like it", which is what 3 stars is labeled as on this site.
This is a less crappy version of Twilight. Here we have a girl with a real reason to have some serious issues - Ever. Her entire family has died in a car crash and she is the only one to have survived, only now she's psychic and being able to hear peoples' thoughts and know things about them when she touches them has caused her to go from popular to recluse.
Ever is also mostly likable. She's a bit stubborn, but hey, she's young, so she's allowed to be stupid sometimes and make mistakes. She can be a bit annoying, but she's much, much better than Bella. She has a backbone and puts her foot down a few times throughout the book, even reacting properly to revelations of supernaturalness (none of that "kill me so I can be a vamp" crap that Bella pulled).
I definitely had some problems reading this early on. The story was pretty heavily focused on the relationship between Ever and Damen and I had gotten more interested in hearing about what was going on with the awesome ghost-sister Riley, or Haven's situation with crazy-she-bitch. This is because I don't like Damen. I really don't like Damen. He's like Edward except he keeps encouraging Ever to skip school to be with him instead of actually wanting what's best for her. Though he's a bit better than Edward because at least there's a better reason for him to have lived 600 years and yet want this teenager like a pedophile than "you smell so fucking good and I wanna eat you and also I can't read your mind".
The thing that got me through this book is that it became clear that things were happening throughout that lead up to the climax and action scenes at the end, with all the revelations that unfolded during it. It wasn't like Twilight that was all poorly-written yearning and crappy romance and then OMG VAMPIRES CRASHING OUR BASEBALL GAME AND THEY WANT TO EAT BELLA. No, this plot was cleverly immersed within the events, with nice little hints and tidbits to help you along to the end. That was nice. Not as nice as adult paranormal-mystery-romance novels, but pretty good for a YA one.
I was actually pretty pleased with Ever's character growth by the end, how she took time to think about some important decisions or make her own way. I almost want to read more of this series so I can see if she actually begins to use her gift to help people and has actual adventures now that the romance shit should technically be over.
Before I end this review, I need to note:
1. Okay, WE GET IT, she presses her lips together when she's annoyed. But people don't actually realize when they're doing that, and this is written in the first person, so maybe there are other ways to say it, or you could leave it out, or SOMETHING? Because if it was that annoying to me while I was listening, surely it'd be more annoying to have to READ it over and over.
2. I got real tired of the tulips thing real fast. I realized right away what that was all about and was actually sort of frustrated she didn't look up the flowers until the end of the book. Also I'd like to know what site she got the meaning of the white rose from, because when *I* looked it up on the internet all the top hits said it meant purity or innocence. I didn't get any of that lack of heart mess in my results.
3. Tattoo anticlimax stuff much? Why go into all that shit about it moving if you aren't going to follow up on that part of it? Why not just focus on the part where it looks infected?
Okay, I'm done now. In short, if you can get through the first half, the second half of this book is much more interesting. If you liked Tiger's Curse or Twilight, you'll definitely like this book, because it's the same thing but better. If you are like me and didn't like those books, though, you might want to think about staying away from this one if you aren't listening to the audiobook like I did. I'd have given up on it earlier if I was reading it.(less)
This is definitely my favorite book in the entirety of the Percy Jackson universe by far. There is so much about it to love! The inner workings of Cam...moreThis is definitely my favorite book in the entirety of the Percy Jackson universe by far. There is so much about it to love! The inner workings of Camp Jupiter are just amazing. The battles were fantastic and I didn't find it hard at all to pay attention to them - they're all unique and interesting.
The two new characters have fun quirks that make them an interesting read even though we've previously met children of (view spoiler)[Mars (Ares) (hide spoiler)] and Pluto (Hades). I loved Ella the harpy as well, and I was really pleased to re-meet some characters that we briefly met in Sea of Monsters.
And OMG the modern Amazons! That was just the best. I found myself grinning though that entire portion of the story.
I can't wait for the next book. I think Jason and Percy will get along smashingly. I wonder if (view spoiler)[Leo is Sammy or a descendant of Sammy - it'd be weird if he's Sammy since he remembers his childhood but you never know (hide spoiler)]. I wonder just which son of Neptune will end Hazel's curse. She's never considered that (view spoiler)[Orion is also a son of Neptune, not just Percy and Frank, (hide spoiler)] which I think is quite silly of her.
There's just so much more to know. I want a time machine so I can go into the future and get the next book!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I liked this book almost as much as I liked the first one in the series! Unlike it's prequels, this book was written in the first person. Like it's pr...moreI liked this book almost as much as I liked the first one in the series! Unlike it's prequels, this book was written in the first person. Like it's prequels, it's filled with awesome fairy-tale references and spoofs, lots of awesome and humorous dialogue, and genuinely likable characters.
This book could, in theory, be read without reading the other three, because Daystar is just as clueless as a new reader would be, and you get a quick run-down at the end of the book of previous events. However, I would recommend that new readers start from book one so you can appreciate better how the story got to this point. :)(less)
I didn't like this as much as I liked the first two books, but with more explanations of magic, a nice focus on Morwen and her kitties (finally!) and...moreI didn't like this as much as I liked the first two books, but with more explanations of magic, a nice focus on Morwen and her kitties (finally!) and with fairy tale/story spoofing still happening all over the place, it's hard to complain.
It doesn't end as "happy" as the first two books did either, but it's a great setup for the last book in the series, which is sure to pull everything together and be awesome!(less)