Title: The Lovely Bones Author: Alice Sebold Rating: 5/5
Summary: 14-year-old Susie Salmon is dead. She was murdered in a time before milk carton photos...more Title: The Lovely Bones Author: Alice Sebold Rating: 5/5
Summary: 14-year-old Susie Salmon is dead. She was murdered in a time before milk carton photos and public service announcements, in 1973 people still believed that children and people in generally just didn’t mysteriously disappear. Susie gives her personal account of what happened and her adjustment to the place that she finds herself in after her death. Susie watches her family as they go through their grief in different ways, her father’s hunt for her killer, her sister becoming more daring, and her brother building a fort in her honor to begin his own healing.
Review: I have seen the movie, and they did a very good job transitioning from print story to movie. This story is not sunshine and happiness, it is depressing and it is going to have an effect upon you. These things just do not happen in suburbia, not in 1973, children do not go missing, children do not have bad things happen to them. That was the way things were until 14-year-old Susie Salmon doesn’t come home from school one day, and ultimately is never found at least not whole.
The man next door literally crafts a family’s worst nightmare when he murders their 14-year-old daughter and gives them a glimpse into the reality of the world. When Susie goes missing, any and everyone becomes a suspect in her disappearance, and it ultimately comes down to her father to find the man that killed his daughter when the police are not moving fast enough, or following up on the near paranoia that Mister Salmon has concerning their neighbor who gives him at times conflicting information but it takes him some time to figure it out.
Also, Susie’s heaven is a wonderful place, that actually looks somewhat like her school playground. In her heaven there are other children, and even some adults, but they all have one thing in common – they were murdered by the same twisted individual who at the moment lives next door to the Salmon family.
Title: The Handmaid's Tale Author: Margaret Atwood Format: e-book (Kindle edition) Read: June 24-27 Rating: 4/5 Recommend: Yes
Summary: In this multi-award-...moreTitle: The Handmaid's Tale Author: Margaret Atwood Format: e-book (Kindle edition) Read: June 24-27 Rating: 4/5 Recommend: Yes
Summary: In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate 'Handmaids' under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred's persistent memories of life in the 'time before' and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid's Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning. (Pulled from Goodreads)
Review: A classic and among one of those books that had been challenged repeatedly for many reasons. I enjoy reading banned books, and going WTF at some of the reasons that are given for their "challenges."
There are so many questions left unanswered by the end of the book that I wish there were more. The cliff-hanger had me simply staring at the book for several moments going..."That's it?..There's nothing more?"
Oh well, another "banned/challenged" book tossed into my epic pile of books. There will be others..oh, yes, there will be others. This is just a basic review and I will eventually be adding more to it as time goes on I think.
Title: Eldest Author: Christopher Paolini Rating: 4/5
Summary: Continuing where Eragon ended, Eragon and Saphira (his dragon) have just saved the rebel...moreTitle: Eldest Author: Christopher Paolini Rating: 4/5
Summary: Continuing where Eragon ended, Eragon and Saphira (his dragon) have just saved the rebel state from King Galbatorix and now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera (the land of the elves) to receive further training in being a Dragon Rider, namely magic and swordsmanship training. However, this journey is not without its betrayals and chaos, and soon Eragon is left uncertain who he can place his trust in. In the meantime, his cousin Roran fights a new battle, and this battle holds the potential to put Eragon’s life in even greater danger. Will Eragon escape with his life?
Review: This book has many twists and turns and the most surprising is the fact that Ormoris, an Elven rider is there to show Eragon that he is not the only Dragon rider left. Eragon also learns that he is falling in love with an unobtainable woman, Arya, Princess of the Elves. One of the other unique twists is that Eragon discovers that he has a brother, and who his father is. Neither of which are people Eragon can be proud of, and one of the two killed his former Mentor.
The plot is brilliant, the story quite fascinating, but it travels at a pace that is so ungodly slow because of all the intense and intricate detail that Paolini puts into the story. Yes, I can understand that some of it is required, but really? 300 plus pages for a journey to Ellesmera and learning magic, and then another 300 plus pages for Roran’s story to unfold. This leaves only about 60 pages or so for the Reunion and the great battle of the book.
This book is filled with much smaller battles and skirmishes before culminating in the big battle. Despite the overloading of details, I enjoyed the story very much. This story hooks you and pulls you in, and makes you want to read the next in the series with a dramatic cliffhanger ending. Even the spells, the magic in and of itself seems believable and the works were disguised in a different language which made it all the more believable.
I do highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fiction, science fiction, stories from the past, epic adventures, and books with dragons.
Title: Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony Author: Eoin Colfer Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this from the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, from Netgalley.com fo...moreTitle: Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony Author: Eoin Colfer Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this from the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, from Netgalley.com for an honest review. My thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.
Summary: The fifth book in the Artemis Fowl series and another of my favorites. This series does not seem to ever disappoint me. Once again, Artemis will have to pair up with his old comrade, Captain Holly Short, to track down the missing demon and rescue him, before the time spell dissolves completely and the lost demon colony returns violently to Earth. That’s all I’m sayin’ in my summary.
Review: Alright, so we have the fairy folk who moved underground to keep their world safe and secret from humans right? Then we have the demons, who flat out refuse to join the fairy folk underground. Instead, these wonderful demonic creatures decide to move their whole island to another dimension. Yup! Demons got it good, lets hop dimensions to keep our secret world safe from humans! This will work. Failure on their part.
They are now stuck in Limbo! Such a wonderful place to be! Ain’t it? Especially when you are stuck there indefinitely…with nowhere else to go, right? No, something bad is bound to happen and it does of course, the spell weakened and now we are getting demons in present time – yup, always a good thing to have demons popping up in the present and causing demonic mischief and such!
Though, Artemis’ first attempt to capture one of the demons that come through is thwarted. Someone got their first, leaving our hero flabbergasted, because that demon was supposed to be “his.” Oh, and did I mention it is a 12 year old GIRL that keeps Artemis on his toes. She’s very pretty, and a French genius, her name is Minerva Paradizo.
Will Artemis and his friends be able to save the world from destruction (again)?
Title: Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox Author: Eoin Colfer Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, via netgalley.c...moreTitle: Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox Author: Eoin Colfer Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. I thank the publisher for this opportunity.
Summary: Three years later, Artemis returns and his mother has contracted a deadly disease, whose only cure lies in the brain fluid of the African lemur, however they are extinct, and have been for five years. Thanks Artemis! Yup, it’s his fault that they are extinct. So, time to play with time, as Artemis has to go back in time with the aid of his fairy friends and confront his most deadly enemy, himself, to save the lemurs.
Review: The sixth book in the Artemis Fowl series, delivers yet again. Eoin Colfer has thrown so many twists and turns to what could have been a potentially simple, easy retrieval mission. We see a resurgence of the time-traveling demon from The Lost Colony, and he helps Artemis go back in time where he now must come face-to-face with his devious, Machiavellian younger self in an attempt to retrieve and save the African lemur.
But, something happens, and things as usual become infinitely more complicated when Artemis learns that he can no longer trust his memories of what happened all those years ago. Will Artemis be able to save his mother? To undo the damage his younger self caused by selling the African Lemur to the extinction cult?
Title: The Magician Author: Michael Scott Rating: 3/5
Summary: After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights...moreTitle: The Magician Author: Michael Scott Rating: 3/5
Summary: After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenell is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Nicolo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He’s after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenell. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year—their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophesy is becoming more and more clear. It’s time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic: Fire Magic. And there’s only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel’s old student, the Comte de Saint-Germain—alchemist, magician, and rock star. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world’s only hope—if they don’t turn on each other first.
Review: This book started out with so much promise, so many expectations, but ultimately it kinda fell short of what I was hoping for, to cause me again to drop my rating by a star in retrospect. My favorite part of this particular book was the introduction of Machiavelli with the Kabuki masks. After that, the book unfortunately began to become predictable in nature. Sophie continues her training, learning magic this time from Saint Germaine, who had stolen it from Promethius and is married to Jean d’Arc (Joan of Arc), the last person, prior to Sophie, to have a silver aura. Josh is still jealous, but ultimately gets his awakening by the God of War, Mars, before he is killed by Dee. Dee, of course, kills everyone. Flamel is continuing to age, Perenelle escapes Alcatraz, traps Morrigan in a deep, dark cave, with no exit.
This series didn’t need a second book, or at least needed more time between the first and the second because this sounded forced. The Alchemyst was good, I liked that one. This book droned on and on and had a predictable storyline. After the introduction of Machiavelli, the only other part that actually held my interest and shocked me was when Scatty got dragged into the lake by Dagon. The introduction of Jean d’Arc could have been a lot less awkward, and while I do love her she was not the best character addition to this story, and I do kind of find myself liking Machiavelli.
I am somewhat of a book snob in my addiction to books, but in this case I was feeling somewhat generous and give this book three stars, even though it is down from my initial four star rating. I tend to use a policy that my teachers in the past have embraced, if there is effort there you at least get half a point even if the result isn’t exactly what it was supposed to be. I do have to admit, I like the cover art of the book a bit more than I like the story on the pages.
Title: Game of Thrones Author: George R.R. Martin Rating: 5/5
Summary: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of bala...moreTitle: Game of Thrones Author: George R.R. Martin Rating: 5/5
Summary: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective wall. To the south, the King's powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens.
Review: Why did I initially pick up this book? Truthfully, because it was being turned into a television show on HBO, which I’ve yet to see, but in my desire to see it, wanted to familiarize myself with the world that Martin created. Truth be told, I am glad I did. I am completely and totally sucked into this world that he has created, even with its gory aspects and the twisted politicking of the high ranking individuals in the book. Am I placing this book on the level that I would place Lord of the Rings, absolutely not, because they are two very different stories and thus should not be compared in the realm of epic fantasies.
A Game of Thrones, is essentially a boy’s soap opera. Dark, twisted, sinister and nasty; filled with violence and sex and even the slightest touches of magic and supernatural. The characters are big, brash and they engage in incest, hide their secrets, make dirty deals, and manage to completely screw up themselves, their families and their friends. It is your average soap opera with plate mail armor and bloody battles. All in all it is very, very good. If Days of Our Lives was like this, I would most definitely watch it more often.
Even with its overarching soapiness, I was impressed with this book and the way that it sucked me into the world that martin created. The stark brutality of it, the drive to vengeance, and the fact that no character - no matter how heroic – is safe from anything. The overwhelming pathos in every action and reaction, the textures and smells and sounds of our world transplated in Martin’s made me believe that all of it, even the two punch denouement of the final Catelyn and Daenerys chapters, was possible.
I have read the second and third books in this series, and their reviews will be coming soon.