I really enjoyed it. It does have the flavor of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War but simplified for tween tastes. The chapters are brief but full of information to pull the reader into the story. I enjoyed the blending of historical fact with imagination (even with Molly Brown!) and the heroism of the band, the captain, and the crewmen of the Titanic.
I took a point off because of the ending. I felt it was a bit cliched for a story which had been so creative.
I'm betting students will be stealing this book off my shelves quickly.(less)
When I was 11 or 12, I was really into King Arthur, knights, and Roland. It started with a clothbound book my grandmother had in her cupboard. Despite...moreWhen I was 11 or 12, I was really into King Arthur, knights, and Roland. It started with a clothbound book my grandmother had in her cupboard. Despite my love of knights' tales, I never read this one; the heft of the book intimidated me.
I'm so glad I chose to get over my fear of thick books brought on by Twilight and stole this book off the shelves of the school library.
It took me a few chapters to get into the proper mindframe for British children's lit. Once I got into it, it was hard to pull myself out of the book.
Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, all of them, became so real. Finally, "Camelot" made sense!
I think it would take a certain kind of child to enjoy this book. I hope there are children who do. It truly deserves to be called classic literature.(less)
Usually the middle book or movie in a series is the book nobody likes. It serves to provide backstory or to fill in additional information to bridge t...moreUsually the middle book or movie in a series is the book nobody likes. It serves to provide backstory or to fill in additional information to bridge the gap between the first book in a trilogy and the second. That is not the case here.
Deryni Rising starts the story of King Kelson. Katherine Kurtz could have ended the trilogy right there and the story would have been fine (no cliffhangers). Instead, she chose to continue the story of King Kelson with a focus on Morgan, Kelson's chief Deryni/advisor. After all, life goes on.
The reader learns more about Morgan and his family. Even though doomed, star-crossed lovers is such a cliche in medieval romances, and even though I know the end is coming, I end up crying at the same part. What a waste! Yet isn't death either a blessing after a long, fruitful life or a waste after a short life? Isn't that what the medieval romances were about?
Was Bronwyn a common name in medieval times? I've read it in other books, such as Bronwyn's Bane, but those books are always set in medieval times. I've never known anyone named Bronwyn nor have I seen it in modern books or movies.(less)
I first read this when I was in either junior high or high school. Every few years, I reread it for a fantasy fix. It's really good fantasy!
This is a...moreI first read this when I was in either junior high or high school. Every few years, I reread it for a fantasy fix. It's really good fantasy!
This is a series about "us and them." "Us" is normal humans without any psychic talents living in a medieval world; "them" is humans (we can interbreed) with psychic abilities. Neither "us" nor "them" is 100% good or evil. Both are a mix of ambition, honor, prejudice, fear, bias, stereotypes, and loyalty thrown in to muddle up the drama.
Even though I started the series with this book, I'd recommend that a new reader to the series begin with the Camber books. The back history really helps with understanding this series.
If you like stories of old with knights and friars and kings and queens, this is a good series for you. If you like medieval fiction, you may like it. If you require fairies and dragons in your fantasy, look elsewhere. (less)
One of my students got angry with me for reading the books out of order. I didn't think I had but then I read that Firestar was down to five lives so...moreOne of my students got angry with me for reading the books out of order. I didn't think I had but then I read that Firestar was down to five lives so I missed the destruction of three lives. In my defense, I bought the seven Warrior books I have in a set from eBay.
I really liked this book. It was slightly more... spiritual... than the other Warrior books I've read. I like the way the author, Erin Hunter, deals with some bigger issues through her cat societies. In this case, who does Firestar ultimately owe his loyalty to: his Thunderclan or righting the wrongs of past clans?
As the title implies, there's a quest. And there's Sandstorm. I'm not sure really about Sandstorm's jealousy or her pettiness. I found mhyself not liking her as much as I had in other books.
But I really liked Firestar. He's a good and honorable cat.(less)
I'm getting much more into these books than I thought I would. Maybe it has to do with right now I am owned by a cat so I'm more aware of cat behavior...moreI'm getting much more into these books than I thought I would. Maybe it has to do with right now I am owned by a cat so I'm more aware of cat behavior. In any case, the Warrior series is just a good story about cats and honor.(less)
I'm not sure what happened but this book totally came together for me.
When I first began reading this series, I noticed that each clan had cats categ...moreI'm not sure what happened but this book totally came together for me.
When I first began reading this series, I noticed that each clan had cats categorized by role and coloration. Now I realize that they are also categorized by characterization. I wonder if the author wrote up a character sheet for each cat. In any case, each cat is a fully-developed individual.
My students insisted that I read this series and now I'm hooked.
As a true warrior, the cat formerly known as Rusty is gaining confidence in his role....moreMy students insisted that I read this series and now I'm hooked.
As a true warrior, the cat formerly known as Rusty is gaining confidence in his role. I think one of the things I like about the author is that she's not afraid to let cats die. Adventures are meant to be life-and-death... and sometimes it's about death.
I remember reading somewhere that the lifespan of the average wild cat is something like 3 years. Time seems to move at a different speed when you're a cat in the wild. The writing reflects that well.(less)
Students have been recommending this series for a couple of years now. Last month, I bit the bullet and bought the whole Warrior series. (I don't like...moreStudents have been recommending this series for a couple of years now. Last month, I bit the bullet and bought the whole Warrior series. (I don't like reading series piecemeal.)
At first, I was dismayed by Rusty's dislike of the status of housecat. It took me a while to get over that. But then I began to read further into the book and I was drawn deeper into the tale. And I was hooked!
My students are right. This is really a good series!(less)
It's been a long time since I've read any of Christine Feehan's books. Reading this reminded me why.
In my defense, I was sick. I wanted something ligh...moreIt's been a long time since I've read any of Christine Feehan's books. Reading this reminded me why.
In my defense, I was sick. I wanted something light to read for brain-dead me. Even ill, though, I could barely make my way through the book. I was ready to scream, despite my lack of voice, if I read the word "dominant" or the variation "dominate", again.
He has to "own" her? Seriously? The book is a throw back to the bad 60s and 70s Harlequin romances (brooding, dominant male intent on having his way with the tiny, perfect, independent female who says "no" right up to the point where she says "more"). Fortunately, Rafael is so rich that Colby can overlook his domineering ways. rolling eyes
When I went to Target today, I saw two more books in the series. I didn't own them; I still don't.
Run away from this book if you're looking for an original, creative paranormal romance. This is the book for you if you're fond of dreck.(less)
It's not that she hasn't written a lot of books. Her books just aren't that popular with...more"Cool!" I thought, "A Diana Wynne Jones book I haven't read."
It's not that she hasn't written a lot of books. Her books just aren't that popular with my students so I don't get to read her books often so it was rather exciting to find one of her books in the adult section of science fiction.
I liked the premise of a world being traumatized by decades of live D&D RPG games. The gryphons and magic added a nice, light sense of humor. It was fun reading of the hard work that goes into creating an image. For fantasy, it was a nice romp of a read.
I have a cold so I wanted a book I could get lost in but not feel bad if I had to put it down. I've been reading Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series sin...moreI have a cold so I wanted a book I could get lost in but not feel bad if I had to put it down. I've been reading Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series since the beginning. I've read this book before. It looked like a perfect fit. And it was.
For a book about mercenary life, it's probably one of Ms. Lackey's most idealistic books. I realized this when I read about moonflower's bane, etc. Other than magic, how would the characteristics of these particular plants be found? Then there's the Mercenary's Code and the discussions about honor. Very idealistic.
On the other hand, I've been talking to friends about what are the characteristics of a strong female character. Ms. Lackey writes strong female characters and this book is exemplary if you're looking for a strong female character. Kerowyn is a woman, first and foremost. She's human. Something happens which makes her want to be more than what her family wants her to be. She wants to be more and devotes herself to becoming more/better. She's not superhuman. She's blessed to have family to support her when she needs support. She's lucky but not inordinately so. Hard work leads her to achieve. She has rough/hard times and is almost broken by those times.
I'm glad I read it. I needed to read a strong female character with ideals, even if she is a mercenary.(less)
I really ought to put this one on the fantasy shelf only because it is pure fantasy without a lick of science fiction in it. I believe, though, that f...moreI really ought to put this one on the fantasy shelf only because it is pure fantasy without a lick of science fiction in it. I believe, though, that fantasy falls under the umbrella of science fiction so... there it goes.
I don't care much for Andre Norton in general. She's always been my author for when absolutely nothing else is available. Every library has some of her books.
This book is one of her better ones. It reads as a legend and, thus, is slightly more believable. I have a hard time with credibility when the author uses the magical "and then it appeared" writing device. There was no reason for a sanctuary to appear but it does. No one offered prayers or anything. It just appeared. There was no reason for a lot of things to occur. People just have compulsions or hear voices or whatever and, for no known reason, decide it's a good idea to follow those compulsions.
The Scent of Magic is high fantasy so set your skepticism and good sense aside when you read it.(less)
I picked this off the shelf at Barnes and Noble two weeks ago to celebrate the end of a very trying week. Little did I know that the following week wo...moreI picked this off the shelf at Barnes and Noble two weeks ago to celebrate the end of a very trying week. Little did I know that the following week would be even worse. This book is what got me through that awful time.
I needed a light, fun read with enough of a storyline to keep me going without straining my brain. This fit my criteria admirably.
I really didn't care, though, for Raphael. He's the reason for the loss of star. He's such a brat! I don't care how beautiful he is. He's high-maintenance and not worth the time.
That may actually be the issue I have with the males in Ilona Andrews books: the males are all too high-maintenance. The women are strong, driven women but they inevitably succumb to good looking guys who are jealous and high maintenance. When a woman does that, I lose respect for her.
I enjoy the Ilona Andrews stories. Maybe they ought to hold off on the romance. The romance really isn't necessary.(less)
I found this book on the clearance shelf at Half Price Books. It was published while I was still in college and there was no way I'd read a children's...moreI found this book on the clearance shelf at Half Price Books. It was published while I was still in college and there was no way I'd read a children's book while I was in college! I missed out--big-time.
The imagery is lush. I discovered that the tales were actually stories told to blind children. The characters remind me of Peter Pan and The Black Cauldron where heroism is pure and action-oriented. The vivid descriptions reminded me of the Robin McKinley's Spindle's End and Beauty. Most of all, I was left wondering why adult books aren't as rich.
In no way did I find Brian Jacques pander to his child audience. Instead, he left me wishing that adult authors respected adult audiences as much as he does. I'm jealous.
Years and years ago, I discovered Wen Spencer. I loved the worlds she created. I followed her blog. Then she had a run of bad luck and stopped writing...moreYears and years ago, I discovered Wen Spencer. I loved the worlds she created. I followed her blog. Then she had a run of bad luck and stopped writing. I stopped looking for her books.
Last weekend, I went to Barnes and Noble, looking for a missing book out of a trilogy I was reading. On the New Science Fiction and Fantasy shelf, I saw a new book by Wen Spencer. Words cannot describe the excitement I felt. Even though it was a hardcover book, I bought it. It was the continuing story of Tinker, the heroine of this book. I had to re-read the prior books.
I read the reviews and I was a bit disappointed by the reviews. One reviewer said the books were racist. Another reviewer described what happened to Tinker as a form of rape because those actions were nonconsensual. I disagree with both reviewers.
I feel Tinker's adventures occur because she is cocky. She thinks she knows and understands more than she does. She's a genius and is used to being right. she's afraid, in a way, of admitting her mistakes and lack of understanding. The results of this cockiness lead to changes in her life which she didn't expect. She doesn't know what she's getting into and ends up biting off more than she expected.
I also feel that Tinker's adventures describe what happens when cultures think they understand each other but don't. Elfhome and Pittsburgh are different cultures. Cultural and linguistic differences are strong but neither the humans nor the elves understand how strong those differences still are. They believe they understand each other and neither does.
This book has won awards. Wen Spencer deserves the awards. This book balances wonderfully between science (Tinker is a scientist; Lain is a scientist; Oilcan is an engineer and artist) and fantasy (the elves, the dragons).
I think Tinker would be a wonderful book for book clubs. Areas of discussion: love/romance; when cultural differences collide; the problems caused by linguistic differences; first contact issues.(less)
It's been a long time since Wen Spencer has published anything. I've missed her worlds and characters.
This is really Oilcan's story. Unlike Tinker's s...moreIt's been a long time since Wen Spencer has published anything. I've missed her worlds and characters.
This is really Oilcan's story. Unlike Tinker's story, which was told from Tinker's perspective, Oilcan's story is told from several perspectives which causes the story to hang together differently. I didn't like it as well.
I like the new character, especially the children. The most poignant moment for me was when an elf exclaims at seeing a child that she'd never seen a child before and describes her mother's confusion at raising a child which won't grow quickly enough. The elves really don't understand children. A different elf mentions that he has never seen so many children (seven) in one place together before. Elves understand children even less than they understand tengu, oni, and dragons.
In Tinker, Windwolf describes elfin fashion as fossilized. Oilcan's story reflects the fossilization which has occurred in elf society and how binding it must be to live in such an inflexible society, especially if you're young and trying to achieve, grow, and succeed.(less)
As I look over my bookshelves, I'm wondering if I ought to add this series to the Post-Apocalyptic shelf.... Nah, our world hasn't ended; it's merely...moreAs I look over my bookshelves, I'm wondering if I ought to add this series to the Post-Apocalyptic shelf.... Nah, our world hasn't ended; it's merely changed/warped a bit.
We're moving closer to the big confrontation with Roland and Kate Daniels is busy gathering her sidekicks. There were some cute flashes of humor in the book. Curran is getting to be a bit too perfect. Derek's perfection has been destroyed. No, duh, that Julie would develop a crush on Derek. Character development is really growing and I like it.
Andrea has learned, along with the rest of us, Kate's big secret. Kate's willing to make friends now. Kate's libido is growing, too. I wonder if friendliness is somehow tied to lust in this series.
I have the feeling I'm going to finish the series before the end of the weekend. Yay! Ilona Andrews is going on my list of favorite authors.(less)
This book led to a bookstore emergency. You see, I thought I had purchased the entire series at Half Price Books so when I settled in for an evening o...moreThis book led to a bookstore emergency. You see, I thought I had purchased the entire series at Half Price Books so when I settled in for an evening of serious reading I was dismayed to learn that I had most of the series; I lacked book #2.
On the positive side, when I arrived at Barnes and Noble, I learned that Wen Spencer, a favorite author, had finally written a new book after a series of personal disasters.
So far as I'm concerned, this book made me very happy.
In addition to learning about Wen Spencer's new book, I learned more about Kate Daniels' world. In the first book, Ilona Andrews spent a lot of time explaining Kate Daniel's world. In this book, she finally got to work some on character development. Kate's character is fleshing out and so are the characters of her soon-to-be-sidekicks. (Like I can't tell when an adventure-heroine isn't gathering her sidekicks for the final confrontation with evil. I learned about that when I read Lloyd Alexander's Black Cauldron series when I was in fifth grade.)
I'm a bit ticked about the titling, though. I'm having a hard time figuring out which book is which. Goodreads helps me out with that.(less)
I got this book on a whim. I wanted something new to read and it looked like there might be a complete set of books on the shelf on Half Price Books....moreI got this book on a whim. I wanted something new to read and it looked like there might be a complete set of books on the shelf on Half Price Books. New author + complete series = too much temptation for me to avoid.
It's a complicated world that Kate Daniels lives in. She's a typical kind of mercenary... except for these odd hints regarding her parentage/heritage. The strangeness of her universe slowly dragged me in. I want to learn more.
I look forward to learning more about Kate Daniels and her universe.(less)
I haven't read any other books by Dawn Cook or Kim Harrison (the same person). Kim Harrison seems to have several books with interesting covers but th...moreI haven't read any other books by Dawn Cook or Kim Harrison (the same person). Kim Harrison seems to have several books with interesting covers but there are so many that I've been reluctant to even begin reading. I figured I'd give Dawn Cook a try and if I like her books I'd try out the Kim Harrison books.
I didn't like the main character very much in the beginning. The story wasn't very interesting to me, although it should have been. I found myself skipping ahead in the story and then doggedly returning to where I'd stopped reading. Banner ended up being my favorite character.
By the end of the book, I liked the characters a bit more. I prefer Duncan over Jeck but I don't think my preferences will matter. I like the Captain, too.
When I bought the book at Half Price Books, I bought the second book, too. (Is there a third?) I think Heather will find her own husband. I hope she makes friends with the princess. The continuance of my reading the series will depend on the second book and how the characters shape up. (less)
The only reason I read this book, the second in the series, is because I got it from the library (free!) and I wasn't ready to return to the library t...moreThe only reason I read this book, the second in the series, is because I got it from the library (free!) and I wasn't ready to return to the library to get a better book.
The story is an improvement over the first book (a book which just confused me). I think that I understand the setting, plot, and characters better but I still don't understand what is really going on. Is this book supposed to be purely for entertainment purposes?
It doesn't make me contemplate our society or the effects of technology on man or anything else I expect from a good science fiction book. Am I supposed to just be a passive audience to the story? How boring!
Sure, the language is rich and descriptive but I prefer my science fiction to have more meat. I want to finish the book and want to pass it on to someone just so I can discuss it. It's just not happening with this series.
I'm going to give the rest of the series a pass.(less)
This was an odd read. I couldn't quite figure it out. In the end, it reminded me most of The Golden Compass.
I picked it up on a whim at the library. I...moreThis was an odd read. I couldn't quite figure it out. In the end, it reminded me most of The Golden Compass.
I picked it up on a whim at the library. I liked the comparison on the cover to Jane Austen. While I don't care for the writings of Jane Austen, I like the Bronte sisters, who wrote in the same era.
This book is definitely a gothic although it's not a gothic romance, especially not according to the modern definition of romance.
I don't quite understand all the rules of the society in the book. I definitely did not understand enough of the history. I finished the book feeling as if I understood the logic of the writing but I did not understand how the logic worked, really. I didn't have the underpinnings necessary for the logic to work well.
I checked out the second book so I'll be reading that one, too. Maybe I'll learn more.(less)
I began this book with hope. Surely the main character had already reached rock bottom by now. I was wrong. He still had a bit more sliding to undergo...moreI began this book with hope. Surely the main character had already reached rock bottom by now. I was wrong. He still had a bit more sliding to undergo before his life could improve.
On the positive side, the changes in the characters of the other characters made sense finally. Also on the positive side, the hero was rewarded for having battled and won. But it wasn't enough for me. It was too slick. It felt almost trite even though it wasn't.