I keep vacillating between 4.5 and 5 full stars. I really, really liked this one. I mean, I'm totally in love with the Scarlet Pimpernel, so that gotI keep vacillating between 4.5 and 5 full stars. I really, really liked this one. I mean, I'm totally in love with the Scarlet Pimpernel, so that got me super excited for this book. And, luckily, it didn't fall flat. The story was imaginative, even if some aspects rang out as familiar. The world was interesting, and creative. The heroine is certainly one to root for, and the dialogue is witty. Especially between Sophia and Rene.
I'm not one to go into lots of plot details, because I hate spoilers. So I'll just say that I read it in three sittings, and I would have loved to have whittled that down to one or two. The writing was beautiful, though sometimes I almost thought the author's switches between POVs and breaks between scenes were almost too perfect. For example, if one scene ends with a character picking up a teacup, you can bet that the next one starts with a teacup being set down or lifted by another character. Sometimes a character will have a last thought, and then the new character you're with will have a variation of that same thought. I got a little smile the first few times this happened, since it feels rather clean and tidy--but then it kept happening, and it got a little too repetitive for my tastes. However, that's a very small consideration.
Overall, the story was engaging, exciting, and the characters were fun. I didn't get deeply attached to the characters, and I'm not sure why. But it didn't keep me from enjoying this book.
I should add that it's a standalone book, which I really sort of loved. I mean, a series is wonderful, but having a standalone book every so often is just the best....more
4.5 is where this really belongs, but you know how stars are. :)
This book swept me away. It reminded me what I love about a good, solid fantasy. The w4.5 is where this really belongs, but you know how stars are. :)
This book swept me away. It reminded me what I love about a good, solid fantasy. The world building is exquisite. The political intrigue is delicious. The characters are fun, and complex. The plot kept me guessing--I wasn't sure what was going to happen. The ending came too soon, but was so well crafted it managed to leave me from feeling completely crazed.
Now, I'm not a fan of love triangles. Like, ever. But this one was tastefully done. It didn't dominate the story in any way, and there was none of that annoying, "Oh, which one should I choose?" I don't believe in spoilers, so I won't say more. But if the fear of a love triangle is holding you back from reading, don't let it.
So, you may be wondering, Why not a full five stars, after all this gushing? Well, as nit-picky as this sounds...
1. I am a huge fan of dialogue, and there were a couple of times the author summarized a conversation, and I literally found myself frowning, very put out at missing a fun, character-building exchange. I felt like most of the conversation summary took away from the story, rather than speed it seamlessly along as I'm sure it was intended to do.
2. There were times when the author was a bit too present in the story--mostly in the beginning. She knows things we readers don't, and she would hint so strongly that the reader would figure it out, but the characters would still talk cryptically about it, or the chapter would end on a dramatic, secretive note--it got a bit tiring.
Yep, that was it. Those were my only complaints, and they probably wouldn't even bother a normal person. I'm just weird. :)
If you want a great YA fantasy, with a side of romance and a generous helping of political intrigue, this is the book for you.
This book contains: some language, violence, as well as some crude/sexual humor....more
Even better than book one. Some of the twists really caught me by surprise, which is saying something. The politics became more complicated, and thatEven better than book one. Some of the twists really caught me by surprise, which is saying something. The politics became more complicated, and that was especially delicious....more
The reason the last two books in the series weren't as good to me was simple: overdone love triangle=too much drama for me. I can say that I still reaThe reason the last two books in the series weren't as good to me was simple: overdone love triangle=too much drama for me. I can say that I still really enjoyed the books, and there were amazing scenes in all of them! I was also very happy with the way the series ended, though I was intensely worried for a while there...
Still a series I'd wholeheartedly recommend, and I'm sure I'll read it again. Especially considering the whirlwind in which I read it--one a day. In fact, I may go back to my favorite parts right now......more
A lovely sequel! I think it works so well because it does a good job of branching out from book one's plot--though of course what happened in "RecklesA lovely sequel! I think it works so well because it does a good job of branching out from book one's plot--though of course what happened in "Reckless" plays a huge role in what's happening now in "Fearless". Jacob Reckless is a very real character, and Fox is totally awesome. This story sucks you in, and doesn't let you go. (It's like fairy-tale steampunk. And it's thrilling!) The Mirrorworld series is definitely scarier and darker than Funke's more popular books and the main character is twenty-five, so don't be misled into thinking this is a childrens book.
We see more of the world on the other side of the glass in this book; the different cultures, cities, and folklore, and we're sort of on the edge of all the political intrigue, which is interesting. Economies are shifting, technology is stamping out magic, and governments are fracturing. Also, Jacob and Fox have some great moments, and that just makes the book even better. I really don't want to say too much about the plot, since that will give things away about book one, but it's a very imaginative and exciting story.
I'm just so awed by Cornelia Funke. Her imagination is limitless, and she's one of those authors who dives right into the story and the world, and she doesn't bother explaining every little thing to the reader. There are so many references to fairy tales, legends, and the poetry of the writing just gets to me. Beautiful, and brilliant! ...more
A little slow moving in the beginning, but an utterly thrilling adventure nonetheless. I couldn't put it down! A tantalizing blend of ancient legends,A little slow moving in the beginning, but an utterly thrilling adventure nonetheless. I couldn't put it down! A tantalizing blend of ancient legends, exotic cultures, breathtaking romance, and fantasy. Kelsey (our heroine) is REAL, and I loved that about her. She's in the exciting stage between high school and college, when you're forced to take a look at yourself and discover who you really are, and who you want to become. Ren (our leading man/tiger) was, in a word, captivating. And he likes Shakepeare. And he has an Indian accent. And he's tall dark and handsome. And he grins a lot. And he's fiercely loyal. In short, Ren melts my heart; as a tiger, and most definitely as a man.
I also appreciated that Colleen Houck (our charming author)gave me plenty to swoon about without making the kissing scenes inappropriate. THANK YOU! I would also like to note that the author never relied on strong language or graphic violence to create suspenseful scenes; she used sheer writing talent, and the language throughout the story was beautiful.
I only wish I'd forced myself to find the time to read this book years ago, but college and writing definitely got in the way of my to-read pile. However, I'm seeking redemption now, and am off to get my hands on book two... ...more
So, I'll be currently reading this one for a while. :) I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. I first read about Holmes when I was eleven or so, and that'sSo, I'll be currently reading this one for a while. :) I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes. I first read about Holmes when I was eleven or so, and that's when I basically stopped reading Nancy Drew and even the Hardy Boys. I was super excited when I finally got the complete collection, so I could re-read the stories I loved, and also get exposed to many of the short stories I've never read.
I love the complexity of Holmes. He's not exactly heroic, and yet he is considered a hero in the literature world. He's moody, often drugged, and a complete show-off. He's also hyper-observant, a talented actor, deeply intelligent with a firm grasp of right and wrong, and basically just brilliant. In a word, he's REAL. I admire Doyle for making a character that isn't necessarily likable, and yet still be a person that the reader is curious to follow.
Watson has always been a favorite of mine, mostly because he is so like the reader. He is the more human out of the pair, because he isn't quite so extreme. He's not abnormally talented like Holmes, but he doesn't share in Holmes' less savory mannerisms either. I also love that Watson is the narrator. Of course the adventures wouldn't be as mysterious and wonderful without Watson being our eyes and ears, but there's something about having the secondary character do all of the narrating that intrigues me....more
I really enjoyed this one! I don't have time to write out a long review, listing all the reasons i loved it. Let's just say, it's pure Riordan. This iI really enjoyed this one! I don't have time to write out a long review, listing all the reasons i loved it. Let's just say, it's pure Riordan. This is the second book in his second Percy Jackson series, and though I had my doubts about a second series in the first place, I can honestly say that I'm loving this second series more than the original--a pretty tough call. I thought maybe "The Lost Hero" might have been a fluke to be so good, but after reading "The Son of Neptune" all I can say is, no sign of a fluke here. I can't wait for the third book!...more
This is one of those books you're so happy reading, you don't notice you've reached the end until you turneFriends or family? Desire or responsibility?
This is one of those books you're so happy reading, you don't notice you've reached the end until you turned the last page, and you suddenly start freaking out because there's NO way it's going to wrap up and answer all your questions. Annexed certainly whet my appetite for the Refuge trilogy! For me, one of the most attention grabbing aspects of this book was the inner struggle outlined by the two lines I quoted at the first of this review. I believe these questions can resound in everyone--especially the last one. Who doesn't have a hard time deciding between those two options? And if that doesn't convince you that the protagonist's situation is worth some good reading time, just read the first chapter. Intriguing is the word that comes to mind.
In essence, this is about a teenager--Narissa--who ends up quite suddenly and mysteriously in a world that is definitely not her own. Everyone tells her there's no going back to her old life and family, but she's not about to give up.
Narissa is a strong character, and though there's still a lot to learn about her and her past, the reader can easily understand her personality and actions. I must admit that I wanted more of Daman, even though the author had him in there a lot. He was just such a fascinating character! And I'll admit it, broodingly attractive. Can't wait for more of him! I'm not too big on spoilers for a review, so I won't say much more about the story itself. Except that the idea is new, mysterious, and the writing is beautifully descriptive. The author has created a realistic setting that draws you in, and characters that perfectly compliment the world she's made. I anxiously await the release of book two!...more
I have a love/hate relationship with the last book in a series. I love finally getting the answers--I love the long exhale that comes out after I readI have a love/hate relationship with the last book in a series. I love finally getting the answers--I love the long exhale that comes out after I read the last sentence. But I definitely dislike that all the answers are now mine--where's the mystery? Even the characters that survived to the close seem to die, because you know you'll never read a new word about them. The ending of a story is just so harsh!
Other than these mixed feelings, I really enjoyed "The Death Cure". It didn't wrap up like I expected, but James Dashner is very good at taking me by surprise. Still, the ending was surprisingly good. (After all, Dashner dug quite a rotten pit for his characters--it's surprising the last line wasn't: "and then they all died".) The violence was still pretty disturbing in this book (just like the others) but I think it fits the world and characters. I'm not into spoilers, so I'm not going to say a whole lot more about the story itself. I was glued to every fast-paced word, so if you're looking for a very suspenseful read, look no further. The Maze Runner Trilogy is one I look forward to reading again....more
There were a few spots that I felt were a little slow, but in reality that was probably my fault. After all, the whole thing was non-stop action. I diThere were a few spots that I felt were a little slow, but in reality that was probably my fault. After all, the whole thing was non-stop action. I didn't reread the previous books before, though, so it took me a few chapters just to get back into things. I liked the further development of Sato--maybe development is the wrong word. Further exploration of his character might be a better way of putting it. He is my favorite character, just because he's got so many inner struggles. He's had a hard life, and it's understandably changed him. He's got so much to deal with, and this book stretched him. He made reckless yet sincere promises in this book, and I'm excited to see where they take him. I was kinda hoping this would wrap up the story, but the end of the book made me excited for the next one. Maybe it's a good thing I've been too busy to read this one until now, because the wait for the 4th one won't be as long....more