Osiris was a fantastic world - a post apocalyptic city in the sea - with all of the same problems we face today. Segregation, prejudice, the impossiblOsiris was a fantastic world - a post apocalyptic city in the sea - with all of the same problems we face today. Segregation, prejudice, the impossible divide between rich and poor, drug and alcohol abuse, corruption at the highest levels. One of the main characters, Adelaide, is a spoilt socialite who takes a long time to become likable. The other, Vikram, is fairly likable from the start. Both characters are well drawn and realistic. The author has certainly thought through many of the implications of life in this kind of environment. The main downside is that this book is the first in a series, so reaching the end leaves you thirsty for more....more
Picked this book up from the library because of the beautiful cover and the summary which made me think of Tamora Pierce's 'Song of the Lioness' seriePicked this book up from the library because of the beautiful cover and the summary which made me think of Tamora Pierce's 'Song of the Lioness' series with girls dressed as boys learning to fight. Sisters of the Sword was an incredibly fast read, full of action and, while somewhat predictable, still quite satisfying. The thing I loved most about this book was that it had two girls (sisters) in disguise together. They loved each other and when one was down, the other was there for her. I also liked that they weren't in the samurai school because they were defying their proscribed 'place' in society, but because everything they knew had been destroyed and their lives were in danger. My favourite thing about this story, though, was that though the girls were originally young noblewomen, they never once complained about having to take on the role of servants. They found ways to turn their work into further training and maintained that positive determination to one day avenge their family. Truly a fantastic read. I can't wait to get my hands on the next two books!...more
I picked up my copy of this book at a recent convention because I was fascinated by the concept of a world created to be shared. Each story in this coI picked up my copy of this book at a recent convention because I was fascinated by the concept of a world created to be shared. Each story in this collection is very short (between 1 to 3 pages), which is totally different to my norm - I'm more of a novel person. I discovered that I love this kind of flash fiction. I can devour a few stories then go off and do something else, but the world and its characters are still there in the back of my mind, enticing me to come back and read more.
This collection has been well edited, with characters returning again and again to help orient you in the discovery of the fantastic world these authors have created. I reached the end feeling satisfied and at the same time eager to spend more time with this world and these characters. I'll definitely be checking out their website (apparently new stories are posted every few days)....more
Wow. Seriously the most beautiful, compassionate characterization of someone who is deaf. I loved how Jordan captured his frustration and innocence -Wow. Seriously the most beautiful, compassionate characterization of someone who is deaf. I loved how Jordan captured his frustration and innocence - and the joy of discovering communication. If I can ever write half this well, I'll feel I've achieved something spectacular!...more
Old Nazi secrets and giant castles! In a word, awesome.
The journey continues straight on from book 1 of this second series, not taking much time to fiOld Nazi secrets and giant castles! In a word, awesome.
The journey continues straight on from book 1 of this second series, not taking much time to fill you in on what has already occurred, which I appreciate. These books are very short and it would be a pity to waste any of their precious pages on people who haven't bothered to read the whole thing in order!
Even more so than the original, the Cahills vs the Vespers series weaves themes and plot through each of the episodes and although there is a new task each time, the overarching plot develops more gradually. I can barely tell that each book is written by a different author - the plot and character development has been so well planned.
I enjoy the direction the characters are going, especially with the introduction of two new (and very cool) brothers - Jake and Atticus - and the mysterious third element, the Guardians. Some aspects of the plot are getting a lot darker and daring to delve into themes the first series only skimmed past. I am eager to read more and see where all of this goes. If it's anything like before, the conclusion will be most rewarding!...more
Having thoroughly enjoyed the first series, I was excited to discover that this second series existed. Leading pretty much straight on from where I leHaving thoroughly enjoyed the first series, I was excited to discover that this second series existed. Leading pretty much straight on from where I left off (minus a small adventure with the Vespers in some sort of bridging book I seemed to have missed), Amy and Dan are thrust into yet another difficult situation as the evil Vespers kidnap their friends and force them to carry out certain crimes if they ever want to see them alive again.
One of the things I loved in the original series was the way characters started out as complete stereotypes (the cunning Lucians, the strong Tomas, smart Ekats etc) and gradually, as you got to know them, they grew and became more complex. Now that their infighting is (mostly) behind them, it's fun to see the young Cahills banding together to fight a much bigger external threat. All of my favourite characters from the last series are back and there's mystery and adventure a-plenty to keep me entertained.
Another thing I loved in the original was the way you got to learn about history without even meaning to. This time, we are on the trail of some famous (and somewhat more obscure) artists in Italy. While never intruding on the pace of the story, I enjoyed discovering places and paintings I'd never heard of and losing myself (along with Amy and Dan) in the catacombs beneath Rome.
All in all, an amazing start to what promises to be an even more exciting series (if that's possible). Can't wait to get stuck into book 2!...more
'May' is the second book in Daughters of the Sea, a series about mermaid sisters who all washed up on different parts of the American coast and were r'May' is the second book in Daughters of the Sea, a series about mermaid sisters who all washed up on different parts of the American coast and were raised to think they were human - until their yearning for the ocean causes them to discover the truth.
Having not read the first book, I was taking 'May' entirely on its own merits, of which it has many. I enjoyed the central character's voice. She was young but had a certain determination and hardness that came from being the Lighthouse Keeper's daughter. I felt sorry for her because of the way she was treated by her 'mother' who was eternally sick and bullied May horribly. I also enjoyed the potential of the romantic plot between May and Hugh, with the dastardly Rudd in the background.
Unfortunately, the danger was never that dangerous and the connection between May and Hugh didn't have a chance to shine. I suspect this is because the character, Hannah, from the first book had to be introduced at some point and then the story shifted to more of a focus on her presence and her significance to May.
Because this book is part of a series, it also didn't have much in the way of a satisfying ending. Having said that, I would be interested to see where the story goes and whether the sisters are able to finally reunite.
I imagine this set, much like the Owls of Ga'hoole, is aimed squarely at children. I would buy Daughters of the Sea for girls around eight to twelve....more
First in a series, The Boy Who Wasn't There is the story of a young girl, Gabrielle, who wakes up in hospital with no memory of who she is or where shFirst in a series, The Boy Who Wasn't There is the story of a young girl, Gabrielle, who wakes up in hospital with no memory of who she is or where she came from. A Voice in her head promises redemption, but only if she helps others and avoids uncovering her own past.
For a short, fast read, "The Boy Who Wasn't There" was surprisingly gripping. I enjoyed the way Panckridge spun mystery after mystery, slowly unravelling his web without making anything too obvious. This is a thriller, no mistake, but not gory. If you have arachnophobia, stay clear though. I loved that even though the first book held the complete resolution of Gabrielle's first 'mission', there was heaps of intrigue left about who she was and what she had done to need all this redemption - oh and who the mysterious Voice was as well.
Great for kids who like other scary books like Goosebumps (not sure what the modern equivalent is), or for adults who don't mind looking a little silly hold such a small book. I would keep this one away from the children who scare easily though. Some of the scenes are quite intense / gross if you have a good imagination....more
Ari should have been born a boy... the secrets of Dragon Summoning would have passed to her and to her son, down the generations, but she was not andAri should have been born a boy... the secrets of Dragon Summoning would have passed to her and to her son, down the generations, but she was not and now war looms once more on the horizon and the dragons are needed. Ari and her grandfather must find a way to circumvent the ancient rules in order to save thousands of lives.
The Last Dragon Summoner, by Sherryl Jordan (author of the brilliant young adult book 'Rocco'), is a short and simple tale of a girl who wishes she was something she is not, and learns to embrace the power of what she is. It was possibly a little too short and simple for me, there were no real plot twists and an older reader could see the 'solutions' about three chapters before the characters figured them out, but for young readers just starting out in fantasy, this is a safe and friendly read.
It is rare to find decent female protagonists in the fantasy genre in general and even more so in children's fantasy, so a big thumbs up to Jordan for her contribution!...more
Dark seems an appropriate word to describe 'Wood Angel'. The story of a Plain Kate, a girl with the stubbornness to do what it takes to survive, ErinDark seems an appropriate word to describe 'Wood Angel'. The story of a Plain Kate, a girl with the stubbornness to do what it takes to survive, Erin Bow's debut novel is grounded in a fantasy version of the dark ages, with witches and burnings, gypsies, ghosts and revenge.
From the outset, things did not go well for Kate. Her looks and skill as a carver marked her as different, and after her father's death, life became a daily struggle for survival. When a witch coerced her into exchanging her shadow for her heart's desire, things seemed to improve, but then they proceeded to spiral downwards even further.
I was captivated by this story and read it in one sitting, all the time hoping for Kate to find a break, fall in love, or at very least escape the vortex of bad luck she seemed to be stuck inside. Emotional to the point of heart-wrenching, the author certainly made me care about her characters. I could feel the personal pain she had poured into the writing of this novel - evidenced in her dedication to the young sister she had recently lost.
Not really a story for young children as it is unflinching in its description of the death and destruction encountered along the way, but perhaps of interest to teens as a vivid experience of why the dark ages were considered so very dark....more