The City of Ember is a refreshingly new story with fun, distinct characters in a unique set of circumstances. It's an easy read, filled with action anThe City of Ember is a refreshingly new story with fun, distinct characters in a unique set of circumstances. It's an easy read, filled with action and mystery. I saw the movie first but still found the book to be quite enjoyable.
(view spoiler)[The scene at the end when Lina and Doon see the moon for the first time and then witness their first sunrise, was incredible. The description of something so familiar to us, and yet so foreign to these characters almost brought me to tears. (hide spoiler)]
We truly have a beautiful world, and story of The City of Ember does a fine job of showing how much would be lost if it were spoiled.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book is so stinkin' hilarious and shrouded in mystery. Not one to read all the way though unless you are really into cheeseball (which I am!), buThis book is so stinkin' hilarious and shrouded in mystery. Not one to read all the way though unless you are really into cheeseball (which I am!), but it certainly works for a laugh from the shelf in the bathroom....more
This first book in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series is a delightful adventure for more advanced young readers. Quite a few scary moments though, so seThis first book in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series is a delightful adventure for more advanced young readers. Quite a few scary moments though, so sensitive kids might need to read with parental guidance. Absolutely wonderful for lovers of owls....more
This is one of those stories that's absolutely heart-wrenching. There are a lot of familiar things in "Alice's" dairy, and a lot that gives good insigThis is one of those stories that's absolutely heart-wrenching. There are a lot of familiar things in "Alice's" dairy, and a lot that gives good insight into the adolescent mind of a girl. A good read, but not for those who are easily disturbed....more
Eleanor and Park is not your typical YA romance. It's raw, gritty, and real--an 80s fantasy love story for two kids who don't fit in and aren't sure tEleanor and Park is not your typical YA romance. It's raw, gritty, and real--an 80s fantasy love story for two kids who don't fit in and aren't sure they really want to. Rainbow Rowell paints an exquisite picture of the experiences of two young kids who fall in love hard for the first time. It's a beautiful, realistic progression that's told in the darkly serious poetic language that only a teenage heart knows. Deeply felt, yet somehow still geniune, not melodramatic. So many feels; so many tiny moments that seem bigger than the universe at the time.
The audiobook is very nicely done, featuring both a male and female reader for either Park's or Eleanor's POV. I'd caution against listening to it out loud with children around though, because Eleanor's stepfather has an incredibly foul mouth. The POV shifts between chapters and sections, with occasional chapters that are only a few sentences long. But it is done so masterfully that it serves the story well.
This is a story that twists its way into a heart like a slowly-turning corkscrew. Before you even realize what's happened, it has wrecked you. (In a good way. ;)) And oh my word. The ending. Brilliant!...more
Precisely Terminated is a multi-faceted story set in an intriguing societal structure that is explored through experiences rather than explained in exPrecisely Terminated is a multi-faceted story set in an intriguing societal structure that is explored through experiences rather than explained in exposition. Miss Davis has weaved the plotlines very nicely throughout the pace of the pages.
High, meaningful action drives Monica, the main character, from one location and task to the next, all the while, sending the reader through dark slave tunnels, unknown doors, and on a journey toward Monica's self-realization. She is believable as an unwilling savior, caught in a place where she is unsure who she is anymore. Her behavior is occasionally irrational, but for a person under duress her entire life, it is understandable to have lapses; this only adds to her authenticity.
While Precisely Terminated begins with a rather depressing outset, the opening events do a fantastic job of establishing the horrors of this dystopian world. Miss Davis paints Monica's daily life and her limited universe as an extremely rich, raw, and layered series of circumstances, detailed places, and people steeped in emotional depth.
Numerous secondary characters we meet all serve a specific purpose, if only to example how vast these cities are. Miss Davis holds nothing back in showing the intensity of each slave's will to survive and how futile it can sometimes be.
The final chapters of Precisely Terminated rise to an exhilarating climax in a rare tempo that beguiles the reader but does not exhaust him. The story's finale is such that the story is fully completed, yet wide open for the sequel. I cannot wait for Miss Davis' next book, Noble Imposter....more
The Rook is a masterful unfolding of a supernatural mystery that continued to keep me on the edge of my seat from page 1 until the end. Very unique chThe Rook is a masterful unfolding of a supernatural mystery that continued to keep me on the edge of my seat from page 1 until the end. Very unique characters, settings, and circumstances are woven within compelling twists and unexpected surprises, all wrapped in a delightfully real narrative voice.
My only complaint is a minor one, and that is the profuse use of the f-word. Though to the author's credit, the profanity is not used too frivolously or unnecessarily. It only comes across when a character is angry, frustrated, or annoyed, which is much more acceptable than when it is used for casual conversation.
I'm not usually a fan of female main characters, but Rook Thomas comes across as a multi-layered lead who is neither all good nor all bad, which breaks typical conventions for fictional females. She makes mistakes, some of which she regrets and others which she embraces. She also makes good choices, some of which turn on her and others which work out for the best. Overall, she is simply real and well balanced. She is both strong and vulnerable. She has her weaknesses and things that make her nauseated, yet she is starkly aware of her strengths and potential for power. I absolutely adore her character arc throughout the story.
For a debut novel, The Rook is quite impressive. I couldn't stop reading and mused upon the story when I wasn't immersed in the world. It is one of the rare books that I will likely re-read someday soon. Very excited to see that a sequel is slated for 2015!...more
Upon finishing this massive volume, I have to say that it was worth the journey. Eye of the Oracle is an epic that spans thousands of years, followingUpon finishing this massive volume, I have to say that it was worth the journey. Eye of the Oracle is an epic that spans thousands of years, following immortal characters from just before the great flood and Noah's Ark to the time of Merlin and King Arthur, through the early to mid 1900s, and up to current day. The storylines unfold at an excellent pace.
I enjoyed the word pictures of the various dimensions that Sapphira Adi travels through and all the unique things that exist in the underworld where she resides.
The only complaint I have is that the last chapter basically summarizes the Dragons in Our Midst series (4 books). I've only read the first of these, so having this summary in the prequel sort of ruined the following stories for me. I think I'll still want to read the rest of the series though because Bryan Davis is such a superb storyteller. ...more
Now, I'm not normally a fan of dialect, but I tell you, Mark Twain has given a fine example of the right way to do it. He is consistent in the spellinNow, I'm not normally a fan of dialect, but I tell you, Mark Twain has given a fine example of the right way to do it. He is consistent in the spellings of the different words he uses and shows different ways of speaking for each of the characters. That is, they don't all sound alike. So it feels authentic. I really like that aspect. The language that Twain uses for Huck Finn's voice is absolutely delicious. It's so rich and wonderful you can cut it with a knife. He keeps up the quality of his main character's voice throughout the entire novel, staying consistent and making the story so much more sweet than it would be otherwise.
One thing I noticed is that though Huck's grammar leaves something to be desired, he actually has quite a good vocabulary. I wonder how that worked out? I suppose it had something to do with the fact that he lived a lot of his life "uneducated" then went to school once he was living with the widow. He used a word like "frivolous"--which you wouldn't think a kid who uses "weren't" instead of "wasn't" would know.
I wish I'd read through Huck Finn with a highlighter in hand, because there are so many amazing passages that are supremely wise and/or are worded in such a way as to express some simple, great truth or lesson through Huck's incredible narration. One of the bits that stands out in my mind is this one. Huck is having dinner with a big group, and the women who cooked are talking about the food:
Mary Jane she set at the head of the table, with Susan alongside her, and said how bad the biscuits was, and how mean the preserves was, and how ornery and tough the fried chicken was--and all that kind of rot, the way women always do for to force out compliments; and all the people all knowed everything was tiptop, and said so--said, "How DO you get biscuits so brown and nice?" and "Where, for land's sake, did you get these amaz'n pickles?" and all that kind of humbug talky-talk, just the way people always does at a supper, you know.
Just writing that out makes me hunger for more. This is definitely one to re-read in the future, if only just to savor the taste of it once again. ...more