The second Erec Rex book is as fun to read as the first. The original characters are back with a few notable additions. I listened to the audiobook veThe second Erec Rex book is as fun to read as the first. The original characters are back with a few notable additions. I listened to the audiobook version of this book and it has an intro by Kaza Kingsley. It's interesting to the hear the author talk about how she thought of the series and the way she has planned the story arch. While a few sections of the book felt a little contrived I liked that Erec is not an almighty hero but just a kid bumbling through the story and needing help from his friends. He's far from perfect and yet utterly perfect because of that. I really enjoyed reading about his adventures with his friends and look forward to reading other books in the series. This is a good solid middle-grade reader book and a good choice for reluctant readers. I think it will appeal equally to boys and girls but there's enough of a story to draw in adult readers who like kids' lit as well. ...more
Erec Rex is a fun, fast read filled with whimsical, memorable characters. I was really charmed by the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The central mystErec Rex is a fun, fast read filled with whimsical, memorable characters. I was really charmed by the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The central mystery isn't all that mysterious but the characters are likable and well written. Kingsley does an excellent job bringing the reader into Erec's world and keeping the plot moving forward. Great world building, a fun premise and good descriptions all combine to make this an excellent start to a new series. I immediately went searching for the other books as soon as I finished this one....more
James Patterson is a good author. The man can write, clearly, considering his adult novels consistently make the NY Times best seller list. Here's theJames Patterson is a good author. The man can write, clearly, considering his adult novels consistently make the NY Times best seller list. Here's the thing though: I hate Patterson's latest YA books. They are trite, insulting and have an obvious agenda. Witch & Wizard is no different.
The main characters, Whit and Wisteria, had me cringing from page one. Wisteria? Really? It seems the trend in YA lit to saddle your characters with outlandish names is continuing in fine tradition. Whisty, as she prefers to be called, is 15 and Whit almost 18. Again in typical YA fashion they are terribly good looking, smart, funny and boy do they rack up the one-liners. They're both so snarky and quick with a come back. However, when every word the character utters is snark or a clever quip it just becomes not so much witty as completely implausible and jarring.
Rather than putting in direct pop culture references, to show that he is hip and "gets" today's youth, Patterson puts thinly veiled references to them in the text. So rather than Harry Potter you've got Gary Rotter or something like that. What is the point, exactly? We KNOW what you're referencing, that is rather the point of including it with your thinly veiled reference so not using the actual name does not, in fact, ensure that the book is not quickly dated by the references it uses but rather just feels ridiculous and distracting.
Next pet peeve - the numerous YA cliches. Let us examine them: 1) ridiculously powerful teens who stand out from their peers. Check. 2) Parents effectively out of the picture for the novel. Check. 3) A portentous prophecy dealing with our powerful heros. Check. 4) Uber bad guy establishment that is working to subjugate the protagonists. Check. 5) cute companion animal(s). Check. 6) Total and complete lack of consequences for any actions that the protagonists take. Check. 7) Star-crossed lovers. Check.
The whole prophecy thing of "kids will lead the world and do it better than the adults" felt like pandering and where was the support for that assertion? Not in this novel certainly. I've said before that Patterson's Maximum Ride series has degenerated into a thinly veiled lecture on environmental activism. Witch and Wizard is a poorly disguised lecture on political activism. I could go on and on and on with things that annoyed me in this book. The only redeeming factor I can think of is that the descriptions are well done.
I definitely won't be continuing the series. ...more
An excellent mix of short stories. As usual Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs were the main impetus for me to read this anthology, but there was a lot oAn excellent mix of short stories. As usual Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs were the main impetus for me to read this anthology, but there was a lot of other good stories as well. Normally I like about a quarter of the stories in an anthology, but this one topped out at a little over half. A satisfying read and an excellent way to pass an evening....more
The 3rd Theo book is a nice addition to the series with the same fast pace, great characters and romping plot. A fun, fast read. Theo finally shows aThe 3rd Theo book is a nice addition to the series with the same fast pace, great characters and romping plot. A fun, fast read. Theo finally shows a bit more character progression in this book which was an added bonus. Overall definitely recommended....more
The second Theo book is just as fun as the first and not suffering in any way from sophmore slump syndrome. The writing is a little stronger in this bThe second Theo book is just as fun as the first and not suffering in any way from sophmore slump syndrome. The writing is a little stronger in this book and I think LaFevers has really found her groove and is having as much fun writing this series as I am reading it. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended. These books are perfect to share as a bedtime read (though there are some scary parts for young children as ghosts, mummies and other nasties do appear) with your son or daughter. Theo is a resourceful, smart and cunning heroine. ...more
Plain Kate is a delightful read, rich with description and detail and just as filled with whimsy. From the idea of a stolen shadow to the fact that KaPlain Kate is a delightful read, rich with description and detail and just as filled with whimsy. From the idea of a stolen shadow to the fact that Kate's main companion is a talking cat the fairy tale elements are smoothly integrated and give the story a timeless feeling. This is not a light fluffy read however and the story tugs at me even after finishing it.
While the plot was a fairly straight forward, no real surprises, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Kate was a great character with a lot of appeal and good growth. The author did a great job creating memorable characters that break the cookie-cutter mold.
I have only one quibble about the book and that is below the spoiler warning below.
SPOILERS BELOW 1 2 3 4 5 5 6 7 8 9 10
Taggle's death was heart-wrenching and then to have him come back was a little jarring. Don't get me wrong, I was happy for Kate and yet it felt like cheating. The ending would have been stronger if the whole dying cat thing had been skipped, it was emotionally wrenching enough when Taggle reverts to a normal cat from a fully sentient creature. That was heartbreaking and would have had more impact if I hadn't just been faked out by the cat supposedly dying just pages earlier. ...more
I have to give Woon credit for a fairly original premise. However, the fact that the majority of the plot seems to be based on a single phrase "LatinI have to give Woon credit for a fairly original premise. However, the fact that the majority of the plot seems to be based on a single phrase "Latin is a DEAD language" makes me want to groan. Seriously?
One thing I will say is at least there are consequences for the characters. Mostly. The dead stay dead. Mostly. Except when they're undead. Mostly. The descriptions were well done, the pace decent and the plot at least well thought out if not exactly riveting. So many of the premises in this book had me groaning. The dead language thing being a huge one.
Renee falls in love with Dante way, way to fast and it feels contrived, as do most of their interactions. At one point Renee is thinking how callous her fellow classmates are for laughing and going on with their lives when another classmate is missing and likely dead, and yet in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE she's dreamily contemplating Dante and her obsession with him. That was jarring and hypocritical. My chief complaint with this book is the painfully eager, contrived star-crossed lover bit. I just never bought it and as that's the main story it meant the entire plot failed for me.
Given it's a love story with tragic aspects I am certain that there are many, many people who will adore this book. Sadly I am not one of them. It's a personal preference. I am giving the book 3 stars because the writing itself is well done even if the basic premise makes me groan. ...more
Finnikin of the Rock is a huge departure from Marchetta's last book, The Jellico Road. They differ in style, subject, voice, setting and genre. Yet MaFinnikin of the Rock is a huge departure from Marchetta's last book, The Jellico Road. They differ in style, subject, voice, setting and genre. Yet Marchetta pulls off both books brilliantly.
Finnikin is an example of one of the new emerging trends in YA, a return to high fantasy. There is magic, kings, battles, kingdoms and much scheming. The plot shifts around, twisting and turning and keeping you guessing. I spotted one of the big mysteries in the book quickly, however others had me guessing until the end. This book is full of vivid descriptions, well fleshed out characters and enough action and suspense to keep you turning the pages. I love Finnikin and Evangiline and watchign their character progression throughout the book was really fun. This is just a very well written book that is solid and perfect to curl up with at night. It won't disappoint....more
In Westerfeld's follow-up to Leviathan we find Deryn and Alek in the Ottoman Empire as the war heats up and both sides, Clanker and Darwinist, fight tIn Westerfeld's follow-up to Leviathan we find Deryn and Alek in the Ottoman Empire as the war heats up and both sides, Clanker and Darwinist, fight to win the sultan's allegiance.
Like many series the second book, in this case Behemoth, is stronger than the first. In Behemoth the characters feel familiar and comfortable, changing slowly as the story progresses, growing. The pace is more even and the plot nice and tight. Deryn's attraction to Alek still feels a bit forced but there's so much else going on that it's easy to dismiss that slight flaw. The world building in this series is superb, the illustrations lush and detailed and the descriptions draw the reader in with every word. This was a fun, fast read that left me impatient for the third book in the series to come out. ...more
I loved the original Percy Jackson series so I was a bit wary about this new addition to the existing books. Could Riordan return to that world with oI loved the original Percy Jackson series so I was a bit wary about this new addition to the existing books. Could Riordan return to that world with out repeating his previous works and just making a pale imitation of them? The Lost Hero definitely delivers. This book has Riordan's signature fast pace, wit and humor sprinkled throughout. The new characters are vibrant and distinctive, well thought out and portrayed. I really loved how the three interacted and how the plot wound tighter and tighter toward the ultimate finally.
Jason is a great leading character and just as strong as Percy. This is the first in a new series of books set in the Percy Jackson universe and I can't wait to read the next one. The ending was evil in that it left me hanging, eager to know what happens next and all to aware of how long a wait I have until the next book comes out....more