Sixteen-year-old Kate discovers that she carries a gene that allows her to time travel and that her grandmother is actually from the future, stuck inSixteen-year-old Kate discovers that she carries a gene that allows her to time travel and that her grandmother is actually from the future, stuck in Kate's present, and trying desperately to stop a sinister religious organization from destroying the world. When time shifts and Kate loses her family in one awful moment, she has to travel back in time to try to set things right.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The time paradoxes were minimal and it's a well thought out and crafted story. Filled with likable characters, interesting issues and a healthy dose of action and adventure it was a fun read. I really liked the different characters and Kate as well. While Kate's relationship with Trey felt a trifle rushed, it was still an important aspect of the story and added that oh so popular dual love interest layer that today's YA seems riddled with. I admit I'm rooting for Kiernan, though I seriously doubt there's any way that particular relationship will work out. I will definitely be reading the second book whenever it comes out....more
Matteo Alacran is a clone - a science-created creature without basic human rights. In a world where cloning is possible and actively engaged in (thougMatteo Alacran is a clone - a science-created creature without basic human rights. In a world where cloning is possible and actively engaged in (though certainly frowned on as an inhumane practice) Matteo struggles to figure out his place. He's the clone of El Patron - the most important man in the country where Matt lives and a ruthless drug cartel kingpin. Matt has few companions and most people hate and despise him - seeing him as little more than a hideous pet. As Matt grows he fights to discover where he belongs.
I give this 3.5 stars. It's not quite a 4 star book for me, but it's certainly not the tempid fair I usually hand 3 stars. The world building on this is thorough and well done, the characters stand out and there's excellent description and dialogue throughout. I found the moralizing a bit heavy-handed and obvious at times and would have appreciated a subtler touch, especially in the last 3rd of the book. Maria's character was a bit uneven overall - and I found her hard to connect with. Matt was, at times, also distant and hard to relate to. I love the dilemas presented by this book however, and the underlying plot. Matt's character read as much younger than his actual age and I'm not certain if that was deliberate or a conscious decision on the author's part but I think that is why I felt a bit of disconnect with Matt at times. I loved him best in the later 3rd of the book when he was the strongest and sticking by his beliefs. I loved his refusal to be cowed in the face of the Keepers. Overall it was a quick, interesting read. I'm not sure if I'll read further in the series, but I enjoyed the first book. ...more
It's hard to believe I made it this far in life without reading this ubiquitous children's book. I was surprised at how many things were different froIt's hard to believe I made it this far in life without reading this ubiquitous children's book. I was surprised at how many things were different from the movie and how many were the same. The famous ruby slippers were actually silver. I think I prefer the movie version of those slippers.
The version of this book I listened to was narrated by Anne Hathaway. She did a wide range of voices and is a credible narrator. However, some of the accents she chose were a bit mind-boggling. By the end I found the narration too distracting from the story. Especially as the guard to the Emerald City sounded like Looney Tunes Sylvester with an even worse speech impediment. And the California valley girl accent used at one point - definite WTF, moment.
As for the story itself, it's a children's story and so I'm not looking for much deeper in the narrative. All the same, little things did niggle at me. Weren't Dorothy's aunt and uncle a little concerned their house was missing? Where the heck were they living while she was in Oz? And the wicked witch sends out her wolves FIRST? And then falls back on crows and then bees? Seriously, she needs a better arsenal of hench-creatures. No wonder she was so easily defeated. I wasn't attached to any of the characters in the story overall. It was an interesting read, but not one that I feel the need to revisit....more
For fans of Doctor Who this collection of eleven stories offers the perfect blend of excellent writers and excellent stories. Like most collections thFor fans of Doctor Who this collection of eleven stories offers the perfect blend of excellent writers and excellent stories. Like most collections there are a few stories that lag behind the others a bit, but each is true to the doctor it features. If you love Doctor Who definitely give the stories a read....more
A collection of 13 short stories from the Jane Yellowrock series, including several new stories and several previously published pieces. I love all ofA collection of 13 short stories from the Jane Yellowrock series, including several new stories and several previously published pieces. I love all of them, though the new ones were obviously my favorites. This is the first time I've read stories from a perspective other than Jane's so that was an interesting take. Fans of the Jane Yellowrock books will love this collection and won't be disappointed. People who are new to the series should start with the books first, so they are well grounded in the characters and world before diving in to the short stories as you'll enjoy them more. A fun, fast read and just the perfect pre-holiday treat. ...more
Kate, Micheal and Emma Wibberly continue their adventures in search of the fabled Books of Beginning. While Kate now posses the Emerald Atlas, the chiKate, Micheal and Emma Wibberly continue their adventures in search of the fabled Books of Beginning. While Kate now posses the Emerald Atlas, the children are in even greater danger from the Dire Magnus and his minions. When Kate is sucked back in time to turn-of-the-century New York, Michael and Emma embark on a quest for the second Book of Beginning, the Book of Life or Fire Chronicle, in order to rescue their sister.
This second book is filled with action, humor and the excellent writing I fell in love with in the Emerald Atlas. Stephens' whimsical characters and imaginative world building suck me right in and I just loved every page. I found the story line with Kate and Rafe fairly predictable but it didn't stop me from rooting for the two of them. Despite the book having dual stories going (Kate in New York, Michael & Emma pretty much all over) this was really Michael's story and he's the one who shows the most character growth. Occasionally petty and immature, Michael's a bit all over the place in the beginning of the book. By the end, however, he's grown up a lot and embraced his role in wielding the Fire Chronicle. This is such a lush and fun book, perfect for fantasy loves, reluctant readers, and children of all ages who like a good story.
I know a lot of people compare this series to the Harry Potter series in an unflattering light and claim it's derivative, however I think the books stand on their own. There are certain children's fantasy archetypes that are very prevalent in this sort of book and the series does use them. The mark of a good writer is making those tropes and archetypes their own and putting a fresh spin on them. I believe Stephens has done that. Pym is not Dumbledore, though he does fit the wise mentor archetype. The Dire Magnus is not Voldemort, though he does fit the classic villain mode. Calling these books derivative denigrates the time and effort Stephens put into building his world and his characters. I find the series wholly delightful and have nothing bad to say. I cannot wait for the next book in the series....more
In her second adventure, foundling Jennifer Strange must win a wizards' challenge to save the magical company she manages, protect the freedom of magiIn her second adventure, foundling Jennifer Strange must win a wizards' challenge to save the magical company she manages, protect the freedom of magic and prevent a despot from gaining unlimited power. Sounds easy enough - except everything keeps going wrong. The Kazam wizards, one after another, are out of commission, the corrupt king & his cronies are rigging the contest against Kazam and a strange quark beast is on the loose and in danger of being captured by a scruple-less hunter.
A fun, crazy read with lots of strange twists. Fforde is clearly having fun with this series and indulging his love for the absurd. While the plot dragged a tiny bit, particularly in the first third of the book, overall it's an engaging read. This is the sort of story that will make you smile with all the quirky little details packed inside. Recommended for anyone who loved the first book, Fforde's Thursday Next series, or satirical writing in general. ...more
Nathan Garrett is a sorcerer and a thief. He's also a man without a past - at least not one he can remember. When Nathan agrees to steal an ancient anNathan Garrett is a sorcerer and a thief. He's also a man without a past - at least not one he can remember. When Nathan agrees to steal an ancient and valuable book he stumbles into a plot that will reveal his past, endanger his friends and probably end his life.
Crimes Against Magic started out strong but quickly fell apart for me. The characters feel a bit thin and the underlying story, the conflict and Nathan's past stretched credulity to the breaking point. I read a lot of fantasy and I'm totally willing to suspend disbelief BUT I have to feel like the author is really selling the story and I didn't feel that at all with Crimes Against Magic. Instead it felt like a strange amalgamation of several archetypal tropes and cultural histories poorly stitched together.
(view spoiler)[The Arthurian legend, slapped onto the greek myths with a dash of other religions as well? It may have worked in American Gods by Neil Gaiman but that's because Gaiman created a credible world and shored up his characters with enough back story and support for WHY this gods were co-existing. This book's back story was just a mess. And the jumping between eras got a bit confusing at times as well.
In addition, Nathan's feelings for Jenny are patently ridiculous. He knew her for basically a day, had a one-night stand with the woman and suddenly he's all passionate about her and mooning around as though they've been dating for ages? Plus he's still got a thing for Holly don't forget. It's inconsistencies like that which kept me from really enjoying this book. (hide spoiler)]
It's not badly written per-say, the dialogue is fine, there's a decent amount of humor and the setting descriptions were good. The characters, though thin, were at least distinctive.
While this book wasn't for me, I'm sure others will enjoy it. I can see this book appealing to action fans and perhaps fans of the Iron Druid series as well. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more