"The Underneath" is a beautiful book. The story is set in a more or less modern-day world, in a forest along the Sabine River between Texas and Arkans"The Underneath" is a beautiful book. The story is set in a more or less modern-day world, in a forest along the Sabine River between Texas and Arkansas. Suspense and intrigue are built with the aid of a legend, an event from a thousand years past which seems to have little relevance to the actual story, at least at first.
This is not a dialogue-driven book--the lines of dialogue may not even total to ten--and the only other such book I've read is "Raptor Red", with no dialogue at all. This allows for the book to be driven by its flowing story and for the animal characters to feel less anthropomorphized, a trait I value in a story.
This book is great for general reading as well as reading aloud. It is a highly original and characteristic book, and the writing style will certainly influence my own. Something similar would be perfect for what I'm writing right now.
I'm so glad to see more and more quality fantasy(ish) books being released. This, "Promise of the Wolves", and "The Art of Racing in the Rain" all compete for my favorite books of last year....more
A big and beautiful tome full of legends and lore concerning birds. I love birds, and this was very fun to read... and it kinda made me think about alA big and beautiful tome full of legends and lore concerning birds. I love birds, and this was very fun to read... and it kinda made me think about all the different ways the world could work, and how we have no real way of telling what's truth or tale... Anyways, it was a fantastic source of inspiration for me, and I still refer to it when trying to think of story ideas. ...more
"Raptor Red" is a wonderfully written animal book starring Raptor Red, a self-titled Utahraptor, in a prehistoric world that is in the book how it cou"Raptor Red" is a wonderfully written animal book starring Raptor Red, a self-titled Utahraptor, in a prehistoric world that is in the book how it could have been back then. The animals in "Raptor Red" are not anthropomorphicized at all--they don't speak, act human in any ways that we don't act like them. (Um, did that last sentence make sense? I don't feel like rewriting it. XP) Thoughts are merely translated into English for our convenience. Incredibly original, creative... really good material for people who like to write, especially about animals, as it helps the writer get a better sense of how animals should be written to be as realistic as possible. That's what this book did for me. Truly brilliant book. (Thanks for the recommendation, Rathacat!)...more
"Book of a Thousand Days" is about the Lady Saren's maid, Dashti. Lady Saren is trapped in a tower for seven years after refusing to marry Lord Khasar"Book of a Thousand Days" is about the Lady Saren's maid, Dashti. Lady Saren is trapped in a tower for seven years after refusing to marry Lord Khasar. Meanwhile, she loves Khan Tegus. However, when Khan Tegus visits her in the tower, she tells Dashti to act as her, and so begins the great mix-up of the story. Hale uses great metaphors and does an excellent job of getting into Dashti's head. The characters are very realistic, and she turns a little-known fairy tale into a realistic novel that might as well be historic fiction. In the end, she weaves a strangely tense climax, and even though the book is written in journal form by Dashti, you can't tell what the outcome will really be. Hale has woven an exciting and new story that can be read and enjoyed by any fiction-lover. Romance and danger, darkness and light abide in "Book of a Thousand Days", and it is truly a must-read....more
I was rather disappointed by the end of The Sight. I was far more satisfied with this book. The whole thing with Fallen Leaves and the tunnels was verI was rather disappointed by the end of The Sight. I was far more satisfied with this book. The whole thing with Fallen Leaves and the tunnels was very intriguing. So far, "Power of Three" feels like a much more original and well-crafted series than "The New Prophecy" did. While I loved Midnight and Moonrise, I didn't like the others quite so much, and something just felt wrong with Twilight and Sunset. One of the elements of this series that I like is that we aren't being told of Jaypaw's, Hollypaw's, and Lionpaw's powers, at least not very much. Everything is very hush-hush, and I can't figure out what they're going to be--I love that. With the original saga, I found it very obvious that Firepaw was the "fire" that would save the Clan, and that Tigerclaw was to be the major antagonist. With TPoT, none of those elements are clear. There's enough information to form a few theories, but nothing is given away. That's why I want to read this series so much. It's much more compelling! Back onto this particular book, the climax was much better. It actually felt intense. Thank you, Erins!...more
Brilliant. Amazing. Very cute and humorous. Very well-written. I was constantly smiling as I read this--except at the end, where my eyes watered a bitBrilliant. Amazing. Very cute and humorous. Very well-written. I was constantly smiling as I read this--except at the end, where my eyes watered a bit because the characters were so cool--but my smile returned afterward. The plot is great--'one pair of slippers to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them' does a pretty good job of summarizing the book. Of course, you'll have to read it to figure out what they bind... and what the darkness is... because there isn't true good and evil, black and white in this book. Just general enemies. Many shades of grey, and other neutral colors. Most of the characters are too strong to be just gray. Yet another charm and great quality of this book. Also on the 'awesome slippers' note: they are SO much better and original and great to read about than x magical piece of jewelry. It's always an amulet or ring. Never shoes. Creel isn't very strongly flawed, but the flaws are there enough that I didn't at all think of her as a Mary-Sue, and I rather liked her a lot. Mary-Sues don't get it in their heads to just about call the king a liar. Strong characters, writing, plot, everything. I liked this book a whole lot more than I thought I would. I definitely want to read the sequel, "Dragon Flight". And even more bonuses: one, I got a few story ideas while reading this, and two, somewhere in the middle of the book, the legend of the goose girl is mentioned. I liked hearing that (and actually knowing the legend). Recommended to all fantasy and dragon lovers who want a good book that delivers strong but not melodramatic emotions, characters... all that stuff I've already said. :P...more
Brilliant. Truly brilliant. "Raven Quest" is one of the best animal books I've ever read--very likely one of the best books I've read. Birds are prettBrilliant. Truly brilliant. "Raven Quest" is one of the best animal books I've ever read--very likely one of the best books I've read. Birds are pretty hard to write (I've tried!), since they're so different from humans, but Stewart pulled this off as if she were writing about herself. It's amazing. And while the animals talk and have systems that the actual animals don't have, they still feel like normal animals... and maybe they're like this without our knowing. Who knows. I think my only real problem with the book was the crows' ease with Tok, whereas normal crows would mob any trespassing raven or other chick- and egg-eater they could, but that rivalry still existed in the story, so I excused her. Meanwhile, the plot is original, the writing is great, and the characters are strong. Veerrrry highly recommended....more
Absolutely amazing. The characters are like real people, not words and thoughts from someone's head. And Thorgil is simply amazing. Just as she did inAbsolutely amazing. The characters are like real people, not words and thoughts from someone's head. And Thorgil is simply amazing. Just as she did in the last book, she owns all. >:3 I also loved Ethne... "The Land of the Silver Apples" was another incredibly well-written, highly enjoyable and original installment in this series based off of Norse myth. I still can't wait to read "The Isles of the Blessed". :P The world needs more brilliant writers like Nancy Farmer. Um, I'm rambling about this book's greatness too much... or maybe not, since I'm failing to remember anything I might not have liked. -.- But I think the few things I didn't like were too subtle but also too broad to describe easily, so I'll leave those to myself, and leave everyone else with his or her pure, happy thoughts....more
In "The Wisdom of Wolves", Towery writes about the ways wolves work in packs to accomplish tasks, and describes how these lupine techniques can be appIn "The Wisdom of Wolves", Towery writes about the ways wolves work in packs to accomplish tasks, and describes how these lupine techniques can be applied to modern human life to help us do better both individually and as a whole. My copy has a different cover than this site shows, but it's still the same book, and it's still great. "The Wisdom of Wolves" also tells a bit about Towery's personal experiences with wolves and the nature of wolves in general. It's amazing how much we can learn from wolves, and Towery provides some great ideas for improvement--efficiency in working, getting along with others, working together, strategies... all in all, I highly recommend this book to wolf-lovers, um, interested readers... and I guess people having trouble with work or social relationships? I suppose the stuff in this book can be applied to places outside of the office, in one of which I do not work. It can be applied to school as well. ...more