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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly -Archive > 2009-02 - Fantasy - Post your Reviews Here

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message 1: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8737 comments Mod
Do share your Fantasy books here...

message 2: by Lauren (last edited Feb 02, 2009 02:06PM) (new)

Lauren | 247 comments Alright I'll start....

Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

3 stars

This book contains some "children's" fairy tales as translated from the ancient runes by Hermione Granger, with commentary from Dumbledore.

I would have a hard time reading these stories to young children however since I am not sure that the language or subject matter is appropriate even if the morals are. I suppose this is why the stories were written for wizard children.

It was a quick read (leass than one hour) and thoroughly enjoyable.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury. 5 stars.

The classic volume of short stories about the human colonization of Mars.

message 4: by Angie (new)

Angie (angiebowen) No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

5 stars

The 7th book in the Women of the Otherworld series. One of my favorite series and this installment completely lived up to those before it.

message 5: by Angie (new)

Angie (angiebowen) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

4 Stars

This book really ended up surprising me. It started off kind of slow but really picked up about 1/4 of the way in and ended up being a great read.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) Sir Apropos of Nothing, by Peter David. 1 star.

Frankly, I couldn't finish it - the writing was so mediocre, the author was so fond of bad puns, and the anti-hero was so disgusting. And I can like a good anti-hero, but Apropos is not one in my book.

message 7: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melitious) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer - 4 stars.

This book took me a long time to read. I had started it back in September of last year, but got stuck a little less than halfway through. So, I picked it back up just to get it finished, but got sucked back in pretty quickly. It took a while for this one to pick back up, but once it got going it was pretty good. I don't want to burn myself out, so I'm reading something else before I pick up Breaking Dawn.

message 8: by Yz the Whyz (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 2 comments Noah by Jacquelyn Frank - 4 out of 5 stars
Nighwalkers series book 5

Demon King Noah finds his mate in skilled mercenary Kestra, a brave woman whose only fear is to love someone.

I enjoyed this book, despite Frank's flowery prose. I've always liked the world she created that are populated by nightwalkers, which includes demons, vampires, lycanthropes, shadowdwellers and mistrals.

message 9: by Angie (new)

Angie (angiebowen) Dark Lover by J.R. Ward - 4 stars

I loved the story but really wish the misogyny could be toned down a bit. I have to admit, it got better as the book went on but it was so bad in the beginning I almost gave up on the book entirely. I'm hoping the rest of the series is a bit more female friendly.

message 10: by Catamorandi (last edited Feb 06, 2009 07:45PM) (new)

Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I am hoping to read "The Hobbit" this month.

message 11: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) I just finished You Suck! A Love Story by Christopher Moore. I gave it 4 stars out of 5 because the ending fell through for me. I didn't like it at all at the end.

message 12: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 61 comments That's too bad Andrew. I loved Bloodsucking Fiends and bought You Suck but haven't started it yet.

I actually have two books to report!

#1Stardust by Neil Gaiman 3 stars
I got the illustrated copy from the library and the pictures definitely add to the story. I kept stopping and starting the book, it just didn't really hold my interst. I decided to watch the movie (which I really liked) and then I was motivated to finish the book. Still liked the movie better than the book.

#2 The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. 4 stars

As someone else mentioned this is a super fast read. The stories were entertaining but it's the whole concept that made the book interesting. Rowling definitely knows how to keep people coming back for more.

message 13: by Cam (new)

Cam Have just finished reading The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. I found this book to be a complete surprise package as I rarely read fantasy as it doesn't appeal to me at all. This book quickly swept me away with it's vivid descriptions (had my toes curling with the narrators account of his car accident and subsequent treatment for his injuries) and the two story lines plus individual tales blended past and present brilliantly. I found I rocketed through the first half of the book, then don't know whether the story slowed a bit or I was suffering readers block, but I didn't pick it up again for a couple of days. I did make my way slowly through the remainder of the book (which I thoroughly enjoyed). The Gargoyle definitely falls within the realms of Historical Fiction, which could be one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. Credit where credit is due though, and If this is Fantasy, it's certainly worth more of a look at in the future! 4 stars

message 14: by Muriel (new)

Muriel (spaceyplum) Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Bloody brilliant! This has actually become my favorite on-going series and it never fails to surprise and thrill. There were a lot of neat surprises in this installment and I really loved that Harry finally got some stuff off his chest and let go of some of his resentment.

I loved that Murph and Harry talked through some of what's going on between them and I how Thomas is the only one who really understands just how stubborn and foolish they can both be. It's fabulous to have the Carpenter clan back and that Harry and Michael finally got to talk some things through, it certainly didn't go how I (or Harry) had expected.

message 15: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) Joanie---Blood Sucking Fiends was a great read. And so was You Suck, until the end...at the end, it got pretty repetitive and the ending was kind of lame. But, other then that, its pretty good.

message 16: by Lynlee4 (new)

Lynlee4 | 134 comments I've just finished 2 that are pretty far down on the fantasy shelf ...
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel- 4 stars. Not sure what I expected but this wasn't it. I was really caught off guard by the fantasy aspects. Once I got over that, I really enjoyed it.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde- 3 stars. Fantastic premise and I loved the ending. Was a little too wordy for me.

message 17: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 1006 comments Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon. 3 stars.

I would MUCH rather watch Buffy Season 8 on TV! But since that isn't ever going to happen, I finally broke down and bought the first two volumes of the graphic novel. I really haven't read many comic books or graphic novels - except for Firefly, now Buffy, and probably Angel at some point in the near future. It took me quite a few pages to get into this one. I had to keep reminding myself that it IS canon. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, flashbacks, dream sequences, and all sorts of things that I expect in Buffy, but I have a harder time keeping track of it all in this format. I did enjoy it, especially some of the references to the TV show, such as the Buffy decoy who is in Italy dating The Immortal. Very funny! But I say again, I would MUCH rather watch this on TV - or as a movie!

message 18: by Kasia (last edited Feb 11, 2009 07:52AM) (new)

Kasia those UF were quick reads...

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand - Vaughn, Carrie ***
Pick up 1st book in the series if you like reading about werewolves. Vaughn's books kick ass. I loved seeing how the heroine grew balls and stood up for herself in the previous books. There wasn't much of that in Dead Man's Hand, actually I got the impression that this volume was just a space filler and build up for the upcoming 6th book. Hence only ***

The Becoming - Stein Jeanne C **
It's short, it's an easy read. But it lacks certain je ne sais quoi. I'd say it's not a particularly bad book, but it's not a great one either... rather forgettable.

War for the Oaks - Bull, Emma *
Uhh... fay. I don't like fay in general, so I'm biased. All the Unseelie and Seelie politics always rub me the wrong way. "War" was also big on music, bands, song descriptions, riffs etc which didn't do much for me either. But I finished it, it's not a bad book, it's just not my cuppa.

Bone Crossed - Briggs Patricia *****
I'm not done with this one I'm still reading it. I love it, I luv it, I loooove it! Let's face it: big Briggs' addict here. Guilty as charged.

Witchling - Galenorn *
Blahh... it wasn't the fay that put me off this time. In this case faeries were okish. It's just the book dragged (it's UF, it's supposed to be action filled, instead characters were shopping for underwear, going to AA meetings, having lunches and breakfasts & telling us their childhood stories). There was some fun bickering, but bickering on it's own, doesn't make a book. I had hard time finishing it :(

2 more to go:
Moonheart - deLint
White Witch, Black Curse - Harrison

message 19: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 286 comments The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.
3 1/2 stars (can I have half stars?)

I liked this and I'm already well into the second one. Similar style to the Artemis Fowl books although darker. It is an interesting twist on the Alice in Wonderland story telling the "real" story and not the popular children's tale as related by Lewis Carol. I thought the writing could have been a little more sophisticated given the fairly serious nature of the story. Not quite four stars.

message 20: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 90 comments Read the last of the twilight series book Breaking dawn - what can I say - I thoroughly enjoyed the series and being able to share them with my teenage daughters although i have misgivings about the extremity of the feelings in it - best not to over-analyse??

message 21: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8737 comments Mod
The Host by Stephanie Meyer

4 stars

The earth is no longer as we once knew it. Whilst things do not look any different on the surface, many things have changed. Earth has been invaded by alien life forms who call themselves Souls. These Souls live inside humans, overtaking the human bodies as hosts.

This is the eighth planet for Wanderer. She was implanted in the body of Melanie Stryder. Wanderer was almost overwhelmed by all the sensations she felt from her body. Not just physical, but emotional and the memories of Melanie was so strong. Melanie was also strong. She has survived as a human, fighting hard not to let her body be overtaken by any Soul.

Whilst Wanderer and Melanie struggled within, a Seeker was watching her, stalking her, and even harassing her. Seekers are Souls with the job to find “un-occupied” humans and capture them. Melanie was desperate to protect those she loves. Driven by this Seeker’s unusual obnoxious attitude, Wanderer and Melanie formed a bond. From here on, they will protect those they love with body & soul.

Does anybody who’s read this book noticed the Soul-Human hosts relationship like that of the Goa’uld- Human hosts (Stargate SG-1) relationship? There are certainly some differences in the characters of the Goa’ulds & Souls but there is also a marked similarity in taking humans as hosts and those who comes to like humans for what they are.

I actually enjoyed the book though the beginning sounds truly strange but I was taken in by the story, told from the perspective of Wanderer, a Soul, an alien. I’ve taken a point off due to the similarity to Stargate SG-1.

message 22: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 286 comments Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
3 1/2 stars (again)

A strong second book to follow The Looking Glass Wars. Alyss is now Queen of Wonderland but her Evil Aunt Redd is back, this time in concert with the highly sexist King Arch of Boarderland.
The book finished on a cliff hanger so I'm waiting impatiently for the 3rd book to be released.
Still not quite 4 stars but getting close.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. Three stars.

This novel is about Henry, whose existence is not fixed in time, and Claire, who is. They meet when she is six, and he is thirty-six, but marry when she is 23 and he is 31. I suspect opinions on this one will have something to do with how one feels about fatalism; Henry is seriously fatalistic.

message 24: by Betty (new)

Betty (nightreader) Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This is the strangest, deliciously creepy book I have read in recent memory. I could not put this book down. It is not a long story, but is definitely satisfyingly complete. The illustrations just add to the flavour.

Coraline is easily bored, especially since she and her parents moved into the new house. But Coraline likes to explore. There are fourteen doors in the new house but one is locked and won’t open. There is a key; when her mother unlocked the door nothing was revealed but a brick wall. The house is made up of probably three flats on her side of the big house, and the other tenants are nice, though a little strange. Two old ladies who read tea-leaves in one flat and a strange old man who talks of his musical band of mice in another. Returning to her own flat after visiting her neighbours, Coraline dwells on the problem of the door that is locked. There must be an equal part of the house on the other side.

Alone one day, she climbs up and snags the bunch of keys hanging high on the wall, which fall to the floor. Taking the one odd key, and on opening the door discovers that the brick wall is not there but there is a long corridor. This is where the book moves from a somewhat typical young adult book to a horror story with all its mystical and exciting thrills, because down the corridor is a replica of their own side of the house, but not quite right. Strangely the rooms are furnished with the same furniture, but slightly off. And strangest of all, Coraline’s mother is there, but not quite. From here the story must be read because what thrill would one get if there are spoilers in the review!

I really enjoyed this book, was fascinated by it, and will definitely be reading a lot more of Gaiman’s books. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes shivers from ghost stories told around a campfire (this is not a ghost story, but the analogy works). I would not recommend it for younger children, though.

message 25: by Amanda A (last edited Feb 13, 2009 03:55PM) (new)

Amanda A | 268 comments Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr - 4 stars

Sequel to Wicked Lovely. I enjoyed this one and look forward to the next in the series later this year.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - 5 stars

I loved this book! A very compelling read that draws you into the story so much that you can't put it down. Very quick read. I can't wait for the sequel coming out in September.

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance - 4 stars

First book in Cassandra Palmer series. This book started out slow for me and took me a while to get into the storyline. After I did, I enjoyed it and will probably pick up the next in the series.

message 26: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 42 comments Joanie wrote: "That's too bad Andrew. I loved Bloodsucking Fiends and bought You Suck but haven't started it yet.

I actually have two books to report!

#1[b:Stardust|16793|Stardust|Neil Gaiman|http://ecx.i..."

Joanie--I agree with you about Stardust. I vote movie over book, and I rarely do that.

message 27: by Luann (last edited Feb 14, 2009 12:20AM) (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 1006 comments The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. 4 stars.

This is Highlander meets Buffy, and a lot of fun! A centuries old Game is played out involving warriors, wizards, sorcerers, enchanters and soothsayers. I enjoyed this very much and look forward to reading the next two: The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir. I guessed several of the surprise twists long before they happened, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story.

message 28: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 1006 comments Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. 4 stars.

My review has some slight spoilers, so I will only include a link and a favorite quote from the book:


A favorite quote: "Gregor, I know the gift I would wish to give you, but you can only find it yourself," said Vikus. "What is it?" said Gregor. "Hope," said Vikus. "There are times it will be very hard to find. Times when it will be much easier to choose hate instead. But if you want to find peace, you must first be able to hope it is possible."

message 29: by Kathy (last edited Feb 15, 2009 07:32AM) (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 2 comments I'm currently (and finally) reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and loving it. Time travel is a favorite for me. Claire, who is on somewhat of a second honeymoon/research trip for her husband in the Scottish highlands, finds herself tranported from 1945 back to 1743, where clans rule the land of Scotland and the British try to keep some sort of control. Claire's nurse's training that she used during the war helps her out in her new setting, as she adapts to life 200 years before her time. Claire is a strong female character with a good sense of humor thrown in, which comes in handy as she navigates her way through a world ruled by men.

Outlander (Outlander, Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon

message 30: by Lynlee4 (last edited Feb 15, 2009 05:32PM) (new)

Lynlee4 | 134 comments Gave 3 stars to New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. I didn't like it nearly as much as Twilight. Loved the ending!

message 31: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariealex) | 3 comments Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde 5 stars

Although it could fit either in Science Fiction and Mystery. I'm a big fan of the Thursday Next series

message 32: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) | 409 comments Finished New Moon on the weekend and thought it was much better than Twilight. The storyline was more interesting and it wasn't as wimpering as the first one. Finished it in half the time of Twilight and its about twice as long. I'm already halfway through Eclipse as well.

message 33: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 1006 comments House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. 3 stars.

This is a nice enough magical story about Charmain, a girl who is asked to house sit for her Great-Uncle William, who is a wizard. Charmain has been sheltered by her parents and is excited to have some freedom. She also loves to read and writes a letter to the king, asking if he could use her help in his library. The adventures begin as Charmain arrives at her great-uncle's house just minutes before the elves take him away to heal him, and Charmain receives only minimal instructions about his magical house.

I thought that the magic throughout the story was a little too easy, but still fun. The mystery of the lost treasure added a little intrigue, but only a little. I wouldn't recommend this as the first book to read for someone who hasn't read any Diana Wynne Jones. There's nothing wrong with this really, but nothing spectacular either. If we had half stars, I would give it 3.5.

message 34: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melitious) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - 3 stars

I wasn't a huge fan of this book. I mean, I could see why kids would like it and Gaiman's writing style is interesting, but I guess I just didn't "get" it. While the basis of the story was great, it lacked any real kind of story to me. But, I'll give Gaiman another try with another book, but it might be a while.

message 35: by Erika (last edited Feb 17, 2009 06:11PM) (new)

Erika  (readingbutterfly) So far this month... I finished up the Warrior Heir and read the Wizard Heir. Both great. I read the Wizard Heir in one sitting; very tired the next day as I was out of town and had to drive home. Anyways these two were great and very much looking forward to the third book in the series. The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

message 36: by Lynlee4 (new)

Lynlee4 | 134 comments Just finished The Giver by Lois Lowry and gave it 5 stars. I'm going to have to think about this one for a while...it's going to stay with me a long time.

message 37: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) | 409 comments Finished Eclipse (third book in the Twilight Saga) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Again a much better read than Twilight in my opinion, looking forward to Breaking Dawn arriving.

message 38: by Muriel (new)

Muriel (spaceyplum) [Book: White Night] by [Author: Jim Butcher]
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Another fab entry in the Dresden Files and I probably would have rated it higher had I not just read Proven Guilty which really had me on the edge of my seat. There are a few resolutions that came as a surprise and others that left me a little sad... yet another had me LOL! BTW, can I just say yay to the return of Marcone... I can't help myself, I like the lowlife thug ;-D

message 39: by Teena (new)

Teena R. | 1 comments

Just finish Nation by Terry Pratchett. What a brilliant read! Hilarious yet moving, silly yet thoughtful. Love the book to bits.

message 40: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 2 comments I finished Outlander and am now reading Dragonfly in Amber

message 41: by Angela (new)

Angela Twilight 5 Stars- I now know what all the hype was about and look forward to reading the rest of the series...
Taken from this site:
"Softly he brushed my cheek, then held my face between his marble hands. "Be very still," he whispered, as if I wasn't already frozen. Slowly, never moving his eyes from mine, he leaned toward me. Then abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow at the base of my throat."
As Shakespeare knew, love burns high when thwarted by obstacles. In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because--he's a vampire. At any moment, the intensity of their passion could drive him to kill her, and he agonizes over the danger. But, Bella would rather be dead than part from Edward, so she risks her life to stay near him, and the novel burns with the erotic tension of their dangerous and necessarily chaste relationship.
Meyer has achieved quite a feat by making this scenario completely human and believable. She begins with a familiar YA premise (the new kid in school), and lulls us into thinking this will be just another realistic young adult novel.
Bella has come to the small town of Forks on the gloomy Olympic Peninsula to be with her father. At school, she wonders about a group of five remarkably beautiful teens, who sit together in the cafeteria but never eat. As she grows to know, and then love, Edward, she learns their secret. They are all rescued vampires, part of a family headed by saintly Carlisle, who has inspired them to renounce human prey. For Edward's sake they welcome Bella, but when a roving group of tracker vampires fixates on her, the family is drawn into a desperate pursuit to protect the fragile human in their midst.

message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 286 comments Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Four stars

An interesting book set at the beginning of the 18th century. Gulliver goes on four separate voyages and discovers a new and unique race of people each time. He learns a lot from each, not just a new language and a different set of customs, but also a new way of looking at himself and the English culture he left behind.
Swift discusses some very interesting themes for his time, including the folly of war and the status of women in society.
A good read for a variety of reasons. First Swift’s detailed imagination in describing four completely different peoples, second the lessons Gulliver learns during each voyage and third simply for the joy of the wonderful old language used and Swift’s wry sense of humour.

message 43: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leo23) Finished reading The Mists of Avalon - have read this a few times but I think this time I was more objective and critical - it is way too long and so much of it is repetitive. If the phrase "the royal line of Avalon" is used once it must be used 1000 times. That would probably be about right - on almost every page! But I do still enjoy it - its one of those epic stories that you can get lost in and it is certainly an interesting take on the Arthurian legend.

message 44: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 61 comments My 3rd fantasy book of the month was Twilight which I give 4 stars. Entertaining story, fast read, I can see why all the teenage girls are in love with Edward.

message 45: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 61 comments My 3rd fantasy book of the month was Twilight which I give 4 stars. Entertaining story, fast read, I can see why all the teenage girls are in love with Edward.

message 46: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 61 comments My 3rd fantasy book of the month was Twilight which I give 4 stars. Entertaining story, fast read, I can see why all the teenage girls are in love with Edward.

message 47: by Muriel (new)

Muriel (spaceyplum) Small Favor by Jim Butcher
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Harry has spent a fairly quiet year that comes to an abrupt halt with a surprise visit from three billy goats and goes downhill from there. I really do feel for Harry, it appears the poor bastard can't catch a break to save his life. The action gets going from the start and hardly lets up with Harry and his friends juggling several baddies to the point where you almost need a scorecard to keep track of them all.

I like that the book ends with a good moment for Harry considering all the bad things that happened to those around him, it was the only ray of light in what amounted to a bummer of an ending that promises even more trouble for the next entry.

message 48: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 247 comments Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Musical Tie-in Edition) by Gregory Maguire
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

1 star

This book's premise has so much potential. Although, I did glimpse a little of it in the pages of this book, for the most part it fell flat. I don't know why I expected otherwise after reading another of Maguire's books an not liking it you would think I would have learned my lesson.

The writing style is disjointed and somewhat hard to follow. I also felt like I had missed large parts to get background on issues or other happening which is frustrating.

message 49: by Haley (new)

Haley (Ibrakeforwords) | 11 comments Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria Snyder. 5 stars. Amazing heroine.

message 50: by Lynlee4 (new)

Lynlee4 | 134 comments Gave 5 stars to Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. It was a very enjoyable read. I liked watching the relationships develop between Bella, Edward and Jacob.

This was my 5th fantasy shelf read...had a great time!

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