Wednesday, May 16, 2012

City of Lost Souls

Hola, another Mortal Instruments, yay! The motley cast of Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, Angels, and faeries are back for the rather unexpected fifth book of the trilogy. (Okay, maybe not that unexpected, there was a fourth.) Anyway, once again, Sebastian and Jace are bound. but this time it is not just by a father. They are connected by the demon Lilith, and Sebastian is unfortunately the dominant one in the relationship. However, Clary has other plans, and is, as always, not afraid to throw herself into any trouble that Jace already has. Jace is missing, Simon is struggling with his romantic relationships, and Jocelyn is doing a terrible job controlling her daughter. The character layout is almost identical to the previous novel. This book was very good, if a bit more suggestive than the others. The writing is good and the wit as sharp as ever, although I was more than a bit disappointed Jace was still evil. Oh, well. Can't wait for the next book! (And there is a movie coming out, right?) Three and a half stars. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Song of Fire and Ice: Game of Thrones

Hola! Apparently this is my 100th post! Yay! Okay, back to business. A Song of Fire and Ice: Game of Thrones is by George R. R. Martin. Because this book is so complicated, I will give a brief overview and list what are in my opinion the most important characters. The Seven Kingdoms are really one, large, rather unstable kingdom ruled by King Robert the Usurper. Political intrigue runs rampant as many people  plot and scheme over every detail of the court, from the treasury to the people appointed to different positions by the King himself. The story morphs a ton, but basically, that is the incredibly simple version. Important characters: Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Jon Snow, his bastard who lives with the rest of the family in Winterfell. Robert Baratheon, the King and almost a brother to Eddard. Daenerys Targaryen, the princess whose kingdom Robert Usurped and the last of the blood of the dragon. Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf whose alliances seem to change, (And definitely the only cool Lannister). Cersei Lannister, Roberts's ambitious wife and mother to Jofferey Lannister. I really like this series, the books are a little long-winded but very well thought out. The weaving plot is fascinating and the varying cast of characters is a good way to display this complex story. I definitely recommend this book if you have loads of time, four stars. (It might be a bit mature.) 

Murder at the Vicarage

Hola... Murder at the Vicarage is by Agatha Christie. Leonard Clement is the Vicar in the small town of St. Mary Mead when a man is found dead right in his very study. The entire town is unsettled and rumors abound as the rather gossipy community tries to pin the blame. However, the virtuous Mr. Clement is determined to find the murderer, and with the help of the local police, he just might. But the true focus of this book is Miss Marple, the incredibly sharp-witted old woman who lives near the vicarage. This is all a dare say about it, as I don't want to give anything away. I have to say, this is not the best Agatha Christie I have read, and I've been on quite a kick of them, recently. I liked the small, tightly woven town personality, though. It was fairly entertaining, but seemed to have far too much extraneous story; the plot was rather meandering. Overall, not too shabby; two and a half stars. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Out of Sight Out of Time

Hola. New book! (Mini victory dance!) Out of Sight Out of Time is by Ally Carter. Cammie is back for another installment of her international adventures as a girl spy, but this time, her mission is her own memories. Waking up in what seems to be a convent with a transformed body and no memory of that summer is jarring, especially when you had started that summer hunting down the people who were hunting for you. Cammie has to balance her hectic school life with her conflicting thoughts, and confusing relationships. I love these books! Except for the fact that Carter seems to be taking the Suzanne Collins route; making her main character go slightly mad. I happen to not love this technique because I come to really like the characters and value their well-being, making them go crazy often induces that "Seriously, you are really going to do that?" effect, directed at both the character and the author. Other than that, another great novel. Three and a half stars.

The Bridge to Neverland

Hola...Okay, it has been a month, I have just no time perception. So, the Bridge to Neverland is by, once again, Dave Barry and Ridely Pearson. Aidan and Sarah and two completely average teenager siblings, complete with extreme curiosity. When they discover what seems to be a clue to some great mystery, of course they are intrigued. While following the hints, Sarah and Aidan trek throughout England and the United States, all on a fleeting Peter Pan reference. Will the trail end without an answer or will the finale be as thrilling as the journey? Okay, this book was fine, other than the fact that these kids ran away from home to hunt down some ramdom clues. Teenage inaccuracies aside, I only had two problems with this book. One: the seemed to be a lot of product placement. And two: it was a spinoff of another series to make the first one seem more realistic. The book on its own was fine, but was sort of ruining the Peter and the Starcatchers books for me. Other than that, it was entertaining and well-written. Three stars.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pandora Gets Angry

Hola! Pandora Gets Angry is by Carolyn Hennesy. Pandy and her friends are on another leg of their journey, and Rage is hiding deep in Persia. Homer is angry, Alcie is dead, and Iole is sick. Pandora has the odds stacked against her, but with her wit and a little divine intervention, she just might be able to collect this evil. There is really not much else to say, these books are all the same. They get into loads of trouble and then miraculously save the disgustingly mutilated people that have been hurt by the vessel of the evil. Two stars.

Speaker for the Dead

Hola. Speaker for the Dead is the third Ender book, and that means it's, you guessed it, written by Orson Scott Card. Andrew Wiggin is now about three-thousand years old, but he only looks about thirty-five. Starship travel has kept him young, and The Hive Queen and the Hegemon have progressed to become one of the prominent religions. But the name "Ender" is now a curse, hated for the xenocide he committed. Andrew spends his years travelling the universe and Speaking for the Dead. When a call from a planet comes through that seems a bit different, Andrew is intrigued not only by the young girl who sent it, but by the unusual circumstances that surround the death. For a new and primitive race has been discovered, the piggies. This book was STRANGE. The story was very odd, and the characters portrayed in the way that only Card can, by making them so raw that while they do despicable things you still love them. This was very entertaining, but the end was incredibly disappointing. It made Ender seem far too human. I have the same words for all of Ender's books; amazing but almost disturbing. Four stars.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ender's Shadow

Hola, I know I'm really behind. Okay, Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card, is a companion book to Ender's Game. Living on the street is dangerous for a kid any age with the brutal hierarchy of bullies and kids too small to get food. But when Bean turns up, the whole system changes. This transformation doesn't go unnoticed, however. Battle School is still recruiting and Bean is a promising candidate. With the severe physical disadvantages Bean has, he faces difficulties that even his machine-like mind might not be able to comprehend. I just re-read my Ender's Game review and I seem to have put a negative spin on it. Let me correct you, these books are brilliant. What I failed to express before was the depth that every character has, and the plot that doesn't fail to stun even when reading a parallel story where you already know what happens. The only thing I will say though, is that these books made me like Ender more. Bean is so mechanical that even Ender's aloofness is appealing. I don't want to change my original post but I have to say, looking back on the book, four and a half stars to both Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Key to Rondo

Hola! The Key to Rondo is by Emily Rodda. When steady, reliable Leo Langlander is willed an ancient music box, he intends to keep if safe. Even if the rules seem a bit strange he will follow them; only wind the box three times, don't wind it while the music is playing, and don't move the while the tune plays. However, Leo's stable life is set tumbling when his outcast cousin comes to visit. Mimi Langlander brings a new view to Leo's life, but also many more dangers. After I started reading this I realized it was targeted at younger children. The writing is that fake-descriptive that makes the story as straight-forward as possible. Rondo was also very odd. It seems to be a version of fairyland that had some not-very-original twists thrown in. The one thing that I liked was that Leo did think along the lines of a rational person. Mimi also revealed some depth by the end of this tale. Overall, completely mediocre. Two stars.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Agency, A Spy in the House

Hola...The Agency, A Spy in the House is by Y. S. Lee. After being saved from the gallows, Mary Quinn leads a fairly ordinary life being educated at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. But when Mary's schooling can no longer continue, she is offered a position more suited to her original occupation. On her first mission as a spy for the Agency, a top secret women's company, she must uncover what happened to a merchant's ships. The mystery shouldn't be too hard to solve, but can Mary keep herself from going in too far? From this book I remembered that I really enjoy action-y historical fiction. Mary is clever without being obnoxious and the fact that she has her own secrets makes her even more intriguing. This book is very entertaining, earning it three stars.


Hola, I am so sorry it has been so long but I have been sidetracked by school and being really lazy. So today I try to make it up with Goliath, the third book of the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. With the war still going strong, Deryn and Alek have to be even more careful aboard the famous airship Leviathan than ever before. But when a slightly mad new passenger comes aboard, Prince Alek's place in the outcome of the conflict between the Darwinists and Clankers becomes even more apparent. With secrets tangling through every part of this story, Deryn and Alek must discover and confront who they are really meant to be. I thought that this was a great ending to the trilogy. And if you are confused because you haven't read Leviathan I have a previous blog on it. This book allows Deryn and Alek to grow as characters but still hold their original charm. I would highly recommend this series. Unless you like to know what happens before you read the book, don't read any of the summaries, they give everything away. Anyway, great finale, four stars.