Why Are There All These Blank Spaces?

You may notice that in some of my posts there are blank spaces in the reviews. These are spoilers that I've written so I can remember important details of the books when I want to read the sequel. I've made the text a beige color to blend in with the background so you won't accidentally see something you don't want to. If you want to read it, just highlight the section to make the text appear - although you should really just read the book yourself! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Keys to the Demon Prison

by Brandon Mull

One word to describe this book (and series): Amazing!

In the fifth (and final) book of the Fablehaven series, the battle to keep the demon prison Zzyzx closed comes to a conclusion. The Knights of the Dawn are fighting to find and protect the remaining artifacts, while the Society of the Evening Star continues to seek them out. Kendra and Seth are once again thrown into the middle of the conflict, and must use their unique gifts and abilities to save the world from destruction.

Once again, Mull does not disappoint! This book is filled with action, suspense, and humor. Despite the 500+ page count, there is not a dull moment. The book is evenly paced, and the action builds and declines multiple times throughout the novel.

If I had to pick something to criticize it would be Mull's tendency to create "throw away" characters. Often (in most of the books of the series), the Knights are about to head off on a mission and we are introduced to (sometimes multiple) new characters. Usually, one or all of them end up dying shortly after. Once you get used to this pattern it become pretty easy to predict that the character whose name you just learned is going to die in about 15 pages. However, since he doesn't always kill them off, and occasionally the more established characters have been the victims it doesn't bother me that much. I'd rather the characters I'm not attached to die than my favorites anyway!

Oh, and one other small complaint (*spoiler*) - I wish Bracken's speech to Kendra at the end had been Kendra's speech to him! It would have been good for her character to finally be assertive and strong by telling Bracken that she likes him, but that she needs some time to herself; and that he can wait for her if he wants, because after all the years he's lived he can certainly wait a few more, if he really cares about her. And she also should have kissed him before the big battle that they all thought they were gonna die in. Because that would have been funny. Just plant one on him and say, "Alright, I'm gonna go slay that demon for ya!" (*end spoilers*)

All things considered this is one of my favorite series. It's right up there with Harry Potter and Twilight (yes, it's that good!). It could appeal to both boys and girls, and really, readers of any age. I only wish it was more well-known that it is! Maybe if a movie does get made (last I've heard is sometimes in 2011), the series might start getting the recognition it deserves!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wondrous Strange

by Lesley Livingston

Finally a book worth being excited over!

Wondrous Strange is a lovely mix of fantasy (faeries specifically), danger, battles (with descriptions not too lengthy as to bore you), humor and romance.

I particularly loved the part when Sonny yelled "Seelie witch!" To say much more would spoil the story. :)

Despite this book being part of a series, the book itself does resolve! It seems like half of the series I read are plagued by cliff-hanger endings and lack of resolution in each individual novel. If there is no resolution, then the book should not be over! Wondrous Strange, however, avoids this pitiful, for which I am glad.

A satisfying entry, while still making me eager for more!

I do believe faeries are gradually becoming one of my favorite fantasy sub-categories!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Blue Shoe

by Roderick Townley

Once again, I'm not really sure what I want to say about this book. It was good, but not I-wanna-rave-about-it good.

The Blue Shoe is the story of Hap Barlow, an apprentice to town's cobbler. Accused of stealing, young Hap is banished to the harsh mountain of Xexnax. Hap is sad to leave his master and friend, Grel, but he is also anxious to get to the mountain as he hopes he will be able to rescue his father who was sent there a few years prior. However, once Hap arrives on the mountain, things are not at all like he'd imagined. Hap must use all his wits to survive on this mountain.

The book has a few moments in the narrative that really catch you attention due to their interesting phrasing. However, there are also a few moments where the author breaks the narrative style to address the reader. (Much like Kate DiCamillo's style - a style I don't always like.)

The story was interesting, but didn't fully realize the mystery I thought was potential in the beginning. By the end the story tried to return to that mysterious element, but by this point it felt like an afterthought.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


by Laura Peyton Roberts

This book was cute, and an easy read. And it was about leprechauns, which is unique.

However, it was also a little simplistic (I guess it makes sense because of the middle-reader age group), and the characters were mostly flat, under-realized. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing.

In Green, Lilybet Green discovers a mysterious package on her doorstep on her 13th birthday. She opens it, and out explodes a few leprechauns. They explain (sort of) that she is to face her trials in order to become the next Keeper of the gold from the Green clan. She must pass three tests to earn this new job, and to ever be able to go home again.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


by Lisa McMann

I still don't understand why this is the final book to the Dream Catcher series. The story seems far from over, and this book didn't exactly leave you feeling satisfied.

The story is interesting, but I don't think it is worthy of a book to itself. The story of Janie discovering her dad, learning about him and about her gift, and deciding what she's going to do should have been a story running parallel to something with a little more suspense. The last book was chock-full of it! Janie puts herself in great danger to nail a sexual predator at her high school. This book? Janie goes to a tiny house in the woods and to the hospital a lot. Oh, and she talks to her alcoholic mom some more. It just lacked punch.

It didn't do it for me. There needed to be more meat to this book and there wasn't, which I think adds to my feeling that this story should not be finished so soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

by N. D. Wilson

I like this book.

It's not really my typical genre of choice, but since it's by N. D. Wilson, and I love his writing so much, I had to read it.

Wilson's distinct style of writing is evident throughout the book, however I did find that the beginning and the end of the book were my favorite parts. They seemed to flow better and have a more evident purpose. The middle section was not bad, but it had a more "stream of consciousness" style of writing, and sometimes I forgot what was being discusses, and other times it seemed Wilson was repeating himself. However, some truly wonderful gems in corners of this book, and the deliciousness that is N. D. Wilson's voice earn this book it's 4-star rating.