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! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


by Lesley Livingston

Darklight is a respectable sequel to it's predecessor Wondrous Strange. However, there were a few aspects of the book that left me wanting.

First, it was really unclear what the point of the book was for a long time. What climax are we climbing toward? At one point it seems like it will have something to do with Auberon, but no, it actually ends up being something else entirely! A plot twist that wasn't even hinted at until halfway through.

Secondly, a few things were left unexplained at the end of the book. (*Spoilerish* One: Auberon's sickness, and two: the stuff about Sonny's parents.) Where Wondrous Strange succeeded in setting itself up for a sequel while still having a complete conclusion to the individual entry, Darklight did not.

Last (*define spoilers*, the end annoyed me a little! Kelly making Sonny think she didn't love him anymore so he would leave and she could save him from himself and whatnot was a bit too "New Moon" for me. Why don't you just, I don't know, talk to him?! This story has been done before!)

However, despite these things I like the mix of Shakespeare and faeries, the faery world and the human world. It works well together and, despite having many similarities to other faery stories, it's unique and interesting. I'm still eager for the next book.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Scones and Sensibility

by Lindsay Eland

Scones and Sensibility is a fun little tale of 12 year-old Penny and her matchmaking adventures. Penny loves two books: Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice. She loves them so much that she wishes her life were like the pages of those books. Penny talks like shes living in regency England, and is as dramatic as Anne Shirley herself. It is her love of these classic romances that inspires Penny to help her friends in her small beach town find love. However, Penny's matchmaking does not always go as planned....

Most of the time it's cute, and funny. However, sometime Penny's old-timey talk and dramatics can grate on you. She uses the words "dear", "dearest" and "dainty" a lot. She often gets "swept away" by her imaginings and blows things way out of proportion. But the character IS supposed to be 12, so I can forgive most of that.

Bottom line: it's cute, although predictable and occasionally heavy-handed in it's gimmick.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Books of Umber: Happenstance Found

by P. W. Catanese

By the time I got to the end of Happenstance Found, the first book in the Books of Umber trilogy, I liked it. However, the beginning of this book is a little slow and aimless.

Happenstance is a young boy who wakes up wet and blindfolded in a cave. Soon a man named Umber and his two companions come across him and take him on their journey.

For most of the book Happenstance and his new friends (as well as the reader) are unsure as to who or what Hap is. Is he from this world? Is he magical? What happened to him in his past and why can't he remember anything? Thankfully, this mystery intrigued me, or I likely would have quit reading before the end. Not much happens in the first half of the novel besides wondering.

Thankfully, things finally start to pick up and Hap and Umber learn more about Hap's origins. By the end of the book we've also learned more about Umber's past and the book takes a turn slightly in genre. It is no longer a straight-forward fantasy - a twist I was eager for! I'm interested to see how the next book goes, since it will hopefully not have the problem of vagueness and the complete mystery of Hap that this book did.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Iron King

by Julie Kagawa

I've been reading a lot of faery books lately, but this one goes right up to the top of my list of favorites.

Lots of the faery themed novels have similar elements - the Seelie and Unseelie courts, changelings, advice to never promise anything to a faery. Many have the same characters - Oberon, Titania, Mab, Puck, etc. Julie Kagawa's novel The Iron King is no exception, however it is the way she mixes the classic legend with her own unique creations that makes this book really sing.

Meghan is about to turn sixteen years old when some strange things start happening to her. Life has always been a little odd since her dad disappeared when she was six, and her new step-dad can't seem to remember she exists. Then Meghan's little brother is taken from their home, and before she knows it Meghan is swept into the Nevernever - the land of the fey. She is about to discover that her father is not the man she knew, but is actually the Faery King, and in order to get her brother back she must face new dangers unknown to the fey.

This book is well-written and engrossing, with characters who are mysterious and frightening, both friendly and fearsome. And while the novel does hint towards a possible love triangle, it (thankfully) does not make that the focus just yet. There is a romance, but this is not simply a romance book.

This is the first book to a series, and miraculously - it has a conclusion (!) while also leaving much to be explored in future entries. I am happy and eager for more.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Line

by Teri Hall

This book would have been good.

The Line is the story of a girl named Rachel who lives on "The Property" with her mother and the owner of the property, among some other help. Rachel's mom serves as the housekeeper and Rachel has spent most of her growing up years by herself, with her mother as her teacher. The Property is situated right by The Line - an invisible border that separates the U.S. from Away - a place where it is rumored that frightening creatures and humans with alarming powers live. Rachel is curious about Away, so one day when she discovers a cryptic message that appears to have come from the other side, Rachel is eager to see what else she can discover.

Unfortunately, this book is a set-up for a series and it does not have an ending. What happened to each book in a series having a story complete unto itself and the ability to be read on it's own? I really don't like this new style of series, and unfortunately again, the only way to know if it's like that is to read it to the end. While I was a little irritated at the 'non-ending', the story is interesting (it's got a The Village mixed with The Hunger Games feel to it - mysterious creatures that exist beyond an non-traversable barrier and an oppressive government to keep it that way), so I will probably still keep my eyes peeled for the second entry.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Conspiracy of Kings

by Megan Whalen Turner

It's OK.

One of the main reasons I like Turner's series is because of the characters. And while the way she depicts and surprises you with her characters in still evident in this book, the character that I like the most is hardly in it! He's the main character (after all the series is called The Queen's Thief), but he only appears occasionally. Sad.

Also, this book is sometimes confusing! It's Turner's style to leave many things unsaid so you have to figure out what's going on on your own, but I felt like too much was left out this time. Maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention because I missed Gen. I'm hoping if there's another book in this series that it will be about the main characters!