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! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prom & Prejudice

by Elizabeth Eulberg

Could it be true?! Yes! I am finally caught up with my blog posts! And now I will allow myself to read a new book. :)

I picked this book up on a whim because 1) it's a Pride and Prejudice adaptation, and I love those, 2) I liked Elizabeth Eulberg's first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, and 3) it's so pink!

I have a weakness for bright pink books - it's true.

Anyway, despite this book being a story I know well, and therefore I know who to trust and who not to, as well as the character's general fate, I found this retelling to be fun. There were a few differences, but mostly its the same story in a different setting. It's nothing new, but its enjoyable.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

by Brandon Mull

I absolutely adore Brandon Mull's previous novels - they are some of my favorite books of all time - and I was anxious to get my hands on the first book of his new series - Beyonders: A World Without Heroes.

This book starts out a little slow before eventually picking up toward the middle. Mull has a knack for writing great puzzles and mysteries, so I was intrigued by the story from the start.

Unfortunately, this book just wasn't quite as engrossing and amazing as Mull's previous work I found the resolution of the story to be surprising but not as meaningful as I would have wished. They story was detailed and different, but so filled with minor characters that I sometimes found it hard to keep them straight.!

Thirteen-year-old Jason is just going about his business one day when he finds himself transported to Lyrian. Eventually he stumbles upon a man who he hopes can give him some answers, but only leaves him with more questions. Through his curiosity he finds himself on an unlikely quest to find a secret word to defeat the emperor.

Jason is actually thrust into Lyrian when he falls into a hippo at the zoo. Immediately after finding himself in this strange place he discovers a troupe of musicians floating down a river on a raft. He learns that they are about to let themselves sail off a waterfall and tries to help. In the end he only succeeds in shooting one of them musicians in the shoulder with an arrow and making the crowd gathered to watch angry with him. He escapes the mob to find himself at the Repository of Learning, where he meets the Loremaster. The Loremaster doesn't explain much to him, except to avoid a certain part of the repository and simultaneously telling a story of how he was told not to do something but he did it anyway. Jason hopes this forbidden section of the library will help him find his way home, so he finds a way in and discovers "the book". Once reading the pages and the first syllable of the word of power, Jason is set against the emperor Maldor and must continue to search for the word to evade capture. The Loremaster sends him to the Blind King, where he gets advice on his quest, and meets his soon-to-be companion, Rachel (also from Jason's world). The pair travel to a sea cave, where they obtain the second syllable and fight off a giant crab. Later they meed the displacer, Ferrin, who wants to help them on their quest. They travel to another town, where Jason challenged the chancellor and wins - thus gaining access to the third syllable. Next they travel to the White Lake, which Rachel travels across to learn the fourth syllable and learning that Ferrin is actually a spy for Maldor, the emperor. They part ways with him and nearly get captured by Maldor's men when they are saved my Jasher, one of the "seed people" who can die, but grow again from the seed on the back of their neck. The new group travels to a swamp to meet the Pythoness, but actually find her daughter, who gives them fifth syllable. They also learn that the sixth syllable can be found tattooed on the back of one of Maldor's men at The Eternal Feast. Jason goes to accept his previous invitation to the feast learns the final syllable. He fights a duel in order to leave the paradise and goes to gain an audience with Maldor by ringing a bell in the center of town. Once he meets the emperor he says the word, feels its power, but is dismayed to see it doesn't effect Maldor. Maldor reveals that the word was a fake to distract his enemies and offers Jason a place with his officers. Jason refuses and gets thrown in the dungeon. Ferrin returns and risks everything to free Jason. However, Ferrin has plans to send him back to his world, while Jason wants to find Rachel and his friends and tell them what happened. The two struggle and Ferrin manages to push Jason through the portal and back to his own world.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tyger, Tyger

by Kersten Hamilton

It's been quite a while since I've read a book, especially a series to get excited about. However, Tyger, Tyger has all the right elements to be an exciting, unique new series.

Things start getting strange for Teagan the night her best friend Abby tells her she' been dreaming of goblins. Later that night, she learns her parents have agreed to take in her street-tough cousin Finn. Finn also speaks about strange creatures and before she knows it, Teagan is immersed in the all-too-real world of goblins - desperately trying to save her family from them.

The blank space to follow is my spoiler-laden summary of the book (in beige font). This is basically for my own benefit (so I remember what happened when book 2 comes out.) If you want to read it, highlight the text. And you were warned! :)

Finn tells Teagan that he hunts goblins and is surprised to learn she's never seen them. A cat-sidhe invades their house soon after, as well as some other creatures. Finn defends them, but soon leaves, fearing he's brought the creatures on them. Shortly after, Teagon's mom falls ill and eventually dies - Teachan and her brother Aiden conclude that the shadow man Aiden say caused their mother to die. Things go from bad to worse when their dad disappears. Finn returns to help the brother -sister pair, eventually leading them into MAg Mell - home of the goblins to find their father. In one of the confusing segments of the book , they soon leave again without finding Mr. Wyllston and head toward Finn's grandma's (Mamieo's) house. They meet Mamieo and learn she rescued Teagon's mom from Mag Mell years ago - and she's the only person who's ever escaped it. The group fights off more goblin creatures and returns to Mag Mell (without Mamieo). There they learn Aiden's singing keeps the nasty creatures at Mag Mell at bay, and helps them find their way. They meet Roisen, Aileen's long lost sister, and learn she and Aileen (and therefore Teagona and Aiden) are part-goblin. They travel again (Roisen won't go with them because she's still waiting for her long-lost love to return to her) and Aiden makes a sprite friend who nests in his hair. Teagon frets that Finn will hate them now that they've learned they're part goblin. Eventually they find Fear Doirich who has taken their father. Teagon and Finn tie him up as Aiden weakens him with his singing. They also find and rescue Thomas, Roisen's love, and therefore convince her to escape with them. Teagon sacrifices the swamp girl to the dogs in order for them to escape. They get back to Mamieo and break the news of Aileen being part goblin - she takes it hard but accepts it. Teagan and Flinn talk about their relationship and Finn tells her he doesn't hate her - that she doesn't have to be like a goblin if she chooses not to. The book ends as Aiden announces to the pair that Thomas is growing feathers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The False Princess

by Eilis O'Neal

Unfortunately, I've neglected writing this blog for a very long time and therefore I'm probably not going to be as detailed as I'd like. However, I did write down some notes on the book when I finished it, so I do remember something!

The False Princess is a unique story about a girl named Nalia who suddenly learns that she's not who she thought she was. She's not actually the princess of Thorvaldor, and he name is not Nalia. She's been playing the part of the princess so the real one could be hidden away, safe from her prophesied death before the age of 16. But Nalia, or Sinda (as she's learned her name really is) in now 16 and very much alive. The King and Queen and their magicians are sending Sinda to live with her aunt so the real princess can come take her rightful place.

Sinda is shocked and crushed and goes without a fight. However, after finding life with her aunt unfulfilling, missing her friend Kiernan, and discovering she has magic, Sinda travels back to Thorvaldor where she soon discovers that the plot to conceal the princess is not all it seemed.

Interesting, a few surprising twists, and Kiernan is great.