Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

I finally got around to typing up the review for this one. It took me a while to get into the mood I guess. Part of it was I didn't know what I wanted to say--I liked the book, but that isn't enough for a review. So here it finally is:

Ink Exchange Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr is the second book in what could be called the Wicked Lovely series. Although reading Wicked Lovely first would give you more insight to the world, I believe both novels can stand alone.

I have to admit that I didn’t like this book as well as I liked Wicked Lovely. While Wicked Lovely is what I would call a dark fantasy (or the more modern term urban fantasy), it wasn’t nearly as dark as Ink Exchange. This book dealt with many addictions, and the answers presented in the book were not clear cut. I guess it is a more accurate reflection of the world in that sense, but I have to admit a fondness for nice tidy endings in my fiction.

After a slow start, the story of Leslie and her tattoo begins to pick up. Niall, a fairy sworn to the Summer Court, is assigned to protect Leslie, but he is unable to protect her from her choices that lead her into the grasp of the king of the Dark Court. This novel has a much more gritty feel than Wicked Lovely, but it does begin to appeal to you later in the book.

While I don’t believe reading Ink Exchange will be necessary to understand Marr’s next book Fragile Eternity (due out 4/28/09) which will pick up where Wicked Lovely left off with Aislinn and Seth, I think it offers interesting insight in to the world of fairy courts that may be beneficial to the readers.

Recommend this to fans of Wicked Lovely, dark fantasy, and urban fantasy.

Cautions for sensitive readers: This book is definitely written for older teens. There is sex, drug additions, and a mention of the main character’s rape before the events of this book. There is also violence among the fairies.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Book Review: Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin

Neptune's Children Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
It happened when they were at the Isles of Wonder, designed to be the “ultimate theme park.” For them it would soon be their home.

When a mysterious, genetically engineered virus kill all the adults and older teens, the younger teens, children, and infants, have to find a way to live in a world with no parents or any other adult. They have to recreate their own world and new lives. For Josh and his little sister Maddie this means creating their new life where the old one had abruptly ended in the Isles of Wonder Amusement Park.

As the older kids come to terms with the tragedy, they begin to organize and follow the charismatic Milo who steps up as the leader of the Isles along with a core group of kids who volunteer to help him. They create borders and try to protect the Isles from those from the outside who would try to steal what the surviving islanders have. As time progresses, Josh, his new friend Zoe and some of the other islanders begin to wonder if there are other reasons the core insists that they shouldn’t venture out of the Isles.

This novel was terrifying. In a sense it was a modern Lord of the Flies. The thought of infants and small children suddenly left to be raised by older brothers and in some cases complete strangers was a difficult concept. At the same time it was a book that was very hard for me to put down. I had to know what would happen next. I recommend this to anyone who likes books about survival, dystopian futures, or is looking for a quick read.

Cautions for sensitive readers: In the very beginning of this book all the adults die and the kids have to organize the burials for all of the dead while this is not explicitly described it is referred to. There is also violence in this novel. As the teens get older they do form families, and some sex is referred to although there are no explicit details.

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Finished Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin and Ink Exchangeby Melissa Marr

Well I finally finished Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin and Ink Exchangeby Melissa Marr. I hope to have the reviews done later today, but I haven't really had much of a desire or chance to write them. It has been an interesting day at the library--the fire alarm went off at about 12:45 and we all got about a 10 minute parking lot break. Since then it has been a little difficult to sit down and focus on what needs to be done. Maybe I will have better luck this evening. I do have to say that I liked both of the books, but they need some thinking about.

I started Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. It seems interesting, but some of it is so poetic and stream of consciousness that I lose track of what the narrator is saying. It seems like it may be a good book though, once I get into it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still Reading

I know it has been a while since I last posted something. I have been busy attempting to learn a glut of new technology--new to me at least. The library is social networking now and I get the chance to try it all out. It is interesting, but many of the sites are so different in the way they are formatted you really have to think about what you are doing.

I am still reading Melissa Marr's Ink Exchange. It started out a little slow--I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Now that I am getting towards the end I can't wait to find out what happens to Leslie. At first I thought I liked Wicked Lovely her first book better, but I may change that opinion. The jury is still out though until I get to the end. Endings so often have the ability to change a book you thought you really liked into one you hate. I guess I will just have to finish it to find out which one this will be.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finally Finished Paper Towns by John Green ***Review May Contain Spoilers***

Well, I finally finished Paper Towns by John Green. I really enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. It was fun, and funny, and I couldn't wait to get to the end.

Paper Towns Paper Towns by John Green

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let me start off by saying, I loved this book. It had a very likable narrator in Quentin Jacobsen (Q), and very well developed characters.

When Margo Roth Spiegelman show up a Q's window late at night and dressed all in black, Q knows something big is going on. She enlists him in an all night campaign of revenge against some of their classmates. Q thinks this might be his chance to reconnect with Margo, but she runs off the next day leaving him some very cryptic clues. While Q and his friends Ben and Radar try to find the missing Margo Roth Spiegelman, they actually find out more about themselves and their lives along the way.

There were moments that were laugh out loud funny. But my favorite part of the book has to be the road trip, with all the wild antics and the crazy wardrobes.

A must read. I found this book very enjoyable, and the characters well drawn and likable. Highly recommended.

Cautions for sensitive readers: This book does use some foul language in parts. There is actually references to sex and sexual acts and organs--these are not descriptive, but they are there. There is also some drinking in the novel. There isn't much violence in the novel, although there is some bullying.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Review of The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

The Realms of the Gods (Immortals, Book 4) The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just finished reading The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce for the umpteenth time. I have to say this is one of my favorite books and a very good comfort read. It is the 4th book in the Immortals series and concludes the series quite nicely.

On one of the great holidays Daine and Numair are sent to fight some monsters called skinners. They are pulled from a battle they were losing into the realms of the gods by Daine's mother Sarra and her father the god Weiryn. Trapped in the Divine realms, both seek to return to help their friends fight against those who want to harm those they love in Tortall. But the fighting in Tortall is just the tip of the iceberg. Chaos, a goddess imprisoned by her brothers and sisters, the great gods, is trying to break free so she can consume the world. This story is action packed. Definately a great read!

Cautions for sensitve readers: No foul language. There is violence and battles. Some nudity, but no sex (although sex is mentioned).

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce

Emperor Mage (Immortals, Book 3) Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
It has taken me a while to get back to this series, although I have to say it is one that I love. I haven't wanted to write a review for it though, because it wasn't fresh in my mind.

This book is the 3rd book in the Immortals series. Daine and her friends from Tortall travel to Carthak to attempt make peace with the powerful southern neighbor. Daine accompanies her friends in order to heal the Emperor of Carthak's sick birds. She is under strict orders to behave herself, but the gods, who are angry and Carthak and their Emperor Ozorne have something else in mind.

This was a facinating look at another country in the Tortall universe and a new batch of characters. I almost wish that Tamora Pierce would write a series based in Carthak. Highly recommended.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence and war, no sex, no foul language.

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Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce

Wolf-speaker (Immortals, Book 2) Wolf-speaker by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I finally had a chance to reread this book, so now it get a review. I love Tamora Pierce's books set in the Tortall universe. I love revisiting characters from her previous series and seeing how their lives have changed since the series.

This is the second book in the Immortals series. While I loved the first book, I found this one a little tedious. I didn't like how close minded Daine was during this novel--it almost seemed out of character at times.

Of the series this is my list favorite, but it is still worth reading. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book, but it served more as a stepping stone for Daine than a continuation of the series.

Cautions for sensitive readers: Violence, some nudity (when Daine shapechanges, and changes back she doens't have clothes--nothing is described it is just mentioned), no sex, and no foul language that would mean anything to anyone in the real world.

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Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic (Immortals, Book 1) Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I refuse to do reviews for books that I haven't read recently. I don't want the reviews to be inaccurate, but since I recently reread this book, I feel it is time that it had a review.

Of all of Tamora Pierce's series, I think this one is quickly becoming my favorite. The first series I ever read by her was the Song of the Lioness Quartet, and I loved it, but Immortals is gaining ground.

After running away from her small mountain village after her family is murdered by bandits, Daine, takes a job with Onua the horsemistress of the Queens Riders and travels to Tortall where she begins to develop her own unique brand of magic that allows her to connect to animals. This book brings back many familiar characters from the first series Song of the Lioness Quartet, but it is easily a stand alone novel. You will definately want to find out more about Daine in the other novels of the series.

Cautions for sensitive readers: This book in the series doesn't have anything sexually explicit in it. There is some violence in this book, and battles. The language in this book is suitable for middle school readers--the swearing in the book are not swear words that people would use in the real world. For instance most of the swear words or swearing refers to the names of gods or goddessses in the fantasy for instance "Mithros".

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Vacation...Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich and Relaxing Reads

I have been on vacation the past week and despite having to chase a one-year old around the house I did get some reading done. Since I mostly wanted to relax I did a lot of rereading--Tamora Pierce's Immortals Series. I wanted some comfort reads during my vacation and those fit the bill. I have to say I love them. I also did some adult reading since I haven't read an adult book in a while. I picked up Evanovich's Plum Spooky and found it very enjoyable.

Plum Spooky (A Stephanie Plum Between the Numbers/Holiday Novel, #4) Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series--they are often hilarious and just plain fun reads. However, I am not a big fan of her between the numbers books--I have trouble with the mystical qualities that these books seem to center around. That said, I did enjoy this one very much--unlike the previous Between-the-Numbers books, the supernatural elements didn't bother me so much and I was able to let go and enjoy the fun of this novel. A good book.

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