Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Sorceress by Michael Scott

Book 3 in the Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series
Young Adult Fantasy

The more I read this series the more I like it. In this book the Dark Elders, two evil immortals, and other more ancient beings are all still after Nicholas Flamel, his wife-Perenelle, and the twins of legend-Josh and Sophie. Sophie is reluctantly taking on her powers and duty, has been trained in two of the five elemental magics, and now has all of the witch of Endor's memories. Josh's powers have finally been awakened, but by an evil God of War who gave him his war knowledge in the awakening. They hope to be trained in water magic in this book, are still running from evil. Nicholas desperately wants to get to Perenelle, who is imprisoned, by the Dark Elders.

The book really pulls you in. It has just the right amount of action. Some books have so much action after a while it is tiring to read. This book balances the action with intrigue and leaves you wanting to know more. Will the twins save the world from the evil immortals, will Josh resist the powers of evil that seem to be pulling him, will Nicholas and Perenelle die before they get the formula back, and what will happen with the swords? So much still to learn, but enough to keep you interested. My only negative comment is that there are so many gods, creatures, immortals, etc. that it is hard to keep them all straight.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Book 5 in the Vampire Academy Series
This series is marketed to young adult readers

Rose is a Dhampir born to a race of people who live their lives guarding the weaker and frail Morai. Morai are the good, born vampires that do not kill. As Rose is preparing to graduate high school with her best friend, Lissa, a Morai princess, she is determined to find a way to save her formed boyfriend, Dimitri. Dimitri is now an evil, turned, vampire, a Strigoi, and is out to kill Rose.

The book resolves very little in the overall story and doesn't quite give the type of emotional pay off I wanted. Rose's live seems to be on hold. Interesting, but not very satisfying. I hope the story doesn't get drawn out forever. The Morai, Dhampir race relationships are interesting. As are the Dhampir lives and the choices they make, especially the woman. I'll be waiting for book 6.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Currently reading

No I do not only read young adult, vampire, and romance books. I am also working my way through:

Wilderness Warrior, Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
The Jesus I Never Knew
Jane Eyre

These books just take me a while to get through. When I get tired of them I grab a quick, fun read. Wilderness Warrior is over 800 pages. Check back for review of these books.

Night Huntress Series, Halfway to the Grave

This is the first book in the Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost. It is a vampire romance. I have always loved romance and vampire books (I've read all the Anne Rice books). So, of course, I loved the Twilight books. This series has less of the destiny-type romance and more action. The main character, Cat, is a tough half-human half-vampire. She was raised to hate vampires and has been out killing them since she was 16. That is until she meet Bones, a Vampire who hunts bad vampires. She finds out a lot about herself and killing vampires and along the way discovers that all Vampires aren't that bad. A good, fun read. It is romance so definitely for adults only. It's interesting enough that I want to know more about Cat and Bones' adventures so I've ordered the second book in the series, One Foot in the Grave, from the Library.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Magician by Michael Scott

Book 2 in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series

This is a "young adult" book, but it has so much depth it probably could be an adult book. I certainly loved it as much as the first book in the series, The Alchemyst. In this book Sophie's powers have been Awakened, but her twin brother, Josh's have not. Sophie has begun her training in elemental magic and Josh feels left out and jealous. Meanwhile the two, along with Nicholas Flamel and the Vampire Warrior are being pursued by other's serving Dark Masters out to harm them. A thrilling, exciting, escape into a world of immortals, magic, and Elders.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

This in another Lincoln book for 2011. The Story is about Brittany, a popular, rich, white girl and Alex a poor, Hispanic, gang member. I liked the way the author discusses the way the classes did or did not interact. It is a good message for teen to read about. The story is interesting. Brittany's home life is not as perfect as she makes it out to be and Alex has his own secrets. The two getting together and discovering their similarities despite their different backgrounds is great. I do have a problem with the fact that Brittany dates Alex knowing he is a gang member, knowing that he carries illegal guns, and possibly is involved in other illegal activities. Lots of girls and women all ready date boys and men thinking they will change. In the book Alex does change, but in real life that thinking usually leads to heartbreak. Brittany puts herself in danger dating Alex. In addition, they have sex while they are still in high school. Yes, I know that kind of thing goes on, but do we have to put it out their in front of kids so often it seems like the normal thing to do; instead of waiting until they are older. They did practice safe sex, but it still disturbed me.

In all, I think it sends the wrong message. I would not recommend kids in middle school/teens read this book.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Suck, A Love Story by Christopher Moore

This is the follow-up to his book, Bloodsucking Fiends. Vampire Jody, tired of being a vampire alone, turned her boyfriend, who decides he wants to be called Vampire Flood, into a vampire too. Vampire Flood finds a new minion, Abby Normal, a Goth 16 year old, to help with the day stuff. The vampires are still dealing with being vampires and worrying about the elder vampire, who is still out to get them. Tommy's (Vampire Flood) co-workers are still up to no good in this book as well.

The plot seems to be a little weaker in this book, but there are a lot more laughs. At one point I was laughing so hard I thought I might wake up the kids. Abby Normal's journal entries are are so funny. A very entertaining book.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

This is a goofy, funny, quirky vampire book and it is great. I'll start out by saying that I love vampire books. I like the characters fighting the evil in themselves and all the unique, supernatural, mystical stuff that goes along with it. This book is all that and FUNNY! I read it snatching chapters here and there as I could and stayed up late two nights in a row to finish it in two days. Finally a book about a women vampire and her human minion/love interest. The minion’s character and his work buddies' are great. I particularly liked the wiser than anyone homeless man, The Emperor and his troops-- two dogs. The dialog is smart and funny. I started on the 2nd book immediately.
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Book 1 in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series
A 2011 Rebecca Caudill Book

Rebecca Caudill Books are a yearly list of books voted on as the years best for Children in grades 4-6. A lot of them are also great reads for adults.

I liked this book. There was so much in this story; it is truly like the author took you to another world. I cared about the Characters and the story line. There was action, but not too much. Brother and sister twins stumble into a secret, supernatural world filled with immortal beings, magic, and alchemysts that have found the secret to immortality. The twins discover they have powerful magical potential and the ability to either save or destroy the world. A good, fun read.

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight by Jenny Nimmo
Book 8, the final book, in the Charlie Bone Series

I was disappointed with this book, but it doesn't surprise me. The last few books in this series weren’t very good either. It is like all the joy of writing left the author and she was just writing to finish the series. After an eight book build up, the ending to the story was uneventful. The character's interaction and work together against the evil Bloors and their school was weak in this book as well. I was left with questions that should have been answered, like what was Charlie's mom doing the entire time she was on her 2nd honeymoon? The first few books are good, but if you are like me and MUST finish all books in a series, I wouldn't waste your time on this series.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
A 2011 Abraham Lincoln Book

The 2011 Abraham Lincoln Books are a kind of best books of the year for teen readers. I've discovered that there are a lot of great children and young adult books. They are usually quick reads, which is great for a busy Mom, plus they usually end with a happy ending or at least something not depressing. There is enough to be depressed about in the world. Books are my escape--I want it to be happy! The added bonus is that you know what your children are reading and can discuss your favorites with them. It's a great bonding time.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the charectors and the situations. I liked that the main character was a strong, independent women, but I have a few reservations. The heroine stated throughout the book that she wouldn't marry, but she never stated why. It seemed weird to me. The book left the main characters' situation unresolved and I found myself looking forward to the next book in the series, however, I discovered that the heroine and hero I was interested in weren’t going to be in the next book. Instead it was about an evil character I did NOT want to learn more about.

Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead
Book 5 in the Georgina Kincaid, Succubus series.

This is definitely an adult book. It is an easy, quick read, though. I love Richelle Mead's lively, quirky characters and unique situations. The series is fantasy Romance, both genres I love. The tension between a soul-steeling, demonic temptress, who is really kind-hearted, and the human she loves, but can't ever even kiss is great. I always finish the books immediately wanting to know more.

A Promise of Hope by Amy Clipston
Book 2 in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series

This is a Christian, fiction book. I like to read Amish, religious, fiction because it takes the reader to a simple, wholesome, kinder way of living. The Christian part is a good reminder of how to live your faith on a daily basis. That said, I found this book a bit boring. It was last summer when I read book 1, A Gift of Grace, and I found I couldn't remember the characters or the situations. Plus I kept confusing this series with another Amish series I read. In this book, the main character has just lost her husband and the book spends way too much time whining over that loss. Overall--It was okay, but not great.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
A 2011 Abraham Lincoln Book

I love this book. It takes the reader to a place not to many of us know much about--a modern day Indian reservation. The book is about a boy in high school's quest to get a good education and basically survive life on the reservation. It can be sad and depressing in parts, but is told with such skill that it leaves the reader engrossed and wanting to know more. It reminded me of Angela’s Ashes in that way.

Burned by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Book 7 in the House of the Night Series

This is a series marketed to teen readers. It is a vampire book, but I find it to be more about Earth Spirituality and Goddess worship than vampires. In the series, some kids, at about high school age, start transforming into vampires. They then have to leave regular school and attend classes at the house of the night. The women at the house of the night serve the high positions with the men as their devoted protectors/followers. I like the devotion the heroes in the story have to the heroine, the strong friendships between the main characters, and the fun exchanges. The story is basically good vs. evil. This book, while good, left me feeling a bit unfulfilled. It seems to be drawing the story out a bit too long. Just get on with the thrilling conclusion!

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series

Sookie Stackhouse novels are adult, vampire, fantasy. They have spawned the HBO series, True Blood. I am completely obsessed with this series. I love the quirky, sparkly cover art, the characters, and mostly Sookie herself. The extraordinary situations she finds herself in are exciting and fun to read. Sookie just wants to be a regular person, get married, and have kids, but her mind reading talent/disability keeps her from that and draws her into the world of the supernatural. Sookie is strong and weak, ordinary and unusual, good and often not good and always entertaining. In this installment, vampire politics continue to be an issue along with the Fae and of course Sookie's life is endangered again. I'd like a bit more romance for Sookie, but overall VERY entertaining! When does Book 11 come out?