Monday, November 23, 2009

La linea, by Ann Jaramillo

I loved the book. However, I was dissapointed with the ending. I believe the endings makes the reader believe that in America all is acheivable. This concept of "if you work hard, you'll be successful" is not the reality for people like Miguel and Elena. Crossing the border with all the dangers that the experience is only the begining of a life of discrimination and difficulties that will forever affect them as illegal immigrants.
4 stars,

Vampire Hunter D: Demon Deathcase, by Hideyuki Kikuchi

D has been hired to recover a girl supposedly kidnapped by
Mayerling, a vampire Noble. Also hired is the Marcus clan, a
cruel and violent group bent on killing every being with vampire
blood. As D tries find the girl before the Noble bites her or kills
her, he is at risk. Half-vampire and a skilled Hunter, he is hated
and feared by the Marcus clan.

I really like the Vampire Hunter D books. The writing is nice,
with only occasional rough spots in the translation. They are
very stand alone, in each D has a different mission. We see
recurring characters rarely. It has a very lonely, dessert-like feel.
The characters are always brilliant, and will make you laugh from
time to time, mostly because they are so spot on. D is a very
direct character which I like.
5 stars,

The Two Princesses of Bamarre, by Gail Carson Levine

Meryl and Addie are sisters but very different. Meryl is brave and
bold, she wants to go on quests and kill monsters. Addie is
scared most of the time; scared of bugs, scared of the dark,
scared of getting sick and scared of of losing her sister. But
when her sister falls ill with the Grey Death and only has a short
while to live Addie must try to find enough strength in herself to
look for a cure.

This is a nice teen story about being strong, even when you feel
weak. Levine does as least as good a job on this book as Ella
Enchanted. Some of her stories have issues with the writing or
plot that bug me, but this one was really good. The characters
felt so real and powerful, a contrast to some of hers in other
books that tend to be vague or bland.
5 stars,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet is a smart and spunky girl in the eighteenth-
century. Unlike her mother and younger sisters she does not
spend her time trying to find a rich man and get him to fall in
love with her; in fact she mocks those who do so and plans to
never marry unless she falls in love first. When Mr. Bingley, a
wealthy young man, move into a house not far away her mother
is determined to get one of her daughters married to him or his
even richer friend, Mr. Darcy. Jane Bennet soon catches Bingley's
eye but Darcy seems to have a great deal of distain for the entire
town, except possibly Elizabeth.

I had tried to read this book when I was about 12 and found it
quite over my head. I recently decided to give it another go and
am very glad that I did! The characters are wonderful as is the
plot. I enjoyed the writing, it is very elegant and stately, yet has
a spirit perfectly suited to our heroine's attitude.
5 stars

Out of Dust, by Karen Hesse

I like the writing style but not any of the characters. The characters
seemed flat. I liked the writing in free verse poetry. Overall the
book was pretty depressing, so if you don't like depressing books
do not read this!
1 star

Every Which Way But Dead, by Kim Harrison

At first glance Rachel Morgan is doing pretty well as a magic
mercenary. She is making enough to cover her rent, kicked the
local vampire crime boss's ass and is learning ley line magic. But
there are some major flaws, such as ending up as a demon's
familiar, scaring her boyfriend away, and the fact that her
roommate has gone back to drinking blood. Plus, you know, all
the local evil trying to do her in.

I'm really enjoying this series. The dialogue is perfectly timed
and sometimes makes me laugh out loud because it is so
perfectly fitted with the characters. My only tiny complaint with
this book is that it felt a little rushed.

I like that this series isn't as if it was one really long book cut
into sections. Each book has some parts carried over, but gives
you enough info it could be almost stand-alone as well. It
makes it less frustrating when you can't get a hold of the next
book quite as quickly as you wish.
5 stars,

Death's Daughter, by Amber Benson

Callie is Death's daughter, or was until she put a Forgetting
Charm on herself and moved to New York City. Now her father's
assistant turns up and removes the spell, then informs her that
her father has been kidnapped. She must step into her father's
shoes and become Death. But meanwhile she must complete 3
tasks and find her father. This was so not what she thought her
life would be like.

When I heard Amber Benson had wrote a book I was excited. I
think she is a great actress and the interviews I have read and
watched had shown a sharp wit and active imagination. The plot
in this book is great and the characters good, but she
desperately needs a proper editor.

I am not a great hand at grammar or sentence structure, but I
think my kid sister who scored only 20% in her english test
would have made a better editor, that is how bad this is. I
thought the writing could have been quite good if their were a
few changes; such as not italicizing at least 5-10 words on every
single page! Or taking out the far too numerous so's, like's, kind
of's and the most annoying the "really, really's" which turned up
on almost every single page and often multiple times. I
wondered if the editor even read the book, as such blatant
errors as "...take the reigns while they..." and "...I was waste
deep..." should have been caught by the least competent editor!
I am rather horrified that this is sitting on bookstore shelves,
plainly they figured that Amber Benson's fame would sell the
book without the publisher doing any work.
2 stars,

The Glass Dragon, by Irene Radford

In Coronnan dragons and wizards are bound together, wizards
get their magic from the dragons. The land and dragons are
protected by the wizards. But now, with the dragons going
extinct the wizards are loosing their power and the land is being
attacked from both other countries and within. The fate of
Coronnan falls to a young wizard in training who's magic works
differently then anyone else, and a girl who has fled abuse
because of her power and is living in the woods.

An interesting book, but a little dry. The writing felt a bit bland,
but the characters are very interesting. I enjoyed it and will keep
my eyes out for the next book.
3 stars,

The Immortals: Wild Magic, by Tamora Peirce

Diane has a way with animals. When she gets a job herding horses
her employer realizes that it is a rare form of magic and starts to
try and convince Diane to trust people as much as she trust
animals. But Diane has been so scarred and hurt by people it
seems she may never be able to really trust any human.

This is the first book in The Immortals series and IMO the second
best. The Immortals is one of my favorite series ever. It is a series
full of magic, horses, dragons, and magical beings as well as some
of my favorite fictional characters.
5 stars