Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Book of Lost Things

Pages (Paperback): 480 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Released: October 16, 2007

Description: High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Review: I love Fairy tales and a Book of Lost Things mixes and changes each story in a way that you can't help but smile at. The main story is about David and his journey in a beautiful, but deadly world. It's through his experiences there that he's able to reflect and grow as a person. People will die and whether or not there is a happy ending, I won't say, but you don't want to miss out on this book.

Grade: 9.5 lines out of 10

Friday, 30 July 2010

Betrayed by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Betrayed: A House of Night Novel (House of Night Novels)

Pages (Hardcover): 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Released: September 29, 2009

Description: Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite group. Best of all, Zoey’s made some new friends and she finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. And despite the best efforts of her mother and step-loser John to humiliate her publically during parent visitation, she’s earned the respect of her professors and High Priestess, Neferet.

Then the unthinkable happens: human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night, straining human-vamp tensions in Tulsa to a breaking point. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she finds herself drawn into an intoxicating forbidden flirtation that threatens to distract her from the growing crisis. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night. Too late, Zoey begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves, and she must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

Review: If you've read Marked, then you know who the 'betrayer' is and so it doesn't come as much of a shock when everything is revealed. There is potential here and story in itself isn't too bad, but the characters are still one-dimensional, except for Aphrodite, the villain in Marked. Also, the book focused too much on Zoey's love life. Hearing her whine about the 3 guys who want her isn't interesting.

Grade: 5.5 lines out of 10

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Pages (Paperback): 608 pages
Publisher: Vintage
Released: June 23, 2009

Description: Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Review: What can I say about this book? The mystery with Harriet was interesting and kept me turning the pages. I liked Mikael, I guess, but  but the real star of the show is hacker extraordinaire, Lisbeth. She's an absolutely fantastic character. I would give this a perfect score, but I thought the plot about Mikael's love life and his company was boring and didn't flow as nicely as the Harriet mystery.

Grade: 9 lines out of 10

Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Marked: A House of Night Novel (House of Night Novels)

Pages (Hardcover): 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition
Released: September 29, 2009

Description: One minute, sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird is a normal teenager dealing with everyday high school stress: her cute boyfriend Heath, the school’s star quarterback who suddenly seems more interested in partying than playing ball; her nosy frenemy Kayla, who’s way too concerned with how things are going with Heath; her uber-tough geometry test tomorrow.  The next, she’s Marked as a fledgling vampyre, forcing her to leave her ordinary life behind and join the House of Night, a boarding school where she will train to become an adult vampyre.  That is, if she makes it through the Change—and not all of those who are Marked do.  It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling.  She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint with Heath, who just doesn’t know how to take “no” for an answer.  To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: when she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Review: I love new twists on vampire lore and Marked provides an interesting new look on vampires and the supernatural world in general. However, I don't feel like the book was executed properly and was very cliched and shallow. Zoey is a Mary Sue, and the other characters are not developed enough for me to care about them. There are some interesting things here, but it didn't do it for me.

Grade: 5 lines out of 10

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (The Twilight Saga)

Pages (Paperback): 544 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released: November 1, 2008

Description: Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Review: I wasn't expecting much when I read it. Books with too much hype almost always ends up not being what I hoped it would be. Bella may be annoying
and she dumps her friends all to quickly once Edward shows up, but the story is
cute and the love story felt genuine. I definitely understand why this book is
so popular. I enjoyed it.

Grade: 8 lines out of 10