Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fablehaven 5 Keys to the Demon Prison

By Brandon Mull

Since ancient times, the great demon prison Zzyzx has protected the world from the most dangerous servants of darkness, including Gorgrog, the Demon King. After centuries of plotting, the Sphinx is on the verge of recovering the five artifacts necessary to open the legendary prison. Facing the potential of a world-ending calamity, all friends of light must unite in a final effort to thwart the Sphinx's designs and find a safe home for the five artifacts. To this end, Kendra, Seth, and the Knights of the Dawn will venture far beyond the walls of Fablehaven to strange and exotic magical preserves across the globe, where the end of every quest becomes the beginning of another. In this explosive series finale, allegiances will be confirmed and secrets revealed as the forces of light and darkness collide in a desperate struggle to control the keys to the demon prison.

Sad day. Fablehaven is officially over. Sniff sniff. This series finale was awesome though, enough to make me read it twice. Mr. Mull has made a series that I’ll definitely read again and again. This book takes off at light speed right from the get-go. It actually left me going…huh? What just happened? Who died?! It’s action packed and fun as always. Seth goes on a quest for a super-awesome sword, and Kendra meets a new Ally that might just turn out to be more than she expects. Lots of surprises in the end, and for those of you who need a little bit of romance in your books won’t be disappointed. It was awesome. The only thing that would make it better is if there were just oh say….50 more of them.
P.S. I skipped reviewing 2 and 3, even though I read them again too, because they have already been reviewed and can be found in last years books.

Fablehave Rise of the Evening Star

By Brandon Mull

At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures. Grandpa Sorenson, the caretaker, invites three specialists-a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper—to help protect the property from the Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. The Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world. Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear? Find out in book two of this best-selling children’s fantasy series.

This is the book that made me love Fablehaven. Suddenly the book that I thought wasn’t all that great became wicked awesome. Maybe this is because of Seth’s huge role in it, and the nature of the story. It clips along at a great rate with action, intrigue, and a betrayal. As Kendra and Seth get drawn more and more into the fantastic world where myths exist they realize it isn’t all magic; a lot of it is scary and incredibly dangerous. Like Oolock the glutton, who has his sights set on Seth…as dinner. Kendra starts learning exactly what powers the fairy queen bestowed her with, and we are introduced to new characters rich and wonderful.


By Brandon Mull

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge alled Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite….
Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker o Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

Well, I have to say that when I first read this book I wasn’t all that impressed. It just didn’t resonate with me very much. It took a lot of cajoling to get me to read the second book. But most people absolutely love this book. And this being my second time around reading it, I have to say I don’t know why I didn’t like it the first time around. It is loads of fun with lots of imagination and storytelling magic. And it only gets better! If you want a good fantasy series this is an excellent one that I guarantee you’ll love.

Gregor the Overlander

By Suzanne Collins

Giant rats, cochroaches, and Bats…oh my! Gregor, an 11 year old kid from New York is sucked down a vent in their apartment building’s laundry room after he tries to grab his little sister Boots from falling herself. Much like Alice in Wonderland who fell down the rabbit hole, Gregor and 2-year-old boots find themselves in a land far from wonderful. In fact, it’s on the brink of war. They meet Queen Luxa, a pale, violet-eyed 12 year old with lots of courage and an arrogant streak. All Gregor wants to do is go home, but when he tries to escape and is attacked by giant Rats, things change. Suddenly the people are all deeming him the ‘warrior’- a person named so in a prophecy written by the founder of the underland. And what’s more…Gregor knows his long-lost father is somewhere down here too, and he can’t just leave without him.

Bwah! I love it when I find a series that is wicked awesome. Gregor the Overlander is completely thrilling. When Gregor falls to the Underland, a place founded hundreds of years ago when America was first colonized, he finds a people at war with the Rats. Rats that are 12 feet tall and bloodthirsty. These people fly around on giant bats, and his sister becomes the princess of the giant cockroaches that nobody likes! Suzanne Collins, author of the fantastic Hunger Games trilogy, writes the adventures of Gregor and Boots in a realistic and never-endingly entertaining way. Awesome first book in this 5-part series.

Ella Enchanted

By Gail Carson Levine

When Ella was a baby she was visited by the well-meaning fairy Lucinda and given a ‘gift’. The gift was obedience-which turned out to be the curse of Ella’s life. Imagine having to do everything anyone told you whether you want to or not. When Ella’s mother suddenly dies she is left with a father who doesn’t care. But who does she meet other than Prince Charmonte himself? They become fast friends and correspondents as Ella’s life is flipped upside down by her father’s marriage to one of the most terrible women imaginable and her two dimwitted daughters.
When Ella starts having feelings for Char she realizes with a jolt of terror that she was the greatest liability to him. If someone told her to hurt him…she would be forced to do it. Join Ella in her quest to break the curse, an adventure full of laughs, Ogres, Princes, and two very awful stepsisters.

Ella Enchanted is the most awesome Cinderella-like story out there. The characters are downright wonderful and/or horrible, and their story sucks you in from page one. Ella is an enchanting young woman whom you can’t help but like, and you end up falling for Char right along with her. This is a spectacularly creative take on the famous fairy tale and will leave you laughing at Ella’s antics and Char’s humor. If you haven’t read it, please do, it will leave you smiling.


By Robin McKinley

Sixteen-year-old Beauty has never liked her nickname. Thin, awkward, and undersized, with big hands and huge feet, she has always thought of herself as the plainest girl in her family-certainly not nearly as lovely as her elder sisters, Hope and Grace. But what she lacks in looks, she makes up for in courage. When her father comes home one day with the strange tale of an enchanted castle in the wood and the terrible promise he has made to the beast who lives there, Beauty knows what she must do. She must go to the castle and tame the Beast-if such a thing is possible…
Here is the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple: Beauty… and the Beast.

This happens to be pretty much the best adaptation of Beauty and the Beast out there right now that I’ve read. It’s fun and entertaining, Beauty is a likeable character right from the start and her sisters and father make a loving family. The beast however, I wish was more developed. I always wish he was. But if you’re looking for a great beauty and the beast story, this is the one to start with.


By Alyson Noel

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…
Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Sigh. First off, I didn’t finish this one. I’m still counting it though because I read almost 100 pages before I stopped. Basically I didn't like all the swearing and crap in it. Beware of the bomb being dropped every now and then. My review is thus: Rip-off of Twilight much? You’ve got a girl who is obsessed with a boy she’s only just seen. The only thing different about her is that she happens to be psychic and talks to her dead little sister almost every day. The guy is equally obsessed with her, and somehow manages to pull flowers out of thin air to give to her. He’s an immortal- not vampire, but I don’t see much difference except for the whole ‘I want to suck your blood’ thing. I guess people who like Twilight may like the Imortals series by Alyson, but for me it was too much of the obsessive-like love that I despise. If anyone wants to contradict me feel free, like I said, I didn’t finish it.

The Silver Child

By Cliff McNish

Six children are changing, and no one knows why…Milo’s skin turns gold. Walter grows into a giant with incredible strength. Helen can suddenly read minds. Emily and Freda become insect-girls who skitter on all fours. Thomas discovers a mysterious power to comfort and heal. All six are drawn to Coldharbor, a wasteland of garbage dumps. The children sense the approach of a sinister enemy. What is it? How will they face their strange shared destiny?

I guess what I was expecting with this book was a child superhero-esque book. Wrongo bongo. This book simply follows each of the six children through their changes and how they are inexplicably drawn to Coldharbor. They each can hear this roar that no one else can, and it frightens them. They each feel that there is something important they need to do with their abilities, but they don’t know what. This story is strange and the first in The Silver Sequence. I’ll read the next one soon to say if I can recommend this one, because so far I’m just confused and weirded out.

Midnight Sun

By Stephanie Myers

This is the story of Twilight…from Edward’s perspective. What’s a vampire to do when the one girl he’s ever fallen for happens to also be the one person in the world with the blood that the monster in him craves the most?

Yeah, yeah I know, I read it of my own free will. I guess curiosity can get you to do anything against your own better judgment. At first I thought, wow this is a whole lot better than Bella telling the story. Basically because I frequently got sick of Bella comparing Edward to a god. Edward’s perspective is a lot better. He has a lot more depth as a character. I must be a little sadistic because I liked this better than twilight because it was basically Edward constantly wanting to kill Bella and drink her blood, but at the same time him falling in love with her. It was interesting. Although, as it got to the end he became just as obsessed with her as she does with him. He stalks her for heavens sake! Anywho, it doesn’t go through all the events of Twilight, just about to after Bella finally finds out he’s a vampire. I just kept thinking, ‘I could’ve been reading something better than this’. Oh well, not my thing.


By Scott Westerfeld

In the future children are "Uglies" until they turn 16. On their 16th birthday they get to become "Pretties" by surgery. Tally, a rule breaking teen befriends a girl named Shay. Shay is unsure about the surgery and runs away. When Tally's 16th birthday comes Tally must make an awful decision:she must either betray and turn in Shay or never turn "Pretty" and be "Ugly" forever.

This book caught my attention from the start. I guess it’s interesting, what beauty really is. That’s pretty much what the characters and plot are wrapped around-whether or not pretty is really pretty and whether ugly is indeed all that bad. Tally is a great character with depth. Her journey to the Smoke is great fun, and having David show her that ugly can be beautiful was really neat. The characters are complex and the story has a lot of depth and tries to reach out to people who think being pretty is the only thing in life. It’s a great future based book, its interesting to think of anyway.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Little Princess

By Frances Hodgeson Burnette

Little 7-year-old Sara Crewe has lived her whole life in India with her father, an English soldier. But now she is coming to England to receive and education at a 'seminary for girls'. Sara is a curious, strange child who loves her father more than anything. But though her father gives her everything any little girl could want, Sara is far from spoiled. She is good natured and content just to have her Papa near. Miss Minchin of the girl's seminary is charged with her care. But when Sara receives news of her father's death, Miss Minchin reluctantly takes Sara in as a servant to work off the enormous debt that has accrued. In her new life Sara decides that no matter what happens to her, she will always act like a princess who is good and kind and suffers silently and nobly. This inspires many, and infuriates others. This is Sara's story of love, loss, and enduring hope.

I grew up watching the many adaptations of this book in movie form. I'd never thought to read it until I saw it in the bookstore and thought, 'why not?' I love the story. What I didn't know was how much I would come to love this novel. It is inspiring, motivating and purely wonderful in all the ways a book deemed 'classic' should be. Little Sara became a model for the way I want to face unpleasant realities in my life; to act like a princess despite nasty turns of events. This is a book especially for girls I think, but is welcome for all readers. I can't wait to visit its pages again, full of magic and love and especially...hope. Definately on my top 10 favorite books.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Promise I Didn't Die

Wow. It's been a while. Sorry about that. I'm still reading though and have a huge list to put on. I've been re-doing my site and hopefully will get lots of reviews up in the next few days. I'm sorta out of time right now; still don't have internet access. I'll get a bunch of reviews from my summer list up tomorrow though! Pinky swear. :)

Doesn't this time of year make you want to buy a boquet of pencils? :D