Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Orson Scott Card

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him—secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.
Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two faction, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent…or forfeit control of his destiny.

If you've never read a book by Orson Scott Card, you ought to give it a go. He is a master at creating new and believable worlds. Pathfinder is no exception. I was hooked the moment I read the prologue to the first chapter that had an alternate story featuring a young man named Ram, from our earth. Ram's story entertwines with Rigg's very tightly as you learn a little more at the beginning of each chapter. I admit, I skipped ahead and read the beginning of each chapter because it was killing me. But Rigg's own adventure is quite the doozy, losing his father and trying to figure out who he really is and what it was that his father wanted him to do. Rigg meets others who have strange talents like his pathfinding- a way to view the past- and they help each other to find their destinies. A great adventure story filled with mysteries and great characters. I thought this was a stand-alone book, but found in the notes after the book that it is yet another series...man I know how to pick 'em! Yet another one I'll have to wait patiently for. I've never been much for science fiction, but Mr. Card sure does spin a good yarn!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


By Andrew Clements

Is Nick Allen a troublemaker? He really just likes to liven things up at school—and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put and end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there’s nothing Nick can do to stop it

I've heard about this book from each of my neices and nephews as they've read it for school. It was such a gem to read. Nick is the kid who has great ideas, the kind of kid other people look to as a leader. Reading his story of the 'word war' with his 5th grade teacher was entertaining and delightful. I'd recommend this to anybody who enjoys words and has a teacher than taught them something that lasted through their entire lives. I'll never look at a pen the same way again!


By Maggie Stiefvater

Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf – watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.

Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace…until now.

For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him--- even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

I had a deep gut feeling I'd regret reading this book. And this is the proof you should always listen to your gut. I wanted something romantic, and all I got was teenage lust and the stupidest plotline I've read to date. The more I get burned by garbage like this the more I inwardly curse Stephanie Myers for starting it. This book had nothing good to offer to anyone and I am abashed at having read it through. There is profanity, and a sex scene which I admit was fairly mild, but still inapropriate. If you can't tell, I have no love for this book and echo the sentiment of Dorothy Parker: "It is not a novel to be thrown aside lightly. It should be thrown aside with great force." The only thing I found remotely intriguing was the notion of the wolves. I gave this book all my patience and waited it out, and still found it lacking in every essential. Blech. Needless to say, I shall not be reading the 'breathtaking sequel'...I'd recommend it to those who enjoy the Twilight stuff though. And I hope you aren't offended by my rant. Just my opinion.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Evolution of Thomas Hall

By Kieth Merrill

Thomas Hall is an artist with astonishing talent- and a vainglorious sense of self. Since his days as a child prodigy he has reveled in recognition and believed in his inevitable destiny. Chosen. Entitled. He presumes his artistic brilliance deserves a lavish life of independence, fast cars and drop-dead gorgeous women. Thomas Hall wants it all and more.
Destiny has other plans. When “Cass,” the woman from the Healing Place, walks into his life, nothing can ever be the same again.
Thomas finds himself faced with a challenge he could never have imagined, suspended between the snarling beasts of his fanciful imagination that belie the existence of God and the undaunted faith of a little girl named Christina. What he discovers about the child’s harrowing escape from death- and the impossibility of what happened at the bottom of the cliff- brings him face-to-face with the most frightening question of his life.

Do you believe in God? That's the question that everyone seems to be asking Thomas Hall lately. He doesn't get why it's so important, yet he is unnerved and desperately wants to keep living in agnostic bliss. An incredibly talented artist, Thomas is comissioned to paint the evolution of man at a science museum, and at the same time a mural depicting Jesus Christ for a children's wing in a hospital. Thomas has always put 100% of himself into his work, but has drifted toward fantasy and comercial art versus the higher art that everyone seems to think he capable of. This book follows Thomas' evolution from egotistical artist to a gentle gifted soul. This book was very very well written. There are a lot of references to pop-culture (Mr. Merrill is a movie producer) and the characters are all too believable as individuals. There was a lot of research done for this book. I particularly enjoyed how Thomas sees everyone as blocked off pieces of art with specific colors used in oil painting. Thomas' evolution is very personal and believable and touching. There was only 1 thing that truly makes me caution the reader. There are quite a few instances at the start where religious references are made in a crude and disrespectful way; particularly about Jesus Christ. There is also some swearing. I admit, I started skipping the tirades of the Darwin-loving scientist who hated all religious minded people. It was pretty aweful for anyone even slightly religious. Other than that, this book was very good and gives one warm-fuzzies at the end.