Sunday, January 29, 2012

Appologies and What Not

Sorry! Okay, I've taken forever to update, I know. I've got lots coming up though, so don't smite me please! Life decided to take me for a wonderful ride lately and though I've kept reading, I just haven't gotten online to write anything down. This is as much as I can do right now, though I've got a long list to put on this here blog. Please stay tuned as I've got reviews for a few popular books coming up and a few oldie-but-goodies. Thanks for being patient all!

The Lost Stories of Araluen

By John Flanagan

They were mysterious. Some claim they were merely the stuff of legend—the Rangers with their mottled green-and-grey cloaks and their reputation as defenders of the Kingdom. Reports of their brave battles vary, but we know of at least ten accounts, most of which feature a boy—turned man—named Will and his mentor, Halt. There are reports, as well, of others who fought alongside the Rangers, such as the young warrior Horace, a courageous princess named Evanlyn, and a cunning diplomat named Alyss. Yet this crew left very little behind and their existence has never been able to be proved. Until now, that is…Behold the Lost Stories.

Okay, if you plan to read the Rangers Apprentice series, please don't read down here, I'll give a few things away! That was your fair warning. :)

*Sigh* This was bittersweet to read. The last Rangers book! Sad day, but very fun to read. This is a book that John Flanagan wrote in response to reader's questions throughout his popular series Rangers Apprentice. I'll just tell you about my two favorite stories, but the rest are quite wonderful as well. First, was the story of Horace and Evanlyn's wedding, it was packed with humor, close shaves, intrigue, and of course romance. It was like reading a mini novel in 20 pages! Some of the others weren't quite like that, but still good. I loved reading about their wedding. My second favorite story was about how Halt becomes a part of the Ranger Corps. That was so fantastic I about died! Mr. Flanagan, if you happen to come across this blog and see my remarks, please consider making Halt's life into your next lovely wonderful series (after Brotherband of course!) It was absolutely hilarious looking at Halt as a young(er) buck and taking out the bad guys and saving crowly's neck. :) This series has brought some great entertainment and smiles to my life. One of the few series out there that is just purely...good. You don't get weighed down with crap, it's just a great story about good and great people living their lives and saving the kingdom. I can't recommend this one enough.

4 1/2out of 5 (for this particular book, many are 5 out of 5!)

Fire Bringer

By David Clement-Davies

It is a dark time for the deer. A tyrannical new leader of the Herd has ended the old way, the yearly crash of antlers that ensured a change of leadership is overtaken by a command corps of young stags, antlers sharpened for the kill, whose mission is complete domination of the animal world. But a prophecy among the deer proclaims a hero—a fawn with the mark of an oak leaf on his forehead. His unique bond with all creatures, including humans, will bring a new age of freedom.

The fawn is Rannoch. Born on the night his father is murdered, he is hidden by his mother from the deadly attention of the Lord of the Herd. But soon he is forced to flee, beginning a perilous, wondrous journey. Among the mountains and haunted glens of the Great Land, the young stag encounters strange herds, makes unusual allies, and, at last, finds the knowledge and courage to face his extraordinary destiny…

This is by far the coolest book I've read in a long time. Honestly I don't know why I haven't heard of this one before. It's got all the coolest features of a classic journey-tale as well as coming of age and fantasy. It's compared to Watership Down (the rabbit book) which I haven't read yet, but if it's anything like this story I'll love it. Rannoch's story is full of adventure, self-discovery, and magic. He's the deer from the prophecy, born to lead the red deer to freedom.
This book follows the good vs. evil dichotomy and follows the life of Rannoch as he tries to find his way with his strange powers of understanding the other creatures. He's different, and it's hard to be different, especially when the people around you tend to end up dead.
The best thing about this book is how it completely sucks you into the life of the deer and how it explains their lives and how things are. Davies is magic at describing scenes of the woodland forest, or the yearly clashing of the antlers, of the fawns playing in the grass, or of the strange power the humans have of taming that which shouldn't be tamed. You'll fall in love with Rannoch and his friends, root for him until the last page, and find yourself enchanted with this beautifully written epic journey.
I give it a 4 and 3/4 out of 5!

The Power of Six

By Pittacus Lore

I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the word he’s a mystery. But to me…he’s one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another…but our Legacies are developing, and soon we’ll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Maaysia.

Number Two in England.

And Number Three in Kenya.

They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I’m ready to fight.

So, the sequel to I Am Number Four, actually really quite awesome. I liked it a whole lot more than the first one. It changes views from Number 7 back to John and Number 6. I thought this book was going to be in Six's point of view, but it's really about the power of the remaining six who are still alive. They are starting to find each other, and boy is it awesome. This is jam-packed with battles, teenage hormones and angst, coming of age stories, and things you'll just have to read to believe. Pick up with John and Sam and the mysterious Six as they run from the Mogadorians and the local law enforcement. Go along with John as he tries to reconcile his feelings for Sarah, and his growing attraction to Six. (They gotta put a triangle in these days I guess). And meet Seven, who I think is pretty awesome herself.

I give it a 3 1/2 out of 5