Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tired of the reign of the Vampire? Try Zombies!

This is just a funny I found while procrastinating doing my homework and wanted to share. :) Hope you enjoy Stephanie Mabey's spoof. This might just make me a zombie fan...


By Caragh M. O’Brien

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the wall and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. Gaia has always believed it is her duty, with her mother, to hand over a small quota of babies to the Enclave. But when Gaia’s mother and father are arrested by the very people they so dutifully serve, Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught to believe. Gaia’s choice is now simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.

This was much better than I was expecting. I was waiting for the typical girl meets boy, falls in love, danger etc. and the trilogy continues! But this was different from the run of the mill lately. I was entertained and kept guessing, and was delighted the by the last few chapters of the book I got a nice plot twisting surprise. Gaia is easy to like as a heroine, and I was rather interested in the dystopian future world that Ms. O’Brien set up with the Enclave. It seems a bit fuzzy to be honest when you get into the actual why and how of the history of the place, and you wonder how the future got this way, but the characters and the story are good enough that it isn’t a huge factor in the likeability of this book. I enjoyed the growth of Gaia as she learns and figures things out, though I wonder how anyone could think it was okay to give a baby away…but it is explained in a way I could accept. Sgt. Grey is the more interesting character for me, and I admit, the author was able to make me really like him along with Gaia. But, I thought the end could’ve flowed better. All I can say is that Ms. O’Brien had better not make her book into a 3-way love triangle or I may just find her and strangle her!!! (If she ends up dead somewhere, it really wasn’t me…)

3 1/4 out of 5 (It was a little better than average for the genre, so that's my generous 1/4 :) )


By Robin McKinley

Princess Sylvianel is anxious about her upcoming binding ceremony, which will formally connect her with her very own Pegasus. The Pegasus are a beautiful and mysterious race to the people of Balsinland, for who it is forbidden to touch them or expected to have contact with…but Sylvi can’t help but wonder.
When she first sees the gleaming black Pegasus that is to be her bondmate, she is shocked to discover that they have perfect communication. For the first time a human and a Pegasus can speak, and barriers start coming down all around the pair. Ebon, Sylvi’s Pegasus, becomes her best friend and their attachment becomes the intrigue of the royal court and kingdom. But the union is not sanctioned by everyone, and Sylvi and Ebon will have to fight to keep their friendship from being torn apart.

Warning: This is a two-part book! I was shocked because Robin McKinley has never written a series so I wasn't really prepared for the 'to be continued' cliff hanger at the end. And let me tell you, it is a mean cliff-hanger. It seems to end in the middle of a sentence, in the middle of a thought!
Now that that is out of the way, I'll say. Wow. Love it. This was lyrical and poetry to read. There was a beauty in the world that McKinley created, reminiscent of her fairy-tale books, but brand new. This book is about friendship, being yourself, responsibility, and duty. While I was reading this I was eager every night when I had the time to turn to it and read about Sylvi and Ebon, their struggles and their growing friendship. The things they face aren't simple, they aren't black and white, and this book is more than just a simplistic story of right and wrong. It's about life and doing what is right and worrying that you did it wrong. I really loved it and can't wait to read the other half of the book.

3 1/2 out of 5

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch

By Joseph Delaney

For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.
Only Thomas Ward is left. He’s the last hope; the last apprentice.
Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook’s warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county?

Soooo...this book was creepy. I guess that's what you get when you pick up a book about spooks huh? Stupid me, but I thought it would be a little more cheerful than that. Basically my gripe is that it had this really gothic undertone (which isn't bad) and seemed to have a theme of self-sacrifice for the greater good. It seemed that while Thomas was learning from the Spook that all the dude was really trying to warn him about was how he would be alone all the time, that people wouldn't like him, but that he was the only one for the job. "Yup, you have to get used to being haunted by gory figures and witches, and wierd supernatural creatures for the rest of your life!" There wasn't a lot of hope in this story, and possessions and what not have always given me the willies. I just have to say the whole pig thing at the end with the butcher was just gross. I'll leave it at that.
There are tons of fans of this 9 (I think) book series, so if anyone out there wants to contradict me please do! I'd like to know someone else's view of the other books. It was a little too much creepy for me. But then again, the scariest I like to get is the movie The Sixth Sense.
2 1/2 out of 5 (for the creepy factor, so add another star and a half for those who like that stuff).

Son of Neptune

By Rick Riordan
Percy is confused. When he awoke after his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain-fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. When the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother claims he is descended from ancient heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to help the Fifth Cohort win at war games. His big and bulky physique makes him feel like a clumsy ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough, even, to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Yay! I finally was able to read the 2nd book in the Heroes of Olympus series! Sorry it took me a while to get this review up, I read it over Christmas break. It. Was. Awesome.
Okay, it was really good, I always enjoy Rick Riordan's sense of humor that he gives to Percy and the others. There are always a few laugh-out-loud moments, and sometimes it's from reading his hilarious chapter headings. Really, if you haven't jumpped on the greek mythology fiction bandwagon, please read The Lightning Thief first and go from there. If you can remember learning the Pantheon in school, or enjoy mythology this will make you smile and congratulate Riordan for his creativity in placing mythology in the present day.
As for the second installment, I was interested to note as I read, that while I loved it, I really really enjoyed the first one better. Hearing different characters usually drives me insane, but this book really works. I missed hearing about Jason and the others, and wondered about them the whole time. But meeting Frank (cute kid) and Hazel was so much fun. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED reading this book, but I just like the first one better. Minimally. Marginally. You get it.

4 out of 5


By Mathew Cody

When Daniel Corrigan and his family move to Noble's Green, he notices that some of the kids there seem rather odd. After one of them miraculously saves his life, they admit that they have superpowers, but that they come with a price. They will lose them, and all memory of ever having them, when they turn 13. Daniel, being the only one who doesn't have powers, becomes the one (maybe the only one) who can figure out what is happening to the powers of all the superpowered kids of Noble's Green, but what he finds will test them all to the limit.

I've been wanting to read this for ages, so it was the first book I got on my Kindle Fire (which is pretty sweet by the way). Daniel's story isn't just about superpowers, or a tribute to comic books, but it also deals with death, courage, jealousy, and feeling powerless. It's a great read for boys especially I think, perhaps for reluctant readers who like superheroes. The mystery of this story is what keeps you reading at the beginning, but it picks up the pace and then you are reading because you find yourself rooting for the super-kids and Daniel. Admitedly, this book had a fairly predictable villan, who didn't seem as developed as it could have been, but for the age group it's aimed at, it is a very good choice for elementary age kids. I really enjoyed it.

3 out of 5 stars.

Brotherband: The Outcasts

By John Flanagan

Hal never knew his father. A Skandian warrior, he died in battle when Hal was a young boy, but his reputation lives on long after his death.
Hal, unlike his esteemed father, is an outcast. In a country that values physical strength over intellect, Hal’s ingenuity and the fact that his mother was an Araluen slave, only serves to set him apart from the other boys his age.
The one thing he has in common with his peers? Brotherband training. Forced to compete in tests of endurance and strength and to learn the skills needed to become a Skandian warrior, Hal discovers that he’s not the only outcast in this land of seafaring marauders. And that his battle for acceptance has just begun.

So I admit, I had a hard time getting into this new series from John Flanagan because I was going through Rangers withdrawl. (You who read this blog know how much I loved that series) But as soon as I got about 3 chapters in, I was intrigued and not long after I was hooked. Hal's story is so much fun, and who hasn't felt like an outcast at one point in their lives? He is really relateable, and his group of renegades are so much fun. There's the twins, who are constantly impersonating each other and bickering non-stop, the giant of a boy who is pretty much blind, and Hal's best friend Stig, who is a loose cannon but highly loyal to Hal. There is also the brooding Thorn, the best friend to Hal's father, and Hal's mentor. This has all the makings of another blockbuster hit; I'll just say this, I can't wait to see where the next book takes Hal and the crew of the Heron (Hal's ship). Try it out if you like viking stuff! (Or love Mr. Flanagan's books!)

4 out of 5