Sunday, August 26, 2007


Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (2007)

Description: As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

Review: Another great romance from Stephenie Meyer. Like New Moon, this book takes off from the last time we were with Edward and Bella. Not only does Bella have to worry about normal everyday teen life, she also has to deal with the darker issues (i.e. vampires and werewolves). I have to say this book started to really frustrate me. I mean, Bella is supposed to be so in love with Edward but she is hesitant to marry him. Then she "discovers" that she is in love with Jacob too. Its really starting to get ridiculous. I can't wait for the fourth book to come out so that I can find out if she will really marry Edward (or disappoint me further by going down this other love road). All in all, its really a good book and definitely worth a look.

Score: 4 out of 5

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Moon

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (2006)

Description: Recovered from the vampire attack that hospitalized her in the conclusion of Twilight, Bella celebrates her birthday with her boyfriend Edward and his family, a unique clan of vampires that has sworn off human blood. But the celebration abruptly ends when the teen accidentally cuts her arm on broken glass. The sight and smell of her blood trickling away forces the Cullen family to retreat lest they be tempted to make a meal of her. After all is mended, Edward, realizing the danger that he and his family create for Bella, sees no option for her safety but to leave. Mourning his departure, she slips into a downward spiral of depression that penetrates and lingers over her every step.

Review: Another great book from Stephenie Meyer. This was also a very fast read, but still has a lot of substance. The story continues on from when Twilight left off. Naturally, werewolves are brought into this story (although I did see that coming) as apparently we cannot have vampires without werewolves. While I enjoyed most of the book, I just didn't like the direction that it was going with Jacob Black and Bella. I do like his character, however I see where this love triangle is really being formed. I am glad with the ending though. This wasn't as good as Twilight, but still a really great book. I really recommend picking this one up.

Score: 4 out of 5


Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (2005)

Description: Headstrong, sun-loving, 17-year-old Bella declines her mom's invitation to move to Florida, and instead reluctantly opts to move to her dad's cabin in the dreary, rainy town of Forks, WA. She becomes intrigued with Edward Cullen, a distant, stylish, and disarmingly handsome senior, who is also a vampire. When he reveals that his specific clan hunts wildlife instead of humans, Bella deduces that she is safe from his blood-sucking instincts and therefore free to fall hopelessly in love with him. The feeling is mutual, and the resulting volatile romance smolders as they attempt to hide Edward's identity from her family and the rest of the school.

Review: I really enjoyed reading this book. I knew that this was popular with the young adults from my time at Borders, and now I know why. The romance between Edward and Bella is just very well written. Meyer did a wonderful job creating her characters and making the audience really care what happens to them. As for a vampire story, it was very interesting her version of the vampire lore. The notion that it is venom that causes vampires to be made instead of just a bite is very interesting. Actually, I found most of her "rules" to be interesting. I am excited to read the next installments to see what is in store for these characters.

Score: 5 out of 5

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

City of Ember

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (2003)

Description: This novel by Jeane DuPrau takes place in the dark city of Ember, a decaying place with no natural light surrounded by the vast Unknown. Although ancestors had arranged for information on leaving Ember to be made available after the inhabitants have spent 200 years there, a corrupt mayor lost the information many years before the novel begins. Two hundred and forty-one years later, Ember's electrical lighting frequently fails, supplies are dwindling, and the populace is growing increasingly frightened. Twelve-year-old Doon and his acquaintance Lina are intent on finding a way to save Ember. After Lina finds a mysterious and fragmented paper titled "Instructions for Egress," they think they have a way out. Can they escape from the villainous mayor and his soldiers? Can they figure out the missing letters and words in the message? Do they find their way out of Ember and up to a post-apocalyptic Earth?

Review: This novel takes you on a journey with Lina and Doon as they discover things are not what they seem in the city of Ember. Doon knows things aren't right but no one really wants to acknowledge that. Then Lina makes a great discovery - instructions on how to leave the city. We are taken along for the ride as the duo make it out of the city. Overall, this book was good. I did think that it was slightly depressing. Children start working at the age of 12 and the city itself is falling apart. There are several blackouts and their supplies are running out, fast. However, there are really great morals taught to the young readers this book was intended for. So even though it may be a bit dark (no pun intended), I think it is a great book for the younger kids to read.

Score: 3 out of 5

Movie Connections: I didn't know, but there is a movie adaptation coming out in October of 2008 for this book. It is directed by Gil Kenan and starring Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, and Martin Landau. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III (1991)

Description: (Back of Book) Enter a dark and enchanting world of dreams and nightmares and meet the Sandman, Master of Dreams, and his kin - the Endless. This first collection of Neil Gaiman's unique and multi award-winning Sandman saga introduces key themes and characters, combining myth, magic and black humor.

Review: I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. The story was just outstanding . Its a great mix of art and horror. I don't think I'd want to be home alone and reading this in the dark. I was totally engrossed in the story from beginning to end. I really could not put it down. It was great to see the fall and rise of the Sandman. I now want to read each and every one of the books in the series to see where the Master of Dreams go. I think I especially like the fact that Death is a woman. A very unique vision and very well done. I highly recommend this book.

Score: 5 out of 5

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Last Witchfinder

The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow (2006)

Description: Jennet Stearne's father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when this precocious child witnesses the horrifying death of her beloved Aunt Isobel, unjustly executed as a sorceress, she makes it her life's mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. A self-educated "natural philosopher," Jennet is inspired in her quest by a singe sentence in a cryptic letter from Isaac Newton: It so happens that in the Investigations leading first to my Conjectures concerning Light and Later to my System of the world, I fell upon a pretty Proof that Wicked Spirits enjoy no essential Existence. Armed with nothing but the power of reason and her memory of Isobel's love, Jennet cannot rest until she has put the last witchfinder out of business.

Abrim with picaresque adventures - escapades that carry Jennet fro King William's Britain to the fledgling American Colonies to an uncharted Caribbean island - our heroine's search for justice entangles her variously in the machinations of the Salem Wtich Court, the customs of her Algonquin Indian captors, the designs of a West Indies pirate band, and the bedsheets of her brilliant lover, the young Ben Franklin. Finally, in a reckless and courageous ploy, Jennet arranges to go on trial herself for sorcery, the only way she can defeat the witchfinders now and forever. Rich in detail, rollicking in style, and endlessly engaging. The Last Witchfinder is a tour de force of historical fiction.

Review: To be honest, I am not sure yet if I like the book or not. This was recommended to me by a former coworker who thought I would enjoy it as I like to read about witchfinders and the witch trials. When I started it, I really got into the story. I got lost somewhere in the middle and put it down for a bit. What was interesting is that the narrator of the book is a book itself, the Philosophie Naturalis Principia Mathematica. There are breaks throughout the book where the narrator sort of buts in to give some backstory. On the whole, it was interesting. However, many times it just seemed to bog the story down. Towards the end of the book, I gained my interest again to see what would happen. The ending was very well done. I think the author tried to tell too much history and not enough story. It really got a bit tedious in that middle section. Also, the way Ben Franklin was portrayed was a bit strange for me. Overall, an interesting read, but I fear you need to be really interested in the topic to even enjoy the book.

Score 2.5 out of 5

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (2005)

Description: (From Booklist) Fourteen-year-old Max (short for Maximum Ride) leads an usual group of children, escapees from an institution that designed them by grafting avian DNA onto human genes. Yup, these kids have wings. When Angel, the smallest of the group, is kidnapped by mutants and taken back to the school, Max and her family determine to get her back--no matter what.

Review: This is Patterson's first attempt at young adult fiction. I think he did a pretty good job. The book follows this group of genetically altered teens on a cross-country trip of self discovery. I found the main character, Max (a.k.a. Maximum Ride), to be very enjoyable. I loved her sarcastic replys and attitude. Once I started to read it, I had a hard time putting it down. I thought it was a very enjoyable read and a great young adult book.

Score: 3.5 out of 5.