Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places, Carrie Ryan

"What would you do if you knew you had only a few days left to live?" Asked many times during the book as things get desperate for the characters, when they are faced with a horde of unconsecrated that flow into the dark city in a matter of minutes wiping out civilization as they thirst for uninfected blood.

Annah has been on her own for 3 years after Elias left her. She minds her own business, keeps her head down and tries to be invisible as she waits for him to come back. But one day, after she watches an infected women plummet to her death alone without anyone to remember her, Annah decides she is tired of waiting and decides to leave to city. But, on her way out, on the other side of the bridge she notices a girl entering the city, a girl who looks just like her, her long lost twin! After that everything spirals out of control.

This is a very depressing book, but it is also about the struggle to live and to fight. Annah doesn't just give up when the horde of unconsecrated are taking over, or when the recruiters have trapped her. She is always looking for a way out, a way to escape, a way to live. Annah is a fighter.

Just like the last two books there is a new word for the undead. In the first one is as Unconsecrated, the second book was Mudo, and this one they people of the dark city call them plague rats. Annah mostly calls them Unconsecrated from her memories of living in the forest as a child.

There is so much emotion that you feel through these characters as they try everything they can to survive. The author is so good at describing the environment and what is happening that I feel like I am right there with Annah. I want to yell at the recruiters, and cheer Annah and her crew on. It is a great book! I just wish there was a next one!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

GraveMinder - Melissa Marr

Claysville is no ordinary town. The people of Claysville never get sick, never get diseases, rarely ever leave the town, and are protected until they reach the age of eighty. That is because the people of Claysville are in a contract with the dead. The only real threat to the people of Claysville is when the Graveminder fails to do her job. And, that is exactly what happens when Maylene, the Graveminder, is murdered by a dead girl.

Rebekkah and Bryon have been left out of the towns secret. They were not aware of the contract until it was forced upon them when Rebekkah's grandmother, Maylene, died and Rebekkah became the new Graveminder. And, with a new Graveminder, there is a new Undertaker, which is Bryon. Being kept out of the loop from the city's contract with the dead, they must figure out what is going on around the town before more people die.

If the Graveminder doesn't mind the graves of the dead, they come back as the Hungry Dead. Eating the towns people one by one until the Graveminder takes them to the tunnel that leads to death. Newly appointed as the Graveminder Rebekkah doesn't know how to stop the dead. There is one option though, for Bryon to take Rebekkah to the underworld to talk to Mr. D. But, the underworld is a dangerous place for Rebekkah. She can die in the underworld and the sights of the world are tempting for her. Without Bryon, the Undertaker, she could give in to the temptations of the world, just like her step sister.

The beginning starts out a bit slow, trying to piece together what it is going on in the small town of Claysville. The main characters Rebekkah and Bryon don't really figure out who they are and what they do until the middle of the book. Parts were a bit dull to me, and there was no real suspense for me in the book. But it was well written. I think my favorite character is Daisha, the dead girl.

This is the first book I have read from the author, Melissa Marr. The author seems to mainly do young adult. Although this is an Adult novel, I think this book is appropriate for young adults as well. There is a bit of sexual reference and a couple F words, but other than that, I have seen worse in young adult books.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Relic Master, The Dark City - Catherine Fisher

Catherine Fisher is a great story teller. Much like her last series, Incarceron, she made up a detailed world. The world of Anara is a world built by the 4 Makers, surrounded by the 7 moons. But when the Makers left the world to the Order things began to fall apart. The watch began to take control destroying anything of the makers or the Order. No one in the order is safe, being hunted by the watch.

Galen, Relic Master, and Raffi, his apprentice, are keepers part of the Order and must be careful of who they trust. When a man comes to them asking them for help with a relic Raffi is hesitant. But, Galen who had recently lost all his keeper powers is careless and hasty in his decision to follow the man.

The man leads them to a group of thieves. Alberic their leader asks for the keepers help. A Sekoi has stolen from Alberic and he wants Galen to find this Sekoi for him. Galen, has other plans, he doesn't care about the Sekoi as long as the Sekoi's trail leads him to the city of Tasceron, his one last hope to regain his powers.

Galen is careless in his pursuit, with only one thing on his mind, regaining his powers, he continuously walks into the face of danger to get what he wants. Raffi is more cautious, having to look after his careless master. And, shouldering all the power as an apprentice since Galen can no longer use his third eye. Along the way they run into Carys Arrin, watcher, who has been hunting Galen. She tells them a story about her father in order to stick with them to see what they find in Tasceron.

The story goes back and forth from the Journal of Carys Arrin to the Journey of Galen and Raffi. Each chapter starts with a saying from different books from world of Anara either the words of the Watch or the words of the order.

This is a great book, with a lot of detail, and it is easy to imagine the world that the author is describing. I can't wait for the next book. Their are four books to this series and they all come out in 4 consecutive months in the summer starting with this one in May. There is a map of Anara in the front but it is only partial, a puzzle, and as you collect the books you can assemble Anara, the world of the Relic Masters.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I am number 4

Number 4 has been on the move for the past 10 years, never staying in the same place for more than six months at a time. His home planet was destroyed when he was 4 and only 19 people were able to escape before the Mogadorians kill them all. And now the Mogadorians are on the planet earth trying to find the 9 kids that escaped and kill them. But, because of a charm placed on them when they left, the Mogadorians can only kill them in order. Now, they have killed one through three and number four is next!

I must confess, I became interested in this book after seeing trailers for the movie. The trailers looked action packed! Of course, the book isn't as action packed as the trailers, and I found myself reading about John, number 4, trying to live a normal life in the quaint town of Paradise Ohio with his protector Henri and his beagle Bernie Kosar, not exactly what I saw depicted in the trailers. But, even though it doesn't have as much action (most of the action taking place at the end of the novel) I still really enjoyed the book.

Bernie Kosar, the beagle, is one of my favorite characters. Tongue always lopping out of his mouth, and a little mysterious. Also, Sam is a great character, I can really imagine what Sam looks like as I read the book. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. Even though it might lag a bit in the middle of the book, the beginning and the end makes up for it. And, there is some stuff left hanging for the next book, but not enough to be a cliff hanger.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shadowspell - Jenna Black

Dana has been stuck in her safe house for about 3 weeks, since the previous book, on her dad's order. Her mom has no say in the matter after Dana's dad had her filed as incompetent and sentenced to house arrest like Dana. To make matters worse, the Erlking, an immortal not associated with the faerie courts, has made his way to Avalon and he might be there to wreak havoc on Dana!

The Erlking made a deal with the queens of faerie to no longer hunt members of either court without permission of the Queens. This prevents him from attacking anyone within the borders of the city of Avalon. With the exception of people he chases from Faerie he has been permitted to kill or if he is defending himself. (I find the clause a little silly, why would he have to defend himself if he cannot die?) Which only leaves the human world for him to hunt, and the only one to help him gain access would be Dana, the Faeriewalker, and he would do anything to get his way!

Dana is much like a normal teen, never listening to people of authority, back talking her parents, sneaking behind their backs, and pining over every guy she sets her eyes on. In away, Dana's character is quite annoying to me. Her inner thoughts are annoying how she goes on and on about how she isn't pretty by any means but all these guys are after her. Or how she has been the grown up all her life but her actions show differently. But where Dana lacks, the other characters shines. I really enjoy Keane, Kimber, Finn and even Ethan. All have there own sense of style as a character.

The book doesn't really end with a cliff hanger but it doesn't leaving wondering about what is going to happen in their futures. Because there are some things left hanging. The book had a lot of good twist and turns and kept me guessing. And, even though I didn't really like the main character there were other good characters and good plot to make me give it 4 stars instead of 3.

The book does have some brief language and some sexual scene but all in all it is a very teen book. The next book Sirensong comes out July 5th.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting ready for The Dark and Hollow Places

I just finished reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead Tossed Waves. Even though, I have read both books before, it still invokes emotions from me. I still root for the characters and hope they don't die even though I know what will happen. Both books are great and I can't wait for the next one coming out exactly a week from today :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Glimmerglass - Jenna Black

Dana's mom always warned her of Avalon. Always moving from place to place so Dana's father couldn't find her. But when Dana got tired of taking care of her always drunk mom, she decided to fly away to Avalon and find out the hard way who her father really was and just how dangerous Avalon could be. As soon as she gets there she is was locked up in a cell, kidnapped by a brother and sister duo, and attack by Spriggans...suddenly living with her drunken mom didn't sound so bad.

Something felt off to me as I read it. Maybe because she has a drunk mom who can barely take care of herself and Dana has to do everything for her mom. But, her mom seems able to snap out of it enough to have them move continuously? It seemed weak. The book altogether felt a little weak to me.

The Fae in Avalon can only be in Avalon or faerie they can't venture into the human world. And Humans can only go into Avalon but not into Faerie. Avalon is the in between. That seemed a little weak to me as well. Avalon seems like a quaint little town. And, Dana's dad has lived there all his life it seems like. Stuck in one town...Avalon. Because he can't go into the human world, but a man who has lived centuries seems okay with just seeing one town?

There is still a lot to know about Dana. Dana doesn't even know the extent of what she can do now. I hope the next book give more into that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran

Before I read this book, all I knew about Madame Tussaud was it was the name of a world famous wax museum. I didn't really have much knowledge of the French Revolution as well. But I have enjoyed all of Michelle Moran's previously novels depicting other historical time periods. Michelle Moran does a really good job depicting the French Revolution as well. This book shows the ignorance of the common people of that time, and the naivete of the Royals. Although some conversations and interactions may be imagined by the author, most of the events did take place. According to the Author, most of the facts are correct. She did change a couple of the facts to pertain to the novel, but most of it was true to the best of her knowledge.

Michelle Moran does a wonderful job bringing you back to that era. Making you understand exactly how the mood was during that time. I found myself wanting to know more about that era, and researching parts that were briefly depicted in the novel so I could understand it more thoroughly. The author sparks that fascination and brings the characters back to life in the horrific tale of the French Revolution.

Each chapter states the time frame and starts off with a Quote that was documented from that time period. The novel follows Madame Tussaud who was known at that time as Marie Grosholtz. She lived with her uncle Curtius and her mother at the Salon de Cire learning the art of wax. The salon was a great attraction for people of that time, to come and get the latest news of the time depicted through wax figurines made by Marie and Curtius.

To read about Marie Grosholtz and learning about all she had to endure during the French Revolution, was pretty emotional. Changing the wax figures and Tableau to correspond with the latest news whether she agreed with it or not, making death masks of recently decapitated prisoners, tolerating the rapid change of the government and not knowing if she would be the next they would take prisoner or not. Michelle Moran pulled out the emotion of the characters and really making you feel like you, yourself are there as well. It was hard not to feel for the characters as they suffered the worst.

At the end of the novel, the author, ties up all the loose end and briefly recaps the lives of the characters who futures were not told in the book. She also goes on to explain the history of the time and what was completely true in the book. There is a glossary at the end of the book as well to help with some of the French words along the way. Although, with a kindle it is kind of hard to go back and forth between the story and the glossary.

The novel was very easy to read and flowed really nicely. I can't wait to read Michelle Moran's next historical fiction!