Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Secret Countess

by Eva Ibbotson

Grade: Good
Reason: I almost had it "All right", but it was better than I expected, and the hero wasn't too bad, and Anna wasn't the usual almost feminist heroine. It was "Romancey" (countess and earl!), but without all lot of things that annoy me terribly.

Favourite parts: I liked the Russian-ness of it. I loved Anna's curtsy when she first met the earl. And I liked the Tom/Susie stuff.

Least favourite parts: I didn't quite like the climax for some reason.

EDIT: Upon giving it to Christina, and upon her loving it, I've decided that I liked it better than I thought. It still isn't "To Own" or anything. Or even "To Re-read", I think. But Anna is the best heroine I've come across in a little while.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Summary 1

There's no particular reason to have a summary here, except that I feel like it.

Historical interest is rising in several areas. Montmorency had the cool Victorian history (which I actually emailed Ms. Updale about!); the Poor Relations weren't as historically interesting as Georgette Heyer, but had their interest all the same (I do find Regency quite interesting); The Golden Hour had French Revolution stuff, which is cool.

There were a number of cool characters, but not as many as I would have liked. My favourites, I believe, are Dr. Robert Farcett (Montmorency series), Sir Philip Sommerville (The Poor Relation series), Cadel Piggott (Evil Genius), Marius, aka Phelan, aka "the stranger" (Ysabel), and Roy Straitley (Gentlemen and Players).

Montmorency was a fascinating find--interesting style which I haven't really seen before; Mrs. Budley's romance was a pleasant surprise at first (her Romantic interest was the best Chesney Romantic interest yet); Gentlemen and Players was way better than I thought at first, and I might read it again someday; and Ysabel had a cool wolf-like Roman and the modern stuff didn't bother me (I might even read more of Guy Gavriel Kay).

However, His Majesty's Dragon (disappointingly) hasn't turned out good enough for me to manage to read the sequal; Marion Chesney is getting very fatiguing (luckily I only have two left to read); my Georgette Heyer (Frederica, which I forgot to put on here) was not as good as I hoped; there were at least four boring books (although not completely boring); none of the books totally and absolutely grabbed me; and I don't have any characters to add to my list of all time favourite characters--the characters of whom I'd like to have portraits hung up on my wall.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


by Guy Gavriel Kay

Grade: Good
Reason: It had a lot of almost new-agey stuff in it, but I liked it. I even almost liked Ned, which I really didn't think I would. And I didn't mind Kate either. When I first read that there was a girl, I thought I'd hate the love-interest part of it. But actually, it wasn't too bad--maybe because they joked about it being the love interest so much? I liked the Celtic stuff in it and the historical stuff. And Ned was Canadian, and it took place in France. And I like people with magic powers. And there was a Roman! I liked him. But why was he bald?

Favourite part: When he meets the Roman for the second and third time, and when they say good-bye to him, and when he and the blonde antler guy walk into the chasm. It was a cool end, actually. For some reason, I also liked when he got terribly sick because of the blood.

Least favourite part: Too much swearing.

Sir Philip's Folly

by Marion Chesney

Grade: All right
Reason: This was my least favourite of the Poor Relations series so far. Sir Philip was more gross than amusing. The Romance was as usual: not that great.

Favourite part: I suppose when they met the actor, and some ensuing parts with the actor. I didn't love him, but he was an interesting new character.

Least favourite part: A lot of it--Mrs. Budge and Sir Philip, the immodest clothing, Arabella's romance.

See the previous books: Lady Fortescue Steps OutMiss Tonks Turns to Crime, and Mrs. Budley Falls From Grace.

Wildwood Dancing

by Juliet Marillier

Grade: Unfinished
Reason: Perhaps it was because I read a review that said it was predictable. Perhaps it was because Costi was too "free" and he annoyed me and he married Jena. Perhaps I was in the wrong mood and will love it some other day.

Favourite part: Sorrow looked slightly promising, but his romance seemed doomed to be a bit too mushy.

Least favourite part: Costi.

Evil Genius

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: Good/To Own
Reason: The title says it all! Another book I wish I had written. I would put it next to Montmorency on my bookshelf. It's better than Artemis Fowl, I think. Less bathroom humour, for one thing, and Cadel is more sympathetic. Poor guy--I felt very sorry for him.

Favourite parts: Where Cadel is all curled up under the bed, and when he wreaks havoc on his high school

Least favourite parts: When it was too confusing (especially at the end). I mean, who is Thaddeus Roth exactly? But there's a sequal Genius Squad, which I am greatly looking forward to. And apparently there's Genius Wars after that.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Montmorency's Revenge

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: Good/To own
Reason: I liked this one better than the last one. There were some twists I didn't expect--like Fr. Michael. I certainly had no idea about that one. But it worked, I think. I'm also glad that the American girl, Mary, seems to be coming back into the picture.

Favourite part: Poor Dr. Farcett! I felt immensly sorry for him. I liked his first bout of insanity that you read about in the book.
Least favourite part: Some boring parts again, I guess.

Mrs. Budley Falls From Grace

by Marion Chesney

Grade: To Re-read
Reason: Exactly the same as the other Marion Chesney book. I'm not going to repeat the whole thing, so you'll have to go and find my reviews for the others yourself. (See Lady Fortescue Steps Out and Miss Tonks Turns to Crime.)

Favourite part: Like always, I enjoyed the Poor Relations' part of the ending. In this case, it was Miss Tonks' and Sir Philip's journey out to Mrs. Budley's wedding. Poor Miss Tonks...
Least favourite part: The Romance of course. Actually, this one was a bit better in some respects. He actually didn't adore her from the moment he saw her, and he proposed straight away which was amusing. But then it got worse until it was just as bad as the others.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gentlemen and Players

by Joanne Harris

Grade: Good
Reason: There was some stuff that bothered me a bit, especially in the middle. But it was good and engaging for the most part. I loved Mr. Straitley.

Favourite part: I must admit, I liked the part where Mr. Straitley triumphed--or at least, where he didn't die. The whole end was my favourite, I think. It changed the feeling of the whole book. In fact, after the end, I liked the villain, which I didn't really before.

Least favourite part: Some parts in the middle when I thought the villain was someone else and when Leon was being a jerk. He was supposed to be a jerk, but I disliked him so much that I wish he wasn't so much of a jerk.

Montmorency and the Assassins

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: Good/To own
Reason: See all the past reviews of Montmorency books. Again, it was a bit uneven and sometimes boring, and most of it I wouldn't read again. But the series as a whole has a certain charm, and I might want to own all of them some day.

Favourite part: I don't really know. This wasn't my favourite Montmorency book all together. I guess my favourite parts would be the parts with Dr. Farcett, because I like him best (I think).

Least favourite part: Some boring parts. And I didn't particularily take to Frank, so maybe the parts with him.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Montmorency on the Rocks

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: Good/To Own
Reason: It was good, and I enjoyed it, but I don't need to own it. Unless I decided that I wanted all the Montmorency books, which I might, just because of their titles and subjects and because they have neat characters.

Favourite part: The parts with the three gentlemen together, especially when they were having fun.

Least favourite part: Some parts in the middle that I don't even remember because they were boring.

Miss Tonks Turns to Crime

by Marion Chesney

Grade: To Re-read
Reason: It was as fun as Lady Fortescue Steps Out. Again we have amusing poor, elderly upper-class people running a hotel and stealing necklaces to get their money. Again we have a very Romancey romance between a handsome young aristocrat and a beautiful but poor girl. Again I thought that part of things very annoying. But again I loved the Poor Relations, despite the fact that it probably wasn't very realistic.

Favourite part: When Miss Tonks returns to tell of her victory and when Sir Philip gets wacked on the head.

Least favourite part: Almost all the parts with Cassandra and the Lord Eston. I can't help being annoyed, I'm sorry. It seemed to exactly the same as Harriet and the Duke of Rowcester.

The Golden Hour

by Maiya Williams

Grade: Good
Reason: It had some neat information about the French Revolution era, and some neat ideas for a time travel book, and it portrayed Marie Antionette nicely.

Favourite part: When they went to the hotel. It sounded really cool, even if it hadn't been a magic, time-traveling place.

Least favourite part: When Rowen started talking about believing in himself. I liked how Rowen gained confidence throughout the book, but I don't like people talking about "believing in yourself".

His Majesty's Dragon

by Naomi Novik

Grade: Good
Reason: It was a cool mix. You wouldn't think to find dragons in a typical Horatio Hornblower/Patrick O'Brian type novel. And the dragons are cool too. They're not too wise. In fact, some are rather stupid.

Favourite part: It was sad, but I liked the part where the French spy was separated from his poor dragon. And I liked the three dragons together--Temeraire, Maximus, and even Lily too. And I liked poor little Levitas too.

Least favourite part: Jane was annoying. Too old--but then Captain Harcourt would have been too young. I think it was because she seemed feminist.