Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Troll's Eye View

ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Grade: All right

Some of these stories were really clever, but all in all, I would have liked a little more substance to this book.

"Wizard's Apprentice" was good.
"An Unwelcome Guest" was a clever twist on Rapunzel. I think it was one of my favourites simply for the twist.
"Faery Tales" was an interesting poem.
"Rags and Riches" was not my favourite. I guess partly because the fairy tale it's based on (The Goose Girl) has never been my favourite. Also I didn't quite get it.
"Up the Down Beanstalk" was clever and amusing. One of my favourites.
"The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces" was all right. Not exactly a "Troll's Eye View" though.
"The Boy Who Cried Wolf" was creepy and clever and I loved it.
"Troll" was good enough.
"Castle Othello" was ok. I didn't love it. I wonder how much of that rascally pope stuff was accurate? Plus--polygamy?
"'Skin" was good enough.
"A Delicate Architecture" was strange and clever. I liked it a lot.
"Molly" was ok. She sure made me annoyed with Molly. I guess that was the point, but I think she succeeded a little too well.
"Observing the Formalities" was disappointing only in that it was Neil Gaiman, so I was hoping for a strange and clever short story, instead of a poem.
"The Cinderella Game" was also creepy and clever. Another of my favourites.

In fact, now that I go through all of them, I realize that I liked it better than I thought. "The Cinderella Game" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" were both marvellously creepy. "A Delicate Architecture" and "An Unwelcome Guest" were both very clever. "Up the Down Beanstalk" and "A Wizard's Apprentice" were both  very good and amusing.

So that's 6 out of 12 stories. I guess it keeps it's label of "All right".

Monday, December 13, 2010


by Robin McKinley

Grade: Good
Story: Princess Sylviianel is bound to her pegasus, Ebon, and they can talk to each other. Surprise! Magicians of the country don't like it.

THE COVER IS PERFECT. I may have never seen such a perfectly lovely and suitable cover. It captures the tone of the book exactly right (and is, as I've mentionted gorgeous).

The book itself was lovely and beautiful, although there were a few problems I had with it:

--The ending. It was terribly sad and somewhat inconclusive. Actually, the inconclusiveness wasn't too bad. Sometimes I like endings like that. This one wasn't perfect, though.

--How much better the pegasi were than the humans. I mean, they were supposed to be, and it wasn't that bad. Just, I get a bit tired of humans being the worse ones. One reason why I like Doctor Who so much. There's this huge love of humanity for the humans. This book reminded me slightly of Pocahontas sometimes. (Notice the "slightly" and the "sometimes". Those words really mean "teeny, tiny bit" and "once or twice".)

--I would have liked to get to know some of the characters better. The two central characters were fairly fleshed out, but I still thought the strength of this book was in the atmosphere and world than in the characters. (Although Ebon was prettty great, I must admit.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Lost Hero

by Rick Riordan

Grade: Good

More Olympian goodness. And this time with some Roman stuff thrown in. Which was pretty cool.

My favourite character is still Nico. I very much hope he will appear in these books sometime. I mean, Riordan should know that he's an awesome character, right? And thus bring him back? But Jason seemed very Roman somehow, so he was pretty cool too. I like Leon's powers, but he still isn't my favourite character ever.

But Fall 2011? How can we wait that long??

EDIT: And now the wait is over. Here are the sequels: The Son of Neptune and The Mark of Athena. Two more books are coming soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


by Penni Russon

Grade: Good
Story: Undine has the sea in her, and it calls to her. Kind of. Except it turns out to be quite different, but whatever. There's also all this Tempest stuff, which is cool. Her father is called Prospero, and she has various and sundry love interests.

Yeah, so. I might read the sequels. All the various and sundry love interests were a bit annoying, but not as annoying as they might have been for these reasons: Trout wasn't a real love interest, as she didn't actually love him in a romantic way; Richard was all about her power, and was actually kind of cool in a dark evil way when she was kissing him and draining him; Grunt was unexpected, and thus for me more interesting.

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex

by Eoin Colfer

Grade: All right
Story: Artemis has a psychological problem, but still has to stop an evil guy from getting out of jail so he can see his beloved wife again.

I loved Artemis's psychological problems. They were quite amusing. And although reviewers I'd read previously said that there was weird romance between Artemis and Holly, I didn't there was really. In fact, it was a lot weirder in the previous book. In this one, it was all his psychological problems that caused it.

The problem I did have with it is the rather boring side stories--the ones that didn't include Artemis. I skipped them. So I ended up not reading a lot of the book. However, I'll definitely still read the next book if/when it comes.

Genius Wars

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: Good
Story: Prosper is seen on a bunch of cameras, so Cadel gets paranoid that he is trying to kill him. That's mostly it.

I think it may have been my least favourite of the three. But it was still Catherine Jinks and still marvellous. Cadel's sense of paranoia was one of the most tense things about the book, and it definitely worked. I liked the ending too. However, there was some characterization that I thought was lacking, especially of Fiona. She was hardly in it at all! Practically a cameo.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


by Catherine Fisher

Grade: To Own
Story: Finn and Keiro and Attia are trapped in a living prison. Claudia and Jared are Outside, and Claudia is going to become Queen by marrying the spoiled prince.

WONDERFUL. A very easily read-in-one-day book. The characters were all awesome and individual, and the world was intricately made. The living prison reminded me a lot of the sci-fi short story that we read out in YAG last year.

I was appreciative of the fact that there wasn't an immediate romance between Claudia and Finn. In fact, there might never be. Yay!

And the Warden, Claudia's father, was wonderfully complex.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stepsister Scheme

by Jim C. Hines

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 40.

I really appreciated the fact that the Cinderella character was still "princess-y", while still being strong. Too often nowadays, to have a strong female character, she needs to be just like the Sleeping Beauty character. Which I still like, but it was nice to have her as a secondary character.

The twists were good too, I just got bored. I'm not sure why.

Monday, November 1, 2010


by Aprilynne Pike

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To somewhere in the middle.

It started to get too much about the sexy boys she knew, and it was getting annoying. The wings were cool, though, and some of the details of how her physicality worked.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Adoration of Jenna Fox

by Mary E. Pearson

Grade: Good
Story: Jenna wakes up after having been in a terrible accident, with all her memory gone.

Quite a lot to think about in this one. I'll have to get Daddy to read it, and then discuss it with him. Especially  questions such as these:

--What about souls? She definitely seemed to have one.
--i.e. Was it a mercy-killing to kill her friends?
--And what about her backup? Was that murder too? Does that even work?

It was very nice to a Catholic character who was sympathetic. Not perfect, but not perfect in a very real way, instead of the religious-bigot not-perfect people whom you often get. And in fact, she was perhaps my favourite character.

The Kneebone Boy

by Ellen Potter

Grade: To Own
Story: There are three strange children. And a cat. And a viking.

Oh, the cover! Oh, oh, oh! I love it so very much.

And of course, being written by the amazing Ellen Potter means that the inside is just as good. Wow.

And it makes me want to own a nice set of all her books (namely, Slob and Pish Posh).

I think Max was my favourite character. But the others were awesome.

I like the fact that the oldest never did talk in the end. I was worried he would. And I liked the end. I guessed bits of it, but the whole thing was quite surprising.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Magicians

by Lev Grossman

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 210.

It was getting depressing. Very well written, I thought. But Quentin was quite unlikeable, as everyone seems to be saying. Plus there was lots of swearing and it was getting annoying.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lips Touch, Three Times

by Laini Taylor

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 27.

The illustrations are GORGEOUS!!!!! (By Jim Di Bartolo, by the way.)
I stopped because of the sexy boy love interest. Who, it turns out, was bad and evil and a goblin, I think. But I'd already stopped by that time. Plus, by the cover, you could guess there'd be a lot of kissing. So I don't mind to much that I stopped. But boy! were those pictures beautiful.

Shades of Milk and Honey

by Mary Robinette Kowal

Grade: Good
Story: Jane is ugly but talented in glamour, her sister Melody is beautiful of face, but not talented. Then Austen-y type plot stuff happens.

Lovely book, and I gobbled it up super fast. As I mentioned, the plot was quite Austen-y, complete with love-interest who turns out to be a philandering scoundrel, and sister who is too romantic to be sensible. But it wasn't so similar as to be distracting.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception

by Maggie Stiefvater

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 10.

Ok. "He had one of those soft voices that oozed self-control, ... It was, even in the context of a barf-filled bathroom, amazingly sexy."
"Lean as a wolf, with pale blond hair and eyes even paler. And sexy."

Ok! Enough with the sexy! It totally puts me off a book when the male lead is immediately described as sexy or handsome or whatever. It seems to be his only attribute.

So I quit.


by Ellen Potter

Grade: Good
Story: Owen is fat. And smart.

Really, really great author. I'm hugely looking forward to Kneebone Boy, or whatever it's called.
Anyway, back to this one.
The characters! Owen, Jeremy, Zelda (was that their mother's name?), Nima, Mason. They were all great and completely themselves.
It's too bad her books are so small and a bit too light-weight. They're almost in my tiny-cute-light-favourite-books-of-all-time books. But not, I'm not totally sure why. Too light-weight, as I said? But her themes are not light-weight at all. So no, I don't know why.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories

by Robin McKinley

Grade: All right

Not my favourite selection of Robin McKinley.

"The Healer": Good enough, I guess. Not much to say about this one.

"The Stagman": Perhaps my least favourite. In the end, the woman leaves her wife and children for a half-stag man.

"Touk's House": Didn't do anything particularly for me.

"Buttercups": My favourite. The image of the buttercups was cool, and I liked the unusual love story.

"A Knot in the Grain": Good enough. I didn't quite get what happened at the end. Probably because I wasn't really bothering to pay attention. However, it was good. I did like it. So I shouldn't be too crabby.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brideshead Revisited

by Evelyn Waugh

Grade: Good

I FINALLY read this book. And yes, it was worth it in the end, although hard to get through.

"Well, you see, she was saintly but she wasn't a saint. No one could really hate a saint, could they? They can't really hate God either. When they want to hate Him and His saints they have to find something like themselves and pretend it's God and hate that." Pg. 221

"Sometimes I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all." Pg. 279
(I know the feeling.)

"Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; a hill of many invisible crests; doors that open as in a dream to reveal only a further stretch of carpet and another door; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Snow White and Rose Red

by Patricia C. Wrede

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To somewhere near the beginning. I forget where exactly.

I found their old-fashioned English a little distracting and hard to read. This is rather unusual for me, which causes me to think that it was simply not written terribly well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


by Mike Wilks

Grade: All right
Story: Boy becomes apprentice artist in a strange world where you can travel into the paintings. He has two friends who go with him on a dangerous adventure.

It was certainly different and imaginative, and I believe well written. Maybe I would have liked it more if I were younger. Although some things I think would always have freaked me out somewhat, like the house that looked like a person, and the weird animal mixes. Certainly not my style of art, at any rate.

But I liked the positive portrayal of a priest! (The equivalent of a Catholic one too, I think. Although this is a different world.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gods Behaving Badly

by Marie Phillips

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To the beginning of the second chapter.

Because it was there that there began to be Content. Notice the capital letter. I was really quite disappointed, because the first chapter was excellent.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Barretts of Wimpole Street

by Rudolf Besier

Grade: To Own

Awesome little play. I promptly added it to my list of books that make me very interested in historical characters. And my list of wanted books.

I wished there was more, though. I liked all the brothers, but they only appeared as a huge set of men all together. Except the one who stuttered. But they had interesting names and everything! Septimus, Octavius, ... well, those were the only really interesting names, but still!

And her father was creepy. I'm glad to read on Wikipedia that E.B.B. was actually very religious, because in this book, the only person portrayed as being particularly religious is her creepy father.


by Suzanne Collins

Grade: Good

In a good way.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Changeover

by Margaret Mahy

Grade: All right

I was hoping it would be better. These two characters were one of the favourite romantic couples of someone who also loved Eugenides and Attolia, Kitty and Freddy, and Sophie and Howl. So I did have hopes. And it wasn't only because the tension of not knowing wasn't there either. Partly it was the sexy aspect of it.
I did like Sorry's name, though, and his stuttering. And it was definitely well written. I easily got through it despite my not great liking for the central romance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Grade: All right


Way too stylized for my personal taste. And of course it was depressing. But not in the good way. I did feel slightly like crying when Rudy died. But that was the only part that was really emotional for me.

And did I mention the stylized part? I mean, what the heck is "breakfast-coloured" sky??? I guess I'm not deep enough to appreciate it. Although, I think not, because I like unusual metaphors. It just seems like he's doing them for the sake of having lots of weird metaphors.

And children SO do not use metaphors like he wrote them to.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Brat Farrar

by Josephine Tey

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To Chapter 17 (page 148).

I decided that I liked Simon. And then in the eighth chapter (or even before then, possibly) I realized the ending. And I know Tey isn't just for the endings, like Agatha Christie has a slight tendency to be, but it still s lightly ruined it. And besides, I liked Simon.

But everything else was splendid. One of the best Josephine Tey's (although now that I think of it, that applies to most of hers that I've read...), and I think I'll try again some day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tam Lin

by Pamela Dean

Grade: All right

There was a lot of talk about contraception and stuff. Quite feminist. And the last eighth of the book was quite drastically different than all the rest.

But the literature stuff! Was awesome! E. Nesbit, Madeleine L'Engle, Tommy and Tuppence, "That Hideous Strength", "There was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.", rephrased Chesterton quote...
I love it.
Plus there's all the Greek stuff and Keats and poetic stuff I haven't studied enough to be familiar with.

So it could be "To Own", so that when I learn about things, I can read this book again and understand more. Plus it's a good Shakespeare resource.
But ONLY for those reasons.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Over Sea, Under Stone

by Susan Cooper

Grade: All right

It was good, but I think it would have been better if I'd read it when I was younger. The children--Simon, Jane, and Barnabas--were very much English school children of that time period. Like the Pevensies.
Anyway, I want to start on the next book, The Dark is Rising, because that seems to be the important one, and so is maybe more interesting.

Neither Here Nor There

by Bill Bryson

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 164.

There was too much stuff about sex, and a bit of anti-Catholicism (not much, but it was the last straw so to speak), so I stopped. Plus I had a load of other books to read.

But there were some interesting bits, namely:

Is Copenhagen really the safest city in Europe? (pg. 125)

I have to look up the Skagen school of Danish painting, and if I ever go to Denmark, visit the Ostre Anlaeg museum. (pg. 127)

"Germans are flummoxed by humour, the Swiss have no concept of fun, the Spanish think there is nothing at all ridiculous about eating dinner at midnight, and the Italians should never, ever have been let in on the invention of the motor car."
"It fascinated me that Europeans could at once be so alike--that they could be so universally bookish and cerebral, and drive small cars, and live in little houses in ancient towns, and love soccer, and be relatively unmaterialistic and law-abiding, and have chilly hotel rooms and cosy and inviting places to eat and drink--and yet be so endlessly, unpredictably different from each other as well."

Is it still like that? I wonder. I keep thinking of demographics and the EU and the downfall of European Catholicism. (pg. 32)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Meetings in the Enderverse

by Orson Scott Card

Grade: Good

The Polish Boy: His view on Catholics is a bit off. Some of it was surprisingly sympathetic--he was obviously trying to be unbiased and tolerant and all that--but some of it was not pleasant.

Teacher's Pest: Good enough. I quite liked it, actually.

Ender's Game: Much more similar than I thought to the novel. I'd have thought he'd have changed a lot, but he didn't.

Investment Counselor: In some ways my favourite, except that it was so terribly open ended. Who is that Jane program, exactly? There were hints that it might be malevolent, but then nothing happened.
(EDIT: I now realize that Jane is a character in some of the sequels. This story is not meant to be read alone.)

So all in all: fine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Wizard of Mars

by Diane Duane

Grade: Good

Excellent newest addition.
But, um....I forget any interesting details at all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Fairy-Tale Romance

by Andrew Schmiedicke

Grade: Good

It had some interesting ideas in it, like the way they did their wedding. I liked that. And the way they can see the differences between men and women--like the fact that women tend to be more spontaneous, and their random acts of interest don't necessarily mean anything, while with men it's different.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves

by Regina Doman

Grade: Good

Weeeee! to the computer stuff! It was even semi-positive! Kind of...Although the message at the end was a teensy bit anti-computer. Sigh. But it's ok. She had an interesting note in the afterward speaking about how to treat computers--a question I've been thinking about myself, even though I am very determined to compromise and not be like Kateri.
Speaking of which, she bugged me a bit, in the same way that Rachel from Midnight Dancers bugged Christina. So this one was maybe my least favourite. But it still had the Doman excellence of characters. I'm not sorry I bought it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Girl Who Could Fly

by Victoria Forester

Grade: Good (possibly To Own)

I thought it would be boring at first. It was quite hard to continue. I thought it would be all about this girl having trouble with nasty villagers the whole time. It didn't help that all I could read of the recommendation on the front said something about being like Little House on the Prairie.

But it wasn't. It turned out to be a cool kid-has-special-talent-and-enters-academy-for-kids-with-special-talents. I love those books. Seriously. And this one was pretty good. I really liked the genius boy--whose name I've forgotten! How could I?! I liked him!

... Ok, I looked it up. It's Conrad.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Last Siege

by Jonathan Stroud

Grade: All right

It was a bit slow. The atmosphere was well done, and the cover was very suited to it. Buuuut... I kept on thinking it would get really interesting like his other books, and it never really did. Ah well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Daughter of the Forest

by Juliet Marillier

Grade: To Own

It's just such a dense, yet fast-reading book. Deep, complicated, and the heroine doesn't marry the person I thought she would at first.

Loved the brothers (although I didn't like any particular one as much as I thought I would), loved the handling of sexual matters (They actually got married first! And the rape.), liked Red (cool name, eh?), liked Fr. Brien, didn't  quite like the spiritual, druidy, stuff.

I want to own it because... I'm not sure why. It's certainly not the highest, highest on my list of "To Own", but it still deserves a place.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Red Pyramid

by Rick Riordan

Grade: Good

Not quite as funny as Percy Jackson, but that's ok. It's good that they're different. The different way the gods work is neat and different too. All of his books are excellent introductions to mythology. Or, if you already know it all, a very funny and cool way to make you feel knowledgeable. Looking forward to the next one.

Note: Favourite god so far: Thoth. I still like Hades better, but Thoth is getting up there.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Dream-Maker's Magic

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: Good

The Truth Teller one is still my favourite in this series, although this one was good too.

And I can't think of much else to say. Gryffin was nice. Kellen's boy-girl stuff was treated nicely.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Truth-Teller's Tale

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: Good

Much better than the first one. (Apparently the last one is the best of all.) And I actually liked the romantic hero! What on earth is happening to me? Maybe because he had a beard, and he wasn't nearly as handsome as his assistant, who didn't even end up with the heroine's sister? Maybe because his name was Gregory? I don't know. But I liked him a lot more than I expected.

And the rest of the characters were great too. Not quite fascinating enough to own ever. But good.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Safe-Keeper's Secret

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: All right

The romance was strange in this one. I have no problem with cousins marrying--in fact, often I like it (see Rose in Bloom, etc.). But in this case... even at the end, Reed said, "I wish you weren't my sister." So he obviously still saw her as his sister the whole time. Yeah, it's weird.

Besides that, it was pretty good. I think it would have been far better in Robin McKinley's hands. It should have been longer, with maybe a bit more about some of the secondary characters.

But I've heard the others in this series are better. I'll definitely pick them up.

Oh, and I had a thought. We have actual safe-keepers in reality, in the form of priests hearing confessions. Priests of course have the power to tell those secrets, but they never ever do, and safe-keepers might be able to do that too (it was a little vague on that).

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

by Shirley Jackson

Grade: All right

Not quite my style of creepy. Perhaps because I guessed almost right away who the real murderer was? Although I don't think that was quite the point. The point was Merricat and her insanity. Which was cool, but I was rather glad  it was a short book, as it wasn't always gripping.
But it was extremely well written, I think, and worth it in the end.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Singing Sands

by Josephine Tey

Grade: To Own

Too bad she died. Much too bad.

The character stuff was much better this time. Really, really good, in fact. I loved all the claustrophobia stuff. And Grant talking to himself.

The descriptions of the outer Hebrides were fascinating to me, as usual. Her long descriptive passages are quite awesome, although they sometimes make it hard to read. I think I put "To Own" for the descriptions of claustrophobia and the islands alone.

Oh, I wish she had written more...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Shilling for Candles

by Josephine Tey

Grade: Good

She has a rather unusual writing style, but I think I like it. It was a bit hard to get through, however. I like Inspector Grant, I just wish there was more about him character-wise.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Demon's Covenant

by Sarah Rees Brennan

Grade: All right

Oo, this is hard to grade it "All right". The parts that were good were so breathtakingly good. It's just...the parts that were bad I really didn't like. So I  skipped lots of stuff near the end. But Alan! Oh, I wanted to hug him and tell him it will be all be all right in the end. I think they call those people "woobies" or something like that. At least on the television tropes website.

If there's a sequel, I might read it. I'll probably just skim through it.

(See the first book, The Demon's Lexicon, and the third book, The Demon's Surrender.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Poison Study

by Maria V. Snyder

Grade: Good

I'm still not totally sure what I think. I really loved Valek, but their relationship at the end went rather fast and far for my liking. Still, he was cool, and he reminded me vaguely of Vetinari, what with the V name, the black clothes, and the assassin training.

But, as a matter of fact, Yelena was cool too. She was "a strong female character", but she wasn't as annoying as they tend to be. The fact the she was a woman wasn't emphasized over and over again.

I think I'll have to read the sequels before I know what I really think about it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


by Holly Black

Grade: Unfinished
Read: The first 8 pages.

Read the first 8 pages yourself and see why I didn't finish. (Except that I'm talking to myself, and so you've already the read the first 8 pages... but anyway...)
It's too bad, really. The synopsis on the front cover actually looks interesting for once.

The Demon's Lexicon

by Sarah Rees Brennan

Grade: Good

I loved Alan. I loved him so much, that a dark haired, handsome, tall and muscular main character didn't stop me reading this. Nor a fierce beautiful heroine who obviously liked aforementioned main character.

It helped that the two of them were brothers. I love brothers so much. And Nick wasn't the ordinary dark and handsome hero, either. That was actually quite cool.

The other two siblings bugged me a bit. Ah well. The sequel is written from Mae's point of view, so we'll see how it goes.

(See the next two books: The Demon's Covenant and The Demon's Surrender.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Murders of Richard III

by Elizabeth Peters

Grade: To Own

To Own to start a Richard III collection or something.

There are several parts I wanted to quote, but I'm too lazy.

Friday, May 28, 2010


by Chris Wooding

Grade: Good

Some interesting metaphysical stuff here. The end was one of the coolest parts.

But it wasn't gripping at all times. I'm not sure why. If there was a sequal, I probably wouldn't read it unless I heard something really interesting about it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ender's Game

by Orson Scott Card

Grade: Good

Absolutely, totally, and utterly fantastic. In every way. One of the best books I've read in a long, long time.

Yeah, so, that pretty much sums it up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tales from Watership Down

by Richard Adams

Grade: Unfinished
Read: All of the third part and bits of the first part.

I didn't really feel like reading the stories about El-ahrairah. But the stories about the Watership rabbits themselves were awesome. Now I have to read Watership Down all over again (though I've read it at least five times, I'm sure). This was a good find. I'm surprised I'd never heard of it before.

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

by Adrienne Kress

Grade: Good

Quite a lot like Lemony Snicket. It was weird, in other words. It started out brilliant, but it was a little too disconnected in the middle. And then the end was cool again.

I loved Mr. Underwood. Nice teacher with argyle sweater? Yeah, I liked him. And actually, I liked Captain Steele a lot too, which was slightly unexpected, her being female and a bit feminist and all that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ella Minnow Pea

by Mark Dunn

Grade: To Own

Delightful little book. I love language, and I dearly wish I could write better.

It made me very highly aware of the letter "d". It's like the feeling one gets after playing spoons.

Interesting words I looked up because of this book:
aposiopesis: breaking off in the middle of a sentence. I do it in the Note below.
anserous: resembling a goose; silly.
deracinating: mvoing (people) forcibly from their homeland into a new and foreign environment.

Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

Note: I would like to own it, but it isn't the very highest on my list. Thus the Grade. It would fit nicely with books like--oh, what's it called? Spellbound, maybe? I'll probably change it officially to "To Own" in a bit, once I've had time to realize how much I liked it. Or, I'll drop the "To Own" altogether.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Ragwitch

by Garth Nix

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To the middle of the beginning.

The ragwitch was decidedly creepy, but I don't think that was what put me off. I think it may have been simply not being interested at all in the characters. Julia was annoying and Paul was boring.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius

by Lisa Yee

Grade: Good

The Cadel books are way better, but this was still interesting. I actually liked the characters much more than I thought I would--Stanford, Emily, and Maddie. And even the progressive Alice was interesting. However, the tone of the book was much younger than Cadel, which I think is why I didn't like it quite so much. This was written in first person, from an 11-year-old's point of view. True, she was a genius 11-year-old, but still...

I think I will always like books about child geniuses, so long as they are fairly well written.

Monday, May 10, 2010


by Justine Larbalestier

Grade: All right

There was stuff. And it was all modern young adulty. And it talked about hair. A lot. Too much for my tastes.
So. Bleh.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Dawkins Delusion?

by Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath

Grade: Good

I did see some holes in his arguments. He was also coming at it from what I believe was a Protestant point of view, which I actually believe has less arguments for this sort of thing than Catholicism.

However, he made some good points, the most basic of which was that Dawkins doesn't make good points. HOWEVER. I haven't read Dawkins's book, so I'm not really able to judge much.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Conspiracy of Kings

by Megan Whalen Turner

Grade: To Own

I bought this without a second thought, in hardcover. Megan Whalen Turner is seriously one of the only people I would ever do that for. Even with someone like Diana Wynne Jones I would have at least small second thoughts.

And, oh boy, did it deliver. And SHE'S WRITING TWO MORE AFTER THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Fall

by Garth Nix

Grade: All right

I think maybe his worlds are too complicated for children's novels. Or something. Because this one wasn't so great. Mostly it was just boring, although the world was intriguing. So I won't get the next ones.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Across the Wall

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

Aw, Nick and Lirael, so Romantic!
No, actually, truthfully, I enjoyed it. That is unusual. But the reason why is that Nicholas Sayer was a secondary character in the novels, and also a sort of side-kick to the main hero. At least at first... until he become the evil bad guy... except he didn't really, because it was simply the evil bad guy possessing him.
Yeah, I liked him, and his name, and his picture on the front of the book. So the Romantic stuff was all nice and interesting.
And then there were the other stories, from the rather creepy "Endings", to the somewhat dull "Hope Chest", to the amazingly funny "Down to the Scum Quarter" and the strange Arthurian stories--all about Merlin, both of them.
Yeah, I like Garth Nix.

Lord Sunday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

I was somewhat disappointed, actually. It seems like the last book in fantasy series like this are always somewhat disappointing. But this one was way better than the last Pendragon book. And I liked Giac.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

(Possibly To Own if I like the upcoming sequal enough.)
See below (i.e. Lirael), about romance. I liked the romance in this one. It was basically non-existent, true. But I thought I got bits of it, and the stuff that DIDN'T turn out to be romance, I was very glad about.
Anyway, enough on romance. If only his theology wasn't quite so weird, he'd be one of my favourite authors, I think.


by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

I spent all day reading this one and the next one. When I should have been doing a lot of other stuff. Including an essay that was due the day after the next.
So anyway. I now officially love Garth Nix. I love how his characters turn out, and his romance is not off-putting, which I've had a lot of trouble with the last year or so.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

Not quite as interesting as the Arthur books. I probably would have liked it if I liked the prince more. He was way better than most, though, so I was able to finish the book easily.

But some of it was awsome. The whole Abhorsen concept is totally cool, and Garth Nix's imagination is amazing. This comment should go under the Day books, but it's amazing how different each Day's "world" is. And then this series is a whole nother thing itself.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Siren Song

by Anne Ursu

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 171.

I don't know why I couldn't get into it. It was almost really, really good. Maybe it was the characters. Neither of them, or the villains, appealed to me very much.

Superior Saturday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

Where's the next one? Pant, pant.

Lady Friday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

Cool, awsome.

I like it.

Where's the next one?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sir Thursday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

Still awsome with bits of weirdness.
I like how Arthur is when he uses the keys. And the fact that he seems all right with "Lord Arthur" now. Maybe that's bad, like enjoying it when Frodo uses the ring. But it's cool. So I like it.

Drowned Wednesday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

Next one! Where's the next one? Oh, thank goodness I got four at once from the library.

Grim Tuesday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

I'm hooked!

The weird stuff is still there, but it's mentioned a bit less. Or at least, not talked about in detail since that was all explained in the first book.

Cart and Cwidder

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

For a DWJ, it was All right.
But I'm sick and tired, so I'm not going to elaborate.
I'll probably get the other books in the series sometime. But not immediately.
My last DWJ series...sigh....

Monday, March 8, 2010


by Robin McKinley

Grade: All right

I think I liked Rose Daughter better. And .... I dunno. It was good, but had nothing to add sparkle to it, like my favourites of McKinley.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mister Monday

by Garth Nix

Grade: Good

There was some weird stuff. A female creator, death meaning you get turned into nothingness. Weird stuff. I didn't like it at all. Yet...yet...the days of the week stuff is SO awsome--it's partly why I loved Man Who Was Thursday so much. And the weird stuff wasn't in it too much. So, I think I'll read one more, and see how I like it. If it's still really weird, I'll stop reading the author.

Enchanted Glass

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Not quite "To Own". Despite the fact I bought it. Before I'd read it. In hardcover. Wow.
But it's all right. Because at least it's good. I liked Andrew, I didn't quite like Sashe. I liked Aiden and Tarquin. It was original and confusing, like most Diana Wynne Jones.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins

Grade: Good

Aaaaahhhh!!! It's not the last one in the series! It ends on a horrible cliff hanger! No fair!!!
How long?
How long?!?!?!

Dandelion Fire

by N. D. Wilson

Grade: Good

The stuff about the dandelion fire itself, and the stuff like that, was awsome and mysterious. That made it Good. Otherwise, it might be All right, simply because it takes place in Kansas. (Grrr, I'm biased, aren't I?) Well, it might not only be that. The parts I didn't find interesting remind me of the parts I didn't find interesting in Gideon the Cutpurse. And I'm not totally sure what the uninteresting element is.


by Neal Shusterman

Grade: Good

It was a bit weird to think of Pro-lifers going to war like that. I know some of them would, and there've been fanatics. But it would be rather ridiculous to assume they all would. The ones I know certainly wouldn't, and I know a lot. I'm also not totally sure how theologically correct some of it is.
But anyway.
It was totally gripping. Read it easily in a night. And creepy. In a good way.

Hell Week

by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Grade: Good

Strangely different from how I remembered the first book in this series though. (Prom Dates from Hell, it was called.) I thought her love interest was quite different and interesting, and it turned out he was quite usual and boring (to my weird mind, at least). And I thought there was an old guy who helped her too, or something. And old woman, maybe? Oh, well there was her Gran... maybe that's what I was thinking of...

Anyway, besides her love interest, it was very interesting. Good series. Looking forward to the next one.

EDIT: Ok, I know why it was so different than the first one. Because the first one that I was thinking of wasn't the first one at all, but Devilish by Maureen Johnson.

Gideon the Cutpurse

by Linda Buckley-Archer

Grade: All right

It was pretty good, just not as good as I'd hoped. I'm not totally sure why. Maybe the children were too young? Although that didn't stop Narnia from being the best ever. Maybe because Gideon, despite looking and sounding interesting, wasn't really interesting enough?

Anyway, I had been hoping that it would be another awsome trilogy in the line of Bartimeaus or the Warrior Heir series. But it wasn't.

Still, I'll read the next one, I think. The titles just sound so cool, that I can't resist.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Juliet Club

by Suzanne Harper

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 71, or thereabouts.

Yeah...Giacomo? "[L]eaning against the wall, one ankle crossed over the other, looking completely at ease. He had dark eyes, tousled brown hair, and the classic profile and self-possessed air of a Renaissance prince."

Yeah. And it goes on after that. More of the same. No thanks.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

by Gideon Defoe

Grade: To Own

Totally awsome little book. Emphasis on the "little". It was cute!

Also, I had been worried that it would be anti-Christian, due to Darwin being a character. However, I didn't think it was at all, although there was an evil Bishop.

It was written to impress a girl, apparently. And it's that sort of book.

Cute. Awsome. To Own.

See also the next two books, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Whaling, and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Dragon Heir

by Cinda Williams Chima

Grade: All right

Ok, here's another difference between this trilogy and the last one. The last one ended on the best book by far of the series. This one ends on a good-ish but not great note. Partly because I don't like Maddie very much, I guess. She bored me. Also, Hastings and Linda spent most of the book off stage.
Apparently she wrote another trilogy. I'm not quite as excited about it as any books by Jonathan Stroud.

The Wizard Heir

by Cinda Williams Chima

Grade: Good

This one was definitely better than the last one, and the last one was great. Seph was cooler than Jack, and he was Catholic to boot. (Although, I don't think the author knows a lot about Catholicism. Seph went to Mass every week on a Friday.) And there was more lovely Hastings and Linda goodness.
However, despite not particularily liking the romance in the last one, I liked this one even less. Maddie bugged me.

The Warrior Heir

by Cinda Williams Chima

Grade: Good

Ok, here comes another now finished trilogy of which I have to write the reviews in retrospect. And another trilogy made of awsome. However, in this one, it wasn't the characters which kept me spellbound (well, maybe Hastings and Linda...) but the magical world and the plot.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And Another Thing...

by Eoin Colfer

Grade: Good

In some ways better than I expected. Mostly it was very Douglas Adams, but I could tell it was Eoin Colfer, especially in the "happy" bits. Adams wasn't very happy.

I was happy to see Zaphod again. I'd missed him in the later Adams books. I'd missed a lot in the late Adams books, actually, so even the fact that I could read this one all the way through was a big plus.

Heroes of the Valley

by Jonathan Stroud

Grade: Good

Not my favourite of his. Almost "All right", except that the plot and setting were quite intriguing, and I read it in a day. I didn't like the girl very much in this one, and thus the romance. She seemed too stereotypical modern-young-adult-novel girl. Told she couldn't fight, resisted, told again, fought anyway, all strong minded.

The protagonist was quite different than usual, though. His looks were very strange, but I liked them. And the twist at the end was excellent.

Anyway. I still hope Jonathan Stroud writes tons more books. I only have two or three left to read!

Buried Fire

by Jonathan Stroud

Grade: Good

Well, I've found a new author. The creeping sense of growing evil is so well done in all his books so far. And he always makes it turn out all right in the end too, which I like. And his characters are all quite interesting.

This is the first book by a modern author that I've read in a long time in which the dragon is EVIL. EVIL EVIL EVIL. Way worse than Smaug.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ptolemy's Gate

by Jonathan Stroud

Grade: To Own
WARNING: Spoilers and fan-girling ahead.


Sigh. I cried. Or almost did. I felt like I was crying, at any rate.
What a beautiful perfect ending to a terrific trilogy of books. (Except that, apparently, he's making another one. I don't see how he could. I hope he doesn't do anything stupid... (EDIT: It's a prequel. So that makes more sense now.))

--I loved the romance. I so rarely love the romance, especially if it's kind of obvious, i.e. the girl is the only girl in the WHOLE BOOK who could be the love interest. Unless the hero becomes evil, which was very possible, and leads me to the next point.
--Nathaniel. His whole story. I loved him at the beginning when I didn't realize quite how unique he was, I loved him in the middle when he was stupid and ignorant and didn't realize his fashion was appalling, and I loved him at the end, when he repented.
--And Kitty was such a suitable match for him...sigh...
--But back to Nathaniel. That was the whole tension of the book. Does Nathaniel become evil? And it was so possible that he would. And yet, the plot was tense and exciting too. It's just that the character development overshadowed the whole thing. Which is just my cup of tea.

See also the first two books in this series: The Amulet of Samarkand and The Golem's Eye.

The Golem's Eye

by Jonathan Stroud

Grade: To Own

Ack! This hero! He gets worse and worse and slides down the path of corruption, and you can't stand it. I was so frantic to read the next one, that I made my dad drive like crazy to get to the library in time to get it the day after I finished the second one. (Actually, the day of, because I stayed up so late reading this one, that it was already morning.)
More about the fabulousness in the review of Ptolemy's Gate. Also see the first in the series, The Amulet of Samarkand.

The Amulet of Samarkand

by Jonathan Stroud

Grade: To Own

I'm writing this after I finished the whole Bartimaeus trilogy, so it's all in retrospect. Just so you know, you invisible people who are not reading this.

This might be my second favourite. Or third? They were all so good it is difficult to choose...

First book, thus has the benefit of it all being so new and exciting.
Bartimaeus's humour is so fresh and hilarious in this one. Not that it gets old, exactly, in the other ones. But in this one, I found it really stuck out.

You know what, I'm not going to list them all. I'll do that for the third one, which was my favourite anyway.
I'll just say, this is an excellent start, which makes one terribly eager for the rest.

See the rest of the trilogy: The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


by Kristin Cashore

Grade: All right

Geh. Lovers? What's against marriage, eh? Because apparently, the next book is like that too. Geh.

The concept of Graces was awsome, though. Leck was totally cool in a horrible, horrible sort of way. (Very slightly similar to a KKB idea I had.) The way Po's grace developed was cool too. And even Kasta's, though it seemed like the totally obvious grace for a modern feminist sort of heroine.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


ed. by Sharyn November

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 228, "Hope Chest" by Garth Nix.

--"Cotillion" was a bit too romantic.
--Megan Whalen Turner is fantastic and I'll read anything and everything by her.
--"Beauty" was a bit too romantic. (It might have been better if I had remembered the characters from "Crown Duel", though.)
--"Mariposa" was good. Maybe I can catch a tiny bit of Springer's feminism coming out. It wasn't bad, though.
--"Max Mondrosch" was very sad. But good.
--"The Fall of Ys" was OK. Not my favourite.
--"Medusa" by Michael Cadnum was good and mythological. I should look him up.
--"The Black Fox" was creepy, but confirmed my love of graphic novels.
--"Byndley" was a typical Faerie story. Good.
--"The Lady of the Ice Garden" was not my favourite. I liked the original "Snow Queen" much better.

That's all I finished before I had to give it back. I'll get it again, hopefully.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Three Philosophies of Life

by Peter Kreeft

Grade: To Own

I already own it, so the grade is a bit superfluous. Except that if I didn't own it, I'd want to. It was FANTASTIC.


by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

Grade: Good

Apparently it was written out of a TV series idea. It seems like that, in a good way.
Really, it was quite marvellous. But it was too long ago that I read it, and I can't really give any specifics. I think it was mostly just the incredible imaginative quality. The Salvador Dali like place was neat. And the magic/science stuff. And everything. Easy to read. Good book.