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.