Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Premise:

Wendy and her brothers go on a fantastic adventure with Peter Pan, a boy who lives in the Neverland and never grows up.  They encounter mermaids, fairies and the infamous Captain Hook.  Though they go on many adventures, eventually Wendy and the boys must return home to grow up.

My thoughts:

My son and I read Peter Pan together for our homeschooling and I must say that it surprised me quite a bit.  I grew up watching Disney’s Peter Pan, so I was expecting a tame and mostly innocent story.  Let me tell you, the original Peter Pan is not all fluff.

Captain Hook and the Lost Boys do plenty of killing and maiming in their fights, though at least it isn’t described graphically.  Even innocent little Michael ends up killing a pirate in the final fight scene.

The Disney version got the story line mostly correct, but the book’s delivery is much more wordy and old-fashioned in its language.  I enjoyed it, but I could tell that my son’s attention was flagging at times because of the side tangents and complexity of the language.  For that reason I’d say this book is best suited to older elementary and up — unless your child has a great attention span.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it will be a one-time read for me.

I recommend Peter Pan to those who enjoy classic childhood adventure stories.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Advertisements

Lost Truth by Dawn Cook

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Lost Truth by Dawn Cook

Notable: Book #4 in the Truth series

Premise:

This fantasy dragon adventure finally wraps up with Alissa, Strell, Lodesh and Connen-Neute going on a journey to find some long-lost comrades.  Alissa and her true love are finally united, though that means one young man is left seriously disappointed.

My thoughts:

After enjoying the previous book so much, this one was a bit of a letdown.  The action was interesting, with several new characters being introduced (which was a welcome relief) and a completely new setting.  Meeting Keribdis brought the story full-circle and it allowed Talo-Toecan to face the foibles of his past which had wreaked so much havoc.

The resolution to Alissa’s love triangle fiasco was sadly disappointing to me.  I didn’t care much for her choice (I tend to root for the underdog), and it didn’t really seem to matter much anymore.  In the previous book her relationship with this particular character had been neglected so much that I pretty much lost interest in it altogether.  There wasn’t enough in this volume to convince me that she was really committed to the relationship.  The other character she had been attached to is basically discarded at the end of the story and that really rankled me.  Oh well.  I’ll get over it.

I recommend Lost Truth to fans of fantasy, dragons and female heroines!


Possible Objections:

  • A bit of violence

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook

Notable: Book #3 in the Truth series

Premise:

Alissa continues to train with Talo-Toecan, but when she practices a new skill it accidentally sends her back in time.  She’s still in the environs of the Hold, but ends us 400 years in the past, when Lodesh was just a young man.  Alissa tries to find her way back to Strell and her own time, but her feelings for Lodesh become much more complicated.

My thoughts:

This is my favorite book in the series so far.  There’s a richness to the Hold and Ese’ Nawoer of the past that is completely missing in the previous two books (probably because they’re unpopulated, no?).  The characters of Connen-Neute and Lodesh were a real pleasure to see developed, and there were several strong supporting characters, as well.

I don’t know what is going to happen with Alissa’s love life, but it seems like she might have three possible suitors now.  I’m rooting for Connen-Neute, though in truth, I don’t even know if he’s a real contender.  Strell was missing for most of this book and the few scenes he was in weren’t very compelling.  I found myself losing my attachment to his character–eek!  Lodesh likewise has lost some of his shine, based on some underhanded dealings on his part.

I didn’t care too much for the end of this book.  The men all seem totally defeated or amazingly oblivious, while Alissa lords it over them and won’t let go of one of them.  That young lady is being awfully selfish!  We’ll see where this story goes in the next volume…

I recommend Forgotten Truth to fans of fantasy and dragons!


Possible Objections:

  • A bit of violence
  • A tiny bit of language

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Hidden Truth by Dawn Cook

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Hidden Truth by Dawn Cook

Notable: Book #2 in the Truth series

Premise:

The story continues with Strell being trained by Bailic as a Keeper, and Alissa trying not to blow her cover.  Alissa accidentally wakes the city of Ese’ Nowoer and the magnetic Lodesh enters the scene as a rival love interest.  Useless continues to covertly tutor Alissa, and eventually Alissa undergoes a significant change.

My thoughts:

I zipped through this book, just like the previous one.  Even though the writing isn’t stellar, it’s rich in detail and kept me interested and wanting to find out what would happen next.  For those of you who can’t stand a slower paced book, I think this one would test your patience.  As I was progressing through the story and taking notes, I realized that there wasn’t a whole lot that was really happening.

There’s a lot of relationship intrigue and drama, people getting upset over seemingly unimportant things, waiting and/or skulking around.  There are a few action-packed scenes, but they’re not the norm for most of the book.  Personally, that didn’t bother me.

The characters in this book are probably what keeps me really interested.  Alissa is fairly petty/dramatic in her emotions, but not a stranger to admitting the error of her ways.  Strell seems to have taken a lesser role, serving more as a supporting character than in the first book, and Lodesh is quite intriguing.  I can’t wait to see what his role is in the next book.

Towards the end of the story, there’s a significant development for Alissa, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.  All I’ll say is that it’s pretty cool.

I recommend Hidden Truth to fans of fantasy who like to see an empowered female protagonist.


Possible Objections:

  • A bit of violence
  • A tiny bit of language

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

First Truth by Dawn Cook

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: First Truth by Dawn Cook

Notable: Book #1 in the Truth series

Premise:

When the magical abilities of a young woman named Alissa awaken, she must travel to the Hold where she can be trained.  Along the way, she meets a young man named Strell and the two are drawn into intrigue and adventure as Alissa begins to discover her latent magical abilities.

My thoughts:

I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book, probably because the last fantasy novel I read wasn’t exactly my favorite.  The author did a really nice job of creating interesting and believable characters, as well as telling a cohesive story rich in detail.  Oh, how I appreciate a fantasy story that makes sense right now!

Alissa and Strell are a bit petty in some scenes, but then again that could be chalked up to young people emotions.  I was plenty petty and ridiculous in my emotions as a young adult at times.  The magic in this story is interesting — more of an internal force than simply saying the right incantations.  I look forward to seeing how the magical abilities are developed, since we only get small glimpses of what is possible.

For those of you who enjoy seeing a strong female character take the lead in a fantasy story, you’ll probably get a kick out of this one.  I have the next two books on standby on my bookshelf, and I can’t wait to get started on them!

I recommend First Truth to fans of fantasy who like to see an empowered female protagonist.


Possible Objections:

  • A bit of violence

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Arcady by Michael Williams

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Arcady by Michael Williams

Notable: Book #1 in the Arcady series

Premise:

Solomon’s childhood home of Arcady is threatened by a destructive and mysterious force known as the Absence.  Though Solomon’s education at the Seminary has caused him to become jaded and cynical toward Magic and religion, he yet has a role to play in the salvation of his homeland.

My thoughts:

This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read.  For the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the book, I was pretty much lost.  There were slight connections between events and characters, but not enough to make it seem like a cohesive story.  Not until I was past the halfway mark did the different parts of the story come together and it started to make sense.

I say started, because the narrative never truly came together into a completely understandable story.  This book is absolutely full of half-formed ideas and images — magic, ethereal and difficult to fully grasp.  The characters are strange too, mysterious without adequate explanation of how they came to be that way.  That’s not really my cup of tea, but I muscled my way through the foggy and indistinct imagery and concepts because I don’t like to quit books unless they’re truly awful.

There’s a certain satisfaction to the end of the story.  The baddy is thwarted at least partially, things that were lost can now be rebuilt, the Hawken family isn’t at odds with itself anymore.  Apparently there’s a sequel to this book, but I don’t know if I’ll read it.  It was really tough getting through this one and I don’t feel ready to tackle another tedious read right now.

I recommend Arcady to those who like high fantasy that explores religious themes and imagery.

Possible Objections:

  • A little bit of bad language

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Notable: Newbery Honor Book, 1998

Premise:

When Ella is born she is given the “gift” of obedience by a well-meaning, but clueless fairy.  No matter the order, Ella must always obey.  After Ella’s mother dies, her father eventually remarries and Ella must go to finishing school with her two obnoxious stepsisters, Hattie and Olive.  When Hattie gives Ella a terrible order, she runs away so that it won’t have to be fulfilled.  Eventually Ella finds her true love and escapes the curse.

My thoughts:

This book was so much fun!  A number of years ago I watched the movie “Ella Enchanted,” without every having read the book.  I thought the movie was really cute, but now I have to say that I like the book even more.  As with most books which have been made into movies, the book far surpasses the movie.  The character development in the book was much more satisfying.

Ella’s character in the book is just so darn likable!  She’s spunky, funny, down-to-earth, affectionate, compassionate, and knows her own mind.  Even though she suffers a lot because of her curse/gift, Ella doesn’t give up and keeps trying to exert her own will.  Her relationship with Char was very satisfying.  It’s deep and meaningful, without any hints at inappropriate conduct between the young people.  It’s so refreshing to see a love interest for young people which maintains its innocence.  That’s a rare thing nowadays.

I recommend Ella Enchanted to anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale!  It’s a unique take on the Cinderella story.

Possible Objections:

  • Some talk about ogres eating people

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER ELLA ENCHANTED POSTS:

Circle of Light #1: Greyfax Grimwald by Niel Hancock

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Circle of Light 1: Greyfax Grimwald by Niel Hancock

Notable: Book #1 in the Circle of Light series

Premise:

Dwarf, Bear and Otter cross over Calix Stay, the river which separates the World Before Time from Atlanton Earth.  Though initially unsure of the purpose of their quest, they meet some wizards and a few trustworthy humans who help keep them safe and guide them along their journey.  The three unassuming friends have a pivotal role to play in the fight against the Dark Queen, who seeks to gain control over all the earth.

My thoughts:

We’re going really retro here!  This is one of the books that came in my Books by the Foot sci-fi/fantasy box. It started out on shaky footing from the start, when it stated on the cover, “Beginning a great new saga for all who love THE LORD OF THE RINGS!”  The author was just setting himself up for some unflattering comparisons and critiques.  If the cover hadn’t mentioned The Lord of the Rings, I would have read this with a completely open mind.  As it was, I was too busy trying to compare the two.

Circle of Light is not even in the same league as The Lord of the Rings,  It’s like saying that Palmers and Ghiradelli chocolates taste the same.  Anyone with a modicum of good taste can tell the difference.  In addition to that, many elements of the story seem like a direct rip-off of The Lord of the Rings.  But let’s lay those issues aside and simply talk about the merits of this story.

The plot isn’t bad.  There are a few scenes which have the potential to be interesting and epic.  Unfortunately, the writing is such that even major battles come across as mundane and boring.  FYI–the story ends without any resolution, so you’ll have to read the next in the series to get to a satisfying stopping point.

I like the choice of animals as main characters.  Bear and Otter are probably the two most endearing characters.  Dwarf, the other main character, is a bit of an enigma.  He seems a bit off, as if there are two warring personalities at work within him.  If a character is going to exhibit behavior at both ends of the spectrum, there should be a good reason for it.  Please author, what is the character’s motivation for acting the way he does??  Let me bring up another issue–character names.  Holy cow, this story is chock full of names–multiple names for many characters.  It got to be very confusing and didn’t add to the story at all.

Overall, I was not impressed with this book.  The writing style and execution were subpar, the characters uninteresting, and the events rather boring.  If you’re young and just want a so-so fantasy adventure to read, you might not mind Greyfax Grimwald.  If you have a more sophisticated palate when it comes to your fantasy novels, I’d say skip it.

Possible Objections:

  • Some violence
  • The a-word is used a few times (as in someone is being a dunce)

Rating: 2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 – Movie 2012

This post contains an affiliate link.

Last night I watched Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the movie adaptation of the second part of the book by the same name.  And I’m finished with the Twilight movies!!!  Thank you Lord, I made it through!

Lucky viewers get to meet Bella–the baby vampire.  She takes to her new role like a fish to water and finally gets to meet her baby girl, Renesmee.  Unfortunately, the Volturi catch wind of this new super-human child and believe it’s their duty to destroy the danger.  The Cullens race to gather witnesses to Renesmee’s human development, hoping it will stop the Volturi from carrying out their swift “justice.”  Jacob and the pack side with the Cullens to defend Renesmee, since she has been imprinted on by Jacob.  Who will survive in the final showdown?  If you want to know more about what I thought of the book, check out my book review.

My thoughts:

I remember enjoying the Twilight movies when they came out, but now that I’m going back and watching them in quick succession, they’ve lost their sparkle for me.  First, I’m comparing them to the books, and they just don’t measure up.  Second, the movies weren’t that well done.  For a fan who isn’t afraid to point out the flaws in a franchise, there is plenty of cannon fodder in these movies.

I feel like this movie could have been really interesting.  It features a very tense situation and lots of cool and interesting vampires, but the acting and chemistry of the characters was subpar.  I don’t care how dramatic and beautiful you are, you still need to put emotions into your lines and interact with the environment and other characters around you in a believable manner.  It seems like Edward, Bella and Jacob actually lost some of their acting ability in this movie.  Don’t ask me how.  Bad script?  Lame lines?

Now let’s talk about the CGI.  It was painful to watch.  The wolves are just kind of meh, but I can deal with that.  The CGI baby was frightening.  I think they were just trying to give her more intelligent eyes, but they didn’t look at all natural.  Her hair was creepy, too.  It’s too bad that baby Renesmee’s CGI was so poorly done because it takes away from your ability to really believe in the story you’re seeing played out in front of you.

As far as the conflict with the Volturi goes, I think that was probably the most satisfying part of the movie.  There is a lot of theatricality packed into that snow-covered clearing as two formidable supernatural groups poise for battle.  My absolute favorite part of the movie is something that didn’t even happen in the book.  –SPOILER ALERT–  When they show the battle between the Cullens, etc. and the Volturi–THAT IS THE BOMB!  A-MA-ZING fight scene!  Unfortunately, it’s a haha–got you moment when you realize it didn’t really happen after all.  In reality Aro and company go home and everyone else lives happily ever after.

I’m sorry, but my brain rebels against that kind of conclusive ending.  You’re vampires, for goodness’ sake, not librarians!  There is danger involved in that kind of lifestyle.  Whatever–I guess it was an easy way to wrap up the series.  I suppose it’s just difficult to accept such a fairytale ending for a series which has been rather dark throughout the rest of its history.

To sum up, I’d say this movie is on par with the other ones.  Just okay.  The fight scene at the end is awesome, though.  Maybe you should watch it just for that.

I recommend this movie to ladies in their teens and older who enjoy a good paranormal romance.  If you are a fan of the Twilight series, I think you will enjoy this movie.

Possible Objections:

  • Violence, blood & gore
  • Suggestive sexual content & partial nudity (though you don’t actually see the private bits)

Rated: PG-13

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER TWILIGHT POSTS:

Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – Movie 2011

This post contains an affiliate link.

Last night I watched Breaking Dawn – Part 1, the movie adaptation of the first part of the book by the same name.  I’m almost to the end of these movies!

Bella and Edward finally wed(!) and jet off to spend a relaxed honeymoon in the tropics.  While Edward follows through on his promise of intimacy, it comes with some unintended consequences.  Bella becomes pregnant, and the entire Cullen clan scrambles to keep Bella healthy, and do their best to help her survive the birth of the fast-growing fetus.  When Jacob and the pack find out that an unknown supernatural being is developing inside of Bella, they feel it is their responsibility to get rid of the abomination.  Will Bella and the baby survive?  If you want to know more about what I thought of the book, check out my book review.

My thoughts:

I really like that they opened with the wedding scene.  It looked absolutely beautiful and felt like the culmination of Edward and Bella’s relationship.  Unfortunately, I was rather put off by the emotions displayed by the couple during their wedding.  Pattinson did okay, with his subdued emotions possibly indicating nervousness.  Bella, on the other hand, looked like she was attending a funeral.  Nary a smile crossed her lips as she spotted her true love and walked down the aisle.  Dang girl–if it’s that painful, why get married at all?  It seemed very unrealistic to me and turned the wedding into just another awkward scene.

Bella’s ubiquitous lack of emotion came through in the rest of the movie, as well.  I can’t even complain about it anymore.  It’s just so bad and takes away any concern you might have for her character.  How can you care about a character who doesn’t excite any compassion in you?

Of the J/E/B trio, I’d have to say that Jacob is my favorite character.  He acts in a way that is at least familiar to the rest of us.  Which is to say, he displays the emotions of a normal human being.  Let’s not mince words though, his imprinting in this movie was slightly creepy.  Never mind the fact that he was in love with the mother of his new love, this new love interest is a baby.  I know there is an explanation which is supposed to clear the way and make it okay, but I can’t get over the fact that they are showing romantic attachment between adults and children.  Too icky.

One of the more disturbing things in this movie is the amount of blood and gore, especially when you compare it to the previous movies.  This one blows all the others out of the water.  Bella’s nightmare the night before the wedding is very disturbing.  Also, the part in which Bella finally goes into labor is very bloody and rather grotesque.  I tell you this not to dissuade you from watching the movie, but to warn you that it might not be appropriate for younger viewers or those with a touchy stomach.

There are also some very suggestive scenes between Edward and Bella.  While the nudity is tastefully done, it doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination.  I wouldn’t be comfortable with my preteen watching those scenes.

While I enjoyed the movie, the plot was a bit simple to make it terribly satisfying.  Essentially it’s the conundrum of a girl getting pregnant and how that is dealt with.  If you’re not into relationship drama, this movie could quite possibly drive you insane.

I recommend this movie to ladies in their teens and older who enjoy a good paranormal romance.  If you are a fan of the Twilight series, I think you will enjoy this movie.

Possible Objections:

  • Violence & gore
  • Lots of blood (especially during the delivery)
  • Suggestive sexual content & partial nudity (though you don’t actually see the private bits)

Rated: PG-13

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER TWILIGHT POSTS:

Eclipse — Movie 2010

This post contains an affiliate link.

Last night I watched Eclipse, the movie adaptation of the book by the same name!

The vampires and werewolves of Forks, Washington form an uneasy alliance when they face a threat from an unknown source in nearby Seattle.  Bella is once again in the sights of a malevolent supernatural creature, and both the Cullens and Quileutes put their lives on the line to protect her.  Edward and Bella come to a new understanding in their relationship, and Jacob continues to vie for Bella’s hand.  If you want to know more about what I thought of the book, check out my book review.

My thoughts:

I can’t believe how long it took me to get my hands on this movie.  I wanted to review it when the book was still fresh in my mind.  Unfortunately, I probably missed some of the differences between the book and the movie because of the long interim.

The movie jumps right in with the action going on in Seattle.  I must say that they amped up the vampire on human violence in this movie.  The previous movies have fairly quick and non-gruesome killing scenes, but this one takes it to the next level with the newborn vampires attacking people.  I was startled and kind of looked away during the part with the mauling and the burning car.

Edward and Bella seemed to have more of a natural relationship; not quite as sappy as in the two previous movies.  That was a relief, however, there really didn’t seem to be a lot of chemistry between them in this movie.  Am I the only one who thought that?  It was nice to see them come to a concrete decision in their relationship.  Bella’s demand for after their marriage seems a bit petty and hormonal, though.  Such a teenager!

I really liked Jacob in this movie.  He was more mature and intentional in his pursuit of Bella.  He genuinely loves her and offers her a life which any woman would prize.  It’s too bad she loves Edward more.  You can’t help but feel bad for Jacob and root for him as the underdog.

It was also nice to get more of Jasper’s and Rosalie’s backstories.  Rosalie’s story was particularly disturbing, and I’m glad that they didn’t get any more explicit in that scene.  It was bad enough as it was.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie adaptation, but I still prefer the book.  There were some very cool parts–the vamp/wolf chase scene with Victoria, and the Cullen and Quileute training scenes in particular.  There were a few scenes which were just okay and I found my mind wandering and a yawn escaping my lips.  All in all, it’s not my favorite Twilight movie.  Sorry!

I recommend this movie to ladies in their teens and older who enjoy a good paranormal romance.  If you are a fan of the Twilight series, I think you will enjoy this movie.

Possible Objections:

  • Violence (including a strong suggestion of sexual violence)

Rated: PG-13

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER TWILIGHT POSTS:

Books We Own: Terry Pratchett

My husband introduced me to the wonderful realm of Discworld some years ago.  I had never heard of Terry Pratchett and at first his books struck me as somewhat odd.  What exactly were these books?  They were definitely fantasy, but unlike any fantasy I had ever read.  I soon discovered that this was a magical and wondrous world, and I wanted to discover all of its delightful secrets.  If you are a fan of English humor and fantasy books, you will love the Discworld novels.  They are simply brilliant!

We are in the process of trying to build a complete set of Pratchett’s books, but they are not as easy to come by here in the States.  Also, I like to add to my book collection by finding the odd book at a thrift sale or Goodwill.  It’s like finding hidden treasure.  The few times I have found one of Pratchett’s books at Goodwill, I’ve wanted to start running through the aisles, waving the book around for everyone to see and shouting out my exultation.  Sweet, sweet victory!  I refrain, though.  Who wants to get carted off by the police because you got overly excited about a book, y’know?

**You can see a slideshow of the books at the end of this post.

♥ = we own the book

This post contains affiliate links.

Discworld Novels in Order:

  1. The Color of Magic
  2. The Light Fantastic
  3. Equal Rites
  4. Mort
  5. Sourcery
  6. Wyrd Sisters
  7. Pyramids
  8. Guards! Guards!
  9. Eric
  10. Moving Pictures
  11. Reaper Man
  12. Witches Abroad
  13. Small Gods
  14. Lords and Ladies
  15. Men at Arms
  16. Soul Music
  17. Interesting Times
  18. Maskerade
  19. Feet of Clay
  20. Hogfather
  21. Jingo
  22. The Last Continent
  23. Carpe Jugulum
  24. The Fifth Elephant
  25. The Truth
  26. Thief of Time
  27. The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable
  28. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
  29. Night Watch
  30. The Wee Free Men
  31. Monstrous Regiment
  32. A Hat Full of Sky
  33. Going Postal
  34. Thud!
  35. Wintersmith
  36. Making Money
  37. Unseen Academicals
  38. I Shall Wear Midnight
  39. Snuff
  40. Raising Steam
  41. The Shepherd’s Crown

For Younger Readers:

  1. Dodger
  2. Dodger’s Guide to London
  3. Dragons at Crumbling Castle
  4. Johnny and the Bomb
  5. Johnny and the Dead
  6. Nation
  7. Only You Can Save Mankind
  8. The Abominable Snowman
  9. The Bromeliad Trilogy (Truckers, Diggers, Wings)
  10. The Carpet People
  11. The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner
  12. Where’s My Cow?

Other Titles:

  1. A Blink of the Screen
  2. A Slip of the Keyboard
  3. A Tourist Guide to Lancre: A Discworld Mapp (also by Stephen Briggs)
  4. Death’s Domain: A Discworld Mapp
  5. Good Omens (also by Neil Gaiman) ♥
  6. Guards! Guards!: The Play (also by Stephen Briggs)
  7. Maskerade: The Play (also by Stephen Briggs)
  8. Mort: The Play (also by Stephen Briggs)
  9. Mrs. Bradshaw’s Handbook: To Travelling Upon the Ankh-Morpork & Sto Plains Hygienic Railway
  10. Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook
  11. Seriously Funny: The Endlessly Quotable Terry Pratchett
  12. Shaking Hands with Death
  13. Small Gods: A Discworld Graphic Novel (also by Ray Friesen)
  14. Strata
  15. The Art of Discworld (also by Paul Kidby) ♥
  16. The Compleat Ankh-Morpork: City Guide
  17. The Compleat Discworld Atlas
  18. The Dark Side of the Sun
  19. The Discworld Mapp (also by Stephen Briggs) ♥
  20. The Folklore of Discworld (also by Jacqueline Simpson)
  21. The Long Earth
  22. The Long War
  23. The Long Mars
  24. The Long Utopia
  25. The Long Cosmos
  26. The New Discworld Companion (also by Stephen Briggs) ♥
  27. The Pratchett Portfolio
  28. The Science of Discworld (also by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen)
  29. The Science of Discworld II: The Globe (also by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen)
  30. The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch (also by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen)
  31. The Science of Discworld IV: Judgment Day (also by Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen)
  32. The Streets of Ankh-Morpork Mapp (also by Stephen Briggs) ♥
  33. The Unadulterated Cat
  34. The Unseen University Cut-Out Book (also by Alan Batley & Bernard Pearson)
  35. The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld
  36. The World of Poo
  37. Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion. . .So Far (also by Stephen Briggs)
  38. Wyrd Sisters: The Play (also by Stepehn Briggs)

Discworld Books by Other Authors:

  1. The Authorized Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Magazine from SFX ♥

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just noticed that my camera seems to have a scratch on the lens.  That’s awesome.  😦

The Elixir Vitae Adventures: Ortus by Stacey Horan

This post contains an affiliate link.

A special thank-you to Stacey Horan for providing an ARC for me to review!

Title: The Elixir Vitae Adventures: Ortus (Book 1) by Stacey Horan

Premise:

Abigail and Quinn Link must go live with their grandpa when their mother suddenly dies from cancer.  Their grandfather, Professor Larson, asks the children to fill in where their mother left off — guarding the elixir vitae or fountain of youth from those who would use it for their own gain.  They travel around the United States finding and solving clues, while trying to simultaneously fit in at their new boarding school.

My thoughts:

I love the cover of this book!  I know that seems kind of silly, but I wanted to share something that I think was absolutely spot-on with this book.  I also loved the personal note which I received from the author when I won it through Goodreads.

The premise of the story is a good one.  The children go on adventures with their grandfather to find clues all around the United States to discover the whereabouts of the elixir vitae.  They do this by means of a magic portal map and key.  So far, so good.

Unfortunately, the execution of the story leaves something to be desired.  The actual narration sounded like a teenager telling about the events of their day — more like a diary entry than a novel.  I found myself wishing for more detail throughout the story, more richness, more variety in sentence structure, and more complex thoughts.

The characters were okay, but I didn’t become attached to any of them.  They needed more fleshing out and a closer glimpse into their psyches to show readers what makes them tick.  It also seemed that their emotional reactions were off at times.  Sometimes they had extreme negative reactions in situations which didn’t call for it.  I wondered why this person was all of a sudden screaming at that person.  Would they all benefit from some anger management classes?

Finally, there were enough errors in the text itself that it couldn’t be overlooked.  The editing wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t careful enough, either.  Of particular note, I counted eleven instances of the wrong word being used.  That’s kind of a lot.  Throw in a few misspelled words, missing words, extra words, and a paragraph break in the wrong place, and you can see how it could become a problem.

I recommend The Elixir Vitae Adventures: Ortus to those who like adventures which feature kids as the heroes.  If you’re willing to overlook some bumps in the delivery, you might enjoy this story.


Possible Objections:

  • One instance of taking God’s name in vain
  • One of the kids says, “Holy shhhhhh” – implying you know what

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

This post contains an affiliate link.

Title: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Notable: Book #4 in the Twilight series

Premise:

Edward and Bella are finally married and jet off to Rio de Janeiro to spend a lovely honeymoon together.  Though they didn’t know it was even possible, Bella becomes pregnant.  The entire Cullen family must figure out how to keep both Bella and the baby safe during the pregnancy and delivery, and how to protect the child from the meddling Volturi.

My thoughts:

This is the final book in the Twilight series.  While I raced through the three previous books, this one I took my time with.  I didn’t really want to get to the end.

When compared to the three previous books, I believe that this book demonstrates a notable step up in the maturity factor.  No longer are readers subject to long scenes in which Bella and Edward look for novel ways of stating that they can’t live without one another.  Thank goodness for that!

I enjoyed the story line of this book and to me it felt like it jumped into the complexity of an intricate soap opera.  You have all of these characters with complicated relationships, loyalties, and motivations.  They are all thrown together to defend their families, friends and way of life, and it makes for some socially tangled interactions.  That’s something which most ladies love to imagine!  Many of the characters are challenged in the way they view other “monsters”, and it’s nice to see them overcome their prejudices.

One of the aspects which I most enjoyed was getting to meet all of the vampire allies and to get a feel for what their strengths were.  It’s nice to see some new characters who are not antagonistic, and to witness their interactions with the Cullens.

Finally, I like how Meyer wrapped things up within the story.  Bella becomes a vampire and does a great job adjusting.  Charlie is brought into the secret only as much as is necessary to ensure he can still be a part of Bella’s life.  Jacob gets his happy ending.  And independent vampires and other paranormals score a win in their desire to be free of the repressive rule of the Volturi.  What more could you ask for?  It’s happily ever after for all of our favorite characters.

I recommend Breaking Dawn to all the ladies out there who enjoy a good romantic story with a bit of danger thrown in.  I think it’s best suited to teens and up, as things get a bit violent, especially the farther you progress in the series.


Possible Objections:

  • Violence & some gore
  • Sensuality
  • One use of the d-word

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

 

OTHER TWILIGHT POSTS: