Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Last Tragedy

Title: The Last Tragedy
Author: Herb Mallette 
Year Published: 2011

Synopsis:   Jake Warbler knew his Aunt Avelia as a warrior of superhuman prowess. Noxie the half-sprite lived in awe of her sorcerous grandfather, Fingold. Now two of the world's greatest adventurers have disappeared, and it falls to their heirs to retrace their steps and understand these dark, mysterious vanishings. The only clues point to history's most famous work of unread literature: the Last Tragedy of Coeldoetta of Jueln. But the Tragedy has eluded all seekers for nearly fifteen hundred years. Can Jake and Noxie succeed where so many others have failed? And can they do so while outpacing a bloody-minded cult that seems to have undone the two most powerful figures in their lives? The Last Tragedy is a sweeping work of adventurous fantasy, set in a world of skyships and floating continents, brimming with magic and full of peril. It pits heroes of wit and skill against villains whose striking depravity will not soon leave the reader's mind.

Why?: It was free on Amazon, so I downloaded the Kindle version. Can't really pass up free books! You can always delete them if they really suck.

Expectations: I have little to no expectations for this book. I assume it's free because it's the author's first book, which means it could go either way.

Judging a book by its cover: From the cover, it appears that a girl with wings (who I assume is Noxie the half-Sprite) and a guy with a musical instrument (who I assume is Jake Warbler) are adventuring. I'm not sure why he has an instrument though... I guess it will be important to the story. Or not, who knows.


The Death Cure

I still have so many blogs to write... I hate when I get ahead in reading and forget to do them.

Title: The Death Cure
Author: James Dashner
Year Published: 2011

Synopsis: Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Why?: I read the first two books in the trilogy, and they were fantastic. Paul bought this one so we could finish up the series. (Except now there's going to be a prequel to The Maze Runner, so we aren't really done yet)

Expectations: I kind of expect a lot out of this book. I expect lingering questions to be answered, and I expect Thomas to have to deal with a lot of issues dealing with his past, present and future.

Judging a book by its cover: From the cover, it looks like it will be snowy outside. Which doesn't really make sense since the world was destroyed by sun flares, but who knows. Also, it seems like huge buildings will be abandoned and left to the forces of nature because people have migrated away or been consumed by the Flare. (Ok, so not all of that came from the cover, but most of it did. With a little background information from the last two books).

Here's to trying to finish all these blogs by 2012! (Although I really doubt that will happen).


Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Prophet of Yonwood

And another!

Title: The Prophet of Yonwood
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Year Published: 2006

Synopsis:   It’s 50 years before the settlement of the city of Ember, and the world is in crisis. War looms on the horizon as 11-year-old Nickie and her aunt travel to the small town of Yonwood, North Carolina. There, one of the town’s respected citizens has had a terrible vision of fire and destruction. Her garbled words are taken as prophetic instruction on how to avoid the coming disaster. If only they can be interpreted correctly. . . . As the people of Yonwood scramble to make sense of the woman’s mysterious utterances, Nickie explores the oddities she finds around town—her great-grandfather’s peculiar journals and papers, a reclusive neighbor who studies the heavens, a strange boy who is fascinated with snakes—all while keeping an eye out for ways to help the world. Is this vision her chance? Or is it already too late to avoid a devastating war? In this prequel to the acclaimed The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, Jeanne DuPrau investigates how, in a world that seems out of control, hope and comfort can be found in the strangest of places.

Why?: I read both The City of Ember and The People of Sparks, and figured I should continue the series.  As much as I really don't want to.

Expectations: I really don't expect much from this book. I didn't really enjoy the first two books in the series, and I'm only reading the rest of the series so I can get it over with.

Judging a book by its cover: From the cover, it looks like a missile will probably be dropped somewhere - maybe Yonwood? Also, birds are important.


Ashley's December Pick: Never Let Me Go


Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Year Published: 2005

Synopsis: From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special — and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.

Why?: I've had several people tell me to read this book, so I figure it's about time I got around to it. Plus, from reading about it, some aspects are kind of creepy, for lack of a better word, and that's fitting my theme for the past few months.

Expectations: I expect this to be an excellent book, filled with mystery and tons of questions, some of which may even be left unanswered. I also expect it to be fairly deep - more adult fiction than YA.

Judging a book by its cover: From the cover, I would say that the book is about a girl. Maybe a very reflective girl, who sits alone most of the time just thinking. Or maybe she really likes nature and just likes to be by herself to enjoy it.


Paul's November Book: Crossed

I'm going to try to start catching up, so bear with me. I've started 4 books and finished 2 since I last blogged, so this could take a while.

I think this was supposed to be Paul's November book, so we're going under that assumption. Since he hasn't blogged about anything since The Girl of Fire and Thorns...

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Year Published: 2011

Synopsis: In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky— taken by the Society to his certain death—only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander— who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart— change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Why?: Paul and I have both read Matched, the prequel to this book. It just came out recently, so Paul picked it for his November book and I wanted to read it anyway. The first book was good, and hopefully this one continues the story and answers questions left over from Matched.

Expectations: I expect this book to be better than Matched, since Matched was kind of slow and set up most of the information a reader would need to become engrossed in Cassia and Ky's dystopian world. I also expect this to be kind of epic, since they're supposedly running through the wilderness.

Judging a book by its cover: The cover is very reminiscent of Matched, except this one is blue instead of green. From the cover, I would think that it focus on a girl, possibly trapped in some sort of bubble created by her society/family/something like that that she's finally able to break free from.


Friday, December 2, 2011

"Sometimes it's better not to look back."

I am so glad I finally gave in and bought this book.

As always, in case you missed it:

My Pre-Reading

Someone somewhere called this book "Alice in Wonderland meets Harry Potter," and that's actually a pretty accurate I think. Plus a little bit of X-Men.

SPOILERS abound! But I'll try not to give too much away.

This was definitely one of the best books I've read in a while, if not all year. Ransom Riggs did a phenomenal job combining peculiar pictures with a peculiar story without making anything seem too farfetched. I think what made it even better was the inclusion of real events and real places. He takes an old man's stories of monsters and magical places and peculiar children and constantly switches between fantasy and the reality of WWII.

Jacob, as a character, is both simple and extraordinarily complex. As a child, he takes his grandfather's story at face value and although he believes them to be mostly fairy tales, he doesn't take them to be metaphors for his grandfather's wartorn history. As he gets older, he begins to dismiss the stories and believes everything to be simply his grandfather's method of coping with all of the horrors he dealt with as a child.

Then suddenly, Jacob's world in turned upside down when his grandfather is killed. He tries to figure out his grandfather's past, but learns so much more. All of the new children, Miss Peregrine,  and all of the other characters are mysterious and peculiar, and Riggs does an excellent job of creating characters based on real, odd photos.

I am so excited for a sequel and for a possible Tim Burton movie! Definitely a 5/5 on this book! Even if it wasn't entirely original, I still loved it all the way through.


Also, Paul is finally off the first page ;)