2012 Book 51: Seeds of Rebellion, by Brandon Mull (3/22/2012)
Reason for Reading: I am a fan of Brandon Mull and have read all his books. I probably wouldn’t have finished this book within a week of its release, however, except for the fact that Mull was at my local Barnes and Noble for a signing last Sunday. I really enjoyed meeting him. He’s very nice and friendly and we had a lovely conversation until an annoying superior child and his annoying superior mother made it quite clear with their annoying superior sighs and annoying superior noses in the air that I was taking up too much of their time. It was ultra-annoying because if they were in such a rush they should have gotten in line faster. I dawdled specifically so that anyone with a child could get ahead of me in line. They must have WANTED to be last. And, really, our conversation hadn’t gone on THAT long. Regardless, I am now a bigger fan of Mull because he’s so genuine and approachable.
My Review 5/5 stars
In this second book of the Beyonders series, Jason returns to Lyrian to rescue his friend Rachel and tell her the terrible secret he learned in the first book. They team up with a motley crew of revolutionaries and continue their quest to dethrone the evil emperor. Mull uses his ingenuity to create a truly unique parallel world with creative “fantastical” peoples and creatures. His characters are very human in that they all have weaknesses, but they show amazing strength as well. The story keeps up fascinating descriptions of the peoples and places while keeping the suspense levels high throughout the story. This book was even better than the first in the series, and I look forward to the third (and final) book next year.
2012 Book 39: By Darkness Hid, by Jill Williamson (2/27/2012)
Reason for Reading: Was wondering what a Christy Award winner was like. I’m pleased.
My Review: 4/5 stars
Achan has grown up in a medieval-esque village as a lowly stray and his future seems bleak when a head-strong knight illegally begins to train Achan as his squire. The lord of the village is angered, and Achan is punished by having to guard the nasty, abusive prince on a trip to the capital city. While traveling, Achan runs into many difficulties—including Vrell, a rather effeminate “boy” who is actually the prince’s chosen bride-to-be in hiding. Vrell and Achan must learn to trust one another, while at the same time taming their sharpening their blood-voices. This book is Christian young adult fiction, so it has a reasonably subtle religious theme. It is the first book in a trilogy, and it had a cliff-hanger ending, but luckily for me the whole series has been published. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story—even though the characters aren’t perfect and sometimes I wanted to pound them over their heads for their obtuseness, they ARE teenagers after all and are really quite endearing. The book started out slow, but I was really into it after the first 50 or so pages. It was getting really interesting at the end, right when it ended. Ah! Cliffhangers!
2012 Book 38: The Silver Chair, by C. S. Lewis (2/26/2012)
Reason for Reading: Currently working through the Narnia series in publication order.
My Review: 5/5 stars
Eustace Scrubb ventures back to Narnia with his schoolmate Jill Pole. There they are sent on a mission to rescue Prince Rilian, who has been kidnapped by an evil witch. This is another lovely installment of the Chronicles of Narnia. Very cute.