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 47: The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman (3/11/2012)
Reason for Reading: Interested in the Paradise Lost allegory
My Review: 3/5 stars
Lyra has traveled to a parallel universe, where she meets Will—another traveler of universes. They team up when they find that Lyra’s quest to find out more about dust and Will’s quest to find his missing father are intertwined. This is a difficult book for me to review. The first time I tried to read this book, I gave up about a quarter of the way through because I didn’t like being beat over the head with an anti-religion Message. It really lacked subtly in this book, and I hear it is even more brutal in the third book. However, I decided to give this book another try because I learned that it was a retelling of Paradise Lost, and I was interested in seeing what he did with that. My final conclusion: I still feel that I was being beat over the head with a Message; however, I think Pullman is a VERY creative author. SPOILER ALERT: I was a little off-put by the pointless waste of lives at the end of the book. But perhaps the third book will elucidate the reasons for these deaths.
2012 Book 33: Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde (2/19/2012)
Reason for Reading: Fforde February
My Review: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Thursday Next series, and is every bit as good as the first. In Lost in a Good Book, Thursday Next must save the world while trying to rescue her eradicated husband Landen. Fforde’s writing is humorous, making for a quick, light read. Several reviewers said this book is darker than the first, which I suppose it is, though it never would have occurred to me. It has very little violence and given the nature of Fforde’s universe everything is reversible, so what does it matter if the attacks on Thursday are a little more personal in this book? I plan on reading the rest of the series, but I think I’ll take a break and clean the puns out of my brain before I start another one. Fforde’s humor is great, but I just can’t read punny humor continuously. 🙂
2012 Book 19: Prince Caspian, by C. S. Lewis (1/30/2012)
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy return to Narnia centuries after their departure to help Prince Caspian wrest the kingdom out of the hands of his tyrant uncle. A very cute story with a wonderful moral. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. I’m reading them in publication order, so this is the second book. 5/5 stars
Another attempt at reading some of the books I should have read as a child.