Tuesday, November 29, 2011

104:99 Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

The first book in the popular children's series, Warriors.  We follow Rusty, a pet cat of a few months of age, as he decides to leave his safe, comfortable life to go live with a clan of wild cats in the forest instead and train as a warrior.  Now Rusty is Firepaw, a warrior in training but one who is treated with suspicion as a former kittypet but the clan needs all the warriors they can get as another clan is on the move to take all the territory for themselves.  Will Firepaw become the warrior his clan leader believes he can?  Or will he never be more than a kittypet, destined to return to the human family he left and only ever dream of the freedom a clan cat has?

Nice political intrigue going on, personal dilemmas of growing up and how to deal with more adult situations, but told in an easier way for a younger audience with cats.  Descriptions were well-done with them seeming very human but then throwing in some wording or action sequences to remind you they are cats which keeps it from being too scary.  Matthew has enjoyed these books and I think Jonathan will as well.  Definitely has my recommendation as a good book (so likely good series) for kids.

Page count: 272p/29,431p ytd

Friday, November 25, 2011

104:98 The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

A post-apocalyptic YA.   The concept of the plague was interesting and the divisions in society that cropped up but I didn't feel that the world was well fleshed out.  Totally concentrated on the main character and most other characters were simply there to do what was needed without much development or background.  It was ok but just not gripping.  If there were a sequel, I doubt I would pick it up unless one of the boys decided I had to read it as well.  I just didn't grow to care for any of the characters.

Page count: 278p/29,159p ytd

Monday, November 21, 2011

104:97 Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green

The 9th book in the Nightside series.  The Walking Man, an agent of God's Justice, has come to the Nightside to punish the wicked and his sights are set ultimately on the new Authorities.  Just who are they since Lilith took out the last batch?  The same group of people that have been trying to kill John Taylor from the future his entire life.  And now they want him to stop the Walking Man no matter the cost.  But how do stop someone who is untouchable by the will of God?

Looks like there is at least a touch of a longer reaching story arc getting set-up in this one and it will be interesting to see where that goes.  Otherwise, a fun easy chapter to the series.  It was nice to see this one with a slightly less standard ending.

Page count: 263p/28,881p ytd

Friday, November 18, 2011

104:96 End Game by Luisa Prieto

Ok, this isn't one anyone is going to find on the shelves right now as my friend asked me to critique it for her since it's not her usual genre.  Since it's not published yet, I don't want to say much beyond it's about zombies and after the first bit I absolutely couldn't put it down.  Some technical issues that could use some tweaking and polishing but otherwise, a fabulous story and I so dearly hope it gets picked up and published.

Page count: 255p/28,618p ytd

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

104:95 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

So Neil Gaiman is one of those authors that all my friends have told me that I absolutely must read and this is one of his books that they all refer to as being incredible.  Jonathan had a copy and had started reading it and didn't want to put it down (which says a lot right there).  I ended up at "An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer" a few weeks ago and got to hear him read some of his pieces....I was hooked!  I came home and not so nicely demanded that Jonathan fork the book over to me so I could read it right then and there.

I was blown away.  For a children's book, it's so dark but never in a way that terrifies.  It's scary but you always understand that it will all turn out alright in the end.  It's deep and thought-provoking, poignent and fanciful, endearing and scary.

It's darn near perfection.

I won't spoil it more than that but simply to say that it's truly as incredible as everyone has said (heck, it won't a Newberry so it isn't just me thinking these things).  If you haven't read it yet, go do so.  You won't regret it.

Page count: 307p/28,363p ytd

Thursday, November 10, 2011

104:94 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Set in 1960s Mississippi, it tells the story of 2 black women who work for white households and a white woman who wants to become a writer and finds a story in their lives.  I think for the most part, it did a very nice job of showing the racism and crap that the black women had to put up with on a daily basis but also showed the deeper relationships that could grow between them and their white charges.  While some of what is talked about is bad, my feeling is that much of the horrible things were still mostly glossed over but it feels like this is a good start to talking about what life was like then and how far we still need to come as a society in terms of how we treat each other.  In all tho, it was a fascinating read and I definitely found myself cheering for some characters and wanting to boo others.  Good depth and dimension to them all.

Page count: 464p/28,056p ytd

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

104:93 Walking Dead Compendium 1

I read this because it's one of my son's favorite comics and I enjoyed the first season of the show.  I have to say, this is one of the rare times when I liked the show better.  I found the comic to be slow and plodding at times, overly repetitive dialog, and insanely gratuitous blood and gore inflicted by the living on other living.  I get the whole zombie thing but it seems like the comic was more interested in just how crappy all living people would be to each other when this happened.  Just not my thing.  In addition, I found the artwork bland and had a hard time differentiating between a couple of characters because they simply looked too much alike.

In all, I would say just skip this and watch the show instead.

Page count: 1088p/26,680p ytd

Saturday, November 5, 2011

104:92 Courting Darkness by Yasmine Galenorn

The 10 book in the Sisters of the Otherworld series.  This one is told from Camille's point of view.  Camille, Smoky, Roz, and Iris have just returned from the Northlands where Iris had to confront her past to see if she had any chance of a future.  No sooner so they return home then they are immediately headed back out as a deamon has a message for Camille and will talk to no one else.  The message..."Hyto is near".  A psychotic father-in-law is just what Camille needs right now, especially one who blames all his misfortunes squarely upon Camille and Smokey.  But of course, Camille ends up being captured by Hyto.  Can she escape before he kills her?  And even if she can, what scars will she bear on mind and soul besides her body?

I could not put this book down.  There was so much going on that I just had to keep reading.  Fast-paced, edgy, intense, and a complete page-turner.

Page count: 316p/27,592p ytd

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

104:91 The Unnatural Inquirer by Simon Green

The 8th book in the Nightside series.  Someone has apparently recorded a snippet of the Afterlife and has sold the DVD rights to the Unnatural Inquirer but then disappeared and the paper wants him found so have hired John Taylor to do just that.  With everyone else looking for it as well, possibly even Heaven and Hell, can he find it in time or merely pick up the pieces?

Good Nightside book but without an overarching plot, the series has gotten thin.  John Taylor can always use his gifts or some other Deux Ex Machina to get out of every situation he encounters with almost no help from anyone these days.  I keep hoping that they'll come up with something else besides he is just super powerful so always wins ones of these days.

Page count: 246p/27,276p ytd

104:90 Darkness Rising by Keri Arthur

The second book in the Dark Angels series.  Risa has made a deal with the devil (ok, Madeline Hunter old vampire and head of the Directorate so same diff) and she wants Risa to pay up by searching for whatever is killing Vampire Council members.  Of course, this is while Risa is being besieged on all sides to find the keys to the portals as well.  No matter where she turns, someone is after her for some reason and no one is playing nice.

A great installment to the series, lots of action and very fast-paced.  I like that Riley is around but only occasionally as this is really Risa's story.  Really wondering what is going on with Lucien and really hating that his basically ends on a cliff-hanger and I dont' know when the next one is coming out.  Ack!!!!

Page count: 342p/27,130p