Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

Book Info

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

by David Petersen


Summary

In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers that fight off intruders, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one hidden village to another. The Guard patrol borders, find safeways and paths through dangerous territories and treacherous terrain, watch weather patterns, and keep the mouse territories free of predatory infestation. They do so with fearless dedication so that they might not just exist, but truly live. Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam, three such Guardsmice, are dispatched to find a missing merchant mouse that never arrived at his destination. Their search for the missing mouse reveals much more than they expect, as they stumble across a traitor in the Guard's own ranks.


My Thoughts

This is one of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels I have read in a long time. The entire book is done in color and the action sceens are intense. You are first introduced to Lieam, Kenzie, and Saxon who are part of the Mouse Guard that protects traveling mice between territories. There are many action sceens were they must battle snakes, crabs, and each other. The plot really begins when they find a traitor in their Guard and they must fight to protect the city. I was surprised to learn that this was Petersen's first graphic novel series because it not only included beautiful illustrations but a great story. You may be seeing more graphic novels as the summer goes on because I am taking a graphic novel course at UNT. I leave you with this snipet from the book.




Monday, May 24, 2010

Give Up the Ghost

Book Info

Give up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

YA

Summary

Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts to “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable. They know the dirt on everybody . . . and Cass loves dirt.
She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of all of the poseurs in her school. But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Timwants her help to contact his recently deceasedmother, but Cass is less than enthusiastic.
Kicking and screaming, Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life. And she’s more surprised than anyone when she realizes that maybe some living people aren’t so bad if she’d only give them a chance.

My Thoughts
An unpopular girl who hates everyone and the popular guy who's life is falling apart get to know one another in this Supernatural YA. Cass was a victim of a rumor gone wrong in middle school and now in high school she hates everyone- especially her ex-best friend Danielle. But Cass has revenge on the class by digging up all the dirt she can find through the only friends she has left, ghosts. Cass started seeing ghosts after her older sister died in a drowning and now Paige haunts her room dispensing fashion advice. When Tim, the Vice-President if the student council, guesses she can talk to ghost he asks for her help contacting his recently deceased mother. Cass is reluctant to help but Tim is friends with Danielle and might be able to help her take revenge.

I thought this was a fun, light read for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Cass had great characterization and tried to keep the school's jerks at bay but no matter where she tried to help there was always someone doing something mean. I understood the reason why Cass did not trust people after the betrayal of her best friend and knew that she would have to make a few realizations before opening her heart to Tim. I wish that Crewe had gone into more detail about the help Tim needed to get his depression under control. This would have been the perfect opportunity to place a suicide prevention hotline or some other type of help. The book was still good but the ending seemed a little to rushed. Most teenagers would not have been so ready to forgive, although the fact the Cass did not actually become besties with Danielle again was a nice change of pace.

Overall good book and I would recommend it if you happen to run across it in the library. Not a rush out and buy book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Matter of Magic



Book Info

A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede

This title will be released on June 8, 2010.

YA


Summary

When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right. Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward, two fast-paced novels filled with mystery and romance, set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England.


My Thoughts

One of my favorite books is getting a facelift and wow does it look good! I love this book and I am so glad it is being reissued with a beautiful new cover. It was reissued a few years ago with an okay cover but it did not scream BUY ME that this cover does. This is currently sitting on my Amazon wish list and I can't wait to get it (my original copies are falling apart).


Kim is a street urchin who is disguising herself as a boy to keep out of the London brothels and keeps herself employeed as a theif but when she breaks into Mairelon the Magician wagon she is given a chance to get off the streets. Mairelon the Magician turns out to be a real wizard and not a street performer! He is trying to prove he did not steal the precious Saltash Dish- even if it means crashing dinner parties or putting up with kooky Druids! Everyone seems to be after the Saltash Platter and with many fakes circulating it is difficult to prove which is the real one.
This book has it all! Adventure, humor and a little bit of romance in the second book! Go out and get the new release this June!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

City of Bones

Book Info
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Book One)
by Cassandra Clare
YA

Summary
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

My Thoughts
This was a book loan from a friend of mine who was very insistent that I read it and I’m glad she did. I have devoured the first two books but I will focus on the first book for this review. The book was a fun read and had many of the elements I enjoy in a Young Adult book. I really liked the mythology Clare uses to set up her Shadowhunter world and the marking of runes to cast magic. There was lots snappy dialog and banter, a romantic triangle, and demon butt-kicking. The banter did help the characters of Simon and Clary seem like closer friends because I am always making wise cracks with my friend, while Jace uses his witty comments to keep people at arm’s length.

I was told that Cassandra Clare first started out writing fan fiction and I am not very surprised because angst is cranked to the highest degree towards the end of the novel. Her writing style is a little scattered at times but for a first book she did an excellent job. Just goes to show that everyone out there writing fan fiction that it is good practice for creating your own ideas and plot lines. I would recommend buying the first two books together because of a major cliff hanger that will make you need to read the second book right away.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder


Book Info
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
YA

Summary
Keep Your Head Down. Don't Get Noticed. Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. The Trava family who rules our world from their spacious Upper levels wants us to be docile and obedient, like sheep. To insure we behave, they send the Pop Cops to police us.

So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it's all that dangerous--the only neck at risk is my own.

Until a lower level prophet claims a Gateway to Outside exists. And guess who he wants to steal into the Upper levels to get the proof? You’re right. Me. I alone know every single duct, pipe, corridor, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. It’s suicide plain and simple. But guess who can’t let a challenge like that go unanswered? Right again. Me.

I should have just said no...



My Thoughts
Trella is known as the "Queen of the Pipes". She knows her way around the sections and has found out many of the secrets paths in between the lower and upper levels. This dystopian world is filled with scrubs and uppers with neither side understanding the other and the PopCops want to keep it that way. All Trella wants is to be left alone in the pipes but her only friend Cog keeps pulling her back in. He also wants her to help the newest prophet find information that may help them escape to the Outside.

Trella is not one to ask for help or trust anyone and she clings to her self-control even when she knows she should ask for help. She is a very interesting character and I am excited about the sequel Outside In. Her hard exterior is hiding a soft side that displays itself when she realizes that she is needed in the fight for freedom amongst the scrubs. The story also incorporates romance, it is a Harlequin Teen after all, but it is a slow beginning and trust has to be formed before Trella is willing to open her heart.

Overall I highly recommend this book to all teens looking for a little rebellion reading with a twist of SciFi. I am looking forward for the next book and other books by Maria V. Snyder.
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