Saturday, August 29, 2015
In the kingdom of Esting all faerie goods and even the Fey themselves are outlawed. Nicolette's mother had always used faerie goods to create her wonderful, mechanical creations but once they were outlawed her father wouldn't allow that. He wouldn't even use faerie medicine to help cure his wife's sickness. And so, Nicolette's mother died and shortly after her father remarried he died as well.
Now Nicolette is alone with the Steps. But is she really alone? She finds her mother's workshop, a mechanical horse named Jules, and two human friends - one of whom ends up being the prince himself.
So this was a steampunkish version of Cinderella. But never fear - there were many twists and differences. Overall I found it to be quite good and glad that it wasn't too much like Cinder. I was a bit disappointd that the Exposition did not play as big a part as the lead up warranted.
I have said before that I do not like series books that just end...right?? Okay.
Finn was born to be a Legend Hunter. His whole family has hunted Legends (creatures that come from another world through gateways). Problem is...he's not very good at it. Another problem is that there are no more gateways except the one inn their town. Why?? There is also the small matter of a prophecy about him dying, a long lost grandfather no one will talk about, and some spies.
In the end I liked it but 400 pages is a lot for the intended audience. I really can't imagine my readers picking this up - so daunting.
Friday, August 28, 2015
It is always interesting to me when similar books come out in the same year. In this case - Fatal Fever which I reviewed earlier this year at http://readingbythepond.blogspot.com/2015/07/fatal-fever-tracking-down-typhoid-mary.html and this one - both about Typhoid Mary. Both authors decided researching Mary would be a good idea. Did they know about the others work? Run into each other while researching? Who started first? Just curious.
So since I had already read about Mary earlier this summer there weren't a lot of surprises. Overall, I felt this book treated Mary better than the other one. Maybe because this foucsed more on Mary while the other focused on the investigation. One thing I found interesting about this one was the mention that even if (or when) Mary washed hands thoroughly she still could spread the bacteria. Very interesting.
I have a copy of Fatal Fever that I received from the publisher. Getting this one would lead to a cool compare and contrast.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
I have read quite a few books about the Holocaust but I had never heard or read about Breendock. This book was a very thorough description of what went on there - the starvation, brutaity, torture, executions, and so on. The author was meticulous in telling about many of the prisoners who went through there.
As an accounting of the atrocities of the Holocaust this was spot on. For research this would be a good fit. I felt a bit overwhelmed at times with the names and the scope of brutality. I am glad the author wrote the book to honor those who suffered there. I do feel it would be too much for my particular library.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
This was an interesting mystery. 6 kids have been selected to go to the home of Countess Windemore. Apparently one of them is her long lost grandchild. Tabitha is one of the chosen children. At the initial visit it is revealed that all 6 children were adopted. This doesn't come as a big surptise to Tabitha. But something is fishy. The countess starts acting very strangely after the parents leave, a servant dies, there are weird noises, and secret passages. With the hep of her pet mouse, new friends, and advice from her favorite story book detective, Tabitha seeks out the truth.
I loved the first hundred pages, the second hundred pages dragged a bit, and the ending was good. I figured out most of the mystery within the first 50 pages but there were some surprises. Overall it was a good mystery but I am worried it is a bit too long to hold my student's attention.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
This book surprised me. There was more to it than meets the eye. Unfortunately I don't think the cover does the book any favors. It makes the book appear more girly and for a younger audience than it really is.
Eden is a genie but she doesn't really want to be. At 12, she has just recently started her granting career and she is counting down the wishes. In all she has to grant 999 wishes and then she can grant one final wish for herself. But she wants out now...and when she discovers a ladder out of the lamp she escapes.
But living on Earth is not as easy as she thought, especially when a group or former genies, known as Electra want to steal the lamp from Eden.
Who can she trust? How can she stay on Earth with her new friends? What is the right thing to do?
Like I said, more meat than I thought but I think the book will be hampered by the cover. I wasn't a big fan of the ending - a cliffhanger and a tease for the next book for sure.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Interesting.... when I first started reading this I was thinking "this isn't much different than the movie" and it wasn't...until Jafar got the lamp and was able to keep it... Then things got very different.
What I liked was how the author was able to retain the characteristics of our favorite characters even while changing things up. And things got changed up...even including Zombie armies. There was more to the romance of Jasmine and Aladdin, some conflict between the best way to handle Jafar and his evil magical book, and some fun new characters.
I did feel the book was a bit long and I struggle a bit with the audience. Obviously it is too mature and dark for the Disney crowd but will teens read it or be turned off by the Disney association or perceived association? I will be curious to see how this does.