Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Rapture - Lauren Kate

Rapture (Fallen, #4)
The sky is dark with wings....

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this — live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies...and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her — and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

Rapture is the astonishing conclusion to the Fallen series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
 After having read 3 books and a novella in this series I was ready to have a conclusion to the story.  I felt this book to a while to get to what I really wanted to know.  Also it took Luce such a long time to figure things out when I had figured them out much earlier.  They spent most of the book looking for 3 relics that will tell them where the fall happened.  But after all this I was very happy with the ending and liked the way the author changed things at the end.  I was also glad to have an epilogue to see where the other characters ended up.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: The Foremost Good Fortune - Susan Conley

The Foremost Good Fortune
 In 2007, American writer Susan Conley moves to Beijing with her husband and two young sons. Six months later, she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Set against the fascinating backdrop of modern China and full of insight into the trickiest questions of motherhood, this wry and poignant memoir is a celebration of family and a candid exploration of mortality and belonging.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I don't usually read memoirs unless they really catch my attention.  I received this book from a Goodread giveaway months ago and I've had so many books I've been reading but I finally got around to reading this.  The first half of the book deals with Susan and her family adjusting to live in China.  Kids can adapt so easily but Susan has a harder time with the language and the culture.  I liked how I was able to see China through her eyes and actually feel like I was there.  The other half of the book deals with Susan finding out about breast cancer.  It shows how she deals with it and how her family deals with it.  The book was well written and I actually felt like I was part of it.  It amazes me how someone can just pack up and move someplace totally new and step outside their comfort zone.   

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: The Heroes of Olympus:The Demigod Diaries - Rick Riordan

The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries
What dangers do runaway demigods Luke and Thalia face on their way to Camp Half-Blood? Are Percy and Annabeth up to the task of rescuing stolen goods from a fire-breathing giant who doesn't take kindly to intruders? How exactly are Leo, Piper, and Jason supposed to find a runaway table, dodge a band of party-loving Maenads" ("who just might be a little psychotic), and stave off a massive explosion...all in one hour or less?
With his trademark wit and creativity, Rick Riordan answers these questions and more in three never-before-seen short stories that provide vital back-story to the Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson books. Original art, enlightening character interviews and profiles, puzzles, and a quiz add to the fun in this action-packed collection.

*A story from Luke Castellan's point of view, from the days when he adventured with Thalia and Annabeth. Many people have asked me to write an adventure prequel to The Lightning Thief. Here it is!

*A classic first-person Percy Jackson story, the first I've written since The Last Olympian. In this adventure, Annabeth and Percy's date is interrupted by the god Hermes, whose staff has been stolen by a fire-breathing giant. This cannot be good . . .

*A Leo Valdez story, set at Camp Half-Blood. As Leo builds the Argo II, something goes terribly wrong. Now Leo will need the help of Piper and Jason, or the entire camp might be destroyed.

*And, as announced on Rock Center, the anthology includes a debut short story from my son Haley. Since Haley inspired the entire Percy Jackson series, it seemed only right that I asked him to contribute his own original spin on Percy's world for this book. I was amazed at what Haley came up with. His brother Patrick, who's a tough editor, was quick to say, "Dad, his story is better than yours!" Haley ponders the question: "What happened to the demigods who fought with Kronos's army after the battle in Manhattan?" This is the story of one such demigod, and I have to admit, some of Haley's ideas are so good I wish I'd come up with them!

4/5 stars (really like it)
The first story gives a glimpse into how Luke was when he was traveling to Camp Half Blood with Thalia.  Also gave us a little background into Thalia.  I like how we get more understanding into why Luke did what he did in the series.  Also we met a young and wild Annabeth.
The second story was great.  Percy & Annabeth are on a nice picnic and get interrupted by Hermes and sent on an errand for him to retrieve his staff.  Percy is funny as usual and Annabeth kicks butt.  But we get to see how much Percy loves Annabeth and how sweet he can be.
The third story is about Leo building the Argo II and how Jason and Piper help him retrieve an important piece that is needed to complete it.  Great to see what was going on at Camp since we didn't get to see it in The Son of Neptune.
And the last story is by Rick's son Haley and it's written very much in the style of Rick.  It helps explain the mist and why monsters can sense Heroes.  Also it is from the point of view of one of the Heroes that fought with Kronos.  It just goes to show you that the evil side is not always evil.  I wonder if this character along with another new character will be written into the series.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review: I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies - Pittacus Lore

The Legacies (Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files, #1-3)
You know we're out there, living among you.

You know we're waiting for our day to come.

You have seen the power of our legacies.

You know this is why they hunt us.

You may think you know our stories.

You are wrong.

We each have our own story.

We know the time has come to share them with you.

Our legacies are your only hope.

Six's Legacy
Nine's Legacy
The Fallen Legacies

4/5 stars (really liked it)
In Six's story we get to see a younger Six that is much more vulnerable and not as tough as the Six we have come to know.  We see her life with her Cepan Katarina.  We see how they were captured and how Katarina died.  Reading her story made me understand why she is the way she is after all she went through.
In Nine's story we also see a younger version of him and his Cepan Sandor.  Nine trains non-stop and lives in the house we saw in The Rise of Nine.  We see how his capture and Sandor's capture/death occurs.  Also how his Legacies developed.  The end of his story is where he meets John (Four).
The Fallen Legacies story is a bit different because it is the point of view of a young Mogodorian named Adamus.  His story begins when he witnesses the death of One and how her death changes his way of thinking. We next see how the capture and death of Two her Cepan occurs.  Finally the capture and death of Three and his Cepan.  It was nice to see the first three Garde's story even though they were told through Adam's point of view.  Also I am wondering now if we will see Adam in any books to come.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last, and only five lucky children will be allowed inside. But what they find is even wilder than any of the wild rumors they've heard!

3/5 stars (liked it)
I found this book for my 8 year old son to read and he read it in one sitting.  When I asked him about it, he started telling me what it was about but then handed it to me and said "Just read it!".  So I read and it was actually pretty good.  I had never read the book and have seen the old movie.  I'm glad I was able to read this and wish that I would have read it as a kid.  I had a great conversation with my son discussing this book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: Three To Get Deadly - Janet Evanovich

Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3)
A "saintly" old candy-store owner is on the lam-and bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum is on the case. As the body count rises, Stephanie finds herself dealing with dead drug dealers and slippery fugitives on the chase of her life. And with the help of eccentric friends and family, Steph must see to it that this case doesn't end up being her last...

3/5 stars (like it)
This is the third book in the Stephanie Plum Series.  These are fun fast reads that always make me laugh out loud.  Stephanie Plum is a Bounty Hunter but not a very good one and always seems to find herself in bad situations.  There's also Morelli, a kind of sort of love interest for her.  Stephanie needs to sort out her feelings and just get together with him.  There's also Ranger a very good Bounty Hunter that we hardly know anything about.  Lulu, the ex-prostitute that now works at Vinnie's but wants to also be a Bounty Hunter.  These books are filled with crazy situations and likeable characters. 

Friday, September 07, 2012

Book Review: The Rise of Nine - Pittacus Lore

The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3)
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others--including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York--but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they'll have to fight us first.
4/5 stars (really liked it)
I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series, which will not be published until next year.  In this book we get point of views from John (Four), Six, Marina (Seven) & Ella (Ten).  The font was different but sometimes I thought I was reading one point of view but it was someone else.  There was a lot of action in this one.  A reunion I was happy about and a person was not found that I had hoped would be found.  All the members of the Garde are getting a handle of their Legacies.  Overall I loved seeing interactions between the Garde Members, especially John and Nine.  Nine is a guy you love to have hate.  Still not sure if I love him or hate him. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Book Club - August

The Canterbury Papers
The only thing I felt was a strong hand around my neck, another around my waist, and -- before I could cry out -- I smelled the thick, sweet scent of a mandrake-soaked cloth. Unforgiving hands clapped it against my face, and all went dark.
Alais, the king of France's sister, is abducted while on her mission for the wily Eleanor of Aquitaine, the former Queen of England, to retrieve hidden letters that, in the wrong hands, could bring down the English king. In exchange, the French princess was to receive long-heldand dangerous information. Now Alais, along with help from the very intriguing leader of the Knights Templar, must unravel a tangled web of family secrets and lies.
 I am not a big Historical Fiction fan but I really enjoyed this book.  Alais was a good character to get to know and I liked her from the beginning.  Other characters introduced are also interesting and made me want to know more about them.  There were some parts that I guessed right away and some that I was a little surprised about.  I will most likely read the follow up book to this as well.

The book for September is The Painted Drum - Louise Erdrich

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...