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Archive for August, 2008

Today I am reviewing Stardust, the story of a young man who journeys into the mythical land of Faerie to retrieve a falling star. I have reviewed a book by this author, Neil Gaiman, with Coraline. Stardust has gotten great reviews from several newspapers and magazines, and even got a good review from Stephen King.

 

 

On the cover is The Wall, which borders our world from Faerie, and the shooting star that Tristan has to get.

On the cover is The Wall, which borders our world from Faerie, and the shooting star that Tristan has to get.

 

Tristan Thorn is in love with a beautiful young woman named Victoria. But in order to win her heart, he journeys across The Wall, into the land of Faerie to retrieve a fallen star. It would seem easy, but two others are also searching for the star, one for power, and one for life. And in Faerie, nothing, even a fallen star, is what it seems.

 

This is an outstanding book. Great characters, great plot, great setting, great descriptions. This is a great book for any teen or adult who enjoys fantasy. Unfortunately, young kids cannot read this book, due to sensual themes that happen sometimes in the book. But anyone else will love this book.

 

I rate this book a 10 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Maniac Magee, a story about a boy who ran away from home and changed the lives of several people in the town of Two Mills. This story, written by Jerry Spinnelli, won the Newbery Award in 1991.

 

On the cover is Jeffery Lionel "Maniac" Magee

On the cover is Jeffery Lionel "Maniac" Magee

Maniac Magee’s parents died when he was only 3 years old, and he was put in the foster care of a husband and wife who hate each other. When Maniac was 11 years old, he got sick of it and ran away. A year later, he arrives in the town of Two Mills. At Two Mills, he affects some lives forever, such as a smart girl named Amanda, an out of his luck minor league pitcher named Grayson, and a tough kid named Mars Bar.

 

This book is great. Nice plot, great setting. The strength is the characters. You can feel the emotions of everyone. The only weakness is descriptions. They are, sometimes, not the best. However this a great book for anyone, anytime. I like to read it on a rainy day.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Sabriel, the story of a necromancer, who instead of rising people from the dead, put them back to sleep. This story, written by Garth Nix, has gotten great reviews from acclaimed authors such as Phillip Pullman and Llyod Alexander, and also got good reviews from Publishers Weekly and the ALA Booklist.

 

On the cover is Sabriel. Behind her is Kerrigor.

On the cover is Sabriel. Behind her is Kerrigor.

 

 

Sabriel is a girl who has just graduated from Wyverly College. But when she receives a message from her father Abhorsen, a necromancer who puts the dead back to sleep instead of rising them from the dead, says that he is dying, Sabriel quickly runs over to the neighboring country, The Old Kingdom where he is dying, hoping to bring him back to life using her training. But The Old Kingdom is a dangerous place, with the Dead hiding behind every corner. With help of a talking cat named Mogget, and a man named Touchstone who doesn’t know his origins, will Sabriel save her father?

 

This book is great. The characters are well developed and the plot is great. The only weakness is the description, which is sometimes in the book not strong, it makes up for it in the setting. The setting is amazing. In addition, it has two sequels, which are just as good as the first.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Evil Genius, written by Catherine Jinks. It is the story of a boy who goes to the Axis Institute for World Domination. This book has received excellent reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.

 

This is the cover of Evil Genius

 

In Evil Genius, Cadel Piggot is one of the world’s smartest kids. He is fascinated with systems, and is an ingenious hacker, and always felt a hatred for those around him.  For these reasons, when he graduates high school at age 14, his therapist enrolls him in the Axis Institute of World Domination. But when he discovers a horrible secret (besides the obvious), he starts to question everything, from the Axis Institute to things he has always took for granted.

 

This book is tremendous. You can identify with the characters, the setting is tremendous, and the descriptions are vivid. But the best part is the plot. It will hook you. You will not want to put this book down. And if you like this book, there is a sequel out, Genius Squad, which I will review eventually. This book would be great for fans of science fiction and Alex Rider.

 

I rate this book a 10 out of 10

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Update on Comments.

For the faithful readers that have posted comments on my blog, I have responded to each comment. I have posted the comments under “A friend.”

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Today I am reviewing The Book Thief, the story of a girl who lives in Germany when it was ruled by Hitler. This book won the Printz award, and it was written by Markus Zusak. This book was also a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

 

On the cover is Rudy's hand, about to topple his domino chain.

On the cover is Rudy's hand, about to topple his domino chain.

 

The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a girl put in foster care in Nazi Germany. At first she is slightly resentful, but as time goes on, she starts to think of her foster parents as her real parents and befriends a boy named Rudy. She lives an okay life, considering she was in the lower class, but her true joy was reading. Since her family can’t afford books, she steals them from Nazi bonfires, and the mayor’s house. Soon she gets caught up in the joy of reading, sometimes forgetting she’s in Germany during World War 2.

 

This book is great. The setting, descriptions and characters are all wonderful. It is easy to see why it is a bestseller. However, the ending is not that good. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and you feel there could be more to the ending. It feels like the book ended in a rush. However, the beginning and middle are great. This is a great read to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction and historical fiction.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Crispin: The Cross of Lead, written by Avi. It is the story of a pheasant boy framed for stealing money from a manor in medieval England. This book won the Newberry award  in 2003. 

 

On the cover is Crispin, chased by a mob.

On the cover is Crispin, chased by a mob.

 

The son of a pheasant named Asta, nicknamed Asta’s son by his town, never had much. He didn’t even have a father or a name. But when his mother dies, and he runs into the forest in depression, he hears something he isn’t supposed to hear from the steward of the manor in a hushed conversation. He is framed for stealing as punishment, and labeled as a wolf’s head. With the help of the local priest, he escapes with nothing but his life, a cross of lead, and his name, Crispin. On the way he befriends a bard, who also on the road. Will Crispin, with the help of the bard, avoid execution?

 

This book has an okay plot and a pretty good setting. However it’s strong point is the characters. As is with most first person books, the main character has the best development, and the Bard is also strongly developed. The only weak point is the descriptions. This book is great for fans of historical fiction,  and also good for fans of Robin Hood.

 

I rate this book an 8 out of 10

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