Wednesday, June 27, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have enjoyed all of the Mortal Instruments books that Cassandra Clare has written; however, the story seems to be being dragged out. This book was good, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it felt as though it was in the wrong place. There were spots where it seemed that not enough time had passed from the first book to this book. I didn't think Clary should have been unused to being in battle - certainly she had been fighting demons since book 1. I mean, the story didn't drag for me -it moved along well. I liked the way Simon's character is developing - love Simon. Sebastian was deliciously evil, Jace (the fake Jace, not the real one) was romantic but wimpy, and I liked Alec and Isabelle. I noticed there were several references to the Infernal Devices characters which I really liked. I love discovering how the two series are intertwined. I heard an interesting theory about Brother Zechariah that I won't share here, but I can't wait to see if it is true. I would like to see Cassandra Clare write a new and different series of books, although I will read any and all books in the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series because I think she is a wonderful writer. I would just like to see her do something else. I'm sure she has several characters just waiting for an amazing venue to come alive.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Upsetting the Tides by David Englund

Upsetting the TidesUpsetting the Tides by David Englund
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was asked to review this book by the author. It reminds me of Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" except that the traveler was an adult. It was full of foreign planets and strange creatures. The writing style suggested to me that it was written for a young audience except that, as I said before, the main character was an adult with a job and a house and a potential girlfriend, etc. which may not appeal to a younger audience. There were fights with aliens and technological devices that did cool things like enable the user to fly and translate alien speech, quests and all kinds of aliens. Maybe that would make up for the relatively elementary writing.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Turquoise by Anya Seton

The TurquoiseThe Turquoise by Anya Seton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book as the March selection of the Rainbow Reading Challenge. "The Turquoise" is the story of a girl whose parents were Mexican and Scottish. She was named for the city of her birth, Santa Fe, but her father called her Fey. Her mother died in childbirth so she lived the first years of her life with her father who was a Scottish doctor. They discovered that Fey had the gift of "sight". Later, when Fey was about 7, her father was killed when he went to help a fellow doctor with a surgery. Fey went to stay with the family of the woman who had helped her father when Fey was a baby. There are so many things that Fey went through in her life. One significant thing is that she met a wise Indian who realized her gift and gave her a turquoise necklace and told her to wear it always and to let the Spirit lead her on her path. He said she would encounter two paths and the Spirit would help her choose the right one - unfortunately, Fey didn't listen. She struggled across the country with a man who ran a medicine show, fell in love with him, and was convinced they were married by an old scout who ran an inn. When Fey and her "husband" got to New York City, they stayed together a week, then he left for greener pastures in Chicago. Meanwhile, Fey discovered she was pregnant and she had to figure out how to support herself and eventually her child. I'm not going to tell the whole story here, but I want to say that I love the way Anya Seton writes and I love the way she blends in religion to her stories. Fey considered having an abortion, but as she was standing on the steps of the place where it could happen, she looked around and noticed the construction of St. Patrick's Cathedral nearby. She turned and went in to the Cathedral and prayed. She ended up not having an abortion and found an Infirmary that cared for women and children and was run by female doctors. Here she made a wonderful, lifelong friend in one of the doctors and she helped out at the Infirmary and learned a lot about caring for the sick. Fey was a very honest character - and direct in her approach when she decided what she wanted. She got everything she worked for, but she ended up making atonement for the times that she didn't listen to the Spirit. I really liked this book. Previously, I had read "Katherine" by Anya Seton and that is why I picked this one up. They were both great reads and what I liked most were the religious tendencies and the fact that, even though sex was obviously part of the story, Ms. Seton didn't describe it in graphic detail, only in a romantic suggestive kind of way. I look forward to reading more of Anya Seton's works.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sleepers by Megg Jensen

Sleepers (The Swarm Trilogy, #1)Sleepers by Megg Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book in two days! It's amazing to me how different two books with similar themes can be. The last two books I've read - this one and the last one - have been about young women who were warriors and on a journey to return to their homes. Of course they both had love to deal with - should she love this one or that one? But this book, Sleepers, handled the story so much better. The action sped along with twists and turns everywhere. The setting seemed to be medieval, which I love, and the characters - Lianne, Bryden and Kellan - seemed to have the coloring of the Irish, which I also love. I know it's a fantasy, but I seemed to connect with the story and it seemed "believable". And there was love and physical attraction, but no explicit sex. I liked the way Bryden could calm the fires inside Lianne. She was a true heroine and always wanted to do the right thing. It may seem strange to some people, but I liked the way the entire story took place in what seemed to me to be a relatively small space - the castle, the river, the surrounding land - one area. No crossing mountains and forging rivers to a distant land. There are things I wonder about concerning the Dalagans and the Fithians that hopefully will be explained in the books to come. Good job, Megg Jensen! I loved your book!

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