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text 2017-01-20 07:05
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

The tale of Nobody Owens, raised by ghosts after his family was murdered by the man Jack. Bod lives a life full of adventure within his own piece of the world, learning all he can about life, and death from the many living-impaired inhabitants of the graveyard turned nature reserve into which he toddled when he slipped through the grasp of his would be killer...

 

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Gaiman's writing. The dark, but not too dark, way that he conveys his stories, the little twists along the way that keep you guessing. The satisfying, but not quite happy endings, that linger in your thoughts long after the story has finished.

 

Highly recommended, definitely one I'll encourage my kids to read (even though they'll refuse to read it on the grounds that I enjoyed it)

 

5/5 stars

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review 2017-01-12 10:25
Kinslayer (The Lotus War 2) - Jay Kristoff
Kinslayer - Jay Kristoff

This second part of the Lotus War was much easier to get into than its predecessor, though some parts still dragged a little, I found myself not wanting to put this book down (but hey, we all have to sleep sometime).

There was some predictability, some twists and, a few slaps in the face just to keep you on your toes. Enjoyed this more than Stormdancer, and look forward to reading book 3, Endsinger, at some point (after I track down a copy...) this year.

 

One question still bugs me though, what did Buruu do to earn the hatred of his brethren and the name of kinslayer... 

4/5 stars.

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review 2016-03-03 10:49
Cress - Marissa Meyer
Cress - Marissa Meyer

I had a whole post typed out ready to post and... lost it in transit between home and Uni.  And since it's my first week back at Uni after 3 months off, and each of my kids have been sick over the last week, I'm just too tired to try and rewrite it, so here's the condensed version.  

Devoured this in a couple of days, beginning to wonder if I shouldn't have read this weeks ago to get out of my slump, or if it was just the realisation that my free time was over and this was my last chance for some non-prescribed reading. 

 

Loved this book just as much as the previous two, reviews for those are here and here.  Still following with Cinder on her quest to learn more about herself and the secret identity she recently learned she had, we add in Cress, a Lunar shell imprisoned in a satellite by Thaumaturge Sybil. 

 

More adventure, a daring rescue, and the unfortunate loss of some of their members.  I'm dying to read the next book, Winter, but I'll have to wait until I'm not so tired at the end of the day.

 

Cress gets 5/5 stars.

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review 2015-12-05 14:08
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

The second installment of the Lunar Chronicles is a retelling of the story of Red Riding Hood.  The story continues directly from where Cinder left off, with the news of Cinder's downfall at the New Beijing palace.  

 

This story focuses on a young french girl, Scarlet, who is desperate to find her grandmother after authorities rule her disappearance as non-suspicious, believing the old lady to be mad.  Scarlet doesn't feel this is the case and continues to be preoccupied with finding her.

 

A chance meeting with a strong silent stranger, while making her vegetable delivery rounds, Scarlet finds herself thrown into a world of what can only be described as difficult. Learning of her grandmother's connection to the now fugitive Cinder, Scarlet is imprisoned and manipulated, only to have her grandmother die before they can complete their escape.

 

Another brilliant adaptation of an old classic, another I just couldn't put down.  This ties in with some of the mini-stories Meyer created to accompany her series. I'll be eager to read Cress and Winter in the new year, and of course the other smaller stories that fall in between.

Scarlet gets 5/5 stars.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-09-30 07:12
Cinder - Marissa Meyer
Cinder - Marissa Meyer

I have tried to write this review multiple times now, yet the words just wont come... so let me start by saying I just loved Cinder, even with its downsides.  

 

Injured in, what she is told was, an accident which killed her parents, Cinder was adopted by a scientist, Garan, who soon after contracts the fatal plague, Letumosis. Cinder grows up in a world fraught with the plague and a prejudice towards cyborgs, humans with cybernetic implants.  Raised by a woman who despises, and even blames her, Cinder is sent to work as a mechanic to fund her Step-Mother's lifestyle.  

 

Cinder is a natural mechanic, with the added bonus of her implants which allow her to search and bring up the plans and schematics of everything she repairs.  Her skills are so good that her reputation precedes her and the young imperial prince, Kai, seeks her services to repair his robot. Thus beginning a series of events that turn Cinder's world upside down. 

 

I've seen other reviewers complain about Cinder's actions in regards to visiting her ill sister, or injecting the young boy with the cure... We need to remember that Cinder is a teen, rational thought doesn't always come so easily, especially when emotions are involved.  

 

Peony was the only person in the world to treat Cinder like a person, even an equal. This loss would have been incredibly hard for Cinder, the urge to visit her would have been far greater than any concern over how the disease can be spread.  Similarly when Cinder went gave the cure to the young boy, she was distraught, too late to save the person who mattered the most to her.  Seeing someone she knew, if only in passing when his mother wasn't looking, Cinder reacted to her emotions and gave a second chance at life to someone who otherwise would soon die.

 

I'm not sure if any of this was intentional, but I particularly liked the setting of New Beijing, given that the story of Cinderella originated in China around the 9th century.  Cinder's too small foot tying in with the Chinese tradition of foot binding, particularly within wealthy households, and the perceived beauty of small feet.  

 

I love that Cinder was an outcast, a misfit, who was often mistreated just for having implants she didn't ask to have. She worked in a male dominated occupation, Kai's reaction to her being the mechanic seems to suggest he expected someone older and male. 

 

My biggest issue is that it was just too predictable... part of which can be attributed to the fact that the story of Cinderella is so well known.  The rest, as someone who isn't an author, I can only imagine how hard it is to hide the significant plot points without leaving them out completely.  Adding it on at the end can seem like an after thought, yet adding it into the story, can lead to predictability, as happened here.  

 

Aside from that, I think Meyer did an exceptional job of re-imagining an old fairy tale. 

 

4.5 stars

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