Someone asked me recently where my story ideas come from. In fact, that’s one of the author questions I get asked most often. Honestly, the answer is different for every single project I’ve worked on, every single thing I’ve written. I’ve gotten ideas from news headlines, from dreams, from random musings while washing dishes. I even got an idea for a novel from a throwaway remark made by an editor teaching a workshop (that’s how The Story Peddler started).
“And the dream of a safe, quiet life tucked away in the Corsyth with tomorrows stretching before me and Mor and the others shattered.”
Oh my heart! This book has evoked so many emotions, and I hate to see it end and to have to bid farewell to these characters. If ever there was a book to win me over to the fantasy genre, this trilogy would be it! In endeavoring to explore stories in genres outside my comfort zone, I have come to the realization that part of the reason why I tend to shy away from fantasy (and sci-fi, for that matter) is that I enjoy rural, pastoral settings. So I appreciate that The Weaver Trilogy incorporates a bit of both rural and urban life. Likewise, I enjoyed that there was still a strong element of realism, despite the clear fantasy components. Although I did not get a chance to read book two yet, there is enough backstory provided from it to clue the reader in to the major events. I would still recommend reading them in order, though, and reading book one first is essential.
Lindsay Franklin brings The Weaver Trilogy to an epic finale with “The Story Hunter.” Despite how seemingly straightforward her titles are, I love the fact that they end up meaning something different after reading the story than what I took them to mean at face value. When it comes to books, I enjoy surprises! There is no shortage of them here, as readers learn some surprising things about the events from the previous two books and how everything ties together. “The Story Hunter” opens with the aftermath of an uprising and a new and completely unexpected leader on the throne, and at no point does the action relent. This is truly a page-turner!
As with the other books in the series, this one contains multiple narrators, noted by their name in the chapter title. In many cases, this tends to be an issue for me, leading to confusion and information overload, but Franklin uses it so well here that I can’t imagine the series any other way. The varying viewpoints offer valuable insight into some of the main characters without becoming overwhelming for the reader. Digwyn, or Diggy, stole my heart in this book as I cheered for her and as my heart broke for her. I will miss these characters and the spiritual insight that they offer.
There are some caveats I would offer to potential readers: this third book in the series has violent scenes (fighting and the aftermath of battle) and does deal with post-traumatic stress involving sexual abuse. All of this is handled very well but could be disturbing or triggering to some, so I recommend this for older teen readers and above.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
A Baker’s Perspective, May 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 30
Fiction Aficionado, May 30
Through the Fire Blogs, May 31
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 1
Mia Reads, June 1
Texas Book-aholic, June 2
For the Love of Literature, June 3
Where Faith and Books Meet, June 3
Inklings and notions, June 4
For Him and My Family, June 5
deb’s Book Review, June 5
Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 6
Blogging With Carol, June 7
Kathleen Denly, June 8
Hallie Reads, June 9
Remembrancy, June 9
Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 10
Worthy2Read, June 11
Pause for Tales, June 11
Jake Hyde is in his junior year of high school and wants to study the ocean. He's never even seen the ocean, living in Truth or Consequences, NM, but he's always felt drawn there. His best friend Maria wants to study closer to home, and Jake's overprotective mother would agree. After his father drowned when he was a baby, his mother has all but forbid him to go near open water. There are other complications, like the weird birth marks Jake has up and down his arms and legs that glow when wet, and his growing crush on Kenny Liu, captain of the swim team.
The story moves at a nice pace, allowing plenty of time for the characters to show who they are and Julie Maroh ('Blue is the Warmest Color') provides a dreamy landscape that doesn't dilute the sharper aspects of the story. I'd forgotten this was a DC Comics graphic novel when Jake and Maria spot Superman flying high in the sky towards the West coast while hiking.
This novel succeeds as a coming-of-age story, complete with first romance, tears and drama as well as an origin story for Aqualad. There is an astonishing amount of LGBTQIA books coming out now (yay!), and this one hits all the marks.
Suzanne Collins returns to the world of 'The Hunger Games' to tell the story of young Coriolanus Snow. For those who don't remember, that's Donald Sutherland. The original trilogy captivated me when I first read it, but I had my doubts about a prequel after all these years. This is partly because these books don't continue to resonate with me the way some other YA powerhouses have. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, however, so expect this one to be on the bestseller list for some time.
This was a fast read, even at 500+ pages, and there was some pleasure in seeing the world that had only been viewed through Katniss' limited gaze with greater clarity. The problem I ultimately had with this is the problem that hits a lot of prequels: this story had a foregone conclusion. The story has to have an interesting journey on top of the plot. Was the goal to humanize Snow? To reinforce the message of the original trilogy? To provide an alternative to the increasingly lampooned Katniss model of YA heroine in Lucy Gray? Having finished this...I still can't give you those answers.
I'm rating this as only OK because we didn't see any transformation of Snow. Cunning sociopathic person wins the day may be realistic, but it wasn't riveting as presented here. Lucy Gray is only a cypher because we never hear her perspective, and what we do see is from Snow's eyes, so.... Most importantly, I didn't buy the moral complications presented to the reader. Right and wrong were pretty clear and there was little or no real internal struggle on the part of the characters. That was a defining highlight of the original books. 'Ballad' succeeds only in being a return to a familiar world and by filling in gaps in the timeline of the series. If you liked the original trilogy, you'll find something in this book. Just don't expect the moon.
On the plus side, many bookstores got Mockingjay/Snake iron-on patches so if you pre-ordered a copy with them you get one for free. Check with your local - they may have extra patches that are first come/first served if you didn't preorder!
The Hunger Games
'Deck of Omens' picks up right where 'Devouring Gray' left off, with the Hawthornes and all of Four Paths aghast at Harper's vengeance.
Even in the peculiar world of this town the law doesn't touch magical actions, but there is a definite shift in power even as a new threat rises up from the Gray. Corruption is taking the trees of the forest from the inside out and, after Violet and Isaac try to strike at the Beast, the infection crosses over to people.
Further complications occur when other members of the Founders families begin to return to town. There is more family drama, surprise identity reveals, and so many feelings. Parents and kids just don't understand each other or their feelings.
This book gets to the heart of every mystery raised, but left me still wanting more. This series could easily have been expanded beyond two books, but its nice to see the series wrapped up.
Previous: 'The Devouring Gray'