Where reading is a way of life

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them. 

Editorial Reviews:
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven’t given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet—the chaos snake Apophis—is rising. If they don’t prevent him from breaking free in a few days’ time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it’s a typical week for the Kane family. To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished. First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly? Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.

My 2 cents:  Another great book from Rick Riordan!  Wasn't quite as great as the Red Pyramid, but  it was still a good read!  The character development between Sadie and Carter is fantastic in this installment!  You can feel them growing closer as their adventure continues on!  The ending is a complete surprise, with plenty of questions left for the next installment!  I give it 4 stars!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Necromancer by Michael Scott

Book 4 of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series

The Necromancer, book four in Michael Scott's "Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series, brings the immortal Flamel (The Alchemyst) and teenaged twins, Sophie and Josh, back home to San Francisco, where they meet up with the sorceress Perenelle, Flamel's wife, who spent the last book escaping from Alcatraz. Time is running out for the Flamels; it's now been six days since their foe Dr. John Dee (another immortal) ran off with the Codex, the book of Abraham the Mage that keeps them young, and they are aging fast. The twins, who have been learning the Elemental Magics over the course of the first three books, are worried about getting into trouble for basically disappearing for days, so they check in with their guardian, Aunt Agnes. But Scott doesn't let them settle in for long. True to the break-neck pace of this series, they are quickly pulled back into the action when Sophie is kidnapped by a redheaded vampire who bears an eerie resemblance to one of their recent allies, Scathach, who disappeared with Joan of Arc in the last book. The Necromancer introduces readers to even more infamous immortals, while keeping up with favorites from past books--Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Billy the Kid. As the characters accumulate, so do the opportunities for hair-raising conflicts and insane reveals. Scott manages their multiple story lines with a sequence of cliffhangers that keep it a really fun read even as he is piling on the history and mythology, taking readers further into the secrets that will bring the whole story together. As the characters hurtle toward a conflict that could bring about the end of the world, we can't wait to see where they'll go, what they'll learn, and who they'll meet next. 

Editorial Reviews:
In this continuation of noted mythologist Scott’s Nicholas Flamel series, Awakened twins Sophie and Josh join a quickly aging Nicholas and Perenelle in a fight to save the world from menacing creatures housed on Alcatraz. Fantastical parallel story lines include characters drawn from history and the literary canon, including Prometheus, Billy the Kid, William Shakespeare, the Witch of Endor, Machiavelli, and Virginia Dare. Less-familiar mythological characters and creatures will send readers to the Internet as they try to keep up with the exciting action. The surprising, disturbing ending reassures readers that Nicholas Flamel will return. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn

My 2 cents:
Another great book in the series!  The storyline of Sathach and Joan of Arc gets very intriguing.  There is a lot going on in this book, with most of the storyline taking place in San Francisco.  Very little of Nicholas in this book, Perenelle kind of starts to steal the show!  The ending almost made me throw the book across the room!  Great twist, but very infuriating!  5 stars!   

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book 3 of the Immortals series

Shadowland by Alyson Noel

Teenage immortal Ever, newly reconnected with her boyfriend-across-the-centuries, Damen, works hard to get things right, both in the mortal and immortal worlds. Her best (mortal) friend has troubles that magick could fix, but Damen teaches Ever why this would be wrong to pursue. Meanwhile, evil immortal Roman hovers only barely offstage, Ever hooks her history teacher up with her aunt, and she rescues 13-year-old immortal witch twins only to wind up watching Damen turn parental. Noël continues to offer a satisfying brew of fantasy with genuine and engagingly promoted ethical questions in this third volume in the Immortals series.

Editorial Reviews:
“Noel’s novel is absolutely amazing!  Fans of her Immortals series will not be disappointed—Ever and Damen’s love is challenged like never before, and the story ends with a big, satisfying twist that will have readers begging for more.  This long awaited installment is incredible.”  --Romantic Times (Top Pick)
“I have never been more unexpectedly surprised by an author. Noel knows exactly how to keep me enthralled in her books…Shadowland is purely mesmerizing. A book with a little bit of everything in it— romance, suspense, friendship, and immortality—all meshed together to create a mind-blowing combination.” –The Book Blogger

My 2 cents:  Shadowland is my favorite of the Immortals series.  At least so far!  This is where the story takes incredible turns.  There is a lot of dark in this novel, and Ever makes mistake after mistake.  Sometimes you just want to scream at her!  But it keeps up the suspense!  What I love best is the ending.  The way Ever finally learns to solve her problems is amazing, and a great model for kids!  5 stars!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Editorial Reviews:
Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome battle to the death. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves. Slower paced than its predecessor, this sequel explores the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and a spreading rebellion, ignited by Katniss and Peeta’s subversive victory. Katniss also deepens as a character. Though initially bewildered by the attention paid to her, she comes almost to embrace her status as the rebels’ symbolic leader. Though more of the story takes place outside the arena than within, this sequel has enough action to please Hunger Games fans and leaves enough questions tantalizingly unanswered for readers to be desperate for the next installment.

My 2 cents:
Oh My Lord!  This book was a real page turner!  Couldn't put it down, much like the first book!  Things get more and more twisted in this plot, with a real crisis emerging.  This book is about much more than the Hunger Games, this is where the revolution of the districts really starts to take hold, although Katniss is oblivious to it much of the time.  Her character reminds me a lot of Harry Potter, in that she is basically good and care about what is going on, but sometimes can't see past her own nose.  The ending is UNBELIEVABLE!!!  5 stars from me!

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