Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Hello, and welcome to my blog. While you are here please have a look around, and don't forget to stop by my Spooktacular Giveaway, for a chance to win a supernatural/Halloween themed book of your choice from the Book Depository.  Also stop by my November giveaway for a chance to win Shadow by Jenny Moss, and either Lost Hero or Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan.  Also, don't forget to check out my story entry for the Haunted Halloween Story Contest.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers share the books that they are waiting to be released.

This week my pick is You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin.  It's current release date is 2/1/11.

Goodreads description:
He's come to do a job.
A job that involves a body.
A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.

You Killed Wesley Payne
is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of "The Body" before it solves him.</br></br> Sean Beaudoin (Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue) evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throwin in for good measure. This smart, slick, and alluring detective novel that will tease you, thrill you, and suck you in.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spooktacular Giveaway

We have a Winner:  Kulsuma.  An email has been sent and I'm waiting on a response.
Yay! It's finally time for the Spooktacular Giveaway!!!!

I've decided for this giveaway that I'll leave what you get completely up to you...well almost completely. You may get any Halloween OR paranormal book that you want from the Book Depository, up to $15, this means that you can get multiple books as long as they equal $15 (if you go over by about $1.00 that is fine).  Since I'm getting the book from the Book Depository, this is an international giveaway.

and because I like pictures, here are a few suggestions for you:

The Rules:
Giveaway goes from 12:01A 10/24/10 until 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 31st.
Only one Entry per person.

Extra Entries:
Following Me on Twitter @sablelexi
twitter about this giveaway.

Now, all you need to do is fill out the form HERE.

While you are on my blog, don't forget to enter my November giveaway.

And don't forget about the Haunted Halloween Story contest.  My entry can be found HERE with a link back to voting, so you can see the rest of the entries and vote for your favorite.

Also, be sure to check out all the other wonderful blogs participating.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

November Giveaway:

Its that time again, time for an awesome giveaway prize pack.

This giveaway is now closed the winner has been announced HERE.

So here's what you'll get:
An ARC of Shadow by Jenny Moss, that I obtianed in a giveaway at my local, independent bookstore, only to realize I already had a copy, so I shall pass the ARC along to you. Shadow is the story of an orphan forced to be the "shadow" of the queen to prevent the queens death at age 16, who discovered after the queen's death that not only is she the real queen, but that she is the daughter of the Earth Goddess!

Next is a copy of either The Red Pyramid OR The Lost Hero both by Rick Riordan.  I am a huge fan of his books, and both of these were amazing.  This book will be ordered for the winner from the book Depository. The Red Pyramid is the first book in Riordan's Kane Chronicles, and deals with Egyptian gods.  My Review of the book can be found here.  Lost Hero returns to the world of the Greek Gods, but this time with a new Hero at the forefront, a young man named Jason.  My review of that book will be posted later and a link added here.

ONE winner will receive Shadow and one of the Rick Riordan books, as well as two pencils, a bookmark, as well as a the bear pictured, since I believe everyone of my giveaways must include a reading companion! I might even throw in some extras, and if I reach 200 followers by the end of this giveaway I will throw in one extra book of my choosing for the lucky winner. 

Now on for the rules.
This Contest starts on 10/23/10 and will run until 12 midnight on 11/20/10.

This contest is going to be open INTERNATIONALLY.

You must be a follower (old or new doesn't matter, especially since my blog is so new)
You may enter up to twice a week, every week of the giveaway, but they can't be on the same day. 
You may also tweet once a day, just fill out the form every time and let me know.
You can gain one extra entry for posting this giveaway in your blog.
You may gain 5 extra entries for posting this button on your blog.

All you have to do is fill out this FORM, comments are great, but only the form will get you entered.
Don't worry if you accidentally enter too many times, I will discard any extras; you won't get disqualified.

I will contact the winner on 11/20/10, and they will have 48 hours to respond before I pick a new winner.
Good luck to everyone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 10/20

Hello, and welcome to my blog. While you are here please have a look around.  If you're interested please stop by this Friday to enter my next giveaway, and next Monday I will be taking part in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop.

Now on to what you are all here for, this weeks Waiting on Wednesday.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers share the books that they are waiting to be released.

This week I chose Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson as my WoW.  There isn't much to the description yet, but it sure as heck intrigues me, and I loved Faery Rebels: Spell Hunters Like last weeks WoW, I'm not sure of the release date, as GoodReads lists it as 5/5/11 and Amazon lists it as 6/2/10.

From GoodReads:

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.

This is not her story.

Unless you count the part where I killed her. 


My first giveaway, in honor of Halloween, has ended and a Winner as been selected.

So, Lets all celebrate the joy of winning, and congratulate the Winner.

Wait, you're probably wonder who the winner is, so, without further ado, the WINNER of House of Dead Maids and an autographed copy of The Summoning is:

An email has been sent to the winner, and they now have 48 hours to contact me.

My next giveaway will be posted on Friday, and I will also be taking part in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop that starts next Monday.

(image above is of Kero-chan from Card Captor Sakura, the work of the wonderful and amazing group known as CLAMP.. this exact image can be credited to Natsumi Yuu who's blog is My is my dream)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Story Contest: Voting Starts Now!!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a short story on my blog entitled Friendly Fire for the short story contest on A Life Bound By Books, and I hope that you can take a couple of minutes to read it (just click on the title).  They have now started voting on the contest, so be sure that you go there and check out all the stories that are up for consideration and vote on your favorite, as the top 8 stories continue into round 2 (click on the picture above).  I hope mine makes it to round 2!

My Halloween giveaway ends in a couple of hours, but I will be posting another soon, as well as taking part in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a reader, not a writer, which takes place from October 25-31.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

A couple of days later than promised, since I had to prepare for company and I'm trying to participate in the Halloween Read-a-thon, but I'm finally posting my review of Red Pyramid.

Carter and his younger sister Sadie have not lived together and have barely seen each other since their mother passed away.  Carter has traveled the world with their archeologist father while Sadie has lived in London with their mother's parents.  On one of their rare family visits, a trip to the museum in London turns their life upside down as the pair suddenly find themselves in America with an uncle they have never met and a cat goddess as a protector.  What is more they seem to be the hosts for two of the most powerful Egyptian Gods which embroils them in a battle between the Gods and hunted by an ancient order of Egyptian magicians.  Now they must journey around the world (mostly the US) trying to stop Set's evil plans all while staying ahead of the magicians.


Carter: A brain and a bit of a geek, due in no small part to the fact that their father always hammered into his head that as an African American male he always had to live above people's expectations.  His upbringing has also made him a bid awkward , but he's likable and its nice to see him grow as the story progresses.
Sadie: She had a vastly different upbringing than her brother, growing up in England with their grandparents, having friends, going to a school, and looking like their Caucasian mother.  In the beginning she can be a little unlikable, a little spoiled and a little hard on her brother, but she's a good person and develops nicely into a like-able person as the story progresses.
 Bast: A cat goddess, in human, she often acts like a cat, but she desperately wants to protect the kids, partly because of a debt she feels she owes to their parents.  She is probably my favorite character. 

As with his Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan does a good job of meshing mythology (this time Egyptian) with the modern world.  The places that they visit and the events that occur are exciting, keep the plot moving and tie the mythology in wonderfully.  There were enough plot twists that even though some were somewhat predictable others left me truly surprised, even though he hinted at them earlier.  

I was excited to read this series and nervous as well.  I wondered if it could be as enjoyable as the Percy Jackson series when I didn't know as much about Egyptian mythology and I wasn't sure how he would distinguish it from the "demi-gods at camp" formula he used in the other series.  He did both great.  I really felt like I learned things I'd never known or considered about the Egyptian mythology, but never felt bogged down by new info or felt like I was reading a text book instead of a story.  Also, the way that the relationship between the children and the gods was handled so differently that there was no real comparison between this series and Percy Jackson (and I really loved the ever so brief reference made to the Greek gods in this story).
The plot of this book was nicely tied up, but still left me waiting and wanting the sequel.  

Halloween Read-a-thon

I know I'm really late posting this, but better late than never.  I've been reading off and on the last couple of days, in-between cleaning the apartment for company.

What I'm reading for the read-a-thon:

I keep going back and forth between the two.  I know that Lost Hero doesn't quite fit the theme (though they do have magical powers, so its sorta supernatural.  More importantly I'm addicted to it, so I find it impossible to put down for long).

YA Addict has a mini-challenge for this read-a-thon asking what your spookiest read is. 

It's not a ghost story or anything like that, but the tale of an ebola outbreak and seriously creepy.

Oh My Books has a mini-challenge for this read-a-thon asking you to show what you are going to dress as for Halloween.  I'm not completely sure I'll be dressing up as of yet, but if I do I am going to be wearing my Witch Hunter Robin costume, because I adore the whole look...especially her duster jacket.  I sadly don't have any pictures of me in the outfit or the actually outfit, but here is a picture of the character I'm talking about. (the girl in the center is Robin).

Vampires and Tofu asked for you to give the first sentance of the creapiest book you own (sadly I do not own The Hot Zone I chose a different book for this one).  Even though they didn't ask you to post it on your blog, I thought it would be fun to post it with the rest of my mini-challenge answers.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury: First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.

In the Mail 10/17

So this has been a great week for me.  First I recieved the following books that I won on some giveaways:
From Cari's Book Blog I recieved a copy of Beautiful Darkness.
From Reading While Female I recieved a copy of The Left Hand of Darkness.

From PaperBack Swap I recieved:
             Stealing Death by Janet Lee Carey
             Bone Magic by Yasmine Galenorn
             Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas

And Bought:
             Shonen Jump no. 25 Jan. 2005 which I have been trying to find for 2 years!!
             Shonen Jump V 8, issue 11 Nov. 2010
             Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (shown w/out dust cover cause I don't leave them on while reading)
             Another Pan by Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri
             The Body Finder by  Kimberly Derting

What did you receive this week?  Leave a link or let me know in your comment, so I can see what everyone else is celebrating. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 10/13

Hello, and welcome to my blog. While you are here please have a look around, and don't forget to stop by my Halloween Giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning, and a copy of Clare B. Dunkle's House of Dead Maids. Also, if you are interested I'm going to continue my week of Rick Riordan reviews tonight with my review of Red Pyramid.

Now on to what you are all here for, this weeks Waiting on Wednesday.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers share the books that they are waiting to be released.

This week I chose something a little different.  I like disaster movies and this seemed like a book based on the same idea: Trapped by Michael Northrop. The current release date for this book is either Jan, 1 2011 (according to Goodreads) or Feb, 1 2011 (according to Amazon).

From Goodreads: 
The Breakfast Club meets The Blizzard of the Century: A young adult suspense novel from PW Flying Start author Michael Northrop.

Scotty and his friends Pete and Tommy are among the last kids waiting to get picked up at their high school. The snow has been coming down for hours, and it's starting to look like no one is coming for them. As the snow piles higher, their teacher Mr. Gossell leaves them behind to seek help--and disappears into the drifts outside. Now the seven remaining students are on their own, with no food and no electricity, facing a night of sleeping on classroom floors. Will their friendships survive the 

 night . . . and will THEY?

From Amazon (since its a bit different): 

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....

Teaser Tuesday 10/12: Rot & Ruin

Hello and welcome.  While you are here, please feel free to have a look around, and don't forget to take a look at my Halloween Giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Summoning my Kelley Armstrong. Also, this week I'm doing a special set of reviews all focusing on Rick Riordan's YA books.  Last night I posted a review of the Percy Jackson Series, tomorrow I'll be posting my review of Red Pyramid finally, and hopefully Friday I will be able to post my review of Lost Hero (if my copy arrives in time).  

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be reading. Anyone Can play along, just do the following.
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE TEASERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week is from Jonathan Maberry's Rot & Ruin:
 As far as he was concerned, if Tom really had what it took to be a zombie hunter, he'd have had the guts to help Mom.  Instead, Tom had run away and left Mom to die.  To become one of them. p. 7 "Rot & Ruin" by Jonathan Maberry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I’ve been saying for weeks that my review of Red Pyramid was coming, but since Lost Hero is coming out tomorrow I decided instead of doing just one Rick Riordan review, why not do three?  And where better to start than with the Percy Jackson series. Oh, and while you are here, don't forget to check out my Halloween giveaway, ending 10/17/10, for your chance to win a signed copy of Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning and an ARC of Clare B. Dunkle's House of Dead Maids

As with my review of The Guardian’s of Ga’Hoole, I don’t want to give too much of earlier plots away, so I’m going to keep the book descriptions short.

Twelve year old Percy seems to be followed by trouble; he’s been kicked out of every school he’s ever been to after only one year.  This school year is worse than normal though and after a series of unnatural events he ends up at camp half-blood.  There, he discovers that his absentee father is the god, Poseidon, and his uncle Zeus is none too happy about it.  Percy and his friends Grover and Annabeth find themselves on a quest from New York to LA to see Hades and find Zeus’s missing lightening bolt before Zeus declares war. 

After another year at a new school Percy can’t wait to get back to Camp-Half blood, but as summer approaches things take a turn for the worse.  Once he gets to camp, with a Cyclops in tow, he finds that the camp is in danger and his friend Grover is missing.  Percy and his friends embark on another quest, this one to save Grover and recover the Golden Fleece in an attempt to save camp.

During an attempt to bring two newly discovered half-bloods to camp, Percy’s friend Annabeth disappears, and once at camp they discover that the goddess, Artemis, is also missing.  When Percy is not included in the search party to find her, he tags along anyone, and they find themselves on a journey around the United States trying to find them and discovering the reason that they were kidnapped to begin with.

When Percy has to hide out at Camp Half-blood a little earlier than intended due to another unfortunate incident at his new school, it is quickly discovered that an entrance to the legendary Labyrinth has been found in the camp, and their enemies can use it to bypass the camps security and attack.  Percy, Grover, Annabeth and Tyson must journey into the Labyrinth to find Daedalus in the hopes that he can help them thwart their enemies in using the Labyrinth against them. 

In this final installment of Percy Jackson’s story we finally find what the phrophecy involving Percy said in full, and every thing leads up to the great battle against those who have been out to get Percy through and the half-bloods throughout. 

Now the Review:
The Characters
Percy is a likeable guy.  Sure he can be a bit rash at times, and doesn’t always make the choices a responsible person would, but he does what he thinks is best.  And he’s loyal, almost to a fault.  I think he makes a great role model, because he’s real, he has faults, and makes mistakes, which makes him more relatable to readers.

Annabeth is the brains, which makes sense because she is the daughter of Athena.  She’s also tough.  At first she’s a bit harsh towards Percy, but they become good friends quickly.  I love the romantic tension that appears between her and Percy as the story progresses.  Annabeth is one of those intelligent characters that’s done right.  Even though she’s smarter than her friends, you never grow to hate her for it.

Grover is Percy’s best friend.  He’s also the one who’s supposed to look out for Percy, though in truth Percy spent more time looking out for him.  He’s a loveable character.  He’s got one dream, to find Pan, as being friends with Percy gives him the courage and the strength of character needed to go forward with his dream and not give up.

Tyson starts out being really annoying, but as you learn more about him, and get exposed to him more you really start to like him.  You really don’t want anything bad to happen to him.  He’s like a giant little kid.

This was a great introduction to the series.  Riordan did a wonderful job explaining how Greek mythology mixed with our world.  He was able to explain the camp and the half-bloods without making it seem as though he was lecturing at you.  There was a lot of interesting stops along their quest, that pulled in various myths beautifully; if you were familiar with the myth you’d recognize it, but if you didn’t recognize it he’d explain it briefly.  The best part is that you couldn’t always predict the twists and turns the main plot was going to take.  They gave you hints along the way, but it all came together in a way that I didn’t completely predict.

This quest took Percy on one part of Greek mythology that people might be most familiar with, Odysseus, but it was the stops along the way that made it great.  I loved Annabeth’s explanation for chain restaurants.  What’s great though is that while this quest isn’t completely tied to the main plot, it got pulled in enough to progress the series forward. 

This book introduced a lot of new characters, which was probably a great thing, that way it throws new twists into the quest formula of the series.  While they are still on a quest it’s also a lot about how Percy deals with these new people in his life.

I was fascinated by how they were able to bring the Labyrinth to America, and journeying through the Labyrinth was fascinating.  It could have been a really boring story, with them spending most of their time in a giant maze, but instead you really never knew what was going to be around the next corner. 

I loved how they built up to the final fight here.  Also, I was surprised by who the Last Olympian actually turned out to be, I wasn’t expecting that at all.  The best part of this book though, is that you never know until the very end who’s going to join the battle.

General Stuff: 
Overall I really try to encourage everyone that I know to read this series.  I think it’s a great introduction to Greek mythology because its presented in an easy way; its tied in with modern characters, but you still get the history without feeling like you are being lectured, and that really is a hard thing to do.  Plus these are a really quick read.  I finished all 5 books in under 5 days (and that was working full time too).  While each book is a quest, they are so different from each other that they aren’t boring.  There are so many stops along each quest that they don’t give you time to get bored either.  If you enjoy fantasy or mythology at all, do yourself a favor and read these books.

The Movie
As a small aside, I advice people to avoid the movie.  It’s a giant waste of time.  They disregarded the plot of the book and the series and made up their own story.  I heard that they are making the second book into a movie, but they went so far off of book one that I have no idea how they’ll do it.  I’m being good here, because this movie is one of those things that I have a tendency to rant about, I was so vastly unhappy about it. (I give it a 1 out of 5 reluctantly since I did manage to sit through the whole thing).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Friendly Fire" a Story Contest Entry

A life bound by Books and Confessions of a Bookaholic are doing a Story Contest giveaway as part of their Haunted Halloween, so I decided that it might be fun to try and enter. We are now down to the final 8, and the top 4 of those will be the winners.  Voting can be found HERE.

So this is my entry, I call it "Friendly Fire"

Fire. One word. One very short word. And yet, for Kaylee it was the most important word in the world. It was the last thing her mother ever said to her. As a child she had been hurt that her mother hadn’t spoken words of love and encouragement in the last moments of her life, it was only when she was older that she understood the true power behind that one word.

Fire. It brings warmth. It brings light. It brings destruction. And eventually it can bring life. But for Kaylee it brought wonder and mystery and a power so overwhelming that the mere sight of her would strike fear into complete strangers.

On her sixteenth birthday she was to spend her first night in her husband’s bed. He was an old man, probably the oldest that she had ever met and his treatment of her had thus far been nothing less than cruel.  Of course the marriage was not her choice; he had wanted her and would not be denied, and thus had paid her uncle a hefty price for her hand.  The old man was the one being tricked though, as her uncle would have gladly paid him to take her away, he so feared her even though she, herself, had done nothing to earn that fear.

Kaylee had dreaded her wedding night for weeks, not wanting to feel that old man’s hands upon her body and allow him to control in that final way.  She had tried desperately to stay awake as long as possible, not wanting him to surprise her, but the stress of the days leading up to their wedding had been too much and sleep had come.

It was the flames that woke her.  In her dream she saw them spread slowly through the house consuming everything that they touched. She watched them lick at her husband’s flesh in an old leather chair in the library and she smiled with pleasure. She knew they were working their way towards the bedroom where she slept yet she felt no fear. When the flames finally reached the bed she giggled as they tickled over her flesh like a lover’s fingers.  As that laugh escaped her lips and her body arched into the flames, her eyes slowly opened and she looked around in awe. They were everywhere, devouring the bedding and the drapes and everything else that they touched. Everything except for her. Though they touched her, caressed her, they showed no ill will and she felt no fear. They were an old friend and a welcome new lover all in one. And she knew then what her mother had meant when she spoke the word fire with her dying breath. It was her last gift to her daughter.

Waiting on Wednesday 10/6

Hello, and welcome to my blog. While you are here please have a look around, and don't forget to stop by my Halloween Giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning, and a copy of Clare B. Dunkle's House of Dead Maids.  Also, if you are interested, tomorrow I shall be posting a review of the Legend of Ga'Hoole movie and Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

Now on to what you are all here for, this weeks Waiting on Wednesday.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers share what books they can't wait to come out. 

This week my selection is "Beyonders: A World Without Heroes"  by Brandon Mull.  This is going to be the first book in a new series from him, and since I really enjoyed the Fablehaven series I can't wait to pick this one up too.

Here is what Goodreads had to say about the book:

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be less predictable—until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank into a strange, imperiled world. Lyrian holds dangers and challenges unlike anyplace Jason has ever known. The people all live in fear of their malicious wizard emperor, Maldor. The brave resistors who once opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.

In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.

The current release date for this book is: March 22, 2011.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Teaser Tuesday 10/4: Early to Death, Early to Rise

Hello and welcome.  While you are here, please feel free to have a look around, and don't forget to take a look at my Halloween Giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Summoning my Kelley Armstrong.  Also, if you're interested, came back in the following days to check out my coming reviews of Time Stranger Kyoko and The Red Pyramid.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser this week is from Kim Harrison's Early to Death, Early to Rise:

My mind flitted back to waking up in my local morgue, dead from a car crash.  My heart began thumping. p. 26 "Early to Death, Early to Rise" by Kim Harrison.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Guardians of Ga'Hoole

Welcome to my blog and I hope that this review of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole is helpful to you.  While you are at my blog, please don't forget to stop by my Halloween giveaway for Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning and Clare D. Dunkle's House of Dead Maids.

I’m going to review the first three books in the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series together for the same reason that I read them together, the movie, Legends of the Guardians:The Owls of Ga'Hoole that just came out is based on these three books.

In The Capture we are introduced to a young Barn Owl named Soren.  At first he lives happily with his family, celebrating each new feat of a young owl (like eating meat with fur) and listening to the legends of the ancient Guardians of Ga’Hoole, who protected the just.  After falling (or being pushed) from the nest he’s kidnapped and taken to St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls (St. Aggie’s), an evil place where they are using young owls for unknown reasons.  There he meets a young Elf Owl named Gilphie, and the two proceed to plot an escape.

In The Journey, Soren and Gylfie, who are joined by a Burrowing Owl named Digger and a Great Grey named Twilight, make their way towards what they hope in the legendary island of Ga’Hoole.  While the four young owls don’t even know if the island is real, or if the legendary guardian’s are going o be there, they have faith in each other and the hope that they are right.

The rescue finds the four friends as they try to become the best of the best; true Guardian’s of Ga’Hoole.

Don’t let the length of my description of each book mislead you, this has nothing to do with my enjoyment of that book in relation to the others, they simply get progressively shorter because I don’t want to give away any of the later plots that might affect your enjoyment of earlier books.

Onto the Review.
The Characters:
Soren is a great main character, especially for a children’s book.  He’s very young, just a newly hatched at the beginning of the story, so there is a lot he doesn’t know and has to learn as the story goes.  Still he’s got a strong character.  While he may waver from his convictions from time to time he is the leader and the one who tries to keep them on the right track.  He’s young, but it’s believable. 
Gylfie is the smart one, but I didn’t find her annoying like smart characters can sometimes be.  It was more like the author chose to have a nice, friendly character impart important information to the main character and the audience.  She’s very tiny, but loyal and strong.  Likeable.

Digger was amusing when he arrived, wanting to stick to what he knew (which was walking not flying).  At times he seems like the scaredy-cat of the bunch, but he’s not.

Twilight was orphaned almost as soon as he was hatched and managed to survive on his own, which has made him tough.  He often wants to act with brawn before anything else, but he’s a loyal friend, and does try to listen to his friends when they advice against rush behavior.

The Capture:
This book probably sees the most growth of character, which is logical since Soren was so young at the start.  St. Aggie's is a horrible place, and the reader really feels like its awful what the owls there put the owlets they kidnap through.  The author also manages to surprise you about who can and can't be trusted.  You want to see Soren and Gylfie escape, but you have no idea exactly how they are going to do it.  You really get to see things as they do, no being able to figure it out yourself.

The Journey:
As the title implies this book is largely about their journey to find Ga'Hoole. Quite a bit happens in this book, along their journey.  Along the journey they stop and meet new characters and are tempted to stay and not move on.  My one complaint about this book would be just how quickly their journey ends, it seems it could have continued a bit longer, or at least not ended so abruptly.  This isn't just about their journey to Ga'Hoole though, part of the book is spent learning how legend compares to reality, and finding their place within the world.

The Rescue:
This one finds Soren and his friends really growing up and become the best of the best, not because others are pushing them to be, but because they are pushing themselves.  Someone important to them is missing, and they hear rumors about who might be involved, and they take it upon themselves to be the ones to save them.   
General stuff:
The one thing that surprised me most in this story was how dark it could be at spots, like the story of how a young owl watched his sibling and later his parents be fought over and eaten by an evil owl!  Over all though, I enjoyed the story.   I can see why they decided to use them to make a single movie, since they all show the journey of how Soren went from a young inexperienced Ga’Hoole to a true Guardian of Ga’Hoole  (though I think they probably cut quite a bit for time).  I think there is plenty in this story to attract both young and old.  I also believe that it could have even been market to an older audience if those books had been combined and modified only a little.  As much as I like this story, I gave it a 4 out of 5 because of the end of the 3rd book, it wrapped up the story great, not to fast or anticlimactic, but the identity of the villain threw me.  I just don’t understand how that was possible, the timing seemed off.  Maybe in later books that will be cleared up, though.  I will definitely read more of this series at some point.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  While you are here please feel free to look around, and don't forget to enter my Halloween Giveaway. Also, come back tomorrow to see my review of The Guardian's of Ga'Hoole, and Monday for my review on Red Pyramid. 

The Book Blogger hop is an weekly event hosted by Crazy-for-books, as a way for bloggers to meet each other.
This Weeks question: How do you Spread the Word about your blog.

Still working on the best way for me to do this.  So far I've joined the Blog Hop, Follow Friday, Waiting on Wednessday and Teaser Tuesday.  Also, by doing giveways and putting them on lists of giveaways I hope to have people see my blog and hopefully some will like more than what I'm giving away (especially as time goes on and I get better at this).

I have also joined Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View.

This Weeks Question over there is: What books have bitten you?

Well I was long ago bitten by Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, and though I do not enjoy the new books so much, I still love the early books like: Guilty Pleasures.

I also love Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson seires, and curently I'm really enjoying the first book in The Invisible Order by Paul Crilley.