Warning: I used stronger language in this post than I have with others in the past. If you don't like cursing, I am sorry
First off, book 52 is a book that needs to become a movie. Not a lifetime movie like most material that is similar to this, but an actual movie in theaters because more and more people need to see this story and become aware of a small truth in our society. The book I listened to is called Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia. This book is a murder mystery but so much more than that. It highlights many things we have wrong in society. So the synopsis of the book is this: Hattie is this small town girl that everyone loves but suddenly ends up murdered the night of her senior year play. No one knows who did it. The story is told through Hattie’s perspective leading up to her murder, the police sheriff who is in charge of the investigation and is a close friend of Hattie’s father, and her high school English AP teacher. Makes you suspect a certain someone right from the beginning.
So let’s start with this, Peter, Hattie’s English teacher, is not a small town boy but is from the city. He is in misery because he is forced to live in a house with his mother in law who hates him and who is essential dying. His wife is some emotional devastated from her father’s death and her mother quickly leaving her too that she has all but pulled away from Peter. She is distant and that hurts him even more. Honestly I understand why Peter did was he did. He found someone who cared about him, his interests, and he fell in love with this anonymous girl. When given the chance to meet her, without actually meeting her, he does. He goes to a city play with a description of what the girl is wearing and realizes it is one of his students. SHOCK! He did everything right right after that moment but then became stupid. He broke all contact and told her to leave him the hell alone. Good, right? Wrong.
Hattie fell in love with Peter and figured out whom he was because he quoted one of their conversations in class. She convinced herself that they had to be together without thinking of any consequences. She wanted him and that was all that mattered. I was so pissed at her character. This is an issue with teens. These kids think just because they want it, it should be theirs, damn the consequences! And I know that every generation has dealt with this but really got me was that she knew it was wrong and that she could mess up Peter’s life and that is how she caught him. Honestly, Peter should have gone to the police when he found whom he was talking to. He should have told the sheriff “Hey, I started talking to this person online and it got a little intimate and then found out it was one of my students” and taken the consequences. Honestly I don’t think you can be brought up on charges because you found out you were talking to someone underage as long as you don’t continue after you found out. Makes sense right?
Any ways, Hattie keeps forcing herself, figuratively, on Peter, crumbling his morals until he final gives in. HELLO! She knows all of his pain and gives him exactly the person he needed not to feel like complete shit. Now I am in no way condoning what happened. Peter deserved punishment for what he did, having a relationship with one of his students regardless of her being 18 and not underage. He was the adult. But Hattie knew it was wrong and kept perusing the issue. She is just as much to blame as Peter. It is sickening that everyone was so much against Peter after finding out what happened but put no blame on Hattie. HELLO PEOPLE, teens know the law and some actively try to push people past their breaking point so they can have control. More and more teens are become manipulative little bastards and no one what’s to believe that their child is capable of ruining someone else’s life just because they wanted something they shouldn’t have. Can’t say much, they learn it from previous generation. It is just soooo upsetting to listen to this story and know how true all of it could be. The author could say it was true story and I would total believe it.
There is another matter that really upset me in the book, kind of a under tone. Peter’s wife, Mary. She is a selfish bitch, honestly. Sorry for my language but I just hated her character. She makes NO attempt to understand the man she married after she persuaded him to move to a place she knew he didn’t want to live in. He was a vegetarian and she mocked him because he couldn’t stand to see her kill a chicken. I am NOT a vegetarian and I would have hated to see someone kill a chicken (I know I am full of contradictions). She made no attempt to persuade her mother into being nice to Peter, just expected him to take the ill feelings because her mother was sick. She drew away emotionally first and then blamed him for being distant. BUT what really pissed me off was when she made the decision to stay in that little small town permanently without discussing it AT ALL with HER HUSBAND. Hell, she didn’t even bring it up to tell him, he noticed something and asked her about it. THEN she told him her decision. What makes it worse is that she tells him that he has to decide if he wants to stay with her or not. That is shit you pull when you’re dating or engaged, not when you are married. When married, you are partners; you talk about these things and make compromises. You don’t give ultimatums and then expect everything to go your way. That was just as bad a Hattie pursuing her teacher even knowing what was going to happen if everyone found out.
So I know this is a little longer than I write about most books but this one really hit some nerves. Mejia did a great job of bringing these characters to life. I would be driving and yelling at the narrator because I of what I thought was stupid decisions and thoughts. It isn’t a long book, not compared to others I have read and listen to but it does pack a punch. Also, Peter wasn’t the killer. I am telling you that up front. It’s too obvious he isn’t because it’s a murder mystery. Where is the mystery if the killer has a narrative that gives everything away? I won’t tell you who did it only give a hint. Look at the people most affected by Hattie and Peter’s decisions, there you will find the killer. Happy hunting. I am currently reading another book with a different kind of mystery. See you when I finish.
Book 51 is the end of the trilogy that I started by Terry Brooks- The Voyage of Jerle Shannara. This last book was a little anti-climatic for me, personally. When we last saw the heroes of our book, the Ilse Witch was being shown the truth of her past. You would think we would see her character to start to redeem herself but doesn’t happen until the last 100 pages. In fact, the Ilse Witch is pretty much in a catatonic state for much of the story and for me that was kind of sad. I really wanted to see her reaction and how she would adjust to the truths of her past. That is probably the biggest complaints I have for this book.
I guess since there is another trilogy after this one that focuses on the Ilse Witch as a the head of the New Druid Order that kind of reflects on her path to redemption, I still feel like it is a little cheap when there was a perfect opportunity to actually show this path. Think about it, Brooks could have added some chapters or even parts of chapters that we see what is going on in Grianne’s mind (that’s the Ilse Witch’s real name) as everyone was trying to figure out how they were going to get out of their predicament.
Another thing that was disappointing was the Morgawr, the antagonist in this book. He has all of this power, or so the reader is told, but I never felt like I really go to see the complete evil this creature was. I mean the Ilse Witch did things just as bad. The only thing that was really disgusting was the whole stealing the soul of people of sucking their brain dry. The Morgawr did that a lot in this book but that was the extent that I really noticed that was kind of scary. Otherwise, he was just this threat to everyone. What makes matters worse, for me, the ending was fast and simple. The defeat of Morgawr, cause you know he is to be defeated, seemed easy in the end though he is this massive powerhouse that Grianne believes she is the only person that can take out. Either her or the Druid Walker are capable of taking out this evil is what the reader is to believe and the Druid is “dead”. But is Bek, the one who is new to his magic and who has no training what so ever, that defeats Morgawr in the simplest way possible.
And don’t get me started on the fact that people who are new to magic seem to master it without any actual guide. Ahren, the elf prince, using the elfstones isn’t that surprising since they react to the emotion of the person holding it. What is confusing is the Elfstones were used by a different magical bloodline in series before and now the royal elf family is able to use them. I mean I get that they are elf stones so obviously an elf should be able to use them, but both bloodlines are elfish in nature. Anyway there is also the whole thing of Quintin, a descendent of a magical bloodline, just able to figure out, out of the blue, exactly what he has to do to be able to wield the magic of his ancestors (it’s a sword btw) and Bek just fumbling around with the magic of wind song with no training but is able to do many things with it. I thought the whole concept of the Grianne being turned into the Ilse Witch was so that the Morgawr could be able to teach Grianne powerful magic AND how to control her gift. From Bek learning just by fumbling through, I can only infer that it doesn’t take as much control and practice as the reader is first to believe.
And my final complaint is that the book started to drag. Seriously it took 200 pages for two characters to die, the Druid took like 4 chapters, and for everyone to find each other. Took another 100 just for the figure out how to fix the Jerle Shannara and then set out for home (which the fact that they were able to hide and leave the land without interference from the enemy is bullshit to me. Morgawr is powerful enough to be able to sense them- right? If he can’t, then why is he such a threat?!) and then finally it took the last 115 pages for them to break down on the next island over, the Morgawr to catch up, for them to hide and then take down the Morgawr’s fleet (he had 2 dozen ships taken down by one person- bullshit!) and everyone to get home safe and sound with everyone’s individual storylines tied up in little bows.
Honestly I was expecting more from this book as it was the end of the triology. I didn’t feel the fast pace emergency feeling of finally taking down the big bad guy, didn’t feel the big bad guys was much of a bad guy, and didn’t really feel like there was some epic battle in the end that was supposed to make you wonder about people and their sacrifices. It was kind of disappointment after such a long journey. This doesn’t mean I don’t like Terry Brooks and his stories. Just didn’t feel as impressed with this book as his others.
So on to the next book. It will be something non-fantasy since I need something that is a little more real after such a long journey with the voyage of Jerle Shannara. See you next book!
Book 50 is Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. It is the first of 4 to be written. DC comics reached out to 4 really known authors to have them create and write the “origin” stories of some of their famous superheroes. Leigh Bardugo is the first with Wonder Woman. Now there is some problems I have with this book and it has nothing to do with Bardugo’s ability to tell a story, because the book is nicely written. My problem is with the story in and of it’s self. It is the origin story of Diana, Wonder Woman, and how she became a full Amazon and her first treck into the world outside of the island of the Amazons. I have a problem because it contradicts the movie that was just released this year.
1. Diana rescues a girl from the modern age when she is a teen herself. Now this is weird because in the movie when Diana leaves the island, it is during WWI. Now if it was in refers, that would make the movie and the book believable in the same universe. How can Diana at a younger age go to the modern time and then when she is older, go back in time to WWI. Does this mean the book is not in the same universe as the movie? Is the book cannon? You would think that it was since it was published with DC’s permission.
2. Diana doesn’t seem at all surprised by things in the modern world. She has read and learned about them on the Amazon’s island so she knows of their existence and what the purpose of technology and such is. She isn’t disturbed about the subway in New York or an airplane. This would make sense if this book was set after the movie since that means Diana would have been in our world during WWI and seen some of the advances men have invented so it would be a reason to think that if she came to the modern world, many things we have like cars, trains, and airplanes wouldn’t surprise her since she would have already seen something like it. But since the movie depicts her as older than the book seems to be showing her, it doesn’t add up.
3. The age…Diana is a teen in the book but a young woman in the movie. This doesn’t add up if the book happens after the movie and it doesn’t then it doesn’t make sense that she would go back in time and then to be so weird about the technologies she had seen before if that is how this works.
Basically the timelines of the book and the movie don’t add up. So what was the purpose of the two being released by the same company in the same year if they are not connected? I was really looking forward to getting to know Diana from the movie because I loved the movie so much.
Like I said, the story was really awesome. Bardugo did a amazing job on bringing Diana to life and she hid a twist at the end that I certainly didn’t see coming. I was so mad at myself because after all the foreshadowing was reviled it became so obvious. I am usually pretty good at figuring out the twists because of the foreshadowing.
All in all, great book and I really enjoyed it. My only complaint is that it clashes with the movie. Well, see you next book.
Book 49 is the second book in the trilogy I was talking about in my last post. Since all three books are out, I figure I just read all the way though (though to be honest, I might have to take a break between the second and third book, still making my decision)
Much like the last book, there was some development but only for one character really. Everyone else either developed a little more or was killed (please remember this is not Game of Thrones so it’s not like main characters are dropping dead every other chapter). The newest character is Antrax, a machine that was built in the Old World (so present day now) that’s key existence was to store and protect the wisdom and knowledge we have today. Basically to be this use vault of books and documents. Antrax was also given the order to protect itself any way possible. This is key because it is a machine and machines don’t think like we do, they don’t have that emotional element or moral element.
The last book talked about this lost treasure from our world that had all the magic and so forth and that is why people are going on the expedition to find it. Walker, one of the main characters, wants to use it to store knowledge and to re create the Druid Council, a force that would be outside any political body that would focus on recording the knowledge that is the world. Yeah, knowledge is the key word in all of this, huh? Anyways, Antrax lured everyone to it’s far away land so that it could syphon off their magic as an energy source because, you know, no electricity. Can’t protect itself if it isn’t even on. This is a threat because, well, anyone with magic would be put in a coma state while their brain would think they were being attacked and they would constantly use their magic over and over to try to escape (not knowing they are strapped to a chair not running away from bad guys) and thus Antrax survives. Yay! So how to people who don’t know technology defeat a super computer?! They use magic of course. Magic trumps all!
Anyways, there is also the pesky problem that all the knowledge that Walker is looking for is digital so he has no way of access it without the Antrax and Antrax can’t live because it want to torture everyone for their energy. Sucks, really.
We also have this confrontation between the Ilse Witch and her long lost brother. If you read my last post, honestly I don’t think I said anything as to who is related to whom but there you go. There is someone that goes on the journey with a secret identify that they didn’t know was secret. The Ilse Witch has believed that her family dead and that Walker was responsible thus making them mortal enemies and now there is someone there to threaten all that she knows. How does she react?! Surprisingly normal. She doesn’t want to kill the person but she doesn’t want to believe them either. Easiest way to deal, deny they are telling the truth and try to prove them wrong. Smart. This doesn’t get resolved in this book, it just finally puts Walker (who isn’t doing to hot at the moment) and the Ilse Witch together so that she can finally figure out what happened all those years ago.
Now there is another cliffhanger, and it looks like a doozy but we have now switched, for the third time might I add, to a new baddie that our heroes have to over come. They really have it bad, like seriously. The reason I want to take a break is because I need something a little more less than this book. There isn’t anything wrong with the book, don’t get me wrong. It is just a lot of information, description, development, and story that I feel my mind getting a little involved. Kind of like finding a really interesting and awesome show on Netflix and you are so into it that you binge all 4 season and, even though you want to, you can’t turn it off. Yeah, that sinking feeling is how I am getting with the book. I don’t like being sunk in to deep, not nowadays. When I was younger, I would go for it because I wasn’t too happy with my life (not suicidal, just bored. Go to school, do homework, go to school, do homework, where was the adventure!) Now, I still go to school but I don’t get homework, nor do I give it (I don’t believe in homework) but I also go on adventures and I have an amazing husband so I am very happy in my life. I just love reading so much so that is why I read, I just don’t want to be consumed.
Well, that is all on this book. I will see you next book.
Book 48 is the first in a trilogy from Terry Brook called The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch. I started this book because of the show that was on MTV (that has now moved to Spike) called the Shannare Chronicles. Now you would think that since I would want to know more about the series that it was based on, I would read the actual books that the series is based on, but I didn’t. Mostly because they are so old and the books at the library were really run down. So I looked at one of the other trilogies that Brooks has written in this world of Shannara. The remarkable thing about the Shannara series is each trilogy connects in a way. And, though it is a fantasy series, the world of Shannara is connected with our own. But that is not where I am in the series. The trilogy that I am reading is actually set like 300 hundred after the T.V series.
So this book is about the beginning of an expedition to find some old but powerful magic from before the Great War ( that is where our world changed into that of the Shannare with druids, elves, and such ). This is curious because our world doesn’t value or believe in magic. Magic hasn’t been in our world (says the book) since the Faire which is interesting because there is so many stories and myths of magic and fairies from so long ago. But I digress. So in the story, there was an expedition for this power from the before the Great word, and there was a previous expedition that had failed. This previous expedition was lost with the Elfstones, which were a powerful magic all their own. So when a survivor of this previous expedition showed up with a map, the Druid Walker decided it was worth it to try for another expedition. But there is some suspicious about this because how did the survivor, who was blind and deaf, create a map that is written in the language of our world and has complete details on how to get to this place where the magic is hidden? There is also the fact that the Ilse Witch also knows of the location of the magic and wants it for herself. The Ilse Witch also has secrets between her and the Druid which involves a member of the new expedition. These secrets are key to the search for the this magic.
Now other than that, I am not going to really talk much about this book, only to give it some praise and talk about something that were a little hard for me. First and foremost, this book is well written and does bring to life a beautiful world of magic and adventure. I tried reading Terry Brooks when I was younger but I was so much into romance that it couldn’t keep my interest. Now, it is something I convent. A book that can transport me to another world that is engaging and interesting. I need that kind of novel. Terry Brooks does an amazing job at crafting this kind of story. The two things that I had a problem with are that there was some lag in the story and the ending of the book. I don’t feel like I really can to a closure of a story when it finally reached the end. It felt like there were more chapters that weren’t in the book. This is neat in the sense of a cliff hanger but at the same time, it would have driven me crazy if this was a new book and I had to wait for the next book to come out. The lag in the story I guess is to be expected. Since this book is part of a trilogy and is more sophisticated than a young adult trilogy (this is not said in offense, this is merely an observations. In a young adult fantasy book, there is more rising action and less exposition because it isn’t as long, usually, as an adult fantasy novel. Many young adult authors know that their audience needs to be griped in the very beginning to keep them interested because teens are easily distracted. That is an art of it’s own. It means less exposition and more rising action.) Terry Brooks spends a lot of time setting up the next two books. What I mean to say is that you are given a lot of back ground on all the characters and hints to how their part will play out in the next two novels. There is some rising action but not nearly enough to make the reader so anxious to know the out come. That comes in the last 10 chapters. This need to know more and where it is going really gripped me once I fully found out the secret of the character Bek Rowe. That and who was the spy for the Ilse Witch. Also, you don’t see as much as you want of the Ilse Witch in this book even though it is named after her.
All in all, I am going to finish this trilogy before I can move on to another book. I don’t think I can take a break between the books because it feels like I am still reading the same book. That is different then other series or trilogies I have read because usually there is some sort of resolution at the end of the books so I can take a break and come back to it when I am ready. It feels like the other books are in fact just other books, not the same book continued. I hope that makes sense. Anyways, I’ll keep you updated on this series. I am hoping to be done in a week. See you next book.
Book 47 is by my favorite author Sherrilyn Kenyon and it is called Dragonsworn. Now I won’t be saying much about this book because there are so many things to say about it. You would have to read the book to understand all of the information in there. There is just a couple things I am going to write before I try to convince you to read the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon or any of her other books.
First, I have come to realize why I don’t read romance novel very much. The way the characters fall in love is just too quick for me. Now this isn’t for every single romance novels out there. This is a general statement. There are always exceptions to general statements. Sherrilyn Kenyon does a great job of masking this with all the other things going on in the plot. The enemies, the revelations of characters, and the final climax of the story (that is not a pun, but if it was, it was well done). The action and the danger and just staying caught up on who can out match who, the reader just excepts that the growing feeling between two characters, especially two characters who have been betrayed and heartbroken, is real and true. Kenyon is a genius like that. One of the reasons that I love her really. I know that love stories like the ones she rights doesn’t really happen, like its so rare, but she makes it seem to real and natural.
So on to my other points, there is a lot, and I do mean a lot, of information in this book. There was a time when you could pick up one of the dark hunter novels and read it as a stand alone and there was no problem. There was small hints to a bigger picture problem but nothing to this scale. Like, as a fan, I have to go back to different series to remember some of the rules for characters and worlds that are present. Or I could just go on Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website and read up on everyone again. They have little refreshers there, pretty cool place to hang out for a little while. The point here is that this book takes a little reading beforehand to really get the bigger picture. There is so much going on in the plot, creatures showing up that you think you should know but don’t, and you miss the little easter eggs as to what will happen next.
Last, I don’t like reading books about the “baddies” in book series. Garth Nix did a great job in tricking me into doing that and I felt so bad for the baddie and I don’t like that. I am a black and white kind of person. I am not much for debating the grey area. That being said, I knew that the heroine is considered a “baddie” of the Dark Hunter world because her father is the one trying to kill Ash, the leader of the Dark Hunters and my favorite character. I still read the book knowing this and I did get to see a different side to the “baddie” that I don’t like. I have come to realize that there are levels of bad guys with the Noir being at the top and then it trickle downs from there. Depends on the motivations of the “baddie” we are talking about. If they are bad just for survival, I can deal with. If its for world destruction for the fun of it, not so much. So that was a little revelation I had. Got to know a character that I thought was pure evil, but was just someone harden because of the circumstances that happened to her.
Well, that was really all I had to say on this book. I know I didn’t really tell you much of what the book is about. It is kind of hard to summarize what this book is about. The synopsis is even wrong in my opinion. I don’t think it does justice to the plot at all. I was expecting something completely different then what I got, in a good way. But, like always, Kenyon does an amazing job with her writing and I can’t wait to read her next book. Comes out next month. I was hoping to have already read it this year but publishing got moved back. Well, on to the next book!
Book 46, I really don’t know what to say about this book. The title is First We Were IV. I don’t know what exactly the author was trying to portray to her audience but I am hoping that it’s “be careful because everything has consequences”. I honestly don’t know if I hate this book because of the stupidity of the characters or love it for the lesson that I hope the author is trying to portray.
So if you read the synopsis, you know very little about the book, which makes it appealing. You know that there are 4 friends and something happens to one of them because of the whole “first we were IV”. If there is a first, it is followed by at least a second. So you can conclude something happens and it is tragic. You know others are involved and that it is a secret society. That’s it. You don’t know about stupidity of the teens or their original motives. Now I will admit that they had good intentions, trying to get the police to solve the murder of girl that no one did anything for 5 years ago, but they made stupid and reckless decisions that in the end cost them. If you don’t want to read more or any spoilers, I suggest stop reading now.
First and formost, the Order of IV was created to make a bond between the 4 best friends so that after high school ended. Izzy, the narrator, was afraid that once everyone went to different colleges, they would stop talking and hanging around each other as much. So her brilliant idea was to create a secret society so they would do things to keep their bond strong…not exactly the best idea. It started out as mischief, taking pictures of a vice principal leering at girls and posting around the school. When the vice principal was suspended for inappropriate behavior, the 4 figured out they could make people see the indifference of their society towards crime. Make things that the adults want to keep secret come to light. SO this starts the campaign to bring the cold case of the murdered girl that Izzy found near the area the 4 of them always played back to the attention of the public. This leads to more and more rash decision that brought attention to the 4 friends from the popular crowd at their school. The same crowd that enjoyed making these 4 miserable. Instead of toning down their exploits for a little while, let the attention pass, one of them come up with the not so brilliant idea of initiating these bullies into their “order” so they could mess with them a little and control them. Hindsight is twenty- twenty. At this point, the 4 lost control of their order and themselves. It became bigger then they wanted and their new recruits had no problem going off script. Can’t control those that are used to being in control.
So there is something else that kind of bothered me. Izzy starts to have feeling for her friend Harry while her oldest friend of the 4, Graham, is in love with her. This love triangle feels like it wasn’t that genuine as it is meant to be. Well at least Izzy’s feelings. She is so unsure of how she feels, until Harry makes a move. When Harry and Izzy actually kiss, then it was like that had this deeper connection that didn’t have the build up that it should. When Harry accused Izzy of trying to have another girl hit on him to test his loyalty, she acted like he broke her heart. And then instead of trying to make up with Izzy, Harry then breaks up with her and tries to convince her to go out with Graham. It was all kind of unbelievable.
So the ending. I knew there had to be quip quo pro for the deaths of the innocent animals that were killed by the 4 and their followers. I was so upset that 3 innocent animals were sacrificed for these kids to get a high doing illegal activity. So when one of the 4 died in the end, the irony was very real. Not only did the innocent get retribution, but the 4 lost the heart of their group, the most innocent of their group. I think that is what upset me the most. The one person who deserved a good ending was the one that was cheated. Not only that, but because of this secret group Izzy did the exact opposite of what she planned. In the end, none of them really stayed together because the hurt of their friend’s death was just too much for them.
So in conclusion, I don’t know if I hate this book or loved it. I would love to use this book in my class to show my students that, though something looks like a good idea at the time, everything has consequences. If Izzy and her friends wanted to make a secret group, fine. But when that group then starts to do things that are illegal, just that only could end all of their lives. And the add on top of that with more thoughtless decisions all for their own stupid agendas. The only one who really had anything to want vengeance for personally is Harry, because of the attack on his dad by students at the school. An attack that left his disabled. So…That is it for this book. I meant to read it all in one day but then an animal was scarified and I had to put it down. I HATE animal abuse. See you next book.
Book 45 is a book called The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood. I picked this book up at a Comic Con. The author is also the artist and he was there to show his artwork. The book is about dragons so it seemed good to me. When the new reading challenge came and a category for a book with season in the title so this was perfect. Now there is one thing that threw me was how high fantasy this book is. Trust me, if you find it hard to get into books that are fantasy with names and customs you don’t know very well and you have to remember details to get into the story, then this book will be difficult for you. I will admit that it was a little difficult for me as well. There was so many characters in the beginning and the whole concept of dragons and the customs around them; there was just so many details to remember so I had to wrap my head around all the details before I could get into the story itself.
The book is about a girl, Maia, who sees a The Summer Dragon when her and her brother decided to go out into the forest instead of doing their duty. The Summer Dragon is one of the High Dragons and represents change in this world. And everything does change and Maia is trust into a war with politics and religion and a fierce being that no one understands
Maia is a strong female character and the other doesn’t diminish her character with a love and romance like many authors do. That being said, I get giving the main character a love interest but so many times the female character is diminished by this love. She often defers to him or he controls her in a way or it is a weakness used to exploit her. That being said, there was a possible love interest and I thought it was interest. Maia didn’t reciprocate the male character’s feelings but his feelings did play a part in story. I really thought that it was interesting that the author made Maia’s feelings and thoughts realistic for a female. I always find that male authors who write female characters follow certain stereotypes. Lockwood doesn’t do that. Maia knows about the potential romance but she is so into proving herself and becoming part of her family’s business and she didn’t want the romance get her way. I admire her for that.
There is also an interesting use of allusions to religion in the book. Especially Christianity and how many people perverted teachings to further their own needs and ambitions. It is written in history the many evil acts done for Christianity. Not only that, many people use Christianity to attack other believes and teachings that have been around longer than it. I bring this up because in Summer Dragon, there is this struggle with religion. A priest shuts down any explanation of the old religion and makes the seeing of the Summer Dragon as something bad. They actually kill a whole group of people because they dared to give some relevance to the Summer Dragon and the Maia seeing him. This religious intolerance leads to a lot of trouble for Maia and her family. It causes a lot of heartache and ends with Maia having to leave home to save her life.
Well all in all, great book and I am very happy that I finally finished the book. Like I said in the beginning, if you aren’t used to high fantasy, this book will be difficult for you. If you like trying to immerse yourself into new worlds with many different customs and religions, this a good book to try. Not only that, but the artwork is so beautiful. See you next book!
Book 44 is a book that has been on my to read list for way to long. Actually it was the third book that I added to my Goodreads list after I made my account back in 2014. I can’t say why I didn’t read this book as my mom owned it and it was by a favorite author of mine, but I waited until I could find it as an audiobook and listened to it instead. The book is Altar of Eden by James Rollins. Like I mentioned, James Rollins is one of my all time favorite authors. My mom got me into his book back in college and I have burned through his book so fast that I impatiently wait for his next one to be released (should be at the end of this year). That being said, there are some of his stand-alone books that I still haven’t read yet, mostly because they are older and no set up around the Sigma Force like I am used to.
So Altar of Eden as an audio book was super weird for me. One, it was a woman reading the whole book but there was only two women really in the cast of characters (I am not really counting Jack’s mom because she only talked like 2 times in the whole book). So while listening, a woman was trying to do voices for a lot of male characters, it was kind of weird. Not only that, she tried to give everyone the accent that they should have and it through me for a loop on the two main characters. I guess because they are from bayou near New Orleans and there is definitely an accent from people who grew up around the bayou the reader decide to do a different accent then just an average American but still through me for a loop. I really enjoyed all the other character’s accents, especially the children from the beginning and the end that are from Bagdad.
Two, Rollins likes to combine science, things that are only now becoming researched more and more, with history in his Sigma force novels, but since this is a stand alone, the history element was missing. The science was not. And listening to the explanations instead of reading them made it harder to understand as usually there are maps to look at and images to help the reader to understand what is going on. I will admit there was a good amount of “fractal intelligence” that I just didn’t get at all. I am more of a history person, not really a science person. I always learn something new with Rollins’ books but this time, I think it was just a little too much for me. I did try to understand it, but I found myself drifting off in thought when characters were starting to explain experiments and their findings and such. I hated doing to so I tried to pay attention but like I said, just a little to over my head.
The characters were interesting. I liked the history between Lorna and Jack. Gave an interesting side to the story that wasn’t about science. It also created a bond between the two that made Jack’s rescue and recovery at the end really sweet.
Well that is all I have for this book. I loved it but it was a new experience hearing a James Rollins book instead of reading one. I don’t think I like it so I will stick with reading his books. If you haven’t read his books but don’t want to start a series, I recommend Amazonia or Excavation. If you don’t mind series, Map of Bones is a great place to start. See you next book.
Book 43 is a book that many people know, especially if you are under the age of 25 or work with teenager. Fault in Our Stars is a book by John Green and is famous among teenage girls because it is a tragic love story. It has also been made into a movie, which I watched last year so I kind of knew what was going to happen in the book. So my thoughts and feelings on this book…does everyone know what the book is about? The book is about Hazel, a teen girl who is dying slowly because her lungs don’t work right (she actually has cancer that cause her lungs not to work correctly). One day Hazel meets Augustus and they go on this journey together to love. But the universe as the last word, and tragedy strikes. Now if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, I don’t want to spoil what happens. It isn’t what you think, that is for sure.
Now for my thoughts on the book. I have a small problem with how the teens talk in the book. It is a little mature for a teen in this age and day. Not saying that there aren’t teens out there that are super smart and do talk with a maturity that sadly many adult don’t talk with, but in Green’s book all the teens talk with a higher vocabulary then teens today. I am a teacher, I teach high school English and some of the most intelligent of my students (and I have taught higher level students) do not talk like this on a regular basis. This just really bugged me as a teacher. Not only that but a lot of the things brought up by characters such a mathematical equations and the philosophical questions I do believe are beyond a lot of teens thought process. Again, I am not saying that teens aren’t smart, but these kinds of things are not in the spectrum of teen consciousness and I feel like a good amount of it would go over their heads. Heck, some of it went over my head, mostly the mathematical stuff.
Now the characters themselves. Augustus was a little much for me in the way that he acts. I say that as my teenager self. If I was a teen and I met him, then I would’ve been insulted by some of his behavior. As an adult and my husband having some of the same boldness that Augustus has and I find it endearing now. I will say I wish I got a surprise trip to Amsterdam. Hazel, for me, was so realistic. What she feels and how she deals with everything around her, yeah she was my favorite.
Now, speaking of Amsterdam, my last book was about two friends trip around Europe. They did visit Amsterdam and it was filled with pot and sex. This book shows the city as something more historic and beautiful, which I really like.
Now, final thought about my pick. This was a quick read for me and a cute read. It was also a really sad read. Yes, I did cry, even though I tried to fight it because I didn’t want a book to get the best of me again. I am a sucker for good books even if they make me cry. All in all, good book. Now one to the next book for me.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.