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Archive for October, 2007

This novella is more like the Card I know and love.  His last few books have left something to be desired, but this makes you realize he can still write.  It is a short story about Zeck, a boy in Ender’s toon, that is nonviolent and does not want to go to Battle School.  A confrontation happens when he actually gets there that causes religious feelings to escalate.  This is a great sideline story to the overarching tale of Ender.  I loved reading about the characters we know and love in a new and different setting.  Obviously a novel cannot encompass ever detail that happens during a time frame (imagine how long they’d be!) but there are certain books where reading stories such as this help enrich the stories previously told.  I loved this short read and hope there will be more like it in the future.  But I still have to ask, “Whatever happened to his last Women of Genesis book?”

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In her latest Elemental Masters Book, Lackey retells the tale of puss in boots.  Of course in this telling there is magic and an evil troll that wants to kill the heroine.  Enter Ninette, a Parisian ballet dancer who is summarily fired after she gains the attention of the prima donna’s benefactor.  Ninette is at a loss and just when she thinks there is no hope left a cat starts talking to her.  It gets her to England and sets her up as a famous Russian ballet star.  Soon she is charming audiences and loving dancing like she never has before.  Meanwhile her new friends are trying to discover who could be trying to hurt her all the while Ninette is learning about her magical abilities.  All in all a delightful tale.  What was surprising was that Lackey doesn’t pair Ninette off in an obvious way in this book as she has done in all the others.  Brava to her!

Fairy tales retold are always fun, but when you add in magic it makes it utterly enchanting.  I look forward to the next one as I have to the others in the series.

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An interesting take on Jane Austen’s early years.  The author does try to pair every character from Austen’s novels with a real person in her life in some way.  I found that somewhat implausible.  I have to say that I didn’t dislike the book, but neither did I like it.  Yes it is fiction, but I was offended by some of the liberties the author took in regards to the thoughts of Jane.  Yet it did give insight into her early life and if a younger person than myself, who has not been exposed to Jane Austen (and read and reread her books many times over), were to read it, they might enjoy it and want to learn more. 

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This is the fourth book in the Temeraire series.  It is the story of a navy man who, after rescuing a dragon egg, unwittingly forms a bond between himself and the dragon.  They become part of England’s elite dragon unit sent to defeat Napoleon.  It is an interesting premise and by taking events from actual history and adding a fantasy element they seem more realistic that some other fantasy novels.  It relies heavily on military matters and yet I like these books. Though I like dragon books, I am not usually big on the military angle.  Novik has managed to create an intriguing mess of characters that makes you want to keep reading to find out what is going to happen.  There are also broader issues such as slavery, rights for dragons, and the stigma of being a dragon fighter that come to the forefront of some of the books.  This series is unlike anything I have ever read. 

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Colonel Aidan Bedwyn makes a promise to a dying officer to tell said officer’s sister the news of his death and to protect her.  Upon arriving to do so, Aidan finds a motley household filled with lame ducks, well except for Eve Morris.  Eve, though shocked at her brother’s death, refuses help from Aidan.  However, Aidan discovers that she will be tuned out of her house, along with her assorted lame ducks, unless she marries in 4 days.  So he proposes to do just that.  And she accepts.  They expect to marry for convenience and never see each other again afterwards, but Aidan’s brother, Duke Wulfric Bedwyn, has other ideas  Soon Eve is being introduced to the ton and learning about her husband in new and interesting ways. 

 A fluffy fun read.  Just the thing after a long week.  And there are more about the Bedwyns!  I just love that, don’t you?

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In the second novel in this great new series, Amy Haskel finds herself embroiled once more in a plot to undermine the authority of Rose and Grave, a very Very secret society she is now a member of.  Things are not going well with this year’s taps (who are now all seniors) and not only are strange messages popping up, but someone is leaking information to the press.  Amy meanwhile is trying to get her schoolwork done while having many late night tete a tete’s with fellow classmate George.  Life is suddenly very complicated and very tiring.  Plus Amy has started to rethink her decision to go into publishing after school is done. 

The second book in the series is just as entertaining as the first.  It captures all the elements of a good ya novel combined with a great cloak and dagger book.  My only sadness: I have to wait til 2008 to read the next one.   😦

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In these two books, each child suddenly gains mysterious powers.  In The Strongest Girl in the World, a young 8 year old can suddenly lift cars and in The Invisible Boy, a young boy meets an alien who turns him invisible.  Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, these two books (written in a flip book format) are cute, if not overly original.  There are bad buys (and gals) but all is right in the end.  Though not as good as I,Coriander, these books will amuse.  

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