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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

  Rachel is back and more confused than ever.  Trying to unlock her memory so she can remember who killed her boyfriend, fighting off a crazed banshee and being shunned by the witch community all lead to a very bad day (or days rather).  But Rachel seems to be coping and learning to deal with some of her problems.  Throw in lessons with a demon and an old friend who happens to be a ghost and you have a great book by Kim Harrison.  These are pretty dark books, and you feel for Rachel and everything she has going on in her life, but you are also left with a feeling that in the end it will be ok.  At least I hope so.

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Cover Image So apparently I did not know that there were other books set in this world.  Though it was obvious I had missed some of the back story, I was completely able to pick up on this story.  Set in Gillengaria, the story reminded me a bit of Eddings style.  It is mainly focused on a band of 8 friends who have had many adventures in the past, but this time focuses on the romance of Cammon, a strong mystic Reader, and Amalie, the princess and future queen of Gillengaria. The world they live in is a complex one that has all the political intrigue you see in books of historical fiction (and even modern day).  The twist is that there are mystics, people with different magical abilities.  In this world, however, they are feared.  Cammon is hired to guard the princess while she meets prospective suitors, but soon discovers that the princess harbors a huge secret…she herself is a mystic.  They are both lonely and become friends and then more.  There is war and death and destruction, but all come out stronger in the end for it.  I’m just mad that I am going to have to go back and read the previous ones in the series when I already know the outcome of certain things.  But on the plus side I have found a great new fantasy author! 

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Lackey has crafted a series where the people are Elemental masters (can use magic basically) but the story lines fit into classic fairy tales.  She puts an interesting spin on them and does not use all the typical fairy tales you would assume she would.  I had read all of them I thought, but then I stumbled upon this book which is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.  It is an interesting tale of a young woman cursed by her aunt who then goes to live with artist friends of her parents.  In this story, however, tragedy strikes the parents first and Marina becomes a ward of her evil aunt Arachne before she reaches her majority.  Now it wouldn’t be so bad, but no one ever told Marina why she could not live with her parents.  So she has thought there is something wrong wither her and is now in the clutches of the evil that threatens to destroy her.  It is a great retelling and the magic that is interwoven makes the story come alive.  SO though I have not gotten into any other of Lackey’s series, I really like the Elemental Masters books.

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Percy is back in the their installment of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  Things have gone from bad to worse and now the goddess Artemis has disappeared just like Annabeth.  A quest is set down by the Oracle, but Percy is not one of the ones who gets to go at first.  But thanks to a malady that befalls one of the questors, Percy gets to go.  This book is there things really come to a head.  The gods cannot ignore the fact that Kronos is rising again.  They need the heroes more than ever, but one of them could mean their end forever.  We meet more gods in this book including Apollo, Artemis, and Aphrodite.  The gods are just as capricious as they were in the original tales, but it seems so much harsher in a modern setting set against the kindness of Percy.  This book feels like it is really launching the series.  The first two were exposition somewhat and to give readers a taste of Percy, but in this one it feels like the main course.  Now there is a purpose and reason to what is happening and it is up to Percy to go out and do some pretty hard stuff.  I can’t wait for the next one (and I won’t wait as long to read it!)

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Percy Jackson is back in the sequel to The Lightning Thief.  I had not read the net two books in the series because I felt I should go back and re-read the first, but now I have and so I read the next two.  In this book, Percy has almost made it through a year at school without any incidents.  But on the last day of school he has a bad dream about his friend and satyr, Grover, and then gets into a fight with some nasty monsters and sets the school on fire.  After heading back to Camp Half-Blood, Percy discovers that Grover is in serious trouble.  But things are wrong at the Camp and Chiron, the training master, has been fired for supposedly poisoning the camp. Now Tantalus, who used to reside in Hades, is in charge.  When Percy tells him of Grover, he does not send Percy as Percy plans, but sends Clarisse instead.  So Percy does the only thing  he can think of, he sneaks out with his half brother/ cyclops, Tyson, and his friend and daughter of Athena, Annabeth.  Soon they are battling monsters, stealing the Golden Fleece, and  fighting for their lives.  In this action packed adventure, Riordan does not disappoint with the stories he  started in Lightning Thief.

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In the sequelish to Street Magic, Evvy goes with Rosethorn to a small island to find out what is killing all the plants and animals.  It turns out that it is a volcano and it is up to Evvy to try and save the island.  That is the basic plot of the story, but it is really more about Evvy learn to love humans.  She loves rocks, but doesn’t really care if people live or die and it is in this book that she must learn to do so.  Pierce released this book first as an audio.  It won’t release as a book until 2008.  Bruce Coville’s Full Cast Audio did the book.  It is the first book (supposedly) to be released as an audio first.  I don’t know how I feel about the full cast audio.  On one hand, I found Evvy’s voice a bit annoying, but then because there were other voices, I did not have to listen to only that voice.  I think I will try another and see if I like it.  I think it is admirable that they are trying to make audiobooks important, but I don’t know if it will work.  Although I have to note that I wanted to read it and so instead of waiting a year I did pick up the audio so maybe it did work.

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One day, Max McDaniels and his Dad visit the art museum to honor Max’s mom who disappeared two years ago. Max wanders off for a moment and sees a strange room. When he goes inside, he is transfixed by a tapestry on the wall that seems to change and move as he looks at it. He thinks he is only inside for a few minutes, but his Dad is furious because he was actually gone for hours. On the way home Max receives a letter that informs him he is a Potential and will be tested tomorrow. But before he can be tested, Max is attacked by something evil. Soon Max is involved in magic and mayhem that he never knew existed. He is offered a place at Rowan Academy where he will learn how to use his powers to eventually help in the fight to defeat evil. Max loves his classes and his roommates, but all if not perfect at Rowan Academy and soon Max will be facing a greater evil than has been seen in centuries. Will he prove up to the task?

This is a great children’s fantasy book. It is reminiscent of Harry Potter without feeling like they are trying to duplicate it. Rowan Academy is given vivid details as are the classes to help make it come alive for the reader. The story is rather vague in this first book, but I think we will learn more about Max and his family in later books. The mythology angle is one that I love and Celtic mythology is fascinating so that was a great addition to the book. The only thing I have to complain about is that now having read and loved the first one I know I will have to wait about a year for the next one. I sometimes feel like I should just wait until an entire series is out to read it, but c’est la vie!

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