Inkspell (Inkheart, #2) by Cornelia Funke

Inkspell (Inkheart, #2)

Title: Inkspell
Author: Cornelia Funke
Published: October 2005
Pages: 635
ISBN: 9780439554008
Source: Library

Description: Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of Inkheart, the book whose characters came to life – and changed her life forever.

But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the original tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the magical ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval inkscape once more.   Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long both are caught inside the book, too. There they meet Inkheart‘s author, Fenoglio, now living within his own story. But the tale is much changed, and threatening to evolve in ways none of them would have ever imagined. Will Meggie, Farid, and Fenoglio manage to write the wrongs of a charmed world? Or is their story on the brink of a very bad ending?

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I have to admit that I didn’t jump out and read this because I didn’t think Inkheart was all that great.  But, I wanted to know how the story ended.  So, I finally picked this one up.  I’m very glad that I did.  The story was much richer than the first book.   It was written better with the characters coming to life more.  Maybe it’s because we finally get a look at the world that everybody was willing to go to such lengths for.  It’s almost like the author was able to write about a fantasy world better than the real one.  I found the danger more real and the bad guys gave off more of that evil persona.  I was just overall more impressed with this one.   Believe me, I will be picking up the last in the series soon!

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Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven, #4) by Brandon Mull

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven, #4)

Title: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Author: Brandon Mull
Published: March 2009
Pages: 535
ISBN: 9781606410424
Source: Library book

Description: Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton’s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I gave it 4 stars but I’m tempted to give it more… it’s only real draw back is that it’s long.  Which doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it just doesn’t have the race until the end, need to read it feel.  But, besides that, I love this series.  What I do find odd is that I love the mythical creatures in this series more than I love the characters.  The characters are well executed though, and have plenty of appeal.  But, for some reason, I just love the fantasy.  The author has created this tightly woven world of mythical races.  Everything has an explanation that fits in with each race.  And, while those little details may seem like they dont’ matter, it’s what makes the story real.  The author has created a completely functioning different world within our own.  And, just when it seems like we’ve reached an ending point of new characters, the author adds a new one.  It’s never overwhelming though.  I always want more.   I have really enjoyed watching Seth and Kendra evolve with the powers they have been granted by very different races withing their grandparents preserve.  And it will be interesting to see how they work together to use them.   I can’t wait to read the next (and what I think will be the last) in this series!

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2) by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)

Title: The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: April 2006
Pages: 279
ISBN: 9780786856862
Source: Library

Description: After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any normal friends. But things don’t stay quiet for long.
Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders that protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia. Only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name: The Bermuda Triangle.
Together with his friends, Percy must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family, one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I’m still amazed at how the author manages to work in Greek mythology into today’s world.  And it works wonderfully!  These books are just as believable as the Harry Potter series.  Although, I see the similarities that I’m sure many people pick at.  But, the context is different for me.  And, that makes the story different.   I find the adventures interesting and the Greek stories and lore work right into the story.  These are books that kids can pick up and not realize they are actually learning something while reading it.  I like watching Percy grow into accepting who he is and what his future responsibilities may be.  I’m very happy that I found this series!

Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven, #3) by Brandon Mull

Grip of the Shadow Plague (Fablehaven, #3)

Title: Grip of the Shadow Plague
Author: Brandon Mull
Published: April 2008
Pages: 487
ISBN: 9781590388983
Source: Library

Description: Kendra and Seth along with Grandpa and Grandma Sorenson discover that someone or something has released a plague that is turning the light creatures of Fablehaven into creatures of darkness. And for the first time, Kendra and Warren must visit another magical preserve called Lost Mesa in Arizona and try to recovery another hidden artifact. Can the plague be stopped? Can the artifact be found? And most importantly, is the Sphinx a traitor?

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

While reading this, it does not feel like a 500 page books.  I breezed right though this anxious to get to the bottom of what was going on.  I’ve loved the characters since book 1, but in this book, I was surprised to see how much they grew.  Seth may have finally learned a few lessons and proved he belongs to the Fablehaven world.  Kendra continues to surprise me.  She takes everything into stride so well.  I wonder if there will be a time that she might falter a bit though.  It might make her seem more human.  I love how we get a better glimpse of the characters the inhabit this “preserve.”  It makes me think we might never even tip the iceberg on all the creatures the exist in this world.  I like that!  I can not wait to get to the next one!

Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 7:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3) by Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)

Title: The Amber Spyglass
Author: Philip Pullman
Published: September 2003
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780440238157
Source: personal copy

Description: In the astonishing finale to the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra and Will are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent Amber Spyglass. An assassin hunts her down, and Lord Asriel, with a troop of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion, in a battle of strange allies—and shocking sacrifice.
As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story.

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I wish I could say that this was one of the best series I had ever read.  Sadly it isn’t.  And I had such high hopes for it.  I watched the movie of The Golden Compass first and it intrigued me.  So I looked into the book and discovered it was a triology.  I really like that first book, but it’s been downhill since then.  First and foremost, The Amber Spyglass was long.  And the funny part is I’m not really talking about the number of pages, because I’ve obviously read much longer.  There just seemed to be too much of everything in this book.  Too many characters to keep track of along with too many worlds that seemed to be interacting.  And the story was too complex even for me.   I’ve noticed that people seem to love or hate this book, but I’m firmly in the middle.  I don’t dislike it for the reasons that most people do.  I don’t think it’s anti-god or anti-religion.  I just found some of the ideas presented in the final novel to be way out of the realm of reasonable thought.  And, I would love to talk to a preteen who has read these and understood them.  These books don’t present the same way the say The Harry Potter Series does.

Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 7:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Alice in Rapture, Sort Of (Alice #2) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Alice in Rapture, Sort of (Alice)

Title: Alice in Rapture, Sort Of
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Published: First published in 1989
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9780743450461
Source: Library

Description:  The summer of the first boyfriend
That’s what Alice’s father calls the summer before Alice starts junior high. And because Pamela’s cousin from New Jersey says starting seventh grade without a boyfriend is the worst thing that can happen to a girl (even worse than not having pierced ears or a leather skirt), Alice is grateful that she’s got Patrick.   The trouble is, Patrick the boyfriend is a lot more complicated than Patrick the friend. What’s an appropriate present for Alice to give Patrick for his birthday? What should she do if Patrick wants to kiss her and she hasn’t just brushed her teeth? Alice really likes Patrick, but sometimes she thinks life would be a lot simpler if they were still just friends.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I picked this book for my 2009 banned or challenged books challenge.  I noticed that the Alice series as a whole is frequently challenged.  Since my library did not have the first in the series, I choose the second one.  I was completely impressed with this book and intend to read the rest of the series.  I wish I had known about these books in my preteen years.  I though Alice was a wonderful character.  While, the parts of the story were a bit outdated, I thought the dilemma’s faced were very real.  It was fun and lighthearted at times, but the message portrayed was very thoughtful.  I’m hoping these stay in print so that my daughters can read them when they are older.