Monday, January 27, 2014

Review of Dragonflight-Anne McCaffrey

I read this novel for the first time in high school and have read it several times since.  But since I will be writing a new series about dragons, I thought it was time to revisit this wonderful story.  Lessa is from a noble house but after her parents are murdered by an evil nobleman wanting their lands, she has remained hidden as a kitchen drudge.  When dragonriders come to her land on a Search for new riders, she is recognized as a potential rider with unique talents.  When she bonds with a queen dragon, her life changes forever.  I can only hope that new readers will continue to be attracted to McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series because there is magic in these books.  4 Elves for readers of all ages - Very Highly Recommended

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review of Far Far Away-Tom McNeal

A young boy, Jeremy, is haunted by a friendly ghost, Jacob Grimm (one half of the famous fairy tale authors).  Having a ghost speak in his ear all day makes him a target for other kids and even townsfolk.  But, a young, vibrant girl thinks there is more to Jeremy and befriends him, causing some strange events to occur.  Soon, Jeremy and his friend Ginger are shunned by nearly everyone in the town except the kindly baker.  Kids keep disappearing from the town and the sheriff and his deputy are helpless to solve the mystery;  instead, they follow the two friends everywhere, hoping to catch them in some mischief.  This is a great, thrilling read for middle-graders.  4 Elves - Highly recommended

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review of The Wolf Princess-Cathryn Constable

In a gray, dreary boarding school in London, a young orphan girl dreams of a snowy landscape.  When Sophie and her two best friends are suddenly allowed to go on a field trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, she jumps at the chance.  Abandoned in a snowy blizzard, the three friends are whisked away to a decrepit castle deep in the woods.  There they meet a princess who invites them to stay with her, but things aren't what they seem and the longer they stay, the more the mystery deepens.  This was a great fairy tale/ Russian folk tale of a novel - thoroughly enjoyable.  4 Elves - highly recommended for middle grade readers

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review of Dragonhaven-Robin McKinley

After reading several earlier books by this author, I finally got around to Dragonhaven, and I'm glad I did.  An unusual book written in the voice of a teen boy, this is one of the most interesting books about dragons I have read.  Since my next book series will be about dragons, I like to read what's out there in dragon lore and like Pegasus, she delves into the minds of the creatures.  I liked the main character, Jake and his adopted baby dragon, Lois; when adult dragons enter the story, they are just as interesting and compelling. 4 Elves- Highly Recommended for teens or middle grade readers.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review of When You Were Here-Daisy Whitney

I warmed up slowly to this novel for older teens, but soon I was interested and involved.  Danny's mother lost her battle with cancer just before his high school graduation.  Having lost his father suddenly a few years back and his girlfriend in the last year, his life is meaningless and he's so angry.  He journeys to Japan - a place his mother loved and spent a lot of her final years.  He meets a teen who despite appearances seems wise.  In Japan, many questions are answered and secrets are uncovered.  I was cheering for him by the end of the book.  3 Elves - Recommended

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review of How I Live Now -Meg Rossof

A very grim dystopian novel, definitely for older teens. I can't say I liked it, but it had some moments.  Daisy lives in New York with her father and a stepmother she hates.  She acts out so much that they finally send her off to stay with relatives in England.  Daisy barely eats as a protest against her stepmother's pregnancy, but when the war starts, food is so scarce that she finally finds an interest in food again.  She has a relationship with a cousin until they are separated by soldiers.  Much of the book is Daisy traveling across country with a younger cousin, living off the land, until she can be reunited with Edmond, her cousin and love.  The only slightly hopeful thing in this book is how Daisy learns to be self-sufficient and less selfish.  The writing is excellent, but the subject matter is depressing.  I think I won't rate this novel.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review of The Hero & The Crown-Robin McKinley

After reading more recent works by this author, I finally got around to this Newberry Award winner.  It's such a great book for middle grade readers; I'm going to search out other earlier books.  Aerin is the King of Damar's daughter, but feels insecure because her mother was considered a witch so the Damarians don't trust her.  She decides to become a dragon killer and that sets her on a road to self-discovery & confidence.  This novel has some great characters and nail-biting action.  4 Elves - Highly Recommended

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review of Scarlet: The Lunar Chronicles -Marissa Meyer

In this sequel to Cinder, the first in the series about a cyborg Cinderella, the sci-fi fairy tale continues.  Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood who is both attracted and repelled by Wolf.  When Wolf helps her escape after trying to rescue Granny, she realizes she has to trust him.  When they encounter Cinder, who has broken out of prison, their real journey begins. Like Cinder, this is a highly creative dystopian novel, and I'm  looking forward to the next book, Cress.  4 Elves - Highly Recommended for Teens