Friday, October 1, 2010

Mini Book Reviews

Life has been a bit chaotic, so this week, so I'm posting some mini-reviews. Sadly, school got in the way of blogging. On the bright side, I'm now on fall break, so I can schedule things in advance (hurrah).

Next week I'll have a review up for Cate of the Lost Colony, and a guest post from the author, Lisa Klein. Plus, there will be a contest up for a copy of the book!

The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the political portion of the plot, and enjoyed this aspect the most. When I started reading this one, I had just heard about the deportations of the Roma in France. So, I was excited that this one had themes that were along the same topic. Of course, this story took place in Austria, not France. Nevertheless, it was interesting to read about the stereotypes the characters had about the Roma in this book, and compare them to the modern stereotypes.

Overall, I did enjoy this one, but there was something missing that kept me from loving the story. I think that I felt this way because of the pacing of the scenes. Some flowed well together, and some scenes dragged for me.

Jeremy Cabbage and the Living Museum of Human Oddballs and Quardruped Delights by David Elliott

In Jeremy's society, there's a disease that changes regular people into cloons. What's the difference between a clown and a cloon, you ask? Well, to quote my friend Sam, "A clown is a person underneath, and a cloon is a cloon underneath." Due to the Baron Ignatius von Strompie, cloons are ostracized in Jeremy's community. In fact, there are some who want to run them out altogether.

This is quite honestly the most unique book that I've ever read. I'm not even really sure how to review it, because quite a bit happens from start to finish. I will say that there is something for everyone in this story. For example, crazy characters, a savant pig, discovering the meaning of family, and some social commentary thrown in for good measure.

I really didn't do this one justice, so if you're in the mood for something totally unique, give this one a try.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

I picked this one up after a couple of friends raved about it. It may have been because I had high expectations, or that I've read so many great fairytale retellings lately, but I was slightly disappointed with this one. This retells the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and puts a new twist on it. While I enjoyed the new fantasy element of the story, I wish that there had been more description of King Under Stone's world, where the princesses are forced to dance each night. This lack of description was the one thing that kept me from connecting to the story. To George's credit, I really liked the characters, and thought that Galen was very well developed.

Overall, not my favorite retelling of a fairytale, but I'll still pick up the sequel.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

For those who haven't heard of this one, sisters Scarlett and Rosie March hunt Fenris, or werewolves. The werewolves are predators in more way than one. Yes, they kill, but their prey tends to be young, pretty girls. So, Scarlett makes it her mission to save those girls. Rosie, on the other hand, has never really had a choice in hunting. She goes where Scarlett goes, even if it means she is unable to have a stable life.

I really enjoyed this new take on werewolves. Finally, a story where they're vicious, and no one falls in love with one. While I would have liked a bit more history about the March family, the story didn't disappoint me. There was action, suspense, and just the right amount of romance. I'm excited to see where the sequel takes our characters.

Virals by Kathy Reichs

I love the show Bones, but I've never read any of the original series by Kathy Reichs. When I heard that she was writing a teen series, I jumped at the chance to read it. This book features Tory Brennan, the niece of Temperance Brennan. For those people who only watch the tv show (myself included), the news that she has a niece will surprise you. In fact, I think that I would have enjoyed this book more had I read the original series.

I enjoyed the story, but this one was hard for me to get through. I think it was because I couldn't connect to Tory. I enjoyed reading about her, but I didn't relate very well. There were also portions of the book that I had to reread, because I caught myself skipping lines. I'm interested in reading her books featuring Temperance, but this one just didn't hold my attention.


Nina said...

It doesn't sound like any of them really stands out and is really great. I do like the sound of the last one. :)

Christina T said...

I loved The Musician's Daughter but like you I felt a little disappointed by Princess of the Midnight Ball. I far preferred the sequel, Princess of Glass.

Laina said...

I tend to find that series that cross over from other series can be somewhat confusing... like you're missing something, you know? I guess it's because they're not really standalone series...

Tales of Whimsy said...

Yah minis! Great job!

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