Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Reads

1. Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh by R.L. LaFevers. This is the fourth book in the Theodosia series. This is such a fun children's series. The main character is a girl (now 12) who lives in Victorian England with her archaeologist parents. Theodosia has a peculiar gift of being able to detect Egyptian curses. In this book she travels to Egypt with her mother to fight dark forces, unbeknownst to her mother. One of the things I love about this series, aside from how well it's written, is how Theodosia is so accurately portrayed as a young girl. She gets appropriately, scared, homesick, frustrated with adults, and frequently is trusting of the wrong people. It just makes the main character very likeable and real.

2. Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn. This is the prequel to Mistress of Rome. There is some minor overlap of characters between the two books, but they could each be stand alone books. You wouldn't need to read either one to have the other make sense. The characters in Mistress of Rome seemed to be better developed than the sequel. Overall, the book was an enjoyable read though especially if you like historical fiction about ancient Rome.

3. Allison Hewitt is Trapped: A Zombie Novel by Madeleine Roux. Zombies. In. A. Book store. Awesome! Plus the story is told though Allison's postings on her Blog. It's like this book was written specifically for me. The only thing that could have made this book better was if Harry Potter himself came flying in on a magic rainbow farting unicorn to save the day.

4. The Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede. I thought this book was a refreshing change of pace from the normal fantasy books I read. It takes place in an alternate reality where magic exists, and is set in post civil war America. Most of the locations in the book have alternate titles which I thought it was fun to try to figure out the corresponding name in this reality. I'm geeky that way. When this book first came out the author got a lot of flack for not including Native Americans in her world. She stated that she didn't include them because she was afraid she was going to pigeon hole them into negative stereotypes. This only caused people to be outraged because they felt if she couldn't write about them other than their stereotypes then the author must place some merit in the stereotypes. I think she was damned either way. People would have complained about how she portrayed Native Americans had they been included in the story. As for the story itself, it reminds me a lot of the Little House on the Prairie. A lot of story telling about everyday life and the people that live it. This is different from most fantasy writing as there is no huge quest to defeat a villain. I enjoyed this, but hard core Fantasy readers might find the story dull since it doesn't contain the action packed adventures that often draw them to this particular genre.

5. The Neddiad: How Neddie Took the Train, Went to Hollywood, and Saved Civilization by Daniel Pinkwater. I read the very weird Adventures of a Cat Whiskered Girl a while ago. The Neddiad is the first book in that trilogy. (Cat Whiskered Girl being book 3) Reading this book didn't help me make any more sense of Cat Whiskered Girl. That book was just straight up weirdness. This book is slightly less weird. It is set in post World War II Hollywood. The main character, young Neddie comes to obtain this magic sacred turtle and winds up having to save the world with it. The book is written as a journal of his adventures. The title of the book is a play on The Illiad, which just adds to its silly peculiarity.

6. The Yggyssey: How Iggy Wondered What Happened to All the Ghosts, Found Out Where They Went, and Went There by Daniel Pinkwater. This is book 2, the sequel to The Neddiad. Neddie's friend, Yggdrasil, or Yggy, um "wonders what happened to all the ghosts, finds out where they went and goes there herself." So yeah, the title is pretty self explanatory. Oh and no body remembers what happened in the first book! Even the journal that Neddie wrote is mysteriously missing. Another strange ride of a story, but still, not as crazy as Cat Whiskered Girl.

7. Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson. OK, so I thought there couldn't be a better Zombie book for me than one about a Girl in a Bookstore who blogs about her escapades. Then I found this gem. Zombies at a Star Trek convention. Awesomesauce! Each chapter is named after a Trek episode. There are all sorts of nods to all the different "Trek"s, including the short lived cartoon. There are also a lot of Star Wars references and a brief little joke about South Park. (It's at the end so wait for it.)

8. The Candy Shop Wars by Brandon Mull. I think at one time or another every kid wishes they had magical candy. The main characters come across a candy store owner who gives them this seemingly wonderful gift. The candy comes with strings attached though. Our heroes (and heroine) have to make the choice whether or not the powerful treats are worth the price. This is a fun read especially for kids around the 5th grade, or those with the mentality of a 5th grader!

9. Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston. Queen Elizabeth, Gloria Regina herself, is descended from Morgaine le Fay of the Arthurian legends. QE discovers that through this familial line, she herself is a Vampire Slayer, and the head vampire is none other than Arthur's son Mordred. Oh, and did I mention that this is written in the style of a journal recovered from a fire by Lucy Weston. Lucy Weston, more commonly known as Lucy Westenra, Mina's best friend who is turned into a werewolf in Bram Stroker's Dracula. Lucy's even got her own facebook page. With all that going on, how could I not love the story? It was a little slow going at first, but it picks up speed quickly. The ending leaves ample room for a sequel, which I will be anxiously awaiting.

10. The Unicorn's Tale by R. L. Lafevers. This is the 4th book in the Beastologist series. This time Nate must help a unicorn that has become mysteriously ill. There is a slight ray of hope that his parents may still be alive, which I will ruin by telling you that it is all but shattered at the end. I love this children's series a lot. Mrblocko has started reading it with Blockette and they are thoroughly enjoying it. My favorite character by far is Greasle. She's a little gremlin. (Think WWI messer-upper of airplane engines, not the bizarre things from the 80's movie.) Greasle is cute and spunky and never fails to crack me up.

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