Saturday, October 23, 2010

Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville

Title: Into The Land of the Unicorns (The Unicorn Chronicles Book One)
Author: Bruce Coville
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "As each bell chime sounds, Cara climbs faster up the steep bell tower. Eleven! She must be on the roof when the next bell tolls. Twelve! With a deep breath, and only half believing she will be safe, Cara jumps off the church roof and into Luster, land of the unicorns." "In Luster, Cara meets many wonderful creatures, but the most magnificent of all is Lightfoot, a rebellious young unicorn. Together with her new unicorn friend, a hairy creature named the Dimblethum, and the monkey-like Squijum, Cara sets out to reach the Unicorn Queen before the mysterious man following them does -- and to prevent the destruction of all unicorns"-- Book jacket.
Opinions: It has been sometime since I've read a book for children. In fact, even when I was young I was reading books for adults. This book is filled with fairytale-styled adventure where a young girl is forced to trust her grandmother and make a leap of faith into a world she has never known only to discover how truly tied she is to it. I love the creatures, the struggles, and the imagery of this story. I love most of all the strength that Cara has within herself to make some really difficult decisions. This is a great read for kids around the ages of 7-10, but is even fun for an adult like me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Mistborn: The Final Empire
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: Violence & Murder
Premise: "For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and invincibility. Then, when hope was lost, a terribly scarred half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark." (PG City Library)
Opinions: Once again Brandon Sanderson shows his incredible ability to create an in-depth fantasy world. The details that he uses are so intricate that I'm constantly amazed out how complete his creations are. As this fantasy is written for adults please be prepared that there is a lot of violence and blood shed. The age of the world he has created is one that is severely depressed by a tyrant who rules by extreme cruelty. So there are some scenes that REALLY made me cringe.

My favorite part of the story however involved Vin - a Skaa theif that Kelsier involves in his plans to overthrow the Lord Ruler. She is an intriguing character with amazing talents, and many more hang-ups that she works to overcome. Her extremely difficult upbringing gives her knowledge and abilities that strengthen her through intense situations. I loved watching her learn and grow and to decide if she could ever trust anyone -- especially Kelsier.

Overall, I really enjoyed delving into the Mistborn universe and getting to know its people, despite the intense bloodshed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Time To Die by Jeffrey S. Savage

To see my review of the first book in this series please click here: House of Secrets.

Title: A Time To Die: A Shandra Covington Mystery (Book 3)
Author: Jeffrey S. Savage
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Drug-related deaths
Premise: "Reporter Shandra Covington becomes the "beloved" next target of a serial killer walking the streets of Salt Lake City. If she's to save herself, she must discover who is responsible for the recent deaths of several young women--all thought to be overdose victims." (PG Library System)
Opinions: I LOVE Shandra Convington. She is one of the most intriguing, best written, realistic characters out there. Shandra is spunky, brilliant, and a lot of fun to read about. I've loved learning about her from the first book in this series, House of Secrets, and she just keeps getting better. Shandra realizes when she's screwed up, and yet she always strives to follow her instincts and to do what is right. The only thing that matches her appetite for truth and being a reporter is her appetite for good food.

In true murder mystery form, this books has its twists and turns that left me with my jaw open a time or two as answers became revealed. I was so drawn into the story that I read it in under 24 hours (even while taking care of a 2-yr old with shingles, and a teething 9 month old). If you love a good murder mystery, then please read this entire series.