Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Title: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Alerts/Warnings: Some violence
Premise: The magical preserve Fablehaven provides refuge to numerous mystical species: centaurs, trolls, satyrs, ogres, fairies, minotaurs, brownies, imps, nymphs, and many others. But some beings are too large and powerful to be confined to regular enchanted refuges. These mightiest of creatures dwell inside the dragon sanctuaries. (King County Library)
Opinions: In this fourth installment of the Fablehaven series, Seth is becoming more and more of an intriguing character. He is still as impetuous and adventurous as ever, but due to an encounter with a creature from a previous book he learns that he has special abilities that allow him to learn things that none of his friends know. He tries to persuade them to let him help out in the search for the magical artifacts, but he is consistently turned down. So he takes matters in his own hands and ends up not only causing more trouble, but also coming up with the only solutions that work. I've come to enjoy his character more and more as he learns and grows.
Some intriguing events occur with Kendra that leave me wondering how Brandon Mull plans on resolving them in the last book (I wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to spoil it). Kendra does use her fairy-kind abilities to decipher messages left by Patton in his journal which will lead them to the Centaurs to find the key to a Dragon Sanctuary where one of the magic artifacts is hidden. The Sphinx is definitely not through with Kendra yet. She also must decide who to place her trust in.
This book is full of hard lessons, suspense, traps, betrayals, strength of character and friendship, good vs. evil, interesting plot twists, and most definitely dragons. This book is definitely a page turner and the best of the series so far. I'm eager to learn how this story will be resolved in book five.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Title: Grip of the Shadow Plague
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Premise: Strange things are afoot at Fablehaven. Someone or something has released a plague that transforms beings of light into creatures of darkness. Seth discovers the problem in its infancy, but as the infectious disease spreads, it becomes clear that the preserve cannot hold out for long. In dire need of help, the Sorensons question where to turn. The Sphinx has always given sound advice--but is he a traitor? Inside the quiet Box, Vanessa might have information that could lead to a cure--but can she be trusted? Meanwhile, Kendra and members of the Knights of the Dawn must journey to a distant preserve and retrieve another hidden artifact. Will the Society of the Evening Star recover it first? Will the plague eclipse all light at Fablehaven? (King County Library System)
Opinions: This is one of my favorites of this series. We get to see Fablehaven in distress and we also get to see a new preserve. This is entreating in that you get to see how another preserve works and you get to encounter new creatures. Both Kendra and Seth are integral to the success of the community they have embraced. New characters are introduced that add another level to the story. I like that this book takes place both at Fablehaven and Lost Mesa because it widens the scope of the story. I think that it is important that the story that could affect the world broadens to include other parts of the world.
One of the things I like about this series is the fact that it is well balanced. There is light and dark, good and evil, action and reflection. I don't feel so overwhelmed by any one aspect that it ruins the book for me. (Too much darkness makes me depressed, and too much lightness makes for a fluffy book which I don't mind) Balance is something that I think Brandon Mull does gracefully and effortlessly in his books.
I hope you enjoy this FabulousRead.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Title: Rise of the Evening Star
Genre: Mid Grade Fantasy
Premise: At the end of the school year, Kendra and her brother, Seth, find themselves racing back to Fablehaven, a refuge for mythical and magical creatures where their grandfather is caretaker. The Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power, is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possily the world. Time is running out. (King County Library System)
Opinions: In book two of the Fablehaven series things get more interesting for Kendra and Seth. In book one, I liked Kendra a lot and Seth really bugged me. In book two, Seth started to grow on me. This book develops the characters from the first book and introduces several new and quirky characters. Vanessa-the expert on creatures, Tanu- the potions master, Coulter-the magical artifacts expert and the Sphinx-a mystery unto himself. As the Society of the Evening Star makes a play for one of the artifacts, Kendra and Seth must work together to help discover the mysteries of Fablehaven before the Society does.
I love this series. The characters seem very realistic and true. I often find myself sucked into the book and not be able to put it down. And PS my husband loves it too. He will stay up until 12 or 1 in the morning reading it because he just has to know what happens. I find myself invested in the characters and their problems and rooting for their triumph.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
Premise: When Kendra and Seth go to stay at their grandparents' estate, they discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is looming. (King County Library System)
Opinions: Fablehaven is a fascinating, imaginative world that Brandon Mull has created to entertain young and not-so-young alike. Kendra (13 years old) and Seth's (11 years old) parents take them to spend some time with their grandparents while they go on an extended vacation. Having rarely seen their grandparents, and never having visited their home before, things are slightly tense when they first arrive to Fablehaven. Fablehaven is a preserve that their grandfather manages, but they do not realize what kind of preserve it actually is.
Kendra and Seth soon learn that there are some strange things happening. When they first arrive their grandmother is nowhere to be found, there's no radio, no television and a whole lot of rules that they must obey. When some of those rules are broken and people on the reserve are taken away from them one-by-one, Kendra and Seth learn that Fablehaven is a refuge for magical creatures, including satyrs, nymphs, trolls, fairies, imps, witches and much, much more. Kendra and Seth must work with some of these creatures and against others to save their grandparents and to make decisions that will change their lives forever.
The characters are fantastic - Kendra the rule abiding, intelligent, kind, older sibling who is trying to do the best for everyone and to watch over her rule-breaking, adventure-loving brother, Seth. Lena - the mysterious and beautiful cook, Warren - the cool and quite butler. Muriel - the old hag living in the forest. A mysterious chicken, and many, many more impressive characters (including a pair of satyrs that will do anything for batteries). I love the imagery, the tension, the plot detail, and the imagination of this story. Overall this is a must read for anyone and everyone who loves a good read.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Hello one and all -
Today is a VERY important day. Today is the release of Keys to the Demon Prison (Book 5 of the Fablehaven Series) by Brandon Mull. I'm eager and excited to be attending his release party in Salt Lake tonight and am desperately looking forward to seeing how Brandon ends the Fablehaven series. In honor and celebration of this momentous occasion we are hosting a giveaway.
Starting today and running until midnight on Saturday, April 3rd you may enter to win an autographed copy of the first book in the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. During that time Stephanie and I will post reviews of Brandon Mull's works which we highly encourage you to read for yourselves. The winner will be announced on Sunday, April 4th.
Ways to Enter:
1. Leave a comment on this or any other post until the 3rd telling us the following: If you can spend an hour with any author, living or dead, then who would you choose? (1 entry)
2. Follow our blog (3 entries)
3. Post a link to our blog on your blog. Please leave a link to your blog (5 entries)
4. Blog about our blog or giveaway on your blog. Again please leave a link (10 entries)
5. Write a review for us. (5 entries per review) There is no limit to the number of reviews you write for us. Please use our format. (Below) Email us your reviews at firstname.lastname@example.org Also if you would like us to link to your blog, please give us your blog address.
If you are under the age or 18 you must have a parent or legal guardian give consent if you win.
We have also in the past have had people have problems with our comment section. If you have a problem, you can email us your entry at email@example.com
Reviews for Brandon's books will be up in the next day or two. Keep on checking our website to learn more about these Fabulous Reads. Good Luck all!!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Author: Beth Pattillo
Genre: Chick Lit
Premise: After agreeing to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire Prescott is thrown into an adventure with a bunch of Jane Austen-loving women searching for their Mr. Darcy, but when she meets a mysterious women who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Claire learns that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.
Opinions: I chose this book based solely of the title. It greatly appealled to me, so I requested my library purchase it. Today I read it and had a hard time putting it down. It was different from any other Pride and Prejudice story I've ever read.
Claire is a really interesting character. She is in the middle of a summer symposium on Jane Austen, and she is not a huge Austen fan. However, she meets a unique woman with a very valuable secret in her possession. Claire through this woman has the pleasure of reading the first draft of Pride and Prejudice, entitled First Impressions. Through her week class and reading First Impressions she learns who she is and so do you as a reader. I had a lot of assumptions at the beginning of the novel, and yet I was pleasantly suprised at the turns the novel took. This was a delightful novel and I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Author: Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
Genre: Self Help/Non-Fiction
Premise: This book focuses on learning how to help your baby sleep through the night.
Opinions: Being a new mom for the second time over I was eager to learn how to avoid the mistakes that I made when it came to getting my daughter to sleep well. My daughter is now approaching two years old and has only started sleeping through the night within the last two months (thanks to a fabulous mother-in-law who trained her while I was on bed rest with my son). A trusted source recommended to me that I try the Baby Wise method as several of her family members (including herself) have followed it and are now rejoicing with children who learn to comfort themselves to sleep.
The main focus of the Baby Wise method is that if you allow your child a semi-structured routine during the day that 96% of the children following this method will be able to sleep through the night by 8-12 weeks old. Now the idea is not to keep the child on a strict schedule, but to make sure that during the day they have a clear start time for morning feeding and then make sure that throughout the day the child has clearly defined periods of sleep time, followed by eating time, followed by awake time. Then the cycle repeats. The parent is responsible for following this general routine, but ensuring that you still focus on the baby's hunger cues. Granted my newborn son is only 5 weeks old and I'm still working on the process, but I'm finding this book really helpful and informative and highly recommend it to anyone with a newborn on the way.