Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Monsters of Otherness by Kaza Kingsley

My rating: 7 of 5 stars

Trouble is brewing in quiet, pleasant Alypium, and only Erec Rex can make it better. All of the baby dragons have mysteriously disappeared, and King Piter has lost the trust of his people. Worse, evil kids will become the new rulers unless Erec agrees to return to Alypium and challenge them. But if Erec become king, the power of the royal scepter could destroy him completely.
As Erec performs the deadly quests to be king, he discovers that the right path brings many risks and few rewards. When he must delve into the very Substance that holds our world together, he has to summon all of his strength just to stay alive. Until Aoquesth, the dragon, gives him a startling gift. 

The adventure continues in Kaza Kingsley's riveting sequel to the bestselling The Dragon's Eye. Follow Erec as he faces delicious villains, a harrowing battle, a secret admirer, missing memory shops, angry mobs, reincarnated ancestors, and ultimate sacrifice. The story is a wild ride of danger and thrills, where we, along with Erec, find out who the real monsters are. 


This book is simply amazing. I really enjoyed this book to the fullest. All the elements I need in a good read is in this series. I am an MMORPG player and I can relate to the quests. No boring moments. Every detail and events were up to my expectations. No, it is not predictable. That's what so great about this book... I can't foretell the turn of events. However in the end you'll know that Erec Rex will win eventually but you just don't know how.

The secrets are still secrets although I have a good guess on who Erec Rex really was. It just thrills me to the bones. OMG, I need to get the third book quickly. Kaza, You are a wonderful author and I thank you for creating the realms of Erec Rex. I just wonder...uummm...where to find the Vulcan Store? (tee-hee).

I like how Erec Rex do not rely entirely on magic. I liked how he was vulnerable to the scepter. I liked how he doubts his mother, the Seer, and the King. He was after all, a kid, even though destined to be a King, he had some weak moments. I liked how the sidekick changed this time and it was really a WOW! Jam was something and I wish to have a butler who has a gift to serve.

I like the dragon quests. I am so happy with this series. The characters were perfect for the roles. I gave it a seven out of five!

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 1, 2011

by Allen Williams
Rating : 5 Stars

Deep in the walls of a witches' cottage lays an ancient magical kitchen. Dangling over that kitchen's cauldron, pinched between the fingers of two witches, is a toad. And the Toad has no idea how she got there, and no memory of even her name. All she knows is she doesn't think she was always a Toad, or that she's ever been here before. Determined to recover her memories she sets out on a journey to the oracle, and along the way picks up a rag-tag team of friends: an iron-handed imp, a carnivorous fairy, and a few friendly locals.

But the Kitchen won't make it easy. It is pitch black, infinite, and impossible to navigate, a living maze. Hiding in dark corners are beastly, starving things. Worse yet are the Witches themselves, who have sent a procession of horrific, deadly monsters on her trail. With some courage and wisdom, the Toad just might find herself yet-and with that knowledge, the power to defeat the mighty Witches.

Filled with forty stunning pencil illustrations from the author, the Witches' Kitchen is a rich, well-imagined fantasy setting unlike any other

I liked the spookiness of this book. It was like I was a child again, afraid of witches... wicked and ugly witches. This is the first time I have heard of a toad being the main protagonist which was one of a kind, since this book is not a fable at all. So, I was interested. At first I was interested with the title, then the cover. When I flipped the book, I saw images, graphics made by the author himself. And the story turned out to be fantastic! I was hooked! The characters were weird and the kitchen was vast, dark and dangerous. What can I ask for in an adventurous and scary plot? It reminded me of the classic anime of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.

I liked it a lot and i will be looking forward to read the second book. This book was simply amazing for me. I hope the author writes a second book soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kingsley
My rating:  7 of 5 stars

Enter Alypium, a hidden world within our own where our old knowledge of magic is kept, and strange and fantastical creatures abound. It is a beautiful and mystical place, but things are caving in. the king is hypnotized and his castle turned on its side. The very Substance that holds our planet together has gone awry . . . and whispers tell of evil plans to destroy everything. 
Twelve year old Erec Rex has been yanked out of the world as we know it and thrown unwillingly into danger here. As he learns how to get by in this strange place, he discovers some truths about himself . . . and must learn the power of trust and love in order to save his mother, and all of Alypium.
In this stunning tale packed with action, humor, a colorful cast of characters and a riveting plot, debut author Kaza Kingsley brings us into a land of danger and excitement. For Erec, it is a world that is eerily familiar and inevitably entwined with his future.

Absolutely amazing!

If i can give a rate of seven, I will give it to this book. It superseded my high expectations on Erec Rex. From start to finish I was starving for this book. Some say it's like HP but it was totally different. Kaza Kingsley hit the target of what I wanted to write. Fantastic! There was no boring moment. I was on the peak of my flu but I cannot put the book down.

Let me tell you why: SPOILER ALERT!

- I like Erec Rex. He was not dumb. He didn't rely on his forgotten magic not relied on acquired magic, mainly he was just wise, lucky and courageous. He may have some weaknesses but he learned from it eventually.
- The presence of Bethany complemented Erec Rex. She was clever and generous. Erec's presence brought out the best of her.
- I like Jack. He was so helpful and trusting. I hope he is on the second book too.
- I don't know if I liked or hated Balthazar. He may be liken to Professor Snape. So I guess I like him, too. Although along the way, I was like Erec Rex, thinking the worst of him. So the plot has something to be dubious about.
- About Kilroy (does the name ring a bell?) - he not smart but he is genuinely kind.
- King Piter reminds me of Lord of the rings. You will learn soon why.
- The dragon Aoquesth was funny and generous to the rightful owner. It was fun reading his part, though I regret to be very short.
- The mother, June O'Hara was also something else.
- All the villains were needed to make the story effective. I enjoyed hating them.

- So many hidden agendas,plots, and so many secrets to reveal. As a matter of fact I have so many questions at the end of the book because it left me hanging and I MUST get the next book!
- It was like all my favorite books combined in this book. Perfect. So many things going on, yet I was not confused because Kaza wrote it very creatively. It was not forced rather just like the the dragon's eye, it fit perfectly!
- Vivid imagination! Great place and the magic was not exaggerated and corrupted.
- Suprise element everywhere! So, will keep you asking who did it?
- A matter of trust ~ but will question your judgement too as a reader of whom to trust.
- Dangerous yet it will thrill your bones!

3. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

I would recommend it to all who loved HP and its magical world.

Kaza Kingsley, I officially declare that I am now your fan. Hats down on you!
Now, excuse me and I need to get the other sequels. Ta!

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

I thought that I might not like it as much as others were projecting how enthralling the book was. Divergent is the second book I read under Dystopia and the first series didn't convinced me that I like Dystopia at all. So I hesitated buying this book because of over-rated series that I tried. But I am so glad I did. I was astonished at this book.

After reading this book I felt I was Anton Ego after tasting Ratatouille. It rocked to the core of my being. Let me tell you why.

**spoiler alert**

Do not read if you have not read the book yet.

1. The cover didn’t promise a superb story. When I finished the book, I thought the cover didn't justify the entirety of what it's covering. So, there was a surprised element.

2. The novel was written in present tense, which is the first for me. I felt I was the one in it. You know how effective was it for me? Last night, sleep evaded me when I stopped reading it on page 378, which was on chapter 29. So when I forced myself to sleep, I had my mind swirling to the simulation scenes and jolted awake in the wee hours, short of breath. I stared at the darkness of my room, panicked at the thought that someone would jumped at me. Heard the banging on our front door and my mind was thinking why our dogs were not barking? I thought they must have shot the dogs! (Eventually, I realized that the banging was just from the car doors. And the dogs weren't barking because no one was forcing their way to me. Heck! That was scary and paranoiac.)

3. Although most of the chapters were for how Tris was transformed from Abnegation to Dauntless, I enjoyed it. It was as if I was watching G.I. Jane with her training. The thrill was there, I was in the rollercoaster of a ride. I was imagining myself jumping to and from the train which I think I can do since the train I normally ride on was so slow anyway, but because the cars are sealed off and I am not a dare-devil type, I won't try.

4. Mostly, I found the romance in a YA corny, but in here, it just fit right. And I think I was envious of Tris, he got the main man, the gorgeous hunk! (ikaw na!). But what's the big deal on a two-years gap relationship? It's not even near the May-December love affair.

5. The world Veronica Roth created in this story, I can envision (in detail) in my mind. The factions were cleverly thought, the plot of revolution and how it was executed was mind blowing it put me on the edge of the seat. I was tensioned when everything turned bad and was exasperated every time someone attempted to lure me out from reading.

6. I was in love with my mom, after reading the part where Tris' mom rescued her. I looked her way while she was ironing my clothes and me reading cozily on the sofa. (Some kind of a daughter I am, huh?). But this made me realized how a mother sacrificed for their children.

7. And many more….I can't explain how I love this book. I hated Peter, Eric and Jeannine. I like the values I get from this book. I was relating it to the values my parents taught me, which was quite similar. Think of others before yourself, but we can be out of the box too. So I guess I am Divergent too. (maki-ride ang eh, ha ha). And there were wise lines to go by too. Like "I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different."

~Highlights for me~

- Tris in her aptitude test.

- Tris to be the first to jump off the roof.

- Tris climbing the Ferris wheel followed by Four, eventually giving instructions to defeat Eric's team and winning some of Dauntless-born initiates' regard.

- Tris standing up for Al and replacing him in the target area, to prove Eric wrong.

- Tris being almost thrown in the chasm by Peter, Drew and Al (you, ***** traitor) and being rescued by almost dementedly angry Four.

- Tris being in Four's fear simulation. **kilig** and so many dear moments after that...

- And waking up with others like remote controlled robot~ it was the start of the kick-ass action pack.

But I felt it wasn't finished yet though as I flipped the pages I found out it was! How can you this to me, Veronica Roth? **whimpers** It was not the end yet...c'mon, where's the second boooook????

I only gave 2 books with 6 stars so far. And this is the 3rd book i give it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 374
Series: The Hunger Games Series

 In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

This was my first read of a dystopian novel. In the first few pages, I didn’t like how it was written because I couldn't grasp all the information the author was throwing me as reader. I felt bored yet forced to digest it. But I read on since the reviews that I have read were praising TGH and readers were smitten with it (except KD, who I think gave it 2 stars).

Eventually it caught my attention. I started from forced to engaged.  While reading it, I felt I was playing MMORPG in a battlefield under the PVP (player versus player) league. I am so into online gaming, so I can relate to the survival games. And liked reading THG.

It wouldn't be a WOW ~ wow for me, but I still give it a five.  I thought about the movies that was shown for survival and only-one-will-survive thingy, yeah this book was something like that, although  THG participants were juvenile. The character Katniss was likable but dense when it comes to love. But I was so pleased to her person as a big sister. She has a kind aura resonating, even Rue recognized  her as ally to depend on. She was a no-nonsense type and I like how she reckons. Unlike other heroines in other books who are silly, gullible and reckless, she was not.  She thought sensibly and she was strong in will. I liked the other characters too (I was suspecting some of them will appear in book 2 or 3 with a pertinent role).  Perhaps the reason why she was wise even for a young age was (not because of the writer, silly, though her perception of this quality was credible) her responsibility in life. She was drove to act that way. And true, even in reality, those who are breadwinners in their early age mature easily, thus have better judgment in life than those who were ensconced in their parents' care.

The angle of romance in this book has a great relevance to the game so I do not find it corny.  In fact, it was brilliant. How both Katniss and Peeta saw it in different light was classic. One was in love head-over-heels, one saw it as an opportunity  or saw it surreal. Tsk. Pity for the broken hearted.

Overall, the experience reading this book was pretty entertaining. There was glamour and there was poverty.  The love story was half-baked so I think I have to read on. I want to see what happened to Peeta and his love for Katniss. I want to see Katniss and her life as a winner in THG. I want to know how she will see Gale (you know, the OTHER guy- though I suspect he was more inclined to Marge than Katniss) after THG. I wanted to know if the mockingjay pin has more relevance than just a mere pin attached to her lapel. I want to know about Cinna's part ( I suspect he has more to it than merely a neophyte stylist). And damn him who blurted out when I was reading THG that District 13 will revenge! And I wonder is Katniss will go to District 11 since I heard of rebellion stuff from District 13. Darn it! Why shouldn't I just read on?

And so I will.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Title: The Chronicles of Narnia
Author: Clive S. Lewis
Pages: 765

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, is one of the very few sets of books that should be read three times: in childhood, early adulthood, and late in life. In brief, four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope. This edition includes all seven volumes.

When I first grab the book, my thought was, "Oh my! There's a whole lot to read." As you can see, I have watched the Chronicles of Narnia movies 1 to 3 (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of The Dawn Treader) before reading the book itself, and it was so thick!. So when I came across the 1st book, I was puzzled. I thought, "oh, so The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was not the first book." Which made me felt silly. Then I read on.

The Magician's Nephew was a delight read! This was the origin of the realms of Narnia. And as I have known the story of the wardrobe as their gateway to Narnia, it was exciting to know where it all started. And my curiosity was satisfied in this episode. It was like being kid again and really being in this adventure.

Then, this episode of the infamous The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was exactly as what the movie has reeled. So, while I was reading, it was confirming the story in my head as I have seen it. But it gave me a more learned sense why Aslan was someone to fear with by the enemies. So, I had admired Aslan more while reading on.

The Horse and His Boy was something else. I enjoyed every bit of it. It's like learning moral values from your father through his story. How the fate has played its part. It's a very simple story but it has a great impact to me, it became my favorite book on all 7 books. In here, there were no sons of Adam nor daughters of Eve from our world. Just a story about a prince who got separated from his family because of the prophecy that he will unknowingly fulfill. (Of course with Aslan's grace.)

The fourth book was turned into a film too...Prince Caspian. There were no love interest between Susan and Caspian in the book. The movie seemed to be grandeur than the book, nevertheless, I liked the book.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite movie amongst the Narnia films. It was the most exciting of their adventures as there were so many things going on in this story. They traveled to seek for the 7 Lords of Narnia and what they found was one of a kind journey to the ends of the world. I like the character of Eustace when he became the dragon (oops, that's a spoiler!) and in here Caspian found his wife.

Then, The Silver Chair was a different story where they embarked on a quests underworld. But before that, there were Gentle Giants who were not so gentle . Makes me recall the story about Jack and the Beanstalk. Exciting. Dangerous. When I started reading it, I didn't want to stop. It seemed on every page I was on the height of thrill.

Finally, The Last Battle, the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia, was a wonderful conclusion. I was so dismayed with talking ape named Shift (who was the villain) but hey, it was his job to make the reader angry. It was so effective that I wanted to port to Narnia to give him a slap in his crumpled face (because he was an old ape). So, again, Eustace and Jill came to the rescue. I was not so sure how it would go really, I thought that no one from our world would come, but they did. I was glad. Then the seven Kings and Queens came~~and I won't spoil it. You read the book to know why they came and I promised a nice ending awaits you.

While I was reading the last bit, I thought of the new heaven and earth that was promised to us by God. Because the story came to me like that, where everything is new and wonderful that you really can't describe it.

Clive S. Lewis was a great story teller. It felt like he was just there telling the story to me. How he put it to words were so amazingly simple to understand, yet very detailed and witty. I gave 5 stars to all books, they deserve it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tite: The Titan's Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Pages:  312
Series:  Percy Jackson & The Olympians

When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped.And now it's up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared -- a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.
This is the 3rd book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I have it in my bookshelf with the rest of the series.

Okay. I have a trouble digesting it at first through the middle part since I started reading this book after EON: The Dragoneye Reborn. The thought of the latter book still haunting me. So I found Rick Riordan's writing and funny lines corny. Sorry. I should have rested and not compare since the theme is completely different. It was pretty unfair to read another book while the previous book was still consuming my thoughts.

But then again, I read on and when I was on 75% of the book, it came back to me. I enjoyed reading Percy Jackson and found the humor of Rick Riordan amusing once more. They said that this one was better than the first. I say it just about right as the first book. The adventures were doubled here but all the same, it was funny and entertaining as the first one. There were names that I think will be relevant in the future books that I need to watch out for. The quest is better here than the second book, the climax is great and the ending was as I hope it would turn out to be. The deliberation of the Olympians were of course a little bit of a prick. And just as about you close the book, it left you hanging for the next adventure. (I think it is a good thing because you will have a need to buy the next book.)

So this book gets a five star. Fast-paced. Thrilling adventure everywhere. Loyalty. Love. Bravery. Friendship. Hatred and loss all-in, not to mention witty. Do I recommend it? Without a doubt!

View all my reviews

Monday, March 28, 2011

Eon by Alison Goodman

My rating:  6 of 5 stars
Title: EON: The Dragoneye Reborn (The Two Pearls of Wisdom)
Author: Alison Goodman
Pages: 531
Series: Eon Duology

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye – an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured. When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. 
Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

"Don't judge the book by its cover."

That was the infamous quotation that did not work for the book EON: The Dragoneye Reborn. From the book cover, I knew that it was a fantastic read. And it did not let me down. As I put down the book, I was trembling with excitement to write this review.

I have to warn you, this is a spoiler review.

I picked up the book initially in NBS and eyed the hardbound beautiful cover. It was love at first sight. Whenever I go to NBS in G5 Ayala, I always grab the book and look at the Dragoneye on the cover and run my fingers to feel it. However, I fancied the paperback, which cover has an equal beauty on it. I kept coming back just to look at it.

Then, finally, I went to Powerbooks in Greenbelt and started reading it there while waiting for a friend. It was a smooth-flow read. It downed me abruptly to the ancient Chinese world of Dragons. Although it was fictional, it felt very realistic. I started remembering Chinese zodiac signs. So I need to have this book. I am not into horoscope but I was born in the year of the Tiger, and I could relate to the characters that a Tiger possessed. I don't know if it make sense at all, but perhaps you know what I mean. I finally bought it just a week ago and read it with utter excitement. Then, I was immersed in the rollercoaster of emotions and sheer anticipation.

I read it slowly. I wanted to be engulfed in the world of Eon and don't want a thing to escape me. I wanted to know what's going to happen but I held back. So, imagine how agitated I was to move forward while I was containing my excitement.

It has a great appeal to me, like animation Mulan has had. A girl pretendng to be a boy trying to prove herself. But this book was not it. Eona didn't do it on her own accord. She was trapped... nay, rather destined to take the role of a Dragoneye. It was screaming all over Eona. Her ability to see all the dragon spirits made her special. Then, she had awaken the spirit of the great Mirror Dragon. That part made me goose bumped! It was a sweet revelation as I also thought she lost in the selection for apprentice Dragoneye. I silently praised Alison Goodman. She was so clever. The plot, the story, the description, all was thought very shrewdly indeed! I even shared the experience with my parents!

Then, due to ignorance of her Dragon, Eona made a very stupid thing that made me simmer in frustration. I wanted to throw my book. But since I love my book, I just closed it and went to bed fuming. Now, with this, I realized how good the book was that it affected me so much. Of, course Eona didn't know that her Dragon was a female dragon, but I do. I have read some of the reviews with spoilers. Yet still, It didn't prevent me from wanting to hit Eona because of her stupidity. I was seething all night.

I resumed reading in the morning during breakfast. I was less angry with Eona. I wondered to myself, how can a book so amazingly or irritatingly affects me, beats me. I read on and found myself sitting on the edge of the seat. It was action-packed and I felt I was watching Queen Seondok or Jumong during escape and battles. Even the cover was pressing in my imagination of how a Dragon spirit presented itself with the Dragoneye. I even can feel the pain in my hips or my spirit drawn. But that was foolish, wasn't it? (please remind me, it's just a story, my goodness!) The climax was exhilarating. I wanted to jump up and down and made me want to scream. Clever. Amazing. Intricate. I loved the book! No doubt, this book is my best book evah!

If there is 6 star rating, I'll give it. The story promises a great ending in the sequel. I will wait in great expectations.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Volume I by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Title: The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume 1
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Pages: 598
Series: The Chronicles of Chrestomanci

In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic—and to hold the title Chrestomanci...
The Chants are a family strong in magic, but neither Christopher Chant nor Cat Chant can work even the simplest of spells. Who could have dreamed that both Christopher and Cat were born with nine lives—or that they could lose them so quickly?

There are two parts of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume one, which are The Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant.

The Charmed Life:

- this part was basically about a young boy with a wicked sister who got used and abused. Cat Chant, innocent and thought he was without talent, was left under the care of the incumbent Chrestomanci. When he realized the powers he possessed was rare and he himself has got nine lives worthy of being the next Chrestomanci, we was already in a mess created by his evil sister.

My thoughts on this book -

The plot was amazing. Although the trend Diana Wynne Jones has this protagonist:a-boy-who-didn't-realize-how-important-and-talented-he-was-until-he's-caught-up-in-a-grave-danger sort of character, the plots were all different. Her style in writing hooked me up until the end. The story was fast pace, exciting and magical! I enjoyed the 1st part of the book and hoped the 2nd does the same.

In this book, it dawned on me how a sibling can be wicked on her own account. How also one can be so innocent and good-natured. I liked how the story became complicated for dear Cat Chant that made him do things that he was unsure of. Chrestomanci's role also was enigmatic as I have read the Magicians of Caprona before this. He sounded important. So, in the end of this part it was explained why so. 

The author gave me a good vision of how the world of Chrestomanci looked like. She described it enchantingly. How the gifted with magic and without mingled and governed. Unlike the world of wizards and sorcerers' tales that I have read with gloomy atmosphere, this was different. It's rather colorful and sunny. So it was a breathe of fresh air. 

The Lives of Christopher Chant:

This is the story before the Chrestomanci in the Charmed Life was reigning. The plot was complicated as they travelled between worlds and there were so many characters. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this part more than the first one! There were evil elements again inveigling the protagonist without him knowing, using and abusing him. Again, Christopher here was clueless of what's going on and of his powers. There were values that we can learn from and that evil would not prevail, stuff that can make you feel good, bad and guilty of. I liked how Diana created a series of worlds and how one can take advantage of it. That's different type of smuggling and I dared say was a clever one! Diana Wynne Jones never seized to amaze me. She has a writing style that kept me interested in her books up to the end and craving for more.  This was totally different from the first and you'll learn more about the role of Chrestomanci and how as a child he was taking it to be the next one. Definitely worth reading!

And if you care for sports, there was the cricket game for you! I enjoyed this magical world of Chrestomanci!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Illmoor Chronicles, The: The Yowler Foul-Up - Book Two (Illmoor Chronicles)
by David Lee Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title : The Yowler Foul-Up
Author : David Lee Stone
Pages : 289
Series : The Illmoor Chronicles

The second adventure in the Illmoor Chronicles trilogy finds Illmoor in peril once again...but this new menace is more deadly than the rat infestation that plagued the city, and more diabolical than even the dark magic could imagine. The Yowler Brotherhood has existed for centuries in the alleyways and shadows of Illmoor. But now, with an evil new magic, they will emerge from the shadows, descend from their rooftop recluse, and destroy anyone that stands in the way of their complete domination of Illmoor.

My thoughts on this book :

Another book of the hilarious adventure in Illmoor Chronicles. I really liked the misfortunes of Jimmy Quickstint and his accidental stint of heroism together with the ousted Duke of Dullitch who turned leaf in this adventure. Everything was crazy again! I can't imagine a gnome as an assassin and it really made me laugh hard. Plus the loftwing (half-vampire) investigator who was the most reliable person here in the deranged party. And funny (or hopeless) characters for sidekicks. This time, it's solving crime, so it's different from the first book. But because of the witty words of the author, it was insane everywhere!

It was an easy-read and funny adventure. Since the Lord of Dullitch was decent this time, it has a happy ending and I am seeing a future for the corrupted, thief-infested Dullitch. I'm so much looking forward to read the 3rd book!

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Illmoor Chronicles: The Ratastrophe Catastrophe - Book One
by David Lee Stone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title : The Ratastrophe Catastrophe
Author : David Lee Stone
Pages : 273
Series : The Illmoor Chronicles

Diek Wutspah is a normal shepard boy. That is until a dark, evil magic roots itself within him instilling him with the power to charm man and beast with his magic flute. When the ancient town of Illmoor is plagued by an infestation of giant rats, Diek offers to lead the rodents to their doom. But when the dim-witted Duke of Illmoor refuses to reward him, Diek seeks revenge by kidnapping the town's children. Just when it seems the children are gone for good, a team of misfit mercenaries - Groan, a buck-toothed Giant, Gordo, a wise-cracking dwarf, and Tambor, a has-been sorcerer - set out on a bumbling journey to stop Diek, and save the children. But will it be too late?

My thoughts on this book :

I was looking for a light read with an uplifting effect after I read The Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish. I debated if The Illmoor Chronicles will give me this effect but to my utter surprise, it was not uplifting but it was entertaining and funny. There were so many things going on, so many characters but I enjoyed every bit and felt I was in a National Lampoon or something. The story was so crazy! The characters were so hopelessly valiant or not, but it just made me laugh. It was crazy out there, living in this Illmoor realm, that is. From the forgotten sorcery of the sorcerer, the accidental villain, the hopeful thief-to-be, the mercenaries-turned-heroes, everything's just insanely comical!

The author's humor was original (I liked his style), there were bad things and good things and bad things again. The heroes didn't get their share of reward that makes it different from other stories. No, this was not a happy ending for the heroic characters, but It made you crave for more, wondering what happened to other characters who had his share of ludicrous lines. I felt, when I finished this book, that I need to read the second book.

I was surprised to see other readers gave this book low ratings. But then again, everyone has their own taste. And I have a good feeling about this Illmoor Chronicles. I like the writing style. So different from other books. Again,it does not give you the happy ending, but it will definitely give you all the entertaining you need in a book, at least for me. Kudos to the author! I will definitely read on all of the Illmoor Chronicles. It may be a corrupted place to live in the capital, Dullitch, ill-governed by a Duke with a council of different creatures and infested with thieves , but hey this place is where the extraordinary events take place. Read on!

View all my reviews

Friday, March 4, 2011

Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Title: Troll Mill
Author: Katherine Langrish
Pages: 328
Series: Troll Series

With a piercing squeal – with an anguished wooden groan – with a roar of muffled waters – Troll Mill woke from its sleep.
Young Peer Ulfsson has found a home with his friend Hilde. Life seems peaceful at last. Then, returning from a hard day’s fishing and with a violent storm brewing, Peer watches horror-struck as his neighbour Kersten rushes to the shore – thrusting her young baby into his arms – and throws herself into the sea.
Struggling home with the baby, Peer passes Troll Mill, once owned by his wicked uncles – and sees the mill wheel turning! But it’s been derelict for years!
So…who or what is lurking in the shadows?

My thoughts on this book :

Well, this is the second book, but I read it anyway without reading the first one, Troll Fell. It was an easy-read book, although the setting was kinda dark for me. Troll Fell was a place I don't want to be in. Creepy, dark, and dangerous. At first half of the book, I was bored with the seal issue. The second half was pretty exciting though.

New creatures were formulated. Yes, lubbers, the Nis, Seal people and Granny Greenteeth. If I read the first book, maybe I will understand more how they look like, especially Granny Greenteeth, lubbers and the Nis. This was the first book I read about trolls, except the Three Billy Goats and Harry Potter, where story of trolls were introduced to me in my childhood. And it didn't disappoint my expectation of gloomy environment.

Troll Mill was a fair read. I gave it three stars because I just felt I want to get it over with so I can read another book. Not the feeling of excitement of reading it to the end. Plot wise, its good. But it lack something. The author failed to capture the moment of moving me to the edge of the seat.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Title: The Magicians of Caprona
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Pages: 268
Series: Chrestomanci

Tonino is the only person in the famous Montana household who wasn't born with an instinct for creating spells, but he has other gifts.His ability to communicate with cats just might help defend the city of Caprona against a mysterious enchanter -- but only if Tonino can learn to cooperate with a girl from the hated Petrocchi family of spell-makers.

My thoughts on this book :

This is the first time I have read of aChrestomanci book, so, I am not pretty sure if it was wise to start at number 4. When I started the book, the names came rushing in and I have a worry at the back my mind if I can cope up with the names. Eventually, all the names fell in to places and I had a good time reading this book. In fact, I loved it!

Unlike the magicians and wizard stories that I have read, this one was unique on its own. The spells were associated with songs. And the presence of cats can make the spell more effective. The story was even very clannish. It reminded me of the movie The Big Fat Greek Wedding somehow. Then, it also reminded me of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. But the experience was totally different. The story was fun to read and this was the second time I read in a moving bus (which I rarely do because of my eyes) for I was on the height of the book. I just can't let go. So imagine how I engaged I was in this book. The plot was very entertaining. It was an easy read. I definitely recommend this to everyone who's young at heart and enjoys a good YA book.

I'll keep an eye on Diana Wynne Jones' books.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Talent Thief by Alex Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: The Talent Thief
Author: Alex Williams
Pages:  328
Series:  Stand alone

Wealthy orphans Adam and Cressida Bloom couldn't be less alike. Adam can't seem to help being exceedingly ordinary whereas Cressida, his glamorous sister, has a magnificent talent - when she sings, even the birds stop to listen. Then Cressida is invited to perform at Fortescue's festival of young talents and Adam tags along. But, once the children arrive at the festival, in a mountain-top hotel, their terrific talents begin to mysteriously disappear. A piano virtuoso suddenly forgets how to play, a maths genius finds she can no longer multiply. There's a sinister shadow that only Adam ever sees, a strange glow emanating from behind closed doors...With the help of an erratic ex-racing driver, dashing Amy Swift, Adam and Cressida rip-roar off through the mountains in Amy's shiny racing car, the Silver Swift. They are in perilous pursuit of the dastardly talent thief! But, from a hair-raisingly close shave with an avalanche to crash landing a plane on a runway the size of a table, Adam never gives up. Perhaps he isn't as ordinary as he first thought!

My thoughts on this book :

This book was a fast easy-read as the Silver Swift (racing car) of Amy Swift. A story about talents and the extraordinary talent thief that was bound to make a difference on the lives of Adam and Cressida Bloom; and Amy Swift and Saul Shafer.

I liked this book. While reading it, I felt I was reading the Mysterious Benedict Society but the on a totally wrong side of it. Because the main character here was absolutely plain, without any talent at all. It was fascinating how Adam Bloom displayed such heroism and great character even though he is not blessed with talent and that how he loved his sister and will do anything for her. He also was selfless. Wow! If I have a brother like Adam, I will cherish him and will not think he is any way annoying.

I recommend this book to children as it has so many great values. I also like the creativeness of the author on his thief. Very different. The character of the villain here was hateful but I like how it fit the evilness of his plan.

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Title : The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pages: 363 pages
Series: The Iron Fey

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Warning : May contain spoilers!

My thoughts on this book:

It struck me strange to have a villain as the title of this book. Plus his appearance came in at the latter part of the book, so the impact was really not overwhelming for me. I hated the fact that the faery story was contaminated with technology. It was very odd and repulsive for me. Then came the reason the Iron King had lured Meghan Chase to his realm was pretty ordinary and lame. He wanted her to be his queen? What the heck! I was suspecting a more grand plot because I admit, the book kept me thinking where would the story lead me. I was clueless . I can't predict the plot, that's why I liked it from the start. The story flowed like water on the river. Smooth and fast. The romance was amazing (I will look forward to the development of Meghan and Ash's love) , it was withheld because of court complication, making it more interesting. I have to give that one to the author. How he described the characters were very striking, as if I was staring at their faces.

I was feeling uncomfortable with the first person story telling. I had it with the Bartimaeus Trilogy and liked it. But with the Iron King? I find it weird! I don't know if the author is trying to be funny with this line on the verge of desperation : Someone screamed in rage and horror, and I realized it was me. WTF?

Nevertheless, I liked it when she associated Puck in the classic A Midsummer Night's Dream~~makes me want to read it too. Then the cat makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. And Meghan Chase makes me want to knock her head with my fist to her senses because of many deals she offered that she can do without, which makes Julie Kagawa an effective writer. Though it alerted me somehow that she used "already" in Meghan's sentences a lot and incorrectly.

So the total verdict, it was a pretty good read. Though it made me feel that Nevernever has been infiltrated by The Terminator and Transformers. That's why I didn't make it a perfect 5 rating. 

Will I buy the second book? Definitely. I just hope it gets better.