Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Title: Hunted: A House of Night Novel
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Location: YA Cast
Reading Level: Young Adult
This review may discuss some plot points from the previous House of Night books. If you have not yet read the first 4 books, you may want to skip ahead to the bottom line.
Zoey and her friends are back in this fifth novel in the House of Night series. They have escaped the House of Night after evil Neferet raised the demon god, Kalona, as part of her plan to wage a war on humans and rule the race of vampires. Zoey must stay true to her goddess and, with the help of her friends and family, defeat the combined power of Neferet and Kalona.
As a whole, Hunted was a very disappointing book. It is 323 pages and encompasses three days of Zoey’s life after she and her friends flee the house of night at the end of Untamed. The writing is atrocious as always, but normally an engaging plot makes up for this fact. However, very little occurs in this book and by the end, it really feels like the storyline and the characters just ran in circles. It was while reading this book that I realized that between the first book in this series and the fifth, only a few months have passed in Zoey’s life. This drawing out of the series, particularly obvious in this installment, seems a lame attempt on the part of the author to squeeze as much money out of the series as possible. This is extremely frustrating since I know a good amount of teenagers who truly wasted their money for the sloppy mess that is Hunted. For the next book, the authors might want to attempt to use their limited writing abilities to extend the storyline past a few days of Zoey's life while actually adding depth to the plot and characters.
The Bottom Line: This was a terrible book. Untamed really gave me high hopes for this series which came crashing down in this fifth installment. If you are a fervent reader of the series then you have probably already read Hunted. If not, I suggest you skip this one. Trust me, you won’t miss a thing.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Author: Lemony Snicket
Reading Level: J
Location: J Snicket
Someone has killed the composer! The question is who did it...
Instruments such as the Harps, the Violins and the Trumpet are all personified in this cleverly funny mystery. As the detective tries to solve the murder, all the instruments are suspects with questionable motives...but plausible alibis. I knew this would be a witty, fun read coming from Snicket who crafted the dark humor A Series Of Unfortunate Events books and established himself as the Tim Burton of modern children's literature. One great line is when the narrator describes the composer as no longer composing, but "decomposing". Many classical music references are made that the adults can enjoy too. You may even learn a thing about orchestras and symphonies. Accompanied is a CD with Lemony Snicket narrating and followed by a performance by the San Fransisco Orchestra. Despite the grim subject, the story is in a picture book format suitable for young elementary school children who can appreciate a well-crafted darker comedy.
Bottom Line: Snicket once again proves that he doesn't need a 300+ page chapter book to develop a captivating storyline. I recommend this book to any fan of classic music or a silly but creative plot with a surprise ending.
Title: Suddenly Supernatural: School Spirit