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Book Reviews: 9-15-08

15 Sep

Here’s what I read in the last week:

The Titan’s Curse  (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) – by Rick Riordan
The book starts with Percy and his friends Annabeth and Thalia going to help Grover (again!).  This time Grover has found two new half-bloods and needs their help to get them to the safety of Camp Half-Blood.  But a monster knows about the half-bloods too, and then end up fighting for their lives.  They win, with the help of the goddess Artemis and her group of hunters, but Annabeth gets taken by the monster.  Percy, Thalia and Grover join with two hunters to try to save Annabeth and Artemis (who has disappeared while tracking the monster), but they meet with trouble at every corner.
~~~~ This is a very good sequel to the first book, The Lightning Thief, and much better then the second book, The Sea of Monsters.  We meet new gods, mythic creatures and monsters.  You can tell that the kids are older and smarter then they were in the first two books.  Well worth the read!

Eldest  (Inheritance, Book 2) – Christopher Paolini
This is the sequel to Eragon.  This book is split into three different people/location stories.  The first is about Eragon and Saphira, the second follows the Varden, and the third follows Eragon’s cousin Roran.  The book jumps from one story to the other until the very end where all of those stores converge into one.
Eragon’s story starts almost immediately after the fight at the end of book 1.  Eragon finds himself in the middle of a political situation after the leader of the Varden is killed.  He is pushed to make alliances with both the Varden and the Dwarfs.  Then he starts his journey to the Elves to continue his training.  He finds that he and Saphira have much to learn, and they have to learn it quick, before war brakes out.
The Varden storyline tells us about Nasuada, who is now the leader of the Varden, and her strugles to find her footing as leader, and also prepare them for the war that they all know is comming.  Nasuada makes a bold move and decides to move all of the Varden out of their mountian sanctuary.
The third storyline is about Eragon’s cousin Roran and his hometown of Carvahall.  Left with almost no knowledge of what has happned to Eragon, Roran finds his town attacked by solders and the terrible Ra’zac.  Roran becomes an unexpected leader of Carvahall as they try to fortify the town to keep them safe.  In the midst of the fighting Roran’s fiance gets taken by the Ra’zac.  They are given the altimatum to either give up Roran, or be inslaved.  But Roran has a gutsy idea: to pick up and move the whole town, for everyone to pack up what ever they can carry and try to reach the Varden.
The three storylines converge at the end for the big battle between the Varden and the solders of king Galbatorix.
~~~~ While the three storylines can be frusterating sometimes (they always seem to switch when something important is about to happen!), but in the end it makes for an awesome book.  I love the detail that went into explaining the Elven city of Ellesmera, and I love that we get to know more about Roran, who was only a small character in the first one.  The transformation of both Eragon and Roran from small town boys into powerful leaders is great to see.

Storm Front  (The Dresden Files, Book 1) – by Jim Butcher
This book is about Harry Dresden, who is a wizard.  But rather then the stereotypical wizard who is always in hiding, he has no problem telling everyone that he is a wizard.  He is a private investigator (wizard investigator?) and even has an ad in the phone book.  Harry uses his powers to help both the police and clients who seek his help.
The story begins with Harry being called by his police contact for his help on a murder case where two people are killed by having their hearts ripped out of their chests by magic.  Harry is stunned at the amount of magic that would take, and doesn’t really want to find out how the killer did it.  Harry finds his life threatened by both the mob and magical creatures alike.  He struggles to find out how these killings happen, and more importantly who is doing them.
~~~~ I watched the Sci-fi channel series based on these books (that aired a couple years ago, and only lasted one season), I enjoyed that, so I was pretty sure I’d like the books as well.  It sure didn’t disapoint!  The only thing I didn’t like was how little detail was given about the magical world Harry belongs to.  But then again this is only the first book in a series, so they can’t give away everything, right?  I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

My next book is Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, which is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series.  There is also a spin-off series based on this one, the Alpha and Omega series.  So if I find I like this series I might try that one too.

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Posted by on September 15, 2008 in Book Reviews

 

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