Saturday, March 5, 2011

January 2011 Group Review

The Clockwork Three
by Matthew J. Kirby
1 January 2011
see my review here

A Conspiracy of Kings
by Megan Whalen Turner
1 January 2011
see my review here

House of Many Ways
by Diana Wynne Jones
2 January 2011
see my review here

A Girl Named Disaster
by Nancy Farmer
2 January 2011
I was so sure I'd already posted a review of this, but I can't find it, so I'll do another. Well, first of all, let me say that Nancy Farmer is an amazing author. Really amazing. All of her other books were wonderful (see my review for the Sea of Trolls trilogy here) and so much fun to read. This one however, was not quite as good. I'm not sure why, but I didn't really care about Nhamo, the main character, until about halfway through the book. After finishing, I was glad that I read it, but I doubt I'll reread it for a while.

Eyes Like Stars
by Lisa Mantchev
3 January 2011
This book was a bit different from the usual kind of stuff I read, but it was interesting in its own way and kept me turning the pages. Not a lot of action (action as in action movies - there was plenty of action as in plot), but plenty of great characters. Beatrice Shakespeare Smith lives at the Theatre Illuminata, which is special because it is where all of Shakespeare's characters live in corporeal form. The two simultaneous plots are of Beatrice (Bertie) finding her place as part of the Theatre, and a love triangle between Bertie, Ariel (The air spirit from The Tempest) and Nate (a minor character, also from The Tempest). Overall, it had its ups and downs, but I ended up liking it.

by Kristin Cashore
3 January 2011
One of my favorite books. I gave a copy of Graceling to a friend for her birthday, and not only did she read it in under three days, she immediately checked Fire (the prequel) out of the library, read it just as fast, and started on Graceling again. I'm hoping she will do a review of Graceling and Fire for a Friendsday Wednesday coming up. Katsa is totally amazing, and all the twists and turns of the story combined with Cashore's amazing writing come together in a wonderful story that I highly, highly recommend.

Heroes of the Valley
by Jonathan Stroud
5 January 2011
Not my favorite book all time, but it did make me chuckle in a few places. I was rereading it, so I took my time with the story. I didn't feel like I had to know what would happen next. It made for a nice change, but it did drag on a bit. Still, it was good enough to reread. I'm planning on rereading it again sometime in the (probably not too near) future.

by Kristin Cashore
6 January 2011
I personally thought Fire was as good as Graceling, but some of my friends disagree with me. It's the prequel, but it has an entire different set of characters except one, who doesn't show up too much in either but is a keystone for both plots. The two books will be tied together in the third, not yet published, which will be called Bitterblue.

The Thirteenth Princess
by Diane Zhaler
10 January 2011
A retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Nothing too horrible happens, which was a nice break after Graceling and Fire, not that horrible things happen in Graceling and Fire-- gahh, never mind. Just read them.

Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
13 January 2011
WriterGirl convinced me to read this book. I trust her judgement on books, and she kept talking about how wonderful this book was going to be, so I went out and bought it the day it came out. I must say, I was not disappointed. Not in the least. It had so  many layers of wonderful, with more and more the deeper I looked. I will definitely reread. [EDIT: A wonderful review of this book is at the blog Here's To Us.]

Castle in the Air
by Diana Wynne Jones
17 January 2011
see my review here

Little Sister
by Kara Dalkey
18 January 2011
I had medium-high hopes for this book when I bought it. I knew it wasn't going to be bad, since it had been recommended to me personally by WriterGirl (yay!), but I don't remember being overly excited about it. Of course, that may be me remembering wrong. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out that this was a great book. Even in the most fantastical of situations, the characters felt so real and so easy to connect to. It's pretty short, and I really recommend it. I especially like the ending, which I won't give away, but I will say that Dalkey did a great job with it. The one thing is that it's now out of print, so you would have to get a used copy or see if your library has a copy. It's definitely worth the trouble though. I'm planning on rereading it in the future.

by Scott Westerfeld
21 January 2011

by Scott Westerfeld
23 January 2011

by Scott Westerfeld
26 January 2011

by Scott Westerfeld
28 January 2011
I really enjoyed this entire quartet, but I'm not going to write a review for them now. I will (very hopefully) write a review for them later. I may need reminding.

The Metamorphosis
by Franz Kafka
29 January 2011
I read this in English in January and February. I'll post my project on it as soon as I get it back. I'm guessing that will be sometime next week. I'm guessing you've heard of The Metamorphosis. If you haven't, I'll try to sum it up in one sentence:"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." (That's the first sentence of the novella.)

Enchanted Glass
by Diana Wynne Jones
30 January 2011
Not my favorite DWJ, but not bad. An entertaining story.

The Heavenward Path
by Kara Dalkey
31 January 2011
The sequel to Little Sister. It ruined the ending a bit for me, but redeemed itself by being almost (but not quite) as good as the first. If you enjoyed Little Sister, I would recommend The Heavenward Path.

If you're interested (and don't feel like counting), I read 19 books in January, 1 short of completing March Merriment. If I can read 19 books in January, I can totally do 20 in March. I know I can.


Celine said...

I really liked Eyes Like Stars. It was a hard one to review for me because there really is nothing to compare it to.

Pica said...

I agree! Both Eyes Like Stars and Perchance to Dream are so different from everything else out there. (I haven't yet read So Silver Bright, the third book.) They are fun, though. :D


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