May 1, 2010

Reading Journal - April 2010

Bran Hambric The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation

  • Gnomes and Mages are not allowed in the city of Dunce.  This is the city that Bran lives in. He doesn't quite know where he is from. He just showed up magically inside a bank vault at the age of six, and nobody knows how he got there. All he has to identify him is a strip of paper with his name and birth date. For 8 years he has lived with the Wilomas family, because Sewey Wilomas was the one who found him. Now at age 14, a strange creature has attacked him at his home, mysterious black vans are following him around, and he thinks he used magic at the city celebration picnic. Could Bran be a mage? If he is, what will that mean for his future? Somehow Bran thinks all these things are linked back to his mother. What Bran doesn't realize is that he is the key to a curse. He is the only one who can finish the work his mother started, and a powerful dark Mage needs him. The only question remaining is will Bran help him, or not?
  • I really enjoyed this book. It took me a little while to get into it. It wasn't until about chapter 10 when things really started getting interesting for me. I suppose any first book in a series is like that. You have to get to know the characters and such before you get to the meat. I will say that once I started getting closer to the end the book just kept getting more exciting. I can't wait for the second book to come out. I can't really think of much I didn't like about this book. It was all pretty good to me. My favorite character was Polland, who is a gnome. Sorry I didn't give much information on them, but I guess you'll just have to read this book to find out. *wink*
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • If you haven't read this book yet or have been living under a rock - go read this book now.
  • This is the second time I have read it, and let me tell you, it was still just as enthralling. I am not kidding when I say I stayed up all night to finish this. That is pretty crazy for a re-read.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • I listened to this on Playaway. I liked it, because the narration was done by Full Cast Audio, meaning every character had their own voice. 
  • This is a fantasy book about seven kingdoms. In the Midlands is a character named Katsa who is also known as the lady killer. She is a Graceling, which means she was born different than most people. She has a special ability, and hers is for killing. In Katsa's kingdom, all the Gracelings are given up to the King for his use. Her job is to carry out punishments for King Randa. Katsa hates her Grace, because she must use it against her will. As she learns to control her Grace and starts to rebel against her King, she meets Prince Po, a Graceling from a different kingdom. His Grace also gives him great fighting ability, but there seems to be something more to Po. Katsa and Po go on an adventure to hunt down a man with a dangerous and powerful Grace - one that is a threat to all Seven Kingdoms.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  • I loved, loved, loved this book. I couldn't decide on 4 or 5 stars. I finally decided 4 stars, because even though I loved it, I was kind of mad at the characters at the same time. Hm, I can't make sense of that, but maybe I'll change my mind after the next book, Ink Exchange.
  • Aislinn can see faeries. She has always been able to see them. She has some very strict rules regarding them. She can't let them know she can see them. She can't run from them. She can't react when they touch her. She must never talk to them. In short, she must avoid them at all cost. Usually this is pretty easy for Aislinn, since she hates faeries. She sees what they do to humans. They are mean and cruel. One of the ways she protects herself is to spend time with her friend Seth. He lives in a train car, and the fey can't be around iron - it would kill them. Suddenly a royal faery named Keenan has taken a sudden interest in Aislinn, and none of her rules are keeping him away. Keenan is the Summer King, and he is convinced Aislinn is the girl who is to become his Queen. She is the one to break a spell that keeps him from his full power, and keeps him at the mercy of his mother, the Winter Queen. Now Aislinn is trying everything in her power to keep him away, because she is afraid of losing her freedom and her life to the will of the faeries. The only problem is, once a faery decides to steal a mortal, there is no stopping them.
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  •  I listened to this on Playaway. It was recorded by Brilliance Audio. The narrator was pretty good on this one. 
  • Chains takes place at the beginning of the Revolutionary war. Isabel is a thirteen year old slave who is hoping for freedom when her old master dies, but somehow the paperwork is buried. She and her 5 year old sister, Ruth, are sold to cruel slaveholders that side with the Loyalists. They move to New York from Rhode Island, and Isabel meets a boy named Curzon who is a slave of a Patriot. Curzon asks Isabel to spy on her masters the Locktons. She does so only with the understanding that her services could reward her with freedom.
  • This is a very powerful book. Sometimes it is hard to think that any Americans in those times wouldn't want freedom from England, but I guess there will always be supporters to both sides of an issue. The Loyalist cruelty to the Patriot prisoners was astounding.
  • Isabel was a really strong character. I admired her strength in enduring all that she had to, and in taking care of her sister who suffered from epilepsy. Isabel was faced with many difficult challenges, and made equally hard decisions. It's amazing for one so young.
  • If you haven't read this book I fully suggest you do.


    Four Winns said...

    Amy! You still read my blog?! Amazing. Please forgive me but I can't find where I put your address. I promise I'll put it in my planner if you send it to me again. You have little boys right?

    Suey said...

    I loved Chains and am very anxious for the next one... I think there's a next one... since it ended on a bit of a cliff hanger.