Monday, May 14, 2012

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident

by Eoin Colfer

I've discovered that I shy away from YA novels as of late (like the last 4-5 years) because of the overwhelming numbers of witch, ghost, vampire, werewolves, and other un-dead, as well as all those dystopian novels; but I still enjoy books targeted for the older children audience.  That said, I still plan to read the Hunger Games books one of these days.

Artemis Fowl is a fun character, though I have ambivalent feelings about him.  It's hard to buddy-up to a genius, but easy to respect his abilities and he's the kind of guy you want on your side.

In this second installment of the series, Artemis discovers that his long-lost father is not dead after all, but has been held captive for two years by the Russian Mafiya. They have issued a ransom demand, but how will Artemis and Butler ever get to the Arctic north in time to deliver the money and save his father? Enter Captain Holly Short, of the LEPrecon unit, whom Artemis kidnapped for fairy gold in the first book. Captain Short is working on a case of her own that may involve humans providing weapons for a goblin uprising, and she needs Artemis' help to uncover the human connection. If these two former rivals can manage to trust one another and work together, they may be able to rescue Artemis Sr., AND squash the power-hungry pixie who is using the goblins in her mad grab for power. 

I really like the spunky little elf, Captain Holly Short.  Mulch and Foaly not only have great names but add dimension to the story.  I hope my grandson will decide to read these books this summer because I think he would really like them.

** I received a free copy of Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident from Disney-Hyperion and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Innocent

by David Baldacci

I am a big fan of Baldacci so when this novel became available on Net Galley I requested a copy.  I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery/thriller.

The story involves a hired assassin, a teen-age girl, and a female FBI agent.  The assassin is running from a botched hit.  On the bus ride to New York he saves a 14-yr-old from a man sitting behind her who attempts to snap her neck.  The FBI agent is assigned to discover who and why that bus to New York was blown up, killing all passengers.

There were lots of questions that I wanted answered.  This may not be Baldacci's best but it was entertaining and well worth the read.

 ** I received a free copy of  The Innocent  from Grand Central publishing and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Excellent Review

You know I love Louise Penny.  Before I accepted too many review copies I started re-reading her series.  After I finished re-reading the first, my husband decided he wanted to read them again as well.  He just finished reading The Cruelest Month, book 3 in the series and posted a wonderful review.  I hope you'll take a minute to read it on his blog, Live and Learn.  We share several authors that we love but Louise Penny is each of our number one favorite.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I HATE Text-Enhance!

I have followed the instructions to disable Text-Enchance, even deleting all my cookies, and yet, it still shows up.  I've hated it on other people's blogs and now I am really HATING it on mine!  Has anyone successfully eradicated it from your blogs and would you please tell me how you did it?  It reminds me of the bindweed I'm trying to get rid of in my garden.  I don't suppose Round-up will help with Text-Enhance because it's not helping with the bindweed (morning glory-the weed).

Return to Exile

by E.J. Patten

With the onslaught of the Twilight series and all the take-offs, I've distanced myself from the YA novels for several years now.  Return to Exile aims at a younger audience and the author is from Utah so I decided to give it a try.

I got very excited at the first of the book.  I loved Uncle Phineas and his clever & wise sayings, but then Phineas disappears.  And so do his quotes.  Ever hopeful that he would return or be found at some point in the story, I continued reading.

The main character, Sky Weathers, and his family move back to their hometown of Exile.  Sky was born in Exile but never lived there.  They arrive in town in the evening and the next day he attends his first day at school.  I became confused because sometimes it seemed like the first day of school but at other times it seemed like he'd been there for several months, at least.  I thought I had skipped some important parts of the chronology so I went back and reread a chapter.  I didn't miss anything.  I get frustrated when an author kind of mishmashes with your mind and I almost stopped reading.

Luckily, I didn't stop because things sailed along smoothly after the first day of school ended.  I relaxed and let the 12-yr-old in my take over.  It was an exhilarating ride.  One I thoroughly enjoyed.  I got confused with the names of the different monsters but I just shrugged it off - ends up I really didn't need to keep them all straight and the couple I needed to know I did know.

I have a 10-yr-old grandson that I thought might enjoy this book so as I read I thought what he would think about certain parts.  He loved the Lightning Thief series and most recently finished the 1st in the Leviathan series.  He told me that it was scary and went beyond his "threshold for scary."  So I wondered about a few parts in Return to Exile, but I don't think it will exceed his threshold for scary.  I told him he could read it as soon as I finished and then my 7th grade neighbor boy wants to read it.  I love to foster a love for reading in anyone, but especially young boys.

There are several bookdarts marking some great passages, but I'll restrain myself and only share two:
 "Power without understanding and self-mastery will always cost your humanity.  Understanding must come first.  To use a force and not understand it is like walking into a trap and mistaking the noose for your favorite pillow.  To understand the nature of a thing, you must walk in its shadow, suffer as it suffers, and joy beside it.  There is no understanding without struggle and sacrifice.  There is no compassion without understanding.  And power without compassion is the worst kind of evil there is."
"You can't expect to walk the same path he's walked and end up somewhere else.  You step on his path, and you'll wind up just like him--friendless, scared, and trapped!"

The second in The Hunter's Chronicles will be out in December and I will definitely be reading it. (And then, giving it to Jeff for Christmas!)

 ** I received a free copy of Return to Exile  from Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.