Showing posts with label Action. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Action. Show all posts

Monday, October 3, 2011

Slow Beginnings

Yesterday I finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. What a fantastic book. I wasn't sure when I started it, since it was pretty dry at the beginning. But once you get into the story, you get roped in. Larsson weaves a story that you just can't get out of your head. And he creates characters that you can't forget.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows the story of two different characters, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist. Lisbeth is a social outcast and expert computer hacker, who's job is to snoop into people's lives. Mikael is a financial journalist who was just disgraced for publishing a story without credible sources. Blomkvist is hired by Henrik Venger, a well known businessman, to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet Vanger. The case has been going on for decades, and no new leads have been made in years. But Blomkvist, and eventually Lisbeth, soon get far into the case, which reveals some terrible horrors that are hidden in the Vanger family's past. Thrilling and fast paced, you'll won't want to put it down until you know what happened to Harriet Vanger.

Like I stated before, this book starts out very slowly. There's a lot of explanation of financial matters, description of the financial situation of Sweden, etc., etc. It's not really that exciting to read, but you are greatly rewarded once you get past it. Once Blomkvist begins investigating the Harriet Vanger case, the story starts moving at a faster pace, and it's difficult to put the book down. You just want to know what could possibly happen next.

Besides creating a great story, Larsson also creates characters that are unforgettable. Lisbeth Salander is one of them. Lisbeth is such a unique and quirky character that she intrigues you the first time that you are introduced to her. You want to know what happened to her to make her the way she is. Unfortunately, you don't really get that much about her past, at least in this book. Hopefully this changes in the later books, because I really would like to know what makes Lisbeth the way she is. Something bad happened in her past, and we don't know what yet.

Blomkvist is also an interesting character. As the reader, you get a little more insight into him than Lisbeth, mainly because he narrates more of the story. He is quirky in his own way, though not nearly as quirky as Lisbeth. Larsson seemed to have taken a lot of time to develop these characters, and it shows. They are very well fleshed out and very believable characters. I think that's what makes the novel. The characters. It's fantastic.

So, what am I reading next? The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. Hopefully I can learn more about Lisbeth! :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Clockwork Angel

To be honest, I finished this book a few days ago, but I haven't really had the time to write about it because I've been swamped with homework. But it's the weekend, and I figured that I could take a break and write about it now. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare is the prequel to her Mortal Instruments series. This book is, at least it seemed like it to me, a beginning of yet another series by her. Couldn't she just finish one and then start the other? Oh wait, she had finished one, but decided to continue it after it was finished. Can't anyone just write one book anymore? I don't see why authors have to keep writing series, or extending series after they're finished writing them. Well, I do. They want more money. But if they're good enough writers, they could write stand alone books and still make enough to get by. Not many authors really do that anymore though, and it's kind of sad. I'm getting a little sick of starting series and having to wait years to finish them. Can someone flip the trend and start writing stand alone books please? It would make my life a whole lot easier, since when I start a series, I absolutely have to finish it. I have to know how it ends! So that just adds books to my already long list of books to read. And that list is getting longer by the minute.

Anyway....you probably want to know what Clockwork Angel is about. It follows the story of Tessa, and is set in the late 1800s. At least I think it is...that's what I remember anyway. If it's wrong, sorry. Tessa is being sent to England after her Aunt dies to live with her brother. But when she gets there, not everything is as it seems. She's kidnapped by these two crazy ladies who force her to do things she never believed were possible. In come the Shadowhunters to the rescue, and Tessa is thrown into a world that she never knew existed. Full of lots of action, Clockwork Angel is sure to keep you interested right until the end.

I'd have to say, as much as I am irritated that Cassandra Clare cannot leave this series alone, Clockwork Angel was pretty well written. I mean, it's not fantastic literature, but it's good if you want a good, fun read. I liked the character of Tessa because she was actually a strong female character that wasn't completely obsessed with a man. Yes, she does have a love interest, but it's not something she even really realizes until you're most of the way through the book. You as the reader pick up on it pretty quickly, but Tessa is pretty slow when it comes to realizing her feelings for this guy. That irritated me a little, because she was being so oblivious to the fact that she was in love with this guy (I'm leaving out his name so I don't spoil anything for anyone). Other than that, Tessa is always ready to join in the fight, and even though she's living in a time where it's frowned upon for women to have the urge to fight. This is something that Tessa struggles with in the novel, breaking these gender roles. She has to fight because she is expected to sit by and let the men do all the work, but she feels that she should be helping them in any way that she can. I liked that Tessa didn't just let the men do all the fighting, and she actually tried to help them. Cassandra Clare gets points for a good, strong female character.

I guess that's all I really have to say about Clockwork Angel. The next book I will be writing about (I've already finished, but I feel it deserves its own blog post) is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Catching Up

For the past few days, I have been on vacation in Ohio. I know that doesn't really sound like the ideal vacation destination, but my sister Lissy wanted to visit a college there, so we just made a trip around it. We actually went to Cedar Point and the Detroit Zoo, so it was a pretty fantastic trip, even though it was incredibly hot. But, I have finished quite a few books between now and the last time I posted (four to be exact) so I'll write about two of them now, and two of them tomorrow. And tell you about our trip along the way :)

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay I actually finished before we left on our trip, but I didn't get a chance to write about it before we left. So here it goes. Juliet Immortal is a new twist on the classic Romeo and Juliet story. Instead of both Romeo and Juliet dying, Romeo actually killed Juliet in order to become immortal. He becomes the force that tries to make soul mates fall apart, while Juliet fights for them to keep together. They've been doing this for centuries, but this time when they're sent to Earth, something feels different, not right. With twists and turns, and Juliet falling in love again, it's quite an exciting story.

Now you may be thinking, why would you want to change the Romeo and Juliet story? It's such a classic. And yes, I'd have to agree with you there. Romeo and Juliet is very much a classic. But why does that mean it can't be tweaked a little bit to make another, interesting story? I liked the way Stacey Jay changed the story, I thought it was something fresh and new, something that no one has ever done before. I enjoyed the originality of her story, and I also thought she nailed the characters of Romeo and Juliet. They seemed very much like the Romeo and Juliet we all know and love. Overall, I thought this was a very clever story and would recommend it to those looking for a good love story.

Onto my next book. This one I actually finished on our way to Ohio, so there's not much interesting to add about our trip yet. The book, however, was very interesting. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore doesn't come out until...September I want to say. But I got an advance copy of it from BBYA :) Very exciting, considering I was dying to know what happened next at the end of I Am Number Four. These books are about an alien race that was sent here from their planet, Lorien, because it was destroyed. Only 9 survived, and are now being hunted down by the enemy that destroyed their planet (I can't remember what they're called or how to spell it...) But each of the 9 has a number, and they can only be killed in that number. I Am Number Four begins with Number Four telling his account, and The Power of Six basically picks up where it left off. Let me tell you, these are definitely some action packed books, and books that you absolutely fly through.

Pittacus Lore is very obviously a pen name, right? I think so anyway. The other day my mom and I got into a discussion as to why authors would have pen names. I mean, it doesn't really follow human nature. Why wouldn't you want people to know that you wrote that book? I'm sure authors have their reasons for it, probably sells books better, but why not take the credit for your work? It doesn't really make much sense to me. Someday maybe I'll have someone explain it to me.

Anyway, back to The Power of Six. I can't wait for the next one to come out now! This is the problem with starting a series before it's completely finished. You always end up with a cliff hanger that won't be resolved when the next book comes out who knows when. I almost think it would be easier to just wait until the whole series is published and read it then. You wouldn't be left with all that anticipation then. But I'm too impatient for that. If I see I book I want to read, I want to read it then and not wait for the whole series to be published. This is the dilemma that comes with reading book series. I guess I'll just have to live with it.

Well I guess that's all for now. Next I will write about To Timbuktu by Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater as well as the more exciting parts of my trip :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dragons and Adventure

 Eona

So....I broke my own rule and read two books at one time. I don't really understand how people can do that, but I did it because I had to finish a certain book by Tuesday, but I had already started the other. I paused reading Water for Elephants (really good so far, by the way) in order to read Eona by Alison Goodman. It was a win, win situation since both books were (are) quite excellent.

Eona is the sequel to Eon, a book that I read quite a long time ago. It feels like that anyway. That was my issue when I started this book. I couldn't remember much that happened at the end of the last book, so I was highly confused at the beginning of this book. I worked out most of my confusion towards the end, but it was still kind of difficult for me to read, being that they made reference to things that I didn't remember, especially characters names. Oh well, I still finished and it was still an enjoyable read.

Eon  is set in a Chinese-like setting where once every 12 years, boys compete to become the Ascendent Dragoneye. Basically, they will have the control of the power of all the dragons in the land. Eon is one of the boys competing in this competition, but he is not highly favored because he is cripple. Also, he is not a 12-year-old boy, but a 16-year-old girl. If this was found out, there would be high consequences. Anyway, Eon is able to see all the "spirit dragons," which is unusual. The book then follows the story line of the competition, then how it goes horribly wrong. And Eona picks up where Eon left off, which is what I couldn't really remember. And something that I cannot tell you, so I will not spoil anything :)

I enjoyed this book because it was basically non-stop action. There was never a dull spot in the book, even though it is over 600 pages. Don't let the size scare you away though, because it is a fairly quick read. What I also enjoy is that Eona is the one saving the men, not the other way around. She is a strong female character, and you don't really see that much in books. It's always the men saving the women, because they are "damsels in distress." Please. Girls can take care of the themselves.

I will warn you, there are some rather gory parts in this novel. There is description of torture and war, and it make me shiver at some points. What Goodman describes just sounds downright painful to me, and I didn't take much pleasure in reading those spots. But all in all, this is a very well developed story, that I really enjoyed reading. And I'm glad she didn't extend her series just to make more money, like some authors (cough, cough, Christopher Paolini, cough, cough). Two novels was absolutely perfect for Alison Goodman to get her story out.

Well, as you know, I will be reading Water for Elephants next, but I might slip another two books in before that. I have to finish them by Tuesday as well. As always, if there's a book you'd like to read, just leave a comment!