Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Lost Princess of Oz

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10**

Finally, L. Frank Baum got back to writing in Oz. This is the first Oz book in a while that I've been truly happy with. I think because it wasn't full of stories about characters that aren't even in Oz, or that it really was about the Oz characters that we already know and love. Either way, it was a good book.

Oz is in turmoil in this book. Ozma is missing, her Magic Picture is missing, Glinda's Book of Records is missing. Magic from all over Oz is gone, and nobody knows who took it or where Ozma is.

Dorothy, the Wizard, and their friends go out to search the Land of Oz for Ozma primarily, but also to find the tools of magic that are important to them all. In another part of Oz, a cookie cook named Cayke and a Frogman start searching for a magic dishpan.

I was so glad to have these Oz characters that I love back as the central characters of this book. It made it much more enjoyable. Not only that, but they introduced a whopping three characters, and the two you meet early on aren't inane characters, but actually enjoyable characters who have personality.

The story in this book was better than some previous books. It was fun. I hope the last three books in this series are as enjoyable as this book was.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

An Echo in the Bone

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6**

I had so many ups and downs in this book, although it was mostly ups. So overall, I enjoyed this book.

But, here's the thing. This book had a bit too much of Lord John Grey and William. I mean, their characters are important, but their story lines are a little dull. Particularly William's. William is just kind of a boring character. He's Jamie's son, and he's basically a carbon copy, with the exception of darker hair. There just isn't enough about him to make me feel some sort of connection with his character. He's just too limited. We don't learn enough about him. And don't get me started on Lord John and his quest of intrigue. There was a lot of allusions in his story line to things that are told in the novellas about John Grey. So I'm sitting here wondering what is being referred to, but without any actual reference. I didn't enjoy that much.

But the rest was more redeeming. The American Revolution is going on, but Jamie and Claire are intending to go to Scotland to get Jamie's printing press (and return Ian to his mother). But one thing leads to another and they find themselves at Ticonderoga a mere months before the retreat from the fort. There's misadventure and then they're at the battle of Saratoga, where Jamie nearly shoots his son, which does not sit well with him.

Brianna and Roger are reading letters that Jamie and Claire write to them from the past, and they're finding that they are still connected to these beloved parents, even though they are in their present time. They have some misadventures of their own, especially when Jemmy gets in trouble at school for saying things in Gaelic.

But my favorite couple to emerge from this book was Ian and Rachel. They're just sweet. So adorable.

I'm excited to read the most current book (now that I've finally caught up to the books that are released).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rinkitink in Oz

**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9**

This book was terrible in my opinion. First off, not really an Oz book. I know, it says Oz right there in the title. But really, it's not an Oz book. True, Oz does make an appearance - in the last three chapters.

Let's face it. This story takes place completely outside of Oz, except for an almost forced effort at the end. It almost entirely takes place island hopping in the Nonestic Ocean, which is separated from Oz by the deadly desert, the kingdom of the Nomes, and the Wheeler country. So, yeah.

New characters though. Not that I always really liked them. Inga, prince of Pingaree, the pearl farming island. He's a brave boy who goes on a mission to rescue his father and mother (and all the people of Pingaree) from the islands of Regos and Coregos where they've been taken by a bunch of warriors and are kept as slaves. Rinkitink, king of, well, Rinkitink. He's a fat jolly man. Basically like Santa, except a little more ADD. He rides a speaking goat named Bilbil. Bilbil is a cranky thing. He's honestly my favorite character in the entire book.

I have found that this series does not live up to the high expectations that the first book really makes me sad. I wish that these books wouldn't result in such a disappointment. I want the Oz characters I love, not these new characters in a country that I don't know. Oz characters, Land of Oz. That's what I've come to expect. Not this misleading title stuff. Oh well.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pretty Little Liars

I know, this is a huge show on ABC Family and everyone knows the story. I've seen the first episode of that show, and this book is really that first episode.

Alison DiLaurentis goes missing at the beginning of the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily do not know where she is, even though they're best friends. There are a bunch of secrets that each shares with Ali, along with one big one that they all share - The Jenna Thing. And no, you don't find out what The Jenna Thing is in this book.

After Ali goes missing, the friends fall out. The book starts three years after Ali's disappearance. The four girls are not friends, but then, they each start getting messages from a mystery person who signs their texts, notes, emails with "A". They all assume it's Ali and that she'll share all of the secrets that none of them want revealed.

I absorbed this book really fast, and I'm excited to see what the second book holds.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I read this book because it was so hyped not too long ago (since the movie came out). I thought I'd give it a shot, especially since I'm kind of fond of Civil War era literature. But I was honestly a little disappointed with this book.

Maybe it's because it starts off on a sour note for me. I know this is fiction, but it's written in the manner of a biography. I don't know, but something about this book just didn't really jive with what I enjoy reading.

It's very much what it says it is. The secret of Abraham Lincoln's life - that he was a vampire hunter. Not only that, but the Civil War was fought because vampires wanted to make all humans slaves for their food source.

The writing style kind of irked me a bit too. It alternates between a story being told and journal entries that were written by Lincoln during his life as a vampire hunter. I kind of wish it would have just picked one and stuck with it. Maybe that's why I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction.

I don't know. I guess this was just a one-off for me on my reading journey.