September 30, 2008

Christopher Paolini: Eldest

I was eager to discover just what would happen next in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy from where I'd left off with Eragon. Though I had very little time when I dove into the book, I did much reading today and have finished it. Before my reading today, I had found the book a bit unsatisfying. This very well could be because of my little reading time I had before today with this book, because it did pick up today, though with finishing over the second half, it was to be expected...or rejected. (Thank goodness scenario number two wasn't the case!)

This book does not have merely one point of view but that of three. It switches off every few chapters. Just to make it more exciting, I'm keeping the names of the other two characters quiet. They were very good choices. It felt that this book had not one journey but more. I must shush myself from saying more about that. I will add one more thing, however: Just when you think you have the point of views figured out is when the third one hits. It was a pleasant addition.

Things begin a little odd in this book, with some surprises as well as suspicions for which I didn't learn that I was right about until the very end, though with some shocks as well. Eragon has traveling to do in order to study with the elves as planned as well as to meet the mysterious one who spoke to his conscious in book one, which he does and whom he meets. The journey is not nearly as rough or terrible as those in the past. I feel this has to do with Eragon's and Saphira's new strengths with having gone through new experiences besides the obvious of having made wonderful allies.

I won't spoil anything to do with elves (or anything else, if I can help it) but will say that the dreaded approaching time to meeting Galbortax draws nearer. Before that time though, Eragon and Saphira are taught a great amount and both mature. Lessons begin where Brom left off, and Eragon learns more about the man who, at least I felt, was at one time like a father to him.

On the subject of fathers, a riddle is told to Eragon about his father, though he pays it little attention. Eragon does not master riddles well and clever Saphira would never have figured it out if she had heard it, but Eragon will learn more of his parentage in this book just as Saphira does, however more difficult to learn.

As to be expected, there is more yet of many familiar faces to Eragon. The werecat's witch, Linda, will be precisely right in her foretelling of Eragon's future. New and interesting characters are added to the mix, some of which I look forward to reading more about just as much as Eragon and others he previously met. I am eager to read the next book.

On a note related to this book, I had been greatly worried when I made a trip to a bookstore two weeks ago and discovered a toy three-headed dragon that was red. I worried it was spoiling Eldest for me since the dragon on the cover of this book bears red skin as well. I can now say for anyone stressing the same that there is no need to worry or connect this to book 2 at all. Now, however, this can only mean one thing. I say nada and since you cannot see me, add that I am shaking my head.

47 / 52 books. 90% done!

September 24, 2008

P.C. and Kristen Cast: Chosen

I read the third book in PC and Kristen Cast's House of Night series over the weekend which provided to be a comfort book during that crazy time. The series had left off with much that was dark lurking near as well as secrets Zoey would have to keep to herself. In Chosen, Zoey has many choices of her own to make as Nyx chooses to embrace her with new markings once more. I would consider that a tiny spoiler, but I think by now readers understand that new tattoos throughout the series are to be expected. For those who haven't read this series, each set of tattoos is a gift from the goddess Nyx who the vampyres worship.

Zoey may be a teenager and not always feel she makes the right choices - who does? - but Nyx keeps her faith in Zoey nonetheless. A birthday close to a holiday might seem like Zoey's biggest problem, but as she tells her cat, Nala, there is much, much more. I was really shocked with a few things in this book I never saw coming and am eager to read more.

The fourth book in this series, Untamed was released yesterday with the fifth due out in the spring. Now that I'm caught up with the publishers, I am very glad the series is being published so quickly. I simply wonder how many books there will be in all. It's a nice series and I would say my second favorite vampire series. (I don't really need to say which my favorite is, do I?)

46 / 52 books. 88% done!

September 23, 2008


I haven't really mooched or paperbackswapped much lately. Nothing from my wishlist is turning up. I have things I would add to my inventory to give away except I'd rather not add them since both sites are providing to be fruitless, if I've worded that correctly. A Great and Terrible Beauty is from BookMooch, however.

I bought the book and kit on writing the weekend before this last. My weekend plans had been ruined and I went out of the house several hours before work on a spur of the moment. I took a bus to an area near the closest bookstore just as I used to do regularly where I spent a lot of time simply walking around. Neighbors always get upset at me for not accepting a car drive from them, but I greatly enjoy walking and it clears my mind. I spent a good deal of time exploring the changes made in the bookstore before making a book selection for something to help me with WritoNano when I found the kit. I want to try it out before I write about it. After the bookstore, I walked some more before taking another bus near where I work, where I read stuck my nose in a book while sitting on a quiet bench for a few hours.

I last went to a bookstore yesterday intending to only purchase one book, The Dragon Heir. I'm getting angrier and angrier at my nearest bookstore, a Borders. They removed a book I put on hold a mere half a day after I had placed it on hold. Did I want to wait while they searched their stock room for a copy? Certainly not! I was on my way to work.

For yet another book, I thought I requested one two weeks ago. A bookseller helped me and printed out a paper for me, telling me it would probably be in within the week and to expect their call. I thought it funny since their other location near me considers it a requirement to have a requested book in within the week or the book is free. However, I thanked him and left. Not a word from them. I have wondered if the book was merely reserved. Either way, I found the book in the Barnes and Noble bookstore across the street only minutes after I'd 'requested' it at the first bookstore, so I was fast impatient. I gave up on them and purchased the book somewhere else yesterday. I'm rather unhappy since the bookstore I have so much trouble with is the one I planned to apply to where I could hopefully work over the holidays.

The book I purchased alongside The Dragon Heir was the tenth anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I hadn't expected to see it in stores. It was both supposedly not yet released as well as sold out in nearly every location near me according to Borders' website. It was a bit pricey but I put my coupon toward it. I'd thought nothing would be special about it save for the cover, but when I opened it I discovered the secret amazing wonder that was kept secret: Mary GrandePre had also made a full page illustration on one of the first pages inside the book of Hagrid taking the first years across the lake to Hogwarts. There's also an illustration by Rowling of Snape with a quote opposite. She says she drew it in 1992 or '93 and that it is how she always envisioned Snape to look like, though he looks a bit like Count Dracula because of his cloak. I would like to post photos of these illustrations, but the recent events surrounding Stephenie Meyer's unpublished and early internet-exposed book makes me feel more cautious about doing so.

These are the bookplates I pruchased yesterday. If for some odd reason you are unfamiliar with the title of painting from van Gogh's work on this bookplate, it is called Starry Night. This is one of the paintings I studied in the last art class I took two years ago.

September 22, 2008

Cinda Williams Chima: The Wizard Heir

I was a little unhappy to see Cinda Williams Chima's second book in The Heir series begin with a new main character, however, I quickly found that I liked Seph McCauley and the setting of this book. The Wizard Heir was wonderful and very tough to put down when I had to work.

Seph McCauley knows people always seem to befriend him and treat him well. What he doesn't realize is what this is connected to, or better put, why. Always finding trouble, Seph quickly lands in a new school unlike any other he's been to before and where all is not as it seems. Trouble cannot escape him. Characters from the previous book in The Heir series make a return in this book - some of them are good; some of them are bad.

I can't say which of the first two books I like more. I greatly enjoyed both. Trying to not spoil, I will say there were surprises as well as times that I thought to myself, I knew it! I'm still feeling eager to discuss this book with others. I cannot wait to read the next book, The Dragon Heir. I hope the author has more for us. I would definitely read more of her books whether the series ends with the third book or not.

45 / 52 books. 87% done!

September 17, 2008

Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black: The Field Guide

Out of curiosity and due to there being a movie based on this series, I read Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's first book of the Spiderwick Chronicles, The Field Guide. It's rather short as can be expected and therefore an extraordinarily fast read. Semi interesting, I may not read any others in this series and add it to my BookMooch inventory after my youngest sister gets a chance to read it.

September 15, 2008

Christopher Paolini: Eragon

It's unusual for me to view a movie for a book before reading the book it's based on, but that is exactly how it was for the book I finished reading this morning. While Christopher Paolini's first and second book in the Inheritance series have remained in my TBR pile for over a year now, I at last picked up the first of the two books to read last week.

I greatly enjoyed reading Eragon. Having watched the movie though more than a year ago, I had hints here and there of what was to happen, but luckily there are many differences at times between books and the movies based on them. Also, I forgot some details prior to my reading.

I wasn't reading long before it became so that I grudgingly closed my book when I had no choice but to do so. My progress was slow despite the few times I had to simply read for hours on end, time spent that was greatly enjoyed. I finished it quite eager for the second book and am grateful to my neighbor for passing the second book on to me so I have it at my hands already to read. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

In the past I have thought how amazing it was for Paolini to become an author so young. Now that I've read the first of his works, that hasn't changed a bit. I am impressed by his writing skills at so young an age as he was when he wrote this book. With his writing skills as well as family connections to the publishing industry, I expect we'll see a great many more books by this author in time.

On an ending note, I adored the map at the start of the book. It reminded me of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, though perhaps because I am also rereading The Fellowship of the Ring alongside my other reading at the moment. Paolini's work won't be nearly as great, but who can compare to the writing master Tolkien?

September 6, 2008

P.C. and Kristen Cast: Betrayed

I got a copy of PC and Kristen Cast's second book in the House of Night series, Betrayed last week and began reading it once I finished The Warrior Heir. As with the last book I read, I only managed to get in fifteen minutes of reading here and there. I deeply despised that matter since I knew this book could be read in one sitting if I were given a full day to simply read.

From before I'd even begun the book, I felt sure the main character, Zoey Redbird, would learn more about a mysterious presence lingering around the House of Night. I was right. I felt early on that I knew precisely how Zoey would find out about this presence and wish that time that I had been wrong. Sadly, I was not. I could feel the sadness leaking from the pages of my book and moistening my own eyes. I grabbed an earthy color for my book counting meter on my Fifty Book Challenge thread on LibraryThing this time.*

I felt a few parts of this book were making a big deal of a small matter, but over all it was a good book. Though I'd like to keep reading the series straight away, I'm shuffling around a few series so I will be reading a book or two from other series first.

* The Fifty Book Challenge is a group on LibraryThing. Each member sets a goal of how many books they would like to read within one year. Members typically chose fifty, though I've chosen fifty-two books for an average of one book per week. This is my minimum reading goal for the year 2008. You can see from my previous post that I have a major book buying habbit and I can only support it by cutting off my wallet (nope) or an intense amount of reading. Off to my current book!

More Bookshopping

For the second time this week, I left a bookstore with a small pile of books last night. I also left with one preordered book from the store and received one in the mail today from PaperBackSwap. I greatly enjoyed being able to simply explore the bookstore at my own pace verses being rushed to quickly grab specific books I'd come for before leaving. Also, I was pleased to see the bookstore removed their YA books from the children's section to extend the genres further. That was a major bonus. The store looks beautiful and the store associates were very kind.


To Be Read pile: 129 books

September 4, 2008

Cinda Williams Chima: The Warrior Heir

I can't believe I took so long to get to this next one. I bought The Warrior Heir along with five other books in April when I met and went bookshopping with an LTer for very the first time. The book came as strongly recommended by friends on LibraryThing.

I absolutely loved The Warrior Heir! I had trouble reading because of work, only getting fifteen minutes of reading here and there. However, unlike a lot of other similar reading experiences, this did not affect my taste for the book. I was really glued to this book and remained so. There were things I wondered about happening, and when I was right, that just sucked me into the book further. (I'm trying to not spoil. It's a very good book, though.) I'm really happy that I already own the second book in the series and can't wait to read it!

Current, Past, and Upcoming Reads

I finally manage to have a day off from work and instead of reading, what am I doing? I'm online catching up on LibraryThing, except the site is temporarily down. While that's happening, I thought I might write about the pile of books I'm currently making my way through.

First off, I have some books to write about that I'm rather late on. I've read an advanced reader's copy (ARC) of Jane Elliott's The Little Prisoner. Weeks have gone by and still I have nothing written about it here. I'm going to go ahead and say that like the author of that book, I lived an abused life as well, (though luckily my experience was rather different in some ways,) so it's a little hard to write about. I'm going to try to pull myself through writing something nice up for it soon. I would simply write a complete free write save for the fact that it is an ARC, and I'm expected to provide a review for it.

Another book I've read that I still need to post about here is Cinda Williams Chima's The Warrior Heir. I will have that submited either today or tomorrow. I finished reading it last week but have been working a lot lately. If it weren't for public transportation, I probably wouldn't be able to sqeeze any reading in for five days of each week.

Current read: P.C. and Kristen Cast's Betrayed, book two in the House of Night series. I'm halfway through and hope to finish today. I'm going to pick up another book today, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring but it will be a slow read for a book discussion.

I have a pile of books I'm working my way through right now for some new book releases this fall. I'm not reading nearly as fast as I'd like to be so I'm behind schedule, but so long as I get to them, I'm happy. I'm someone who really enjoys series. When I have my own books, that's what I'd like them to be. There are some series that I own multiple books from despite the fact that I have and had as of yet to read the first book in the series to. Because of that and the new book releases (always very exciting), I'm tackling these now. These series are Cinda Williams Chima's The Heir, P.C. and daughter Kristen Cast's House of Night, Cornelia Funke's Inkworld, Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, and Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy.

I'm going on a bookshopping trip for the second time this week tomorrow, but my plan is to read Eragon next. Sadly, I'm going to be starting the book having seen the movie first, but with luck it won't do too much damage since it's been some time since I've seen it now, and because of course the book will be much better!

My last bookshopping trip was on Saturday. Half Price Books had a twenty percent off sale. The location nearest me is rather small, so I left with merely six books.


September 3, 2008

Patrick Carman: The Tenth City

The Land of Elyon series is something I first picked up this past January after I'd seen the first book, The Dark Hills Divide at a used book store. The cover to the first book is what originally drew my interest to the book. After I picked it up to read the back cover, my eyes held to the words "cozy library and maze of passages and rooms." It was a small YA book, but interesting nonetheless. I really loved all the mystery and (SPOILER WARNING) the two cats with their secret messages hidden on their tags. (END spoiler warning) I finished reading it eager to read book two. I found with Beyond the Valley of the Thorns that I missed the setting from the first book very much. Because it was a series about adventure, I knew before I began reading the third book a little more of what to expect.

Over the summer a very kind friend gave me a copy of the third book to this series, The Tenth City. I started reading it as soon as I put down the book I'd currently been reading. I found that I liked this book much more than book two, though still not as much as book one. It's the story of a continuing adventure and ends with new adventures still to come.

The author, Patrick Carman, still has one other book released in this series that I have yet to read, though it deals with different characters and takes place in the past. Though it's in a way separated from the main Land of Elyon series itself, I think I'll plan to read that before reading the fifth book in the series which is released later on this month.