Thursday, July 29, 2010

Passing Strange - Daniel Waters

Karen Desonne committed suicide and died. She came back as a zombie, and has been living with her parents. Her Dad has accepted what she is and her younger sister is happy to have her there. Her Mom on the other hand hasn't accepted the fact that Karen committed suicide and came back. Karen also holds a job at Wild Thingz! in the mall, and can pass for a human. One day while she is working Pete Martinsburg shows interest in her and they start going out. Pete is part of an anti-zombie group that has been framing the zombies for the murder of a prominent attorney, and a grave yard desecration. Karen sees this as an opportunity to get evidence that Pete is behind everything anti-zombie in the last few months. As it becomes illegal for a zombie to be out without a guardian, most of the other zombies hide in the nearby lake leaving Karen and her few human friends to find out the truth. Once Pete finds out that Karen is a zombie he turns her into the police. Has Karen met her end? Can the other zombies help get her out of jail, and prove their innocence? Can Karen forgive Pete for what he's done?

I'm loving the Generation Dead series. The first book had me hooked and I've enjoyed each one of the following books. Passing Strange read faster for me than Kiss of Life, maybe because there was more action and suspense to move the story along. I also liked how it was told from Karen's point of view this time instead of Phoebe's. It added another point of view to the story, which made the book a good read. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the Generation Dead series whenever it comes out.

T.B. 7/29/10

Monday, July 26, 2010

Demonata Book 10: Hell's Heroes - Darren Shan

The walls between the demon world and the human world have been torn down. Humanity is loosing the battle against the demons. There are mages, werewolves, and Disciples that are waging the battle against the demons for humanity. With Bec having aligned herself with Lord Loss it's now up to Grubbs, Shark, Kernel, Kirilli, and Timas to go to the demon universe and destroy both Bec and Lord Loss. They head back to the mansion where Grubbs grew up. Grubbs destroys a lodestone, which if Lord Loss can control most of the remaining ones, will open a permanent window between the demon world and the human world. They are then attacked by Lord Loss's familiars and once they are destroyed they head to Lord Loss's realm. Once they are there they find Lord Loss and Bec, and Bec destroys thousands upon thousands of innocent humans. Bec then merges with the spirit of Death. They retreat and a few days later Lord Loss, Bec, and the original Demon masters come to Earth for one final battle. Has Bec truly betrayed Grubbs, Kernel, Shark, and the rest of the Disciples? Is there any hope for Earth, or will Demons rule and have humans as their slaves?

I've enjoyed the whole Demonata series, and was eagerly awaiting the final book. I was fine with the book until the very end. The end kind of disappointed me. As I was reading the book I was thinking on how Shan would end the series, and as I got closer to the end I was hoping he wouldn't do what I thought he was going to do. Shan basically did a gigantic reset button in the end, which to me wasn't the best way to end the series. Overall the Demonata series was very enjoyable. The ending of the final book was just a bit of a let down.

T.B. 7/26/10

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol

Cassie has seen aura's around some people for as long as she can remember. As a young teen, she once followed one of those people only to see him hit by a car and die. This was the first time she suspected that the aura meant the person would die within the next 24 hours. She is being raised by her grandmother, her parents long dead. Nan doesn't comment on Cassie's experiences. The aura appears around Nan who dies. Cassie is unexpectedly sent to live with an aunt (her father's sister) who she barely knows exists as part of her grandmother's will. While there she discovers much about her parents that she never knew, her grandmother being very closed mouth about the past. For instance, her mother did not die in a car accident along with her father but rather four years later in a mental institute, a suicide. A chance meeting of a doctor who works at the mental institute gives Cassie access to her mother's records from which she finds out that she possessed the same ability Cassie has. The ability is connected to stories about Greek muses but this is only lightly touched upon. Cassie also audits a class in philosophy while she is staying with her aunt. Here she begins to consider various uses for her ability, even experimenting a bit with rather mixed results. If I think about it too much, well I suppose the book is a bit contrived. Everything is neatly set up to make the story work from the chance meeting of the Psychiatrist on the plane to Cassie's being able to sign up for a college class without any difficulty even though she still has a couple of years of high school left and other events as well. But, I enjoyed the read, I enjoyed the ethics discussion a lot and the hints at Greek mythology may just send me to further reading. The ending, I didn't quite get where Cassie is staying while she finishes high school, where her money is coming from, if she just dumped what little relationship she had with her only known living relative, where she might be heading with her life. I think that's just a bit too up in the air. JDW 7/20

Monday, July 12, 2010

Septimus Heap Series #1 MAGYK by Angie Sage

Advertised as the new Harry Potter, this has been optioned for film. When the throne was overturned, its queen killed, a new born princess was spirited away and substituted for a supposedly dead new born boy to keep her safe from the evil leaders. Years later, spies have figured out who the princess is as had her magician substitute parents and now evil huntsmen are out to assassinate her. With the help of the high wizard, Marcia, the princess and some of her foster family escape to the island inhabited by an aunt/witch, after a scary wild chase. During the escape a young army boy #412 is rescued half frozen from the snow. One son is captured when he returns home to see the girl of his dream and reveals the hiding place, unwittingly. Marcia is later captured, lured away from the island by a false message sent by message rat. Who boy 412 is, how Marcia is rescued, how the princess is kept safe once again, the discovery of a legendary Dragon Boat in its underground dwelling place mixed in with lots of interesting magical spells and slimy creatures like mud loving boggart make for fun but light reading. This story is not nearly as complex as the Harry Potter series. I enjoyed it and will go on to read the next book in the series. JDW 7/12/10