Book Review – Sir Thursday by Garth Nix

Title: Sir Thursday

Author: Garth Nix

Format: Hardback

Published: 2007

After slugging through the previous book in the series Drowned Wednesday I admit I was a little exited to read this book. I knew the cover enticed me from the first time I saw it years ago but I had never managed to get through the book before it to get to this place, and really I’m glad I finally made it through the 3 out of 5 pages that is Drowned Wednesday to get to this book. It was incredible and it kept my attention and had me excited and constantly wondering while I wasn’t reading – what is going to happen to this character or that character? What will come next?

This book is broken up between Arthur who is stuck in the House as there is a doppelganger preventing his return and his mortal friend Leaf who knows about him and his role with the house who is sent to stop the doppelganger. There is a lot of danger and the doppelganger known as the skinless boy can take over Leaf’s mind. All the while Arthur is stuck in the house and is drafted into the house army of Sir Thursday.

The story keeps a good pace as Leaf is trapped and infected by the skinless boy making her plight rather perilous and Arthur is not only indirectly under the command of Sir Thursday but is threatened with getting his memory erased which really pulled me in and held my attention. Most books that are telling two stories at once I am finding myself bored with one half of the story and wanting to skip that person’s half to get to the half I am interested in but this was equally balanced. Instead of only being interested in Arthur or only interested in Leaf I was equally interested in both halves. So while I would flip to the next chapter eager to know what would happen next to Arthur only to discover it was Leaf I wasn’t really tempted to skip to the next Arthur chapter because I also desperately wanted to know what was happening to Leaf.

Over all, I would give this book a strong 4 out of 5 page review. This book was good and interesting and I know when it ended I was clamoring for the next book to be sadden by the fact that I don’t have it on me and need to read some of the other books found in my bag before I pick up the 5th book in the series, Lady Friday, but I’m sure it will promise to be entertaining.

Book Review – The Traveler

TITLE: The Traveler
AUTHOR: Darren Simkin
ILLUSTRATIONS: Darren and Daniel Simkin
FORMAT: HARDBACK
PUBLISHED: 2008

So I was at my favoritest ever used bookstore, and I found this book on the bargain shelf. Knowing me, I probably paid about a quarter for it.

The Traveler is about a boy named Charlie. One day, he packs up all his time in a suitcase and travels until he finds something important enough to spend his time on.

This is an adorable little fable. From the big, bulky decades to the raggedy days… The illustrations are simple, the story is told like poetry. I loved everything about it.

I know I’m being vague, but there’s not much I can say without giving the ending away, and I don’t want to do that.

As a side note, I often wonder who decides where a book gets shelved. I mean, this is poetry, which should be non-fiction, but somehow they got this book listed as fable and shelved with fiction instead. Not that it matters to my review, but I wanted to muse about it for a minute. (Okay, okay, and I’m word count padding, but still…)

The cover prices is $12.95, which might be a little pricey considering what it is, but the book is so sweet and the story is so perfectly told. Go out and buy like ten copies and pass them around your friends. You’ll be glad you did. 5/5 pages.

Book Review – Alice Love Fables by Quin Rose

Title: Alice Love Fables: Toy Box

Author: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2013

Now that I have nearly caught up with all off the Alice themed books at my library I am slowly waiting for them to get in the latest releases of Alice books. I know this book was released in 2013 but it took until now for my library to get the book in and I admit I was excited. I knew by reading about the book that it would have some short stories that weren’t Alice themed in it but I was not expecting over half the book to not be Alice.   I felt a little jipped that a book about Alice based on the tile was only half Alice.

The portion of the stories I read were decent. They were all very short and very quick so I felt suddenly cut off and the story didn’t give much, such as the one focused on the Bloody Twins. Then the Story with Gray Ringmark was cute and good and even better than the book Lizard’s Aid (which I did not review). I just wish the story had gone further.

In the stories that I read there were some laugh out loud moments that were rather cute that I enjoyed. Then the best two stories in my opinion was the story focused on Peter White. I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like if Alice could get past the fact that Peter stole her away and forced her to stay in Wonderland. This is why I’m looking forward to the Peter centric book that should eventually come to my library. The next best story was of course the Mad Hatter story which if you’ve read any other Alice review you know that is one of my favorite pairs but you should note that this says something when the March Hare story didn’t even register as comment worthy. The Mad Hatter story was unexpected and adorable and quiet honestly then end of it had me giggling with happiness as it was super cute and not something I expected to read for Alice and Blood Dupree.

Over all despite the joys I had with some of the stories that were in the book not only did I feel cut that more than half the book was not Alice, but I also felt cut because I had expected stores from characters that I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a few times such as Sydney Black or Jericho Bermuda and they were not there. Of course, the latter issue was a fault of my own rather than the book, but that disappointment coupled with the other disappointments I would only give this book a 2 out of 5 page review because it wasn’t much, cute, but not much. It is worth a read for a fan, but not really worth going out to purchase unless you are a fan of the other stories such as Crimson Empire which is one of the stories and has been featured in preview form in a number of the Alice books.

Book Review – The Liar

Title: The Liar

Author: Nora Roberts

Format: Hardback

Year Published: 2015

Yes, yet another Nora Roberts novel! (They’re a guilty pleasure, what can I say?)

So, The Liar is the newest offering from Roberts, which explains why it took me a month to get it in from the library. Shelby has been recently widowed and has discovered that her husband isn’t at all who she thought he was. She retreats home to Tennessee, taking her daughter to her family, and settles in, trying to overcome the debt her husband has left her in and ignoring all the mysteries of his past, all the while slowly falling in love with a new man.

Unfortunately, her husband’s past isn’t done with her. Starting with a PI who follows her from Philadelphia to Tennessee, more trouble follows as one of her husband’s ‘associates’ tells her what he was really involved, and then ends up dead. Slowly, the tangled web of lies that her husband built start to fall, and Shelby learns the truth.

So the big plot twist of the story (revealed in the last thirty pages), I called by the end of the first chapter. Some of this may be because I’ve read/watched a lot of detective stories, but this one felt *so* obvious I couldn’t believe that it never even came up as a possibly with the characters. So that felt a little less true-to-life.

I liked Shelby, and I liked Griff (her new love interest) but Roberts has started making her heroes a bit *too* perfect (I know – what else can I expect in a romance novel). Griff is always perfect – he knows when to push and when to step back; he knows how to win over not only Shelby but her daughter, and it all adds up to a rather boring specimen, to be honest.

As usual, Roberts’ skill with interesting characters is showcased in the side-characters – with Shelby’s best friend and her new beau; with Shelby’s mother and grandmother; with the girl who’s hated Shelby since they were girls and her actions once Shelby returns home.

Nothing spectacular, but nothing horrible either. 3/5 stars.

Book Review – Bug Patrol

TITLE: Bug Patrol
AUTHOR: Denise Dowling Mortensen
ILLUSTRATOR: Cece Bell
FORMAT: Hardcover
PUBLISHED: 2013

My normal Tuesday routine involves meeting Boss and his Daddy at the library, we switch the carseat into my car, and I take my boss to story hour. (Hey, it’s one of the perks of answering to an 18-month-old for a paycheck.) And every week after story hour is over, I pick out 2-4 books that I will read to him later. Either a book I remember from my childhood (Curious George, anyone?), or something that looks cute enough that I want to look at it.

Bug Patrol follows Captain Bob, our friendly neighborhood bug cop, as he does his daily shift. And holy cow is this book absolutely adorable.

Seriously.

“9 AM/Behind the wheel/riding in/my bug mobile.//Coffee, cruller/cruise control/I’m Captain Bob/Bug Patrol.”

The format is pretty repetitive – Cap’n Bob gets a call, and we hear what the call is. Then ‘WEE-O! WEE-O! WEE-O! WOO! Bug Mobile Coming Through!’ And seriously, every time I did that part, Boss giggled like it was the most awesome thing ever. Then he solves the problem, and we repeat the process again.

I read the book with my mother in the room, and when we finished it, we looked at each other and said “We need to own that.”
There is nothing wrong with this book. It’s simple, cute illustrations, a thorough story, a great rhythm to read it to… I want to own this book, and I don’t even have a kid.

So, 5/5 pages, hands down. I’m going to see what else this author has available soon.

Book Review – Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix

Title: Drowned Wednesday

Author: Garth Nix

Format: Paperback

Published: 2005

 

Having finished the second book in the series and having a good steam rolling I decided to take the time to read the next book in the Keys to the Kingdom series Drowned Wednesday. I approached this book with trepidation because this is the book I had petered out on back when I was first reading the series, I’ve always wanted to read the subsequent books because the titles and covers looked quite enticing but I only go half way and find myself bored and giving up. As I started to read the book my co-worker and co-blogger Sara remarked how she had read some of the series and recalled petering out on this very same book.

 

As the third book in the series this book I felt was anti-climatic and was one of the obligatory water adventures. I feel like almost every book series of this nature has an underwater or sea faring adventure and it is rare that I have found the book to be all that compelling. I can think of one exception to that rule which is The Lost City of Faar by D. J. MacHale. With that said, I worked my way though a rather dry book – despite the abundance water found inside.

 

In this book Arthur is suddenly captured and taken into the Border Sea of the house to have a luncheon with Drowned Wednesday the holder of the next key and the anticipated main villain of this book as are all the other trustees in the other books thus far. As a villain Drowned Wednesday was rather anticlimactic as were other struggles that Arthur faced in this adventure. There were only two moments of true interest and intrigue for me and that was when Arthur met up with a friend of his Suzy who had been an aid in his previous adventures was acting completely out of character for a moment. This scene would have made me flat out hate the series before Garth redeemed himself and the scene very quickly making it something amusing rather than frustrating.

 

The other scene that held my interest was the last 2 page chapter which was actually the set up for the next book. It took grim determination to get through this book and based upon what I’ve already read of the next book I’m glad I did force myself through this book to get to the rest of the better story. Over all I would give this book a 3 out of 5 pages and warn that it is a difficult book to get through unless you are big on sea faring adventures.

Book Review – Trixter

Title: Trixter

Author: Alethea Kontis

Format: E-book

Year Published: 2015

Trixter is the first in a companion series to The Woodcutter Sisters. It follows the story of Trix, the baby brother of the Woodcutter family (although he’s technically a cousin). Like Dearest, the story starts shortly after the opening events in Hero. Trix has been contacted in dreams by his birthmother, and doesn’t dare allow his foster mother to forbid him to go to her. Instead he doctors the family stew into a sleeping potion, and runs.

He doesn’t get far before he is overtaken by the ocean that his sister Saturday calls to the land, saving the lives of several creatures along the way (for he is, after all, The Boy Who Talks to Animals). There he meets Lizinia, a girl turned to gold as a gift by Papa Catto, the head of the cats that she had lived with and worked for. Together, they continue to head for the Abbey where Trix’s birthmother is sending them.

For most of the book, Trix doesn’t make a misstep. He’s wracked with guilt over dosing his family, but he still rescues several creatures and makes the correct choices when meeting Lizinia for the first time. Even when he does choose wrong, there are no lasting consequences from it. However, while I’m pretty sure I’d want to strangle him if I knew him in real life, his cheerful outlook on life and willingness to take things as they come allowed me to overlook the lack of true conflict in the book. I do believe that the second book will contain more chances for Trix to grow as a character, as he heads off to meet his father at the end of this one.

A solid offering in the Woodcutter world; if you enjoyed the others, you’ll enjoy this one. 3.5/5.

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