Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Part 3

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Part 3

Date Read:  10/07/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is my favorite of all 3 parts of The Promise. The characters were back to themselves. There was only one "sweetie" line. That "sweetie" just kills me. It sounds so funny.

The action and story also got really good, and moved quickly as all the characters came back together in Yu Dao. The Fire Nation and Zuko, The Earth Nation and King Kuei, the Yu Dao protestors, everyone is fighting everyone. Aang has to decide whether to continue with the Harmony Restoration Movement or if there is another way to Harmony than kicking out the fire nation.

I liked this because it was back to making our characters decide what was right. How can there be Harmony when you're kicking out a nation?

I also loved that it hinted at the creation of Republic City towards the end. And I loved the way it ended. [SPOILER: Azula is so crazy!! The art made her so menacing!]. I can't wait for the next series. And I'm hoping that there is more to it, because there is still a lot to explain what happened: the actual setting up of Republic City, what happened to Sokka and Suki, did Zuko ever find his mother? Best book in this trilogy though.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review: The Demigod Diaries

The Demigod Diaries
by Rick Riordan

Date Read:  10/02/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

This book is such a nice addition to the Heroes of Olympus series. I love that you get a little taste of everything, and little bit of something new.

The first book is a diary from Luke Castellan. Well, if you've read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, you know all about Luke. This story is from when he initially ran away from home and met Thalia and Annabeth. We've heard about this story a lot, so it was fun to see it all happen. Especially since we haven't gotten a whole lot of Thalia. I enjoyed it. It also kind of lets you glimpse the reasonings why Luke made some of the decisions that he did.

The next story is about Percy and Annabeth. I loved it because there is a big hole from between when they kissed to when Percy went missing. So we never got to see them actually dating. So this story happens between those two points. Heremes of course needs Percy's help finding his caduceus. So on their one month anniversary (which you'll have to read how that goes), they have to go fight a monster to help Hermes. Percy is as always one of my favorite characters. He is so funny. I love it. Great story.

The third story is about Leo (from the Heroes of Olympus series). He is alsmost as funny as Percy. I really enjoyed this story, and I actually was happy I read this before reading The Mark of Athena, becuse it got me re-introduced to Jason, Piper and Leo, who I haven't read about since The Lost Hero. This story happens between the Lost Hero and The Mark of Athena. It is while Leo is building the Argo II. Leo was so funny. One of my favorite lines: "Leo hated singing. He cleared his throat and started warbling the first thing that came into his head - something he'd watched online while he worked on the Argo II. After a few lines, Candy hissed, 'That's not the Bacchanalian Jingle! That is the theme sing for Psych!' "

The final story is actually written by Rick Riordan's son, Haley. Riordan originally made up the Percy Jackson story as a bedtime story for Haley. He created an ADHD and dyslexic hero that Haley could relate to. He wrote it down and the rest is history. Now at 16, Haley is wanting to become a writer too and wrote "The Son of Magic" that was included in this book. It is not about any of the characters we know and love. It introduces us to a character that had chosen and fought on Kronos' side in the war. It shows us what happened to one of the kids after the war. And it introduces us to another character who was interesting. But most importantly, it helped us understand who controls the mist, and why monsters can smell demigods. I really enjoyed this story. To tell you the truth, I never would have guessed that this story was not written by Rick Riordan himself. He has definitely passed his author genes to his son. I actually look forward to reading more from Haley Riordan in the future. Maybe when his dad stops writing in Percy's world, Haley will pick it up.

There were also some fun activities included in the book. Things like word scrambles, word searches. There was even an interview of George and Martha(the snakes on Hermes' caduceus). There were also pictures included of each of the main characters. It was neat in some aspects - you got to really invision how Riordan has invisioned his characters. But then it also reminded me that Annabeth is BLOND, not brunette (but I always picture her brunette since I saw the movie before reading the books and she was brunette in the movie). But I really enjoyed this. Anyone who has read and loves the Percy Jackson books should definitely pick this up. It's a short and fast read, but definitely worth it.

Book Review: Tiger's Destiny

Tiger's Destiny
by Colleen Houck

Date Read:  09/28/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Alright. First, this is supposed to be book 4 out of 5. But this book ended like it was the end of the series. Don't get me wrong, the book ended the way I wanted it to, happy and tied up all the loose ends. But what am I supposed to do? It feels like the series ended. I have no idea what the final book will be about.

I was really happy that about half way through the Phoenix made Kelsey admit to herself why she pushed Ren away. I love both princes, but Ren was always my favorite. That sweet, loyal, doting guy. This character and the guys that are sweet but sarcastically funny are my favorite guys to read about. I never got as attached to Kishan as I was to Ren. But I did want Kishan to have a happy ending.

In this book, they finally get the last gift and have the opportunity to break the curse. But 5 sacrifices must be made. One of the sacrifices happens very early in this book and it broke my heart. And I did not expect what the last sacrifice was going to be until about 30 pages before it happened. It seemed fitting, but at the same time was incredibly sad.

The ending of the book was great. Loose ends tied up. There was even a wedding. So sweet. But I kept thinking that something would happen in the epilogue to let me discover what the final book would be about. But there was nothing.

A lot happened in this book. The stuff that happened at the beginning of the book felt like they happened several books ago. I thought the twists that happened were perfect. I expected a few and didn't expect a few.

Overall I have loved this series. I think I liked it because it was so different. I really liked seeing Indian culture, and it was just refreshingly different. There were still paranormal aspects, but it wasn't vampires and werewolves (which I do like, but it was nice to have something different). And I always get sucked into a love story - though the stupid love triangle irritated me. But what I liked about this was there was so much action, and their love story progressed. She didn't immediately fall in love with him. They had fights. Didn't think they were good enough for each other. But eventually they realized that they couldn't live without each other.

So. The bad guy is dead. They live happily ever after. What else is there to do??

Book Review: Insurgent

by Veronica Roth

Date Read:  09/21/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book just started right back into the story. There was no recap. Now the cool thing is that Veronica Roth actually put a recap up on her blog if you need some reminding of what happened and who all the characters are. I thought that was really neat. And I agree with Roth that it would have been weird having a bunch of recap from Tris' POV. So that was pretty cool that she did that.

What I love about these books is how easily and quickly they read. I remember looking at the thickness of this book (525 pages) and thinking, what in the world is going to happen? But now that I'm finished, I don't know where those 525 pages went.

Tris is the same strong character she was in the first. But in this book, we see her dealing with events that happened at the end of the first book. It was neat to see someone have to overcome things. How certain things would trigger painful memories. But she also had this guilty conscience about her parents dying and killing Will that made her make some bad decisions. And she lied a lot. I didn't like how often she lied to Tobias.

Tobias has a bit of a struggle after (view spoiler)[ finding his mom. (hide spoiler)] Its interesting to watch him sort things out. And his struggle with loving Tris but being frustrated with her decisions and actions.

I didn't see the betrayal coming that happened in the book. I probably should have because I've seen that type of betrayal in another book...but nevertheless, it didn't cross my mind with all the other stuff that was going on. I also wasn't expecting the revelation at the end of the book. Though I was expecting something along those lines, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. It was good though.

That ending isn't fair though. How can she just leave it at that? I'm glad that she resolved the relationship though, but not much else was resolved. It feels like The Hunger Games. Where there was a bad, oppressive regime, and the regime that rises up isn't any better. So I'm interested to see how this progresses in the final book. I hope it isn't as disappointing as Mockingjay was.

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopian young adult novels.

Book Review: The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1)

The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1)
by L.J. Smith

Date Read:  09/08/2012

Rating:  ★ ★ ★

This was enjoyable. I think I enjoyed it mostly because of Stefan and Damon and I enjoyed seeing the differences from the tv show.

Elena was a brat at the beginning. I really hated her character, so arrogant and snobby. She changed and stopped being so annoying once she was with Stefan.
The differences from the show are interesting. Even the last names of a lot of the characters are different. I kind of liked the back story on Stefan and Damon better in the book. It isn't as much of a role reversal. Damon was more Damon back then, and then the vampire just kind of amplified those characteristics. I feel like the crow and the fog were explained much better in the book. I think the tv show thought it was kind of cheesy, but they threw it in for people who liked the books, as a kind of tribute to the book.

The book read so quickly. Things happened so fast. Especially the romance between Elena and Stefan. She just met the guy. He avoided her. He saved her. And then she loves him? The worst case of insta-love I've ever seen! The tv show has MUCH better character development and relationship development.

But the story really kept my interested, despite its faults. I definitely want to read the next one, especially with that ending! It's like she just picked a place to end and cut it off mid story!

The similarities between this and Twilight is crazy. Obviously Stephanie Meyer read this before writing her books. I even think she took the title for her book from the Vampire Diaries.

I think everyone should watch the tv show because it is one of the best shows I've seen in a while. But I think reading the books is good too, to understand what the show is based on. But I have to say that I liked the show much better than the book.
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