Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Mermaid's Madness

The Mermaid's Madness
by Jim C. Hines

8 out of 10

YA fantasy, fairy-tale retelling. I couldn't decide between 8 or 9 out of 10, but settled for 8 just because it's very genre-specific.  If you don't like fantasy, YA, and fairy-tales, this probably isn't the book for you.  If you're willing to give it a try, though, there's a lot in it that is very well done.

I always think about who I could recommend the book to when I'm reviewing it.  If there's really no one that I think would enjoy reading it, it's not worth a lot of effort on a review.  When I was reading this one, I knew before the first chapter exactly who I would be letting borrow it next, which is a fun thing about reading.

My cousin, a 14-year-old girl, loves fairy-tale retellings.  I've read some that were okay and some that were pretty good, but this series has so far been awesome.  They're very different from the original stories and have a complete world they are all set in, which lends it a dashing-adventure feel.  Each book still stands alone, though I would recommend reading them in order so that you can get the character development progression.

That is one thing well done in this series: the character progression.  There are three main characters:  Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, and they each develop along the way.  As I'm reconsidering this book (it's been over a month since I read it), I remember enjoying so many different things about it that I want to get book three now.  As in, I have to be done with this review so I can find it online.  See ya!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Overton Window

The Overton Window
by Glenn Beck

4 out of 10

I have to say, I really wanted to like this book.  At best, I can only give it a 'blah' review.  There were lots of interesting points in this book, but it was interesting in the same way that Beck's show is interesting.

As a political thriller, it was distinctly lacking in the 'thrill' department.  The pacing and tension is very methodical throughout and doesn't have a lot of ups and downs.  At any point during this book I could have put it down without having to pick it back up immediately.  That's not a good thing in a thriller.

I had a hard time identifying with the main character, Noah Gardner.  Noah is the son of a progressive big-wig, and he doesn't have a lot of redeeming qualities.  He's not bad, but he's not really good, either.  It's probably pretty realistic, but it's not very interesting to read.  Molly was much more likeable to me, but by the end, I liked her less, not more.  As for the side plot with Danny, it ended up being majorly involved in the climax of the story, and I liked neither.

Without any spoilers, the climax was a little ridiculous.  And it went downhill from there.  Reading my review, it seems like I thought this book was really bad, but it was mostly just 'blah.'

The list of resources in the back in which Glenn shows where he got most of his ideas  was probably the best part.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Forbidden Game

The Forbidden Game
by L.J. Smith

9 out of 10
YA urban fantasy

This isn't a vampire book, in spite of being written by L.J. Smith (author of the Vampire Diaries, which I also enjoyed).

I read this while at Girl's Camp.  It is already a creepy story, but being alone in a tent reading by flashlight made this so much creepier.  And yet, I couldn't put it down.  That may be because I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't finish it.  There was a satisfying amount of romance without being overtly sexual, which is something I really like about L.J. Smith.

The premise is that Jenny, who is somewhat shallow at the beginning, wants to buy a game that her friends will think is cool.  With some reservations, she chooses The Game, which turns out to be a portal to the Dark World.  Her nemesis, Julian, has been watching her for some time and wants her soul.  In order to defeat him, she must win three games against him with the help of her friends.  Each book in the omnibus edition details one game.