Monday, July 8, 2013

SR--Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov is just a mapmaker and not a very good one.  When she must enter into the Shadow Fold and sees her best friend in mortal danger, she shields him with her body and something else.  She has no idea what happened, but she feels responsible for not being able to save more people.  When the Darkling whisks her away to his castle where the elite are trained, she cannot understand what is happening.  She tries to reach her best friend, but he will not answer her letters.  Alina is not sure what to think because she has suddenly turned into her country's best hope to defeat the dangerous creatures in the Shadow Fold.  But, there is more that she has to figure out.  The Darkling has taken a romantic interest in her, and she is flattered.  When her best friend shows up at the castle, she is not sure what to do.  Ravka, her beloved country, is at stake, but there is much more.  Nothing is what it seems, and Alina must put her feelings aside to figure it out--or does she?
This book began slowly for me; however, once I got about 30 pages into it--the action took over.  There are many nuances that took some time to cover, but this is part of a trilogy.  So, alas...I must get Siege and Storm now.  <sigh>  Great adventurous read.

SR--An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

Karl and his friends play out in the snow at the nursing home where his mother works.  After all of his friends go home, his mother is looking for him.  She finds him in the room of Lizzie, a cantankerous old woman, who is telling Karl a story about her life.  Karl is fascinated by the story that Lizzie regales about how an elephant saved her family's life after the 1945 bombing in Dresden, Germany, during World War 2.  It seems a little far fetched that they actually traveled with an elephant, but this is actually based on a true story.  I really loved the way that the author used different fonts to show when it was present day and when it was the past.
This was not a fast moving story, but it was very interesting to think about how average German citizens might have felt when the Allied forces invaded.  No matter what the story--it is important to understand the sides and that there is a human element that needs to be considered.  A good read.

SR--Outlaw by Stephen Davies

Jake is always looking for adventure no matter what the cost.  When he is suspended from the British boarding school he is attending for sneaking out and playing a game called Geothimble where he scales buildings,etc.  Jake has the latest technology and is pretty happy about his privilege as the son of an English Ambassador.  When he is suspended, he is more than happy to join his parents and sister in Africa.  While attending a ritzy party with his family, he and his sister are kidnapped presumably by the country's worst outlaw.  Jake and his sister, Kas, are doing what their father told them by not resisting until the kidnappers receive orders to kill them.  What will they do now?  Who are the good guys?  Are there any good guys in this story?

Davies lives in this country, and he has written a fast-moving page-turning adventure with underlying ideals to ponder.  This is most definitely a good read.  Now, I want to read his other book, Hacking Timbuktu.

SR--Prodigy by Marie Lu

June and Day have escaped execution and are on a train to join the Patriots where they will be able to be free and work against the Republic.  But, these two are too famous; the Patriots have other plans.  There are strings attached if they are to get the protection of this group of rebels.  June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.  Both agree to this demand, but after meeting with the new Elector, Andan, June is not sure he is the problem.  Or, is she just attracted to him?  Or, is he just that good at manipulating her?  Will June choose Day or Andan?  Is Andan really a choice for her?  Read this second installment in this trilogy to see how June and Day figure out the right side to support in this revolution.

Generally, I read the first book in a series/trilogy, etc., and I am done.  However, Marie Lu has written a wonderful story that I wanted to continue after Legend (see previous post). And, after reading Prodigy, I am ready for the third book.  Doggone it!  Champion is not available until November 2013.  Oh, well, I will just have to read other books in the mean time.

Back to Prodigy, so...June and Day are still attracted to each other, but they have to figure out whether or not they are attracted to other people as well.  Day has to trust June who has been entitled all of her life.  June has to figure out what is most important to her.  June's memories of her brother still haunt her, and she is not sure what he would want her to do.  Ultimately, this great story not only shows the development of a revolution but of these great characters.  Told in alternating chapters--you really get the opportunity to see what each of them is thinking.  Great Read!!!!

And it is time to catch up...

Well, I invited a guest blogger, and he agreed.  Then he had second thoughts, so I have not had as many posts as I had hoped.  That being said, I have read quite a lot, so I will be posting today and tomorrow to catch up on what I have read in the month of June.  I was out of town helping my mother who broke her ankle; I was at a week long mission camp here in the Austin area; I was building a porch in my back yard.  Even with all of that--I read quite a lot--I just did not blog about it.  So, now is the time to catch up.  I am trying to only post about books that I have read this summer, but I will have to make a couple of exceptions. There are some books that are on the Lone Star reading list that I read before the summer began, but I want to write a quick post about them.  They are definitely worth reading.

So...without further adieu...I will start writing about books--that is what you want to read about anyway. ;-)