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Friday, November 27, 2009

My new obsession...


For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly — and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics — and cultivate a flair for death.

My Review:  When I say my new obsession, boy do I mean it.  If you take the Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and Batman you pretty much get the close equivalent of this book.  I've never explored the "Assassin" genre before, but I can say that I am now a rapt follower.  Besides from being excellently written, this book had me on edge the ENTIRE time.  Halfway through the book I thought I was at the climax.  Halfway to the end of the book was the climax!  I could not put it down even if I wanted to.  With so much magic, mistique, fights, a little romance, and of course the total unpredictability of it all it has to be one of the best books I have ever read.  Azoth/Kylar is someone you should hate, but can't help but love.  His struggles are so humane that I connected with his character very easily.  Even Durzo, whom is supposed to be a ruthless assassin isn't clear cut in the black and white terms of good or evil.  Despite his actions he is still a good person, and this is the reality of life.  People do horrible things, and aren't punished yet they still strive to do what's right.  I guarantee you'll fall in love with these books.  Of course I'm off to read the next book in the series.  No time to waste! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leviathan


Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Review: I've been dying to read this ever since I accidentally discovered that Westerfeld was coming out with a new novel.  Believe me, it was worth the wait.  I practically read this in one day.  During school.  Despite what that says about my total obsessiveness, Leviathan is probably one of Westerfeld's best novels to date.  I literally could not put this book down. 

The whole alternate reality/world is so well thought out I would want to live in it.  Who wouldn't want to fly around in a zepplin/whale?!  The Darwinists and the Clankers are completely genius and it coincides so well with history.  Westerfeld took a small travesty that started WWI and turned it into a whole different world.  The characters are believable and good hearted.  However it seems that everyone has their own little secrets.  I don't want to give much away, so all I can say is GO BUY IT!     I'm already dying for the sequel. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2010 Reading Challenges!

Okay so frankly I was a bit bored.  In exploration of other random blogs I discovered a few contests, and I decided I would particpate in them.  Here's the link if anyone is interested.  http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-2010-reading-challenge-100-reading.html

My own list of books for the contest will be listed on here as well.  Everyone partcipate!  This should be fun.  ^.^

Tricks


Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.

My Review: Yet another successful novel by Ellen Hopkins.  Tricks takes common elements from Hopkins' other novels and explores them in a much deeper setting.  Each character is rich and deep with raw emotions.  With so many different voices it is still easy to keep track of all the different storylines. Tricks really made me re-evaluate what I thought was "love".  This book really made it clear that it is all in the eyes of the beholder.  People love others for all the wrong reasons, yet they still love.  This is probably one of my favorite books from Hopkins and I greatly recomend it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The best Graphic Novel of all times...

Yorick Brown is an escape artist; has a fabulous girlfriend who's traveling in Australia; and possesses a genetic make-up that's allowed him to survive a plague that killed every male being on the planet except for him and his pet monkey. Yorick is the last man on earth, and in the resulting chaos, he must find a way to help save the human race. At least that's what the (now all-female) government thinks. Yorick would prefer to find his girlfriend, but it's hard to get a flight halfway around the world when almost all the pilots and mechanics are gone. It's hard enough to drive down the block, since the streets are jammed with the cars of men who were behind the wheel when the instantaneous plague hit. Furthermore, the entire social fabric has gone to hell, with gun-wielding wives of Republican representatives insisting on getting their husbands' seats and tribes of latter-day Amazons claiming males were meant to die. Since Yorick's mother is a congresswoman, he's protected by secret spies. And his escape skills come in handy when he's trapped first by a marauding garbage-woman and then by his mother, as she tries to keep him from doing anything stupid. Meanwhile, who are the mysterious Israeli soldiers who seem so gratified by the situation, and why is Yorick's sister so intent on joining the Amazons? With clean lines and muted colors, Guerra and Marz n invoke a frighteningly believable future; their vision of the surprise and horror to come is so beautifully ordinary, it's entirely convincing-and addictive.

My Review:

If you think Watchmen is the king of graphic novels then you shall be sadly disappointed.  Y: The Last Man is an amazing piece of literature.  And yes I say LITERATURE because the plotline is ten times better than most so  called novels.  Yorick is an interesting and well developed main character who has flaws just like the rest of us.  His unique abilities from being an amateaur escape artist are vastly entertaining and provide for an even more intirguing story.  I am currently on Volume 8 of the series and I'm still hooked.  The story line never drags and there is so many different sub-plots that it is impossible to get bored.

The fact that the "Plague" is scientifically based and not just some mystical ordeal also makes this series amazing.  It is an intellectual read and I definitely learned a thing or two about genetics.  Who says graphic novels couldn't be education?   The modern day Amazons are not only psycho but they are entertaining to read about as well.  With a number of different twists in the plot this story is simply amazing.

If the escape artist main character, kick ass secret agent who's name is a number, and the certain amazing adventures that come along with it can't get you to pick it up, I have one reason why you will not be capable of resisting.  Ampersand.   If that isn't the single most epic name for a pet monkey I don't know what the world has come to.