Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thrall, a Review

Thrall (Daughters of Lilith, #1)Thrall by Jennifer Quintenz

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Let me begin by saying that I intend to completely read this series despite the fact that this first installment is weak. The storyline is interesting, if underdeveloped. I feared a Cassandra Clare wannabe when I read the jacket flap but the story is markedly different. The nature of this tale makes it inappropriate for any grades younger than high school- so be forewarned.

In a nutshell, there is an organization called the Guard that is made up of normal people who have rune-inscribed weaponry designed to defeat demons. The back story of the Guard is quite raw and lacking in substance- however there is potential. Demons are the descendants of Lilith, and are almost exclusively female. These demons can control men through desire and are able to survive only by consuming the desire that men feel for them. The men do not survive these encounters for very long.

The protagonists are two teenagers who are caught up in this demon world because of forces outside their control. Desire plays a strong theme in their relationship, making this book decidedly TEEN and not for Middle Schoolers.

I am currently reading Quintenz's second book, Incubus, which, so far, is better than Thrall.

I do believe indiscriminate teens will enjoy this series as an easy read. However, for those who expect more from their books, I would stick to Cassandra Clare as the expert in the Demon subgenre.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a Librarian, I am someone whose life's mission it is to protect, organize, share, and critically assess information in all formats- the thought of a society in which books are outlawed turns my blood cold. However, if we aren't careful, it is a plausible reality. What happens if all information becomes digital and we lose the ability to preserve it in its original, unaltered form? That information could be tampered with to suit the needs of those in power. In Bradbury's novel, the government doesn't alter the information- it simply deprives society of the information completely. People are lulled into a supposedly blissful complacency which is subconsciously destroying them. This is a powerful novel and a testament to the sanctity of the written word and the necessary existence of libraries.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is, quite possibly, the best book I ever read. I listened to it, this time, in a phenomenal audiobook production starring Sissy Spacek. If you aren't a Southern American and have never spent anytime in the South, this novel will enlighten you as to the horrible complexities of post-emancipation racism. However, Lee also deals with the big picture, ambiguous complexities of right and wrong, and good and evil as applies to humanity in general. Scout is perhaps the most well-developed character I have ever met and the novel suffers not a bit at being told from a child's perspective. In fact, it is her innocence that makes the realities presented in this work so stark, and so meaningful. No American should leave this world without having read this novel.

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The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Like many debut novels, The Paper Magician is brimming with potential but lacking in development. The story is unique and engaging but certain emotions are expected of the reader far too early on. This is quite a short book, which could have used a few more chapters to deepen the story. Ceony Twill comes off as flighty in her emotions when she deserves to be more layered. It is still an enjoyable read. The 2nd book may prove better...we shall see.

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Son (The Giver, #4)Son by Lois Lowry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fourth and final installment of the Giver series is, essentially, three novels. Most plot questions are answered as we learn more about the lives of Jonas, Gabriel, Kira, and the others. Claire is the central character of this novel and it is her story that ties everything together.

The ending of this series left me wanting more closure. There are characters you are left wondering about, hoping for. There are expressions of affection you long to see but never do. So much is left up to the reader's imagination that I felt a little let down. However, that being said, the level of writing talent in this book as with all of Lowry's books is astounding. She may not tie up her endings with a satin bow but she makes you think and feel.

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