?

Log in

03 November 2010 @ 12:11 am
95. So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 226p

Nita Callahan, perennial geek on the bad side of the school bully, runs across an unusual book while hiding in the children's section of the town library: So You Want to be a Wizard. She thinks it's a joke until she starts learning real magic (or rather, wizardry) from it. But it's not all fun and games when Nita and fellow wizard Kit accidentally end up in an alternate universe that's not at all friendly to humans.

Duane's fantasy (with a sci-fi twist) is a joy to read and only gets better as the series goes on. What other system of magic uses terminology like temporal-spacial claudication instead of magic door? The writing is clean and crisp, the worldbuilding is fantastic, and the characters are wonderful and come in ever-expanding varieties. This series is a yearly-reread.

96. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 272p

Having survived their Ordeal, Nita and Kit are on vacation with Nita's family when they are put on call. They meet up with some friendly local sea life in time to participate in a large-scale wizardry set to save the whole east coast and North Atlantic.

Deep Wizardry is one of my favorite in this series. The story is heartbreaking, the additional characters are wonderful with surprising depths and the undersea setting has both beautiful descriptions and incredible dangers.

97. High Wizardry by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 269p

Nita's little sister Dairine becomes a wizard, steals the new family computer, and starts jumping around the Solar System all in one day.

The story moves between Dairine testing her new powers and Kit and Nita chasing after her. Dairine was portrayed as a precocious brat in previous books, but now we get to see deeper into her character and also (as usual) meet exciting new additions to the cast.

This was actually the first book in the series that I ever read. It was confusing (I recommend starting with book 1) but I liked it enough to seek out the rest of the series and I'm glad I did.

98. *Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 400p

Mockingjay is a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic trilogy. The world, the plot, characters, everything is spot-on. For all her flaws - and she has many - Katniss is a relateable character whose reactions to the situations she's thrown into are totally believable. It's heartbreaking and amazing.

99. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 4
Young Adult, Fantasy, 332p

100. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 5
Young Adult, Fantasy, 403p

101. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 6
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320p

101 / 160 books (63%)
54 / 80 *new books (68%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
25730 / 48000 pages. (54%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m
 
 
03 October 2010 @ 11:04 am
88. *The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
Young Adult, Fantasy/steampunk, 372p

A strange medical fair comes to town and unlike most of her neighbors, Natalie is not convinced that they are really there to help people.

The Boneshaker is well-written with an intriguing plot and Natalie is a great character, but I'm left a bit disappointed at the end of the book. There are too many loose ends, too many things that were superficially explained but never really explained. It's a fun book but ultimately unsatisfying.

89. *Doctor Who: Cobwebs by Jonathan Morris, read by Peter Davison
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h19m

Excellent story.

90. *Doctor Who: Apollo 23 by Justin Richards, read by James Albrecht
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 5h31m

The American English (dialogue and accents both) was not very good.

91. Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Adult, Fantasy, 320p

92. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Young Adult, Fantasy, 471p

93. Fire by Kristin Cashore
Young Adult, Fantasy, 461p

94. *Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
Adult, Science Fiction, 352p

Excellent new science fiction novel by one of my favorite authors. I didn't even know she had a new book out until I happened to see it in the store! I can't speak to how realistic the MMPORPG or hacking is, but the characters are fantastic and the story is intriguing. Although it reads as a stand-alone, it is the first in a trilogy and I eagerly await the upcoming books.

94 / 160 books (59%)
53 / 80 *new books (66%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
23508 / 48000 pages. (45%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m
 
 
15 August 2010 @ 04:54 pm
85. *Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett
Young Adult, Fiction, 260 pages

A "popular" high school student has a metabolic disorder that causes her to gain lots of weight.

On the one hand, this is at times a pretty accurate account of what it's like to be a fat woman - the world is against you, people can be nasty and judgmental just because of how you look, and much of life seems off-limits...even if many of the limits are only societal pressure.

On the other hand, the book emphasizes the "good fat" vs "bad fat" myth, for example that it's "ok" for one person to be fat because you know they have a disorder, and that somehow sets them apart from all the other fatties who obviously just eat too much and sit on their butts all day. It's a difficult prejudice to shake, but it would have been nice to see the characters try a little harder.

I was afraid the book would end with the main character losing all the progress she had made, and it nearly did, but overall it wasn't bad. Not recommended to people who are feeling fragile or self-conscious, but potentially recommended to people who don't understand what it's like to be fat in a fat-phobic world.

86. Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede
Young Adult, Historical Fantasy, 288 pages

87. *Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 192 pages

87 / 160 books (54%)
49 / 80 *new books (61%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
21532 / 48000 pages. (45%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m
 
 
03 July 2010 @ 03:47 pm
83. *White Cat by Holly Black
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320 pages

When I first sat down to read White Cat, two hours passed before I realized it. It turned out to be an enthralling story. I wasn't sure about it at first, though, because the main character, Cassel, is almost completely unlikeable. Once you get used to his self-absorption and casual disregard for other people, and also once you start understanding why he is the way he is, the story moves along steadily, with clever hints leading toward various plot points. I liked it. I liked that the end was not what I expected, and yet fit the story and characters perfectly.

I think I wish it wasn't first in a series, though, unless the other books are set in the same world with different characters. It's a self-contained story that doesn't need to be continued.

84. *Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
Young Adult, Fantasy, 292 pages

Definitely not my favorite of DWJ's books, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. Enchanted Glass has a complex plot with many secondary characters that can be difficult to keep straight, but the main characters were relatable and fun to read about. I will definitely reread this (especially to better understand what all happened).

84 / 160 books (53%)
47 / 80 *new books (59%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
20792 / 48000 pages. (43%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m
 
 
24 June 2010 @ 09:57 am
80. *Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The Clockwork Century, book 1
Adult, Science fiction/Steampunk, 414 pages

Seattle is enclosed behind a 200-foot wall, built to keep in a toxic gas coming up from the ground and the rotters it creates when people breathe it in. Briar goes into the city she thought was deserted to find her son, Zeke, who went in looking for answers.

Boneshaker is the third Priest book I've read and was just as good as I was expecting. Priest skates the edge of horror - zombies are clearly horror-monsters, and frankly I was hesitant to read the book because of that - without going over the edge into the gruesome or overly terrifying. The story is well-plotted, the characters have believable motivations and depth, and the world is intriguing enough that I am excited to read the sequels.

81. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Young Adult, Fantasy, 248 pages

82. *Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Faeriewalker, book 1
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, 294 pages

ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Dana is half-human and half-Fae teenager and when she can no longer stand living with her drunken (human) mother, she runs away to find her Fae father in Avalon, the city connecting the human and faerie worlds. But as soon as she walks through the gate, everything starts going wrong.

Glimmerglass is an exciting story of a girl caught in a world she knows nothing about, forced to trust people she barely knows and being betrayed at every turn. I was concerned toward the end that too much plot would be worked into the last few pages, but it is the first in a series, so things wrapped up this book's story and set up for the next book.

My only complaint is that I am tired of women falling for men who are nasty to them. None of the boys Dana's age are nice to her, and yet she's drooling over them because they're Fae-gorgeous. Those bits were incredibly boring, unlike the rest of the story.

82 / 160 books (51%)
45 / 80 *new books (56%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
20181 / 48000 pages. (42%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m
 
 
 
24 June 2010 @ 09:56 am
78. *Fairy Tales for Writers by Lawrence Schimel
Adult, poetry, 30 pages

I was expecting this to be an regular-sized book of short stories, not a very small book of very short poems, but I guess that's my fault for not reading descriptions or reviews more closely.

I particularly liked Cinderella and particularly disliked Hansel and Gretal and Rumpelstiltskin. Some of the stories seemed a bit of a stretch to squeeze them into the fairy tale that they were titled, but generally it was cute a cute book and it took me a total of 10 minutes to read the whole thing.

79. *Un Lun Dun by China Miéville
Young Adult, urban fantasy, 471 pages

Two girls accidentally find their way into an alternate London. Weirdness ensues. And a war.

I loved the world described in Un Lun Dun, all the odd creatures and strange ways things functioned. The pacing seemed off, though, and many of the characters (and there were many characters) were flat and forgettable. It was the world that kept me interested in the book much more than the story or the characters.

79 / 160 books (49%)
43 / 80 *new books (54%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
19225 / 48000 pages. (40%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m
 
 
24 June 2010 @ 09:54 am
(still may)

76. Daja's Book by Tamora Pierce
Circle of Magic, book 3
Young adult, Fantasy, 240p

I much prefer Pierce's Tortall books - I prefer nearly any given Tortall book to any given Circle book. A big part of the problem I have with the Circle books is that there are always too many things going on at once, so none of them quite get the time they need to be developed, and so neither do the characters. In Daja's Book, for instance, there is the drought, there is the fire (admittedly the two are connected), there is Daja's problems being a cast-out from her people (since a group of her people come around), there is yet another prideful mage (I think there is one in every book) and prideful noble (likewise) to cause problems and/or discord, and then Daja's and her friends' magics get away from them (more than once).

And that's not even all of it. It's just too much. The book should be half again as long to encompass it all, and all the Circle books are like that. But this is one of the few Circle books that I specifically reread occasionally despite the problems, because certain parts of the storylines resonate with me and I really like Daja.

77. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Adult, Fantasy, 405p

Possibly my favorite book ever. Sunshine is a reluctant heroine who would rather bake cinnamon rolls than kill vampires. The world McKinley created for her to live in is so fascinating (and terrifying) that I love reading about it and learning all the snippets of information that come up in the book alongside the story - what different kinds of demons are like (physically and socially), how magic-using can effect the user; details that make the world seem more solid and there.

77 / 160 books (48%)
41 / 80 *new books (51%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
18724 / 48000 pages. (39%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m
 
 
24 June 2010 @ 09:52 am
May

73. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Time Capsule by Peter Anghelides
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h6m

74. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Thirteenth Stone by Justin Richards
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h8m

75. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Shadow People by Scott Handcock
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h5m

75 / 160 books (47%)
41 / 80 *new books (51%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
18079 / 48000 pages. (38%)
Audiobooks: 46h29m
 
 
30 May 2010 @ 02:03 pm
68. *Doctor Who: Wetworld by Mark Michalowski, read by Freema Agyeman
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h22m

69. *Doctor Who: Wishing Well by Trevor Baxendale, read by Debbie Chazen
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h21m

70. *Doctor Who: The Price of Paradise by Colin Brake, read by Shaun Dingwall
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h32m

71. *Doctor Who: The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker, read by Anthony Head
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h26m

72. *Doctor Who: The Story of Martha -
Star-Crossed by Simon Jowett
The Frozen Wastes by Robert Shearman
Breathing Space by Steve Lockley, Paul Lewis
The Weeping by David Roden
Science Fiction, Audiobook, short stories, read by Freema Agyeman, 42m each

72 / 160 books. 45% done!
38 / 80 *new books. 48% done!
3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!
18079 / 48000 pages. 38% done!
Audiobooks: 43h10m
 
 
29 May 2010 @ 04:13 am
64. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Ghost House by Steven Cole, read by Elisabeth Sladen
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h4m

65. Feed by M. T. Anderson
Young Adult, science Fiction, 320 pages

66. *Doctor Who: The Rising Night by Scott Handcock, read by Michelle Ryan
science fiction, audiobook, 2h16m

67. *Doctor Who: The Last Voyage by Dan Abnett, read by David Tennant
science fiction, audiobook, 2h14m

67 / 160 books. 42% done!
33 / 80 *new books. 41% done!
3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!
18079 / 48000 pages. 38% done!
Audiobooks: 31h51m