blog about reviews writing

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Knife of Never Letting Go, Witch and Wizard, and Starlighter Reviews

For a variety of reasons, I am still very behind on reviews.  It is looking more and more like I'll never get them done if I don't do something about it now.  Instead of my regular reviews, I'm just going to post three shorter reviews.  These books deserve better than that, but at least it's better than no review at all.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

I had heard so much about this book, and it looked interesting, so I figured I'd give it a try.  It actually turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would.  Todd was such a strong, believable character.  The setting was scary and real, too, and didn't try to copy The Giver.  (Because that's what I look for in dystopian books now.  Does it copy The Giver or not?)

The writing, though, was my favorite part.  It took me a little bit to get into the dialect thing, but once I got used to it I really enjoyed it.  It didn't feel forced at all; it felt very natural.  I loved how Ness wrote, in general.  I especially like how he uses his words in ways that force you to read faster, or slower, and you really can't help it at all. 

Overall, I liked this book.  It was a unique and exciting read, as well as having fantastic writing.

Witch and Wizard (Witch and Wizard #1) by James Patterson

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

One big thing that really kept me from enjoying this book was the sarcasm.  I felt like it was all added just for the sake of having sarcasm.  It really wasn't all that entertaining either, or realistic.  It just felt...forced. 

The plot was okay, but I just couldn't get into it.  I think this was mainly because of the characters.  I couldn't really connect to either of the main characters.  I didn't think they were three-dimensional, and I couldn't bring myself to care about them.

But there was a Percy Jackson reference.  And an Eragon reference, I'm pretty sure.  And a Coldplay reference. 

Overall, this was an okay book.  I wasn't too impressed with the characterization and the plot was a bit too fast, but it wasn't horrible either.

Starlighter (Dragons of Starlight #1) by Bryan Davis

What if the legends are true?
Jason Masters doubted the myths that told of people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when he receives a cryptic message from his missing brother, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. At the same time, Koren, a slave in the dragons' realm, discovers she has a gift that could either save or help doom her people. As Jason and Koren work to rescue the enslaved humans, a mystic prophecy surrounding a black egg may make all their efforts futile.

In Starlighter, bestselling author Bryan Davis masterfully weaves fantasy and inspiration into a captivating novel for young adults.

I recieved this as a Christmas gift.  I loved Bryan Davis's Dragons in our Midst/Oracles of Fire* series, so I was excited to get into another dragon series by him!

The premise of this book was really unique.  The setting was strange, but I liked it.  I also liked how Davis wove together the stories of Jason and Koren.  Speaking of Jason, he reminds me very much of Billy Bannister from DIOM.  Hm....  I liked the characters, as a whole.  They were very well-developed, and I actually cared about them. 

Overall, this was an exciting read that I really enjoyed.  I need to read the next one, now!

PS: Have you seen my new reviews page?  Shiny, no?  I'd love to know what you think of it!
 *I refer to both series as a whole.  Though they are techincally separate, Oracles of Fire uses many of the same characters and settings from Dragons in Our Midst.  It's basically a continuation of DIOM.  Except for the first OoF book, which happens before DIOM.....
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