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Monday, May 28, 2012

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Fear, and The Ruins of Gorlan Mini-Reviews

Once again, I find myself in a position where I'm backed up on reviews (I'm behind 4 now...a new record!).  As always, I don't like doing these short reviews.  It's unfair to both the book and you guys, but I have to be realistic with myself, and a short review is better than no review.  So here goes. 
Also, just so you know, there won't be a monthly recap this month.  I had collected a huge, wonderful bunch of links that you would've liked.  Then the post mysteriously disappeared, and I can't find it anywhere.  Instead I'll have some amusingness for Wednesday.  Unless anyone by any chance knows how to track down missing blog posts.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBride

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

This got creepy in places.  And funny.  This created a bit of an odd contrast, since sometimes I didn't know whether to be laughing or creeped out.  Or both.  I liked that aspect of it. 

This was something different.  I liked the mixing of all the different supernatural creatures, and Sam's ability seems unique.  Speaking of Sam...I liked him, as a character.  He was realistic, and likable.  I cheered for him the whole way through.

I enjoyed this. Though I do have an issue with the statement about Douglas looking stupid holding a riding crop. As someone who has spent quite a bit of time walking around with a riding crop, I know that isn't true. It's hard to look stupid with a crop, though it can be done. A person kinda feels cool walking around with a crop, to tell the truth. You can slap your thigh nonchalantly and just generally be awesome, 'cause, you know, you have a riding crop and other people don't.   But I ramble. 

Overall, this is a good book.  Recommended for fans of paranormal/supernatural fiction.  Or people who are amused by Elton John references that might be missed by a large portion of this book's audience. 
Fear (Gone #5) by Michael Grant

It's been one year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.
Despite the hunger and the lies, even despite the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is perhaps the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear.

Within the FAYZ, life breaks down while the Darkness takes over, literally—turning the dome-world of the FAYZ entirely black. In darkness, the worst fears of all emerge, and the cruelest of intentions are carried out. But even in their darkest moments, the inhabitants of the FAYZ maintain a will to survive and a desire to take care of the others in their ravaged band that endures, no matter what the cost.

Fear, Michael Grant's fifth book in the bestselling dystopian Gone series, will thrill readers . . . even as it terrifies them.

It's only been a year since I read the last Gone series book.  No big deal, right?  WRONG.  I first got into the Gone series shortly before Hunger came out.  I've been a huge fan ever since, and a year between books is a long time to wait. 

Thankfully, I was nowhere near disappointed with this latest installment.  What really keeps me going with this series is the characters.  I genuinely feel like I know them, and I want them to come out on top.  Well, except for the ones I don't like.  Like, say, Drake.  But now the author's got me even a bit sympathetic to Caine.  What's up with that?  That's the beauty (and the scariness) of it--the characters are all so real.

The intensity of this series of marvelous.  I love all the action and suspense.  And with that ending, now I can't help but wonder, and count down the days until the next book.

This is a horribly short review for such an awesome book.  I suppose if I think of something more to rant on, I'll add it.  Or maybe someday I'll return to this and post a full review.

If you haven't yet gotten on board with the Gone series, you need to.  As soon as possible.  This series just keeps getting better.  It leaves you on the edge of your seat, it makes you thankful for just about everything, it creeps you out and scares you, and stuns you with its awesomeness, it leaves a trail of epicness everywhere you take it, etc. 

Reviews of other Gone novels:
Plague (Gone #4)
Light (Gone #6)

 The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan
They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .

I've been wanting to read this series for awhile.  Even though it's probably more of a middle grade book than YA, I am of the firm opinion that you're never too old for a good MG.  Especially MG fantasy. 

This book had a great premise that, for the most part, it carried through on.  I liked our MC, Will, even though he seemed a bit young for his fifteen years.  I was cheering him on anyway.  I liked Halt, too, and I was especially happy to see a bit of a horse-rider relationship forming (if you ever want to win me over quickly with a book, throw in a solid horse-rider relationship.  Works almost every time.).

I do have my issues with this book, though.  First up is my plot issue.  It moved along fairly slowly for a good two-thirds of the book.  I kept waiting for these so-called battles to start, and in the end, they barely even showed up in the book.  I'm hoping the next books will improve on this. thing I didn't understand.  Hey, there's a super-powerful monster to kill!  Let's send one of our best Rangers, a newbie, and a clueless apprentice to kill it!  Makes total sense to the author, apparently, but not to me.

My second issue is with Horace, and the bullies that were picking on him.  Yes, I understand that these bullies were horrible to Horace and made his life utterly miserable.  Yes, I understand that something needed to be done.  But...we don't deal with bullies by beating them mercilessly.  Halt could've just scared them, and they'd leave Horace alone.  That would have been enough.  But no, we've got to beat them, fight them with swords, knock them unconscious.  This went too far.  I don't care how horrible a bully is to you--you don't just beat them until they beg you to stop.

My third, more minor issue, is with the pony.  Now, I loved the pony, and his relationship with Will.  But why does every fantasy author assume kids can't ride full-sized horses?  I was perfectly capable of handling a full-size horse when I was much smaller than Will.

Despite my issues, I liked this book.  I suppose it's more of a 3.5, but I round up.  Because it's mathematically correct, and I'm nice.  Four stars it is.

Reviews of other Ranger's Apprentice novels:

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1 comment:

  1. The Rangers Apprentice is a fiction book that catches the readers attention on the first page. A major conflict in The Rangers Apprentice is when the main character, Will, first goes to Choosing Day. That is a day when a child is chosen for the job he will remain in and work at for the rest of his or her life. Will always had the desire to go to Battle School to train to become a knight. Unfortunately, he believes, Will ends up being chosen to be a Ranger. Will must get used to being chosen for a position he didn't want to be in the first place. But in the end Will destroys a massive beast called a Kalkara and when he goes back to his school he is honored by his classmates and superiors. They offer him a position in Battle School, but Will rejects it as he comes to realize he has been enjoying his placement as a Ranger.


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