Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tides of Avarice and Sagaria by John Dahlgren

John Dalgren is about to release his second young adult novel and begin his first journey to the US on his new book tour. As a psychologist he brings to the table this great ability to really give life to his characters as they deal with not only the major events but just life in general that everyone has to deal with. His language is vibrant and detailed which really helps to engross the reader into the story. 

Tides of Avarice is classified as a young adult novel but the humour and detail definitely make it accessible for older kids (adults like me) as well. As all good pirate stories start with there is a rumour of a treasure map and a vile villain willing to do anything to get all the pieces and obtain the treasure. This trail leads us across the great wet to the land of the lemmings. Sebastian, the librarian lemming, is trying to figure out how to win the woman he loves, keep his mother out of the mayor's clutches and deal with the fact that his father was sent out on the last exodus over the cliff and across the great wet. (That's right once a generation some of the lemmings go over the cliff lolz) Suddenly Sebastian is plunged into an adventure that he had only dreamed of. With a piece of treasure map in his pocket, dodging the pirate Rustbane and trying to save the love of his life, Sebastian has stepped out of his lemming life and into one of the novels that he so loves. This book was released to rave reviews several years ago and I am still giving it rave reviews today! This is a great book to get children interested in reading as well as keeping adults entertained!! Fabulous read!

Sagaria also has that great sense of humour though John Dalgren did a great job of adding in some deeper emotional stories in this tale. Sagandran is just a normal young boy who is bulled and tormented by other boys bigger then him. His life changes unexpectedly with the disappearance of his beloved grandfather. Soon he is transported to a world beyond his dreams where everything seems to have come from a fantasy novel. There he meets Flip. Flip the rat is in love even though that girl doesn't seem to notice him and instead cares for Flip's nemesis, Tod. Sagandran soon learns of an evil wizards plans to unite and dominate the three parallel worlds and a motley group is formed to stop him. The party formed up of Sagandran, Flip, the Toad Knight, an old wizard, and a princess journey over the hills to face the evil sorcerer. It was great to watch the characters of Sagandran and Flip build their self esteem and learn to defend themselves against the world. All in all definitely a great second book and I recommend it to both teens and adults!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

I was lucky enough to read Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman just before it was released to the general public. This is Jenny Milchman's first novel though she has had two short stories published. She is a dynamic writer, easily balancing heart ache with fast paced action to keep the reader entertained and eager for more. Once I downloaded this book to my kindle I was hooked and finished it within the day it was so good!

The story starts with the female protagonist, Nora Hamilton, waking up late in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. She is surprised when she realizes what time it is and that her husband hasn't woken her up yet. She pads downstairs to find the coffee pot still cold and begins to feel that something is wrong. As she searches for her husband the feeling grows. Entering the attic that they had just begun to renovate together she finds him, swinging from a rope. With a creak and a snap the body tumbles down and into her knocking her down, a physical manifestation of what has just happened to Nora's life.

Nora spends the next few hours in a blissful numb state but soon enough awareness comes back and with it comes the questions that will begin to haunt her. The Why of it all begins to torment her especially as the people around her either ignore it or tell her to move on from it. Everyone except her unconventional sister who challenges her to open her eyes and ask the difficult questions in an effort to heal. Those questions lead to an even bigger mystery as Nora strives to understand why her loving husband suddenly decided to take his own life.

Trapped in a small town in northern New York where no one seems to want her there let alone have her asking questions about Brendan's last days Nora becomes increasingly nervous about her own safety as her search takes a dangerous turn. Nora doesn't know who to trust when even the police seem involved and the few people who will speak with her either die or have mysterious fires begin soon after talking to her.

Jenny Milchman was able to balance the heartache and confusion that would come with losing someone to suicide with a murder mystery. It's tastefully done and so interesting! I was left guessing until the end as to who was really behind it all. And it actually leaves you wondering if you ever really know the people around us, even those we claim to love the most! The release date was January 13th, so look for it at your local bookstore!!! It is definitely worth it! Excellent read!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne

I first heard about this book through a friend of mine. He isn't a huge reader so for a book to really pique his interest I knew it had to be something different. He got me the first three for my reader and told me that I had to read them, especially since now they were gift. With a laugh I opened the book and that was it, I was just as hooked. 

The story begins with Atticus, the 2100 year old druid, who is hiding out in Arizona so the Fey can't find him and either harass him or attempt to kill him. I guess in that amount of time you are definitely going to make a few enemies. His ever constant companion is his dog Oberon. Atticus has awakened Oberon's mind so that he understands English and they can communicate mind to mind. ( Even if you don't normally like urban fantasy settings you should pick up this novel just for Oberon!) Atticus is just trying to live his life and enjoy the small things, like working with the happiest goth kid ever. Atticus' life is interrupted when the fey finally figure out where he is hiding and remember that he has something that they want. 

The rest of the book is filled with action, smexy gods and goddess', hindu witches, werewolf lawyers, and the random vampire, almost normal barmaids and of course delicious fish and chips! The action flows smoothly and is well described without taking over the whole book. The dialogue is witty and interesting to read. There are several side characters that are super interesting and you can't wait to find out more about them in later books. For Kevin Hearne's first novel this is well written and entertaining from beginning to end.