Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Reviews- The Fetch, Mara Dyer, The Scorpio Races, & Mastiff

FETCH: The apparition, double, or wraith of a living person.

In the attic, in an old sea chest, secreted away, are a mysterious journal and a set of runes: 24 stones that will change Sky's life forever.

When Sky and his cousin Kristin find their Norwegian grandfather's runes, Sky feels like the wait is over, like he can now release the breath he wasn't even aware he'd been holding. But when he lays out the stones in a runecast they find in Sigurd's journal, he is catapulted into a world filled with more possibilities and more danger than he ever imagined.

This first entry in the Runestone Saga is an utterly unique blend of horror, supernatural possibility, and historical truth that will leave readers wrung out from tension and clamoring for more.

So when I first saw this book in the library, I was a little hesitant. I wasn't sure if this would be horror or not so I waited and the next time I went in, I picked up this book. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. It has a unique setting and plot, one I don't think I've seen before, and so I was interested. I've also been interested lately in runes and norse mythology. 

Anyways, the characters were interesting. I thought that Sky was a good, well rounded character. Both him and this cousin were. They acted like normal children for the most part- until the part where they went to a different country without his parent's knowledge. Then it was a bit sketchy at time. 

The story was interesting enough with bits of mystery and creepiness to it to keep my entertained. The ending was interesting although I didn't really like it. It was a good ending, with twists and lots of creepiness to it, but I'm just not into that kind of things I think. 

Overall I enjoyed the book but I didn't like how Sky and his cousin decide to hop off to another country without his parents permission when they didn't even know what would happen when they got there. 

On Goodreads: The Fetch
Website: Chris Humphreys

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

So I'd been hearing about how fantastic this book was ever since it came out. So I'd been wanted to see what all the hubbub was about when I saw it in my library. 

I normally don't read fiction set in the 21 century. I also normally don't read paranormal (although I've been getting more into it). So I was happy to find that this is indeed a good book. 

For the most part the characters are good. Mara herself is particularly interesting but there's the other characters that bugged me. Like the super hot chick who I can't remember why she hated Mara, or one of Mara's random new friends. I think his name was Jamie but I didn't understand his purpose. Especially since he just seemed to randomly disappear half way through the book. I didn't like him. He was weird and annoying, plus he seemed like a little kid. And I wasn't thrilled with the love interest, Noah. Sure I liked him and I thought he was a good character, but there was something about him that I didn't like. 

The plot was really interesting. At first it was interesting seeing how this horrible accident happened and Mara can't remember a thing. But then creepy things start happening and you're not really sure what was going on. Towards the end, I started to get really confused about what exactly their "powers" were. 

Overall I really liked this book and it had a fantastic ending. There's some things that bug me- mostly character related, but I liked it and I recommend it. 

On Goodreads: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Website: Michelle Hodkin

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I really enjoyed this book. At first I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but the concept was interesting and I enjoy Maggie Stiefvater's blog so I thought to give it a go. 

The characters seemed all very realistic to me. I enjoyed that this was an unique idea and that I couldn't find very many cliche parts to it. There were some funny parts and some sad parts. Sean seemed like a good guy and I liked him. I loved him and his horse, Corr, I think his name was and I hated the bad guys. 

The world was very realistic, complete with its own legends and traditions that are very similar to ancient celtic or Irish traditions. The part with the Americans is interesting although I was never really sure where exactly this island is. I just know that its set somewhere in the real world. I'm also not sure what time period its in because there's really no mention of anything real modern. I suspect its sometime in the 20th century because it had a car in it, but beyond that, I wasn't sure. In a way it bugged me, but in a way it didn't because I like the modern, yet not really modern feel to it. 

The plot was slow in some parts but packed with emotion and interesting things. The ending was exciting and fun, and the absolute ending is my favorite. The story has this nice feel to it that isn't super intense like some books, but one that keeps you reading. I enjoyed the fantasy part to it -the water horses- and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed seeing them because this is the first book I've seen with them in it. While most people do vampires and fallen angels, Maggie Stiefvater beats them all with her water horses. 

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I didn't read this in a couple hours like I read Mara Dyer, but I read it pretty quickly. 

On Goodreads: The Scorpio Races
Website: Maggie Stiefvater

The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well.

Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

Truely this book and the two books above this deserve fully length reviews because I really did love them. First off, Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors and I love all of her books. I think she's an amazing writer and I love even in her fantasy settings, all of her female leads are strong women that I want to look up too if they were real. 

This is the third and final book in the Beka Cooper series and I'm sad to see the end of Beka's story. Yes I know all great stories must end but I really liked this series. This is her first series in 1st person, dairy form no less and I think Tamora Perice did a stellar job on it. 

I really liked this book and I enjoyed seeing more of old Tortall besides the city. The characters were all fantastic, although I wasn't thrilled about Beka's love interest, Farmer. There's something about him that I don't really like. I think he's a great guy, but throughout all the books, I always thought that Beka would end up with Rosto. In a way I understand why she wouldn't, but...I don't know. Rosto barely even makes enough appearances to be a good love interest so I guess this makes sense. 

Anyways, as for the plot, it was very good and I'm impressed as always at Mrs. Pierce's ability to create these large complicated plots, keep them interesting, and remember to follow through with them. I'll have to admit that I could tell who the bad guy would turn out to be half way through the book even though my cousin swears she didn't see it coming. Maybe its cause I knew deep down as a writer myself and an avid reader the truth, or maybe I'm just good at picking up on the clues, but I knew ahead of time who it would be. Throughout the book I kept hoping that it wouldn't be who I thought it was, but my guy feeling was right. Therefore, I'm sad not only at why the bad guy turned bad or what happened to him in the end, but I'm sad that such a good character would turn. 

As for the rest of the end, I thought it was a fairly good ending and I'm happy to see a good ending for Beka. Admittedly, I'm sad what happened to some of the characters, but I guess it had to happen. Overall I really loved this story and I'm looking forward to more Tamora Pierce's novels. 

On Goodreads: Mastiff
Website: Tamora Pierce


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