Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: The Reluctant Assassin

The Reluctant Assassin
The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Victorian London Riley is apprenticed to an illusionist and assassin. He is taken on his first assassination and if he does not complete this job, he will be killed himself. While his trainer, Albert Garrick, is watching the murder, Riley hesitates and the victim wakes. Unfortunately, this victim has his own magic and vanishes, taking Riley with him.

In modern London Chevron Savano has been assigned to the FBI’s Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP) as a punishment for messing up an undercover assignment in Los Angeles. She believes it is just a babysitting job because nothing ever happens and the capsule they guard hasn’t been used in 30 years. Unfortunately, the capsule is activated in Victorian London and Riley and his would be victim arrive in modern London. This capsule is actually a wormhole connecting the two time periods. Shortly after this transport Chevie learns the truth of this department and is on the run from Garrick. He has also come through the wormhole, but he has been altered. He is not only an evil assassin; he possesses all of the knowledge of the scientist who tried to stop him.

With Victorian ruthlessness and modern knowledge, Garrick wants his apprentice back and the timekey from Chevie. This timekey is the only thing that can get Garrick back to Victorian London where he plans to “invent” new technology and dominate the world. The Reluctant Assassin jumps from period to period and person to person to give the reader the heart pumping feeling of a true chase. Colfer bring depth to the characters with back story and lost memories thrown in at vital moments. Although this is a series I can see novella stories sprouting up as part of these back stories and memories. Readers of Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series will not be disappointed in this new series.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure

The Eternity Cure
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Allison wants to find her sire, Kanin. He has been kidnapped and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren and she is able to follow them because she is linked to Kanin through a blood bond. This blood bond leads her back to New Covington and the Fringe; the home of her human self and the place where she became undead. In order to find and save Kanin she must meet with the vampire prince of the city who would like nothing less than to kill Kanin and herself. After she reaches New Covington she discovers that a new strain of Red Lung Disease is spreading. This new strain threatens humans and vampires alike.

The Eternity Cure picks up shortly after The Immortal Rules ends. Through flashback, internal dialog and conversations Kagawa reviews key components of the original story without taking away from the new story. Readers will be pulled into the struggle within Allie as she continues to adjust to becoming a vampire without losing her humanity. I loved the book and wanted to continue to read even when I needed to leave for work. I also found myself running a variety of possible scenarios in my head while reading. The Eternity Cure is not a predictable book, but it also isn’t full of unlikely surprises. Readers will definitely want to read the first book before jumping into this volume and be prepared to wait for the next book in the Blood of Eden series.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many Americans know about the Holocaust. Maybe they have read The Diary of Anne Frank or Night; they may have studied it during history class or watched a documentary. What most of us are not aware of is that there are a lot more stories, and not all stories can fill an entire book. The courage and bravery of the survivors and victims should not be forgotten because they were not epic in scope.

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust brings many of these smaller actions to the front. They are of no less value because of their length therefore teens and adults will all benefit from reading these stories. This book tells the story of 21 events across 11 countries during World War II. Not everyone in this book survived the Holocaust, but the courage and bravery of the young and old will inspire those who read these accounts.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Digital Magazines Available From LCPL

As many of you are aware, I have several things that my OCDness becomes apparent with. Obviously, books and reading materials tops my list.  Last night I was on the LCPL website checking to see if my requested book had arrived from another branch.  What did I discover on their home page?  A new digital service - Magazines!

The Lake County Public Library now offers digital magazines for their patrons.  All that is needed is your LCPL card number and then the creation of an account.  If you don't live in the LCPL district, you may be eligible for an educator library card because of your job.  

Only the current issues are available for reading.  Patrons can not archive magazines for later reading, but you do have access to the magazine until the newest version is released.  There doesn't appear to be a limit to how many different magazines you can check out at once.  I checked out 3 fitness magazines, a gluten free cooking magazine and an iPhone/iPad magazine all at the same time.

These magazines can be read on any web enabled device (computer, laptop, phone or tablet) and they can be downloaded into the Zinio App for offline reading.  Sooooo ... since it is School Library Month and next week is National Library Week, I want to encourage everyone to visit their library and read.  Magazine reading IS reading, you are not limited to just books!  If you are interested in seeing what magazines are available, stop by and see me.  I can log in and show you the 150+ magazines they offer.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: Walking Disaster

Walking Disaster
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You may already know the story, but every story has two sides. Travis Maddox is a lover and a fighter. Being the youngest of 5 boys taught him how to be tough and fierce. This also means he was raised by his father and older brothers without any female influence. When his mother was on her deathbed he promised her that he wouldn't settle for just any girl and that he wouldn't stop fighting for her after he found her.

Travis has found his pigeon. A girl who only worries about her own business and doesn't want to pull everyone else down because of her own needs and habits. Pigeon, or Abby Abernathy to everyone else on campus, has crashed into his life and wants nothing more than to just be friends. After she loses a bet with Travis she must live in his apartment for 30 days. Tempers flare, emotions soar and hearts are stretched to their limits.

Readers of Beautiful Disaster have already experienced this story though Abby's eyes, but whether you are starting with this book or reading it after the first readers will not be disappointed. Jamie McGuire does a wonderful job with this parallel story line while pulling in facts that only Travis knew about and subsequently were not in the first book. I found myself anticipating certain parts of the story as I remembered how the story went, but I was still surprised at times because it is a new view and more nuggets of the story were revealed. Although the reader can read this book without reading the first, I can't say whether or not the first book would have been enjoyable if I read it second. The best part of the entire book is the epilogue, but don't read it first! If any of my readers read these books out of sequence, feel free to comment and let me know.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Tristis Manor

Tristis Manor
Tristis Manor by J.R. Wagner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Margaret has started wetting the bed and inflicting injury on herself. The servants help her hide these injuries from her mother because she believes that Margaret just doesn’t want to grow up. Margaret’s father is away for long periods of time and during one of his returns her mother announces she is having another child. The care of this child falls on Margaret since their mother doesn’t seem to care for either of them. Margaret’s bed wetting and self-injuries all started after a visitor abused her and Margaret lives each day with fear of his return. Her only goal is to protect herself and her sister from any future abuse.

Tristis Manor gives the back story for one of the characters in The Never Chronicles. This series began with Exiled and I was captivated by the story, but for someone who hadn’t read that book in 9 months I wasn’t sure what to expect. I advise readers to look at this novella as a standalone story with connections to a larger story. There is only a hint of magic and none of the high fantasy that was found in Exiled. Wagner did a wonderful job of writing this story, I only wished it would tie into the main story more (maybe with a prologue or epilogue refreshing the readers memory).

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