This was a weekend of epic reading. I wish I had been reading these books while punching a shark. Or jumping out of a flaming dirigible. Or building a log cabin out of toothpicks and unicorn tears. But alas, I read these books on my couch, which is epically awesome in its own way, but nowhere near as cool as a couch made out of live badgers. Then again, I cannot imagine a live badger couch would be very comfortable. Or conducive to reading. Thankfully my couch is, and I therefore spent some quality time reading The Power of Six and the haunting Sweetly.
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore is the long awaited sequel to the thrilling I Am Number Four. This is a continuation of Four, Sam and Six’s adventures, with the added bonus of number Seven! While at times I found I Am Number Four to be slow and tedious, I never felt that way with the sequel. Talk about fast paced and riveting. The constant switch between Four and Seven, noted by slight but noticeable text changes, was well executed. We go easily from chapter to chapter alternating between Four and Seven, following two stories at once. You never feel lost or out of place, and everything flows together very naturally. When it comes time for the separate stories to merge, it is such an awesome back and forth that you just do not want to put the book down. I loved all the action in the sequel, most of the set up was taken care of in the first book, so we can really get into the alien slaying action. Now questions are answered in this book, and in a very satisfying manor. Things that could be ridiculous are handled in a wonderfully believable way as well, not once was I left feeling like the author pulled an answer out of thin air just to appease me. While the first book left me a little wanting, the sequel has only left me wanting more. You can trust that this librarian will be on the edge of her seat until Mr. Lore deems it time to release the next book.
I love fairy tales. I love fairy tale retellings. I have never had a retelling haunt my dreams quite like Sweetly by Jackson Pearce. Seriously, this book made me wake up in the middle of the night panicking, and I don’t even have a ton of woods around me. The writing is wonderful and descriptive, and I love the heroine. You all know how rare it is for me to love a heroine. They really need to be awesome to win my respect and Jackson Pearce has written an extremely awesome heroine. Sweetly is the story of Ansel and Gretchen, a brother and sister who lost Gretchen’s twin one fateful day in the woods. After their mother died and father remarried, they knew their step mother held no love for them. This was confirmed when she kicked them out of the house the moment that Gretchen turned 18. Glad to be able to get away from the forests of Washington which haunted them, the siblings drove as far away as humanly possible. All the way to South Carolina in fact. It may have been bad luck, or fate, that made their car break down in the middle of a washed up town. Things look up when the pretty woman who runs the local candy shop lets them stay with her in exchange for doing some work around the house. While Ansel is trying to impress the pretty Sophia, Gretchen is being draw to Samuel, a loner who seems to know more about what is happening in the woods around town that anyone cares to know. What is going bump in the woods at night? And does Gretchen really want to find out?
So it is new book time once again! My weekend was a jumble of reading and breaking furniture and then more reading! If I had the powers over furniture that Kate Winters has over the dead, you can bet that all my broken furniture would have been resurrected this weekend instead of being haphazardly piled in a corner.
Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw is the story of Kate Winters, a fifteen year old girl who just wants to work in her uncle’s bookstore and not get involved in war. Her dreams are soon shattered when the wardens descended, taking all the people from her small town of Morvane. But they are not just drafting people from towns at random, they are looking of someone. Someone who can raise the dead. Someone like Kate, who just brought a blackbird back to life. Now Kate is the prisoner of the toughest warden of all, Silas. He has some sort of plan for her; Kate just is not sure what. She is sure of two things: firstly, that she has to save her uncle from a life of slavery; and secondly, that her old friend Edgar is more than he seems. Kate’s entire existence is coming apart before her eyes; can she build it back up and come to terms with her new powers before it is too late?
Shadowcry was an amazing first from Ms. Burtenshaw, I was duly impressed. The relationship between Kate and Silas was one of the highlights of the book and was touchingly realistic. In fact, Ms. Burtenshaw’s strength is in developing complex relationships between characters and making them all flow together. There are many characters in this book, and they are all pretty much thrown at you, no time to get adjusted. It is through dialogue and interaction that you really learn about them. The scenes where Kate goes into other peoples’ memories is pretty impressive as well. Normally I am very anti explanations via some sort of convenient ability to see the past, read minds, etc. The way this book treats them, however, does not annoy me as much as I thought it would. They are not leaned upon or used as a crutch; they are just part of the overall story. Shadowcry is a book that I devoured quite quickly and I would love to visit Kate Winter’s world again.
Hehe, De-Nile. I have always wanted to use that and not hear people groan and say things like “Seriously?” and “That was so bad.” And since you are all visiting me via the wonders of the Internet, no one can hear you groan in bad joke exasperation! Victory is mine! Speaking of victories, the book I read this weekend features a woman who was all about winning victories for the good of her subjects. I am talking about the one, the only, Cleopatra. This fine Egyptian babe was not always a babe, nor was she always destined to be a queen. Girl had to fight some seriously deadly enemies, her own sisters, to get to the top spot as Queen of Egypt.
Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer starts out when Cleopatra is just ten years old. She is the third and favorite daughter of the current Pharaoh, King Ptolemy. At ten she is nowhere near old enough to take over the throne, and her father has just come back from a year away in Rome. He comes back with the news that Egypt is in deep debt to their neighbor to the north and the people will be taxed highly because of it. This taxation starts a current of unhappiness that rocks the stability of the Egyptian monarchy. There are a few exiles, a lot of changes in the throne room, and a few political murders as well. Through all of this turmoil Cleopatra keeps her head and her cool and waits for the day when she and her father will rule side by side, just like he promised. But when that day comes, will Cleopatra be able to save her people, or will her father ruin Egypt all over again?
Talk about your stunning historical fiction. Cleopatra leaps of the page in this book and I was so please because of that. She was portrayed not as a silly female flitting about yapping on about which Roman was the cutest, but as a strong, confident, intelligent female, which is the reality of Cleopatra. It takes brains and guts to last through several overthrows, a rebellion, and to stand up and seduce the greatest Roman general of all times. Following her journey from ten until her death allows the reader to really bond with Cleopatra. You are drawn into the history in such a wonderful way that you cannot help but want to read more about her. Carolyn Meyer does a wonderful job with historical fiction, and this is one amazing work that you can pick up today at the Tucker Free Library.