Spoiler Warning

Book reviews and discussions may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

June pick!!

This month I have been given the honor of selecting the book for the club. That's right we're in a club. After many minutes of deliberation, I have selected a book for us all to read. I thought I would go with one a little different from things we've been reading. So for the month of June we will be reading "These Is My Words" by Nancy Turner.
Amazon readers gave it a 5 out of 5 stars review. It is based on the diary of a young girl. I love reading other people's diaries. Plus, I heard there was a good romance story in here too.

****I really did take more than a few minutes to pick this. I even consulted a professional reader. And I read through about 60 of the 200+ reviews given on Amazon. I think it will be a good one you gize!! ***

Quick Mortal Instruments Review


I loved this series so much, Cassandra Clare is pure genius. The first two books I read through in a couple days each and the last one I tried to take my time on because I didn't want it to be over. There wasn't really anything I could find to complain about either. Jace surpassed Edward for me in the hotness category which is really saying a lot because Edward is a hard one to beat. The action was amazing I was always at the edge of my seat waiting for what was going to happen next. I am really looking forward to the Infernal Devices series and am hoping they decide to turn these books into movies.


The official Discush: CITY OF BONES (and my review)

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. I thought it was Twilight meets Harry Potter-ish. I won't give any major "spoilers" away on the next two books but you may just wanna go ahead and read them. Cuz it's sorta like eating a bite of hot fudge brownie sundae............and not swallowing it. You'll never really be satisfied.

Things I loved:
1.Simon. You've gotta love a smart-a** nerdy guy. How can you not?
2. Tattoos that are considered signs of honor and look pretty. I mean,...you know,....I might....
3. The idea that there are other dimensions around us. I KNEW there was a reason why messes in my house just appear out of nowhere. Somebody is using the playroom as a portal.
4. Jace and Clary. Enough said. The sexual tension there even rivals the one between Mary Poppins and Bert the Chimney sweep. It's powerful stuff.
5. Two words: Magnus. Bane. There's no way you can't love an effeminate warlock.


Things I didn't like:
1. The characters were sometimes semi-retarded.
2. Clary's mom never TOLD her? I'd be pizzzzed.
3. Hodge turning out to be a total jagbag. Wha? I hearted him......past tense.


I'm sure there is more but I thought I should ask you these questions to get the partay started:

1. Why do you think Isabelle is such a B all the time? (and yet we like her don't we)

2. How does this book compare to the imaginary world of Harry Potter in your opinion?

3. Would you recommend this book/series to a friend?

City of Forks/Hogwarts

I’m pretty sure Cassandra Clare was at a party with Harry Potter and Twilight, introduced them, and nine months later, the Mortal Instruments series was born.


For me, the series was an absolute pleasure to read. Absolutely. It was creative and well developed. I fell in deep with the characters and the story line, which is all it takes for me. I could not stop reading until I had finished all three books. And when I was finished, I felt dead inside. Yeah, it’s one of those books.


The secondary characters were well-developed (who wouldn’t love Magnus?). I liked Clary from the beginning, but she grew on me more as the series continued. I enjoyed Jace, laughed at some of his smart-A dialog, dreamt about him, and was rooting for him all the way, but my favorite character was Simon. He was a nerd, through and through. By the end of book three, after Simon had shown more than his fair share of loyalty and self-sacrifice, I decided that I cared more about what happened to him, than Clary and Jace.


I would highly recommend the series to anyone who wants to read a fun and exciting page turner.


That being said, this was no Hunger Games. One must be willing to ignore a few problems in order to thoroughly enjoy it.


“Black blood” seemed to be the phrase of choice throughout the series. Last time I checked, blood was red.


It had lots of fun and clever dialog in there, but there was also lots of unlikely “info dump” dialog. You know, things like “Tell me again why we are walking into this building that we have no business walking into?” “You know the reason, sigh, but I’ll explain it to you again.” Um, yeah. That was just a way to clue the reader in, but it was just unlikely dialog to me, and it happened quite a bit. Made me giggle.


Also, the characters were just down right stupid to not see all that was apparent to us as readers. There were many examples of this. No way were Jace and Clary bro and sis. Also, it seemed obvious at one point that Sebastian (book 3) was her brother, but the characters remained clueless until the end.


Lastly, there were a few very convenient contrivances. Like when they needed someone to drive, so they had to call Simon since he was the only one with a driver’s license, even those Jace had driven a motorcycle days before with no regard for the law.


Anyhow, the characters and story over-road these problems and it all got better as series progressed. Go ahead and read it.

City of Bones - My Take

I haven't read more than the first book. And in all honesty, I didn't read the first book. I downloaded the audio for my iPhone and listened to it - cause I was going on a couple of flights and thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book in the airport and on the plane. However, I did not particularly like the way the girl read it. Something about the tone of her voice, the way she did the voices of the different characters, the way she said words like 'shadowhunter' and 'night children' just annoyed me! I've had some great experiences with audio books, like Twilight, but not so much with this one. I had to read your entire review Markie, spoilers and all, because I bought City of Ashes (a real in-the-hands book), but I have no motivation to read it. I thought a few spoilers would jumpstart it for me. I am feeling a little more optimistic, so thank you. I did not get excited about any romance, but maybe that will change when I continue with the series in my own brain-voice, and especially now that I've looked at that fan sight. Holy Craptastic! The dude for Jace is hawt and Gerrard Butler? Steamy. '--Eh--' for Brad Pitt. I think some of the problem was the ages of the characters. I agree with you completely Markie. So young! How could I be attracted to Jace when he's just a goofy teenage boy? Edward was a 90 year old in a 17 year old body. That completely over-rules his teenager-ness. You know who I found myself drawn to, was Luke. Oh my. Luke the werewolf, tearing a pack-leader to shreds so he can be in charge? Definitely a turn-on. Strange, cause in Twilight, I wasn't interested in the wolfs at all. Hmm. Anyway, I'm relieved to know a little more beyond just the first book. I was disappointed and grossed out when they said that Jace and Clary were brother and sister. I enjoyed Valentine's performance during that whole scene because it reminded me of Ben from Lost. One minute you think you've made sense of what he's saying and then all of a sudden you can't tell whether a single thing he said was true or not. It's so disconcerting and drives me nuts - in a good way. I'm waiting to find out what kind of magical powers Jace, Clary and the mom are going to have. Differently colored eyes? Strange gifts floating down from the sky delivering healing medicine? Other things I'd like to read? Luke, ripping some headboard to shreds when Joslyn realizes she really loves him and they finally get it on. ::::ahem::::

Simon is a geek. A good friend, but kind of a doormat. I don't think I'd care much if he faded into the woodwork somewhere along the way. More Luke would be good. Wait, did I already say that? Sorry. :D

See you in an hour.

StandsMom (Ann)

Dear SRBC,

I regret to inform you that I will not be participating in this month's discussion regarding City of Bones this evening. Due to several extenuating circumstances, I am only on page 192. If you don't know, that is where she has just left standing before the Silent Bros. Council having had her brain probed by those creepy doods. Yeah, not even half way through the book.

I know that Magnus Bane is something though.... that's good, right?

I apologize immensely and intensely and I hope that I will eventually be forgiven for this atrocity. I plan on finishing the book as I am finding it to be quite enjoyable in a I-liked-it-the-first-time-when-it-was-called-Harry-Potter sort of way. I will then return to this beloved site, read all the reviews and every last comment. I promise. Believe me, this hurts me more than it hurts you.

Forever Yours in Literature,

Landeelu Landerson

Markie's review of The Mortal Instruments Series

**Spoiler Alert** I am reviewing the entire series. If you only read the first book you may want hold off reading this until you have finished the other two.

Move over Stephenie Meyer! I thoroughly enjoyed The Mortal Instruments series; much more in fact than the Twilight series. Cassandra Clare saw Stephenie’s vampires and werewolves, and raised her angels, demons, fairies, and a new creation all her own -- Shadowhunters. Not only that, but the epic battles that were painfully missing in Twilight, were plentiful and action packed in the MI series.

I also think that Clare trumped Meyer in the romance department. There were some nice steamy and intense almost love scenes - without any sappy pillow biting or broken headboards. The forbidden love thing between Clary and Jace was hot, even though we knew all along that they really couldn't be brother and sister - right? I'm anxious to find out how Jace stacks up against Edward to the girl readers. If I were a girl I'd pick Jace over Edward no contest. Jace has the angel-glow thing going for him, and also the rune-tattoo look. I think I have a man crush on him.

At first I pictured Clary as looking like Lindsay Lohan because of the red hair and freckles, and it was very off-putting. But there is a link on MI's WEBSITE to this FAN BLOG with her picks for actors/actresses to play the parts in the books, and I love her pick for Clary. In fact I like all her picks. I liked Clary's character and by the end of the book had a clear picture in my minds eye of her as a real demon slaying hottie.

I have very little criticism for this series. I thought it was well written, well developed, and captivating throughout. I liked all the characters, both good and evil. Valentine and Sebastian were great villains in the tradition of Lord Voldemort and Draco Malfoy. I liked the back story of the Circle and the Clave and how, like in the Harry Potter series, the story unfolds through the kid’s eyes; and they are the ones who clean up the mess that the adults created when they were youngsters.

I liked the twists in the story; Simon turning into a vampire – then a “special” vampire; Luke turning out to be a werewolf; Sebastian turning out to be the real Jonathan; and Jace and Clary discovering their special powers. I knew that at some point we’d learn that Clary and Jace were not really brother and sister, but still couldn’t wait to find out how it would all be explained. In the end I felt completely satisfied with how it all turned out.

Like J.K. Rowling, C.C. combined a great story with interesting and endearing characters, and kept it all exciting with some very tense situations, and gritty good vs. evil battle scenes. Some of my favorite moments:

* Returning to Clare’s apartment to discover what happened to her mother – knowing there were probably demons there.
* Clare and Jace going into the vampire’s lair to rescue Simon
* Jace trapped in a cell while the Silent Brothers are being slaughtered by Valentine and his pet demon.
* The Scooby gang going to Valentine’s ship, and the ensuing battle
* The demon invasion into Idris
* The final showdown between Jace, Sebastian, and Valentine

The scenes were appropriately graphic, but without any creepy boob-biting babies.

I only have a couple minor complaints. I guess it’s my age and my fatherly instincts, but why did Clary have to be only 15? I had the same feelings about Katniss in Hunger Games. I have a hard time picturing girls so young doing the things these girls are doing – fighting to the death, and getting a little too romantically involved for their age. I’m sure the 15 year old girls reading this stuff eat it up, but as a dad I wish the heroines were a little older. Also I want to picture Clary as a demon slaying hottie, but at 15 years old – creepy.

The other minor thing has to do with biting lips and tasting blood in your mouth. Weren’t they always doing that in the Twilight series as well? It seems like in many of the books we have read lately that the proper way to deal with any kind of stressful situation is to bite your lip until you taste blood in your mouth. I’ve never done it – maybe I’m missing out. They do it several times in this series. At least there were no single tears rolling down faces.

Oh, one more thing. If they ever make a full length major motion picture out of these books I hope they leave out the full on the mouth kiss between Alec and a 300 year-old glittery gay warlock. I don’t need to see that.

All in all The Mortal Instruments was extremely entertaining reading. I look forward to Cassandra Clare’s next series that is set to take place about 150 years before The Mortal Instruments and will include at least one familiar character - Magnus Bane. The series will be called The Infernal Devices. Thanks to Memzy for a great selection!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Running out of time!

Reminder, you gize. You have just over a week left to finish our selection for this month. Not to brag, but I actually read the whole 3 book series. It's way good. So our discussion will take place on Sunday, May 31st at 8pm (west coast time). Get your reviews up that day. Can't wait!! Bring your steles and undo your glamours.

Ps. Black blood.

Monday, May 4, 2009

This Month's Selection!!!---Memzy style


Total honor.
Humbly accepted.
JennyESP has asked me to "host" this month's book club. Let me first say that I realize I've been critical of past books. But we can't all like the same things right? That being said, this book is gonna be awesome. (to start with it isn't about rabbits--sorry Flem I just can't resist) I haven't even read it and I'm that confident. It was recommended to me by more than one person (who all happen to love the same books I do) and they described it as Twilight meets LOTR. So with that :::drum roll::



Here is our lovely description:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Enjoy people. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Discussion

Welcome to our book club discussion for April. Thank you Jenny for allowing me to be in charge last month. It was fun. I will start things off tonight with a question:

Did the author's disclaimer that nothing in the book was historically accurate - the empires of Eddis, Attolia, Sounis, Mede, and the Greek Gods were all made up - lower your opinion of her or her story in any way?

Partial Review

I am about halfway through the thief and all they have been doing for 6 chapters is traveling!

This month has been pretty intense for me with school. It's almost over so they have been piling on tons of work and all I've been doing is studying. I really haven't had much time and so far this book hasn't really pulled me in enough to stay up all night reading it. Anyways here is my review of the book so far.
  • Gen's character doesn't seem to interesting to me. In fact out of all the characters one hasn't really stuck out.
  • I hate it that nothing exciting has happened. I thought after at least 4 chapters of reading it would have gotten interesting by now.
  • She spends way to much time describing meals and describing everything for that matter.
I don't know, it seems like a lot of you really like the book. For me, I don't see how I could like this book unless something extraordinary happens to make up for the boring beginning. I'm still going to try to read the end and next month I have a break from school so hopefully I can get back in the game.

Number Two... (by Jenny ESP)

...And when I say number two, I'm not talking about pooh. I'm talking about The Thief Series being the second best book selection (second to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, of course) that our humble book club has ever selected.

Too bad Markie (our valiant leader this time around) didn't get the same thing out of it as I did. As to his review, I just want to point out a little thing called "my precious," in a little book called "LOTR," which was "one ring to rule them all," and yet those stupid hobbits insisted on destroying it by throwing it into, not just any volcano, but a volcano that was far far away and not within close proximity to a water source. Ridiculous. What was the point? Ahem.

The Thief
I'll admit, even though I loved Gen right off the bat, it wasn't until he hid behind that rock and jumped down onto the guards to help his frenemies get away, that I started to become enthralled with the story. That's when I realized there was a lot more to Gen's character--and the book--than meets the eye. I, in all my book snobbery expertise, did not see that ending coming. And I believed it. In fact, I thought it was an utterly brilliant twist and it all made sense. My mind retraced details, and I relived the book, seeing Gen in a completely different light. No wonder Mr. Newbery Honored it. Well deserved.

I love that Gen was an unlikely hero, and that he stayed that way throughout the entire series. After the first book, it would have been easy to have Gen come back in the second book as some larger than life hero, but he didn't. He still screwed up and made stupid choices, he still whined and sulked when things didn't go his way, and he was still clever, self-sacrificing and devastatingly loyal. Sigh.

The Queen's Thief
Talk about a "oh know she di'int" moment right from the start. I had to reread that one part over and over to make sure she really did that. Then I started texted peeps like crazy, telling them to hurry up and read!!! I could not put it down, and I thought Gen's mood was very appropriate, considering. Bold move indeed, to give the main hero such a handicap. I found the plot interesting... the wars between the countries, and how Gen cleverly solved the whole thing. As far as the Queen B, I just wanted Gen to be happy, and if he loved the B and wanted to marry her, then so be it. And when he kidnapped her and then admitted that he loved her, and she was all stunned and then acted like she didn't care but really she did... sigh. Reminded me of Madmardigan and Sorsha from Willow. 1988, y'all.

The King of Attolia
I think this book was really for the readers who loved Gen and couldn't get enough of him. Not a super complicated plot, just Gen totally winning over and changing the minds of an entire country. I loved it. I wish there would have been more from his POV, and that we had gotten to eves drop on Gen and Queen B working out the whole "Sorry I cut off your hand" thing. I imagine that Gen would have come up with some clever way of proving to her that he loved her so much, his arm didn't matter. Sigh.

Clearly, the story is not over, since it was prophesied that Gen would be the "king of kings." He still has entire populations of people to win over--starting in Utah, if Markie is any indication. In fact, the next book in the series will be out in fall 2010. Anyone want to join me at the release party?

Only confusing thing in the whole series... I did not have a good sense of Gen's age. He seemed about 40 half the time, but they kept referring to him as a "just a young boy" so I would try to remember he was young, but my mind kept seeing him much older. Huh to the what?

Review by StandsMom

I really need to do this immediately after I finish, because I've already read 2 or 3 books since I finished The Thief series and I'm losing track and getting things blended together.

The first book dragged for me until they got to the cave. I was bored with their travel. There were a few clever things and I used that traveling time to build my imagined-Gen up in my mind. For instance, the sly flirting with the girl at the Inn - Gen naked and dirty and getting washed outside in cold water (don't ask me why, I can't explain it). By the time we got to the cave, I was very 'interested' in him. I loved that he couldn't get the stone the first or second night. I think it was good for his ego to have a challenge that wasn't so easy. And, I thought seeing the gods inside the cave was fascinating. I loved how disconcerting it was to him that he could see them. No kidding.

I was annoyed when they 'lost' the stone and the Magus decided to just keep moving. What? You went to ALL that trouble and you're riding away on your horse like it's NO BIG DEAL??? I suspected that Gen had it, wasn't sure, but when I look back now, I think he would have been really ticked off after spending three whole nights in an underwater cave. He would have insisted that they find it again. I agree that it was stupid that the rock was thrown into some volcano or something and destroyed. But, I didn't want to read three books about kingdoms fighting over a rock. I felt a great deal of relief when I realized that he lived with and worked for the Queen of Eddis. The fact that he was in a warm bed and safe made me feel all warm and safe too. ::giggle::

In the second book, there are a few things that stand out to me. Like, Gen frantically trying to get away from the castle without getting caught. By the time he was running through the olive trees, I know my heart rate was up a bit and when he hit that stupid board - I felt like someone had hit me in the face with it. Geez! Could I have been more wrapped up in these books? I did not feel like my own hand had been chopped off, btw. Gen was on his own with that one. Although I was very shocked! I couldn't believe it! There were some pretty down and depressing chapters. You can easily imagine, though, how that would affect a person, as you said Memz. Especially someone like him. And then to find out that he loved her all along, even as she stood and ordered them to chop off his hand. I texted Landee. "She. Cut. Off. His. HAND!!!!" (Landee was already done, so it didn't ruin anything for her.) I'm pretty sure I squealed or something when he was sitting in that boat and told Attolia that he loved her.

The third book ticked me off. I was so angry that he allowed them all to disrespect him so. Sand in his food? Are you kidding? Loving Gen, as I do, I was pretty sure that he had a plan. He was painfully patient - dealing with all of that crap and waiting for things to build in the right way so that he could 'prove' himself to those idiot soldiers. I didn't want Costis's continual perspective. I wanted to know what Gen was thinking. But - then I realized that in the first two books, Gen was a common person, like us. In the third book, he was King and we were still just common spectators. It had to come from an outsider. I know that sounds so lame. Srsly, I probably sound like a 16 yr old girl, all wrapped up in some fictional book and in a strong, handsome, clever, tortured, wounded fictional man like Gen. And I just have to say that those soldiers were SO stupid. The quiet, all-knowing women who waited on the Queen knew full well that she and Gen were gettin' it on, but the dumb man-soldiers were so busy being idiots, they couldn't figure it out.

In closing I'd like to say that I was quite happy when I'd finished. I thought the books were very entertaining. I was anxiously attracted to Eugenides and that made all three books very, very enjoyable. I am really looking forward to another installment to the books. I'd like to know that Gen and his Queen are still, uh, together. A baby? That would be nice. (I am such a girl) Thanks for getting the recommendation from that bookstore girl. I can't wait for the selection for May!!!

Eugeni-Memz

I did not get to read the last book.  That being said, I'm up for any spoilers tonight because I will read it no matter what.  Gen is hawt.  I have a major literary crush on him at the moment.  I sorta feel like so much has already been said by you very smart people as far as reviews are concerned.  The only thing I'd like to add is that Gen wasn't whining......he was depressed........deep.  Being a thief (with his hands) is where every ounce of his self worth came from.  Losing his hand was a major blow.  HUGE.  It took him awhile.  Just give him some time that's allsimsayin.  Can't wait for tonight!

ps. Flem...............incest.

Gen Gen Gen

Gen...what can I say, I heart him! He had me at "Useless and Useless the younger". I loved being in his head, listening to him be sarcastic, funny, and interesting. Sadly, I've only made it through The Thief and only a couple of chapters into the Queen of Attolia...please forgive me. But I have a feeling that I'm going to find out what happens without reading them...and that's ok. I'll still read them. I heart Gen too much not to finish his story.

Though, there was more traveling than action in the first book, I enjoyed every step of the way. I loved being there, listening to him manipulate the group, knowing full well that if I was in the group, I would be totally and utterly annoyed by him. I liked seeing the group change as they got to know Gen better. I loved that he's smart and thinks things through, and that I did not expect the ending. I LOVED that. Though it does make me expect more surprises and twists in the next books.

I am kinda scratching my head into why after all that, the necklace would be destroyed...maybe I'm missing something that hasn't come up yet. It just seems like a waste.

I'm glad these books were voted on, though they will never be my favorite, I have enjoyed reading them.

Eugene... Where Have You Been All My Life?

Markie's review made me sad.

I LOVED these books. Could not get enough. Went into a slight depression after reading the last word and closing the book. I think I may have even hugged the book and let out an audible sigh.

Yes, there was a lot of political maneuvering, traveling and what not but to me it all laid the groundwork for the truly poignant moments that were sprinkled throughout.

Now that I sit here and think about why I loved these books so much, I've come to realize that all of it is because of how much I love Gen. And when I say love... I mean L.O.V.E. And it's not because he is physically attractive either. He was never really described as a particularly attractive person (although once I put Orlando Bloom in there, that didn't hurt).

No. The reason I L.O.V.E. Gen is because I absolutely love people who are more than meets the eye. I love people that are the world's "best kept secrets." Some people don't do it on purpose. They are either really shy or have a closed personality for some reason. Then you get to know them little by little and realize that they are the neatest/funniest/kindest/most entertaining person ever. Love that. Love those people. I feel like I'm the exact opposite.... obnoxious, let-it-all-hang-out, take me or leave me type person. Maybe that's why I can appreciate a little restraint. I have none.

However, in Gen's case, he holds back on purpose. He sees the bigger picture. He doesn't go in with his crazy fighting skillz and off people left & right. He allows himself to be imprisoned, tortured and otherwise mistreated in order to make things happen. I love it. So self-sacrificing. And he's wicked smaht too. Life is a big chess game for my little Eugene, and he is the master. You gotta love brains over brawn and he had both.... heavy on the brains and only using the brawn when necessary.

As for all the other characters, I felt like they were simply there as props to tell Gen's story. And, quite frankly, that's how I liked it. Some of my favorite moments were..... when he is charming the socks off everyone they come in contact with on their way to the cave. Particularly when he twirls his finger around the end of his braid to indicate to the inn keeper girl that he needed a piece of twine. I loved when he attacks the Attolia soldiers in order to save the Magus & crew. My heart hurt when the queen (after he kidnapped her after a brilliant execution of a brilliant plan) walked up to his tent to see him getting his hook-thingy taken off and he is in serious pain. I loved it when Costis first sees the Eugenedes in Attolia's bed after the assassination attempt. And I really loved the ending when he is describing all his scars & the men finally see him for what he really is.

I, for one, cannot wait to see what that oily, two-pointed bearded jagbag is going to attempt to do to the King of Attolia. I'll rest assured knowing my little Eugene will be one step ahead.

I shall weep for you tonight, Sir Markie.

Weep.

And maybe have you flayed.

Good Times, Complicated Plot (Flem's Review)

I thought all three of these books were great.

I am easy to entertain but I have to say I was surprised at every turn in these books.

The Thief
Things I liked:

-EXCELLENT plot complete with twists and turns
-Gen
-Total lack of predictability
-Eddis
-Gen and his cleverness, plus his surprise good-with-a-sword-ness
-Weird religions in different places
-Political relationship/natural resources of each of the the regions
-Magus
-Cave scene
-The era
-Limited romance
-Family dynamics of the Eddis peeps

Things I would change:
-I thought Gen was a girl at first. How often is first person a man? Or maybe I just don't read those books. So then when they were fighting with "him" to throw him in the tub, I realized it was a boy after all and I was kind of disappointed. Gen should have been a girl.
-Implications that Gen and Eddis had feelings for each other and then it was not real. BOO. They should have gotten together later (see info under Queenie)
-Very confusing writing style. I should have gone back to read but I was so into what was happening next that I just kept going instead of clarifying so in the end I am still kind of confused. Should have been more clearly written.

Queenie
Things I liked:
-Queens/Kings carry the name of their country. That is very cool.
-Weirdo Mid-Eastern types
-Female character that people thought could be manipulated by good-looking Mid-Eastern types but who really was playing everyone all along (Anatolia)
-Gen turning out to be super valuable as a thief (globally recognized as major asset of Eddis)
-More intrigue and crazy plot twists and turns. Again, utterly unpredictable.
-Playing up the idea of men loving so unconditionally that a woman could chop off his arm and he would still want to give up his whole life for her. The romantic in me thinks it could be true.
-Magus again.

Things I would change:
-Gen's arm should have been restored by the gods. I can't believe we had to sit through all that suffering all for naught.
-No way Anatolia could have ever married him. If she loved him she would feel such intense guilt. He might be all lovey etc. but any real woman who is worth loving couldn't have done it. If she really loved him no way she would have cut off his arm.
-If he was soooo valuable, how come it wasn't noted in the first book? Like why didn't anyone automatically notice that if Gen could steal from the Magus he could be Eddis' thief? Did anyone even mention that thing about all thieves being named after Eugeniwhatever?
-Weirdo Mid-Eastern should have had bigger role, like her seriously considering him more to make that whole attack thing more exciting.
-Gen whining should have been 1/8 of what it was. He lost desireability as a man. This is not a modern novel, it is set in a time of chivalry.
-Eddis and Gen. Eddis should have shown up and said to Anatolia "no way you marry the man I love you extremity stealer!" Who cares about whatshisname missing since book 1. Why is the author trying to hold on to that guy with Eddis when we haven't heard hide nor hair since the first book? This isn't a movie where the actor is pregnant or sick or breaching contract so we have to pretend like he is missing, you can totally bring him up again in the book.

King
Things I liked:
-Clever little story with the Musketeer. He was honorable and it played nicely.
-Assassination and Gen playing up/down the injury and Musketeer realizing that people who pretend like they are not hurt are really just not that tough.
-Private moments with Anatolia and feeling like they really loved each other periodically. Cute.
-Pretending to be an idiota when he was really a clever little man
-The fighting scene in which everyone realizes he is talented with the sword.
-The cleverness with the grain story running in the background

Things I would change:
-He played the fool waaaay too long. We should have reaped the benefit of all his work for at least half the book. Finding out ten seconds before the end what he was seeing out the window was just sad and we didn't get to enjoy his victory near enough.
-Still confused about the farming implications. Wish I owned the books to go back and read them.
-Eddis and Gen. It is a hard sell that suddenly Anatolia is all amazing and everyone loves her.
-The musketeer should have been strategically picked out for his grain knowledge. I don't like that he was a tool for the king to gain the main military guy's confidence. Seems like poor Cos was used. Young Costus was the REAL heartthrob of the story.


OVERALL:

GREAT read. I would recommend them and look forward to reading them again.





Markie's Review

For most of you who were at the “family thing” it will come as no surprise that I didn’t really enjoy these books. There was too much traveling, too much political maneuvering, and way too much sitting in a room moodily staring out a window.

The Thief:
This was my favorite of the three books, even though the plot line was a little stale; a diamond in the rough is taken to a cave of wonders to obtain a treasure that nobody else had been able to retrieve. I liked Gen’s sassy personality though, particularly when he was being man-handled by the Magus, or Pol. I liked the verbal jabs he threw at Useless and Useless the younger. I enjoyed the stories that were told of the gods and thought it was cool when he actually met some of them in the cave. I wish the cave had been even trickier with more puzzles to solve. I wanted less time wondering to the cave of wonders, and more time in the cave of wonders.

I thought it was especially anti-climactic when they ended up destroying Hamiatheseseses… Hamiatheseseses…. Hamiatheseseses…. The goddesses gift, by tossing it into a volcano. Sooooo what was the point of this book? I mean they take this incredibly long and tedious journey, retrieve this priceless treasure created by the gods themselves that had been hidden away for thousands of years, with the power to make the possessor the undisputed king of all the lands, and what do they do with it? Destroy it.

Wasn't Gen's goal in the second and third books to be king, and bring peace to all the land? Couldn't he have done that much quicker and easier with the stone? Or Eddis could have retained possesion of it; she seemed like a nice and reasonable queen. Or if he had so much faith in, and love for Attolia... give it to her. It seemed like such a waste of a story line to just throw the thing away.

The Queen of Attolia:
Except for the one interesting thing that happened in the third chapter, I've already forgotten this book . It was dry, depressing, and I stopped liking or really even caring about Gen. He became much too moody and cranky, and it was hard to gauge his motivation - did he really love Attolia, or was he just trying to save his kingdom? I think the author wanted us to believe he really loved her, and that she really loved him, but neither of them seemed like very lovable characters to me.

The King of Attolia:
I already forgot what happened in this book too, and I just finished reading it. I really had to force myself through this one. It just kept putting me to sleep. I know that Gen helped Attolia out with some tricky political problems. Yaaaaawn. Like I said, I stopped caring in the last book. This was even more dry, and depressing. I think the author should have combined her main ideas from all three books, cut out a lot of useless sitting around jail cells, sitting around campfires, and sitting around bedrooms staring out windows, and condensed the story down to one book.

I really wasn't satisfied with the ending either. It seemed like a lot of things went unresolved. Like didn't they get news at some point that the Medes were planning an attack? What happened with that? And didn't Sophos disappear? Was he ever found? Not that I care; I had to look back at the first book to even remember who he was. Honestly it's all kinda blurry to me now. In fairness, I read that there is a sequel planned for release next year where she can drag things out some more.

Did anybody read the short story at the end of the last book? I didn't. Do you plan on reading the next book? I don't. I'm glad that every one else I talked to liked these books. I'm really glad I'm done with them and can move on. Good riddance Attolia.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Time To Finish Up!


The book club discussion for The Queen's Thief series will begin Sunday at 8pm Pacific time (9pm Mountain).
  • Beginning Sunday at 12:00am feel free to post on this site, a review of one or all of the books in the series.
  • If you don't have access to create a new post send an e-mail to ajesplin1 at msn dot com and she'll get you set up.
  • Please avoid commenting on the individual review posts. In fact, you may choose to not allow comments on your post.
  • At 8pm I will create a post for our discussion where you can comment on the reviews, and chat with others who read the books. Just keep hitting the refresh button to update the comments.
Any questions? Great, see you Sunday night!