Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Reckless

Reckless

I am a big fan of Cornelia Funke – Inkheart, The Thief Lord, Igraine… I did enjoy this book, but not as much as I hoped!

Jacob and Will Reckless lost their father… he disappeared one night, never to return. this had a profound effect on both boys, but particularly on the eldest, Jacob. Eventually he learns the secret of his father’s mirror, the strange world on the other side and slowly but surely he too begins to disappear beyond the mirror on the wall.

Will (and his fiancée) try to follow, just at the worst possible time and falls victim to a terrible curse. Slowly, inexorably Will turns into living stone – a creature from prophecy, destined to lose his humanity and become the ultimate weapon in a fairy tale war of politics and deception – but not if Jacob has anything to say about it!

A great premise for a story, but Jacob in particular, but the characters in general, don’t quite connect for me. Still enjoyable and readable, but not as good as I expected!

Rose by Holly Webb

Rose

Rose

Rose is an orphan. Found in a fish basket at the foot of a war memorial, Rose has no hope of her parents descending on the orphanage to rescue her… she must make her own luck! So when the chance comes to go into service in the house of famous magician, Mr Fountain, she jumps at the chance and her life is turned upside down. None of the other servants seem to notice the strange behaviour of the house and it’s occupants. Rose however can’t walk down the stairs without feeling the house moving. As for the magic…

What a beautiful story! Rose is so human, with her sudden bursts of strength and insight and her self doubt and fear. The other characters are equally believable and likable. The stench of evil is at first barely noticeable, slowly escalating until more and more evidence of wrongness builds up and others notice. The Family is under threat and it is up to Rose and her new friends to save the day!

Great story, lovable characters and beautiful writing! Love it!

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

Nina did not want to be a vampire. There is nothing romantic or glamorous about being a vampire. Nina spends every day being dead, locked int he basement of her mother’s Sydney house.Most of the other vampires in her support group (lead and counselled by Father Ramon – one of the few humans to know of the reality of vampire existence) had been vampires for much longer and had still not adjusted to feeding on guinea pigs, vomiting and nausea most days and splitting headaches and dizzy spells. None of them were normal or adjusted.

When the oldest of their group is killed, the group goes into panic and after many miss steps and many heated debates, Nina, Dave and Father Ramon travel into the remote outback of New South Wales in search of silver bullets and find an underground werewolf fighting ring instead.

I loved this book! The detail of the lives and the emotions being dealt with by the diverse characters in the book are fascinating! Highly recommended!

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

The Dust of 100 Dogs

The Dust of 100 Dogs

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I love the idea behind the book. Pirates, voodoo, ancient curses, unrequited love, yet the characters tended to be so self centered that they were difficult to like. Yes, I know, in order to survive the experiences of war, slavery, rape and murder, the characters needed to be hardened and self centered, however I had hoped that after coming back for the 101st time,and the 1st time not as a dog, Emer/Saffron  would have learnt something! The side stories discussing the habits of dogs were interesting, but I can’t say I would rush out to read this again!

The Wereling: Wounded by Stephen Cole

The Wereling: Wounded

The Wereling: Wounded

Tom does not want to be camping in the middle of nowhere with his family. Especially his younger brother. With typical teenage angst, he argues every point, resists every activity and is generally a royal pain!!!

Then he gets attacked and bitten by some animal in the woods after storming off in a huff and his life changes drastically.

Kate is the youngest daughter in a family of werewolves. She has not yet changed and will not change until she mates. Something she is determined will never happen. Her parents want her to mate with another werewolf – preferably one of their choosing and one who has been recently changed, not an inherited werewolf. They need ‘new blood’ to help with the inbreeding problem facing werewolves as a race.

Since Tom was bitten and is newly changed, Kate wants nothing to do with him, but things get out of hand, her brother is killed and Tom and kate find themselves on the run with only each other to rely on against the whole werewolf race!

I normally love werewolves (even more than vampires and angels) however I found this book to be simplistic given the premise behind the story. I did not empathise overly with the characters and found their banter more annoying than entertaining.

I’m sure there must be someone who thinks differently…

Nearly Departed by Rook Hastings

Nearly Departed

Nearly Departed

Woodsville is a scary spooky place to live. Violence, gangs, death, curfews, strange things happen. An oddly mixed group of students is set a homework task as a punishment. The disparate students give each other attitude and grief, none of them want to be there, until Emily totally freaks out and brings the group face to face with the supernatural. Ghosts.

This book really had me going. The group slowly band together to help Emily, each taking her under their wing in their own way, confronting their own demons along the way. I did not pick the twist in the book until right at the end! I was so drawn into the characters and story, that I overlooked what should have been obvious, but was not!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book… and I’m not usually a huge spooky ghost story fan!

Has anyone else read this? What did you think?

Trash by Andy Mulligan

Trash

Trash

I found this book quite confronting. It took me a little while to work out which country or continent in the world the book is set in. At first I thought it might be a children’s version of Slumdog Millionaire, but then realised that it was set in a South American style city.

Raphael, Gardo and Rat are three children from the cardboard slum at the trash heap. They spend their lives sorting through the trash heaps, looking for items they can use, trade or sell, until one day Raphael finds the unexpected, and amazing windfall with some pretty serious consequences.

Giving glimpses of the life of the desperately poor, prison life and police brutality (at one stage Raphael is beaten within an inch of his life and then hung by his ankles out of the upper story window of the police station). The three boys find themselves with a mystery to solve, codes to break and millions of dollars at stake!

Another book I struggled with, but well worth persevering!!!!

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone

Gone

This is a very popular book with the Year 6s and 7s at my school, so of course I had to get hold of a copy and read! the fact that Michael Grant was visiting didn’t hurt either (although I managed not to see him!).
High school. Boredom. Teenagers angst. Bullies… and then everyone over the age of 15 disappears!
In this situation what do you do? Do you step up and take charge? Do you let someone else take over? Do you throw a party and do whatever you want because no one can tell you not to?
What happens when things start to go wrong? and what about those freaky super powers?
I enjoyed this book after I got half way through. The main character, Sam is your average hero in a crisis who would rather not be the one in charge. He constantly second guesses everything he says and does and it is not until he finally accepts the situation that the story really gets moving. The book looks at some fairly solid issues – bullying, social standing and taking responsibility.

Triple Ripple by Brigid Lowry

Triple Ripple

Triple Ripple

I love the concept behind this book – three stories to be told, each slightly intersecting, but also totally separate.

The Fairy Tale: Not a traditional tale, more a tale told in the tradition of Fairy Tales. There are no fairies involved as the writer does not believe in them, just magic,  princesses and destiny!

The Reader: A young girl who is struggling after her only real friend moves away, is also dealing with school bullying and home disturbances. She uses the Fairy Tale book her mother has given her as a release.

The Writer: Eccentric, inspired, blocked, messy, distracted… discusses some of the ideas and motivations going into the story.

My only criticism is that I wanted more depth and detail in all three stories. The fairy tale was short and a bit disjointed, but a great background story. Nova had a lot to deal with and kept mentioning how she wanted to know what happened next in the book, but she only ever read really short sections at a time! The writer I definitely wanted to know more about!

I enjoyed it… I just wanted more!