Not a great picture – but it could be worse!
Mackie Doyle is a bit of on odd character. He cruises through school, deliberately trying to stay under the radar, for the sake of his family, especially his Mother and his sister, he must not attract any attention, which can be quite difficult when you have pale blonde hair and black as black eyes!
Somehow he manages to be noticed by one of the popular girls, at the same time that Tate starts to pay attention for a different reason. Tate’s sister has gone missing, the thing left in her place has died and somehow Tate feels that Mackie can help her find out what is going on in a town that is dark and tense, with little hop and even less happiness! Only problem is, Mackie is slowly dying, largely due to the fact he is allergic to most metals… especially iron!
I quite enjoyed this book, dealing with how the fey now interact with the modern world where no one believes in them and the world itself, full of iron and metal, is poison. Mackie begins as quite a loser, especially when he is made physically ill by the sight and smell of blood, but as he and his friends try to deal with the town’s manipulation, he becomes more and more likable.
The Ruby Key
Everyday life for Genna and her brother Dan is not easy. their father has wandered off, popularly believed to be dead, their mother is ill and worsening by the day, their sinister ‘uncle’ is now in charge of the village with everyone becoming more and more restless and distrusting. Trying to fulfill their families obligations, they make a dangerous trek out into the wood s at night, during the time of the Nightlings only to be captured and have to make a daring bargain to save not only themselves, but also their village from the evil machinations of their ‘Unkle’!
Quite complex and at times hard to follow (even for me as an adult, although I was trying to read two other books at the same time) the characters and worlds of The Ruby Key and interesting and endearingly human, even the Nightling who tries to help them. Constantly second guessing herself, and who doesn’t do that, Genna is not convinced of her own strength or abilities until she has no other choice and has to do whatever she can to save her family and village!
I found the second half of the book much more enjoyable, and feel that it flowed more once all the nitty gritty details were out of the way!
I am Number Four
I am Number Four both book and movie were an interesting experience. I really struggled with the beginning of the book, the in depth details about the Perfection of Lorien – almost too much loving detail about how wonderful and perfect everything was, not just from the ‘child’ John’s point of view, but also from his guardian Henri. It reminded me very much of the grass always being greener on the other side. There must have been some aspects of Lorien, either the planet, the people or the society which was not so mind numbingly perfect!!!
John Smith is just a name, one in a long line of false names and identities used by Number Four to hide his existence from the evil Mogadorians. However John has now reached adolescence and is coming into his powers and reaching that awkward age where ‘love’ and friendships become major issues – not just saving the world!
The film gave much less background information about Lorien and John’s emerging powers, almost not enough as some critics have observed. Hard to find that middle ground. Once I got past the endless descriptions of the past, and got into the relationships and events of the present, I quite enjoyed the book, although I found John’s assertion that Sarah is the love of his life a bit overdone! But then again – he is a teenager, and everything is life or death to a teenager!
Tortall and Other Lands
One of my favourite authors… there are very few of Tamora’s books I have not read and do not own! I have to admit, I automatically buy any of her books as soon as I see them!!!
No disappointment here! A collection of short stories, not all from Tortall – some even set in more modern surroundings (loved Huntress), some familiar characters seen from a different perspective, and some extensions of ideas and events in other books.
What can I say – love it!!!
I am not necessarily a fan of short stories – I usually find myself wanting more detail, more depth to characters, just more!!! What do you think?
Sorry not to have updated recently… no excuses, just reasons, which I am sure you don’t need to know!
Anyway… here are some more of my explorations into Children’s and Young Adult Literature!!!!