Sunday, March 27, 2011

Melissa Kantor. THE DARLINGS ARE FOREVER

I loved Melissa Kantor's previous books, so I was excited to read this one. The Darlings are Victoria, Natalya and Jane - three best friends. They've known each other forever, having gone to the same K-8th school together. But now the girls are freshman in high school going to three different schools. Jane is an actress and got accepted to the performing arts school. Natalya earned an academic scholarship at a rigorous prep school. Victoria is attending a private school where she is trying to live up to her older sister's reputation.

The girls have their own challenges to deal with: Victoria's dad is running for political office, so the entire family is under scrutiny, Natalya is finding the girls at her school challenging, and Jane is having trouble in love. So, the fact that they aren't getting to see each other very much is difficult because they need each other, but when they do see each other, they notice that they are growing and changing. They each have their own fears to overcome. It helps them to remember that they agreed to live by Jane's grandmother's yearly toast to them, "May you always do what you're afraid of doing.

This is a wonderful new series filled with romance, adventure, humor and friendship. The characters are smart, sweet and funny! I loved it & look forward to the next book!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Orson Scott Card. PATHFINDER

If you know me, you know my all-time favorite author is Orson Scott Card. So, it's no surprise at all to know that I jumped on the chance to read the first installment in a new YA series by Card. I've loved his other books because of the depth of characters, intelligent stories, and ground-breaking science fiction. Those are some pretty high expectations to bring into into a book. Fortunately, I wasn't let down.

PATHFINDER is about a teen named Rigg, who has an unusual gift that allows him to see the paths of people's pasts. In the beginning, we see him using the gift to track animals with his father. It helps them to make a living. Even though they live in a small, rural area, his father teaches Rigg about the ways of the world. He constantly educates him on economics, trade, communication, and most importantly, how to use his gift.

When his father dies suddenly, Rigg is devastated. But when he discovers the bag of priceless jewels his father left for him, he is confused. Where did they come from? Who was his father? His father was constantly teaching him, why would he leave crucial details out about his background or his wealth? Why would he lie to him all those years?

Rigg discovers that his childhood friend, Umbo, has an unusual gift of his own, and that his father had helped him master it while growing up. They discover that their gifts do some incredible things together. So Rigg and Umbo decide to go on a quest to solve his father's mystery.

Check out the trailer for more:



It's another great one by OSC! The book has the rich characterization that I love, the intelligent plot, fascinating elements of science fiction like space travel, time travel paradoxes and robots. But it's also rich with royal history, family battles and revolutions. It's OSC at his best!
I can't wait for the next one!

By the way, for those readers who maybe haven't read any OSC before. You really need to read the ENDER'S GAME series. For those that have read it and love it, you can check this out too:
This is a fan made trailer of the long awaited, but yet to be written & filmed ENDER'S GAME movie:



I repeat, it hasn't been made into a movie. But this is an awesome trailer! OSC calls it the best fan made trailer he's seen. I agree!

More on Orson Scott Card at his website.
You won't be disappointed if you choose any of his books to read! Some others I loved:
*ALL in the ENDER'S GAME series
*THE MEMORY OF EARTH series
*ENCHANTMENT
*THE FOLK ON THE FRINGE
*HOMEBODY
*TREASURE BOX
*THE WORTHING SAGE
*THE WORTHING CHRONICLE
*MASTERPIECES - THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION OF THE CENTURY (edited by OSC)

He writes fantasy, in addition to Science Fiction. You can see all that he writes here at his website.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rachel Hawkins. DEMONGLASS

The much anticipated sequel to HEX HALL has arrived!! Yay!

We join Sophie Mercer six months after the crisis at the end of HEX HALL. Her mom's been staying on at the school, which has been a little weird. But what really surprises Sophie is that after all the years of wondering about him, her dad shows up. She finally gets to meet the only other demon besides herself in the known world.

He surprises her by announcing that he's taking her back to England for the summer. Sophie agrees, but only if her best friend Jenna can go with them. Dad agrees. Dad also wants to take Cal with them. Sophie's curious, but since Cal is a healer, she figures that it should be fine. She promises herself that she isn't going to England to be closer to Archer Cross, even though he was last seen there. He turned out to be her number one enemy - surely she isn't  still in love with him, right?

After arriving in England, Sophie is shocked to learn that there are two other demons her age. Someone is creating demons, and they have to find out who and why. Sophie helps her father with the mystery, learns to reign in her powers, and fights off threats from The Eye all at the same time. It's a busy summer for her!

I loved this! It's creative, fun and fast paced. I enjoyed spending time with Sophie and her friends again. Her father was a wonderful character addition. I found him charming, strong and a great comfort to Sophie. And I CAN'T WAIT for the next installment, since this one ends with a BIG cliffhanger!

For more about Rachel Hawkins check out her website here.
For my previous interview with her go here.