Book Reviews of Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1)

Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1)
Skin Hunger - Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1
Author: Kathleen Duey
ISBN-13: 9780689840937
ISBN-10: 0689840934
Publication Date: 7/24/2007
Pages: 368
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 4

4.3 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Atheneum
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

Despite what the cover may say, Kathleen Duey's SKIN HUNGER, first installment of her fantasy trilogy A RESURRECTION OF MAGIC, is not a novel. It's a third of a novel. Or maybe it's two novels. Maybe it's a sixth. But anyway you slice the cake, it's not enough.

The book alternates chapters narrated by Sadima, a farm girl, and Hahp, a second born son of a cruel merchant. The catch is that they live several generations apart. One in a world that desperately needs magic and the other in one saturated and corrupted by it.

The story opens on the night Sadima is born. Her family is cheated by a fake magician, who instead of assisting in the birth, steals their valuables and lets her mother die. Unsurprisingly, Sadima grows up in a family that hates magic and she is forced to hide her gift of understanding animals. Franklin, a servant of a young nobleman named Somiss, finds her and tells her about his belief that magic will solve all the problems of the world. Together, the three try to rediscover magic. Hahp is sent to an academy of magic. There are nine other boys. Eight of them come from wealthy families and the ninth, Hahp's roommate, is a mysterious peasant named Gerrard. Unlike Franklin's lofty ideals of teaching everyone magic, here everyone must earn the right to learn. And those who do not or cannot will die.

I think this book will appeal to both boys and girls. Initially, each protagonist seems to represent the traditional story of their gender. For Sadima, the girl, it is a love story and for Hahp, the boy, it is an adventure story. At first, I thought the sweetness of Sadima's part was a nice balance to Hahp's grittier and darker part. Over time, the two stories blur together. What Sadima does is now inextricably connected to Hahp's outcome and the future explains the past.

The book is extremely vivid and well thought out. Kathleen Duey creates many unique, strong, and complex major characters. It is undeniably a very dark book, but the main characters are too optimistic and hopeful to make it depressing. Even though it is 357 pages, the font is larger than normal and I finished it in one sitting. And as hinted in the beginning, (and I hope I'm not giving too much away), the story ends with a teeth-gnashing cliffhanger.

I really like how the story is aimed at ages twelve and up, but does not dumb down or gloss over the grittier aspects of life, such as the death of a loved one and the difficulties and consequences of making your own decisions. At the same time, I hesitate to recommend this book to grade school and possibly junior high students. If it were a movie, the violence would probably give it an "R" rating. However, the blood and gore is never gratuitous and always serves to improve the story. I have seen more graphic writing in historical fiction aimed at this age group, such Donna Jo Napoli's STONES IN WATER. It also has the same amount of emotional turmoil in any of the later HARRY POTTER and HIS DARK MATERIALS books. Not for the faint of heart, but still a great first book in what seems to be an addictive trilogy.
reviewed Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for TeensReadToo.com

Despite what the cover may say, Kathleen Duey's SKIN HUNGER, first installment of her fantasy trilogy A RESURRECTION OF MAGIC, is not a novel. It's a third of a novel. Or maybe it's two novels. Maybe it's a sixth. But anyway you slice the cake, it's not enough.

The book alternates chapters narrated by Sadima, a farm girl, and Hahp, a second born son of a cruel merchant. The catch is that they live several generations apart. One in a world that desperately needs magic and the other in one saturated and corrupted by it.

The story opens on the night Sadima is born. Her family is cheated by a fake magician, who instead of assisting in the birth, steals their valuables and lets her mother die. Unsurprisingly, Sadima grows up in a family that hates magic and she is forced to hide her gift of understanding animals. Franklin, a servant of a young nobleman named Somiss, finds her and tells her about his belief that magic will solve all the problems of the world. Together, the three try to rediscover magic. Hahp is sent to an academy of magic. There are nine other boys. Eight of them come from wealthy families and the ninth, Hahp's roommate, is a mysterious peasant named Gerrard. Unlike Franklin's lofty ideals of teaching everyone magic, here everyone must earn the right to learn. And those who do not or cannot will die.

I think this book will appeal to both boys and girls. Initially, each protagonist seems to represent the traditional story of their gender. For Sadima, the girl, it is a love story and for Hahp, the boy, it is an adventure story. At first, I thought the sweetness of Sadima's part was a nice balance to Hahp's grittier and darker part. Over time, the two stories blur together. What Sadima does is now inextricably connected to Hahp's outcome and the future explains the past.

The book is extremely vivid and well thought out. Kathleen Duey creates many unique, strong, and complex major characters. It is undeniably a very dark book, but the main characters are too optimistic and hopeful to make it depressing. Even though it is 357 pages, the font is larger than normal and I finished it in one sitting. And as hinted in the beginning, (and I hope I'm not giving too much away), the story ends with a teeth-gnashing cliffhanger.

I really like how the story is aimed at ages twelve and up, but does not dumb down or gloss over the grittier aspects of life, such as the death of a loved one and the difficulties and consequences of making your own decisions. At the same time, I hesitate to recommend this book to grade school and possibly junior high students. If it were a movie, the violence would probably give it an "R" rating. However, the blood and gore is never gratuitous and always serves to improve the story. I have seen more graphic writing in historical fiction aimed at this age group, such Donna Jo Napoli's STONES IN WATER. It also has the same amount of emotional turmoil in any of the later HARRY POTTER and HIS DARK MATERIALS books. Not for the faint of heart, but still a great first book in what seems to be an addictive trilogy.
reviewed Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1) on + 2292 more book reviews
I have had this book to read on my shelf forever. It was an intriguing and well done traditional fantasy novel. The pace is deliberate but how things unfold is very intriguing.

I listened to this on audiobook and it was decent. The narrator doesnt do a great job of distinguishing between voices, but he is pleasant to listen to and the voices are different enough that I was able to figure out who was speaking.

The story alternates between two different characters. The first we hear from is Sadima. Sadimas story is told over a broad span of time, starting with her birth and working towards when she is a young farm girl. Sadima can speak with animals, a skill she learns to hide from her brother and father because of their hatred for magicians. Sadima gets the opportunity to explore this skill when a young magician named Franklin visits her farm.

The second character we hear from is Hahp. Hahp is the youngest in a rich merchant family of horse traders, he is despised by his father for his lack of success at anything. Hahp is eventually carted off to a Magician's school where he endures great hardship as part of his training.

The story progresses deliberately. It is a bit confusing at first because you cant figure out if Sedimas story and Hahps story are connected or what timeline they occur in. At first I assumed that Hahp and Sadimas stories were both occurring in the present, but as the story went on I learned that wasnt the case.

The story ends up being very intriguing because you are constantly trying to figure out how these two stories will entwine. Also you are trying to figure out what will become of Sadimas magic and if Hahp will actually master his magic. As the story goes on you figure out that this is basically a story about how magic is being resurrected in a world where it has been repressed.

I personally thought this was a very creative story and very well done. I enjoyed how deliberately the story unfolded. I also thought the author did an excellent job in conveying what these characters went through, their emotions and hardship. Its an interesting book about what people have to deal with in order to do something extraordinary with their lives and work towards a larger cause.

This book is only the first half of the story. Absolutely nothing is resolved here and things stop pretty much in the middle of everything. So, just be aware of that and have the second book on hand if you find you are enjoying this.

Overall I enjoyed it and found it to be an intriguing and well written book. I can't wait to see what happens in the second (and final) book of this series. This is not an action packed read or a fast-paced read, however I found it to be incredibly compelling and engaging and enjoyed the characters and world. Recommended to those who enjoy deliberate yet intriguing traditional fantasy.
reviewed Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk 1) on + 302 more book reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I really wasn't sure what I expected but was attracted to the cover art. This is a case where judging a book by the cover worked.
This is a story about 2 people who lived at different times. The chapters in the book take turns on relating their story. First we have Sadima. She is a young girl who can speak to animals. She sets out on a journey to find others like her. Once there she finds love & cruelty. Then we have Hahp. He hates and is terrified of his father who sends him off to wizarding school. This is no Harry Potter wizarding school. In this school, if you can't conjure food then you starve to death.
The book ends with questions unanswered so you'll definitely be looking to get your hands on the 2nd book - Sacred Scars.
I highly recommend this book if you like dark fantasies or looking for something a bit different.