Melissa B. (dragoneyes) - , - Reviews

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77 Shadow Street
77 Shadow Street
Author: Dean Koontz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 1/26/2012
Helpful Score: 3


I've been a long time Koontz fan. The last 5 or 6 years I have been on hiatus from his books because they were becoming such disappointments. I love the way Koontz pulls you in and doesn't let go but lately he hasn't been doing that. Then I got this book and decided to try him again. Although the pull was only "somewhat" there in the beginning it still held my interest. That pull did arrive about the middle of the book and then all the way until the end. I could hardly put it down!
The Pendleton is a luxury apartment complex built on 77th Shadow Street. The building has had a lot of weird things happen there and people have died but that was a long time ago. But now the building has seemed to awaken and everyone who lives there will be fighting for their lives.
The book is set up differently than other Koontz books. He had sections that were short snip-its of the characters, he had a section on "The One", and sections on things that were happening in the Pendleton and around. The ones on the characters were my favorite parts to read. Although I found them a bit confusing because there were so many characters, it didn't take but one or 2 sentences in each section to realize who they were exactly. I found myself really liking a lot of the characters and not liking others but thought the development of each was enjoyable.
I personally recommend this book but it seems that some of Koontz's fans like this one and some didn't. Guess you'll have to give it a try and see what you think.


Abhorsen (Abhorsen, Bk 3)
Abhorsen (Abhorsen, Bk 3)
Author: Garth Nix
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 155
Review Date: 11/16/2010


I just finished the Abhorsen. What a wonderful read. The book picks right up from where Lirael left off. We find Lirael, Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget off on their quest to stop the Destroyer and all that stand with It. I went through the book wondering if Lirael would be able to handle being the Abhorsen in waiting, what the role of Wallmaker, for Sam, would be, who really was the Disreputable Dog and which side is Mogget really on? It was very fast paced and I could hardly put it down. Sad to see it end though.


Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series Book 1)
Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series Book 1)
Author: Elise Kova
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/6/2017


Really enjoyed this book. The idea was a bit different and the characters were well drawn out. The main character is someone I could relate to. She was a hard worker, funny, smart and loved books. I enjoyed reading about her and her days in the library. When the story takes off further to forbidden magic, I enjoyed reading about that as well. Even the romance wasn't too overly done (which tends to happen in YA). Looking for to the next book in the series!


The Alchemaster's Apprentice: A Novel
The Alchemaster's Apprentice: A Novel
Author: Walter Moers
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/22/2014


What a fun book! I enjoyed every ounce of it. It's about a creature called a Crat. Which is very close to being a cat but can speak many languages. They are pretty rare. This particular Crat is named Echo. Echo finds himself in a quandary when his mistress dies and he has no where to go. He wanders the streets of Zamonia starving. When, at the point where he cannot go any further, he meets Ghoolion, the town's Alchemaster. Ghoolion strikes up a deal with Echo... I'll feed you the finest food but after a month is gone, I get to kill you so I can render your fat. Starving, Echo takes him up on his deal. But Ghoolion has another thing coming if he thinks this will be easy.
I loved how much fun this book was. I enjoyed all the different characters I got to meet. The only downfall was my own doing. I listened to the audio book instead of reading it. Even though the narrator was perfect, I have now seen the book and all of the wonderful illustrations and wish I would have read it instead. Looking forward to more of Moers' books.


The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
Review Date: 11/15/2010


I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. One friend that read it really loved it. Another friend couldn't stand it and couldn't even finish it. I went into it not sure if I even wanted to try. It turns out to be a very simple read. Nothing profound, no big flattering words, no elegant prose but I found myself enjoying it all the same. It had a lot of ideas and philosophy that I liked to sit back and ponder on. I love a book that makes you think. It is about a simple shepherd boy who seeks out his own personal legend. The book is about the journey he makes, the people he meets and the things he learns. Don't open this book thinking it is a literary masterpiece... just ease into it a look at it for the simple meaning and beautiful story it gives.


The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Bk 1)
The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Bk 1)
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 183
Review Date: 11/16/2010
Helpful Score: 1


The Amulet of Samarkand is the first book of The Bartimaeus Trilogy. It is about a 12 year old boy named Nathaniel who becomes an apprentice to a magician. The magician is uncaring and hard on Nathaniel while the magician's wife is very kind to him. Nathaniel dreams of going to Parliament with the other magicians and is bored by how slow his studies are going. He decides to study on his own and learns a great deal more than an apprentice his age should. After being humilated in front of many other magicians by Simon Lovelace (a magician himself), Nathaniel is set for revenge. He summons a djinni named Bartimaeus. From there many things happen that seem to get the both of them into more trouble than they were in the beginning. But they both know that Simon Lovelace is up to something bad but can they prove it? Will they ever be to overcome their bad luck? Will Nathaniel's dream of Parliament ever come true? You must read to find out!


And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Review Date: 7/24/2017


A very heartwarming and sentimental read about love and growing old. It battles the effects of slowing losing your mind and how difficult it is for the person experiencing it and to their loved ones. It was a short read but very sweet nonetheless.


Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, Bk 1)
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, Bk 1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 9/5/2013


I picked up this book mainly because of all the hubbub about it. I was hoping for a creepy book that sent chills up my spine but didn't really think that this would be the one... I was wrong!
It's about a boy named Cas that is a ghost killer. He took up the profession just like his dad but now he's on the lookout for the same ghost that killed his dad. He travels with his mom, who is a witch, to many different places looking for ghosts that cause trouble. This leads him to a place where the local ghost story is about a girl named Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas decides to check it out and when he does his whole ghost killer business gets turned upside down.
From the very first chapter of this book I was hooked. I love the way Blake writes. Not a boring moment at all. She has a fine catch on how teenagers act and talk and they were all very believable. Cas was charmingly witty and I very much enjoyed reading about him and the rest of the crew as well. When the book got to Anna, I actually had the chills go down my spine. She totally creeped me out. The author throws some gore in there as well. Now to read the 2nd book... Can't wait!!!


Annexed
Annexed
Author: Sharon Dogar
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 5/13/2011


While I enjoyed this book, I did not think it was outstanding. It's a fictional account from Peter, the young boy that was in the annex with Anne Frank. That being said, it was hard for me to get into a "diary like" book knowing that it wasn't really his diary. Since Peter didn't have a diary, the author went by Anne's diary and other facts that they knew about Peter and what he went through. I think the author did a very good job. I liked the way she ended the book the most. I thought it was a very beautiful way to end it. I also liked the follow up at the end of the book that let's us know what happened to each member of the annex. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because I found it never really grabbed my attention until close to the end. I didn't necessarily struggle with the book but did not feel compelled to pick it up and read it whenever I had time. I think it was a good book and would recommend it.


Another Fine Myth (Myth, Bk 1)
Another Fine Myth (Myth, Bk 1)
Author: Robert Asprin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 119
Review Date: 12/22/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This was such a fun read for me. A bit a fantasy mixed up with a lot of humor. I found myself giggling through the whole book. At the beginning I wasn't too sure about the book but it soon took off and didn't stop until the end. The story line was good and the funny comments was great but the best thing about this book was the characters. I loved them all. Even the evil wizard was a hoot. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.


The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 277
Review Date: 3/9/2012


Being an animal lover and also getting a recommendation from my dad, I had high expectations for this book. Maybe that was the problem to begin with. I started it with much anticipation and as I was reading my large grin implanted on my face started to falter. I really wasn't enjoying it but I had to keep on. Which I'm glad I did because I ended up liking it for most part. The book is done by the family dog's point of view. Which most of the time was cute. A lot of the book was done around racing as well. I guess this is a big place where this book fell short for me. Especially in the beginning. I'm not a race fan and don't care for it at all but that's what was talked about throughout most of the book. Sometimes it was okay when they gave little snip-its of racing quotes or thoughts but sometimes it seemed to go on and on which quite bored me. There were some funny parts (like the evil zebra, eating peppers for the twins, etc) but for most part the book was just okay for me.


Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (Spiderwick Chronicles)
Review Date: 11/16/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I love this book! I can look through it over and over again and never get tired of the beautiful illustrations. This illustrated book ties into the Spiderwick Chronicles books. It is the actual field guide that they talk about in this series that all of the fantasy creatures are trying to get ahold of. It is not supposed to be in human hands. No telling what the humans would do if they knew their secrets!


Article 5 (Article 5, Bk 1)
Article 5 (Article 5, Bk 1)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 9/4/2013


America is in ruins, wastelands are throughout and the government has complete control. Anyone caught breaking the articles (laws) are taken away and never seen again. Ember doesn't think she has it that bad. She's really doesn't know any different. Until one day they come to take her mom away for breaking an article. Now her world has been turned upside down.
The beginning of this book had me intrigued. I love dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories and seeing how each one is set up. After a little ways through the book though I struggled. I started not liking the main character, Ember. She really started getting on my nerves by doing stupid things and not listening that ended up getting her or others in trouble. She almost seemed self righteous at times. Then Chase, who is Ember's old flame, came off as not much better. Expecting Ember to listen and deal with his moods without any explanation of why behind it. I was starting to think that I wouldn't go on to the next book when it finally started to pick up. I felt that both the characters redeemed themselves. That was the only downfall of the book... the characters. The story was fast paced and the setting was imaginative. So I will be reading the next book in hopes that the characters do not go back to their old ways.


The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, Bk 2)
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, Bk 2)
Author: Patrick Ness
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 12/28/2010


I loved this book. It was just as good as the first one. In this book we get the point of view from Todd and Viola. At first I wasn't sure I would like it done that way but quickly changed my mind. This book starts where book 1 left off. Todd and Viola have found Haven and instead of finding the hope they were looking for, they walked into the arms of the enemy. Are they strong enough to survive? Is there any chance of escape?
Just like his first book, Ness leaves lots of twists and turns and most of the chapters end with a cliffhanger. I love how he does this but my favorite part of his work is the characters. Ness draws a vivid picture for each and every one of them.
Look forward to reading the 3rd book!


Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice, Bk 4)
Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice, Bk 4)
Author: Joseph Delaney
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 11/16/2010


I always get excited when I find that Delaney has written another book for the Last Apprentice series. I also get worried. How can he write about the same thing and have it not get boring? Well Delaney pulls it off every time. I am always on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. He has a wonderful way of writing that doesn't slow down a bit. I have loved every book in this series (including this one). My 2 kids love them as well.
This time the Spook and Tom do not have to fight a witch or two but instead three whole covens. That sounds bad enough but put in the Fiend as well... let's just say they have a lot of ground to cover. On top of that Tom finds himself alone many times and having to put to test what the Spook has taught him. Can such a short apprenticeship and his wits be enough? Read the book and find out. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.


Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land
Review Date: 11/16/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This book is an eye opener. It shows what human beings will do just to survive. I always heard about the horrors committed on the prisoners by soldiers but not about the prisoners turning on each other. I was able to see all sides in this book. There were evil SS men and yet there were ones that showed compassion. There were prisoners that would beat and starve other prisoners and ones who stuck together through all. A wonderful read but I would have liked to know more at the end though... more of her life after the war was over.


The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Bk 2)
The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Bk 2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 151
Review Date: 9/2/2011


This is the 2nd book in the Darkest Powers series. I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first. It continues from exactly where the first book leaves off. After Chloe is betrayed my her own aunt she is locked up by the Edison Group. There she learns about the experiments that were conducted and realizes she must escape. When she finally gets her chance, it's not as easy as she thought. Only with the help of Tori do they get away. That is what this book is mostly about... them running away. But with this there is still a lot going on. They come across a lot of challenges that they need to face, they learn more about each other and learn more about their powers as well. I really like the character development in this book. I feel attached to each one of those kids. I love the almost nonstop action and can't wait to read the third book. This one (as well as the 1st one) finishes abruptly. So you might want to make sure you have the 3rd book handy.


Baby Island
Baby Island
Author: Carol Ryrie Brink, Helen Sewell (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 11/16/2010


As a little girl, I loved babies! I wanted one of my own so bad (little did I know what I would have been in for). I ended up coming across this book and fell in love with it. I felt so close to the two girls and wished so much that I was in their shoes. It about 2 sisters who are shipwrecked along with 4 babies. They ended up getting stranded on an island where they not only have to fend for themselves but for the little ones as well. No matter what the girls came across they always tried hard and did their best. It really inspired me. I still have my copy from when I was a little girl. Highly recommended!


The Ballad of Black Tom
The Ballad of Black Tom
Author: Victor LaValle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/28/2017


I really enjoyed this story. It had a dreamy like feel to it while reading. I had no idea that it went with the Lovecraft story, The Horror at Red Hook. Now I'm going to have to find that story and read it as well. Even so, it still stands on it's own for a great story.
The book is about a hustler named Thomas Tester who knows about things not all of us are aware of. His latest hustle with a sorceress in Queens and the meeting with a wealthy eccentric man puts Tester in a place he was not wishing to be. Things become a lot worse and Tester decides to take matters into his own hands which does not bode well for the rest of us.


Beast
Beast
Author: Donna Jo Napoli
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 1/28/2011


I was really looking forward to this book. I love all the fairy tales and thought a different take on Beauty and the Beast would be refreshing. While this book was not bad, it was not that great either. It seemed to stretch on forever. There were a few good parts which got me going but for most part, I just didn't feel compelled to read it. It was more of a struggle for me. I would have to admit the last part of the book was probably best. Once I got to that part I didn't want to put it down. I'm not really sure if I would recommend this book or not. I know that I didn't find it compelling but I think that some might.


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