Amelia (eleven) - , - Reviews

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The Anvil of the World
The Anvil of the World
Author: Kage Baker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 2/17/2015


Genuinely the funniest book I've ever read. I had to struggle not to giggle aloud at work... I was not always successful.


The Book of Atrix Wolfe
The Book of Atrix Wolfe
Author: Patricia A. McKillip
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 2/17/2015


Before I read Atrix Wolfe, I read some other reviews saying it wasn't Patricia McKillip's best work, so I went ahead with lowered expectations, and at first I thought they were justified. Maybe they are! But for an author like McKillip, "not her best" is still a unique and lovely fantasy written so beautifully I didn't want it to end. Maybe I'm biased, because Patricia McKillip is one of my all time favorite authors, and I think she does this type of dream-like fantasy better than anyone, but I was completely enchanted.


The Book of Were-Wolves
The Book of Were-Wolves
Author: Sabine Baring-Gould
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/22/2012


This was one of the very first books I read when I got my Kindle, and I was fascinated by it. It is a very good compilation of stories about real "were-wolves," as well as theories about what might be the true cause behind their behavior. (Many of these stories are based on recorded historical events, and in several cases Baring-Gould even references court documents from real cases of cannibalism/murder/witchcraft allegations.)

Not all of the stories are strictly about what we today would call werewolves; many concern other types of shape-shifting, cannibalistic behavior, etc. but all with the same purpose - to point out that stories of werewolves and the like have existed throughout human history and in nearly every culture - often with surprising and repeated consistencies - which raises the question: is there something to the stories? And if so, what is the truth behind the myths and legends?

I definitely recommend this very interesting book, with one warning - it contains graphic descriptions of cannibalism, torture, and violent murder.


Buried
Buried
Author: Robin Merrow MacCready
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/22/2012


This book is disturbing in the best way. I already have a bit of an obsession with washing my hands and writing lists and such, and reading this made me itch to start cleaning something. I really like how the disturbing factors subtly grow until you just can't deny the lurking feeling that something is very wrong. I also like the way the truth is revealed - though I saw it coming in a general sense, I admit I was shocked by the particulars.

Buried is morbidly fascinating and makes you think about just how much your mind is capable of. It really doesn't have any direct conflict - the conflict is within the main character's mind. This is a good read if you like creepy stories but don't necessarily want Stephen King level horror.


Cranford
Cranford
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/22/2012
Helpful Score: 1


I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I'd been planning to read North and South, but I'd never read anything by Mrs. Gaskell, and Cranford is much shorter, so I decided to read it first and see how I liked her writing before starting a longer book. I wondered how interesting a book about a bunch of old ladies could be, but almost immediately I found myself laughing out loud again and again at their ridiculous little quirks and traditions, as well as some of the flat-out hilarious lines they came out with.

Cranford isn't just comedy though. Once you get to know the ladies you become attached to them, and there are some very emotional moments when it comes to retelling the stories of their younger days and confronting their old age, and the loyalty and kindness between all the ladies is truly touching. There is not much romance, but what little there is is sweet and yet realistic. I recommend this book to fans of both Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. (Dickens and Gaskell were friends, and he comes up more than once in Cranford.)


Ever
Ever
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 6/22/2012


I was so disappointed by this book. I almost can't believe it was written by Gail Carson Levine. The characters are somewhat flat, and the whole story just moves too quickly to really get into. Kezi and Olus fell in love WAY too quickly, which made it very difficult to take them seriously as a couple who was planning to stay together forever. They barely knew each other, and yet they kept spouting all this stuff about eternal love and loyalty. I didn't know whether to laugh in derision or start sobbing at just how awful it was.

As if that weren't enough, the plot is often very disjointed and just doesn't really flow at all. There were a lot of things left as mysteries, and not in a good way. I kept waiting for the story to become more fleshed out, but it just never happened, which made it feel very shallow. I was also left very unsatisfied by the ending.

***HERE BE SPOILERS***

The book ends with Kezi having turned into an immortal goddess to join Olus and the other gods on their magical mountain in the sky. (This in itself was disturbing, that she was so ready to let people worship her.) She lets her family continue to believe that she is dead, seemingly without a care for how they feel about it, ALTHOUGH SHE COULD GO TALK TO THEM ANYTIME SHE WANTED TO. Instead she stays with the boy/god she had known for less than half a year. Personally I just can't stand that, and it left me with very little respect or liking for the character.

***END SPOILERS***


TL;DR: Don't waste your time. If you're looking for a really good story by this author, go for Ella Enchanted, Fairest, or Two Princesses of Bamarre.


The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Faded Sun Trilogy
Author: C. J. Cherryh
Book Type: School Library Binding
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/19/2016


i'm picky about science fiction and generally prefer fantasy, but this easily became one of my favorite series. the mri are the most believable and interesting alien species i've read, and the individual characters are easy to like and sympathize with. i'm looking forward to reading more of cherryh's books!


I, Iago: A Novel
I, Iago: A Novel
Author: Nicole Galland
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/22/2012


Iago has always been my favorite character from Othello, simply because he was the most interesting. Sure, I liked Othello himself, but he was too easy to understand, and there wasn't much about him that stood out to me. Iago, on the other hand, is clever and unpredictable, not to mention straight up hilarious. So I was excited when I found this book in an airport, and I bought it right then - not normal for me, but I have no regrets. I'd never read anything else by this author, but I definitely plan to now. She is simply an amazing writer who puts you right in the character's mind, and on top of that, she's clearly done her research thoroughly.

I fell in love with Iago right away, and Emilia is just as good. In fact, not a single side character falls flat, and it was just a delight to read a story in which absolutely nothing feels faked. The idea of Iago as a good person who made some very bad choices works so well the way Nicole Galland has written it, and long before the end I was dreading his inevitable downfall. I wasn't disappointed. This book broke my heart and left me thinking for a long time after I finished reading - two things which I absolutely love in a book.

I recommend this book especially to fans of Shakespeare and/or good historical fiction.


The Little Prince
The Little Prince
Author: Antoine de Saint Exupery
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/17/2012


This is a book that I think everyone should read. It's a short but wonderful story, full of humor and wisdom. The Little Prince will change the way you see the stars...


Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 6/22/2012


I had to read Lord of the Flies for English in high school, and for most of the book I didn't think I liked it that much. At the very end of the book, though, when I read the last scene, all of a sudden it hit me how amazing it was, and I just sat there for a while thinking about it. I won't give away what happens at the end, but to me it was just a sudden reminder that these kids were still just little boys, despite all the horrible things they had seen and done.

I've never had this happen to me with any other book - where I didn't really care for it until the very end, and though it's still not my favorite book ever, I definitely plan on reading it again sometime. I think this is one of those books that it's important for people to read, and it will certainly leave you thinking. Just don't look at it as a book to read only for entertainment, because it's much more than that.


Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' Stardust: Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie
Review Date: 6/22/2012


I like every Neil Gaiman book I've read, and though I saw the movie adaptation of this book first and loved it, the book is just as great, though quite different. The illustrations are lovely and the story is a fantastic fairy tale that's actually very original. The characters, as expected from Neil Gaiman, are interesting and three-dimensional, and he makes it very easy to root for the good guys. As an added bonus, he's great at writing humor, and there is plenty to make you laugh.

One of the biggest differences between the movie and the book is the ending, but I love them both. The movie ending was perfect for a movie, and the book ending was perfect for a book. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy or fairy tales, but it should be mentioned that there are a few pretty mature scenes, so I wouldn't suggest it for anyone too young.


Tuck Everlasting
Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 285
Review Date: 6/27/2012


I read Tuck Everlasting in grade school, and I've never been able to forget it. It's one of the first books that really made me think, and I blame Natalie Babbitt for my subsequent love of sad stories. It's not very long, so it might be good for kids who easily get bored or who aren't really into reading yet, but don't assume it's a "kids' book." I would probably be rereading it right now if I hadn't lost my copy... :(


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