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Review Date: 7/25/2011
This book has lots of ideas for anyone who is clueless on how to be more green, and also has some great suggestions for more experienced "tree huggers".
Review Date: 3/12/2013
Exciting story, well written and easy enough to follow if you're a young reader. Interesting enough to hold an adult captivated as well.
Review Date: 3/11/2014
Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorite books in the Valdemar series. You will fall in love with the many interesting and colorful characters. Exciting and fast paced story. You won't want to put it down! The sequel is Exile's Valor. Be sure to also read Take a Thief after these two!
Review Date: 7/28/2011
Big, beautiful full color pictures and lots of useful information.
Review Date: 3/12/2013
I kept this book on me when I first moved to Japan and didn't know any of the language. It has everything you need to get around, order food, shopping, finding lodging, and asking for help. Its compact size makes it easy to carry and doesn't take up much space. It has Japanese subtitles too, so you can just point to your question and a local speaker will be able to read it. It also has some excellent background info concerning etiquette and customs. Excellent book, well worth getting if you're going to Japan.
Review Date: 8/12/2011
I find it difficult to review this book because I neither liked nor hated it. I can say with certainty, however, that I flat out hated the characters.
The students at this school (including all of the main characters), are angst-ridden and hard to like. They sleep around, they're insecure, they hurt each other emotionally on purpose. As another reviewer has already pointed out, Quentin, the main character, is moody and immature throughout. His constant "life sucks, everything sucks" internal monologues are tiresome and leave you wondering why he doesn't just jump off a cliff and get it over with. The one single character in the story who seemed to be above it all (won't mention who it is in case you want to be surprised) turned out to be just as immature as the rest in the end and I lost all respect for said character after reading it.
Throughout most of the book, it was hard to get a good sense of where everything was going. Magic does not come as easily to magicians in this story as they do to the wizards in Harry Potter. It requires extensive grueling training, which takes up the majority of the book. Finally, in the last few chapters, the story started to get interesting.
While this story left me disliking every single character, the end was interesting enough to get me to (maybe) want to read the next one just to see what happens. Hopefully, the characters will redeem themselves later on. Or get killed off. Really either is good at this point.
I also want to add that if you're looking for another "Harry Potter", this is not it. The only similarity is the existence of magic, and a magic school. I did not feel any loyalty or love for any of the characters as I did with "Potter", and at times I hoped the author was going to get rid of one or two of them.
This book is also not appropriate for younger kids as it contains some sexual situations and drug use.
Review Date: 12/19/2011
This is a great quick read for Golden Compass fans. In it we learn a little more about Lee Scoresby's younger days, and learn how he and Iorek Byrnison became friends.
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