Tag Archive | adventure

Taureg by Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa

taureg

One of Gazel’s guests is murdered, and so he must fight to fix the wrongs according to his ancestor’s ways. His journey takes him from the middle of the Sahara Desert to a wasteland from which no one returns to a foreign city beside the sea. In this story, tradition clashes with the modern life as good intentions clash with corruption. Upholding either law only seems to add to the chaos of Gazel’s solitary war.

Gazel is a hero with a flaw, which of course makes this story a tragedy. He has a lot of persistence and resourceful skills. His presence makes the book fun to read. The other characters definitely add to the color of the story. There are Gazel’s foil, the ultimate bad guy, the nice guy just following orders, the nurturing women, and then pawns of the military. Ultimately, independence and remaining faithful to your values permeates this story.

I don’t necessarily agree with the treatment of some of the characters, but that’s probably because I’m not used to the Tuaregs’ culture. The story was translated from Spanish, but it’s still well written. It flows very well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have any chapter markers. Every now and then, there are breaks in between the storyline and perspective changes. Some of the perspective changes are confusing because the section starts with “he” rather than a name. Grammar mistakes can be found in the book; there are a few missing verbs and common problems.

I found this book on Goodreads and downloaded a PDF version for free.

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The Amulet by Alison Pensy

Overview from Goodreads: To seventeen-year-old Faedra, faeries were nothing more than the figurines she collected and displayed in her curio cabinet. She was in for the surprise of her life.

Faedra had no idea that faeries controlled nature, and with a book no less. Nor did she know that her descendants had protected an ancient fae amulet for thousands of years. An amulet that if ever was reunited with the book would give the wearer power to control the weather, too. She didn’t know all this because the one person to teach her died when she was just six years old. Well, now it was time for her to find out…

A letter from the grave reveals her true identity the day of her eighteenth birthday. But she barely has time to digest the revelation when she is plunged into a fight for her life and that of mankind.

My thoughts: Honestly, I’d give this book more of a 3.5. I really enjoyed reading it, but there were a few things that confused me.

Let’s begin with the impossible actions. There are a few scenes that seems impossible to me. The action described defies the basic laws of physics. I recognize that they’re in another world with magic, so it’s possible for unrealistic things to happen. However, the skeptic in my just doesn’t agree with the possibility of defying the laws of nature in a book that’s not science fiction.

I do like the main character Faedra. Her “goody-two-shoes” personality appeals to me because sweet main characters aren’t too common lately. The author does a good job of creating a character that is nice and usually follows the rules but still has quirks that makes her interesting. The one thing I don’t like about Faedra is that sometimes she seems like Kristen Stewart, except with four emotions instead of one. She’s also easily impressed and usually dropping her jaw.

There are some instances in which Faen acts out of character. It could be because Faen is guarding himself well and only let’s his real personality out occasionally, but sometimes I just don’t understand why Faen acts out of character, especially later in the book when developing his relationship with Faedra. I like their relationship and friendship, and I think it adds a great element to the book. However, their relationship seems awkward at first, and my reaction to their relationship climax was, “What the heck did I just read?!” I think the climax could’ve been orchestrated better and not seem so force.

Plot wise, I love the twists and turns. It’s not just like any other faerie/fairy story out there.  I love love how Faedra’s mother plays into this story. The mysterious mother keeps my attention, and I hope there’s more information about her in later books. I like how she purposely laid out Faedra’s task yet still left questions for Faedra to solve, allowing Faedra to grow on her own.

One other thing that bugs me is Faedra’s interactions with her family. Maybe the British act differently than Americans, but Faedra’s relationship with her father, uncle, and aunt just seem so casual. She doesn’t address Uncle Leo’s wife as “Aunt Nicki.” It’s just Nicki. To me, this is completely disrespectful. She also treats the older people in her family more like friends than family, and it just baffles me. However, I realize that all families are different, and that I should appreciate this book showing me a different style of family. It’s just very different from my own.

There’s lots of description, and some of it is chunky. It makes the book a bit hard to slug through at times. That’s the main easy I didn’t rate this book as a 4. Description can be a good thing, and sometimes it’s well used in this book. However, if some of it was subtracted or made more concise, the book wouldn’t have lost its meaning.

Also, just for kicks, since the author grew up in England, she uses lots of British terms. I learned some new words from this book. Yay, learning experiences!

I found this book for free on Amazon and downloaded it to my Kindle.

Out From Boneville, Bones vol. 1 by Jeff Smith

Out From Boneville, Bones vol. 1 by Jeff SmithOverview:After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert.

One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures…

Humor, mystery, and adventure are spun together in this action-packed, side-splitting saga. Everyone who has ever left home for the first time only to find that the world outside is strange and overwhelming will love Bone.

My thoughts: The first time I read this, I fell in love with it. Rereading it, I notice that a good bit of humor comes from older shows like Looney Tunes, so I believe older people who grew up with Looney Tunes will love this series. The panels are very easy to follow and are mostly arranged in six simple panels. This first volume opens up a gigantic mystery with many different intersecting stories. So far, I think the author has done a great job mixing the stories. The stories flawlessly flow into each other. Phoney’s story seems predictable as of right now, but I’m hoping there’s a twist in it; hopefully, it’s more than just his deals gone bad like usual.

I really enjoy the facial expressions on the characters. They have great details, especially compared to other comics I’ve read. The art has really bright colors, and it’s very enjoyable. Maybe this is only my version, but I’ve found the tones have smeared on the pages. The words are still readable, but it bothers me that the tones aren’t crisp. The copy is a few years old so maybe the smearing is due to old age.

My favorite characters right now are the rat creatures. The things they say and their clumsy personalities make scenes extremely hilarious. My favorite line is, “No. You called me fat.” I’m pretty sure I’ll reread the second one again soon.

Some words are a bit above a child’s reading level. However, I recommend this for everyone in middle school and above. I really think people who enjoyed Looney Tunes will really enjoy this series.

I borrowed this book from my younger sister. She probably bought it for $10 from Books-A-Million or Barnes&Nobles.

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Overview: Two years before Edgar Rice Burroughs became a worldwide celebrity with the publication of Tarzan of the Apes and its twenty-two sequels, which together have sold more than 30 million copies, he published the futuristic sci-fi romance, A Princess of Mars. A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who inexplicably finds himself held prisoner on the planet Mars by the Green Men of Thark. With Dejah Thoris, the princess of another clan on Mars, John Carter must fight for their freedom and save the entire planet from destruction as the life-sustaining Atmosphere Factory slowly grinds to a halt.

A Princess of Mars is the first in Burroughs’ eleven book Barsoon series, following the continued adventures of John Carter.

My thoughts: I had a hard time getting into this book at first. I had to reread many sentences to understand what the author meant. A few sentences contradict themselves. First, the author says, “Most…” but then counters with “A few…” right after it. Reading carefully is required to understand what’s going on. I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi, but the construction of the author’s world is very believable with a few flukes. He adheres to general scientific reasoning, especially considering it was published back in 1917.

The gender roles and characterization of the Indians in the book annoyed me a bit, but it was written a long time ago. I had to keep reminding myself of that fact as I scoffed at Dejah Thoris being unable to protect herself although the author seemed to set her up as someone who could fight for herself.

Towards the end of the book, I became more engrossed in it. It’s not the most interesting, entertaining, best thing I’ve read, but the middle and end of the book keep my interest and pulled me in. I don’t recommend me this for everyone. However, if you like sci-fi, then this will probably be a good match for you. Even though this book is a part of a series, I think the first book is complete in itself. I don’t plan to read anymore of this series, but we’ll see what happens.

I found this book for free on Amazon.com and downloaded it onto my kindle.