I've been testing my literacy lately, so I figured I'd pull a mini-Julie and post some book "reviews".
1. City of Ember
This was a "read-aloud" book project. Started it on the trip down to Miami for Christmas. Laura would read while we drove and the girls watched DVDs in the backseat. Then Ali started to get more interested in the book than the DVD. Good stuff!
It's a juvenile fiction novel with a setup that is a little cumbersome to describe, but easy to understand. Click the link above, read it, and come back.
Part "coming of age" (but without any romance), part detective novel, it's an enjoyable, breezy read with characters that sometimes border on caricatures (the mayor, por ejemplo). The suspense builds nicely. I actually got tense a few times, got the chills once, and celebrated the characters journey through to the end.
Which, isn't really THE end because there are three more books that follow. I haven't seen the movie yet, but am planning on it.
If you like well-written juvenile fiction, an intriguing setting, and an unfolding mystery, give it a spin. We're about halfway through the second book and still enjoying the story and characters.
2. Rising Stars
This was a finite comic book saga written by J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5 creator) several years back. I recently picked up the third (and final) trade paperback collecting the story (Amazon lists volumes 4 & 5, but those are collections of backstories and spin-offs).
Premise: A strange force (kinda like an energy comet) strikes the town of Pederson, IL. The force affects the 113 in utero babies at the time of impact—all of them are born with superhuman powers. The story is told by Poet, one of the 113, in a series of flashbacks from 60 years or more after the force struck. The big twist? Someone starts killing of the supers. Why? To what end? And does this force have a bigger purpose?
Normally I hate lots of flashbacks, but it's really more like JMS is telling the story normally with a number of short flash-forwards to the Poet commenting on what happend. The large bulk of the story is told in "real time", so the time continuum is easy to follow.
3. John, Ephesians, and Phillipians
The Bible. You've heard of it. Good stuff in there.
The Twilight Saga
I believe the best description I've read for these is "literary crack". Are they well written? Yes, but they can drag from time to time. Are the characters fleshed out? Yes, but it always feels like we're just skimming the surface of what they're made of. Are the relationships believable? Not so much, but you're having so much fun going along for the ride that you don't care.
Could these books be more? Yes. Are they enjoyable and addicting as is? Absolutely. I demolished all four in a row.