14 June 2010
*****, Adventure, Brandon Mull, Children's Books, Demons, Dragons, Fablehaven, Fairies, Fantasy, Fiction, Imps, Satyrs, Series, Young Readers
One more series before I get into the summer reading books. Again, instead of a book-by-book review, I’m going to cover the entire series in this one review.
- Fablehaven — ISBN 9781590385814 — *****
- Rise of the Evening Star — ISBN 9781590387429 — *****
- Grip of the Shadow Plague — ISBN 9781590388983 — *****
- Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary — ISBN 9781606410424 — *****
- Keys to the Demon Prison — ISBN 9781606412381 — *****
Genre: Young Fiction (Fantasy)
Time to read: About a week.
So, first, a quick summary (avoiding spoilers at all costs). The Fablehaven series tells the story of Kendra Sorenson–who is about 14 years old in the first book–and her younger brother Seth who are on a forced vacation at the home of their estranged grandparents in Connecticut while their parents go on a cruise to fulfill the dying wish of their other grandparents who were killed in an accident. While there, they discover a magical world that is hidden in our own and known only to a very small number of people. The children’s grandparents are the caretakers of Fablehaven, a preserve that provides haven for magical beings such as fairies, satyrs, centaurs and even demons. As the series progresses, Kendra and Seth learn all about Fablehaven and the other magical preserves that are hidden all over the world and discover a little magic in themselves that allows them to help protect the world from dark magic that is trying to escape. It is a series full of magic, adventure, laughter and darkness.
This series is made up of what I like to call popcorn books: They’re light, fun, easy to read and hard to put down before they’re done. It is recommended for ages 8-12, but 8+ would be a more appropriate age range, because there is something in these books for readers of any age (though they may be a little scary for the younger crowd, so 8 sticks as the base age). The Fablehaven series just gets better with each book, and it starts off amazingly. The adventure builds to a wonderful ending, and I couldn’t help but laugh at Seth’s antics as he provides comic relief (and some lessons in caution) along the way. The characters are all wonderfully developed so that it’s easy to forget that they’re characters, and the magical creatures are masterfully rendered. A friend of mine said to me once that fairies (in a book) are hard to pull off. She was right, but Brandon Mull makes it look easy. What an amazing series! I very highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre and is looking for an awesome adventure (for the 8-12) or a quick fun read (for the 13+). Don’t let its placement in the children’s section turn you away (Harry Potter is a children’s series, after all). Read and enjoy!
Check out Brandon Mull’s website and the Fablehaven website!
Read it? Rate it!
2 June 2010
****, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Series, Stephen King, Western
I’m not going to do a book-by-book review of this series because it’s quite long and I was half-way through the final book when I decided to put this blog together. I don’t know if it’s on any summer reading lists (I doubt it is), but I can’t resist writing a quick blurb about it.
- The Gunslinger – ISBN 9780452285692 – ***
- The Drawing of the Three – ISBN 9780452284708 – ****
- The Waste Lands – ISBN 9780452284715 – *****
- Wizard and Glass – ISBN 9780452284722 – *****
- Wolves of the Calla – ISBN 9780743251624 – *****
- Song of Susannah – ISBN 9780743254557 – *****
- The Dark Tower – ISBN 9780743254564 – *****
This is my first experience in reading Stephen King books. I wasn’t 100% confident with my decision to read the series from the start. I’ve seen movies like It and The Tommyknockers, and enjoyed them thoroughly, but reading such books is different that watching movies. To me, the books are more real, because they’re in your head and your imagination paints its own pictures. I’ve been told that Stephen King’s books are a thousand times better than the movies based on them, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I started in on this series. Friends who have read the series all assured me that The Dark Tower Series isn’t as horror-filled as Stephen King’s other works and makes a good introduction to his writing style. I decided to trust them and give it a try.
I was thrilled that I decided to read it. The series was, over all quite amazing! I have to admit that the first book was extremely hard for me to get into. I even nearly put it down (Something I almost never do). I was about half-way through when I told myself I’d read one more chapter, and if I still wasn’t enthusiastic about it, I’d set it aside. That was when things started to get interesting.
From there, the series continued to get better. The second book was also slow to start, but once it got rolling, I couldn’t put it down. The third book started with a rush, and the series became a wild train ride that I couldn’t get off until the very end. Wow! Each book really is better than the last, and it’s left me wanting to pick up more Stephen King books just because his writing style is so natural that you forget the characters aren’t real and the world is just make-believe.
The Dark Tower Series is part western, part fantasy with a little bit of horror thrown in for good measure (a literary stew, Stephen King might say). I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to get caught up in an epic adventure.
Check out Stephen King’s website!
Read it? Rate it!