Alyson Noel – Fated

Fated

paperback
publisher: MacMillan
published 2012
pages: 448

Book on Amazon

Blurb:
Strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her,glowing people appear from nowhere. Worried that Daire’s having a breakdown, her mother sends her to stay with the grandmother she’s never met, who lives on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico. There Daire crosses oaths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes.
Her grandmother recognizes Daire’s episodes for what they are – a call to her true destiny as Soul Seeker, a persn who can navigate between the living and the dead. Guided by her grandmother, Daire must be quick to learn how to harness her powers, because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter, out to steal them.
Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and discover whether Dace is the guy she’s meant to be with … or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

In (Very) Short:

+ young adult fantasy novel
+ Daire’s a soul seeker, who has to fight evil and save the world as we know it
+ I enjoyed the Native American spiritual aspects
– the story itself was slow at times
– typical YA: I’ve never met you before but I am in love after 5 seconds

My Opinion:

I am not necessarily sure why I picked this book up, but I did. It sounded good and I took it home from the library. The story itself was that of a typical young adult fantasy novel:

  • girl has supernatural powers and weird dreams
  • girl has to discover her true destiny
  • girl has weird sex dreams of boy
  • girl meets boy and is in love
  • girl has to save the world from being annihilated by evil (in form of boys twin brother)

The spiritual aspect was actually quite fascinating and intriguing. I enjoyed the fantasy world that was introduced although it lacked a little explanation, but I am sure that will come later. There are several worlds – the Upperworld, the Lowerworld and the Middleworld. The Middleworld is the one that we inhabit, but we are unable to truly see. Soul Seekers and Shamans, however, can. I like the idea of the spirit animal and as usual I liked the side kicks more than the main protagonists.
But since I have read quite a few Y/A fantasy books, I get a little annoyed with the whole „I never met you, but I am so in love with you“ vibe. Apart from that and the fact, that the narrative had some quite slow moments + a temporarily really annoying teenage protagonist, it was a solid read.

Bottom Line:

Good book for someone, who is not familiar with spiritual journeys and symbolism.

Rating:

rating 3

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Melanie Welsh – Felicity Gallant und Das Auge des Sturms/ Mistress of the Storm

felicity gallant

Hardcover
Verlag: Dressler
veröffentlicht: 2012
Seiten: 319

Book on Amazon (Deutsch/English)

Klappentext/Blurb:

Im verschlafenen Städtchen Wellow passiert einfach nichts Aufregendes. Dabei wünscht sich Felicity Gallant sehnlich einmal ein richtiges Abenteuer zu erleben. Als ein rätselhafter Fremder auftaucht, der ihr ein altes Buch und einen geheimnisvollen Gegenstand überreicht, geht Felicitys Wunsch plötzlich in Erfüllung. Kurz darauf legt die sagenumwobene „Sturmwolke“ in Hafen an und es geschehen bedrohliche Dinge! Aber was hat das alles mit Felicity zu tun? Wird es ihr gemeinsam mit ihren Freunden gelingen, die Geheimnisse von Wellow zu ergründen?

Verity Gallant has always struggled to fit in. Outshone by her perfect sister and tormented by her schoolmates, she knows there is nothing special about her.

But everything changes when the Storm docks at the quiet harbour town of Wellow, and Verity receives an ancient book from a mysterious stranger. It tells the chilling story of the Mistress of the Storm – a story that has been kept from Verity all her life.

Suddenly Wellow is stirring with long-hidden secrets and bitter rivalries. As dark clouds roll menacingly above and Verity begins to uncover the truth about her family’s past, she becomes dangerously entangled in a web of dark magic and powerful revenge.

In Kürze/ In(Very)Short:

+ zeitlose Geschichte von Freundschaft und Abenteuern
+ schön, spannend, unterhaltsam
+ schöne und nachvollziehbare Charakterentwicklung
+ Piraten, Geheimnisse, Freundschaft und übernatürliche Elemente
+ timeless story about friendship and adventures
+ beautiful,entertaining, thrilling
+ understandable character development
+ pirates, secrets, friendship and supernatural elements

Meinung/Opinion:

Eine zeitlose Geschichte von Freundschaft und Abenteuern. Felicity ist eine Außenseiterin und wird in der Schule gehänselt und auch in ihrer Familie fühlt sie sich recht fehl am Platz. Ihr einziger Trost sind ihre Bücher.

Als die sagenumwobene Sturmwolke in das kleine verschlafene Städtchen Wellow kommt, bringt die auch gleich ihre Großmutter mit. Eine Frau von der Felicity bis dahin nichts wusste. Nun wird das junge Mädchen nicht nur in der Schule gepiesackt, sondern auch von ihrer gemeinen Großmutter gequält. Doch bei einem ist sich Felicity sicher: Irgendwas stimmt nicht mir der Frau. Mit ihren beiden Freunden Henry Twogood und der belesenen Martha versucht sie zu erfahren, was ihre Großmutter im Schilde führt und was sie herausfindet, übersteigt ihre kühnsten Erwartungen. Plötzlich sind die drei Freunde mitten drin in einem Abenteuer von dem man sonst nur in Büchern liest.

Das Buch ist sehr schön geschrieben. Der Spannungsbogen wird langsam aufgebaut und man kann das Buch am Ende kaum aus der Hand legen. Felicity wird von der Außenseiterin zu einer kleinen Heldin, die sich auf ihre Freunde verlassen kann, welche ihr mit Rat und Tat zur Seite stehen. Sehr viel Aufmerksamkeit hat die Autorin der Charakterentwicklung geschenkt und diese ist wirklich gelungen und sehr nachvollziehbar.

Ein wirklich gelungener Abenteuerroman mit Piraten, die Macht der Geschichten und ein paar übernatürliche Elementen.

A timeless story of friendship and adventure. Verity is an outsider who is teased at school and feels like she doesn’t belong not even to her own family. Her only comfort are her books.

When an alleged pirate ship returns to Wellow so does Verity’s grandmother. A grandmother she has never heard of before. Now Verity is teased in school and harassed at home. But Verity is sure of one thing: there is something wrong with that woman. With help of her friends Henry and Martha she wants to discover her grandmother’s secrets. And suddenly the friends are in the middle of an adventure that only happen in books.

The books is written beautifully and the arc of suspense develops slowly. I could not put the book down. Verity, the former outsider with no friends, turns into the heroine, with friends she can rely on and that stand by her side. The author payed much attention to character development.

A great adventure story about pirates, the power of stories, and some supernatural elements.

Fazit/Bottom Line:

Ein toller, spannender Abenteuerroman mit Piraten, Geheimnissen und einer kleinen, rothaarigen Heldin.

A fantastic and exiting adventure story with pirates, secrets and a little redheaded heroine.

Rating:

rating 4

Febuary Book Haul

Michael Grant – Hunger

It’s been three months since all adults disappeared. Gone.

Food ran out weeks ago and starvation is imminent. Meanwhile, the normal teens have grown resentful of the kids with powers. And when an unthinkable tragedy occurs, chaos descends upon the town. There is no longer right and wrong. Each kid is out for himself even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling them, guiding them, manipulating them. The Darkness has awakened and it is hungry.

I have read the first book in the first half of the last year and I enjoyed it. It was interesting to see, what would happen if all adults suddenly disappear and how the youth would cope with the loss and their increasing supernatural powers. There have been many unanswered questions after GONE, but since this is a series, I doubt many will be answered any time soon. I am interested to see how it continues and how the author keeps up the arc of suspense.

Febuary Haul

Cassandra Clare – City of Lost Souls

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, but so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees. The Clave cannot locate either boy, but Jace can’t stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror of Lilith’s magic – Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant to evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but it is impossible to harm one boy without destroying the other.

Only a few people believe Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle make hard choices that get them no closer to severing the tie between Jace and Sebastian. They turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters. If the Iron Sisters can’t help, their only chance is to challenge Heaven and Hell – a risk that could claim their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price for losing is not just her life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love.

The fifth book in the Moral Instruments series was in a bargain bin and I couldn’t leave it there all on its own. I have read the first book, but I am still missing book 2 and 3. I think, I will start to marathon some series and for that I need to collect first. But I am interested to see how the series develops and if Clare can keep up the suspense over so many sequels.

Peter Pan

My last book this month was a children’s pop up book with sound effects. And I am in love. It is the story of Peter Pan and it is so beautiful and wonderful. I am all for children’s books, but I have never really looked at books for smaller children. Since so many of my friends are currently having children and desperately trying to regain control over their sleeping habits, I had a look around. And I came across this. And I had to have it.

CIMG4783 CIMG4671

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades// Deary/Brown – Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks

percy

paperback
publisher: Puffin
published: this book has been specially written and published for World Book Day 2009
pages: 151

In (Very) Short:

+ short story of Percy Jackson
+ two books in one
+ you turn the book it turns into Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks
+ funny, entertaining, thrilling, great
+ I just love Percy Jackson

My Opinion:

This little novella, short story, or whatever you want to call it, is lovely and wonderful. I am not sure I am very objective when it comes to Percy Jackson. I love the series. So, for me everything Percy related is always good. And it is.

Here you have two books in one: first Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades and when you turn it over you get Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks.

The Percy Jackson story is exiting, funny, and wonderful. Percy, Thalia, and Nico are all brought together to the Underworld to help find – you guessed it – the Sword of Hades. The three friends have to battle demons, fight a titan, and stay alive to save the world.

The story is narrated from Percy’s perspective (as are all the novels) and I had to laugh out loud so many times, that people sure though I was more than a little crazy. It was a fun and exiting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The second book – the Horrible Histories – was a short history of Ancient Greece. The illustrations throughout this part are funny and loosen up the rather stuffy appearing history bits. The writing alone is wonderfully entertaining as well and again lots of laughs from me and more than one eye brow was raised my way, when I was reading on the train.

Bottom Line:

A wonderful and fantastic read.

Rating:

rating 5

Uschi Flacke – Das Mädchen mit den Seidenraupen

For a short English review of this book – please see further below. This book is originally written in German and not available in English at this point.

das mädchen mit den seidenraupen

Taschenbuch
Verlag: Carlsen
veröffentlicht: 2012
Seiten: 287

Book on Amazon

Klappentext:

Übelkeit stieg in ihr hoch. Überall auf ihrem nackten Oberkörper wuselten und krochen Raupen, unter ihren Achselhöhlen, die Wirbelsäule hoch bis zu den Nackenhaaren. Es wimmelte, kroch und zappelte.

Adrienne muss Kokons von Seidenraupen aus einer streng bewachten Zucht stehlen, andernfalls wird sie ihre Schwester Suzanne nicht wiedersehen. Die Aufgabe scheint nicht nur unlösbar, Adrienne empfindet auch tiefen Ekel vor den abscheulichen Tieren. Doch ihre Erpresser schrecken auch vor Mord nicht zurück, denn die Gier nach kostbaren Seidenstoffen ist groß. Schon bald ist das Mädchen in die Machtspiele der Seidenraupenzüchter und Adligen verstrickt ohne länger zu wissen, wem es noch trauen kann. Und als der Tag der Übergabe naht, steht Adrienne noch immer mit leeren Händen da…

In Kürze:

+ guter, recht spannender historischer Jugendroman
+ schöner Schreibstil und unglaublich detaillierte und lebhafte Beschreibung
+ interessante Fakten der Seidenproduktion fließend mit Geschichte verwoben
– die Eifersucht der Protagonistin war stellenweise recht nervend

Meinung:

Dies ist mein erster historischer Jugendroman und ich muss sagen, die Geschichte hat mir gut gefallen. Das schlichte mit Scherenschnitt und Blumen gestaltete Cover hatte meine Aufmerksamkeit auf das Buch gelenkt und ich habe mich auf die Reise nach Lyon des 16. Jahrhunderts begeben.

Adrienne verliert ihre Eltern bei einem Feuer und lebt fortan mit ihrer Schwester in einem Waisenhaus in dem alle fürchterlich behandelt und ausgenutzt werden. Um zu überleben, flieht Adrienne mit ihrer kleinen Schwester, die auch prompt als Geisel genommen wird. Adrienne soll wertvolle Seidenraupen stehlen sonst wird ihre Schwester sterben. Mit Hilfe der Skandaleusen (eine Gruppe obdachloser Kinder) setzt sie alles daran an die wertvollen Tiere zu gelangen. Doch ihr läuft die Zeit davon.

Der Grundgedanke des Buches ist interessant und spannend. Hier treffen Krimi, Jugendroman und Geschichte aufeinander und sind gut miteinander verwoben. Ich habe viel über Seidenweberei erfahren, was schön in die Handlung eingebaut wurde, ohne diese zu dominieren. Die Autorin beschreibt Lyon und das 16. Jahrhundert sehr lebendig, so dass ich öfter das Gefühl hatte, ich könnte die Stadt riechen.

Auch wenn das Buch gegen Mitte ein wenig durchhängt, wird die Handlung sehr schnell wieder spannend und die Geschichte findet ihr doch überraschendes Ende. Ein paar Probleme hatte ich mit der Protagonistin wenn es um die „Liebe“ ging. Sie ging mir mit ihrer ganzen Unsicherheit und besonders ihrer Eifersucht sehr auf den Kranz – und das alles nachdem sie und Lucas sich 2 Tage kannten. Etwas schwer auszuhalten manchmal. Aber ansonsten ein schöner Einstieg in dieses Subgenre.

Fazit:

Ein guter, recht spannender und wunderbar lebhaft beschriebener und geschriebener historischer Jugendroman.

In English:

This young adult historical novel is set in 16th century Lyon and follows the protagonist’s (Adrienne) story, who is forced to steal silk worms in order to save her kidnapped sister. She designs a plan with help her friends (a group of homeless orphans), but she is running out of time.

Here mystery meets love and historical fiction and the author describes the time so vividly that I felt I was smelling it. The protagonist was a little annoying, however, when love was concerned. Her unnecessary and inexplicable jealousy was a little to much at times. But all together a good book.

Rating:

rating 3

My Reading Month Febuary

Despite a whole lot of chaos, my reading month was quite good. 4 books were just really slim, but nevertheless I also managed to read some thicker books. All in all, I am happy with what I read.

Melanie Welsh – Felicity Gallant und das Auge des Sturms

This wonderful and exiting adventure story was my first read this month. With the predominantly dark and gloomy weather outside, a book about pirates, secrets, supernatural elements and friendship was the right start into the month. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next installment.

the uncommon reader felicity gallant

Alan Bennett – The Uncommon Reader

This was a lovely and short read. The Queen becomes a reader and the people are annoyed by that and somehow perceive it as a waste of time. I enjoyed the story and imagined Elizabeth II having a book in her purse. It is a great idea and beautifully written.

Kirsten John – Dornröschen, der Märchenprinz und meine total verrückte Tante

All three books in this series are really short and sweet. Mia has to stay with her aunt when her parents go on a business trip. Although she doesn’t like the idea at first, she is intrigued by her aunt’s strange behavior and her whispering book of fairy tales. When she opens the book, she is drawn into the story of Sleeping Beauty. Her arrival causes some problems and Mia soon discovers that the prince is no help at all. So it is up to her to stop the 13th fairy. It is a wonderful series with a lovely and strong main character and a great adventure.

Mia 3 mia 2 mia 1

Kirsten John – Schneewittchen, der Nervzwerg und die verflixte Schokotorte AND Kirsten John – Aschenputtel, der goldene Schuh und der Prinz mit der Beule

In the two sequels Mia returns to the world of fairy tales and has to save more princesses from evil. The books are beautifully illustrated and very funny. The idea that the appearance of Mia disturbs the narrative and she has to fix it, is great.

Alison Goodman – Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye

Eon is a wonderful book. I enjoyed the story, the world building, and the characters. It was a proper adventure story focusing on the main character Eon, who was actually a girl pretending to be a boy. Girls are not allowed to have dragon magic, so in order to become a Dragoneye, she disguises as a boy. Something she has done for so many years that she struggles with her femininity. I loved the focus on her and her struggles, I absolutely loved the world building, and I was pleasantly surprised that transgender and transsexual issue were part of a fantasy novel. A great read.

Fated Eon

Alyson Noel – Fated

I have heard mixed reviews about this book. Some liked it, some hated it. I am somewhere in between. I enjoyed the Native Americanesque aspect of the story and the idea of the world building. Daire’s quest to find herself and discover her powers is not to rushed, yet it also slowed the book down. The love story – well haven’t we all fallen in love with a stranger because we saw him in a dream. I am interested in the world construction of Lowerworld, Middleworld, and Upperworld – if I can stand the love thing.