Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

TREECAT WARS

 

Treecat Wars by David Weber and Jane Lindskold
Book 3 of the Stephanie Harrington series
Read by Khristine Hvam
Genre: science fiction YA
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Treecat Wars:

New York Times and Publishers Weekly Best Selling Young Adult Series. Book Three by international writing phenomenon David Weber. Two young settlers on a pioneer planet seeks to stop a war and to save the intelligent alien treecats from exploitation by unscrupulous humans.

The fires are out, but the trouble’s just beginning for the treecats

On pioneer planet Sphinx, ruined lands and the approach of winter force the now Landless Clan to seek new territory. They have one big problem — there’s nowhere to go. Worse, their efforts to find a new home awaken the enmity of the closest treecat clan — a stronger group who’s not giving up a single branch without a fight

Stephanie Harrington, the treecats’ greatest advocate, is off to Manticore for extensive training — and up to her ears in challenges there. That leaves only Stephanie’s best friends, Jessica and Anders, to save the treecats from themselves. And now a group of xenoanthropologists is once again after the great secret of the treecats — that they are intelligent, empathic telepaths — and their agenda will lead to nothing less that treecat exploitation.

Finally, Jessica and Anders face problems of their own, including their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction that seems a betrayal of Stephanie Harrington, the best friend either of them have ever had.

Source: Info in the About Treecat Wars was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17334535-treecat-wars on 24/08/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

For some reason this little meerkat munchkin reminds me strongly of Survivor and this meerkat society of the Skinny Cat Clan, including two pups play fighting and another two little ones sleeping in a pile. They’re very cute! If I had a photoshop software, I would give this little guy six legs and a more feline face and he will be Survivor!

Unlike the previous books, this one has a more layered plot this time. The authors threw in a couple of unexpected twists, which is great! So the character development and the world building has long been established a long time ago with the previous books. And also like the previous books, this one is also a very good read! This being the third installment in a trilogy, I was kinda hoping for a great grand finale to the Stephanie Harrington series… but it wasn’t… it was just kind of another book in the series with lots of room for more to come. But this book having been published in 2013, I don’t think there will be another installment in this series, like six years later, which is the greatest downer with Treecat Wars. Of course, there is always a hope that the authors will someday pick it up again and write another installment… hopefully…. As usual, the narration is fabulous! Can’t complain with Khristine Hvam at all!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4.5
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Stephanie Harrington Series:

The Authors
David Weber

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name is an homage to C. S. Forester’s character Horatio Hornblower and her last name from a fleet doctor in Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander. Her story, together with the “Honorverse” she inhabits, has been developed through 16 novels and six shared-universe anthologies, as of spring 2013 (other works are in production). In 2008, he donated his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.

Many of his books are available online, either in their entirety as part of the Baen Free Library or, in the case of more recent books, in the form of sample chapters (typically the first 25-33% of the work).

 
Jane Lindskold

Jane Lindskold is the author of more than twenty published novels, including the six volume Firekeeper Saga (beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes), Child of a Rainless Year (a contemporary fantasy set in Las Vegas, New Mexico), and The Buried Pyramid (an archeological adventure fantasy set in 1880’s Egypt).

Lindskold is also the author of the “Breaking the Wall” series, which begins with Thirteen Orphans, then continues in Nine Gates and Five Odd Honors. Her most recent series begins with Artemis Awakening, released in May of 2014. Lindskold has also had published over sixty short stories and numerous works of non-fiction, including a critical biography of Roger Zelazny, and articles on Yeats and Synge.

She has collaborated with several other SF/F writers, including Roger Zelazny, for whom, at his request, she posthumously finished his novels Donnerjack and Lord Demon. She has also collaborated with David Weber, writing several novellas and two YA novels set in his popular ”Honorverse.” She wrote the short story “Servant of Death” with Fred Saberhagen.

Charles de Lint, reviewing Changer, praised “Lindskold’s ability to tell a fast-paced, contemporary story that still carries the weight and style of old mythological story cycles.”[1] Terri Windling called Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls “a complex, utterly original work of speculative fiction.” DeLint has also stated that “Jane Lindskold is one of those hidden treasures of American letters; a true gem of a writer who simply gets better with each book.”

Lindskold was born in 1962 at the Columbia Hospital for Women, the first of four siblings and grew up in Washington, D.C. and Chesapeake Bay. Lindskold’s father was head of the Land and Natural Resources Division, Western Division of the United States Justice Department and her mother was also an attorney. She studied at Fordham, where she received a Ph. D. in English, concentrating on Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern British Literature; she successfully defended her Ph.D. on her 26th birthday.

Lindskold lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, archaeologist Jim Moore.

 

The Narrator
Khristine Hvam

Khristine Hvam is an award winning audiobook narrator, director, and voice over actress. Having studied acting for the theater and film, she soon discovered a love of voice over. You will hear her in TV/Radio commercials, video games, animated series, and most notably in over 200 audio book titles. Khristine has been honored with several Audio Publishers Association Audie Award nominations and in the summer of 2012 earned her first Audie Award in the fantasy category for her performance of Lani Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and a second for “Astray” by Emma Donoghue. Khristine has also received five AudioFile Magazine’s Earphone Awards for her performances. Most recently she has begun directing audiobooks, a journey she never imagined taking, but one she is thrilled to be exploring. Khristine is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

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05/02/2019 Posted by | 5 cherries, audible, audiobook, audiobook review, book review, Cherry's review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, hardback, kindle ebook, review, science fiction, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE DRAGONET PROPHECY (WINGS OF FIRE Book 1)


[Image source: RhynoBullraq]

 

The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland
Book 1 of the Wings Of Fire series
Read by Shannon McManus
Genre: YA fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Dragonet Prophecy:

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended . . .

Source: Info in the About The Dragonet Prophecy was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13228487-the-dragonet-prophecy on 18/11/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

Lovely, quick read.

This is my first Shannon McManus audiobook listen and I like the way she reads. The words are clear and distinct. Her voice is not aggravating to the ears. All in all, I would listen to this narrator again.

This book introduces us to the five dragonets and the world of Pyrrhia. I couldn’t decide whether this book is YA (young adult) or middle grade (MG). Maybe something in between. So, what do you call that age gap between YA and MG? …I don’t know either. So let’s call it the YA-MG Gap (YAMGG). This world is peopled mainly by dragons with humans as edible endangered species. And our heroes and heroines are “old” 6-year-old dragonets. “Old” 6-year-olds, is the key word here. They already have a strong sense of right and wrong. They have a firm grasp of their purpose in life. Me, …I didn’t get to develop that until I was in college!… Anyway, this is a nice little story about dragons. And it ends in a cliffhanger. Of course it did. But I already have a strong suspicion that it would do that seeing that this is the first book in the series. Having said that, I really enjoyed this book and that is why halfway through this book, I already ordered my copy of the next book. I know that the audiobook says that this book is 8 hours long, but it feels like only an hour or so… So this book is a nice, quick read.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 4.5
Ending = 3
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (8 hrs and 32 mins )
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book, in all its formats, was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

12/07/2018 Posted by | 4 cherries, audible, audible.co.uk, audiobook, audiobook review, audiobooks, book review, dragons, fantasy, Shannon McManus, Tui T. Sutherland, Wings Of Fire series, YA, YAMGG | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FIRE SEASON

 

Fire Season by David Weber and Jane Lindskold
Book 2 of the Stephanie Harrington series
Read by Khristine Hvam
Genre: science fiction YA
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Fire Season:

Fire in the forest — and a cry for help from a trapped and desperate alien mother! Unfortunately, this is one cry no human can hear. Stephanie Harrington, precocious fourteen-year-old Provisional Forest Ranger on the planet Sphinx, knows something is wrong from the uneasy emotion that is flooding into her from her treecat friend, Climbs Quickly. But though Stephanie’s alien comrade shares a tight bond with his two-legs, whom he knows as Death Fang’s Bane, he cannot communicate directly to her the anguished call from one of his people.

Still, their strong and direct bond of feeling may be enough. Stephanie and fellow ranger Karl Zivonik respond to Climbs Quickly’s rising waves of distress. Fire season on the pioneer world of Sphinx has begun. But there are those who want to use the natural cycle of the planet for personal gain — and to get rid of the one obstacle that stands in the way of acquiring even greater land and power on Sphinx: the native treecats.

Now it’s up to Stephanie, Climbs Quickly along with their friends, family, and allies to prevent disaster and injustice from befalling a treecat clan. But in the process Stephanie must be certain to preserve the greatest secret all. It is the knowledge that the treecats of Sphinx are not merely pets or servants, but are highly intelligent in their own right — that they are a species fully deserving of rights, respect, and freedom. And keeping the secret that will allow the treecats time to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with humankind.

It all begins with the friendship of a girl and her treecat.

Source: Info in the About Fire Season was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13547274-fire-season on 23/08/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

I’m not sure why this second book in the Stephanie Harrington series got an additional author in it, but there you go. However, it doesn’t seem to make any difference to the quality of the book. It is still the same very good read! The world building and the character development has been established in book one already and continued on in this book. And maybe I’ve just gotten used to the voice of the author or gotten more immersed in this world, that this book seems to go faster than the last one. Or maybe, this book is just more fast-paced than the first one. Either way, this book was a quick read. I still love the narration and gives it 5 out of 5! The only down side to this book is the cliffhanger ending, even though it did end the plot in the book. I just do not like cliffhangers! Other than that, this book is a wonderful follow-up to A Beautiful Friendship.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Stephanie Harrington Series:

 

 

The Authors
David Weber

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name is an homage to C. S. Forester’s character Horatio Hornblower and her last name from a fleet doctor in Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander. Her story, together with the “Honorverse” she inhabits, has been developed through 16 novels and six shared-universe anthologies, as of spring 2013 (other works are in production). In 2008, he donated his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.

Many of his books are available online, either in their entirety as part of the Baen Free Library or, in the case of more recent books, in the form of sample chapters (typically the first 25-33% of the work).

Jane Lindskold

Jane Lindskold is the author of more than twenty published novels, including the six volume Firekeeper Saga (beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes), Child of a Rainless Year (a contemporary fantasy set in Las Vegas, New Mexico), and The Buried Pyramid (an archeological adventure fantasy set in 1880’s Egypt).

Lindskold is also the author of the “Breaking the Wall” series, which begins with Thirteen Orphans, then continues in Nine Gates and Five Odd Honors. Her most recent series begins with Artemis Awakening, released in May of 2014. Lindskold has also had published over sixty short stories and numerous works of non-fiction, including a critical biography of Roger Zelazny, and articles on Yeats and Synge.

She has collaborated with several other SF/F writers, including Roger Zelazny, for whom, at his request, she posthumously finished his novels Donnerjack and Lord Demon. She has also collaborated with David Weber, writing several novellas and two YA novels set in his popular ”Honorverse.” She wrote the short story “Servant of Death” with Fred Saberhagen.

Charles de Lint, reviewing Changer, praised “Lindskold’s ability to tell a fast-paced, contemporary story that still carries the weight and style of old mythological story cycles.”[1] Terri Windling called Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls “a complex, utterly original work of speculative fiction.” DeLint has also stated that “Jane Lindskold is one of those hidden treasures of American letters; a true gem of a writer who simply gets better with each book.”

Lindskold was born in 1962 at the Columbia Hospital for Women, the first of four siblings and grew up in Washington, D.C. and Chesapeake Bay. Lindskold’s father was head of the Land and Natural Resources Division, Western Division of the United States Justice Department and her mother was also an attorney. She studied at Fordham, where she received a Ph. D. in English, concentrating on Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern British Literature; she successfully defended her Ph.D. on her 26th birthday.

Lindskold lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, archaeologist Jim Moore.

 

The Narrator
Khristine Hvam

Khristine Hvam is an award winning audiobook narrator, director, and voice over actress. Having studied acting for the theater and film, she soon discovered a love of voice over. You will hear her in TV/Radio commercials, video games, animated series, and most notably in over 200 audio book titles. Khristine has been honored with several Audio Publishers Association Audie Award nominations and in the summer of 2012 earned her first Audie Award in the fantasy category for her performance of Lani Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and a second for “Astray” by Emma Donoghue. Khristine has also received five AudioFile Magazine’s Earphone Awards for her performances. Most recently she has begun directing audiobooks, a journey she never imagined taking, but one she is thrilled to be exploring. Khristine is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA.

 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

10/01/2018 Posted by | 5 cherries, audible, audiobook, audiobook review, Cherry's review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review, science fiction, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP

 

A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber
Book 1 of the Stephanie Harrington series
Read by Khristine Hvam
Genre: science fiction YA
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About A Beautiful Friendship:

Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl . . . until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home — a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.

The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened . . . as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx’s most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.

But her discoveries are only beginning, for the treecats are also telepathic and able to bond with certain humans, and Stephanie’s find — and her first-of-its kind bond with the treecat Climbs Quickly — land both of them in a fresh torrent of danger. Galactic-sized wealth is at stake, and Stephanie and the treecats are squarely in the path of highly-placed enemies determined to make sure the planet Sphinx remains entirely in human hands, even if that means the extermination of another thinking species.

Unfortunately for those enemies, the treecats have saved Stephanie Harrington’s life. She owes them . . . and Stephanie is a young woman who stands by her friends.

Which means things are about to get very interesting on Sphinx.

Source: Info in the About A Beautiful Friendship was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10894503-a-beautiful-friendship on 21/08/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

I’m glad I stumbled upon this book because it was a good read! Compelling story telling quality, beautiful world building, and likeable characters. Even though the plot is pretty basic, it was a solid plot. Not one of those flaky plots that require the characters to be “too stupid to live” to create a dilemma. I hate those!! Anyway, several chapters into the book and I was buying the second and third books in this series already. I am only hoping that this “trilogy” would finish and not end up like Robert Jordan‘s never ending Wheel Of Time. **fingers crossed**

Another plus for this book is the narration. The words are clear. The voice quality is not grating to the ears. And Khristine Hvam‘s interpretation of the book is just right, in my way of thinking. Kudos!!

So why, 4.5 and not 5?… because this might be a good read, but not up to Ilona Andrews‘ standards. Or Carol Berg‘s Lighthouse dou‘s category. But still, that does not change the fact that this book is a very good read!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 4.5
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Stephanie Harrington Series:

 

The Author
David Weber

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name is an homage to C. S. Forester’s character Horatio Hornblower and her last name from a fleet doctor in Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander. Her story, together with the “Honorverse” she inhabits, has been developed through 16 novels and six shared-universe anthologies, as of spring 2013 (other works are in production). In 2008, he donated his archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.

Many of his books are available online, either in their entirety as part of the Baen Free Library or, in the case of more recent books, in the form of sample chapters (typically the first 25-33% of the work).

 

The Narrator
Khristine Hvam

Khristine Hvam is an award winning audiobook narrator, director, and voice over actress. Having studied acting for the theater and film, she soon discovered a love of voice over. You will hear her in TV/Radio commercials, video games, animated series, and most notably in over 200 audio book titles. Khristine has been honored with several Audio Publishers Association Audie Award nominations and in the summer of 2012 earned her first Audie Award in the fantasy category for her performance of Lani Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and a second for “Astray” by Emma Donoghue. Khristine has also received five AudioFile Magazine’s Earphone Awards for her performances. Most recently she has begun directing audiobooks, a journey she never imagined taking, but one she is thrilled to be exploring. Khristine is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

05/12/2017 Posted by | 4 cherries, audible, audiobook, audiobook review, book reivew, Cherry's review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, hardback, kindle ebook, reviews, science fiction, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: WINDS RISING

 

Winds Rising by B. A. Silverman
Book 1 of the Windriders Saga
Genre: fantasy YA
Format: ebook

 

 

About Winds Rising:

Taken in by the Patriarch of the Sleeping God sect upon the death of his mother when he was 6, Tamsen Fairchild, at 14, sees little in his future except being groomed as one of the Patriarch’s Watchers, whose sole purpose is to make sure that the Godder community adheres to the strictures of their religion — no sounds above a whisper, and no inventions of any kind. But Tamsen yearns to make music, like the lullabies his mother used to sing. His greatest joy is to escape for a mark or two into the forest and try to imitate the music of the birds on his forbidden hand-made whistle.

An unexpected crisis takes Tamsen’s Patriarch to consult his counterpart in the river city of Savia and it is Tamsen who is chosen to accompany him. While the two religious leaders confer, Tamsen sneaks away to explore the city, where “noise” is allowed – even encouraged! But his attention is suddenly torn from the sights and sounds of the city by a wisp of – something more – something wondrous – something like, and yet unlike the lullabies he remembers and the birdsong he struggles to imitate. He is drawn forward, across an open court, unheeding of the dray that nearly knocks him down and the angry shouts of the carter, to an open doorway. As he steps through, his focus narrows until all he sees is the man at the center of a crowd and the strange instrument he holds, from which pours those amazing sounds. Compelled to capture the tones for himself, he pulls out his whistle, closes his eyes and tries to recreate them.

When the tones abruptly cease, he looks up — and meets the eyes of the man who is about to change his life. Jon, the minstrel, is convinced that Tamsen possesses a Bardic Gift, and insists upon getting him directly to Citadel, the Magicka school in Lenhold, where his Gift can be nurtured. To avoid recapture by Tamsen’s Patriarch, Jon intends to call upon a Windrider friend to fly Tamsen there on kirback. Tamsen’s excitement is almost more than he can bear. Not only will he leave behind the intolerable restrictions of the Godders and be given the opportunity to learn how to produce the music in his heart, but he is going to fly there with a Windrider, on a magical winged beast! Surely he must be dreaming! His entire world seems to be expanding beyond his wildest hope. Little does Tamsen realize just how very large that world will be.

Source: Info in the About Winds Rising was taken from GoodREads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13563017-winds-rising on 27/02/2016.

 

Buy Link(s)

 

My Thoughts:

The worldbuilding is wonderful! It is intricate and stays with you long after you’ve read the book. And I really like sentient flying unicorns! Can’t beat that! Plus the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. Simple. Straight forward. No twisting your emotions into a pretzel. The story telling style has a middle grade tone, which I guess is kinda tolerable in YA, but the characters are growing up fast. I imagine Book 2 would no longer be YA. While the story plot ended, the book is distinctly just a first chapter of a bigger book. Meaning the book ended in a cliffhanger. Bummer! I didn’t like that.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 3
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 2
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 4.5

 

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

 

About B. A. Silverman
B. A. Silverman

B. A. Silverman doesn’t do things by halves. Her fascination with fantasy, fueled by such stellar literary names as Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedez Lackey, soon led to a prolific outpouring of story ideas – many of which, she tells us, “thankfully never saw the light of day.”

But soon, she says, “I began constructing whole worlds in my head. There was nothing to do but get them on paper.” And into print, as she sold short fantasy to such magazines as Alfred Hitchcock and to the anthology “Prom Night”, edited by Nancy Springer.

Two such forays into short fantasy ended up forming the basis for the intricacies of the varied geographies and civilizations that populate the landscape of her trilogy, “Windriders Saga”.

facebook | goodreads | amazon

 

Books In The Windriders Saga:

 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

23/03/2016 Posted by | 4 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle, review | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: CATCHING FIRE

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Book 2 of the The Hunger Games series
Narrated by Carolyn McCormick
Genre: post-apocalyptic urban fantasy, YA
Format: paperback & (unabridged) audiobook

 

About Catching Fire:

Sparks are igniting, flames are spreading and the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.

Source: Info in the About Catching Fire was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6148028-catching-fire on 29/03/2013.

 

Review:

With Book 1: The Hunger Games, I watched the movie before reading the book. I decided that this time around I would try reading the book first and then watch the movie and see which way I like better. Turns out, it’s better to watch the movie first, then I don’t sit thru the movie playing critique. Now I know better. What remains to be seen is if I would remember that lesson when the next book-to-movie gig comes around…

I wasn’t really looking forward to reading this book because I’ve read a few not so sparklingly bright reviews about this book and Mockingjay that I actually stopped reading this series after Book 1: The Hunger Games. I liked Book 1: The Hunger Games and wanted that “like” feeling to last a bit longer by putting off reading the disappointment of the next books as long as possible. I shouldn’t have done that because this book was not a disappointment. Sure there were a few nitcpicking points I would have liked to have been not there but I could easily forgive those for the marvellous reading pleasure that this book brought me!

Carolyn McCormick mimicked Effie Trinket in the movie so closely that it made me smile! That is how good the narration is. Or maybe I am just used to McCormick‘s voice by now seeing this is the second book already by her. Either way I rate her narration a 5.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = N/A (11 hrs and 14 mins audiobook)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 


 

29/09/2015 Posted by | 4 cherries, audible, audiobook, audiobook review, audiobooks, book review, book to movie, Carolyn McCormick, Cherry's review, Cherry's reviews, Hunger Games series, post-apocalyptic fantasy, review, Suzanne Collins, urban fantasy, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Re-Read Review: THE RITHMATIST

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Book 1 of the Rithmatist series
Read by Michael Kramer
Genre: urban fantasy | steampunk | YA
Format: paperback & audiobook

About The Rithmatist:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson: his debut novel for the young adult audience.

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense — the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

Source: Info in the About The Rithmatist was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17454731-the-rithmatist on 15/07/2013.

Re-Read Review:

I had trouble with the audiobook version of this book but was pressed into listening to it quickly because it was a free review copy and the publicist was emailing me about my review so I rushed through it the first time around. And here is my review. I still enjoyed it at the end thus the 3 cherries rating, but I was very conscious that I skipped on a lot of the finer details of the story. So I borrowed the print copy from the library. I still stand by my claim that this is not the kind of book which translates well into an audiobook because of the very technical and too detailed magical system of this world. Brandon Sanderson obviously poured a lot of brain power into creating the world building and thus it is intricate. However I think Brandon Sanderson got too carried away and went at it too much. I like intricate world buildings. But I am not fond of a physics lecture, for example, the Rithmatics diagram inserted after every chapter. It disrupts the flow of the story which induces me to stop reading. I needed a break from the info dump after every single chapter! This contributes to making the pace of the book quite long. Therefore can’t call this book a page turner. So I think that the world building should be intricate enough to substantiate the story, but not too much that it overwhelmed the entire book, overshadowing the characters and the plot. And that is the main reason why this book would never be a 5 out of 5 for me. However if you take the info dump away, it is quite a fascinating read! And that is also the reason that this book would never get a less than 3 rating.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 3
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (10hrs & 26mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 3.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Rithmatist Series:

macmillan audio

RCT LibraryThank you!Thank you to macmillan audio and audible for the audiobook review copy received and to RCT Library for lending me the paperback copy of this book.


FTC Disclosure:
No money received for this review.

18/04/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, audible.co.uk, audiobook, book review, Brandon Sanderson, Cherry's reviews, macmillan audio, Michael Kramer, Midas PR, review, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE ALCHEMYST

Nicholas Flamel Book 1: THE ALCHEMYST audiobook

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Book 1 of The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series
Read by Denis O’Hare
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Format: hardback & audiobookSamsung Galaxy Note audiobook

About The Alchemyst:

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

From the Hardcover edition.

Source: Info in the About The Alchemyst was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1035910.The_Alchemyst on 25/06/2013.

Nicholas Flamel Book 1: THE ALCHEMYST hardback

Review:

This book has it’s pros and cons just like any other book. What I liked about it is the magic and the tone of familiarity which resonated with me. This book is chuck full of mythologies and other known and historical fantastical elements. And since they are already known they make a connection with the reader as soon as they are mentioned. This made the book easy to get into. Having said that, it took me sometime to get over the mundane-ness of the first chapter or so. This book did not start with a high note, so to speak. The mundane start, I guess, is the other side of the familiarity. It was so mundane though that after two sentences or so I unconsciously put the book down to do something else and only realised that I wasn’t reading anymore after a few minutes of not reading anymore. And it kept on like that, me putting it down again and again, until I bought the audiobook version. I listen to it on my way to work and on my way home until I finally finished the book. That is how I cheat into finishing a book, by the way. In the end, it wasn’t bad. It was only a truggle at the beginning, then the book ran on an even tempo. What I didn’t like was the small tendencies of some characters to act stupid. But thank god, none of them is ever out and out too stupid to live (TSTL)! It is pretty obvious that the character acting stupid (who is otherwise wise, practical and with very good sense of self-preservation) was the author’s obvious manipulation to create a situation in the story so that the heroes/heroines could save the world. Unimpressive plot development. Another thing which did not endear this book to me is the cliffhanger ending. So my advice to those thinking of reading this book, is to have all books in this series handy before starting so that you can dive straight into the next book as soon as you hit the cliffhanger ending.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3
Ending = 1
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = hardback: 3 / audiobook: 10hrs & 2mins
Plot = 1.5
Narrator = 4

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series:

RCT LibraryThank you!Thank you to RCT Library for lending me the hardback copy of this book.

FTC Disclosure:
The hardback copy of this book was borrowed from the library. The audiobook format was purchased with personal funds. No money recieved for this review.

07/03/2014 Posted by | 4 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Denis O'Hare, magic, Michael Scott, Nicholas Flamel, review, urban fantasy, vampires, YA | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wishlist: Lightbringer

WISHLIST:

Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: NA

Summary:

Wendy has the ability to see souls that have not moved on—but she does not seek them out. They seek her. They yearn for her . . . or what she can do for them. Without Wendy’s powers, the Lost, the souls that have died unnaturally young, are doomed to wander in the never forever, and Wendy knows she is the only one who can set them free by sending them into the light.
Each soul costs Wendy, delivering too many souls would be deadly, and yet she is driven to patrol, dropping everyone in her life but her best friend, Eddie—who wants to be more than friends—until she meets Piotr.

Piotr, the first Rider and guardian of the Lost, whose memory of his decades in the never, a world that the living never see, has faded away. With his old-fashioned charms, and haunted kindness, he understands Wendy in ways no one living ever could, yet Wendy is hiding that she can do more than exist in the never. Wendy is falling for a boy who she may have to send into the light.

But there are darker forces looking for the Lost. Trying to regain the youth and power that the Lost possess, the dark ones feed on the Lost and only Wendy and Piotr can save them—but at what cost?

Lightbringer is a YA urban fantasy/romance set in a world a breath away from our own. Similar in tone to Tithe and Unleashed, Lightbringer tiptoes down the line between love and horror as Wendy discovers herself and the darkest parts of the afterlife.

Source: Info in the Summary was taken from Goodreads on 08/07/2011.

25/11/2011 Posted by | K.D. McEntire, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, wishlist, YA | , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: THE IRON DAUGHTER

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Book 2 of the Iron Fey Series

Genre: YA, urban fantasy

About The Iron Daughter:

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.
Worse, Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Source: Info in the About The Iron Daughter was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7747064-the-iron-daughter on 24/08/2011.

Review:

The way the writer painted the story to life is quite breathtaking in this second book, The Iron Daughter. The surroundings and new characters was really imaginative. I also like the inner message of the story. The reality of the past fading and modernisation taking over. That’s so true.

Meghan Chase was still not my cup off tea in this book but I pushed through, because the story did it for me, it kept me from wanting to find out more and explore Nevernever further.

I have to say I thought I would not enjoy this book as much, but I was wrong. It had everything in it. War (well 2 wars intertwined into 1), deseat, cheat, crimson and so mush more. And the twists.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Can’t wait for the third book. Its got this book to contend with.

Books In The Iron Fey Series:

Thank you to Mira Ink for the review copy of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa received!

19/09/2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments