Adelie will get back to me in the next couple of days I think. I'm also hoping to have The Cat Dreamer done by Monday, so thats it for now. Not sure who put in the table and points but no new ones will be added until they are sent to you.
Thanks Min! I agree, great addition to the site :)
May I also do a Darksong review?
The Cat Dreamer, Isobelle Carmody. Lothian 2005.
Isobelle Carmody returns to the land of Quentaris in The Cat Dreamer, where a strange fog has descended on the city, making people forgetful and indecisive.
Katya, in the guise of a cat, comes though a rift cave on a mission to find and apprehend the notorious ‘Scourge’, a man responsible for the destruction of another rift world. Katya’s employers want the Scourge found and returned to Astaria and all contact between worlds halted.
Igorik is ‘adopted’ by a little grey cat that slips in and out of his dreams. He and his partner, working in the drains, find a number of bodies. The dead, suicides, all have similar markings on their faces. Igorik hopes to discover the reason for the high death rate and calls on his twin, Red, for help.
Red is strangely distracted when he goes to the Lower City, but more clearheaded after time spent there. Igorik, whose life is in the Lower City, can’t understand the change in his twin but suspects that the strange fog covering the upper City might be involved. Red’s lady love Iakas, high in her roost above the fog, is also distressed by the change. Can the brothers discover the source of the deaths before Quentaris is lost in a fog of misery and the rift caves are destroyed?
The Quentaris books, as a series, share many aspects like characters and locations, from many different writers. Isobelle’s many different stories share themes and ideas. I love that cats are a common subject, as well the ability to communicate without words.
The Cat Dreamer is a delightful tale of mystery and romance. Suitable for readers of any age, the characters are engaging and world of Quentaris is always fun to visit. As a comfort read, this book always makes me smile. I look forward to (someday) being drawn back into the land of Quentaris by Isobelle.
This still needs work (especially at the end), but here's the first go of Farseekers:
Some books leave such an impression on you that you will recall not only when you read the story, but the whole experience of discovering and acquiring the book. The Farseekers is one of those books for me.
I can pinpoint the exact time and place I bought this book. It was this quaint bookshop in the middle-east (before the advent of super-bookshops, and this was one of the few English-language bookshops in the country). It was early December 1996. On the one bookshelf of childrens/YA novels in the entire store, tucked away in the back corner of the upper floor, there was a dearth of literature that wasn't Baby-Sitters Club, Enid Blyton, or something to do with horses. Except for one green gem: the UK Point SF edition of The Farseekers, with its sans serif font and its foil-enhanced cover. It was nothing short of miraculous to 12-year-old me.
I say miraculous, because I had only recently moved to the country with an unread Obernewtyn, and, having read the aforementioned novel, I was desperate to read more of Elspeth, and the development of her quest to find and destroy the weaponmachines.
I wasn't disappointed.
It is two years after the events of Obernewtyn, and things are different. Obernewtyn has become a haven for misfits and Elspeth, guildmistress of the Farseekers, has a home and safety in this new society.
But that safety is threatened. With rumours beginning to spread through the land about Obernewtyn, Rushton decides that it's time that Obernewtyn extended its reach. At the same time, the Teknoguild, seeking to understand the machines hidden at Obernewtyn, discover a talent on the other side of the land whose power could mean life or death for all of them.
Elspeth, crippled by burns to her feet acquired in the battle with Alexi and Madam Vega, is an odd choice to lead an expedition to rescue this talent and seek information in the land, but a growing rift with the beasts sees her forge a bargain with an angry horse that will have unexpected consequences - for both her and Obernewtyn.
Elspeth and her friends must contend with Henry Druid and his men, secret ways through the mountains, rebellions, haunted ruins, old foes and firestorms in order to locate this talent. And they have a deadline - make it back before winter closes the pass, or Obernewtyn will be lost ...
This is an adventure on a curiously large scale, as the quest to save Obernewtyn becomes linked to Elspeth’s personal quest to destroy the beforetimers weapons that could cause a second Great white. Elspeth’s quest will take her much further than she would even dream.
The Farseekers remains my favourite of all of the Obernewtyn Chronicles. It’s a classic quest story, with adventure, excitement, great characters (including the introduction of my favourites: Brydda and Dragon) and unexpected romance. I found it curious that I grew so attached to Pavo, give that, on re-reading, he really did have only a minor role; he just had such a powerful impact.
If you haven't read it (and let's face it - if you're on this site, chances are good that you have read it), go and do so RIGHT NOW. Or the birds will come for you ...
Hey guys, how are the next batch of reviews coming?
I've never written a professional book review before, but I'm ready to try my hand at one. :)
Could I take Greylands? That story has a special place in my collection. :rolling:
Sure, I'll put you in the first post.
Deb - only the last paragraph needs any work - my suggestion would be to move all of it (except the first sentence) to form a new paragraph before "Can the brothers ..." and then add a couple sentences reflecting on the book. At the moment, the structure of that last paragraph seems a bit disjointed - it starts off as reflection, then jumps back to describing plot.
Other than that - all good!
And I've updated my review of Farseekers in the post above - if someone could just run their eye over the spelling ...
Thanks Nef, Sent Farseekers onto Min.
I'll be returning home to all my books tomorrow, so could I pre-emptively claim The Red Wind?
I've updated the list with both Min and Kaede's requests :)
For my next selection, I would like Alyzon Whitestarr (I was going to say Ashling, but I think there should be more than one person reviewing the Oberchrons ...)
We seem to have been a bit quiet here of late - so here's my first draft of Alyzon Whitestarr. Heaps of it is unfinshed and needs polishing, but I'm throwing it open to review.
I recently picked up Alyzon Whitestarr for the first time in a few years. It was one of those books, written in the LOOOOOONG wait between The Keeping Place and The Stone Key, that we all picked up and devoured, then … forgot, basically. Until I picked it up again, the main thing I remembered about the book was being confused by one typo where Alyzon was suddenly inexplicably talking to Harlen (it should have read Harrison) mid conversation.
So it was a pleasant surprise to pick the book up and read it again after so long.
Alyzon is the ugly duckling in a family full of artist-swans. She feels like she lost out in the looks department as well as the talent department in her eclectic, beautiful and talented family.
Then she hits her head. After waking up from a coma that lasts a month, Alyzon finds that her senses are extended. She can smell things, taste things and hear things more acutely. What is more, those extended senses also allow her to smell other people's essences, their emotions, and to glimpse into their memories when she's touching them.
She basically becomes Edward Cullen without all the stupid sparkly vampire crap.
On returning to school, Alyzon starts discovering that people’s essences do not always match their appearance. Throughout the school, she starts smelling a foul stench coming off students that indicates that there is something very wrong with them. The smell is particularly bad from Harlen Sanderson, Alyzon’s former crush, who is uncomfortably interested in Alyzon on her return. Most worryingly, Alyzon’s younger sister is starting to emit the same smell, and Alan Rayc, who seems to be the source of this rottenness, is after Alyzon’s dad.
With her new group of friends, Alyzon has to find out what is causing this sickness of the soul, and how to stop it before it takes over two of her family members.
I found this book an intriguing read second time round. There are these random (and convenient) discussions between characters scattered throughout the story about the purpose of art, the nature of good and evil, and what causes evil, all of which are quite a cool addition to the story. They’re the types of discussions that you wish your family had around the dinner table, but never really did.
I really liked the characters in the story. Alyzon’s Da Macoll is a stand-out, and her mother is pretty well drawn as well. I really liked the way Alyzon starts to learn that her parents aren’t quite as one-dimensional as she previously thought. It subtly shows Alyzon maturing as she realises that the adults around her are people with their own stories, which gives the story an extra level. Her siblings feel familiar, but as though you are hearing someone tell you about their family – she just accepts that they are what they are, and so we really don’t see much more of them that what Alyzon tells us.
Alyzon’s new group of friends (I always wanted to know who Alyzon’s friends were before the accident – they don’t seem to have existed) are interesting, but, not all that complex - I would have liked to know more about them, as they all have backstories that would be worth exploring.
If I have any issues with the story, it’s the trusting way in which Alyzon’s friends simply accept that she can smell their essences. Not being so trusting myself, if someone told me they could smell my soul, I’d start walking slowly away and then block them on facebook. They do explain why they are so ready to believe her, but I’m possibly too cynical to accept a soul-sniffing BFF so readily.
This is a story I wish there was a sequel to. Not that it doesn’t work as a standalone novel; it does, but it raises so many questions in my mind that I would really like to know what happens next. There is an unfinished element to the story that makes me think that the most interesting part is what happens after. Perhaps I may start a campaign …
All in all, this was a delightful little piece of escapism. It’s a strong story about good prevailing over evil and how the individual can stand against evil by being true to themselves and what they believe.
I'm so sorry, I haven't managed to do The Red Wind review within the two week period. Silly interfering life. If no one else wants to do it, it'll certainly be the next book I tackle when I get the chance, but as I don't know when that'll be, perhaps it should be put up for grabs again. Sorry :$
I'm going to have to put Billy Thunder back on the pile, too. I thought I could do it - the day I mentioned it I'd just finished a big project that was taking my time so I thought I'd have some free time to do something I actually wanted to do; fat chance of that. Somebody else can give that lovely book the time it deserves.
I'll try to have The Cat Dreamer done soon, but with health (and computer) issues happening it might be a little longer.
Nef, I love your AW review. I wish I could write them with the humour and elegance you do. Let me know when it's ready and I'll PM it to Min.
Alyzon Whitestarr is updated.
I completely and utterly forgot about my promise to do Greylands. Now it's definitely past the two-week deadline. I'm very sorry to everyone... I think for now I'll let it go, but perhaps soon (hopefully soon) I'll have some free time to work on a review. :)
So I'm gonna go ahead and book Ashling as my next book. I'm gonna re-read it anyway.