Friday, October 12, 2012

Artemis Fowl: Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is a very entertaining series for those who like a nice mixture of fantasy and science fiction, allthough it may not be for everyone (my wife).  Artemis Fowl is a young genius in a family that skirts the law in their business dealings. His father goes missing and Artemis takes over business operations and the family's financial decisions without his mother being aware. In the first book, Artemis suspects the existance of another of magic. Once Artemis discovers this world, he shows his ruthless roots and wreaks havoc among this fantastic mythical creatures who live there.  But as the series progresses, Artemis shows a fundamental change of character.  The boy genius starts to use his smarts for others and often finds himself involved in the saving of that same world he had previously sought to exploit.  This series is fun, thrilling and full of mystery.  Given that these books are a fast read, it makes it real easy just to give 'em a shot.

Would I Read It Again?:  Probably

Grade: A-
Content:  Mild violence, intense moments for younger readers.
Jeff's Recommended Age:  9+
Series Order:
     Artemis Fowl
     The Arctic Incident
     The Eternity Code
     The Opal Deception
     The Lost Colony
     The Time Paradox
     The Atlantis Complex
     The Last Guardian

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Digital Fortress: Dan Brown

Dan Brown is quickly becoming predictable. After reading my last post you might think me a little fickle. Yes, you can count on action, adventure, and twists. Unfortunately, you can also count on language and, if you've read enough of his books, you can begin to accurately predict who the bad guy is. However, it was a fairly entertaining story about how the Internet might be turned against the US government and the dangers that exist in placing too many eggs in same (internet) basket. Good for adults, but beware of some foul language.

Would I Read It Again?: Probably Not

Grade: C- (B+ Without the Foul Language)
Content: Language, Adult Situations, Violence
Jeff's Recommended Age: 21+

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Deception Point: Dan Brown

Dan Brown has flummoxed me again.  It doesn't matter how 'off' or backwards I think, I can never guess who the bad guy is.  As with his more popular novels (Angels and Demons, The Davinci Code, and The Lost Symbol), Brown leaves you on pins and needles until the final revelation.  This particular story deals with the politics of Washington and the relationship between the varying governmental agencies.  I can't say much more without spoiling the plot, but there is plenty of mystery, suspense, and action in this intriguing political thriller.  There is, however, some offensive language that prevents me from recommending it.

Would I Read It Again?: Probably Not

Grade: C (A- Without the Foul Language)
Content: Language, Adult Situations
Jeff's Recommended Age: 18+

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Enchantment: Orson Scott Card

I am a huge fan of Card's Ender Saga and thought I'd give this one a chance.  This book is Card's rendition of Sleeping Beauty which is intended, I believe, for adults.  His tale merges the magic filled fairy-tale land with modern day and provides the reader with a fun, magical, and adventure filled story that entertains from cover to cover.  The aspect of the book that I appreciated the most, having experienced another culture, was that this book was filled with many humorous and awkward moments that occur when a person enters a new culture.  This combined with an entertaining plot make for a great read.

Would I Read It Again?: Possibly

Grade:  B+
Content:  Fantasy Violence, Adult Situations
Jeff's Recommended Age:  18+

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Fourth Realm Trilogy: John Twelve Hawks

I chose to read this trilogy purely based on the synopsis on the back cover.  I was very disappointed.  I was looking for an adventurous story chronicling the struggle between good and evil and was treated to a political statement.  This series was written by a man who uses the pseudonym John Twelve Hawks.  It is all about how the people of the world are giving in to fear and terror and are unknowingly giving up their personal freedoms and how so described 'prophets' known as the Travelers try to combat this movement by inspiring free thought and new ideas.  The author does have many great insights and I do believe that this is a real issue.  However, I feel he was far too extreme (he himself lives off the grid).  The story is mildly interesting but there is far too much violence and gore and I guess I'm just not into books that have such an obvious political agenda, regardless if I agree with it or not.

Would I Read It Again?:  Negative (That Means No)

Grade: C-
Content: Violence and Gore
Jeff's Recommended Age: 21+
Series Order:
     The Traveler
     The Dark River
     The Golden City

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interworld: Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves

Neil Gaiman (Author of Stardust) co-authored this book and this was truly the only real reason that I read it.  However, I'm glad I did.  The authors write of Joey Harker, a young boy who discovers that he can 'walk' from one alternate reality to another.  He discovers that there are many versions of himself from these parrallel realities and that they are fighting to keep the balance between the magic worlds and the technological worlds.  There are those who wish to conquer the alternate worlds and subject them to their magical rule, while others are trying to conquer them in the name of technology.  The 'alterverse' is most benefitted when the two are balanced, thus Joey joins the alternate versions of himself in the battle to maintain this balance.  My only complaint is that the book leaves the reader hanging with no promise of a sequel.  Otherwise, it was a fun read.  My wife says that I'm too easy to please; she's probably right. I like most books that I read as long as they aren't offensive. Interworld is a book that is good for all ages. It can be fun and appealing in different ways to each age group.

Would I Read It Again?: Only if they write a sequel.

Grade: B+
Content: Scary Sequences (For Younger Readers)
Jeff's Recommended Age: 10+
     None Yet

Monday, February 1, 2010

Call It Courage: Armstrong Sperry

This book is one of my childhood favorites.  It is a Newberry Medal Award winner and a fantastic book for younger children.  It shares the experiences of the island boy Mafatu.  He is the only boy on the island that is afraid of the sea.  His mother having drowned, Mafatu fears the sea and is relegated to the same tasks as the women of the island, mending fishing nets and such.  This shames his father who also happens to be the leader of his people.  Mafatu is ashamed and decides to prove his worth and conquer his fear.  He leaves the island in a canoe accompanied by his dog, Uri, and another friend Kivi, an albatross.  Mafatu learns and grows quickly as he battles hunger, thirst, sharks, octopi, and cannibals.  A classic story of adventure and survival, Call It Courage will leave the reader very satisfied.

Would I Read It Again?: Yes

Grade: A
Content: Scary Sequences (For Younger Readers)
Jeff's Recommended Age: 9+