Mini-Bloggiesta #1

It’s time for the first ever Mini-Bloggiesta! Founded by Maw Books Blog, Bloggiestas are scheduled weekends where you catch up on long-ignored blog tasks. Now it’s being run by It’s All About Books and There’s a Book.

This Mini-Bloggiesta is running this weekend, February 2nd and 3rd. There will be 4 mini-challenges, focused on the little things that we let slide when we get swamped. You can check in and offer advice for other bloggers and join discussions on Twitter. (Be sure to follow @Bloggiesta.)

If you’d like to join up, click on the button for more information.

Here’s my to-do list thus far:

  • Catch up on outstanding reviews
  • Update widget counters
  • Participate in mini-challenges
  • Prep meme posts for the month
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Review: Reached by Ally Condie

Book: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release date: November 13, 2012
Source: Purchased ebook from Amazon
Series: Matched #3
 
Summary from Goodreads: All will be sorted

Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect facade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most – family, love, choice. Her quite revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion.

With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international bestselling Match trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

I absolutely adored the first book in this trilogy, Matched, and though I didn’t love the second book, Crossed, I figured it was all leading up to an exquisite showdown. When my preorder arrived on my Kindle, I was stoked. Over the Christmas break, I dove in.

What a disappointment.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this series just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. The plot of the first book that I loved so much – the government-controlled marriages/matches and what happens when that system breaks down – didn’t really carry through the trilogy. Instead of being a part of her existing community and fighting it from within, Cassia is exiled to the outer reaches of their territory. Though there is a return to the larger cities in this book, for the most part it is functioning entirely differently. She is no longer fighting the government, but a rebellion that may not be what it seems.

Though this sounds intriguing, I found it tough to get through. This just wasn’t the story I wanted to hear for these characters, and as a result I was disengaged from the political struggles going on. I’m still not sure I even understand who The Rising or the Pilot were or what they really wanted. The book focused too heavily on Xander’s work on the virus/vaccine, and Cassia and Ky seemed mostly like afterthoughts. 

The action was fairly exciting in this one, and a lot more happens than in book two. There is a mystery at play and a race against the clock to find a cure for the plague unleashed upon the citizens. If I had been able to better draw the line between the events of the first book and these last two, I probably would have enjoyed them. Sadly, I failed to see how all three of these books went together – they felt like they were telling two different stories to me.

I fell in love with Cassia and Ky and their love in the first book, but the last two books in this trilogy really took that away from me. I’ll happily re-read Matched, but these last two just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

Beautiful Creatures Reading a Deux Week 2

 
 

It’s week two of my Reading à Deux adventure with Ruby at Ruby’s Reads. We’re reading Beautiful Creatures in anticipation of the movie release! We divided the book into four sections, and each Tuesday we’re trading off asking each other questions about each section. Today I’m responding to Ruby’s questions in a post on her blog, so click the button above to read the post and join in the conversation. 

Missed our first post? Catch up here!

 

 

 

Library Explosion!

 
 
(Pay no attention to the shoddy iPhone photography.)
 
To prepare for my week-long staycation last week, I hit up the library. And…things got a little out of hand. This happens a lot when I anticipate lots of uninterrupted reading time, and I tend to use that as an excuse to pick up every book I’ve been drooling over at the library in one fell swoop. I did manage to get some goodies, though, so I thought it was worth a public shaming share:
 

The Passage by Justin Cronin
Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon

These are two books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I had hoped that during my break I could get through the ENORMOUS tome that is The Passage, so I wouldn’t have to lug it on the train, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Seriously, though, that thing must weigh at least 5 pounds. Bulky calf master! 

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Betrayed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

I had Beautiful Creatures on hold for months, and though I eventually caved and bought the ebook, I still picked up my library copy to ease the flip-throughs I’d need for answering questions while Reading à Deux with Ruby. (Have you seen our first post yet? Come join in the fun!) Between Shades of Gray is up for discussion in my book club this weekend, and Betrayed sounded like a fun, quick read for vacation (which it was). I enjoyed the first House of Night book, and this one proved to be equally entertaining. 

Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

I attended a lecture on querying through my local SCBWI chapter where E. M. Kokie gave the presentation. It was phenomenal, and ever since I’ve been anxious to read her debut novel, Personal Effects. I saw it on the shelves and YOINK! I already finished Cinder since all anyone can do is rave about it, and in the very near future you’ll get to hear me rave about it too. So good! Finally, The Girl in the Steel Corset is a steampunk that I’ve been curious to read.

  

I also have these 4 books checked out in ebook form. (This is where I kick it up to a whole new level of crazy!)

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
Insurgent by Veronica Roth 
Deadly Politics by Maggie Sefton
Hidden by Sophie Jordan

I’ve been wanting to read Deadly Politics ever since Felicia reviewed it, so I was really excited to get that one. I’m about 15% through Insurgent, but I think I’ll end up skimming to the end. I’m curious to see where the series goes, but it’s not really hooking me. I’m looking forward to jumping into Hidden, since I just finished the novella, Breathless, that takes place in the same world. MOAR DRAGON SHIFTERS PLEASE! (Side note: Can I please have the hair color of the shifter on the cover? kthxbai) And Bad Taste in Boys has been on my TBR for such a long time that I can’t wait to finally read it. Carrie Harris is hilarious, and I don’t think it will disappoint.

So tell me, am I the only one that gets a little carried away at the library?  😆

 

 

 

Beautiful Creatures Read Along Week 1

EDIT:  Ha! Just kidding. Sorry for the miscommunication everybody! Ruby and I got our wires crossed, so I mistakenly sent you over to her blog when you really, um, should have come to mine. Gulp.
 
Anyhootles, without any further ado, here is Week 1 of our Read Along!
 

With the impending release of the Beautiful Creatures movie, Ruby at Ruby’s Reads asked if anyone was up for a read-along of the book. I hadn’t read it yet, and I’m always down for reading a book before seeing the movie, so I said yes please!

We divided the book into four sections, and for the next four Tuesdays we’re trading off asking each other questions about each section. Today I’m presenting my first round of questions, and Ruby’s responses. Next week you can visit Ruby’s Reads to see what answers I have for Ruby!

 
 
Thanks again for coming up with this event, Ruby! I don’t know why I resisted this book for so long. I am eating this thing up! You’d think given the number of times I flipped through its pages I would’ve noticed that it’s from Ethan’s perspective, but…um…I didn’t. So anyway, here are my questions:
 
1) How do you like the book from Ethan’s point of view? Does it feel like his story or Lena’s?
 
At this point, the story is definitely Ethan’s, and I like how Beautiful Creatures has turned the trope of the mysterious, hot guy who moves into the small town and catches the heroine’s eye on its head. This time, the mysterious character is the girl and the boy’s about to have his world shaken up.
 
2) Is the small town versus outsider scenario working for you? Or is the jock in love with the outcast too played out?
 
Oh, ha! I didn’t even think about that. It’s more that I’m irritated with Ethan’s holier than thou attitude. He thinks of himself as being different from the people in his town, but then he acts just like them. Doesn’t it make it worse that he’s aware that the behaviors are ridiculous, but he participates in them anyway? 

I mean, Ethan’s constant harping on how things in Gatlin never change was starting to wear on me–especially when they concerned small things like the fact that he and his best friend have the same conversation every morning. He was blaming the town for the rut he was in, but he was responsible, too. Fortunately, Lena’s appearance didn’t just stir him out of his lethargy. It made him consider–for the first time–how much he was contributing to it. 

If anything, I’d say Beautiful Creatures is, perhaps, drawing too many paralells with To Kill a Mockingbird. Or maybe it’s that I wish it would draw on it with a bit more subtlety? Like, without mentioning the book so often? 

Have I answered your question? Maybe not. I will say that I find myself wondering if people are really still that close-minded, even in the South. Of course, having only visited New Orleansonce, I can hardly be considered an expert. Still, the internet and television have globalized even the smallest of towns. I go back and forth. 

3) What is going on with the locket? We’re getting all kinds of odd things happening now – telepathy, hints of voodoo from Amma, broken windows, crazy dreams, songs, and now full blown visions. Does Ethan seem like he’s handling this a bit too well, or is he at an appropriate level of freaked-out-edness?
 
Ah, well, I have my theories about the locket, but I’m not ready to share them. I’m totally the one who guesses who the murderer is at the beginning of the TV show. I’m not great at sitting back and letting the mystery unravel. Which is funny, because I love mysteries. Go figure!

About Ethan, I think his dreams help to prevent a freak-out. He’s experienced the weirdness with his own eyes, so it’s a bit harder to deny. Also, it seems like Amma’s voodoo might have inured him to possibility of magic. Or, er, whatever. Finally, since he’s not making ginormous leaps of logic (SHE BROKE THE WINDOW WITH HER MIND!!), I feel like it’s one of the better introductions to the paranormal that I’ve read in a while. 

4) I’m a bit confused about where the story is going. What are your thoughts on how this is playing out? Are you getting antsy for answers like me, or are you happy to ride it out and see where it goes?
 
Well, like I said, I speculate, even from the beginning, and I’m not antsy for answers. Beautiful Creatures hasn’t pulled me in, yet, like it has you. I’m pretty excited about Ravenwood (the house) and Ravenwood (the uncle), but by this time, we already know that something Big is going to happen on Lena’s birthday and that there’s some kind of connection between Civil War Ethan and Present Day Ethan, and I’m going to assume the same about Genevieve and Lena. I’m kind of hoping that the answers aren’t the ones I’ve already worked out in my head…
 
Thanks for the great responses Ruby! You’ve given me a lot to think about as we move into part two of our discussion.
 
Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday, and please chime in with your own responses in the comments!

 

 

 

Book Blogger Confessions: Blogging Slumps

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme run by Midnyte Reader and For What It’s Worth. Every first and third Monday participants post and discuss common frustrations to book bloggers. Link up your post on either blog and hop around to listen to and learn from your fellow bloggers!

This week’s question is:

We’ve discussed blogging slumps before but have you ever seriously considered throwing in the towel and quitting blogging? If so, what changed your mind? Did you discuss it with other bloggers?

Last year, and particularly in the latter half of the year, I wanted to quit. For all intents and purposes, given the amount of time I spent posting or commenting, I had quit. At the very least, I had mentally checked out from everything. I didn’t read as many books, I certainly didn’t review as many books, and mostly ignored the blog. 

I think I reached a point where the stress of juggling too many things all at once meant something had to give. As we all know, blogs are incredibly time-consuming. The more time I spent doing my many other activities, the less time I had to write up reviews, post blog entries, and even read. 

A lot of it had to do with second year blogging blahs. The high of creating it and push-push-pushing to get my name out there and draw in readers in that first year was novel and exciting. Last year I just didn’t have the energy to devote to it. Blogging lost its novelty and didn’t seem so fun and shiny. The pressure of watching all of the won, borrowed, toured, and bought books pile up in a never ending stream in my living room got to me. I would scan my list of NetGalley titles and feel nothing but overwhelming pressure – to read, review, post, cross-post, and submit back to the authors and publishers. 

I freaked out. Finally, after several months of doing nothing but feel guilty and sad about the whole sorry situation, I deleted all of my review titles, had NetGalley deactivate my account, and stopped signing up for tours and giveaways. Snip. Gone. Cut-off.

What finally forced my hand in whether to officially retire the blog was that my domain came up for renewal. I had to choose – if I renewed, it would be money poorly spent if this site sat here with no entries. If I didn’t renew, it meant deleting forever the entries, comments, and memories from my little corner of the web. It also meant that I may never get this domain back. The finality of that decision was too much for me. Luckily the New Year’s holiday was right around the corner, and as I fired up my Reader again, I noticed it was reading challenge sign-up time, and darn it, I wanted in on the action.

Challenge accepted. Once I started writing up challenge posts, my passion came flowing back to me. I loved putting up all my new widgets and the challenge page. I loved visiting everyone’s sites and participating in events. That’s when I finally realized how much I had missed this.

In some ways, I wish I had reached out more to my fellow bloggers during my slump, but I didn’t think they could give me any advice I didn’t already know. I knew I needed to better manage my time, get back in touch with why I started this blog in the first place, and take whatever steps necessary to make it fun again. I hope that as I begin my third year of blogging, I can stay more connected and less pressured. Without accepting review titles, I guarantee that I will only ever have to read what I want, when I want, with no pressure to finish a certain book by a certain date. This helps me feel the joy of reading again, and that joy translates into happier posts and comments.

I want to thank everyone who has welcomed me back to the book blogger community with such enthusiasm. I came back because I missed all of you and it feels great to reconnect. Now let’s go read some awesome books!

 

 

Book and Movie Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Book: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: June 4, 2002
Source: Purchased ebook from Amazon

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.

As Yann Martel has said in one interview, “The theme of this novel can be summarized in three lines. Life is a story. You can choose your story. And a story with an imaginative overlay is the better story.” And for Martel, the greatest imaginative overlay is religion. “God is a shorthand for anything that is beyond the material — any greater pattern of meaning.” In Life of Pi, the question of stories, and of what stories to believe, is front and centre from the beginning, when the author tells us how he was led to Pi Patel and to this novel: in an Indian coffee house, a gentleman told him, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.” And as this novel comes to its brilliant conclusion, Pi shows us that the story with the imaginative overlay is also the story that contains the most truth.

I resisted this book for a long time, for three very good reasons: 1) it’s literary fiction; 2) it won the Man Booker Prize, and I’m historically 50/50 on liking Man Booker nominee and winning books; and 3) everyone talked about how amazing it was, and that kind of lavish praise makes me wary.

It wasn’t until my sister said she wanted to see the movie and I read a bunch of reviews that said the book was one that needed to be discussed that we decided we should read it. She may live 500 miles away and be stuck in baby jail (she has an 8 month old and is a stay at home mom), but we can spend time reading the same book at the same time and then talk about it, right? Thus Sister Book Club was born, and our inaugural read was Life of Pi. A few weeks later, we found an afternoon where we could both see the movie in our respective cities at about the same time so we could see it “together.”

Today I’ll be talking about both the book and the movie, and I’ll provide major spoiler alerts/hides when I get around to discussing that ending. I had the book spoiled for me early on, and it’s a shame because I think the ending serves a very distinct and effective purpose to the overall structure and message of the book, so I promise to avoid spoiling it for those of you who haven’t read it. That said, there is a lot to say about the book and movie that doesn’t rely on spoiler talk, so I hope you’ll still stick around.

First, there was a book…

The book opens by telling us we are about to hear a story that will make the reader believe in God. It’s a tall order, one that seems to purposefully put us on edge. “Ha!” we say. “I’d like to see you try,” we mutter. And we begin by taking the words with a grain of salt, perhaps waiting for the treacly drivel that comes from a boy being lost at sea who needs faith to pull him through his debacle.  

Piscine Molitor Patel, known as Pi, tells us his history of faith. He was raised Hindu, but through a series of encounters with a priest and in a mosque, he becomes a faithful adherent of Catholicism and Islam as well. As a bit of a patchwork quilt of religions myself, I really identified with Pi’s healthy skepticism and yet profound sense of faith. There are many ways in which we express faith, and Pi felt at home in a variety of them. 

Though I have read complaints that this beginning section is slow, I found them to be a vital backdrop for Pi’s journey. Without understanding how he comprehends and converses with God, we have little understanding of how his tale at sea translates into faith. Even more importantly, without the knowledge of how Pi relates to Richard Parker or the zoo animals raised by his family, we will be unable to suspend our disbelief as to how a small Indian boy could possibly survive a journey in a lifeboat with a tiger.

The book is largely told as a story within a story – Pi is telling the story of his life to a young American novelist. There are a couple of POV changes where we see the novelist interject his own thoughts on Pi and his story, but largely the story is told from Pi’s perspective, including the longest section when he is lost at sea. 

The chapters after the shipwreck are short and not chronological. Pi lost most of his sense of time while adrift, and so we get glimpses at varying states of his being. We see him wildly delirious, joyously triumphant, and terrifyingly angry. Through these glimpses into his most powerful memories of this trip, we are taken on an incredibly journey alongside him.

So how does this tale inspire belief in God? Well, if you have any interest in seeing the movie or reading the book, I encourage you to not read too many reviews. I had the ending spoiled by reading comments on Goodreads, and it took some of the magic out of the reading experience. So skip this section and go right ahead to the movie review, but for the rest of you who have read it (or have seen the movie, or don’t care about spoilers) I’ve added my thoughts on the ending in the camouflaged section below.

**SPOILER ALERT – HIGHLIGHT TO READ THIS SECTION**
If you’re reading this section, I’m assuming you’re okay with major spoilers.
 
By the end of the book, we know only one thing for certain – that Pi survived his ordeal in the lifeboat. Beyond that, we have a lot of questions. Did he really travel with a tiger, an orangutan, a zebra, and a hyena? Or did he watch the cook murder the few survivors before Pi killed him out of revenge and survival?
 
The book challenges us by asking us to choose the one we like better. What makes the better story, and more importantly, why? By acknowledging the story as an allegory, it illuminates how other stories function as allegories, too. How does the reading of this story impact our understanding of, say, the stories in the Bible?

I loved being faced with all of the questions presented to us at the end, and I sincerely bow down to Yann Martel for creating such an incredible work of fiction. This is the kind of book that makes me want to throw in the towel on my own fiction, because I can only dream of creating a story so compelling, intelligent, beautiful, and inspiring. 

This one belongs on the Special Shelf, where it will be read over and over again. I strongly encourage you to pick up this book, but if you’re more of the movie type…

Then there came a movie…

After reading such an epic tale, I could see why so many had deemed it unfilmable. I mean, putting a tiger with a young boy is one thing, but throwing them in a boat too? Yikes.

Ang Lee showed us all, that’s for sure. Though the majority of the tiger scenes in the movie were done with CGI, I really only noticed it in a handful of scenes. Digital creation has come a long way, and they spent a pretty penny to make one fantastic looking cat. 

I was a bit sad to see that they added in an unnecessary pseudo-love interest for Pi. Does every story need a romance these days? I can think of plenty of other ways from the book that Pi could stay motivated through his journey, which is the only justification I can come up with for why they added the love interest anyway.

The photography is stunning, and worth the price of admission alone. The movie manages to showcase the immense beauty and power of the ocean, while constantly reminding us of her danger and fury. Some of the shots and scenes were so visually impactful that I easily forgave their inconsistencies with the book. I don’t care that it didn’t happen in the book – Ang Lee can show me that whale jumping over the lifeboat all he wants. Amazing.

The movie succeeded in pulling me more into the emotional journey than did the book. This isn’t unusual for me, as I’m a pretty visual person in general. The moment when Pi last sees Richard Parker was sad in the book, for sure, but absolutely tore me up watching the movie. 

If you don’t think the book is for you, I still highly recommend seeing the movie. The ending may not be as impactful (the movie kind of beats you over the head with the message – what are we, dummies?), but the tale itself is one to see. 5 stars to both the book and the movie!

Rating: 5/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

2013 Debut Author Challenge

 

The Debut Author Challenge is hosted by Hobbitsies this year! 

The goal of this challenge is to read at least 12 books by authors writing their debut middle grade or young adult novel. The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014, with the extra month to give us time to read the end of year debuts. I hesitated over this one because I’m trying to keep the acquisition of new books to a minimum, but ultimately I couldn’t resist. I love supporting new authors too much! 

This year, in addition to the monthly link-ups, the monthly and grand prize giveaways are back! Every review gets you entered for the monthly prize. New this year is a Goodreads group where you can track your progress and chat with participants.

Sign up here!

My list so far:

  1. Splintered by A.G. Howard
  2. Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway
  3. Coda  by Emma Trevayne
  4. Pantomime by Laura Lam
  5. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
  6. Prophecy of Oz by Megan Shan
  7. The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
  8. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
  9. The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
  10. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  11. Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell
  12. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Check my progress all year on the sidebar or on my 2013 Challenge Index.

Mini-Reviews: The Dark is Rising Sequence

Book: Over Sea, Under Stone
Author: Susan Cooper
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Originally published: 1965
Source: Purchased ebook from Amazon
Series: The Dark is Rising Sequence #1

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Throughout time, the forces of good and evil have battled continuously, maintaining the balance. Whenever evil forces grow too powerful, a champion of good is called to drive them back. Now, with evil’s power rising and a champion yet to be found, three siblings find themselves at the center of a mystical war.

Jane, Simon, and Barney Drew have discovered an ancient text that reads of a legendary grail lost centuries ago. The grail is an object of great power, buried with a vital secret. As the Drews race against the forces of evil, they must piece together the text’s clues to find the grail — and keep its secret safe until a new champion rises.

I read the first three books in this classic children’s series last week, both for Bout of Books 6.0 and my book club meeting over the weekend. It was refreshing to visit some books that people treasure from their childhood (I hadn’t read them before). I’ve been so caught up in reading the latest new releases that I was neglecting the classics!

This first book was so much fun. The Drew kids are sucked into a mystery while on vacation in Cornwall, England – searching for the grail of King Arthur! Does it get any cooler than that? I loved the battle of these three kids against several shady adults from the Dark trying to get their greedy hands on the grail, which will tell them how to defeat the rising of ancient and perceived lost King Arthur. 

Helping them along the way is their great-uncle Merriman Lyon, who functions in a mentor type role. He guides them and encourages them as they discover a secret map and go in search of the deciphering tricks that will help them interpret it to find the treasure. The action ramps up nicely, leading to a final showdown that truly delivers and leaves us with plenty to look forward to in the sequels.

Rating: 4/5 stars 

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

 

Book: The Dark is Rising
Author: Susan Cooper
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Originally Published: 1973
Source: Purchased ebook from Amazon
Series: The Dark is Rising Sequence #2

 

Summary from Goodreads:

When Will Stanton wakes up on the morning of his birthday, he discovers an unbelievable gift — he is immortal. Bemused and terrified, he finds he is the last of the Old Ones, magical men and women sworn to protect the world from the source of evil, the Dark.

At once Will is plunged into a quest to find six magical Signs to aid the powers of the Light. Six medallions — iron, bronze, wood, water, fire, and stone — created and hidden by the Old Ones centuries ago. But the Dark has sent out the Rider: evil cloaked in black, mounted upon a midnight stallion, and on the hunt for this youngest Old One, Will. He must find the six great Signs before the Dark can rise, for an epic battle between good and evil approaches.

The second book in the series is a marked departure from the first one. With the exception of Merriman Lyon, there are no common characters, and even takes place in a different town (and later, magical world). Given how much I loved the Drew kids in the first book, this was a bit disappointing.

This book I found to be confusing, with many jumps through time that left me uncertain from paragraph to paragraph where we were at any given moment. Will is on a quest to find six magical medallions, and he has to move through time and space to get them, often without requiring a whole lot of foresight or planning. Instead, he seems to just stumble upon them in overly convenient ways. There wasn’t a lot of tension as a result, since we just assume that the next part of the plot will deal with him getting the next medallion, and that he will do so with some ease.

The good thing to note is that the first two books do not need to be read in order, since they are so different, but they both provide vital plot elements for the third book so must be read before moving on in the series. The other good thing is that the third book was much more entertaining than this one.

Rating: 2/5 stars

 

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

 

Book: Greenwitch
Author: Susan Cooper
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Originally published: 1974
Source: Purchased ebook from Amazon
Series: The Dark is Rising Sequence #3

 

Summary from Goodreads:

The Dark has stolen an object of great power — a golden grail that holds a vital secret. Will embarks on a new quest to reclaim the grail, and to drive back the Dark once again. But first he will need the help of three former grail seekers: Jane, Simon, and Barney Drew.

Learning to work together, they must take back the grail and retrieve the missing manuscript that unlocks its mystical secret. But the manuscript is located at the bottom of the sea, and their only hope of obtaining both grail and script is entangled in the mysterious ritual of the Greenwitch.

The third book in the series combines the Drew children with Will Stanton, and they are tasked to return to Cornwall to retrieve the scroll lost in book one and the grail that has newly been stolen by the Dark forces. I was very happy to see the Drew kids back in the story, as they are light, comical characters that are a joy to read.

This book zips along in pace, and is the shortest of these three books at only 144 pages. The kids are again battling the Dark, trying to uncover the mystery of who stole the grail, where it went, and how they can get back the scroll that disappeared into the sea the last time they were in town. The magic of the second book comes alive in this book, with eerie scenes playing out in the streets and lots of mysterious interactions with undersea creatures and the strange Greenwitch. 

I absolutely intend to finish the last two books in this series, as overall it was a lot of fun to read. Though I found Will boring, the Drew kids are so cute and clever! I want to see where the grail takes them next and whether the Light can succeed in bringing King Arthur back to life. 

Rating: 4/5 stars 

Click the stars for a description of my rating system