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A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

The Game of thrones is easilly the largest book that I've ever read. It took me almost a week and a half to get through the 800+ pages with small print, despite that I'm a fast reader. A few years ago the shere size of this novel would have put me off from reading it, but although it takes a while to get into it, the effort is well worth it in the end.

The world-building in this novel/series is facinating. In Martin's fantasy world the seasons can last up to 10 years or more at a time! Now that's what I call unique. The cultures that Martin created such as the Dothraki tribe are also deeply facinating. I don't know if Martin ever researched real nomad tribes for inspiration, but It wouldn't surprise me because they are incredably believeable.

The story is told from multiple POV characters. So far my favorite POV characters are Jon, Arya and Daenery's. Cersei is also an interesting character. My least favorite POV characters are Ned and Catlyn since both characters are incredably boring and their daughter Sansa since she is increadably annoying.

Another thing that was unusual about this fantasy novel is that there really wasn't a lot of magic in it. The standard fantasy novel is usually has witches/wizards and magical artifacts such as swords etc but although this fantasy novel has magical creatures such as dragons etc most of the plot revolves around politics. Therefore we can't accuse it of being cliched, or predictable for that matter.

The writing was easy to follow and although the chapters are short none of the scenes were rushed. As I mentioned earlier the story takes a while to get into it. Some of the plots seemed a bit too drawn out, although that doesn't mean that the plots weren't interesting. The thing that annoyed me the most was that most of the real action happened within the last 200+ pages. Some of the decissions that were made also bothered me. Honestly who would visit a bloodthirsty household when he thinks that the wife or her family might some how be involved in the attempted murder of his son? If it was me I would want to be as far away as possible. However apart from those two points I really enjoyed the novel because it was full of interesting twists.

Catching Fire

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)

This was a bit of a dissapointment because the plot was almost identical to the 'Hunger Games.'  However we do get to learn some interesting things about the other districts, expecially district 13, which still makes it worth reading -the ending was also more climatic than the first book. Looking forward to Mockingjay.  

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games is a young adult dystopian novel by Suzanne Collins about a futuristic society where a group of children between the ages of 12-18 are forced to murder each other in an annual tv show known as 'The Hunger Gamess'  until only one child remains as the 'victor.'

This definately isn't the most believable dystopian novel out there but it was still enjoyable to read even though it was filled with gore. The story is written in a provacative manner which demonstrates how cruel humans can be to one another. The plot is filled with suspense and interesting twists -it's a real page turner!

I would only recommend this book to people with a strong stommach. Squimmish people beware.

Bumface

Bumface

Bumface is a wonderful children's novel by Morris Gleitzman about a boy named Angus who is sick of always being the one who has to mind his much younger siblings whilst his mother and husband's one, two and three get on with their lives.

'Bumface' is certainly not your standard children's book -despite the humorous title- and that's a good thing. Gleitzman beautifully tackles both social and politcal issues in a way which should easilly entertain any 9-12-year-old. The writing is excellent and the characters are believable and well developped. Definately recommended.

The Child Thief

The Child Thief

Brom imaginatively draws upon the original 'Peter and Wendy' story by J.M. Barrie in this dark retelling of Peter Pan.
 
Brom's characters are extremally well-developped. The characters differ greatly from their Disney counterparts, rejecting the traditional 'good' guy and 'bad' guy roles. Brom has also created many new characters which cannot be found in the original story. These characters are equally exciting. It was also good to watch the characters mature throughout the story which is told from multiple POV's and often switches from the past to the present.

In addition to the traditional legend Brom has also included some Arthurian elements, effectively creating a unique world which anyone can fall in love with. In his world you will find all sorts of new and interesting creatures which create a whole new depth for this remarkable story.   

The artwork is amazing!!! The pictures are beautiful yet grim at the same time, very detailed, and match the dark tone of the novel. You can view some of the artwork here: http://www.bromart.com/childthief.html

This book is recommended to adults who have a taste for dark literature.

Girl Underground

Girl Underground

Girl Underground is the companion novel to Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman.

This book is not worth the paper it is written on. It was completely unrealistic and boring all the way through. Definately not recommended.  

Boy Overboard

Boy Overboard

Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman is about is about a young boy named Jamal who is forced to flee Afghanistan with his family after his parents were caught running an illeagal school. The title of the novel originates from the children overboard incident which occured near Australia.   

Boy Overboard is a well-written thought provoking political children's novel which is so realistic and suspensefull that it is difficult to put down without reading it from start to finish. The story provides a fantasic insight to what it's like living in a country terrorized by their own govement. The characters must also face smugglers, pirates, police and Australian forces. Definately recommended.  

Coraline

Coraline

Coraline is a children's fantasy/horror novel by by Neil Gaiman about a young girl who discovers a magical door which leads to a strange alternate universe.

This is one of those rare books which both adults and children alike can enjoy. The main protagonist -Coraline is incredibably realistic -she acts exactly the way you would expect a child to act in a story, something which lesser authors sometimes get wrong. The supporting characters are also very realistic. The alternate world Gaiman created is purely amazing which is a wonderful combination of both fantasy and horror. The writing is beautifully done -straight forward and easy to read- perfict for a children's book. There's absolutely nothing to critisise here, well done Gaiman!

Does My Head Look Big In This?



Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah is about a 16-year-old Muslim girl living in Australia who decides to start wearing the hijab as a fill-timer. 

Despite the interesting premise 'Does My Head Look Big In This?' showed all the signs of a first time writer: the story is plotless and just seemed to drag on forever through an endless array of boring teenage drama i.e. school, boys, buying clothes and wearing the right make-up, and most of all boys, boys and boys. Obviously if you pick up a young adult book then you can expect this sort of thing but not in every paragraph. The story did cover some important topics such as racism which was written brilliantly expecially since the author drew upon some recent historic events such as the collapse of the World Trade Center and the Bali bombing. However it was still not a very engaging book. 

This book is only recommended to people who don't mind slow books.    

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Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale



Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale by Holly Black revolves around Kaye's latest adventures as she attempts to fufill an impossible mission: to find a fairy that lies. 

Ironside is much better than Tithe or Valiant -the writing was smoother, the plot was far more engaging and the characters were intriguing. The story didn't focus so much on the boring relationship between Kaye and Roiben. It was good to see some character developement and a cameo from Luis. However unfortunately it's not worth the effort of struggling through the first two books before something interesting finally happens.