Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"The Keys to the Kingdom" reviews

It's really time I reviewed these...

Mister Monday: On the first day, there was mystery. Arthur Penhaligon should have died, but instead finds himself in the midst of a time of great change. People in his city are getting sick. The virus seems uncurable. And Arthur finds an incredible House that holds the keys to it all (literally).

This book is a great intro to a fantastic series, and though it's not my favorite, it really deserves a mention. My rating: 8/10.

Grim Tuesday: On the second day, there was darkness. Arthur may have won the first key and the Lower House, saving his town, but there are still problems. Problems that threaten his family, the world, and the universe itself. Arthur must stop the greedy Tuesday before the Far Reaches are irreversably contaminated.

This book, while it is in my opinion one of the worst in the series, is still worth a read and an almost worthy followup to Monday. My rating: 7/10.

Drowned Wednesday: On the third day, there were pirates. Arthur is in the hospital, but that doesn't stop Lady Wednesday (who happens to look a bit like a whale) from sending Arthur an invitation to dine with her on the Border Sea. But now there are pirates after Arthur as well.

This book, while it is 50 pages longer than Tuesday, was a much easier and faster read, and it introduces you nicely to some important new characters and aspects of the House. My rating: 8.5/10.

Sir Thursday: On the fourth day, there was war. Arthur wants to go home more than anything, but he can't. The Skinless Boy is being used as a doppelganger, and it is up to Leaf to stop it. Also, Arthur is unwittingly pressed into service in Sir Thursday's army. It is up to him to stop Thursday from bringing his troops into a war they won't survive.

This is when the books in the series start getting shorter, but Thursday doesn't let up on you with the action, giving a solid middle installment. My rating: 9/10.

Lady Friday: On the fifth day, there was fear. Arthur and Leaf have been separated. Leaf finds herself in a hospital where the doctor is known as Lady Friday. Arthur finds himself in the middle of Friday's schemes. Arthur must find the fifth part of the Will of the Architect and wrest control of the Middle House and the fifth key from Friday, but can he do it in time?

I'm not sure why, but this book, while gripping and well-written, was a little weird for my tastes, but it leaves you still salivating for Saturday. My rating: 7.5/10.

Superior Saturday: On the sixth day, there was sorcery. The end game has begun. Lord Arthur is gaining control of the House, but as he does, he is losing his humanity. And Saturday is about to launch an attack on the Incomparable Gardens, Lord Sunday's domain. Can Arthur stop Saturday from taking control of the House... and the universe?

Garth Nix's sixth installment is his best yet: short, sweet, and impossible to put down, with plot twists galore and many questions on the verge of being answered, all the while leaving you waiting with bated breath for Lord Sunday. My rating: 9.5/10.

"Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox" review

Artemis Fowl is one of the most dynamic, changing characters I've ever read, and his story arc is one that doesn't fail to enthrall. It's been two years since The Lost Colony, book 5, came out, and this new one has a big job to do. Can it do it?
In a word, yes.

After disappearing for three years, Artemis Fowl has returned to a life different from the one he had. Now he's a big brother, and spends his days teaching his twin siblings the important things in life, such as how to properly summon a waiter at a French restaurant.

But when Artemis's mother contracts a deadly illness, his world is turned upside-down. The only hope of a cure lies in the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur. Unfortunately, the animal is extinct, due to a heartless bargain Artemis himself made as a younger boy.

Though the odds are stacked against him, Artemis is not willing to give up. With the help of his fairy friends, the young genius travels back in time to rescue the lemur and bring it to the present. But to do so, Artemis will have to defeat a maniacal poacher who has set his sights on new prey: Holly Short.

The rules of time travel are far from simple, but to save his mother, Artemis will have to break them all... and outsmart his most cunning adversary yet: Artemis Fowl, age ten.

This was an enjoyable thrill ride from start to finish, and I finished it in one day. Artemis's exploits never fail to entertain, and the action, humor, and drama are as fresh here as they were in book 1. This book also seems to tie up most of the loose ends in the series, and could function as a final novel if Eoin Colfer so desires. But I, for one wouldn't mind seeing the teenage mastermind once again.

My rating: 9.5/10

"The Dark Knight" review

So, here it is. The most hyped movie of the summer. It's rigorous advertising campaign, coupled with the massive viral marketing, makes it unique in sheer amount of hype. It has done better at the box office than Iron Man or Indiana Jones 4. It has broken records. THAT'S hype. And you know what?

It actually really lives up to the hype. All of it.

The story is fairly straightforward: Batman/Bruce Wayne sees Gotham in a period of time where he may no longer be needed. Gotham's new DA, Harvey Dent (who some of the police nickname "Two Face" because of his aggressive tactics) promises to really keep the scum off the streets. He is not afraid of criminals, so criminals are afraid of him.
But the Joker is all about chaos.

The Joker, played by the late, great Heath Ledger, is out to turn Gotham on its head. He is a firm believer that when the situation's bad, Gotham's people will turn on each other. And he's got a plan on how to show it. He's made a deal to kill Batman, and though I use the word plan, he doesn't really think of things like that. He wants to bring the world down around Batman-- and Harvey Dent.

"Wanna know how I got these scars?" he'll say, and you'll realize how truly evil, how truly insane he is. It's no wonder people want Heath Ledger to recieve a posthumous Oscar nod. Ledger's Joker takes over the screen (literally) and always keeps your attention. His ability to act out such a vivid and creepy character is a testament to his acting skills.
But that's not all. The filmmakers have thought of everything. Looking back over it, I have yet to find plot holes. Though it's the darkest comic book movie ever, it is hands down the best.

My rating: 10/10. The best movie of the year thus far.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More Book Ratings-- Fantasy and Espionage Edition

Erec Rex-- The Dragon's Eye: 9/10
Erec Rex-- The Monsters of Otherness: 9.5/10
**Coming Soon! Erec Rex-- The Search for Truth!**

A Game of Thrones: 9/10

The Eye of the World: 9/10

The Eyre Affair: 8.5/10
Lost in a Good Book: 8.5/10
The Well of Lost Plots: 8/10
Something Rotten: 9/10

The Gunslinger: 8/10
The Drawing of the Three: 9/10

The Cry of the Icemark: 8.5/10

The Lord of the Rings: 10/10

His Majesty's Dragon: 9/10
Throne of Jade: 9/10

The Crystal Cave: 7.5/10

The Wind Singer: 9/10
Slaves of the Mastery: 9.5/10

Cirque du Freak (A Living Nightmare): 8/10
The Vampire's Assistant: 8/10
Tunnels of Blood: 8.5/10
Vampire Mountain: 7.5/10
Trials of Death: 9/10
The Vampire Prince: 9/10
Hunters of the Dusk: 7.5/10
Allies of the Night: 9/10
Killers of the Dawn: 9.5/10
The Lake of Souls: 8/10
Lord of the Shadows: 9.5/10
Sons of Destiny: 10/10

Stormbreaker: 8/10
Point Blank: 8.5/10
Skeleton Key: 7.5/10
Eagle Strike: 9/10
Scorpia: 10/10
Ark Angel: 9.5/10
Snakehead: 10/10

Young Bond-- Silverfin: 7/10

CHERUB-- The Recruit: 8/10
CHERUB-- The Dealer: 8.5/10
CHERUB-- Maximum Security: 7.5/10
CHERUB-- The Killing: 7/10
CHERUB-- Divine Madness: 9/10
CHERUB-- Man vs. Beast: 9/10

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More Book Ratings-- Christian Fiction Edition

Raising Dragons: 8.5/10
The Candlestone: 8.5/10
Circles of Seven: 9/10
Tears of a Dragon: 9.5/10
Eye of the Oracle: 8/10
Enoch's Ghost: 8.5/10
**Coming Soon! Last of the Nephilim and The Bones of Makaidos!**

Beyond the Reflection's Edge: 9.5/10
**Coming Soon! Eternity's Edge and Edge of Chaos!**

The Door Within: 9/10
Rise of the Wyrm Lord: 9.5/10
The Final Storm: 10/10

Isle of Swords: 9.5/10
**Coming Soon! Isle of Fire!**

Thr3e: 9.5/10
Obsessed: 8.5/10
Blink/Blink of an Eye: 9/10
Adam: 10/10
**Coming Soon! Kiss!**

Black: 9.5/10
Red: 9.5/10
White: 10/10
Showdown: 10/10
House: 8.5/10
Saint: 9/10
Skin: 9/10
Chosen: 9/10
Infidel: 9/10
Renegade: 9.5/10
Chaos: 10/10
**Coming Soon! Sinner and Green!**