Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book reviews 4/19

PENDRAGON Prequel 3: The third and final installment of the Travelers series, also written by Walter Sorrels, delivers more of the same, except with Loor, Siry Remudi, and Patric Mac on the territories of Zadaa, Ibara, and Third Earth, respectively. As always, the disjointed volume shows Uncle Press recruiting, Travelers becoming Travelers, and Saint Dane putting his nose where it doesn't belong. It's got some good moments, and I'm not sorry I read it. But the stories are too short, even shorter than before, and it hardly gives the plot and the characters enough time to breathe. This seems like a disservice to D. J. MacHale.

My rating: 7.5/10

The Gatekeepers 4: Necropolis: Anthony Horowitz's latest Gatekeepers book (the penultimate one!) does exactly what a book in its position should do. And that's actually not a bad thing, because he does it well. Necropolis, set mostly in Hong Kong, brings the characters ever closer to the final battle with the Old Ones, and there are some truly great suspenseful and horrific moments, as well as some pulse-pounding action beats. Wow, that was a weird sentence! Suffice it to say, I reccommend this, along with Horowitz's other work, very highly. If you haven't started this series, then now's the time to do so. But be warned: Necropolis ends with a killer cliffhanger that will leave you waiting with bated breath for the last book. Before that, he still has to give us Alex Rider 8: Crocodile Tears.

My rating: 8.5/10

Pillage: Obert Skye's recent standalone novel is one that has received significantly less publicity than his charming Leven Thumps series. This puzzled me-- until I read the book itself. Unlike Leven, Beck Phillips is a protagonist I hardly cared about, and the book is too thin to contain a story that tries so hard to be huge. I mean, there's a lot of backstory, revelations, and fantasy that's crammed into a 250 page book (and that's with a fairly large font!). Perhaps Skye is just less skilled at writing first person narratives. Not that the writing's bad, it's just not the same Skye we know and love from Leven Thumps. That said, Pillage was good for a quick read, but it should have been contained in a book twice its length (I know, I don't normally think a book is too SHORT, but the story needs more room. It just does.) Look for it at your local library, perhaps, or in the bargain racks at the bookstore. All books make their way there, eventually, unless they're written by J. K. Rowling.

My rating: 6.5/10

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