By Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbets
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
By Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbets
Friday, February 19, 2010
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Review: I didn't even know that the genre of steampunk existed until about a month ago. I must have been living under a rock or something. But, I've noticed it has become an increasingly popular genre, and this book is a good indication of why.
The illustrations in this book were really neat and one of my favorite parts. There was a new illustration every 5 pages or so, and they really added a depth to the story without being overly "cartoonish." (A reason why I could never really get into Manga). Here is an example of this awesome art:
I really liked the character and story of Deryn. I'm also up for a good story about a girl pretending to be a boy and kicking some trash. Deryn certainly did so. She had a lot of spunk and spirit, but also a good dose of compassion, especially at the end of the book.
Aleksander's story went in a little different direction than I had originally thought. While Deryn's story was pretty predictable, I was never quite sure where Aleksander was going to end up.
Sometimes telling a book from two perspectives really doesn't work for me. However, in this case, Westerfeld handled it beautifully. I wasn't as impressed with "The Uglies" series as I wanted to be, so it was nice to have a book by Westerfeld that I really enjoyed. I think this series is going to do really well. This book got a lot of buzz at the end of last year, and I can definitely see why.
Alanna by Tamora Pierce (For the "girl pretending to be a boy" story)
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (For the machinery aspect, and the boy working with girl story)
If you like other books in the Steam Punk genre, you'll like this one.
I gave this book 4 stars.
Profanity: Like all steampunk, the slang evolves into something different from our culture. So, nothing you'd recognize
Drugs and Alcohol: None
Violence: Moderate. This is WWI (or an alternate version), so there is a battle that is described.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from all except her hound.
In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war. Proud, stubborn, and bound to marry for duty, George and Beatrice will steal your heart—but will they fall in love?"
Prince George possesses the gift of speaking to animals, a gift which is forbidden and feared in the kingdom of Kendel. After his mother's tragic death, he has spent his life hiding this ability and forcing himself to follow wherever duty leads him.
Princess Beatrice spent her childhood ignored and neglected by her father and looked down upon, yet her fierce nature keeps her trying to win his approval. But she also has a hidden secret.
When the two royals meet for the official betrothal intended to bind the two countries, something about Beatrice and her only close relationship with her hound, Marit, draws George to her and to the part of himself that he has denied his whole life. The pair face many obstacles, such as George's dying father and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his illness, the sense of being duty bound to marry one another, and Beatrice's own untrusting nature. They struggle to trust each other and mostly themselves.
This is a beautifully written story. The characters are complex and wounded people who strive to form complete relationships and conquer their personal battles. The hound, Marit, is delicately written and the relationship between the Princess and the Hound will capture the curiosity of readers.
While the characters do go through great emotional growth and face what is within themselves, for some reason I didn't find that my emotions were as captured as that of other friends' who have read the book. Something about it didn't quite make the emotional connection for me, but I know that most readers out there will feel an intense connection to the characters and their trials.
A smoothly written book with strong 'old-world fairytale' overtones, this is a book I definitely recommend for anyone who enjoys this genre. The characters were particularly well-developed, more so than in some other fairytale books that I've read.
Book-a-likes: any Robin McKinley, Jessica Day George, Donna Jo Napoli book.
My rating: **** 4 stars, 4.5 if this is your favorite genre