April 2007


 

 

Paranormal

5 Stars

 

Aislinn has always followed the rules.  Her Grandmother has drilled them into her since she was a young child.  Don’t stare at invisible faeries.  Don’t speak to invisible faeries.  Don’t ever attract faeries’ attention.  Aislinn has developed the skill to ignore them.  She walks passed them without flinching even when the faeries are pinching or touching others around her like they love to do. 

 

Faeries come in many shapes and sizes and Aislinn has seen them all.  She’s seen them in the glamours they wear in order to pass as humans and can pick one out of a crowd even when they are trying to blend in.  Aislinn has never been surprised by what she has seen them do – that is, until they start breaking the rules. 

 

Faeries don’t like steel.  It causes them pain and weakens them.  Because of that, Aislinn’s “safe” place has always been Seth’s house.  Seth is a long time friend who happens to live in a converted steel train car.  Aislinn always knew if she could make it there she’d have peace because the faeries could never follow her into the train yard.  But, something has changed.  They are creeping closer and closer and paying more attention to her. They are even gathering outside Seth’s place.

 

Aislinn really begins to worry when two faeries, Keenan and Donia, approach her and speak directly to her.  She gets away from them as quickly as possible now hyperaware of the growing number of faeries surrounding and following her.  She hears them say things like, “Do you think she’s the one?”  Aislinn realizes that in order to figure out what they want from her she is going to have to break the rules she’s grown up with all her life.

 

Keenan is the Summer King.  His mother, the Winter Queen, has limited his powers and is slowly taking over the elements.  Days are colder and eventually everything will be covered in ice, unless, Keenan finds the girl who is meant to be his Summer Queen.  Together they would have the power to overcome the Winter Queen’s chill.  Keenan thinks Aislinn is the one and she is in danger because of it.  The Winter Queen will do everything she can to prevent her son from getting the power he needs to overthrow her.  Another problem of course is Aislinn doesn’t want to be Summer Queen.  She has avoided faeries all her life and she sure doesn’t want to become one now.  Especially when her feelings for Seth have developed into more than friendship and becoming the Summer Queen would mean spending an eternity with Keenan.

 

Melissa Marr has written a wonderfully inventive story that incorporates actual quotes from books written on the subject of faeries dating back to the 1800’s.  Her ability to keep a complicated story with several important characters clear to the reader is phenomenal.  The relationship she creates between Aislinn and Seth is heartwarming, leading the reader to fall in love right along with them.  If you aren’t usually a fan of faerie stories, you might want to give this one a try.  The blending of the realistic world and the world of the fey is masterfully done.  You’ll almost believe faeries are all around you.

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 Maximum Ride #3: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride)

4 Stars

Max and the flock are back.  While she continues to keep the flock safe, she also has to figure out how she is supposed to save the world.  The evil plan is days away from unfolding.  Half of the people in the world are going to be killed in order to give the worthy ones that remain a chance to thrive.  The human race has done such a poor job of taking care of the planet that the Itex Corporation decided only the people with something to offer deserve the right to live in it.

Another problem the flock is dealing with is the creation of an updated version of Erasers.  Now made of metal and covered with a layer of skin, learning how to take them out takes a little time – especially since these “Flyboys” come equipped with guns!

Relationships are strained within the flock in this latest installment of the Maximum Rides saga.  Fang continues to update his blog and attempt to enlist children from around the world to become involved with the fight against Itex and all its subsidiaries.  Max doesn’t have faith that kids can help, which of course, causes friction between them and ultimately leads to a split in the group.

The reader is tugged along on a roller coaster ride adventure with Max’s constant sarcastic commentary to guide them.  We see familiar faces as well as meet brand new players in this deadly game.  Max manages to thwart disaster, reconcile the flock, and discover the identity of her parents.  James Patterson does a nice job of tying up loose ends and leaves the story with a satisfying ending.  If there isn’t a fourth installment, fans will be happy with the way Max and the rest of the flock land on their feet.

Jason Freeman and his family just moved to California from Michigan because his father got a new job. They now live in a very elite neighborhood filled with the priviledged of Malibu.  Everyone seems to accept Jason immediately and his transition to California takes no time at all.  In Bloodlust, Jason and his friend Adam uncover some stange goings on at the weekend parties.  On top of the strange effects of the parties, some people are turning up dead, drained of all their blood.  Jason has to accept the fact that vampires live and basically rule Malibu.  But, which one is killing everybody? On top of the murder mystery, Jason is dealing with his strong attraction to Sierra.  Sierra is also a vampire, but the girlfriend of Brad, one of his new friends on the swim team.  Jason feels guilty for having feelings for someone else’s girlfriend, but can’t stop himself from wanting to be around her. Book Cover In Vampire Beach: Initiation (#2 in the series), Jason continues along with his high school life as though he doesn’t attend with vampires.  The thought doesn’t really bother him since he knows they aren’t evil or anything.  He is surprised by a totally unexpected visit from a friend from back home, Tyler.  Tyler seems to be in a little trouble and basically brings the trouble to Malibu with him.  This book revolves around Jason trying to help Tyler get out of trouble as well as explaining a little more about the vampire world.  We get to see the “Council” or governing body that regulates the vampire population. The thread that continues from Bloodlust into this book is the tense relationship between Jason and Sierra.  As a reader you REALLY want them to get together, but the author leaves us hanging again. Initiation cover Now, these books aren’t necessarily quality literature, BUT….they are fun.  They are also fast reads which will make them popular with teens.  There is some drinking and “make out” sitiuations so these wouldn’t be appropriate for younger teens.  8th grade and up would be my suggestion. The third book in the series is titled Vampire Beach: Ritual and the fourth, which will be released in June 2007 is Vampire Beach: Legacy.