Koalafications

I love reading like a Koala loves eating eucalyptus


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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable is the first book in the Legion series.  Kami Garcia co-authored the Beautiful Creatures series, and this is her first book on her own.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was easy to read, and it stayed interesting the whole time.  It did have some of the characteristics that are kind of common in YA lit (new/confusing situation, love triangley, etc.), but the story itself was one that I have not really seen before.  The story follows Kennedy just as her world is falling apart.  She discovers that her mother has died.  As she is spending her last night in their house, she wakes up with her cat on her and unable to breathe.  Two young men come in and destroy the vengeance spirit that is using the cat to steal Kennedy’s breath (basically the spirit is trying to kill her).  The next day, Lukas and Jared (the two young men) are waiting for Kennedy outside her house.  They all are in her kitchen as the boys try to explain what is going on when a poltergeist starts attacking them.  It throws knives at them, locks them in the house, and pretty much destroys the place.  All three are able to escape, and Kennedy starts to believe Lukas and Jared and some of the craziness they are telling her.

They are part of a secret society called the Legion that was created to fight an evil demon that they ancestors accidentally summoned.  There are always five members of the Legion with membership being passed through family members.  Lukas and Jared believe that Kennedy is the fifth member.  They take Kennedy to meet up with the other two members of the Legion.  The current members are all teenagers because the previous members were all found dead in the same way on the same night.  It was the same way that Kennedy’s mother died, adding to their belief that Kennedy is also a member.  Kennedy is skeptical because her mother never mentioned anything about the group or its history.  She also never had any of the training that the others have had and had no idea that this responsibility was being passed to her.

The basic plot involves the group trying to find the pieces of a weapon that they believe will allow them to destroy the demon.  This involves them battling different types of spirits that are protecting the pieces.  The spirit protecting the final piece causes Kennedy to question whether they are doing the right thing because he tells her it will allow the demon to fully come out in the world.  The others do not believe the spirit, so Kennedy finishes putting the weapon together.  It seems the spirit was telling the truth as the building they are in crumbles and basically all hell breaks loose.  Kennedy is found by the police (it has been believed through the story that she was kidnapped) while the rest of the group gets away.  Kennedy still feels like she is not truly a member of the Legion.

I’m excited to continue this series, and hope that I don’t forget about it when the next book comes out.  I think a good premise has been started and that the rest of the series could be pretty great.

 

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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

This book is so much fun to read.  I really connected with the characters because none of them were perfect.  Colin is a child prodigy that thinks he is all washed up and won’t matter the rest of his life.  Colin’s best friend, Hassan, is a hefty Muslim who mostly tries to live by his faith but sometimes he doesn’t quite make it.  Lindsey feels like she is never herself around anyone and doesn’t quite know who she really is.

Be warned while An Abundance of Katherines is a fun, pretty easy read, there is a giant math formula that Colin works on creating.  There is no requirement to understand the math itself, just what Colin is trying to do with it.  John Green had Daniel Bliss help him with creating the formula.  Bliss also writes an appendix that helps explain how the formula is used and what everything means in it.  They do try to make sure people realize that the formula is not something to take seriously.  It is just for fun.  I did try it though (at this website: http://www.palegreenthings.net/) and it worked for my most recent relationship, lol.

Green does a great job getting the reader to like a fairly unlikable main character.  Colin has only one friend, Hassan, and is fairly self-absorbed.  During a fight these guys have in the book, Hassan calls Colin out for ditching him every time a new Katherine comes along (which is 19 times although some of them happen before their friendship begins).  Hassan also tells Colin fairly often that what he is saying is not interesting.  Because Colin is a child prodigy, he has a lot of facts floating around in his head.  He does not realize that most people do no care about most of what he knows and decides to share.  Even though Colin and Hassan seem like unlikely friends and have troubles with their friendship, they understand each other and it is actually a great relationship.

A lot of the extra stuff Green includes in the book is what creates the humor.  The main source of jobs in Lindsey’s town is to work at a factory that produces tampon strings.  The main attraction is the tomb of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which turns out to just be an anagram (which is Colin’s favorite things to do with words).  Lindsey’s house is completely pink and her mom drives a pink truck.

If you are looking for a light, easy, fun read go with this book.  I have also found it interesting to look at some of what John Green has to say about it which you can do here: http://johngreenbooks.com/katherines-questions/

Cover of "An Abundance of Katherines"


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Holy Cow! A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This book……..wow!  Now I know I’m late to the whole Game of Thrones thing, but better late than never.  When I first heard about the show and the books it went with, I didn’t really think that it was something I would be interested in.  I could not have been more wrong.  George R.R. Martin does a great job of balancing all the action with the character and story development.  This allows the reader to connect with the characters (which there are a lot of) and not just overwhelm them with killing.  Martin also does not shy away from doing harm, emotionally hurting, and even killing characters that the reader will have formed a strong connection to.

 

When I first got A Game of Thrones from the library, I was a little intimidated by its size.  Be warned that this book is a commitment, especially since it is the first in a large series.  I was willing to spend the time and lug its heft to and from work to read on breaks.  It was completely worth it since I started reading it all the time and didn’t have to carry it around too long.

 

Normally, I would include a summary of the book in my blog, but I really don’t want to ruin anyone’s first reading of it.  Plus it would take forever to summarize the book in a way that made any sense.  Just know that it is worth it and that I highly recommend it to everyone.  The worst part of this book?  Having to wait until I can get my hands on the second one.

 

 


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Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

The Clockwork Prince is the second book in the Infernal Devices series.  This is a book where what you expect to happen is not what happens. What is really great about this book is that we finally get to have a better understanding of Will Herondale and why he acts how he does.  Will approaches Magnus Bane for help with a curse that he believes was put on him 5 years earlier.  When Will was about 12, he opened a pyxis that he found in his father’s things.  A pyxis is used to hold a demon captive.  By opening it, Will freed a demon that had been prisoner for many years.  His older sister Ella comes in to help him with the demon.  The demon tells Will that he has cursed him by making it so anyone who loves him will die.  The next day, Ella dies.  This prompts will to leave his family and seek out the London Institute so that nothing else will happen to those he loves.  He has spent all of his time at the Institute being mean and rude and trying to keep people at arms length to prevent them from being harmed by the curse.  Will hopes that Magnus will be able to help him find the demon so that the curse can be lifted.

While this is happening, Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs start growing closer.  This ultimately leads to Jem proposing to Tessa and her accepting.  This is right about when Will finds out that the curse he thought was put on him never actually existed.  After being captive for so long, the demon is not strong enough to place a real curse on him.  Will hurries back to the Institute tell profess his love to Tessa and she tells him that she has already accepted Jem’s marriage proposal.  Tessa says she does not love Will to protect both him and Jem.  She loves both boys.

Charlotte Branwell is faced with opposition to her being the head of the London Institute.  The Lightwood family wants to take over for her.  The Consul gives her two weeks to find out as much as she can about the Magister.  This is how we find out all sorts of stuff about the Magister.  He was adopted by two warlock parents and raise as their own even though he is mundane.  He learns from his warlock father about how to make the automatons.  His parents are eventually killed by Shadowhunters.  The Magister is able to escape.  A few years later he seeks reparations for his loss but is denied.  He decides that he will exact revenge on all Shadowhunters, which is why he builds his Infernal Device army of clockwork automatons.

This also leads to information about the Lightwood family being found out by the Institute Shadowhunters.  Benedict Lightwood (who is the main proponent for having Charlotte removed as head of the institute) is discovered to have demon pox.  This disease is spread to Shadowhunters who have sexual relations with demons.  It is also discovered that he is working with the Magister.  Charlotte using this information to her advantage to remain the head of the Institute.

A plan to get information from Tessa’s brother Nate goes awry and he ends up being killed.  Jessamine gets sent to the Silent City to be investigated by the Silent Brothers because she married Nate and was helping him set up Tessa and Charlotte.

What is great about this book is that most of what happens you don’t see coming.  Sometimes that is a little disappointing but more often it is exciting and drives you to continue reading.  It is really a great book.  My only real issue with the first two books of the Internal Device series is that they cannot stand on their own as a story.  Neither of them have an ending that really provides any kind of conclusion.  Other series are able to have each book tie up their own stories while still being part of the series.  But these books don’t really tie anything up.  There are some minor plot lines that are resolved but the main story is obviously not over.  While it helps make readers want to continue the series it also makes finishing the book a little disappointing because it seems unfinished.

 


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Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare also wrote a trilogy as prequel to the Mortal Instruments series.  The first book in the Infernal Devices series is Clockwork Angel.  This series is set in the 1800s so pretty far in advance of the Mortal Instruments books.  Many of the last names are recognizable although it is hard to place what relation they are to the Mortal Instruments characters.  This book centers around Tessa Gray.  She has traveled to London from New York because of a ticket her brother sent her.  Before she is ale to reunite with him, she is imprisoned by the Dark Sisters.  They are interested in a power Tessa wasn’t even aware she had.  She can change into anyone as long as she has an object that belongs to them.  She is also able to tap into their thoughts and memories which allows her to act as they would have.  The Dark Sisters treat Tessa very poorly, giving her terrible living conditions and pushing her changing abilities to the brink.  She is physically and emotionally exhausted.  Will Herondale breaks into the Dark Sisters home looking for someone else but helps Tessa to escape.

Tessa stays at the London Institute where she meets numerous other Shadowhunters.  She gains a great amount of information about herself.  Her changing power is similar to that of others but her ability to tap into thoughts and memories makes her power unique.  She has powers like a Warlock but does not bare the same demon mark.  Basically, her existence is unique and she is unable to get specific information about herself.

The Magister wants Tessa for her power and is furious when the Dark Sisters allow her to escape.  He creates an army of animatrons (robot people) to help him try to capture her.  The Magister also has Nathaniel, Tessa’s brother, on his side.  With Nathaniel’s help the Magister is able to infiltrate the Institute.  However, Tessa is able to overcome and trick the Magister, and Will arrives just in time to scare him away.

So far I like this series.  I like that Tessa is a strong and confident woman.  She is very good at sticking to her guns and not being swayed from what she wants.  Will is kind of annoying, but I have hopes that he will grow on me.  I think he is confused and a little more back story on him will explain why he acts like such a jerk sometimes.  I have the next book on hold at the library so hopefully I get to read that soon.

 


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End of My Hiatus

Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a very long while.  Things got kind of busy and crazy which means blogging was the first thing to go.  But even though I wasn’t blogging, I have still been reading.  I recently finished reading City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare.  This is the fifth book in the Mortal Instrument series.  I am very sad because the sixth and final book isn’t supposed to come out until next year, which is entirely too far away.  I hate getting really invested and interested in a series that isn’t complete yet.  I just want to know what happens.

But anyways, the Mortal Instruments series follows Clary Fray as she discovers some new things about her life.  First she learns that she is a Shadowhunter, which means she is part of a line of humans that have some angel blood and battle demons and protect regular humans, or mundanes.  She also finds out that her dad (Valentine) is one mean mamajama.  He views the Clave (governing group of Shadowhunters) as being corrupt and wants to overthrow them, so he gets all buddy buddy with demons to basically have a genocide of Shadowhunters.  Clary also finds out that her mother (Jocelyn) has been hiding all of this from her so she really has no idea about what happens in the Shadowhunter world.  She makes a group of friends that help her understand this new world.  And she falls in love with Jace Herondale (Morgenstern, Lightwood, Wayland…..he has lots of names).  This creates its own set of drama especially when Clary thinks that Jace is her brother.  Turns out he isn’t (he was just raised by Clary’s father as if he were his son), but they do have a shared bond of being more angelic than other Shadowhunters, which gives them enhanced abilities.

Clary does have a brother who also has many names, Jonathan Morgenstern or Sebastian.  Sebastian is actually part demon because Valentine gave Jocelyn demon blood to drink while she was pregnant (but she didn’t know that is what is was).  This gives Sebastian abilities that are even more enhanced.  Jace kills Sebastian and Clary in directly kills Valentine.  But then there is a ceremony and a spell that brings Sebastian back to life and connects him with Jace.  This is where City of Lost Souls starts.  Sebastian kind of kidnaps Jace mostly through a spell that binds there lives together so that if one is injured or killed, the other faces the same fate.  Everybody wants to save Jace.  Most of the book is spent trying to figure out how to sever the connections without killing Jace.

Ultimately, Simon, who is Clary’s best friend and a vampire and protected by the Mark of Cain, is able to get Glorious which is the sword of an archangel.  Clary uses this sword to stab Jace.  It burns all of the evil out of him which severs the connection to Sebastian, but does not kill either one of them.  So they are able to save Jace but not capture or kill Sebastian.  This means he is still on the loose with a plan to ally with demons, turn Shadowhunters in to part demon beings, and basically take over the world.

So now we have to wait to see how it turns out.  But it’s not all bad news.  The first book in the series, City of Bones, is being turned into a movie that comes out later this year.  Also, Cassandra Clare wrote a second series, The Infernal Devices series, that is set in the same world but during a different time period.  She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex as a sample training manual of what Shadowhunters like Jace and Clary would have used to learn what to do when dealing with demons and in different situations.

 


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I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

 

So I used the “what should I read next” website and typed in the Hunger Games.  One of the suggestions was I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (aka James Frey and Jobie Hughes).  This book features aliens.  A group of 18 aliens came to Earth after their planet was attacked and destroyed by aliens (Mogadorians)  from a different planet.  The group of 18 is from Lorien.  Four and his Cepan (his guardian) as well as the rest of the group escaped their planet during the attack.  The others are in similar pairs each with a number child/teenager (member of the Garde) and a Cepan to help and guide them.  The plan is to eventually return if some from the group are able to survive.  In order to help with this plan there were several charms placed on the group.  The most important is that each of the members of the Garde is numbered 1-9.  As long as they stay apart, they have to be killed in order.  The members of the Garde have a charm on them that lets them know when one of them is killed.  This book starts when Four learns that Number 3 has been killed, making him the next target.

Four and Henri (his Cepan) move to Paradise, Ohio in an attempt to remain hidden.  While there, for the first time in his life Four is making friends and getting attached to people.  It makes it so he does not want to leave even when it becomes clear that the Mogadorians that are on Earth know where he is.  This ultimately results in a battle at Four’s high school.  While Four is trying to protect his girlfriend, Sarah, another one of the members of the Garde finds them.  Number Six has been trying to find another Garde member since she lost her Cepan.  However, because Six joins Four, the charm protecting them is broken.

Huge numbers of Mogadorians arrive at the school to kill Four and Six.  They also bring giant beasts that they raise just to kill.  Four and Six, with Henri, Sarah, Mark, and Sam, try to take on the Mogadorians.  They are able to kill some, but ultimately they are outnumbered.  Four’s dog, Bernie Kosar, turns out to be a chimara from Lorien and is able to defeat one of the giant beasts.  In the end, the teenagers are able to escape, but during the battle Henri is killed.

Four and Six obviously decide to leave Paradise and try to hide out somewhere else for awhile.  Four is very upset about leaving Sarah behind, and he promises to come back to her some day (which means that he probably will in a book later in the series).

I really enjoyed this book.  It had a lot of supernatural aspects to it especially since the Garde is able to develop powers like telekinesis, invisibility, and resistance to fire.  It also had a romance that wasn’t over done but made the reader care about the characters.  I’m excited that both The Power of Six and the movie I am Number Four are waiting for me at the library so I can continue the series.