The Singing by Alison Croggon; 454 pages, 2,339 pages total

The SingingThis book is fantasy and has a theme that no power is greater than the power of love.

This is the fourth and final book in the Pellinor series. It tells about how the separate tales of Maerad and her brother Hem eventually come together in attempt to save the world from the dreadful Black Army. In this book, Maerad finds a mysterious power hidden within her, so strong and powerful that she can barely control it. Maerad’s friends fear this power, and are also afraid for Maerad herself, and they must all trust in Maerad’s decision that she can use her new-found abilities to defeat the Nameless One. Meanwhile, Hem and Saliman find themselves traveling with a band of minstrels, desperately attempting to beat the Black Army on its march on Annar. Hem and Maerad must unite their powers in order to defeat the Nameless One before he destroys their world.

I must admit that I was a little disappointed by this book.  I felt that the first three were much better (especially the first and third ones) in their content and description.  In this fourth book, it felt to me like the author ran out of interesting ideas for the plot, and everything just focused on the main event near the end.  I also thought that the description and imagery in this book was not nearly as enticing or emotional as in the first three.  I remember that the third book in the series, The Crow, was bursting with description; the fourth book seemed to contain just the bare minimum in my opinion.  However, even with these fall backs, the book had a happy ending, and I was glad that it ended how it did.  I recommend this book because it is a substantial tie-up to the rest of the series; however, I liked it the least out of all the series.

Now that I have passed the 2,000 page mark, I am no longer required to write blog posts over the books that I have read.  However, I will continue reading and posting when I find the time.  Thanks for following my progress!

The Sea Wolf by Jack London; 252 pages, 1,885 total

The Sea WolfThis book is in the genre of fiction, and its theme is that even the most villainous of people can still be respected.

This book tells about an accomplished journalist named Humphrey Van Weyden, who is thrown off of a ferry during a storm while traveling across the sea. He is carried over the waves for many hours in a life preserver before finally being rescued by a boat titled The Ghost. Mr. Van Weyden finds the captain of the ship, nicknamed Wolf Larson, to be very cruel and disregardful of the value of life, yet with a fiendish intellect that fascinates and terrorizes his crew. After many weeks full of hardship and stress pass by, The Ghost picks up a lifeboat-full of survivors, including the renowned author Maud Brewster. Humphrey finds himself falling in love with her, and the two must act quickly if they are going to escape the wrath of Wolf Larson.

I thought that this was an excellent book.  The description and detail given were among the top of the list of any classic that I have read.  You usually find the more picturesque, easy-to-imagine scenes in more modern books, but this book allowed me to almost take part in the actual events happening.  Some of those events were horrifying in the way that they were depicted; the scenes were so close to reality that it frightened me at times.  Another reason that I enjoyed this book was because all of the characters had unique personalities.  I felt like I could get to know the people that I was reading about, and be able to sympathize with them.  I recommend The Sea Wolf because it has vivid descriptions, interesting characters, and an exciting, intriguing plot.

Artemis Fowl 2, The Arctic Incident; 277 pages, 1,633 down

Artemis Fowl 2This is the second book in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.  Its genre is fantasy, and has a theme that everybody has someone that they can learn to respect.

In this book, Artemis Fowl receives a ransom message from a Russian gang posted in the Arctic Circle, saying that the gang is holding Artemis’ father captive. Meanwhile, goblin riots are becoming an increasing problem in the underground fairy community. After a large shipment of human-made batteries and outdated fairy rifles is confiscated by the LEP fairy police, Artemis Fowl and Butler are taken underground to be interrogated, as the fairies believe that they are behind the weapon distribution. However, the fairies find them innocent of dealing with the goblins, and Artemis hatches a plan to free the fairies of their goblin nuisance in return for their help in saving his father. Artemis and the LEP must work together if they are going to be able to protect the life of Artemis’ father and the secret of the fairy world.

Many people say that a sequel is rarely as good as the original book.  In this case, I find it a little backwards; I actually thought that the second book was even better than the first.  One reason that I enjoyed this story was because of the cooperation between the fairies and Artemis Fowl.  There were many examples in the plot that showed that the characters were beginning to care about one another, and I thought that this made the book more interesting and emotional.  Another reason that this book was excellent was because of the change in Artemis’ personality.  He goes from being a stuck-up, condescending brainiac to a more humble, respectful person.  Artemis had to endure several instances of “grunt work,” and the adventure really taught him a lesson and improved his character.  The final reason for my loving this book was because of its humor.  Witty jokes and sarcasm kept the slower moments moving (even thought there were very few slow moments in this book).  I strongly recommend Artemis Fowl 2 because it shows cooperation between the fairies and the humans, it influences Artemis’ personality, and it is funny and action-packed all the way through.

Man from the Sky by Avi; 120 pages, 1,356 total

Man-from-the-Sky-AviThis is a fictional book with a theme that we can overcome our difficulties to help those in need.

This book is about a boy named Jamie who has a brain disorder that causes him to be unable to read. Instead of reading, Jamie stares up at the sky and imagines fantastic battles and images in the clouds. One day, Jamie sees a man parachute from a plane holding a strange black bag. The man drops the bag, and Jamie later oversees him threatening a neighbor girl (who retrieved the bag from the ground) at gunpoint to take him to the nearest town. The girl leaves a message telling which way they were heading, and Jamie must surmount his obstacle of illiteracy and get help before it’s too late.

I liked this book, and other books by Avi, because it was short, simple, and sweet.  The plot unfolded quickly, and the story resolved itself precisely and pleasantly.  This book is a great way to unwind if you have just finished a confusing and twisty-turny mystery (like an Agatha Christie novel).  I was also able to relate this book to everyday life; Jamie was extremely frustrated when he tried to tell his grandmother about the parachuting man because she did not believe him; he had told her unrealistic stories like that before.  Grown-ups can be so infuriating sometimes!  (No offense made to any adult in particular, this is just what happens on occasion.)  I also enjoyed the fact that SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! Jamie was able to make out the message that his neighbor wrote and save his friend.  I enjoyed and recommend Man from the Sky because it is short and sweet, it is easy to relate to everyday life, and Jamie is able to overcome his obstacle.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater; 390 pages, 1,236 total

shiver-final-coverThe theme of this book is that time is precious.  Its genre is fiction.

This book is the story of Grace, a high-school girl who was attacked by wolves when she was young. She was rescued by a mysterious wolf with golden eyes, and she has been watching that wolf ever since. One night, Grace discovers an injured boy on her porch, who has the exact same eyes as her wolf. His name is Sam, and he and his pack members are werewolves who turn human in the summer and wolf in the winter. This is Sam’s last year to be able to turn human, and as winter encroaches on the two friends, they must struggle and evade the cold in order for Sam to stay human.

I would recommend this book for a more adult/mature high-school level.  It contains a couple examples of adult content and romance.  However, besides these parts, the book was amazing.  Shiver is full of suspense, and has many different twists and turns that keep the reader hooked.  I also enjoyed the combination of fantasy and real-life; werewolves are obviously not real, but the vivid descriptions and realistic side events that took place made the book fascinatingly believable.  I recommend this book because it is exciting, a fantastic combination of life and fantasy, and has a little bit of romance for those who like that kind of reading.

Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry; 256 pages, 570 total

This book is fiction, and has a theme that we must let go of the past and face the future.

This is the story of Andrea, a high-ranking businesswomen on the brink of getting a huge promotion. Andrea is called away from her job after her sister is injured in a hit-and-run accident. Andrea must stay with her grandmother, who is planning to set up a bed-and-breakfast inn along with Andrea’s sister, instead of listening to the persistent calls of her boss. Andrea must work with the help of her grandmother’s handyman in order to protect her family from prowlers, vandals, and a mysterious assassin who will not rest until Andrea is gone and the inn is abolished.

I loved this book for many reasons.  One was because of the changes that the main characters went through; it was amazing to watch Andrea morph from a popular, job-obsessed snob to a humble, caring protector of her family.  Another thing that I enjoyed was the combination of events in the story.  There were suspenseful parts, sorrowful and joyful parts, and, yes, even a little romance.  However, the book was very appropriate in its romantic moments, so the content is still at a middle school level.  I recommend this book to middle school students Hide-In-Plain-Sightbecause it shows great change in the characters’ personalities, it contains many different moods and settings, and it even ties in a little with faith and religion.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson; 314 pages

KidnappedI started my fourth-quarter goal of 3,200 pages with a historical-fiction classic.  The theme of this book is that the righteous shall always prevail over the wicked.

This book is about a young boy named David who goes to live with his uncle after the death of his parents. However, his uncle tricks him and sends him to work on as the cabin boy on a ship. David is rescued by the famous outlaw Alan Breck, and together they travel through the wilds of Switzerland, evading the British armies and attempting to regain the estate of Shaws to David, who is its rightful owner.

I’m not quite sure what I think about this novel.  I enjoyed it, but it was not my favorite book of all time; nor was it so terrible that I would spend an entire paragraph critisizing it.  Some of the word choice was a little bit confusing, but there were definitions sprinkled throughout the pages, which made reading it much easier. (Besides, with all of this technology practically at our fingertips, we can just hop onto the Internet and look up words whenever we please.)  However, one thing that I did not like about this novel was its ending.  SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!  At the end of this book, Alan Breck and David go their seperate ways, and though its not a heart-wrenching, tear-causing parting, it is not exactly what you would call a happy ending.  The two friends say good-bye, David expresses his sense of loss at their parting, and the book ends.  I’m not sure wether or not to recommend this book; it is challenging and has many adventurous parts, but the ending is not the best in my opinion.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan; 528 pages, 3,261 completed

The Red PyramidI surpassed my goal of 3,000 pages (the very night before the due date) with the beginning of a new fantasy series by Rick Riordan.  This novel is about two children, Sadie and Carter Kane, who must journey to many strange places and confront terrible monsters in order to find their father, who has been captured and is being held hostage by Set, the Egyptian god of chaos.  Meanwhile, Set is planning to destroy civilization with a giant storm in a matter of days, and it’s up to Sadie, Carter, and a few odd friends to stop him.  The theme of this book is that sometimes we must make unbearable sacrifices for the good of others.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a little obsessed with books written by Rick Riordan.  This series is about Egyptian gods, not Greek, but it still is very well written and full of action.  I enjoy reading Rick Riordan’s works because the characters are always facing new dangers and monsters.  I never get bored reading books where suspense and adventure are always around the corner.  Another reason that I liked this book was because it was funny.  Once I was reading a funny part, and I actually laughed out loud.  My dad asked me why I was laughing, and I said it was because of a witty sentence in my book.  For people who like stories with lots of adventure and humor, this is the perfect book.  I recommend The Red Pyramid because it is funny, action-packed, and a new twist to the “ancient gods meet modern civilization” spectrum of Rick Riordan.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan; 400 pages, 2,733 total

The_Last_Olympian_coverWARNING:  THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS.  PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION!

This is the final book in the Percy Jackson series. In this fantasy novel, Percy and his friends must endure sacrifice, sorrow, and danger in order to defeat the evil Titan Kronos, who threatens to take over Mount Olympus and rule the world. This book is packed with adventure and emotion, and is a beautiful salute to the end of the series. The Last Olympian has an underlying theme that no matter what hardships come your way, love will always remain.

A good series usually starts out with an interesting book that grabs the reader’s attention.  At the end of the first book, the main character usually accomplishes a goal and everything seems right.  However, the books that come after the first reveal a more elaborate and sinister problem that the character faces throughout the series, and in the last book SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he or she faces the problem at its peak and most often come out victorious.  This is what happened in the Percy Jackson series, and I loved the ending of the story.  The last book was probably the most mature (not in a bad way, just the one with the most sadness and dying), and it had parts that made me laugh and parts that made me cry.  I enjoy it when I have emotional interaction with a book, because it makes the characters seem more real and gives the story a new meaning.  I would recommend The Last Olympian because it is a phenomenal ending to the series, it is full of excitement and emotion, and it is humorous as well as sorrowful.