Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Let me just start off by saying that this was an awesome fantasy novel. I couldn't wait to read the second book in this trilogy.

A Great and Terrible Beauty is the story of Gemma Doyle, an English sixteen-year-old. Gemma has spent her whole life in India, but has recently been sent to an English finishing school. Strange things start to happen to Gemma and she discovers that she is the last member of a secret magical group called "The Order."

On top of her magical powers, Gemma has to deal with a lot of turmoil in her life. Her family is a complete mess. She is hated by the other girls at school and to top it all off a strange boy keeps following her.

I really recommend this book to any teenage girl who loves fantasy. I do warn you that at times you can't put the book down and at others it is kind of slow. The girls can at times be whiny and there are confusing homosexual undertones even though none of the girls is gay (not stated in book). Overall, I would really recommend this book to a mature reader and especially adults, it is a great crossover novel.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Seventh Tower: The Fall

The Seventh Tower: The Fall
By: Garth Nix

Tal lives a really sheltered life. He has never left “the Castle,” home to the seven orders, including his own orange order. The world he lives in is completely dark, the sun is hidden behind a thick mist called the veil, and the only light in the Castle and its seven towers are the lights from sunstones.

Sunstones are one of the most important things in Tal’s world. They give them light, heat, create music, act as weapons, heal people, tell time, and most importantly, they allow entry into the shadow world, Aenir. Aenir is where each of the Choosen must go to when they are thirteen in order to obtain their Shadowspirit. Without a Shadowspirit, a Choosen will become an Underfolk, the people who act as servants and do all of the labor in the Castle.

Unfortunately, in order to enter Aenir, Tal must have a primary sunstone. Tal’s family lost theirs when his father disappeared on a secret mission. Now Tal’s only hope to save his siblings and his gravely ill mother is to climb the tower into the forbidden area and still a sunstone. Doing this leads Tal into a world he never knew existed where shadowspirits harm instead of protect, where the world is covered in ice, and people actually live outside the Castle.

To find out what Tal discovers in this new world and if gets his sunstone, you will have to read The Seventh Tower: The Fall by Gareth Nix. This is the first in the series and I will warn you that the first book is hard to put down and leaves you wanting to read the next one.