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The Castle Corona, Elixir, and The Wheel of Darkness

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Book Reading

I’ve been insanely busy lately with my bridal shower and everything, but I’ve still been reading and have several books to review.  I’m going to do three completely unrelated books in this post.  :-D

The Castle Corona

I made a trip to the library a few weeks ago and picked this book up along with some other fantasy books in the children’s section.  I had never heard of Sharon Creech (the author) and knew nothing of her writing ability, but when I read the summary on the inside flap of the cover, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

This book was awesome.  It’s not that this book is particularly unique or exceptionally well written, it’s just that there was something that draws the reader in without being obvious.  Some books are so well-written that you know you’re being sucked into the story and you love it.  Some books are written so poorly that you are forcibly ejected from any sections worth reading.  This book was subtle about drawing you into the story.  You don’t realize that it’s a “can’t put down” book until you actually try to put it down.

The writing is fairly simple; it is written for children, after all.  The two main characters are Pia and Enzio, sister and brother.  They are very creative peasant children who aren’t certain of their ages.  Pia thinks she’s about twelve or thirteen and that Enzio is either ten or eleven.  As servants, slaves almost, they had very little free time, but that little bit of time is spent creating stories.

Naturally, throughout the events of the book, you start thinking that you are going to come to the cliched ending of Pia and Enzio being born royalty.  It would be a nice ending, but it’s a little more interesting than that.  It’s also a singularly uninteresting ending which is part of why I find it so very interesting.

Confused yet?  Good!  Read the book.  :-D  I know that I’m already looking forward to reading others from Creech.

Elixir

This is the first ever book written by Hilary Duff.  I was (and still am) a fan of hers from Lizzie Maguire and her music and I think she’s incredibly talented.  With that being said, though, I honestly busted out laughing when I saw she had written a book!  Being a fan, I decided to give it a try…

I’m pleased to say that I’m still a fan and that I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not anything outstanding and I would be surprised to see it on a list of “best books of the decade” or something like that.  It is, however, well written, well thought out, and quite creative.

She never gets into any of the overly-done and grossly detailed sexual scenes that other young-adult writers include.  She hints at them and lets you know that they happen, but this is not a sleazy sex book.

It starts out with Clea, the main character, freaking out in a dance club with her best friend Rayna.  Rayna is in the process of securing a one-night-stand with a cute French boy and trying to hook Clea up with her friend.  The first chapter honestly worried me.  I was worried I had wasted my money on a book I would hate.  (Kind of like I did with the House of Night series.)

However, things get more interesting very quickly.  Clea starts seeing someone in her pictures, then in her dreams, and then finally meets him in real life.  Sage is Clea’s immortal soul mate.  Clea’s other best friend Ben is Sage’s reincarnated best friend.  Sage’s entire existence seems to center around the Elixir of Life and the reincarnations of Olivia.

This book is the first in a series and I really cannot wait for the next one to come out.  Keep writing, Hilary; you’re doing a great job and it can only get better.  :-D

The Wheel of Darkness

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child — Knowing that these two gentlemen are the authors of this book, does anything else need to be said about how incredible it is?  Probably not, but I’ll give you some highlights anyway.  :-)

This is an Aloysius Pendergast book and, as always, it is fantastic.  My first encounter with Pendergast and the authors was way back in “Relic” and “Reliquary” and I can honestly say that I’ve never been disappointed by the character or the authors.

This book starts off in a remote monastery in Tibet.  The monks request Pendergast’s help in recovering a stolen artifact known as the Agozyen.  Pendergast’s search takes him onto a modern-day Titanic.  And yes, it’s a very obvious foreshadowing for the ocean liner known as the Britannia.

The Agozyen corrupts a few people and the end result is that the ship ends up in the hands of a crazy person!  Pendergast has a few problems when it comes to saving the day, but he comes out of the ordeal okay.  The book ends when he and his ward Constance Greene return the Agozyen to the monastery.  At that time, Pendergast learns something new about his ward.  :-D

Quick note: I’m sorry my reviews were so short and rushed.  Honestly, the next few will be like that, too, because I’m typing them now and scheduling them to post later.  I’ve got a million and one things that I have to get done concerning the wedding, the holidays, the house, and work and I’ve only got so much time to do everything!  I was adamant about getting these reviews done so that I could return books to the library and reshelf my private books.  I will continue to read (of course) and I hope that I can get on a better schedule for posting soon, but it probably won’t happen until after the wedding.

Occasionally Important Information:

"The Sea of Trolls" and "The Land of the Silver Apples"
"Reckless" and "The Lost Hero"

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