Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 184
Series : #4 Tarot Cafe
Format : Manga
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time IV Challenge, Manga Challenge alternative, to continue with the series

Pamela is a tarot reader to the supernatural and unusual. She is back here for another set of tales which include a spirit who wants her to uncover what happened to his abused and neglected half sister. He wants to reconcile with her before he leaves the earth for good. We also find out more about Pamela's mysterious past and meet a man who has promised his soul in exchange fo rbeing a famous musician and it turns out he wasn't the only one throughout the years...

This is an excellent series. I love the artwork and the stories remind me very much of the Nightmares and Fairy Tales graphic novel series by Serena Valentino. They combine manga with supernatural themes and are a must for anyone who loves fairy tales, mythology and beauty.

Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 384
Series : #1 Percy Jackson
Format : Teenage Fiction/Mythology Novel
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time IV Challenge

Percy Jackson has moved from school to school and is finally in a boarding school where his favourite subject is Latin. He is not doing so great and when a fight breaks out on a field trip it is the last straw. Percy isn't all he seems though even if he doesn't realise it. See in the old Greek stories the gods were not exactly faithful to their partners. Many came down to earth and had children with mortal men and women. Percy never knew his father and it turns out that he is a modern day half blood. His mother is mortal and his father is one of the Greek gods, as yet undisclosed.

Percy is beset by monsters who also realise his true heritage. His only option is to race to Camp Half Blood here he meets up with two people from his former school. There he meets a series of other half blood children and teenagers with different talents. Not all of the children know who their godly parent is, they need to be claimed and Percy has no idea who fathered him. Once he finds out he sets out on a quest which will stop the gods from causing a war that will impact everyone on the planet.

This was a lot of fun and a great idea for a series. The gods were done very well and a great range filled out the story. The only thing that put me off was I listened to it as an audibook and the narrator had a really annoying way of pronouncing some of the words! I will definitely be continuing the series soon.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 184
Format : Teenage Fiction/Fairy Tale Novel
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time IV Challenge

I read this during the last read-a-thon alongside Jehara who is based in America. We started reading it at the start of the read-a-thon and it was really fun reading the same thing at the same time as someone across the world from me. We did a buddy review afterwards and I have included both sets of answers.

1. Did you like Ella Enchanted?

Rhinoa : Yes I really enjoyed it. It was a fun and easy read and I seemed to get through it quite quickly. I like the characters and warmed to the story which was a re-telling of Cinderella.

Jehara : I loved it. I thought it was such a fun read. It was refreshing and humorous.

2. Would you read more by the author in the future?

Rhinoa : Yes for sure. I have 2 more of her books on my pile to get too soon. I would consider watching the movie adaptation as well.

Jehara : I would.

3. What did you think of the main characters and did you have a favourite?

Rhinoa : I think it has to be Ella. I liked that she was stubborn (a much overlooked quality!) and tred to stick to her guns even if it meant hurting herself and not getting what she wanted. Loved the fairy godmother, both the main fairies. Mandy was a great character keeping Ella grounded and I really liked the spin on Lucinda. I want the book Mandy gave Ella!

Jehara : I loved Ella. She was so funny. I really appreciated her efforts to overcome her curse. I loved how she would rebel against direct orders.
I thought her dad was a jerk. Mandy, her fairy godmother, was funny and cranky. She was a great comfort to Ella in the aftermath after her mother's death. I really loved the book Mandy gave to Ella before boarding school. Hattie was horrible. Just horrible. Certain segments of the book had me steaming mad, but ultimately Ella overcame the obstacles they presented and Hattie got what she deserved. Areida was so sweet. I loved the friendship between her and Ella.

4. Did you think the ending suited the book?

Rhinoa : Yes I think a happy ending was suitable in this case. It wasn't pretty girl meets handsome boy, the story was more complex than that and I was glad that Lucinda finally realised the true nature of her "gifts".

Jehara : I did. I really loved how throughout the book Ella and the prince were able to really get to know each other as opposed to most fairy tales where the main character falls in love with the prince by virtue of his prince-ness alone.

5. Would you recommend it to other readers?

Rhinoa : Yes to anyone who likes a good story or has a love of fairy tales.

Jehara : Definitely. I wonder why I waited so long to read this. It was completely delightful.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 184
Series : Companion Novel to I am Morgan Le Fey
Format : Teenage Fiction/Fantasy Novel
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time IV Challenge

As I am Morgan Le Fey told the early story of Morgan and some of her early experiences which formed her into the woman we know from the Arthurian Tales, this does the same for Mordred. Mordred was fated to kill his father, King Arthur. His mother was Morgan, Arthur's sister and different versions of the stories have her knowing he was her brother when they slept together and other have them both ignorant. Mordred is found by a middle aged couple who are unable to have children of their own when he washes up on the shore by their hut one night. Arthur had put all the babies born on a certain date in a boat and set it adrift in an effort to kill his illegitimate son and curtail the prophecy.

Mordred grows up not knowing who he really is until he is on the cusp of puberty. Nimue comes for him and takes him to live with his aunt Morgause and he still doesn't know the truth of his birth. Morgan keeps trying to contact him, but he is afraid and doesn't take to her at all. When he finally does learn the truth of his birth and who hhis parents are all he wants is his father to acknowledge him and make him proud. He feels like he is living under a curse and tries to do everything he can to dispel it and not live up to what is prophesised for him.

The novel though short is filled with mystery and magic. Nimue is a character I always loved despite what she does to Merlin (I always thought he was a bit too much of a know-it-all and it was good for him to be taken down by a woman!) and I love her expanded role in the story and the way the dog and falcon fit the tale. It examines whether our lives are predestined and ruled by fate or if we can change them with free will. Pretty timeless questions and I liked how Springer dealt with them.