Tag Archives: fantasy

Differently Morphous – Yahtzee Croshaw * Book Review *

25 Sep

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Format – Audiobook

Synopsis -A magical serial killer is on the loose, and gelatinous, otherworldly creatures are infesting the English countryside. Which is making life for the Ministry of Occultism difficult, because magic is supposed to be their best kept secret.

After centuries in the shadows, the Ministry is forced to unmask, exposing the country’s magical history – and magical citizens – to a brave new world of social media, government scrutiny, and public relations.

On the trail of the killer are the Ministry’s top agents: a junior operative with a photographic memory (and not much else), a couple of overgrown schoolboys with godlike powers, and a demonstrably insane magician.

But as they struggle for results, their superiors at HQ must face the greatest threat the Ministry has ever known: the forces of political correctness….

Differently Morphous is the latest and greatest tale to emerge from the mind of writer (and narrator) Yahtzee Croshaw.

My Thoughts – I brought this book on audible as it was the daily deal a couple of weeks ago and I thought that it would be the sort of book that would really appeal to me. I do enjoy magical/young adult type books however for me it wasnt as good as I was expecting.

I really struggled to get into the plot of this and I got a little bit confused with the different characters. I think the main issue for me is that it isnt a book that is to be taken too seriously and for me I struggle with the writing style and humour in this type of book.

The overall plot was good – a little like if the world found out that there was a Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter but I just struggled with the sub-plots.

The author does narrate this book so it was nice to hear the book read by the author – I always find this quite interesting and it seems like the author has written more books.

There are lots of positive reviews for this book on amazon so I think its probably just one that I couldnt agree with.

Rating – 2/5

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Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton

31 Jul

Jurassicpark

Synopsis – On a remote jungle island, genetic engineers have created a dinosaur game park.

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now one of mankind’s most thrilling fantasies has come true and the first dinosaurs that the Earth has seen in the time of man emerge.

But, as always, there is a dark side to the fantasy and after a catastrophe destroys the park’s defence systems, the scientists and tourists are left fighting for survival…

With this masterful cross of science fiction and action-adventure, Michael Crichton created one of the biggest bestsellers of all time, turned by Steven Spielberg into the highest grossing blockbuster ever in 1993.

 

My Thoughts – This is one of those books that I’ve wanted to read for a long time but never picked up. My little boy is absolutely obsessed with Dinosaurs at the minute and loves the film franchise so I managed to finally pick this book up.

This was amazing! As I’m already familar with the film it did take a little bit of getting into as I was seeing the characters as they were in the films and as the characters and events differ a little in the book then this did prove a little bit hard to start with.

The actual process of how the dinosaurs were made and the whole debate on nature will find a way was also totally brilliant. I loved how it was all explained and especially liked the chaos theory behind it all.

Reading it now also makes you think that it could possibly happen one day. THe fact that we have such brilliant technology and this could happen one day is quite a scary thought!

Also the characters are a bit different in the book – Lex is younger than her dinosaur obsessed brother and Hammond came across as more of a harsh buisnessman than a lovable Grandfather that Richard Attenborough portrays in the films.

Overall a fantastic book and one that I will read again. I already have brought The Lost World to read asap!

Rating – 5/5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J. K. Rowling

27 Mar

Read in 2013

 

Format – Hardback Book

 

Synopsis – Harry is furious that he has been abandoned at the Dursleys’ house for the summer, for he suspects that Voldemort is gathering an army, that he himself could be attacked, and that his so-called friends are keeping him in the dark. Finally being rescued by wizard bodyguards, he
discovers that Dumbledore is regrouping the Order of the Phoenix – a secret society first formed years ago to fight Voldemort. But the Ministry of Magic is against the Order, lies are being spread by the wizards’ tabloid, the Daily Prophet, and Harry fears that he may have to take on this epic battle against evil alone.

 

My Thoughts – I have been re-reading my favourite book series on and off for months. These books are solely responsible for my love of reading and are pretty much the only books that i have read over and over and over.

 

In this book Harry is trying to persuade the wizarding world that Voldemort is back but nobody will believe him. Also he has disturbing links with Voldemort, has an evil teacher at Hogwarts, gets suspended from Quiddich and meets Hagrids half brother who just so happens to be a giant.

 

This is my second favourite book in the series and for me its the turning point between Harry being a child and not understanding why Voldemort is trying to kill him and Harry becoming an adult and can understand what he has to do to defeat evil.

 

This is also the first book where death really starts coming to Harry and its kind of a reflection onhow dark the series is going to get.

 

I love love love these books and cant say enough good things about it. Its a must read for anyone, young or old.

 

Rating – 5/5

Alana Weatherbee #1 – Jack Sorenson

21 Sep

Started – 19/8/12

Finished – 16/9/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Fifteen year old Alana Weatherbee leaves home for the first time to study at the School of Shines of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Finding herself the school outcast, she gains acceptance by becoming champion of the Labyrinth Games in spite of her teammates, the school bullies. Then Alana meets Logan, another outcast and, together, they fight to save their world from the evil Book of Spells.

 

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was free on Amazon and it really sounded like a book that i could get into.

 

This book is about Alana Weatherbee who attends the Shines School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She becomes part of a team to take part in a series of games. Its here that she meets Logan who becomes her boyfriend and they take part in an adventure.

 

Now this all sounds so promising but unfortunatly it just wasnt. To start with i just couldnt get over how simular this book was to Harry Potter, which could be a good thing, but in this case it just wasnt. The whole school setup was so simular, the headmaster was almost a carbon copy of Dumbledore and the Labyrinth games was very simular to the Triwizard Tornament.

 

Also the book just seemed to give a very basic outline of the plot and then not go into anymore detail, it was almost like i was reading a draft of the story. This book had so much potental but unfortunatly it just didnt interest me.

 

I didnt understand the relevance to Logan at all and what benefit he had on the story. I didnt understand the book of spells part either.

 

This is a book that i didnt enjoy at all and maybe i should start to read reviews on Amazon before i download a book again.

 

Rating – 1/5

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

7 Sep

Synopsis – The summer holidays are dragging on and Harry Potter can’t wait for the start of the school year. It is his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and there are spells to be learnt and (unluckily) Potions and Divination lessons to be attended. But Harry can’t know that the atmosphere is darkening around him, and his worst enemy is preparing a fate that it seems will be inescapable …With characteristic wit, fast-paced humour and marvellous emotional depth, J.K. Rowling has proved herself yet again to be a master story-teller.

 

My Thoughts – As many people know The Harry Potter series are my favourite books of all time and every now and again i do re-read the series. This is the fourth book in the series and although its not one of my favourites its still good.

 

In this book Harry goes back to Hogwarts to start his fourth year at the school. During this year the Twiwizard tornament is held at the school which adds an added depth and excitement to the book. During the year Harry and his friends go through the normal things, lessons, fallings out, adventures and excitement.

 

This is the first of the ‘big’ books in the series and i think this is where we start to see the series turn a little bit darker. What with ‘Mad-eye’ Moody and the plot surrounding him and also the rise of You Know Who towards the end of the book it does start to pave the way for the more adult story lines of the series.

 

This is the book where death is also started to be explored which more me is a vital part of the book. However, its not all doom and gloom there are things like the Yule Ball which adds a bit more fun to the books and reminds the reader that Harry and his friends are still children.

 

While this book is massive in comparison to the books previously, i always find it easy reading and the pages just flow once i pick the book up. Although this book isnt my favourite i do enjoy the story to it.

 

Rating – 5/5

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

2 Aug

Started – 20/7/12

Finished – 25/7/12

Format – Hardback Book

 

Challenges – Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

1001 Childrens Books You Must Read

 

Synopsis  – One of the true classics of American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over four generations. Originally published in 1900, it was the first truly American fairy tale, as Baum crafted a wonderful out of such familiar items as a cornfield scarecrow, a mechanical woodman, and a humbug wizard who used old-fashioned hokum to express that universal theme, “There’s no place like home.”

Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, as their Kansas house is swept away by a cyclone and they find themselves in a strange land called Oz. Here she meets the Munchkins and joins the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City, where lives the all-powered Wizard of Oz.

My Thoughts – I’ve owned this book for years and years and its always sat on my shelf. I read this once when i was a lot younger and i thought that i woud read it again now that im older. I was hoping that i enjoyed the story as much as i did as a child.

This book is the story of Dorothy, who lives in Kansas. It is the most boring grey place and she doesnt really like living there. Then during a cyclone Dorothy and her dog Toto are swept away to a place called Oz. This is the most brightly coloured land and it is there that she meets her new friends, the brainless scarecrow, the tin woodman with not heart and the lion with no courage. Together they want to go to see The Wizard of Oz to ask for the things that they want.

Now i felt that parts of this book was quite scary for a child and sometimes quite shocking. for example, the flying monkeys and the wicked witch. As a child this really scared me and i think that this is what put me off reading it again when i was younger. I also felt that when Dorothy was asked to kill the witch it was a little bit shocking. Its not like modern stories and for a little girl to have to kill somebody, it just didnt sit right with me.

However, i did enjoy the story and the journey through the land of Oz. I really got into the story and really fell in love with the characters. I loved the cowerdly lion i think he was my favourite character. I think that there was an important message behind this book with the no brains, heart or courage. I think its kind of like the lion already had his courage he just needed to believe that he already had it.

The only problem i had with this is the musical that was made based on the book. I kept getting ‘follow the yellow brick road’ stuck in my head at various points of the story.

This is a very enjoyable read, not only for children but for adults too.

Rating – 4/5

Magical Quotes and Words of Wisdom From Harry Potter – Samuel Penny

20 Jul

Started – 1/7/12

Finished – 8/7/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book from the kindle store earlier in the year, but having gone back to link to the synopsis, its no longer a book on Amazon. I’m not sure if its been taken off, or whether its my links not working properly.

 

This book is basically a collection of different moments from the Harry Potter books. There is one quote per kindle page and at times they are funny, sometimes sad, sometimes ones to make you think. Also thrown in are several quotes from the author, J. K. Rowling. I found these parts quite fascinating as she doesnt all that often speak about her books and little hidden information about the plot and characters.

 

To be honest, this book was ok, but as it was just a load of moments from the Harry Potter series out of context, it did get a little boring towards the end. I am a massive massive Harry Potter fan, these books are the reason that i have got so much into reading, but for me the book needed some more explainations, maybe putting the quotes into context or explaining a bit about them.

 

I did like this book, but i think its one to dip in and out of. I’m a little bit torn as to who to recommend them too as Harry Potter fans might not like the whole out of context thing, and those that have never read Harry Potter might not understand the quotes and why some of them are so powerful. Still, this book was free and im quite glad i didnt pay money for it, as i already have the quotes in context in the series.

 

Rating – 3/5